Wednesday, August 06, 2008

London Plane Tree may be a good choice for Georgia

A quick sort through the database at the arborday foundation reccomends the London Plane tree for growing in our zone 7 here in Georgia. Besides the large size, deciduous and disease resistance features, it is "fast growing" which makes it an especially good choice for arbortecture. There are a very nice grove of these in Piedmont park in atlanta that prove their suitability for our area. They do reccomend well-drained soil which might be a problem depending on the location. It could be that planting in a deep trench with a drained bottom would solve this issue were a high clay hardpan hill the only available site. Appearently a low soggy bottom would be out of the question though.

Planetree, London
Platanus x acerifolia
Red-brown scales flake to show cream-colored inner bark. Large distinctive leaves with lighter undersides. Fast growing, resistant to anthracnose. Prefers moist, well-drained soil and full sun to light shade. Grows to 75' to 100', 80' spread. (zones 5-9)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Sycamore is used extensively in Europe

I've seen entire streets and village centers lined with Sycamores in Rome and villages in France where their huge white trunks lead up to towering foliage, cooling the whole street. There was a young one on our farm when I was a kid. The relatives complained about this type of tree for landscape use because it was constantly dropping litter in the form of leaves, or bark, or those spiny cones that hurt when you step on them. Europe must have alot of street sweepers.

Sycamore, California
Platanus racemosa
They are best suited for soils which are moist and do not dry out. Dry soil can lead to short life for this wet-site-tolerant tree. Sycamore has been cursed by horticulturists and others because it is said to be messy, dropping leaves and small twigs throughout the year, particularly in dry weather. Unfortunately, aggressive roots often raise and destroy nearby sidewalks. Allow at least 12 feet (preferably more) of soil between the sidewalk and curb when planting as a street tree. Sycamore is subject to attacks of anthracnose in wet, cool springs. This species is native along streams in central California to Mexico.