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Thread: The yard & garden line is OPEN

  1. #1
    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    The yard & garden line is OPEN

    Okay friends,

    Send me your problems, I'll make up an answer or two.
    Let me know where you are if it's not obvious. No, not "In my kitchen", but your region, state, city, epa zone, whatever level of specificity you can muster.

    I'll check back as often as I can, but like always I can't respond immediately because my staff think I work when I'm here and it's pretty hard to keep that illusion going in the first place.
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.

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  3. #2
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    Tree question:

    I lost a Linden to a girdling root last year. I think another of my trees (I don't know what kind it is) might have one too -- I checked the base of the tree, and it looks like there is one small, thin root wrapping itself around the others. Is there any way for me to fix it without further damaging the tree, or should I call a professional?
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

  4. #3
    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool
    Tree question:

    I lost a Linden to a girdling root last year. I think another of my trees (I don't know what kind it is) might have one too -- I checked the base of the tree, and it looks like there is one small, thin root wrapping itself around the others. Is there any way for me to fix it without further damaging the tree, or should I call a professional?
    Call a professional, but I think the likely answer is that it's not a problem. And if it is, the root can be pruned. Knowing what kind of tree will help, too. Some species are known for those roots that cross over...like red maples. And it doesn't bother them one bit.
    Did you have an aroborist diagnose the problem with the last one? It seems like an unlikely way for a Linden to die to me. They are tough, able to handle the urban streets of NYC and many other cities, where root compaction, girdling and all sorts of other things are pretty common. I would just recommend making sure that you don't have other problems before putting a tree in to replace it, since many, if not most tree deaths are site or human caused.

    Anyway, when it comes to diagnosing tree problems, it's always good to call a licensed or otherwise registered arborist. Too many guys out there with chainsaws and cherry pickers call themselves tree experts. A real arborist can help you with an expensive investment like a tree, while Jimmy Bob the Tree cutter can only cut it down or ravage it in unsightly ways.
    There's an idiot here in Bloomington who's Yellow Page listing says both "tree expert" and "Topping" as attributes. These things are mutually exclusive.
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.

  5. #4
    Tired of talk. Win! Joseph's Avatar
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    For starters I'm in Kentucky.

    My question is, what kind of things can I plant around my house that are hearty and colorful yet don't need much sun? I happen to live in a heavily wooded parcel of land and only a spot or two get regular sunlight. I've done a yard, but the soil [a lot of clay] has prevented it from thriving and I want to landscape in such a way as to eliminate half or more of the lawn.

    Thanks.

    Championships for MY teams in my lifetime:
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  6. #5
    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    Greetings SunDeck:

    I have a beautiful River Birch in my front yard that was seriously damaged by the ice storm of February 2003. If what the previous home owner told me is accurate, then it is about 15 years old. I had a group of "Tree Professionals" do what they could to salvage it mid-2003 and it looked pretty good for a while. Now, about half of the tree looks very stressed. Last year, the leaves on the "stressed half" of the tree never quite turned as green as the rest--so I know it is in trouble. The tree is apparently free of all bores, and prior to the ice storm appeared quite healthy. I am guessing it is probably 20' tall and is a major player in my home's curb appeal. It provides our master BR with both good privacy and good shade. Not to mention the fact that I have used the birch as a focal point in the coordination of a ton of landscaping material.

    My question is this: Can/should virtually 1/2 of the tree be removed in order to save the other?

    I realize that this would drastically alter the looks of the tree (basically turning a "V" into an "I", if you will), but so would having to grind it down to a stump. Which is where I may be heading. Please let me know what you think. I can email you some pictures if helpful...

    Thanks-

    Blimpie
    "Booing on opening day is like telling grandma her house smells like old lady."--WOY

  7. #6
    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph
    For starters I'm in Kentucky.

    My question is, what kind of things can I plant around my house that are hearty and colorful yet don't need much sun? I happen to live in a heavily wooded parcel of land and only a spot or two get regular sunlight. I've done a yard, but the soil [a lot of clay] has prevented it from thriving and I want to landscape in such a way as to eliminate half or more of the lawn.

    Thanks.
    For our region (KY) I find that Azaleas do quite well in limited sunlight and have many color varieties...
    "Booing on opening day is like telling grandma her house smells like old lady."--WOY

  8. #7
    CELEBRATION TIME RBA's Avatar
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    What trees are good for high elevation abot 1/2 mile up. Hot summers with little humidity. And not much rainfall thru out the year? (El Paso)

  9. #8
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    Did you have an aroborist diagnose the problem with the last one? It seems like an unlikely way for a Linden to die to me.
    Yes. I was surprised because I had heard that Lindens were pretty hardy.

    Thanks for the advice.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

  10. #9
    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    Quote Originally Posted by Blimpie
    For our region (KY) I find that Azaleas do quite well in limited sunlight and have many color varieties...
    Yep, anything from that family Rhodies, azalea, etc. will do well in shaded areas. However, the problem is that they don't like heavy soils. So, if you go that route, you WILL have to amend the bed they live in. This involves adding lots of compost, organic matter (there are commercial soil conditioners that are basically aged pine bark...great stuff), etc. All plants in this family like well drained, airy soils...same kind of stuff you find in a forest, their native habitat.

    Lots of perrenials thrive in these conditions, too. Ferns, hostas are also great choices. And most ground covers will do well there.
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.

  11. #10
    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    Quote Originally Posted by RedBloodedAmerican
    What trees are good for high elevation abot 1/2 mile up. Hot summers with little humidity. And not much rainfall thru out the year? (El Paso)
    That's a little out of my experience, but I'm thinking something coniferous. Lemme do a little digging for you.
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.

  12. #11
    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    Quote Originally Posted by Blimpie
    Greetings SunDeck:

    I have a beautiful River Birch in my front yard that was seriously damaged by the ice storm of February 2003. If what the previous home owner told me is accurate, then it is about 15 years old. I had a group of "Tree Professionals" do what they could to salvage it mid-2003 and it looked pretty good for a while. Now, about half of the tree looks very stressed. Last year, the leaves on the "stressed half" of the tree never quite turned as green as the rest--so I know it is in trouble. The tree is apparently free of all bores, and prior to the ice storm appeared quite healthy. I am guessing it is probably 20' tall and is a major player in my home's curb appeal. It provides our master BR with both good privacy and good shade. Not to mention the fact that I have used the birch as a focal point in the coordination of a ton of landscaping material.

    My question is this: Can/should virtually 1/2 of the tree be removed in order to save the other?

    I realize that this would drastically alter the looks of the tree (basically turning a "V" into an "I", if you will), but so would having to grind it down to a stump. Which is where I may be heading. Please let me know what you think. I can email you some pictures if helpful...

    Thanks-

    Blimpie
    River birches are not long lived, in the first place, so I wouldn't put too much effort into saving it. And they are not as valuable to your home value as are shade trees. Basically, they are planted in ornamental situations and outgrow that purpose.

    I know it would be a bummer to lose the screen they provide, but I am doubtful that hacking off half the tree will "save" it. Trees don't generally work that way unless it has contracted diseases from the wounds caused by the damage you describe. It may be that this tree is just in a state of decline anyway. The first thing I thougt of was borers, but if you are sure they are not the prob. then I believe you. However, I have seen birches just crash and burn for no apparent reason.

    Generally, smallish yellow leaves are a sign of stress. When it is localized, it's usually insect or disease. When it's systemic, such as one half or all of the tree declining at the same rate, it's usually environmental (ie, soil, cultural problems).

    You could remove it and replace with another ornamental tree, or even another Rbirch.

    Post a picture or two, maybe that will help.
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.

  13. #12
    CELEBRATION TIME RBA's Avatar
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    Quote Originally Posted by SunDeck
    That's a little out of my experience, but I'm thinking something coniferous. Lemme do a little digging for you.
    It seems people like Pine Trees around here. It does look awkward out in the desert. They do grow well, however.

    We did plant a Weeping Willow over the weekend. I would like a tree that provides shade for obvious reasons.

  14. #13
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    Quote Originally Posted by SunDeck
    Lots of perrenials thrive in these conditions, too. Ferns, hostas are also great choices. And most ground covers will do well there.
    We've got a pretty good sized north facing bed that is shaded all day. We've done the hostas, ferns, and perennials thing. I think we've got some columbines, asters, bleeding heart, and sweet woodruff. Once of those (I forget which) has gone berserk and is taking over the bed. I'll have to ask my wife which one.

    Pay attention to the open sky

  15. #14
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    Originally Posted by RedBloodedAmerican
    What trees are good for high elevation abot 1/2 mile up. Hot summers with little humidity. And not much rainfall thru out the year? (El Paso)
    Oaks.. California Oaks to be precise... you know like the ones on Little House and MASH.

  16. #15
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: The yard & garden line is OPEN

    SD, I have a 40 foot, by 60 foot Laurel Hedge that is 10 feet wide.

    Want to come and cut it back for me?


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