The KPRC Radio Gardenline Tip By Randy Lemmon For 11-03-05 Printer-Friendly Version
An Excerpt From Randy's New Book...
In the past couple of weeks I have received a number of emails from people questioning why I don't like certain trees for the landscape, such as the Silver Leaf Maple. That tells me two things: First, some not-so-reputable tree companies are likely pushing this tree on the public at this time of the year. Secondly, it also proves that people who are seeing my Top Trees list, either on the website or in my new book, are noticing that I don't recommend that particular tree at all. For, those who have my new book, they have been able to read the detailed reasons why I don't recommend certain trees. So, I felt it was worth giving you this excerpt from the Trees chapter of the book to catch everyone else up to speed.
Go here < http://www.950kprc.com/gardenline-dozentrees.html > if you haven't seen the Top Trees list on our website.
In the meantime, here is an excerpt from my new book Gulf Coast Gardening with Randy Lemmon all about…
Three Trees I Would Never Plant
1. Silver Leaf Maple -- (Acer saccharinum) - The sad part about this tree is that it grows so darn fast, that it makes it so tempting to plant it as a shade tree. It can grow 30 feet in the first three to four years. But along the Gulf Coast, the Silver Leaf Maple is so riddled with insects and diseases - because of our heat and humidity - that it often has an extremely limited life span of 10 years of less. But as noted, they are susceptible to many insects and diseases including Verticilliumn wilt and other canker diseases. Because it can grow so fast, that too usually means weaker wood. Thus, the brittle wood and poor branch development result in severe breakage during ice and wind storms. As for insects, you name it and the Silver Leaf Maple can get them. Aphids, Lacebugs and Scale are the top three insects which can literally suck the life from a Silver Leaf Maple. Plus, because the wood is so weak it is an open invitation to a number of borer insects on the trunk. Bottom line: This is probably the worst tree possible for Gulf Coast landscapes.
2. Pine Tree - I realize you may see a lot of pine trees, looking otherwise healthy, throughout the region. And I have lots of respect for many of the native pine tree stands. What I also like to refer to as "thickets." But as an "added" element to an existing landscape, there are so many other better choices. When you see pine trees added to suburban landscapes, when was the last time you saw one look good in the first 7 years? They struggle in the clay soils for many reasons. The first of which is that a pine tree has a tap root that is often as long as the tree is tall. When it is harvested from a tree farm for a new landscape, the taproot is often severed. That leads to an additional stress for the pine tree and that is also when they are highly susceptible to insect pressures, the least of which is the pine bark beetle. I will give minor exception on the use of pine trees in the landscape if they are pot-grown. Also, if you use the pine trees in far-away spots of the landscape, where they are likely never to be a threat to the foundation of the house, you also have tacit approval to use them. Still, you have to keep in mind that it can take over 15 years before a sapling grown from a container will ever be the kind of shade providing landscape tree we all strive to have. Their roots systems are prone to come to the surface quicker than any other tree I know of, in search of moisture. Thus, if you don't deep root feed and water these trees consistently their root systems will threaten sidewalks, driveways and in some cases house foundations.
3. Hybrid Poplars - in almost all cases, the only reason anyone buys a Hybrid Poplar, is because of advertising in Sunday supplement magazines. They totally romance the idea that you can have a tree that grows 10 feet per year. While that may be true ( that it grows tall and fast) in almost every case it's simply a "stick" of a tree. There's never any canopy or spread on the branches and leafs. Keep in mind that our climatic differences also have a huge impact on how a Poplar thrives and survives. They are usually propagated and successfully incorporated into landscapes in California where heat and humidity are scarce. I'll tell you more of my opinions on Sunday supplement advertising later in this book, but for now, you should avoid any tree advertised in such supplement magazines.
And don't forget, you have one last shot at a super-freebie, courtesy of Gardenline. The last Gardenline remote of the season is 8 a.m.-noon this Sat., Nov. 5, at Buds and Blossoms, 14120 Cypress N. Houston, TX 77429. And like we have done with other email tips in the past, if you print out this newsletter and bring it to Buds and Blossoms, the first 50 to do so during this remote will get a free flat of flowers! While supplies last.
In case you have not ordered your copy of it yet, here's the link for ordering my new book "Gulf Coast Gardening with Randy Lemmon."
< http://www.lulu.com/content/142186 >
If you are a garden retailer interested in stocking this book, please call the Nitro Phos Warehouse for wholesale ordering information. 713-228-1868.
Until next issue, here's to
Great Gardening from the GardenLine, heard
exclusively weekend mornings from 8 to noon
on Talkradio 950 KPRC.