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Gardening Answers Knowledgebase

Search Results for ' Tree identification'

PAL Questions: 2 - Garden Tools: 2 - Recommended Websites: 10

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Keywords: Soil stabilization, Soil erosion, Slopes (Soil mechanics), Tree identification, Populus

PAL Question:

When a cottonwood tree is cut down, does the stump die, or does it send out shoots that grow into more trees?

And, if a cottonwood tree located on a hillside is cut down, what is the risk of erosion?

View Answer:

As it turns out, some poplars and cottonwoods sucker from the roots and some do not. Determining what kind of cottonwood you have is the key to answering this question.

Identifying tree varieties can be tricky. The best way to get a positive ID is to take a sample to the Hyde Herbarium at the Center for Urban Horticulture (near the University of Washington). It is definitely worth a visit, as it is the only herbarium on the West Coast that serves the public.

Hours, driving directions, how to collect specimens, etc. are at http://depts.washington.edu/hydeherb.

As for your second question, here is what the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Vegetation Management: A Guide for Puget Sound Bluff Property Owners has to say (p.25):
Given the importance of tree cover on potentially unstable slopes and the advisability of retaining them for erosion control purposes, a landowner should explore alternative options to tree removal or topping...[if a tree must be cut] stumps and root systems should be left undisturbed...[to reduce the risk of erosion].

The above document is available online at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/pubs/93-31/intro.html.

A companion website from the Washington State Dept. of Ecology contains a great list of groundcovers, shrubs and trees that will help keep your slope intact if you decide to remove the cottonwood. The website includes a Plant Selection guide.

Season All Season
Date 2008-01-17
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Keywords: Forest products, Quercus, Mushroom--Care and maintenance, Tree identification

PAL Question:

I am looking for advice on how to obtain an oak log or two. I got some shiitake mushroom starter plugs at the garden show in Seattle, and it seems that they grow best on oak logs. But I am having the hardest time trying to find one or two oak logs to plant them in. I've tried craigslist, and can't seem to find a thing. My tree identification skills are not exactly up to par, and I don't know the rules for cutting parts of trees in the forest, so I wonder if you have any advice for a novice mushroom grower. I really only need two logs, about 6 inches in diameter and maybe 3-4 feet long. This is proving to be a much more daunting task than I ever imagined!

View Answer:

Have you tried contacting Plant Amnesty? They maintain a list of certified arborists, some of whom will probably have occasion to prune or cut down an oak tree at some point. That might be one way of obtaining a log.

You might also try posting on the Pacific Northwest Garden Exchange (watch out--annoying ads!).

As far as cutting branches on public forest land, you should contact the Washington Department of Natural Resources before proceeding. They have information on harvesting and collecting forest products, and how to obtain a firewood permit.

Once oak trees have leafed out fully, they should be easier to identify. See the following tree identification guides:

Season All Season
Date 2011-04-23
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Keywords: Tree planting, Tree identification

Garden Tool:

Trees are the answer! Or at least trees make our lives better by casting shade, cleaning the air and giving refuge to birds. It's important to find the right tree for the right place.

  • Great Plant Picks has selected plants that are proven performers in the Pacific Northwest. Complete profiles of all selected trees are available at their website www.greatplantpicks.org or give them a call to get their free booklet (206) 362-8612
  • Use SelectTree, a database from the Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute to select attributes that you want your tree to possess, such as clay soil, dry, resistant to verticillium wilt and fragrant flowers (that search suggested ornamental pear). Over 1,000 trees are profiled.
  • More tree information can be found at Virginia Tech Dendrology department fact sheet database, including a recording of the proper pronunciation of the Latin name. Over 800 trees are listed.
  • Friends of the Trees promotes planting trees in our cities to improve our quality of life. Their website also offers tree profiles and has a list of suggested trees for planting under power lines.

Season: Fall
Date: 2007-04-03
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Keywords: Trees--Diseases and pests, Trees--Care and maintenance, Trees, Tree identification

Garden Tool:

Silvics of North America Online by United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, 1990.

Property owners with woodlots and tree lovers alike will find the Silvics of North America an informative and authoritative reference source on trees. Two hundred, mostly North American native trees are described including native habitat, associated trees and shrubs, propagation details, growth rate, and information on the major pests that may damage the tree. Many entries have information on the root development, which can be helpful in learning if a chosen tree will tolerate construction, or be appropriate for planting over water utilities.

Season: All Season
Date: 2007-07-12
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June 24 2013 12:55:25