Opinion: A Few Good Trees: Look out your window and count the trees....

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Opinion:  A Few Good Trees

By Sharon
January 10, 2012

It's a good time to take a look at the bare bones of trees now that winter is upon most of us. That's about all we can see anyway since they aren't dressed in their leafy finery at the moment. Look out your window. How many trees can you see?

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Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
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fiwit
Jan 9, 2012 6:54 PM CST
...When I stand on my front porch, I see 17-20... 5 black gum tupelos, 2 gold delicious apple, 1 japanese maple, 1 smoke tree, 3 dogwoods, 2 redbuds, 1 magnolia, 2 kanzaa cherries, 2-3 oaks (red/white, I'm not sure which), 1 river birch, and 2 more that I can't remember the name of. Other than the oak and the river birch, none are more than 5-6ft tall, and all of them are less than 3 years in the ground here. Trees are my friends, and the more I can have around me, the happier I am. I'm really looking forward to them growing up and shading the house from the afternoon sun.
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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Sharon
Jan 9, 2012 7:08 PM CST
You can never have too many trees around you. Unless of course your lot's too small and all the roots upend your house. Then there might be too many trees.

In that instance, I think I'd just build a tree house. Green Grin!

Good for you, Mary! Good for you. I hope they all make it to adulthood with no problems at all.
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Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
Plays in the sandbox Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Dog Lover Daylilies The WITWIT Badge
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bluebonnets Birds Region: Georgia Composter Garden Ideas: Master Level
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fiwit
Jan 9, 2012 7:18 PM CST
I'm lucky that I have a large lot, then. Hilarious!

Since I closed on the house in Feb 2009, I've planted maybe two dozen trees, and have lost 4. Two I replaced, one replaced itself with a sucker from the root, and one is waiting for me to replace it. That will be next fall, I think. I'm optimistic with the ones that are still here, but will still watch them closely for awhile, yet.
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Ferns Daylilies Irises Cat Lover
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Sharon
Jan 9, 2012 7:35 PM CST
I only have a little more than half an acre here. I have a red maple and a yellow maple in the front yard, the only two trees that were here when we moved here in the 70s. Since then I've planted 2 magnolias, 1 river birch, 1 bald cypress, a red bud, another yellow maple, two American hollies, a large Japanese maple, a witch hazel, a mimosa and a crepe myrtle. In addition, I have an oak seedling that replaces the big oak tree that my neighbor cut down and a male persimmon, a gift from the birds. The oak was actually very close to the property line and I'd planted it years ago when we owned that lot. I got a little attached to it. On the easement next to me there is a huge old cottonwood, so I claim it too. And in the corner of my back lot there is a hickory tree.

I can't complain!!
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Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
Plays in the sandbox Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Dog Lover Daylilies The WITWIT Badge
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bluebonnets Birds Region: Georgia Composter Garden Ideas: Master Level
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fiwit
Jan 9, 2012 7:47 PM CST
I keep forgetting the legacy trees. There's a maple in the front yard too - leaves go yellow in the fall. Does that make it a yellow maple? And a sweetgum too close to the garage, but I intend it to go away at some point in the next year or two.

The side yard has 2 crab apples, and a Franklinia Alatamaha
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Ferns Daylilies Irises Cat Lover
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Sharon
Jan 9, 2012 8:00 PM CST
Golden maple, yellow maple, sweet maple, yes.

The Franklin tree is so pretty in bloom. You are lucky to have it, I think I read somewhere that it's extinct in the wild now. Native to Georgia, isn't it?

i had a crabapple too, but it only lived about 15 years, so did the flowering plum. They were small anyway.

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Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
Plays in the sandbox Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Dog Lover Daylilies The WITWIT Badge
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bluebonnets Birds Region: Georgia Composter Garden Ideas: Master Level
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fiwit
Jan 9, 2012 8:17 PM CST
Yeah, Franklinia hasn't been seen in the wild since the early 1800s? And while it was found in SE GA, they think it originated farther north, because the ones in cooler climes do better. Mine bloomed last year for the first time, but I was out of town during its peak and didn't get pics. My almost-local native nursery sells it.
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Ferns Daylilies Irises Cat Lover
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Sharon
Jan 9, 2012 8:21 PM CST
I've never seen one, I didn't think they grew well this far north.
Pictures sure are pretty!
Visit my cubit Blue Gardens
Check out my Blog
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Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
Plays in the sandbox Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Dog Lover Daylilies The WITWIT Badge
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bluebonnets Birds Region: Georgia Composter Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
fiwit
Jan 9, 2012 8:59 PM CST
According to the TV show Bones, there's one in the national botanical garden. Here's where I first learned about it (and bought mine): http://nearlynativenursery.com Their page says this about it.

Now extinct in the wild this beautiful species which (Father) John and (Son) William Bartram discovered in 1765 along the Altamaha River in South Georgia and named in honor of John's Good friend Benjamin Franklin. The botanical species name alatamaha comes from a common misspelling of the Altamaha River in those days. Later John's son William Bartram returned to collected seed and propagated it at their Philadelphia garden and this is where all plants to see today originate from. The species has never been seen naturally in the wild since 1803. Many Thanks go to people like William and many others for bring native species into cultivation for this can the best measure off preventing extinction today. It has large white flowers with yellow centers that bloom from mid summer to late fall. It is an under story tree that reaches a height of about 20 feet. We have grown it in full sun with success, but more success can been witnessed in high 4-8' raise beds in dapple sun and partial shade in the South where red clay is prevailent. In cooler climates it will tolerate sun better. It prefers soils that drain well with constant moisture, but that is never wet. Some theorists believe that the Ice Age forced this plant south hence it not being commom at any time in the south due to it be a in an area where it only survived not thrived. I tend follow this belief because it appear to perform much better the further north one tries to grow it.



Mine's planted on slightly raised ground in red GA clay, although I amended the soil when I planted it, and pretty much full sun, until the other trees grow up enough to shade it. It's not quite as tall as I am yet, with only a few branches, and I think it had ONE flower last year, but still - IT BLOOMED. When I told the folks at the Nursery, they said most folks don't keep them alive long enough for them to bloom. Mine was planted in fall 2009, and was my most expensive purchase at the time I bought it. I think now it's my 2nd most expensive Hilarious!
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Ferns Daylilies Irises Cat Lover
Image
Sharon
Jan 9, 2012 9:01 PM CST
Interesting history. You'll have to share with us a picture of it in bloom next summer. I'm sure it will be.
Visit my cubit Blue Gardens
Check out my Blog
Read my Articles and Ideas
Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
Plays in the sandbox Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Dog Lover Daylilies The WITWIT Badge
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bluebonnets Birds Region: Georgia Composter Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
fiwit
Jan 9, 2012 9:07 PM CST
I'm really hoping I'm home for the bloom this year. Last year, I was home while it was in bud, and the next time I saw it, the flower was half-gone. Thumbs down That was my bad -- we'd had a hot spell, and I'd not gone outside in several days, so I missed the best photo op (or I was out of town, which sounds MUCH better).

It was just a little 3ft stick when I planted it, I swear... and I worried about it through the entire first winter, afraid the deer would find it irresistible. It was probably a 3gal pot that I bought from them for $38. There's an ornamental crabapple planted nearby, and a summer wonder crab apple planted a little farther back, closer to the back yard. If I wanted to, I can see Ben out of my bedroom windows, I think.

Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 9, 2012 9:45 PM CST
I inherited my love of trees from my mother and grandmother, what a great gift that was to me. : )

If I look out my windows onto our 1/2 acre lot, I can see a native Eastern Oregon Juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) that is at least 60 years old, Mimosa Tree (Albizia julibrissin), a very large English Walnut, two apple trees (one with 4 different varieties and one with two varieties) both are at least 50 years old, pine tree, Red Maple, Hazelnut, a giant old Ash Tree, Douglas Fir, a small leaf maple about 30 ft tall, an old Yellow Chain Tree (Laburnum) and a young 3 year old Redbud Tree (Cercis canadensis) that I got from Chelle.

I love my trees. We are fortunate to have land behind us that has more Ash Trees, Silver Maples and a few Cotton Woods. We also have wild apple and cherry seedlings all along the road on the other side of our gravel road.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Ferns Daylilies Irises Cat Lover
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Sharon
Jan 9, 2012 9:50 PM CST
Amazing what we can cram into our half acre lots, isn't it? And we willingly share our space with all those trees.

Oh, I forgot my two Eastern Red Cedars! How could I forget. They came from my great grandmother's yard.
Thanks for reminding me, Lynn. Can't believe I forgot them. I love those trees!

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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
Jan 9, 2012 9:55 PM CST
One of my favorite trees Sharon. We are need to remove the ancient old Ash, it has lost most of it's upper very large limbs. When we got up on the shed roof to clean the tree up a bit, we could see that it is completely rotten down in the crotch which is about 10 to 12 feet up. It makes me sad. It used to provide the most amazing shade in the summer.
Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
Plays in the sandbox Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Dog Lover Daylilies The WITWIT Badge
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bluebonnets Birds Region: Georgia Composter Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
fiwit
Jan 9, 2012 10:17 PM CST
Oh Lynn... I'm so sorry about the impending loss of your ash... but love reading about your love of trees... my mom did a really good job of instilling me with a love of nature. And I still remember the Elm in the backyard of my childhood home -- it was magnificent!
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Ferns Daylilies Irises Cat Lover
Image
Sharon
Jan 9, 2012 10:21 PM CST
We had an Ash when we moved here in 73. It was the oldest tree in this little block, tall and gorgeous. We had some major rains about 2005 and since it was on a slight hill behind the house, it tended to lean down hill. The soil was wet and it was about to uproot itself. We had to take it down, but once down, It had that rot in it as well so it could have just as easily broken in some our our windstorms. It would have taken the middle part of the house with it if it had fallen. I miss that tree, it blocked the afternoon and evening sun. I kept the short stump though!! Look to the left of and up behind the smoke tree, see the rounded pot? It's sitting on the stump. I have a better picture somewhere but would probably take all night to find it.

Thumb of 2012-01-10/Sharon/24abad
Visit my cubit Blue Gardens
Check out my Blog
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Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Ferns Daylilies Irises Cat Lover
Image
Sharon
Jan 9, 2012 10:23 PM CST
Oh, did I mention the smoke tree earlier?
If I didn't, that's one more.
Visit my cubit Blue Gardens
Check out my Blog
Read my Articles and Ideas
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
Jan 9, 2012 10:48 PM CST
So the old Ash still have a presents in the yard. : )
No, you didn't mention the Smoke Tree. One of my moms favorites. We also had an old elm when I was little. It shaded the play house.
We also had a very large fig tree that us kinds used to climb way up into the upper limbs and sit and eat sun warmed figs. Lovey dubby
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Ferns Daylilies Irises Cat Lover
Image
Sharon
Jan 9, 2012 11:03 PM CST
I've never had or seen a fig tree. I doubt if it would grow here.
Visit my cubit Blue Gardens
Check out my Blog
Read my Articles and Ideas
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
Jan 9, 2012 11:07 PM CST
They do grow here in our zone 8. But won't get to be the size they are capable of becoming as a mature tree. I grew up in Southern California, where you use to see really large fig trees.
I can still smell the scent of the leaves and bark by just thinking of that tree. Smiling

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