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Tree Questions

 
Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
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1. None of my honey locusts are blooming but the neighbor's all are. Are they biannual bearers?

2. There are some trees in the wood portion that are much older. The leaves look like honeylocust and they have very similar flowers but not a thorn to be seen and the bark is thick and rough, unlike my honey locusts. I was wondering if they lose their thorns when they mature.

3. There's another tree in the pasture that has lots of thorns, like at every leaf. The leaves are oval, pointed at the ends, kind of like apple leaves but I don't think they are apples. The parent tree is quite large and is a mound that arches down to the ground on all sides. It has flower buds on it now, well after the apples have bloomed.

4. I'm finding seedlings that would make good pasture trees in many years (like chestnut oaks). I was thinking of trying to dig some and move them to where I'd rather they grow. Does anyone have experience with growing tree seedlings in those tree tubes? I've seen them used in parks to grow trees to the height that deer won't damage them with the browsing and I was wondering if they'd work as well with cattle in a pasture. It seems like it would be cheaper than making a strong fence around each one.
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
Posts: 1331
Location: northern California
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There is a thornless variety of honeylocust, popular as a street and landscape tree. I would guess that the oldest trees are of this type, planted years ago, and the young ones all around are their seedlings, "reverting" back to the thorny type. The other thorny tree might be an osage orange. Look for the remains of the "oranges" from last year on the ground.....
I think the problem with the tree tubes is the cows might rub against them and break them down even if they don't realize there is something edible in there. I think they'd need at least one stout stake to prevent this. Don't be moving the trees now, unless you're very far north....best done in the fall/winter unless you're in a climate where the ground freezes deep....
 
Adam Klaus
author
gardener
Posts: 946
Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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Cattle love to destroy trees. Whether it is some deep instinct to create more grassland, I wonder sometimes. If there is a large object, be it tree tube, water trough, whatever, they will push and grind on it remorselessly. For protecting young trees, it takes a large and stout wire cage with strong metal posts, or electric fencing. I have tried and tried to get young trees and cows to co-exist, and myself I have lost a lot of trees, and am just about at my wit's end.

If you really want to, you could take a 16 foot cattle panel, cut it into four 4 foot sections. Then pound four metal T-Posts and attach the wire panels. Problem is cost (for me about $50 per tree), and also and future maintainence access to the trees, such as weeding in particular.

Electric fence is really effective, and you can easily move it for maintainance operations. I would reccomend using two strands of electric string. Just gotta check the voltage daily to make sure you havent lost power.

good luck!
 
Dumas Walker
Posts: 13
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I have been doing some research on locust trees lately (and off and on over the past year). There are varieties that are thornless. There are also varieties that are both thornless and seedless/podless. I believe that these podless ones may also be bloomless. Have your honey locusts bloomed in the past and just did not this year, or have you ever seen them bloom?

The podless varieties are some of the "ornamentals" that have pretty Spring leaves. They start out looking like Autumn leaves, coming out with some yellow in them, and then going green before eventually going yellow again in Autumn.

We have some here in town that are thornless but produce many pods. That is where I get my seeds from. We also have some at work that are thornless and podless. These do not bloom like a honey or black locust normally would. I think they must sometimes produce a few flowers as they do sometimes produce a pod or two, but I have never actually seen them flower.

 
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