Bur Oak Trees!

You may remember from earlier posts that my imagination has been captured by the Bur Oak acorn.  Thanks to Garden Guy’s expertise with the post hole digger, we now have growing in our yard 5 Bur Oak saplings!!  So in 15 to 30 years, if all goes well, I’ll have my own crop of 1 1/2″ to 2′ acorns!  Yeah!  One of the saplings is even from the Virginia Big Tree Bur Oak in Elkton, Virginia.

But there’s more – we also now have two Bald Cypress trees, one of only two types of deciduous conifers.  I’ve been fascinated by these trees every since I was delighted to discover one Spring during my college days that the lovely conifer near my dorm had not died.  It merely shed its needles for the winter!  My sister did a lovely etching of that same tree, as it has a fascinating trunk. 

The man who was kind enough to call me about the Elkton Bur Oak, and provide me with saplings, also had a stash of cypress that he was planting that afternoon on his Hanover property.

He also encouraged me to take several European Mountain Ash saplings.  I was not familiar with this tree, but he had glowing descriptions of its spring bloom and summer berries.  For more info, see http://www.oplin.org/tree/fact%20pages/mountainash_european/mountainash_european.html

Tree Man stashes the Bur Oak acorns in his freezer over the winter and then plants them in the Spring.  The caps just take up space, so he removes them first and hasn’t much use for them.  So he gave me a bag full – American Girl Doll hats here we come!  I mentioned in passing that I’d also been looking for Long Leaf Pines, as their 18″ pine needles are excellent for decorating the tops of gourd bowls.

Well wouldn’t you know, he had one growning in the back yard along with all his other nursery stock!  I’d been so busy looking at his Bur Oaks of various ages, and other plantings, that I’d completely missed the Long Leaf. 

So we inspected it as well, and he graciously shared some of his pine tags.  He said his tree is almost 40 years old, but it’s rather spindly.  That’s because it really perfers a warmer climate than we have here in Richmond.  The Long Leaf growns abundantly in South Carolina, Georgia, and points south.  It has a very long tap root, and an extended grass stage without branching where it grows very slowly above ground for several years while the roots establish themselves. Then the tree will begin to gain height and branches.  For more info see: http://plants.usda.gov/factsheet/pdf/fs_pipa2.pdf

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