Sourwood Tales

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Sourwood by Adam Remnant. Kelly Malvern. Keith Hanlon. Cyndee Long. Daniel Stahl. Limited vinyl LP with full color inner sleeve including additional artwork and printed album lyrics. Package includes digital download code of the album. Purchasable with gift card.

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Log In. Toggle navigation MENU. Email Address. KIRKUS REVIEW Wal I'll be a horn-swoggled, frog-eyed, bandy-legged, red-necked son of a coon hound if these ain't right out's the heart of Bull Durham river country and by heck if they don't either have a young'un out to get his britches busted, they've got an old cantankerous codger livin' out his last days on the river and they's bound to be a pup or a houn' dog or a fightin' cock or the king of catfish country somewhere along the line.

Do you work in the book industry? First I used a shorter stake to let the upper part sway, but the upper part was bending down touching the ground! So I tied it all up almost as tight as the sourwood. It seemed weird to do that, but if that's what it takes I think I will try your 2 stake method and tie it at a couple of spots, leaving slack. Once planted and root established, these trees do not like to be transplanted, so it is best from the git-go to install the tallest stake you will ever need for the tree.

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That is why the nursery man sold me a 1" x 1" 6 feet tall oak stake. He knew that it had to be a stake which would last for these 4 years it did, and also be the kind of stake which would not disturb the tree's roots, once the need arose to for removing the stake. That stake has worked so well for me over the last 4 years, that now if the tree begins to produce a lot of arching top growth and if I want that top growth to harden off straight and tall, I should then be able to accomplish that by using 2 or 3 "T" stakes installed at least 12 to 14 inches away from and around the trunk.

Then to secure and straighten any of that arching growth, ties could be used as I described above for staking a relatively tall but flimsy trunked Tupelo tree. That way I will not be as likly to disturb the tree's then well established root ball. The speed of height growth for your tree will depend on how well your tree adjusts to the virgin soil and how adequately the soil remains moist; but also, well drained. My Sourwood tree seems to like the full sun exposed area where it is planted, and I do not know if planting a sourwood tree in a less sun expose location would decrease the tree's growth rate.

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I agree that Sourwood trees look best when grown as single trunked trees. Their branching and flowering aspects seem to be much more pleasing to see when they are growing on a single trunked tree. If you are set on the idea to grow the tree as a multi-trunked form, then you will need to stake each desired trunk close to its own tall stake. The longer you wait before staking your tree the more difficult it will be for the tree to harden off its trunks in a straight and tall manner. Waiting for a long time to stake your tree will be of no benefit.

Even if you wait till the tree grows another 2 feet, you will find the arching tendency of the thin trunks to be we very stubborn, and only straightenable if you tie each desired trunk every 4 inches to the stake. Even by doing that, they will still try to bend and resist taking on a straight form; especially if you have not been able to take advantage of staking the tree when it is young, and if you could not stake it before it had the chance to first harden off those trunks in an arched form.

In fact I wonder if that is why my tree has not increased in very much height.

Four years ago, when I first planted my tree there were so many 24 to 30 inch long arching branches that I could not tell which one the tree was better able to form a main trunk from. Because of that, I just picked the best looking one, to train as a main leader trunk. At that time, I needed to and did cut off any growth, which seemed to not work well with the form I was trying to acheive. For all I know, what I selected to form the main leader; the tree could have wanted to keep as a side branch.

After all, I am still waiting to see if the tree will ever grow taller. At least the tree has developed nice enough to be a very well formed dwarf tree if it does not grow any taller. Only thing if that is the case and if at planting I had known that would be the case, I would have prefered to plant the tree closer to my patio; where I could enjoy gazing at it from inside the house, while looking through a window or a full-glass view door. Hi Folks, I am attaching a couple of pictures of the 14" sourwood tree. I do see one stonger leader. Should I cut off the other branches now or wait till fall?

And also as Katrina pointed out, does this trunk curvature need a stake right now or will straighten out itself?

Sourwood Mountain

Your main leader does seem to be fairly nicely hardened off, and does not look too curving down or oveer drastically. If it were my tree I would not tie the main leader so tightly to only one stake. Instead, I would remove only one of the multi-trunks now and stake the main leader by pounding two or three 6 foot tall, strong stakes in the ground and using non bark damaging ties; adjusted to keep the main leader growing tall and straight; while still keeping the ties slack enough for the tree to sway a little when winds prevail or stronger gusts occur.

If you choose to stake your tree as I suggested; check the ties periodically and adjust them as the tree reveals is needed each time. If you choose to make your tree a single main leader form tree, then in the late winter you could take off more of the lower branches and trunks that are not growing condusively enough for the form of tree you want to develop.

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Hi Katrina, Thanks for your advice, I think I will wait till fall to trim the extra branches and give it some support. As you mention I also am confused by conflicting advice saying it is better not to stake a young tree to enable it to develop strong roots. Actually there a linden tree right next to the sourwood which was planted in a slanting fashion. It has a lean but now has straightened itself.


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The advise to not stake a tree, is good for many situations, but there can be many situations and times when that advice does not apply. Birch trees; especially the 'Heritage'culitvar and others These trees tend to grow in height, along with increase their canopy too fast before their roots can develop and strenghen enough to resist root breakage, when prevailing and gusting winds beat againt them. Lots of nursery pot grown Maples; especially newly planted 6 foot tall 7 gallon size pot grown, Sugar Maple,'Firehouse' cultivar; which if not staked when first planted will become uprooted by prevailing and gusting winds, before it can become established.

This tree grows a very dense canopy which seems to catch the wind.

Some times the Ornamental peach trees like the fast growing columnar 'corintian' cultivar. One of mine which had seemed fairly well established, but since last winter an ice storm uprooted it, now it cannot withstand strong prevailing winds and gusts, unless it is staked. I have two staggerd rows of Thuja 'Green Giants' which were 5 gallon sized ones I planted late last summer. They began falling over from wind forces and other environmental stresses before they could become well established. They are currently 5 feet tall and nicely filled out.

I have no choice, but to stake these back up. My sourwood tree: when even though it is not a fast grower, still had such a tendency to take a long time to harden off its new branch growth. Thus that new growth curve down toward the ground more easily. This is the only tree I have had to stake in a manner which did not let it sway at all with the winds.

At the time, My understanding that trees need to experience wind resistance to harden off and establish well, stood in direct opposition to me as I stake that tree so closely, and prevented the trunk from bending at all. At that time I had lots of doubt about how I was staking it, but also knew for certian that non of my other more reasonable staking techniques would work better.

That is why, once the stake broke and I removed it, I felt so happy and amazed to see my tree had harded off nice and straight; and now displays the strength to resist bending or blowing over in the prevailing winds. Keep in mind that when it comes to advice, there are always exceptions to the even the most sound types of logic. There are so many varibles one can encounter even if planting only one kind of tree, but in different places and evnvironments. I have some Thuja Green Giants growing in a more sheltered area, which I never had to stake, yet the ones described above show all signs that they do need staking.

I planted 7, one gallon potted sized loblolly trees out on the a vacant lot and never had to stake them, but my friend planted some 3 gallon sized potted loblolly trees, which she first tried to establish without staking, but most of them ended up proving their need to be staked. I have learned that it is best to keep general rules in mind; such as ones, which suggest it is not good to stake or fertilize a tree; yet at the same time, tweek such advice depending on whatever each individual tree displays that it needs.

So now, I have planted many trees I did not stake and they never displayed signs of needing to be staked. I have also planted many other trees, which I did stake, whenever they proved that they needed staking. I usually do not ferilize my trees, but have found that a few of my fast growers and even some slow growers have appeared to need fertilizer and then responded well when I chose to give them the appropriate type of good quality, slow release, non-burning fertilier that each individually needed.

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