Georgia Bamboo Plants
Georgia Berry Plants
Georgia Grape Vines
Georgia Nut Trees
Georgia Pine Trees
Georgia Palm Trees
Georgia Flowering Trees
Georgia Fruit Trees, Georgia Peaches
Georgia has been known for many years as the “Peach State,” because of the ideal adaptation of the peach tree to the Georgia climate and soils. Once peach trees were grown mainly in middle Georgia around, Perry, Montezuma, and Fort Valley, but now many early ripening peach tree cultivars have made the area of South Georgia- around Barney, GA and Morven, GA., as important peach growing centers. The Elberta peach tree is perhaps the most famous peach in the world and the Georgia Belle peach tree is second only to the Elberta. The Georgia Belle Peach is white on the inside, and the pulp has a delicate distinctive flavor that is famously used to make “churn peach ice cream.” Many cultivar peaches are now available to grow and eat during the summer. Nectarine trees have become a very important fruit tree to grow because it is fuzzless and carries the same flavor characteristics as the peach fruit. New nectarine cultivars have rounded fruit with both red and white colors, both outside on the skin and the pulp inside. The Nectarine fruit also is available in freestone cultivars that make it so easy and convenient to eat fresh out the the hand. Plum trees are usually commercially grown where peach trees grow, and Auburn University in Alabama, researchers have developed very important new cultivars from old plum tree varieties, such as Ozark Premier, Methley, and Santa Rosa plums. Yellow Gold plum trees produce a fruit brightly yellow colored and sweet and juicy when completely ripe. Georgia is known for the famous wild native plum that grows in thick groves along South Georgia dirt road ditches and on fence rows that border cropland, called the 'Chickasaw' plum tree and this plum tree is an excellent pollinator for other plums and is an important food source for wildlife birds and wildlife game preserves. For the backyard gardener the plum tree is very important for fresh plum eating, making plum preserves and for slicing in fruit salads. Prunes are dried plums that can be kept without refrigeration to eat during times when fresh plums are not available.
Once it was considered to be impossible to grow apple trees in South Georgia, mainly, because old apple tree cultivars required too much chilling temperatures for South Georgia. One apple tree from the tropics sprouted in a backyard from a yellow delicious apple seed, and that tree produced an excellent golden colored apple that was named “Dorsett Golden” that today is being grown all over Georgia. Two other low chill apple trees from Israel, where the climate is similar to that in South Georgia, are now being grown throughout the Southern States, and these apple trees are named the, Ein Shemer apple and the red Anna apple tree. Several apple tree cultivars are grown in commercial orchards in North Georgia and in pick-your-own apple orchards. The Red Delicious apple trees are old standard apple cultivars along with the Red Rome apple tree and the Arkansas Black apple trees. Much apple tree activity is centered around Cornelia, GA., famous for delicious fall apple production. Many abandoned tenant farm houses are home to hundred year old pear trees that stand near the old house loaded with pears in the Fall. Georgia farmers considered the Kieffer pear tree to be a required member of the family fruit orchard. The pears were hard and picked off the trees and put in baskets to ripen and to soften inside the smokehouse, until they could be made into pear preserves or eaten fresh or placed in salads after slicing. The Kieffer pear tree has proven to be an important fruit orchard tree for many decades. Several new pear tree cultivars are excellent for growing in Georgia, such as the Flordahome pear that is well adapted as a low chill cultivar that is suitable for Louisiana, Florida, and Mississippi, as well as South Georgia and South Alabama. The Columbus Red pear tree produces a fruit that is soft juicy and mild balanced taste of sweet and sour. Pear trees seem to be free of most pest and disease problems in Georgia and produce a larger crop of fruit every year reliably.
The red North Star cherry tree is recommended as a cold hardy cherry for growing in Northern parts of Georgia. The Montmorency cherry tree is also a red cherry that is best for baking into pies. The Black Tartarian cherry tree and Bing cherries are sweet cherries and can be eaten fresh off the tree. The Moorpark apricot tree and the Yellow Golden apricot trees are best for growing in North Georgia. Katy apricot trees have produced sweet delicious apricots at Ty Ty, Ga., in Southwest Georgia.
The Loquat tree produces a tasty yellow, juicy fruit shaped like a kumquat that ripens in early spring, but sometimes loquats continue to ripen into late summer. The Loquat tree is best adapted for zones 8 and 9 in Georgia and is an excellent small evergreen tree that is fast growing. Loquat tree flowers are pleasantly fragrant with white, one inch blossoms that bloom as early as December. Loquat preserves are ranked by gourmet chefs as the very best choice for breakfast toast and for use with roasted meats as a side dish with pickles and olive fruit.
Several fruit trees, such as the Guava tree, Pomegranate tree and the olive trees are generally thought of as tropical fruit trees, but several types of pomegranate trees are cold hardy in Georgia in zones 8 and 9. The Wonderful pomegranate tree and the Granada pomegranate trees are grown commercially in California, Arizona and Washington State and will survive winters in South Georgia, In North Georgia the pomegranate tree may some years freeze above ground, but will re-sprout in the spring to form a pomegranate bush. Guava trees also will produce a delicious fruit that is usually made into guava jelly, and many Georgians find that an evergreen, guava hedge forms an excellent privacy screen with a bonus of guava fruit. Olive trees are being grown experimentally throughout the State but Coastal Georgia gardeners have grown olive trees for centuries into huge landscape specimens and the leaf color is unmistakable in the garden. Olive tree orchards are being planted in many Georgia counties with hopes of commercial olive oil production or home fresh olives.
For many years Japanese persimmon trees have been imported to grocery stores in Georgia from California and Florida persimmon orchards, but Japanese Fuyu orchards of giant persimmons are being established in South Georgia with hopes of becoming pick-your-own orchards. Backyard gardeners in South Georgia have grown Japanese persimmons for years. The fruit of the Japanese persimmon tree is best when picked from the trees in the fall and ripened inside, much like pears. Mayhaw trees are native to Georgia and the Mayhaw festival is yearly held at Miller County, GA., near Colquitt, GA., and Mayhaw jelly is celebrated as the worlds best jelly. The Medlar fruit tree was an unknown fruit in Georgia until recently, when the Nursery an Ty Ty, GA., introduced four new Medlar tree cultivars that bear fruit the very first year of planting. The Medlar is the most cold hardy tree that can be grown in every Sstate of the US except Alaska, and the flavor of the plum-sized Medlar fruit is indescribably tasty.
Quince trees were known by early pioneer colonists of the Confederacy. The quince tree is a native tree of the Mideast and many Bible historians claim the Quince was the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, that is, the fruit of the Quince tree, and not the Apple tree. Quince fruit is now grown as a commercial fruit tree in California and Arizona and shipped to grocery stores throughout the US Quince fruit can be enormous in size, larger than grapefruit, and the fragrance is sweet and distinctive. Jujube trees have been important backyard fruit trees in Georgia for more than a century, and extensive jujube cultivars were tested early last century at the Georgia Coast Experimental Station, Tifton GA. The new cultivar, Georgia 866, and Sugarcane jujube trees are now available to buy at online nurseries. Two types of strawberry trees are being grown in Georgia, the European strawberry trees that produce tasty berries very similar in form and flavor to the strawberry fruit found in markets.
Banana trees are cold hardy to grow in Georgia gardens, that when mature, will produce a smaller version of the grocery banana but sweeter in taste. Many banana trees are planted to add a tropical garden appearance near a patio or swimming pool. Banana trees are one of the world's fastest growing trees with huge leaves that can grow from ground level to a staggering 17 feet in 5 months time. Banana trees are virtually immune from diseasea and are grown as annuals as far North as Massachusetts, New york and Pennsylvania. Banana trees in Georgia survived zero degrees temperature, and in 1983 in North Wichita Falls, Texas, bananas have survived below zero degree temperature drops and re -sprouted to grow vigorous bananas in the summer. Paw paw trees are native American fruit trees in West Virginia, Indiana and Ohio and are being grown in most US areas. The paw paw is a huge fruit, growing up to 1 ft. long and weighing up to 2 pounds each, with a fragrance and flavor of the banana. Most paw paw tree research has been done at the University of Kentucky focused on extending the paw paw shelf life in the grocery store. The paw paw fruit can often be purchased from roadside stands in Virginia, Illinois and Michigan. Red Mulberry, Morus rubrum trees are native trees to the US, and the mulberry tree has been a part of the early American culture since colonial times, when the leaves were used in silk manufacturing with hopes of establishing the silk trade in the US as a permanent commercial enterprise that did not materialize, however, the mulberry trees were often planted near hog lots where pigs were fattened by the mulberry fruit. Many wildlife animals were drawn to feed on the mulberries, especially wildlife game birds that flocked to the trees to eat mulberries, and the birds were shot out of the trees by the colonists to feed their families. Deer were also attracted to feed on the berries and leaves of the mulberry trees, and the white tail deer were in turn hunted by the colonists to feed their family members. New grafted cultivars of mulberry tree are now available online to buy at nurseries, such as the black Persian mulberry tree and the Pakistan mulberry trees that grow berries as long as 5 inches. Mulberry trees are cold hardy as far North as Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. Fig trees were promoted by the early American President, George Washington on his Virginia plantation growing site, and later President Thomas Jefferson grew fig trees from Europe of many kinds and considered the fig tree one of the finest potential fruits. President Jefferson was right. Hundreds of fig tree cultivars have been brought into the US by European immigrant from Italy, Greece and Turkey. Some fig trees have been found to be much more cold hardy than others. The Tennessee Mountain fig tree has been grown successfully in New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania. Some extreme winters will freeze fig trees to the ground, but they often vigorously sprout from the roots in the spring to grow into a fig bush with several trunks. Figs that contain large concentrations of sugar can be sun dried for winter eating. In the Southern States figs are cooked into fig preserves as a delicious treat on hot buttered toast. Fig trees appear to be everbearing, as long as they are regularly picked from the trees during the period that the figs are continuously ripening. Some fig tree cultivars bear earlier than others and a few fig cultivars will bear the first year of planting when only 2 or 3 feet tall. Some figs can be purchased as fresh fruit at grocery stores, however, most fig fruits have a short shelf life, and it is important for those gardeners who love their taste of figs to plant their own fig trees for fresh fruit eating.
Georgia Berry Plants and Blueberry Bushes.
New horticultural berry plant introductions have added valuable commercial crops for Georgia farmers. Blueberry plant introductions have resulted from early researchers at the University of Georgia, Coastal Plains Experiment Station in Tifton, Georgia. The blueberry plant research began by the berry pioneer, Otis Woodard, who collected specimens from the Alapaha River near Alapaha, Ga. that extended beyond the River flows that lay below Lakeland, GA., where several Rivers and Creeks met. From these original research selections, Dr. W.T. Brightwell from Tifton, Ga. collaborated with USDA breeders from Beltsville, Maryland, and exciting blueberry varieties like Tifblue, Homebell, Woodard and Bluebell cultivars emerged as growers began to see the probability of pick-your-own blueberry interest began to build for developing a Rabbiteye blueberry plant hybrid plant to productively grow commercially for shipping from Georgia to markets in other States. Dr. Max Austin, Tifton, Ga. and Dr. Draper from USDA, Beltsville MD., began making Rabbiteye blueberry selections that were focused on commercial harvesting Georgia blueberry plants with a machine that picked blueberries, and that would allow an extended shelf life for fresh blueberries. The Climax blueberry plant was developed, so that the berries could be harvested mechanically on a Rabbiteye blueberry plant cultivar that ripened most of the berries at once. The development of a sudden ripening blueberry crop would reduce labor costs in picking, and only a few unripened blueberries would, thus, be discarded. Special attention was paid towards developing a blueberry that showed no stem tearing the delicate berry tissue, when the blueberry plants were harvested. The Climax blueberry plant, unfortunately had side branches with elbow bends and crooks, so that in harvesting the blueberries, considerable damage that was done to the blueberry bushes, and that meant less production next year. The Rabbiteye blueberry plant that has replaced the Climax cultivar is named after the deceased researcher, Dr. Max Austin, and was named 'Austin', blueberry bush. The branches of the maturing Austin blueberry plant are erect, and because of this favorable development in blueberry bush form, many acres of Austin blueberries are now planted and commercially harvested near Alma, Georgia, where 85% of the Georgia blueberry production is harvested. Rabbiteye blueberry plant growers at Alma, Ga, economically flourished to such an extent that growers banded together in Alma, Ga. to form the Georgia Blueberry Growers Association. The success of the blueberry plantings in Georgia led the growers to explore and benefit from the experience of the longstanding Michigan Blueberry Growers Association, where valuable marketing information was exchanged between the Georgia blueberry plant growers and the experienced Michigan blueberry bush growers. The further development and research on blueberry plants has developed commercially dried blueberries that are valuable additives to cereal and dried blueberries are even used in military "K" rations, and the dehydrated blueberries last firm and tasty for years, retaining a distinctive blueberry flavor and aroma when hydrated. Perhaps the greatest surge in blueberry interest is found in the fact that blueberries contain extremely high concentrations of anti-oxidants that are known experimentally to create a healthy benefit even towards extending human life and possibly reversing the aging inevitable process.
Georgia Seedless Grape Vines, Bunch Grapevines and Muscadine Grapes.
Bunch grapevines are best adapted for growing in USDA Georgia zones 6-7 in North Georgia. Concord grapes are standard vineyard bunch grapes, that along with the black Fredonia bunch grapes, the red Catawba grapes and the white Niagara grape vines, are heavy producers of sweet, juicy grapes. Bunch grapes are tasty to eat fresh in clusters straight off the vines or to make grape juice, grape jelly or to ferment into grape wine. Seedless grape vines are also the best choice to grow in North Georgia rather than in South Georgia, zone 8 and 9, because in South Georgia the humidity and extreme heat are not favorable for seedless grapes growing there.
Old seedless grapevine favorites for most Georgia gardeners are blue Concord, the red Flame grape and the white Thompson's grapevines. New seedless grape vine academic releases are Summer Royal seedless, Reliance seedless and the Crimson grape also, that has no seed. Muscadine grapevines are native to the south and were discovered growing in North Carolina and Virginia by early American colonists. The flavor of muscadine grapes is much more intense and sweeter in muscadines than in European grapes. Muscadine grapes are found growing wild as native grape vines from Florida, and then growing North to Delaware. Muscadine native plants range from Illinois in the North to Missouri, Kansas and then South toward Texas, even growing into Mexico. The early American Indians dried the muscadines over heat and sunshine and made them into edible raisins that fed Indian families during the winter. Early American explorers traded with the Indians and took dried muscadine grapes (raisins) to eat on their ships on their way back to England. Eating the dried muscadines prevented scurvy in most cases because of the vitamin content of the muscadines. President Thomas Jefferson was very influential in exporting muscadine plants to many European countries.
From the native muscadine vines that covered the Eastern States of the U.S., agricultural researchers have improved muscadine cultivars into a very large and lucrative commercial enterprise that has become one of Georgia's most important agricultural fruit crops. Many acres of muscadine vineyards have been growing in Southern Georgia in pick-your-own vineyards and processed for packaging the fresh muscadines and scuppernongs for fresh grape sales at super markets. Even the sale of muscadine seed has developed into a million dollar business, because the grape seed extract is an important health product. Dark blue or black colored muscadine grapes are commonly called muscadine grapes and the bronze colored muscadine is called scuppernong.Much confusion has arisen in naming muscadine plants or scuppernong plants, but technically both are muscadines.
Much confusion has also arisen from the question of what cultivar of male muscadine should be planted with which female scuppernong cultivar. Basically, it is simply a matter of planting 3 female muscadines with one male muscadine pollinator. Female muscadine grapevines are usually preferable to plant, because the grapes are much larger than male muscadine grapes, however, female muscadine grapevines will not produce grapes unless they are pollinated by a male muscadine. Male muscadine grape vines will produce grapes alone, but the grapes are much smaller than the female grapes. Carlos male scuppernong grape vines are very productive and can produce as much as one hundred pounds per vine of sweet, wine grapes. Both bunch grapes, seedless grapevines and muscadine grape vines can produce satisfactorily as wine grapes in Georgia, however, most wine grape vineyards in Georgia are planted in the Northern part of the State, and French European cultivars are favorite wine grapes for North Georgia vineyards.
Georgia Pine Trees
The longleaf pine tree is well adapted for growing in Georgia forests, and many homeowners plant the longleaf pine trees as shade trees that save costs of electricity and air conditioning. Most pines are fast growing trees, however, the longleaf pine begins its growing in a grass-like stage that produces leaves (needles in bundles of 3) that grow long (1 ½ feet) as the name, “longleaf” would suggest. The longleaf pine tree grows throughout the Atlantic eastern seaboard States to the Carolina's and Virginia. Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana are covered with longleaf pines that grow even down into Texas.
Much timber interest brought economic development into Georgia, South and North Carolina to pursue the lumber demand that came from the rapid expansion of housing in early America. The longleaf pine yielded high quantities of planks and lumber from a single tree. The interior of the longleaf pine tree was saturated with a gum (rosin) that was made into turpentine, a very valuable organic compound that was used primarily as a solvent for paint and many other products known as “Naval Stores” that were used domestically in America and exported to Europe from turpentine stills that distilled the raw product , pine rosin (resin), that were centrally collected from the Port of Savannah, Georgia, for worldwide shipment during World War 2. New synthetic chemicals were manufactured at a lower cost that ended the collection of longleaf pine sap, when the naval store market collapsed.
The long leaf (needles) of the longleaf pine trees grow low to the ground in the grass stage, and the dense mass of pine needles protects the tree from fires, making this pine tree virtually fireproof. The deep taproot of the longleaf pine tree will re-sprout new needles when summer storm, lightning strikes can ignite the accumulation of pine needles twigs and fallen lower branches on the forest floor.
Unfortunately, the range of growing longleaf pine trees has been reduced drastically during the last century when farmers preferred planting the slash pine and loblolly pine trees in a crop rotation measure to replace the much slower growing and more profitable longleaf pine trees. The pulp wood and paper industry placed intense pressure and demand on fast growing trees to supply them, however, now the internet paperless book industry, and email craze are reducing post office communications dramatically, and many conservationists are trying to restore the longleaf-grassland ecosystem that has been so degraded to a point that many birds, animals and plant habitats are threatened with extinction. The combination of wealthy Georgia landowners in Appling County, Ga., and hunting plantation owners at Albany, Ga and Thomasville, Ga., are land holders of substantial forests of longleaf pines. The U.S. Government ruling bases of Fort Stewart at Augusta, and Fort Benning in Columbus, Ga., also are cooperating to preserve these important ecosystems. Recent booming sales of pine straw from longleaf pine trees used as a mulch and add a considerable yearly income to longleaf pine tree plantations.
Slash pine trees, Pinus elliottii, have a much shorter native range than other Georgia pine trees, mainly because the thin layers of bark make it succumb to forest fires. Until fire prevention methods began to protect woodlands and wildlife animals, the slash pine tree was only found to occur in Georgia, Florida and Alabama on a large scale, but a few pine stands grew in Louisiana, Mississippi on Southern, South Carolina. Since fire prevention measures have become an enforcable law, the Native slash pine tree plantings have now been extended to Texas and Tennessee. The slash pine trees are unusual in having a bundle of two leaves (needles per cluster) but occasional bundles of 3 needles can occur. The slash pine tree is a very fast growing tree that can reach 100 ft. The pine needles are about 8 to 10 inches long, and the pine cones range from 3 to 6 inches in length. In Georgia the slash pine tree is highly valued for the hard planks of lumber that make the State of Georgia important for growing 46% of the slash pine tree populations in the U.S. Homeowners in Georgia often plant the fast growing slash pine as a shade tree in nursery grown, larger size trees that quickly become established to provide a quick shade that cuts electricity bills. Many farmers plant slash pine trees on very poor soil profiles as wildlife preserves that in 20-25 years produce a high value economical harvest of hard, high quality lumber. Pine straw has also become a valuable cash crop that is used as a mulch for plants that prevent weed growth.
Loblolly pine trees, Pinus taeda, are the fastest growing pine trees in Georgia. The Loblolly pine tree has a shallow root system that often grows out of the ground radiating away from the tree. The tap root is not long and as the loblolly pines grow taller, they tend to sway in winds, sometimes at right angles to the ground. After a windstorm it is not unusual to see a loblolly pine tree that has blown over on someone's house. Loblolly pine trees are commonly planted close together to use as a fast growing privacy screen, and it is recommended that this particular tree not be panted close to a house, but the loblolly pine makes an excellent shade tree on property perimeters. Because of the fast growing character of the loblolly pine trees, they are in great demand as a pulpwood tree for the paper industry. The quick growing habit of the pine tree is due to its adaptability on a great variety of soil profiles, and the evergreen nature means that the tree grows in the fall and winter when most deciduous trees are dormant. The evergreen characteristic continuous growth pattern, also means that loblolly trees will not compete with deciduous shrubs and trees for moisture and nutrients during the fall and winter months. The leaves (needles) of the loblolly tree are the shortest of the 3 Georgia timber pines, and the pine cones are short and stubbly; and they tend to remain stuck onto the branches of the trees for long periods of time, unlike the large pine cones of the loblolly and slash pine trees. In urban areas like Atlanta, Ga., the loblolly pine trees are notorious for their continuous production of yellow clouds of pine pollen that cover automobiles and create serious allergy problems in many people, making breathing difficult for people who are plagued with asthma. Sometimes the layers of pollen are so thick on the ground that after rain storms, the water, itself, flows in streams of yellow. Slash pine trees are rated as one of Georgia most important commercial agricultural crops.
Georgia Bamboo Plants and Variegated Bamboo, Clumping Bamboo for Growth Control
Alophonse Karr bamboo is well adapted for growing in all USDA zones in Georgia from zone 6 in the GA., Mountains to Coastal zones 9 and to Brunswick and St. Simons Island, Ga. The alternating green stripes on the bamboo poles make Alphonse Karr a variegated bamboo plant with bright contrasting tropical stripes.
American Native bamboo plants, Arundinaria gigantean is one of the best adapted, cold hardy bamboo specimens that grows as excellent privacy blocks on St. Simon's Island, GA., and can be planted as far North as Ohio, Colorado, and Michigan. Golden Goddess bamboo plants, Bambusa multiplex, 'Golden Goddess' ,is a very bright clumping, privacy hedge that makes your property invisible to the outside world and this bamboo plant is cold hardy to Zone 6-11, and is Northern adapted for cold hardiness to New York, New Jersey and parts of Pennsylvania, Weeping bamboo poles are loaded with leaves that weep over, just like the stressful dragging weight of weeping leaf terminals. Weeping Willow bamboo poles are easy to control for growth since the plants are members of clumping bamboos. Weeping willow bamboo clumps are able to withstand Northern winters as far North as Connecticut and Idaho, zone 5.
Black Bamboo, Phyllostachys nigra is very cold hardy for most State growing to zone 5, and Black bamboo grows well in all Georgia, USDA climate zones, even down to zone 11 in Florida, Louisiana and California. The Black bamboo 's black color intermixed with deep green leaves makes it an excellent privacy screen. Blue Henon bamboo plants will grow into interesting, sky-blue bamboo poles that thrive and grow fast in all Georgia climates, even North to Kentucky and Virginia. Fishing pole bamboo plants are familiar to most Southern teenage boys, who love to go bream and bass fishing after school and on weekends. The best poles for trout fishing in Georgia ponds are long and limber and 10-12 inch in diameter.
As a fast growing bamboo in Georgia, the Japanese Timber bamboo trees reach up to 50 feet in height, and the poles can reach 4-5 inches in diameter; not only screening out noisy neighbors, but the poles are valuable to use in furniture, flooring and ornamental folk art. This Timber bamboo grows in large groves in Tennessee and North and South Carolina.
Moso bamboo plants, Phyllostachys pubescens, is the most widely grown bamboo tree in the world, growing up to 70 feet tall in Texas and New Mexico. This fast growing tree is popular to use in hardwood flooring, and ornamental art construction. Moso bamboo is an extremely fast growing screen for privacy use and as one of the most cold hardy bamboo spreading varieties. Robert Young bamboo plants, Phyllostachys bambusoides, 'Robert Young', is an excellent fast growing, spreading bamboo that originated from a California Nursery discovery. The bamboo poles can vary in color, from brilliant yellow to medium green. Robert Young bamboo grows rapidly in all areas of Georgia, and is very cold hardy up to zone 6 in northern Indiana and Kansas.
Yellow banana bamboo is regarded as one of the most beautifully colored bamboo plants, Phyllostachys viridis, 'yellow banana'. In landscapes in Georgia the rhizomes spread far and rapidly the centers of the clumps fill in with dense yellow poles to create a brilliant landscape screen. The Yellow Banana bamboo plants, not only grows rapidly to maturity in Georgia, but this outstanding bamboo specimen is cold hardy from zone 6 to zone 11- Nebraska to California and Mexico. Very colorfully variegated yellow, green striped bamboo plants rank as the most unique of the variant bamboo plants. The stripes grow on yellow poles and vice versa, and that creates an unpredictable variegation pattern of an astonishing presence. Some bamboo plants not only have variegated canes, but the dense striped leaves, also are variegated with Ivory stripes like the dwarf bamboo that are cold hardy to Virginia and the District of Columbia.
Georgia Flowering Trees
Early colonists who settled along coastal Georgia near Savannah, GA in 1733 noticed native spectacular flowering trees that included the Southern Magnolia trees, Magnolia grandiflora, that were incorporated into the city squares of Savannah, GA and very much admired by General Oglethorpe, the founder of Georgia's Colony, that was protected from the Spanish soldiers by Fort Frederica at Saint Simons' Island, GA. Savannah Ga. native plant lovers collected other native Georgia flowering trees to plant and enhance the beauty that great city. White dogwood flowering trees, Cornus florida, and pink redbud trees, Cercis canadensis were top choices for spring flowering trees. Later flowering spring trees such as Grancy Greybeard trees, Chionanthus virginicus, and Southern crabapple trees, Malus angustifolia, flowered in white native beauty. In early summer the Scarlet locust trees, Sesbania punicea, glowed with orange-red clusters of flowers hanging on delicate stems amid lacy parallel rows of leaflets in constant motion in the slightest breezy wind. Even though the Scarlet locust flowering trees lined bogs and creek banks the transplanting success was remarkably high, even onto higher ground in the July heat.
One of the most interesting accounts of flowering trees in Savannah, Georgia, history occurred after the Revolutionary War when the tree called: 'Pride of India', was planted along Victory Drive Boulevard. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson had both praised the Pride of India flowering trees that had become established at personal estates at Mount Vernon and Monticello, VA. These trees grew more rapidly than any other fast growing tree of their day, and the urge to plant the Pride of India flowering trees spread throughout all the colonies of the US, and in Savannah, Ga., the Pride of India trees were established on both sides of Victory Drive Boulevard. The flowers were blue to violet in color, fragrant, and in the fall after the leaves fell from the branches, the twigs were covered with dangling orange berries that hung on the tree throughout the winter, and the tree again began blooming again in March through May. The blue green dark leaves attracted butterflies and bees and the branches were a perfect nesting site for birds who feasted on the berries. These fast growing trees created a frenzy throughout Savannah, Ga., The planting of flowering trees rapidly spread throughout State and into the other American colonies. After a few years the enthusiasm of planting the Pride of India trees ended when several children died after eating berries that were worn as necklaces by the kids, and it was noticed that dogs died and farm animals deceased, after people noticed they had eaten the berries that had in most cases become renamed : the 'Chinaberry', and even though birds lived the berries and survived after eating them, it was noticed that some birds staggered around after eating fermented chinaberries.
Another evil observed about the Chinaberry tree was that leaves and berries after falling on the ground emitted toxins that killed all other vegetation nearby, and the berries later sprouted to form Chinaberry groves that are presently considered as weed -trees by scientists. Most fast growing trees produce soft wood tissue, that becomes susceptible to breaking off branches that soon are enveloped by rot and thus, the trees have a short life in most locations. That was the case with the Chinaberry tree that after 20 years, fell apart at the Savannah, Ga. squares and were replaced by better flowering tree choices. Another fast growing tree that has met a similar fate as the Chinaberry tree is the Mimosa flowering tree that covers itself with magnificently, fluffy, feather, flowers globes that vary in color from white to pink and red. Many Georgia Agricultural officials consider the tree also to be invasive as a weed tree, even though it is very popular as a flowering Georgia tree. Usually the Mimosa tree's soft tissues begin to fall apart from wood rot when it reaches the age of about 25 years.
Crape Myrtle trees, Lagerstroemia indica, have become the most popular flowering tree in Georgia, and some other States, and only recently has it been recognized that the Crape Myrtle is cold hardy enough to flower in Northern States of Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Crape Myrtle flowering trees remain in bloom for several months, and the flowers radiate in glowing colors of red, purple, pink, white and bi-color. Chaste trees, Vitex agnus-castus, are not well known in Georgia gardens as popular flowering trees, but the Chaste tree flowers over long summer periods will bloom in colors of white pink purple and red, with similar flower colors and flowering periods those of Crape Myrtle. Old standard flowering trees of the Prunus family, such as cherry trees are the most popular flowering trees in Macon, GA ., where the flowering cherry festival rates only second to the Kwanzan flowering tree and the Yoshino flowering cherry tree festival held in the Nation's Capitol. Kwanzan flowering cherry trees are double flowered pink, and Yoshino flowering cherry trees are single flowered. Flowering peach trees begin their flowering spectacle in March and bloom in red, white, pink and peppermint which is the most popular color. Flowering plum trees begin blooming in early spring and new Japanese flowering plum trees are more extended in their flowering episodes than the native Chickasaw plum tree. Apricot trees are very unpredictable in their blooming period, but perhaps, are the earliest of the Prunus group to flower that in South Georgia can occur in January, then again following spring warmups. Crabapple flowering trees are early spring bloomers in Georgia and red flowers, red leaves, white blooms and pink, all, are found throughout Georgia. Bradford pear trees were once the most widely planted flowering tree in Georgia, mainly, because they were a fast growing tree like the Chinaberry trees and Mimosa trees, and because the Bradford pear tree was too fast growing, it too, began to fall apart at age 15, when the soft wood tissue was attacked by wood rot that often killed the tree. New pear trees like the Aristocrat flowering pear tree have been hybridized to replace the old out- of-date Bradford pear tree.
Japanese Magnolia trees are similar in flowering to the Southern Magnolia tree, except this deciduous tree loses its leaves during the fall and is not an evergreen like its relative, Japanese Magnolia trees, like the apricot flowering tree are unpredictable in the period of bloom. During winter warm-ups the Japanese Magnolia tree can flower even in December, and then intermittently blooms any month of the year in Georgia. The fragrance of many colored cultivar, Japanese Magnolia trees is only matched by the Magnolia grandiflora. Red, Pink white and purple Japanese Magnolia flowering trees are available to buy online, and even the yellow, Elizabeth, Magnolia tree that is the rarest Georgia magnolia can be found flowering in several collector's gardens.
The Thornless Honeylocust tree is not commonly planted in Georgia gardens as a flowering tree, however, the clusters of white fragrant blooms are beautiful and very desirable to plant in dark garden areas. The Purple Robe locust flowering tree can flower several times during a year, but the big show of purple clusters of blooms appears in March, and the Purple Robe locust tree can rebloom as late as August.
The color, yellow, is generally considered the rarest flowering tree color in Georgia landscapes. The most cold hardy yellow flowering tree in Georgia is the Golden Rain tree Koeleuteria paniculata that forms gigantic yellow gold triangular blossom clusters that grow into very colorful lantern- like seed pods, progressively varying in color from white to pink to bronze with time and are extremely ornamental until late fall.
Other than the yellow, 'Elizabeth' Magnolia and the Golden Raintree, the other yellow flowering trees growing in South Georgia and coastal Georgia will not stand up to the cold weather. The Jerusalem tree, Parkinsonia aculeata, is a choice brilliant yellow flowering tree with very delicate fern-like leaves. The Jerusalem tree flowers most of the summer and can rebloom in the fall. The Cassia tree Senna bicapsularis, is one of the most beautiful of all flowering trees that becomes clothed in gold yellow, fragrant pea- like flowers that remain on the tree attracting bees and butterflies during the fall until the tree becomes dormant. The Cassia tree reaches a large size on the Georgia coast, becoming especially beautiful on St. Simons Island and Sea Island, Georgia. Oleander blooms of fiery red, pink white yellow and purple can be enjoyed at Sea Island , Ga and St. Simons island's homes.
Georgia Nut Trees
The State of Georgia is famous for nut tree crops, like papershell pecan trees and native shagbark hickory trees, Carya ovata. Georgia is also famous as the number one State producing the peanut. Huge orchards of papershell pecan tree selections have been growing in Georgia for over a hundred years. The largest pecan tree planting was near Albany, Ga., and Camilla, Ga., last century. Many of those trees have now been, either replaced by better pecan tree cultivars, or destroyed by housing developments. Early pecan varieties like Schley, Mobile pecans and Frotcher have been replaced by Elliot, Sumner pecan and Pawnee pecans. The old standard, Stuart pecan tree cultivar still remains highly favorable and mostly resistant to foliar disease and insect damage. Other very large Georgia pecan tree orchards have been planted near Fort Valley, Ga. and Perry Ga. These particular orchards were inter-planted with peach trees and pecan trees with the intention of harvesting pecans after the short-life (12 years) peach trees died, so that the farm income by then would begin to increase as the pecan trees reached maturity.
The State of Georgia is the largest grower and producer of papershell pecans but Texas produces more seedling (wild) pecans. The American black walnut tree, Juglans nigra, The American filbert (hazelnut) Corylus americana and the Allegheny chinquapin trees are all native nut trees to Georgia. The shagbark hickory tree Carya ovata, is also native to Georgia and is edible once the kernels are retrieved from the hard shell. Wildlife animals and wildlife birds can feed on the shagbark hickory nut kernels for months during the fall and winter months when most food becomes scarce for wildlife animals. Black Walnut trees are important backyard nut trees, however, very few black walnut orchards are planted in Georgia, because they are so slow to bear walnuts, and the market price cannot compete with pecan prices at the cracker's warehouse.
Chinquapin trees once covered the South like the American chestnut tree, Castanea dentata, but during the last century the chestnut blight reduced the native chestnut and chinquapin tree populations to a small number of resistant trees. New resistant strains of American chestnut trees and chinquapin trees have now been made available to orcharders that are vigorous producers of sweet crunchy kernels. Chinese chestnut trees are excellent nut trees for growing in Georgia and the large tasty nut kernels appear to be resistant to insect and disease problems. The Chinese chestnut, Castanea mollisima, ripens in August and dependable crops can be harvested every year. A new hybrid chestnut tree, "Colossal," This chestnut is cold hardy down to minus 10 degrees F., and the Colossal chestnut tree is a grafted tree that resulted from a hybrid cross of the Japanese chestnut and the European chestnut trees. The Hall's Hardy Almond tree is grown best in middle and north Georgia, USDA zones 6 and 7. All the above nut trees are more important economically and horticulturally than the almond trees, nevertheless, the almond tree is popular for planting by the Gerogia nut tree collector.
Georgia Palm Trees
Georgia palm tree planting for all areas in the State of Georgia, zone 6 to 9, can be narrowed down to three palm tree choices. Needle palm, Dwarf Palmetto palm to include Saw tooth Palmetto tree and the best for areas overall, the windmill palm trees that grow vigorously throughout the State of Georgia, and even in Northern States as far as Canada. All these palm tree selections will also grow well in Coastal Georgia. Where salt water tolerance is an important requirement , both the needle palm trees and the Sawtooth Dwarf palmetto palms are native trees to Georgia and were discovered growing on St. Simons Island, Ga., in 1795 by the great American explorer and botanist, William Bartram. During his early of exploration of Coastal Georgia, William Bartram also discovered the Sabal Palmetto palm trees growing on Sea island, Ga., and at Fort Frederica, GA.. The Pindo palm tree is very distinctive in appearance with long feather -like leaves that can be bright green in color or occasionally silver grey. This Pindo palm tree has been reported to grow as far north as Tennessee and North Carolina, however, most conservative tree botanists only recommend planting Pindo palms in areas that are South of Atlanta, GA., Rarely does the Pindo palm grow taller than 15 feet, but the huge trunk diameter and tropical appearance of the leaves makes the Pindo palm a stately landmark for any landscape garden. Chinese Fan palm trees, Livistonia chinensis, is a satisfactory palm tree to plant in only zone 9, in Coastal and extreme South Georgia, however, it is a very fast growing tree with a beautifully canopy. European Fan palm trees, like Canary Island Date palm trees are outstanding landscape specimens that grow in Georgia, zones 8 and 0. The European palm tree, Chamareops humilis, is a smaller clumping palm tree that grows into a stately privacy screen. The Canary Island Date palm tree, Phoenix canariensis, is one of those indescribably landscape monoliths that vacationers travelling to coastal Georgia resorts never forget. The Canary Island palm trees are lined out in magnificent rows like hug citadels on approaching the 5-star Cloister Hotel resort and spa at Sea Island, GA. The Sylvester palm tree, Phoenix sylverstris is somewhat less cold hardy and will only survive in Georgia zone 9, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. The Washingtonian palm tree is a very fast growing palm that is lined along GA. highway 82 at Waycross,GA., usually near playgrounds and motel entrances. The Washingtonia palm tree grows best in Georgia, zone nine and at zone eight, in Ty Ty, GA., and often it loses its leaves when temperatures fall below 26 degrees, but the Washingtonia palms then experience a growth resurrection by July and remain elegant until the next surge of winter cold blasts. The historical date palm of the Bible is the Medjool Date palm, Phoenix dactylifera, that fed the ancient Israelite and Egyptian populations, will grow in Georgia in zone 9, however, like the Washingtonia palms and the Chinese Fan palms, the Medjool palm tree will resurrect in the summer in zone 8. Best growing conditions for the Medjool date palms are in the dry desert areas of Arizona, where near , Yuma, Arizona edible dates are an important agricultural crop. The best Southern date palm fruit comes from the Pindo palms in Georgia, where the kumquat sized, orange colored fruit can be eaten fresh or made into jelly, hence the name, "jelly palm tree".
Sago palm trees, Cycas revoluta, although not botanically true palm trees, nevertheless, are very valuable landscape specimens in Georgia in zones 8 and 9. Some years when temperatures drop below 20 degrees F., the Sago palm tree loses its leaves but they always are restored in the summer. Sago palm trees are very important plants for landscapes, but probably, importantly, are planted in container designer pots for growing indoors in the North, where they remain evergreen. Two other valuable small palms trees (although botanically not a true palms) are the Cardboard palm tree, Zamia fufuracea, and the Coontie palm trees , Zamia pumila, that are adaptable to Georgia zone 9 and a native plant of Florida best for planting in shady areas. Perhaps, the best use of the Zamia palms is as a containerized plant or tree to use for indoor swimming pods and indoor tropical gardens that require low light. Pygmy palm trees, Phoenix roebelenii, that can be damaged some years by frost in deep South Georgia, zone 9, but are outstanding specimens when planted at doorway entrances in containers. Pygmy date palm trees are used prominently in Washington, D.C., when containerized at political rallies and are excellent for using in surrounding grandstands with a barrier, where VIP's wish to keep crowds at a distance for protective service. The Queen palm trees, Syagrus romanzoffiana, are extremely beautiful palms that grow more rapidly than any other palm tree in Georgia, but the Queen palm tree is very susceptible to frost and is only cold hardy in Coastal Georgia and extreme South Georgia