Friday, October 16, 2009

Poplar-ity Contest

Here at PFHQ, we are at the southern terminus of the Great Eastern Deciduous Forest that stretches from the east coast to the plains.
Hardwoods you take for granted up nawth, even as close as the nawtherly southern states, are nonexistant, rare, or just plain hard to find down here.
That is a combination of Florida being at the southern end of their range and about 444 years of post "discovery" land use.

The point is, I get pretty excited over native Florida hardwoods that are more at home up nawth, but have a valid right to be here too.

When I travel north of the St. Mary's River, I'm always looking for that possible arborealadoptee to take home.
Usually, it doesn't work out, but last summer it did. On a trip to Georgia, I spied a few young tulip poplars creeping up through the gravel driveway at my bro-n-law's cabin. Doomed by their location, the decision to adopt them was easy.
On the last day as we were packing up, I gently tugged a few from the driveway and placed them in moist ziploc bag in the cooler.
The day after we arrived home, I planted them in a trough in my garden.

I've babied them and so far so good. They have made it through the summer and winter is their thang, so I'm optimistic (as usual) about their chances.

This young cypress is not a rare thing down here, but it too started out as a wee tiny thing brought in as a seed in some aquatic weed compost the local state park was offering. When he sprouted in my veggie garden, I potted him up and my tiny todderly daughters and I planted him and some siblings around the pond.

I'll keep you posted on the these little poplars.

Next on my list is the black walnut and I think I know where a mature one exists in the area.
If you see a picture of me with stained hands, you'll know I was successful.


who wouda thunk it?? said...

I miss Tulpi trees. Thanks for the reminder, I hadn't even thought of them in years. It was very nice seeing those distinctive leaves

debbie said...

We had a huge black walnut tree in our backyard for many years. They are beautiful but between the leaves and the nuts they are very messy. If you find a black walnut to transplant make sure that you plant it away from the house. In the fall it will drop tons of huge nuts and believe me, you don't want to be walking under it when those nuts are falling.

edifice rex said...

Man, if I knew you wanted those things! I got TONS of tulip poplars, sycamore trees, you name it really but the poplars and sycamores are like weeds here. If you are ever up this way, come by and get all you want.

CrackerNation said...

Yeppers, them tulip poplars are weeds up here. I chopped down almost 40 pretty big ones to make room for the ginko forrest I'm growing.

They are the state tree of Tennessee though...

threecollie said...

You have inspired me with your tree adoptions and I am saving baby honey locusts for other folks who have a place for them.
Wish we could help with the walnuts...

Dani said...

When we went camping at Florida Caverns I couldn't get over the trees they had growing in their forests! So different than us here in the central part.

cndymkr / jean said...

Black Walnut? I heard they drop huge nuts which are very buggy. I don't know, it sounds like to much clean up work. But what the hell do I know.

Doug Taron said...

Round these parts we consider tulip poplar to be a southern tree. We have tons of black walnuts. Goregous trees, but messy. The nuts are almost impossible to crack and extract the nuts from. They have an earthier taste than their thinner-shelled and more familiar cousins.

Floridacracker said...

Who Woulda,
I fell in love with these straight trunked beauties in the Smokies.

Mine would go in the woods if I had some.

I saw that up in GA, they were EVERYWHERE!

Why the ginkgo forest? Commercial?

I hate to weed a little treeling. :)

Parts of the panhandle are like Appalachia aren't they?

I'd stick em in my woods to grow. Beautiful wood someday.

As a carver, it's the wood of the BW that fascinates me.

tai haku said...

Loving the little Liriodendron FC - we put a couple in our arboretum (though of course they are not native to the UK) - fantastic growers and beautiful to boot.

On the subject of florida trees, would I be right in thinking Pure Florida HQ is somewhere in the historic range of Torreya taxifolia? If so do you have any nearby or have any plans to try and get some?

I'm in South Fla at the moment, jealous you get this kind of wildlife all the time.

Floridacracker said...

We are a little south of the Torreya. I think it's limited to a small region of the panhandle.

lisa said...

That is great that you are adopting! Threecollie, gave us locust to plant and I sure hope they do good!

amarkonmywall said...

This is interesting to me because I'm thinking of stretching the boundaries in the opposite direction. Florida Native Plants had a display at our nature preserve fair last March and they gave me a handsome young cypress- about 3 ft. tall. I've been keeping it in a pot but stuck in a spot in the garden where it has to survive on rain and natural (not overly sunny) light. It's been doing fine and it is headed for Asheville come next March. The three Coontie I have growing here get to stay here- they are doing well. About 4-5 fronds each. I did not cut them up to augment my Halloween costume. ;-)

amarkonmywall said...

cndymkr / jean: We have a very handsome mature black walnut growing right next to the stone terrace outside our kitchen in Asheville. Although I've made the decision to work around it with a kitchen addition/expansion the nut issue was the deciding factor in no skylights. Back in Michigan we had them thunking on the roof all the time. The squirrels (and ourselves) enjoyed them. The tenants at our Asheville home say the black bear dearly loves them- and since Rich wants to see the bear, the walnut stays but no skylights...

Doug Taron said...

If you do get black walnuts growing at PF, you may get hickory horned devils.

Dani said...

WOW! That is one gorgeous cat Doug!

amarkonmywall said...

I forgot to ask- do you have knees yet? ;-)

Floridacracker said...

I hope your locust trees grow well!

I'm glad your little coonties are thriving! Mine are too! No knees on my babies yet, and they may never knee out since they are rarely underwater ...dang it.
Now about that black walnut in Asheville ... I'm thinking I trade you a box of amazing PureFlorida Fatwood lighter kindling for your woodstove/fireplace, hand split by moi, for some viable black walnuts to plant down here.


Got them already. They like wild persimmon too! We raised one to adult Mothdom from a tiny inch long cat when the kids were little.
Great caterpillars!

kevin said...

I have a hickory tree you can have. It's about 4 ft tall right now but will get a lot bigger. I promise it will make the same mess as the walnut tree.