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London Plane tree

Posted by JGregory none (My Page) on
Thu, Nov 21, 13 at 23:36

I just purchased 8 Exclamation London Plane trees from a grower in Illinois. I live in Connecticut. The bottom of the trees' canopies ar 4-6 feet above the ground. The trees are about 16 feet in total height. I thought that the bottom of this tree's canopy was much closer to the ground. I needed the lower canopy for protection on a golf course. I assume that this is a result of tree farm's need to handle and ship the tree. Is the condition of the trees permanent or might they sprout branches closer to the ground in the future? Thank you.

This post was edited by JGregory on Thu, Nov 21, 13 at 23:43


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: London Plane tree

Branches can sprout below the existing canopy, but I wouldn't count on it. Most of a trees resources are directed at getting taller and wider, because that is what allows them to compete in natural conditions.

I'm not sure how well your plan would have worked anyway, in the long-term. These trees are relatively fast growing, and as they grow, will become thinner at the bottom. Also, they would eventually be likely to loose their lower limbs. It sounds like what you really need is some type of solid fencing. I never have understood why people would want to live next to a golf course.


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RE: London Plane tree

it sounds like you got beautifully pruned young trees ... that said w/ a pic, of course ...

if you want protection lower below.. you add some flowering shrubs ... and ones that can take the sun now ... but in a decade will be shade tolerant ..... they will grow with vigor while the trees are young.. and get well established ... so when the trees get older.. they will be able to thrive together ...

too many peeps.. are late to the game.. and want to add the shrubs under a 50 foot highly aggressive monster.. and that can get troublesome ...

thought they have the potential to branch lower.... i wouldnt bet the farm on such ... and frankly.. i wouldnt want such a majestic tree to have branches to the ground ...

the 60 year old sycamores in moms old neighborhood are bordering on 60 feet wide ... do you want no lawn ... or area out there.. to walk.. play.. etc .... if the trees were 60 foot wide at the ground..... there will be no yard ...

ken


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RE: London Plane tree

For the relatively shade intolerant London Plane, the canopy will rise as the tree grows....They will never be bushy all the way to the ground.


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RE: London Plane tree

also... in re: shrubs ...

if you went with a diversity of types.. you could have a flower show for most of spring.. and into summer ...

all of one type.. will give you one week of flower ...

ken


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RE: London Plane tree

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Fri, Nov 22, 13 at 17:06

As suggested use fencing and/or plant evergreen shrubs (box, holly, yew etc.) beneath for yearround barrier or screening.

There are plenty of flowering shrubs that bloom longer than a week, popular obvious example shrubby potentilla - which may bloom May to October; one planting of this in a development near me still had a good percentage of flowers out last week.


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RE: London Plane tree

"I needed the lower canopy for protection on a golf course."

I took this as protection from golf balls, for which a shrub is probably not going to be sufficient. Is that what you are after, or are you talking privacy?


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RE: London Plane tree

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sat, Nov 23, 13 at 14:57

If there is a shower of golf balls all that is going to work is netting - like they put up around concessions where golfers go to practice.

I used to have somebody way over in the next neighborhood south of here swatting golf balls in my direction, so high in the air that they were falling into my yard because of collisions with tall trees.


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RE: London Plane tree

Sycamores are fantastic trees for screening around golf courses. They have huge leaves that do a great job of catching and slowing down golf balls. Trust me, as a long time golfer, I am intimately familiar with which trees eat golf balls. They also get very tall and very wide. Perfect for what the OP wants.

Couple of thoughts, though. If you want trees that are branched lower, you have to buy them that way. Trees can bud from lower down as Brandon states, however the canopy above is already more developed and will not allow the lower branches to spread out in all likelyhood.

A net is certainly not attractive but is your best bet for protection, especially low like the first 10-20'

And last of all, the OP's location relative to the particular hole determines what kind of hazards he is facing. If the home is just off the fairway halfway down a par 4 he is in danger from driver damage which is likely to come from mush higher up than any screen he can reasonably put up. If he is around a par 3 tee box, golf ball danger is minimal. It's really all relative.

If they are hardy in your area, southern magnolia would be a great evergreen screen with large leaves that could fill in the gaps between the sycamores. They are also shade tolerant. Would have to know your zone before any specific recommendations could be made.


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RE: London Plane tree

"They have huge leaves that do a great job of catching and slowing down golf balls...trust me..."

Sorry John, but if there was a golfball hurtling at one of my glass windows at maybe 40 or 50 mph, I would not trust a leaf, of any kind, to stop it, even with your assurance (unless you were sure enough to guarantee that you'd pick up the tab if it did cause damage). We still don't know what JG had in mind though.


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RE: London Plane tree

Do you even play golf? ;)

I've played for almost 30 years...

As trees go, sycamores are among the best at interfering with golf balls. I never said they would stop them all, but they will at the very least slow most of them down...

This is really not up for debate honestly. I stand by my statement.

There are some really bad golfers out there as well and they will find a way no matter your golf ball defense to bypass that and damage your property. It comes with the territory living on a golf course. Point being there is no surefire way to avoid golf ball damage if you buy a house that borders a "hot zone" on a golf course. Trees help, and the ones with the densest canopy and largest leaves perform the best for this purpose.

This post was edited by j0nd03 on Sat, Nov 23, 13 at 18:24


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RE: London Plane tree

"Do you even play golf?"

Sure did! There's nothing like playing golf cart bumper cars!


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RE: London Plane tree

  • Posted by beng z6 western MD (My Page) on
    Tue, Nov 26, 13 at 9:23

j0nd03, any golf ball I ever hit into a tree always seemed to find a branch dead-on. :)


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RE: London Plane tree

LOL beng! Too bad the old golf saying "Trees are 90% air. The odds are in your golfball's favor!" isn't quite reality. It's more like " While a tree is supposedly 90% air, it is that 10% that blocks more than 90% of the routs a golf ball may travel through a tree."

You bring up a good point, though. Trees that are "twiggy" or produce a lot of branches are even better at stopping/deflecting golf balls than ones that are sparsely branched regardless of leaf size or density =)

On first glance, bald cypress may not appear to be a good golf ball deflector because it has fine soft foliage, but it's propensity to be thickly branched makes it a good selection for all 4 seasons instead of just the growing season. I don't understand the golfers that play when the temps are in the 30's and 40's, however. I suppose they are probably good enough they don't hit too many trees to begin with.


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RE: London Plane tree

I've seen a picture of this variety with foliage clothing it to ground level - but if it's already pruned, I doubt it's going to sprout new lower branches.

Having grown up around London plane trees, I note that while they are relatively tough and capable of surviving pollution and bad soil, they are messy trees, dropping bark, seed balls and leaves over a long period. They also leaf out relatively late in spring and have no fall color to speak of.

Since the OP has 8 trees, maybe the best thing to do with them is plant them as a screen but supplement with an inconspicuous barrier like a deer fence for six-eight feet or so.

I used to play golf on a public course where the neighboring homes were at risk of stray tee shots on certain holes. It was always an adventure on the 17th hole when you sliced a tee shot out of bounds, waiting to hear sounds of breaking glass and outraged bellows from the homeowner. ;)


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RE: London Plane tree

In the few times I've played golf, I can't remember a tree stopping one of my golf balls in mid flight. I have noticed however that if I throw a rock, and try to miss a tree, the rock ALWAYS hits the tree dead-on. The only way I can get it to miss the tree is to try my best to hit the tree. Weird....


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