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Tree recommendation--hybrid oak or ??

Posted by spruceman Z6 VA (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 24, 07 at 16:28

I just bought 6 acres adjacent to my place in Winchester, VA. The site can be hot and dry--and very windy. This site is the nose of a little hill and it has a nice view. The soil is good, formed over limestone, but away from an outcrop, the soil is described as moderately acid in my soil survey book. The top 6 to 8 inches or so is a good silt loam, underneath the soil has a good proportion of clay, but it is not a "clay soil" as such. The area is a bit drought prone, but not terribly so. It was formerly an apple orchard.

I want to plant two or three really special shade trees for me to sit under in my old age and enjoy the view. I thought something like a hybrid oak would be good. Something with the characteristics of an eastern white oak or a bur oak--two of my favorite trees--but which might grow faster and maybe have more color or something. If no hybrid is really superior, I will just go with the species.

Forest Farm sells a Quercus frainetto (hungarian or Italian oak)--"forest green," which sounds nice. Has anyone had any experience with this?

But I may want to try something other than oaks, or something else in addition. I would think a black walnut would be good--they grow everywhere here. Or a hybrid sycamore--one of my favorite trees. I want something really tough, drought resistant, as fast growing as possible, consistent with the other characteristics I want, and a good "shade tree form," maybe a little taller than broad, but a good branching structure.

I have been trying to help others with tree recommendations here--now I feel I need some ideas/help.

--Spruce


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Tree recommendation--hybrid oak or ??

"Quercus frainetto (Hungarian Oak)--"forest green", which sounds nice"

It's a stunner, go for it.

Resin


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RE: Tree recommendation--hybrid oak or ??

  • Posted by beng z6b western MD (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 25, 07 at 10:55

Spruceman, I bet you can find a "white" oak that'll grow pretty fast. OIKOS has some great oak selections -- I have a few. "Kreider" bur oak is now over 6' and quite stocky -- planted in spring 2004 (but Shumard oak is 10' by comparison). OIKOS' "straight" Swamp W. oak planted in fall 2005 is 3.5' tall w/huge, fuzzy leaves. Also this spring got a "Schuttes" oak -- a fast-growing Swamp W. oak hybrid (I'm not sure w/what -- they don't say). I'd be concerned about an oak w/a Q. robur parent if powdery mildew is prevalent, tho (it is here). LuckyP has several past posts about the performance of some of the hybrid oaks.

OIKOS website below:

Here is a link that might be useful: OIKOS


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Beng:

Thanks. As it turns out, I discovered the Oikos site just after I posted my question. I am all excited about the things they have--I want to try at least six or eight of them. And I also found LuckyP and we have exchanged a couple of e-mails. He is really, really helpful.

The white oak/bur oak hybrids seem especially interesting. Lucky doesn't like the Q. robur hybrids, but Oikos has two or three that they say are resistant to mildew--I may just try one or two to see what happens here. Lucky is enthusiastic about the bur oak selections from the SW. I will definately try a couple of those, including the OK one.

I am like a kid in a candy store right now. And I have a lot of room for as many trees as I can plant and tend to.

I have a couple of swamp whites, and couple of burs and three eastern whites, along with two shummards and a northern red. But just what the seed source/strain is I don't know. They are nice trees, but the Oikos selections may provide much faster growth, etc. One of my burs is quite corky--does that suggest a southwestern source?

I have incredibly fast growing English oak at my place in the MD Mts., and, strangely, no mildew of any consequence on them. Maybe, in spite of the humidity there, it is not warm enough for it to flourish. A seedling from those trees that I planted here, is growing faster than I thought possible, but it has mildew.

Maybe one question I can ask here now--what about the "hican" hybrids? Oikos has one they claim is really a fast grower. I love hickory trees and have 3 kinds so far--shagbark, mockernut, and pignut.

--Spruce


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Spruce,
I'm not sure that corkiness on bur oak twigs/branches necessarily infers anything about site of origin, though one might surmise that corkier strains would have been selected for in areas prone to frequent grass/prairie fires.
I have bur oak seedlings from sites as distant at TX, ID, MO, VT, and Manitoba. Some are corkier than others - and it may be that some have experienced introgression of some other white oak species, though all still look pretty much like pure Q.macrocarpa to me.

Hicans - I have several hican selections grafted onto pecan understock, and yes, they are very vigorous growers - quite a bit more so than pecan, and WAY faster than hickories. None have borne nuts yet, and all the information I've seen suggests that they are 'shy' bearers.
Only seedling hican I have growing is an 'Abbott' bitcan seedling. Nothing to write home about, but it may be more a situation of less-than-ideal siting than a reasonable indictment of the tree itself.


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Spruce: Congratulations on your land acquisition - as you say, you are like a kid in a candy store, trying to narrow down your choices. What a great problem to have!

One of my favorite trees is Nyssa sylvatica - nice shape, good shade, grows fairly fast, deep roots, tolerates wind and drought - and gorgeous changing colors for weeks and weeks in the fall - often until early December here. According to Forest Farm, it is hardy to zone 5.

Picture yourself sitting under the tree, a book in your lap, as orange and scarlet leaves flutter down. The tupelo will always have a place of honor where I live. I found a good native plant nursery near Lexington KY this week and bought 3 more.

Beng: I've spent lots of time at the OIKOS site but didn't order because the trees were so small. You say you planted a bur oak in 2004 that is over 6' tall now. Do you recall how tall it was when you got it? According to their site, the Kreider bur oaks in paper pots come in 3 sizes, from 6-12" up 18-24." It sounds like you are happy with OIKOS and your trees are growing fast and healthy - that's good to know.

Spruce, I hope this discussion continues. I learn so much from you all. Please let us know what you select.

Take care,
Pam


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Pam:

Yes, the black gum, pepperidge, or black tupelo. Have two and love them and may get more.

As for the smaller trees--some of those Oikos has are a bit larger, I think. It depends on the availability for each kind of tree at the time. But don't let small size deter you. I always like to get as large a tree as I can handle, but some of these things grow reasonably, or really fast, and 4 years down the road you will be happy you got what you got if they are special. I got some really tiny things from Forest Farm because I couldn't find larger ones--never regretted it. I got some "tubes" of the hybid larch 3 years ago--maybe you saw my post about the one that has grown so fast. In fact I have an update--it has now grown 3 feet 10 inches and will surely make over 4 feet. It is over my head now and I doubt it was more than 10 inches tall when I got it! My tiny oriental spruce trees are still very small--maybe 2o to 25 inches now--but they are starting to grow and one will grow at least a foot next year, and the others will follow in one more year after that. These are slow starters, but unless you know where you can get larger ones, it is worth getting the tiny ones. Well, I could go on and on--I have bought so many tiny trees just because they are wonderful and I couldn't find larger stock.

But they do need really careful protection and care--and extra regular watering because their roots are often not much more developed than the top. My soil here is such that it takes a good while for the roots of little trees to work their way down to a more stable soil moisture source.

--Spruce


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  • Posted by beng z6b western MD (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 25, 07 at 22:07

Spruceman, certainly try Rock chestnut oak or one of its hybrids, like Bur x chestnut oak, for dry, windy sites as once established are impervious to drought. There's alot of Q. prinus on the excessively-drained shale ridges common in the S. Potomac River drainage west of you in E WV. Just a scattering of them on the ridge just above me as Sugar maple & N. Basswood have invaded those lower slopes.


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Spruceman, I bought some Castanea dentata X mollissima from Oikos last year. I only ordered two, but they sent me five. I got one "Timburr" and four "ECOS". Since you're in the native range of C.dentata, they're definitely worth trying. They are fast growing.


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Beng:

I read the description of just such a hybrid in the Oikos site. It sounds great. I love chestnut oak and enjoyed those--some really fine ones--in Rock Creek Park in DC. Chestnut oak is such a nice "thrifty" tree, is that is the right word. Love the bark and the "clean" branching habit, and its sturdy long life. A survivor for the less fertile sites.

--Spruce


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Lots of good choices here: I am a big fan of Burr Oaks and Chestnut Oaks, personally. Long-lived, large, and impressive trees with a presence.


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  • Posted by lkz5ia z5 west iowa (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 28, 07 at 10:08

Burr oaks aren't always impressive. Genetics are highly variable. Can be a scrub oak, or massive specimen here. Not worth my trouble.


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I'd recommend Schuette's Oak (Q. macrocarpa X bicolor), Bebb Oak (Q. macrocarpa X alba), or even Saul's Oak (Q. alba X montana), and of course, lots of Chestnut Oaks (Q. montana). OIKOS carries all of these, including some three footers in Chestnut and Bebb.


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You might consider a 'Princeton' American elm. Very fast growing, definitely good shade tree form, and doesn't have the early floppiness issue of 'Valley Forge'. I do not know how their drought tolerance compares to the oaks you are considering, but if the land got enough water for an apple orchard, I'm sure that's plenty for an elm.

Alex


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Alex:

Thanks for the recommendation. I have two "Liberty Elms," the name given to their selections by the "Elm Research Institute." Last year in a discussion of DED resistant elms I suggested these may a good choice, but my suggestion had no traction here so far. But maybe it is time to mention them again. Now I must admit I have no first hand knowledge, but the information they provide about their trees seems credible to me. They claim to have and to still be doing systematic testing of the disease resistance of their clones. They appaently have a number that they are offering as 99% disease resistant in their trials and they have others in trials/development. It has been a while since I read their literature, but I think they claim that their DED resistance testing of their clones is more rigorous than the other so-called DED resistant strains have been subjected to and sucessfully passed.

I got three different clones--they were not identified specifically for me--they just said they would send three different ones. One was killed by Japanese beetles, the other two are quite interesting after four years Growth. One gives every indication of being very, very "high soaring," or that it will develop into the classic New England very high arching vase shape. Many of the elms I see don't have this shape, including those planted along the Mall in Washington, D.C. I have read that some others sold as disease resistant have a growth form that leaves something to be desired.

The other clone is promising also. It may not be quite so "soaring," but it will have a nice high arching form nevertheless. There is a certain awkwardness to the branching pattern, with the shoot that grows next to the top one deflecting that shoot to the side a bit, but not supressing it enough to make it clearly a side branch. This, after pruning off this second shoot, results in a trunk, at least in this early stage of growth, that is just a bit zig-zag. I will probably prune this tree up one or two more times so the lowest fork of what will be its eventual vase shape crown is at least 9 to 12 feet up. After that the tree will balance itself and I will have a glorious tree. As the trunk grows I am sure the zig-zag effect will be overgrown and virtually disappear.

The other one is as straight as can be and will be perfect without much work from me, although it will need pruning, as does any tree, to make sure the crown develops from an appropriate height. The trees come with very carefully written pruning instructions with pictures and diagrams.

Anyway, I encourage intersted parties to look up "Elm Research Institute" on the web, read what they have to say, and decide for yourselves if their trees are worth trying. According to what they say, they have a rather large and expanding planting program, hoping to restore the American Elm to its former prominence as an ornamental tree for planting in towns and villages across America.

--Spruce


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  • Posted by lkz5ia z5 west iowa (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 1, 07 at 0:16

Here is an interesting article about Liberty elms.

Here is a link that might be useful: liberty elm


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ikz:

Thanks for the reference--interesting. Bruce Carley's propagates and sells the "Valley forge" elm, which may, as he and the USDA claim, have the best DED resistance. But we are talking about a level of ""resistance," not immunity. What I don't really like about the "Valley Forge" elm is its form--it just doesn't grow in the typical very high-arching elm-tree shape that I came to love as a boy. There is something about the elms I knew when I was young that is "in my blood," so to speak, and I can't get over it. So, I will take the additional risk that one of my trees may die of this disease and have an elm that really looks like an elm to me.

--Spruce


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I agree with Pam about nyssa sylvatica - they have a natural umbrella shape, they're incredibly tough, and they grow like weeds! There was a real small one next to our garage when we built here 10 years ago, and now it's huge! For an open area like you're talking about, it would be great in combination with the various oaks others have mentioned.
If you need another smaller tree, and you've got a damper area, you might plant musclewood/carpinus caroliniana. I've been surprised at how fast mine have grown! The information I had when I planted them was that they grew slowly, but it isn't so - mine have grown from about 18" to about 4 1/2' - 5' in one year, and I can't wait to see what the bark looks like as they age.
Sherry


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Sherry, are those the Carpinus trees you bought from MailOrderNatives? If they're almost 5ft that is amazing. I may have to order some next month.


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Yes, I am all excited about the possibilities I have found with oaks, but a mixture is good. This hilltop is a bit dry and the soil is not that good. The tupelo I already have are slow growing, even though they are on a better site than this Hill. But I am sure I will appreciate the oaks more if there are at least two or three other kinds of trees mixed in. And I would like to have a few conifers, so I will probably find a spot for some white pine and Norway spruce--a couple of little groups, maybe. But I can't cram too many trees on this little hilltop--two or three in he "key" positions, and then maybe a half dozen others. But The hill is shaped like a "nose," so if I go back away from the peak or "end of the nose," so to speak, I can plant a fair number of trees. Black walnut is one of my favorite trees, so I will probably find a place for one of those.

Also, the main slope off this hill faces east, and many kinds of trees grow better on east facing slopes than where there are west or southern exposures. I have been thinking about planting a mixture of good fall color trees down this slope. They will look nice from the top of the hill. A tupelo should do well here, along with some maples, and maybe some larch. The hybrid larch I have are great, and larch are supposed to really like growing on slopes, so they should be ideal there.

--Spruce


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Yes, that's them, Alabama! I've been amazed myself!
The chestnut trees I ordered from Oikos have done so poorly, I'm probably going to be pulling the little bitty things up and replacing them with more vigorous trees that are now growing in pots. The nyssa aquatica that I ordered from Forest Farm has grown in its pot to an amazing height - I'd estimate it to be about 6' tall, and it was about 2' when I got it in the late winter or early spring, I can't remember which. I've also got a Compton's oak, a hybrid of q. virginiana and q. lyrata that's about 4' and still growing vigorously, also a silverbell/halesia diptera that's doing good, plus a good many shrubs I can plant out this fall/winter.
But my carpinus carolinianas have been the biggest - and most pleasant - surprise!
Sherry


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Sherry, my hybrid chestnuts were looking bad because of the drought and because of some bugs that made the leaves shrivel up. But, I noticed that they were sending up new sprouts at the base, so I clipped off the original stems (which were kinda deformed anyway) and let the new sprouts grow. Now they are looking better than before and I think they will take off next spring. If yours survive until dormancy, you could cut them back completely and see if they come back more vigorous next year. I think everything around here just needs a rest this year. LOL

I think I will put my order in for a Carpinus caroliniana too.


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Yes, mine have been eaten up by various bugs, many of the leaves are deformed, and they've grown little if any.
Have you or anybody else out there grown chestnuts that took off the second year? I just figured this was one of the reasons they succumbed to the blight, and we don't have chestnuts here - they're weak. But maybe not?
Sherry


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Here's a picture of one of the musclewoods/carpinus caroliniana - I'm 5'5" tall barefooted, and with shoes on, the very top of the tree comes parallel to my eyes -
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
The branches are spaced far apart and long - I assume it'll get denser with age.
Sherry


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Wow, that thing has grown fast! I wonder why so many websites report it as slow growing? Maybe they're slower growing up north, but faster growing in the south.

I'm just assuming my chestnuts will do better next year because they will start with a better developed root system. Almost every bare-root plant that I have planted has done kinda poorly the first year, but better the second (the exception are the ones from MailOrderNatives, but those are really semi-bareroot).


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  • Posted by beng z6b western MD (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 3, 07 at 11:36

misssherry & alabamatreehugger, I've had only limited success w/the 'Timburr' chestnuts from OIKOS so far (planted spring 2004) -- mostly my fault 'cause I can't keep them protected. The best is ~6' tall, but four others have been deer-broused to the point of dwarfing them & even killing one.


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Lots of good ideas here... makes me wish I had some land to grow trees (stupid Maryland housing prices...)

Anyway, chestnuts in general are not weak since they can keep resprouting after the Blight gets them, but it sounds like the harsh weather and some bugs did a number on them for some folks. Best of luck to them in getting their chestnuts to grow.

I like the idea suggested earlier about hicans and assorted hickories. So few people plant these trees since for years the long tap root make transplanting difficult. That, and most hickories tend to grow slowly (perhaps not true of hicans - I really have no experience with them), so if left with limited room, hickories would not be planted. Speaking of fall color, hickories turn the most perfect shadow of yellow in the fall, which is another point in their favor.

Lots of good oak suggestions here. About the only oaks I've seen to produce good fall color are scarlet oaks, and even they can vary, but when you get a good one WOW! Long-lasting, rich red leaves in the fall.


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Indeed hickories are beautiful in the fall. The picture below is of a Mockernut hickory last fall. It's hard to get good fall color down here near the gulf coast, but this one was stunning. I have many pecan trees, and the color can't even compare to the Mockernut.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mockernut hickory


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I ditto the hickory idea - they must like well drained soil, because that's the only place I see them growing, and nobody else is planting them. And like Alabama said, their fall color is great!
Sherry


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White Oaks (Quercus alba) turn a lovely shade of burgundy in the fall.


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That's true - I've seen some white oaks turn a burgundy color in the fall, though some do not.


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RE: Tree recommendation--hybrid oak or ??

Spruce. Many interesting suggestions here. Conditions on your new land (hot, dry, windy, soil not so great) will have a big impact on the decisions you make. So will the fact that you have a long-standing love of certain trees - oaks, spruce, larch, white pines, maybe hybrid sycamores. I'll bet some of these will make the cut.

I was intrigued by Quercus frainetto (hungarian or Italian oak). Resin vetted it. I will order this tree. After reading the discussion between Miss Sherry and Alabama, I'll also order carpinus caroliniana. Maybe hickories but I need to learn more about these hybrids.

Sherry, Alabama and I recommended Nyssa sylvatica - for us, this tree grows fast and is flawless. Your conditions are quite different so it may not meet your needs for a wonderful shade tree to sit under "when I get old and want to enjoy the view."

If you've narrowed down your list, can you let us know what you decided?


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Include a butternut or two, too.


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Butternut blight is killing off pure butternuts throughout its range; however, hybrids with Japanese walnut(J.ailantifolia) and its budsport the heartnut, look very much like butternut - so much so that several 'named' butternut cultivars have been propagated as 'butternut' for decades before DNA analysis revealed them to be hybrids. Many of the hybrids have total resistance to the blight fungus.


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Thanks for all the recommendations, folks. Pam asks what I have decided--have I narrowed the list any? I think I have broadened it. On the nose of the little hill I described, the space is somewhat limited, but the "nose" is about 200 feet long, so if I don't put something right at the tip, so to speak, I have a lot of room back away from it.

I have always been an oak lover, especially oaks from thw white oak group, especially eastern white oak, which maybe some of you remember me praising to the skies in previous posts. I have also always loved bur oak--not so much for the huge acorns and the unusual "mossy" cups, but maybe more for the strong tough structure and heavy, often corky twigs. No real autumn color, however. The eastern white oak in the right place and with the right weather can have amazing color. One place here in Winchester last year had white oak color no one would believe unless he/she actually saw it.

So, with my love of white oak and bur oak, I was excited to find out about the hybrid between the two, the so called beb oak. Then I read that the largest oak on the U of Mich campus is a beb oak. So I have to have at least several of these. And I will have to have several other of the hybrids I am learning about. And more white oaks and more bur oaks.

I have long wanted a scarlet oak, and thought I had one when I was sold a Shummard as a scarlet. I love hickories and pecans, so I will get a hican hybrid, and maybe a seedling pecan. I have a little hickory collection elsewhere. To that collection I have been thinking of adding a shellbark hickory.

I have black walnuts almost everywhere coming up as volunteers. There is one especially nice mature one back over a hill at the other end of my land--I will collect some seed from this and plant it somewhere near the hill I am talking about at the front of the land.

For color I may plant a couple of maples. I have tupelo elsewhere and am not sure how they would do on this hill. I have always thought oak trees look best when there is a maple or two nearby, and vice versa.

I will post later about my plans for a 900 to 1,000 foot long screen of Norway spruce and the plantings I would like to do in front of that. This project may have the scale of some of those that Pam is initiating. Obviously I will have a long list of possibilities/effects I will strive for there.

--Spruce


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Thanks, Spruce. It's amazing how these lists grow. Seems like we begin with a sensible, manageable list - "two or three special shade trees." Within a week or two, the little list morphs into a long-term project - one or two dozen special trees -- and plans for a 900 to 1,000 foot screen of Norway spruce with plantings in front (!!).

For the past few weeks, I've being clearing land that was inaccesible. I assumed it was low and swampy. Yesterday, I discovered lovely high ground with beautiful black soil. I was so surprised, I haven't decided what to do with it yet. I do have some ideas floating around ...

Pam


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OK - as far as hybrid oaks - what is a good selection for Zone 7, Maryland, with fast growth, large size, and good fall color?

Most of the hybrids I've seen include Live or English oak parents, neither of which impart good fall coloration (obviously in the case of live oak) to the offspring.


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Hairmetal,

Try a Bebb, a Schuette, a Saul, or even a Jack Oak (Q alba X bicolor).


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Bebb's Oak(Quercus x bebbiana(alba x macrocarpa)) typically don't have good fall colors. Many will show good fall colors in their youth, but once they get past small seedling size they most often revert to a ho hum yellow-green fall color quickly turning brown. They do tend to have neat large leaves with intermediate lobing between the 2 parents. Schuette's Oak (Q. x schuettei(Q. bicolor x macrocarpa)) can have a kind of orange-brown fall color or a decent yellow fall color, but it's not consistent amongst individuals. Saul's Oak (Q. x saulii(alba x montana(prinus))) does usually have good fall colors, ranging from red to purple, mostly with purple tones. Jack's Oak (Q. x jackiana) does tend to have good fall colors also, but usually tends more towards the Swamp White Oak parent in it's fall colors, which can be a rich orange-brown, except with a bit more reddish color mixed in with it.

Any hybrid involving Scarlet Oak(Q. coccinea) would have good fall color, but many not as good as Scarlet Oak itself. Beadle's Oak(Q. x beadlei(alba x michauxii)) tends to have good fall colors from red to dark purples. Q. x substellata(bicolor x stellata) has excellent fall colors with clear light red being the dominant color, but later changing to a clear light purple-red. Guadalupe Oak (Q. x guadalupensis(macrocarpa x stellata)) tends to have very nice purple-red fall colors. It also seems to hold them longer than Post Oak(Q. stellata) before they later turn brown. Most hybrids involving Post Oak tend to have nice purple-red fall colors.

There are others, but those are the ones that came to mind first. All of these will grow to be good sized trees, at least 60'(18.3m) tall and wide, but many will be nearly impossible to find unless you find one yourself or know someone who has found one.


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Beadle Oak was one I was scratching my head trying to remember so I could recommend it. The only drawback is that I don't know of any nursery anywhere that carries it.

Schuette, Bebb, and Jack are all readily available from both Oikos and Morse, among others.


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Quercus M.:

Morse? Who are they? Can you give me the complete name or a URL. I have ordered from Oikos, but would like to see what Morse has. And "among others? Any other places you recommend for oaks? I know about Forest Farm, which has a few.

--Spruce


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http://www.morsenursery.com/

http://www.possibilityplace.com/Tree/detail.asp_Q_CatID_E_1_A_subCatID_E_8_A_ProductID_E_38


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What about resistance to Oak Wilt, Sudden Oak Death, and the other things that mysteriously seem to be killing somewhere between 10% and 30% of the oaks around here?

I realize that most of it can be prevented in a residential setting by controlling gypsy moths and not disturbing roots...but it would be nice to see a cultivar or strain that is somewhat resistant.


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Sudden Oak Death hasn't been reported infecting and/or killing Oaks outside of the West Coast. Oak Wilt isn't fully understood. The pathogens, and how it kills is generally known, but why one group of trees is affected and killed, while another group growing nearby is not(i.e. it's sporadic nature) hasn't been explained outside of unproven theories to my knowledge. Either way most all potential fatal Oak diseases are very sporadic and uncommon to quite rare in most areas of the country, so there's not a big demand for resistant cultivars(not that there are any) and hence no development of resistant cultivars. As far as I know any resistance to SOD or Oak decline(disease killing lots of Live Oak in South Texas) or the stem canker disease(killing members of the Red Oak Group, but mostly affecting Shingle Oak(Q. imbricaria))hasn't been documented and the diseases and/or their fatal outbreaks are relatively new and any studies looking into resistant Oaks in these areas would be in its infancy.

The best thing to do is to keep your trees as healthy and stress free as possible and the odds are good they won't have any problems with any of these diseases.


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That's all true.

However, it does sometimes seem as if by 2020, there won't be a single oak, Butternut, or Fraser Fir tree in North America.


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Does the Compton's Oak remain evergreen or what?


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RE: Tree recommendation--hybrid oak or ??

No, typically Compton's Oak isn't evergreen, nor are any of the other hybrids between Live Oak(Quercus virginiana) and any other Eastern North American deciduous species like Q. x burnetensis(Q. macrocarpa x virginiana), Q. alba x virginiana(unnamed as far as I know), Q. x harbisonii(Q. stellata x virginiana), or Q. x nessiana (Q. bicolor x virginiana)(although not a lot known about this one). Compton's Oak, like some of the others do hold their leave late and may be semi-evergreen in mild winter climates.


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RE: Tree recommendation--hybrid oak or ??

My Comptons oak closest to my house ( I have 3 altogether ) did keep all it's leaves this past winter. If you have mild winters it MAY do the same in your yard.


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RE: Tree recommendation--hybrid oak or ??

There is a genetically superior white oak grafted onto bur oak rootstock available from : http://www.advancedtree.com/Timber/timber-White-Oak.aspx

It looks interesting.


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RE: Tree recommendation--hybrid oak or ??

Heh Spruce, you need more ideas....lots more ideas! There's American beech, a simply outstanding tree in my world. And for some reason, I'm quite fond of bitternut hickory.

BTW, oaks as a group sure do hybridize freely. Most of our swamp whites and burrs are actually hybrids between the two around here it seems. These are old, native trees, not anything that anyone planted.

One final point Spruce; From what I've seen of lightening's propensity to strike oak trees, I don't want to hear about you sitting under your trees in a thunderstorm!

+oM


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RE: Tree recommendation--hybrid oak or ??

Tom and the rest of you guys:

Boy, oh boy, I have planted a lot of things. So many hybrid oaks, I can't remember them all now. But several of those are with English Oak, including burenglish. And Bebbs, ware, and some other white oak combinations.

Of these, the burenglish from Oikos has been the fastest starter. Last year I planted another one. At the end of the year it was about 2 feet tall. It is now 6 feet tall--Wow! Yes, really, 4 feet this year--with some watering, but only twice. And no mildew, which I was told might be a problem.

I got the Hungarian oak--really pretty leaves. But for four years virtually no growth, but this year, suddenly, about 18 inches. Thanks resin for this endorsement. I think I will get another one.

I should get a beech--I have been reluctant because the whole area around my house is a ridgetop prairie, windy and dry. But I will re-think my idea about that.

In the meantime, my white oaks, and a swamp white, have begun to offer nice shade. And I have a sycamore underway, and a tuliptree, which is doing OK, but doesn't really like the hot, dry, and windy conditions here.

These are not "shade trees," but my species--smooth bark variety--Arizona cypress have taken to the environment here like it is their long lost home. No tree, of any kind, any way, has become established so quickly.

And in their second year, my Thuja plicata 'atrovirens' are taking off--with ample watering so far.

Oh, the "superior" white oak is at the top of my list for next year--thanks scotjute!!

--spruce


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RE: Tree recommendation--hybrid oak or ??+

Tom--and the rest of my advisers here:

I forgot to mention that I have some hickories. I have two shellbark, pignut, mockernut, and shagbark. I have two shellbark because I planted the first one on a bit of a ridge where the soil is more shallow, I subsequently read that shellbark hickory is generally a bottomland species. In the spring the buds get very large, and just before and after break, the bud scales, or whatever they are called, grow and become red, so the tree seems to be covered with flowers--beautiful.

I have some hickory on my timberland, and one shagbark, especially, is absolutely gorgeous. Looking at this tree, one could imagine it is the most beautiful tree in the world.

One problem here is they grow very, very slowly.

I also have 2 hiccan hybrids, which are supposed to grow extremely fast, but for me they are almost not growing, even after 5 years, and I have three pecans, also of the genus Carya, of course. They are also growing very slow in my environment here.

I love hickories, but here--what's the old saying? "I should live so long!"

I did some more research on American beech--based on what I can find out, maybe my initial idea of not bothering with it here is correct. They really, really don't like droughts, and don't like exposed sites. I never, never see any in the woods around here, and I am not sure I can point to a single one in Winchester. Beautiful trees, but I am afraid not for here.

Well, I am still looking for ideas. I know it is a sin in the minds of many in these forums, but I may just prune up a Norway spruce or two for shade trees, and/or white pine.

But so far the oaks are the best I have. I mentioned the white and swamp white oaks, but the two largest are Shummard oaks--they thrive here.

Oh, and I have cottonwoods. They are not spreading yet, so not much shade. Where I grew up--from age 5 to 15, the primary tree for shade and general enjoyment was a cottonwood. Gorgeous!! I have a Siouxland cultivar of eastern cottonwood. In the ground 5 years, 20 feet tall, and looking like it may be the star of all the 120 or so kinds of trees I have here!! Wonderful large leaves, rich green, glossy, and so far this tree is acting like it is more drought resistant than my other cottonwoods.

--spruce


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RE: Tree recommendation--hybrid oak or ??

Yeah Spruce-American beech can be finicky. In nature it's definitely a late-succession species, colonizing a stand long after whole waves of other species have come and gone. I don't even know if Am. beech would survive being planted in the open.

I'd tossed that idea out for a large stormwater project we're going to be doing on the muni. golf course. Upon further reflection, I also took it off the list! There had once been a smattering of beech on the course-now dead and gone. But I'm sure they got there when the site was still a woods.

+oM


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RE: Tree recommendation--hybrid oak or ??

  • Posted by beng z6b western MD (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 17, 12 at 7:35

Spruceman, Shumard oak (OIKOS) is my fastest too, nearly 28' tall after 9 seasons (counting this one). 2 or even 3 growth flushes a yr. It is unusual tho -- much smaller leaves than typical. Almost looks like it has some pin or scarlet oak in it w/pin-like twigs (but not pin oak form). Turns a beautiful red-scarlet in autumn w/leaves hanging on.

Regarding cottonwoods, I see quite a number of upright cottonwood-like trees faring badly around here -- serious leaf-loss from something. But I suspect those may be hybrids or some other "poplar" -- the classic cottonwoods seem fine. Aside, I recently noticed a few wild bigtooth aspens growing nearby here on ridgetops -- their greenish-cream trunks giving them away.


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RE: Tree recommendation--hybrid oak or ??

Bigtooth aspen would get top marks by me for any member of that genus. One of the fine sights of spring is seeing them off on some hillside with their odd whitish-green early season coloration-very different from any other poplar species. And the trunks add something to any woods in which they occur that is again, unavailable from any other.

That's one of my side projects-to eventually start a grove of Populus grandidenta somewhere on my land. Most likely will try to dig something out of the woods or ditch somewhere. It just doesn't seem like something one should have to purchase or buy as seedlings. Likes a higher, dryer site in general compared to say, quaking aspen.

+oM


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RE: Tree recommendation--hybrid oak or ??

Beng:

I got my two shummards at a local nursery at different times. One was sold to me as a scarlet oak, but obviously, it's not, although I can't rule out a bit of scarlet being in it through hybridizing at some point. When the leaves have turned brown, they are a good rich reddish brown.

The other was sold to me as Shummard, but I don't think it is pure Shummard either. The leaves are close to the classic Shummard, but they don't look quite right. The color after the leaves are brown, doesn't have quite as strong a red element in them.

One of them has much straighter and stronger twigs than the other--strange. Both generally put out two good growth flushes.

But leaves, twig color, buds, etc. of both match Shummard more than anything else.

Maybe there is just a lot of natural genetic variability in shummard oak. does anyone know?

Oaks can get quite complicated, and I am no expert.

Tom: I have native bigtooth aspen at my timberland, but in some places they are dying of old age and being replace by oaks and maples.

--spruce


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RE: Tree recommendation--hybrid oak or ??

Yeah, the bigtooths, fine trees though they are, are not going to diverge to any significant degree from their genus' generally short lifespan. In all forestry cases, unless followed by a clearcut, they will be replaced by something else.

+oM


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RE: Tree recommendation--hybrid oak or ??

kman04,
any idea where I can find Q. x burnetensis(Q. macrocarpa x virginians)? I'm in middle Tennesse and I hope this would be a good oak hybrid for my backyard. I've tried looking online for nurseries but can't seem to find any. thanks!


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RE: Tree recommendation--hybrid oak or ??

Sounds like a place for Quercus Prinus/ Montana.


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RE: Tree recommendation--hybrid oak or ??

  • Posted by beng z6 western MD (My Page) on
    Tue, Dec 31, 13 at 10:06

wisconsitom, when I was in southwest VA, there were occasional bigtooth aspens as canopy trees, 100' tall among the oaks, hickories, etc. I also see them here in MD on the higher ridges.


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