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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Southern Virginia
    Posts
    135

    Default What's the growth rate of Sourwood trees?

    I just planted two 2' tall saplings, and I read online that the growth rate is "slow"....what does that mean? 1" a year? 1'? 1 yard?
    2 hives est. 2015
    Zone 7a

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,383

    Default Re: What's the growth rate of Sourwood trees?

    Depending on soil, sunshine availability, dieback from year to year, etc. 6" to a foot is average for the ones I had. The only one left is 5-6 years old and about 5 feet tall. It died back to the ground a couple of times. Depending on what you have for space vertically and acre wise, something like yellow (tulip) poplar, red maple, crab apples might give more nectar, faster. After about 15 years, I have yellow poplar that are about 35 feet tall and have produced nectar for 9-10 of the last years. Basswood or locusts may be an option also. Bee Bee trees are supposed to be good choices but mine are only between 1 and three feet tall so I can't give you much info on them. They do seem to grow fairly fast and are supposed to flower from mid July to frost, depending on location, from what I've read.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Southern Virginia
    Posts
    135

    Default Re: What's the growth rate of Sourwood trees?

    I've got about 20 acres of tulip polar/oak mix woods. I wanted an ornamental tree for the yard, plus something that wold help the bees, and found these saplings for $8...figured I could take that gamble...

    Do you know at what height/age they began to flower? I have them in the yard, total sun during the day. As for soil, I haven't had any tests done but it has no problem growing grass and was previously farmland.
    2 hives est. 2015
    Zone 7a

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: What's the growth rate of Sourwood trees?

    I thought about getting some sourwood trees but have heard they only produce nectar at very specific altitudes and under very specific conditions.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,383

    Default Re: What's the growth rate of Sourwood trees?

    Not sure of our "above sea level" altitude, probably about 400' or so but they bloom all along the roads here. Most that I see with blooms are about 12-15' or larger. Not sure how old they are though. The ones here are growing in red clay or mostly red clay.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    3,059

    Default Re: What's the growth rate of Sourwood trees?

    My experience is that sourwood grows very slowly. We have some in our neighborhood, but have not had great success growing them myself. Tulip poplar grow like weeds, but are very susceptible to storm damage and take 10+ years before producing flowers. Basswood produces flowers much quicker, but it blooms at a time of year when temps in VA are not terribly friendly for nectar production. That said, I would still plant more basswood if I had the space.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

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