Neighborhood Drive-By Sight

Spotted in the 'hood.  This once empty lot has been under contruction.  The cup-walls went in a couple weeks ago;  workers jack-hammered out cups in the bedrock and built small half-circle walls.  We were wondering what was going in;  I was expecting trash palms.  No--five oaks went in.
 I don't know how fairly large native oaks are going to do in what is basically a brick and bedrock pot.  The soil looked imported--I wonder if it was amended--couldn't tell.  It was definitely sifted. 
Not that I don't adore native oaks, but I've read best long term success is achieved via an acorn, a local acorn.  By long term, I mean one hundred or two hundred years from now.  Our native oaks can live five to six hundred years.  I love oaks.

Good luck, guys.    I'm so glad they are not trash palms.  I hope they don't die.  I hope no one carves names into them, which is apparently the fate of every Agave in San Diego.  I hope they won't be surrounded with lawn and perky pink petunias.  I hope they live five hundred years.  

I hope my little baby, from an acorn, a local acorn, lives six hundred. 

Comments

  1. Good luck to the oaks! What's a trash palm? I think it's unusual for city planners to think even past 20 years into the future.

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    1. A trash palm is Washingtonia; trashy because 1. they reseed everywhere 2. rats use them for nesting and the fruits for birds 3 they are a serious, serious fire hazard. I am acquainted with a planner; at least the one I know is excellent and wise in his choices which are then overruled by city "leaders" who have friends who want something different. Sigh. Often a little money in the short term is ruled better than saving lots of money in the long term. Sigh again.

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    2. I meant, "and the fruits for food".

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  2. Hi Gail, if you want more oaks from acorns, I have tons of seedlings. I think my oak tree is over 100 years old.

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    1. I love your beautiful oak. I hope mine becomes as beautiful!

      Perhaps we need to start doing "guerrilla" oak planting around here. Sooo much better than those dreadful Eucs.

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  3. Fingers crossed for the oaks. No names, initials, dates allowed!

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  4. Oh, man, I tease my Northern California kin about their "spirit animals" and whatnot, but my heart and soul belong to California oaks. Quercus kellogii is my tree, my totem, the oak that has watched over me at the family cabin since I was a zygote. I love oaks so much. I hope your baby oak from a local acorn lives forever. (Hope those other oaks do well, too.) Great post.

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    1. Spirit tree! You nailed it. Kellogii is particularly beautiful--I love that one, too. And engelmanii, and tomentella...

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  5. They have certainly put in a lot of work so I hope those half circular shaped brick walls can contain the roots and weight of the trees when they grow larger.
    Your baby oak tree looks very happy and healthy.
    xoxoxo ♡

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    1. A lot of work and money they put into those. I hope they thrive!

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  6. Our squirrels must have been very busy this past winter because I've never had so many oak seedlings in the garden. They're everywhere. As much as I'd like to keep a few, they'd outgrow our 8000 sq.ft. lot very quickly. They're valley oak, Quercus lobata, which I dearly love.

    I think the oaks in those semi-circular break planters will stop thriving once they hit the rocks and the brick. Smaller trees would have been much better. Chaste tree, palo verde or mesquite, etc.

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    1. Psst! Guerrilla planting! Johnny Lobata instead of Johnny Appleseed ;)

      I have concerns about their health also--and those 3 in a row occupy the space appropriate for one mature Q. agrifolia. As much as I love the oaks I'd have gone with Toyon (original natives everywhere on our hill, beautiful given a little skilled shaping when young) or a large Manzanita, A. glauca, maybe. I dunno, maybe they are scrub Oak instead of agrifolia, and will be appropriately sized.

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  7. Definitely better than palms! I hope the oaks live long and prosper.

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    1. 100% better. I hope they live long and prosper, too. Well said!

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  8. You all have so many different oaks, and so different from each other. Locally (Blue Ridge foothills of western Virginia), we have white, scarlet, pin, red, chestnut, and chinkapin -- all pretty gigantic at maturity.

    You've made me feel very righteous because squirrels have planted local acorns to add diversity to the red and pin oaks planted here by my father 60 years ago -- a white oak (from acorns of a neighbor's tree) and a scarlet oak (from two I planted 20 years ago in a corner fenced off from the hay field, under the influence of Sara Stein's Noah's Garden). Would love to grow a willow oak (Q. phellos), but they're not truly local, and only hardy here in much more protected sites. It has that same fine texture that I love in yours -- may it live to be 200 or more!

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    1. All the oaks on your land must be a magnificent sight, and hopefully a treasure to be preserved. You hold the future in your hands. Long may the oaks thrive! Here in California Q. lobata is the true king. I would love to have one of those, but they belong on the valley floor where their roots can reach an aquifer, and need an acre of their own.

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  9. Wow, that brings new meaning to ‘instant gardening’ – but unless this type of oak has particularly compact root system I can’t see how they will thrive in those brick borders. The roots will hit the walls and go nowhere, surely - it will be like growing a huge tree in a container. Short term fine, but after some years the trees will probably want to spread their roots further. Good luck with your baby, may he live for hundreds of years!

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    1. I think you are 100% correct. Depends on what type of oak they planted--Q. agrifolia wants to send down a tap root for a hundred years or so, then the roots widen out from there. The reason they only live to 500-600 is that their own root system eventually cannot spread deeper or farther and they are poisoned by their own old, rotting roots. These will not have a tap root, or at least not an original one. Then there is climate change. Time will tell, time will tell, I hope for the best for them all.

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  10. That's promising on those oaks, how someone took some real measures, even if costly.

    Planners - a mixed bag, most here have no business writing codes...they should be sentenced to a few years maintaining what they mandate (w/ only workers pay, too), all based on a few new urbanist conferences and the monied higher-ups And made to go back to school if they don't change. Their bosses, harder since they have more dollars than sense.

    Should have gotten a degree in public administration with my LA stuff, then unleashed...no wayof knowing such things until too late!

    Again, great oaks. Way better than trashy, reflex habituals like queen palms and washingtonias!

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  11. "... bedrock pot" basically describes my entire garden. While I understand the argument that smaller is better when it comes to the development of tree root systems and future growth, I have to admit that I have also succumbed to the instant gratification of planting large trees in my bedrock "pots". My justification is that the more mature trees provide the shelter from the sun and wind that younger plantings need to thrive. So, please forgive my large fraxinus, quercus, pyrus and gingko - they are simply sheltering acorn-sprouted young'uns. May they all thrive for my great-grandchildren...

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