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Best time to plant? Best thing to plant?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Joful, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    So, the guy who purchased the 7 acre tract behind my house cleared the nice hedgerow separating our properties, so that I'm looking into his lot from my house, and vice versa. Since my house sits up on a bluff, and our property line is (unfortunately) the low spot between the properties, any hedgerow I re-plant will need to gain some height, to be a real effective block, sighting house-to-house.

    My wife suggests waiting until their house is in, and we know exactly what we're dealing with before planting, but I'd rather get a jump on it. I suspect fall may be the best time to plant such a hedgerow, and besides... I suspect it will be less likely to upset the new guy, who wants to see his house from the street (thru my yard), if the hedgerow is put in before he builds, rather than in reaction to it.

    So, is fall the best time to plant?

    If you had to block roughly 200 feet of property line, perhaps 30 feet high, what would your planting schedule look like? Since the soil is a little wetter in this lower area, that pushes me toward Norway Spruce and Green Giants. Since a large portion of my property is Black Walnut trees, and Norway Spruce does not like Black Walnut (Juglone), I'm sort of forced toward the Green Giants for some large back-row growth.

    I'll try to get measurements and a drawing of the existing trees done in the next day or three, as I'll be planning (planting) around those. These are a mix of Black Walnut, Silver Maple, and Ash. I am also considering the addition of another tree (oak, sweet gum, Linden), in one large gap between two of the large silver maples.

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  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Lombardy popple work nice along property lines and the growth rate is not bad. For fast growing trees, the hybrids can grow super fast but every one I've see makes for some bad root problems. It is amazing how many roots will grow even out of the ground! In addition, lots and lots of limbs. The worst part too is that the ones I've seen are not a very strong tree and won't last too many years. For that, I'd stick with the lombardy or go to some pines. For the fast growing, red pines tend to grow fairly fast compared to many.

    As for planting, either spring or fall should work out but we've almost always stuck to spring planting.
    Joful likes this.
  3. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, Dennis! That spring would work better, in terms of what we're busy with (and the money we're spending on other projects) today, but I had some concerns with summer heat and watering.

    I hear what you're saying with the hybrids. For that reason, we may do a mix... hybrids to get some coverage today, mingled with some good old fashioned Norway Spruce (or similar) for better coverage down the road. I generally prefer fir or spruce to pine, as I've never owned a pine that kept a decent shape, or didn't lose it's top when mature. They always seem to end up being an amorphous mess, when they reach heights beyond 30 or 40 feet.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  4. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Trees end up a "mess" usually because they get too much light, which allows lots of branching and less than vigorous height. The tree is just doing what trees do, follow the light.
    Joful likes this.
  5. mithesaint

    mithesaint Feeling the Heat

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    I have a row of the green giants along my property, and love them. They're growing fast, and seem to tolerate almost any weather condition. They don't love the standing water that my property sometimes produces, but they're still chugging along. I have some that have been planted a few years now, and are starting to put on multiple feet per year. I like the Norway spruces better, but the green giants are hardier and grow faster IMO.
  6. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like your property is similar to mine, mithesaint. The area where these will be planted is moist... rarely any standing water, unless we've had a boatload of rain (fall 2011). I chose Norways for the planting I did last year (neighbor's side of property line, but similar conditions) because they're one of the few spruces that will tolerate moist soil. Unfortunately, they don't tolerate walnut (juglone), so that prohibits me from using them in some areas of the yard.
  7. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Best time to plant is the fall- less heat stress. I have planted something like 30 trees on my property, and all have survived- so I am cocky about giving advice. Sorry if you know all this.

    -Dig holes bigger than you think that you need. Make sure the sides do not look "glazed" from the shovel.
    -Trim any potbound roots before planting and spread out the root ball.
    -Only plant to where it was planted previously! Do NOT pile dirt or mulch against the trunk above the rootball level. The popular "mulch volcano" is slowly killing landscape trees with bark rot across the US. !!!
    -Remove as much of the soil that it came with as you reasonably can.
    -Do NOT amend the soil that you are planting in- if the soil around the roots is richer, then the roots will not spread out for more nutrients.
    -Plant it in the soil from the hole. Step heavily on the soil over the roots to compact it. Add more soil. Water, water, water- then water more. Compacting and super heavy watering remove air pockets that could cause serious root diseases.
    -Add any amendments (compost, preferably) to the surface.
    -Keep the ground reasonably moist until the winter.
    blujacket and Joful like this.
  8. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Thanks. Yep... know most of that, but it never hurts to repeat the basics! I did learn two new things:

    -Remove as much of the soil that it came with as you reasonably can.
    -Do NOT amend the soil that you are planting in- if the soil around the roots is richer, then the roots will not spread out for more nutrients.
    Adios Pantalones likes this.
  9. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    In most cases, it's not a big deal, but in some cases they effectively become "pot bound" in the hole. Also- some amendments may keep decomposing, leading to a depression in the soil around the tree.
    Joful likes this.
  10. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    BTW... I like that piece in your new avatar! Amazing work.

    5086.jpg
    Adios Pantalones likes this.
  11. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Thanks! I've been working on more face jugs lately, along with some more serious sculptural work- going to start a self portrait soon (trying to do a real face is intimidating, so a self portrait means nobody is offended if it's ugly- plus- the model aint asking for much pay)
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for posting that AP. I just planted a pieris completely wrong apparently by adding compost and fertilizer to the hole. :( Fortunately it's just a small plant.
  13. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Fall as far as timing.
    Can't beat Leyland Cypress for a robust ,fast growing evergreen hedge that will top at about 25'.
  14. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Remember, moist soil. Leland may initially take off well in that, but die an early death.
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