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Blossom on the Aristocrat Pear, 3:30 a.m., April 8, 2006.
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Julie's Tree-Mail

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It's a great geography lesson for my children (and me).

April 2006 letters

Sun, Apr 29, 2006: Sam, in Dallas, TX, writes:
How nice of you to offer to help (or point me towards help)! I rec'd a 2-ft Dwarf Red Buckeye as a gift. Read the planting guidelines that came with it (which STRESSED - other than a deep soaking upon planting - NOT to overwater) and planted it 3 weeks ago, within 48 hrs of receiving it (it was shipped UPS from Nebraska).

It began with 5-6 tight small buds of which all but 2 dried up and fell off. Right now there is only one little sprig (?) of 3 tiny leaves, and another one trying real hard to open, but not really doing ANYthing, just looking very brown. Granted I did plant it just short of the BEST time (by about 19 yrs and 11 months!), but shouldn't something more than this be happening? I've watered it sparingly. I feel kind of embarassed now and think I might've UNDERwatered it. Even called the nursery ( and asked for wtering tips, but was told "water as needed."

I need to snap a shot or 2 of it, but I haven't. Any advice you have would be welcome, as summer is bearing down on us here and I want it to get established before then. Any ideas off the top of your head?

Thank you, Julie, for your time.

Best, Sam

Dear Sam, I believe you are supposed to keep those trees moist, especially when they are new transplants. If you have one branch with three leaves and another with a bud trying to come out, that's a good sign. Maybe it's not a goner yet. If I were you, I would go outside right now and take the water hose over to the tree, put it on a very slow trickle, water barely coming out, like seriously -- just a tad beyond a slow drip. Imagine the ground where the tree is planted. The trunk is the middle of a clock face. Put the hose at "12 o'clock." Leave it there for about 15 minutes. Set a timer. After 15 minutes, move the hose to "6 o'clock." Later on today, say, 4 hours later, do this again, putting the hose at "3 o'clock" for 15 minutes, and then "9 o'clock." Tomorrow go out and dig down about 6 inches. If the ground is still moist 6 inches down, don't water. Check for dryness everyday. When the ground 6 inches down feels dry, do the intense SLOW watering thing again. Make sure the area is mulched, but no mulch should be touching the trunk. And remember: be patient! My Royal Red Maple sounds just like your buckeye. It took a long time to for that tree to get going. I'm glad I was patient.

Hope this helps.--Julie

Fri Apr 28, 2006: Sam, in Dallas, TX, writes about my tree pages at Coffeedrome:
Was in search of tree planting information and just wanted to say how much I love your tree site - so much information, and lots of good photos. I can tell you love trees, and I'd bet you are a photographer. The "best time to plant a tree" quote is great. I never had heard that one. I'll have to check back regularly to see what's new. Best. Sam

Thanks for your kind letter. It was sweet of you to take the time to write! Now that I have the blog, it's easy to find out what's new in the trees! Cheers! --Julie

On Saturday, Sam wrote back: Your treegrowersdiary site is even better than your other. I might post a tree question for you. Do you have any experience with Dwarf Red Buckeye?

Thanks! No, I don't have any experience with dwarf red buckeye, but there are various resources at my fingertips. What's your question?

Thur Apr 27, 2006: Arthur, in Richland, Michigan, writes:
Julie, I am writing from southern Michigan. Last week we got and planted a Japanese maple, bloodgood, 5 feet tall. It had beautiful leaves. yesterday morning, after an overnight frost, the leaves look frost damaged. I wish I had waited to plant it, or at least protected it but I didn't. What do you think will happen. Will the leaves fall off, and come back. will the tree die? thank you for your thoughts.

What I THINK will happen is that some or all of the leaves will have frost damage. But be patient. It's early in the season, and there is a good chance new leaves will grow. Keep watering as usual. Do not fertilize. Don't do anything that might stress the tree any more than it already is. Hope this helps. --Julie P.S. Please give us an update in a few weeks, ok? I'm sure there are plenty of trees with the same situation as yours. It would be nice to have a followup!

Thur Apr 27, 2006: Lilli, in Richmond, Va., writes:
Julie- I can't help but write young plum is starting to droop. I can't stand the look of it and randomly (and somewhat desperately) googled on "Purple-leaf plum" and "drooping"----and that's how I found you!
Needless to say, I am relieved to find you. I'm a tree fanatic as well (in Richmond, VA) but I'm still a pseudo novice (I've been gardening for 3 years.) When should I prune the heavy branches?
Thanks a million.
Best, Lilli
P.s. If I had a website like yours, I'd post a picture of my "2nd Child": a Japanese Stewartia Pseudo-Camillia. She's a dream and I've had her for two years.

Lilli, Thanks for the wonderful compliments on my site. I've just today redesigned my plum page, and moved it over from Coffeedrome to my new domain, adding several new features. If you poke around in there and see any links that don't work, would you please let me know? I'd appreciate that! Now, about your plum-- You can prune it anytime, and often. One of the problems with plum trees is that they need to be thinned regularly, so go ahead and prune yours while it's still small enough for you to handle on your own. As long as you don't cut away more than one-third of the tree in any given year, you won't be cutting too much. Send us a picture of your Stewartia and we'll post it with your letter! Cheers -- Julie

Thur Apr 27, 2006: Al, in Willard, Missouri, writes:
I have several Bradford Pear trees that seem to always have sprouts coming up around the base of the tree. I have been trying to get some of these sprouts transplanted to other areas with no success. What's the secret? Any help or information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

But why would you want to propagate a Bradford pear? They're taking over the country! Besides, it's kind of hard to propagate from cuttings, which is basically what you're doing. Propagation is usually done by bud grafting. You could try to collect the seeds, but that will require diligent effort on your part to keep them cold for up to 90 days. Why don't you just go out and buy yourself a nice serviceberry instead? --Julie

Tue Apr 25, 2006: Taylor, who is a Tar Heels fan (NC), writes:
i now have a question about my new sycamore tree! a lot of people tell me that they grow really fast, is this true? If so how fast per year? (the tree is 2 years old and about 13 feet tall) thanks, taylor

Yes, sycamore trees are VERY fast growers. Your 13-foot-tall tree could be a 30-footer in about five years, given decent growing conditions. Good luck. --Julie

Tue Apr 25, 2006: Amir, in Bellmore, NY, writes:
hi julie. wish i knew your site a month earlier...just planted a red maple red sunset at the street side of my house.between the curb and the you think the surface roots will lift the concrete sidewalk?is there anything that can be done to prevent this from happening?is it too late to install root barrier?do root barriers really work?i need your answer as we just spent a lot of money on new pavers driveway and new concrete sidewalk all around my house.i love the newly planted red sunset but hate to think that i will have to do my sidewalk again in a few years.thank you for your great site. Amir

Hi Amir. Yeah, you could have a sidewalk problem, but it probably won't start lifting for 10 years, and that depends on how much space there is in the street lawn, and your soil conditions. I've had people write to me from other places in the country (Texas, for example), saying that they don't have a problem with red maple surface roots. I, on the other hand, have a major surface root issue with my big red maple shade trees, and they've only been in the ground here for seven years. They're nowhere near sidewalks or driveways, so I don't know if they'd be lifting the asphalt or concrete by now. My soil is rich, well-drained soil that was farm land many moons ago (think: hundreds of years ago, not 20). I am not sure if there is anything you can do to prevent damage to the sidewalk, other than relocating the trees. But here is a helpful article: On-Line Seminar: Root Barriers. Hope this helps. --Julie

Mon Apr 24, 2006: Jenn, in Batavia, IL, writes:
What a treemendous site :) I enjoyed all your beautiful pictures (love the redbud shots) and your Easter poem. Your site has inspired me to get planting!

Woo Hoo! Love letters like this! THANKS! --Julie

Sun Apr 23, 2006: Peggy, in southern Ohio, writes:
I was wondering if you can get a branch from a redbud tree and get it to start? I can't find any information about it.
Thank you: Peggy

Dear Peggy, The best way to propagate redbud is seed, but it can be difficult because the seeds are very hard and resistant to water. They need to be scarified and cold treated, because they can often lie dormant for a very long time. When you do find one that has rooted naturally, the tap root extends practically to China, making it almost impossible to dig up. Transplants usually don't make it because of the stress of that digging. That said, there is research ongoing about propagating via tissue culture, but I don't know anything about how that's done.

Rooting cuttings should be done from soft wood in the summer. It is often unsuccessful, so plan on trying and trying again and again. Let me know if it works!

Hope this helps. --Julie

Sat Apr 22, 2006: Sally, in McKee, KY, writes:
I purchased 2 Bloodgood Maples on March 28th and we put them out a few days later. I am seeing the very ends of one of them turning brown and dying. I thought that it might be getting to much water. Do you think it is getting to much or to little water? I was going to call the nursery, but I found your growers diary and thought I`d see what you thought. Thanks, Sally

Sally, It could be many things. Here are some ideas to get you started. Bloodgoods experience a fair amount of transplant stress, which often results in curling leaves. So, first, it probably has something to do with that.
1. Is the tree planted too deeply? Make sure the root flare is an inch or two above grade. (That's the part of the trunk where it begins to fan out into roots.)
2. The tree doesn't need fertilizer now. The leaf curl could be caused by fertilizer.
3. Look up under the leaves to see that there are no bugs on it. If there are bugs, that could be the source of the problem.
4. Water: could be too much, could be too little. Dig down about 6 inches. If it's moist there, don't water until it's dry. If it's dry there, then give the tree a slow soak -- water hose on a trickle -- water barely coming out. Move it around the root ball like a clock.
5. Has it been particularly hot or windy lately? That could be the cause too.
Hope some of this helps. --Julie.

Sat Apr 22, 2006: Caroline, in Brick, NJ, writes:
Hi Julie, Great Website! question? How do I get my Emerald Arborbitae to grow the tallest it possibly can. I need height for privacy from the house behind me. I have 20 of them. I think that I should have bought the Nigra Arborvitae (which grows up to 30') instead but I didn't know of the different kinds at the time. How can I take care of these arborvites so that they grow to the tallest potential height? They are currently approx 8-9 feet tall.

Thanks Caroline! If your trees are planted in full sun that is really about all you can do to insure they grow as tall as possible, other than making sure they get a slow soak with the water hose when needed. I've noticed in my own yard that sometimes the privacy we desire can actually be accomplished in a "virtual" sense. Your arbs will create a boundary that will send a "you stay on your side, I'll stay on mine" message. Somehow, this message seems to carry right on up into the air space above the line of trees, so that, even though a person could SEE you in your yard, her eye stops at the tree line and she doesn't actually NOTICE you. Well, that's my theory and I'm sticking to it! Good luck with your trees! Keep the deer away! --Julie.

Sat Apr 22, 2006: Dee, in Washington, NJ, writes:
Hi Julie, just came across you site while looking for info on the Thundercloud Plum. You answered all our questions. We just planted three. Good thing they are 300 ft from the house at the end of the driveway. The leaves were green on our trees so were concerned that we got the wrong trees because we wanted purple ones. They have been in a shady area that the nursery. We are glad we planted them away from the house after reading your info. Thanks so much for sharing all of your mistakes with all of us. Dee . . .

Thanks Dee! If your trees are planted in full sun they should turn purple eventually, unless they aren't really the 'thundercloud' cultivar. (My October Glory tree tag said it would grow to 25 feet tall. It is now about 45 feet tall. Tagging mistakes can be made!) Remember that plums need to be thinned once in a while because their branches tend to grow too close together. Keep that in mind, say, two or three years from now. Look for ways to increase the stability of the trees, to develop one strong central leader. Good luck! Also, watch out for those suckers! --Julie.

Fri Apr 21, 2006: Lisa, in Burlington, Ontario, writes:
Hi Julie, . . . I have been enjoying watching your daily blog showing the progression of your trees -- what a treat!!! But I have a question or two for you about Sugar Maples. I'm a bit concerned (especially after reading Eric from Texas' post) that I have planted too many trees in my yard and in particular, planted my sugar maples too close to one another ( I do like the canopy affect).
     The yard is about 75 feet across and from the back of the house about 26 feet deep. I have planted three Ivory Silk Lilacs (orginally was going to plant Bradford Pears but thankfully was talked out of it by a gardening store clerk), one Autumn Blaze clump maple, one October Glory maple (this is how i found your site researching the tree), one Greenspire, one Corkscrew Willow, one White Pine and two Bailista Sugar Maples. I also have a Japanese maple and a Serviceberry.

     We have southern exposure and bake in the summer and as we are in a relatively new subdivision, very little privacy. I love a shade garden (just love to play with texture and variations of the colour green). The trees are all about 24 feet from the back of the house. My landscape guy said to plant the sugar maples about 5-7 feet from each other. I'm concerned they are too close. Also, they are planted in front of a small pond so I am worried about issues of light for plant growth in the pond as well as roots ripping through (the Corkscrew Willow is at the back of the pond). What are your thoughts?
     Also, the one sugar maple doesn't look like it made it through the winter. How do I know for sure that it is dead (in the picture it is the one to the left -- she didn't look good even from last year)? . . . Lastly, do you think the Corkscrew Willow is a wise choice given the size of the yard?
    Sorry for the length of the email. I would love to hear back from you if you have the time. Thanks Julie.
    Sincerely, Lisa
    P.S I really enjoyed your easter poem. 

Hi Lisa. Thanks for the compliments about my site and my poem! Here's the thing about your trees --you're not going to have a canopy; you're going to have a FOREST! For the size yard you have, you really should have only one of those balista sugar maples (50 ft spread at maturity!) and oh my dear, you have two of those AND a 40-foot-spread October Glory red maple AND more! When you say "Greenspire," do mean 'Greenspire' sugar maple or 'Greenspire' linden or perhaps something else? Wow, that is WAY too many trees for the space you describe.
    Now if you could spread those trees out to your neighbor's yards, you'd still have a canopy effect because those trees are going to throw shade all over the place, if given the proper space to grow. Those big shade trees should be planted a minimum of 25 feet away from each other, (and at least that far from the house) and even then, they wouldn't develop into specimen trees, but would grow into each other. If not given more space than you have given them, they will ultimately look scraggly, assuming they make it at all. Trees need water and nutrients to live. Your trees will compete for it, and that means some tree wins and the rest lose (die). Would it be possible to replant the trees you bought elsewhere? As things are now, whether you decide or nature decides, something in your yard will have to go!
    You should consider reporting your landscape guy to the better business bureau, assuming they have something like that in Canada. I can't believe a landscape guy who knows anything at all about landscape planning and maintenance would plant sugar maples 5 to 7 feet apart. YIKES.
    No on the willow. The willow will win the water fight. And if you think the sugar maple didn't make it through the winter, well, there's one less tree to worry about. (Can't believe I just said that.) Scratch your fingernail into a branch. Green? Still alive. Brown. Nope.
    By the way, now that my trees have been in place for more than 5 years, I am realizing my own overplanting mistakes. First to go: the Bradford pears! (Just have to convince my children it's the right thing to do, and this is the hard part. They are emotionally attached to the trees, as am I.)
    Sorry to be giving you such bad news, Lisa. I wish you all the best! --Julie

Thur Apr 20, 2006: Josie, in Point Pleasant, NJ, writes:
Hi Julie, My Bradford Pear did exactly what you said they would do. During a wind storm in November 2005 our 25 ft. tree broke where the branches start to branch out. It fell onto our shed crushing the shed and knocking down our neighbors fence.
    We are trying to figure out what type of tree we should get to replace it. The problem is we loved the Bradford Pear. The height was just right, it grow fast, and we liked the denseness of it. We liked it for the privacy we got from it.
     I thought after reading your website, which I think is great, by the way, that you may have some suggestions. Here is some info for you: We live in Point Pleasant, NJ one block up from the river. The most important thing we are trying to accomplish is to have the tree provide privacy. We have a small yard. Would also like a fast growing tree, don't want to wait 10 years for it to grow over our 6' fence. We have a deck in the yard and sliding doors and without our Bradford we feel like we are on a stage.
     Any suggestions would greatly be appreciated. We really enjoy your Tree Growers Diary.
     Have a great day! Josie 

Hi Josie, Thanks for the nice compliments about my site! I'm sorry to hear about your Bradford. An important thing to consider when choosing what to plant there is to RANK the things you want in order of importance. Is it important that it be a flowering tree? Is denseness most important? Fast growing most important? It sounds to me like the thing you miss most about your Bradford was the privacy it gave you. I'm not sure how much space you have, but I would consider a red maple, 'October Glory' or a linden, 'Greenspire.' The lindens have pretty yellow flowers in June, but some people consider the fallen flowers to be a bit on the messy side, if planted near a patio, for instance. They smell nice too, so think: bees. If I were looking for a flowering tree, and I didn't mind that it wouldn't grow quite as tall as a Bradford pear, I would most definitely plant an Autumn Brilliance serviceberry, or a Yoshino cherry. That should give you a starting place!
    Good luck! --Julie

Thur Apr 20, 2006: Barbara, in St. John's Newfoundland, writes:
Dear Julie: I enjoyed your web site. Do you know how far apart I should plant my Thuja trees. I'm hoping they'll supply lots of privacy. Thanking you in advance. 
Thanks Barbara, What kind of Thujas are you getting? Assuming yours are pyramidal 'emerald green' or 'green giant' and are going to be planted in full sun, I would plant them about 3 feet apart, that's 3 feet measured from trunk to trunk. For maximum health of the plants, however, 4 feet apart would be better. You might be tempted to plant them closer than 3 feet, but 6 or 7 years from now, you'll probably look at the situation and think that they'd be healthier if you'd planted them a little farther apart. Hope this helps. --Julie

Wed Apr 19, 2006: Eric, in Round Rock, TX, writes:
. . . We also followed some of your 'mistakes' by having 2 Bradford Pears growing in our yard...if only I had read up on them prior! Attached is a picture of our yard...I had to some pruning this past winter because of topping that had occurred by Home Depot on both my October Glory maple on the right and the Autumn Fantasy red Maple on the far left. 

Hi Eric, . . . One thing concerns me about your trees. They look really close together. I mean, maybe you're like me and you want total shade on that gorgeous bench, if so, then you'll get what you wanted. Those maples are going to get really tall, and really full. They will grow into each other, and form a canopy over that entire section of your yard. This will take between 5 and 10 years, I'm guessing. It will be a nice shady retreat in summer. And it will be difficult to maintain grass there. There will also be pruning issues that you might not be able to handle on your own, meaning you might have to hire a tree service to prune crossing or touching branches. In other words, you're looking at maintenance issues down the road. If you could move even ONE of those trees, the situation would be easier to manage. But, like I said, maybe that's the dream -- full shade. Be obsessive about giving the trees a slow soak, trickle, with the water hose whenever the soil six inches down feels dry. Don't rely on lawn sprinklers. (You'll end up with tree roots that look for water at the surface, in other words, surface roots.) Again, that's a really nice yard. I wish you the best of luck. Take pictures in all seasons! Simply lovely. --Julie

UPDATE: Eric says he does want shade! I want Eric to send in a picture every year so we can follow the progress of his trees! : )

Wed Apr 19, 2006: Cindy, in Long Island, New York, writes:
Hi Julie, I've been reading your site and it seems that we have similar taste in trees. I am just starting to plant but so far we have a Purple Leaf Plum and a Red Sunset Maple. I was hoping that you could answer a couple of questions for me as I am not getting much help from the landscaper who planted these trees. 
     The plum tree was planted mid-May 2005 so this year was the first year that it bloomed since being transplanted. It was fairly large when he brought it over. It doesn't look very full and the flowers didn't come out all at the same time or on every branch. He's telling me this is normal because it was 'just' transplanted. Do you think he's telling me the truth and it will do better in the future? 
     The maple was planted last fall, I believe early October. It seemed fine at the time. It now has these little flowery things on it but they look really droopy. First little berry looking things came out but now they are still red but just wispy things kind of hanging off. I can't find any pictures online of what its supposed to look like before the leaves come out. This tree is still very thin (young, I guess) if that matters. 
     By the way, I live in New York, on Long Island. 
     Thank you for any help you can provide. Unfortunately, I don't know if I can trust the man who planted them because I'm sure he just wants to stall me until my warranty is up. 

Dear Cindy, Thanks for visiting my site. I wouldn't worry too much about plum. I just noticed today that all the flowers are gone off mine, except there are NEW flowers on the inside trunk here and there. This doesn't trouble me. The tree looks fine otherwise. And yes, your tree is still considered "just transplanted" because it was planted last May, which probably means it was already in full leaf. If it had been planted when it was dormant, say, in December or March, and the leaves came well after it had been planted, then it would have had a "full growing season" in its current location. But your tree missed its first few months of the 2005 growing season, so yes, it is still considered a "new transplant" and may still be experiencing a bit of transplant stress. And yes, I think it will do better in the future. Make sure that the tree is getting enough water this year. If you ever dig down about 6 inches with your finger, and the soil is dry, then the tree needs a long, slow soak.
     The flowers on the red sunset maple do sometimes look kinda droopy and wispy. My red sunset page has pictures of flowers and seeds. See if yours looks anything like that. By the way, when the seeds first come out, they're red, but then the color fades and they look pale yellow. Mixed with the new pale green leaves coming out, the overall effect is rather an ugly brown. But not to worry about that because in a short while, green will take over.
     Can you send me a picture of the maple so I can see what you mean?

Wed Apr 19, 2006: HappyTreeGuy, in Logan, Utah, writes:
Julie, I have been reading your coffeedrome site for 3 years. I thought I was the only one getting great joy from your site. Hugely Wrong! I planted 2 Canadian Chokecherry's last fall. I love them in this COLD climate. My October Glory's are not growing as fast as yours, but I love them. The soil here is clay and very wet. Nice for RedMaples, poor for Oak and Redbud. Thanks for your site!
ThankYOU for taking the time to write! --Julie

Tue Apr 18, 2006: Nancy, in Michigan, writes:
thank you for all the information and especially sharing the pictures. I planted a redbud in my daughters front yard last fall and am praying she has made it through the Michigan winter. at first I was not sure but now I am seeing some little red bursts coming out,but not too many. you did say she sprouted slowly-right? RESURRECTION sunday has just passed, hope to see more buds soon. God bless.
Thanks for the letter, Nancy. This year, the redbuds here seem to be coming out quite slowly. I'm not sure I watched all that closely last year though, so I'm not certain if this is typical. We'll have to check back next year! Good luck with your daughter's tree! --Julie

Mon Apr 17, 2006: Alain, in Ottawa, Canada, writes in response
to my red sunset red maple:
Thanks for the info provided, I also have a Red Sunset Maple recently planted last September and wanted to know what those red buds were all about. Looks like I got myself quite the tree, the red leaves in the fall are just amazing. I did not know this tree had fruit, kinda cool. I was worried last year as the nursery that planted my tree was not sure that it would survive. By the time I had my tree delivered from the time I had chosen it, it had grown enough to be considered a 80 mm instead of a 70 mm. 80 mm trees should be planted using a spade for more depth. I crossed my fingers all winter and looks like the tree has come trough quite nicely. Cheers
Congratulations on your new tree, Alain. It sounds like it's doing well! Those little red buds are red maple flowers. Here in New Jersey, they're the first sign of spring! --Julie

Fri Apr 14, 2006: Lydia, in Milford, PA, writes about the purple leaf plum:
Hi, I have this tree and I love it. I think it's beautiful and it has grown a lot. I built my home in 1987 and I purchased the tree right about the same time. It is very strong and it doesn't drop. I don't remember it ever drooping. It doesn't give fruit every year but when it does they are nice and clean and the bees do not come around. At least, I have never seen any. I didn't know they were plums at first. I am very happy with this tree and I would buy it again.
Thanks for the letter, Lydia. Glad to hear that not everyone has a problem with the plum tree! --Julie

Thur Apr 13, 2006: Dot, in Maryland, writes:
Hi, I live in the Maryland area and I have an Eastern redbud tree that was planted in the fall. It is now mid April and there are no blooms or any sign of blooms. I broke off a branch it looks green a little dry but green. I just don't know why it is not blooming any flowers? Any suggestions :)
Thanks Dot
Dear Dot: It's a good sign that there's green in the branch you broke off. Be patient. The redbud trees here are just now beginning to bloom. Sometimes it takes new trees a while to get established. Your new tree may not bloom at all this year, and in fact, may not bloom for several years. Redbud trees like water. Dig down in the dirt with your finger about six inches. If it's dry there, give the tree a slow soak with the water hose. If you don't see any leaves in the next month, I'd call the nursery. Good luck! --Julie

Tue Apr 11, 2006: Lisa in Burlington, Ontario, Canada, writes:
Hi Julie, well I am so happy to see that you have started a blog because I wanted to tell you thanks for your wonderful website. I visit it often (especially in the winter) and dream about what my newly planted garden will one day look like. You take beautiful pictures and your passion for gardening is contagious. Also, your tips and tree knowledge has been very helpful. I look forward to seeing what 2006 brings your lovely yard. Now if our trees here in Canada would just catch up.....Sincerely, Lisa
Thanks, Lisa. Always nice to hear from a long-time visitor, especially since my new site only went "live" last week! (I'm happy to know you found the new one!) Funny thing is: my yard is really not all that lovely. Actually, the grass looks horrible. Too much shade! I love it anyway, but I'm always cleaning up dirt in the house from the kids' shoes. Cheers!--Julie

Tue Apr 11, 2006: Carter, in Zone 5, writes:
Hi Julie, I am so impressed, just when I thought you already had the best tree site out there you took it up a notch - tree freaks unite!
Wow Carter! Thanks!

Tue Apr 11, 2006: Song, in Plano, TX, writes:
Julie, Very nice website. I enjoyed very much by checking out the growth of your October Glory Red Maple and Red Sunset Maple.

I live in Plano, TX 75024, at the boundary of zone 7 and zone 8. I planted a October glory red maple this spring and the leaves already come out now. I noticed your comments on the October Glkory and Red Sunset. You have noticed an issue of surface roots of October Glory even it is still a baby. Have you ever seen the same problem from the Red Sunset? Based on your opinion, which one is a better red maple cultiver? How far away from your house foundation are your October Glory and Red Sunset planted? Is your Red Sunset is more closer to your house?

If necessary, I need to take some actions to avoid any potential issues to the house foundation and lawn growth. My October glory is planted ~25ft away from the house. Any advice? please let me know.

Thanks and best regards
Song, What a beautiful name! Congratulations on your new trees. Yes, surface roots are a problem here with my red maples. I don't notice it so much with the Red Sunset because it's in my side yard. It wouldn't matter so much if it had surface roots because nobody walks or plays over there. But yeah, in general, I wouldn't plant a tall red maple shade tree like the cultivars we're talking about too close to a house. They will spread 40 feet at maturity, so you want the distance from the tree to your house to be minimum 20 feet. For safety sake, I'd double that: 40 feet. (But you have some wiggle room here, so you could probably plant one of these trees 30 feet from the house.) Still, surface roots might not be as much of an issue where you live. Ask around to your neighbors, or go out looking for mature red maples and see if there are surface root problems. Good luck. I hope this answers your question.--Julie

Mon Apr 10, 2006: Eric, in Round Rock, TX, writes:
Julie, I came across your site about a year and a half ago when I was searching for information on October Glory Red Maples. I enjoy seeing and reading about your trees. You have inspired me to take many pics of the trees I have planted at my new house over the last 2 years, at least I know I'm not the only person who enjoys watching trees grow!
Eric, Thanks for checking out my new site. Thanks for the letter! I'm so happy to hear I inspired you to take pictures. When's your diary site coming????
Good luck with your trees! --Julie

Mon Apr 10, 2006: Jeff in Huntsville, AL, writes:
I just planted 3 new trees in my front yard and I found your website while looking for tree info. I enjoyed your site. I planted a pink flowering dogwood, a redbud, and a purple leaf plum. I planted a Yoshino Cherry a few years back. I hope they all thrive in their new locations. Again, your tree diary was very fun. Thanks.

Jeff, in Huntsville, AL
Thanks for writing, Jeff. Good luck with your trees. Take pictures! ; )

Sat Apr 8, 2006: Here's my first letter to my new site! Thanks, Caren!
Julie, I just want to say I have been reading your web site for the last half hour and have enjoyed it thoroughly. I'm very interested in trees, and your descriptions and photos -- and humor -- were a delight to read. I started out wanting to know what my new October Glory is expected to look like (your day by day photos from last year were fantastic), and I wound up learning not to buy a plum. I think I'd still buy a pear tree, though, despite your warnings, because I love the way they flower in the spring and yet have nice fall foliage (I've never smelled a tree that smelled like South Street Seaport).

I live in Central Jersey, too, in Ocean Grove.

Anyway, thanks.
Dear Caren, Thanks for the letter! Feel free to come on over and smell my roses, er um, pear blossoms! --Julie