'Planting' a tree branch ?

mommyandme2November 13, 2011

Some tree trimming has been done in my neighborhood & the live oak limbs have been stacked by the side of the road. I'd like to bring one home and "plant" it. Should I prop it up in a very large pot filled with rocks ? Or, should I pot it up in concrete ? I have successfully "planted" copper pipe in concrete & pvc pipe in rocks, but I'm not sure which way to go with wood. How long will it last before it rotten ? Or gets eaten by termites ? We are in extreme south Texas. We get very little rain, but when we get it, it's torrential. Termites are abundant. I don't plan to hang anything heavy from it. If I could get 5 years out of my "tree", I'd be pleased. Which way should I go ? Concrete or rocks ? - Laura

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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

I'm in NH so I dont know what to tell you. Sounds like a great idea tho. Would concrete discourage the termites? Maybe you could run it up the trunk a bit.
Have fun and post pics!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 5:43PM
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I've potted them up in concrete to use as bottle trees, my last one went 4 years before it broke. But it was a dead branch when I started with it.

My current one was a tall freshly cut burning bush, we'll see how long that lasts.

I just "planted" a big osage orange branch in my "Halloween" theme garden, just packed it in with lots of rock, tamped down hard. It should last a while, couple of years at least until I change the theme of the garden. Osage orange is very hard and takes a long time to rot.

Concrete probably helps keep it from rotting and insects and definitely helps keep it upright and in the ground. I just filled a three gallon nursery pot that I dug into the ground, with Quickcrete and set the branch in it, propping it up straight with some big rocks until the concrete set well enough to hold it up.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 9:23PM
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nmgirl(8 S.NM)

Don't stick it in the ground with rocks or concrete. Use rocks in a pot that has good, no, excellent drainage. You want to keep as much air circulation as possible around the branch. Concrete holds moisture and won't discourage termites. They'll like the security it offers too.
If possible cut the branch base flat and attach a couple of pieces of wood crosswise, like they used to do with Christmas trees. Or hammer in some loooong nails, screw in long screws, anything you can come up with that would give a cross shaped base. This will help the branch stay upright by lessening wiggling and leaning and will also give you something to pile the rocks onto.
It will also help if the pot isn't in direct contact with the ground.
This technique has worked for me and we have lots of desert termites.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 9:17AM
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Every once in awhile, the creative part of my brain takes over & I forget my age & medical condition. The branch has been dragged home; all other activities for the day are cancelled !
Thanks for the input. I'll keep you posted with how it goes. - Laura

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 11:11AM
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Good luck mommyandme! I like your attitude ...it's good to forget age & medical stuff sometimes! LOL!

Here's what I do w/Curly Willow branches ...I just got my Winter Garden vignette ready here for the birds to perch on near the feeder & waterer. Old galvanized washtub on legs...I put branches in plastic flower pot filled w/sandy soil & wet it (so it will has some wet & will freeze later) ...painted the branches red ...cut pine branches & added a couple of my solar lights that are usually stuck in the ground. These branches will keep all Winter & I've had some Curly Willow stay outside a couple yrs now. So good luck! Jeanne S.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 11:56PM
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nmgirl(8 S.NM)

Very nice Jeanne!
I like the upside down pots. I do that in my garden, I like the shape. Some of my MG friends think I'm weird, "but they're upside down!". Linear thinkers....

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 11:19AM
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Jeanne: I think I need to clarify. You have "branches". I think what I've got is maybe a "limb". I've cut it back to about 6 feet tall. Today, I bought a very large pot. The lovely lady at HD volunteered to take $10 off because it was "scratched". I don't think I've ever seen a flower pot that wasn't scratched, but if she wanted to give me a discount, I was willing to accept! I've started to gather rocks, but it will probably take a couple of weeks for me to gather enough. I have to keep telling myself, "a little bit at a time". - Laura

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 11:49AM
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Sounds great, MM2...your limb sounds like a wonderful find...I don't know if a dead oak limb will last for 5 yrs but it should last for quite awhile. And 'a little bit at a time' is a good philosphy to heed to! Enjoy your project! Jeanne S.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 6:35PM
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This is Hysterical ! The tree trimmers stopped here, at our house, this afternoon. They took down several limbs that were leaning on our roof. This is a rental so we had no idea they were coming. If I had known, I wouldn't have dragged that other piece all the way home. - Laura

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 3:57PM
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