Shade trees provide more than shade. They are a buffer against the wind, a sanctuary for birds and a beautiful addition to the scenery.
Over the last several years, a number of Missionary Ridge trees have taken a beating while protecting Ridge homes, breaking and uprooting in severe storms. MRNA and the Missionary Ridge Garden Club are sponsoring a "Releaf the Ridge" planting for October of 2018 that offers quality shade trees at unbeatable prices to residents.
Many of the trees lost along the Ridge over the last several years have been willow oaks. These are strong fine-looking shade trees with long green leaves. But their leaves grow densely together and put a lot of wind stress on the tree, stress that the willow oaks' shallow and narrow root system has difficulty supporting. Their leaves are also difficult to rake up.
We have selected trees specifically for their beauty, size, and resistance to wind, rot, insects and uprooting. They should require little other than soil and water to survive. They should generally not need pruning and are well-adapted to our Ridge environment. They will be planted as "bare root trees"without a root ball, and will be four to six feet tall. Planting without the root ball makes them much more manageable for amateur tree planters and does not compromise their survivability when planted correctly.
We would like to assist you with the planting and site selection, to avoid having trees grow into each other or power lines, etc. We hope to be able to offer you assistance with digging the hole, but we do not have enough volunteers as of this writing. Check back here as we get closer to the planting dates.
Here is a video describing good considerations for planting bare root trees: https://youtu.be/U4j0LewYwuQ
Sale ends September 30th. Applications are also available at our old red newspaper dispenser in front of our fire hall at 34-36 Sheridan Avenue, to the south of and between the two Ridge bridges over the top of I-24.
MRNA will offer the trees for pickup at our old fire hall on a Saturday in mid to late October, the exact date to be determined by season conditions. Trees must be "in dormancy" before they can be successfully re-planted.
JPG mage of the below form can be downloaded by clicking here.
This is the second tallest grower of the trees we are offering, generally maturing at 30 to 50 feet, and living as long as 70 years.
Tulip Poplar have huge leaves that are easy to rake up and turn a bright yellow in the Fall. This is the poster child shade tree for the description "straight and tall", and a fast grower. Poplar is wonderful yellow-tinged, straight-grain, rot-free wood. Poplar beams are prized as supports inside log homes.
This is the State Tree of Tennessee. It and the Sugar Maple are the tallest growing of the trees we are offering. It might reach 100 feet, and can live as long as 300 years.
Sugar Maple turns a brilliant orange in the Fall and has the added benefit that you can tap it's trunk for the extract that makes maple syrup. It is also the tree whose charcoal is used to cold-sweet-filter Tennessee whiskey in the early winter.
Sugar Maples can grow from 80 to 100 feet tall, but are slower growers than the Tulip Poplar and Black Gum. When healthy, they can live for 400 years.
Eastern Redbud is a strikingly colorful tree, and the earliest every year to leaf out and flower. Honey bees depend on it. It and the Dogwood are smaller trees that can only shade a picnic table or bench seat. You should expect a mature tree to top out at 15 to 30 feet tall and live for 70 years.
The Dogwood is one of the hardiest and toughest trees to be found in our area. Its wood is so dense you can make smoking pipes from it. It burns nearly as hot as coal. Yet its cross-like Spring flowers are awe-inspiring.
The Pink Dogwood is just a different color from the White. Landscapers like to mix and match the two for maximum effect. Both are dazzling in the sun and you will wish the flowers stayed longer.
Both are slow growers but will stay on your property for 80 years with a minimum of care. Heights are generally 15 to 25 feet. The Cherokee variety we are selling was originally selected as resistant to mildew, which is a big plus.
To help us fund and publicize our effort we're offering caps and T-shirts for sale (yes, that's the Bragg Reservation monument as a tree trunk).
Limited quantities only for now. Both selling for $15. We may offer them for sale from this website in the future, but for now you need to come to the Missionary Ridge Neighborhood Association Block Party on September 22nd, or the Missionary Ridge Garden Club Yard Sale on September 28th and 29th. Both events will be at our 36 Sheridan old fire hall, to the south of and between the two Ridge bridges over the top of I-24.
Water is of course essential to the survival of young plants. "Gator" or "Hippo" water bags are a great way to drip water down on to the developing root system. They retail at about $25 each. Here is an example as shown on www.amazon.com :
Our Ridge winds can be a threat to developing trees. A two-stake web arbor system is normally about another $10 each. Or if you're handy and careful with how you pull on the tree, you can make your own. You'll want to use old garden hose, for example, to cushion the stress on the tree bark from any wrapped-around rope.
If you want to add a sign to your tree that identifies it, says when you planted it or who it is in memory of, you can buy something like the below as offered through www.amazon.com. Amazon offers an array of signage options. :