Would these trees do well in Fort Worth?

enjoyingnature(7b)November 21, 2013

Would like to plant - Ash Myrtles, Hetzi Columnar or Spartan Juniper, and some Little Gem Magnolias in my backyard. With the frosts coming, is it too late and would trees work in Fort Worth?

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Yes, on the Little Gem Magnolia. I just planted one, two weeks ago. Don't know about the others.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 8:46PM
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Meant to say Wax Myrtle.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 9:00PM
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Yes on the Wax Myrtle, as well.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 9:03PM
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We also have a sprinkler system around the perimeter of the yard. Will planting trees a couple of feet away be a long term problem in relation to the rubber tubing of the sprinkler system?

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 9:12PM
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Yes, if the full growth width of the tree's canopy is 10 feet then the roots will require 10 feet of clearance from any pipes or electrical lines.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2013 at 8:45AM
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That's helpful - Our HOA requires a sprinkler system which is around the perimeter of the yard. We were hoping to plant privacy trees around the perimeter within a few feet of the sprinkler system. Are there any solutions to this issue?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2013 at 2:12PM
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Lin barkingdogwoods

When one of the Texas A&M Forestry guys came to talk to us about our trees, he said the roots go way farther than the canopy. (We were worried about any possible damage to a red maple from a rain garden we are building.)

I don't see how tree roots would damage a sprinkler system; otherwise on an average (small) lot you couldn't plant any tree that gets even 25' tall/wide...


    Bookmark   November 24, 2013 at 10:31AM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

enjoyingnature: Do you have a traditional "sprinkler" system with above ground spray-heads or one of the newer buried drip systems now required in some places?

Agree with Lin for traditional sprinklers. Just be sure to place any plants farther away from the lines than the eventual size of the mature root cluster at the base of the trunks; these can get over 6 ft across for trees with large diameter trunks such as fruitless mulberry or live oak. So, a 4+ ft preferred spacing with 3 ft minimum is probably a good rule of thumb for most trees or large shrubs. Whether or not a root will eventually cause a problem with one of the lines is a matter of luck. If one does happen to cross over or under close enough to bend the line as the root grows in diameter, it may eventually break. We've had this happen once over a couple decades on rigid PVC lines running through the root zones of large oaks and it was only slightly harder to fix than leaks from other causes.

No experience with the buried drip systems. May want to ask on the GW Irrigation Forum if that is what you have. I know Copper or other materials are used at the drip openings to help keep moisture seeking roots out, so imagine guidelines on plant placement may be different than for above ground sprinklers.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2013 at 2:11PM
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I'm not sure if it's traditional or drip... It's a Rain Bird with pop-up heads and the rubber tubing buried one foot under the ground. I did a search to try to find what the root "map" will be for Spartan Junipers. Since the above ground width is not too wide, I was thinking the roots may grow deeper instead of wider. Not sure though... Anyone have a site that shows root systems? If worse comes to worse, I'd want to dig up the sprinkler tubes
and move them to the middle of the yard... I was really hoping to create some privacy in the backyard.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 12:32PM
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We have about 1/4 acre so smaller trees at the back of the yard would be appropriate if I can figure out a solution to the sprinkler tubing...

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 12:45PM
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husband said we have a couple of drips but mainly traditional

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 1:46PM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

The pop-up heads indicate yours is a "traditional" sprinkler/irrigation system (versus drip). Probably don't have to worry about relocating the pipes unless the place you want to plant is right above the buried lines. As long as you don't plant a tree so close to the pipe that the trunk base pinches or cracks it as it approaches its mature size, the lateral roots should rarely cause other problems. Most urban lots with both sprinkler systems and large trees have pipes running through lateral root zones which survive just fine. Soil variations, lot drainage, leaks and other factors can influence where the lateral roots grow; but in most cases having one grow large and close enough to an irrigation pipe to damage it is just one of those fairly random bits of bad gardening luck we occasionally encounter.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 4:07PM
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Thanks for all the feedback - looking forward to planting some trees!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 6:02PM
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