Sunday, February 10, 2013

Winter is for Planting Trees

I think long and hard about what trees I plant in my yard. I don't have nearly enough space for everything I want to grow. I regularly threaten that if the neighbors ever move, I'm buying the house next door, tearing it down and planting more trees.

Hey, cuties!

I come by the tree in obsession honestly. My father is this very moment raising two baby oaks of mysterious origin. He picked up the acorns in the forest preserve a few blocks from their house. Other than being something in the white oak family, we're not sure what they are. I'm waiting for another few sets of leaves before I send pictures to my pals at The Morton Arboretum for identification. Dad and I are bouncing around ideas of where we'll plant these dimpled darlings. They will eventually be large shade trees and neither of us have the space. In the meantime, they have been transplanted into pots in his sunniest window and are doing just fine. Other people start their lettuce right now. We, the crazy tree geeks, start wee little oaks.


  1. I want to go native in my back yard to encourage birds. I am in the process of removing a apple? Pear? tree which had stunted fruit.

    I want to add a witch hazel and spice bush, and possibly a confer of some sort. I have very limited space and am on a steep hill. I am thinking of replacing the fruit tree I am removing with the witch hazel.

    Do you think that with pruning, I can keep the spice bush below 3 or 3.5 feet high? Then I can put it at the end of my deck and it will not impair my vision of my hill side.

    I am slowly moving tulips, daffodils, iris's, etc. to my front and will replace them with native plants. Any suggestions for a ground cover? I am in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

    1. Witchhazel and spicebush grow relatively slowly, I'd say about 6 inches a year. You should be able to control them with an annual prune after they flower.

      For a native groundcover, I'd suggest some of the sedges (Carex). They provide a soft, grassy look, plus offer seeds for birds.