Spanish Moss

myrtleoak(z7 TN)January 12, 2008

Does anyone know the general hardiness of Spanish Moss? Also, the most northern INLAND population. Just curious if any attempts here would be feasible.

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It does ok for me in Clinton ,"about 15 miles north west of Knoxville." My major problem isn't so much the cold as the birds taking it all away for nesting materials in the Spring! I'd guess that it's hardy to about 5f or so? It's pretty easy to move a bit of it inside if we get a really cold night.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 1:59PM
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myrtleoak(z7 TN)

How does it propogate itself? Do you have a spreading population?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 12:58AM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

I have friends south of Montgomery AL and they have horses. One of their creeks has Spanish Moss on its trees; to the north of them, closer to Montgomery, there isn't any. If it were just a question of humidity along creeks and rivers, we'd have it on the Tennessee; we don't.
I think the temperature tolerance for survival and growth is much higher than 5F.
Pollution free air is also a help in spanish moss areas. Savannah has a lot, New Orleans (downwind of many refineries) not so much.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 9:30AM
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buckn21(TN 7)

I know of Spanish moss in Macon GA(most northern I have seen). I have saome here in Athens TN that is reseeding and spreading. It's not so much the needs to be watered alot in the summer or during dry weather. I have it here for about 10 years.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 1:15PM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

I wonder what this past summer/fall drought will do to the northern extent of spanish moss.
Buckn21, how do you treat yours in winter?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 1:55PM
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buckn21(TN 7)

Not sure how it has faired with the drought in the south. But mine in the winter I don't worry about it. Mine has seen 5F with no problems. I water mine about every day or every other day in the summer or during dry weather. I have baby spanish moss popping up on my live oaks. I have seen that spreading for about 4-5 years now.

Here is link I have showing spanish moss I have:

And here is my main ablum page:

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 3:44PM
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myrtleoak(z7 TN)

Does it prefer oaks? My original guess was 10 degrees (zone 8). We have rarely seen below this here in Knoxville in recent years, so I thought it may be possible. I would be interested to know if the inland population has been spreading north in recent years along rivers.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 1:47AM
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buckn21(TN 7)

Live oaks have like very sticky grown on the branches. They are like "mini" branches that it hangs on it. They aren't thorns but the branches sort of act like. If you have hung Christmas lights on one, it isn't fun.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 11:31AM
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tennesseestorm(6B-7A (N.E. TN))

Excellent news about the Spanish Moss! I live in Bristol, TN (northeast TN) on the 7a-6b border. I only acquired it this past summer, but it did very well. I was worried about it during that cold snap a couple of weeks ago, when we had lows in the lower 10s and highs in the 20s, but it came through fine. When it warmed back up outside, I misted it with some non-chlorine water. We had that rain too, so maybe that helped rejuvinate it. I brought some of it here in my den, placed it on a branch in the window and I mist it daily. Its doing fine too.

Outside, I have it draped in my Willow Oaks, as my Live Oaks are not large enough yet. I also have some draped in my Bald Cypress... it seems at home there.. lol.

BUCKN21... I have some questions about your Live Oaks... they look quite large... have you had them very long? My understanding is that they are slow growing. I have two and they were seedlings when I got them in spring 2006. They grew well, but lost ALL of their leaves by late January 2007. I thought they perished, but new little leaves sprouted out in March of 07. They lost most of those during that harsh April 07' freeze we had... :( , but again, they recovered and grew very well. Here it is January again and one of them have already lost the leaves at the bottom, but the other still has all of its leaves. I hope they do OK here and I cannot wait until they are large enough to house the moss.... :)

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 9:52PM
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I did not see the info on how to get it started. Did I miss it?

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 12:10AM
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tennesseestorm(6B-7A (N.E. TN))

I bought mine on ebay and had it shipped from Florida.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 1:26AM
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buckn21(TN 7)

My trees are about 20-30 feet tall. I planted them in 1996. I found a large live oak here in Athens. It is big as the ones you would see on the coast. Here is link to a picture I took.

and here is one with some live oak I have found in my area.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 8:58AM
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tennesseestorm(6B-7A (N.E. TN))

Thanks. Was yours small when you planted them? I hope mine grow that quickly! Did yours ever completely lose all leaves in the winter? Mine do, but always return in the spring.

Thanks for those links to those trees! In that one photo, it looks like a Longleaf pine on the edge. I have one of those too that is flourishing.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 3:13PM
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buckn21(TN 7)

I think my largest live oak I planted in 1996, and it was 5 gallon. I brought it at Home Depot in Knoxville. It is as tall as a three story building, maybe working on the 4th floor. My smallest is about 20 feet. I planted in 1996 also. It was about 2 feet tall. They were mostly black after that freak freeze in April. But they recovered nicely. They have never lost their leaves before that. I have several evergreen SE native oaks in my garden. Have you heard of Darington, Laurel and Sand live oaks?

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 1:48PM
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tennesseestorm(6B-7A (N.E. TN))

No, I have never personally ever heard of those other oaks you mentioned, but they sound interesting.

Great to hear those Live Oaks have thrived. I wish mine were already that large. I want to buy a larger potted one to plant, but I wanted to experiment with these smaller ones to make sure they were going to at least survive here. So far, so good and they still have their current leaves. Last winter, they lost them, but regrew in March, then like yours, mine took a devistating blow in that April 2007 freeze and all of the new leaves blackened and fell off, but it was not but a couple of weeks that new leaves grew back with a vengeance.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 12:48AM
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decolady01(7a/6b AL/TN)

I have tried growing Spanish moss before with some I brought from Louisiana. Birds took it all for nesting material, but I've now got a little clump from Florida on my Meyer lemon that comes inside for the winter. I've been misting it daily while indoors.

tennesseestorm, thanks for the lightbulb moment. I've ordered many plants from eBay, but never thought of looking for Spanish moss there. I'll be buying some this spring to try outdoors again.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 6:00AM
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katiedidcottage(z7 TN / Chattanooga)

My uncle brought quite a bit of some spanish moss back from Florida many years ago and put in his large oak in Chattanooga. I remember it stayed there for quite a while and even spread and grew. But I was just a kid so not as inquisitive back then, though I did appreciate it. Now the uncle is gone, the tree is gone, and I have no idea how long it lasted. - Katie

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 3:12PM
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