Sunday, November 1, 2015

Oh, How I've Longer for You


Baby Sourwood
Many of you know how much I love trees. One tree in particular that I have yearned for, for years, is a Sourwood, Oxydendron arboreum. During autumn these trees really shine. The foliage color ranges from green to various shades of red to peach to salmon. I was able to find some small ones semi-locally via the internet from Mail Order Natives. Theirs are small, about 8 to 12 inches tall, I bought four. Further internet searches lead me to a native plant nursery within an hour and a half drive. After a few messages back and forth with the folks at this nursery we made plans to visit.


Friday we took a drive up to Greer to Southern Heritage Nursery, a perfect day for an afternoon in the mountains. Mary, one of the owners was ready for us when we got there. As my camera was charging at home, I don't have photos of the nursery, but rest assured, we will go back. Photos will come in the future.




Fall through early winter a perfect time to plant in our area. The rainfall in the winter helps establish the root systems while the above ground portions of the plant are dormant. Since we have had some recent rains the soil in the woods/gardens are quite workable. Our soil is clay based, though in the woods there is a layer of leaf litter compost that helps add in nutrients. In addition to the three lovely Sourwood trees I came home with a native Smoke tree, Cotinus obovatus, and a Sassafras albidum. Don't you just love that salmon/peach color of the new trees?

New fall color waiting to be planted

 I already had one Sassafras in the garden, but that little tree is only 6 inches tall. It is a host plant for the Spicebush butterfly caterpillar. My tiny Sassafras has about four or five leaves, hardly enough for more than one cat to enjoy.
Small Sassafras
With rain in the forecast, getting my new plants in the ground was high on my agenda for today. While I had an idea where most of my new trees were going to be planted, minor adjustments were needed when the holes were dug. Rocks and roots make for hard digging. I am happy to say all trees now have new homes in my garden.
One Sassafras and Two Sourwoods (follow the arrows)
The southern exposure is towards the road, so these newly added trees will have full to dappled sunshine all year long.

Doesn't this color glow?
Smoketree
I had researched a Cotinus earlier this year, thinking I wanted one for a newly added garden area in the front yard. I was looking at some of the cultivars that were deeper purple, Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple'.  I ended up moving Prunus mume 'Hokkai Bungo', a flowering apricot purchased last February, to that spot. It wasn't happy where it was, so moving it seemed to be the right answer. We shall assess its placement this winter when (and if) it blooms. This variety blooms in January-February time frame and its blooms have a cinnamon fragrance. Back to the Smoke tree, buying the native variety seems to be a better answer. I am such a sucker for red/orange/peach fall colored plants. Stay tuned for updates on the trees as they grow and mature. 


©Copyright 2015 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

24 comments:

  1. Janet, Great to see your new trees! We have sourwood trees growing native in our woods, one at the edge of the driveway flowers every summer.

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  2. Great choices and the smoketree's color does glow!

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    1. Thanks Gail, it does glow still....happy choice!

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  3. Excellent choices!! They'll be beautiful as they mature and grow. :o)

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    1. Thanks Tammy, I envision them mature as I look at the front of my property.

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  4. How good you are adding to your forest and those leaves are glowing. Smoketree is one I have always admired.

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    1. Terra, thanks, I wanted to clear out the invasives - honeysuckle vines and muscadine vines, to name a few, and plant some desired trees.

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  5. Overall, the foliage color has been so-so this year, but the sourwoods are as vibrant as always. I could use a few of these for my garden too.

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    1. Marian, you should go over to Southern Heritage Nursery. You will find lots to spend your money on!

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  6. I can see why you are so excited about these trees, Janet--the foliage is a gorgeous color! I remember all your posts on different types of trees; I really learned a lot from them, but I think I need a refresher course:) I still have trouble identifying anything other than the most common trees. You asked on Facebook what trees we longed to have--I've always wanted a tri-color beech, but I've heard they're a little iffy in our area unless you find just the right place for one.

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    1. Thanks Rose, it is even more colorful in person! The tree posts are there for easy reference, please make use of them!
      Tri-colored beech are gorgeous! We are too warm here so it is not one I can plant. Hope you find the right place for one.

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  7. Sourwood trees have intrigued me since a visit to the Asheville Bee Charmer turned us into sourwood honey fanatics. How cool that they also have incredible fall color. Can't wait to watch them mature.

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    1. Vicki, I am not in an elevation for the bees and sourwood to create sourwood honey according to my neighbor who is a beekeeper. The color in the fall makes up for it!

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  8. I love the color--very beautiful! I've been wanting to visit that nursery but haven't made it there yet. I'm looking for more native azaleas and saw they carried quite a few. We've found a few sassafras volunteers in the forest, which I love--they're about the same size as yours. Interestingly, we don't have any mature sassafras trees nearby--thank you, birds! ;-) The trees I'd love to add are ginko and smoketree, but I just don't know where to place them with all of our shade. Hmmm. Love your new green babies!

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    1. Julie, you need to go!! She has a good deal of native azaleas and in nice sized containers. Sassafras is really such a great tree, so glad I have a second one now.

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  9. The sourwood is my all-time favorite, chosen as a memorial to our first cat.

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    1. ricki, it is a wonderful tree! Nice that you planted one as a memorial.

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  10. Congrats on some fine acquisitions. I'd love to get a Sourwood myself. How tall do they get?

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    1. Thanks Jason, I am truly thrilled to have these babies! The Sourwood get about 60 feet tall at maximum. Well worth having!

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  11. Three great choices. Too bad most nurseries don't make either one of them readily available.

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  12. Wow Janet those are wonderful trees. I love finding new native nurseries.

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    1. I love finding this kind of nursery too Donna. I certainly plan to go back.

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