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Conifers in the Garden

March 25th, 2009

If you remember a few weeks ago I talked about wanting to add more coniferous plants to the gardens here at Chiot’s Run. Ironically, while I was out working the other day I noticed a small volunteer pine tree that sprouted up in the side yard.
I’m not sure what kind it is, but it sure is cute. It’s only about 4 inches tall. I’m going to dig it up and put it in a pot to help it establish. Later this summer I’m going to plant it in the gardens somewhere. I have all kinds of volunteers in my gardens, usually they’re petunias and butterfly bushes, but I’ve never had a pine tree. You sure can’t beat a free tree!

Have you ever had this happen? What kind of volunteers spring up in your gardens?

16 Comments to “Conifers in the Garden”
  1. ChristyACB on March 25, 2009 at 5:54 am

    I get tons of volunteers. I have 2 conifers from last year that are almost 2 feet tall now. They look very different, softer somehow, from my pine trees so I’m thinking they are a type that was cut down last year in the lot behind me.

    Of course, the difference between a volunteer and an invader plant is just words. I have “volunteers” of most of the invasive plants that plague our wetlands that I give short shrift and dispatch frequently. Phragmites, japanese honeysuckle, multiflora rose and english ivy are the worst.

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  2. Judy on March 25, 2009 at 6:05 am

    Volunteer vs weed: location, location, location…
    We always have a ton of little oak, ash and maple trees sprouting where they’re not wanted. We have also had apple trees sprout, I’m guessing where birds have carried them from the compost pile.
    Of course, my lilacs are always sending up suckers but that’s a bonus, not a problem.

    Judy’s last blog post.. YES! YES! YES!

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    • Susy on March 25, 2009 at 8:56 am

      I get thousands of maple volunteers and tulip poplars, all over my gardens. I have to catch them early otherwise they’re tough to pull up.

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  3. Julia on March 25, 2009 at 6:58 am

    I get tons of volunteers — but they’re all weeds. Every once in a while I get an arugula plant.

    Julia’s last blog post.. Wintered Brussels Sprouts

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  4. Bridgett on March 25, 2009 at 7:35 am

    When we lived in Tennessee we used to have a huge bud of impatiens. Every year we would have “volunteers” growing in that bed of flowers. Being an Ohio girl, I was pleasantly surprised every year that these annuals would come back. It was never enough to fill the bed but it sure did fill it out! And here in our yard we get lots of locust and walnut tree volunteers growing. Our locusts drop these big seed pods in the fall – lots of them. If we don’t get them all picked up (which is quite a chore), we end up pulling locust seedlings out of the yard in the spring. Good luck to you and your conifer :)

    Bridgett’s last blog post.. The Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day Project

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  5. Daphne on March 25, 2009 at 8:18 am

    I don’t often get evergreen volunteers, but I have. My next door neighbor has a white pine and one year I had a little seedling pop up in one of my beds. It was moved to the woodlot in back. I have a hemlock volunteer that I just let grow. It is almost as tall as I am now.

    Daphne’s last blog post.. How To Reuse Your Empty Soda Bottles

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  6. Allie on March 25, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    We always end up with some volunteer tomatoes from the year before. And we have mint that grows in the cracks in our walkway.

    Allie’s last blog post.. Good Fences . . .

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  7. Kelly on March 25, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    I love finding little volunteers!

    So far I’ve found three wild (AKA alpine) strawberries, a Mountain Ash sapling, and an absolutely amazing amount of hops that likes to grow wild around here.

    I’m really hoping this year to coax some Canada thistle or Bull thistle into the garden (both grow wild). People around here consider it a weed, but I think its beautiful.

    Kelly’s last blog post.. First Foray Into the Garden (this year)

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  8. themanicgardener on March 25, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    It’s hard for me to imagine trying to encourage more conifers; my yard is dominated by spruce and pine trees, and I’m constantly pulling their sprouts out of my gardens. Those are my most frequent volunteers!

    I’ve left you a message at Blotanical, too.

    themanicgardener’s last blog post.. Plant Power: Phytoremediation (Arsenic in soil, Part III)

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    • Susy on March 25, 2009 at 11:09 pm

      I have the opposite problem. No conifers, I need more for the birds and other animals.

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  9. warren on March 25, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    We seem to get daisies and black eyed susans…weird huh?

    Tomatoes seem to be every where too…I guess where we de-seed and skin tomatoes as we can stuff

    warren’s last blog post.. Visited by a fairy

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    • Susy on March 25, 2009 at 11:08 pm

      We get tons of daisies as well. Don’t mind those (except the ones that grow in the driveway).

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  10. Christine on March 25, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    Your blog is phenomenal and inspirational, I just wanted you to know. It’s an absolute joy to read.

    Reply to Christine's comment

    • Susy on March 25, 2009 at 11:08 pm

      Thanks so much Christine. I hope it inspires people to garden and to be a little more local!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  11. Karen on March 25, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    Hey, happy to find your lovely site, not sure how I missed it before. Love your header, it’s gorgeous! I also have a small organic garden, in Seattle, so I look forward to reading about what practices you use and stuff you grow. I have a lot of areas that are not fully planted so the weeds and other volunteers do love to fill it in. Ones I like and mostly keep – California poppy, cerinthe, violas, and violets. Ones I need to rip out a lot of – super-tall and rust-prone asters, evening primrose, and also a very tall Bachelor’s button variety that just takes over if I’m not on top of it.

    Karen’s last blog post.. Spring on My Street

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  12. inadvertent farmer on March 26, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    I transplant tiny seelding of both fir and cedar from my mom’s property to our’s all the time…yes you are absolutely right free is a very good price! Kim

    Reply to inadvertent farmer's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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