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

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20
votes
2answers
799 views

How can I revive a tree that's been stripped of bark?

I've got what I think is a cedar tree in my backyard that is missing most of its bark on one side from the ground to about 4' up. (Thanks to my puppy who is a shredding machine.) The branches next to ...
19
votes
5answers
3k views

What is a fast-growing deciduous tree for shading house in summer? (Long Island, NY)

My town recently took down a large 80 year old maple tree that sat on the south side of my house. Unfortunately that tree provided much-needed shade and now I have already noticed very high ...
18
votes
4answers
480 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
887 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
376 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
30k 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 ...
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 ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the best shade tree to shade the front of my house?

What type of tree(s) should I plant to provide the best shade on a two-story house? I would like to provide as much shade as possible on the red square below: The part I'm most concerned about is ...
12
votes
3answers
14k views

Can I grow a pistachio tree from seed?

I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. So I know I have the right soil and conditions to grow pistachio trees. But can I just plant a pistachio seed and grow a tree or do I have to go buy the tree?
12
votes
4answers
24k 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 ...
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 ...
12
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
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, ...
12
votes
1answer
446 views

What are these red cocoons in my trees leaves?

The tree In my garden as lots of red cocoons on its leaves, I assume these are insects, do I need to be concerned or are they harmless?
12
votes
2answers
915 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
195 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
109 views

What are some tips on planting large plants?

When planting large plants, like trees or large shrubs, I've always dug a hole larger than the root ball, filled it with water, and then suspended the root ball in the water and used my hand to ...
11
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
1k 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" ...
11
votes
2answers
259 views

Hexagonal bush?

I have seen the pictured bush today when hiking around Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. From a distance, hexagonal patterns are visible: Adjacent branches grow in an almost perfect 45° angle relative to ...
11
votes
1answer
749 views

What are the ideal soil conditions for planting giant sequoia saplings?

I've already germinated giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) seeds for 6 weeks. What's the ideal soil conditions for planting the saplings?
10
votes
3answers
773 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
3answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
528 views

Does urinating at the base of a tree help it grow?

I've been reading about tree fertilizers and urea constantly comes up as a good source of nitrogen for trees. Let's say your dogs always pick the same tree to urinate on every day. Would that tree be ...
10
votes
2answers
617 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
467 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
1answer
17k 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.
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, ...
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
658 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 ...
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
229 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
240 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
475 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 ...
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. ...
9
votes
1answer
571 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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
112 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
395 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
183 views

City wants to remove our White Pines - how should we respond?

We planted White Pine trees 4 years ago they now stand 3 foot high. The city would like us to remove them because they are 6 foot from the street and sewer lines. We feel these trees will never ...
8
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
318 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 ...
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
474 views

What is this tree with green spherical fruit?

I have searched everywhere and cannot seem to identify the type of tree this is.
8
votes
1answer
187 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
993 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
889 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
884 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 ...