Ask a Question forum: Wahoo help

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Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Oct 10, 2016 5:04 PM CST
I have an Eastern wahoo that's planted in a small yard in the city st paul mn zone 4


When the tree was planted it was planted sloping and tilting slightly we have also been lack with watering it and have planted hostas and ferns under it now we want to do a makeover on it


We plan on taking out the ferns and hostas replanting them in the garden elsewhere and either mulching or planting grass on it

Understandably fall color this year has declined and it's still man sized and not growing taller then 6 foot if even that we want it to grow bigger
It's been in the ground at least 4 years and well it's spreading out it's not growing as big as we'd like

I talked with Kim about having an arberest look at the tree to see if it should be staked to straighten it out or if that would be bad she thinks this is money we don't have and should stake it anyway as her boss wants it staked I explained staking can be just as bad in some cases as doing nothing


About how much would having someone who knows trees run us cost wise and is it nesscary
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 10, 2016 5:52 PM CST
Alex, I think it would be a waste of money to have an arborist look at that tree, too. You'll have to pay him and then also pay for remedies for the tree.

Spend a little money on some good mulch - at least 6in. of wood chips or something similar - for it this fall after you have moved all the ferns and hostas away from it. Don't plant grass under it, because everything you plant within the root zone of the Wahoo is going to steal water and nutrients from it. Don't plant anything for about 10ft. around it. Mulch generously and it will look nice. Once the Wahoo takes off and is happy, you can gradually introduce a few shade plants back there.

Next spring spend a little bit more of the money on some fertilizer for it, and then make a note (set a reminder in your phone) to water it regularly through the growing season next summer. Don't forget that as the weather gets warmer and the days get longer plants need more water.

I'll bet with all the competing plants removed from underneath it, some mulch to protect the root system, plant food next spring and regular water it will grow and be beautiful.

I agree with you not to stake it, too. It's supposed to grow as a large shrub or a multi-stemmed tree so there's no use staking one trunk. It will just grow others once it is happy. Especially when they are situated on a slope, trees can look really dorky if they are growing too straight.

It sure would help a LOT if you could post pictures of your plants for us.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Texas (Zone 8a)
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tx_flower_child
Oct 10, 2016 6:01 PM CST
I agree. Don't stake it. Not really good for trees. Of course I don't know what a Wahoo is. (I'm at war with Yahoo but that's different.) When you mulch it, don't let the mulch get right up against the Wahoo. Leave a little breathing room. If you can get it, shredded native (native to where you live) bark is usually the best mulch.
And when you do water it, make sure you water under or just a little past the drip line. Soaker hoses are great for that.
Yes, do send a picture or I will have visions of Yahoo running thru my head!
Good luck.
Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Oct 10, 2016 8:09 PM CST
Thanks again we will work on doing this only it might not be until next spring when we remove the hostas as we want them to surivie the move too I will dig out the lady ferns though as they are starting to spread into the lawn and look unsightly


I have a nature's mericle compost drench I can give next year along with some dirt to fill in the holes we make so fertilizer shouldn't be a problem


How often should I be watering it I or other people usually do it once a week or so
Texas (Zone 8a)
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tx_flower_child
Oct 10, 2016 8:16 PM CST
Hard to say. Depends on a lot of things. But once a week sounds like too much. But I'm a plant abuser so best to wait till someone else answers.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 10, 2016 9:02 PM CST
Watering is all relative. "Once a week" can be "I spray it with the hose as I walk by once a week" which isn't going to do a thing. Or "I stand and soak the tree for a few minutes once a week" still not nearly enough. Or "the sprinkler system waters the lawn once a week for half an hour and it gets some water". Maybe, maybe not enough.

How much water you give it once a week makes all the difference. An hour's soaking with sprinklers would be a good amount in cool weather, but if you have a spell of weather in the 90's in the middle of summer, all the plants need more. Maybe twice a week.

A tree or large shrub needs deep watering - someone mentioned soaker hoses and that would be a great way to water this tree/shrub. Be very sure to water out at least as far as the branches reach, because the tree will have roots out that far and more.

But if it hasn't been growing the way you think it should, I would definitely start out in the spring with some good, deep waterings once growth has begun, then as the weather heats up, going through the summer, check the soil under the mulch every few weeks during hot weather to make sure the water is getting down deep enough that the roots are getting it.

Btw, now is a very good time to move the hostas, too. They will be dormant soon, (if they aren't already?) and as long as you plant them nicely, and take a good root ball along when you move them they will be fine and have better roots established by spring. Oh, and mulch them well for the winter, too. That will make sure they don't heave with the freeze/thaw cycles, and also help retain moisture in the root area.

Digging around the root area of your Wahoo in the spring doesn't sound like a very good idea to me, either. Get those plants outa there, and get the thick mulch down around that tree NOW! Really!
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Oct 11, 2016 7:16 AM (+)]
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Texas (Zone 8a)
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tx_flower_child
Oct 10, 2016 11:13 PM CST
I just saw that you're in MN. To indirectly quote @dyzzypyxxy, "Do it NOW!"
The hostas will surprise you in the spring when they start poking their heads up. And you never know what goes on underground - you might have a few more hostas than you did before!
I just looked up Wahoo. It's beautiful! And it can grow really big. Nice thing too is that if it has berries, the birds will be happy.
Be very careful about moving the ferns now. They will be dropping their leaves and will go dormant very soon if MN weather is what I'm thinking it is. Spring is usually the best time to transplant ferns, at least in my experience. If you don't have a bed prepped for them yet, you might consider potting them.
Not sure what you mean by 'the holes we make'.
A picture would be very nice.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Oct 11, 2016 9:58 AM CST
Alex, I am not sure if the wahoo has been in the ground for more than just this season, but I am going to assume it has since you are contemplating a re-do. This first post offered by dyzzypyxxy is great advice. While having a mulched area under the tree to prevent root competition from other plants will always help, there is one thing with which I take exception: you don't need a 20 ft. diameter circle surrounding a wahoo barely 6 ft. high. A 6 ft. diameter is adequate. Furthermore, our native Minnesota wahoos grow in the forest edges and understory of other trees. They are well adapted to root competition from every other plant and tree in the woods. Grass grows right up to the stems of my wahoos, and although they would likely do better with a mulch, they are just fine.

I can't imagine that it would need more water, with all the rain we have been getting in Mpls/St. Paul. If the hosta and ferns under the tree are not wilting, the tree does not need water.
An oak tree will grow 60ft high and 30ft wide in a forest, and 30ft high and 60ft wide in an open pasture. Tall and narrow in a forest and short and wide in the open land is a natural adaption, and this is what is happening with your wahoo. You never said how wide your tree is, but one might encourage vertical growth by trimming some off the side.

Texas (Zone 8a)
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tx_flower_child
Oct 11, 2016 1:30 PM CST
@Leftwood - am glad to see that someone from MN has jumped into this 'chat'. Sounds like you are in a good position to give advice about wahoos.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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stone
Oct 11, 2016 4:18 PM CST
Apparently wahoos grow to 12 feet and up to 20 ft!

I'd previously thought they were closer to heart's a bustin'.

A native shrub shouldn't need a bunch of babying... as Leftwood mentioned...

My Euonymus americanus Is doing just fine in a terrific drought... 2 hurricanes and a tropical depression blew through the state, and I get squat...

http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?...

Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Oct 13, 2016 6:23 AM CST
I had the staff at our house keep tabs in this tread just to research it for themselves
If they log in and become members they might send in photos of the Wahoo something I can't as i don't have a phone or suitable devise to take photos with

I think it's kinda up to them what we do but otherwise it's looking great so far I moved the ferns as ferns come up late. And we're growing into the lawn as is

It's going to be great whenever it's done Thank You!


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