I had a mature elm removed from the front grounds of my landscape garden last Thanksgiving weekend. I suspect it was over 65 years old and of about the same height. If someone wants to purchase the trunk I have it stored away in a quonset hut. I am not certain what I am going to do with it.
The tree did not have Dutch Elm disease, but it was afflicted with a minor disorder…..a foliar disease in which for three or four years in a row before removal, it started to shed its leaves right about now, the first of August.
The mature elm must have a billion leaves, for I had to rake every day until late October to keep my driveway over which the elm stood, somewhat clean.
I remember reading one time, that if one lined up all of the roots and rootlets of a mature elm, it would reach the moon, 240,000 miles away. I have never challenged that statistic, for anyone who gardens under the shade of an elm, maple or birch tree knows that these tightly wired roots are almost inpenetrable. Moreover, they seize most of the water that comes their way.
Nearly everything growing within the shade of this enormous elm, has thanked me for my deed except for the hostas and the brunnera, which are showing some to significant amounts of leaf burn. The most severly suffering is Hosta, Great Expectations. El Nino doesn’t seem to be bothered.
A special word regarding Host El Nino. This one is unique in a hosta world populated with countless members some of which cannot be well distinguished one from another.
El Nino in sun until about 2 PM in my front grounds has not shown signs of sun burn. Those in the shade have such striking foliage, turquoise and a nearly white cream, and solid leaf form, the plant radiates its spot as if itself is perpetually under the spotlight. It is unique among its relatives, both close and distant. It blends and contrasts very well with Gentsch Hemlock, a dwarfish Canadian hemlock claimed to reach only six feet.
Whether in shade or sun, if well fertilized and never having to endure drought, Gentsch has a turquoise tinge to its foliage except for the whitish new growth, which makes it pleasantly noticed especially in shade.
They are sold as shrubs….but I have my doubts. My second oldest Gentsch, probably six or seven years in my grounds (a purchase in a size 5 pot) it is over 6 and a half feet already, and I have pruned in back each of the last two year by two feet.
The oldest receives less sunlight but grows in a more crowded condition among other evergreen conifers in a group, two arborvitaes and a huge, fast growing Hetz juniper, all planted at about the same time. This Gentsch is almost ten feet tall after about ten years in its location.
Readers should know that there are many dwarf and semidwarf evergreen conifers which are relatively new on the market……cultivars “invented” or selected from some mistake in its heritage.
There aren’t many, or in some cases, there are none which have been grown to maturity yet here in Minnesota. My front grounds Sunkist Arborvitae is already 15 feet in height in its 15th year in my garden. It was a size five pot when purchased.
The label tagged with the plant when purchased informed me it would reach 8 feet in height with nothing else added to the information. This is not a complaint, only an observation.
It is very, very common that heights of garden trees and shrubs as listed on labels underestimate the heights of mature heights of the plant.
I have excellent soil and an automatic irrigation system.
The rest of the plants in the front grounds have improved their color and appearance in general.
Yet, Global Warming has attacked. We do a bit more computer stuff in the evening these times since we have lost our shade cooling the second floor office.