Shrubs my first garden post

baunleeAugust 13, 2013

I recently moved into a new home and I don't have a lot of money for plants, plus I love to recycle (go green!). I have been looking online with the thought of giving a home to someone's old plants or shrubs they want taken off their property.

I am just wondering if there is any point where a tree/shrub/anything plant like I will run across on craigslist might be too old to survive the transplant?

Such as with large shrubs would it also be unlikely for me to remove them with enough intact due to the extensive root structure?? (even if I have manpower to help?)

Thanks for answering my questions, any and all feedback is appreciated!
here is an example of a post I might want to respond to if you think that I could move it and the plant would also survive.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5


welcome ....

below where you type.. is where you can put a link.. to make it clickable ...

frankly.... those plants are not worth your labor to dig them up ...

those in particular are conifers .... to be precise about it...

let me state it this way ... you can buy a small version of those.. at bigboxstore for under 10 bucks.. would it be worth 5 hours of heavy labor.. to dig them out.. transport them... drag them across your yard.. and plant them.. with a 50% failure rate...

is that worth 10 bucks??? ... heck.. the gas .. and the beer for your worker bee.. will cost you more...

let me be clear.. few bargains.. end up such .. if you really understand what the cost will be ....

you should be looking for things that are easily rootable.. or which you can dig a sucker or two out from under ... forsythia and lilac come easily to mind ...

not some 35 year old.. older than grandpa bushes.. the even their owner doesnt want. ...


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 1:52PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

I agree with Ken, not worth it.
I wouldn't remove those shrubs, even if you paid me in beer. Even landscapers won't take em' out for free.
Those plants have been sheared for a long time. They have larger rootballs than first appears.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 2:20PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

This is often the time of year when you may find shrubs, trees, perennials on sale at your local nurseries. You can buy small and many will grow up pretty quickly (thinking five years to get to a decent size, 10 for closer to full size for some things- trees may take longer, although my Kousa dogwoods grew pretty fast). Gardeners are nothing if not patient and optimistic. :)

If you do buy now and live where it is hot, wait until fall to put your plants in the ground. I am zone 7 near Washington DC and I can plant into November usually. Keep new things watered (deeply rather than light frequent waterings) well.

Enjoy the adventure. Sounds like you are someone who might enjoy researching and planting native plants. You will be rewarded with birds and butterflies next year if you do! :)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 5:10PM
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jim_1 Zone 5B Illinois(5b)

I couldn't make the link work (I'm an old man and have some troubles with stuff like that). However, I will guess you are in western New York (where it hardly ever snows).

I sort of agree about not bothering with someone else's problem. There are some gardeners who don't ever want to waste anything, they will give away way too many things that should be completely gotten rid of.

However, I will disagree on one point. Don't do the big box stores. Go to your locally owned garden center. They know what they do and you keep the money in your community. When I go to my local garden center, they know me and they know what my likes are. I know them and have no problem with asking about what they might be getting in for stock in the future. I have already put in my requests for their spring buying of perennials. They will get what I need and only a few more. I will guarantee the sale. Begin your relationship now, they just might be willing to create some specials just for you.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 3:01PM
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I LOVE the idea about native species.
I have done some reading about it through google..but I don't know if anything I've found is a really good source.

I feel like I have a responsibility to nature in many ways but I don't want to get off topic on that. Point is, even though I am a young person I try to make it a central part of my family's life...Instead of just something that I take part in every other weekend. I am young and don't have children, we made a point to get a house with land in the country-ish (around 20 acres) there are many different trees here (I think) I would love to become better at identifying them. I would also love to learn about how I can best add to the biodiversity of my area. Every time I go outside I am cutting vines off of trees in the woods, sometimes things seem overwhelming. But what a joy it would be for me to have natural shrubs etc around the house. I have grown heirloom varieties in the past and growing up with 4H.. I really want to be able to live more off of my own environment but yet be making improvements in it at the same time. I got a hunting license last year and even though I am a girl last weekend I used a chainsaw for the first time! haha again I am getting off subject but if anyone has advice on how I can become a better 'nature ambassador' that would be awesome. Specifically I would love to learn about:

-wild species in my area or where I can find out about them.

-Wild species that people frequently can add to a diet (last year I learned about something called lambs ear and started adding it to my smoothies :)

- Seed exchange programs or non for profit seed sharing conservation groups (not sure if thats even a real thing)

I would love to use the property to add to biodiversity as well as saving some of these types of plants (and maybe eating some of them too). I recently had back surgery (ahead of the curve for a lot of things my age :( so I am going to keep things small in the veggie gardening department for the next year or so. I got a book called The Square Foot Gardener by Mel Bartholomew I think, so I might try that for my garden plans. But I would love to have native/wild species around the house.

A couple of days ago in the woods I think I found 2 wild pear trees, could you imagine such a thing! My friend found poision ivy and if anything I thank God that this is the one health problem I seem exempt from. And what a good thing that is because I don't know what I would do if I couldn't go in the woods, sometimes its all I have.

Anyways I found the pear tree in the woods, and then the apple tree in the front yard fell down. We just moved here a couple months ago, I think it is old farm land. There are some neglected cherry trees and a mulberry tree i think. There was an old couple living here before us, and I don't know who before them but the property is shockingly neglected in many ways. Which is not surprising because a house is hard enough to maintain not to mention the outdoors. I was cleaning up from the apple tree and my dog found a few snakes. I assume the toads were coming out to eat the flies around the apples (some began rotting) and then the snakes came out to eat the toads. Well just when the dogs were done with that snake I found another in the fallen limbs only it rose like a cobra and its neck puffed out and it started hissing. I was like what in the heck. I screamed so loud I'm sure my neighbors think I'm some sort of crazy person, or at least ironic. Part of why I like living out here is because there arent any poisonous snakes or spiders, but it was a hognose snake that I found out later on google. Then the other day I was doing yardwork and I found this snake eating a toad. I HATe snakes but it was still cool. I'm only adding this photo because this is such a random tangent of a post already so why not. See if you can spot the hidden 'thing'

Anyways any answers to my questions or insight you have is appreciated! Or personal advice from your own gardening that you wish you knew years ago. I really wish I had a mentor that could teach me more about wildlife/nature in general. Unfortunately my mom only taught me about vanity gardening such as annuals and etc.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 12:04PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

A couple of days ago in the woods I think I found 2 wild pear trees, could you imagine such a thing!

==>>> yes i can.. as the bradford pear is a seriously invasive species ... and every single one you ever find.. should be killed ...

i didnt read your whole life theory ...

but do understand.. that things that pop up.. where they are NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ... are warning you ... that they are NOT friendly plants ... and moving one to your yard.. may end up problematic

i hope you didnt expect us to answer all your questions above.. if i/we .. where inclined to do so.. we would just write the book ...

come back often.. if you have more precise questions ...

and perhaps one of the first things you ought to think about.. learn ... is why there are forums for.. trees... of which the pear is.. shrubs ... conifers.. etc ... and dont forget the fruit forum ....

everything out there isnt a shrub ... and learning the words.. to facilitate the learning.. is .. IMHO.. the best place to start ...

good luck

and have fun learning ..

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 3:05PM
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IMHO ken is kind of rude/stuck up.

CHILL out man. I can ask whatever question however vague I want. If you don't have anything to contribute besides a snotty opinion then whatever man but I don't really care. You said yourself you didn't read the whole post yet take the time to put in your 2cents. I would encourage you to stay away from the keyboard if you don't have anything substantial or positive to say.

Obviously if the thread started out about fruit trees I would have put that in some sort of forum but that wasn't my original intent. The conversation evolved about fruit on a side note because someone else mentioned different kinds of native plants. I don't know why I'm justifying this to you anyways because you obviously are a self righteous stuck up jerk...good luck to YOU

This post was edited by baunlee on Sat, Oct 19, 13 at 18:04

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 6:01PM
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baunlee, ken is one of the most generous and frequent posters on this forum, among others, and while his tone can sometimes be a little disconcerting, it is ALWAYS meant with kindness.......and I suggest you take it as such.

When you pose questions that have been answered or addressed previously literally thousands of times or are so vague as to be truly unanswerable, you can expect to get some off the wall responses. If ken's response offended you that much, then you may need to grow a set :-) Wild pears are not wild (at least to the US) but escaped from civilization and tend for the most part to be invasive pests - not cool and generally not even edible.

While I commend your interest in native plants, I suggest you do some thorough research on them. Plants found growing in natural areas are not always the pears. And just because a plant is a native species, that does not mean it cannot pose its own set of difficulties, like disease or pest problems, weak wood, an aggressive growth habit, etc. Some native plants are just not at all well-suited to a cultivated garden - they are messy-looking, spread or thicket voraciously and can be hosts for diseases and pests. IOW, not all native plants necessarily provide habitat for desirable wildlife :-)

One program you could investigate is the Audubon Society's Backyard Wildlife Habitat. Learning the steps necessary to qualify for a backyard wildlife habitat and the plants (not all natives!!) to include could go a long way in helping you achieve your goals.

As for where to get additional info on natives or seed exchanges, etc., try your regional forum - these concepts are rather location specific. And get in touch with your county extension service - they are typically a great resource for classes, associations, other educational programs that will expand your knowledge base.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 7:06PM
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jadie88(7 MD)

Haha, lamb's ear smoothies! That's awesome. :) Welcome to the forums, you'll find a gazillion answers around here if you stay awhile.

I'll echo what GardenGal said. Ken is a major help. He won't win any "Mr. Congeniality" contests, but that's not what he's out to do. He'll give you a straight answer, often some helpful link, and usually throw in something to make you chuckle while he's at it. If he comes across as rude or clipped, its probably because he SOMEHOW manages to respond to virtually every post I've seen across many GW forums while also maintaining his incredible gardens. Once you've read more of his posts you'll see what we mean.

As GG said, browse around the many forums here...Local forum for your area, natives forum, sustainability, homesteading...any of these sound up your alley. You have some great enthusiasm and ideas, and anyone who blends up lamb's ear for a morning boost is just plain cool in my book. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 10:36AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

baunlee - welcome to Gardenweb. Please do not take offence over Ken's words. He's a fixture here and you'll get used to his inimitable style.

He's quite right about choosing the most relevant Forum for your questions. That way you will be targeting the most knowledgeable people to answer your questions. For example there is a Forum for Native Plants, one for Seed Collecting etc. Look at the top of the screen in the blue band and you'll see all the Forums listed.

I do have one comment to make about your second post though. I was really saddened to see the phrase 'even though I am a girl ....' being used by a young woman in 2013. If my daughter dared even think that I would consider cutting her out of will ;-) Please delete those words from your writing and your mind. Girls use chainsaws all the time. But first they learn to identify the trees correctly and get proper safety training with the saw. All the best with your new venture.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 2:38PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

Make no excuses because you're a girl. I had several women working on my landscape crew that could outwork almost any man. That included chainsaw and rock work. They shamed a few men into quitting.
Proper training is a must. A dress and a chainsaw don't mix. Proper lifting is also a must when working with rock. Bend your knees, not your back.
Be careful trying to landscape with a majority of natives. Your garden could end up looking like a vacant lot. I have a dear friend who has done that.
Give Ken some time and you will see what the above posters have said about him. All positive. I like his sense of humor, among other things. He has a large garden too, and a lot of years experience. I think you were too quick to judge.
Stick around.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 12:45PM
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