Site Specific Species Selections…

Sorry, I just had to do that. How often have you been in another town or forest or even neighborhood for that matter, and thought “That tree would look so cool at my house?” I do the same thing and sometimes it works, and, sometimes….

Up on the back side of Grizzly Peak, only about 20 mins from Ashland is a wonderful grove of quaking aspens, naturally occurring, of course. They love it up there and as I wander around the grove I don’t see the common failures that I see with aspens around town, hmmm why is that? Last year aspens were no. 1 on my list of “barfed” trees in Ashland, either croaking or falling over or some combination of both. Is the weather really different up there as to make a difference between life and death? 

While it could be just a matter of superior genetics compared to what you can source from any local nursery, I have to go back to my earliest experiences of training as an arborist and remember: Water, Elements, Temperature and Space.

It is only 5 miles from town as the crow flies, BUT it is a world away when you consider the cultural changes that take place in those few 5 miles. Because you can drive right up to them before your town-bought coffee gets even warmish, it doesn’t really seem like it would be a big deal, but being there during the extreme different seasonal weather events that happen there, it hits you!

It isn’t just the cold, or the heat for that matter. It isn’t just the elevation, or just the soil composition or PH either. Air density, humidity, barometric pressure?

The answer is simply YES! Everything about that specific site is just perfect enough to make that grove happy and happy they are!

“But dammit, I want THAT grove in MY yard and dammit, I wo’;t take NO for an answer. After all, it’s only 20 minutes away……..” 

What is even sillier than that is I do the same thing and I actually get paid to know better! That grove has probably been on that site for hundreds and maybe thousands of seasons, and there is a good reason they didn’t migrate far from their home, and sometimes I wonder if it is just to tease me into trying…

Some trees are just tougher than others and some live much longer and such, but no matter what, an unhappy tree can never thrive. 

Even if you can’t have THAT grove in your space all is not a total loss, after all it’s only 20 minutes away…

As always, plant high and often…  

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