Planting Fruit Trees For Your Garden

Planting Fruit Trees For Your Garden


Fruit trees bear at different times of the year.
For example, there are apples for early season, midseason, and late season (well into fall), so it is wise to select trees for the season you want. Just how long it will be before trees will bear is another consideration; apples and pears bear in 4 to 6 years; plums, cherries, and peaches bear in about 4 years.

Besides considering bearing season and length of bearing, you should also think of size. In addition to standard-sized fruit trees there are dwarf varieties that grow only a few feet. There are also different kinds of apples, peaches, or cherries; your local nursery will tell you about these. Your nursery also stocks the type of trees that do best in your area, so ask for advice. Your trees must be hardy enough to stand the coldest winter and the hottest summer in your vicinity.

Many varieties of fruit trees are self-sterile, which means that they will not set a crop unless other blossoming trees are nearby to furnish pollen. Some fruit trees are self-pollinating or fruiting and need no other tree. When you buy your fruit trees, ask about this. Fruit trees are beautiful just as decoration, but you also want fruits to eat.

Buy from local nurseries if possible, and look for 1- or 2-yearold trees. Stone fruits are usually 1 year old and apples and pears are generally about 2 years old at purchase time. Select stocky and branching trees rather than spindly and compact ones because espaliering requires a well-balanced tree.

Whether you buy from a local nursery or from a mail-order source (and this is fine too), try to get the trees into the ground as quickly as possible. Leaving a young fruit tree lying around in hot sun can kill it. If for some reason you must delay the planting time, heel in the tree. This is temporary planting: dig a shallow trench wide enough to receive the roots, set the plants on their sides, cover the roots with soil, and water them. Try to keep new trees out of blazing sun and high winds.

Prepare the ground for the fruit trees with great care. Do not just dig a hole and put the tree in. Fruit trees do require some extra attention to get them going. Work the soil a few weeks before planting. Turn it over and poke it. You want a friable workable soil with air in it, a porous soil. Dry sandy soil and hard clay soil simply will not do for fruit trees, so add organic matter to existing soil. This organic matter can be compost (bought in tidy sacks) or other humus.

Plant trees about 10 to 15 feet apart in fall or spring when the land is warm. Then hope for good spring showers and sun to get the plants going. Dig deep holes for new fruit trees, deep enough to let you set the plant in place as deep as it stood in the nursery. (Make sure you are planting trees in areas that get sun.) Make the diameter of the hole wide enough to hold the roots without crowding. When you dig the hole, put the surface soil to one side and the subsoil on the other so that the richer top soil can be put back directly on the roots when you fill in the hole. Pack the soil in place firmly but not tightly. Water plants thoroughly but do not feed. Instead, give the tree an application of vitamin B12 (available at nurseries) to help it recover from transplanting.

Place the trunk of the fruit tree about 12 to 18 inches from the base of the trellis; you need some soil space between the tree and the wood. Trellises may be against a fence or dividers or on a wall. Young trees need just a sparse pruning. Tie branches to the trellis with tie-ons or nylon string, not too tightly but firmly enough to keep the branch flat against the wood. As the tree grows, do more trimming and tying to establish the espalier pattern you want.

To attach the trellis to a wall use wire or some of the many gadgets available at nurseries specifically for this purpose. For a masonry wall, rawl plugs may be placed in the mortared joints, and screw eyes inserted. You will need a carbide drill to make holes in masonry.

Caring for fruit trees is not difficult. Like all plants, fruit trees need a good soil (already prepared), water, sun, and some protection against insects. When trees are actively growing, start feeding with fruit tree fertilizer (available at nurseries). Use a weak solution; it is always best to give too little rather than too much because excess fertilizer can harm trees.

Observe trees frequently when they are first in the ground because this is the time when trouble, if it starts, will start. If you see leaves that are yellow or wilted, something is awry. Yellow leaves indicate that the soil may not contain enough nutrients. The soil could lack iron, so add some iron chelate to it. Wilted leaves could mean that water is not reaching the roots or insects are at work.

Landscaping Lessons-Proper Placement Of Trees In Landscape Design

Landscaping Lessons-Proper Placement Of Trees In Landscape Design

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Source: Flickr


Landscaping and landscape design goes beyond just creating beautiful designs.
As a professional designer, it’s not only my job to create designs but also to envision every possibility of the mature landscape in years to come.

And while most elements will remain what they are for years to come, the one thing that most do it yourselfers and some professionals overlook is the space that tiny little sprouts will occupy when they become mature plants and trees.

Trees serve a number of obvious purposes in the landscape. Creating shade, wind blocks, noise reduction, boundaries, and focal points are just a few. Once I have established where I’ll need trees for these purposes in a design, I have several other considerations before I can designate their permanent home.

Planting without considering the space that the mature full grown plants and trees will occupy can become more than just an inconvenience. It can be costly.

Things to consider.

Around Play Areas

A shaded canopy over play areas, sand boxes, etc. may be desired for shade from afternoon sun. However, you need to consider the mess that birds and other critters will drop right into your childs play area if the canopy extends over it.

The solution to this is to place large shade trees a distance from the area in line with the travel of the sun. If you know the trees you plant and how far the mature canopy will extend, you can still plant for shade without exposing your kids to unsanitary conditions.

Around Pools

Keeping a pool clean is hard enough without a mess of leaves and branches. And while most pool areas are sunny locations, it is sometimes desirable to have a space near the pool where one can escape the sun.

Unlike play areas though, you may not want to shade the entire pool landscape from the afternoon sun. Therefore you shouldn’t plant large shade trees in direct line with the travel of the sun. Design as to create a shady area to one side or the other. This is also another spot to eliminate top rooting trees around concrete. Evergreen types are usually your best bet for around pools.

Roots And Concrete Footings And Foundations

While infrequent deep watering as opposed to frequent shallow watering will help deter top rooting trees, some trees are still determined to seek out other sources of water which may be on the surface or moist areas under structures.

The seeking roots of large trees are a powerful force that can break sidewalks, foundations, and even lift walls out of place. This is the biggest and most costly mistake I see. Know your landscaping trees before you plant them next to your home.

Under Power Lines
Know what’s overhead.

Property Lines And Easements
This one can make enemies out of neighbors.

Underground Utilities, Sewers, And Septic Tanks

Besides the roots being able to break pipes and lines, you don’t want to have to move or destroy a mature tree to fix a leak. Locate lines and plant away from them. Some trees can spread out much further underground than they do up top. Know what’s underground.

Perspective

You need to keep in mind the mature size of trees in proportion to the size of your home and other landscaping elements. Large trees can dwarf a small home and small trees can look like shrubs placed around a very large home. Know the mature size of trees and keep them in perspective.

Hiding or framing a home

Consider the view from the street and other areas and consider the purpose of your trees. If you wish to seclude your home, you don’t need much thought for that. However, if you only wish to frame or accent your home, you’ll again need to consider the mature size and placement of your plantings.

Parking Areas

Here’s another opportunity for birds and critters to make a mess of things. If possible, plant in accordance with the travel of the sun. And once again, know the mature canopy of your trees.

Usefulness And Cost Effectiveness

If you’re going to make an investment in landscaping, look for ways to make it work for you. Placed properly, large trees can shade your home and reduce your cooling costs and vise versa. You can intentionally create shade for your shady garden, screen and divide areas, reduce noise, and a world of other applications if you just give it some thought.

How to Modify Your Landscaping to Protect Your House from Burglars

How to Modify Your Landscaping to Protect Your House from Burglars

Believe it or not, landscaping can be an important part of a good home security plan. A burglar who is “casing the joint” from the street will choose the house with tall shrubs and trees that provide hiding places. Homes with little or no outdoor lighting are preferred targets as well.
So, how can you landscape to protect against burglars while still creating an aesthetically pleasing yard? Here are a few tips:
You don’t need to eliminate trees, but keep them trimmed back from your house; tree branches can be used as a ladder if they are next to a window or skylight.
Mow your lawn regularly; an unkempt lawn can suggest to a thief that the owners are away on a trip.
Store ladders, lawn chairs, and picnic tables out of sight lest they be used as a means to reach high windows.
Trim back shrubs growing near doors and walkways, keeping them 3 feet or shorter in height. Also, don’t allow shrubs to block any of your windows.
Adding gravel under windows makes for noisy footing for would-be thieves.
Consider planting thorny bushes (of the low growing variety) around windows. Some examples are: Hawthorne, Rose Shrub, and Barberry.
Forgo privacy and keep your trees and shrubs trimmed back in order to allow a clear view of the outside of your house. Having neighbors that can see your doors and windows can help deter thieves even if you happen to be out of town.
Keep your yard well lit. Motion-detecting lights make decent choices; body heat-triggered sensors are even better (less likely to be triggered by a waving branch or a passing animal).
Dogs are not a complete home security plan, but can make good home protectors because they have keener hearing than humans, along with a propensity for barking at strangers.
Dogs training can help your dog learn exactly what you want him to do.

Caring For The Indoor Bonsai Tree

Caring For The Indoor Bonsai Tree

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Source: Flickr

The indoor Bonsai Tree is a beautiful addition to any home or office, and once you learn how to care for these unique trees, they are a great hobby.
Indoor Bonsai Trees are actually a miniature replica of a natural outdoor tree. The cultivation of the indoor Bonsai Tree first began in China and Japan centuries ago, but today growing the Bonsai Tree has become a popular hobby in many parts of the world.
One of the best aspects of the indoor Bonsai Tree is that it only becomes more beautiful with time with the right care. The indoor Bonsai Tree must receive enough sunlight without being exposed to temperatures that are too high or too low. If you live in a fairly mild climate you may want to place your tree on a patio or porch when temperatures permit.

If you live in a climate that reaches extreme temperatures, you may have to place your indoor Bonsai Tree in a room that receives plenty of light, but not right next to the window.
Watering your indoor Bonsai Tree is another important element to properly caring for it. Your tree should be watered when the soil begins to appear dry, and it is very important that you never let the soil get too dry.
Using the proper soil for the type of indoor Bonsai Tree that you have is also an essential element to caring for your tree. Always ensure that you have the right soil when planting or replanting your tree.

The correct use of liquid fertilizer may also determine how healthy your indoor Bonsai Tree will be. To guarantee that you are using the right fertilizer and applying it correctly, seek advice for the type of tree that you have.
For the indoor Bonsai Tree to grow properly, it is extremely important that you trim it at the appropriate times. Tropical and sub tropical indoor bonsai trees have to be trimmed throughout the year. Not only do the branches need to be trimmed but also the roots. Nevertheless, as different plants grow at diverse rates, you will have to assess your tree’s growth and change the trimming accordingly.
With proper care, your indoor Bonsai Tree can grow to be beautiful and healthy. Once you get the hang of caring for your Bonsai Tree, you may even want to add several more to your collection.

Maintaining a Healthy Young Tree

Maintaining a Healthy Young Tree

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Source: Flickr


Making sure that your fruit tree stays healthy is very important, but not as hard as some might think.
There are several vital things you need to do: don’t harvest all of the fruit on the tree at the same time; make sure the soil is healthy; watch out for pests; plant it correctly; be sure it is protected when it is young. I will expand on all of these things.

One way to ensure that your fruit tree will remain healthy is to never harvest all of the fruit at the same time. If all of the fruit is left on the tree, it will grow to an unbearable weight. The combined weight of all of the fruit can get very heavy and snap the branches. So once the fruit starts to grow, you should always pick some of them before they are completely ready. Even if you don’t want to pick the fruit before it is ready, it will be beneficial to your tree. While you should do this to prevent it from becoming too heavy, you should also never over-harvest. This can be equally damaging.

Another part of making sure that your fruit tree stays healthy is planting it in fertile soil. If you plant anything in soil that doesn’t have the proper amount of nutrients in it, it will not grow and flourish as I am sure you would like it to. You also have to be sure that you plant the right tree in the right kind of soil, because some types of fruit trees do better in drier soil while some kinds or trees do better in damp soil. Just look up what kinds of nutrients your desired tree requires and you’ll know for sure whether to plant it or modify your soil in any way.

Another way to ensure your fruit tree’s health is to watch out for pests. To help keep the pests away from your tree, try to eliminate places by your tree that pests might be living. Always look for old piles of brush, weeds, old leaves, or any other decaying matter where pests could be hiding. Another way to keep pests away is by using bug sprays and repellents. Also, regularly turn over a little bit of soil around your tree and look for pests that could be hiding underground. Sometimes the ones that are hidden out of sight can be the most harmful.

If you don’t plant your fruit tree correctly, it could end up being very unhealthy. So to avoid this, always look for instructions before you plant trees. When you are planting a tree, make sure that your tree is perfectly vertical, so it won’t grow to be pointing off in an abnormal direction. When you are planting a tree you should also spread out the roots so that the tree will always be stable. This will help it live longer since the maximum water intake will be optimized.

The final thing to do in keeping your fruit tree healthy is to keep it protected when it is young and fragile. When you have a young tree you should tie it to a stake to help it to survive strong winds. Don’t tie it too hard, you should always allow room for the tree trunk to grow. Another thing to do when it is young is to put a small fence around it. This can help keep it safe from animals that will eat its bark if given the chance. A fence will also help to guard the base against strong wind and other weather.

If you follow all of this advice during the early years of your tree, you should have an experience that is nothing but joyful. Hopefully you’ll learn from the mistakes of others, and take great care of your tree. Just remember to always look up information on the type of tree you have, so that you can find out what exactly it requires.

Flowering Trees – How to Make Your Garden Shady and Beautiful at the Same Time

Flowering Trees – How to Make Your Garden Shady and Beautiful at the Same Time

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Source: Flickr

The most important components in a landscape are probably trees. Their prominent shape and size gives the necessary depth to any garden or lawn. Such a large and tall plant can be impossible to ignore in any scenery and they can add a sense of permanence with their remarkable longevity, making it possible for them to be enjoyed through generations. Additionally, trees attract life as they have the ability to support whole ecosystems being a possible home to birds, bees, butterflies, squirrels, small plants, and other creatures. Moreover, trees can also become aesthetic, flowering trees can add beauty and grace apart from a sense of strength and prominence.

There are many kinds of flowering trees, each being valued for their distinct qualities. Here are some of the popular flowering trees in the landscaping scene:

Dogwoods – these are among the most popular and well-loved flowering trees that blossom in the spring. The soft white or pink flowers are indeed pleasing for to the eyes. Additionally, dogwoods also look good in the autumn as their leaves turn to a rich and bright red tinge. Having a dogwood in one’s backyard can definitely light up one’s surroundings for much of the year.

Rose of Sharon – while the rose of Sharon is technically a shrub, most people think that it is a tree because it can grow tall and be trimmed down to a single tree-like trunk. Its lilac-tinted flower is very attractive. The blooms come relatively late which makes it good to be planted with early blooming trees to enjoy flowers throughout the season.

Cherry, Mulberry, and Crab Apple – these flowering trees are generally grouped as weeping trees because of their teardrop-like buds. The elegant white to pastel pink flowers create a cozy ambience that is quite calming. These ornamental flowering trees add color and excitement to any panorama.

Washington Hawthorn Flowering Trees – this trees are very much valued because of the distinct time when they bloom. They usually flower from the latter portion of the spring to the early part of summer which makes them ideal in the transition period between the two periods, when most spring trees have shed they blooms and most summer trees have just started budding.

Magnolias – these are sometimes called saucers obviously for their big flowers that are very noticeable to anyone nearby. This type of flowering tree makes a big impression on anyone who beholds its beauty.

Crape Myrtles – this tree is considered as the queen of the flowering trees in the south as it is a very popular choice for Southerners. They bloom for long periods starting from the middle of summer to autumn. The flowers bloom in clusters that can be white, red, pink or lilac, which are attached to the tips of new wood. In temperate regions, these flowering trees can die in the winter, but come back in springtime.

Harry Lauder’s walking stick – this unique tree with an odd name is indeed a distinct flowering tree as it becomes beautiful only when it sheds its leaves. This is also technically a shrub that looks at a tree because it can go over four feet high. Harry Lauder’s walking street is ideal for those who have winter planting in mind.

There are several other kinds of flowering trees and each could add beauty as well as strength to any landscape. Planting trees can be such a worthwhile endeavor to beautify any piece of land.

Evergreens To Use For Landscaping

Evergreens To Use For Landscaping

Evergreen trees and shrubs are more expensive in general than deciduous trees (trees that drop their leaves in winter). But they are worth their cost because of their year-round beauty, hardiness and longevity. Evergreens range from the broadleaved shrubs like rhododendron and laurel to the tall-needled cone-bearing pines and stately spruces.
The giant spruces and firs are most effective as windscreens; the spreading evergreen shrubs are widely used not only because of their attractiveness but also because they can be shaped and trimmed and do well in the shade (such as for foundation planting).
Pine is the most commonly known of the evergreens. White pine is noted for its long, soft, light silvery-green needles and rapid attainment of its 60- to 80-foot maturity. Red pine, as well as white pine, is splendid for backgrounds and windbreaks. Ponderosa pine, a broad, compact tree, is used for protection and ornamental screens.
Austrian pine (black pine) with its rich, green color and spreading branches has great favor in the Midwest. Globe mugho pine is a small, rounded tree for ornamental planting.
Norway spruce is probably the most widely planted windbreak evergreen. Quick growing and. hardy, it has short needles of dark green; is a compact, pyramidal shape. Black Hills spruce grows toy 40 feet in time, is hardy and drought-resistant. A slow grower, it can remain in close quarters for many years.
White spruce has short, thick, light blue-green needles; it matures at 60 to 70 feet and is good for landscaping and screens. Colorado blue spruce is a good specimen tree and hardy, too, but it suffers in heat and drought. Of the cedars, red cedar is a fine ornamental evergreen for hedges and windbreaks. It withstands dry weather and the thick green foliage has a bronze in winter.
Douglas fir is the best fir for windbreaks and screening. Hardy, healthy, drought-resisting, it grows quickly and compactly, and its lofty pyramid makes a good lawn specimen. Balsam fir, the Christmas tree, is noted for its fragrance and lustrous foliage. White fir, a specimen, has an attractive silvery color.
Arbor vitae, like cedar, furnishes the flat evergreen branch found in flower arrangements at Christmas. It is an ornamental tree of many varieties, and is best located in moist protected places. Un-trimmed, it is a broad pyramid, 35 to 50 feet tall, but it shears to any size or shape.
The juniper family is useful in planting, in tall forms such as the formal columnar juniper and the upright juniper, and as a spreading evergreen — the remarkable Pfitzer juniper—for banks, ground cover and edgings. The green feathery foliage grows rapidly; can stand crowding. Height at maturity is 8 feet, spread up to 12. Ground-covering junipers include prostrate, Sargent, Waukegan and creeping varieties.
Another evergreen with feathery foliage is the hemlock. The Canadian hemlock can be sheared in a symmetrical manner. Hemlock is most effective when planted in a grove with others.
Yew, with its thick glossy needles and dense, upward-reaehing branches, is useful as both shrub and tree, growing well in sun and shade. Try using it not in the usual manner as foundation planting only — but as a single handsome specimen against a wall of the garden. The low-spreading bushy dwarf yew can be clipped well. Other varieties are upright yew and Japanese yew, a tapering or conical tree or shrub used for hedges.
Evergreens tend to be adversely affected by hot, dry summer weather and should be watered every 10 to 14 days at this time. Be sure the water reaches the deep-root growth, at least 6 inches deep.
A mulch of grass clippings or peat moss will also protect the tree from loss of water in dry weather. Pruning in late spring before new buds appear seems to help an evergreen thrive. Prune so that the inner branches can develop and the tree or shrub is more compact.
Formal trees can be kept trim, with no ragged branches sticking out, and badly shaped or deformed trees can be corrected through shaping. Evergreens are susceptible to “winterburn” from too much wind and winter sun, so that they dry up and their branches crack under the weight of snow or the force of wind. A precaution is to water them deeply before the ground freezes in the late fall.
They may also be protected in winter by screens of burlap or straw mats. Where wind and winter sun are not too strong, shielding only on the sunny side is necessary. Burlap boxes or covers should be well ventilated. Thin, tall shrubs or small evergreen trees may be tied with strips of cloth, so that the branches will not crack. Old trees with heavy limbs may be propped with boards to prevent breakage under heavy snow or ice.

Trees in the Home Landscape

Trees in the Home Landscape

Trees add so much to the home landscape! They provide shade, clean air, habitat for wildlife, value to your property, and even memories.
If your yard does not have any trees at the moment, you may want to consider planting some. Studies have shown that trees and landscaping add value to your property. Even if you do not intend to sell your property, trees can provide years of enjoyment. If you have trees in your yard, check to see that they are healthy. If they are near the end of their life expectancy or show signs of decline, you may want to plant new trees that will become established before the old trees are removed.
If properly located and planted, trees can help control energy costs. A large shade tree planted on the southwest side of the house can provide cooling shade in the summer, helping reduce air conditioning costs. Once the leaves drop in the fall, the winter sun is free to warm your house on cold winter days. Evergreen trees, planted to block cold winter winds, can help reduce winter heating costs.
Have you wondered what you could do to reduce greenhouse gases and address global warming? Planting trees will help! One of the greenhouse gases causing the most concern is carbon dioxide. Plants take this gas out of the air and use it in photosynthesis. Carbon is stored in the wood and living tissues of trees. When leaves fall and are composted, carbon is added to the soil. This improves the soil for plant growth and stores more of the carbon in the form of soil organic matter. Carbon can be stored for hundreds of years in the trunks of trees or in the form of lumber, furniture, and other wood products. By planting trees in your yard, you can help reduce greenhouse gases.
Trees also provide shelter and food for a variety of wildlife. While installing bird feeders will help attract birds to your yard, providing them with nearby trees and shrubs to escape danger, build nests, and obtain food, will be even more effective. Squirrels and other small mammals use trees for nesting sites and food sources. When selecting trees, consider what food value they may offer to the wildlife in your community.
Trees can offer years of enjoyment. Planting trees and watching them grow can be part of your family’s memories. Consider planting a tree to commemorate a milestone in your family’s life. While raking leaves may seem like a chore as you get older, jumping in piles of leaves can be a treat for children. Hanging a swing, building a tree house, or simply relaxing under the shade of a tree on a hot summer day can be a memorable experience.