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Old 08-18-2016, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Jonesboro
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I think in the case of Waukee what you seem to have noticed may be largely due to the fact that it is for all intents and purposes a brand new community that has seen massive new suburban styled growth around it's tiny, older & more traditional small town core.
The subdivisions should start greening up & filling in more with such "privacy" greenery as time progresses.
A look at some more settled suburban areas in metro Des Moines, such as West Des Moines for example, should give an idea of what could come to pass over time in the newer suburban areas.
I'd suggest that specifically the areas of WDM that were built in the 60's, 70's, 80's & 90's will be a good place to look to get a better idea of what's the norm.
A mixture of coniferous & deciduous plantings can be so appealing to the eye & help the curb appeal factor & thus lift the resale value as an added bonus.
As for me, I'm of the feeling that one can almost never have enough greenery and my own yard reflects that opinion.
And my own preference often guides me to look much more favorably on established urban neighborhoods, such as those often found throughout much of the west side of Des Moines proper, as compared to newer subdivision type of sprawl developments.

Last edited by atler8; 08-18-2016 at 06:41 AM.. Reason: added a sentence
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:41 AM
 
Location: IN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midwestforme View Post
I have a gardening question: Since the soil is so fertile, I am wondering why there aren't more evergreen type privacy trees (pines, etc) in the suburbs? From the pics (of Waukee, especially) it just looks really flat with not much vegetation. I am wondering if the super cold winter temps or the high winds make it difficult for these to grow OR is it more of a local culture thing that people don't really like or want privacy?
Many coniferous trees can be grown in that area, but do not grow naturally in that given location. Some examples would be: White Pine, Red Pine, Norway Spruce, Balsam Fir, Eastern Hemlock, Blue Spruce, etc. I prefer White Pine as it is good for wildlife and is very good as a wind break and blocking out neighbors.
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,105 posts, read 6,479,754 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitae View Post
Semi-related to this thread. Anywhere in CR, or even IC, to get good fresh fish, particularly salmon? Thanks!
New Pioneer Food Co-op

Address: 22 S Van Buren St, Iowa City, IA 52240
Phone: (319) 338-9441
Hours: Open today · 7AM–10PM

That's where I go when I'm over there and getting fish for friends.

Vitae, it is Iowa. The beef, chicken, and pork are to die for! But as far as seafood, it's "jet fresh catch" if you are lucky. The local fish aren't bad. If you can get walleye from MN, it can be excellent.

Last edited by Meemur; 08-18-2016 at 08:35 AM..
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
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Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
Many coniferous trees can be grown in that area, but do not grow naturally in that given location.
The soil needs to be a tad more acid for them to grow well (about 5.5, according to the ISU fact sheet). Iowa soils tend toward a more neutral pH, in general.

They can grow well with a little addition of garden sulfur -- be sure to test the soil several times over the growing season with a soil test kit.

Housing contractors often omit trees and fences to increase their bottom line.
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Jonesboro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meemur View Post
The soil needs to be a tad more acid for them to grow well (about 5.5, according to the ISU fact sheet). Iowa soils tend toward a more neutral pH, in general.

They can grow well with a little addition of garden sulfur -- be sure to test the soil several times over the growing season with a soil test kit.

Housing contractors often omit trees and fences to increase their bottom line.
Yeah, that bottom line can leave out desirable factors & amenities some times.
Your explanation about the soli acidity is a note worthy one.
Across the state there is not only a variation in the acidity according to soil type but also there is an obvious variation in the type of trees according to the location. That was always noticeable to me as I traveled east cross Iowa to visit in Wisconsin for many years. I saw that the closer I got to that state, there was not only a different topographical look to the terrain but also a different mix of tree types.
And in my most recent travels to Wisconsin, I've definitely picked up on how much more prevalent coniferous growth is throughout that state.

Last edited by atler8; 08-18-2016 at 08:34 AM.. Reason: reconstructed a sentence
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,105 posts, read 6,479,754 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atler8 View Post
And in my most recent travels to Wisconsin, I've definitely picked up on how much more prevalent coniferous growth is throughout that state.
Atler, an area where wild blue berries are growing well indicates a fairly acidic soil. Next time you're in the Midwest and find wild blue berries, you might note that the next environmental "layer" (can't remember the proper term) out is evergreens and then hard woods (oak, hickory), and these take a slightly more acidic pH than do maples and other softwoods. You'll see that a lot in WI near some of the lakes and N. Iowa towards the border.

That's why it's important to do a little historical research on an area before buying a home if gardening is important. I would avoid an area with lots of walnut trees -- they poison the soil. In some of the newer subdivisions, they've cut up walnut groves and trucked in some top soil, but the trees in spots there are dying -- that's one of the causes. I helped a friend build 4 raised beds over what was likely a walnut fence row.

Obviously, one can always build raised beds on most properties, which I have, but some people dream of an 8' x 10' truck garden right in the ground, which is still possible on a lot of rural land in Central and W. IA.

And I LOVE WI! If it were more tax-friendly, I would've looked harder at Sun Prairie (NE of Madison). The numbers just didn't work out for me.
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