June 14, 2012

New Trees

Planted anything new?  Why, yes, I have.

The wine colored redbud (Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy') that was decapitated in last autumn's heavy snow has been replaced with a new one. 

The leaves won't stay that dark.  They wash out in summer to an interesting greenish color tinged with wine, but in spring the deep hue looks great, especially with the blue globe spruce behind it.

I can't wait for the bright pink blooms next April, when redbuds burst out in vibrant color before their leaves emerge.  I never saw this tree's predecessor bloom, it was only in my garden a brief summer before it was broken in two by a storm.  I have such hopes for this one.

A new variegated sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua 'Silver King') was planted by the driveway to provide some shade on the driveway apron.  It came with a robin.

The leaves are pointy shaped like all sweetgums.  The white edges bordering dark green make them pop.

This sweetgum, like the species, will get huge.  It will tower over the garage and drop spiky dried gumballs all over the lawn and driveway.  But that is in the future, and it is understood that a civilization flourishes when people plant trees under whose shade they will not sit, and whose gumballs they will not have to rake up.

And the sourwood I moved?  It is looking better than ever.  I stewed all winter about whether to dig it up from the patio wall area, where it provided too little structure or shade, and move it somewhere else.

I thought moving it would kill this sensitive and somewhat difficult tree, and I thought it would be a job of work to get it out of the ground.  But it was easy, it moved without complaint, and I have never seen it so leafy and shaggy.  When the white lily of the valley blooms come out in a few weeks, I will be thrilled.  They look like this:

That's all that was planted?  No, of course not.

I am still reforesting the wild space behind the house.  I planted three tiny saplings of a dwarf tuliptree (oxymoronically, a dwarf giant tree does exist).  They are Liriodendron tulipifera 'Little Volunteer' and their miniature size in this case means they will be 30 foot tall trees at maturity (not 80 foot forest giants.)  I put all three in various spots in the weedy meadow, and I can only find two now.  I can't remember where the third one is, and the tall weeds aren't giving up the location.  I need to water it, but can't find where I put it, and it doesn't answer when I call.

Once again I planted sassafras saplings in the sixth year of my ongoing benighted quest to create a sassafras grove.  I put in two this time.  One has made it, the other did not.  Such is sassafras cultivation.

I found a male American holly (Ilex opaca 'Jersey Knight') to pollinate the female that was planted this spring, so there will be berries.  The female tree was a large specimen professionally planted.  The male is just a little twig I got from a catalog (mail order bridegroom?) and at only a foot tall and not much wider, it was covered in tiny white holly blooms a few weeks ago.  Just covered.  What a stud.

I moved a sugar maple seedling that was only six inches tall, and a silver maple seedling and gave them space out in the meadow.  It will be years before they peek up above the Queen Anne's Lace and ragweed out there, but my forest will emerge.

I am happiest when I am planting trees.
 

21 comments:

  1. What were those things they used to sell for your car keys? The things that would chirp when you clapped? We should get those for your meadow seedlings.

    ::clap clap::

    "Here we are, Laurrie!"

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    1. Heather, that's definitely what I need for my missing / hiding plants. Or else a better memory.

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  2. Forest Pansy Redbud is one of my favorite small trees! Unfortunately I had to take mine out this spring. With the exception of one branch, it mysteriously died last year. Just this week I saw a perfect little specimen in a local nursery. I was tempted but have no tree room. Maybe it's time to remove that Sycamore from the front garden....

    Love the Sourwood too. Mine has been extremely slow growing (a positive really). The October snow storm flattened it but thankfully I was able to right it and get it to stand on it's own again.

    Great choices, Laurrie!

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    1. Sue, redubds are not the most robust trees. I lost one (died), and then lost two to storm devastation, but I have heard full grown ones are short lived as well. Sorry about yours, here's hoping my new one does better : )

      I'm glad to hear someone else is growing sourwood. It is truly a plant that requires patience, but it will be worth it some day!

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  3. I love that variegated sweetgum! Where did you get it?

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    1. Sallysmom, I got the sweetgum at the new nursery that Kevin Wilcox opened up (if you are local, he left Farmington Valley Nursery in Avon, took the plants he had propagated there, and has started his own garden center at Bloom Farm in Bloomfield, CT).

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  4. Laurrie, I'd love to see the smile on your face when that redbud dances into leaf and flower next spring. Enjoy.

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    1. Lee, I do plan to enjoy the redbud next spring. My experience has not been good with them (I have lost three redbuds now), but oh what a pleasure they can be. And so I keep trying!

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    2. Laurrie, I'm here to tell you, time can be on your side. I tolerated a Forest Pansy redbud for 10 years, watching parts of it dry and die. Then, this spring it had its first really fine blooms. Maybe it was the warm winter. Who knows. So, keep a-tryin'.

      As for sourwood, you're certainly right about patience (your answer-back above). My big one in the ground blooms lightly, and a small one in a container for two years hasn't bloomed at all. Yet. I'm counting on this being a blooming year for them, a la the redbud. If no blooms, at least the leaf color is great.

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  5. I want to know what nursery sells sweetgum trees complete with robins. Your tree vision is an exercise of hope for the future and an inspiration in the present.

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    1. Joene, you have to pay extra to get robins when you buy a new tree!

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  6. You plant the coolest trees. :o) I have a friend who wants me to help her landscape her bare yard with trees/shrubs and I'm putting a Forest Pansy redbud at the top of the list. The leaves on the sweetgum are fabulous, too!! :o)

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    1. Tammy, thanks, what a compliment! Your friend will love the Forest Pansy redbud, I hope you can find a nice one.

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  7. I like all your new trees, redbud being a favorite. You will enjoy the first bloom.

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  8. Laurrie, I laughed about your missing trees but in sympathy with you as we're certain we planted a horse chestnut somewhere and it won't reveal itself. Nevermind the green stick I used to mark the butternut that now blends in with the weeds (what was I thinking?) I just love the line about civilization flourishing due to people planting trees they will never sit under. It's an odd exercise sometimes but tree planting makes me happy too (and you made me laugh outright when talking about your studly holly!)

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    1. Marguerite, you lost a seedling tree out in the weeds too? Ha! It's good to know I have company : )

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  9. Happy indeed. So many awesome trees. They all look really nice. Love the bargain you got with the robin in one. Ha!

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    1. Gardener on Sherlock, thanks so much. I wish every tree came with a songbird!

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  10. Laurrie, Wow, you've been busy. If you ever need any sassafrass just let me know. I have my own grove growing in my garden and am constantly pulling out stray seedlings that have escaped their allotted space. Don't despair, once they take hold , you'll have your grove in no time.

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    1. Debbie, It is an irony that sassafras is a pioneer species that grows wild in abandoned fields and runs easily, but it is very hard to transplant and cultivate.

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