cedars from Minnesota

Discussion in 'Plant Propagation' started by waynesworld, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. waynesworld

    waynesworld Member

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    Howdy! i brought 3 seedlings (and a tiny balsam fir) from northern Minn to western Mt. they are in a big bucket with all the native soil. i just dug up the whole clump, even a worm. what should i do with them? all i know is that they like moist soil, any hints will be good. Takk! Wayne
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    No cedars in Minnesota - they're only hardy to zone 7-8; Minnesota is zone 4-5. Must be something else you have. My guess would be Thuja, which is frequently but very wrongly misidentified as a 'cedar'.
     
  3. waynesworld

    waynesworld Member

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    i looked up a pic of thuja, too conical, mebbe a different species?
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Can you post a photo? Best would be a close-up of the foliage.
     
  5. waynesworld

    waynesworld Member

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    that'll be a while, film still in the camera but if they are similar, what conditions are best?
     
  6. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    There are only two reasonable possibilities for your cedar from Minnesota. It is either Thuja occidentalis (White Cedar) or Juniperus virginiana (Eastern Red Cedar). If it was growing in the same/similar habitat as the Balsam Fir, it's probably the White Cedar.

    Sometimes we have to be flexible with use of common names as to avoid alienating the layperson.
     
  7. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    But it doesn't help anyone to perpetuate errors.
     
  8. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    To answer the original question before we got distracted by nomeclature....moist well drained soil is ideal though both Balsam Fir and White Cedar will adapt to much wetter soils though neither will grow in standing water. Niether species is very drought tolerant which may be problematic in Montana. The photos you saw of Thuja occidentalis (White Cedar) were likely named varieties which are usually selected for a specific trait like tight conical growth. Wild specimens tend to be broadly conical.
     
  9. waynesworld

    waynesworld Member

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    thanks! i'll keep them in the bucket of native soil for at least the winter. i want to keep one as an indoor plant. i've been told they are slow growers. it has been drier every year here, so i will put drip on the outside ones.
     
  10. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    As a temperate conifers, both species have chilling requirements to intiate spring growth. Attempting to grow one inside won't work. Best keep it in an unheated garage or cold cellar for the winter where the temperature will stay between 20º & 35ºF....light at those temperatures isn't required.
     
  11. waynesworld

    waynesworld Member

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    OK, thanks alot for the info. would i have a chance moving some Larch from here to there? the island is far north Minn., Ash, Birch,Basswood, Pine, Fir, Willow grow well there, but i haven't seen any Tamarack.
     
  12. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    Larch should grow fine in Minnesota. You may not be seeing any because a)there isn't any habitat available in which it is competitive. b)the forest is past the successional stage in which Larch would be present.
     
  13. waynesworld

    waynesworld Member

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    Thanks for all the information, one more question. what would be the minimum freeze time for best growth before i can bring them inside under grow lites? i want to get them to grow fast.
     
  14. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    As stated earlier these are not house or greenhouse plants. Grow outdoors in suitable soil and exposure for best results.

    Potted specimens can be overwintered in a cold greenhouse or near a garage window if it seems they will have too much freezing of the roots if left out in their pots in your climate - although perhaps plunging the pots in loose material like sand or wood chips might be adequate.
     

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