Tree Heights Inventory - Summer 2019

Last June of 2018, I posted photos and details that documented the heights of the existing trees in our inventory around the yard.  In September, I posted two more tree heights to the inventory.  This is the annual check-in with those same trees.

As a reminder, here's the heights that I documented in Summer 2018:

2018 Tree Heights 

  • Saucer Magnolia:  81"
  • North Flowering Pear: 112"
  • Frans Fontaine Hornbeam:  113"
  • Red Maple Sun Valley:  96"
  • Crimson King Maple:  112"
  • South Flowering Pear:  80"
  • Flowering Cherry:  112"
  • Dawn Redwood:  63"
  • Bald Cypress:  51"  

2019 Tree Heights

  • Saucer Magnolia:  104".  (+23").  22% growth
  • North Flowering Pear: 182" (+70").  39% growth.
  • Frans Fontaine Hornbeam:  162" (+49")
  • Red Maple Sun Valley:  108"  (+12")
  • Crimson King Maple:  112" (+0").  0% growth.
  • South Flowering Pear:  115" (+35").  31% growth.
  • Flowering Cherry:  129" (+17").  15% growth.
  • Dawn Redwood:  99" (+36").  36% growth.
  • Bald Cypress:  52" (+1").  2% growth.
  • Dappled Willow:  77" (New)
  • Weeping White Spruce : 49" (New)
  • Northside Canadian Hemlocks:  26" (New)
  • Westside Canadian Hemlocks: 18" (New)
Let's discuss each of the trees in the inventory...

This (below) is the North Flowering Pear.  Planted in late Summer 2017.  Was a small 1.5" caliper tree and this one has lived up to it's billing as a "fast growing" tree.  I planted this one in this location - adjacent to the row of Frans Fontaine European Columnar Hornbeams - as a screen for a particular light on our neighbor's detached barn/garage.  It is all the way back of their property and when you lay down in our bed and look out our window when that light is on, it shines right *at us*.  This being a fast-growing, non-long-lasting tree, I thought was a good solve.  The fact that this thing shot up 70" is crazy.  Almost 40% growth?  Either, this is a true example of sleep (2017), creep (2018) and LEAP (2019).  Or, I measured this tree in June of 2018 and the end of August of 2019, so perhaps *some* of this growth is attributed to the June, July, August, September of 2018?  So, I'm kind of "double dipping" on tree growth seasons?  Or, maybe I under measured last year?  Or....this thing just sucked up all that Spring/early Summer rain and is happy here and shot up.  Whatever the case, I'm happy and so is the tree.  

This is the other backyard Flowering Pear.  This one was planted on Earth Day 2018 and was a small $5 tree.  It is on the southside of our property and sits in the shadows of much larger trees.  It is also on the 'high side' of our property.  So, to compare with the Northside Flowering Pear, this one gets less light, has to fight for more water and is younger.  And it still went up 35".  Almost three feet of growth.  Again, same notes apply.  Could be Summer (July, August, September) growth from last year + this year's growth?  

It may be hard to see (below) what limbs are actually part of this flowering Cherry tree (that didn't flower this Spring!), but this is a tree that I planted in 2017.  You know...the cycle.  Sleep (2017), Creep (2018) and Leap (2019).  This one has 15% growth and added 17".  I think.  This particular tree has a few limbs that are widespread and I just picked one to measure.  I might have picked a different one last year?  Either way, 15% growth on a tree is pretty good, right?

This (below) Dappled Willow is a new tree, so there's no Year-over-Year comparison.  But, there *is* a six-week comparison.  In terms of how it just looks.  Peek at this post from Mid-June when we planted it.  Tight and compact.  Now look below.  It is wild and full of growth.  If I had to guess, I'd say that it has grown 18" to the point that I measured (not the full tips, but more like the *top* of the crown).  77" is something to measure against next year - as long as I don't prune it much. 

If I was writing this post WITHOUT DATA and just on 'looks', I would have said - without hesitation - that the tree that has experienced the MOST growth was our Dawn Redwood.  You can see the current state of the tree below.  I planted this particular Dawn Redwood in the middle of last Summer as it was a replacement for a tree that died.  I baby'd it.  Paid a lot of attention to it with water.  It made it through the heat of the Summer and was behaving as a deciduous conifer *should* behave come Fall.  It budded out this Spring and (I think!) thanks to the wet Spring/early Summer, it flourished.  I've subsequently watered it a bit this Summer when it looked droopy.  But, not like I did last Summer.  And the data shows:  this tree added three feet of growth.  More than 1/3rd of the height of the total tree.  It is a totally different-looking tree than what it looked like last year.  Look at the photo of the tree when it arrived.  Kinda lean and skinny.  And mostly vertical.  Now look at the photo below.  The bottom 1/3rd of the tree has needle'd out.  And the top has shot-up.  

This is the only tree in the series that warrants a second photo for documentation.  I wanted to show the 'new growth' in height that you can see in the apical meristem below.  The brown bark'd trunk is about where it was last year.  All that green stuff at the top?  New growth!  Ranking-wise, this one comes in below the North Flowering Pear.  But looks wise?  This one has had THE MOST transformation of any of the trees in our yard.

This Red Valley Sun Maple (below) is another of the $5 Earth Day Trees that we planted in 2018.  Was maybe (if I'm being generous) .75" caliper.  The measurements on this one aren't as precise as I'd like them, but I tried to establish a *new* baseline.  On top of the high spot of ground and looking at the true tip.  This tree is in the shade for most of the day.  And it is in a not-so-damp spot.  I've watered it more recently to supplement the water, but mostly ignored it.  Still grew 12" year-over-year.  12% growth for a tree in the second year of it's (supposed) Sleep, Creep and Leap cycle.  If that cycle is accurate for this tree, next Summer, we should see more substantial growth.  

 Ah, our Crimson King Maple tree.  Planted in the Summer of 2017, this tree is the most forgotten of all of my tree-babies.   It is in a corner, behind the trampoline.  Up in Wisconsin, there are two of these trees that caught my eye, so when I saw it at Menards and the price was right, I bought it.  I haven't paid any attention to this tree at all.  No water.  And I didn't even feed it this year.  And it shows.  It only grew by filling out a bit and didn't add ANY height.  The trunk thickened up a bit, but is still a tiny 1" or so caliper.

We have three (planted) front yard trees.  One of them on the northside of the driveway is this small Bald Cypress.  I planted it a little under a year ago and tried to give it a $5 hole.  Here's the post about that tree going in.  But...scroll to the bottom photo showing the tree and you can tell that this thing has filled out quite a bit in the year.   It added 1" in height.  Only.  But...technically it added more, but if you see that 'top' branch that is kind of going out to the top left of the photo?  I don't think that's the apical meristem.  I am waiting/hoping for something to emerge out of the top of this trunk - kind of like what happened with our Dawn Redwood.  But, for now, I'll take the feathery, needle growth on this deciduous conifer.  We're going to have construction next to us, so depending on where their driveway goes, this tree is well positioned to provide a little bit of screening and privacy as it matures.  

Our other front yard tree that I'm documenting here is our Saucer Magnolia.  Here's what it looked like when we planted it just about two years ago.  Thin with some foliage at the tips.  Today?  It has even more stems in it's "multistem" system and A LOT of thick growth covering the top half of the tree.  By my measure, it went up almost 2 feet and is now almost nine feet tall.  I haven't done much to this tree, but as it grows, I think we're going to continue to 'limb-it-up' a little bit more to keep the branching system higher than it currently is.  

Our Weeping White Spruce doesn't have anything to compare it to in the inventory, since we just put it in at the beginning of June this Summer.  This tree doesn't have a natural leader, so you can see that I've wired up two different leaders to a central stake with the hope that one of them takes off.  I've watered this thing with a soaker hose this year, but it has shown ZERO growth since I planted it.  Like ZERO new growth.  It has shown no needle drop, either.  So, perhaps the tree is using all of its energy to establish itself underground by spreading out her roots.

The last trees here in the inventory is actually a couple of sets of trees.  The first set is just two Canadian Hemlocks that are remaining on the northside of our fence.  I planted three there in the end of May of this year and lost one this Summer.   The photo below on the left is one of these two.  It is measuring in at 26" and both of these two are noticeably longer than the ones on the Westside.  Funny, right?  One of these died, but the other two?  They're doing better than the rest.  So, I'm thinking it wasn't the conditions, but rather the tree that was lost had some other problem.  As for the photo on the right, that's one of the trees on the Westside.  These are in the shade a little more significantly, but they're also ones that I didn't give much care this Summer.  I watered them just a little, but not as much as the ones on the Northside.  These are shorter at just 18" and I don't think they've put on any growth at all this season.  But, similarly to the Weeping White Spruce, no needle drop either.


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