Will trade for dirt!

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

I have sprouted some Sourwood trees. I live in Seattle. They are not native here, and although they will grow they are slow and never get very big. I think it might be that they lack their symbiotic mycorrhizae. I would like to trade for a box of soil, freshly dug from under a native Sourwood tree, to include surface feeder roots that should have the proper breed of mycorrhizae. When I pot up my tiny seedlings I would mix the soil into the commercial sterile stuff. My little experiment.
I haven't put much in my tradeslist, but I have a lot of plants and houseplants, and some are unusual or expensive (Bartzella Peony, Mighty Chestnut Daylilly). The Sourwoods here are flowering, so it should be fairly easy to find one if you recall where you saw their brilliant fall foliage last year.
Any takers?

Thumbnail by Pistil
Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Sorry, i would be willing to help, but i have never heard of a Sourwood tree. Do you know which state they are native to?

Good luck in your search!

Genna

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Hi Genna- I looked it up and they are probably not native in Arkansas, although they will grow there if planted. The Sourwood (also called Sorrel tree) (Oxydendrum arboreum) is a tree that generally ranges the southeast, out to the Mississippi River, and north to southern Ohio and NY, and south into north Florida. Most common in the Appalachians, they are not big, and generally live in the understory or forest edge. They have the most amazing fall color, a sort of winey purple. Aside from the fall show, they are probably most known for the honey that bees make from the flowers.
so I thought this forum might be a good place to ask for help, but I will also try the others in Sourwood territory.

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Good luck in your search!

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

I know they grow a lot in mid-central and southern Tennessee as I have bought some delicious sourwood honey. I can certainly send you some dirt from North Alabama if that would help. We're about 30 miles from the Tennessee state line. Our soil is a lot of compacted red clay which has to be heavily amended. How much do you need and when will you need it? I'm sorry I didn't see this sooner than today. I'm going to be kinda swamped this weekend so it might be next week before I can send it off.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Hi OutsidePlaying (what a great name!)
Thank you so much for the offer. The soil I need would be from under a Sourwood tree, so it would hopefully contain some living symbiotic mycorrhizae. So some soil from your yard would not be quite what I am looking for. I just looked in the USDA Plant Database (a great reference), and it shows Sourwood is actually native in your county, and most of Alabama. So if you kept your eyes out, maybe you would see one. My little trees are currently flowering (photo above), and in a month or two they will be turning color. Anyway, if you see one, I could swap for it. I thought one of the medium 'flat rate' boxes at the post office would be enough soil. They cost $12.35, and for that maybe I could swap some irises? (your tradeslist is pretty empty, but I have Bearded Iris: Red Hawk, Sweet Serenade, Merlot, Warrior King, Immortality, Golden Panther, Edgefield Glow, and Iris cristata "Abbeys Violet' which blooms on clay under a Pine tree. I thought I could send irises, and include one of the flat rate boxes so you would only have to go to the P.O. once.
Maybe there are no Sourwoods accessible to you anyway, but if there are, any time through fall would be fine. Apparently now through early fall is transplant time for irises.

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Now I get it! I live in the country and I can look around the woods and ask my neighbor too. She is a pretty good tree-identifier as they have ridden horses around their property a lot. I'll look up the sourwood to see exactly what they look like and get back to you. A medium flat-rate box should be no problem. Down here they have already bloomed so they might already be turning, but we have had so much rain and cooler than normal weather in general, so who knows?!

I haven't kept up my trade list but we'll work something out. A few new iris would be great! Glad to help out a fellow gardener.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

This is looking like it might just work! Let me know if you find one. My seedlings are now 1/2" tall.

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

My neighbor has one, or as she said, probably several! And it's not buried in the woods either. They have a log cabin they deconstructed and moved it and had it reconstructed on their property (52 acres) before they built their house. She told me they cut down a fairly large one to put up the cabin but there is another one behind it. Should be easy to dig up some dirt. I haven't seen it yet but I told her why I needed some dirt from underneath it. Or if I could at least see it and then could know if I had some on our property (9 acres so much smaller area to look). We'll be out of town this weekend until Sunday afternoon. I hope to get home in time to maybe go over late Sunday and at least take a look and then I can maybe dig next week.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Yay!

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