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tree landscaping

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by BowtieBlazer, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. BowtieBlazer

    BowtieBlazer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    What factors should be considered when planting potentially large trees in a yard?

    I just removed two small trees (10ft or less), maple and chinese elm from a spot in my yard where my new shop is going. Small lot 75x145 1600sqft house on it.

    With my limited space now having this 20x30 shop I was hoping for a shade tree, something to keep shade on the shop and partially on the house in the AM and yard shade for the mid day sun.

    I would really like to plant an oak or something similar, there are many native species in the neighborhood that thrive.

    Things I have considered:
    1)We have underground utilities so I am aiming to keep away from there incase of maint work
    2)proximity to the closest slab
    3)full grown size and the space coverage in proximity to surrounding lots
    4)all of the above and the orientation of the rising sun

    Never had any landscaping classes nor do I profess to having a flowing yard of beauty. I just know what I am after. What other things should I consider? I plan on trying to seed acorns and let it go from there.
  2. Rtom45

    Rtom45 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 456

    Go for it. From your post it sounds like you've done some planning and this isn't just a whim. Keep in mind that it will be many years until an oak tree matures, so the potential for a full size tree to cause problems is minimal. Protect your seedlings from squirrels, pets, and deer. Also careless lawn mowers and string trimmers. Good luck!
  3. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Well, you have concidered the right things. Just remember Oaks are slow growing tree's if you need shade in your lifetime you won't get it by planting an acorn.
    20' to 35' tall for Louisiana- I have
    Strawberry Tree
    Lemon Bottlebrush
    Judus Tree
    American Smoke Tree
    Common Fig
    Possum Haw
    Austrailian Tea tree
    YellowCucumber Tree
    Oyama & Wilson Magnolia
    Crab Apple
    Common Olive
    Up to you to research about invasive root systems. I classified by height here only.
    There are many other tree's you can plant there as well. I suggest you contact your extention service for a full list of tree's grown in your area.
  4. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,190

    You might want to rethink the start from seed thing.......
  5. phototropic1

    phototropic1 LawnSite Member
    from MS
    Posts: 118

    I'd suggest a Sycamore. They are fast growing (quick shade), are found in abundance in your neck of the woods, and have very attractive bark and overall form. Some people dislike them for their large leaves that blanket everything in the fall. They also make a bit of a mess with their seeds. Keep in mind that all trees have their drawbacks as well as their advantages. It really depends on who you ask and where you are as to whether a tree is any good or not. Another tree that I like and is a fast grower and native to your area is Tulip Poplar. Both Sycamores and Tulip Polars are long-lived trees. I would say that oaks are nicer trees in the long, long run, but you'll wait for them to cast that shade. Willow Oaks are probably the nicest (in my opinion) relatively fast growing oak and they are readily available in nurseries. I'm partial to Live Oaks, but they are slow to grow and may have a broader canopy than your yard can handle.
    Whatever you choose, good luck.
    Oh, since you're in Baton Rouge, check in the LSU library for books about planting local trees. LSU has good horticulture and landscape architecture programs and I'd assume the library has tons of reading material in this area.
  6. BowtieBlazer

    BowtieBlazer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    I have begun a good bit of research here lately about oaks at LSU. I am partial to live oaks as well. Although they are such slow growers I favor an oak over most trees for their tolerance to our stormy seasons, hurricanes, especially live oaks. Look at biloxi and other places that caught major surges, live oaks were most of whats left. I dont expect storm surge but I do expect to not have limbs down every high wind event. A friend of mine has a pin oak that started as a seedling and seems like in the past 6-7years its coming along well at about 12ft tall. I know thats short for some trees like river berch and such but its progress.

    My first set of acorns, a squirrel had dug up within a day. I decided to try saplings now and start them off in soft soil until they reach about a foot in height and then transplant them once I know they are healthy.
  7. phototropic1

    phototropic1 LawnSite Member
    from MS
    Posts: 118

    I like Pin Oaks. I assume you are referring to Quercus palustris when you say Pin Oak. Some people commonly call Quercus phellos a Pin Oak. Q. phellos is actually Willow Oak. It has small narrow leaves much like a willow tree. The Pin Oak has larger, lobed leaves. In my experience, there are a couple of better choices than Pin Oak (Q. palustris), though Pin Oak is nice too. Shumard Oaks are quite nice. Their leaves are much like Pin Oaks. I've always had good fall color with them and they grow relatively quickly for an oak. Also, Quercus nuttallii, the Nuttall Oak is a good one that is similar to Shumard.
  8. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Uhhhhh ok then and you are welcome for me taking the time to type out all those suggestions for you when you obviously have already made up your mind.

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