Question: We want a clump of live oaks in our yard, but we’ve only been able to find really expensive ones in the nurseries. They’re much larger than our budget will allow. Can we plant several together and let them develop into a clump?

Answer: That probably won’t work the way you’re hoping. The clumps of trees you see in nurseries grew that way in nature, then were transplanted as a unit. When you plant new trees, they’re all perfect, and they all grow straight. You lose that natural twisting and gnarling you get with the old trees. Either stick with a single-trunk tree by itself, or save until you can afford the clump. Keep looking, too. You may find a smaller clump that will let you get in for less money.

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