Arborist's question about Cottonwoods

runswithscissors(MT 4/5)June 14, 2014

Years ago, when I first bought my home, the next door neighbor had a nice 2 acre row of mature cottonwood trees running down our fenceline. They were BEAUTIFUL! (and all the millions of little sucker babies popping up on my side of the fence was a pain in the tush.) But I never complained because I honestly loved the trees. For three years I seeded a wildflower garden down my side of the fenceline, because the neighbors basically allowed that area of their yard to "go native" so to combat the weeds, I had to do something. The trees were on the north side of the my flower garden strip, about 30 feet away and provided no shade whatsoever. For three years this was an absolutely gorgeous strip of color!!

Then one day I came home to discover the neighbor had hired a crew to saw down the entire tree line. I was very sad, but it wasn't really any of my business.

Since then all the flowers and even most of the weeds have died out down my side of the fenceline. I know the men poured roundup on the cottonwood of them secretly told me they pour diesel fuel on them too.

It's weird. I keep scattering wildflower seeds and none of them grow. I hand weed out the cheet grass and knapweed that encroaches from the other side, but it's not a problem at all. Even that stuff doesn't seem to want to take hold! Oddly the weeds and grasses are still growing fine all around the stumps, but 30 feet away in my flower garden, the soil is bare-dead.

What do you think about this problem?

*I still get an occasional sucker baby popping up now and then, but not many and always 100 or more feet away from the mother tree.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

one thing for sure.. it has nothing to do with the round up ...

how do you prep the soil for seed????

whats the source of the wildflower seed?? .. have you ever tested it for viability ... when are you sowing it????

if you think about them growing in the wild.. most self sow in fall .. in fact.. you are supposed to mow down a wildflower garden in fall.. to achieve such ... so if you are doing it in spring.. maybe thats an issue?????

how about a pic ...

all i remember about sowing wildflower seeds ... was it was a PIA ... and never truly gratifying ... and then i moved to 5 acres.. former horse pasture.. dont mow one acre ... and declared it a wildflower garden ... lol ... its gorgeous ... lol .. and i do mow it down in fall ...

have you considered winter sowing and sticking in small transplants .. to get he ball rolling ???


ps: i would think at 100 feet .... its a poplar seedling.. rather than a sucker .... unless you are sure .. its attached to an old root????

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 2:10PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Does your state agriculture agency offer soil tests? Might be worth it.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 7:04PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

all state ag colleges offer such.. and they are usually the college that has STATE in the name ... its the basis of their founding ...

regardless .... wild flowers that cant live in native soil????

you would be better off.. analyzing the wildflower mix.. and insuring it appropriate to MT ....

my MI soil conservation office.. offers wildflower seed.. if i am not mistaken ... google such for MT ...


    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 7:55PM
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