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Old 01-07-2009, 05:25 PM   #1
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I posted this is another forum, but it looks like it fits in several of the categories, so I thought I would post it in several. I hope I am not breaking any rules by posting it in several forums. Someone please let me know if this is against the rules. For those that cut their dead or damaged trees down, it is always a good idea to leave some of the tree above ground as it provides critical habitat for several species. I usually leave mine about 6 feet tall and hang a bird house on it to dress it up a bit. I recently saw a posting elsewhere that I thought was creative. This person talked about hollowing out the top of the tree (maybe 12" deep or a little less) and adding some dirt/soil and maybe some mulch, and then planting flowers or other plants inside it. The picture they provided showed the tree cut down to about two feet above the ground. You could make the tree the focal point and build a flower bed around it with a really pretty birdhouse on it (this is how I keep a snag in my front yard without attracting frowns from my neighbors). I can visualize a fern hanging down around it. I will have to try it this year and see how it works. I suppose another alternative if the tree is a big enough diameter would be to just place a pot right in the hole.
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:34 PM   #2
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I don't think they care. I replied in your other thread but this is a really good idea. There's another thread here somewhere about creating brush piles while keeping the frowns off of neighbors' faces and it was suggested vines could be trained over the brush pile so what about training vines up the snag?

There are a few native ferns that might make it nestled in the top of a capped off snag in the middle of a front yard but not many. You might have to go a different route. I like the idea of the birdhouse on a snag in a front yard even if it isn't functional.
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:57 PM   #3
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I REALLY like the idea of training vines up it. A living sculpture!
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:04 PM   #4
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And there are a lot of wildlife friendly native vines that will work in an exposed area such as a front yard which makes picking a plant a lot easier.
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:53 PM   #5
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"I REALLY like the idea of training vines up it. A living sculpture!" PSD

Sure, until the whole thing comes tumbling down in a wind and those po' vines have nowhere to climb. [sigh, sob, sniffle]

Besides, who ever heard of 'topping' a dead tree? Mother Nature takes care of that job unless the tree threatens our house. I'll try to take photos of my 'blessed' tree at first light . . . as well as the widow-maker in the back yard. Can't say as I like those 'stately' elms once the bark falls off.
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:58 PM   #6
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Where I live, leaving a dead tree can turn your house (or a neighbor's) into a duplex if it falls.
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:58 PM   #7
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Not a vine like this Smart Red-
http://www.flickr.com/photos/beachbu...ings/99264155/

A nice mild mannered vine like this-
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gravitywave/444500881/

We had to top one of ours because it was too close to the house to leave standing. We used the crotches to create an area to place a bird bath. You have to have the right tree and height of the crotches to be able to pull this one off. We're quite happy with the end result so there's another idea.
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:25 PM   #8
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:eek: Now that first one is a vine!!!!
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:50 PM   #9
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I think if I had land, I'd let my old dead trees stand, if they were far enough away from my house. They provide a lot of habitat, providing one lets the whole tree stand. A woodpecker is probably not going to build in a 6' or less stump. Dead trees not only provide shelter, but food.

I'll never forget the time on GW when a poster wanted to know how often she should pre-emptively harvest the trees in her yard..every 20 years?
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:28 PM   #10
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Unfortunately, my lot isn't big enough to leave any that die. I wish I could. I grew up with a summer home that was on 110 acres and the diverse wildlife there was awesome. Any of the trees on my lot are large enough and tall enough to crush my home flat. We saw many huge trees come down during the last hurricane. One of the advantages to leaving something even short as these in my yard are, is as they rot, the bugs will take up home in them. Around here, the woodpeckers and other birds will go after the bugs, even when they are that low to the ground.

Pre-emptive harvest? Sounds like what some folks are doing around here. More and more homes are having all the very old and large trees cut down because they fear they will land on their house during a storm. We had two pretty powerful hurricanes come over us in the last few years and folks around here are pretty skiddish.
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