All Things Gardening forum: Help with forest planting

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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jan 3, 2017 1:32 PM CST
Here is a broad view of my little forest behind my house. This was taken just in front of our gate/property line. I have been able to keep most of it clear of vines. There are two small oak trees in the background I think I can get to this winter that are covered in vines. They are barely alive. You can see them a little off to the left. It's hard to tell they are trees at all! A third oak tree at the very fat left I keep clear of vines is doing very well. A slow grower for sure!

It is a little barren for me. I'd like more privacy from the paved trail view in the background. In the foreground I planted 2 orchid trees. But they are growing really slow, too. DH suggested planting nandina. But I think they can get invasive. I was thinking lorapetalum. No matter, it would have to be something almost left on it's own to flourish. In the summer it is dense shade in there. The winter is the only time there is light. Hints, suggestions?
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[Last edited by ShadyGreenThumb - Jan 3, 2017 1:43 PM (+)]
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Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Jan 3, 2017 5:06 PM CST
I would NOT plant nandina or lorapetalum.

Nandina kills birds, and in my experience, lorapetalum is too aggressive.

I'd go as native as I could... Can you get your hands on some TX native ferns?
How about some buckeye bushes?

asarums are nice, There must be tons of locally native plants that you can re-introduce to that area after finally getting rid of the ivy...

Of course, You might get freebies... I always get natives that fill back in after I've thinned....

The trick is in waiting, and not weeding stuff that you can't positively identify....

Are those bushes privet, or yaupon?

Yaupon holly is nice when it is allowed to grow as a tree, and produce fruit...

Ok, NM, I enlarged the pic enough to see the berries... They are yaupon! Neat!
You know, those hollies will fill in some space if you let them... There really shouldn't be much need for additional shrubs.
[Last edited by stone - Jan 3, 2017 5:09 PM (+)]
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jan 3, 2017 5:10 PM CST
That view reminds me of my parent's back yard when they retired and moved to Florida. My dad chucked out a Boston (?) fern one day (because it kept falling and getting dirt on the carpet) and the fern flourished, spread and looked lovely. It looked very nice between the lawn and the forest.
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Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
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RoseBlush1
Jan 3, 2017 5:44 PM CST
Cheryl ...

A couple of things to consider in your planning process:

1) Is your property located in a "wild fire" area ? You do not want to plant anything that would be a ladder fuel. You have been very wise to remove the vines in that respect.

2) Is there sufficient water for additional plants ? I have read that mature oak trees can take up 50 to 70 gallons of water per day. Is it possible that your oak trees are not getting their water needs met and that is the reason they are not thriving ?

There is a lot of information on the net about water needs of different species of trees.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
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Horntoad
Jan 3, 2017 6:18 PM CST
RoseBlush1 said:

2) Is there sufficient water for additional plants ? I have read that mature oak trees can take up 50 to 70 gallons of water per day. Is it possible that your oak trees are not getting their water needs met and that is the reason they are not thriving ?


The area where Cheryl live is one of the wettest parts of the US. It is also a very low lying coastal area. I would not doubt it, if the roots of her oaks reached the very low water table.
wildflowersoftexas.com
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Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Jan 3, 2017 6:37 PM CST
Thanks, Jay. That is something I would not know. I live in an oak forest and although we get significant rain during the rainy season, we don't get rain in the summer months.

When I lived in southern California, people often planted trees without knowing the water needs of the tree ... Sighing!

Up here, because of fire danger, we usually look for plants that do well in dry shade. It doesn't sound like Cheryl needs to worry about the "dry shade" part ... Smiling
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
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Weedwhacker
Jan 3, 2017 10:42 PM CST
Stone -- "nandina kills birds" ?

I'm only curious about this because my SIL has nandina in her yard in Florida... (inquiring minds need to know!)

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Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
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Horntoad
Jan 4, 2017 6:23 AM CST
Weedwhacker said:Stone -- "nandina kills birds" ?

I'm only curious about this because my SIL has nandina in her yard in Florida... (inquiring minds need to know!)

(TIA)


http://ar.audubon.org/news/nan...
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com


Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Jan 5, 2017 8:23 AM CST

Thnx Horntoad, I usually post a link, but it's easy to google, and there's a lot of articles about evil Nandina online.... I'm actually surprised that there isn't more discussion about the danger to children and pets.....

Everybody complains about poke weed, which is actually a valuable wildlife plant... At my house....
meanwhile, they keep planting poisonous invasives....

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