Thread: Tree selection ideas

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Southern Indiana

    Tree selection ideas

    Hello All!
    Im new to the Arbor Day Forum, and this is my first post to this fantastic website!! I hope to get some informative feedback.
    My front yard slopes into a small stream and I want to plant trees along the bank for erosion control and privacy. I love cypress trees (they remind me of my favorite fishing spot Reelfoot Lake in Tn) and have successfully planted them along the bank in other locations. I am considering the Tamarack and Dawn Redwood as well as the Bald Cypress. Both Tamarack and Bald Cypress are available as seedlings from the Indiana Dept of Natural Resources, but I will have to find another source for the Dawn Redwood.
    I want the trees to grow fast for privacy, and I think the Dawn will grow faster.
    Any thoughts or suggestions? Thank you for all your ideas and help!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    michigan zone 5

    RE: Tree selection ideas

    I remember when I was a kid we lived next to a drainage ditch[for lack of a better term]. Well itmade a turn right past our house. My uncles installed rip-rap which was just broken concrete so the soil didn't wash away. They also planted Black Walnuts and a few Oaks, No soil ever washed away and the trees thrived for years. Also remember seeing lots of willows and possy-willows thriving too. If you need other fast growers that like water Cottonwood[poplar] or Silver Maple will grow to be very tall.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    St. Louis zone 6

    RE: Tree selection ideas

    Dawn Redwood is available through Arbor Day last time I checked. I have one in the front yard now 15 foot tall or so.

    How many are you looking to buy? Arbor Day is one of the most reasonable priced sources. Musser Forests is another I have bought from.
    Zone 6, St. Louis, MO

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Central Indiana

    RE: Tree selection ideas

    Bald cypress grow well and fast. The question of how many you're going to plant is important. If you're wanting to plant 100 or more, go with bald cypress and get them from the DNR. Our DNR nursery in Vallnoia is a great source! I've had tremendous success with them.

    But if you're only wanting a few trees, then I'd suggest going to a nursery or even a "big box" store for them. Bald cypress and dawn redwood are widely available.

    If you are buying only a few trees: Unless you have a lot of years to wait, I'd not waste time on buying them on-line or through ADF. They'll be tiny sticks. Go with a potted or balled and burlapped tree. If you do buy on-line, make sure that you buy larger seedlings. I agree that Musser Forest is an excellent source! I've been very successful with trees from them.

    Of course, if you are going with larger quantities, the DNR seedlings are the way to go--they'll be fairly small, but they'll grow quickly. I planted a bunch of bald cypress from them in 2006--they were part of the Woodland Packets (a nice deal that gives you ten each of 13 different species) I bought for my reforestation project. This year, most of them are about 7 feet tall. A few are a little shorter--like the one I accidentally mowed down and a couple the deer got. But they're healthy, thriving, and are now really starting to take off in growth rate. Of course, mine are mixed in with a lot of other hardwood trees--all planted for reforestation (8'x8' spacing) on a few acres of old pasture.

    One final question: if you're wanting privacy, why not go with an evergreen? The DNR carries Norway Spruce--they get huge, fast, and keep their lower branches. They also have other evergreens that would make great privacy screens.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Western NY, Zone 6

    RE: Tree selection ideas

    Also, check with your County - your County probably has a soil and water conservation department that allows residents to bulk order trees for extremely cheap prices ($1 per tree). The best part about the County tree distribution is that they are generally grown locally and have already been adapted to grow in your area/climate. The Counties make tree order forms available, either online or in the County municipal building, to order trees in late Winter/early Spring (order deadlines are usually in March). I've ordered many trees from my County which have nearly all survived. 2 years ago, I ordered 30 Blue Spruce transplants that were already 3-4' tall. I paid $1 per tree, so $30 got me 30 3' tall blue spruces. I was able to download the order form online, print it out, indicate which trees I wanted and how many, then mailed it in with payment. The county then sent out letters in early April letting me know where and when to pick them up. Can't beat their prices anywhere.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Central Indiana

    RE: Tree selection ideas

    In Indiana, the county SWCD are partnered with the DNR (as well as other state departments/offices). Although some counties may do things differently--I haven't checked all 92!--most of them will direct you to the DNR Nurseries for tree seedlings. We have two nurseries--one north, one south--and you purchase your trees from the closest one, which gives you the advantages of having them be native and grown close by. They have packet deals and there is a minimum order, but when you buy a 100, they typically run about .35-.40 cents apiece. You can go pick them up or have them shipped. I've done both and had great success both ways. They pack them well and they are strong, healthy seedlings.

    Some of the Indiana SWCD offices do have fall/spring tree sales--but they are selling larger, potted trees--that run $18 dollars to $30 dollars or more each. A good way to get a big tree, but pretty expensive, and not for bulk orders.

    So, it comes back to the question of how many trees are you looking to plant?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Central Indiana

    RE: Tree selection ideas

    While I'm thinking of it, here is the link to the Indiana DNR's nursery site:

    There is a link to the order form on that page. The 2010-2011 prices are great! Evergreens are about .26 cents each and the decidious trees are .31 cents.

    The way they sell the trees is through a lottery. So, you've got to place your order before the deadline of the third Friday in October. You make first and second choices. After the lottery, they send you an invoice. Any remaining trees are sold on a first-come-first-serve basis.

    I've bought from them numerous times and have gotten my first choice every time but one. That time I got the one-year seedlngs instead of the two-year seedlings.

    100 bald cypress are $31.80, plus a $10 processing fee and the cost of shipping or your going to pick them up. If you ship them, it will end up costing you about .61 cents a tree. If you're close enough to pick them up and buy enough trees in an order, you can get that price down even lower.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    RE: Tree selection ideas

    Tamarack is a cold area tree and I think southern Indiana may be too warm for them. The DNR site might even mention they are suggested for northern Indiana only.

    I really like the Dawn Redwoods. Similar to the cypress with faster growth. I think they leaf out earlier in the spring also. Fall habit seems about the same.

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