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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

4
votes
2answers
396 views

What's the difference between a redwood and a sequoia?

I was under the impression they were the same thing, but I have a friend who insists they're two different trees. What's the difference, and what's the relationship between the two?
4
votes
2answers
98 views

Are some varieties of Paulownia sterile?

Is it true that some varieties of Paulownia are sterile? And if so, where are they sold?
5
votes
1answer
233 views

What is this woody plant?

I just dug up this tree (I think it is a tree), and I wanted to know if someone could help me identify it. Click for larger images. This woody plant was growing in Illinois near some marshy land ...
4
votes
1answer
345 views

What is the root span of Dwarf Southern Magnolia 'Little Gem'?

I can't seem to find any consistent information on the root structure of these guys. We were given one as a housewarming gift and would like to get it into the ground as soon as possible, however I'm ...
3
votes
2answers
765 views

Is it okay to grow English ivy on the base of a tree trunk?

In one place in the yard, there is a carpet of ivy under a black walnut. Would it harm the tree in any way to let the ivy up to the base of the branches? I would like to do this so that the whole ...
8
votes
1answer
197 views

Are there any tips for helping unhealthy trees?

My new yard has a lot of trees, probably 20-30. There are apple, pear, peach, pine, plum, and a few others. Most of them are fairly old (50+ years). Some of them don't seem to be very healthy (dead ...
5
votes
1answer
523 views

Mushrooms in mulch: that's OK, right?

We gave up on grass for much of our front yard after a disastrously hot and dry summer last year. (I couldn't morally live with the idea of soaking the yard with enough water to keep the grass alive, ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I love a Silver Maple?

I'm reading this question What is the average lifespan of most maple trees? and the answer mentions: Silver maple 100 years (I cannot imagine why you would want to plant this species) followed ...
4
votes
2answers
93 views

How do I start tree seeds?

I've got some thornless honeylocust seeds (about 20). They've been stratified, and I'm ready to plant, but I'm not sure what the best approach is. I haven't started trees from seed before. Will they ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the best species of grass to grow around a black walnut tree

I love my black walnut tree. I almost love it as much as I hate it, but it's beautiful. However, grass refuses to grow around it even though my wife and I are adament about cleaning up leaves and ...
11
votes
1answer
18k views

What is the average lifespan of most maple trees?

In general how long do maple trees live? Does the lifespan vary a lot according to species? I'm thinking of planting a few in my yard and I'm wondering how long they will be around.
2
votes
2answers
370 views

What is wrong with this Norway spruce?

This Spruce tree is very odd. I have a few questions about it. First of all, how did the branch segment pictured below grow there? It grows right out of the smaller trunk into the larger one, without ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I control fire ants in the mulch around my tree?

I live in Houston, TX, USA and fire ants are a nearly year long concern. I have had success treating mounds with Orthene as they appear. However, I had a Siberian Elm in my backyard that was ...
4
votes
3answers
208 views

Why is the ground moving around my tree?

Quick question. There are 3 tree surgeons in my local area and none are available today... I have a tree which is about the height of my house. If I wrap my hands around the trunk the trunk is about ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it a good idea to build a paver patio near a large established tree?

I would like to build a paver patio next to a large tree that has a 3" wide root at ground level. I do not want to damage the roots of the tree, so it seems like my only option is to build a raised ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What kind of landscaping plants do livestock avoid eating and need minimal attention?

I'd like to plant plants/trees/shrubs along the sidewalk on the roads to improve the landscaping and general appearance. However, I live in Gurgaon, India and it is common to see livestock (cows, ...
7
votes
1answer
87 views

Can multiple arborvitaes be made to grow uniformly to the same height?

Arborvitaes grown in rows often grow unevenly with some growing twice as much as others of the same age and with the same care. Is it possible to prevent this, and make all the trees in one row look ...
7
votes
1answer
135 views

What problems can come from a tree with its graft union 5 inches above the soil line?

I planted a grafted apple tree in a pot and shortly thereafter realized the graft union is about 5-6 inches above the soil line. My gardening books and online searches recommend the union be no more ...
5
votes
1answer
360 views

What is this tree with dark, broad leaves?

Well, the new house has a mystery tree. Our initial guess was some form of a broad leaved ligustrum. It appears to be evergreen - no leaves have been lost yet although the neighboring peaches have ...
9
votes
2answers
339 views

Is an olive tree frost resistant?

Is an olive tree frost resistant? I have a small olive treet planted in a flower pot. There are small flies that put their larvae into the soil. Usually they are gone when the flower is outside for ...
4
votes
1answer
793 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
478 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
452 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
420 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
1k 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
1k 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
740 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
4k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
3k 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 I keep that ...
4
votes
1answer
101 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
196 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
2k 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
931 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
115 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
927 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
381 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
331 views

What are some good tree suggestions for providing some shade for the 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
26k 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
588 views

How can I remove 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
32k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
202 views

What is the risk of soil 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
865 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
242 views

What is this Vine-type plant growing on my Jacaranda tree?

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 ...