Facts About Austrees - Knowledgebase Question

Elkhorn, NE
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Question by technoid
December 15, 1997
Do you sell Austrees? I've read this is a very fast-growing and versatile tree. What is your opinion of this tree?

Answer from NGA
December 15, 1997
Regarding opinion, consider this article on plant advertisement, Fact vs. Fiction recently published by Horticulture & Home Pest News: "The advertisements say, 'The Austree is a tree for all reasons. Hardy and disease resistant from Alaska to Florida. Austrees are not susceptible to most insects. Austrees are very fast growing trees. Many people experience up to 15 feet of growth the first year. Austrees have a life expectancy in excess of 50 years depending on the growing conditions and the planting site.' More to fact is the following, the Austree is a hybrid willow. Its parents are the Corkscrew Willow (Salix matsudana) and White Willow (Salix alba). Austrees planted in 1990 by the Department of Forestry at Iowa State University have grown rapidly, especially those in moist sites. Growth has been slower on drier sites, but is still averaging 12 to 20 feet tall after 4 years. The major concerns about Austrees are potential disease and insect problems. Both corkscrew and white willows are susceptible to canker diseases. In 1995, the Plant Disease Clinic at Iowa State did receive several Austree samples with stem cankers. Because of potential disease and insect problems, the staff in Forestry Extension recommends that Austrees be planted with caution. Their best use would be as a component in a tree planting, for example as a row in a windbreak. They are suitable for quick, temporary screens, but should be planted along with longer-lived, more permanent trees and shrubs. Austrees grow best in moist sites."

If you are still interested in Austrees, you can obtain them from Rocky Mountain Austrees at www.rmausa.com/aus/

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