You wanted to see my Empress Wu

thisismelissa(z4a-S Twin Cities MN)June 19, 2012

Well, here she is, this morning

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That thing is so big it's knocking down trees....

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 9:45AM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

That's not what I was expecting to see. What the heck happened?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 10:41AM
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bernd ny zone5

Very sorry to see this damage. Did a storm do that to your hosta garden? Possibly some shade got removed too, that's a disaster! Now the tree guys will do more damage, but there will be a second flush of leaves! I wish the best.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 11:14AM
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i have felt your pain...

these hostas were totally melted in less than a week...

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 11:49AM
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thisismelissa(z4a-S Twin Cities MN)

At 4:20am, we had a horrific storm come thru. Straight line winds from the SW. Lots of trees down in the neighborhood.

I'm glad it wasn't our big silver maple. Given the angle of the trees down in my neighborhood, that silver maple would have come crashing into the sleeping area of my home.

Hostas in the back yard are shredded. Front yard... barely touched.

I called the tree guy (used him to do the other box elder a few years back, some might remember that) at 7:40am. He said I was already the 3rd call from Lakeville yet this morning. He promised to be as gentle as possible, but they're tree guys and those are some big trunks.

Oh well, there's always next year.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 12:02PM
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Sorry to see, but don't worry, here's where it may be next year:

That's a 16 oz. bottle, what I had handy, for size reference.


    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 12:20PM
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Yea, you have to have a sense of humor in the hosta growing world. We are just a few miles from you and missed the wind but got a lot of rain and the most lightning I've seen in years. The wind was very spotty, knocked some telephone poles down in our city, one landing on a car. (No injuries)

No hail, but we've already taken that hit this year and also early last year.

Looks like you still have a good part of that tree standing. The thinning out may add sun and growth below.

Also, still good chance for more storms today and tonight.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 12:36PM
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thisismelissa(z4a-S Twin Cities MN)

That area of the garden didn't get much sun, so I'm sure the hostas will welcome the extra sun.. NEXT YEAR.

The 2 remaining trunks actually lean into my neighbors' yard. The whole tree is on the property line. My 2 trunks are the ones that came down. Their 2 are still standing.

This year, I expect they'll fry.

Another positive.... those roots are going to decompose and offer some good nutrients AND less root competition.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 12:49PM
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Oh boy, what a big tree.

Since we live south of I-10, the magic line for insurance coverage of losses from hurricanes, when we bought this house we had six trees removed from our property, plus one from our neighbor's yard since it was destroying our garage (we since bought that strip of land from her). It was a preemptive move, based on what happens to tall pines and water oaks and sweet gums with hurricane winds. I have a photo album of the process on my Webshots albums, and it was impressive.

The pines were nearly 100 feet tall and about 3-4 feet diameter at breast height (DBH), and it took a lot of pulleys and such to get the pieces the guy in the air cut off down to the ground and then hauled away. They did not damage a thing, but had to remove the power line etc from the side of the house just in case. I miss having the pine straw, and the shade, but me and the insurance company are a lot happier.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 12:53PM
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Oh Melissa, that sucks. Very good that your property wasn't damaged and no one hurt, though. We had a microburst in 2010 with hail and high winds that took down a huge bull pine in our back corner. Luckily, it fell the right way. I was concerned about the loss of shade but it turned out to be the best thing for that part of the garden....everything is thriving now.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 1:15PM
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This link goes to a Minneapolis Star Tribune photo of power poles down in Apple Valley.

Incidentally, we've had many trees knocked down by wind or snow or simply cut down for one reason or another over the years. I don't miss a single one.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 1:31PM
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thisismelissa(z4a-S Twin Cities MN)

WOW Esox. I go that stretch everyday on the way home. I guess I won't be taking that route today!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 5:06PM
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Oh Melissa, that is awful. Thank goodness everyone is ok. Well, except the hosta! Everyday is a new, not always welcome, adventure in gardening. Hopefully the tree guys won't make it too much worse. I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 11:29PM
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kskaren(z5 MO)

Maybe you've already grieved, but I'll have to say you have a much better attitude about it than I would. So sorry this happened!!


    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 2:35PM
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thisismelissa(z4a-S Twin Cities MN)

No grieving for the tree.
The hostas will come back next year.
Life's too short to sweat the small stuff.
They're squashed and shredded, but they'll be back and better for it next year when they get more light.

The neighbor said they want to remove their half of the tree too.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 9:25PM
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leafwatcher(zone 5)

Always look forward to your pics Melissa. Its a shame it happened.. We have a huge storm pushing thru now.. so far only rain :(

I KNOW you will find away to make your gardens even better, and we will be treated to new angles and views of it here on the board...

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 9:42PM
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chris-e(7 MD)

Melissa, So sorry this happened! We all know how hard you have worked on your garden.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 10:10PM
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spartangardener(z4 MN)

We got the storm at 4:30, and lost the crown of our lovely big spooky bur oak. I think it will have to come down; there's not enough left to sustain the tree. Also it's terribly lopsided with only one branch left. We lost an even bigger hackberry next to it two years ago, so my shade garden has gone from full day half shade to full sun. Guess I'll be transplanting stuff starting tomorrow night.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 11:13PM
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thisismelissa(z4a-S Twin Cities MN)

Spartan.... I wouldn't rush it. I have a hosta garden out front in nearly full day sun (til 3pm) and it's fine. It just requires more water.

Wait till after next year to determine which hostas cannot take the extra sun.... and move those. It takes a full season for them to acclimate to to the change to full sun.... but here in MN, many of them can handle it.

I also have another area of my garden that is considered "full sun" because it gets intense mid-day sun (from 10-2) and most of them are fine. A few of them have shown me that they'd appreciate a shadier location, but lemme tell ya... those hosta, in their 3rd year are bigger than other hostas I have in their 6th year.

Hosta are shade TOLERANT, not necessarily shade LOVING.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 7:22AM
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kskaren(z5 MO)

Melissa, did you get more weather last night? I read about extreme flooding in Duluth, but not sure where you are located from there. How about you other MN folks? Everybody still tethered down???

We got 4 1/2 inches of rain last night, which was very much welcomed by everyone around here, especially the farmers! Let's hope it helps save the crops so we don't have outrageous food prices next year!!


    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 8:33AM
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Around noon the day of the storm, it was sunny and hot and my wife and I were sitting in the shade of a very large silver maple when we heard a cracking sound and jumped up. Couldn't see anything, but an hour or so later a large branch fell about three feet from our chairs.

So we'll be taking that down, and I know it won't be cheap. It has some rotten spots and is just too dangerous now.

I never get through a year without spending a bunch of money taking down trees. The biggest one (a gigantic Linden) fell on our house a couple of years ago.

But luckily it didn't shade any hostas. The silver maple doesn't either.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 9:35AM
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linda_p(Z 5, NW IL)

So sorry, Melissa. I know the hostas will be okay, but the mess and expense are never fun. I heard about the storm up your way from my cousin in Red Wing. We are in a terrible pattern here....the rain goes north or south of us. The latest front just went through without leaving a drop of rain for us. We've had less than a inch since the end of April.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 10:26AM
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thisismelissa(z4a-S Twin Cities MN)

My boss lives in Red Wing and she slept thru it all, so no hail and little lightening.

There are pockets in the southern twin cities that got more of the straightline winds. My neighborhood happens to be one of them. The city put out a call to residents that they'll be doing curbside pickup of debris thru Monday. I don't think this has happened since I've lived in this city.

We did get rain yesterday, but not the storms of Monday night. And we've not really had THAT much rain. But I'm happy to see a relative clear forecast for a few days. Everything needs to dry out.

Esox.... the tree guy I used has been very fair with me in the past, and he's a certified arborist. Email me offline if you'd like his info.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 10:59AM
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irawon(5a Ottawa)

So glad you and your family are safe. Good luck with your clean up and your hostas.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 1:04PM
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    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 10:31PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Yep, how's your they say.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 11:02PM
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thisismelissa(z4a-S Twin Cities MN)

Hi Dray,
Thanks for asking.

Lots going on... started a couple weeks ago when the heat really broke.

Let's see. First, the straight line winds have made it hard to tell how big some of the hostas are. And the pics I have from pre-storm don't show a whole lot... So, it's been hard to make decisions about what to move and what not to move.

Over the winter, we had taken down a Black Hills Spruce... probably 7-8' at the base. We had to take out the stump and did that last weekend. I elected to move Empress Wu into that spot. Where else in MY garden was I going to have room for a 7' hosta!?!? I mean, right before the storm, she was already 4 1/2 feet. Had I not moved her, I would have had to move 8 other hostas!

Ok, with the tree. I'm left with an ugly stump. But it sounds like the neighbors behind me want to remove their part of the tree by next year. So hopefully I'll be able to have that stump ground soon... I HOPE! After all, it's literally straight out from my deck, so it's the first thing I see! I hesitate to move anything in front of it since it'd have to survive the grinding later.

This experience has given me the much needed motivation to thin out the overcrowding of this section... and I'm almost done. I gave away several duplicates and lots of seedlings to my neighbor, who was grateful to take them all! And with this thinning out, I've been able to make room for a path that runs thru the length of this section of the garden. I have only 2 more hostas to move to finish that path clearing. I hope to have the step stones done next year.

My theory that the hostas would fry this year hasn't really come to fruition. None of them seem too bad. They look like heck from the wind and hail, but so far, I can't tell that they are getting scorched.

So, all in all, this situation has left me with a garden that will be better for it.

Sorry, no pics right now. It's not photo ready.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 11:06PM
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How did I miss the June part of this thread Melissa? I totally did. While it is stomach wrenching when you go out and find something like what you did you have to thank God it fell on Empress Wu and not your house.

Last year I had two very large branches from a silver maple with a trunk that is over 5 feet in diameter fall side-by-side across one of my hosta beds. I actually heard both brush the corner of my house and it tore down my electrical lines when they fell on them. It tore the hook for the strain-relief right out of my wall.

The worse damage was to my F. Aureomarginata and August Moon, two mature and beautiful hostas. The ground was gouged and chunks of crowns were laying here and there.

It isn't worth the effort to post this years pics. lNot only did they come back, they came back larger than last year. I am sure your Empres will be just fine.

Babka - "Hows your Wu?" That made my afternoon.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 2:50PM
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