For questions about trees: selection, planting, care, diagnosis, pruning, etc.

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4
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1answer
639 views

What is the best way to keep a tree growing straight?

When most trees get over ten feet tall, they seem to be trying to grow every way but up. Staking would be impractical because of scale, and pruning often helps but does not force the tree to grow up. ...
5
votes
1answer
313 views

Can I get rid of sap stains on my mulberry tree?

My mulberry tree was leaking sap earlier and it left ugly black stains down the trunk. The tree has deeply furrowed bark. Can I remove this?
6
votes
1answer
403 views

Is it possible to graft fruit/flowering trees onto a well established jacaranda tree?

I have a large jacaranda tree in my front yard (perhaps 30-50 yrs old). I recently pruned a few branches that were about 2" thick. You can see one fresh cut in the picture below and there are a few ...
9
votes
1answer
348 views

What causes spruce branches to drop their needles?

I have a spruce tree that has a problem. Every year, some branches suddenly drop all of their green needles and die. I would like to prevent this, but I don't know what the cause is. What causes this ...
6
votes
1answer
910 views

Why didn't my maple leaves change color in the fall after transplanting?

I just bought and planted an October Glory maple sapling with a trunk about 1.5" in diameter. I did everything the nursery worker told me to while transplanting it: I dug a hole twice as wide as the ...
8
votes
1answer
813 views

How to tell a nectarine tree from a peach tree?

Nectarines are actually peaches with an active recessive gene (e.g. similar genetics to red hair in humans). Commercial nectarines are cultivars with this gene. Although it is relatively rare, in ...
5
votes
2answers
664 views

What time of year to mulch/feed trees?

This answer recommends putting down a layer of compost mulch in the fall in order to slowly feed the tree. (In addition to the unmentioned weed control and moisture regulation.) It makes sense to me ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

How should I prune this overgrown pear tree?

I have a pear tree, which is very zealous. Whatever it decides to do, it does in excess. First in the spring it sends out all sorts of new branches--all of them vertical. I snipped them off after they ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I keep oak trees from sprouting?

I have a lot of nice sized oak trees. I have pin, black, and chestnut. Every once in a while one of them puts out sprouts all over the trunk and starts looking like a green pillar. How do keep that ...
4
votes
1answer
97 views

How can I limit my Norway Spruce to one top (trunk)?

I have a Norway spruce that is about sixty feet tall and is beginning a second trunk. I like them to have only one top, but this particular tree is not climbable. How do I control this?
6
votes
2answers
185 views

How do I use sassafras?

I have a lot of sassafras growing, and they drop a lot of branches. I have been piling them up and burning them, and using the ashes in the garden. Is there a way to use the branches like propagation ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Will a cedar tree grow new limbs?

I've got a cedar tree that divided into two smaller trees, and the previous owners tried to keep the twin trunks together by tying a rope around them. The rope eventually strangled one of the trunks, ...
8
votes
1answer
836 views

What are the best deciduous shade trees for Phoenix, Arizona?

I'm looking for a medium sized deciduous shade tree to plant in Phoenix, Arizona to shade part of my house. It needs to be deciduous so that it will let the sun through in the winter and provide shade ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Should I remove the tree roots coming from the neighbouring garden?

When I was digging out* a patch to grow veggies earlier in the spring I found big roots in the soil unconnected to anything in our garden. It looks like they're coming from some kind of palm trees ...
9
votes
1answer
102 views

How should I choose which trees to cull?

I harvest firewood from a small woodlot behind my house. I almost exclusively cut "culls" -- dead, dying, or diseased trees that aren't going to yield much additional wood in the future anyway. My ...
8
votes
1answer
780 views

Is there any cure or treatment for a queen palm tree diagnosed with fusarium decline?

A "certified arborist" looked at the tree (>20ft high) and determined that this was the cause. Some of the fronds in the tree seem frozen in place, while most have actually drooped down completely ...
14
votes
5answers
366 views

How can I naturally encourage birds into my garden?

We love having our garden filled with birds, thus we have put up a variety of bird feeders. We also make lots of water available for the birds. The result is a 2½ year old that can identify about ...
7
votes
1answer
248 views

Tree suggestions for providing some shade for house (Seattle, WA)

There's been another question asked about trees for shading a house, but I have some different criteria (plus a different climate). I'm planning on landscaping an area that's next to my house that's ...
12
votes
4answers
19k views

How far (on average) do tree roots extend out from the base of the tree?

I a looking to plot out my new garden site for next year and am wondering how far I need to be away from some nearby trees. The trees are a few different types (apple, oak, pine etc.) and anywhere ...
9
votes
1answer
508 views

Removing a bush whose roots are breaking concrete

In our backyard there is a bush growing up the side of a wall, using a drain pipe to crawl up. Its trunk has grown to be relatively thick (~ 10 cm) and it is now causing the concrete to split on the ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Can I move a self-seeded oak tree into a pot to keep it small?

An oak has self seeded in our garden. Has got to about a metre tall and seems happy. We don't have anywhere near enough space for an oak but seems a shame to kill it. Can we move it to a pot to keep ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I grow maple trees from seeds?

I have a mature maple tree in my yard. Every year it drops seeds which start growing in the most inconvenient of places, like my gutters. Next season I would like to actively cultivate these seeds and ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

How should I prune an overgrown peach tree?

I have just moved into a home with a peach tree that appears healthy, but overgrown; it has clearly not been pruned in many years (although I have cut out some of the branches that made it impossible ...
13
votes
2answers
23k views

Can I cut off exposed tree roots without harming the tree?

Large trees often have roots protruding out of the ground around the base of the trunk (such as the ones that can push up sidewalks next to the tree). When is it safe to cut those roots (that might be ...
11
votes
1answer
180 views

Risk of contamination via leaf mulch/compost

Soil in the city I live in is quite often contaminated with nasty things like arsenic and lead. Levels are sometimes twice or more what's considered acceptable. For this reason, people usually ...
5
votes
1answer
717 views

What are the odds of getting a shea tree to grow in South Carolina, USA?

What are the odds of getting a Shea Tree to grow in South Carolina, USA? Temperatures here in SC range from mid 30s (occasionally around 40) Centigrade in the summer to -10 at the coldest days of the ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a traditional method/style for pruning a Chocolate Silk tree?

I have a containerized Chocolate Silk (a.k.a. Summer Chocolate) tree that is two years old (i.e. it was planted in its present container from a branchless and rootless stalk two years ago). It has ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the fastest-growing variety of cherry tree?

I really want to add a tree to my garden, but logistics and budget demand that I plant a sapling and nurture it into a healthy tree. I really like cherry blossom, so a cherry tree would be ideal. ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I prune a cherry tree to keep it short?

I've just planted a new cherry tree, and I would like to keep it short enough to be able to harvest the fruit with nothing more than a step ladder. Seeing as I've just planted it, I feel that I ...
9
votes
1answer
218 views

Vine-type plant growing on Jacaranda with little leaves and roots on the outer tree bark

I have a vine-type plant that is growing on areas of my Jacaranda tree (me + the tree live in Australia). It has little leaves. The roots of the vine grow on the outer-layer of bark on the tree. Does ...
8
votes
1answer
327 views

How to prevent regrowth of elm saplings from concrete foundation?

At the base of our old garage where the concrete foundation meets an asphalt slope down to the alley behind, we've had small elm tree saplings grow as weeds over the past three years. I've never ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

How to deal with suckers on a Bradford Pear Tree?

I have two Bradford Pear Trees at the front of my yard. They were planted ~1997. (The HOA requires all lots in the development to have them.) Little sprouts that keep popping up from the ground ...
6
votes
1answer
52 views

Help needed for stunted flowering crab

I have two flowering crab apples planted 2 yrs ago beside each other (20 ft apart). When they went in they were identical. However for two years the one has flourished and the other is anemic, such ...
10
votes
1answer
503 views

How do I know if a fertilizer treatment is burning my trees?

I started using fertilizer spikes on my dwarfed citrus trees in small pots. (Details may be found in this question.) As suggested, I used half a spike for each pot and I put the spike as far from ...
18
votes
4answers
432 views

How is an Avocado plant started?

I find ourselves buying one or two Avocados twice a week. It's one of these things that I've been wanting to do for a long time: grow an avacado plant. What is the ideal climate or exposure to ...
9
votes
1answer
431 views

Damaged Tree Heather: can it survive?

I have a tree heather (Erica arborea) in my rockery (acid soil) which I grew from a seedling about twenty years ago. Until it was severely damaged by a prolonged freeze-up last winter, it was about ...
10
votes
3answers
375 views

Is there a way to prune or train my tree to grow more horizontally?

I lost a beloved diseased dogwood tree that had made a wonderful space in my yard by growing long stretching horizontal branches that made a canopy of sorts. About a year or two I replaced it with ...
10
votes
3answers
629 views

Is it possible to indefinitely limit the growth of trees, hedges, and shrubs?

Now that I've lived in my very nicely landscaped first home for over 10 years, I have several "overgrown" trees, hedges, and shrubs (mostly, but not all evergreens) in my landscaping, and at this ...
10
votes
2answers
505 views

How to deal with invasive Ailanthus (Tree of Heaven)

My neighbors have a great tall Ailanthus (Tree of Heaven). Apparently, before I moved into my house, so did our yard. We now have an enormous stump and a bazillion new shoots that come up from ...
7
votes
1answer
250 views

Should the aerial roots be trimmed on my ficus tree?

I have a couple 3 foot tall ficus trees which have some thin aerial roots descending from the branches. I keep both indoors, and they do not get a lot of sunlight. However, when I purchased them 2 ...
8
votes
2answers
762 views

How deep to dig for a new flowering pear tree?

Last year I planted 3 flowering pear trees. For those who have never heard of the tree (or do not grow these trees) they look like this: For 2 out of the 3 trees it was very simple to plant the ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

Can I grow a fruit bearing pistachio tree?

I live in Zone 7 in Northwest texas. It's pretty dry here and the soil is mostly hard clay. I'm very interested in growing fruit bearing pistachio trees, but haven't been able to find any local ...
9
votes
2answers
801 views

How can I control Viburnum Beetle on my Snowball tree?

I have a mature Snowball tree (Viburnum opulus) that is stripped of its leaves and severely weakened several times a year by the viburnum beetle. The Royal Horticultural Society recommend several ...
6
votes
1answer
964 views

How I can persuade an olive tree to flower?

I have an olive tree that was a mail order gift about four years ago. Unusually for mail-order florist "living plant" deliveries, this one has survived more than a few months! It came with two olives ...
16
votes
2answers
682 views

Will dumping paint destroy a nearby tree?

One of my neighbors complained that another neighbor killed a tree in front of her home by dumping paint in the soil. (Never mind that his trees are fine and there seems no way the paint could be ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Moving lemon and satsuma trees?

I have a lemon and a satsuma tree in my yard that I planted roughly 2 years ago. So they are still fairly young. I planted them in a bad location and realized that in a few years they are going to end ...
10
votes
1answer
209 views

How are Japanese Maple Trees cultivated?

I have mature Japanese maple trees in my yard that are extremely fertile. I find dozens, if not hundreds of saplings all over the yard. Some have even grown several feet tall. Is there a way I can ...
12
votes
2answers
800 views

How do I prevent the seeds on my Japanese Maple from falling off?

I have a 6 ft tall 'Bloodgood' Japanese Maple in my yard. It gets a lot of afternoon Californian sun, but the leaves are a nice color and are healthy. I wanted to collect some seeds this fall (to try ...
10
votes
2answers
890 views

Will it kill my potted tree if I use tree fertilizer spikes?

I recently bought some tree fertilizer spikes to feed my potted dwarf kumquat and lime trees. After I got them home, I read the following warning on the side of the box: NOTE: Never apply within 30" ...
12
votes
1answer
806 views

Best help for a tree with stunted growth?

I have a few trees on my property which are at least five years old (sorry I don't know the kinds yet). Compared to other trees in neighboring lots, planted at the same age at the same time, they are ...