Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

River Birch, Red Maple Are Fast Growers

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

River Birch, Red Maple Are Fast Growers

Article excerpt

Byline: PAULA LAMB

Q: We have a large back-yard that receives a lot of sun. The yard backs up to a pond, so we have a somewhat moist, but not wet soil. Can you recommend some fast growing trees to plant for shade? I don't want oaks.

Keep in mind that fast-growing trees sometimes tend to be weaker and don't have the longevity that slower growing trees have. Nevertheless, these trees should grow for several decades or longer depending upon weather conditions. Though you might prefer evergreens, many of the trees that grow faster are deciduous, providing wonderful shade from spring through autumn and lovely fall colors before dropping their leaves in preparation for a growth spurt in the spring.

Some recommendations for fast-growing, deciduous trees that tolerate moist soils, all of which are native, include river birch, red maple, black gum, sycamore, green ash and tulip poplar Depending upon growing conditions, fast trees grow up to 3 feet per year.

Deciduous, medium rate growing trees include the American hornbean and the bald cypress.

Some evergreen trees that grow at a medium rate include sweetbay, East Palatka holly, Savannah holly and Nellie Stephens holly. These trees can grow up to a foot and a half per year.

To obtain more extensive information before making your decision, you can research each tree individually. Happy planting and as always, keep your newly planted tree well watered.

Q: I have an abundance of saw palmettos, and my neighbor would like some. Can I dig them up and transplant them?

Though I like to suggest that it never hurts to try, there are few success stories in transplanting saw palmettos. The stems of this native plant are partially or completely underground and usually grow horizontally, making it very difficult to dig up a suitable root system.

If you want to try germinating the seeds of the saw palmetto, observe your palmettos as they go through seed production and collect the seeds in the fall when they have matured and ripened. …

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