The Woodlands of Missouri

The Woodlands of Missouri
...a stroll through the forest, a beautiful diverse biome.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Written by Empire National Nursery, Your Southwest Missouri Source for Fast Growing Trees.

Privacy Screens

As spring nears, people are getting more of that planting feeling. One of
the questions that keeps coming up are "What types of trees make good
privacy screens?"

Good question that has many answers. There are several things to keep in

1) What Plant Zone you're in (remember that topic?)
2) the space available
3) the desired outcome
4) value vs. "green junk"
5) time
6) cost
7) maintenance
8) neighbor aggravation/legalities
9) Others?

1) we talked about that, but if anyone has questions or wants a zone map,
just ask.
2) How wide your desired screen area is, plays an important role. "You
can't confine a shade tree in a 4x4 area very easily."
3) Dense, year-round, 20 feet tall, trimmable, no leaves to clean up
continually, etc. are typical desires for privacy screens
4) When you plant things, especially trees, plant what will increase the
value of your property, a long-term thought for you.
5) Do you have to have it now, then plant something already big. Or, if
you desire a dense screen in 3 years, or 5, then you can save money (and
your back) and plant smaller trees.
6) Related to #5, the bigger the tree, the more costly. Smaller plants
often grow as fast as larger ones, yet not as branched. In a few years,
you'd never really know the difference in many cases. "Biggest bang for
the buck" may well be the lil' fellas
7) How much trimming and clean up will be involved comparing this tree vs.
8) If you plant something that overhangs the fence, or send roots into
your neighbors sewer lines, guess what?
9) What other considerations might you have, I touched on a few.

Ok, so given the background-intro., what trees make good screens?
The whole cypress family - cypress, (false) cedars, junipers. They stay
green year round, grow dense, grow slow to fast, but can get huge or stay
very small, check the plant zones. Good nationwide choice - American
Arbor-Vitae. Western red cedar or eastern red cedar (which is a juniper)
are pretty good candidates also. Italian cypress is great, tall, very
narrow shape, dense, but limited plant zone range.

Other conifers - Douglas-Fir, the true firs, and spruces. They will grow
mostly nationwide, do well especially where its colder, growth rate is
usually slow. Douglas-Fir can grow very fast. All are trimmable, stay
dense year round, but they will get large and medium broad over time. The
larger specimens can be pretty spendy. Value - Colorado Blue Spruce.

The pines - as a young screen, they will be dense, but in time, they can
get huge and the lower branches on the trunks usually drop/die, possibly
losing that privacy. Grow rate is medium to fast. Scotch pine and Austrian
pines are good to plant. Go with smaller trees for better planting
survival and cost savings.

Redwoods and  Giant Sequoias - they can be good, dense and fast growth,
but limited climate zones and they get somewhat gigantic!

Hardwoods? Yes, many hardwoods and shrubs make great privacy screens too,
but the chief drawback is fall and winter bare stems often negate the
screening effect. Plant several rows, if space allows it, and the mass of
twigs in the winter will be somewhat screening.

Mix conifers and hardwoods? If the space allows it, plant two to four
rows, staggered, of slower growing conifers and faster growing hardwoods
or shrubs. The hardwoods make fast a "seasonal screen",  then in time the
conifers will make the permanent screen.

We'll address fence lines and shelterbelts later.


Now we recently released our book on Screens and Windbreaks. For that, take the Book link on the side and/or the bottom of this page. Interesting subject, and a lot to talk about, so ponder your planting projects, Spring is close...


Monday, February 11, 2019

Written by Empire National Nursery, Your Southwest Missouri Source for Fast Growing Trees.

 Spring is Near

We have received messages from all over the country people telling us
that spring is near, and others saying its still far away. How is it
where you're at?

Here in southwestern Missouri at our nursery grounds, the days are getting
into the low 40's, but the nights are still chilly in the mid 20's.
This has confused the trees, but a few plants are trying to leaf out.
The Flowering Quince  and Elderberries have lots of tiny new leaves. The willows, like the Weeping Willow, the White Willow, and the Ameri-Willow, which are often early, are still very dormant. Some of the grasses and weeds are greening up, hopfeully not the Johnson Grass yet.

Our spring planting and transplanting has been in full swing for over
two weeks now. Some cleanup, but a lot of planting, at least when the ground isnt frozen. There's still a lot get done.  We now have over 200 varieties of trees!
And growing!

What is the status of your spring plans?

Ready for planting? Take delivery early... do it now while everything is dormant.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Written by Empire National Nursery, Your Southwest Missouri Source for Fast Growing Trees.

Colorado Blue Spruce Trees

One of the most popular trees to plant as a specimen or a fence line is the
blue spruce. For obvious reasons, it is rare to have a blue-ish color
tree. A tree that helps to increase property value probably more than any
other single tree, is the blue spruce.

The Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens) is a member of the Pine Family
(Pinaceae), and the natural range is in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. They
are found at the higher elevations from 6,000 to over 10,000 feet, either
in dense stands or as scattered individuals. In the past, it was used as a
timber tree, especially as the mountain area was being developed, but
since then, it is a minor timber species. The tree is slow growing, from a
few inches a year, to maybe a foot or more if the conditions are good.

Since the introduction into the ornamental landscaping market, the blue
spruce has become very popular. They are expensive trees to buy, related
to the slow growth, but also to the uniqueness of the tree. There are now
about twenty varieties of this tree, but basically its still a blue spruce.

Use this tree to highlight a key area in the yard, where the tree is the
focal point of that area. You can also plant a line of spruces, along a
fence, driveway, as a screen or other border. As they get bigger, the
visual impact is stunning, and the value of the property is greatly


Interesting? Then consider getting the book to learn more about this amazing and popular tree.

 On Amazon Kindle, Search for "William A. Jack" (Author), ASIN: B07HHHF6YS .

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Written by Empire National Nursery, Your Southwest Missouri Source for Fast Growing Trees.

 Time to Start Planting Tree Screens and Windbreaks

One of the most sought after desires or goals in the home landscape design, is privacy. Green screens, privacy fences, and the like have become very popular over the last number of years. How to achieve it, at a minimal cost, and in the shortest time possible, are key questions asked. Building a fence or wall can work, at least to some extent. They can be quickly built, but the costs can be prohibitive, and there may be a limitation as to the effective height. The living fence can be that alternative. Planting trees for windbreaks and screens is actually easy, and there are some suggestions as to which trees to use.

In this guide, we firstly talk about Screens, the basics. Then, we talk about trees and notes on several that we think are more applicable and reasonably available. The last section is some of the how-to information most useful for any tree or shrub-planting project, whether for screens, commercial uses, or for the home and garden landscape.

 Get the eBook. It's easy enough. Just go to Amazon Kindle and look for the author. Or, plug the ASIN number into a search. Learn more about doing a Privacy Screen or Green Barrier this Spring.
Easy How-To Grow Trees for Privacy Screens and Windbreaks : 10 Fast Growing Trees You Should Plant
By: William A. Jack