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Re: MY Cottonless Cottonwoods are Dying - pruning?

Re : Re: MY Cottonless Cottonwoods are Dying - pruning? -- Blake
Posted by Newt , Aug 03,2005,01:31    Top of Thread   Forum

Hi Blake,

You are very welcome!! When I mentioned about your e-mail addy, I meant not to put it in the body of your post. I do hope you will get this notice as I can see that there is no highlight to your name for these last two posts you made. Different boards are set up differently. At this board I don't post my e-mail addy because I don't want it harvested. I come here just about every day to check instead. The problem for me is that if the original poster hasn't put their e-mail addy on the 'Post' page, that means that they won't get a notice of my reply. I sometimes can spend an hour researching an answer. That's alot of time to spend when I don't know if the info will actually be read. At some boards, often called forums, you have to register and no one sees your e-mail address.

I'd also like to share with you that this site you have written to is located in the UK and appears to have been abandoned by the folks that started it. I am not a certified arborist, just an enthusiast and avid gardener who is passionate about trees, the environment and wildlife. I try and answer as many questions as I can. When I don't know an answer I try and refer folks elsewhere. I happen to live in Maryland in the US and have been to Utah a couple of times and know that it's absolutely gorgeous!! I will try and help all I can and will refer you elsewhere if need be.

As to getting rid of the spam, there are spam blockers that can be used with your e-mail program but I don't know how to tell you to activate them. I found that changing my e-mail addy and blocking cookies from most sites has helped cut down on my spam. I didn't get any for several months after my last addy change and just started getting them again. ;( I'm not a computer whiz by any stretch though I can get around the net to find info. My son is the computer whiz, but lives in South America. When he comes home to visit twice a year he gets all the kinks out and fixes everything that needs tweeking or fixing!

I did give you a site about how to prune, but I realize that I gave you alot of info all at once. You can prune dead wood at any time. This first site shows how to prune and where to prune. Just prune off the dead parts to a junction of either an adjoining limb or to the trunk, wherever the live wood starts and the dead wood ends. It's important how you make the cuts so the tree can callous over it properly and repair itself. That's in the pics at the site about pruning. Some trees actually shouldn't be pruned at certain times of the year because they become more prone to pest invastion. That's because the protective bark is removed at the cut and the pest will be active at that time of the year. I'm also including a site for when NOT to prune certain trees. If you feel that this isn't helpful enough just let me know. I have another site that has loads of info but is usually overkill for most people. It's a great site but has lots and lots of pages.

I gave you this site because it has lots of helpful info about cottonwood trees. That is one of the reasons why I asked you if you knew which ones you purchased (the scientific name would be great) as some have different requirements then others. I especially wanted you to note that these are not long lived trees and are fast growing with weak wood. Most trees that grow fast are weak wooded and short lived. That is why I gave you the second site from the Utah Extension Service about planting other slower growing trees that will take over once these trees have died off, like the bur oaks. I'm including it again for you. :)

I'll bet that you can find info on windbreak trees for Utah at that site I gave you for your extension service. You may have to search there or at google. I just did a quick search at google with:
windbreak + tree + Utah
and got over 4000 hits. When at google, if you look at the very end or bottom of each listing, you will often see 'Cached'. If you right click on that you can open a new window. It won't be the site, but google's help at that sight. The words that you put in the search box will be highlighted at the site and it will be quicker and easier to search for the info you want. Then you can go back to the google page and right click on the title of the page and open it in a new window and read it directly at the site without the highlights. That way if you want to save it in your bookmarks (favorites) you can. Not all the trees you may discover will be at this site I'm giving you, but this is a very handy one to have. It doesn't have pretty pictures, and sometimes trees are listed under the Scientific Name, sometimes under the Common Name and sometimes under both, but it has loads of helpful info. You'll find the mature height and width, if the tree produces lots of litter, if the roots will lift sidewalks, pests, diseases and info on 'Use and Management'.

You asked if your trees were spaced correctly. That's another reason I asked you which ones you had so I could search for their mature size for spacing.

I wouldn't recommend fertilizing a stressed tree, especially if it's been overwatered and/or sprayed with the wrong pesticide. Do watch your watering very carefully though and check the mulch and rootflare to see that those are correct. You might want to consider a topdressing of 1" of compost, but again that would depend on which cottonwoods you have. Some like it lean and some fertile. Do try and look at those sites I gave you. I know it's alot of reading, but it will be worth it in the end.

You mentioned that your wife WAS a big Martha Stewart fan. I've never really been much of a fan of her because I always thought she was conceited and didn't give credit to her staff. After the raw deal she got though I hope she makes a zillion dollars!! If your wife wants sites to visit for help with design of the garden or info on plants I know of forums for that as well. There's even one for gardening in the Rocky Mountains where lots of folks from Utah hang out. You might even get advice from them about which trees and shrubs do well in your zone. Oh, almost forgot. If you have the space, think about layering your windbreak and using more then one species of tree. That way if one dies you won't have so much of a hole to fill in with something that won't be the same size. Think about not just trees but shrubs, both evergreen and decidious. Ones that offer berries to the birds in winter would be wonderful and add to the richness of your property. After all, they do feed bugs to their babies in the spring. :) I told you I was passionate about the environment and wildlife. ;)

Oh, I also hang out at DIY Network and answer alot of questions there too, so if it's about gardening you will need to register to post there. You're e-mail address can be kept secret there and you will still receive notices of ansewers to your posts. Do include your state and hardiness zone when you register as it will be easier for others to help if they know where you live and how cold it gets in the winter. I live in Maryland in zone 7. Utah has zones 3 to 8 and that's a big range. Florida has zones 8 to 10, so you can see that it would be important to know. Here's a zip code zone finder if you need one.

I feel like I've written a novel here. Hope I haven't missed anything. If I have, feel free to write.

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Advice offered in this forum is of a general nature only. It is by its nature not based on any site investigation and should not be relied upon. Neither the forum administrator nor any contributor will be held liable for damages occurring as a result of relying on advice given here. You should contact a competent arboriculturist for a more detailed answer.