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Pamphlets on forestry in Montana (Volume 1) online

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Ornamental Trees and Shrubs for Montana. By R. 77.

-I Pi she r. Bulletin 80, Montana Agricultural Exp-
eriment Station.

Planting Trees and Shrubs on the Dry Farm. By 0..
B. Whipple. Oir. 14, Montana Agri. Experiment
Station. \eL - 1 >*] ^

Shade Trees and Ornamental Vines' in Montana,
v- Montana Experiment Station Annual Report.

Announcements Concerning Forest and Shade Trees
*/ Reco inn ended for Planting in Idaho. Univ.
of 1 Idaho, Department of Forestry, Jan. 1914.

Mushrooms or Toadstools. Bull. 27, Idaho Agri.
Experiment Station. L. F. Henderson. ^ *

The Trees of Wyoming and How to Know Them. Bull..-
40, Wyoming Experiment Station. By Aven llelson

Shade Tree Suggestions. Bull. 57, Wyoming Experi^
ment Station. By Aven Nelson.

The Shrubs of 'Vyoming, Bull. 54, Wyoming Experi-
ment Station. By Elias E. Nelson.

Meteorology for Twenty Years. Bull. 100, Wyoming
Agri. Experiment Station. By Henry Gr. Knight ;
and J. C. Fitterer.

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F\ B. LINR1ELD, Director.


NOV 4 1914

Division of Forestry
University of California





JULY, 1910.





EDWIN L. NORRIS, Governor 1

A. J. GALEN, Attorney General V Ex-Officio
W. E. HARMON, Sup't Public Instruction \




JAMES M. HAMILTON, President . . .

J H. BAKER, V ice-President . . ...


GEO. Cox, Secretary and Treasurer .


F. B. LINFIELD, H. S. A., Director.

R. A. COOLEY, B. Sc., Entomologist

ALFRED ATKINSON, B. S. A . , Agronomist

ROBERT W. CLARK, t?. S. A., Animal Industry.

EDMUND BURKE, B. S., Chemist

DEANE B. SWINGLE, M. S., Botanist and Bacteriologist.

O. B. WHIPPLE, B. S. Horticulturist.

W. |. TAYLOR, D. V. M., Veterinarian

J B. NELSON, Superintendent Dry Farm Work.

REUBEN M. PINCKNEY, B. S., A. M., Assistant Chemist.

L. F. GIESEKER, B. S,, Assistant Agronomist.

WM. F. SCHOPPE, B. S , Assistant Poultryman.

H. E. MORRIS, B. S. Assistant Botanist.

R, C.JONES, B. S., Assistant Dairyman.

J. R. PARKER, B. A., Assistant Entomologist.

LYMAN G. Soft ERMER HORN. B. S., Assist. Horticulturist.

R. F. MILLER, B". S. A:, Assistant Animal Industry.

N. B.






Great Falls






Post Office, Express and Freight Station, Bozeman.
All communications to the Experiment Station should be addressed to

Bozeman, Montana.

NOTICE The Bulletins of the Experiment Station will be mailed free to
any citizen of Montana on request. Please state whether all the publications
are desired as issued or only those specified. Give name and address plainly.


This bulletin was outlined by Prof. R. W. Fisher before he sev-
ered his connection with the Experiment Station, on July i, 1909.
Some revision was necessary, which Prof. Fisher did not find time
to do because of other duties, and Prof. D. B. Swingle, our botanist,
and Prof. O. B. Whipple, our horticulturist, finished the revision
and prepared the manuscript for publication.

Ornamental tree planting has received but little attention in
Montana, particularly by our farmers. While we have much yet
to learn, it is hoped that the suggestions contained in this bulletin
will increase the interest in the planting of trees and shrubs and the
proper caring for them after planting. We believe that the vari-
eties recommended for various altitudes may be relied upon, but
would be pleased to receive any information from the personal ex-
periences of the reader, that would supplement the advice here

This advice applies more especially to irrigated land. Our
studies on tree growing on the dry lands of many parts of the state
have not yet progressed far enough to make any report. Our only
suggestion now is that for tree planting and tree growth the land
should be cultivated exactly the same as for a dry farm grain crop,
or more especially a dry farm corn crop.


Director Montana Experiment Station.


Ornamental Trees and Shrubs for


The results of experiments in testing different kinds of orna-
mental trees and shrubs are given on the following pages, together
with some general observations on the success of plants of this
character growing in various parts of the state. In selecting the
plants for testing, those were chosen that promised well, and had
proved their value in other places. W'e have found that some
plants reported as being hardy in places of lower winter tempera-
tures than this station are not hardy here, because of the high alti-
tude of this place, and the resulting short growing season. There
are, no doubt, many hardy plants suitable for ornamental purposes
which have not yet been tested here. We have chosen those that
gave promise of being hardy and adapted to the conditions under
which they were to be grown. Much work is yet to be done in
gathering plants and testing them for hardiness.

The scientific names of plants used conform to those given
in the Cyclopedia of American Horticulture, from which many val-
uable suggestions have been obtained in regard to the character-
istics of ornamental plants.


No one questions the value of planting ornamental trees and
shrubs upon the home grounds. It is conceded by all that trees
and shrubs properly placed and planted will add very much to the
beauty of any home and thus materially increase its value. Trees
and shrubs on the lawn or about houses make living conditions
more pleasant and have much to do with the healthfulness of any

Success in growing ornamental plants in Montana depends
upon the selection of the kinds adapted to our conditions of climate
and soil; upon the preparation of the ground; and upon the care in
setting out and the subsequent treatment. Special attention to
cultivation and irrigation is sometimes necessary in order to proper-
ly grow plants and cause them to mature before freezing weather
in the fall. Some ornamental plants show a tendencv to start


growth too 'early in the spring, and are frequently injured by the
late spring frosts. Plants of this kind should be given such treat-
ment that the vegetative growth will be retarded until the liklihood of
frost has passed.


The value of ornamental plants about the home dep'ends not
alone upon the number of varieties and their adaptability to the
soil and climate, but quite as much upon their arrangement with
reference to each other and to buildings, roads, fences, etc. Before
any planting is done, an accurate working plan should be made of
the grounds, showing the position of all buildings, roads, walks,
fences, etc., and the place where all the plants are to be set out.

The planting plan should also show th'e direction of the views
from the house and other vantage points, and the trees so placed
that these views will not be obstructed. In locating the position
of plants, due attention should be given to their size and appearance
after they have reached maturity. Mistakes are often made in plac-
ing plants too close together. If trees and shrubs are set too close,
and not thinned, they are likely to grow tall and slender and much
of their natural beauty will be undeveloped. Under certain condi-
tions it is advisable to plant close, with the intention of removing
some of the plants as they increase in size. Young plants often
need more or less protection ; or quick effects may be desired in
the landscape, which can be secured by close planting. In any
event the plants should be thinned out, as they increase in size and
require more room.

There are two general methods of planning landscapes, known
as the natural method and the geometrical or artificial method. In
the United States the natural method is more generally used and
is the better method to follow in making landscapes in Montana.
The plants are so arranged that they appear as nature would have
placed them. In the artificial method the plants are arranged in
geometrical figures, straight lines, or regular curves, and the plant-
ing does not conform at all to that found in nature.

Under ordinary conditions the best results will follow when
the plants are grouped along the borders of the lawn, in curves or
bends of roads and walks, or massed in the background. In select-


ing plants for groups due attention should be paid to harmony in
size and color, otherwise too great contrasts may result. Many
otherwise beautiful places are spoiled by having the plants scatter-
ed indiscriminately over the lawn, in which case only the beauty
of individual plants is seen. If the plants are properly chosen and
placed, the whole landscape should form a picture, each plant con-
tributing something to the effect of the whole.

Roads and walks should be located where there is the greatest
need for them. When it can be done conveniently they should be
built on graceful curves ; but if there is no definite reason for having
them in curves it is better to lay them out in straight lines. Some-
times it is possible to create an apparent necessity for curved roads
or walks by planting groups of trees or shrubs and bending the
roads around them. The road should not be wider than is necess-
ary to accommodate the traffic, and footpaths or walks should be
located where people will naturally travel and be just wide enough
to accommodate those who will use them.


The lawn is one of the very essential features in the beautifying
of any home ground. The soil for lawns should be plowed deeply,
thoroughly manured, and carefully leveled and smoothed before
any planting is done. A mixture of thirty pounds of Kentucky
blue grass and ten pounds of white clover per acre makes a very
desirable lawn in Montana. The seed should be sown as early in
the spring as possible and covered to a depth of one-fourth and not
over one-half inch. If it is not possible to sow the seed very early
in the spring, good results can be obtained by planting later and
covering the lawn with straw to a depth of one-half inch, enough
to provide a shade and hold moisture until the grass seeds ger-

Proper facilities for irrigation should be made before the lawn
is seeded down. Irrigation of some kind is necessary in Montana
in order to keep the grass green throughout the summer months.
To maintain a good turf it is necessary to irrigate three or four
limes during a season and to cut the grass about every ten days
or two weeks after the first of June.


The selection of plants for Montana lawns is a very difficult
problem, as many ornamental plants that are valuable in the east,
and states farther south, cannot be grown successfully over the
whole state. Many of the desirable ornamental plants die in Mon-
tana from one or sieveral of the following reasons :

First, Early fall frosts. Injury is often due to the fact that the
plants do not mature early enough in the fall to stand the first
frosts. Many plants are killed before the leaves have fallen in the
fall. As a general rule the hardiest plants are those that mature

Second, Low temperature during the winter months. Compar-
atively few plants, however, are killed from excessively low tem-
peratures if they matured well in the fall.

Third, Too much water in the soil. Plants are sometimes kill-
td during the winter months because of water standing about their
trunks or roots. This condition can be avoided by seeing that the
soil is well drained and by not applying too much water late in the

Fourth, Plants sometimes become too dry during the winter
months and die for want of sufficient moisture. It is a known
fact that plants transpire more or less water during the winter or
in the dormant season, and unless the soil has a certain amount of
moisture the plants will dry out. In many parts of this state the
soil becomes lexceedingly dry after the latest fall irrigation. In
such cases it is good practice to irrigate after the leaves have fallen
and just before the ground freezes. At this irrigation it is necess-
ary to apply only enough water to moisten the ground to a depth
at which the roots feed. The ground should not be made too wet.

Fifth, Sun-scald. A few ornamental plants are injured during
the winter months by so-called sun-scald. This is caused by the
tun shining upon the south and west side of the tree trunks during
the winter months. The sun will make the south and west sides of
the trunk very warm in the daytime and when it freezes hard at
night the cells of the bark and the cambium layer are injured, caus-
ing them to peel and break away from the trunk. This condition
can be prevented by giving shade to the south and west sides of
the trunk during the winter months. Shade can be provided by


trapping the trees or shrubs with burlap, heavy paper, or by wood-
en tree guards.

Sixth, Late spring frosts. Some plants have a tendency to
start into growth very early in the spring and are frequently injured
by spring frosts. Plants that are likely to be injured in this way
should be kept dormant as long as possible. Shrubs or trees may
be wrapped with burlap, thus providing a shade which will have a
tendency to keep them dormant or to retard the growth a week or
ten days after the normal time. Many tender and half hardy plants
can be grown in Montana by giving slight winter protection, such
as wrapping with burlap or some slight covering.



(Acanthopanax sessiliflorum) This plant grows into a shrub
about twelve feet high. It is a native of Manchuria and northern
China. Seeds were sent to us by the U. S. Department of Agricul-
ture and planted in the spring of 1907. Plants have gone through
two winters withput injury and promise to be hardy at this station.
The most decorative feature of this shrub is the cluster of black
berries borne the latter part of the season.


The maples are among the best trees for shade and ornamental
purposes. The leaves on many of them assume very bright colors
in the fall, adding much to the beauty of fall landscapes. Some are
valuable for timber, and some American species produce sugar.
For purposes of shade the sugar maple, soft maple and Norway
maple are valuable. Maples are propagated by seeds, which are
sown in the fall, except in the early maturing kinds and the seeds
of these should be planted as soon as they ripen in the spring or
summer. Few of the maple seeds retain their vitality long after
they ripen and therefore to get good results fresh seed should al-
ways be planted.

Silver or Soft Maple : ( Acer saccharinum ) This is a large
tree, growing to a height of 120 feet. The leaves are deeply five
Icbed and from 4 to 6 inches long, green above and silvery white
beneath. This tree is a native of 'eastern North America. It is
valuable as a shade and ornamental tree in locations where it can


he grown. It grows best upon rich, moist soil. There are many
horticultural varieties in this species of which Weiri is good. This
variety has more deeply cut leaves than others of this species and
the branches are more or less drooping.

On the Experiment Station grounds, at an elevation of 4800
feet, the silver maple is not hardy. Trees planted in 1898 were ten
feet four inches high in 1902, but the current year's growth killed
each year. The wood is brittle and the branches are badly broken
by strong winds and unseasonable snow storms. These trees were
cut down and destroyed in 1905. In 1903, five hundred trees, from
12 to 1 8 inches in height, were secured in Iowa and planted. These
young trees did not mature in the fall before freezing weather, and
killed back each winter. They were plowed out and destroyed in
1906. In 1903, ten trees, from 4 to 6 feet high, were secured in
Pennsylvania. The tips killed each winter. The larger trees, how-
ever, seemed hardier than the young plants and about one plant out
of several hundred seemed entirely hardy, in 1908, one thousand
small seedlings were secured in Iowa. In the spring of 1909 all
had killed back to the ground.

In the city of Bozeman there are, on some of the older lawns,
a few soft maple trees, but they probably represent a very few out
of a great many planted. At lower altitudes in the state, where
there is a longer growing season, the soft maple is hardy and makes
a desirable shade and street tree, although the branches are brittle
and are often broken by heavy wind storms. The soft maple is
one of the fastest growing trees in this group.

Weir's cut-leaved maple is an improved variety of the soft
maple, and seems to be hardier than the others. This tree is dis-
tinguished from the original (Acer saccharinum) by having deeper
iobed leaves and more drooping branches. Its foliage takes on
brilliant colors in the fall. Of ten plants, 4 to 6 feet high, secured
in Pennsylvania in the spring of 1904 all are still living. The tips
of the branches kill back a little each winter, although not enough
to interfere seriously with the growth of the trees. At lower alti-
tudes in the state it will make a desirable ornamental tree.

Manchurian Maple: (Acer ginnala) This is a small tree or
shrub, rarely reaching a height of over 20 feet. The leaves are
three-lobed and from one and a half to three and a half inches long.
It produces a very graceful and ornamental shrub. The leaves take


on bright red colors in autumn, which add much to the beauty of
the landscape.

Plants grown from seeds secured in Ottawa, Canada, are hardy
at this station. Young plants secured in Pennsylvania winter kill-
ed to the ground the first year, but new growth came from below
the dead portion and they now seem hardy. This is an excellent
plant for shrubberies and group plantings and promises to be hardy
at this altitude. In lower altitudes in the state it will prove quite

Box Elder: (Acer Negundo) This is a tree which reaches .1
height of about 60 feet; the leaves are pinnate, leaflets three to five
in number and from two to five inches long. It is a valuable tree
for shelter belts as it will adapt itself to many adverse conditions.
It grows best on moist, rich soil. The tree is hardy and adapted to
all sections of Montana where water for irrigation is available. It
has a spreading shape and is not desirable for street planting.

In 19/33, five hundred plants, 6 to 12 inches high, were secured
in Iowa and planted in our nursery. These have been hardy and
do not winter kill. Trees grown from native gathered seed are also
hardy and produce good plants. In 1908, 1,000 small seedlings
were secured in Iowa and planted. These killed back one-fourth
in the winter of 1908-9, but at this time have started into growth
below the injured portion. Old trees growing in Bozeman seem
perfectly hard.

Large branches are often broken by heavy winds and unseason-
able snow storms. The tree is subject to the attack of several in-
sects which reduces its value for planting on the lawn. The box
elder is a good tree for wind breaks and shelter belts, but where
other trees can be grown it should not be planted o<n the lawn or
street because of its low spreading habit, the ease with which it is
broken by snow o<r wind and the insects which infest it. The box
elder is native to many parts of Montana, particularly along the
Missouri and Milk river bottoms.

(Acer campestre:) This shrub or tree occasionally attains
a height of 50 feet. The leaves are from three to five lobed, from i l / 2
to 3 inches long, of a dull green color. It is native to
Europe and western Asia. Ten plants, 4 to 6 feet high, were se-
cured in Pennsylvania and planted in the spring of 1904. The cur-


rent year's growth kills back each year. It is not a hardy plant at
this station.

Norway Maple: (Acer platanoides) This is a large tree,
often attaining a height of 100 feet. The leaves are five-lob ~d and
from 4 to 7 inches across. It is native to Europe and the Caucasus
region. It is a large, beautiful tree, with round, symmetrical head,
producing dense shade. It does not grow as rapidly as the soft
maple and has a tendency to* form branches near the ground which
sometimes makes it undesirable as a street tree.

In 1904, five hundred plants, 15 to 24 inches high, were secured
in Pennsylvania and planted in our nursery. They were injured
somewhat the first winter, but since that time have made a good
growth. In 1907, one hundred plants, 18 to 24 inches high, were
obtained in North Dakota and planted in our nursery. They were
injured badly by freezing the first winter. In 1908, one hundred
small plants were secured in Pennsylvania and planted in our nurs-
ery. These were killed to the ground in the winter of 1908-9, al-
though new growth is coming out at this time below the injured

The second year after transplanting very little injury usually
results. The Norway maple promises to be one of the best trees
for general ornamental planting in Montana. While it grows slow-
ly, it is fairly hardy, forms a beautiful symmetrical head, produces
good shade, is free from pests and will stand the adverse conditions
found in cities fairly well. At lower altitudes than Bozeman, even
the young plants of this tree will be entirely hardy.

Sugar or Rock Maple: (Acer saccharum) This is a large tree
growing to a height of 120 feet, with leaves three- to five-lobed and
3 to 6 inches long. The leaves take on a bright scarlet color
in the autumn, which produces a very beautiful effect. This is one
of the best of the maples for shade and ornamental purposes and is
a desirable street tree. It is native to eastern North America. Un-
fortunately the young trees we have planted have not proved en-
tirely hardy at this station, although at lower altitudes in the state
it is growing well and seems to be quite hardy.

In the spring of 1903, two hundred and fity plants, from 12 to
18 inches high, were secured in Iowa. They did not mature in the
fall before freezing weather and were injured by the first freeze


each fall. Many killed back to the ground. This lot was dug out
and destroyed in 1906. In 1904, one hundred trees, 2 to 3 feet high,
were obtained from Wisconsin. They killed back to the ground
each winter and were destroyed in 1906. Of fifty plants secured in
Pennsylvania in 1904, thirteen were alive in the fall of 1908. In
the spring of 1909 these had killed back to the ground.

These tests indicate that it is not advisable to attempt to grow
the sugar maple for general planting at this altitude, though there
are some old trees in the city of Bozeman that are doing well. In
portions of the state at lower altitudes, with a longer growing sea-
son, the sugar maple can be grown and will be one of the best trees
for general ornamental planting.

Tartarian Maple : (Acer Tataricum) This is a small tree or
shrub, rarely attaining a height of over 20 feet. The leaves are
roundish, oval or oblong, sometimes slightly lobed, 2 to 4 inches
long. It is a native of southeastern Europe and the Orient. It
forms a round headed small tree or shrub and grows best in moist
fertile soils.

In 1898 plants were secured from the U. S. Department of Agri-
culture and set in our nursery. These have been hardy and are
growing at this time. In 1904 seeds were secured from them and
planted and the young seedlings have been hardy. The Tartarian
maple is desirable for groups and shrubberies and will prove a valu-

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Online LibraryBritish Museum (Natural History). Dept. of ZoologyPamphlets on forestry in Montana (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 19)