This week we went back to a property were we did a design and install last September. We added another layer of plants to the beds in the back garden and planted a 25 foot tall live oak in the front garden.
We moved this Little Gem magnolia to the back garden last year; getting ready to plant a live oak that will match the trees on the other three corners. Unfortunately we were not able to find a tree big enough for the owners at a reasonable price at that time. This spring I began looking for a grower with big trees that wasn’t too far from Houston. We prefer to source plants within a 100 miles of Houston so they are more acclimated to our region from the beginning. After quite a bit of research I found a grower of specimen container-grown shade trees near Wharton. Glen Flora Farms in Glen Flora Texas has many different trees and some shrubs; they were also very helpful over the phone. For more about them here is the link to their website. http://www.glenflorafarms.com/ I love the little tag line, “To us, growing trees is like producing a fine quality wine…it’s not ready before its time.”
Because this was an important tree we asked the home owner if he would like to meet us at the farm and pick out his own tree. A couple of weeks ago Shawn and he walked the farm, along with one of their very helpful and patient service representatives, and found a tree that was just right. It was not the biggest in the lot, but it had the most promising structure: Good strong branching structure and limited crossing branches. In about a year we want to perform some selective pruning.
This is a nice sunny spot (on the north-east corner of the property) up on a slight mound with lots of room to spread out. No heavy machinery was used to plant it. It took four men to roll it up the little slope and some more teamwork to dig a hole as deep as the root ball and twice as wide. Because the tree was so heavy we had to make sure that the hole was the perfect depth before we set the tree into it (there would be no simply lifting it back out if the tree was too low or too high). After the depth was checked (about the fourth time Shawn agreed that the hole was ready) we carefully back filled this oak with the same soil that came out of the hole, liberally fertilizing with an organic slow-release fertilizer.