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).

November/December 2006 Letters

Wed, Nov. 22, 2006: Peggy, didn't say where from, writes: I am trying to find out the life span of these cherry trees. I have them on my property and wonder how long they will be with me. please let me know if you can I really appreciat. Thank you.

Dear Peggy, I believe black cherry trees have a moderate life span of 50-70 years. Hope this helps. —Julie.

Wed, Nov. 22, 2006: Dalene, in Provo, Utah. writes: Found you via your comment at Lucky Red Hen. Love your work. Thanks for sharing it.

Thanks, Dalene! Always nice to hear about my tree stumblers! —Julie.

Wed, Nov. 22, 2006: Tina, in Modesto, Calif. writes: Julie, When is a good time to plant a Zelkova (Village Green Saw Leaf)?

I'd say go for it just about anytime where you live! You can plant trees anytime the ground isn't frozen. Good luck! —Julie.

Fri, Nov. 17, 2006: Peter, in Lilburn,Ga., writes: Thank you for sharing so much of your interests and photographs. Since we decided to build a home 18 months ago, I've been consumed with every detail that goes into that venture, but more specifically, I've developed a good appreciation for trees and shrubs that I never had growing up. Thanks to Google, I stumbled on your web presence tonight because I wanted to read up on the October Glory Maple trees. My wife and I are taking delivery of a 3.5"-tree in the morning and wanted one more affirmation that we are indeed getting the right tree for the spot we have picked out. The feature (and photos) on your tree was so very uplifting that I'm feeling good about my purchase already. I hope I have as much luck with mine as you have had with yours. Thanks.

WOW! What a nice letter, Peter! Good luck with your trees. Keep learning! Take pictures! Cheers! —Julie.

Fri, Nov. 17, 2006: Lisa, in Neptune, NJ, writes: Hi, Recently and old, unique looking tree died on my front lawn and I had to have it removed. I want to replace it with something that will grow quickly in full sun that will provide a lot of shade (and give me some privacy as well!). We have a sprinkler system so it will be watered routinely.... Any suggestions on a tree and when to plant it? Thank you!!!!

Hi Lisa. My greenspire linden has grown very fast and has provided shade to my living room, making it a comfortable room to be in all summer and fall. I really love that tree in the front lawn. Keep two things in mind though: be sure to dig a hole at least 3 times the width of the root ball and sprinkler systems don't provide the "right" kind of water for trees. (The slow soak method is preferred. Sprinkler-watering encourages surface roots because the tree gets so used to getting her water from the surface that she doesn't bother digging down deep.) Good luck! Hope this helps! —Julie.

Fri, Nov. 17, 2006: Priscilla, in Brooklyn, NY, writes: Hi Julie! Which tree has the best fall color October Glory Red Maple or Red Sunset Red Maple? Which tree do you recommend and why? Thank you for all the information and beautiful photography just love your whole website.

Hi Priscilla. Both trees have excellent fall color. If I had to pick the one that has the "best" fall color, that would be tough. "Best" can be defined in so many ways! Brighter: October Glory. Longer lasting: October Glory. Prettier: Red Sunset. More natural-looking: Red Sunset. More symmetrical: October Glory. Faster growing: tie (both grow equally fast, not the mark of a "good" tree). More surface roots: tie (both have sent out a hefty share of surface roots in my yard). Heartier: tie (both of my trees have lost major branches in storms).

How about a sugar maple?

Thanks for your very kind words about my site! Happy day! —Julie.

Thur, Nov. 16, 2006: Nancy, in Mariposa, Calif, writes: Julie- About three years ago, removed the stake on this Liquid Amber. A buck decided to rub it and it snapped 1/2 through the middle and the top touched the dirt. Took a chance and wrapped the wound with 1" plastic plant tie/ribbon. The tree has mended itself and grown. A success story. Nancy

Nancy, WOW, what a great story and a great picture! Congratulations! I love the fall color of that liquid amber! —Julie.

Thur, Nov. 16, 2006: Carter, in Chicago, writes: Hi Julie, wow, did you get some stunning color on your red sunset! Mine did pretty well, although the weekend days where I was around during good sunlight hours were all overcast, boo hoo! I did get some decent color on my dogwood as well though, they really are beauties aren't they? Thanks for your dedication to your trees, it's always an uplifting experience to view your web pages! Best, Carter

Hi Carter, My OGRM had a LOT of yellow, BRIGHT yellow leaves in it this year, in particular, the leaves in the center of the tree, not in direct sunlight. Same goes for the RSRM. I have no idea why. I suspect it has SOMEthing to do with sunshine. We've had quite a lot of rain here this fall. Keep in mind, you're only seeing one leaf on my RS in that picture on my blog. And I have a really nice camera AND I pop the out-of-camera colors in photoshop so they, well, pop on your computer screen. Still, I wouldn't make a yellow leaf red, so that thing was pretty darn red. They're all gone now, the leaves. So sad. I really have to get to my fall color posts. I think I have about 100 fall leaf pictures waiting. I'm going to make a slide show when I get time. You'll watch, I hope! Thanks for the pictures of your tree. She's a beaut! And so's the dog! Man, my dogwood captivated me all year long. Tree of the year, for sure. Thanks for the oh-so-kind words about my site! —Julie.

Tue, Nov. 14, 2006: Lori, didn't say where from, writes: Hi Julie, I really liked your website and the beautiful pictures you take of your trees. I have always admired the beautiful colors of trees on tv, magazines and just encountering different kinds when I'm traveling. I recently purchase online a sugar maple tree and am waiting for it to arrive so I can plant in my front yard. But my husband is concerned that we will have a "bee" problem, once I mentioned that I read from different comments I read on web forums that the tree will be "producing syrup" in a few years. Do you have a bee problem?? It worried me, because I do not want to be attracting bees in my front yard. Please let me know. thanks, Lori

Hi Lori. The sap from sugar maples won't attract bees unless the tree is wounded and dripping sap. You'll be safe to plant a sugar maple in your yard, and not expect any bees, as long as you are careful to do any pruning cuts in the "right" time of year, say NOT June. (Even though the sap rises from January through April, the tree will still bleed some any time you prune it. People generally tap sugar maple trees in January for all the great sap that makes our maple syrup. It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup! Wow! I have no bee problem as relates to my sugar maple. It's the honeysuckle bush right next the to sugar maple that's the problem! Good luck! —Julie.

Thur, Nov. 9, 2006: Ben, didn't say where from, writes: Hi Julie, You have a very nice website. Could you tell me whether there is such a thing as an “evergreen” Bradley Pear Tree? Thanks, Ben

Hi Ben. I could be wrong, but as far as I know, there's no such thing as a "Bradley pear." But people often confuse the name with Bradford pear. Bradford pear is not an evergreen tree, though some nurseries in the south call it that. In some southern zones, the tree doesn't lose its leaves until December or even January, and then they come back in February or early March. Even here in New Jersey, my trees (I'm ashamed to say I have Bradford pears; they're so scary) lose their leaves in late November and they usually come back full swing by the first of April. Still, this is most definitely NOT an evergreen up this way! —Julie.

Thur, Nov. 9, 2006: Kasa, in California, writes about my October Glory red maple: Hi! I've been reading your journal regarding your maple-Beautiful tree! I find it amazing that you only planted it seven years ago! I do have one question...your last update on the size of the tree listed the trunk as being 22 inches wide. Is that misprint, or is that the circumference?.. I am thinking of planting the same tree, but if the tree gets that big, I may have to reconsider.. kasa, callifornia...happy guardian of a young(and male!!) ginkgo and redwood..

It's 22 inches measured AROUND the tree, the circumference, like about my waist size when I was 12. But yeah, it's a big tree after just 7 years. Thing grows FAST. —Julie.

Wed, Nov. 8, 2006: Jon, didn't say where from, writes: Hi Julie. I was curious as to what is the best way to go about transplanting American Beech saplings. My friend has a large beech on his property and would like to take some of the root saplings and spread them throughout the property. Can this be done successfully, or is it better to use the seeds? Thanks, Jon M.

Hi Jon. I think you might have more success in trying to grow beech trees from cuttings or seed because the roots of beech trees are very susceptible to damage. If you're intent on moving a sapling, be sure to bring as much earth as you possibly can, and try very hard not to disturb the roots any more than is obviously necessary. Then, dig a very wide hole, 3 times the rootball, so the roots have plenty of loose soil in which to grow. Personally, I wouldn't ammend the existing soil at all. Hope this helps. —Julie.

Wed, Nov. 8, 2006: Andrew, in Dayton, Ohio, writes about the purple European beech: I loved the story, and the website. I came acrossed last week. Im currently awaiting birch bark cherry, and a snakebark cherry from forest farm.

That's great, Andrew! I love LOVE Forestfarm. Their service is the best and the tree I ordered from them came in such excellent condition that I really wondered if the tree packer hadn't just driven it here herself. Good luck with your trees! —Julie.

Tue, Nov. 7, 2006: Brenda, in NC, writes: My FIRST (planted myself) Tree at my new house ...................................YOSHINO CHERRY! On side of house...................................can't bring myself to buy a purple leaf plum............................and not to mention THREE of them....................which was on the landscaping plan (if you recall). Beautiful, beautiful photography on your webpage.........................I can just browse for hours! Brenda-in-NC

CONGRATULATIONS, BRENDA! Excellent choice. I'm so glad yo didn't pick a plum. And thanks for the kind words about my photography! Check back often in November because I took a lot of great shots today (in anticipation of the big storm tomorrow that will likely send most of the leaves away), so I'm hoping to post to my blog a juicy fall picture every day for a while, that is, assuming I have a few minutes to put one up! —Julie.

Mon, Nov. 6, 2006: Terry, in southern New Hampshire, writes: Dear Julie, I purchased a Kornus Cusa Dogwood, white, from a local nursery in Southern New Hampshire. The tree is about 6 feet tall and was rootballed in burlap. There were no flowers on it when I purchased it in July. It is healthy and has lots of leaves even now, but while all my neighbors have the flower buds on there tree for next year I do not. What do I need to do to ensure flowers? Thanks

Hi Terry. Congratulations! I love the Cornus kousa dogwood! Such great little bracts that stick around for a long time once they blossom. But YOU need to be patient! Trees often take several years once planted before they make flowers. It's very common for dogwood trees, in particular, to take up to 7 years! There's really nothing you can do, short of going out with a rolled up newspaper and... ahem. —Julie.

Sat, Nov. 4, 2006: Ron, of Prescott, Ariz., writes: My wife and I are in the process of having our yard landscaped. One of our criteria is to put in bar ditches to allow the water to drain properly from our lot. To make a long story short, in the process of digging one of the bar ditches, a root was severed from a mature Pinon Pine tree. So you have any suggestions as to how to "repair" the root?

Well, after you note that I'm no tree expert, and that I only know of these pines from my own internet research, I believe you have a problem. Pinon pines don't seem to take well to severed roots, and should be protected during construction. But yours will make a nice Christmas tree this year! (No, seriously, you could call a certified arborist to take a look at your tree. He or she might have some concrete suggestions for you, such as watering well for now, but not too much during the cold winter months. Good luck. I hope you find a way to save your tree! Maybe if it wasn't too big of a root, it will recover. I believe there's always hope.—Julie.

Thur, Nov. 2, 2006: Nancy, of Mariposa, Calif., writes: Julie- Love the picture of the mail order tree box on the front porch. Can totally relate. Five years we moved to 3,200 elevation 7 acres in pines, cedars and oaks, 30 miles from Yosemite. This lot has less trees than the others. So we have planted about 100 trees. Planning on buying a Royal Red Maple. A current favorite maple: Autumn Fantasy. A few years ago I ordered five baby Brandywine Maple trees. The largest one has finally hit 7 ft. and has interesting Fall color; vivid reddish copper. Looks like wine and brandy. Scarlet Oak just put on a show. About purple plum . . . Always thought they were a common tree. Planting groups of five of different species along the road for privacy. The plums are in a line from west to east. When the sun sets it shines through the leaves and is a stunning glow. Not planned. Keep up the great pictures and writing. Shared your website in the Mariposa Butterfly Garden Club newsletter. Nancy

Thanks, Nancy! What a sweet letter. Thanks for detailing your planting project. Love it! Take pictures! —Julie.