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Old 04-11-2012, 05:11 PM   #31
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Thank you Jack for the report. I feel as though WG sent an emissary, and that we chose well. Your question was excellent, and has also been on my mind.
What a cool thing to say.

I'm glad the question was asked, answered, and repeated here.

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Dap, it is nearly impossible for me to find natives locally as well, so I try to buy from my region when I can. When I cannot do that, I try to buy from areas at least contiguous to my own that are most like my region. I realize that some WG people may not approve of this, but the alternative, for me, is to plant no natives. You and I have talked about this before, I know, but for me planting no natives is no alternative at all. I love gardening too much and I'm just not the peony type. I'm the pollinator type.
I think that I do the same thing. I'd like to keep things as local as possible, but I've brought things from the other side of the state to plant here already. Just this Easter, I brought some spring beauties home from my brother's yard--he plans on smothering everything in one area with cardboard and mulch...so, I took quite a few spring beauties to plant here. Just last year, I bought a pot of spring beauties at a native plant sale (were you with me for that? I can't remember where I bought them)...so, they were from at least 2 hours south of me.

I will be careful how far away I'll buy things from, but I do feel a lot better about spreading natives that may be from farther south...but perhaps appropriate with the warmer weather we've been experiencing. I agree, planting natives is better than planting no natives. Being aware of provenance is still important to me...although, I have no way of knowing where the Trillium erectum and Dutchman's breeches (that I found in the previous owner's flower bed) came from...I'm just happy to have them.
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:12 PM   #32
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I was thinking a TED conference!
Let's try for that too!
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:57 AM   #33
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Quercus prinoides (Dwarf Chinkapin/Chinquapin Oak) is one that I've only recently learned about. I ordered them as bare root seedlings (among other things). I should have them by next weekend.
Chinkapin Oak are native to the deciduous-forest and rolling-hills area of southeast Minnesota, in the area of Wisconsin and northeast Iowa, but not in my prairie area in west central Minnesota. But the dwarf chinkapin would be the perfect tree in every other respect! After your post I looked into it a bit and it sounds perfect for my size yard. Unfortunately I wouldn't plant it since it is not native "enough" if you know what I mean. Northern Pin Oak and Black Oak are also native to southeast Minnesota but rare elsewhere.

The oak trees that are everywhere in my area are the Bur Oak, and they are HUGE (and can also live over 300 years). What does Tallamy say is the most important aspect of oaks? Are they a favorite for insects? Does anyone know of a Dwarf Bur Oak?
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:19 AM   #34
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Chinkapin Oak are native to the deciduous-forest and rolling-hills area of southeast Minnesota, in the area of Wisconsin and northeast Iowa, but not in my prairie area in west central Minnesota. But the dwarf chinkapin would be the perfect tree in every other respect! After your post I looked into it a bit and it sounds perfect for my size yard. Unfortunately I wouldn't plant it since it is not native "enough" if you know what I mean. Northern Pin Oak and Black Oak are also native to southeast Minnesota but rare elsewhere.

The oak trees that are everywhere in my area are the Bur Oak, and they are HUGE (and can also live over 300 years). What does Tallamy say is the most important aspect of oaks? Are they a favorite for insects? Does anyone know of a Dwarf Bur Oak?
I don't recall the numbers, but hundreds of different insects make the oak their breeding and feeding homes. A multitude of moths and butterflies utilize the tree, and the acorns are the basis for many species survival through the winter, both by fattening up before hibernation and eating from a stash while winter rages and food is scarce. According to Tallamy, were you only able to plant one thing on your property, you could not do better for wildlife than by planting an oak.
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:03 PM   #35
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Last fall one of my daughters collected tons of acorns from the city park and brought them into the house to play with them. Once she started to neglect them, I decided to bring them outdoors and left them under the spruce tree for the squirrels. I think I should scour my yard for any oak seedlings this spring. I've read that Bur Oaks can grow roots to 5 feet deep just in their first year. I can't imagine how any nursery could sell those trees if they have roots that size at such a young age!

Speaking of planting new trees, we presently have an old ash tree and an old box elder tree growing out of the same place in our yard (at the bottom, their trunks are touching). Especially with emerald ash borer getting closer to our area, I've been thinking that neither of those trees is going to last much longer, and I've been mulling over which tree to plant in their place. Perhaps an oak tree is the answer.
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:49 PM   #36
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I've read that Bur Oaks can grow roots to 5 feet deep just in their first year. I can't imagine how any nursery could sell those trees if they have roots that size at such a young age!
That really is amazing!

I found an oak growing in the middle of our two acres...not where I'd have put it, but I decided to let it go. I figured I could have moved it, but why slow it down by having to recover from transplanting, so after three years, it is starting to get a little height...I'm hoping it will shoot up in a few years.

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Speaking of planting new trees, we presently have an old ash tree and an old box elder tree growing out of the same place in our yard (at the bottom, their trunks are touching). Especially with emerald ash borer getting closer to our area, I've been thinking that neither of those trees is going to last much longer, and I've been mulling over which tree to plant in their place. Perhaps an oak tree is the answer.
I think I'm in denial about the emerald ash borer...I'm really hoping our ash don't get hit--they are still young--hardly mature trees yet, but I'd love to see them fill in and create more of a woodland. I also like their fall colors. With the elm dying, and now the black cherry not necessarily looking their best, I'll hardly have anything left in our would-be-woodland. Adding oak now will definitely help for the future, but I need to grow some other (faster growing) trees as well.

I think your idea of adding some oaks is a good one.
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:01 AM   #37
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Jack summed it all up perfectly, so I'll just say that I agree with everything he said. OK, one more thing: Doug Tallamy is a VERY good speaker - warm, detailed without being boring or confusing - and his visual presentation is entertaining and inspiring. I was left wishing his entire presentation was available on PBS. You know how they have those "TV seminars" on PBS with people like Wayne Dyer, Suze Orman and Christiane Northrup? It would be fantastic to have a program like that with Doug Tallamy...
For a few years they had Jerry Baker on the weekends, Even if Doug couldn't have his own show he could Co-Host with Jerry. What a fit that would be: Jerry's Beer thatch remover[remember jerry only uses household products like Ammonia for N] and Doug's insect eating birds. Even with all the cable networks there sure isn't much content on native gardens.
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:23 AM   #38
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He had high praise for the alternate leafed dogwood, and he had a series of slides of birds attracted to one specimen outside his bathroom window that had to number in the teens - all somewhat rare and highly desirable species. Plant the pagoda dogwood was the message; you'll be amply rewarded.


For years I thought the Pagoda was from Japan due to the name. It's name before the nursery industry changed it, Probably for marketing was Pigeon-wood. After doing a little research they were common trees in the Appalachian mountain range. The name Pigeon-wood was given by the settlers since they were a favorite food tree for the now extinct Passenger Pigeon
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:36 AM   #39
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For years I thought the Pagoda was from Japan due to the name. It's name before the nursery industry changed it, Probably for marketing was Pigeon-wood. After doing a little research they were common trees in the Appalachian mountain range. The name Pigeon-wood was given by the settlers since they were a favorite food tree for the now extinct Passenger Pigeon
Thanks for that info Sprucetree I also was under the assumption pagoda dogwood was an import.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:05 AM   #40
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I also didn't know that about the name pigeon-wood and about the passenger pigeon. I wonder what other species the passenger pigeon may have utilized? It is an interesting thing to think about.
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