Monday, February 22, 2010


Photo taken by Linda Turner Collins on the Tippecanoe River, Indiana.

Hey Herbies!

OK, I know that we are "Herbies", right? However, I do know that we also love our trees, especially here in Aransas County. So I thought that I would post some "tree" information on our Rockport Herbies blog.

Ruth and I attended a tree seminar here in Rockport this past Saturday, February 20, 2010. It was interesting even if the speaker dwelled on chain saws more than I cared to hear. However, I did learn some new information about trees.

Tree Paint
Do not use tree paint on trees with the exception of Oaks and Citrus. Make sure you paint within 30 minutes of the cut otherwise don’t bother. One man said that he uses Elmer’s Glue (I have to assume Elmer’s Wood Glue.) to seal wounds and it works. Who knows?

No Spiking Trees
No spiking trees regardless of what type of tree they are. Since I didn't know what tree spiking was, I researched it and here is the information that I found: Tree spiking is a form of sabotage which involves hammering a metal rod or other material (commonly ceramic) into a tree trunk in order to discourage logging. And that Tree spiking was declared a federal felony in the United States in 1988.

Training Trees
Training trees, so start young, between 2 to 3 year old trees. Tallest limb with bud has control of the tree so don’t cut the tallest limb when pruning. This limb has the energy for the tree and cutting it will cut off the energy to the rest of the tree.

If you are going to prune, do not remove more dead fronds than there are live fronds on the tree.

If you are going to prune then do so not more than the 3 to 9 o’clock position.

If you are going to prune then don’t prune in the fall because it provides insulation to the palm and shelter for wildlife.

The palm tree should have a 360° crown which includes the brown fronds (skirt) on the tree which:

Provide habitat for wildlife including bats;
Provide insulation for the palm;
Provide food for the palm even though the fronds are brown.

When planting a tree, dig the hole to only the depth of the root ball and 2 to 3 times as wide. I read that Malcolm Beck suggests digging a square hole opposed to a round hole to encourage the roots to expand outward.

Do not add any thing into the hole other than the tree, i.e. no mulch, no compost, no fertilizer, no potting soil, etc.

Put the tree into the hole, slightly higher than the rest of the land; put in the soil that was removed from the hole. Do not add any potting soil or other amendments; use only the soil that was removed.

I remember that Michael Womack said that if you need to stake a tree after planting, then be sure to use 3 stakes at equal distances and secure with a soft retainer of some sort and do not use wire which can cut into the bark of the tree. I use old panty hoses and sometimes new ones. I used to buy lots of them, and since I no longer wear them, I thought that it would be a good way to get rid of them. Michael also said not to keep the trees staked for more than 6 months. However, with living here on Live Oak Peninsula, I feel that 12 months is a better choice.

It should be noted that if the roots are bound, you can try to separate them just a little to encourage new growth. Michael says you can run a sharp knife into the roots to encourage them to spread out.

The speaker did say to make sure the person that wants to trim your trees has insurance. If not, don’t hire him. If he gets injured on your property, you as property owner, are responsible, i.e. liability. Make sure you have insurance and be careful.

Citrus trees: sanitize after each cut.

Other trees: sanitize between different trees.

Don’t leave tools in bleach water (1 part bleach to 10 parts water) too long because they will rust; oil after they have been sanitized.

Can use 70% active brand of Lysol and not some of the weaker solutions.

Heat can sanitize, but only do so as a last resort because extreme heat can alter the tools.

Oak Wilt
Some of the things that I learned were that Oak Wilt isn’t that far away from us. When I asked how far away, the speaker didn’t know. I asked if it was as far as San Patricio County, and he said yes he thought so. Ruth stated: I suspect oak wilt is still not any closer than Goliad, not that far away but has been that close for a long time.

And so Ruth did her research and here is an Oak Wilt website for Texas. And here are some maps showing the counties that have occurrences of oak wilt.

And in my research I found a really good website by Texas A&M on pruning.


by: Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

"Trees" was originally published in Trees and Other Poems. Joyce Kilmer. New York: George H. Doran Company, 1914.

Trees courtesy of website:

Now go plant a tree!


Photo taken by my Dad, Wayne Turner on the Tippecanoe River, Indiana.

1 comment:

Herbie said...

I've been doing a little research regarding some "tree problems". It seems lots of home owners are concerned about lichens. Here are some sites you might want to check out. Maybe we can get a list of websites and refer them to some of the home owners that have tree questions.

Everything you ever needed to know about lichens
Round Rock Leader
Saturday, March 5, 2005
By Emsud Horozovic, City of Round Rock Forestry Manager

Mistletoe, Lichens, Ball Moss and Spanish Moss

Lichen uses by wildlife

What's on My Tree?

Jerral Johnson, Associate Department Head and Program Leader for Extension Plant Pathology
Texas Cooperative Extension