Natives Trees And Southern Trees

By Thomas Fryd

In the south shrub and tree planting projects are about to get under way. Everywhere people are beginning to recognize the economic and aesthetic values of shrubs and trees. This is particularly true of trees. Large producers of forest products are planting vast acreages with trees; the owners of woodland plots are utilizing every available acre; and the occupants of even the smallest lots in new developments are planting young trees of various kinds.

When I recently visited the state forest tree nursery, I learned that the more than sixteen million seedlings grown last season did not nearly meet the demand.

Our towns and cities are growing so fast, they are literally bursting their seams. Real estate developers have to reach far out beyond the suburbs, taking in large areas where there are either no trees to start with or where, in the process of preparing for construction, it is necessary to remove most, if not all, of the trees. Most builders and developers are apparently doing what they can to save the trees, but in many developments most trees ore sacrificed.

Fast-growing trees for the home - Fortunately there are several fast-growing trees well adapted to planting around the Southern home. A lot, after being planted with a few of these trees, will soon lose its bareness and also be considerably shaded from the hot sun.

Mimosa - One of the best is the mimosa, but in some areas it is subject to a wilt that causes the tree to lose its leaves and finally die. There seems to be no cure for the disease. Your only safety is to procure trees grown in a disease-free area.

Chinese parasol-tree - This species, known botanically as Firmiana simplex, is a large-leaved, tropical-looking small tree that grows rapidly to 25 or 30 feet, but then stops at that height. It has large heads of interesting cream-colored flowers, followed by bladder-like seed pods.

Goldenrain-tree - Another fast-growing small tree well suited to the small lot is the goldenrain-tree (Koelreuteria paniculata). Its compound leaves and great profusion of small yellow flowers add to its attractiveness. Unfortunately, neither the Chinese parasol-tree nor the goldenrain-tree is easily had from nurseries, as only a few concerns in the South handle them.

Chinese elm - For the larger lot, where a mature tree 45 feet high would be in scale, the Chinese elm is a good choice. It grows rapidly, thrives in poor soil and endures much dry weather.

Dogwood and redbud - Two native trees that are lovely and fit well into any home landscape or backyard landscape ideas are the dogwood and the redbud. We can hardly have too many of them. Many of the numerous tree-planting projects sponsored by garden and civic clubs have featured these two trees, and as a result tens of thousands of them have been planted in the South during the last five years. In a few years they will transform many of our now-uninteresting streets and roadways into avenues of great beauty.

Red maple - The red maple is another medium-sized tree that is well suited to home-grounds planting in the South.

Pine - The native pines continue in strong demand for planting on home grounds in the South. We did not realize how very rapidly these trees grew until we began growing them under cultivation. A pine's growth is comparatively slow in the forest, but on the home grounds, where it is fed and watered, it is rather exciting. If you are planting for heavy shade, loblolly pine is preferable to slash or yellow pine. - 29857

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