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Old 09-30-2017, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Floribama
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I'm at the tip of the FL panhandle, some areas here are "bottomland" with soil that holds lots of moisture (maples, water oaks, sweetgum, magnolias)... and then other areas are sand hills with poor soil (pines, yaupon, etc). The empress trees in the bottomland areas always look big and healthy, while the ones planted in sandy areas always look stunted with lots of dieback. Obviously it is a moisture sensitive tree.


There's no way I'd plant one on my property though, too many invasives already here to worry about, don't need another.
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by southernnaturelover View Post
I'm at the tip of the FL panhandle, some areas here are "bottomland" with soil that holds lots of moisture (maples, water oaks, sweetgum, magnolias)... and then other areas are sand hills with poor soil (pines, yaupon, etc). The empress trees in the bottomland areas always look big and healthy, while the ones planted in sandy areas always look stunted with lots of dieback. Obviously it is a moisture sensitive tree.


There's no way I'd plant one on my property though, too many invasives already here to worry about, don't need another.
I wanted something to grow fast and give shade. All the big oaks are dead or starting to die in my area and nothing else seems to grow well in my hood. Just a dead zone i guess. When ya go 8 months of no rain and then get 20"+ in a months time it's no wonder nothing grows here. This area was filled in from the gulf and i can't even dig down past 1.5ft without hitting solid hard limestone.
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LKJ1988 View Post
I wanted something to grow fast and give shade. All the big oaks are dead or starting to die in my area and nothing else seems to grow well in my hood. Just a dead zone i guess. When ya go 8 months of no rain and then get 20"+ in a months time it's no wonder nothing grows here. This area was filled in from the gulf and i can't even dig down past 1.5ft without hitting solid hard limestone.
well, you might want to check in with your local county extension agent OR a good nursery person (probably not somebody in a "big box" home improvement center) for suggestions on some useful shade producers. often a walk through the parks and gardens of places that may be outside your "hood" but still with similar soil conditions might also give you ideas of what to plant.
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Old 09-30-2017, 03:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by georgeinbandonoregon View Post
well, you might want to check in with your local county extension agent OR a good nursery person (probably not somebody in a "big box" home improvement center) for suggestions on some useful shade producers. often a walk through the parks and gardens of places that may be outside your "hood" but still with similar soil conditions might also give you ideas of what to plant.
I have tried so many planets and only a very few will live. Our weather has changed so much the last 30 years.
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Old 09-30-2017, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Floribama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LKJ1988 View Post
I wanted something to grow fast and give shade. All the big oaks are dead or starting to die in my area and nothing else seems to grow well in my hood. Just a dead zone i guess. When ya go 8 months of no rain and then get 20"+ in a months time it's no wonder nothing grows here. This area was filled in from the gulf and i can't even dig down past 1.5ft without hitting solid hard limestone.
Well you could plant a Laurel Oak, seems like they grow like weeds all over Florida.
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Old 10-01-2017, 11:17 AM
 
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I got an idea to train this as a shrub to mimic a giant rhubarb plant. What do you think?
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Old 10-01-2017, 11:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Nn2036 View Post
I got an idea to train this as a shrub to mimic a giant rhubarb plant. What do you think?


assuming you are referring to the paulownia/empress tree rather than the laurel oak, LOL. as mentioned very early in this thread, "stooling"/ cutting back the tree to the base usually results in the production of big leaves produced on a multi-stemmed "shrub" which might indeed have the effect of a "giant rhubarb plant". OTOH, you will likely get few if any flowers (which may or may not be a big deal to you) and of course the plant will never get large enough to provide any shade which I thought perhaps mistakenly was your initial plan. your plants response to hard cutting back especially in regards to it's rather hard to determine health status currently may or may not go quite the same way. my humble suggestion is that you wait and see if the plant actually puts out new leaves and returns to good growth and IF that indeed happens perhaps wait until next year when it's more fully established and healthy to make a "big whack attack" on it.


good luck whatever you do.
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Old 10-01-2017, 02:56 PM
 
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I cut about 3ft off of mine when it went bare.
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Old 10-01-2017, 07:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LKJ1988 View Post
I cut about 3ft off of mine when it went bare.

which is rather different than the cutting the trunk all the way back to a short stub usually associated with "stooling" to create the "giant rhubarb look".
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Old 10-02-2017, 05:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by georgeinbandonoregon View Post
which is rather different than the cutting the trunk all the way back to a short stub usually associated with "stooling" to create the "giant rhubarb look".
I want a taller tree that will spread out some.
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