American Hardwoods in Europe

greenthumbzdudeJuly 21, 2014

I know redwoods and sequoias do well in most of europe....how about eastern american hardwoods like tulip poplar and white oak?

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huggorm

Tulip poplar is allright, there is a few around even where I live in western Sweden. They do freeze back a little some winters though. White oak should be even hardier, but I never saw one. They are not as ornamental I guess.

But the summers of western Europe is generally not warm enough for the eastern american trees to really thrive. That is probably most obvious in spring time, when american trees get green much later than trees from Europe and Asia.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 3:27AM
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alabamatreehugger(8)

I've heard Black Cherry is actually invasive in parts of Europe.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 6:23AM
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huggorm

Black cherry is somewhat invasive in Scania in southern Sweden and pobably even more so in mainland Europe where it is warmer. Red oak (quercus rubra) is invasive in Germany. But the worst invasive species is probably black locust (robinia pseudoacacia) wich is a real pest in Hungary, Romania and adjacent countries.

This post was edited by Huggorm on Tue, Jul 22, 14 at 6:42

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 6:41AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Liriodendron tulipifera aka Tulip tree thrives here. There's a huge one near me probably planted in the late 18th century.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 12:46PM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

I love the white oaks, but they're not a fast growing tree, so may be very slow growing in a cooler environment and thus less popular. I wonder, we sure don't grow very many landscape trees from the Continent over here either ?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 12:50PM
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huggorm

We have got quite a lot of native oaks in Europe to, so I guess those are more common to grow.

Also, many european gardens are too small for oaktrees and the sun isn't as hot in eastern US so there is no need for shade trees.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 1:08PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Yes - I agree. Most of us just don't have the space for trees and shade is not much valued. Parks and public open spaces, however, have a huge variety of non-native trees. Few become problematical, in the UK at least.

This post was edited by floral_uk on Wed, Jul 23, 14 at 9:18

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 1:51PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

The only large European trees I see around here are Fagus sylvatica, which does OK although gets a bit worse for wear from the heat, and Acer platanoides, which is an invasive pest from here northwards.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 1:52PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

I think a well grown white oak is one of the best looking deciduous oaks, but they are rare (IMHO) even in their native range. People don't plant them in yards or municipal spaces because nurseries push the faster growing red oaks. In the woods, they develop as you would expect trees to develop w/competition of other trees. They really need a big oak space to spread their wings, so to speak.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 4:08PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Good point, David. White Oaks are common in the woods, fairly uncommon in landscapes - but the one exception being, if a house is on a wooded lot.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 4:14PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

"But the summers of western Europe is generally not warm enough for the eastern american trees to really thrive." Yes but they do grow, don't they? When I look at the Arboretum Wespelaar collections page, I find many classic trees of the southern USA like Taxodium, Nyssa sylvatica, Magnolia grandiflora, etc. The likely reason warm-climate trees are more adaptable to cool summer areas than cool-summer trees are adaptable to warm summer climates is that, during past ice ages, the North American glacial refugia experienced markedly cooler summers. The plants had to adopt to this and it is still in their genomes. OTOH, cool summer areas of the world: NZ, western Europe, Chile, etc., might have had even cooler summers, but they never had summers with our continuous high dewpoints and patterns of drought and heavy rain, which wreak havoc with root systems in particular.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 4:16PM
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huggorm

Some trees are more sensitive than other though. You have to go quite far south in Europe to find thriving sweetgum or redbud.

But I think all eastern US trees would thrive in europe, if planted at the same latitude as they came from.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 4:47PM
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greenthumbzdude

Red oak invasive in Germany? wow that pretty crazy.........how about American Chestnut...I head this one planted in parts of Northern Europe and has not shown signs of blight.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 5:47PM
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huggorm

There is no chestnut blight in Europe, as far as I know. I have got some american chestnut seedlings myself that I will try. I don't know what they think of cold summers yet, even if this particular summer probably is warm enough for them

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 5:53PM
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poaky1

I don't know much about some trees surviving in Europe which are from the Southeastern US, but the Southern Live oak, being zone 7 hardy, for some reason doesn't thrive in zone 7 Europe (UK especially), likely not enough hot sun. I would think that the oak that likes (or can take ) high ph soils Q. Meulenbergi ? Would do well in the UK. Quercus Robur and Cerris are seen very often across most of Europe, and Q. Libani has been made aware to me by Dax as common in Europe, even the drier places in Europe and IF I RECALL CORRECTLY in the mid east.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 12:38AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

'There is no chestnut blight in Europe, as far as I know'

I am afraid there is. It's been in continental Europe since the 1930's and arrived in the UK in 2011.

Regarding Liquidambar and Cercis - there are plenty in the UK. South as far as Huggorm in Sweden is concerned but not very far South in terms of all of Europe.

This is my nearest Liriodendron tulipifera, seen between a copper beech and a plane tree of similar vintage.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chestnut Blight

This post was edited by floral_uk on Sat, Jul 26, 14 at 6:51

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 6:35AM
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drpraetorius(7)

I have heard that Osage Orange is making a pest of itself in Italy and Spain.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 6:36PM
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poaky1

I remember seeing "Tulip tree" in a book, mentioned that there are some large specimens in the UK, so they can do quite well there. They also feature coast redwoods, doing quite well, with pictures to show the trees. Red oak and Black Locust aren't trouble here, unless you have a large red oak or Black locust and you don't regularly take care of your trees under canopy, clearing weeds and other crap. Huggorm, we in Pa (northeastern US) get quite a bit of heat. I am interested in having many oak shade trees. And 2 Q. Albas are already in my yard. Q. Rubra and Q. Cerris are in my yard also, but I am aware that they are good in areas in northern Europe where the sun isn't as intense. Q. Alba is prevalent in an area close to me, where there is alot of shade, it loves full sun but could likely bfine in some areas in the UK or n. Europe.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 1:39AM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Q. alba, IIRC, does fairly well in the PNW where summers are drier and cooler than in the native range, so it would make sense it would do OK in Europe.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 8:13AM
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lucky_p

International Oaks,the publication of the International Oak Society, often has articles detailing the various arboreta in Europe and the numerous North American species - not just oaks - that are grown there; some do well, others struggle.

Here is a link that might be useful: International Oak Society

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 8:40AM
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subtropix

What about Magnolias...evergreen or deciduous species , from North America? How do they succeed in Europe?

Magnoliaphile here.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 3:49PM
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huggorm

There is a magnolia virginiana in Gothenburg botanical garden that is doing quite well, and several more in Denmark so it should be ok in most of europe. And magnolia acuminata is bone hardy, absolutely no problem with that one. Magnolia grandiflora is not as hardy but will do fine in most of western europe anyway. I think asian magnolias is more commonly planted though, even when it comes to straight species.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 12:49AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Magnolia grandiflora is very common. Often seen as a wall- trained tree on old houses.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:48AM
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poaky1

I just thought of something though. There are some places in Europe which may have calcerous soil, and white oak, Q. Alba (if I recall correctly) like slightly acidic soil. That may be the reason why Q. Alba isn't seen in some European places. I have 2 Q. Robur here and a baby Q. Cerris, so they must be able to cope here in slightly acid soil, and our trees need a lower PH, this is my guess. But if there are peat bogs there must be areas near these bogs that could support a tree that likes things acidic or neutral. These bogs must have affected areas nearby with rain run-off helping to buffer the high PH, unless I don't know what I';m talking about, which is likely. Another thing to mention to those in Europe unfamiliar with US summers. I can only speak about Pennsylvania, I suppose. Even though we are far up north kinda, it can be mostly 80 + F, sometimes 90 + F, which would be 27-33 C. Mostly in the 80's F, so high 20's C. I wish we had cool summers. I usually wait for it to be pretty cool out to do much work outside.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 12:49AM
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huggorm

This summer has been very hot in northen Europe, we have had several weeks with temperature hovering around 30 C with top notes over 34 C or 93 F. Some summers are cool here but other are not that cool. Too bad it has been drought to, I see large trees all over with brown or yellow leaves.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 3:43PM
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poaky1

Geez Huggorm, I never would've guessed you would have 93 F in Sweeden. But I guess even the UK has sweltering summers sometimes and I always associated the UK as being cool, cloudy and wet. Even our Minnesota here in the US has hot summers sometimes despite having the coldest winters in the continental US. We're talking -30 F, maybe colder.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 9:09PM
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