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Old 10-29-2007, 12:35 PM
 
Location: St Augustine
604 posts, read 4,247,183 times
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We live in a new development near Jacksonville and the builder planted several crape myrtle, oak and red maple trees. Can anyone tell me when they will grow? They've been in the ground for almost 2 years and still look the same.

Could anyone post pics of what we could expect these to look like in the next few years? Any advice on how to make them grow faster?
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Old 10-29-2007, 01:08 PM
 
Location: The Big D
14,874 posts, read 36,242,086 times
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For your Crepe Myrtle do not top it off or prune it back. Instead you should prune or cut off the shoots that come up from out of the ground, at the base and coming off near the bottom. Keep those cut off and allow the larger strong branches to grow upward while pruning off small twiggy limbs down low. Shape it like a tree and not a shrub and you will see it grow dramatically. Just NEVER, EVER commit Crepe Murder by topping it off.
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Jax
8,204 posts, read 31,559,842 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamcim72 View Post
We live in a new development near Jacksonville and the builder planted several crape myrtle, oak and red maple trees. Can anyone tell me when they will grow? They've been in the ground for almost 2 years and still look the same.

Could anyone post pics of what we could expect these to look like in the next few years? Any advice on how to make them grow faster?
Some of my faves ! The Live Oak is my number #1 absolute favorite tree now that I live in the South !

I have some tips for you:

LIVE OAK:

1) A nice, big circle of mulch - out to the dripline - will help in many ways. For one, you will not risk damaging the tree with lawn equipment, for another, you can allow the tree's own natural mulch (leaves & twigs) to remain on the ground which has been proven to be beneficial to Live Oaks. Also, you will not have grass competing for water/nutrients. Some shallow-rooted ground cover (annuals, etc.) would be fine here though.

2) Water & fertilize! Yes, they need it when they're young. I have been feeding my little developer-installed Live Oak regular feedings of Milorganite and good soakings of water and mine is twice the size of my neighbor's and the 2 trees started out the same .

3) For the first 5 years or so, kep the lower limbs on the tree - this will thicken the trunk and encourage a strong straight trunk. Prune for crossing branches, interior circulation, etc., but leave those lower limbs alone until the tree is at least 5 or 6 years old, then limb it up for shape. This really works .

Live Oak link:

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ST564 (broken link)

CREPE MYRTLE:

No personal tips, but Southern Living magazine is a big promoter of the tree (they seem to love it) and they often have good articles on it, check out their Crepe Myrtle articles here:

http://www.southernliving.com/southe...y=crepe+myrtle

RED MAPLE:

Native red maples here in NEFL are usually swamp dwellers, so make sure there is plenty of irrigation for good growth. I would also consider adding compost around the root zone a few times a year, but this would be my "gut" feeling for care of this tree - the only ones I have are in the conservation area behind my house, they take care of themselves .

p.s.: If you like these trees, I bet you'd also like Sweet Bay Magnolia and River Birch, these are also native to our area and they're gorgeous .
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Old 10-30-2007, 05:54 AM
 
Location: NE Florida
17,835 posts, read 29,406,664 times
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Remember the 3 year saying
First year they sleep , 2nd year they creep, 3rd year they leap.

momof2dfw gave you some great advise about the Crepe Myrtle. This is the information we give out at the extension office.
Nothing is more annoying that come winter the "landscapers" go around and commit "crepe murder"
There is no proven reason for doing this. It is one of those "it has been done for years but no one knows why"
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Old 10-30-2007, 07:15 AM
 
7,099 posts, read 23,889,158 times
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The oaks and the maples will take a couple of years to establish a good sturdy root system. THEN, they will start to grow. I know you hate to hear, "Be patient." but that's what you need to do. Keep them watered. but don't overwater. (hard to figure what's just right, isn't it) You really don't want a lot of upper growth while the root system is still getting started. That will make for a weak tree as the roots can't support or feed the top.

The Crapes should be on their way in the Spring. It's too late in the year for them to do anything now. I'll go along with the rest of the posters. Don't prune except to cut off dead branches or those that are crossing another one.
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Old 10-30-2007, 11:50 AM
 
Location: The Big D
14,874 posts, read 36,242,086 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karla with a K View Post
Remember the 3 year saying
First year they sleep , 2nd year they creep, 3rd year they leap.

momof2dfw gave you some great advise about the Crepe Myrtle. This is the information we give out at the extension office.
Nothing is more annoying that come winter the "landscapers" go around and commit "crepe murder"
There is no proven reason for doing this. It is one of those "it has been done for years but no one knows why"
Blows my mind to see people that have the most beautiful yard and so meticulous about it go out and chop off the entire top of their Crepe Myrtle's. At our last house that was brand new everyone got the one Crepe Myrtle planted by the builder. I kept the sprigs at the base cut off and pruned "up". Within a few years mine was at the roof line while everyone elses looked like limp, wispy bushes. They either did not do a thing like keep the undergrowth cut down or they chopped the top off. By not keeping the little sprigs at the bottom cut off the growth is spread out and not used to grow the tree up. Anyway, mine never bloomed much with the beautiful showy flowers but it was HUGE and beautiful in shape. It used all of it's energy the first few years growing instead of blooming. Now when I see it the blooms are thick on the top of it and the base/trunk as the beautiful smooth bark that they are known for. Same for my two Crepe Myrtles I have now as they are at the top of the two story roof and beautiful smooth bark.
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:08 PM
 
Location: NE Florida
9,362 posts, read 22,337,260 times
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Hatracking crepe myrtle is the one issue I don't win in my development. The lawn guy mentioned that mine needed it and I told him not to touch them. Now mine is the nicest in the neighborhood IMHO

They also cut azaleas like hedges- something I do not like.
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Old 10-30-2007, 01:03 PM
 
Location: St Augustine
604 posts, read 4,247,183 times
Reputation: 350
I heard not to cut the crape myrtles, so I've just cut the new sprouts along the base and I pick the dead flower heads off as I see 'em. Two of mine got aphids? and the leaves turned black, but after much spraying they are coming back to life.

I went to my local ext office today for a plant id... I've got Chinese Tallow growing in the preserve area at the edge of my yard. They have it listed as envasive and advise me on how to kill it, but I have one large tree that is beautiful color. I plan to get rid of the ones crowding the native maples growing back there though? Any thoughts?

The lady also gave me several cuttings of a purple leaved hibiscus (red shield) how does this do over the winter here?

Riveree, I've got some miloganite I can put down, and I need to work at remulching my "circle" before dh does some damage with the weedeater, thanks for the advice....we like our garden to be the envy of the neighborhood.

Karla K, I know I just need to be patient! but it's sooo hard to wait!
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Old 10-30-2007, 01:29 PM
 
Location: NE Florida
17,835 posts, read 29,406,664 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamcim72 View Post
I went to my local ext office today for a plant id... I've got Chinese Tallow growing in the preserve area at the edge of my yard. They have it listed as invasive and advise me on how to kill it, but I have one large tree that is beautiful color. I plan to get rid of the ones crowding the native maples growing back there though? Any thoughts?
I am not familiar with this tree, does it have berries ? If so you can remove the berries which will control the spread. Birds eat the berries, birds travel and um get rid of the berries and the seed which is not digested takes root in anew place

They just put "heavenly bamboo" nadina on the invasive list. After speaking with our extension agent I just removed the berries so I could leave the plant.
I do not have invasive's in my gardens because as a MG it just seems wrong.
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Old 10-30-2007, 02:24 PM
 
Location: St Augustine
604 posts, read 4,247,183 times
Reputation: 350
It's also called a popcorn tree b/c soon the berries will pop open and look like popcorn.
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