Tree-mail is both virtual and real. This is my Dawyck Purple Beech arriving on May 6, 2006.


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Julie's Tree-Mail

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Be sure to let us know where you're writing from!
It's a great geography lesson for my children (and me).

Archive Letters

Thur, Feb. 1, 2007: Brenda, in Greensboro, NC, writes: Julie, As you know, my 1st tree planted was a Yoshino Cherry (seen on your previous blog). Well, I took your advice (the expert advice!) and planted for my 2nd Eastern Redbud aside the driveway - closest to the house. Needless to say, I was quite shocked (!) at the size and weight of the tree when I came home from work one day. I opted to have one dug from the mountains of NC verses pick one of the smaller ones at the nursery. It took nearly 4 weeks to get it! It was worth it, though. It took me and 2 of my neighbors to help me plant it! The cool part was renting an two man auger to dig the hole. Now, that's a serious machine! I kept thinking I was going to hit some water main and a fountain of water was going to come out of the ground! It's beautiful!!! I can't wait till it blooms and anxious to see the red leaves in the summer months. Now, for the other side of the driveway......................hmmmmm.............. Thanks Julie!!! You rock! Brenda

Hi Brenda, LOVE the pictures! Good luck with your new redbud. Perfect location too. Just be sure to keep the lawnmower and weed whacker away from her sensitive bark! Oh, and you rock too! Thanks so much for your kind words! —Julie.

Thur, Jan. 25, 2007: Catherine and Jules, in Oregon, write: Hi Julie, my co-worker also named Julie; and I are looking at your site and we just loved it.....seeing your beautiful home and the "tree" and all its different stages. Both of us live in Oregon and we are getting ready to purchase the Glory Red Maple......for our yards. My Julie lives on 22 acres in beautiful Klamath County in Oregon and I live in a small condo with NO TREES, so we were excited to see your site and just wanted to thank you.....we will be visiting you off and on to see what else you have planted! Thanks! Catherine & Jules

Dear Catherine and Jules, thanks for your nice letter! I hope my site helps you choose the right tree for your location. Just remember that red maples grow big very fast and often have a surface root problem. I wish I had planted mine, I don't know, somewhere else, because it's going to need to be pruned quite a bit to keep away from my neighbor's house and the surface roots are driving my kids crazy. And then there's the issue that grass won't grow underneath it anymore. Hmmm. Beautiful tree, true. But worth it? Hmmm. To me, yeah. To Mike, I'm not so sure. Good luck to you and thanks again for your lovely letter! —Julie.

Mon, Jan. 22, 2007: Kathleen, in southern Illinois, zone 6, writes: Good Morning Julie I live in southern Illinois, zone 6, and just 3 weeks ago lost my 2 large maple trees in an ice storm (they had to be cut down). I'd like to replant 2 small trees, maybe 15' at the most 20' at maturity, which will grow in full sun. Thought of a Purple Leaf Maple (until I read your article about the scabs), and now I'm considering a Flowering Crab. Could I have your opinion please and any suggestions you might have. Kathleen

Hi Kathleen, crabapples can be both beautiful and troublesome. I think it depends on the type of tree you get, and whether or not it is suited to your location. Start by looking for disease-resistant varieties that will grow well in your zone. Be specific about species desired when you ask local nurseries too, because it has been my experience that as long as the nursery person knows that I know a thing or two about trees, I don't get sold the "bad" trees. I've heard good things over the years about the 'Donald Wyman' cultivar, so maybe that's a starting point. Good luck! —Julie.

Fri, Jan. 19, 2007: Jack, in Petawawa, Ontario, writes: Hi again....just realized you listed the zone hardiness for your Armstrong Maples @ 3-7 so I might price some out at the local nursery come spring. Do you folks have Staghorn Sumac where you live? Considered by some to be a weed tree, they look somewhat "exotic" and clusters of them form really neat looking mounds along our highways. The leaves turn bright orange and red then drop very suddenly. I would love to plant some on my property too someday (not usually done) but am afraid of them being invasive. A sumac tea can be brewed from the furry "staghorns" that appear. These are eaten by birds in the winter. These are not to be confused w/ poison sumac! Anyway, trees seem to be your main interest and was my father's as well. My mother is the flower gardener in the family and I've come to appreciate them greatly. The jpg is of my mother's garden in the town of Port Hope, Ont. Not shown in the pic but very well situated, was a tree known as a tulip tree. Rare apparently in our neck o' the woods, my father would nurse this seedling until it grew beautifully. My dad would bore us to tears w/ minutae about it but it's sudden death prophesied his own, very shortly after. We miss that tree almost as much as we miss dad now, as the two were inseparable. When my dad's best friend heard from my mom (rolling her eyes) that the tree was dying, he very seriously said that that would kill my dad. If we only knew.....I found in a book we had been given years ago, a huge leaf from that tree and I started to cry thinking about my dad. Not far from Toronto and along Hwy 401, (Canada's busiest), my parent's house is (apparently) on the smallest plot in the town. Consequently the back garden is very small and split-level to boot. I think it is still worthy of a magazine. Looking over this "letter", I've covered a few things, never intending to write about my parent's, dad's death, etc but it's amazing how one can string along a few thoughts. I hope I haven't bored you and sent this w/ the best of intentions. I will look over your site in more depth in the next few days. Thanks again for sharing w/ us all. Cheers, Jack

Jack, what a wonderful and sorrowful letter. I know exactly what you mean by the connection between the tulip tree and your dad. I know that seeing the leaf in the book would bring back to many memories. I guess one day this Web site (that my children roll their eyes about) might have that effect on someone. Best of luck to you and your mom. Thanks for writing and sending the picture. (But please don't plant any invasives!!! My tree friends would be very upset with me if I didn't say that.) Let me know if you decide to plant an Armstrong. I'd love to see some pictures. —Julie.

Thur, Jan. 18, 2007: Jack, in Petawawa, Ontario, writes: Hi from Ontario..... I was looking up info on Lombardy Poplars and found your site (among others), featuring your Armstrong maple. These trees are an alternate to the Lombardy Poplar. Poplars are not recommended by some for a number of reasons. Not sure about the poplars but I don't think I'll be able to grow the Armstrong in my area. We are rated zone 3a-3b. :( Back to the drawing board for something, narrow, hardy, non-invasive and long-living. Anyway, my main reason for "tree-mailing" you (I really like that), was to comment on the beautiful photography on your site. You must be very pleased. I don't usually look at sites about trees though I love gardening. I'm now inspired to look around for other tree ideas for my property. Spring is coming and I know we will all look forward to it! Best wishes from a northern neighbour (Cdn spelling), Jack

Thanks, Jack! Always nice to hear of a fellow convert! (I mean that in the nicest way.) —Julie.

Mon, Jan. 15, 2007: Marcia, in the Antipodes, New Zealand, writes: Great to hear from you - I love your tree photos. Here is a photo of an arrangement I did using NZ native flora, grasses and leaves from a tree called Phyllocladus tichomanoides or Tanekaha.

This is a very common tree fern but beautiful I think, Cyathea medullaris.

This is another NZ native tree, Carpodetus serratus or Putaputaweta the name it was given by the indigenous Maori people - it means the `home of the weta`, weta being a ferocious looking insect which is harmless.

I work in a bookstore at Waikato University half the week, the first half I am the Horticultural technician at a large learning institution called Wintec here in Hamilton. We had a display of NZ books and I did a number of different arrangements using only native plants/trees - it was fun, there is so much to choose from. I will send acouple of tree pics, I don`t want to bore you to tears to soon !! Cheers Marcia

Thanks Marcia! Sorry it took me so long to write back. I think it's wonderful, WONDERFUL, to imagine you in summertime New Zealand checking out my little Web site. Thanks for helping me remember summer is on the way! —Julie.

Thur, Jan. 11, 2007: Marcia, in the Antipodes, New Zealand, writes: Hello Julie I so enjoy reading your blog,and admiring all the beautiful photos ! I am a `tree person` from New Zealand, we have the most fantastic native flora, do you know any of our trees and plants ? - the beautiful exotics (maples, oaks, elms, dogwoods etc) grow well here in our temperate climate. Like you, I take photos all the time, mainly horticultural and historic, I am also an aparist with 2 hives so that calls for some interesting photography shots ! Thank you for your stunning photos Arohanui

Thank you, Marcia! I would love to see some of your bee/tree pictures. I personally stay as far away from bees as I can manage, not being an expert who knows how to behave around them! Funny to think of maples and oaks as "exotic." Thanks for that one! —Julie.



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