Tag Archive: tree sale

  1. Tree Sale Highlight: Red Osier Dogwood

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    by Carrie Brown, Engineering Technician

    Our 2021 Seedling Tree Sale has finally arrived! Additional information on this year’s selection and details on ordering can be found on our website.

    Join us weekly as we highlight this year’s available tree species.

    Red Osier Dogwood

    This week’s 2021 Tree Sale highlight is the Red Osier Dogwood. Though it tends to be a bit of an underdog, this beautiful red-stemmed shrub has a boatload of functionality. As a Soil and Water Conservation District, we advocate for this species often, as it is at the top of its class at stabilizing soil and preventing erosion. This is especially true along streambanks.

    Red Osier Dogwood is one tough cookie. This species can take a beating and keep on going. Once established, it can be inundated along a stream edge and live to tell its story. It can be pruned hard for live fascines (more on that later!) and easily make a comeback the following spring.  Talk about resiliency!

    Additionally, due to the striking red color of its stems, red osier dogwood is often used as an ornamental to beautify landscapes.

    Let’s take a closer look at this shrubby native that has found the sweet spot between durability and charm.

    Planting Requirements

    The red osier dogwood doesn’t mind getting its feet wet…in fact it prefers it! They grow best in soils that are saturated for at least a portion of the growing season. Therefore, they are often seen growing on the edges of lakes, ponds, within wetlands, and on streambanks. Red osier dogwoods are perfect for sites that are nitrogen-rich and shallowly inundated in the spring, only to dry out by late summer.

    Mature Size

    On average, the red osier dogwood grows to a height and width of approximately 10’. It has a fast growth rate, gaining more than 2’ a year in height.

    Red osier dogwood benefits from a type of pruning called coppicing. This management method involves cutting all stems to approximately 2-3 inches from the base in late fall, after the shrub has shed its leaves. Following pruning, apply mulch and fertilizer around the base. Coppicing will stimulate the shrub to send up new stems, often with especially vivid burgundy color.

    Wildlife Benefits

    The fleshy white berries that ripen in late summer are favored by many bird species, including eastern bluebirds, cardinals, woodpeckers, and grosbeaks. Gamebirds such as bobwhite quail, ring-necked pheasants, and wild turkeys also benefit from red osier dogwood fruit.

    The fruit and foliage are enjoyed by mammals too, including black bear, beaver, squirrels, and deer.

    Phenology

    Red osier dogwood typically begins leafing out in April. The bark, twigs, and leaves of the new growth are bright green in color.

    White to cream-colored flower clusters appear from June to August, eventually developing to smooth, white berries that ripen in late summer.

    Beginning in September, leaves turn from green to shades of red and purple and are eventually shed for the winter.

    Bare, deep burgundy branches provide an interesting contrast with white snow and the drab browns of the off-season.

    Flowering red osier dogwood
    Flowers develop into white berries
    Fruit persists into the fall
    Naked red osier dogwood stems
    Red osier dogwood buds

    Functionality

    Because of its dense growth nature, red osier dogwood can be used as a secondary plant in windbreaks. It is also an ideal species to use for streambank stabilization as live fascines.

    Live fascines are long bundles of live woody vegetation (6-8 inches in diameter) buried in a streambank in shallow trenches placed parallel to the flow of the stream. These branches are harvested from adult red osier dogwoods – a great use of stems leftover from a fall coppicing session!

    The plant bundles sprout in the spring and develop a root mass that will hold the soil in place and protect the streambank from erosion. This method is often coupled with a row of stone placed at the toe (bottom of the slope that supports the weight of the bank) of an eroding bank.

    Below are photos from a streambank stabilization project that Fairfield SWCD designed for Lancaster City School District to address streambank erosion issues along Fetters Run.

    Dogwood branches were harvested from dormant mature shrubs
    Branches were tied into bundles
    Red osier dogwood bundles being staged for installation
    Red osier dogwood bundles were laid into shallow trenches and buried
    Live fascines are now fully-grown shrubs

    Visit Fairfield SWCD to order your Red Osier Dogwood tree seedlings today! Seedlings can be purchased in sets of 5, 25, or 100 while supplies last. It is also offered individually as a 3′-4′ sapling.

    Purchased trees from us in the past? If so, enter our Facebook “Show us your Trees” contest! Visit our Facebook Page for details.

    Additional information can be found below:

    Bare-root Tree Planting Guide

    National Tree Benefits Calculator

    South Central Power: Plant the Right Tree in the Right Place

    Fairfield SWCD Tree Planting Guide

  2. Tree Sale Highlight: Eastern Redbud

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    by Carrie Brown, Engineering Technician

    Our 2021 Seedling Tree Sale has finally arrived! Additional information on this year’s selection and details on ordering can be found on our website.

    Join us weekly as we highlight this year’s available tree species.

    Redbud

    This week we highlight a species that is common throughout Ohio, especially the southern two-thirds of the state. Nonetheless, it is such an eye-catcher that it deserves a bit of spotlight. There are few trees or shrubs that hold a candle to the beauty of the Eastern Redbud. With a profusion of showy, pink flowers in the spring, followed by an array of striking, heart-shaped leaves in the summer, there is no question that this ornamental shrubby tree is turning heads.

    Redbud is a member of the legume or bean family. You may be familiar with some of this family’s other members, such as honeylocust, Kentucky coffeetree, black locust, and wisteria. Important plants used for crop production and grazing also hold membership, including soybeans, peas, alfalfa, and clover.

    Let’s take a closer look at this native jewel and how it could add some extra allure to your landscaping.

    Planting Requirements

    Redbud prefers deep, moist, organic, well-drained soils, but are quite adaptable to a variety of pH and moisture levels. However, they cannot tolerate soils that stay wet.

    Adequate moisture and full sun will stimulate faster growth and increased flowering, but the plant can tolerate partial shade.

    In the wild, redbud is usually an edge species and commonly has a leaning growth habit, seeking to capture as much sunlight as possible.

    Mature Size

    Redbud is a fairly quick-growing species, especially when young, gaining up to 24” in height per year. It typically grows to a height of 20’-30’ with an equivalent spread.

    In the wild, redbuds tend to be multitrunked with a vase-like shape and rounded crown. However, many redbud cultivars exist that select for various features, including a lovely weeping variety.

    Wildlife Benefits

    The early blooming flowers of the redbud provide a nectar source to insects, including early-season butterflies. There are a few songbirds that are thought to eat their seeds, such as chickadees, along with larger birds including the northern bobwhite. Because of their shrubby habit, redbuds can provide nesting habitat for both small mammals and birds.

    Due to their thin, papery nature, redbud leaves are a favorite among native leafcutter bees (Megachile spp.). Female bees will use their mandibles to snip small discs from leaf edges. They collect these leaf fragments, rolling them up to construct individual cells within their nest. Each leafy cell is equipped with a ball of pollen and nectar and contains a single larval offspring. The damage that occurs from this gathering doesn’t typically harm the tree and is just a minor curiosity. Nature never fails to amaze!

    Phenology

    Heralding the commencement of spring, redbud delivers a spectacular show of lavender-pink flowers beginning as early as March. Stemming from old wood, profuse flower clusters can swathe the entire tree, blooming on twigs, branches, and even the trunk of the tree.

    Green foliage typically appears in May and is often tinged red upon emergence. Redbud leaves are easy to identify by their familiar heart shape.

    Flowers develop into green, flat, pea-like pods that eventually ripen to brown in mid- to late summer as they mature. Redbuds can hold their ripened fruit late into the winter and even into the early spring.

    Challenges

    The redbud is a relatively short-lived tree with decline and death typically occurring around twenty years after planting. This is especially the case in urban areas with predominately poorly drained, clay soils. A number of tree diseases can be responsible for this lifespan limit, including trunk canker, verticillium wilt, and root rot.

    Signs of trunk canker include sunken depressions in the bark of large branches or trunks. These wounds may appear to be healing before the tree eventually dies. Though there is no chemical treatment for this pathogenic fungus, if caught early the meticulous pruning of affected areas may provide rescue.

    Perpetually wet soil is the culprit for verticillium wilt and root rot. These serious pathogens both affect the roots and vascular system but become evident when entire branches begin to die. However, these conditions can be prevented by planting redbud in well-drained areas.

    Image by tlcaggie, Redbud flowering on old wood, CC by-NC 4.0
    Redbud flowers
    Redbuds flowering in the woods
    Redbud heart-shaped leaves
    Image by Rick Travis, Redbud leaves with evidence of leafcutting bee, CC by-NC 4.0
    Unripened redbud pods
    Ripened redbud pods
    Image by Annika Lindqvist, Redbud pod and seeds, CC by 4.0
    Image by Jeff Skrentny, Redbud twig shows zigzag growing habit, CC by-NC 4.0
    Image by BONAP, Redbud distribution

    Visit Fairfield SWCD to order your Redbud tree seedlings today! Seedlings can be purchased in sets of 5, 25, or 100 while supplies last. It is also offered individually as a 3′-4′ sapling.

    Purchased trees from us in the past? If so, enter our Facebook “Show us your Trees” contest! Visit our Facebook Page for details.

    Additional information can be found below:

    ODNR’s Redbud Summary

    National Tree Benefits Calculator

    South Central Power: Plant the Right Tree in the Right Place

    Fairfield SWCD Tree Planting Guide

  3. Tree Sale Highlight: North America’s LARGEST Native Fruit!

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    by Carrie Brown, Engineering Technician

    Our 2021 Seedling Tree Sale has finally arrived! Additional information on this year’s selection and details on ordering can be found on our website.

    Join us weekly as we highlight this year’s available tree species.

    Last week we introduced you to a tree that you were probably already familiar with, the Ohio Buckeye.

    Today we will take a closer look at a tree that you may not know quite as well – the Pawpaw. Though growing in popularity, many people are shocked to discover that North America’s largest edible native fruit (and as of 2009, Ohio’s official native fruit) is a common understory tree that you’ve likely encountered in past outdoor adventures.

    Interested in adding the pawpaw to your landscape? Let’s take a look at its growing requirements…and a few other tidbits that make this a pretty unique plant.

    Pawpaw

    Planting Requirements

    Pawpaws are a bit particular in terms of their growing requirements. To set them up for success, consider a site that has moist, deep, well-drained soils with a high amount of organic matter. In nature, pawpaws occupy the understory, often found growing in ravines, creek banks, and even steep hillsides.

    As seedlings, pawpaws prefer areas that offer abundant shade, so it is advised that bare root seedlings are immediately transplanted to a shady site. As they mature, trees are more tolerant of sunlight. In fact, trees in full sun are more likely to flower and fruit than trees planted in shady locations.

    Mature Size

    When grown in the open and without canopy competition, pawpaws may reach 25 feet tall and 15 feet wide as an individual tree. When grown as an understory plant, pawpaws are shrubby and can often form large colonies, spreading primarily by root suckers. These root suckers are clones of the parent plant. As such, it is possible that an entire pawpaw colony is composed of only one plant!

    It should be noted, that in order for fruit to be produced, two individual trees grown from separate seed sources are required. Pawpaw colonies composed of just one individual lack the genetic diversity needed for successful pollination and the fruit set that follows. If fruit is desired, be sure to plant at least two trees.

    Wildlife Benefits

    Pawpaw fruit is coveted by many wildlife species!  From deer and raccoon, to squirrels and black bear, this fall sweet treat is in high demand. As a result, if YOU wish to harvest fruit, you’ll have to beat the wildlife — be sure to closely monitor ripening fruit.

    The tree itself isn’t often browsed, as the twigs, leaves, and bark contain natural insecticides, making it a relatively pest-free species. One notable exception is the zebra swallowtail butterfly whose caterpillars feed on pawpaw leaves and depend on it as a host plant.

    Phenology

    Pawpaws produce beautiful, maroon flowers in the early spring, typically March-May depending on weather and location. Flowers rely on blowflies and carrion beetles for pollination and produce an odor similar to rotting meat in order to draw them in.

    Because this odor is slight and the pollinators aren’t overly enthusiastic, many flowers go unpollinated and fruit set rates can be low. (Gardeners may consider hand pollinating flowers using a paint brush to expedite pollination and improve fruit yield.)

    Flowers are soon followed by foliage that develops into large, shiny leaves that are spirally arranged on the twig. The fruit of pawpaw is large and yellowish-brown, containing multiple dark brown seeds and edible custard-like pulp. Fruit is typically mature and ready for harvest by September or October.

    Family Tree

    Within its plant family, Pawpaw is a bit of an odd ball! This species, along with others within the same genus (Asimina), are most closely related to species with tropical and subtropical origins. Perhaps you have heard of the fruit, soursop, or the aromatherapy essential oil, ylang-ylang? Both products come from tropical trees that are cousins to the pawpaw!

    Pawpaw flowers in the early spring
    Pawpaw grove
    Image by bburleson3, Pawpaw fruit, CC by-NC 4.0
    Image by Dave, Pawpaw leaves in the autumn, CC by-NC 4.0
    Image by samiam29, Pawpaw bud, CC by-NC 4.0
    Image by Matthew Beziat, Pawpaw seeds, CC by-NC 4.0
    Image by BONAP, Pawpaw range map

    Visit Fairfield SWCD to order your Pawpaw tree seedlings today! Seedlings can be purchased in sets of 5, 25, or 100 while supplies last.

    Purchased trees from us in the past? If so, enter our Facebook “Show us your Trees” contest! Visit our Facebook Page for details.

    Additional information can be found below:

    Growing Pawpaws as a Specialty Crop

    23rd Annual Ohio Pawpaw Festival

    National Tree Benefits Calculator

    South Central Power: Plant the Right Tree in the Right Place

    Fairfield SWCD Tree Planting Guide

  4. Fairfield SWCD Tree Sale Begins February 1, 2021: Tree Highlights

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    By Carrie Brown, Engineering Technician

    Our 2021 Seedling Tree Sale has finally arrived! Additional information on this year’s selection and details on ordering can be found on our website.

    Join us weekly as we highlight this year’s available tree species.

    Can you fill in the missing words below?

    Chocolate __________

    Brutus ____________

    Ohio State __________

    (Hint: It’s the SAME WORD each time!)

    The word in question is, of course, Buckeye! And that brings us to our first tree species highlight:

    The Ohio Buckeye

    Image by James St. John, Aesculus glabra, CC by-SA 2.0

    Just as handsome as Brutus, (though not nearly as delicious as chocolate – in fact, all parts of the plant are toxic!) the Ohio Buckeye is our official state tree and often chosen due to its iconic nature. Let’s take a closer look at a few characteristics that make this tree a fan favorite.

    Planting Requirements

    In the wild, Ohio Buckeyes typically occur in moist – but not perpetually wet – bottomlands, often along streams and floodplains. They perform best in moist locations with deep, well-drained soil but are quite adaptable. The Ohio Buckeye is an understory tree in its native habitat, so it can withstand, and even prefers, partial shade.

    Mature Size

    A medium-sized tree, growing 30-60 feet in height and 25-30 feet in width when grown in the open. Develops a strong taproot.

    Wildlife Benefits

    As mentioned above, all parts of the Ohio Buckeye are toxic for humans, dogs, and livestock. That being said, the Ohio Buckeye does have a few evolutionary partners that are able to partake in its seeds, including deer and squirrels.  The flowers attract a variety of native pollinators such as bumblebees, long-tonged bees, and ruby-throated hummingbirds.

    Phenology

    The Ohio Buckeye is a true spring ephemeral, beginning to leaf out in the early spring, as soon as April depending on location and weather. Spikes of showy, yellow-green flowers soon follow.  Its newly emerged leaves have a beautiful, bronze color and eventually develop into the classic, palmately compound leaf (5 narrow leaflets) we are so used to seeing on our OSU garb. Unfortunately, this beautiful foliage is shed earlier than other tree species, typically in the late summer. It is at this time of year that the ripened Ohio  Buckeye fruit is often noticed hanging on tree limbs, consisting of slightly spiny, golden-brown husks enclosing 1 or more dark brown seeds that are commonly referred to as Buckeyes.

    Challenges

    Ohio Buckeyes are susceptible to a variety of leaf diseases, including leaf blotch, leaf scorch, and powdery mildew. While these ailments don’t kill the tree, they can cause it to lose its leaves, sometimes as early as late summer. Because of this, it is often recommended not to make the Ohio Buckeye the focal point of your yard. Rather, it may do better along a woods edge or your side yard.

    Newly emerged Ohio Buckeye leaves in the spring
    Image by H. Zell, Ohio Buckeye seeds, CC by-SA 3.0
    Ohio Buckeye bud and leaf scar
    Image by BONAP, Ohio Buckeye Range Map

    Visit our website to order your Ohio Buckeye tree seedlings today! Seedlings can be purchased in sets of 5, 25, or 100 while supplies last. Order deadline is March 15, 2021.

    Purchased trees from us in the past? If so, enter our Facebook “Show us your Trees” contest! Visit our Facebook Page for details.

    Additional information can be found below:

    ODNR’s Trees of Ohio Field Guide

    National Tree Benefits Calculator

    South Central Power: Plant the Right Tree in the Right Place

    Fairfield SWCD Tree Planting Guide