Planting a Tree When my Daughter is Born

Brodie22April 14, 2014

My wife and I are expecting our first child in May. I�d like to buy a sapling or small tree, something planted within the last year or so, to commemorate my daughter�s birth. Since I don�t expect to live in our house for more than a few years, I�d love for the tree to be able to grow in a large pot or a half wine barrel, then eventually be planted in the ground.

My dream is for my daughter to watch this sapling grow into an enormous tree over the course of her life. We live in Southern California, so I�m looking for something appropriate to this climate, that would grow heartily and reliably for a long, long time (a century I suppose). I might want to plant the tree in a public space when it's big enough, so my daughter would be able to access it regardless of moving houses, things like that, and I�m wondering if certain species would make that possibility more likely.

If anyone has any suggestions they would be very much appreciated!

Thank you.


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ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)

Plant a Golden Raintree.

They are (to me, and to many others) one of the most beautiful trees in the world. They are extremely wind-tolerant, and they grow moderately fast. They have such a gorgeous form to them. We have one Golden Raintree in the center of our backyard, and our 8 year old daughter loves it.

I mean, is there anything more beautiful than this?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 3:00PM
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I think planting a tree for the happy event is a great idea.
One bitty little problem, once you leave a property you have no control over it and its likely the first thing the new owners will remove.
Look at this Silver fir planted at a local Meeting House. How incredible that some genius didn't come along and saw off the lower branches. This is a remarkably beautiful tree and was likely planted in someone's honor/memory.
I would plant a small tree at the park/arboretum/memorial garden, that way you could come back and see it years from now. Check with the California forum for recommendations.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 3:42PM
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famartin(z5 NE NV)

I'm not too sure about southern California, but the thing that comes to mind for me is Eucalyptus. It would be awesomest if you could get a seedling that just sprouted within the last year, nurture it in a pot for a few years, then when you move, plant it out in your yard. Then you can always point to the tree and tell your daughter, "That tree is just as old as you are!" However, rarely are seedlings less than 1 year old sold, so if you want one that will be exactly her age, your best bet is to try to grow it from seed. That's something I know nothing about, at least as far as Eucalyptus is concerned.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 3:48PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i did that ... and ended up leaving it behind when i moved... a few years later... and then had to go buy another ...

may i suggest... you buy it for her birthday when you are in a more permanent house ... and have her plant it with you ... that is how i solved the dilemma ...

over the years.. i have also killed quite a number of memorial plants.. and had to repeatedly rebuy them ... never forget.. its the memory.. not the plant ...

trees in pots are for the very experienced ... can it be done.. sure... can lots of things happen with a newbie trying to do it.. yes... its a tough memory plant.. when you have experience at growing trees in pots ...

and finally.. having grown a tree in a half whiskey barrel because i knew i was moving ... sooner or later ... .. have you any idea how much it will weigh ... and how you will move it.. when the day comes.... picture discussing such with the man you hire to move your household ... not to mention wondering how you will get it out of the barrel into a hole at the new place ...

its a very romantic notion... been there done that.. i wish you luck ...with the tree... and the kiddo ...


ps: just try to dissuade the wife from planting the tree with the placenta.. i have seen quite a few of those stories here on GW.. and the tree dies.. and the heartbreak..etc ...

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 6:24PM
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That is very sweet. A different thought: How about an indoor plant: an old neighbor of mine received a small ficus when her son was born. He is now 30-40 and the ficus is about 6 feet tall and 4 feet around, and truly wildly spectacular.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 10:35PM
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Is there a relative who plans on staying put, who's yard you can plant a tree in? I would worry about a tree potted for 3 years or more, then transplanting somewhere. Unless it grows slowly and you can handle coiled roots when planting. I do know that I saw a Jade plant (houseplant) in an antique store that was 50 years old, and was only about 3-4 ft tall, but was branched out like a bonsai tree. They are easy to grow, just don't overwater.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 11:14PM
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Did the same for both of my daughters + placentas. Batting .500. The first was a white oak 4 years ago which has thrived beyond expectation. The second was an atlantic white cedar that died after the first year. Bad move on my part given that I don't have a swamp on my property. The dead tree carries on as part of a pond habitat, and the little one doesn't seem to mind.

I don't know how they'd do in a pot but some of the first trees I've experimented with were Alaskan weeping cypress. Transplanted them multiple times in the middle of scorching summers with undersized root balls and they're all huge now.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 9:01AM
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California has numerous issues with invasive plants unique to its locale (like any eucalyptus) . It might make more sense to investigate locally what would be a good choice, perhaps even a long lived native species, like California live oak.

I'd suggest you try posting this on the California Gardening forum for some local input. I love the idea of the ultimate planting site being a park or botanical garden.......perhaps they can make some appropriate suggestions for its permanent home as well.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 2:02PM
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