What Is A Specimen Size Tree?
A specimen size tree (SST) is a type of tree which grows to less than 20 feet tall or 10 meters wide. They are often used as house plants because they don’t require much care and have few pests and diseases. These trees are usually easy to grow from seedlings and do not need any special attention other than regular watering. However, they tend to be expensive and difficult to obtain.
Why Do People Want To Grow Specimens Trees?
People want to grow specimens because they enjoy the feeling of having their own personal miniature version of nature in their home. Some people like the idea of growing a specimen tree just so that they can take it outside and look at it from time to time. Others would like to grow them simply because they love the idea of being able to see their miniature versions of some of nature’s most beautiful creatures up close.
How Many Specimens Can You Have?
The number of specimens you can have depends on your location and budget. If you live in a rural area where there are no houses, then you will probably only be allowed one specimen tree per household. If you live in an urban area, this number may increase to a few per household. In either case, you should be able to get at least one specimen tree, but you may need to wait several years before you can afford a larger one.
How Much Are They?
Most specimen trees are very expensive because they are rare and difficult to acquire. They also require a lot of maintenance and upkeep. Many people don’t have the time or money to buy one, so you shouldn’t feel too bad about having one.
The type of specimen tree that you get will be determined by your location and what types are available in your area. Many people prefer to get trees with beautiful flowers because they bloom all year round. These types of specimen trees are especially popular among those who live in colder climates because they add a splash of color to an otherwise bland and boring winter landscape.
If you’re lucky, you could even find a specimen tree with blooms that have a pleasant fragrance to them.
If you live in an area with a more moderate climate, then you can probably get by with a specimen tree that has leaves that change colors in the fall. This type of specimen tree is popular among those who like the feeling of “coming home” to something that is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Having this type of specimen in your home can make you feel calmer and more relaxed.
Most people like to get specimens that resemble the species from which they got their name. These types of specimen trees are usually easy to grow from seed and can be relatively cheap if you get them when they’re young.
If you have the time and money, then you should try to get a few different specimen trees to choose from. Having a selection will make your home feel more inviting and comfortable because they add a feeling of nature to the otherwise sterile and bland walls of your home.
Growing Your Specimen Tree
Most specimen trees can range anywhere from one foot to twenty feet in height. Some can get as large as thirty or forty feet, but these are rare and can take up a lot of room. Before you buy a tree, you should make sure you have enough room for it to grow and flourish.
When you first get your specimen tree, it’s going to be in a relatively small container. This container should have some kind of symbols or words on it that indicates what type of climate the tree likes and what types of care it needs. It’s very important that you follow these guidelines to the letter because specimen trees are very sensitive to their environment.
Before you plant your tree, you should make sure that the soil that you plant it in has all of the nutrients that it needs. You can buy bags of fertilizer at your local gardening store, or you can use organic compost. Whatever you do, don’t use the soil that is already in your garden.
This soil has probably already gotten loaded up with nutrients that the tree won’t need and could possibly be toxic to the tree.
After you’ve added the proper amount of fertilizer or compost to the soil, you should thoroughly water everything. You don’t want the soil to be dry when you plant the tree because this will shock the tree when you put it into the ground.
After a few days, you can plant your tree. You should pick a location in full sunlight and make sure the tree has enough room to grow. It’s also a good idea to put something around the base of the tree to keep it from being damaged by people or pets that might walk into it.
This could be as simple as a wooden stake that you hammer into the ground or it could be metal sheeting that keeps people from walking on it.
As your tree grows, you should continue to give it the proper nutrients and water. A good rule of thumb is to water it whenever you think about it. Don’t over water it though.
A good way to tell if your specimen needs watering is to take a bucket (one that has a single handle is easiest) and stick the handle end into the soil. Water the tree well and then check how heavy the bucket is when you pick it up. It should be very heavy. Repeat this process until the bucket feels light and this will ensure that you haven’t over watered it.
As your tree grows, you’ll notice that the soil starts to settle a bit. This is natural and will occur every few years as the tree gets bigger and the roots start to reach deeper. To remedy this, you’re going to have to lift the tree out of the ground and turn it around.
This is referred to as “potting up” your tree. When you do this, make sure that the top of the roots are just above the ground. Add fresh soil and remove any of the old soil that has settled. Water the tree well after potting it up and then check the bucket weight test to see if you’ve added too much soil or not enough.
When your specimen reaches its final height, you’re going to be watering, pruning, and fertilizing it quite a bit. It will probably be a big job to do this every year so you might want to get someone else to help you. If you prune and fertilize it well enough, it should get big enough that it produces a wonderful flower that has the most delightful scent.
Finally you can enjoy the fruits of your labor! Well, not exactly. But you can enjoy your beautiful and healthy specimen tree.
And you’ll certainly enjoy the compliments you get on it.
Sources & references used in this article:
High throughput extraction of plant, marine and fungal specimens for preservation of biologically active molecules by TG McCloud – Molecules, 2010 – mdpi.com
An introduction to tree-ring dating by MA Stokes – 1996 – books.google.com
Herbarium specimens demonstrate earlier flowering times in response to warming in Boston by D Primack, C Imbres, RB Primack… – American Journal of …, 2004 – Wiley Online Library
Mechanical and anatomical properties in individual growth rings of plantation-grown eastern cottonwood and loblolly pine by BA Bendtsen, J Senft – Wood and fiber science, 2007 – wfs.swst.org