When a nursery says 'moderate' growth rate, how fast is that?

ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)February 7, 2012

Is that 1-2 feet a year? I understand, or at least I think I do, that slow growth is less than a foot, medium growth is 1-2 feet, and fast is more than 2 feet. Is moderate just another word for medium?

Also, I've placed a large order of trees from Forest Farm, my first order with them, and I was wondering since they are a warmer zone from me if I should change my delivery date from the first week of April to mid March? I normally like to plant the first week of April but their zone is so much warmer that I'm concerned about it. Thanks for any advice.

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Depends on what they meant in that instance.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 8:07PM
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ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)

P.S The actual tree that I'm wondering about in terms of growth rate is the European Hornbeam Fastigiata, if that helps. I can't wait to plant these trees!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 8:11PM
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ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)

On the websites Ive seen, it just says growth rate: moderate. No amount of feet or inches to expect. For a novice like me it's a little confusing.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 8:17PM
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poaky1

I would guess that you are right about the 2 ft being moderate, that's what I would expect. Anyone having the same tree can give you more detail. I am alot colder than Forest farm and they usually send at the right time for your zone. If I was worried about timing I would add that to the comments with your order.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 8:32PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

If space is a concern you won't want this anyway as it eventually bulges widely. What are you trying to do, fit something into a narrow space? Since it's skinny at first people stick this tree in the wrong place all the time.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 1:47AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hey

at the link.. intro to conifers .. gives you what you want in regard to conifers ... i dont know how broadly you can generalize it ...

and that is your problem.. because you want one rule.. for a multitude of types of plants ... i just dont know if there is such a beast ...

in my z5 ... proper planting time for trees .. is normally when the soil thaws ... thru about 4/15 .. pushing it no further than 5/1 ... giving your trees 6 to 8 weeks before the heat of summer ... [and i would not change the norm.. because this winter is mild]

you want them to be sent dormant ... and insist on such.. even if you have to take them weeks early ... as such.. they can sit in your garage.. in a dormant state.. until your soil thaws ...

it does you no good.. to order from a warmer clime.. and receive stock already leafed out.. that will have to be protected until 6/1 in my z5 ...

ship them dormant.. store them dormant.. and plant them dormant.. and then let mother earth bring them out of dormancy.. as the soil warms ...

to repeat.. you can not store a leafed out plant in z5 .. in the house for a month.. while it warms up outside..

so call FF and ask them if their stock is still dormant.. and have them send them WHILE THEY ARE DORMANT .. [whaas in the conifer forum .. took delivery of some conifer near xmas .. directly due to this idea]
and dont forget ... a dormant plant will NOT need water in your garage.. should you need to hold them until they can be planted ... cold soggy roots.. rot ... put an ice cube or some snow on the pots .. to add a little water when it warms outside ...

and since we are in the tree forum.. the number one problem with growing trees in pots .. to salable size.. is bad roots.. twisting around and around in the pots ...

since your trees will be dormant.. you should totally bare root them.. and spread out all the roots .. trimming off any damaged or bad ones.. and PROPERLY plant them ..

if you need instruction on PROPER PLANTING ... brandon can give you his link.. and maybe i will finally get it in my shortcut menu.. lol ..

since you dont list specifically what you are getting.. its hard to give you growth rates ... but my gut tells me.. there arent many trees that grow a foot per year.. unless they are true dwarfs ... and you should know which those are ...

i think i covered it all ... GET THEM DORMANT!!!!!! .. store them dormant.. and plant them dormant ... and you should be well on your way to success ...

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 9:08AM
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ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)

Hi Ken, I just hung up with Forest Farm and they offered to send them out on Feb 15 and I would receive them on the 22nd. Is that going overboard too early? I do not have a garage. I talked to Ray (really nice guy) and he said that I can keep them outside unprotected since they are dormant and outside at his place unprotected. I don't believe our soil is frozen. The pond around here isn't even frozen. We pretty much skipped winter here in Western NY.

Do you think my receiving them Feb 22nd is too soon or should I call ray back and change it for March?

Ray told me on the phone that as long as the ground isn't frozen I can plant them anytime. Or I can leave them on the porch for a few weeks, either way is fine.
Now I am thinking I should wait til early March to have them shipped., but Im afraid to call them back and bug them. :(

Bboy, the trees are European Hornbeam Fastigiata and 1 Acer Campestre Postelense. The Hornbeams are being used to screen out the neighbor's yard, and I admit we are planting them close together, but we are in our early 40's and don't want to wait forever for them to grow together, however, we are planting them for enough off the property line to allow for the full growth of maturity. Height is no problem. There's not a powerline problem.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 6:45PM
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ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)

I just hung up with Michelle at Forest Farm and changed the ship date to receive on March 14th. Ray told her to tell me that I can expect them to go out of dormancy early April so they will arrive dormant.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 6:57PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

In my area we have pyramidal hornbeams approaching, if not exceeding 30' across. Is this the kind of growth you are planning for? You give no figures to indicate what you are thinking of. Due to the stiff, crisp appearance of this tree it looks jammed together when planted closely.

It not being a dwarf, and having been around for some time, specimens in the neighborhood of the typical height for the species are known. For example, one in England was determined to be 85' tall during 1984.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 7:29PM
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scotjute

Using Arbor Day Foundation as the guide for growth rates :

"The designation slow means the plant grows 12" or less per year; medium refers to 13 to 24" of growth per year; and fast to 25" or greater."

Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, by Michael Dirr.

When ordering bare-root trees, I usually order for Jan-Feb delivery down here. As ken so eloquently stressed - bare-root stock should be dormant when shipped.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 11:18AM
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ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)

Hi bboy. We are planting far enough off of the property line to allow for 25-30 feet wide. We are making a hedge of the Columnare European Hornbeam Fastigiatas. Every website I have read said that at most they get to 35-40 feet. I doubt the tree that grew to 80 feet that you speak of was the same cultivar as the European Hornbeam Fastigiata that I am buying. Besides, I won't even be alive if it ever grew that high, and if I did, more power to it. There are no power lines around here so who cares. lol

Can anyone tell me though what a MODERATE growth rate means? Is that medium, or can someone tell me how many feet a year they grow?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 4:59PM
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ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)

There are many websites out there, with pics, of these trees being planted together at 6 feet apart for screen,and the property owners love it that way. I will be no different.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 5:02PM
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j0nd03

Moderate in my world would be the same as medium ie around 2' per year once established. Only way to know for sure is to contact the seller and ask ;)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 5:03PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i like the march date better ...

they can go on the north side of the building ... anything outside... NOT INSIDE ... just to let ma nature bring them normally out of dormancy .... while insuring that the pot itself never gets sun.. and heats the roots ... and one thing i like to do.. is put a small pot.. into a larger soil mass.. pot and all ... so if air temps spike.. a small pot can be tempered by a big wad of cold soil ... and not break dormancy too early ..

the best i can come up with..as to growth rate

FAST TREEs ... those poplars etc .. the one they market that way ... 3 to 5 to 7 feet per year.. if zone appropriate ... fast to grow.. fast to develop problems.. fast to die ...

regular ... 1 to 3 to 5 feet per year ... thats what oak do for me .. maples too.. etc ..

then the slow ones.. less than a foot ...

just generalities ... and guesstimates on my part ... i doubt there are any hard fast rules ...

why such a range.. well .. in a normal year.. say it grows 2 feet.. but in a perfect year it might do 3 ... but in a bad year.. one ... throw in winter.. drought the year before.. etc ...

and then you have to accept that in your zone.. your growing season is 3 months less than a warmer zone ... so length of season is a factor.. which rules out any exact answer ...

and i have no direct knowledge of hornbeam ... but i am sure its not slow... and you suggest its not fast.. so its just in that 1 to 3 foot range ... thats my guess ...

and no jon.. the only way to tell is to plant one.. and grow it .. because in this case.. she is z5 .. and i think FF is z8 .. and they will grow different in either case.. but one thing for sure.. it wont be fast .. like all those horrible trees ... and it isnt a mini.. so it wont be slow ...

ken

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 5:15PM
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j0nd03

The only way to know what they *mean* is to *ask*

:^p

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 5:44PM
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j0nd03

and 1 foot year one, 3 feet year 2, and 2 feet year 3 is still an average of 2' which is what is usually referred to as 'growth rate', correct?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 5:51PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

>Every website I have read said that at most they get to 35-40 feet. I doubt the tree that grew to 80 feet that you speak of was the same cultivar as the European Hornbeam Fastigiata that I am buyingThe one that was 85' tall was determined to be that height during 1984. It was planted in 1902. The following year another one, in Scotland, was measured as being 75' in height. Kew had one reaching 72' by 1987, and another one 65' tall the same year. This last was planted in 1894. We had 57' being recorded here in the Seattle area by 1988. By 2005 one in the Seattle arboretum was over 54', one on 3rd Ave W was 67' tall, and a third, at a school in Seattle had reached 52'.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 8:54PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Growth rates are impacted by soil type and climate. Its best to observe growth rates in your locale.

Ever notice trees are taller in the Seattle area?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 11:25PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

"Trees are taller in the Seattle area" because a competent expert there identifies and measures them. While the west coast in general has conditions that favor the growth of tall trees there are also some kinds that grow tall in eastern North America. Including ones that do not do as well in the dull and dry summers here as there, and elsewhere.

Sorry, but columnar European hornbeam is simply not a small and narrow-growing tree and that is a fact. Those wishing to get narrow growth from a European hornbeam need instead to plant the 'Frans Fontaine' cultivar. This will not be likely to produce a specimen that remains small either but it does have the branches sort of bunched up, producing a smaller spread and different, less artificial appearance than 'Fastigiata'.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 12:34PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

No disagreement with the columnar European hornbeam. Its probably the widest columnar plant I know of. 25' mature width doesn't sound very columnar to me.

I guess my point is that the SAME tree my not grow as fast depending on soil and climate. Not that there are tall trees in Seattle and not elsewhere.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 1:42PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

It's not even columnar, only the main stems near the center remain erect. Developed trees here remind me of balloons or eggs. When planted closely enough to overlap these trees appear crowded rather than integrated.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 3:39PM
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calliope(6)

The columnarus forms are indeed more restrained than the fastigia can have a span as narrow as ten feet, and should not top out as tall. I would not describe than as moderate growth rate. I would describe them as slow. Columnarus and fastigiata are two different cultivars and often confused, even by nurserymen. I'm wondering now which one you are getting?

Hornbeams are great trees. I have one, but it is the species and I want and expect a broad vased shaped tree. BBoy is right, the fastigiata can and does spread 30 ft. They are disease resistant for the most part, but their very tight habit can result in dieback of the inner parts of the crown.

The only concern I have if you are getting a columnar is they do not have the 'to the ground' lower branching habit that the species and the fastigiata does and are usually planted as specimen trees because of this and are not as useful as hedging.

BTW, the species and fastigiata are both suitable for hedging, but oftentimes are pruned and trained as such and not enouraged to take a main-branch form.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 5:11AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Ordinarily you wouldn't expect to be dealing with 'Columnaris', it is supposed to be quite rare - I've never seen it, that I knew of. Since it does have a small habit I wonder if it really is that easy for it to get mixed up with 'Fastigiata' in nurseries, or if instead both names are being used for 'Fastigiata', with actual plants of 'Columnaris' seldom being involved.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 12:59PM
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calliope(6)

I think you are barking up the correct tree. Fastigiata is the typical cultivar you'd find in a nursery. No, they aren't physically mixed up in nurseries, but their attributes are. Usually when a nurseryman hears fastigiata, they think upright and tight growth compared to species. Lets put it this way all columnar hornbeams are fastigiate in the true sense of the word, but all fastigiates are definately not columnar. That's why the OP is sending me mixed messages. He seems to be describing the characteristics of a columnar, but calling it a fastigiate and in one response using both terms. It's either one or the other and if it really is a columnar he is ordering it may not be a suitable choice for hedging. I suspect he is being led correctly, that it is a fastigiate, most often used for hedge purposes, but that there may be some pruning involved as it grows in his lifetime to maintain desireable height and avoid the width issues because I would anticipate eventually. Fastigiate hornbeams are even sometimes topiaried to encourage formal presentation. Like their appearance or not, they do make effective hedging. Your growth rates may vary on care and environment.......I'd suspect one to two feet per year. My species hornbeam, I stopped long ago logging acquisition dates and just throw their tags in a big container......but I think is probably a pretty good sized tree by now, maybe twenty feet and I'd guess it's been in twelve to fifteen years planted from probably three year old container stock.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 1:36PM
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ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)

Hi everyone. This is the exact link to what I ordered from Forest Farm. And FF calls the tree
"Carpinus betulus Fastigiata - Columnar Eur. Hornbeam". So I thought it was ok to use the term Columnar and Fastigiata interchangeably. I'm sorry if I made things confusing. It wasn't intentional. I'm still a novice at all this.

Here is a link that might be useful: Forest Farm tree I ordered

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 1:30AM
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calliope(6)

LOL......bless your heart, all this tempest over one question about how fast something grows. I'm still confused over what you're ultimately getting and it's not your fault at all. If this is really what the trade accepts as a columnar, then it's not incorrect to use both terms, because as I said columnars are indeed fastigiate. What I, and bboy were pointing out is that columnars are not so typical in the trade, and what typically would be available commercially woud be simply the fastigiate form, and it sizes out rather more full than what the term fastigiate would imply. IOW fatigiate does not necessarily equal columnar.

In the absence of a named clone, one has to simply depend on the accuracy of the binomial assignment for a plant's expected attributes. I would have expected a nursery to use one term, or the other but not both. But, calling them both is correct, if they are really offering a columnar form. But, to me the description sounds more like the fastigiate form and not the columnar form.

For your purposes, I don't think it makes much difference and either would be acceptable. But to tree nerds, we know that the industry is constantly redefining nomenclature to be consistant and there is a lot of lee-way out there in how the product is defined. We just wanted you to be aware of the potential size of the fastigiate form but the description you posted already described that so you already know. Myself, I love hornbeams and feel they are underused in this country. Good luck on your hedge.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 8:42AM
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