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les
05-22-2005, 09:29 AM
I bought 2 yellow poplar or tulip trees a little over a month ago. There were no leaves, but you could see some green on the buds. The roots were wrapped in a cloth ball, with directions not to remove the cloth or disturb the ball during planting.

My husband and I planted the trees digging the appropriate size hole, loosening the soil all around, etc. He put a little 18-18-6 fertilizer in the bottom of the hole and watered the trees in very well after planting. They have a tree ring around them and are watered at least every other day.

To date, the green has gone away and we have 2 sticks with branches. The branches are not brittle, but I am not sure they are alive, either. We live in Central Florida and have been successful with many other trees, so I am concerned about our little tulip trees. Is there anything else we need to be doing or have we harmed our trees?

Thank you,

Les

Jules
05-22-2005, 11:44 AM
It is generally not advised to fertilize newly planted trees. When you said "the green has gone away," do you mean that the green buds turned brown? I would call the nursery. That doesn't sound right.

In the meantime, I would simply wait and be patient, making sure to water the trees DEEPLY once or twice a week. Watering every other day may not be necessary and you may be over-doing it. Or, you may be UNDER-doing it, if the water you are providing is not a slow soaking. Dig down about 6-8 inches. Is the soil moist there? Good, don't water. If it's dry, it needs more.

I don't know what a "tree ring" is. If it's one of those thick mats of recycled rubber, I'd remove it and put down something organic as soon as humanly possible.

My bare root royal red maple leafed out a full month after it should have (a month after all the other royal reds) the year it was planted. I thought it was dead.

It wasn't. (http://www.coffeedrome.com/jtree2d.html)

Good luck. I think tulip poplars are wonderful trees!
--Jules

Ellyssian
05-22-2005, 02:50 PM
Interesting things about tulip trees is that, if I understand correctly, they're not poplars at all!

I've got a small one growing (would be larger except the deer ate half of it last year) that the birds brought - as far as I can tell, there are no others anywhere near here (they are, however, native to this area.)

les
05-22-2005, 06:34 PM
Hi Jules,

Yep, the green buds turned brown. We bought them at a supermarket of all places, so I have no idea what nursery they came from. I was just so excited to see Tulip Trees that I bought them. You do not see them for sale very often in this area.

The tree ring is a 1" wide, 12" long and 4" high curved cement border. 4 of them make a perfect ring about 3' in diameter. When we placed them around the tree, we dug a little below ground level so that they are secure. Then we added mulch on top of the ground inside the ring. They are suppose to help concentrate the water in the right place. I would not use one of those rubber things that covers the earth.

I did not know you were not supposed to fertilize when planting. I have always done that and usually my trees grow. This is the first time I have ever had trouble. I just hope I did not kill them.

I will wait and see.......and hope and pray.

Thank you,

Les

saccharum
05-22-2005, 07:48 PM
Interesting things about tulip trees is that, if I understand correctly, they're not poplars at all!

I've got a small one growing (would be larger except the deer ate half of it last year) that the birds brought - as far as I can tell, there are no others anywhere near here (they are, however, native to this area.)
You're right, they're in the mangolia family (Magnoliaceae), the family's only native northern representative. You probably don't see them around because they're normally deep forest trees (often the tallest trees in the NE forest).

I've always found it odd that they're sometimes called yellow poplar - they don't even look very poplar-like to me.

It doesn't sound good, les. Transplanting is always risky, you win some and you lose some. All of Jules' advice is very good, as usual.

les
05-22-2005, 08:19 PM
Thank you all for the suggestions.

How long should I continue to wait before I give up hope on these little guys?

If they do not make it, I am now determined to find some more tulip trees to replace them. My grandmother had one that I used to play under when I was little and I loved it. So I would love to have them to remember my grandmother by.

Thanks, again!

Les