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Arbor Day survey and free trees  RSS feed

 
Casie Becker
gardener
Posts: 1306
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
92
forest garden urban
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Mind you, I don't think they understand the meaning of free, but as an organization I don't have a problem with making a small donation. But they will either be sending me ten free trees (5 red buds, 5 white dogwoods) and two crepe myrtle bushes or planting ten trees in a national forest. The choice is up to me. The thing is, I don't think most of the trees that planted in a national forest survive. If I can find enough people in this area interested in planting red buds and dogwood, then they have a much better chance of surviving and actually adding to the world's count of trees. There is a very short window of time to change my decision here. If you're anywhere near Cedar Park and would be interested in any of these trees, this is also you opportunity to contact me to make arrangements. I don't have much space left in  my own yard for more trees (some of it's already reserved for future plans) so finding homes for these would be vital (literally for the trees).
 
Casie Becker
gardener
Posts: 1306
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
92
forest garden urban
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Browsing through the trees in their store makes me wish for more space to plant trees in. I'm trying so hard to be good about only planting the number of new trees I can take care of each year. I could afford their prices, I just don't have the time for everything I want.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9682
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I'm not convinced those trees will survive here.
 
Casie Becker
gardener
Posts: 1306
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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forest garden urban
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Red bud definitely will, I grew up seeing it growing wild in the hills around here.

If they get established, the crepe myrtle at least is very dependable here. When we moved into this house there were several trees that had died from years of no one tending them in the drought, including an old oak tree so big that I couldn't put my arms around the trunk. The crepe myrtles were still flowering.

The only one I'm unsure about are the dogwoods. If they do survive I think it will have to be as a landscape tree with all the pampering that accompanies that.

I still think that's a better chance than ten trees planted in the middle of nowhere.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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They may be selling Eastern Redbud, not our regional subspecies.  Types endemic to Central Texas tend to be more drought tolerant than eastern varieties.  I agree about crepe myrtle, those are very tough.

 
Anne Miller
pollinator
Posts: 591
Location: USDA Zone 8a
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bee dog food preservation greening the desert hunting toxin-ectomy
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I wish you lived close to me.    I don't mind joining if they offered me the same trees you listed.  This is what they offered: 3 White Flowering Dogwoods, 3 American Redbuds, 2 Sargent Crabapples, 2 Washington Hawthorns, no crape myrtle.  I put in the $15 membership but it didn't change.  I put in a different zip code, still the same.

I haven't found when they send the trees. Do you know?
 
Casie Becker
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Posts: 1306
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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forest garden urban
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There are two shipping schedules for spring and fall. Enter your zip code on this page https://shop.arborday.org/ShippingSchedule.aspx# I think anything you order now will be part of the spring shipping dates.

Tyler, they're not eastern redbud, though I am actually on the far western edge of the native range right here. As it stands they're virtually free and since they're not fruit trees, I expect the interest in these to be mainly from people who want them in a landscape where they can get some extra attention.

Anne, to be honest I envy you that crab apple offer. I was just looking at the crab apples they offer for sale and having my better/worse nature telling me that I really didn't need as many fig trees as I've planned.  This isn't actually part of the membership offer, though. It accompanies a yearly survey they put out, so it comes with different conditions
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9682
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Yes, those are definitely yard tree varieties if planted in this region.  And I agree with you about the forest trees probably having a low survival rate.  Yard trees are much more likely to survive (in a yard) than trees planted who knows where in a forest, I think. 

Eastern Redbud is the only redbud I could find listed on their site: https://shop.arborday.org/product.aspx?zpid=912

 
Casie Becker
gardener
Posts: 1306
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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forest garden urban
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That's the reasoning I'm going with.

They're trying to replant areas that have had forest fires, but I think if they've been denuded by a forest fire that nature has already evolved a better solution than whatever limited mix of trees they want to plant with a shovel. Many of the plant in the forests have just been waiting for a fire to unlock there potential. There are species that won't even germinate until they've been exposed to smoke. I don't think it's at all the same situation as clear cut logging. Just give the forest time without human interference.
 
Anne Miller
pollinator
Posts: 591
Location: USDA Zone 8a
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bee dog food preservation greening the desert hunting toxin-ectomy
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Casie, after posting I realized that was a survey and did not find it on the website.  I got the survey in the mail and DH intercepted it, filled it out and then wanted a stamp.  I didn't have any so he got mad and threw it away.  I should have gotten it out of the trash.  My loss.

Maybe I will get a survey next year.  I am still considering the membership.  Maybe I can get them to substitute if I call.  I don't know about the dogwood and the redbud, due to cedar rust I can't do the crabapple or the hawthorn. I would be afraid to try as our pear tree got it.  

I have seen the devastation that fires can do here where I live.  Nothing grows back for years.  We worked with the State Park and they did controlled burns and thought that was a healthy approach.

 
Travis Johnson
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I see nothing wrong with this practice.

They give a choice so that if people want urban type trees they can have beautiful trees for their yard, yet I am quite certain those are NOT the variety grown in the national forests, that would be whatever is native to the area.

I also do not have a problem with burned over areas being replanted. Yes some types of tree's excel where fires emerged, BUT those will also be the ones that dominant that landscape. I see it as a VERY good thing that they plant other species of trees that may not readily repopulate a forest fire area. This ensures diversity and gives the seedlings a few years jump start, spreading roots faster and stopping erosion.

We have had hit or miss experience with planting trees out in the woods:

White Pine:
My Grandfather planted 6 acres of White Pine 68 years ago and they grew up but are not great trees. White Pine Blister Rust, caused by the Gooseberry plant which wreaked havoc on them. While they did grow, some 18"-24" in diameter now, are pretty gnarled up and won't make great sawlogs. This was semi-successful because they grew, just not to very nice trees as expected.

Hack:
In 1994 I planted 12 acres of hackmatack, also known as larch or juniper. The forester told me they would reach 60 feet tall and a foot in diameter in 12 years. I said "yeah right". I ate crow because they did grow as he said, BUT they eventually got the Japanese Bark Beetle and are slowly dying off. At about 3-4 trees per acre per year. This was field converted into forest that was a mono-forest. I tried planting these hybrids out in my forest but they all died. So in full sun..yes a success, but not mixed throughout a growing forest.

Oak:
I have no oak. None, and I have plenty of land...it just does not grow here. So I introduced it by taking acorns during a bumper year from a friends land, and just casting them about on probably 4 acres of ground. I am sure the birds and deer got many, but quite a few have still have grown up so there is oak now where no oak grew before. I call it a success; though if I was to do it again, I would use a tree planting spade and drop the seed in into the soil for better germination.

Black Spruce:
I have not always been a good boy. Quite a few years ago a large landowner clear cut thousands of acres of swamp, then decided to run for Senator. Knowing he would get slammed for his unethical harvesting, he had us plant Black Spruce in his swamp. I knew he did not care about his forest, so every night I took a flat of trees home and planted them on my own farm. I had a swamp of about 10 acres where I had cut some amazing Red Spruce so I re-populated with black spruce...a lot of black spruce! (yes this was stealing I know). The moose did a number on many of them the first few years, but now they are above moose-height and really doing well. I would call this a resounding success. But the reason is because these were plug seedlings I think, and matched well for my soil. As for the Senator want a be; he was just that, a wanna be and was never elected.
 
Travis Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 933
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Oh one more thing people might be interested in: on my Forestry Plan, my entire woodlot is broken up into "stands" which may be based on topography, soil type, tree species, etc. Anyway the forester lists the best trees to grow on that particular soil, topography, slope, etc. It is very good information to have, but I m not sure exactly how to best use it as a landowner.

For instance 25% of my wood lot is comprised of Eastern Hemlock, but because commercially Eastern Hemlock has a lot against it; as it grows slow, does not pay well, has limited building uses, and has some strange properties, the USDA-NRCS does not even consider it worthy of growing. BUT I LOVE hemlock and use it to build everything on this farm. So I just do not see why they say do not plan to grow it when NATURALLY it grows really well here!

So I am not sure how to use what is listed to my advantage.

 
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