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Old 24-01-2003, 01:27 AM
laurie \(Mother Mastiff\)
 
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Default 150' Norfolk Pine in Backyard and growing...help!

My backyard contains a large (~150 feet tall!) and seemingly healthy
Norfolk Pine tree that is growing at an alarming pace.

(1) Because we are in San Francisco, back yards are not very big. If
the tree were to fall, it would severly damage either my house or one of
the neighbors'. I've been told that Norfolk Pine trees have shallow
root systems, though this tree seems to have been here for 50-100 years.

(2) There is no longer any sun in the back yard.

(3) Every 4-6 months, the tree "sheds" its "leaves", and covers the back
yard with 6 inches deep of "droppings" (these aren't really leaves, but
I don't know what they're called).

My questions:

I've heard that if Norfolk Pine trees are pruned incorrectly, they never
regain their shape, and it can also damage the tree.


True.

Is there a "right" way to do it?


Look in the yellow pages under tree service for Licensed Arborist. That is
a trained tree specialist. Don't hire anyone who is not an arborist.
Anyone else could claim any amount of knowledge and be misrepresenting.
They might hack it up, and an unhealthy tree is MUCH more likely to fall!
Some arborists don't charge much more than Joe Ordinary Tree Service.

Or, considering where you are, call the Arboretum and ask one of the
specialists there. They would surely have someone qualified to give
appropriate advice for free. Seems to me I have seen some lovely old
Norfolks in a large park in SF and also some large public gardens....

How do I know if a local "tree expert" knows what
he/she is doing?


See above.

How dangerous is a 150' Norfolk Pine tree...do they
have a height above which they fall more frequently? Can I trim the
lower branches without damaging the tree?


I am from Florida where there are still a FEW old Norfolk Island pines left
alive, though some freezes to the low 20s have wiped out some ancient ones.
They will never be replaced, people change things too often these days, and
have no respect for the time it takes to replace such a rare and lovely
plant.

Yours must be healthy to be growing so well, and for many people, would be a
selling point that might interest them in your house when it might not
otherwise tempt them. With the tree, your home is unique, and you have the
opportunity to preserve a healthy specimen of a truly valuable tree that is
becoming rare. Educate yourself about this species and see other specimens
before you decide to take it down.

I was a horticulturist when I lived down in FL, and raised these plants
myself, so I always noticed the big old ones outdoors (even went out of my
way to go home past two of them, because I knew how rare and special they
were and it just made me happy to see them). I NEVER saw one come down
except when cut down. Their open structure makes them more stable in the
wind. I have not even seen one come down in a hurricane, and we had some
doozies.

To make matters more complicated, there is no access to my back yard for
any sort of crane, since the widest access to the back is about 3 feet
wide. So, any sort of tree maintenance will have to be done manually,
with someone climbing the tree. Is this even possible???


Could you live with having a trained arborist cut off enough of the lower
limbs to allow you more access and light to your yard, and simply live with
the rest of the tree? It almost sounds as if that's all that is feasible
anyway.

Where I live now (in an area of North Carolina near Raleigh and Durham), I
have LOTS of leaves raked every year (I am handicapped and can't do it
myself). Raking is simply the price one pays for deciduous trees. The
leaves or needles of the Norfolk pine are fragrant, and make a good mulch.
Bag it and put it on the street with big notes: FREE Mulch! It won't last
long!

PLEASE talk to the Arboretum and learn what a special tree you have before
you decide to do something as destructive as cutting it down.

-- laurie brooke adams (Mother Mastiff) mastiffs at mindspring dot-com
***If a DOG could choose whether to just be beautiful, or to be sound
and healthy TOO, what do YOU think the dog would choose?***
(C) 2003 My words are my own. If you want to use them, ASK ME FIRST.

Exchequer Leghorns, Welsummers, several lines of Marans, some with feather
legs
Chicks only, accepting reservations now for 2003




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Old 24-01-2003, 02:03 AM
laurie \(Mother Mastiff\)
 
Posts: n/a
Default 150' Norfolk Pine in Backyard and growing...help!

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/a...orfolkpine.htm

This site recommends Norfolk Island pines as tall windbreaks:
http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/ctahr200...indbreaks.html

One of the staff at Strybing (the Arboretum at Golden Gate Park) has
published the answer to a question about a Norfolk pine only 70 ft tall, and
her address was posted with the reply:
Q.We have a very large (70 ft) Norfolk Island Pine. It has always been
healthy, but this spring long brown, shaggy, round pads appeared at the tips
of the branches midway up the tree. They look almost like dog paws. What is
it? Is something wrong with our tree? Tree-lovers of 14th Street, SF, CA.

A. Your Norfolk Island Pine, Araucaria heterophylla, will, after achieving a
certain maturity, produce cones. Without actually seeing the tree, I can
only guess what is happening. The shaggy brown round pads on the branch tips
may be the male cones. Check your yellow pages for a certified Arborist for
an evaluation. On a tree that size an annual or biennial checkup is probably
a good idea anyway. Make your own plant-part photos and visit the Helen
Crocker Russell Library to compare them with those in a tree reference book.

Send your questions to:
The Plant Doctor, c/o Leaflet
Strybing Arboretum Society
9th Avenue at Lincoln Way
San Francisco, CA 94122

Hope these help!

-- laurie brooke adams (Mother Mastiff) mastiffs at mindspring dot-com
***If a DOG could choose whether to just be beautiful, or to be sound
and healthy TOO, what do YOU think the dog would choose?***
(C) 2003 My words are my own. If you want to use them, ASK ME FIRST.

Exchequer Leghorns, Welsummers, several lines of Marans, some with feather
legs
Chicks only, accepting reservations now for 2003
"laurie (Mother Mastiff)" wrote in message
...
My backyard contains a large (~150 feet tall!) and seemingly healthy
Norfolk Pine tree that is growing at an alarming pace.

(1) Because we are in San Francisco, back yards are not very big. If
the tree were to fall, it would severly damage either my house or one of
the neighbors'. I've been told that Norfolk Pine trees have shallow
root systems, though this tree seems to have been here for 50-100 years.

(2) There is no longer any sun in the back yard.

(3) Every 4-6 months, the tree "sheds" its "leaves", and covers the back
yard with 6 inches deep of "droppings" (these aren't really leaves, but
I don't know what they're called).

My questions:

I've heard that if Norfolk Pine trees are pruned incorrectly, they never
regain their shape, and it can also damage the tree.


True.

Is there a "right" way to do it?


Look in the yellow pages under tree service for Licensed Arborist. That

is
a trained tree specialist. Don't hire anyone who is not an arborist.
Anyone else could claim any amount of knowledge and be misrepresenting.
They might hack it up, and an unhealthy tree is MUCH more likely to fall!
Some arborists don't charge much more than Joe Ordinary Tree Service.

Or, considering where you are, call the Arboretum and ask one of the
specialists there. They would surely have someone qualified to give
appropriate advice for free. Seems to me I have seen some lovely old
Norfolks in a large park in SF and also some large public gardens....

How do I know if a local "tree expert" knows what
he/she is doing?


See above.

How dangerous is a 150' Norfolk Pine tree...do they
have a height above which they fall more frequently? Can I trim the
lower branches without damaging the tree?


I am from Florida where there are still a FEW old Norfolk Island pines

left
alive, though some freezes to the low 20s have wiped out some ancient

ones.
They will never be replaced, people change things too often these days,

and
have no respect for the time it takes to replace such a rare and lovely
plant.

Yours must be healthy to be growing so well, and for many people, would be

a
selling point that might interest them in your house when it might not
otherwise tempt them. With the tree, your home is unique, and you have

the
opportunity to preserve a healthy specimen of a truly valuable tree that

is
becoming rare. Educate yourself about this species and see other

specimens
before you decide to take it down.

I was a horticulturist when I lived down in FL, and raised these plants
myself, so I always noticed the big old ones outdoors (even went out of my
way to go home past two of them, because I knew how rare and special they
were and it just made me happy to see them). I NEVER saw one come down
except when cut down. Their open structure makes them more stable in the
wind. I have not even seen one come down in a hurricane, and we had some
doozies.

To make matters more complicated, there is no access to my back yard for
any sort of crane, since the widest access to the back is about 3 feet
wide. So, any sort of tree maintenance will have to be done manually,
with someone climbing the tree. Is this even possible???


Could you live with having a trained arborist cut off enough of the lower
limbs to allow you more access and light to your yard, and simply live

with
the rest of the tree? It almost sounds as if that's all that is feasible
anyway.

Where I live now (in an area of North Carolina near Raleigh and Durham), I
have LOTS of leaves raked every year (I am handicapped and can't do it
myself). Raking is simply the price one pays for deciduous trees. The
leaves or needles of the Norfolk pine are fragrant, and make a good mulch.
Bag it and put it on the street with big notes: FREE Mulch! It won't

last
long!

PLEASE talk to the Arboretum and learn what a special tree you have before
you decide to do something as destructive as cutting it down.

-- laurie brooke adams (Mother Mastiff) mastiffs at mindspring dot-com
***If a DOG could choose whether to just be beautiful, or to be sound
and healthy TOO, what do YOU think the dog would choose?***
(C) 2003 My words are my own. If you want to use them, ASK ME FIRST.

Exchequer Leghorns, Welsummers, several lines of Marans, some with feather
legs
Chicks only, accepting reservations now for 2003







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