Tuesday, January 31, 2012

(Dendrology) The study of fast growing trees from personal experience.

Fastest Growing Trees
The Royal Empress tree as a baby in April 2011

I wanted to share with you guys about our story of our Royal Empress Tree. When we moved in our house, we had little to no trees in our yard. We love in Zone 9, that's to say it's extremely hot most of the year here, and we have very tropical Florida weather that you would expect to find here, as we are near the inland, and 20 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. Our soil is very sandy, and loose, so much so that it washes away very easily. It is not very fertile soil, not rich in color or nutrients at all. Before we even researched fast growing trees.. we wanted to spruce up our yard. Our living room has a 16ft vaulted ceiling, so expensive to heat and cool, especially since there is no shade on the front of the house, and we're pretty sure the house is not properly insulated. I remember hearing that by the laws here, they only have to insulate 80% (or something like that) and so they only did the bare minimum. Now we pay for it, quite literally. I love trees, and there are trees that line the yard, but they are on the side of the house that it's irrelevant if there are trees there. Plus- they are those annoying brown spiky things that fall from them. Oh! They are Sweetgum Trees, right? They grow like annoying weeds. The spiky clusters that fall from them produce like 10-20 sprouts in my yard that we're constantly uprooting. They grow fast too, but I wouldn't recommend them at all. Since there are about 40 of them alongside of our house, and they keep the sandy dirt from sliding even more into the huge miles long ditch/trench/water runoff that runs directly by our house. I cannot really cut them down. It's would be too expensive and frustrating and pointless.

I felt my yard looked naked. Our first purchase was 2 fruit trees.  Two peach trees from Lowes. One male, one female, though neither required the other to produce fruit, but supposedly said that would make them bear larger fruit together than without it's mate. Sadly, one of them died after the first 8 months. It's wasn't getting as much water or was in a bad spot for sunlight, in any case- it didn't thrive. The other did. It is shown in the picture just below to the right. It's twice as old as the Royal Empress in the picture below. The peach tree produced some 20-30 baby peaches it's first spring season. I promptly, upon the urging of my husband, pulled them all off. I almost cried. I left one on. My husband said that they would suck all the water and nutrients and keep the tree from growing larger. He said the he read that you are not supposed to let it's first fruits grow. The one I left on got pretty big. I ate it a few weeks later. Immediately I was incredibly sad I hadn't left the other baby fruits on it. It was wonderfully sweet.  Knowing we had grown it might have made it taste better. I was cussing myself, worried it would pass on like the other tree before I got more fruit from it. Hopefully when we sell this house, the tree's we plant will add some charm and value. Hopefully the new owners will not cut them down. I would be very sad.
Our Royal Empress tree this September 2011, only a few months old.
The leaves on this thing are bigger than my torso.

We still needed more trees though. My husband wanted one that would grow very fast. We needed shade pronto, and as wide as the peach tree was getting 2 years later, it wasn't really doing much in the way of offering shade, being that it was only 10 feet tall, (20 ft wide) and our house is humongous. So, we found that the royal empress tree was probably our best bet. It has beautiful fragrant flowers, and humongous leaves. The leaves were going to help with shade. This tree is said to grow some 12 ft or more in the first year. We planted it front and center where our house suffers from heat strokes in the blistering summers, and waited. It didn't take long for it to sprout up like a weed. I am so impressed with this tree, and I know within another year it will probably offer complete shade on our house.

A Royal Empress in full bloom.
Here's our house , so you can see what I mean. I just walked outside and snapped this picture, so this is what the trees now look like in January. The picture is reversed from the other picture though. In the first picture you see, I took from my front door, looking out into the yard. The picture below- is at the end of my driveway looking now at the house and it's wonky massive roof. So now the peach tree is on the left, although you can barely see it. The peach tree dropped it's leaves super early, and was almost bare by November. Which sounds right, but considering the very very very warm winter we've had, and that all the other trees are still GREEN as all get out, it did worry me. I know little to nothing of trees, although I am extremely enthusiastic about them.. a tree-hugger to the core.

I like this website we ordered from, Fast-growing-trees.com because they ship so quickly and the trees arrive in pristine condition. They have wonderful guarantees, as well as user generated reviews on each item. They make it easy to know if a tree is right for you, with detailed descriptions, and planting zones, and make it easy to find which planting zone you are in. In addition, searching on their website is super easy too, as you can search by tree, growing zone, and even by state. I like this website a lot. If you are looking for a fast growing tree, there is a whole section devoted entirely to that. Help improve your carbon foot-print and plant some trees. Their prices are great on nut trees, I have considered purchasing their American Hazelnut but I am not too sure. I think our next tree purchase will probably be the Eucalyptus or Blood Orange tree. I think though, I have decided on the gorgeously colored, bright red, Autumn Blaze Maple tree.
The Eucalyptus

"I planted our Royal Empress Tree late in the season, so I knew it wouldn’t grow much before going dormant. Still, it reached about 6 feet.

My Father-in-law wasn’t impressed. He said “cut it down and you’ll really see a show”. “But I’ll lose all this growth”, I replied. “No you won’t” he said, “you’ll get it back in a few weeks, just watch”. He took a saw and cut it flat to the ground.

He was right… this tree is indestructible… it shot out of the ground in spring and grew 15 feet that year, then reached 25 feet the next year. It was like watching Jack and the Beanstalk. 

Best of all, this is a flowering tree you don’t have to baby. It grows almost everywhere, from Mexico to Canada, preferring zones 5-11. It has no significant insect or disease problems… tolerates drought…and grows in almost any kind of soil, even toxic ones. It's a hardwood tree that lives to an old age.

You can also feel good that you’re planting one of the most environmentally beneficial trees in the world. Your Empress Tree will have large leaves that act as giant air filters, pulling pollution out of the air at a remarkable rate… turning it into wood, then releasing high amounts of beneficial oxygen."

Read more: Royal Empress Tree | Flowering Trees 

This review is sponsored by Fast-Growing-Trees.com - still the opinions and experiences are entirely my own, and 100% accurate.


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