willow oak

poaky1June 14, 2010

I just received a willow oak I ordered from Nature hills and was shocked at what I got.They had removed so much of the roots that I'll be suprised if it lives.There was the main root which had been cut short and about 5 2inch long lateral roots. It was dormant also. I guess it may have helped the tree to be dormant anyway, but I received my red oak last week from another company leafed out with good roots,the place where I got the better tree was out of willow oak, well anyway, I wondered if the tree will be thrown off by being dormant now in June and having a shorter time before fall dormancy?I have gotten butchered rooted plants before from Arbor day and they didn,t make it,so I quit getting trees from them, well I hope this one survives it is 4 ft tall, I pruned it too cause it had 2 leaders and broken brittle branches,I have a gaurantee so I guess I,ll just wait and see.

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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)


I've tried to dig up Nyssa Sylvaticas and a burr oak after they'd been in the ground for a year and couldn't get all the tap root myself. When I got the little 1 ft Nyssas they looked to be in good order though, no root pruning.

Let us know how they do. June isn't the easiest time to transplant trees. Especially if they're mail order and have to live in a UPS truck for a couple days.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 10:11PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

You should always check Garden Watchdog before purchasing plants from a mail-order nursery. I bet if you had seen Nature Hills Nursery relatively poor rating, you would have looked around a little and saved yourself some grief.

On a positive note, a cursory review of some of the nursery's responses to many of the negative comments on Garden Watchdog does seem to show that the Nature Hills usually tries to make things right. That's unusual; most nurseries that I've seen with poor ratings have sorry customer service. It appears that Nature Hills' poor rating may have more to do with the product quality and not the follow up/customer service.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 11:06PM
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I called the company and they said that is how they always root prune to harvest the tree and that it is normal and my tree will be fine, the gaurantee on the tree is within the first 48 hours reported damage will be a free replacement and after that I have to pay half the tree price for a new one.They said they will make a note of the fact that I called within 48 hours.I have never seen a tree with such root loss make it.All I can do is wait and see I guess, I,ll baby the tree in the mean time.What is the opinion or guess of anyone on a dormant tree in June will it have enough growing days if it does leaf out?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 4:30PM
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Dan Staley

What is the opinion or guess of anyone on a dormant tree in June will it have enough growing days if it does leaf out?

Hopefully it will.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 5:25PM
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Well, I can't comment directly about your tree--I haven't seen it.

But I can tell a story about 12 oak trees i got from Musser Forests this spring. I got 6 red oaks, and 6 scarlet oaks, averaging about 3 feet tall. Bareroot.

When I opened the box I thought about calling and asking for a refund. They seemed terribly dried out. The tops of about 8 of them were withered and obviously dead. The roots seemed very dry, but were not withered, exactly. The roots were rather thick. I thought, what the heck, I will plant them--very, very carefully--and see what happens.

Well, all 12 survived. The 8 that had dead and withered tops sprouted from the mid level of the trunks. some of these have grown vigorously--about 12 inches max--from several buds along the trunks. These are not now pretty trees, but in three years they will be. I wish they had been in better shape when I got them, but all in all I am happy.

I dug really nice deep holes-gneraly deeper and wider than needed to accomodate the roots, but planted them at the same level as they were in the nursery bed, filled the soil back in the same layers that I removed it, flooded them right after planting, mulched, and have kept them well watered since. Three or four were very slow to break bud, but once they did, they have grown fine.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 7:01PM
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Thanks for sharing your experiences,Musser forests is where I,ve been getting most of my trees and I,ve had 2 die and they've replaced them right away and I,ve ordered a good # of trees from them,they had no willow oak this year though.I'm glad your trees from them made it however they are disfigured for now,I had to prune back on 8 of the swamp white oaks I got from them, with all the rain here lately the SWO are looking good.But back on subject, I wouldn,t have cared if they were just a bit misshapen but the roots they hacked off Ive always heard that the root system is a major part in how a tree does, I had to remove a competing leader but that,s no big deal.I hope that the shortening of it,s growing time doesn,t bother it if it leafs out. I will use some wilt pruf if it does unless that,s bad for it, which I would imagine it couldn,t hurt any more than getting fried with no roots.Sorry to go on and on. Poaky1

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 9:55PM
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