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Picture of nance425
posted
We have a small median out in the street with 2 Pin Oaks that are dying. Our newly established board members want to replace them and then put down stone as ground cover. They think that will be less work to maintain than mulch.

1. Is this true, as I saw a bunch of weeds growing through the stone in the other medians?
2. And/or is mulch better for the trees that will be put in there? (possibly Japanese Lilacs)

This message has been edited. Last edited by: nance425,
 
Posts: 4582 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: Dec 01, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of owie
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Both will need maintain. How much maintaining will depend on exactly how the soil is prepared underneath. I personally do not like stone. I prefer regular mulch as it has an opportunity to break down and enrich the soil. Either way weeds will be a problem because they are airborne and land on the stones and mulch and take root in what ever little bit of soil they can find. Every see plants growing out of large rock along the road. They have found a little bit of soil and taken root.JMHO
 
Posts: 15311 | Location: Harford county, MD, zone 6 | Registered: May 10, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of NYlady
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I don't like stone for a mulch at all. .Little fingers find the stones to be wonderful ammunition..
 
Posts: 3413 | Location: Staten Island, NY , USA | Registered: Sep 24, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Loonie
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The works department are looking at the feasibility of stone, which wont move, to the mulch which might be disturbed by passers-by and children kicking it around make a mess---which then they have to clean up.

If the tree they wish to replace the oaks with is
Chinese Silk Lilac, you would be getting a medium small tree that flowers beautifully, looks great, and one that is fast becoming the tree of choice for small lawns and medians.
 
Posts: 458 | Registered: Mar 22, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of ga.karen
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I don't like stone either. And if they ever have to try to remove it to replace more trees or add other plants...they won't like it either! It is a royal pain in the putt!
Stones will move almost as much as any mulch would and does nothing for the trees or the soil. Mulch will help retain the moisture while the stones don't do that well and organic matter that will eventually get into the soil from mulch will also help hold moisture.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: ga.karen,


"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
 
Posts: 4794 | Location: SW Ga. 8b | Registered: Apr 21, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of nance425
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I feel the same way. I think they should stick with mulch. However, they think stone would be less maintenance. This is what I have to look at from my kitchen window. One of the neighbors tried desperately to save these Pin Oaks, trying to change the alkaline soil to acidic, etc. They've looked like this for over 2 years and we've had enuf.
I would love to see Japanese tree lilacs go in which at least be a much improved view. And we have them in the other median down the road. If only they would keep the mulch for a more natural look....like the median at the other end (next post picture)

This message has been edited. Last edited by: nance425,

 
Posts: 4582 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: Dec 01, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of nance425
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This is the other median. It's gone over 4 years wo replacement mulch and still looks fine. Yes, occasional weeds that are sprayed, etc., but it's been looking acceptable, even a few daylilies at one end. Sure wish I could convince them to add more, but... Smile

 
Posts: 4582 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: Dec 01, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of nance425
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Just found out they are also considering putting in Burr Oaks...gotta go do research on them. don't they get big and will we have issues with falling leaves in the Fall???
 
Posts: 4582 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: Dec 01, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of mgt
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Nance, you're right the Bur Oak gets HUGE...I found this on a search for you:

"It occurs from the Appalachian Mountains west to the middle of the Great Plains, extending to central Texas, across southernmost Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, east to the Atlantic Coast in southern New Brunswick and down the coast to Delaware.

It is a large deciduous tree growing up to 30 m (100 ft), rarely 40 m (130 ft), in height, and is one of the most massive oaks with a trunk diameter of up to 3 m (10 ft); reports of taller trees occur, but have not been verified. It is one of the slowest-growing oaks, with a growth rate of 30 cm (1 ft) per year when young. A 20-year-old tree will be about 6 m (20 ft) tall. It commonly lives to be 200 to 300 years old, and may live up to 400 years.[1] The bark is a medium gray and somewhat rugged.

The leaves are 7–15 cm (3–6 in) long and 5–13 cm (2–5 in) broad, variable in shape, with a lobed margin. Most often, the basal 60% is narrower and deeply lobed, while the apical 40% is wider and has shallow lobes or large teeth. The flowers are greenish-yellow catkins, produced in the spring. The acorns are very large, 2–5 cm (0.8–2 in) long and 2–4 cm (0.8-1.5 in) broad, having a large cup that wraps much of the way around the nut, with large overlapping scales and often a fringe at the edge of the cup."


~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I've decided to quit my job, drop out of society, and wear live animals as hats."
 
Posts: 7804 | Location: Black Creek, WI Zone 5 | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of ga.karen
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quote:
Originally posted by mgt:
Nance, you're right the Bur Oak gets HUGE...I found this on a search for you:

"It occurs from the Appalachian Mountains west to the middle of the Great Plains, extending to central Texas, across southernmost Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, east to the Atlantic Coast in southern New Brunswick and down the coast to Delaware.

It is a large deciduous tree growing up to 30 m (100 ft), rarely 40 m (130 ft), in height, and is one of the most massive oaks with a trunk diameter of up to 3 m (10 ft); reports of taller trees occur, but have not been verified. It is one of the slowest-growing oaks, with a growth rate of 30 cm (1 ft) per year when young. A 20-year-old tree will be about 6 m (20 ft) tall. It commonly lives to be 200 to 300 years old, and may live up to 400 years.[1] The bark is a medium gray and somewhat rugged.

The leaves are 7–15 cm (3–6 in) long and 5–13 cm (2–5 in) broad, variable in shape, with a lobed margin. Most often, the basal 60% is narrower and deeply lobed, while the apical 40% is wider and has shallow lobes or large teeth. The flowers are greenish-yellow catkins, produced in the spring. The acorns are very large, 2–5 cm (0.8–2 in) long and 2–4 cm (0.8-1.5 in) broad, having a large cup that wraps much of the way around the nut, with large overlapping scales and often a fringe at the edge of the cup."


Those could tear up the street as they grow, not just the median. And wouldn't there be acorns to also contend with which would encourage a large squirrel population which can also damage houses & vehicle wiring, etc.???
Trying to give you some arguments here! Big Grin


"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
 
Posts: 4794 | Location: SW Ga. 8b | Registered: Apr 21, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of mgt
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Squirrels be da mned. Big Grin Can you imagine driving over those acorns & having them ping wildly around, striking kids, pets & houses? Big Grin


~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I've decided to quit my job, drop out of society, and wear live animals as hats."
 
Posts: 7804 | Location: Black Creek, WI Zone 5 | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of joy37
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Before they do anything, have them check a few feet down into the ground to find out what is going on. Because...why is this one dead and the other one nice, green, healthy???

Something is keeping those tree roots from water and food.
 
Posts: 4889 | Location: zone 7, West Texas | Registered: Feb 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of nance425
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well, I submitted all your helpful comments Smile and we'll see how my suggestions go over. The 3 board members want as little upkeep of our public areas as possible. They'll have to make some decisions soon and get the new plantings in before the snow flies around here.

Good point joy37. One of the neighbors got his masters gardener's certification recently and has been trying to bring that tree back for 2 years. He can't figure it out either. They are Pin Oaks and need more acidic soil so he was trying to amend it and treat the yellowing, but....

These trees should never have been planted in our alkaline soil and especially out there in the median. The soil doesn't have enough iron or something.
http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm...-11-1997/pinoak.html

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Posts: 4582 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: Dec 01, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of mgt
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Good luck with it all, Nance.


~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I've decided to quit my job, drop out of society, and wear live animals as hats."
 
Posts: 7804 | Location: Black Creek, WI Zone 5 | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of ga.karen
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Has your Master Gardener had a soil test done on that area?
That would be a really good idea no matter what they do with it.
Rocks still get weeds in them...the seeds blow in, are dropped by birds, are carried on car tires, are carried on our shoes...it will get weeds no matter what materials they use. They are just normally a lot easier to pull from mulch than from other things & certainly easier to pull if there is NO weed block fabric down.


"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
 
Posts: 4794 | Location: SW Ga. 8b | Registered: Apr 21, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of nance425
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mgt: thanks. Smile

gaKaren: Good question
about a soil test. Not sure it was done. And their solution for weeds is to spray with Round Up. That's what they did in the 3rd median down at the end of the street which has the blessed stones. Frown
 
Posts: 4582 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: Dec 01, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of joy37
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Bingo! Round up kills trees too and there is no way to spray the weeds and not get spray on the tree. Grrrrrr!
 
Posts: 4889 | Location: zone 7, West Texas | Registered: Feb 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of nance425
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joy37 - Do you think the Round Up is getting down into the tree roots after being sprayed on the weeds
??? O, man....
 
Posts: 4582 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: Dec 01, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of mgt
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I'll bet the round-up is part of the problem.


~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I've decided to quit my job, drop out of society, and wear live animals as hats."
 
Posts: 7804 | Location: Black Creek, WI Zone 5 | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of joy37
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Absolutely!

Sounds like the city's Park & Recreation Dept. does not have a professional chemist.
 
Posts: 4889 | Location: zone 7, West Texas | Registered: Feb 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Loonie
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I'm surprised that the works/parks department didn't consult with property owners that abut the medians where trees are.
This is the usual thing to do since its homeowner that usually looks after the plantings....grass and clean-up of leaves and such.
The city would do the pruning and fertilizing where felt necessary.
They want a tree that fits the size of the median....it doesn't do any good to put a tree that causes problems over or under the street.
Nobody in their right mind would plant a huge tree with all its problems of roots.
So they look for smaller to medium trees that wont tear up the grass or curbs and he lilac is a good choice.
The silk lilac is not like your common lilac...the creamy white blooms completely fill the tree and emit a wonderful scent that persons on the street will appreciate.
This tree has a nice compact canopy--no arching branches and it flowers in June/July.

We have two of them, one in front, one in back which harbors a nest of a robin.
As said, medians are fast discovering this lilac as one of the better trees for small spaces.
 
Posts: 458 | Registered: Mar 22, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of nance425
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This is a relatively new sub. I guess the city doesn't have responsibility for these trees since it's in a private subdivision. The developer put the trees in the median years ago - before we were here. I'm wondering if there was an ordinance for them back then and he just ignored it.
We can only put certain kinds of trees in our median and they had to be in before closing.

Obviously, someone didn't know a thing about the size of these trees or that the size would be a problem out there. They definitely didn't know they like more acidic soil than is out there. Must have gotten a good deal on a bunch of them at the time. Smile What a waste of the developer's money.

Now the homeowners have taken over and we are dealing with the problem, or at least one of the 3 board members is with my input from you all. Smile We'll see where they go with the ideas.

Loonie: He knows about the Japanese Lilac trees because there are a couple in that front median. How are they different from the Chinese Silk Lilac?
 
Posts: 4582 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: Dec 01, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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