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Author Topic: The bee tree death -- the Purple Robe Robinia -- Black Honey Locust  (Read 4111 times)
Cindi
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« on: March 20, 2008, 09:32:00 AM »

You are never in a million years going to believe this story, I can hardly believe it myself.

The year before last I bought two yellow Honey Locust trees.  I planted both of them up in the vicinity of the apiary, one adjacent to it and one behind it.  One of my Nephews in his playing up there ran straight into the tree right behind the apiary and knocked it over, broke right just above ground level.  Goodbye the one Yellow Locust, he felt terrible, I felt terrible.  But I consoled him and told him that things happen in life, it wasn't his fault and so don't worry.

Last spring I was at a wonderful garden sale at our local nursery.  I bought a beautiful and rather large (probably about 12 feet tall) Purple Robe Robinia, Black Locust tree.  I spent a great deal of time preparing the hole to plant this tree in, deep, full of nice compost, aged manure and dirt all mixed in.  Took me about an hour, the hole was huge that I had to dig.  I planted the tree within, it looked great.

Yesterday I was placing pollen patties on top of the colonies to warm the pollen in the sunshine on the metal roofs.  Just as I was closing the apiary gate, I heard a crack and whipped my head around to see what on earth it was.  Holy smoking smokers batman!!!  Lo and behold, if my Daughter's pittbull, Titan, my age old helper around my property, hadn't run straight into this tree, knocking and breaking it off right at the base of it.  Oh dear.......

No hope for the tree, it is done, gone, broken all up.  The second tree in the near same spot.  I will try again.  Third time lucky right?  This time I am going to make an incredible landmark for anything that wants to run into this tree.  The tree was snapped off about 3 inches above ground level.  I know the amazing ability of Mother Nature to sometimes consider a hard pruning to create a plant that has extremely great roots, but I am unsure if this pertains to trees.  Regardless, I have cut this tree off sharply now, and I will see if some new sprouts appear above the cut, I think it is too short, but then, one never knows and time will tell that tale.  I had purchased this lovely tree at a wonderful deal, 50% off, it was the end of the season clearance, great deals were happening.  I am not deterred, I will be on the search for another Purple Robe Robinia, I have coveted this species of tree for a long time, oops, maybe that is what the issue is here, coveting something, I should know better....hee, hee.....

I need to ask, what the blazes is the likelihood of something/someone running into this tree.  It is at least 20 feet from anything else, what are the odds?  I am still thunderstruck thinking of this and how on earth, two times in a row something has broken down my attempt to make a beautiful and fragrant tree for me and the bees.  Oh well, gonna try again, I am not one to be deterred, if anything this makes me have an even bigger passion to grow a tree in this spot.  The next time nothing, and I mean nothing, will get even close to my young sapling.  Have a wonderful and beautiful day, I am dreaming of the fragrance of the Purple Robe that may never be.  Cindi

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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
beesbeesbees
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2008, 11:46:46 AM »

That's a real shame.  Maybe you should take the hint and put walkway there. 

Beautiful picture though.  I had a number of business trips to Nanaimo years ago.  Hard place to leave.  If only it would green up here...
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sean
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2008, 12:03:42 PM »

was the dog still conscious?
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MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2008, 12:26:10 PM »

You need to put some of those rocks to good use and make an easily viable ring around the thing. A cheap metal fence (the 12" kind you roll out) will also work.

In a somewhat related topic I recently took sheers to my 8 foot tall, 1 year old apple tree. Why? Well at first I though it might be dead because it's not producing leaves like my crabapple tree. So I contacted an expert and he explained:

"first off, NO commercial apple or other fruit grower, including pecans and others, would ever plant a tree and NOT prune it back to about two or no more than three feet tall. they ALL do this, when they plant. even if it means no limbs left on the trees.
but this  balances the tops with the roots, and forces new growth to sprout out lower which quickly become the limbs. it does NOT hurt a fruit tree to cut it to three feet tall! i am very, very sure of this.
but it also takes the stress off the roots of having too much "top" to take care of at first. if you don't prune the trees, their leaves will suck all the moisture out of roots and cause the roots to remain small and stunted. cutting the tree back gives the roots a chance to branch out and get strong and sturdy instead of spending all their energy simply trying to keep up with the demands of the leaves.
also, if you fertilize or overwater the first summer, this forces lush top growth and again overwhelms the new roots.
 
so, i'd cut the tree back to knee high and see if it survives. if it does, it will be stronger and sturdier (and limbs closer to the ground, making harvest and etc. easier down the road). this is what ALL commercial growers do. all of them."

I had noticed when planting the tree that (8 feet tall) that the root ball was nothing larger then a foot ball. Basic on this man's logic I'd say assuming the trees could grow after being snapped in two you might have been doing them a favor if the root ball was tiny. Not sure if it really applies to flowering trees though.

Also cutting my apple tree to 3 feet tall a year late was easily the hardest thing I've ever had to do as a gardener... especially to find the tree was alive and healthy, but that tiny root ball bothered me enough to do it.
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CBEE
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« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2008, 07:59:08 PM »

Bum deal. To bad you have to buy locust trees. They grow like weeds around here. Black locust and honey locust. We use them for fence posts and fire wood. My dad planted a couple sweet cheery trees one time and the deer rubbed them to shreds. He planted a couple more and my brother ran over them with the tractor. Needless to say pop was not a happy camper rolleyes
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johnnybigfish
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« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2008, 08:47:41 PM »

Man, Cindi,
That is FUNNY!!!( I mean, to me it is embarassed)
 I guess I meant to say,"Oh man, I'm really sorry to hear about your tree."
 On the other hand,....I had just planted about 4 bradford pears a little while back.
 My wife was watching my dad pull in(he comes over every Saturday morning for coffee) and he ran over one of my new trees! Broke it clean off!!..Flattened it!
 Right away, before dad got to the porch, Janelle told me what happened.
  dad came up......I kept my mouth shut,......
 Then dad says,"How are the new trees coming along?" grin
(laffing between my teeth now!)....
 I said,.............."Fine."..."Real Good"...."They're doing just fine,".

 At least he didnt drive into the tornado shelter!!

your friend,
john
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2008, 10:30:47 PM »

Take about 6 feet of sheep or hogwire fencing and make a 4 fot high ring around the next tree you plant in the same spot.  That way they can bend heck out of the wire and leave the tree still standing.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
qa33010
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2008, 01:36:25 AM »

   Concrete barriers about three to four feet high all around the new one. evil
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Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)
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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2008, 06:03:18 AM »

if a locus  snaped off it was probly at a graft, it will sprout, just might not bee what you think you brought. if there was a iregularity where it broke; it was a grafted tree--when it resprouts, let it grow a yr. then just get a piece off someones tree you like and re graft
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jimmyo
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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2008, 07:31:14 AM »

I agree with bud.  Around here if you cut it off it will grow back and the older trees sprout new baby trees this way.  They also have seeds. but the best way to get a forest of black locust trees in one area is to cut down the bigest one in the area. 
  They grow fast and alot of times they break off at the top when they get mature. I wouldn't have a spring honey crop without them. We also use them for fence posts and fire wood.
Jim 
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CBEE
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2008, 09:18:15 AM »

Jimmyo,
Yea your right. one other thing about the older trees is for some reason the big carpenter ants love them. I could not count the number I have cut down and the middle of them are full of ants.
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Cindi
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« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2008, 09:52:57 AM »

Oh brother, I didn't have time to look really closely at where the tree snapped, perhaps it was at the grafting point, I think did read somewhere that the purple robe may be drafted from the species, or something like that.  I was snapped off about 3 inches above ground level.  Yep, I'll check it out when I get back home.  Have the best of the best day, and yes, the dog was conscious, hee, hee, he is a Pittbull and they have some pretty tough heads, like rocks!!!  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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