Any gardneners or tree experts out there???

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#1
My husband and I have the perfect place to build a house - we just finished buying it. It's going to be another 2 years before our finances allow us to actually put a house on it but in the mean time we are going to prepare for it. It is in an area very close to the city (like 5 min away) but far enough out to be considered the "in the country". It over looks a river and is just absolutely BEAUTIFUL!! Plus the surrounding land is all family owned so we don't have to worry about industrilazation (sp?) for a long long while. Anyway, one of the preperations we are making are trees (among other things). It has a highway running in front of it (nothing like where I live now though :eek: ) Right now there's not much traffic but I'm sure within the next 10 years we'll have our fair share. What I'm going to do is plant Norway Spruce trees along the highway as a sound barrier & also for safety so we won't have a car land on our roof if the guard rail gives way. Also I want to plant a row along the fenceline facing the neighbors (long story). My delima is...I have 50 trees coming in about 4 weeks. I'm going to plant them but when they start growing I only want them to get about 15-20 ft tall. Does anyone know if I can prune them to stay that height (because I know usually they grow 50-80 ft). I know I know...your saying "why did you get 50 trees that you know are going to be too tall?" Well I got them because it supports my local 4H group and they were free and they were convienient. Anyway - does anyone know what I can do about the height? Any advice would be most apprecaited!!
 
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#2
Sorry, Sweet, but I really am giggling picturing you looking at all 50 of those trees wondering how to keep them short. That's a good question!

Why do you want to keep them so short?

Wonder how long it takes them to achieve their full height . . .
 
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HAHAHA that IS funny! I would like to keep them short so incase they fall due to high wind or lightning then it will be easier to take care of (clean up - esp in the road) & less likely that they will fall on the house since they will only be apx 25-30 ft away from it. I've grew up in the country/woods & I know what a pain fallen trees can be to houses & roads & everything else for that fact. Plus the place we want to put our house on is only 2 acres (the rest ot it is all down hill to the river) & HUGE trees would completly swamp/shadow the land - I have a pool that we're going to install and we would like for the sun to shine there some (yes, I bought the pool before the house - It was too good of a deal to pass up so I didn't care if it was backwards :D). I think it takes them 10 years to mature.
 
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Is there a university with a forestry or horticultural department nearby? That might be a good place to find out - or find out that you're going to have to donate those trees to a reforestation program and start over . . .

I've always read, too, that spruces don't do well as wind-breaks, tending to die off in steady exposure to wind, so they need to be planted to the side of the property that the wind doesn't come from.
 

smkie

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#5
What would happen if you cut the elimentary tap root? I grow little trees..some of them too big to be the classic..it might stunt their growth. I am trying it with two corkscrew willows that i have in the ground out front. I will attach a pic of my grapefruit tree i have had for more than a decade now. It was just a thought..i would find it impossible to trim that many trees to that height. I know with scouts they sent us trees, but they sent china berries instead. That would be a smaller and most beautiful thing to see all in a line. could you request a different kind? The problem with spruces is for one they are susceptable to bagworms (not the net kind) and can munch a spruce to twigs in a season, and they grow almost as wide as they do tall..a fact most people forget when they plant them in their half acre front yard.
 

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Debi

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#6
once they get about 5' tall..or a little taller if you like, but you'll need a ladder....you can cut the top off. Then you take lawn sheers and taper the branches below to shape the tree to a more natural shape. You just trim around the outer branch keeping the original shape. Does that make any sense to you?? LOL I wish I could show you!! I lack description ability. You just don't want to lop off the top..that leaves the tree looking strangely squat...so starting at the top...trim around each branch tapering the tree outward as you work down. Make sure they are spaced properly....they will live longer. I'm sooo excited for you..it sounds wonderful!!!! :) You want to do this trimming while the tree is young..if you wait too long, it will be too 'woody'.
 

smkie

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Got a pic deb? I am totally interested!!!!! Cutting the top stops the overall growth and doesn't make two grow in it's place? That is what i always thought would happen..to cool.i didn't know you could do that!
 

Gustav

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#8
You can cut the top off one tree each year and then you wouldn't have to buy a christmas tree ever again! (We used to do this when I worked on the farm!) :eek:
 

bubbatd

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#9
Sounds like a great area...BTW admire your grapefruit tree !!! My Dad made a hedge from spruce trees....not Norway though .... just trimmed and topped each year. Ended up being very dense and pretty.
 
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#10
I've always read, too, that spruces don't do well as wind-breaks
Thanks for the info. That got me to wonderin' about the wind there, since it is pretty high elevation, so I called my aunts & uncles that live nearby and they said that the wind really isn't a problem - not as windy as I thought it would be so hopefully that won't be a problem :) ) I'm glad I know that now either way!

What would happen if you cut the elimentary tap root?
What is that? If I can figure that one out maybe that will work, otherwise I'll be out there every 6 months cutting the tops and triming the sides - what a funny sight that'll be!!

once they get about 5' tall..or a little taller if you like, but you'll need a ladder....you can cut the top off. Then you take lawn sheers and taper the branches below to shape the tree to a more natural shape.
My thoughts exactly - I'm afraid I'll kill them though, I DO NOT have a green thumb. I don't know why but if the plant I'm trying to grow isn't a hardy one then it'll most likely die with me...I'm going to try my best to get these things to live!!

You can cut the top off one tree each year and then you wouldn't have to buy a christmas tree ever again! (We used to do this when I worked on the farm!)
hahaha funny you'd mention that. I'd love to do that but we had an incident with a Christmas tree & a fire when I was growing up so I'm kinda afraid of that...I just don't know if I could do it or not, been with artificial since.


My Dad made a hedge from spruce trees
Hey now that's a good idea too since I'm going to have extra...I like that!!

The problem with spruces is for one they are susceptable to bagworms (not the net kind) and can munch a spruce to twigs in a season
Wow - I didn't know that...is there anything to do to stop this - maybe a spray or something (something pet friendly of course)

Oh - just a side note, not all 50 trees are going on the property, they won't all fit. 50 was the smallest quantity I could order so what doesn't fit will be given to family & friends and the rest planted out in bare spots in the woods. I'd say I will use anywhere from 10 to 25 of the trees. If any of ya'll want any let me know...don't know how I'd get them to ya but I'm sure we could figure out something!!
 
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