Field Growing Which Trees?

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Field Growing Which Trees?

Post  AboveBeyond on Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:02 am

Does anyone have a list of trees that will do well in 6a? I want to start field growing trees in my backyard but I have no experience as to which trees would work. I can plant the trees in either full sun or shaded areas so sun requirement shouldn't be a problem.

How would tridents or maples fare here in 6a?

Thanks!

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Re: Field Growing Which Trees?

Post  MrFancyPlants on Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:56 am

I think that elms would do well in your area, and they are good beginner's trees. If you have a decent sized back yard I bet you could even find a few volunteers. I like to use "native" material because I know that it will do well in my climate. Of course some of these natives are invasive, but not a problem for bonsai. Look for material that has smaller leaves because these will look better as small to medium sized bonsai.
I'm sure there are some pines that thrive in your climate, but I think tridents would require some winter protection?

also, check out Brent Walston's site http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/articles.htm . He has some great articles that make so much sense. There is an article about developing trunks, which could be useful if you are doing some "field" development.


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Re: Field Growing Which Trees?

Post  Leo Schordje on Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:27 am

Hi AboveBeyond
Most cultivars and from seed Japanese Maples would do well, Acer palmatum. I personally don't know if Trident maples are good for field growing by you. Here they need a little extra protection, but we are zone 5.

Which other trees are hardy in your zone? You can answer that very easily, look out your window, stop at a local landscape nursery, walk to a park, drive to a nearby forest preserve. Your local native trees are all hardy in your area, by definition. A quick google search of the flora of Massachusetts will give a list of the 'official' native trees of your state, and your area.

Which ones are good for bonsai? Many. For field growing, if you like pines I would especially look at your native Jack Pine, Pinus banksiana, and Pitch Pine, Pinus rigida. Non-natives to your area that would be good would be Japanese white pine, P. pentaphylla, Scotchs pine, P. sylvestris and Black Pine, P thunbergiana. Also consider Pinus mugo. That is a good start. I would avoid P strobus, it can work, but many have problems with getting its growth habit to go along with a design.

Virtually any native or non-native juniper could be field grown. Any species of larch will be happy in zone 6.
As mentioned earlier, elms of all types.
I like Japanese Flowering Quinces, and a few years in a field they can become quite nice.

What group of trees do you like? That is the group to check out for field growing.
as mentioned earlier, evergreen gardenworks is a good place for information and inexpensive starts of good cultivars for bonsai. One source for seed, the cheap way to plant out a field is Misho Bonsai http://www.mishobonsai.com/


Last edited by Leo Schordje on Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:30 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Field Growing Which Trees?

Post  Dave Murphy on Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:42 pm

When I lived in zone 6 MA, the tree species I grew out in my yard included tridents and palmatums (both grew very well in part shade or full sun), chinese elms, ume, bald cypress, yews, Japanese black and red pines, mugo pines, norway spruce, shimpaku junipers...the tridents experienced -8F in an exposed location with only minimal die-back.

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Re: Field Growing Which Trees?

Post  JimLewis on Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:08 pm

There undoubtedly is a book somewhere with a title like "Native Trees of New England." Anything in it would be suitable.

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Re: Field Growing Which Trees?

Post  coh on Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:45 pm

Crab apples would do well if you like them. I have a number in the ground and they are all growing strongly. Someone mentioned flowering quince, those grow well and you could also try chinese quince, I've got one of those as well and it looks good. I've always been told that tridents are iffy here because of the prolonged cold and harsh winds, and that japanese maples are susceptible to die back for the same reason. That might not be such a concern if you're just growing them for trunk size. Acer ginnala (amur maple) is vey hardy.

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Re: Field Growing Which Trees?

Post  AboveBeyond on Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:56 pm

Thanks for the repsones. I'll have to check out that book.

Is it too late in the season to plant now?

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Re: Field Growing Which Trees?

Post  Dave Murphy on Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:04 pm

AboveBeyond wrote:Thanks for the repsones. I'll have to check out that book.

Is it too late in the season to plant now?
October is possibly the best time to plant in zone 6...warm soil and cool temps allow trees to really produce alot of roots with no heat or drought stress to slow them down.

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Re: Field Growing Which Trees?

Post  Hoo on Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:58 pm

Eastern Red Cedars, Eastern/Canadian Hemlock, Eastern White Pine, Red and Sugar Maples and AMERICAN Chestnut (not chinese, please) to name a few. Try to keep everything native if you can. Plenty of options, just depends what you want, how much space and how much time you have. Plant a few for the animals while you're at it. They'll appreciate it just as much as you will.

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Re: Field Growing Which Trees?

Post  JimLewis on Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:11 pm

I'll have to check out that book.

"That" book may have a different title, or may be state specific. As I wrote. "There undoubtedly is a book somewhere with a title like (new emphasis supplied) . . .

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Re: Field Growing Which Trees?

Post  coh on Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:22 pm

Hoosteady wrote:Eastern Red Cedars, Eastern/Canadian Hemlock, Eastern White Pine, Red and Sugar Maples and AMERICAN Chestnut (not chinese, please) to name a few. Try to keep everything native if you can.
I don't see why this is a concern. You should plant trees that you want to use as bonsai...if they happen to be natives that's great. But some of the species you list are not known to be particularly good for bonsai (red maple, sugar maple, white pine).

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Re: Field Growing Which Trees?

Post  Hoo on Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:53 pm

"I don't see why this is a concern. You should plant trees that you want to use as bonsai...if they happen to be natives that's great."

Just my opinion that when planting non-native trees in the ground (which I will never recommend) one should be careful not to introduce pests or aggressive species. I know it's not like he's flying the woolly adelgid or multiflora rose in first class, but why take chances if you don't have to... Again, just my opinion.

So to say "you should plant trees that you want to use as bonsai"... I disagree. You should work with what is readily available and you know will work well in your environment... In my worthless opinion.

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Re: Field Growing Which Trees?

Post  Poink88 on Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:23 pm

Hoosteady wrote:So to say "you should plant trees that you want to use as bonsai"... I disagree. You should work with what is readily available and you know will work well in your environment.
Local plants are easier to find (usually cheaper too) and will require less maintenance. That said, I find variety keeps my interest up so I have a lot of non-native plants. I get a different kind of satisfaction working on them and worth the headache that comes as part of the package LOL. As a matter of fact, I am re-arranging my garage to accommodate my tropicals soon! (I've been putting it off actually) Embarassed

Some might feel differently and it is totally understandable/acceptable.

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Re: Field Growing Which Trees?

Post  AboveBeyond on Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:24 pm

Dave Murphy wrote:
AboveBeyond wrote:Thanks for the repsones. I'll have to check out that book.

Is it too late in the season to plant now?
October is possibly the best time to plant in zone 6...warm soil and cool temps allow trees to really produce alot of roots with no heat or drought stress to slow them down.

Awesome, I'll do some planting this weekend. Smile

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Re: Field Growing Which Trees?

Post  Fore on Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:12 pm

I planted Tridents, JMs, Shimpakus, Ch.and Jp Quince, JBP, Larch and Ch Elms in the ground here in Chicago this spring, zone 5B. Plan on leaving them all in the ground. I'll see how that works out for me...

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Re: Field Growing Which Trees?

Post  AboveBeyond on Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:50 pm

Fore wrote:I planted Tridents, JMs, Shimpakus, Ch.and Jp Quince, JBP, Larch and Ch Elms in the ground here in Chicago this spring, zone 5B. Plan on leaving them all in the ground. I'll see how that works out for me...

I just planted a Jap Black Pine, a Hawthorne, a Chinese Elm, and a Shimpaku in full sun along with both a Jap Maple and Trident in a shaded area. I have my fingers crossed that they make it over the winter! Smile

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Re: Field Growing Which Trees?

Post  Dave Murphy on Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:26 am

AboveBeyond wrote:
Fore wrote:I planted Tridents, JMs, Shimpakus, Ch.and Jp Quince, JBP, Larch and Ch Elms in the ground here in Chicago this spring, zone 5B. Plan on leaving them all in the ground. I'll see how that works out for me...

I just planted a Jap Black Pine, a Hawthorne, a Chinese Elm, and a Shimpaku in full sun along with both a Jap Maple and Trident in a shaded area. I have my fingers crossed that they make it over the winter! Smile

Apply a 2" layer of bark mulch around each planting and right up to but not touching the trunk. Keep watered until the ground freezes, and again when the growing season starts next year. They should be fine, but good luck, anyway.

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Re: Field Growing Which Trees?

Post  AboveBeyond on Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:00 am

I noticed that my Chinese Elm is being eaten by a rabbit at night! I want to plant some Japanese Maples/Trident in the same area but I"m afraid those would be dinner too! Is there anything that I can do to prevent the tree from being food?

My Hawthorne, Shimpaku, and JBP are fine though. Laughing


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Re: Field Growing Which Trees?

Post  Dave Murphy on Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:49 am

Chicken wire fencing should work.

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Re: Field Growing Which Trees?

Post  leatherback on Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:18 am

Dave Murphy wrote:Chicken wire fencing should work.

Shotguns work well too, and bring you something for christmas { big Wink, don't like hunting }

Just wanted to add a thought, which is easy, because I do not have rabbits in the garden (I have to deal with some 2 score of cats digging to dump their fertiliser in my growing beds): It is of course just natural pruning. If the eating is not too bad, maybe just let them as long as you are growing stock? You will get trims in unexpected places and most (?all?) of your plants will just re-sprout [Maybe someone can confirm this?]. This is one of the ways that great Yamadori are formed: Through natural, non-structured trimming and the damage done that way...

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Re: Field Growing Which Trees?

Post  AboveBeyond on Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:30 pm

Here's are some pictures of the trees I grounded planted. I added the fence due to rabbits eating the trees. This fence area receives near full sun most of the day. I planted most of the trees back in October and a couple earlier this month. I hope I didn't plant them to close to each other since I wasn't sure how much space is sufficient between each tree.

We'll see if they survive the winter!! Laughing




These are in a more shaded area. There are 2 tridents in front and 2 Japanese maples in the back.


Trident close-up


Japanese maple close-up






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Re: Field Growing Which Trees?

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