I know almost nothing about plants n trees,,, except that I like them a lot. :D* I just bought a place that has apple, pecan, cherry, blueberry, fig,,, a variety of oaks, pines, magnolia, holly, and a slew of who-knows-what.* I want to start caring for these plants the right way and was hoping to find a friend on a forum that can kinda guide me along whenever I have a question pop up.* Any takers?:)
My most immediate question has to do with peach and pear trees.* My birthday is coming up and I had told everyone to get me peach n pear trees if they feel they have to get me anything.* So, guess what...* The next day my girlfriend shows up with peach n pear trees. :shock:* So, I have 2 peach and 2 pear trees in bags on the porch (enclosed)*and I'm not sure where or how to plant them.* They are Elberta Peach and Cleveland Select Pear.* I'm in Northwest Georgia and the last couple of days have been nice (high in the 70's and lows in the 40's), but a few days ago it was 30 at night with plenty of frost.* I'm not entirely convinced the cold weather is gone.* Should I plant them anyway?* Is morning sun or evening sun better?* How long can I wait before planting?* How long will they live in those bags?* I hear the Cleveland Select trees stink, is that true?* How big do I have to make the holes?* Anything else I need to know?
Last year the frost killed all the fruit and what the frost didn't get, the drought finished off.* There was not one piece of fruit found on any tree last year.* (Plenty of blackberries though - I think blackberries would survive nuclear winter).* Hopefully this year will be better.
Congratulations on your new home!* We can try and help you with your questions.* You will have to do alot of reading, and it takes time to learn about plants, but over time you will find you learn something new every day.* I've been gardening for over 25 years and still keep learning.* :)
Since you will have alot of questions it will be helpful for you to add your location and hardiness zone to your location in your profile.* That way it will show under your name (like mine) and we won't have to try and remember or ask you each time you have a question that might pertain to your hardiness zone.* Since you are in NW Georgia I suspect you are in zone 7, like me.* Here's a zone map of Georgia and a zip code zone finder.
You need to plant your trees.* If you were to get a hard freeze you risk the roots getting damaged if they aren't insulated.* You mentioned that the trees are in bags so I'm thinking they are small and the entire tree fits in a tall paper bag, but you don't say if the roots are potted or b&b (balled and burlap).* One thing you could do is take them out of the bags, especially if they are plastic) and place them on the ground.* Then cover the pot or rootball with a bag of mulch for each tree.* That will insulate the roots and keep them moist.* Here's how to plant, mulch and water your trees as well as more info on trees.* When you plant make sure the rootflare isn't buried.* It could even be buried before you plant.* These first two sites have info on what to look for.
If you have alot of newly planted trees to keep watered you should find this helpful, especially with the drought you have been experiencing.
Peach trees are the most difficult of all fruit trees to care for as they are prone to the most pests and diseases.* Here's info on your fruit trees including how to prune your older ones on the property.* Lots to read but save them for future reference.* They aren't in any particular order.* Sorry about that.
Why fruit trees fail to bear fruit:
Organic fruit production for Georgia.
This might help with those blackberries.
How and when to prune trees.* This first site has the best pics.
I know that's alot of info and you may not like all the sites.* Save the ones you like.* I have my bookmarks saved in categories such as:
Don't hesitate to ask more questions.* It's alot of reading and I may have missed something, so ask away!
Thanks Newt!* That's a lot of reading for sure!* I'll try to start chipping away at that list tonight, but I'm starting to stress a little over the trees sitting out there not in the ground yet.* The trees are about 5-6 ft tall and the roots are in green plastic bags.* I guess I should have said that before, oops.
Yep, I'm in zone 7 (Murray county).
I have 3 huge willow oak trees and my house is right under them.* Awesome shade in the summer keeps the house nice n cool, but also casts shade over about 2 acres about as efficiently.* The 3 trees are in a line from north to south.* And did I mention they are HUGE???* Anyway, most of my fruit trees are to the east of my house.* Once the sun is past 20-30 degrees high noon, the shade starts to cover all the trees.* So, I have a choice...* I can plant the peaches to the east with the rest of the fruits.* There it will get morning sun and evening shade.* Or I can plant to the west where it will be the opposite.* Or I can plant out in the middle of a big field to get all day sun, but I really don't want to do that if I can avoid it.* What do you think?
For the pears I was thinking to the west out next to the road.* There they will add curb appeal and I can easily mow the invasiveness down.* I've heard the pears are kinda tough and it almost doesn't matter where I plant them.* I've also heard they smell like sewage, so I want them far from the house and the fruits.* Does that sound about right to you?
Thanks again!* Oh, I have some questions about the willow oaks too... Should I start a new thread?
Randy, you are very welcome!* As to the trees you have on the porch, the greatest concern is the watering of the roots, potential for a hard freeze and lack of sunlight.* Speaking of sunlight, I never did address your questions on that and will.* Do be sure you read the transplanting section for these trees before you plant.* When you plant you will need to remove the plastic and any twine that is synthetic as that won't decompose.* Be sure the roots don't dry out.* Give them the sunniest place you can as these trees need full sun to bloom and produce fruit.* It would be best to plant them as soon as you can, especially if they are in shade.* You don't want them to get sunburned when you plant them in a sunnier position.
Full sun - 6 hours or more
Part sun - 4 to 6 hours
Part shade - 2 to 4 hours
Shade - 2 hours or less of sun
Here's another site you might want to keep for future reference.* It doesn't have pretty pictures, but gives loads of helpful info on many trees, including mature height and width as well as info on leaf litter, surface roots that might lift sidewalks and driveways and some helpful pest and disease info in brief.* YOu can look up trees by sceintific or common name.
I don't know if your willow oaks have been pruned over the years, but since you say they are directly over the house, you might want to consider investing on having a certified arborist take a look at them to see if they need to be pruned.* Too much shade over a roof will retain moisture on the roof and shorthen the life of the shingles.* Been there, lived that!* Proper pruning will also allow for better air circulation for these densely limbed trees which will give them stronger structure and help keep insects and disease at bay.* Here's some info on these trees.
As to where to plant your fruit trees.* These trees will do best with full sun, so I'm thinking that the western exposure would be best.* You can always do a google search using either their scientific names (best way to go), or their common names.* Clicking on 'Images' will often give you pictures of the different stages of growth.
Pear trees are famous for being weak limbed, especially the ornamental pear which is what you have, so site them so the limbs won't fall where you don't want them.* Just to help clarify things, you have a Callery pear with the variety being 'Cleveland Select'.* It's an ornamental and not an edible fruit bearing tree, though it will have fruits that are invasive in the environment.* It's scientific name is Pyrus calleryana 'Cleveland Select' and is probably one of the better choices if you must have an ornamental pear.* As to the odor, I've heard from some people that the ornamentals have an unpleasant odor, but my neighbor had one (Bradford pear which is also a callery pear) on the border of our properties and it never smelled badly.* I think it depends on the individual tree, though the Cleveland is supposed to not have a smell at all. I think it depends on the individual tree. Keep in mind that you don't have a fruiting pear, it's an ornamental and won't give you edible fruit.* You can always do a google search with terms like:
Pear 'Cleveland Select' + odor
Pear 'Cleveland Select' + smell
Pyrus calleryana 'Cleveland Select' + smell
and so on...
I will say that the Bradford pear my neighbor had has since been removed.* My hubby was outside cleaning up the yard one afternoon when there was no wind.* He heard a loud cracking noise above his head.** He looked up just in time to step aside as a huge limb came crashing down.* That tree was there when I moved in 20 years ago and had been pruned by an arborist from time to time.* They can be unpredictable as to limb breakage even when properly cared for.* If that large limb had hit him, it could have put him in the hospital or even worse.* You might find this helpful.
From this site with some of the results and the conclusions what you really want to read.
The main differences found among the cultivars 6 to 9 years after transplanting were in trunk diameters, heights, and width of crowns (Table 1). Aristocrat™ was largest in diameter at breast height (dbh), and ‘Cleveland Select’ and ‘Whitehouse’ were smallest but sturdy enough.
Callery pear cultivars that grew well and remained healthy at several locations through the ninth year after transplanting included Aristocrat, ‘Cleveland Select’, and ‘Redspire’. Others that can be recommended based on less extensive evaluations are ‘Autumn Blaze’, ‘Capital’, Cleveland Pride®, and Valiant. ‘Bradford’ also performed well at 1 location, where it has not yet suffered limb breakage that has occurred frequently elsewhere.
Several cultivars have narrow crowns or lower mature heights that commend them for restricted spaces, for example under utility wires or near buildings. ‘Autumn Blaze’ apparently will not grow as tall as the others. ‘Cleveland Select’ and ‘Whitehouse’ have narrow crowns, but the latter has suffered foliage injuries and some twig dieback."
You might also want to read the comments in the box at the bottom of the page here.
If I didn't answer your questions about the willow oaks, it would probably be best to start a new topic.
Wow, limbs falling???* How big do these things get?
The roof is right under the trees, but luckily I was a roofer for 10yrs and the roof needs to be changed anyway.* It does have a healthy coat of green stuff growing on it too.* I'm waiting for a kitchen add-on before I replace the roof.* My main question about the oaks is how much longer will they live?* If those trees die, I think I would just about want to move.* I love those trees.* There are a lot of roots sticking up above the ground due to errosion, but I'm planning to cover all them with a good load of dirt soon.
I'm still in the process of reading all those links, but in the mean time I thought I would post some pics.
Here's the blueberies in 2006.* In 2007... nothing.
Apples in 2006.* 2007.... nothing.
This is how big the willow oaks are.* This pics was taken from the east side and it where I'd like to plant the peaches.
Another pic of the willow oaks.
Randy, sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you. Hopefully you have had an opportunity to read through some of the links I gave you.
You said, "Wow, limbs falling???* How big do these things get?"* I'm thinking you are referring to the Cleveland pear.* They get about 30' to 35' tall with a spread of 12' to 20'.* Do a google with terms such as:
Pear 'Cleveland Select'
Pyrus calleryana 'Cleveland Select'
and click on 'Images' for a selection of pics.* Of course you can also look at the web pages for info on the trees.* Try and find university sites or extension service sites.* They will generally have more info.* Take a look at these.* At the first site there is a scroll bar to the right of the description box.* I almost missed it.* The second site has very interesting comments in the box at the bottom.
Your pics are fantastic and are very helpful.* I can see why you love those oaks.* Glad to know you were a roofer and wish you were here!* I need a roof!* :shock:* You said, "I'm waiting for a kitchen add-on before I replace the roof."* I hope the construction won't be anywhere near the trees or their roots, which extend far beyond the outer dripline of their crown.* Take a look at these sites for avoiding damage to your trees due to construction.* It also lists how sensitive some trees are to root disturbance.* Willow oak is a red oak.
You asked, "My main question about the oaks is how much longer will they live?"* There are so many variables to the life of a tree.* The average life of a street tree is about 30 years.* Most fast growing trees tend to have a shorter lifespan.* Willow oaks are an exception as they tend to live a long time, about 80 years if the growing conditions are optimum.
With these trees so close to the house I can't stress enough the importance for you to have a visit from a certified arborist for evaluation of bad crotches, multiple leaders,etc.* Be sure to get references and check them.* You DO NOT want a guy with a pickup and a chainsaw for this.* Do read this.
You said, "There are a lot of roots sticking up above the ground due to errosion, but I'm planning to cover all them with a good load of dirt soon."* Oh no!!!* Please don't do that!*** :shock:* I'm hoping that by now you have read all about tree roots and know not to put more then a couple of inches of mulch around the base of the trees.* Those roots are surface roots that many trees form.* You risk smothering the tree if you pile lots of soil on them.
I hope that all helps.
I don't know if you have any questions about roofing, but I'll throw some stuff out there anyway because you're helping me so much.* If you're interested in having your roof last as long as possible, find a small crew,,, maybe 1 or 2 guys that work well together.* The job may take longer to do, but the odds of the job being done right goes up with less people.* The best thing to do is drive around a new housing development and find someone working for a builder who might be interested in a side-job.* You'll save at least 30% in cost right off the bat by hiring a sub rather than a contrator.* When I was sub-contracting, I got 1/3 of the money, the company got 1/3, and the shingle supplier got 1/3.* Don't be confused by warranties.* Its all pro-rated anyway like car batteries and I've never heard of anyone filing a claim.* Owens Corning makes the best shingles in my opinion.* Laminate shingles will outlast 3-tab designs and the roofer would rather lay the laminate anyway, so he will probably push you in that direction.* The laminate shingles have a little white line on them indicating where the nail should go.* 99% of roofers out there will miss the line by an inch or more and not care.* That voids the warranty and leaves the roof vulnerable to wind damage.* Find out how well the roofer hits that white line and ask him what it will take to make him be sure he does hit the line.* The less layers you have on your house, the longer the roof will last (most building codes limit you to 2 layers anyway).* Keeping them cool is the key, so don't forget ventilation.* Too much ventilation will suck snow into the atic...* I've seen that a few times.* Whatever the cfm of the soffit, you want the roof to be less.* The fall is the best time to get a new roof.* The sun is the enemy of asphault and since the sun shines less in the fall, its like a free 6 months of roof life.* Also the roofers are cooler and happier to work since its not so hot.* And they don't scar the shingles as much walking of the sun baked roof with their boots.* Winter is no good because the shingles won't seal in the cold.* And the roofers are unhappy because its so cold.* Let me know if there are any questions.
Ok, back to trees....** Well, I'm not sure how long willow oaks will live now.* I've been told on another forum that they live 200-300 yrs and mine are about 60-80 now.* So, I have a good 100 yrs left at least.* In any case, back in 1980 they built a garage next to one of these big trees.* I assume they cut a lot of roots digging the foundation to the garage.* The tree lived.* Then I came along in fall of 06 and dug the dirt floor out and poured a concrete floor.* In the process, I cut lots of roots.* Then, last fall I dug 2 trenches out the back of the garage 12 ft long when I was planning to add on to the garage.* In the process, I cut out some big roots.* Since posting this I've looked at the drip line and I think most of the digging I did is outside that line, but its close.* I've called the only certified arborist listed in the phone book.* I talked to his wife who said she would relay the mesage, but I haven't heard anything yet.* Maybe I'll keep calling and buggin them.* I guess he must be busy in the spring time.* I really do need someone who knows what they're doing to come take a walk with me.* I have LOTS of questions and LOTS of trees....* About 12 acres of trees.
The roots that are above ground are there because me and my friends have been driving over top of them and the dirt blows away in the wind.* Plus, the rain carries away the dirt because the leaves and grass is not there to hold it anymore.* Shouldn't I put that dirt back?* I have read that roots need to breathe, but they also need dirt too, right?* Or no?* And I'm worried they will be damaged by driving over them all the time.
Randy, I can't tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to share all that with me about a roof.* * But, now you've started something!* I hadn't thought of laminated shingles.* So now more research.* I have a small ranch similar to yours, but the attached garage has a flat roof.* The problems started with the trees overhanging the south facing roof and holding in the moisture. What you see in this pic is the front, which faces due north.* Sadly, the trees in the back had to be removed. *:( * There is only one gable end vent and soffit vents.* We intend to add a ridge vent as we've had ice bits drip from the roof deck in the attic.* It's strange sounding at night when all is quiet and you hear the bits of ice hit the attic floor!
As to the roofer, we are probably going to go with a young man and his brother.* They actually live quite a way from here, but they did my daughter and sil's roof and deck and did a great job.* My sil is construction savvy and highly recommended them.* We've had estimates that run from, 'Oh my, that's cheap', to 'Heavens, we can't afford that!'
We really can't wait for fall as there is a leak that really needs tending to.* We also are going to have to rewire the house (aluminum wire) and don't want the electrician to sweat to death in the summer.* Then there's more with a new garage door and opener, new driveway, new sidewalk and the list goes on.* You know how that is.
Ok, so back to trees.* Willow oak can live a very long time, but that would be with optimum growing conditions.* Cutting roots and driving over them are really not optimum, as you've guessed.* Trees can become stressed from compacted soil and will often deteriorate slowly.* You should tell the arborist the history of the trees that you've told me.* He* might suggest aerating the soil around the root zone, so don't be surprised.* He might even recommend a mycorrhizal aka mycorrhizae treatment.* Go for it if he does and you want to save the trees.* If he recommends fertilizing, my gut reaction is that you don't need it unless your trees are chlorotic (leaves are yellowing in summer).* Fertilizing a tree can cause a flush of growth that will attract insect pests.* I would suggest you wait to add any soil or mulch until he sees the trees.* I would recommend a soil test from the area around the trees.* You might want to do this before he gets there.* You can get an inexpensive one from your local extension service.* Be sure to see if you can get one for mycorrhizae.
You are probably wondering how I know all this about trees.* I hang around a couple of arborist forums and have learned much from them.* Here's a couple of interesting conversations.* Much of it may be over your head, as some of it is for me, but it's interesting.
Edward Gilman is mentioned in the first thread.* He's well respected in the industry and is at the University of Florida.* I use the info from his site alot and have already given you 3 or 4 links from him.* They all have 'hort.ifas.ufl.edu' in the link.* Here's more links from him you may find helpful.* Read the first 6 under 'A' here.
Then read this.
I know I keep giving you links to read, but I truly feel they are very helpful.* Don't hesitate to keep asking questions.* Thank you again for the info on the roof.
Its no problem to help.* I've been out of the business long enough that I get an ich every now n then.* :D*
Yeah, it looks like your roof is on the rapidly*declining phase of its life (where many of*the gravels have washed away an have exposed*some of the asphault)*.* I believe all of owens corning shingles are alga resistent (AR) now.* That means the gravels are hollow and filled with some type of copper compound.* Copper kills alga.* You can also tack copper strips to the top of the roof just under the caps and ridge vent.* The water will drip off the 1/8 inch ledge made by the caps and land on the copper strip then carry the copper down the roof.
There is a formula to calculate the right amount of cfm of ridgevent to cfm of soffit, but I can't remember what it is right now....* and the*gable vent complicates things.* I'm sure*we can find it somewhere online or a call to the manufacturer though.* Ridgevent is especially bad about sucking in snow because its a straight shot into the house.* Regular ole*louvre vents have bends the air needs to negotiate.* I've seen stacks of snow a foot tall or more sitting right on top of the pink insulation. :shock:* Back in 1995 I was sub-contracting and did a group of 2-unit condos.* We used corrogated ridge vent along*the whole length of*the ridges to make it look good.* The next winter there was a pile of snow in the attic.* An engineer from the ridge vent company came out and solved the problem by supplying replacement vents that were half as thick.* I had to go back over all those condos and replace the vents.* That wasn't fun, even though I was paid because it wasn't my mistake.
If my house had a section of flat roof like yours, I would build it up so it had slope.* The years have made me cringe whenever I see a flatroof.* There was a time when I refused to take jobs that had flatroofs because I knew a leak wasn't far enough down the road.* As far as I know, the material warranty for flatroofs is only 10yrs or less*unless you pile gravels on top like commercial roofs.* Pretty much anything oil based will only last about 10yrs under the sun.
I started my roofing career in Ohio.* When I moved back down to GA, my grandpa presented me with his flatroof porch that was attached to the house just*like your garage.* He hired every roofer in town over the last 20 yrs to fix the leak on the porch.* Nobody could stop the leak for more than a couple of months or so.* This was one problem I HAD to solve the first time around or I'd be no better than the average Joe with a pickup and a hammer.* So, we found a guy that could track down a roll of EPDM that was 20ft wide and 50ft long (not easy to do considering nobody had ever seen the stuff before - small town).* Its basically a gigantic roll of tire innertube. * Then we got some 2x4's and enough sheets of 7/16 OSB to add a wee bit of slope to the roof.* Luckily, he had a metal roof put on over the shingled roof, so we just unscrewed the metal roof and unrolled a 20x30 sheet of rubber from the peak to the end of the flat roof, and then put the metal roof back on.* The only way that roof will leak is if someone gets up there and cuts a hole in it.* Unfortunately, the rubber will only last 10yrs or so.* But at 84yrs old, he is betting the roof lasts longer than he does. :(
Metal roofing is all the rage here (non-union*south = out of owens corning's control).* Metal roofing has something like a 100yr warranty and 50yrs on the paint.* :shock:* But I don't like the looks of it and would rather put*a couple of*shingled roofs on instead of 1 metal roof.**I might regret that*30yrs from now.* :D
I've learned a lot about engines from reading on forums.* So I figure if you know about trees what I know about engines you certainly would qualify as an arborist. ;)
After reading a fair amount of articles,*I have it in my head that fertilizer is something rarely used....?* I don't know, but that's what I've been getting.* One thing I can tell ya that might give a clue about the dirt...* I planted grass under the trees last fall.* The grass was so-so til I dumped ashes from my woodburning stove in my spreader and dusted all the places that had new grass.* In the next couple of weeks I noticed the grass was thicker and greener.* I don't know if that had anything to do with the ashes or if the sun was just out longer each day.* But it seemed like something else to do instead of just dumping the ashes in a pile.* It seems like I've heard ashes are good sometimes.
I hope I can*persuade the arborist to come out.* I don't think he wants to take my money just to walk around though. :?* I'll call again mon or tues.
Here's a pic of the roots.* It wasn't this way when I moved in aug of 06.*
Ever seen a tree eat*a license plate?* You can see it says Peach State at the top.*
Randy, sorry for the delay in answering you.* I thought I had and was going through my mail and realized I hadn't.* :?* Thanks again so much for the roof advice. We have considered putting on a pitched roof to the garage.* One winter we had 3' of snow in one storm and several folks that have this style house had the roofs cave in from the load!* My son just happened to be visiting and was able to get up on the roof to shovel it off.* I'm not a fan of flat roofs either.* The jury is still out on that.
I did do some searching on ridge vents after the info you gave me and will definately go with the one with a baffle.* I didn't bother to calculate but there is info out there. Once we get the estimate I'll do a bit more research.
You said, "After reading a fair amount of articles, I have it in my head that fertilizer is something rarely used....?"* I'm thinking we are still referring to trees.* I agree with what you've been reading as I'm hearing the same.* Unless a soil test is done and the tree shows particular signs of stress, it's often unnecessary.
You mention using wood ash under the trees.* DO BE CAREFUL with it as it acts like lime and can change the pH of your soil.* Grass isn't meant to be grown under trees.* It competes with the tree for moisture and nutrients and often requires more water then the tree needs.*
I hope the arborist comes too.* They usually charge for a consult, so be prepared.
The picture of the roots made me cringe.**:shock:* Are those the ones that you've been driving over?* That poor tree!
I loved the picture of the license plate growing out of the tree.* I've even seen a bicycle growing in a tree.*
This one really hurts.
Here's some weird trees.
I'd love to know what the arborist has to say.* I sure hope he comes.