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Author Topic: Yard trees  (Read 16394 times)

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Offline etat

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Yard trees
« on: April 05, 2005, 12:06:36 AM »
I'm finally getting ready to do something I wish I had been in a position to do years ago.  Hopefully it ain't too late to plant some trees and see em grow up into some shade.

I wouldn't mind having some suggestions and ideas other than what I've read.  Because most of what I've read doesn't exactly cover my situation, or the state I live in.

As I said I want to plant some trees and landscape my yard.  Some of em needs to grow pretty tall to eventually help knock back some of this southern sun which gets hot and muggy in the summertime.

Some of em can be ornamental or not grow so tall.  I've got lots of room.

My worst problem would be the soil around where I need to plant these trees. If I were on a lower part of my property the soil is better but.  I built my house on the highest point on my property.  Up here the soil is heavy heavy red clay type dirt.  Hard as a rock when it dries out in the summertime.  Less than a half of inch of topsoil.  I'll be working on this over the next years.  It doesn't ever soak up much water.  You can break it up with a plow or a disk, drive over it a couple of times and it's just as hard as if the soil was never disturbed.  You go to dig a hole with a hand  post hole digger, or a shovel and you've got your work cut out for you.  Like digging through mild concrete.  Luckily most of my pasture is better ground.

More information.  At my disposal for digging holes or whatever is a little backhoe for the back of a tractor, or a tractor three point hitch post hole digger. 

I would appreciate any advice on types of trees that might do well in this type of soil or advice on how deep to dig or how big a hole to dig or how to modify the soil or whatever.  I've planted a few trees around here before and they DIED in spite of my watering  em. This time I'm ready to dig or modify the soil or bring in truck loads of dirt or pump water from the pond or whatever I have to do.  I don't want to plant any more and kill em and when it comes to trees I don't have no green thumb. 

Please help. 


Old Age and Treachery will outperform Youth and Inexperence. The thing is, getting older is starting to be painful.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Yard trees
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2005, 09:17:26 AM »
CK,

By the way your post reads, it sounds like you need to do some work with your soil. Sounds like a problem with aeration, because 1) it gets hard compacted easily and 2) the trees need aeration (oxygen) to the roots. What I would do is work some sand (or good gravel) and well rotted compost into the top 12 inches of soil with some kind of farm attachment. The sand will let air get in and the rotten compost will help retain moister as well as provide nutrients. Why did I say 12 inches? Because that is where the feeder roots are, the taproot or anchor roots go considerably deeper and I'de recommend using that hoe to dig a dipper hole and mix some sand and mulch into your native soil so it will let the anchor roots go deep enough. I don't think the hole would need be deeper than 2 feet from the surface. Keep in mind that the tree is gonna get bigger and that hole should probably be in a 6 foot radius of where that tree is planted. our gonan have a pretty big hole for a young tree, but it will pay off in the development of that tree. With the rest of the lawn being worked with the sand and mulch to, it will allow soil water to travel and not pool around your tree roots to smother them. Might want to put some rocks in the bottom of the hole too and make sure the sides of the hole are lossened a bit with a shovel to collapse the sides a bit so the roots can penetrate it when spreading and growing. Make sure when planting the new tree you keep the root ball or bare roots within 4 inches of the surface, but not too shallow (<2 inches). Add some water to the hole as you fill in the hole with your new mix of soil. Roll the surface but don't pack it down tight. Water the new surface around the tree once a week for a month as the new leaves emerge.

As I eluded to above, the best time to plant a tree is during it's dormancy, before it leaves out, as early in the year as possible. By June, and this is the same up our way, the leaves are usually elongated (or partially) and the days are getting hot, so the newly planted tree is water stressed trying to maintain stem flow and evaportranspiration during food production. Takes alot of water.  :o If they don't get enough of this precious liquid they burn up.

This project could get expensive, but I'm certain it will help your situation.

cheers  :)
Move'n on.

Offline Firewood Farm

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Re: Yard trees
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2005, 09:27:41 AM »
Get in touch with your local forestry department or conservation district or extension service. They will most likely come out and evaluate your soil and make specific recommendations for your situation. And it's free of charge.

You pay your taxes, you might as well get something out of it!

Joe
If a man is in a forest and there's no woman to hear him, is he still wrong?

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Yard trees
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2005, 09:41:55 AM »
Some shade trees for your area would include. I've listed them in order of my preforance, but yours may vary.

boxelder (prune them to grow straight)
basswood
tulip tree
white ash
silver maple
sycamore
water tupelo
red maple
evergreen magnolia
water oak
live oak
willow oak
cherry bark oak
southern red oak
black oak
swamp chestnut oak
overcup oak
white oak
sweetgum
Move'n on.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Yard trees
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2005, 09:47:09 AM »
Ck, I agree with Joe, that it should be your first course of action. It's hard to evaluate a persons situation sit'n in front of a computer.  :-\
Move'n on.

Offline redpowerd

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Re: Yard trees
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2005, 09:49:49 AM »
how do you prune boxelder to grow straight, everywhere i cut them, they shoot back up.
NO FARMERS -- NO FOOD
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Offline asy

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Re: Yard trees
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2005, 09:50:40 AM »
CK, I agree totally with what Swampy said in his first post.

I was wondering, do you know if you have any subsurface water and if so, how far down is it?

If you can, it would be worth augering to this depth as the tap root will go down that far, even if it's 10 or 15 feet (or more).

otherwise, it certainly sounds as if you really need to work some compost into the area, or possibly even some 'claybreaker'.

Also the forester thing...  Let us know what he says, out of interest.

asy :D
Never interrupt your opponent while he's making a mistake.
There cannot be a crisis next week. ~My schedule is already full..

Online beenthere

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Re: Yard trees
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2005, 09:57:29 AM »
Redpowered
I prune boxelder right at ground level, then fight to keep it at that level.  ;D

A poor tree for anything, IMO, and weak to boot.  Never looked at it as a 'shade' tree.

Sorry, Swampdonkey, I don't know if your list goes bad to best, or best to worst, in 'preforance'.  ;)
south central Wisconsin
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Offline redpowerd

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Re: Yard trees
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2005, 10:02:31 AM »
i try to cut down every boxelder i see, that stuff can take over a barn yard FAST. when i cleard the spot for my log cabin it was an OLD barnyard full of box elder and tall black locust. looks really nice now with all that box elder gone and them huge locust. still have shade.
NO FARMERS -- NO FOOD
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Yard trees
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2005, 10:02:59 AM »
red, I'de burn the stump of cut trees. The suckers trees will generally fall over when they get big and the truck rots away. I'de start out with a single stemmed seedling and let it grow free for 10 years. Then cut some of it's lower laterals and forked leaders for another 5 years. It's the narrow angled forks in the limbs to watch for as they will break easier in wind. Also, any real long lateral should be kept cut back to so they don't get too heavy and snap off in wind. Boxelder are high maintenance to keep straight and reduce limb load. They sure have provided some nice shade around the house over the years though. Unfortunately, I lost most of them 7 years ago to ice damage.  :-\
Move'n on.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Yard trees
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2005, 10:08:07 AM »
I agree with you guys with the proliferation of the boxelder. You either like it or hate. ;)
Move'n on.

Offline redpowerd

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Re: Yard trees
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2005, 10:11:23 AM »
seeds are pretty messy too
yer right they do tend to split at them small angled branches, and them lower suckers die off and are a pain to get to.
NO FARMERS -- NO FOOD
northern adirondak yankee farmer

Offline tnlogger

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Re: Yard trees
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2005, 12:43:37 PM »
 ck have you got any dairy farmers close by ? what i did with the red dirt on my place was subsoiled as
 deep as i could, then i took a bog and worked it up. i then took the old rotten silage they take off the open pit silage pits and worked it in. now this takes awhile but in the end i had a real good looking lawn
 I planted Bartlet pears with a 3ft. auger as deep as it would go. then worker up a bunch of silage, top soil and sand to plant um.
 Now this worked for me but might have been doumb luck ;D. i also use it to mulch the garden and pats flowers too.
gene

Offline Ernie

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Re: Yard trees
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2005, 03:22:38 PM »
To kill the box elder, have you tried drilling a few 1/2" holes near the bottom of the trunk and pouring in neat roundup, translocates to the roots and should wipe out all the suckers as well unless Monsanto has developed a roundup resistant  GE modified box elder :D :D :D :D

Ernie
A very wise man once told me . Grand children are great, we should have had them first

Offline Bro. Noble

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Re: Yard trees
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2005, 04:54:42 PM »
In another thread on planting trees,  Ron S.  reccomended checking a soil survey.  I don't think many people understand what Ron was talking about.  The Soil Conservation Service has the soils mapped for about all the land in the U.S.  I have a little training in soils and have taught soils classes in highschool  and the extension service.  I was fairly conscious of the differend soils on our place,  but when they mapped our place about 15 years ago,  they gave me a copy of the map for our area.  I was amazed at the accuracy.  The map identifies the different soil types on your land,  tells many things about the characteristics of that soil including what kind of plants will grow there.  I have mentioned in other threads that we only had one maple tree on our place (and I sold it to Arkansawyer :D).  Well there is a little bank above a creek that has a few maples and that is the only place on the farm where I have found any.  It represents probably about .01percent of our land.  The little area is mapped as a different type of soil than any other on the place and sure enough,  that soil type is the only one we have that is supposed to grow maple well.  Made a believer out of me.  I would sure see what kind of plants do well in the type of soil you have and then decide what to do. :)

Those guys at the USDA off ices get paid well with your taxes,  make them earn a little of it ;D
milking and logging and sawing and milking

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Yard trees
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2005, 06:12:08 PM »
Couldn't agree more with Bro_Noble :) When I listed those species I also consulted the silvics of the species and range. Basswood was the only one out of range, but it is the west of the Mississippi and as far south as the state, so I tossed it in. Also it's fast growing and has broad leaves for shade. The soil would have to be conditioned as explained for it to do well though. ;)
Move'n on.

Offline Roxie

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Re: Yard trees
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2005, 07:23:56 PM »
In regards to Swamp Donkey's suggestion for an evergreen magnolia, may I suggest the Bracken Brown Beauty Magnolia.  It is native to the south, and is evergreen.  I work for a landscape design firm and they recommended this tree for my dense red clay soil.  This tree is magnificent when it blooms.  If you have never seen one, go to:


www.natorp.com/Magnolia'BrownBeauty'.htm
Save a farm today or starve tomorrow.

Offline chet

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Re: Yard trees
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2005, 09:45:23 PM »
Donk,
I can tell ya never been in da utility tree trimmin' industry, recommending Box Elder.    smiley_thumbsdown    At da top of da list no less!   ;D
I am a true TREE HUGGER, if I didnt I would fall out!  chet the RETIRED arborist

Offline chet

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Re: Yard trees
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2005, 09:50:13 PM »
I wonder if it's possible to get dat Emerald Ash Borer to develop a taste for Box Elder.   ???   It might be worth a shot.  :D  :D
I am a true TREE HUGGER, if I didnt I would fall out!  chet the RETIRED arborist

Offline redpowerd

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Re: Yard trees
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2005, 09:56:12 PM »
will SD ever live that one down? :D
NO FARMERS -- NO FOOD
northern adirondak yankee farmer


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