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).

October 2006 Letters

Tue, Oct. 31, 2006: Brenda, of Greensboro, NC, writes: Your webpage is AWESOME! Top to bottom, inside and out! I really enjoy all your beautiful pictures - and your comments often times brings a smile to my face. Thanks, too for all your personal e-mails.

Thanks Brenda! Keep me posted on your trees! Happy fall and spring to come. All my love, —Julie.

Tue, Oct. 31, 2006: Sandy, didn't say where from, writes: Hi Julie, Love your site! I have a question about a japanese maple grew from seed, It is about 18 inches tall and i have it in a large pot on my deck. Winter is coming and i dont know if its big enough to plant in my yard, I live in the northeast NJ. What steps do i need to take to protect it. Thank-you

Hi Sandy, the tree is "big enough" to plant in the yard as long as you protect it from damaging things, like dogs and other critters and excessive wind. You could plant it in the ground now and put a wire fence around it to keep those unwanted things away. Or, if you're not yet ready to give her up from your deck, you could put the whole pot down in a hole in the soil for the winter. Doesn't have to be completely buried, just enough to keep the roots at a fairly even temperature, but not too hot or cold (as they would be in a pot). Be sure to put some mulch around the top of the soil to keep in moisture, but don't touch the trunk with the mulch. Good luck. —Julie.

Thur, Oct. 26, 2006: Lisa, of Burlington, Ontario, writes: Julie I have a question for you about birch trees. I have a gorgeous birch tree in my front yard. Now last year it didn't give me any fall colour. The leaves remained green very late in to the season and then they just dropped as did most others in the neighbourhood. Now this year all the other birch trees in the neighbourhood have changed into a glorious yellow but mine again remains green. What gives? I thought that this year had all the perfect ingredients for spectacular fall colour. Puzzled. By the way it is 4 years old and the first two years it did change.

My guesses: something in the soil, something in the air, something in the water. In short, I have no clue. But here's what I do know: my linden tree behaves badly some years too, no color, just brown and bare. Might be a genetic predisposition to be persnickety. Hope this helps, but surely it doesn't. —Julie.

Wed, Oct. 18, 2006: Juan Carlos, of Monterrey, Mexico, writes: Hello Julie; let me introduce myself; my name is Juan Carlos Alvarez; I live in Monterrey Mexico; and I'm Mexican. I work for an american company which is very popular in USA, Trane. Where air conditioning sytems make homes more confort. ok. I love red maples; we do not have any supplier in mexico that sales it; as a tree, so I look into nature hills web site, and see that you cna buy 3' long red maple tree. since I know that, I been trying to get one, and plant it outside my house. I have not order none yet; seems that the red mapel can growth without problems in this area; we are closed to Texas border; so is zone 9 or 10, I think. Other thing that I checked was that I asked Nature hills about it to see if a red tree cna be plant it and growth in this area, they told me that it can. Some Engineers from my work, went to LaCrosse Wisconsin; to see some new projects that we will be working on; and some one brought 2 seeds of red maple into a plastic bag. here my questions: 1) do you know if with 2 seeds I can do something? 2), if answer is yes; how can I start to growth these 2 seeds; to have a small stick with its roots, 3) and when should this red maple stick needs to be ready to be planted into the land, or only polant the seeds?, straight into land outside? sincerelly, I haven't seeign your website and I do like it; looks good; other thing; I have a 3 year old tree, that normally growths into this zone; we call it Ficus. this is planted back in the Patio; and I want to take it out, cut it. What procedures shoudl I followed prior to cut it for good?; or is n't good to cut a tree?, you know there is people that have superticious things about this actions. hope you can help me to understand my questions, and hopelly I can growth my new red maple soon. Juan Carlos.

Dear Juan, Well, first, I'm no tree expert, just a novice with a camera and a love of trees and shade. What I THINK is that red maple seeds need to be sown immediately when they fall off the tree. I could be wrong. So I say if you have them now, then sow them now. Put them in light soil with lots of light and moisture. I don't know, but I get red maple trees ALL OVER my yard, so they do seem to grow easily. Sorry, don't know a thing about the ficus tree, other than the plastic one over by the copy machine at work. That one, I can tell you, can be pruned whenever and it just sits there collecting dust. Oh, but seriously, I had a ficus plant in my house and it got aphids and those darn things invaded every plant in the whole house. I ended up getting rid of all the living things in my house. Kept the kids though. Good luck to you! —Julie.

Wed, Oct. 18, 2006: Allie Byrd Skaer, Horticulturist of the City of Radford, Virginia, writes: Hiya Julie, I also just happened on your website while searching for pictures of Zelkovas. Lots of great personalized information! And beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing!

Dear Allie, THANKS. Great letter!—Julie.

Sun, Oct. 15, 2006: Bobby and Caryl, in Westlake Village, Calif., write: Hello Julie, I just happened upon you site and I am very impressed with the information you provide and all the knowledge I gained just from reading some of the letters. My family and I live in a townhouse in Westlake Village, California. A very pretty area but we only have a patio to grow our plants and trees. All of our trees are potted of course due to our location. We have a Lemon tree, a Thai lime tree, and a Silver Dollar Eucalyptus. We just bought some small trees to start out in pots and when we move in a year or so we will plant them properly. The are a Japanese Maple Seedling Trees- 2 ft Tall, a Korean Maple, a Paperbark Maple and Yoshino flowering cherry tree. Any advice on how I can keep them healthy, maximize thier growing potential even though they will be potted for a while, and any soil/fertilizer advice is greatly appreciated. I bought doubles of the maples to attempt bonsai. My wife and two daughters really love to spend time together tending to our trees and it really gives us a sense of satisfaction watching them grow. Bobby and Caryl

Dear Bobby, Caryl and girls, Congratulations on your new trees. I only started this year with some trees in pots, so my advice will hardly be "expert." I hope my gingkoes and dawyck purple beech make it through the winter! I plan on digging a hole in the ground and putting the pots down in the hole to keep the soil warm and moist, yet keep the tree out in nature where it will get a healthy does of both cold and sun, two things my trees need in order to survive. I would plant them in the ground now if I had a place to put them, but I don't. So I'm experimenting with mine, and I have conditioned myself not to be too upset if they don't make it. Plus, when Bruce sent me the gingko seeds, he sent me a lot of them, so I figure if the trees don't last the winter, I could try try again. My advice to you is to cover the pots with soil and/or mulch, but don't bury the top of the root flare. Don't know how cold it gets where you live, but that's the main thing you need to protect the roots from. At least I think it is. Hope this helps. Good luck! —Julie.

Fri, Oct. 13, 2006: Jim, in Paradise, Calif., writes: Hi. I looked all through your website. It was really interesting and entertaining. My wife and I bought our first home about 2 months ago, and have been remodeling. I've also been working out in the yard for the past month or so, trying to make it look better. I LOVE trees SO much! Speaking of which, that beech tree that was cut down was MY favorite tree on your site, too. I really want to get one. Today, in fact, my wife and I went to our local nursery (we live in paradise, california: a small-sized town in northern california, about 2 hours outside of sacramento, to the north-east)...and we bought 4 trees! They were 40 percent off. I bought: korean pear october glory dura-heat river birch quaking aspen ...and, three 1-gallon, euro. white birch trees (small). We also were given a tulip tree, which I planted somewhat right in the middle of our lawn (because the afternoon sun is BLINDING). We also have a callery pear tree. Given all of this informatio, do you have any advice on how to arrange these in terms of where to plant each one? Groups? Clusters for some, not for others? Thanks for your help. I'll keep looking into your site. -jim

Dear Jim, Thanks for your most kind words about my site. Not sure how to answer you though, without a landscape drawing or some measurements of the property. But generally speaking, don't plant any tree within 15 feet of the house, and make sure you plant far enough away from any structure based on the tree's mature spread prediction. (I have planted pretty much everything too close and now regret it.) Also, for specimen trees, be sure to leave plenty of room between the trees. Hope all is well with the trees. Sounds like a fun project. Take pictures! Good luck! —Julie.

Tue, Oct. 10, 2006: Shirley Bovshow, of the Discovery Home Channel's show "Garden Police", writes: Dear Julie, Your blog photos and entries are truly moving. Just looking at your photos brought tears of joy to me as I envisioned myself in the scene enjoying the breeze and sunlight that highlight your beautiful photos! I love trees too and wish more people would appreciate them instead of rush by them everyday.

Thanks for adding a spark of happiness to my day!

Shirley Bovshow
Garden Police show
Discovery Home Channel

AWESOME!!!!!!!!! Thanks, Shirley! Woo hoo. This letter made my week! (Readers: Please write to Shirley and tell her my yard is in serious need of a makeover, all except the trees of course.)—Julie.

Sun, Oct. 8, 2006: Ramona, in Battle Ground, WA, writes: Hi. We are writing from Battle Ground, WA (recently moved from Hillsboro, OR) and just purchased 10 October Glorys for our driveway. When we got home, we used Google to look for sites that had pictures of mature October Glorys since we didn't know anything really about them. We stumbled upon your tree diary and absolutely loved your growth pictures showing the tree at different stages. Thanks so much for sharing your pictures. We also enjoyed reading some of the rest of your site about the squirrels. Thanks again.

Dear Ramona, THANKS! What a lovely letter! Cheers on the new house and the new trees. Hope you don't get a surface root problem! Good luck and keep me posted. —Julie.

Mon, Oct. 2, 2006: Izzy, in Portland, Oregon, writes: Julie, Hi, Congratulations on such a beautiful website! So Inspiring! I am a 50 years old mom going back to school to get my certificate in landscaping design. I live in beautiful Portland, Oregon. I am now in the finishing phase of my first real landscaping project. I say "real" because all the formers ones have been class assignments. Well, my client wants a red maple. The tree will go to a spot to serve the same purpose yours does. She will be looking at it from her kitchen window as well. I wanted to ask you this question: because we want to start with a good size tree, i thought we should order a 4" caliper one. Basically we would like for the tree to get to the size yours did at about the same time frame. Do you remember what size yours was at planting time? I really apppreciate any response you might send. You mention about geography lesson.How about this: I am originally from Brazil; my husband is from Angola (Africa)from Portuguese parents; my older son was born in Lisbon, Portugal, and my youngest was born in Portland, Oregon. Thanks, Izzy

Hi Izzy, thanks for the geography lesson. Gregory appreciated it a lot! He loves to look stuff up on the globe and it means to much more to know of real people who live or have lived in those places. My October Glory measured 2.5 inches at planting time. That's not the standard way of measuring a trunk though. We took a measuring tape and measured the diameter of the trunk at about chest height. I believe the industry standard is to measure the caliper, which is not the same as the diameter, and is too complicated for me! Also, I believe the industry standard is to measure closer to the ground than I'm doing, though I'm not sure. All this is to point out that I'm by no means an expert! I'm just a home owner with a healthy interest in trees who makes up her own way to measure things. (See the blog post about the Bradleymeter! Bradley loves that one!) Good luck on your landscaping degree and thanks for your kind words about my site!—Julie.