But Butternut trees are supposed to alternate good years and bad years.
Nobody seemed to have Butternut seeds for sale in 2022, so I assume that was a bad year.
Hopefully, 2023 is a good year.
To Canadians who may be reading this thread:
Incredible Seeds (IS), in Nova Scotia, sells Butternut seeds--but they only ship within Canada.
Also, a caveat, they do not guarantee the purity of their plants, or even know the exact variety. They get their Butternut seeds from wild trees growing in the local forest. They may be hybrids. And if you buy seeds from IS, and get them genetically tested to confirm they are 100% Butternuts, in future years IS may not pick seeds from the exact same spot in the forest. Bottom line: there is no consistency and you do not know what you are getting.
James, are there no local trees from which you can collect seeds?
You wouldn't know for sure if they are hybrids, but I don't know important purity is to you.
On the topic of hay bales, anybody in these forums have a rough idea how the insulation properties of hay bales compare to commercial insulation products?
My dad used square bales to act as insulation against the inside wall of a well house, to prevent the water pump from freezing in the cold of winter. (These are the small bales, 60 - 80 lb square bales, not the bigger 300 lb square bales that have become popular in recent years.) He just built up a wall of bales against the exterior wall. I am now wondering if I should replace those bales with styrofoam pink or white, products that are actually intended for the purpose of insulating a building.
If I replace these square bales with, say, six inches of soft styrofoam pink, would I be increasing or decreasing the insulation level of the well house?
Abe Coley wrote:
Yeah they have really narrow grey/silver leaves, unlike canadensis leaves which are wider and green. If you want me to be super double extra sure, i can get some from a labeled tree at the arboretum at our local college.
I can just load you up a regular envelope, no charge
I have had Chestnut honey (from Italy) and didn't care for it. It definitely has a stronger taste than, say, wildflower or Acacia honey.
Acacia honey is delicious and is one of my favorites, as well as Fireweed honey.
So . . . bees will forage on Chestnut trees and make honey from them, but I do not know if it is one of their favorites, or where it sits on their hierarchy of food sources in terms of quantity.
I enjoy starting Walnut trees from seed, and Walnuts tend to have roots that go deep fast but don't spread out as fast. So I was looking for pots that are deep but without a large diameter; otherwise, each pot uses more soil than necessary and takes up more room when transporting the trees to permanent homes.
I did not find such pots locally, but was referred to a supplier in Oregon:
They have a large variety of pots specifically for trees.
For example, 6" diameter x 12" deep, or 6" diameter x 18" deep.
If you are planning to keep the trees in pots for two years, the 18" deep pots might be better; otherwise, there is not a big difference in price between them and the 12" pots.
However, the cost of shipping can be surprisingly high, especially depending where you live.
Often higher than the cost of the pots themselves, so they recommend ordering at least 20 pots at a time.
Also, they ship by UPS, so if you are not within the US, there will also be a brokerage charge, plus taxes and duties on the brokerage service. Ouch! So, think long-term and, if you order, order a quantity once so you never have to re-order.
Abe Coley wrote:I can get you some seeds, they are native to my area and I know where a bunch of them are.
I am always interested in more seeds, for the sake of genetic diversity, but I like to be sure they are Silver Buffalo Berry (Shepherdia argentea). I am anal about documenting all the plants that go in the yard. Are those plants silver?
Also, I live in Canada; shipping and payment might be a hassle. I suppose a handful of seeds sent by regular letter mail wouldn't raise any eyebrows in Canada Post, but what about payment?
I am just getting into Buffalo Berries this year. I started some seeds, and ordered some year-old plants.
So I have some genetic variety, and different ages. (Hopefully, that mix also includes both male and female plants.)
I came looking for additional information about Buffalo Berry plants, and came across this thread.
Specifically, do these plants thrive within the drip-line of Pine and Spruce trees?
Many plants do not like the sticky wax that gets washed off Spruce and Pine trees; the ground around these trees is usually bare.
However, I've read that Buffalo Berry plants are often used as a wind break and can be planted right beside Pine and Spruce.
If that's the case, I have the perfect spot for them: on the south side of some 40-year old Pine and Spruce trees whose lower branches have died off already.
Can anybody in these forums confirm one way or the other?
Will Buffalo Berry plants live under Pine and Spruce trees?
I'm back with another Comfrey question.
My plants are doing well. They grow tall and big, usually about four or five feet tall.
However, when they get this tall, they tend to fall over with the first blustery day or heavy rain.
I've attached a photo and marked where the stalks are actually growing from. The tops of the plants are quite far from where the plant is growing; quite a sprawl.
The plants are now arching back up and the fall doesn't seem to have done them any harm.
But I'd prefer that they stay upright in the first place. I am considering wrapping them loosely with chicken wire or bird netting.
I think most of the growth happens in the center, and I don't want to crowd new growth. But I think bees would have better access to the flowers, and the plant would get better access to sunshine, if they stayed upright.
Any cons to wrapping Comfrey plants to prevent them from falling over?
A lot of information is posted about how many plants are juglone intolerant, and how many plants cannot live near a Black Walnut tree (and, to a lesser degree, other Walnut trees).
I am wondering if a similar process works the other way around: are there any plants that walnut trees don't like being around?
For example, I've read that the resin washed off pine and spruce trees inhibits some plants from growing under them.
Would a walnut tree planted near pine or spruce trees have their growth negatively effected by these trees?
What plants do walnut trees not like being around?
If you are a beekeeper [and that is what got me interested in black locust first, [as black locust gives a very fragrant honey that never crystallizes]. Well, I discovered from talking to other beeks that some years they love it an some years they won't touch it. We don't know why.
I am curious: how many Black Locust trees do you need to yield a significant amount of honey (say, 1 cup)?
I've propagated Walnut trees, and documented it in my blog, with photos.
Your photo indicates a regular Persian Walnut tree.
Squirrels are notorious for cleaning off nut trees, but they also forget where they hide all their nuts, so I am surprised you don't have at least a few young trees coming up every Spring.
Walnuts have deep taproots, so they don't like being transplanted.
If you do manage to collect a few walnuts before the squirrels get to them, they need to go through a period of cold temperature stratification. Basically, they need to go through a period of cold temperature for about 100 days or they won't germinate. The safest place to do this is in your refrigerator. Keep them slightly humid. In the Spring, take them out and plant them in pots.
They will still need to be protected against squirrels for at least the first year. Even after the nut germinates, if squirrels smell them, they will dig up the nut and take them. Even if the tree is four months old and 1 foot tall, squirrels will nip off the tree at the base and dig up the nut, killing the tree for the sake of that nut. Squirrels are pesky critters. One way I found to protect the trees from squirrels was to wrap the tree in a chicken wire teepee. The trees were in five gallons planter pots and each one got a cone of chicken wire wrapped around it.
That was the only way that worked for me.
After the first year, the chicken wire can come off the following Spring.
I think, by this time, the smell of the nut has disappeared and the squirrels ignore the young trees.
Regarding trying to clone the tree by taking cuttings, I don't think it can be done.
If you can successfully do it, that would be wonderful. Post back and let us know.
But if you want a clone of that tree, a better option would be to graft scions from that tree onto rootstock of another Persian Walnut tree, or a Black Walnut tree.
I am considering making winter jackets for trees and am looking for design suggestions. Sizes. Material. etc.
Has anybody in these forums done this before?
Local nurseries sell some for banana trees.
Winters in my area are mild compared to other regions of Canada, but still not warm enough for tropical trees to survive the winter without extra protection. Especially against wind.
So, I was thinking about getting some insulating hard styrofoam (hard board), cutting a groove in it to fit the trunk (for young fruit trees), and maybe even packing some styrofoam pink (soft foam) into it. Then tying these devices around the tree trunks to give the trees added protection against the wind in winter. But I am concerned about humidity. Am I solving one problem, but creating another? Is humidity a concern with this proposed design? As long as I don't wrap anything in plastic, moisture shouldn't be trapped against the tree and cause problems, should it?
I have a blog too, but I wouldn't call it a traditional blog in the sense that it is treated like a diary. It is nowhere close to being a diary of daily events.
And its purpose has changed several times since it was started.
It first started out to record books that I had read and some activities in my life.
Lately, I've used the blog to record work in the garden and document the growth of trees. I am always going back and updating blog posts to add more information. Between the blog and Google calendar, I have a convenient way to look back over years and remind myself when I planted/pruned/bought a plant, what strain it was, what a Walnut tree looks like when it sprouts, at one year, when the Comfrey flowered, etc.
Each blog post then becomes an independent repository of information on a particular topic for me. It is not like a diary entry that I write one day and then never touch it again.
I've had pretty good success using a file to scarify the seeds--but I don't do many seeds at a time.
The most I've done in one sitting is about 30 seeds. If you are planning to scarify many seeds at a time, this manual labour method probably is not appropriate for you.
First, I put down a few sheets of white paper. The seeds are always slipping out of my fingers; the contrast of black seed on white background makes it easier to find the seed when that happens.
Second, each side of each seed gets about twenty rubs across the file. Sometimes I get lucky and a seed doesn't need twenty strokes. Sometimes I see the white inside of the seed before twenty, so I stop. All that is required is that the waterproof coating of the seed be unsealed so that water can be absorbed by the seed and it swells.
Third, the seeds are put in a shot glass of water. Cold water straight out of the tap. The intention is to let them soak in the water for 24 hours, but sometimes that plan doesn't work out. (I have a full-time job, so they might end up soaking for 48 hours, or when I find time after work to put them in dirt.)
Fourth, after soaking in water, they should have swelled up, so they are put in planter pots. I like using 3" peat pots because none of these trees are staying in my yard; they are all going somewhere else for their permanent homes. Using 3" peat pots gives them a good start and are inexpensive.
New sprouts poke above the ground in about a week.
In the photo below:
i) the tree on the left is from a batch planted June 4, poked above ground June 12;
ii) the tree on the right is from a batch planted May 9, poked above the ground May 14.
Today is June 20, so that is about 1 week and 5 weeks of growth.
In the June batch, 8 out of 11 seeds sprouted, which is a pretty good rate.
One more thing: I don't throw out the peat pots in which a Black Locust did not sprout.
I've read that Black Locust seeds can remain viable for many years. Just because a seed doesn't sprout now, doesn't mean it's bad. (Maybe I didn't scarify it enough. Or maybe it needs to go through a couple more winters.) In any case, I plant the peat pot somewhere I'd like a Black Locust tree to be and hope for the best. I may be surprised in a future year.
This year I had some success grafting Plum Trees.
This art is still very new to me, only the second year I've attempted grafting. Last year was a complete failure. This year, I was happy to see two grafts taking.
After seeking information about when to take the tape off, (i.e., watching YouTube videos), the norm seems to be about one month after leaves sprout on the scion. So that is what I did.
Unfortunately, the electricians tape that I used took a lot of the bark off the branch too (see attached photo.) Each unroll of the tape took another patch of bark off.
I am now afraid I may have girdled the very branches I wanted to be most successful.
Hoping for the best, but thinking ahead for future years.
What did I do wrong? Did I wait too long to take off the tape (i.e., did the tree have too much time to grow tight against the tape?)
Is there a better tape to use than electricians tape? Plain old non-sticky wrap doesn't make a very tight seal.
There is a young Persian (AKA Carpathian) Walnut tree growing in the back. It's about six years old.
Instead of growing up straight, the main trunk is growing in a curve (see attached photo.)
I had thought, if anything, it would grow toward the Sun--but straight. However, this tree is growing like it wants to make a quarter of a circle.
Is this normal?
Will it straighten up later?
Or should I put a post up beside it, with a strap, and tie it to train it to grow vertical?
Steve Thorn wrote:I soaked them in willow water overnight.
The larger branches did best. Most were probably 1/4 of an inch and the best one was the largest at about 3/4 of an inch.
. . .
Thanks for the information, Steve.
So you soaked them in water overnight, that's it. And then put them in the ground? That sounds pretty easy. I'll try that.
BTW: I watched your YouTube video mentioned in the other thread and gave it a Like.
One more question: is there a difference in cold-hardiness between different strains of Black Locust?
I am especially interested in the Frisia cultivar. Any idea if this cultivar is less cold-hardy than other varieties of Black Locust?
A question about propagating Black Locust trees from cuttings.
Has anybody here been successful starting Black Locust trees from branch cuttings?
If so, do you have any advice for the best chance of success?
I know I could go out and collect seeds from random trees, but I'd prefer to know exactly what variety of tree I'm starting.
And, I've come across a tree that I think is just beautiful. I hope to go back to it and collect some of its seeds in the Autumn.
However, I'd also like to try to start some new trees--right now--from branch cuttings.
Hence, my question.
Is it a rather simple process to prune a couple small branches off this tree and start new trees from them?
Janet Reed wrote:Do you know what kind of plum and be more specific on age and size?
I have no idea what type of plum. The co-worker who gave it to us a few years ago is no longer with the company, so I can't ask her.
We've had it at least three years, and it is about ten feet tall. Attached is a photo.
There are also two other plum trees on the property. They were here when we moved here, so they are at least five years old. They were about six feet tall when we moved here.
Again, never seen these two flower either. Photo attached.
Two days ago, I finished reading "Discourses and Selected Writings" by Epictetus.
It's a philosophy book. Epictetus was a former Roman slave who was given his freedom, and went back to Greece to found a philosophy school. By Penguin Classics.
Pretty easy to understand. Easy and quick to read. Agreed with a lot of what he had to say.
I am now starting "The Gulag Archipelago" by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
It's a non-fiction work by a former prisoner of the Soviet gulags, which won a Nobel Prize. He basically documented the change of a nation from mostly normal people to a nation with ten thousand paid torturers in their employ. It's fascinating how the culture of a country changes; changes happen slowly and, before you know it, you're living in an oppressive, corrupt, dictatorship, where everybody is afraid of everybody.
I love reading history books and books that look at human character and spirit.
The plum tree in the back yard is several years old and is growing well; it is actually quite big.
However, it has never flowered.
It was given to us by a co-worker and I am starting to think it will never flower. Perhaps it started out as a sucker from their tree. (In which case, without being grafted, it probably is only good for root stock.)
I am considering tearing this tree out and replacing it with a brand-new young plum tree from a nursery.
A question before I do this: can a new plum tree be planted where a plum tree grew previously? I read that some trees do not like to grow where a previous one used to be, but I don't know if this is the case for plums.
Should I wait another year for the existing tree to flower, or have I waited long enough?
A follow-up to my previous post about growing Comfrey.
Earlier this Spring I got two small cutting from the same source.
When the weather warmed up, I put them in the ground outside: one on the south side of the creek; one on the north side of the creek.
The south side is drier and receives more hours of sunshine.
The north side is wetter and is shaded by trees for part of the the day.
The one on the south side is growing like gangbusters: big, healthy looking leaves. It is between an Asian Pear tree and a lilac bush so it receives partial shade.
The one on the north side has grown significantly since being put in the ground, but not as much. And lately, its leaves are turning brown and curling up. I am wondering if this is caused by too much water (the hill on this side of the creek is always wet, one of the reasons for putting the plant there was erosion control.)
Here are photos of the two plants (Comfrey_South and Comfrey_North):
Any ideas why the plant on the north side isn't doing so well? Not enough light? Crowding by other plants? Soil? Too wet?
I have been using Google's Calendar as a journal to document my gardening activities:
when tomatoes planted as seeds indoors,
type of tomatoes,
when started putting them out,
when walnuts germinated,
when I put strawberry runners in small pots,
when I cut the runners and transplanted the individual new plants,
notes about whether I should have done something earlier or later,
when the sunflowers were put in the ground outdoors,
Basically, I make a lot of notes to track what I have done wrong, and how I can do better.
I am wondering if there is an online journal specifically designed for gardeners, one that offers the capability to attach photos to posts, so the progress of plants can be documented.
Locally, we seem to have had an early spring, and looking back on photos of, say, when a fig tree budded out and how fast it grew in a week would be useful to know in future years. I am always scrolling back and forth through my calendar to remind myself when plants were fertilized, pruned, etc.
Tj Jefferson wrote:Probably froze. Mine look similar, temps don’t need to be freezing if skies are clear due to radiative cooling.
Hmmnn... that is not good.
Shortly after I transferred them, nightly temps went down to about plus 2 degrees Celcius according to local weather reports. Perhaps in my back yard, temps, indeed, dipped to freezing. But the plants hadn't poked above the soil surface yet. Wouldn't they have had some protection since they were still under ground?
In any case, are these trees now effectively dead?
I am trying my hand at something new: growing walnut trees from nuts.
Last Autumn, I put several freshly-harvested walnuts in a pot and covered it with dirt to go through the cold temperature stratification over the winter.
This Spring, the nuts were transferred into individual little pots.
Several of them have sprouted; they have shoots poking above the ground, but these shoots are black (see attached photo.)
They look like they have been burnt or something.
Any idea why this happened?
If it was something I did, I'd like to know, to avoid it for the future. I'd like to successfully grow happy walnut trees.
I am new to Comfrey; just received my first two small plants in the mail and am looking forward to putting them in the ground later this Spring.
A couple questions already come to mind:
1) What kind of fertilizer does Comfrey like? (N-P-K values) I am willing to give it some plant food. Or is plain old cow manure fine? I want happy Comfrey plants.
2) Thinking ahead to the upcoming Autumn and Winter, does Comfrey like some kind of ground covering like sawdust or cedar bark mulch? I know blueberries do NOT like cedar bark mulch, and do not want to put something on Comfrey that it doesn't like. Is there anything that should NOT be put on Comfrey?