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bill_mn_z3b

My first online order.

2 months ago
last modified: 2 months ago

3-8-2024:

After searching around for certain plants and either not finding them or finding them at very high prices, I put my first order to Conifer Kingdom.

I ordered 3 plants, not to be shipped until early March and everything went smooth but after a couple days decided I needed to add another plant. I emailed them if I could add a plant and they said sure but I'd have to do something so they could access my CC because they don't keep the CC on file.

I didn't understand what she told me to do, something about a paypal, so I asked if she would explain to me how to do that.

I never got an answer so after a while, the only thing I could of was put another order in on the website.

I emailed the same person and told her what I did, and she said sure, she would handle it from there. I even left a note at the end of the order saying the two orders should be combined.

Finally, after a while, I noticed there were still two orders under my account with two shipping charges, one for each order. so, I emailed them and asked about it. Not the same person but they told me that no, they couldn't combine the orders and the amount combined didn't go high enough to get the free shipping anyways.

If I would've understood the gal in the first place (I think), For the same money, I could've had 5 plants instead of 4 plants plus $20 S&H?

I did get a free plant for ordering more than $50 on the first order and 10% discount for first time buyer.

I'm more than happy getting the plants I wanted with a cheap education to boot.

One of the orders came today. It was the second one I ordered. My first order is coming Monday. :-?

bill

Comments (45)

  • 2 months ago

    That's your first online order?!? That's pretty much how all my 70+ trees & shrubs were obtained. I did do a trade once (my loblolly pine), but that was in the mail too.

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked bengz6westmd
  • 2 months ago

    Well, it's our climate here that concerns me.

    CK said they ship before bud break, which should mean the plants are dormant when they arrive.

    They told me to put them in an attached garage and not to bring them into the house because they were acclimated to colder temperatures.

    Anyways it got down to 22df in the garage last night. We'll have to see how this turns out but I'm sure the plant froze. It's a z4 callitropsis nootkatensis 'pendula'.


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  • 2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Interesting, as I just received the exact same tree from Wilson Bros (there was a post concerning them as a source). It arrived in good shape (it's a graft) and I planted it immediately. I tried the same tree yrs ago, but it failed for some reason (I don't think it was cold, it was something else). Trying again as I see a few specimens around that look good -- a trio of them in a downtown area where I frequent.

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked bengz6westmd
  • 2 months ago

    Being I'm now z4 ;^) and have a protected area, I thought I'd try one.

    I only have 3 good spots left, and 4 trees, so will have to plant one temporarily for now.

    Last month I could've planted but who knew? Been on the chilly side lately. Maybe next week.

  • 2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    For a #1 container, I was impressed when they sent a box that was 3ft. high and once the box was removed, the plant was 4ft. high.

    The weeping form allowed them to let the top bend back into the box.

    Very nicely wrapped and packed in corrugated carboard, nice moist pot media.


    ///

    Wilson bros is sold out on these.

  • 2 months ago

    Welcome to the dark side, there's no going back!

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked artinnature
  • 2 months ago

    I'm getting to be an old hand at this. ;-)

    My spot (red flag) for the cupressus is well draining and close enough to the garage it blocks any NNW winds and any rain off the gutterless roof will be near the root area. Lots of sun.


  • 2 months ago

    One question beng,

    When you tied it to the stake, did you tie the very upper part so it was straight up along the stake? Or let it flop over a couple/few inches at the top. Maybe it doesn't matter?

  • 2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Bill, no, the last twist-tie is only about halfway up. It needs the wind to move it around to strengthen it. The ties are mostly there to keep the bottom half straight. And I'm telling you, the wind has been very strong yesterday and this morning -- easily over 50 mph at times.

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked bengz6westmd
  • 2 months ago

    Below's a pic of the trio in a downtown area where I shop & stuff.



    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked bengz6westmd
  • 2 months ago

    'Welcome to the dark side, there's no going back!'

    You're the enablers. I'm just an innocent victim. ;-)

  • 2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I got the C. nootka cypress in the ground today (66d mc).

    That spot was completely thawed.

    beng, this too I noticed is a grafted variety. I didn't go too big on the mulch ring to save time & energy. I can always expand later.


    The rest of my shipment came today,

    Right: Picea glauca 'pendula', the tree that started me on this online order.

    Center: Abies concolor, I added that to get a free gift (Left). :-)


    The free gift got planted also today. The ground had thawed well near the house.


    55 and partly cloudy tomorrow so hope to get the other two planted then.

  • 2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Nice combo of pics. Also will be interesting to see how the weeping white spruce gets on. Keep in mind that Nootka cypress needs alot of water first couple yrs. Wki page:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Callitropsis_nootkatensis

    Weeping Nootka cypress. Will remove scraggly Virginia pine beside it and trees behind are Siberian X slippery elms and are dying slowly from elm yellows.



    Serbian spruce nearby. Handsome, but the growth rate as you can see is disappointing. Perhaps the soil is a bit too heavy/wet.


    ..

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked bengz6westmd
  • 2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Serbian spruce seem to take 4-6 years to take off. At least two of mine had 3-4 inches of annual growth and then around year 5 shot up 14 and 16 inches. I also have heavy soil.

    tj

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked tsugajunkie z5 SE WI ♱
  • 2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Another glorious day, 60d and sunny. Glad to have two days in a row otherwise these plants may have stayed out in the garage for another month or more. :-\ Cooler weather on the way.

    I got the concolor fir and weeping white spruce planted.

    The locations for these were more frozen but it's amazing what you can do with a heat gun and hot tap water. ;-)

    I am a little concerned about the WWS and have already contacted CK about the issue.

    The specimen didn't look that great, but I didn't expect too much ordering a #1 size.

    OTOH: the roots looked bad, there was what looked like a large 'J' root and many tangled woody roots making it quite difficult to straighten out.

    After aggressive root surgery, I planted it anyways, but we'll see what they say about it at CK.

    Nice it was still dormant but still, I'm sure removing larger roots will slow this season's progress.

    None of the leaders are pointing up but that should work itself out over time, I would think.


    Abies concolor var. lowiana:


    I'd give CK a 5-star rating. They don't take returns but will send new plants or give store credit in some cases to make it right.

    This is the earliest time of year that I've ever planted trees in my yard. The neighbors probably figure I've finally lost it. :-))

  • 2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Concolor firs are surprising that they do quite well in east N America (not south) without disease/climate issues. Should be planted instead of blue spruces.

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked bengz6westmd
  • 2 months ago

    I have noticed A. concolor various places around town here. Not any great specimens but don't know what kind of care they got or if located correctly.

    The roots on this one were on their way to a tangled, woody mess but a seedling and weren't as concerning and easier to fix.

  • 2 months ago

    CK emailed me this:

    'I think naturally these have more of a tap root. Although not ideal for containers, it shouldn't cause any health issues for the tree.'


    Grrr, They never even asked for the pictures.

    Here they are:


  • 2 months ago

    Wow, you were quite right to untangle that. Would've been issues from that mess.


    A concolor fir just up from me in PA.



    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked bengz6westmd
  • 2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Yes, one reason for delivery before breaking bud.

    Known to be drought resistant once established with a dense form, A. concolor was an easy choice, not to mention somewhat tolerant of urban pollution and z3 hardiness. I like the common name of 'California White Fir'. ;-)

    The P. glauca is a no brainer, usda z2 and the genus brothers grow like weeds around here.

    25-30 mph NW winds coming through late Friday through Sunday, so I gave the little guys some windshield, so they stay upright during that time.

    Mid 50's and sunny again today and I believe the buds have begun swelling on the spruce, so I got things planted in the 'nick of time'. ;-)

  • 2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Congrats on your order Bill. CK are great although I sure wish they would figure out how to graft Chamaecyparis lawsoniana onto one of the Asian Chamaecyparis.

    "Concolor firs are surprising that they do quite well in east N America (not south) without disease/climate issues. Should be planted instead of blue spruces."

    FWIW I see Concolors in the suburbs of SE PA, but not much further south of there. I would say they are very rare in the DC area. In fact I just checked the National Arboretum website, the only 2 concolor firs they have are firma grafted from Conifer Kingdom! Surely they have tried own root ones over the years and they've eventually died of root rot.


    UPDATE: wow, I haven't looked at the National Arboretum online database in years. They have a plant I'm shocked that they have. Definitely visiting again this year! (it's probably been almost 10 years since I was there, so I'm due for a visit anyhow)

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked davidrt28 (zone 7)
  • 2 months ago

    Thanks david!

    The winds are low 20's mph here this morning and colder temperatures arriving in the days ahead. Thankfully they will be staying in the low teens or above for lows and 30-40d for highs.

    But the roots are in the ground, and I don't have to babysit plants for the next month.


    The concolor should enjoy the high, sandy location I've given it although it could get moved sometime in the future.


    Enjoy your trip to the NA.


    bill

  • 2 months ago

    'although I sure wish they would figure out how to graft Chamaecyparis lawsoniana onto one of the Asian Chamaecyparis.'


    David, there seems to be confusion on what genus some of these plants are really in.

    The Chamaecyparis nootkatensis has been renamed at least three times and now they're unsure if the Asian Chamaecyparis are even related to any of those in N. America and the ones in N. America are more closely related to the Cypress.


    I'm not a botanist but I always pick up on these tidbits of information every time I buy a new plant and study up on it, so I found that interesting when you brought that up.


    I always wanted to own a Chamaecyparis but I guess for now, I'll just have to wait. ;-)


  • 2 months ago
    last modified: last month

    3-26-2024:

    Just an update on what is ordinarily an insane practice of planting trees in early March in my area. :^)

    My concerns were, by keeping them in the garage, the roots might get down to temperatures that may be harmful to them. My garage only stays 4-5d warmer than the outside air and temps in the teens to single digits were still in the extended forecast.

    I've reasoned from people 'in the know' here on these forums that ~20df or below that could be bad for potted plants, even conifers.

    I was so glad to see temps in March, when the trees arrived were warm enough to put them in the ground. That doesn't always happen here. But if I had to, I could've manufactured a way to preserve them in the garage or basement but would've been a lot of extra work so I was so glad to get them in the ground! :-)

    Once planted, I watered the Callitropsis Nootka twice that week being there was a lack of snow/rain, and the ground did not freeze for many days after planting.

    I figured the water would keep it happy as in its native range, it likes an area with some spring seepage and the 40d water might also help moderate the ground temps overnight, to a certain extent.

    With single digits appearing in the extended forecast, I was hoping for a little snow to help protect the ground, really for all four newly planted trees.

    The night before the predicted 5-7df, an inch or so fell and I promptly went out and shoveled the snow around the plants, so it covered the mulched areas around the roots to about 6" of snow.

    After two days, the gates opened with 16" to 18" inches of snow over 3 days. 😁👍

    Here's a picture of the Nootka (top half) and WWS. With northerly winds, the airborne snow tends to come over roof, then fall straight down into the vacuum on the south side, like a snow fence. ;-)

    The nootka will like this slow snow melt into the nearly frozen ground over the next 10 days or so.

    The WWS (left) resides in the 'Wind Tunnel' that I've referred to from time to time in my posts (The snow is more swept away obviously in that part of the yard and the WWS is most likely the hardier of the two trees so it got that spot). Nice drip edge for both trees off the roofs.

    When mother nature gives you lemons, you make lemonade. :-)


    ^This lower left corner of the picture is the end of the deck railing, not part of the snow drift. ;-)

    The concolor is inaccessible at this time and the 'free gift' is on the south side of the east half of the house so is enjoying the same heavy snow 'blanket' as the nootka. ;-)

    I won't be able to give any 'success stories' for a while until they push new growth, or not.

    In the meantime, I whipped up new tags for the two trees that I think will be the most likely to survive. :)
    ETA:

    Made it out to the concolor. Glad I put the bunny fence up right away.

    got tags finished.



    :-)

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    Hhhmmmm.

    The current molecular genetic phylogeny seems to think C. obtusa of Japan is closely related to C. lawsoniana.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chamaecyparis

    I knew that the 'Alaska Cedar' was a different genus.

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked davidrt28 (zone 7)
  • last month

    Bill, your snow-blanket is fortunate. Will keep the ground from freezing and slowly seep downward (no runoff) for soil moisture. Winter is not giving up on your area just yet.

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked bengz6westmd
  • last month
    last modified: last month

    Now you've done it david. You've finally reached the end of my vast storehouse of knowledge, LOL!

    But I appreciate your comments and always learn something new every day and that's why we do this imo.

    I found this article quite interesting:

    ' Chamaecyparis species are relatively easy to propagate from cuttings, so grafting is seldom used as a propagation method. Chamaecyparis obtusa (hinoki cypress) is compatible with Chamaecyparis lawsoniana and Thuja occidentalis. Since Chamaecyparis lawsoniana has disease problems it is not used in North America as an understock. In Europe it works well but eventually creates a deformed graft union when it develops a much larger diameter than the cultivar.


    eta: And: Chamaecyparis lawsoniana has limited use in America due to disease entering the root systems. Grafting could prevent this problem and allow wide use of hundreds of cultivars throughout this country. However, any understock used is overgrown by the cultivar.

    https://robertfincham.com/Musings/understk-scion


    beng,

    I have a slim steel rod with a handle, ~2ft. long, that I use to test frozenness of the soil.

    Right before the snow, I could tell the top layer, 2-3 inches of wood mulch was on its way to being froze solid but when the rod penetrated that, the soil beneath was still soft/thawed.

    Now with the warmer weather, I can tell the snow that's melting around both of the 'close to the house' locations is going directly into the ground (no runoff).

    There may even be some root growth occurring albeit very slow thus far.

    All 4 plants are still nice shades of green and still dormant. 🤞

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    4-17-2024;

    'Welcome to the dark side, there's no going back!'

    Wait! I thought this was a joke!

    I was walking by the plants at the Walmart parking lot and the reality set in.

    First, I told myself, I don't need another juniper, then I thought, it's only $8.95, next I picked it up then started walking, I had a blank look on my face (but smiling). Just like radar controlled I ended up at the cashier. Automatically opened my wallet and handed her a ten-dollar bill. I kept hearing the plant saying 'Buy me... buy me....

    Weird but I was happy and needed something to replace those lilies out front that the deer won't leave a lone.

    Juniperus Squamata 'Blue Star".


  • last month
    last modified: last month

    Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked artinnature
  • last month

    I needed a good laugh this morning. Thanks! :-)

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    I didn't catch it the first time around, but Abies concolor var. lowiana, which you have, is reportedly not as cold hardy as A. c. var. concolor. They originate from separate regions, with var. lowiana from the Sierra Nevada range and var. concolor from the Rocky Mountains. Hence the common names California White Fir and Rocky Mountain White Fir.

    I've grown a few White Fir seedlings, all of which were simply listed as Abies concolor. I assumed they were all grown from var. concolor seeds. It will be interesting to see how your White Fir handles a z3b/4a climate since A. c. var. lowiana is supposedly only hardy to -22F. I know you'll keep us posted. :)

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked maackia
  • last month

    Those thoughts have already gone through my mind a zillion times since planting, but I have to remember that in the end, this is all just another (cheap entertainment) experiment. ;^)


    I've already had some 'not so good' scenarios with the plants being delivered a bit early (mid March) and then the cold coming back (mid 20's lows) the following week.


    Next it was mid 60's to mid 70's for day or two and then last night it was 27df with the next two forecast about the same.


    I think the major progression will be if the trees were 'truly dormant' when they arrived and if they've stayed dormant, during these back-and-forth recurrences of the cold. The grounds been plenty cold, so fingers crossed.


    And with 25d being the lowest since they arrived, you could almost call this a z5 winter for them. Again, whether they were or not truly dormant the whole time.


    One thing I have going for me is that the two most sensitive plants of this bunch are in the most sheltered/protected locations that I have. But I have to agree, a lot depends on if these freakish weather events stay on the mild side as if we really are in a warmer zone than previously thought. If we go back to those z2-3 harsh winters, well, I took my best shot. ;-)


    From what I understand about concolor is, if the new buds are too far advanced in the spring and it gets cold enough to freeze them off, this can weaken the tree. And that's maybe what I'm seeing here with the not so amazing specimens around town.

  • last month

    Oh, and just to add, the Dawes arboretum and others have Abies lowiana rated to Zone 3.

    https://dawesarb.arboretumexplorer.org/taxon-

  • last month

    The Dawes zone rating is surprising. You’ve got the right attitude when it comes to woody plants. If one is afraid to lose a few, it might not be the right hobby.

    This winter was so mild, I dont think I lost a single plant, which is almost unheard of. Maybe I’m not trying hard enough.

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked maackia
  • last month
    last modified: last month

    Zone pushing -- works sometimes, others not. My crape myrtles are miserable clumps of base sprouts, but my longleaf, loblolly and pond pines (all southern pines) look healthy and grow like weeds (longleaf pine is over 50 ft tall).

    Bill, my Manchurian fir is "winter" cold-hardy, but pushes buds too early and most years these get burned by late frosts. Then it responds by putting out disheveled secondary sprouts in all directions and kinda looks like a mess.

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked bengz6westmd
  • last month
    last modified: last month

    Bill, do you know what your "free gift" is? Some type of juniper/falsecypress?

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked bengz6westmd
  • last month

    One does expose themselves to disappointments with some plantings, even if they are called 'Zone Hardy'.

    A 'new to me' term I've been researching more frequently is 'Frost Hardy', where a plant can take the minimum cold of a certain zone just fine all winter but once the plant comes out of dormancy, a late hard frost/freeze can kill or weaken it over time.

    Of course, this information is not widely published.


    I'm now 'officially' zone 4a, so technically I'm not zone pushing, :-) except for my CK 'free gift' which we'll get to later, I first want to see if it survived all this abuse and weather changes.


    I've rejected planting certain plants here because soil type is rated 'Moist to Wet' and I don't want too many trees/shrubs that can't take our summer dry spells, albeit I do have a few.


    One factor helped me choose A. concolor is, once established, it is somewhat drought tolerant.

    TBH, I didn't know at the time mine would be a lowiana, or what the difference was but from all my searching, it does grow in Montane areas to over 7,000 ft. in the sierras, where temperatures will go down to -30 in the winter. Admittedly marginal for my area but then last winter, we only had -18 once in January.

    The main issue will be if it stays dormant late enough, until the really hard freezes are over.


    So, dispelling the fear that winters will soon return back to the dark ages, I'll take the gamble that it won't (I'll either be the hero or look pretty stupid but hey that's life and what makes it fun). ;-)


  • 19 days ago
    last modified: 19 days ago

    5-7-2024:

    The weeping white spruce is breaking bud: :^)


    Same with the concolor fir:


    So, 2 of my 4 online ordered plants have survived and are alive!


    Good after being planted during mid-March, in frozen ground, then having a roller coaster of temperature swings, down into the teens with snowstorms of over a foot and high winds with very sunny days a good part of that time.

    My conclusion is they were truly dormant on arrival.


    The other two aren't so easily looked into. They don't have buds so don't have that indicator to see if they have begun to grow. They both have nice, green foliage since day one and even if they have grown some, it's not been a whole lot this early, so hard to visibly assess that way.

    I guess if they look alive, that's the main thing for now.

    Only been highs into low to mid 60's for the most part and cool at night.

    Guess I'll just have to keep an eye on them. :^)

  • 18 days ago
    last modified: 17 days ago

    It can be hard to discern new growth on Nootka cypress. If it's retaining its green, it's prb'ly OK. Plus it may barely grow its first year -- just root-growing/repair.

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked bengz6westmd
  • 18 days ago

    I took some closeup pictures of some of the leaf tips.

    I'll wait a while and photo again then compare the two sets of pictures.

    That should show progress if any.


    I was concerned with the roots on the C. nootkatensis. It was a small pot with very fine roots that were difficult to untangle without breaking some off. Probably lost, guessing 7-10% that broke off or were too tangled to spread out decently.

    Hoping that the early planting gave the tree a chance to make some new roots by growing season.

    The first year is always the most critical until the tree has a chance to settle in.


    I'll repost after a few days of this sun and warmth we're finally getting.

  • 17 days ago
    last modified: 17 days ago

    5-9-2024:

    C. Nootkatensis: Doing well but had a few smaller branchlets go brown. I just snipped them off.

    The burlap is more for wind damping than for sun, it maybe coming off soon.


    Now for the 'Free Gift'.

    When first planted it was looking good. Then I put a sun shade on it, in case it wasn't acclimated to UV and real sun. I Left the shade on for over a week and with all the documentation saying 'Full Sun', I remove the shade and thought perfect.


    About a week in full sun, I was reading about this plant and from that learned that young plants such as this one cannot take full sun and partial shade is what it needs.

    It might be that it was too cold for the tree to adapt to the sun and UV, idk but after reading the article, I went to check and found that the plant sun burned significantly.

    It's been sun shaded ever since.


    The branch tips at the top part of the tree look healthy, although I still can't tell if it's growing or not.



    So, there's still hope. We just need some summer weather with regular rains.

    :-))

  • 13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    5-13-2024:

    Without a doubt, all 4 plants on this order are alive and growing.

    You have to compare in a very assiduous manner, but you can see new growth in various places that weren't there on the earlier pictures.

    Callitropsis nootkatensis:


    Thuja plicata 'virescens':


    So, not killing the plants soon after transplant now accomplished. ;-)

  • 12 days ago
    last modified: 12 days ago

    Good to hear. My Nootka cypress has tip growth too. Thuja plicata -- I tell you, my hybrid green giants aspire to their giant western arborvitae (Thuja plicata) side, they're going to become way too big for where I planted them. That's OK, I'll deal w/it if I have to.

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked bengz6westmd
  • 12 days ago
    last modified: 12 days ago

    Thuja p. 'Virescens' is a small variety of western arborvitae and to be honest, there wasn't a lot of good choices in the limited selection put before me.

    It's my understanding that Thuja p. can take the cold but is not frost hardy, once it comes out of dormancy. And there are 'Coastal' stands and 'Interior' stands with the interior trees showing chemical differences and greater hardiness in both categories.

    I have no idea of the provenance of mine but probably could give you a good guess which it is.

    FWIW: This is the third year in a row with no late frosts here in May and for what I paid I'll have something to play with for a while. ;-)

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