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In Cree, trees are "who", not "what". -Thomson Highway


What is geometry?... It's what you say when you get turned into a tree... "Gee! I'm a tree!"




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Trees talk to each other and recognize their offspring mycelia (the main body of fungi, as opposed to the more well-known fruiting bodies - mushrooms) acting as a sort of old-school planetary internet is still a fairly recent one, and may serve as a spore of a new breed of forestry, ecology, land management.

the lure of reductionist thinking, with a tree being considered merely a commodity in the forest, which can be replaced simply by planting another tree. In fact, many reforestation efforts are considered successful when a large number of trees are replanted in areas where clearcutting has rendered large tracts of land treeless, even if those replanted trees are essentially turning a once diverse forest into a monocropped 'farm' of trees.. As Simard, who has put in about three decades of research work into Canada's forests, puts it, "A forest is much more than what you see."

Watch the video at the end.

Orangutan in Borneo

could Douglas fir recognize its own kin, like mama grizzly and her cub? So we set about an experiment, and we grew mother trees with kin and stranger's seedlings. And it turns out they do recognize their kin. Mother trees colonize their kin with bigger mycorrhizal networks. They send them more carbon below ground. They even reduce their own root competition to make elbow room for their kids. When mother trees are injured or dying, they also send messages of wisdom on to the next generation of seedlings.

Orangutan in Borneo

Video on Trees Mychorhizal networks at second half of video.

Trees in the forest are social beings From counting and learning to communicating and caring for each other, the secret lives of trees are wildly deep and complex.

"They can count, learn and remember; nurse sick neighbors; warn each other of danger by sending electrical signals across a fungal network known as the 'Wood Wide Web' – and, for reasons unknown, keep the ancient stumps of long-felled companions alive for centuries by feeding them a sugar solution through their roots."

These are just a few of the secrets that Peter Wohlleben, a German forest ranger and best-selling author, has learned about trees.

Upon coming across a duo of soaring beeches in the forest, Wohlleben, the author of the runaway hit book “The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries From a Secret World,” observes:

“These trees are friends. You see how the thick branches point away from each other? That’s so they '’t block their buddy’s light.”

“Sometimes," he adds, "pairs like this are so interconnected at the roots that when one tree dies, the other one dies, too.”

For someone (me) who has can’t help but to anthropomorphize trees, these words ring deep and true. And Wohlleben’s work could be changing the way we think about trees.

Trees Communicate With One Another, Connected by Fungi (Video)

Photo: Giant sequoias put things in perspective Few things can make us wee little humans feels as small as gazing at a giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), seriously! Consider this, the giant sequoia known as General Sherman tree – the largest, by volume, known living single stem tree in the world – reaches a height of 275 feet, diameter of 25 feet and estimated bole volume of 52,513 cubic feet. And its 2,300–2,700 years old! The Parker Group of giant sequoias, shown here in a photograph by Rick Derevan, lives in the same place as the General – Sequoia National Park in California – and is one of the finest clusters of the big guys in the park. Respect!

1/4/17 email from Treehugger:

Guujaaw, a former leader of the Haida people, wrote about the ritual before cutting down a tree: "The man embraced the tree, honouring the life that was to be taken; for he knew each tree, each plant, each animal, is a living spirit, like ourselves."

Sustainable forestry is about more than just trees: it's also about culture, history and politics Before one can even begin to discuss sustainable forestry on Haida Gwaii, the islands off the coast of British Columbia that used to be called the Queen Charlotte Islands, one has to discuss the extraordinary history of the Haida themselves, their relationship with the islands and with the trees. I visited the islands recently as a guest of The Rainforest Alliance, to see their sustainable forestry operations, learned that the story of the Haida and their forestry is far more interesting and complicated than I realized.

Lloyd Alter photo of photo in museum/CC BY 2.0

Around 1850 there were thirty thousand Haida living on the islands, and they were among the richest and most successful peoples on the West Coast. They lived on fish and the products of the forest, worked iron recovered from shipwrecks and travelled up and down the coast in their giant canoes. They developed a rich cultural life and great art, the most famous being their carved poles. The poles were carved from the giant cedar trees, which also provided bark that was woven into fabrics.

The Haida '’t look at trees, plants or animals as simply things to harvest, or think of themselves as something different- they are all part of the land. One of their leaders, now known as Guujaaw, wrote:

In the olden days, the cedar tree was carefully chosen for use. The man embraced the tree, honouring the life that was to be taken; for he knew each tree, each plant, each animal, is a living spirit, like ourselves.

Giant cedars were taken apart and reassembled to house and home the people of the islands. From beautifully carved cedar utensils, they ate their food. In the cedar, they portrayed their identity; while visions and stories sprang to life. On the cedar, they travelled and hunted and battled. With the chips, they warmed their back. Yes, all the wood was accounted for. Cedar was very much a part of life.

In 1863 an English ship dumped a sailor sick with smallpox on the island. It and other diseases like tuberculosis spread through the Haida and killed almost all of them; a 1913 census found exactly 597 of them left.

© Taan Forest

The Haida set up their own forestry company, TAAN Forest, and ended up controlling more than half of the lumber rights on the newly renamed Haida Gwaii, or land of the people.

Every tree is a splinter of Haida culture embodying not only their ancient history and lifestyle, but the more recent struggles to stop massive clearcutting, create forest reserves and parks, regain control of the islands, achieve recognition as a people and a surprising degree of political control and independence.

It is clear that trees on Haida Gwaii are much more than just lumber to chop down and sell; they are part of the people's lives. As Guujaaw noted, without them, they are not Haida.

Trees form friendships and remember their experiences [Peter] Wohlleben is a German forester and the best-selling author of The Hidden Life of Trees. He has spent decades working with our arboreal cohabitants and getting to know their secrets.

It may come as little surprise that we've written about the tree-whispering Wohlleben before. First there was Trees in the forest are social beings, followed by Trees can form bonds like an old couple and look after each – and thus it appears that whenever I read another interview with Wohlleben, I can’t help but to write again. The following comes from an exchange with Richard Schiffman at Yale e360. The whole interview is poetry (hey, poetree!) but I especially love when he talks about trees and memory:

We had a heavy drought here. In subsequent years, the trees that had suffered through the drought consumed less water in the spring so that they had more available for the summer months. Trees make decisions. They can decide things. We can also say that a tree can learn, and it can remember a drought its whole life and act on that memory by being more cautious of its water usage.

In the meantime, ''t forget to hug a tree. It may even remember that you are a friend.

5 reasons not to underestimate the power of plants and trees These scientists say that respecting and understanding plants and trees is essential for our future.

This is what the BBC World Service Inquiry program wondered when they asked four scientists what they thought about plants. Here’s the takeaway:

1. Plants could be cognitive and intelligent

Professor Stefano Mancuso runs the International Laboratory for Plant Neurobiology at the University of Florence. In an experiment with two climbing plants, they found that both competed for a single support when it was placed between them. The plant that didn’t make it to the pole first immediately “sensed” the other plant had succeeded and started to find an alternative. “This was astonishing and it demonstrates the plants were aware of their physical environment and the behavior of the other plant. In animals we call this consciousness. We are convinced that plants are cognitive and intelligent.”

2. They're all brain; and we're dependent on them

Mancuso continues, "Plants distribute all along the body the functions that in animals are concentrated in single organs. Whereas in animals almost the only cells producing electrical signals are in the brain, the plant is a kind of distributed brain in which almost every cell is able to produce them." Underestimating plants can be very dangerous, he says, "because our life depends on plants and our actions are destroying their environments."

3. They could be sentient beings

Professor of forest ecology in the department of forest and conservation sciences at the University of British Columbia, Suzanne Simard talks about the ways in which trees are linked together underground. She has studied this "wood wide web" and says that trees communicate with each other and then behave in certain ways.

"We grew Douglas fir in a neighborhood of strangers and its own kin and found that they can recognise their own kin and we also grew Douglas fir and ponderosa pine together. We injured the Douglas fir by pulling its needles off [aww], and by attacking it with western spruce bud worm [ouch], and it then sent a lot of carbon in its network into the neighboring ponderosa pine. My interpretation was the Douglas fir knew it was dying and wanted to pass its legacy of carbon on to its neighbor, because that would be beneficial for the associated fungi and the community.”

Simard says that we should shift our thinking and change our attitude which would be beneficial for our forests. "We haven't treated them with respect that they are sentient beings.”

4. They can help us better understand nature to advance our future

Dr. Barbara Mazzolai is the coordinator at the Centre for Micro-BioRobotics at the Italian Institute of Technology. She uses plants as a biomimetic starting point to design robots. So smart.

She says they can use a plant-inspired robot for environmental monitoring, space applications or rescue under debris, "because it can adapt to the environment like a natural system. The robot doesn't have a predefined structure, but can create on the basis of need."

"Medical robotics could also be a key application," she adds. "We could develop new endoscopes that are soft and able to grow inside living human tissues without damage. Plants are underestimated. They move under the soil and it's difficult to understand the behavior of these systems. But they have features that can really help us understand nature."

5. Their ability to adapt is crucial for us to learn from

"There's information being exchanged between roots and leaves and flowers and pollinators and the environment all the time. The plant is making 'decisions' – should I change 10 degrees to the left, five degrees to the right? Is it time to flower now? Is enough water available?”

Chamovitz says that in our modern environment – with its global warming, changes in precipitation, and shifting populations – we need to learn from plants about how they respond to their environment and then adapt.

"We've completely underestimated plants. We look at them as inanimate objects, completely unaware of the amazing, complex biology that allows that plant to survive."

If we '’t learn from them, he says, “we might find ourselves in a big problem 50 to 100 years from now.”

Trees are aware of their neighbors and give them room I could write about trees until I was green in the gills; and I do. And it's probable that every time I write about them, I slip into anthropomorphising them. Maybe they ''t walk around and fly to the moon, but they are truly remarkable organisms with gifts and talents all their own. They are some of the planet's most noble workhorses – we'd be nothing without them – and they deserve all the respect they can get.

In 'crown shyness,' some tree species respect those nearby and keep their leaves to themselves. ~ cc Patrice75800/CC BY 2.0

So is it any wonder that my heart flipped and futtered when I read Robert Macfarlane's ?word(s) of the day on Twitter? (Macfarlane writes about nature and language, and his Twitter feed is a profound and poetic thing.)

Trees can form bonds like an old couple and look after each other A forester and scientist have been studying communication between trees for decades; their incredible observations can be seen in the new documentary, 'Intelligent Trees.'

Trees have feelings. They can feel pain, but can also have emotions, such as fear.

Trees like to stand close together and cuddle.

There is in fact friendship among trees.

These are just a few of the wonderful observations made by tree whisperer, Peter Wohlleben, the German forester extraordinaire and best-selling author of "The Hidden Life of Trees."

When I wrote about Wohlleben earlier this year (Trees in the forest are social beings), I was floored by how his work resonated with tree-loving me. Here was an established forester – with a proven track record of improving forest health and loads of scientific research under his belt – swooning about trees as if they were people. “These trees are friends. You see how the thick branches point away from each other? That’s so they '’t block their buddy’s light.” And while some biologists might kvetch about this anthropomorphizing, Wohlleben counters: “I use a very human language. Scientific language removes all the emotion, and people '’t understand it anymore. When I say, ‘Trees suckle their children,’ everyone knows immediately what I mean.”


Now Wohlleben has teamed up with forest ecologist Suzanne Simard from the University of British Columbia, Canada in a new documentary called "Intelligent Trees." We have also sung the praises of Simard around here; her decades of research and findings about how trees communicate is as groundbreaking as it is profound … and beautiful. Together, Wohlleben and Simard are a tree dream team.

In the film they explore the various ways in which trees communicate, noting that:

Trees are so much more than rows of wood waiting to be turned into furniture, buildings or firewood. They are more than organisms producing oxygen or cleaning the air for us. They are individual beings that have feelings, know friendship have a common language and look after each other.

As Wohlleben says in the trailer below, "There is in fact friendship among trees. They can form bonds like an old couple, where one looks after the other.”

And on that note, I'm pretty sure there is in fact friendship among trees and humans, too.

You can stream the film at Vimeo On Demand, there is a web series of shorter highlights available as well. And see more about the film at the website, Intelligent Trees.

Fall in Pearland, Tx


Countryside Trees local SA nursery. 290 Meadow Glade San Antonio, TX 78227. see map 410 west to exit 151. Phone: 210-674-1693.

TAMU Tree Guide shows pictures of every tree for texas

Video: Half of Earth's Trees Are Gone and Humans Are to Blame New study from space shows there are 3.04 trillion trees on earth. 422 trees for every human on the planet. Humans are responsible for 15.3 billion trees per year--two and a half times the number of people on the planet. From the beginning of human civilization, we are responsible for the loss of 45% of the earth's trees. Trees provide us with oxygen, trees cool our environment and help to deflect the island heat effect, they sequester carbon, and they purify the air by capturing air pollutents.

Scientists have discovered that living near trees is good for your health the study similarly found that an increase of 11 trees per city block was “comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $20,000

Video: Top 10 Amazing Trees in The World

SAWS Garden Style San Antonio covers gardening, plants, trees, and discounts currently available

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Rebate Application

SA Shade Tree Guide

Fungi Perfecti

Fungi Perfecti on Paul Stamets

Stamets Articles

6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World

Video: Paul Stamets - The Future is Fungi [how to save the planet]

Discover Magazine: How Mushrooms Can Save the World: Crusading mycologist Paul Stamets says fungi can clean up everything from oil spills to nuclear meltdowns.

Turkey Tail Mushrooms Help Immune System Fight Cancer by Paul Stamets

Return of the Fungi Paul Stamets is on a quest to find an endangered mushroom that could cure smallpox, TB, and even bird flu. Can he unlock its secrets before deforestation and climate change wipe it out?

Mycorrhizae of Landscape Trees

Arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis increases relative apoplastic water flow in roots of the host plant under both well-watered and drought stress conditions Conclusions: The ability of AM plants to switch between water transport pathways could allow a higher flexibility in the response of these plants to water shortage according to the demand from the shoot.

Heritage Tree: the Ben Milam Bald Cypress on the Riverwalk

All you ever wanted to know about Mycelium

Some fungi help plants to grow

Rooted in the World a book by Craig Holdrege

Glossary of Tree Health Terms covers a lot of fungi


Trees for the Future A new study has shown that we have cut down 46% of all the trees we once had on Earth…

Arbor Day Foundation

The Tree Guide This tree guide is a wealth of information on height and spread, soil and sun requirements, leaves, history, wildlife habitat and more.

Tree Nursery buy small trees for planting

Plant a Billion Trees Forests Help Sustain All Life on Earth; Forests Produce Clean Water; Forests Naturally Filter Air; Forests Regulate the Global Climate; Forests Support People and Nature

American Forests protecting & restoring forests.

Forests are complex ecosystems in which plants and animals coexist with one another. Trees are the dominant species in forest ecosystems and are important to maintaining a healthy planet. As the Earth’s great air conditioners, trees rid the air of excess carbon dioxide and other pollutants to improve air quality. Their shade cools the air in summer, and they also filter water, trap particles to make soil and help regulate climate patterns around the world. It is important to understand that in both rural and urban areas, trees provide valuable services that have a direct impact on our lives.

"In one day, one large tree can lift up to 100 gallons of H20 and discharge it into the air" --American Forests.

Alliance for Community Trees

Grow Forests

Arbor Gate blog: Finding Comfort [after surgery]

Pine trees have a long history of healing, so I try to partake as often as possible. Therefore, my first real outing since my surgery was to attend the Longleaf 101 Academy in Jasper where for three days the Longleaf Alliance out of Alabama trained us, toured us, and tested us. I do love seeing what rare glimpses we have left of these once majestic longleaf pine forests. Texas once boasted 3 million acres of virgin longleaf pine forests but sadly all were cut for timber early in the 20th century. Thankfully, a passionate group of brave souls is promoting the regeneration of and planting new seedlings for the future. Any sites that William Bartram described in 1791 as “vast forests of the mostly pine trees that can be imagined” certainly deserve our preservation and restoration. With only 3 million acres of the original 90 million that existed in the South, the longleaf pine ecosystem is considered one of the most threatened in North America. The almost unbroken stand of longleaf that stretched from Texas to the East Coast was the largest ecosystem dominated by a single species on the continent. I can’t help but think of the now extinct Passenger pigeon which was once considered the most populous bird on the continent.

Posted to Davey Facebook page 2/13/16:

I would never use Davey Tree again. They planted a Montezuma Cypress for me, and they did everything wrong. They told me to plant at the wrong time, they purchased a root bound tree [girdled roots] and then they planted it too deeply. Much of this was admitted to me by one of their "experts."

They also knew nothing about mycelium, which was why I went to them in the first place. The extension agent said they knew all about it.

I would not recommend them to anyone.

Ranges of trees and mycorrhizal status Most mycorrhizal root infections operate as a mutualism, with the plant providing the fungus with energy for respiration in return for minerals and resources that would be otherwise more difficult to access in soil. The relationships between a plant and its mycorrhizae can significantly affect the growth, survival, and fitness of the plant. In the set of tree species for the FOR305 ID Test, there are two functionally distinct types of mycorrhizae—vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae (VAM), which penetrate the root’s cell wall and Ectomycorrhizae (ECM), which do not.

The two mycorrhizal types examined in this paper are defined structurally. Vesicular-Arbuscular Mycorrhizae are formed by glomeromycetous fungi. VAM create arbuscles – branched exchange structures – inside the root, notably penetrating the walls of interior root cells (Bagyaraj, 1991; Wang et. al., 2006). Ectomycorrhizae are formed by basidiomycetous and ascomycetous fungi, and create exchange structures known as Hartig nets between cortical root cells. Hartig nets do not penetrate cell walls (Mukerji et. al. 1991). ECM are generally exclusive to perennials, a relationship attributed to the success of perennials in low nutrient, disturbed, and stressful habitats

Mycorrhizae can benefit plants in a range of ways.In general, mycorrhizae have the ability to gain resources that plants cannot adequately access. Because they have a smaller diameter than that of root hairs, fungal hyphae are better able to colonize pores in the soil (Allen, 1991). As noted by Eissenstat, a smaller diameter means a higher length:root mass ratio, which is generally beneficial, as root uptake is primarily correlated with length rather than mass (1992). Benefits are not always constant over the life of the plant. For some species, mycorrhizal infections have a negligible effect, except in times of resource stress, most often drought (Allen, 1991). In these cases, the mycorrhizae are not a continual mutualistic partner, but an “insurance policy.” Mycorrhizae can also be important during early development, giving seedlings a readily accessible network of resources (Allen, 1991). This is especially true if the surrounding plants are closely related, as networks of mycorrhizae between hosts have been shown to allow nutrients to transfer in any direction, and in a way which prefers hosts which are most genetically similar to other hosts in the network (Dighton, 2003).

Over evolutionary history, mycorrhizal status of a species converts from VAM-associated to more “advanced” statuses, such as ECM-associated, on many independent occasions (Wang et. al., 2006). Wang describes the strategy of ECM association as short-term, an opportunistic response to more strenuous environmental conditions, which explains why there are many independent conversions to ECM association, and yet VAM association is still dominant.

Since the ancestor to VAM is thought to have been a key innovation which allowed the evolution of land plants, this would suggest that more primitive groups of species would be more dependent on VAM assocations. Any other species group that showed similarly primitive traits, specifically root hairs that are coarse and sparse, is likely to have a strong VAM association to help improve nutrient intake (Bagyaraj, 1991). This is supported by the findings of Smith and Read (2008), who showed that VAM roots were often more efficient in nutrient acquisition per unit length than non-infected roots.

Chalot and Plassard (2012) noted that VAM play a major role in increasing nutrient uptake, especially for phosphorus, but have limited capacity to release nitrogen or phosphorus from inorganic forms. Conversely, ECM can actively take up inorganic nutrients and provide them to the host. From this, it can be seen that VAM and ECM provide nutrients to their hosts in functionally different ways.

The most prominent orders that were found to be obligate to Ectomycorrhizae were the Pinales and Fagales (Table 2). This is consistent with the findings of Wang et. al. (2005), who showed that Pinaceae and Fagales were dominantly ECM obligate. From analyzing the numerous instances when ECM associations evolved, Wang et. al. hypothesize that the majority of ECM hosts typically grow in nutrient-poor environments, and descend from clades that used to live in less stressful environments; for example, Rosids such as the Malvales. Ectomycorrhizae are known to sometimes have associations with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which would help in the colonization of areas with resource limitations (Trappe, 1987).

Ectomycorrhizae are more active in nutrient intake. They are also known to secrete enzymes to break down the litter layer in order to gain better access to nutrients (Chalot and Plassard, 2012). Furthermore, while VAM are known to branch into a fan-shaped pattern, the outer extent of ECM, the mycelium, forms a net-shaped structure, which allows for better substrate colonization (Allen, 1991).

The mycorrhizal status of the species examined was dominantly obligative, with associations with Vesicular-Arbuscular Mycorrhizae being common, associations with Ectomycorrhizae being secondary, prevalent especially in species that range in nutrient limited conditions, and with a small group of species that displayed flexible associations.

The defining characteristic of trees is the extensive production of woody tissue, an undertaking which requires good access to nutrients. It is not surprising then that most trees have mycorrhizal associations, as these mutualisms tend to improve nutrient access. The most influential factor for determining VAM versus ECM status seems to be environmental stress, a hypothesis which is supported by the many parallel occurrences of ECM status corresponding to nutrient stress found by Wang et. al. (2006). From the ranges analyzed in this paper and current knowledge of the differences between VAM and ECM fungi, it seems that resource trade-offs play an important role in determining the success of both types of associations. Therefore, through various mechanisms, environment is the main factor which determines mycorrhizal status in trees.

Observations of Mycorrhizal Inoculation of Pin and Scarlet Oak Production In Containers thesis by Thomas P. Martin at Virginia Polytechnic Institute... best protocol for inoculation of landscape trees... ectomycorrhizal fungus Pisolithus tinctorius (Pers.) have emerged from this research and are now being marketed for landscape tree growers... trees grown in pine bark, sterilized pine bark, sterilized mineral soil, and sterilized vermiculite-based substrates were inoculated with Pt commercial spore inoculum... and vermiculite was a superior environment for mycorrhizal formation than the other three substrates... Scleroderma bovista did not affect tree growth


Montezuma Cypress Ahuehuete became the national tree of Mexico in 1910.[5] The tree is sacred to the native peoples of Mexico, and is featured in the Zapotec creation myth

Facebook: Friends of the Montezuma Cypress

Montezuma Cypress at our Texas Tree Farm

Montezuma bald cypress, Montezuma cypress, Mexican cypress, Ahuehuete, Sabino There is a weeping form.

Faster growing than Bald Cypress in good conditions and semi-deciduous in winter. Could suffer winter damage in Central Texas northward. A cone bearing plant, Montezuma Cypress cones open in February and seeds ripen in October after flowering in March or April. Seeds are released upon cone ripening, and germinate as soon as moisture conditions permit.


Use Ornamental: Fall conspicuous, Attractive, Long-living

Use Wildlife: Nesting site, Cover, Substrate-insectivorous birds, Seeds-Small mammals

Interesting Foliage: yes

MC Blog How much and how often do you water your MC trees? It may take a couple years to establish them in that size so you probably would have to water deeply every week till the heat breaks. Did you provide mulch for them as well? If not, please mulch around them within 5 feet diameter. Spread compost on the ground thinly then use 3-4 inches layer of aged hardwood or cedar mulch... My weeping MC from Madrone is doing quite well. I paid $13 for a (I believe) 2.5 gal tree - maybe 1 gal. It was just a little smaller than the NMMC I acquired from an unnamed source. The NMMC, btw, is growing extremely well, also. When my battery charges back up, I'll post a picture of that one, too. The leaf structure between these two trees is very different. The NNMC has larger leaves (longer and broader). It also kept its old leaves until, well, NOW. I can still find some leaves from last year (red/brown). It has grown at least 18" this year already... I agree my 'weeping' form doesn't 'weep' like the BC weeping variety. Mature ones are shaped much like a live oak - very round. I've left most of the 'shrubby' limbs on it to help it build mass. I trimmed up about 18" last winter just to mow under it, but you can see it doesn't like being 'nekkid'. It just grew that 'fuzz'... MCs tend to look different from each other much like bald cypress. Short and wide, tall and skinny, etc, you get the idea. Some are just weepy. Some are just upright. Sometimes, it's just better to go with named cultivar if you're looking for specific growth habit. 'Sentindo' is a weepy type. Nanjing beauty is more of columnar type with upright branches. I have this one and so far, I like it... There does seem to be considerable variation in the M.C.s. The ones we bought from Madrone Nursery and at a plant sale at the Heard Natural Science Museum several years ago have a more weeping, bush-like habitus, not like the ones I got from Creech and the one on Wilson Street. They all seem, once established, amazingly tough.

Taxodium mucronatum a huge tree in its native habitat and is pyramidal when young with a dense crown but, like Baldcypress, eventually develops into a broad-topped, spreading, open specimen when mature with pendulous branches (Fig. 1). Capable of reaching 100 to 150 feet in height, most landscape specimens will reach this height. The pale green, needle-like leaves are only deciduous in the colder sections of its range, remaining evergreen elsewhere. The trunk grows unusually thick toward the base, even on young trees... Its delicate, feathery foliage affords light, dappled shade, and the heartwood of Montezuma Baldcypress is quite strong and resistant to rot... Roots: surface roots are usually not a problem... The roots probably will not lift sidewalks and curbs as readily as some


Fruit shape: oval; round
Fruit length: 1 to 3 inches; .5 to 1 inch
Fruit covering: dry or hard
Fruit color: brown
Fruit characteristics: does not attract wildlife; inconspicuous and not showy; no significant litter problem

Flower characteristics: inconspicuous and not showy; spring flowering

Montezuma Cypress

M. Cypress

A&M on the Ahuehuete Montezuma Baldcypress, or Taxodium mucronatum


Male "flowers" in long clusters that resemble oak catkins, 6" to 12" long, with the individual flowers spread out spirally along the central thread-like stem; female "flowers" are small and inconspicuous swellings on the previous year's branchlets.


A round cone, to 1" in diameter, surface rough, green and glaucous at first, but turning brown and woody later.

M. Cypress

NANJING BEAUTY is a conical, deciduous to semi-evergreen conifer with needle-like leaves. It is a hybrid cross of Taxodium distichum (bald cypress) and Taxodium mucronatum (Montezuma cypress). This cross was made in China in the late 1970s to early 1980s by Dr. Chen Yong Hui of the Nanjing Botanical Garden. NANJING BEAUTY is noted for its rapid growth rate, ease of rooting, high alkalinity resistance, good fall foliage retention and absence of knees.

Cypress Trees of Central Texas by Keith Brown, April 27, 2011. Cypress trees are my personal favorite group of conifers. The five cypress trees I’ll discuss here are very different in appearance. I see a lot of amateur gardeners try to identify conifers based on leaf type, but this doesn’t work. It’s the seeds that give them away. There are two genera of the cypress family that do well in central Texas that I’ll be discussing in this article: Cupressus (Arizona, Italian and Leyland) and Taxodium (Bald and Montezuma). The two groups have very different foliage. Cupressus have scale like foliage much like most junipers and Taxodium have oppositely arranged needles along branchlets.

M. Cypress

The montezuma cypress is nearly identical to the bald cypress in appearance. There are a few main differences:

Montezuma cypress is less likely to produce “knees”, above ground roots for anchorage and oxygen absorption
hold foliage longer into fall and winter, bringing more greenery into the winter months
faster growth rate
darker green foliage

The Montezuma cypress might be a better tree to plant in an urban landscape than the bald cypress. Although I hate to recommend a non-native over a native tree, the better growth rate and reduced likelihood for knees are significant considerations in most landscapes.

M. Cypress

MC: Brazos Master Gardeners While taxonomists disagree on its classification, this wonderful tree is closely related to T. distichum (bald cypress) and shares most of its outstanding characteristics, yet is distinct. Plant habit Medium to tall tree with an open, spreading habit (Bald cypress is upright and dense)

Growth rate: Slow to fast, depending on water availability and soil fertility, Extremely long lived

Adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions. Sheds foliage quickly when temperatures drop to 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Yellow fall color is insignificant.

M. Cypress

MC: Dave's Garden

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

MC: Federal Database grows naturally in same environments as mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa).

Rehabilitation: Montezuma baldcypress is being planted along the banks of the Rio Grande in an effort to restore natural ecosystems on sites that were cleared for agriculture.

Other Uses: Montezuma baldcypress is planted as an ornamental [4,12]. It is an important medicinal plant and may have been considered sacred by some Mexican civilizations. A gummy resin produced after the tree is wounded was used to cure skin diseases, wounds, ulcers, gout, and toothaches by the Aztecs; some of these uses continue in popular practice. Pitch produced by burning woodchips in a reducing atmosphere was used as a cure for bronchitis. The leaves were used as a relaxant and a cure for itching. The bark was used as a diuretic and an emmanagogue (an agent promoting menstruation)

Seedlings are subject to herbivory by rodents; greenhouses have to be rodent-proofed. Rabbits will gnaw the bark of outplanted seedlings and saplings

No vegetative reproduction has been reported for Montzuma baldcypress

A Visit to Brownsville’s Secret Montezuma Cypress Grove In March the Lower Rio Grande Valley Sierra Club visited the largest remaining grove of Montezuma cypress trees (Taxodium mucronatum) in South Texas. These majestic trees are growing along the banks of a Brownsville, Texas resaca, an oxbow lake that was once a channel of the ancient Rio Grande. Enormous Montezuma cypresses once lined the banks of the river and all of the resacas that snake throughout Brownsville, but the wood was highly prized for its water resistance, and the trees were cut and used to build the wharves for early Brownsville’s port.

There are only a few large trees left along the Rio Grande watershed, and the Brownsville site is one of only 2 actual groves remaining. The cypress’s seeds need to float in water for a time in order to germinate, so the end of ancient natural flood cycles in the highly engineered watershed, along with the mowing of stream and resacabanks, has kept them from making a natural comeback.

The Rio Grande Valley is the northernmost range of the Montezuma cypress, which is the national tree of Mexico. The Aztecs called it ahuehuete, old man of the water, and once upon a time, when wetlands and resacas were plentiful around river systems, these “old men” grew to enormous sizes. They are, after all, in the same family as giant sequoias and redwoods. The “Tule Tree” in Oaxaca, Mexico is a Montezuma Cypress that has the stoutest trunk of any tree in the world. (It takes 17 people with arms outstretched to span its circumference!)

The City of Brownsville owns about half of the resaca and, thanks to the efforts of community activists, has recently agreed to protect it. Efforts are ongoing to secure the remaining portion of this amazing vestige of the ancient freeflowing Rio Grande.

Tree Planting

Tree Folks--Sapling Days Fall is the best time to plant trees in Texas.

Sapling Days began more than 10 years ago as a way to dispel the popular notion that trees should be planted in the late spring along with the tomatoes, peppers and marigolds. In fact, in Texas and the Southwest the very best time to plant trees is in autumn and early winter. Trees planted in fall and winter have more time to grow a strong root system that will allow the tree to obtain water during the hot, hot summers in our region.

Tree Folks: Growing Central Texas Urban Forests

Video: Tree Watering Tips If screwdriver can't go down 6" to 8" it isn't damp. Try screwdriver again after watering.


Tree Watering Tips: Texas Forest Service During this extreme drought, mature trees need to be watered about once a week, while younger, newly-planted trees need to be watered about three times a week. You can use a screwdriver to determine if it’s time to water; simply try to push it into the ground. If the ground is dry, you won’t be able to. If the ground is wet, you will. If you can’t get your screwdriver to easily go at least 6 to 8 inches into the ground, it’s time to water.

Video: Water Your Tree from Texas Forest Service

Video: Tree Watering Tips Ross root feeder.

Video: Watering Trees two methods


How to Plant a Tree or Shrub 1.The ideal time to plant a new tree is when it is dormant: after leaf drop or in the spring before the leaf buds break open.

2.Dig a hole a little wider than the tree root ball but only just as deep. The International Society of Arboriculture gives this advice on their web site: “Make the hole wide, as much as three times the diameter of the root ball but only as deep as the root ball. It is important to make the hole wide because the roots on the newly establishing tree must push through surrounding soil in order to establish. On most planting sites in new developments, the existing soils have been compacted and are unsuitable for healthy root growth. Breaking up the soil in a large area around the tree provides the newly emerging roots room to expand into loose soil to hasten establishment.”

3.Remove burlap or other wrappings.

4.Place the tree in the hole so that the root flare and top of the root ball is level with the surrounding soil. (ILLUSTRATION A.)

5.Back fill the hole with the soil that you excavated, tamping in firmly as you go. It is not necessary to amend the soil. In fact, pouring rich soil into the soil creates a “container” effect; the tree roots will tend to stay within the small bowl of soil instead of spreading out and forming a strong, stable base for the mature tree or shrub.

6.Apply a layer of mulch—professional arborists recommend that mulch be only 2-4 inches deep—DO NOT MOUND THE MULCH UP AGAINST THE TRUNK. (ILLUSTRATION B.) This type of “volcano mulching” is harmful to trees: it can starve the roots of oxygen and/or encourage the tender feeder roots to grow up into the mulch (rather than down into the soil) where they dry out quickly and are more susceptible to damage from insects and foot traffic.

7.Create a shallow “well” with the mulch that will help to collect rain water and prevent run off during irrigation.

8.Make sure your newly planted tree receives 1-inch of water per week the first 1-2 years after planting. ''t assume or guess how much it rains. Use a rain gauge and when rain fall is insufficient, place a trickling hose pipe on the root zone for an hour. Monitor the water flow so that it doesn’t wash away mulch or soil.

9.Stake the new tree only if it is an extremely windy site. Research has shown that new trees will grow stronger and establish roots more quickly when not staked.

The International Society of Arboriculture offers provides a wealth of information on their website at, everything from how to buy the right tree, to planting, pruning and proper mulching techniques, and how to locate a local certified tree specialist.

Mesican Sycamore

Mexican Sycamore

Mexican Sycamore

Mexican Sycamore at Trinity U.

Mexican Sycamore at Trinity U.

Mexican Sycamore at Trinity Univ.

Mexican Sycamore Info.

Where to Find a Real Mexican Sycamore in Austin discusses leaf differences

TAMU on Mexican Sycamore

Chinapin Oak

Quercus muehlenbergii, the chinkapin oak (or chinquapin oak) Chinkapin oak is generally found on well-drained upland soils derived from limestone or where limestone outcrops occur... Chinkapin oak is classed as intolerant of shade. It withstands moderate shading when young but becomes more intolerant of shade with age. It is regarded as a climax species on dry, drought prone soils, especially those of limestone origin...

The chinquapin oak is especially known for its sweet and palatable acorns. Indeed, the nuts contained inside of the thin shell are among the sweetest of any oak, with an excellent taste even when eaten raw, providing an excellent source of food for both wildlife and people. The acorns are eaten by squirrels, mice, voles, chipmunks, deer, turkey, and other birds.

Oak wilt (Ceratocystis fagacearum), a vascular disease, attacks Chinkapin oak and usually kills the tree within two to four years. Other diseases that attack Chinkapin oak include the cankers Strumella coryneoidea and Nectria galligena, shoestring root rot (Armillarea mellea), anthracnose (Gnomonia veneta), and leaf blister (Taphrina spp.).

The most serious defoliating insects that attack Chinkapin oak are the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar), the orangestriped oakworm (Anisota senatoria), and the variable oakleaf caterpillar (Heterocampa manteo). Insects that bore into the bole and seriously degrade the products cut from infested trees include the carpenterworm (Prionoyxstus robiniae), little carpenterworm (P. macmurtrei), white oak borer (Goes tigrinus), Columbian timber beetle (Corthylus columbianus), oak timberworm (Arrhenodes minutus), and twolined chestnut borer (Agrilus bilineatus). The acorn weevils (Curculio spp.), larvae of moths (Valentinia glandulella and Melissopus latiferreanus), and gall forming cynipids (Callirhytis spp.) feed on the acorns.

TAMU on the Chinkapin Oak: Quercus muehlenbergii

Bur Oak

Chinquapin Oak – a NICE! good looking shade tree from Boerne.

Legacy Trees for Central Texas : The Gift That Keeps On Shading There are two oak wilt-resistant varieties of Oak that are proven “legacy” trees for Austin. These are the Chinkapin Oak (Quercus muhlenbergii) and the Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)...The Chinkapin Oak is well adapted throughout our region and can grow in either the clay soils common east of the hills, or in the caliche soils of the Hill Country (where it grows naturally in sheltered canyons). When it is young, the Chinkapin tends to have a symmetrical upright form. When it matures, it gets middle-aged spread, shading a wide area with its large handsome leaves. I tend to use a lot of superlatives when I talk about Chinkapins.

Bur Oak

Bur Oak – Could it be our best fast-growing shade tree? While some introduced trees, such as Sweetgum and Magnolia, may struggle with our alkaline soil and our slightly basic water, the Bur Oak is adaptive and quite at home... Weather extremes are of little concern. After a two or three year establishment period, supplemental watering is appreciated, but rarely necessary. The Bur Oak comes out the other end of drought with some brown margined leaves and a few less acorns—but mostly unaffected... It is our good fortune the Bur Oak has so few insect and disease concerns. Even Oak Wilt bypasses the Bur Oak...

Bur Oak

Bur Oak Quercus macrocarpa is a large deciduous tree growing up to 30 m (100 ft), rarely 40 m (130 ft), in height, and is one of the most massive oaks with a trunk diameter of up to 3 m (10 ft); reports of taller trees occur, but have not been verified. It is one of the slowest-growing oaks, with a growth rate of 30 cm (1 ft) per year when young. A 20-year-old tree will be about 6 m (20 ft) tall. It commonly lives to be 200 to 300 years old, and may live up to 400 years... The acorns are very large, 2–5 cm (0.8–2 in) long... Bur Oak is sometimes confused with Overcup oak and White oak, both of which it occasionally hybridizes with.

Bur Oak

Legacy Trees for Central Texas : The Gift That Keeps On Shading There are two oak wilt-resistant varieties of Oak that are proven “legacy” trees for Austin. These are the Chinkapin Oak (Quercus muhlenbergii) and the Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa). Both of these are large deciduous trees with a moderate rate of growth... The Bur Oak is the classic Oak of the prairies. In Central Texas it is best adapted to the deeper clay soils east of the Balcones Escarpment. My neighborhood (adjacent to Shoal Creek) has several magnificent specimens of this tree. The leaves of the Bur Oak are often called “fiddle” shaped because of their deep rounded indentations, the name “Bur” refers to their fringed acorns, which can be as large as a golf ball. If you have the room, and want a healthy, stout, giant of a tree, then plant a Bur Oak.

How fast are your Bur Oaks growing?

Bur Oak

The Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa) They are quick to bring up all of the common issues associated with oaks (in general). We’ve all heard them. Oaks are slow growing. Their roots grow on top of the soil and damage your slab or your sidewalks. They get oak wilt. While each of those statements are true in some measure in certain oak species, none of them apply to the bur oak... The bur oak is one of the fastest growing and the largest of all of the oaks in Texas. With normal water, you can expect the tree to grow a minimum of one foot per year. With ample water and a little fertilizer it is not uncommon to get two or three feet of growth per year out of your bur oak. .. Because it is native, the bur oak also takes the extremes of our climate in stride. The drought of 2011 killed many, many live oaks. The live oaks died because they have a shallow root system that grows right at the soil line (and breaks slabs and sidewalks). The bur oak survived the worst drought in our history because it develops a deep tap root that can find the underground moisture needed to sustain it when the rains fail us. This deep rooting structure not only keeps it alive in low water situations but also makes it a great choice for the landscape. Deep roots do not break slab and sidewalks... As much as I love this tree, it does have one little problem – it produces golf ball sized acorns. I have to admit, that since the acorns are large enough to interfere with mowing or heavy enough to ding a new car, you should think long and hard about where you plant it. The good news is, it doesn’t produce a ton of acorns. And, since they '’t fall but once a year in autumn, they can be managed by setting your mower a little higher or picking them up (they look great in a bowl on a table) before you mow. Besides, since the squirrels and the deer love them you will have a little help getting them out of your yard.

Bur Oak, Mossycup Oak, Mossy Overcup Oak, Prairie Oak (Quercus macrocarpa) It has a long taproot which makes it hard to transplant but also very drought-tolerant. It is also fast growing and long-lived. Bur oak is noted for its very large leaves and acorns:.. It casts deep shade.

Bur oak blight, a new disease on Quercus macrocarpa caused by Tubakia iowensis sp. nov. A newly recognized, late-season leaf disease of Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak) has become increasingly severe across Iowa and in neighboring states since the 1990s. Vein necrosis and leaf death may occur over the whole crown... Bur oak blight appears to be particularly severe on Q. macrocarpa var. oliviformis, which is well adapted to the dry, upland sites where the disease is found most frequently... species of Tubakia are known as leaf and twig endophytes in oaks...


A Dozen Delightful Little Bloomin' Trees for Texas

Parkinsonia aculeata Parkinsonia aculeata is a species of perennial flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae. Common names include palo verde, Mexican palo verde, Parkinsonia, Jerusalem thorn, Ratama in Spain, and (where?) jelly bean tree... The flowers are yellow- orange and fragrant, may be a spiny shrub or a small tree. It grows 2 to 8 m (6.6 to 26.2 ft) high, with a maximum height of 10 metres (33 ft).


The amazing, the incredible Anaqua Its durability and shade make it the perfect tree for South Texas

Native Plant Society of Texas: Anaqua, Ehretia anacua this is a wonderful ornamental and wildlife tree. In the spring the tree is covered with fragrant white flowers that are enjoyed by bees. These are followed 6 weeks later by edible yellow or orange fruit which are a favorite of birds and small mammals. (not good near sidewalks and driveways)

A&M on the Anaqua Ehretia anacua. Semi-evergreen. A medium-sized tree to 50 feet tall and a trunk to 2 feet in diameter, with a dense, round crown of dark green foliage. grows well on alkaline soils. Used as a landscape tree from San Antonio to Houston and southward. Interesting Facts: An important component of the evergreen forest remnants along the lower Rio Grande valley.

Italian Stone Pine

Italian Stone Pine Umbrella Pine, edible fruits

Pinus pinea, Italian Stone Pine Trees grow well in any slightly alkaline to acid soil. Umbrella Pine should be grown in full sun on well-drained soil... Something always seems to be falling from this pine tree; needles, sap, branches, and fruit appear on nearby cars, roofs and sidewalks year round. Unless grown in the open with no other trees nearby, shaded lower branches die as the tree grows taller. Open-grown trees keep more lower branches, probably due to greater sun exposure. It is important to maintain only one leader to the top of the plant... Dropping needles often discourage people from planting pines near streets, parking lots, or near other pavement. Roots also enjoy growing just under the surface of the asphalt and cracking it.

Italian Stone Pine

TAMU on Italian Stone Pine

Neil Sperry: Italian stone pine grows best in a pot

Italian Stone Pine

SAWS Approved Italian Stone Pine

Italian Stone Pine

Bald Cypress

Bald Cypress "Pendens"

Bald Cypress: Taxodium Distichum Unique in its appearance, the Bald Cypress is a model of grace and endurance. Along with its massive size, other considerations should be made before choosing the proper location for this special tree. Although the Bald Cypress is native to swamplands, it will tolerate a wide range of conditions, and will even tolerate short periods of drought. In response to long periods of drought, it will completely defoliate. However, this tree is amazingly resilient, and will leaf out when adequate moisture returns. Since the Bald Cypress is so adaptable to growing in conditions ranging from excessive moisture to drought, our tight clay soils are not a challenge... This unique tree has special adaptations to living in wet environments; knobby projections called "knees" may form at the base of the trunk. These formations often occur when the tree is planted in or near water, but can occur anywhere that moisture is ample. Some say the knees add to the distinctive character of this tree.

It is one of the few coniferous trees that is deciduous. A highlight in the landscape, this tree has a pyramidal form and feathery leaves that add to its appeal. After turning bronze in the fall, the lacy leaves will drop and cover the ground with a rust-color carpet in the winter and then decompose quickly.

Bald Cypress "Pendens"

Bald Cypress

Problems of Bald Cypress

Bald Cypress "Pendens"

Tamarind Fruit Tree

Tamarind Of all the fruit trees of the tropics, none is more widely distributed nor more appreciated as an ornamental than the tamarind, Tamarindus indica L. The tamarind, a slow-growing, long-lived, massive tree reaches, under favorable conditions, a height of 80 or even 100 ft (24-30 m), and may attain a spread of 40 ft (12 m) and a trunk circumference of 25 ft (7.5 m). It is highly wind-resistant, with strong, supple branches, gracefully drooping at the ends, and has dark-gray, rough, fissured bark. The mass of bright-green, fine, feathery foliage is composed of pinnate leaves,..

The fruits, flattish, beanlike, irregularly curved and bulged pods, are borne in great abundance along the new branches and usually vary from 2 to 7 in long and from 3/4 to 1 1/4 in (2-3.2 cm) in diameter. Exceptionally large tamarinds have been found on individual trees. The pods may be cinnamon-brown or grayish-brown externally and, at first, are tender-skinned with green, highly acid flesh and soft, whitish, under-developed seeds. As they mature, the pods fill out somewhat and the juicy, acidulous pulp turns brown or reddish-brown. Thereafter, the skin becomes a brittle, easily-cracked shell and the pulp dehydrates naturally to a sticky paste enclosed by a few coarse strands of fiber extending lengthwise from the stalk. The 1 to 12 fully formed seeds are hard, glossy-brown, squarish in form,

Native to tropical Africa, the tree grows wild throughout the Sudan and was so long ago introduced into and adopted in India that it has often been reported as indigenous there also, and it was apparently from this Asiatic country that it reached the Persians and the Arabs who called it "tamar hindi" (Indian date, from the date-like appearance of the dried pulp), giving rise to both its common and generic names. Unfortunately, the specific name, "indica", also perpetuates the illusion of Indian origin. The fruit was well known to the ancient Egyptians and to the Greeks in the 4th Century B.C.

In all tropical and near-tropical areas, including South Florida, it is grown as a shade and fruit tree, along roadsides and in dooryards and parks. Mexico has over 10,000 acres (4,440 ha) of tamarinds, mostly in the states of Chiapas, Colima, Guerrero, Jalisco, Oaxaca and Veracruz. In the lower Motagua Valley of Guatemala, there are so many large tamarind trees in one area that it is called "El Tamarindal".

The food uses of the tamarind are many. The tender, immature, very sour pods are cooked as seasoning with rice, fish and meats in India. The fully-grown, but still unripe fruits, called "swells" in the Bahamas, are roasted in coals until they burst and the skin is then peeled back and the sizzling pulp dipped in wood ashes and eaten. The fully ripe, fresh fruit is relished out-of-hand by children and adults, alike. The dehydrated fruits are easily recognized when picking by their comparatively light weight, hollow sound when tapped and the cracking of the shell under gentle pressure. The shell lifts readily from the pulp and the lengthwise fibers are removed by holding the stem with one hand and slipping the pulp downward with the other. The pulp is made into a variety of products. It is an important ingredient in chutneys, curries and sauces, including some brands of Worcestershire and barbecue sauce, and in a special Indian seafood pickle called "tamarind fish". Sugared tamarind pulp is often prepared as a confection. For this purpose, it is desirable to separate the pulp from the seeds without using water. If ripe, fresh, undehydrated tamarinds are available, this may be 'e by pressing the shelled and defibered fruits through a colander while adding powdered sugar to the point where the pulp no longer sticks to the fingers. The seeded pulp is then shaped into balls and coated with powdered sugar. If the tamarinds are dehydrated, it is less laborious to layer the shelled fruits with granulated sugar in a stone crock and bake in a moderately warm oven for about 4 hours until the sugar is melted, then the mass is rubbed through a sieve, mixed with sugar to a stiff paste, and formed into patties. This sweetmeat is commonly found on the market in Jamaica, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. In Panama, the pulp may be sold in corn husks, palmleaf fiber baskets, or in plastic bags.

Young leaves and very young seedlings and flowers are cooked and eaten as greens and in curries in India. In Zimbabwe, the leaves are added to soup and the flowers are an ingredient in salads.

Few plants will survive beneath a tamarind tree and there is a superstition that it is harmful to sleep or to tie a horse beneath one, probably because of the corrosive effect that fallen leaves have on fabrics in damp weather. Some African tribes venerate the tamarind tree as sacred. To certain Burmese, the tree represents the dwelling-place of the rain god and some hold the belief that the tree raises the temperature in its immediate vicinity. Hindus may marry a tamarind tree to a mango tree before eating the fruits of the latter. In Nyasaland, tamarind bark soaked with corn is given to domestic fowl in the belief that, if they stray or are stolen, it will cause them to return home. In Malaya, a little tamarind and coconut milk is placed in the mouth of an infant at birth, and the bark and fruit are given to elephants to make them wise.

Ehretia anacua (Anacua) (summer food)

Ehretia anacua Ehretia anacua is medium-sized tree found in eastern Mexico and southern Texas in the United States. It is a member of the borage family, Boraginaceae. One of its common names, anacua, is derived from the Mexican Spanish word anacahuite, as is that of the related Cordia boissieri, the anacahuita. That word in turn is derived from the Nahuatl words amatl, meaning "paper," and quatitl, meaning "tree," possibly referring to the bark. It is also known as knockaway, a corruption of anacua, and sandpaper tree.

Ehretia anacua (Anacua)

Anacua fragrant flowers, white.

Anacua, Sugarberry, Knockaway, Knackaway, Anacahuita, Manzanita, Manzanillo, Sandpaper Tree, Ehretia anacua, Boraginaceae It grows best on alkaline soils with good drainage, but is adaptable to neutral to slightly acidic soils. It is sometimes called sandpaper tree because of the rough texture of the leaves. It blooms from spring through summer with white, fragrant flowers that cover the tree in dense clusters. Bright orange fruits then ripen from April to June.

Ehretia anacua (Anacua)

“Paseo de los Ahuehuetes,” a beautiful allée of Montezuma cypress near Texcoco, Mexico.

Can Taxodium Be Improved? many beautiful cypress pictures

Taxodium distichum "pendens"





Chinkapin Oak

Chinkapin Oak

Chinkapin Oak

Chinkapin Oak

Chinkapin Oak




Jerusalem Thorn

Jerusalem Thorn

Jerusalem Thorn

Jerusalem Thorn

Anacacho Orchid Tree

Anacacho Orchid Tree

Anacacho Orchid Tree

Anacacho Orchid Tree

Tree Services

** Davey Tree ServicesRecommended by TAMU Extension Agent and Angie's List. Phone 698-0515. Local Office. 210.764.3399 Tim Jackson. Called 11/11/14 and spoke to Diana. She made an appointment (free) for an arborist, Mark Mann, to come on Nov. 20th at 3pm to give us a bid. I also called 811, and CPS will be out at 3:45 pm on Nov. 13 to mark our front yard. Testing the soil costs $200 (Yikes!).

Davey Tree Svc. planted our MC in the front yard in March 2015. Sales by Mark Mann, 24175 Boerne Stage Rd. 78255. 210-698-0515.

Schulz Nursery $100+ tree and they will plant it for you--Reviews: I did find my new favorite local nursery!... The service here is always great... Friendly staff. Lots of Everything you need... [Broadway location] The staff here is rude, unfriendly, and not helpful. I had 2 employees walk by us did not ask if we needed help. We tried to stop the women to ask her a question and she tried to walk off. So rude. The cashier lady made us wait, did not say hi, or I will be with you in a second... [Marion location] The employees are knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. This nursery also owns the Subway restaurant connected to it, so go get lunch after you are finished getting your plants... Everyone at Schulz Nursery, Marion, TX can assist you W/a wealth of botanical knowledge to protect your current garden plants as well as future planting purchases. They are eager to help you, help the environment. They only carry good, healthy plant...

Texas Ecoregions SA is in the Post Oak Savannah bordered on the North by Blackland Prairies, on the Southwest by the South Texas Plains, and on the Southeast by the Coastal Plains. The Post Oak Savannah is a transition zone between the blackland prairies to the west and the Pineywoods to the east. This ecosystem is part of a historic oak belt, which travels south from Canada towards Central America. Few true examples of old-growth Post Oak Savannah in Texas still exist today. South Texas Plains: Soils are primarily acidic sands. Flats with poor drainage often contain huisache and some mesquite trees. Droughty flats and ridges with gravelly or rocky soils that have better drainage contain shorter mesquite, blackbrush, cenizo, etc. Often known as the Tamaulipan Thornscrub or “brush country”, this region of Texas is known for shorter trees and numerous shrubs, most of which contain thorns. Because of the hot dry weather, leaves are commonly small and often compound. The short height and dense, small leaves give the region an appearance of impenetrable shrubland. The flats and ridges host honey mesquite, huisache, blackbrush, guajillo, cenizo, Texas mountain laurel, and Spanish dagger. Shallow arroyos or rocky draws often host additional species such as spiny hackberry, bluewood condalia, Texas persimmon, lime prickly ash, guayacan, and kidneywood.

Why Some Trees Evolved to Live Underground about savannahs

Tree Info.

Contact Info. Bexar County Ag. Extension Office Dist. 10. phone 210.467.6575. Address; 3355 Cherry Ridge St Ste 212 San Antonio, TX 78230-4818. E-mail

Contact us. Extension Office for Bexar County TAMU

Native Plant Society of Texas Becky Etzler, Member Services:

North American Mycological Association

TAMU Tree Guide shows pictures of every tree for texas

Arbor Day Foundation

USDA Hardiness Map SA is zone 8b, 15 to 20 F

15 Most Drought Tolerant Trees for the San Antonio Area

SA Parks & Recreation Tree Rebates

Bartlett Tree ServicesRecommended by TAMU Extension Agent. Phone 655-4670. Called: ''t plant trees.

Suarez Tree Service in SA. One employee, Juan Suarez. No reviews found.

Alfaro Tree Sales Atascosa near SA...These guys are awesome....they have a great selection of trees to choose from, a good sales team.....they did all of my lanscaping....I would recommend anybody to go with these guys!!!. Emailed 11/6/14

Agri Tree Experts in SA. No reviews found.

SA Tree Surgeons and tree sales and planting. Rated 5 stars. No other reviews found.. Emailed 11/6/14

SA Total Tree Service Five star rating...S.A. Total Tree Service did a awesome job with our yard at a great price! They took their time to not only complete the work professionally, but also made great suggestions for the yard to help us in the future. Yard looks great, we are happy. I would recommend to my family and friends. Thank you SA Total Tree Service!! The Cosby Family... went above and beyond when trimming my trees. They were very respectful of my property and fulfilled our agreement perfectly... did a great job at our home in northwest San Antonio. They trimmed, de-mossed and took care of some trees that were dead along with the stumps. They picked up all debris and cleaned up our yard really nice. I will recommend this company to my family and friends. Thank You, Raymond G. Emailed 11/6/14

Arboretum Tree Services recommended by Angie's List. a member of the BBB and the San Antonio Arborist Association (SAAA). Licensed, Bonded & Insured: Call Billy Jordan 210-414-3369. Emailed 11/6/14


Yard Map

Yard Map

Yard Map

Yard Map


New forests cannot take in as much carbon as predicted As carbon emissions continue to rise, scientists project forests will grow faster and larger, due to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, which fuels photosynthesis. But a new study finds that these projections are overestimated.

11 of the World's Most Threatened Forests beautiful pictures

New Guinea ~ The Amazon

Where The Birds Come From: The Push To Protect The Boreal Forest In the northern reaches of North America lies a vast forest that extends from interior Alaska all the way across Canada to Newfoundland and the Atlantic Ocean. It provides the breeding grounds for billions of migratory birds each summer and is home to around one-quarter of the world’s remaining untouched forests. North America’s boreal forest contains a treasure trove of internationally significant ecological values, and it’s also the focus of one of the most ambitious conservation efforts anywhere on Earth.

The combination of its intactness (about 80% is still relatively intact and free of industrial disturbance) and its vast networks of wetlands and waterways (millions of lakes large and small and around 25% of the world’s wetlands) makes this lush forest a summer breeding paradise for at least 325 bird species—nearly half of the species commonly found in the U.S. and Canada.

Palm Warbler

Video: Rainforest sound 11 hours

Piney Woods, E. Texas

Piney Woods, E. Texas

Piney Woods, E. Texas

Piney Woods, E. Texas

Big Thicket

Rain Forest

Fall colors in Forest in Tbilisi, Georgia

Identify South Texas Trees

Texas Trees: How to ID TAMU

List of Trees TAMU--shows tree and leaves

See Key_to_Texas_Tree_Species_TFS.pdf in Downloads.
Trees of Texas, ID 101

TAMU Tree Guide shows pictures of every tree for texas

Native Plants of Texas Search Engine

Tree Handbook An estimated 1,200 native flowering plant species grow in the lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas, and of these at least 28 species reach tree size. The Native Plant Project has selected 28 of these trees to be featured in this publication. Some are beautiful ornamentals, some prove invaluable for wildlife use, and others make excellent shade trees.

Trees native to the lower Rio Grande Valley have advantages over trees (even of the same species) brought in from elsewhere. Trees of local origin have the genetic factors which ensure greater probability for survival since they are preadapted having evolved to tolerate local climatic extremes, local soils, and local diseases and pests. Except for the few species which usually grow with their roots nearly in the water of the Rio Grande or resacas, most local native trees are xeric-adapted. This means they require little supplemental water, tolerate droughts well, and conserve much of the extra water which exotic trees require. Many fit well into xeriscapes. Native trees have evolved with the temperature and rainfall extremes and remained relatively unharmed during the Christmas freezes of 1983 and 1989 which devastated the non-native plantings. A little extra water though may greatly lengthen the flowering period of xeric-adapted trees and shrubs.

Vitex Agnus-Castus

Vitex Agnus-Castus tree A showy summertime floral display [dark lavender] blooms sporadically until early fall, the Vitex, also known as ChasteTree, Hemp Tree, Sage Tree, and Indian Spice. A good candidate for planting in a xeriscape garden.

Vitex at Milberger's Nursery

Vitex agnus-castus, also called Vitex, Chaste Tree, Chasteberry, Abraham's Balm[1] or Monk's Pepper, is a native of the Mediterranean region. It is one of the few temperate-zone species of Vitex, which is on the whole a genus of tropical and sub-tropical flowering plants.[2] Theophrastus mentioned the shrub several times, as agnos (?????) in Enquiry into Plants. Vitex, its name in Pliny the Elder, is derived from the Latin vieo, meaning to weave or to tie up, a reference to the use of Vitex agnus-castus in basketry.

Vitex agnus-castus is widely cultivated in warm temperate and subtropical regions for its delicate-textured aromatic foliage and butterfly attracting spikes of lavender flowers in late summer in cooler climates. It grows to a height of 1–5 meters. It requires full sun or partial shade along with well-drained soil.

In ancient times it was believed to be an anaphrodisiac, hence the name chaste tree. Pliny, in his Historia Naturalis, reports the use of stems and leaves of this plant by women as bedding "to cool the heat of lust" during the time of the Thesmophoria, when Athenian women left their husbands' beds to remain ritually chaste. At the end of the thirteenth century John Trevisa reports of it "the herbe agnus-castus is always grene, and the flowre therof is namly callyd Agnus Castus, for wyth smel and vse it maketh men chaste as a lombe". Chaucer, in "The Flower and the Leaf," refers to it as an attribute of the chaste Diana, and in the 16th century the English herbalist William Turner reports the same anaphrodisiac properties of the seed, both fried and not fried. More recently, this plant has been called monk's pepper in the thought that it was used as anti-libido medicine by monks to aid their attempts to remain chaste.

There are disputed accounts regarding its actual action on libido, with some claims that it is anaphrodisiac and others that it is aphrodisiac. Because of the complex mechanism of action it can be probably both, depending on concentration of the extract and physiologic variables (Wikipedia).

After the leaves have fallen off in autumn, the pea-sized dried berries can be collected for use as food or medicine. (Google) Chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus var. latifolia)--These plants are happiest in full sun and well-drained soil. Problems: Leaf spot, root rot, or scale insects. Read more: Follow us: @finegardening on Twitter | FineGardeningMagazine on Facebook[] See TAMU comments at The early American nurseryman Peter Henderson stated that Vitex has been cultivated here since 1670. For folks in the warmer part of the South, the "Lilac Chaste Tree" has been the shrub of choice to mimic lilacs, which are restricted to cooler regions. Vitex is an excellent choice for a large shrub or small flowering tree in the smaller, modern suburban landscape. It does best in full sun and will grow in a variety of soils, provided they are well drained. After it has been established, the Vitex is a good candidate for planting in a xeric garden, where hot, dry surroundings prevail. Like many members of the Vervain family, Vitex attracts butterflies and other insects. The older strains had small spikes of flowers in pale lilac, mauve, off-white or light pink, but modern, much improved varieties such as 'Montrose Purple', 'LeCompte', or the pink 'Salinas Pink' have spikes as long as 8 to 12 inches in length. Many aromatic black or brown seeds may be set, but if the spent spikes are cut off promptly after the first flowering the shrub will bloom again. VitexSouthern Living [] my favorite tree of the bunch.. quickly grows into a multi-trunked tree about 10 to 20 feet tall and wide with a broad, spreading habit. pharmacological uses. An extract made from Vitex supposedly does a very good job of controlling PMS. Which means any of you guys out there who are routinely beaten every 28 days should definitely plant one in the yard.

But the best thing about chaste tree, in my uber-learned opinion, is the flowers. Chaste tree is one of the very few winter-hardy trees out there that sports true blue flowers (although they can also be pink, purple, or white). The one you’re looking at here is ‘Abbeville Blue.’ which bears large, spectacular panicles of deep-blue flowers in summer. Other selections I like include ‘Montrose Purple’ (purple blooms), ‘Shoal Creek’ (blue-violet), and ‘Silver Spires.’ (white). If you buy an unnamed chaste tree tree from a nursery, buy it in bloom so you can see the color of the flowers and the general shape of the plant.

Few trees are as easy to grow. Here’s the low-down:

Light: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained

Water; Regular moisture at first — very drought tolerant once established

Pests: None serious

Pruning: Not the tidiest plant in the world. Needs regular pruning to produce an attractive multi-trunked tree. Prune in winter. Clean out the entire center of the tree, removing all side branches from main 4 to 5 trunks. Also remove messy, twiggy growth that tends to crowd the ends of the branches. As an option, cut entire plant to ground in winter. It will sprout in spring and bloom in summer, although later than chaste trees not pruned so severely. You can also force a second bloom in summer by removing the first flush of blooms as soon as they fade.

Salt & wind tolerance: Good

Bee alert: Bumblebees love this plant above all others and will even spend the night on the flowers. Keep this in mind.

Vitex Agnus-Castus

Vitex Agnus-Castus

Vitex Agnus-Castus

Vitex Agnus-Castus

Vitex Agnus-Castus

Vitex Agnus-Castus

Vitex Blossom with Bee

Anacahuite (TAMU):

Common Name Anacahuite (Wild Olive) (Mexican-Olive)
Latin Name Cordia boissieri
Tree Size Small
Leaf Type Evergreen
Growth Rate Slow
Water Needs td>Dry
Tolerances Drought, poorly drained sites, alkaline soils
Attributes Texas native, showy or fragrant flower, seeds or fruit eaten by wildlife
Features Large, white flowers bloom throught the year.
Comments Bold leaves contrast large flowers.
Problems Susceptible to freeze damage.

Cordia boissieri Cordia boissieri is a species of flowering shrub or small tree in the borage family, Boraginaceae. Its native range extends from southern Texas in the United States south to central Mexico. Common names include Anacahuita, Mexican Olive, White Cordia, and Texas Wild Olive.

Texas Wild Olive

Tree Description:
A small tree with a curving trunk, to 20 feet tall and a trunk to 12" in diameter, with a low, rounded crown.

Range/Site Description:
Native to the brushlands and forest remnants of the southernmost tip of Texas, this species is a beautiful landscape tree that can be planted as far north as San Antonio.

Simple, opposite on the twigs, oval to oblong, 4" to 5" long by 2" to 3" wide, leaf edge without teeth, velvety on both surfaces, evergreen.

Very showy, white, trumpet-shaped flowers, 1.5" long and 2" wide, with a yellow spot in the throat, appear throughout spring and summer with sufficient water.

A whitish drupe, about 1" long, with sweet, pulpy flesh. Favored by wildlife and edible by humans.

Gray to light brown, strongly fissured with flat ridges even on small stems, fibrous and interwoven.

Wood is sometimes used for woodenware and yokes. Sold principally as a landscape tree.

Similar Species:
Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) has smooth leaves 3" to 8" long; white fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus) occurs in East Texas and has smooth leaves.

Interesting Facts:
Jelly made from the fruits is used as a household remedy for coughs and colds.


Brownsville boasts nation’s largest anacahuita

ANACAHUITA, TEXAS OLIVE, MEXICAN OLIVE, WILD OLIVE Cordia boissieri---Also called the Texas Olive, this rare native makes a beautiful small specimen tree perfect for the hottest toughest sunniest areas so long as the soil is well-drained. The Anacahuita produces large clusters of 2", crepe-like, white funnel shaped flowers with a dark gold yellow throat in spring and early summer as well as again in fall. The large olive-like fruit ripens to white before falling from the tree. The ripe fruit may be too much for some situations but it is relished by birds and other wildlife but are known to make the animals dizzy when eaten in any quantity.

There are some beautiful specimens at the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas.

NATIVE PLANT DATABASE: NATIVE PLANT DATABASE: Cordia boissieri Locally known as Mexican olive or Anacahuita, Cordia boissieri is an ornamental shrub or tree to 30 ft, with large, soft, dark leaves and large, showy, trumpet-shaped white flowers with yellow throats that are sometimes described as looking like crepe paper or chiffon. Its sinuous trunk becomes picturesque as it ages. It is native no farther north than south Texas because it cant tolerate cold winters, but it has been successfully tried as far north as Austin, where cold winters are likely to cause some die-back. Within its natural range, it is drought-tolerant enough that it is a common highway planting. Birds, deer, and cattle enjoy the sweet 2-3 cm long fruit and butterflies frequent the blooms.

Texas Wild Olive, White Geiger, Anacahuita, Cordia boissieri

Native Plant Base: Mountain Laurel Sophora secundiflora (Ortega) Lag. ex DC. Texas mountain laurel, Mountain laurel, Mescal bean, Mescal bean sophora, Frijolillo, Frijolito Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Mescal bean or Texas mountain laurel is an evergreen, usually multi-trunked shrub or small tree ranging from just a few feet tall to more than 30 ft. in height, though its usual height at maturity is 10-15 ft. The dense, dark green, and glossy compound leaves are composed of 7–9 shiny, leathery leaflets that are rounded on the ends. The leaflets are up to 2 inches or more long, tapering more gradually to the base than to the tip, and arranged along an axis terminated by a single leaflet . The bluish lavender flowers, in 3-7 in. drooping clusters, are very showy and fragrant. The fruit is a semi-woody pod with bright red poisonous seeds.

Sophora secundiflora is very popular as a native evergreen ornamental tree within its range, valued for its handsome, dark green foliage and lush early spring blooms. It is drought-tolerant, prefers rocky limestone soil, and is native from central Texas west to New Mexico and south to San Luis Potosi in Mexico. Like many woody plants native to rocky soils, it is slow growing. The fragrance of Texas mountain laurel flowers is reminiscent of artificial grape products. The brilliant, lacquer red seeds were valued by indigenous people for ornament and ceremonial use; they contain the highly poisonous alkaloid cytisine (or sophorine), a substance related to nicotine and widely cited as a narcotic and hallucinogen.

Dermatophyllum secundiflorum Dermatophyllum secundiflorum is a species of flowering shrub or small tree in the pea family, Fabaceae, that is native to the southwestern United States (Texas, New Mexico) and Mexico (Chihuahua and Coahuila south to Hidalgo, Puebla and Querétaro).[3] Common names include Texas mountain laurel, Texas mescalbean, frijolito, and frijolillo. Although "mescalbean" is among the plant's common appellations, it bears no relation to the Agave species used to make the spirit mezcal, nor to the peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii), which contains the hallucinogenic alkaloid mescaline.

It is well-adapted to arid and semi-arid habitats but is most common in riparian zones. [A riparian zone or riparian area is the interface between land and a river or stream. Riparian is also the proper nomenclature for one of the fifteen terrestrial biomes of the earth.]

Extremely fragrant purple flowers, resembling the smell of grape soda, are produced in large clusters in March and April. They are followed by 4 in (10 cm) pods containing deep orange seeds.

Arid Zone Trees PDF Of the four common names associated with this plant, Sophora, Texas Mountain Laurel, Frijolito and Mescal Bean, Sophora is the most widely used. Native to Texas, New Mexico and northeastern Mexico, Sophoras are well adapted to high temperatures, well drained alkaline soils and full sun. They typically grow quite slowly eventually reaching a mature height of 15 to 20 feet and 8 to 10 feet wide.

Its slow rate of growth to mature height has led some to categorize it as a large shrub/small tree.

The form is usually low branching or multiple trunked with a dispersed to fairly dense canopy of glossy green leaves. In native settings they are found growing at elevations from 1000' to 5000'. Sophoras can be naturalized to survive on average annual rainfall alone in some desert settings. Supplemental summer irrigations are usually required in central and southern Arizona. The highest rate of growth is achieved on established Sophoras when they are planted in full sun and given deep, monthly irrigations during spring and summer. The leaves are compound (made up of smaller leaflets) with 7 to 9, round, 1 inch diameter leaflets. With proper pruning, Sophoras can be trained into the form of a small, multiple trunked tree. Be aware that excessive pruning can inhibit flower production, as Sophora’s produce flowers only on one year old wood. Trunks range in color from dark gray to black.

Established plants are hardy to 0 degrees F. In March and April 4" to 8" bright purple, drooping clusters of wisteria-like flowers are produced. These flower clusters are very fragrant with a smell resembling grape soda. Flowers fade fairly quickly and by mid summer give rise to 3" to 4" fuzzy, tan, seed pods.

The seeds are large, 3/8" to 1/2" diameter and dark orange in color. Seeds and flowers can be poisonous to children and pets. The risk is limited as the seed pod and seed coat are very hard and difficult to crack. Placement and maintenance of this shrub should take into account the risk posed by the flowers and seeds.

Sophoras can be used as individual flowering shrubs, in groupings to exploit the glossy green foliage, purple flowers and remarkable fragrance or as a screen or hedge planting. It mixes easily with other desert landscape plant materials and adds a unique color and texture to the landscape. It will tolerate planting in or near turf or in more native areas.

Sophoras are thornless.

The only insect pest of any consequence is the larvae of the Pyralid Moth that feeds on leaves, young twig growth and immature seed pods. It is readily controlled by application of Bacillus thuringiensis (sometimes called BT), a widely available, commercial biological control agent. Sporadic availability and the relatively slow growth rate have limited the use and popularity of this shrub. Proper maintenance can enhance the growth and increase the popularity of this remarkable yet under-appreciated flowering desert shrub.

Arid Zone Trees

Mountain Laurel Usually found as a multi-trunked small tree, Texas mountain laurel can be trained to a single trunk in the nursery. Single-trunked nursery stock would make nice street trees for planting in small soil spaces, and where overhead space is limited by wires or other structures. Plant a row of Texas mountain laurel on 15 or 20 foot centers to form a nice canopy over a walk, or locate it close to a patio or deck. The bark on multi-trunked specimens shows off nicely when lit up at night from beneath the canopy.

Texas mountain laurel should be grown in full sun or partial shade on well-drained soil. This tough plant will tolerate hot, windy conditions and alkaline or wet soils but not compacted soil. Young trees may benefit from afternoon shading from the intense summer sun until they become established.

Sophora secundiflora beans are hallucinagenic

Texas Mountain Laurel, Mescal Bean Probably one of my favorite shrubs. It is slow growing, but can be pruned into a nicely shaped small tree given sufficient time. My plant thrives incredibly well planted next to a southwest facing block wall that receives punishing reflective heat during the Phoenix summer. It seems the hotter it is, the better this plant will grow. Stays evergreen throughout the year and from February-March its flowers produces a marvelous scent rivaled only by freesia. The Texas Mountain Laurel is a host plant for gentista broom moth caterpillars. In early spring and middle of the fall, the freshest growth is defoliated by these caterpillars which form a silk-like tent around the ends of the branches.

Texas Mountain Laurel, Mescal Bean, Frigolito, Frijollito, Frijolillo, Coral Bean, Big-drunk Bean, Colorin Texas mountain laurel grows in limestone soils in Central and Southwest Texas and to 5000 feet in the Chisos and Davis Mountains. This slow growing evergreen may be grown as a medium to large shrub or trained to a single or multi-trunk tree. The pinnate leaves with their lustrous, leathery upper surface provide year long beauty, enhanced in mid-spring by the densely-flowered racemes of lavender or violet pea flowers having the scent of grape Kool Aid. The black, somewhat constricted seedpods contain red to red-orange seeds which are sometimes used in jewelry. Both seeds and flowers are quite poisonous and contain narcotic properties

Red Bud The Redbud grows throughout much of the eastern United States and extends as far west as Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

Hardiness Zones: 4 to 9
Height: 30 ft
Spread: 25 ft
Form: rounded
Type: deciduous tree
Annual Growth Rate: 12 to 18 inches
Light: Full sun to shade
Moisture: Grows better in moist soil

Cultivar 'Forest Pansy' - The new leaves are scarlet becoming maroon as they mature. The flowers are pink. This cultivar may not be as hardy as the species.

Cultivar 'Flame' ('Plena') - Double pink flowers appear at the same time as the leaves. Seldom sets fruit.

Cultivar 'Silver Cloud' - The leaves are variegated with pink and white. The plants are 12 feet tall and wide.

Treehoppers lay eggs under the bark of twigs. The insect itself is not seen but the white, sticky froth covering the eggs is quite noticeable (see image). The insect is seldom serious. Use Horticultural Oil in a dormant spray dosage to control treehoppers. The Horticultural Oil should be applied when the temperatures are between 35 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Scale insects are small, non-mobile insects that attach themselves to the wood and sometimes the foliage. Scale is most common on the new tender woody growth. When adult scale is attached to the tree, it often appears as crusty or waxy bumps on the tree and is often mistaken for part of the tree’s own growth, but it is actually an insect. The scale sucks sap from the tree and causes the leaves to turn yellow and drop. Often a sticky substance can be found near the scale or on the leaves. This is a secretion from the scale called honeydew and often acts as an attractant for ants or as a growing source for sooty mold.

In the spring or mid-summer, small, almost invisible nymphs emerge from under the female shells and move to infect new areas of the tree. This is the only time in the life cycle of scale that the insect moves.

To effectively control scale insects and limit damage, Horticultural Oil should be sprayed on the tree. The Horticultural oil serves to suffocate the scale and eggs. In the spring or early summer if the crawling nymphs are present, spray the trees with [Bug Buster] to prevent the new nymphs from further infecting the tree.

Spider mites are an extremely tiny pest, and generally appear as a brown, red or purple specks on the underside of leaves. Mites infest leaves and cause the leaves to appear speckled with yellow spots or wilted and curled. A fine silken webbing can sometimes be seen on the underside of the leaves. Intense infestations during hot, dry weather can cause the leaves to curl and drop.

To confirm if the tree has a spider mite infestation take a close look at the undersides of the leaves for small insects, the size of ground pepper. You may need to use a small magnifying glass to adequately see the spider mites. Another way to examine for spider mites is to take a sheet of white paper, hold it under a group of leaves and give the leaves a few sharp taps to shake some of the spider mites loose. On the white paper the spider mites can be easily seen.

Spider mites damage the tree by sucking sap from the underside of the leaves. The bite marks appear as a yellow speckled pattern on the top and bottom of the leaf. As the season progresses and the temperature becomes hotter and dryer (above 70 degrees F.) the population of spider mites will increase exponentially and can rapidly defoliate a tree, especially if the tree is having trouble taking up water during drought periods. To control mites, spray the tree with Bug Buster. Be sure to spray the underside of the leaves as well as leaf crotches as this is where most spider mites and their eggs are found.

Dieback/Canker is the most destructive disease that attacks Redbud trees. It is first seen as a tree’s leaves wilt and turn brown. Often cankers can be seen on branches and twigs. The cankers can either be seen as visible cankers on the surface of the branches or as dark sunken areas with black centers.

The canker or dieback is caused by a fungus (Botryosphaeria ribis) which attacks not only the redbud but more than fifty other types of trees and shrubs. The disease is spread throughout the tree, or from tree to tree, by splashing rain and winds that move the fungus from diseased areas to healthy parts of the tree. The fungus then enters the tree through wounds or dying branches. The fungus gradually spreads out within the tree’s vascular system slowly blocking the tree’s vascular system and inhibiting its ability to transport nutrients and water. The result is a gradual dieback of branches as the flow of nutrients and water is cut off.

There is no effective chemical control for the canker. If canker is identified in a tree, prune out and destroy dead branches and infested areas. Be sure to make pruning cuts at least 3 or 4 inches below the canker, so that the cut is into healthy viable wood. After every pruning cut, be sure to properly sanitize the pruning tools so that the fungus is not transported on the tools and infects healthy parts of the tree.

What Time of the Year to Plant a Redbud Tree Redbud, like most trees, grows best when planted during cool, rainy weather. During hot weather, it suffers more transplant shock and might be slow to develop a root system. When the ground is frozen, its roots cannot move through the soil. Planting a redbud tree during very cold weather also can cause it to dry out. Depending on your climate, the best time to plant any tree is usually in spring or early fall, according to the Virginia Department of Forestry's website. In mild climates, however, a tree can be planted in winter.

Choose the planting location for a redbud tree carefully. It can tolerate partial shade but grows and blooms better if placed in a site that has full sun exposure. A redbud tolerates most kinds of soil as long as it drains well.

How you plant a redbud tree is as important as when you plant it. A redbud doesn't tolerate heavy clay or compacted soil that tends to drain poorly. Break up such soil, and amend it with compost to lighten its consistency. The planting hole for your redbud tree should be twice as wide and almost as deep as the tree's root ball. The top of the root ball should sit 1 to 2 inches taller than the soil surrounding the hole. ''t worry about adding fertilizer to the planting hole, but water the tree regularly during dry weather for its first growing season or its first two growing seasons. Once established, a redbud tree needs infrequent watering, depending on its species.

Red Bud Adaptable and dependable, redbuds include some of our most charming native trees. In early spring, before leaf-out, a profusion of small, sweet pea–shaped, lavender-pink to rosy purple flowers appears on twigs, branches, and even the main trunk. Blossoms are followed by clusters of flat, beanlike pods that persist into winter and give rise to numerous seedlings around the tree. Handsome, broad, rounded or heart-shaped leaves may change to bright yellow in fall, but fall color is inconsistent.

Growing Redbud Trees: How To Care For A Redbud Tree Growing redbud trees is a great way to add brilliant color to your landscape. In addition, the care of redbud trees is easy. Planting a redbud tree is best 'e in early spring. These ornamental beauties prefer well-drained soil and a partly shaded location.

The care of redbud trees requires minimal effort. Place about 3 inches of mulch around the tree, but not touching the trunk, to help retain moisture.

Prune the redbud in the fall to maintain a natural growth habit and to trim off any dead branches.

Keep the soil moist, but not saturated, while the tree is establishing.

Video: Grumpy Gardener's Guide to Redbuds

Western redbud (Cercis occidentalis) Great Design Plant: Cercis Occidentalis for Four Seasons

Western redbud (Cercis occidentalis) is truly a four-season plant. This western native is a plant to behold when its brilliant hot-pink to magenta flowers burst forth in the early spring, breaking our winter doldrums. Bright green, heart-shaped leaves follow soon after on this deciduous shrub or multitrunked small tree, and last through the summer before darkening with age. Three-inch, dark cinnamon-colored seedpods rustle in the fall breezes before stark gray bark and an attractive shape reveal themselves in winter.

Photo by Stan Shebs ~

Botanical name: Cercis occidentalis (syn. Cercis orbiculata) Common names: Western redbud, California redbud Origin: Northern California, the Sierras, the San Joaquin Valley and the extreme southwest of California to Utah and Arizona Natural habitat: Dry slopes, canyons and ravines next to a stream or spring; chaparral, Douglas fir forest, Joshua tree woodland, yellow pine forest and central oak woodland; needs warm summers; not for the immediate coast; below 4,500 feet Where it will grow: Young plants are hardy to 20 degrees Fahrenheit; mature plants are hardy to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (USDA zones 5 to 9; find your zone)

A swallowtail butterfly on western redbud ~ Photo of flowers with shiny young foliage by Stan Shebs

Water requirement: Moderate to dry; drought tolerant once established; grows more quickly if it receives occasional summer water; requires regular water in desert areas Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade Soil: Adaptable; best in well-drained soil Mature size: 3 to 15 feet tall and wide Benefits and tolerances: Tolerates clay, sand, alkaline and acidic soils; great under oaks due to its drought tolerance and resistance to oak root fungus; hummingbirds and pollinators enjoy the nectar; provides shelter and seeds for birds


Seasonal interest: All four seasons Spring: Showy magenta flowers from February to April, followed by bright green, heart-shaped leaves; seedpods from the previous year can be persistent, adding textureSummer: Lush green foliageFall: Dark cinnamon-colored seedpods (shown here) at least 3 inches long; the leaves change to yellow, orange or red at higher, colder elevationsWinter: Graceful vase-like shape with seedpods and no leavesWhen to plant: Late fall is ideal; winter works well; spring is acceptable; summer can be challenging to all but the most experienced gardener

Western redbud with fall color ~

Distinguishing traits. With an appealing vase-like to rounded shape, intense pink to magenta flowers, textural deep brown seedpods and lovely gray branches, western redbud makes a striking four-season specimen plant.


Wildlife value. Western redbud is a great addition to a habitat garden, attracting birds with its nutritious legume seeds and hummingbirds, beneficial insects, native bees, honeybees and other pollinators with its early-spring nectar. Leafcutter bees leave semicircular cuts on edges of western redbud’s new, tender leaves, which they use to soften their nests for their young. Leafcutter bees are one of 1,600 native bee species in California; they are gentle and won’t pester you at your barbecue picnic like pesky yellow jacket wasps.

How to use it. Use western redbud as a specimen, as a screen or in a habitat garden. If drought-tolerant western redbud has good drainage where it is sited, this ornamental will make a proud statement in any garden, including parks and even as a street tree. The flowering western redbud, shown on the right with California native ceanothus (Ceanothus sp) in the foreground, makes a beautiful specimen plant in this mostly native landscape.

Planting notes. Prune annually in the fall for size and to remove dead or crossed branches. Western redbud can be coppiced (cut back) to the ground once it’s established if it needs rejuvenation. Although coppicing will kill most plants, others, like western redbud, look even better after two to three years. Consider this extreme measure only if the plant is far too large, misshapen or so old that it blooms only at the top third of the plant.

Fringe Tree — The Best Native Tree Nobody Grows Grumpy Gardener in Southern Living

American Fringe Tree

You’d think a small, native tree with pretty spring flowers and pretty fall foliage that’s easier-than-pie to grow would be a staple in our gardens. You’d be wrong. So let me tell you about fringe tree.

Fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus) has always played twelfth fiddle to dogwood, saucer magnolia, flowering cherry, Bradford pear (yuck), and numerous others choices for spring-flowering trees. That’s just wacky. Indigenous to the eastern U.S., it grows from Canada all the way down to the Gulf Coast. It’s tougher than dogwood, more dependable than saucer magnolia, longer-lived than cherry, and smells better than stinky Bradford. And it’s beautiful.

Fringe Tree

Fringe tree gets its name from its clouds of fleecy white, softly fragrant flowers that hang from the branches in late spring and early summer. Other common names here in the South are grancy graybeard and old man’s beard. Trees can be either male or female. Males sport larger, showier blooms, but females form attractive, blackish-blue fruits that birds like. Nurseries '’t sell trees by sex, so you have to take your chances. But either sex is well worth planting.

Chinese Fringe Tree, loropetalum-zhuzhou

Size: 12 to 20 feet tall and wide
Shape: Rounded and usually multi-trunked
Light: Full to partial sun
Soil: Moist, fertile, well-drained
Water needs: Moderate, tolerates some drought
Fall foliage: Bright yellow
Pests: NONE
Hardiness zones: USDA Zones 3-9 (we're 8)
Prune: Seldom needed; prune after flowering
Bonus fact: Tolerates air pollution; good for city gardens
Bonus bonus fact: One of the last trees to leaf out in spring

Chinese Fringe Tree

Fringe Tree Fruit


Jacaranda is a genus of 49 species of flowering plants in the family Bignoniaceae, native to tropical and subtropical regions of Central America, South America, Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica and the Bahamas. - Wikipedia

Northern Catalpa [Catalpa speciosa] This is a tree that demands your attention. White, showy flowers. Giant heart-shaped leaves. Dangling bean-like seed pods. Twisting trunk and branches. How could you not stop to take it in?


The catalpa tree is found in forests from southern Illinois and Indiana to western Tennessee and Arkansas. First cultivated in 1754, the wood was used for fence posts and railroad ties because of its resistance to rot and the tree’s fast growth rate. Common names for this tree are many and colorful—including cigar tree, Indian bean tree, catawba, caterpillar tree, hardy catalpa and western catalpa.

Catalpa Northern catalpa is a medium to large, deciduous tree that typically grows to 40-70’ (less frequently to 100’) tall with an irregular, open-rounded to narrow-oval crown. It is native to a relatively small area extending from western Tennessee, northeastern Arkansas and the lowlands of southeastern Missouri north to southern Illinois and southern Indiana. In Missouri, it typically occurs along streams, bluff bases and in both low and upland woods (Steyermark). Broad ovate to ovate-oblong leaves (to 12” long) are pointed at the tips and rounded to cordate at the bases. Leaves are light green to yellow green above and densely pubescent below. Foliage turns an undistinguished yellow in fall. Flowers can be a real showstopper, however. Bell-shaped, orchid-like white flowers (to 2” long) with purple and yellow inner spotting appear in panicles in late spring (late May to early June in St. Louis). Flowers give way to long slender green seedpods (12-22” long). The seedpods mature in fall to dark brown and then split open lengthwise to release the seeds within. Seedpods give rise to the common name of cigar tree, although they actually are longer and thinner than most cigars. Abundant pods are produced every 2 to 3 years. Bark of mature trees is fissured, prominently ridged and pale gray-brown. The leaves of this species do not emit an unpleasant aroma when bruised as is the case with the similar southern catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides).

A mature, symmetrically rounded catalpa tree can be a tree of great beauty, particularly in spring when the foliage is young and the flowers are in bloom. Unfortunately, it is otherwise a rather coarse tree that many believe does not deserve a prominent place in the landscape. Branches are brittle and mature trees infrequently exhibit classic form. Foliage also tends to depreciate as the growing season progresses, the large leaves being subject to damage from hail, wind, insects and sometime disease. It has been widely planted in urban areas as a street tree and lawn tree, and can also be effectively used in the landscape for difficult areas such as moist low spots or dry areas with poor soils.

northern catalpa Bignoniaceae Catalpa speciosa

Rusty Blackhaw

Rusty Blackhaw


Carolina Buckthorn

Carolina Buckthorn

Rhamnus caroliniana Rhamnus caroliniana (syn. Frangula caroliniana), the Carolina buckthorn, is an upright shrub or small tree native to the southeastern, south-central, and mid-western parts of the United States, from Texas east to Florida and north as far as Maryland, Ohio, Missouri, and Oklahoma.[2] There is also an isolated population in the State of Nuevo León in northeastern Mexico.

Rhamnus caroliniana is usually around 12 to 15 feet (3.6-4.5 meters) high, but capable of reaching 40 feet (12 meters) 25/3in a shaded location.[4] The most striking characteristic of this plant are its shiny, dark green leaves. The flowers are very small and inconspicuous, pale yellow-green, bell-shaped, appearing in leaf axils in late spring after the leaves. The fruit is a small (1/3 inch or 8.3 mm) round drupe; at first red, but later turning black with juicy flesh. It ripens in late summer. Despite its common name, the Carolina Buckthorn is completely thornless.


Crape Myrtle


Crape Myrtles for Texas a collaborative project of Texas Cooperative Extension, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Texas A&M University, and the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association.

Crapemyrtle The crapemyrtle is often referred to as the "lilac of the South." With its striking flowers, handsome bark and attractive foliage, this species is a favorite for landscapes. It can be grown as either a shrub or small tree and is often used in groupings, containers, hedges and screens. You can even find the common crapemyrtle used as small street trees in urban settings.


Crapemyrtle - Catawba Purple & Lagerstroemia Indica

The Crape Myrtle Co. We have over 55 varieties available of miniature, dwarf, medium and standard (tree) crape myrtles. Crape Myrtles are great for landscaping, ground cover, hanging baskets, bonsai, shrubs, privacy hedges and beautiful specimen trees.

Varieties Defined

Complete Guide to Crape Myrtle All crepe myrtles bloom on new wood and should be pruned in winter or early spring. On large shrubs and trees, remove basal suckers, twiggy growth, crossing branches, and branches growing toward the center of the plant. Also gradually remove side branches up to a height of 4–5 ft.; this exposes the handsome bark of the trunks. During the growing season, clip off spent flowers to promote a second, lighter bloom.

Mildew can be a problem. Spray with triforine (Funginex) before plants bloom, or grow mildew-resistant hybrids of L. indica and L. fauriei. Almost all selections with names of Native American tribes, such as ‘Hopi’, ‘Miami’, and ‘Zuni’, are mildew resistant.

Queen’s Crepe Myrtle. L. speciosa. Zones TS; 12–9. Tree to 25–30 ft. tall, 15–25 ft. wide. The showiest and most tender of the crepe myrtles, displaying huge clusters of white, pink, lavender, or purple flowers in June and July. Individual blossoms reach 3 in. across. Large leaves (8–12 in. long, 4 in. wide) turn red in fall. Smooth, mottled, exfoliating bark. Rank grower; annual pruning in winter is especially important to control size and form.


Desert Willow

Desert Willow

Chilopsis It is a shrub or tree native to the southwestern United States and Mexico. The common name is desert willow[3] or desert-willow[4] because of its willow-like leaves, but it is a member of the bignonia family, Bignoniaceae. It is commonly seen in washes and along riverbanks

Ranging from 1.5 to as much as 8 meters in height, it can take the form of a shrub or small tree. The linear, curved, deciduous leaves are 10 to 26 cm long and just a few millimeters wide.

The generic name is derived from the Greek words χειλος, (cheilos), meaning "lip," and ′οψσις (opsis), meaning "resembling," referring to the flowers. They occur in a terminal panicle or raceme, blooming in May through September. About two to four flowers at a time are open in each inflorescence.

x Chitalpa

It is cultivated for its large, showy flowers, and tolerance of hot, dry climates. Although the natural growth is a very irregular shape, it can be readily pruned into a conventional tree shape. A number of cultivars have been selected. Some, such as 'Rio Salado', have dark purple or magenta flowers.

Chilopsis may survive temperatures as low as 10 degrees F (-12 °C).

Chilopsis is closely related to the genus Catalpa and hybrids can be made between the two genera. The nothogeneric hybrid between Chilopsis linearis and Catalpa bignonioides has been named ×Chitalpa tashkentensis. It originated in a botanic garden at Tashkent in Uzbekistan.

Desert Willow Chilopsis linearis Desert willow is a gorgeous summer-flowering small tree. It gets its common name from its long, linear leaves and billowy resemblance to actual willow trees. It can range from fifteen to forty feet tall, though generally it’s on the smaller side to use as an accent tree. It’s similar to most other desert trees in that it can have a very shrubby growth habit, so you can actually leave it for a shrub if you like.

Its open growth habit and willowy canopy add a structural element to your landscape with wispy shade for plants underneath. So, it’s not a shade tree, but can shelter understory plants.

The trumpet-shaped flowers attract hummingbirds like crazy. The species desert willow has a nice, soft pink flower with streaks of yellow in the throat. ‘Bubba’ has dark pink flowers and ‘Lucretia Hamilton’ was bred for deep fuchsia.

The species desert willow makes tons of seed pods, so one great, attractive quality of the ‘Bubba’ cultivar is that it does not generally make seed pods so you '’t have that mess.

Desert willow needs full sun, but it’s not as picky about its soil. It’s extremely drought and heat tolerant and can virtually be ignored once it’s established. In extreme drought, just a little bit of water would keep this tree very happy.

Desert willow is deciduous, so it will be bare in the winter. It generally flowers in mid-to- late summer after some summer rains and we’ve had some heat.

It’s not a relative of actual willows but is in the same family as trumpet vine and Catalpa trees. Chilopsis and Catalpa trees were crossed at one point, leading to the Chitalpa. That species likes a lot more water and has trouble in the heat of our area.


x Chitalpa

x Chitalpa

Chitalpa × Chitalpa is an intergeneric hybrid flowering tree in the family Bignoniaceae, bred from Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis) for desert hardiness and color, and Southern Catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides) for larger blooms. The name is nothogeneric, or a combination of the two parents' names. Leaves are lanceolate, 4 to 5 inches long and an inch wide, almost always in whorls of three. The trumpet-shaped flowers are 1" long and frilly.[2] The inflorescence is indeterminate, with alternately arranged flowers.

× Chitalpa is dry-spell tolerant and fast-growing (several feet a year to 20–30 ft.) and blooms between late spring and late fall.[3] There are two cultivars: 'Pink Dawn' with pink flowers, and 'Morning Cloud' with white and pale pink blooms.

Chitalpa X Chitalpa tashkentensis

× Chitalpa tashkentensis Best grown in deep, moderately fertile, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Although drought tolerant, trees generally perform best with consistent and even moisture. Trees may sucker at the base. Propagate by cuttings. This hybrid will not produce viable seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

× Chitalpa tashkentensis is a rapid-growing, deciduous tree that typically grows to 20-35' tall with a dense, spreading, oval crown. It is an inter-generic hybrid cross between desert willow (Chilopsis linearis) and southern catalpa (Catalpa bignonoides). It was first hybridized in Tashkent (capital of Uzbekistan) in the 1960s and subsequently brought to the U. S. in 1977. Lanceolate leaves (to 6" long) are dull green above, fuzzy underneath, and taper at both ends. Bell-shaped, pink to white, catalpa-like flowers (to 1" across) bloom in upright racemes (15-40 flowers per raceme) at the branch ends in summer. Popular cultivars include 'Pink Dawn' (pink flowers) and 'Morning Cloud' (pale pink to white flowers).

No serious insect or disease problems. Powdery mildew can be a significant problem in growing areas with high summer humidity (e.g., the southeastern U. S.) and in growing conditions where trees are planted in too much shade. Additional disease problems include verticillium wilt, root rot and leaf spots. Watch for aphids, mealybugs, scale and whiteflies.

Garden Uses: Interesting medium-sized landscape or street tree with a long summer flowering period.

Eve's Necklace

Eve's Necklace

Eve's Necklace, Texas Sophora, Pink Sophora, Necklace Tree, Sophora affinis Eve's Necklace is a pretty small tree that is found on limestone soils in the center of the state from north central Texas through the Edwards Plateau. The dark lustrous green leaves are borne in a rounded to upright oval crown. In spring it produces rosy-pink flowers that hang in wisteria-like clusters, followed by fruit pods in late summer and fall that resemble a black string of beads, giving it its common name. The seeds are reportedly poisonous. Eve's Necklace can grow in sun or as an understory tree; in dense woods it can even be vine-like. It is related to Texas Mountain Laurel, Sophora secundiflora, which is evergreen.

Eve's Necklace, Texas Sophora, Sophora affinis From Lake Dallas, Tx: Very cool little tree that needs little care but benefits from an organic program. I found a horned caterpillar on mine last fall for several weeks which would suggest its a host plant. This is a good replacement for Japanese Maples and has the same upright and slender branching pattern. Native to Dallas. Waxy leaves have not scorched yet during droughts.

From Copperas Cove, Tx: In the southern U.S., this native Sophora grows to a small (under 15') shrub or tree with rounded crown. Tolerates full hot sun and humidity very well. Drought tolerant and withstood the ice storm we had in Feb 2003. The blooms are a reddish pink/mauve color and resembles a wisteria-type bloom about half the size. The seed pods are a "string of pearls" that are black. They dry on the tree and hang for a long time.

Trees & Birds

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Tejocote; Thornapple

Crataegus mexicana a species of hawthorn known by the common names tejocote, manzanita, tejocotera and Mexican hawthorn. It is native to the mountains of Mexico and parts of Guatemala, and has been introduced in the Andes.[2] The fruit of this species is one of the most useful among hawthorns.

The plant is a large shrub or small tree growing to 5–10 m tall, with a dense crown. The leaves are semi-evergreen, oval to diamond-shaped, 4–8 cm long, with a serrated margin. The flowers are off-white, 2 cm diameter. The fruit is a globose to oblong orange-red pome 2 cm long and 1.5 cm diameter, ripening in late winter only shortly before the flowers of the following year.

Tejocote fruit / Tejocote loaded with fruit
Left photo by Daniel Manrique ( - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons -

The fruit is eaten in Mexico cooked, raw, or canned. It resembles a crabapple, but it has three or sometimes more brown hard stones in the center. It is a main ingredient used in ponche, the traditional Mexican hot fruit punch that is served at Christmas time and on New Year's Eve. On Day of the Dead tejocote fruit as well as candy prepared from them are used as offerings to the dead, and rosaries made of the fruit are part of altar decorations. A mixture of tejocote paste, sugar, and chili powder produces a popular Mexican candy called rielitos, because it resembles a tiny train rail.

Tejocote trees

Another Hawthorne - Crabapple

Crabapple trees / Cedar waxwings in crabapple

Crabapple Trees Few ornamental trees offer the variety of tree shapes, sizes, flower colors and ornamental fruit as flowering crabapples. There are over 35 species and 700 cultivated varieties of crabapples and have been a part of the home landscape for many years.

Blossoms often open from pink or red buds and change to paler shades after opening, creating a beautiful pink cloud lasting several weeks. Asian crab apple specimens are usually preferred for ornament because their fruits are more colorful and last into the winter providing food for over-wintering birds.

Crab apples are most popular of the spring-flowering trees in the North and Midwest where cold winters and heavy soil prevent other spring bloomers from performing well.

Tree height may be from 6' - 50' with most in the 15' to 25' range. The varieties vary from weeping, spreading, columnar, vase-shaped to pyramidal which allows many opportunities for use in landscapes.


In some cases, crabapples have developed a poor reputation as a result of disease problems (scab, mildew, and fire blight) as well as susceptibility to certain insect pests such as Japanese beetle. However, extensive breeding and evaluation projects have resulted in numerous selections that are resistant to these problems.

Pruning should be completed before early June. By mid-June to early July, flower buds for the next season are beginning to form in most crabapples. Pruning after July will reduce floral display and fruiting for the following year.

Selection, Care, and Use of the Ornamental Crabapple Flowering crabapples are adaptable but thrive in rich loam type soil (a combination of clay, silt, and sand). Regardless of soil type, good drainage is a must for tree health. Crabapples grow best in a moist, slightly acidic soil with a pH of 5.0 to 6.5. Excessively moist areas and low spots should be avoided. On the other hand, relatively dry sites can be tolerated by crabapples if plant stresses are minimized during the first year after transplanting.. Full sun exposure, 8 to 12 hours of direct sun, is required for optimal development of fruits and flowers.

Sargent Crabapple Malus sargentii Because of its size, the Sargent crabapple is useful for planting under utility lines, in confined yards, as privacy screens and hedges and on sloping ground. Hardiness Zones 4–8. The Sargent crabapple grows in all textures of soil, alkaline to acidic. It prefers moist, well-drained soil but will tolerate drier conditions. Produces fragrant clusters of snowy white blossoms in May. It is an alternate bearer, blooming heavily every other year.

Wildlife Value: The pea-sized fruits make is easy for birds of many species to pluck and swallow. They are especially favored by cedar waxwings, robins, grosbeaks, and mockingbirds. Red-necked pheasant, cottontail rabbit, red fox, and black bear also enjoy the fruit. The tree's dense foliage has the added value of providing protective shelter.


Hawthorne; Mayhaw

Fruit of four species of Crataegus, clockwise from top left: Crataegus coccinea, C. punctata var. aurea, C, ambigua, C. douglasii
"Crataegus, various species, fruit" by Nadiatalent - Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons -,_various_species,_fruit.jpg#/media/File:Crataegus,_various_species,_fruit.jpg

Crataegus Crataegus (from the Greek kratos strength and akis sharp, referring to the thorns of some species) commonly called hawthorn, thornapple, May-tree, whitethorn, or hawberry, is a large genus of shrubs and trees in the family Rosaceae, native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in Europe, Asia and North America. The name "hawthorn" was originally applied to the species native to northern Europe, especially the common hawthorn C. monogyna, and the unmodified name is often so used in Britain and Ireland. The name is now also applied to the entire genus and to the related Asian genus Rhaphiolepis. The name haw, originally an Old English term for hedge, applies to the fruit

Hawthorns provide food and shelter for many species of birds and mammals, and the flowers are important for many nectar-feeding insects. Hawthorns are also used as food plants by the larvae of a large number of Lepidoptera species; see List of Lepidoptera that feed on hawthorns. Haws are important for wildlife in winter, particularly thrushes and waxwings; these birds eat the haws [fruit] and disperse the seeds in their droppings.

Crataegus monogyna / Common hawthorn flowers
"Left photo Common hawthorn". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons. Right photo "Common hawthorn flowers". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

The "haws" or fruits of the Common Hawthorn, C. monogyna, are edible but the flavour has been compared to over-ripe apples. In the United Kingdom, they are sometimes used to make a jelly or home made wine.[8] The leaves are edible and, if picked in spring when still young, are tender enough to be used in salads.[9] The young leaves and flower buds, which are also edible, are known as "bread and cheese" in rural England.

Types Of Hawthorn Trees: How To Grow Hawthorn In The Landscape Growing hawthorn plants comes with its share of problems because they are susceptible to a number of diseases, including apple scab, fire blight, leaf spots, leaf blights and several types of rust. Some of the diseases are potentially fatal, and they leave the foliage and twigs looking tattered by the end of the season. If you decide to grow a hawthorn tree, look for a disease resistant variety such as ‘Winter King’ or ‘Washington’ hawthorn.

Hawthorn trees need full sun and well-drained soil. They tolerate almost any type of soil and variations in pH.

Set the trees out in spring so they’ll have a full season to become established before winter. In large settings they look great in groups, and they are pretty enough to stand alone as specimens in small gardens. Although they make great lawn and street trees, avoid planting thorny varieties where children play or where pedestrians pass. The thorns are fierce, and can be as much as three inches long.

Crataegus monogyna / Common hawthorn flowers
Water the trees during dry spells for the first year. Afterward, they are drought resistant.

Feed hawthorns annually for the first three years with a balanced fertilizer and every other year thereafter.

Hawthorn trees need little pruning. Remove suckers that arise from the base of the trunk. You can trim the canopy, if necessary, to keep it looking neat. Make cuts just beyond a lateral twig or bud that faces the direction in which you want the branch to grow.

You might want to make routine spraying a part of your hawthorn tree care plan. Hawthorns are bothered by lace bugs, aphids, mites and scale, and these insects can get out of control unless you treat them early. Use a lightweight horticultural oil early in the season. You can damage the tree by spraying with horticultural oils at the wrong time, so read the label instructions carefully before spraying. Use a general-purpose spray labeled for hawthorn trees later in the season.

Fruit Trees

Legg Farm free shipping with $100 order. Our fruit trees are grown and grafted in Texas, and when established they are very drought and heat tolerant.

Catalog PDF Legg Farm

Mexican Buckeye

Mexican buckeye Ungnadia speciosa Mexican buckeye is a wonderful little Texas native tree that’s a real show-stopper in late winter and early spring. It’s deciduous, and like many spring-flowering trees, it puts on a beautiful floral display for a short few weeks just as it’s putting on new leaves for the year.

The pink flowers are similar to Mexican redbud, another great small tree, but the special thing about Mexican buckeye is that it’s an understory tree that grows in bright shade.

We '’t have a lot of choices for shady yards, and that list is even shorter for plants with blooms as beautiful as these. It can also take a sunny spot in your garden, where it will get a little bigger: up to 30 feet tall. It has a shrubby, multi-trunked habit, but you can easily tame that to a single trunk if you want it to be more tree-like. Mexican buckeye doesn’t need too much water, but it needs a little; about as much as other shade-loving plants. It can take slightly heavy soil, but it prefers good drainage, or even soil that’s a little on the porous side. And it doesn’t need much pruning, except to give it a little shape if you want to. It’s not susceptible to cold and even has very attractive fruit, so all-in-all, you just can’t beat it!

For Sale at Arbor Day Foundation

"To exist as a nation, to prosper as a state, and to live as a people, we must have trees." --Theodore Roosevelt

[All tolerant of alkaline--San Antonio--soil]:


"Trees add value to your home, regulate the temperature of your neighborhood, and provide food for wildlife. Trees Tame Stormwater, fight climate change, and save energy."

Northern Catalpa Catalpa speciosa Showy white flowers that bloom in late spring; Large, bright green heart-shaped leaves; Fast-growing tree; Unique twisting trunks and branches add to the ornamental value; Hardy enough to withstand city conditions, but still add interest with blooms, shape; 40' to 60' high with 30' spread; Zones 4 to 8

Full sun or partial shade. Tolerates alkaline clay soils.

Eastern Redbud Cercis canadensis Spectacular rosy pink blossoms that appear in April; Great colorful foliage year round with reddish-brown leaves changing to dark green then to yellow in fall; Grows to 20' to 30' with 25' to 35' spread; Zones 4 to 9

Does well in Full, Partial Shade exposure(s). Grows in Acidic, Alkaline, Clay, Loamy, Moist, Rich, Sandy, Well Drained, Wide Range soils.

Attributes: Spectacular spring blossoms. The seeds provide winter food for birds. An excellent tree for planting near utility lines. Provides good shade when planted near patios. Well known for its beauty, it is the state tree of Oklahoma.

Wildlife Value: Northern bobwhite and a few songbirds, such as chickadees, will eat the seeds, and it can be used for nesting sites and nesting materials, it also provides shelter for birds and mammals.

History/Lore/Use: Native to North America and Canada with cousins in Europe and Asia. First cultivated in 1811. The Spaniards noted Redbuds and made distinctions between the New World species and their cousins in the Mediterranean region in 1571. George Washington reported in his diary on many occasions about the beauty of the tree and spent many hours in his garden transplanting seedlings obtained from the nearby forest.

Leaves: The leaves of this tree are reddish-purple, changing to dark green and then yellow. Flower Color: Rosy-pink flowers. Bloom Time: April. Fruit Description: This tree produces a pod, brown-brownish black and 2 to 3 inches long.

Lacebark Elm Ulmus parvifolia Tough and durable tree for any situation; Medium to fast growing; Multitude of fall colors changes from yellow to reddish purple; Distinctive, mottled bark creates colorful trunk patterns; Grows 40' to 50' with 40' spread; Zones 5 to 9

Full sun or partial shade. Tolerates alkaline clay soils.

Pecan Carya illinoinensis Nut tree producing high-protein nuts; Great symmetrical tree; Planted for ornamental purposes or backyard orchard; Plant two trees for cross-pollination; Grows to 70' to 100' tall with 40' to 75' spread; Zones 6 to 9

Cannot ship to Texas.

Washington Hawthorn Crataegus phaenopyrum Late-blooming, flowering tree; Great fall color: orange, scarlet or purple fall; Preferred tree for songbirds; Grows 25' to 30' with 25' spread; Zones 4 to 8

Requires full sun. Grows in Acidic, Alkaline, Clay, Drought Tolerant, Loamy, Moist, Sandy, Well Drained, Wet, Wide Range soils.

The Washington Hawthorn is a small, colorful tree that will brighten any landscape. Its pleasant display begins with reddish-purple leaves emerging in spring, then turning dark green as they are joined by a graceful display of white flowers. In autumn, the leaves turn orange, scarlet or purple. Red berries extend the colorful show into winter, often contrasting beautifully with the first winter snow. If left unpruned, its thorns make a very effective barrier.

Wildlife Value:

The Washington Hawthorn produces abundant fruit which are eaten by birds & mammals. It is an important nectar plant for bees.


First noted scientifically in 1883, the tree received its name from its point of origin when introduced to Pennsylvania from Washington, becoming known as the "Washington Thorn" because of its prominent thorns.

Smoketree Cotinus coggygria A multi-stemmed small tree that turns a smoky pink color from June through August. Good choice for a shrub border or other grouping; Showy leaves turn from blue-green to yellow-red-purple in fall; Adaptable to many soils; Grows to 10' to 15' with 12' spread; Zones 5 to 8

Full exposure to sun. Soil: The Smoketree grows in Acidic, Alkaline, Clay, Drought Tolerant, Loamy, Sandy, Well Drained, Wide Range soils.

The Smoketree is a native of Eurasia and has long been a favorite shrub or small tree for garden plantings or along property lines and the borders of landscaped areas. It was introduced into America as early as 1656 and by 1790 was commonly available in nurseries. It is a species with many names including Smokebush, European Smoketree, Cloud tree, Wig tree, Mist tree, and Jupiter's Beard, all of which allude to its spent floral plumes and airy clusters of seeds which give the tree a hazy, blurry, or feathery appearance.


Sweetshrub Calycanthus floridus Striking reddish-maroon flowers bloom May to July; Fragrant, fruity scent; Grows 6' to 9' tall with a 6' to 12' spread; Zones 4 to 9

Full or partial sun. Grows in Acidic, Alkaline, Loamy, Moist, Rich, Sandy, Well Drained soils.

This fruit-scented shrub is a welcome addition to any garden. The lovely reddish-maroon flowers begin appearing in May, and a strawberry-banana-pineapple scent fills the air. It works especially well in shrub borders or around outdoor living areas.

Beautybush Kolkwitzia amabilis Fast-growing shrub; Pink bell-shaped flowers blooming in late spring; Vivid year-round color: unique bark with dark green summer leaves turning red in fall; Second-highest deer resistant rating tier; Zones 4 to 8; 6' to 10' high and wide

Sun or partial shade. Grows in Acidic, Alkaline, Drought Tolerant, Loamy, Moist, Rich, Sandy, Silty Loam, Well Drained, Wide Range soils.

Purplish bark when young, turning light brown as shrub matures. Bark peels and exfoliates on older stems. Will develop dense, compact shape and flower most copiously in full-sun. If placed in semi-shade the growth can be taller and arching, making its delicate flaking bark more visible in winter. Feathery pinkish brown-grey seedpods appear in summer after flowers, providing interest for an additional few weeks. Grows 6' to 10' in height with a smaller spread. Prefers soil to be well-drained, but adapts to many different types. Flower Color: Delicate white-to-pink funnel-shaped blossoms.

Sweet Mockorange Philadelphus coronarius Fast-growing flowering shrub; Unique, white four-petal flowers; Sweetly-scented fragrant blossoms; 10' to 12' High and wide; Zones 4 to 8

Grows in Acidic, Alkaline, Loamy, Moist, Rich, Sandy, Well Drained soils.

Blackhaw Viburnum Viburnum prunifolium Dainty clusters of white blossoms blooming in early May; Edible, blue-black fruit follows bloom; Showy autumn color: purple or red burgundy; Very hardy and easy to grow; Does well in a wide variety of conditions; Grows 12' to 15' tall, 8' to 10' spread; Zones 3 to 9

Full sun or partial shade. Tolerates alkaline & wide range of soils.

Arrowwood Viburnum Viburnum dentatum Rounded shape with creamy white flowers; Spectacular fall color display from yellow to glossy red or reddish-purple; Provides food, cover, and nesting sites for birds; Native to North America; Grows 6' to 15' tall, 6' to 15' spread; Zones 3 to 8

Full or partial sun. Grows in Alkaline, Clay, Well Drained, Wide Range soils.

Wildlife Value: It forms dense thickets and provides excellent cover and nesting sites. Birds consume the abundant fruits. It attracts Red Admiral, Eastern Comma, Question Mark butterflies and is larval plant food for the spring azure butterfly and hummingbird moth.

History/Lore/Use: The arrowwood viburnum is native from New Brunswick to Minnesota, south to Georgia.The name arrowwood comes from Native Americans using the strong shoots which developed from the roots for the shafts of their arrows.

Bloom Time: May to early June. Fruit Description: blue to bluish black, 1/4" long, oval berries (drupes) ripening in late September through October

'Blue Chip' Butterfly Bush Buddleia hybrid A non-invasive, miniature butterfly bush; Continuous blooms from mid-summer to fall; Easy to grow plant adds purple-blue color to your landscape; Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies - deer resistant shrub; Proven Winner® flowering shrub; 1 quart container; Zones 5 to 9

Needs full sun. Grows in Drought Tolerant, Well Drained, Wide Range soils.

Wildlife Value: Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Deer are not attracted to this plant.

Flower Color: Small, star-like, purple with bluish tint, scented flowers densely clustered in spikes. Bloom Time: Mid-summer through mid-fall.

Crapemyrtle (Crape Myrtle) Lagerstroemia indica Fast-growing shrub; Striking pink flowers, handsome bark, and attractive fall foliage; Great for hot and sunny climates; Considerable drought-tolerance once established; Great for hedges and screens; Zones 7 to 9

Needs full sun exposure. Tolerates wide range of soils.

Striking flowers, handsome bark, and attractive fall foliage all combine to make the crapemyrtle a favorite landscape shrub. It is particularly well suited for the hot, sunny climates of the southern and southwestern United States. Once established, it will tolerate considerable drought. A beautiful specimen tree, it is often used in groupings, containers, hedges and screens, urban settings, and as a small street tree. A great abundance of cultivars have been selected for size, flower color, disease resistance, and cold hardiness. These particular Crapemyrtle seedlings are grown from seed or cuttings.

Wildlife Value: Attracts birds

History/Lore/Use: The common crapemyrtle is a native of China and Korea. It is called the "lilac of the South." The number of cultivars is enormous. Among these, the U.S. National Arboretum introductions are important for their disease resistance, good flowering, and ornamental bark.

Moisture: Prefers moist soil but has good drought tolerance.

Flower Color: Pink 6-8" long, 3-5" wide showy panicles on new growth. Bloom Time: late spring and summer into fall

See also Dynamite Crapemyrtle Lagerstroemia indica 'Whit II' pp# 10296; Red Rocket Crapemyrtle Lagerstroemia indica 'Whit IV' pp# 11342 [cherry colored blossoms]; and Rhapsody in Pink Crapemyrtle Lagerstroemia indica 'Whit VIII' pp# 16616 [soft pink flowers]

Foster's No. 2 Holly Ilex x attenuata 'Fosteri' Glossy, dark green leaves; White spring flowers, deep red berries; Common uses include hedges, screens or windbreaks; 15' to 25' high, 8' to 12' wide; Zones 6 to 9

Multiple exposures. Grows in Acidic, Alkaline, Clay, Loamy, Moist, Sandy, Silty Loam, Well Drained soils.

History/Lore/Use: Botanically Foster's Holly #2 is a parthenocarpic from the Greek parthenos meaning virgin and karpos meaning fruit. It is a female holly that will produce fruit without fertilization from a male pollinator.

Leaves: Evergreen, alternate, simple, glossy green, 1 1/2"-3" long, spiny margins. Flower Color: White Fruit Description: Deep red fruits that persist through winter.

Conifer List Montezuma cypress (Taxodium mucronatum). Cypress in name only; a closer relative of redwoods and sequoias. Native to Guatemala, Mexico and south Texas, this turns into a giant with a vaulting trunk and graceful, weeping boughs. Given moderate water, it can reach 40 feet in 15 years. Growth slows with age.

What is a Gymnosperm?

Learning About Pine Cones The name "pine cone" is improper for any other conifer cones. While collecting pine cones in the park for my crafts, I observed which pine tree they came from and the best time to collect them. I saw that some of the pine cones had seeds inside, but I was intrigued that some of them weren't woody. A quick search on the internet showed me the difference between the cones. The cone is an organ which contains the reproductive structures of the Phinophyta (conifers) division. Its botanical name strobilus comes from some of the species' geometrical cone form of this organ. The woody cones, as we know it, are the female cones which produce seeds.

Male cones (microstrobilus or pollen cone) are herbaceous and produce pollen. They are structurally the same on all conifers, with small differences from species to species. At first glance, they all seemed like cones to me, but now I know what they are. They are growing on a central axis, from modified leaves (microsporophyllis) under which the pollen sacs (microsporangia) are growing. The male cones are usually colored differently from the female cones, in yellow, red, purple, green or grey. I had these male cones in a a potpourri on my table and I didn't know what they were. They are dry, but still have the male cone form. comes from some of the species' geometrical cone form of this organ. The woody cones, as we know it, are the female cones which produce seeds.

The female cones (megastrobilus, ovulate or seed cone) contain ovules which become seeds when fertilized by pollen. The female cones are different from species to species, making possible the identification of many conifer species. The plates of a cone are called scales and they differ from species to species. Female cones have two different types of scales: the bract scales, derived from a modified leaf and the seeds scales, derived from a modified branchlet.

First appear the bract scales, and after pollination the seeds scales develop to enclose and protect the seeds. The cones close during the fertilization, then re-open to let the seeds go. Cones can open and close many times as long as the cone is on the branch, even if all the seeds are gone.

On most conifer species, male and female cones grow on the same tree; usually the female are on the upper part, while the male cones are on the lower branches. The explanation of this particular arrangement of the cones in a conifer tree is very interesting: the male cones grow on the lower branches so they can pollenize the female cones from another tree and not from the same. The wind takes the pollen up in the air, usually over other trees nearby. This way the species will remain strong and live on.

The conifer families have different forms of female cones:

Pinaceae, which have "archetypal" cones. This means that their scales are overlapping each other like fish scales. The scales are spirally arranged in fibonacci number ratios.

Araucariaceae, is a very ancient conifer family with three genera: Agathis, Araucaria and Wollemia which have globose type of cones.

Araucaria genus is different from the other two because the male and female cones are found on different trees, like the Araucaria araucana also called the Monkey tail tree.

Podocarpaceae is a member of the Antarctic flora and has very different type of cones, berry-like.

Cupressaceae, the Cypress family with the genera cypresses, arborvitae, junipers and redwoods have the bract and seed scales fully fused. The cones are usually small and spherical, like those of Nootka cypress.

From the cypress family is also the Bald cypress - Taxodium distichum - also called Swamp cypress, one of the few decidous conifer species, meaning it looses its leaves in the fall.

When I was living in Bucharest I saw many Bald cypresses in the park, along the lake. One fall I took pictures of their beautiful and interesting cones.

Bald Cypress cones / Taxodium mucronatum (Montezuma bald cypress) leaves

[The leaves of this tree are similar to those of the Yew tree and thus the similarity in the scientific names between Taxodium and Taxus. These same leaves also help distinguish this tree from true cypress trees that have a similar "cone" but a very different leaf.] Sciadopityaceae has only one genera endemic to Japan, with cones similar to those in the Cupressaceae family, only larger.

Taxaceae, the yew family, and Cephalotaxaceae have cones with a few scales which develop into fleshy arils.

I have two conifer trees from the Pinaceae family in my garden, a Norway spruce - Picea abies and a Colorado blue spruce - Picea pungens glauca. Last month I saw many buds forming on their twigs. The first time I saw them last year I thought they were cones. They looked like very small cones, but later in spring I saw new growth sprouting from those "cones". Now I know that they are only buds which will open up in spring. Norway spruce and the Colorado blue spruce will make cones after they reach maturity, after 20 years of growing.

Introduction to Cycads, the ultimate Jurassic landscape and/or potted plants This is a brief article about one of the most prehistoric of all landscape plants for warmer climates.. There are few better plants for investment value as well- cycads will only go up in value with age and size. And, thankfully, beauty also increases with value as well.

Sago Palm / Sago in bloom

The most common cycad, and the one most people have heard of, is the Sago Palm. Cycas revoluta is NOT a palm despite what its common name suggests, but is a classic cycad, with it’s palm-like trunk and simple, pinnate leaves. Cycads are non-flowering plants that are actually more closely related to conifers than to palms or any other flowering plants. They reproduce by making cones and seeds. All cycads are dioecious, which means they are either male or female, and never both.

As mentioned above, cycads are typically ‘palm-shaped’: symmetrical plants with fronds arising from the tops of their stems (also called a caudex, trunk or base), similar to how palms or many ferns grow. The frond, or leaf, is made up of a petiole, which arises from the stem and has no leaflets on it, a rachis, which is what the petiole is called further from the stem where the leaflets come off either side (like a palm or fern leaf) and, of course, the leaflets themselves, which are the ‘leaf-shaped’ parts that come off either side of the rachis (with remarkable regularity in cycads).

A petiole or rachis is unbranched in all but a few cycads- they have simple pinnate (‘feather-shaped’) leaves. These leaves/fronds are typically somewhat ‘plastic’ or leathery in consistency, which is one of the characteristics that makes cycads unique. These leaves come in various shades of green to blue-green and some are even a pale blue. Some have smooth, simple, spineless leaflets, while some are known for their incredibly sharp, multispined, twisted leaflets. Some cycads can be quite hazardous to handle for this reason.

As a cycad ages, it gets taller from the top of the stem. As is also the case with palms or tree ferns, once a cycad has matured to a certain thickness, it will not get any thicker with age, and all growth is directed either up, or into new suckers/pups that arise from ether the root stock, or along the caudex itself. All the energy of the plant is in this caudex (and sometimes the roots), so this is the business part of the plant. Cycads are basically caudiciform succulents. Leaves, and sometimes roots, are expendable. Cutting all the leaves off a cycad rarely affects it in a negative way. But damage the caudex and the plant is often lost.

Cycads have various root types- some have huge, succulent roots- these varieties usually live in very arid climates. In many of these plants, the caudex itself is also underground and only the leaves are visible except in very old plants. Most cycads have one large carrot-like root, and smaller, more ‘normal’ roots.

There is another kind of root that is somewhat unique to cycads- the collaroid roots, which exist just above or below the surface of established plants, and whose function is to help fix nitrogen via bacteria living in those roots. A cycad with a lot of these collaroid roots is usually a well established and ‘happy’ plant.

Cycads live in nature all over the tropical world, from Central and South America, to Africa, Asia and Australia. A few Zamias are native the ‘tropical US’. No cycads are from colder areas of the world, though some Asian species do live in relatively cool environments. In many of their native lands, some species are extremely endangered and, in a few cases, already extinct. Collecting cycads from the wild is something that is not only frowned upon these days, but is usually unlawful and closely regulated. Saying that, it still happens, thanks to the huge amounts of money some of these plants go for, so probably many of the species that exist today will be extinct in the near future.

Not all cycads need the same care, but in general, most are NOT fond very cold climates, with only a few taking freezing temps at all. One of the reasons Sago Palms are such popular cycads is they tolerate a moderate degree of frost/ freezing climates, but even these have their limits.

Cycads are succulents basically and many can be grown similarly to how one grows most succulents. Most tolerate some dryness and appreciate being grown in very well draining soil- most do not tolerate being grown in clay or other poorly draining soils.

If in a warm climate with the proper soil, most cycads prefer to be watered regularly, and though many are drought tolerant, they tend to perform much better and grow faster if given water often and fertilized regularly as well.

Recently dug up Cycas taitungensis, ready to be planted / the common Ceratozamia mexicana

Planting or transplanting cycads is relatively easy. Root damage will usually occur, as cycad roots are not that sturdy. However, care should be taken not to damage the main, carrot-like root(s) too badly, as injury to this root will allow fungal infections to develop, and sometimes overtake the plant. Still, if this root is badly damaged, often the plant will survive, but will need to be kept dry (do not replant immediately) until the injury ‘cures’ over. Rooting hormone and/or antifungal powders/creams on these injuries can be beneficial. It is best not to water a cycad after transplanting it, as that will also allow fungus and opportunity to invade. Best to wait a week or so (less for very small plants of course) to allow root damage to heal and roots to be able to uptake water again.

Most cycads like sun, though some species/genera are not that tolerant of full sun in very hot climates

Cycads need to be trimmed as the older, senescent leaves die. This can be hazardous if you have a spiny species, so use gloves as/if needed. If for some reason the leaves are damaged, but not dead, they still can be cut off without damage to the plant itself. If you trim a living leaf, which is OK if need be, a clearish ‘goo’ may ooze from the cut end. This is the cycads way of curing itself- sort of like a built in liquid bandage system. Seeing this ooze arise from the caudex is not usually a good sign- it indicates there is some damage of the caudex at that site, or deeper within (trauma, insect damage etc.). But do not clean it off- most cycads can heal their wounds well. Just look for the inciting cause if possible.

One of the reasons cycads are such popular collector plants is they are slow growing. Most can live your entire life in a pot, though almost all will grow faster and better in the ground. Many species will make 1-3 leaf flushes a year… some less often, some more. But very little height is gained in a single new set of leaves, so overall height is a very slowly increasing situation. This makes all but the oldest, hugest plants manageable for the average collector to keep and maintain. With proper care many cycads can live for many hundreds of years… some very old plants in the wild may be thousands of years old. Dying of old age is something much more likely to happen to the grower than to the plant itself.

Cycas revoluta, the Sago Palm, is an easy plant to grow from offsets, and it also is one of the easier species to pollinate as well. See discussion above about rerooting cycads.

Cycads are, in general, toxic, inedible plants. However, many have historically been used for food by native peoples, who know either what the safe parts of the plants are, or how to properly prepare them. It is best to just assume all parts are toxic, and to keep that in mind when you have pets and/or small children. Though most pets will not eat a cycad, some dogs will eat the leaves or fruits and some species are deadly toxic. And cattle will happily graze on some cycads and succumb to their toxic properties as well. Please keep this in mind when selecting what species to get and where to plant them.


7 Reasons You Should Plant a Mulberry Tree First of all, let us be clear that, despite what any childhood songs may have suggested, the mulberry grows on a tree, not a bush. In fact, it can be a humongous tree. If left to grow wild, some varieties can easily get upwards of 80 feet high, with a large spreading canopy that will engulf a suburban lawn in shade. In other words, though other berry plants might grow low to the ground and make lovely hedges, mulberries are something else altogether.

Now, truth be told, mulberries aren’t nearly as known as other berries, and to many who do know them, they have a speckled reputation. The berries are known to stain driveways. The trees are known to reproduce like weeds. The trees are also infamous for attracting insects and creating pollen. Even so, for permaculture practitioners, the hard-nosed mulberry is often amongst the top trees to include in a garden.

1. Crazy Abundant

Berry bushes are known for supplying quite a lot of food, so imagine what happens when a three-foot bush expands into a fifty-foot tree. Mulberry trees are insanely productive, some of them giving a couple hundred pounds of fruit a year. The reason we '’t see mulberries so much in the market place is that they tend to bruise and leak easily, making them not so commercially viable.

2. Deliciously Available

At home, however, we can pick them for ourselves and enjoy the huge harvest. The berries can be eaten soon after harvest, or they can be frozen and stored for later. They work well dehydrated. Like any berries, they suit pies, ice “creams” and yogurt perfectly, or the frozen berries can be blended into a delicious sorbet. They can also be used to make homemade wine. Not having enough mulberries is rarely a problem when there is a mature tree in the yard.

3. Edibl-y Diverse

Not only are the berries in abundance, but mulberry leaves are actually edible as well. They can be used in salads, and it is also quite common to use them similarly to grape leaves, creating “stuffed” leaf recipes. In some cultures, they are well respected for medicinal value and have been known to help with blood glucose levels. However, it is very important to note that mulberry leaves must be cooked before they are eaten.

4. Fast-Growing

Mulberry trees, unlike some other productive crop trees, are renowned for their ability to shoot up quickly. Most trees take about five to ten years to begin bearing fruits; however, there are some varieties that’ll start producing within the second year and slowly give more as it nears maturity, roughly ten years. The tree itself gets bigger quite quickly, providing plenty of shade and reward for cultivation efforts.

5. Climatically Tolerant

Mulberries come in quite a large variety, and odds are, wherever you live, there is a mulberry that performs well in that climate. They are known to work from zone three to zone nine, with only the hot tropics and arid deserts being a real challenge. They are drought-resistant, withstand temperatures dipping into the negatives, and can be a little brittle in really heavy winds. Mulberries are big, beautiful trees that work in most places.

6. Animal-Friendly

Because they are so abundant and delicious, mulberries are quite popular with wildlife, especially silkworms, insects, and birds. Many planters will use them to distract wildlife from their more finicky production crops, or nature lovers might simply want to attract birds to their property. Whatever the case, mulberries produce enough fodder for the birds (the berries and bugs), the silkworms (the leaves), and people (the berries) to have plenty.

7. Shade-Producing

Mulberries, being tall and sprawling trees, are great for providing a shady spot. They’ll grow up quickly and cover a corner of the yard, creating a strategic spot for some hammock-with-a-book time. What’s more is that they are deciduous, loosing their leaves in the winter, so they produce shade in the summer, when it’s needed, and let the sun in during the cooler season, when more warmth is needed.

For some, mulberries aren’t the most beloved. They are sometimes known to be invasive, multiplying when birds deposit their seeds everywhere, and the berries can stain surfaces. However, put in the right place, put in a new garden, the trees grow fast, provide a lot of food, intoxicate the surrounding wildlife, and generally allow for some early success with food cultivation.

Morus microphylla (Littleleaf mulberry)

Morus microphylla Buckley Littleleaf mulberry, Mountain mulberry, Texas mulberry. berries in spring.

Shrub or small tree with smooth, light gray bark. Leaves smaller than those of red and white mulberry; blades up to 2 1/2 inches long, roughly ovate, frequently lobed, with toothed margins, an extended tip, and rounded or slightly lobed base. Flowers inconspicuous, in short, drooping clusters. Fruit a cluster of minute, fleshy, berrylike fruits varying from red to black, ripening in May, edible.

Morus microphylla (Littleleaf mulberry)

Duration:Perennial. Habit:Tree. Leaf Retention:Deciduous. Leaf Complexity:Simple. Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual. Fruit Type:Berry. Fruit: Black. Size Class: 12-36 ft. Bloom Color: Red , Green. Bloom Time: Mar , Apr. Native Habitat: Hillsides, Slopes, Canyons.

GROWING CONDITIONS: Water Use: Low. Light Requirement: Part Shade. Soil Moisture: Dry. Soil Description: Caliche type.

Texas Mulberry, Mountain Mulberry, Mexican Mulberry, Littleleaf Mulberry, Wild Mulberry, Dwarf Mulberry, Morus microphylla Moraceae

Morus microphylla (Littleleaf mulberry)

Texas Mulberry, Little-leaf Mulberry, Scientific Name: Morus microphylla Buckley Watering Needs: Little water, prefers good drainage... Propagation: Seeds, semy-hardwood cuttings in summer, heeled hardwood cuttings in winter, layering

Blooming Habits: Dioecious, yellowish green catkins, 0.4 to 0.8 inches long (1-2 cm), followed by edible red to purple fruits, 0.4 inches long (1 cm), on female trees, in late spring to early summer.

Morus microphylla (Littleleaf mulberry)

Littleleaf mulberry (Morus microphylla) flowers are yellow, inconspicuous but FRAGRANT. Attracts birds and butterflies.

The Old Mulberry on Heights Blvd, Houston

Texas Ebony

Texas Ebony

Texas Ebony

20 random reasons to really love trees There are approximately 2 million reasons to love trees ... but we'll start with these.

It’s no secret that I go nuts for the trees. I talk to them, I pet them … the Lorax is my spirit animal! So it’s no surprise that Arbor Day, generally observed on the last Friday of April, holds a special place in my heart. What could be better than a day dedicated to observing the importance of trees and better yet, to planting new ones?

It’s funny because I often think about how vital it is to be good stewards to trees – but when I muse upon how critical they are for us, I think that maybe I have it all wrong. What if it’s the trees who have been acting as good stewards to us all along?

Arbor Day in the United States was officially designated in Nebraska in 1872 – pioneers moving to the treeless plains realized they needed trees for things like fruit, windbreaks, fuel, building materials and shade. Essentially, food and shelter and the necessities for survival. So who’s taking care of whom here? We need trees, but do trees need us? They need us not to cut them down indiscriminately, for sure, but really they seem to be doing most of the work in this relationship.

Consider the following:

1. Trees work hard to right our wrongs
According to the U.S. Forest Service, the trees around the world removed about one-third of fossil fuel emissions annually between 1990 to 2007.

2. They help keep our houses clean
A study from Lancaster University found that trees by the road reduced the presence of airborne particulate matter (pollution from cars) inside nearby homes by 50 percent.

3. They ease the workday
Office workers who can gaze upon trees from their windows report less stress and more satisfaction, according to a study from Chungbuk University, South Korea.

4. Trees feed us, they give us pie!
Trees provide food for people and wildlife beyond what we likely imagine. A single apple tree alone can produce up to 15-20 bushels of fruit per year. Apples, pie, important!

5. They provide shelter and support
Three hundred million people across the globe live in forests and 1.6 billion depend on them for their livelihoods, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Forests also provide habitat for a mind-boggling array of plants and creatures, many of which we ''t even know about.

6. They show us how to age gracefully
Seriously, talk about respecting your elders. The world’s oldest tree is an ancient bristlecone pine named Methuselah that lives at 10,000 feet above sea level in the Inyo National Forest, California. Methuselah is as old as Stonehenge and older than the Egyptian pyramids.

7. Trees keep cities cool
Trees lower urban temperatures by up to 10°F by shading and releasing water vapor into the air through their stress-soothing leaves.

8. They are giant humidifiers (kind of)
In a single day, one large tree can lift up to 100 gallons of water out of the ground and discharge it into the air.

9. They keep buildings comfortable
Of course shade trees produce shade; a lot. Strategically placed trees can cut down air conditioning needs by 30 percent and can save up to 50 percent in energy required for heating.

10. Trees are social beings
"They can count, learn and remember; nurse sick neighbors; warn each other of danger by sending electrical signals across a fungal network known as the 'Wood Wide Web' – and, for reasons unknown, keep the ancient stumps of long-felled companions alive for centuries by feeding them a sugar solution through their roots." That's not me being woo-woo, but a very poetic tree expert. Read more here: Trees are social beings

11. They devour carbon dioxide
Biology 101 tells us that trees absorb carbon dioxide (CO2), removing and storing the carbon while releasing the oxygen back into the air – but the amount is remarkable. In a single year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the amount of CO2 equivalent to a car driven 26,000 miles.

12. Likewise, they give us breath
Four people can get a day’s worth of oxygen from one large tree.

13. And water In the United States, watersheds protected by forests provide water to more than 180 million people.

14. Trees fight crime
A study by the University of Vermont and U.S. Forest Service found that in Baltimore alone, a 10 percent increase in tree canopy corresponded to a 12 percent drop in crime.

15. They fight grime
In outdoor spaces with trees, there is less graffiti, vandalism and littering in comparison to place without greenery, says a study from the University of Washington.

16. They give us something to look up to, literally
The tallest living tree is a towering 379.1-foot coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) in California's Redwood National Park in 2006. Called Hyperion (above), it miraculously survives on a hillside, rather than the more-typical alluvial flat, with 96 percent of the surrounding area having been logged of its original coast redwood growth.

17. They pay us back
For each dollar spent on planting a tree in the city, they pay us back by up to five times in terms of cleaner air, lower energy costs, improved water quality and stormwater control and increased property values.

18. They're ersatz war heroes
Sure, we’ve long had a national anthem and bird – and we’ll always have apple pie and baseball – but what about a national tree? We got one in 2004, and it’s the oak. Oak trees have long been prized for their attributes as well as their place in U.S. history, from Abraham Lincoln’s use of the Salt River Ford Oak as a marker in crossing a river near Homer, Illinois, to Andrew Jackson taking shelter under Louisiana’s Sunnybrook Oaks on his way to the Battle of New Orleans, notes the Arbor Day Foundation. "In the annals of military history, 'Old Ironsides,' the USS Constitution, took its nickname from the strength of its live oak hull, famous for repelling British cannonballs." See how well trees take care of us?

19. They are unassuming in their vastness
There are more than 23,000 different kinds of trees in the world; altogether, there are three trillion trees on the planet. Yet they just humbly stand by, working hard and never making too much of a fuss.

20. Trees keep us young and rich
And when all else fails, there's this: They may keep us young and rich! Research found that people who live on streets with high tree density are less likely to report a number of health complaints; and specifically, trees improve health perception in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $10,000 or being seven years younger. You can never be too rich or too thin, and you can never live among too many trees. End of story.

Planting Costs

Schulz Nursery in Marion 2/3 of way to Sequin on I10 East [Houston Hwy]. Take FM 465 exit, turn left. / 100 W Huebinger St, free with $100+ purchase.

Rainbow Garden on Bandera. Can't find: emailed.

The Garden

Tree Planting Service Delivery fee is $45. Planting fees include free delivery (within delivery zone), installation, mulch, and 1 year warranty. Save your back and time, let our team of professional nurserymen bring their jackhammers, shovels and picks to do the dirty work. We love this kind of stuff and can help you dig. the soil in San Antonio is very rocky and often you can not dig more than 10 inches without hitting solid limestone. We have planted thousands of trees in San Antonio for over 25 years.
*Charge for any service of planting or delivery by The Garden Center must meet a $45 minimum.
*For your convenience and safety we will submit a utility locate request for your installation site.
*Tree plantings and deliveries are scheduled on a first come first served basis, Monday-Friday. Can’t be there? That’s ok, we can still plant it for you even if you’re not home. You will receive a flag to mark where you would like your tree planted.
*Tree staking is available and recommended for some tree varieties at $25 per staking
*Planting charges vary by gallon(#) sizes as follows:
Plant size =
#2/3/5 - $15.00
#7 - $35.00
#10/15/20 - $60.00
#25/30 - $100.00
#45 - $150.00
#65/95 - $225.00
#125 - $350.00

Fanick Nursery on Southside. No sign of tree planting, but they have catalpa trees!

milberger nursery no sign; contacted.

Countryside Trees: specialize in SA trees. Call 210.995.5593 Oaks only?

Should I try Juan?

CTG: Don't Kill Your Trees common mistakes when planting.

Cabinet Mountain Wilderness, Montana

Flameleaf Sumac

Recommended on CTG. Native to SA. Great for birds and wildlife. Wonderful in Fall. 12 to 20 ft. high. 15 to 20 ft. wide. Full sun to partial shade.



How to Plant a Tree

Arbor Day

TAMU email 10/19/16:

Texans across the Lone Star State are invited to celebrate Arbor Day Nov. 4.

Arbor Day is a holiday for trees - it is the perfect day to plant trees and to celebrate all the ways that trees enrich our lives, communities and landscapes.

In Texas, the official state Arbor Day celebration is held in a different host city each year on the first Friday in November. This year, the city of Nacogdoches will host the Texas Arbor Day celebration in the Millard's Crossing Historic Village.

The celebration, is aptly themed Leaving a Legacy, as Nacogdoches, celebrating a Tricentennial this year, is recognized as the Oldest Town in Texas. Festivities will feature a ceremony, educational activities, tree plantings, giveaways and homage to historic and champion trees. Events are free and open to the public.

For those unable to attend the state celebration, Texas A&M Forest Service invites you to celebrate Arbor Day in your own ways, in your own communities.

"The idea is for everyone in Texas to take one day - the same day - to truly appreciate trees and plant one," said Paul Johnson Texas A&M Forest Service urban and community forestry program coordinator. "Planting a tree leaves a legacy for future generations while beautifying the spaces where we live, work and play today."

Texas A&M Forest Service is making it easy for anyone, anywhere to participate in Arbor Day. We've provided tips online to help you create a memorable Arbor Day in your own community, and fun, educational activities for schools, groups and families to get outdoors and learn more about trees.

Visit for ideas on how to host an Arbor Day ceremony. Here you can also find instructions on how to properly plant a tree and activities about the benefits of trees, tree parts and how to identify a tree by its leaves or structure - plus so much more.

About Texas Arbor Day: Under the leadership of the Texas Forestry Association, Texas first observed Arbor Day in 1889, celebrating the benefits that trees provide over a lifetime.

Epsom Salts

Removing a Stump with Epsom Salts

Inspiring video man plants trees on desert island.


Melia azederach “Chinaberry Tree” For a year, I drove past a mature specimen growing near the nursery in someone’s front yard & I was enthralled by its beauty & extremely fragrant flowering sprays. The owners only knew it was a “lilac,” though it certainly wasn’t a Syringa.

Later, I was able to discover its identity & learned it is a very attractive deciduous tree to 20’ tall & wide with a beautiful form & pretty, dark green, pinnate leaves. In Spring it bears masses of huge panicles (at least 24” long) of very sweetly fragrant, lavender, 5-petaled star flowers.

The stout trunk has bark similar to an oak & the wood is very hard & beautifully grained (it’s related to Mahogany). This is one beautiful, tough, pest free & drought tolerant tree, perfectly suited to our climate. An excellent street tree, too. Plant carefully in southern States as it has become a bit weedy there.

Requires full sun, low water, zones 7b-11.

Melia azedarach commonly known by many names, including chinaberry tree,[3] Pride of India,[4] bead-tree, Cape lilac,[3] syringa berrytree,[3] Persian lilac,[3] and Indian lilac, is a species of deciduous tree in the mahogany family, Meliaceae, that is native to Indomalaya and Australasia.

Texas Invasives Deciduous tree to 50 feet (15 m) in height and 2 feet (60 cm) in diameter, much branched with multiple boles, lacy dark-green leaves having a musky odor, and clusters of lavender flowers in spring yielding persistent, poisonous yellow berries.

Ecological Threat: Chinaberry outcompetes native vegetation due to its high relative resistance to insects and pathogens. Its leaf litter raises soil pH, thus altering soil conditions for native plants and seed germination.

Chinaberry is a very fast growing tree that reaches 18 - 24 feet in height in 4 - 5 years. May reach 50 - 60 feet in total height.

Biology & Spread: Reproduces on-site primarily from root sprouts, and over longer distances via bird-dispersed seeds. Reproductively mature when it reaches the size of a shrub. Flowers in the spring, fruits in the summer. Fruit remain on the tree past leaf fall.

History: Introduced in the mid-1800s from Asia. Widely planted as a traditional ornamental around homesites. Extracts potentially useful for natural pesticides.

Chinaberry Tree Information Native to Pakistan, India, Southeast Asia and Australia, chinaberry tree information tells us it was introduced as an ornamental specimen to the United Sates in 1930 and for a period of time became the darling of landscapers in the southern United States. Today, the chinaberry tree is considered something of a pest due to its reseeding propensity and easy naturalization.

Growing chinaberry trees (Melia azedarach) have a dense spreading habitat attaining heights of between 30 to 50 feet tall and hardy in USDA zones 7-11. Growing chinaberry trees are prized as shade trees in their native habitat and bear pale purple tube-like blooms with a heavenly scent much like southern magnolia trees. They are found in fields, prairies, along roadsides and at the edge of wooded areas.

The resulting fruit, marble sized drupes, are light yellow gradually becoming wrinkled and white over the course of the winter months. These berries are toxic to humans when eaten in quantity but the juicy pulp is enjoyed by many bird varieties, often resulting in rather “drunken” behavior.

Chinaberry trees are resilient specimens and can be quite messy from the dropping berries and leaves. They spread easily, if allowed, and, as such, are classified as an invasive tree in the southeastern United States. This prolific mahogany member grows rapidly but has a short life span.

Chinaberry Uses: As mentioned above, the chinaberry is a valuable shade tree in its endemic regions due to its large, spreading canopy. Chinaberry uses in the southeastern regions of the United States have been used for just this attribute and were commonly added to the home landscape prior to the 1980’s.

The most commonly planted variety is the Texas umbrella tree with a slightly longer life span than other chinaberries and a lovely, distinct rounded shape. ... a narcotic; refer to the toxicity of the fruit and the tipsy, gorging birds.

Today, the chinaberry is still sold in nurseries but is less likely to be utilized in landscapes. Not only is it a threat to the natural ecosystem by its encroaching habit, but its messy and, more importantly, shallow root systems tend to clog drains and damage septic systems. Growing chinaberry trees also have weak limbs too, which break easily during severe weather, creating yet another mess.

If, after reading all the above information, you decide you just must have a specimen of the chinaberry in your garden, purchase a disease free certified plant at the nursery.

Chinaberry plant care is not complex once the tree is established. Plant the tree in full sun in most any soil type within the USDA zones 7-11. The tree should be watered regularly, although it will tolerate some drought and needs no irrigation through the winter months.

Prune your chinaberry tree to remove root and shoot suckers and maintain the umbrella-like canopy.

Citrus Trees

Is there an orange tree that can survive in a Zone 8? I believe there are some trifoliate hybrids that would do well in your area. Are you in New Mexico? You might do some research on Citranges, Citrandarins, Citrumelos, as well as some of the hardier Tangerine varieties (10-degree tangerine, Keraji Mandarin, Changsha, etc.) Have you noticed any other citrus in your area?

I am in zone 8. I am growing Satsuma mandarin, lemon, and grapefruit. They are in containers and during this recent cold snap I brought them into the greenhouse for a couple of days. I have put them in the garage before. So, I would be cautious about growing in the ground in zone 8. There are a few people downtown where it's protected that are growing mandarins outside and they are doing great! I bought mine from Four Winds. they have a hardiness chart on their web site.

i ''t know if i live in zone 8A or just zone 8, but oranges do well over here. it does get really cold some winters and the frosts seem to damage the oranges depending on how bad the temperature is. I know people have orange trees everywhere around here and despite a little die back on the new growth, the trees seem to be fine. We had about 4 days that droped down around 26and 27 and alot of plants died , but i havn't seen any dead citrus trees. My neighbors on both sides have citrus and they are fine, one of my neighbors tree, still has a bunch of oranges on it. They sure are good!

Satsuma is the best tasting cold hardy citrus, seedless too.

Growing Citrus Trees A lot of people worry that citrus trees will not be easy to grow or will take forever to bear fruit. Put that thought behind you because neither of those assumptions is necessarily true. Even if you live where winter can toss a frost or two your way you can still enjoy fresh, organic citrus grown at home. For those who live in frigid climates, you too can succeed at growing citrus quite easily.

One of the biggest problems anyone has with homegrown citrus, such as lemons, oranges and clementine trees, is that they '’t purchase super vigorous, healthy young trees to begin with. No matter what type of plants you try to grow, it will be much harder to do so easily if you purchase weak, immature or sickly plants in the first place. Start with a plant that has a well developed root system and not a twig in a dixie cup.

The next step to success is to decide if you live in a location that the citrus trees can be planted outside in your garden soil or is best grown in a pot. If frost and below freezing temperatures is a possibility, you will want to container grow your chemical free citrus so you can winter it indoors. No matter where you will be growing your new lifetime supply of delicious Vitamin C, your young tree will need very good drainage and lots of sunshine. So, if container growing for wintering indoors, it is necessary to plant these types of fruit trees only in pots that have drainage holes in the bottom.

Selecting Your Outdoor Planting Site: Obviously, most homeowners '’t have lots of choices as to where you will plant your citrus trees. Except for some very southern regions, if you live north of zone 8, you should be prepared to container grow your citrus. In zone 8, it is best to plant citrus trees on the south or southeast side of your home. This provides added protection from northwestern cold fronts. Planting your new citrus tree close to your home’s walls is also advisable as the heat the structure gives off will work to give it added warmth during such bouts of chillier than normal temperatures.

Do be sure and place the trunk of the citrus plants a minimum of 6-8 feet away from walls, fences and paved surfaces like drives and sidewalks. Also, space your citrus trees 6-8 feet apart for ease of picking and maintenance. Naturally, should you have a septic system, choose your planting location away from it and your drain field. In the city, you won’t want to place such a deep rooted plant near or over sewer lines as they can cause you a nightmare of clogged sewer lines as your new trees mature.

You should never plant citrus trees beneath other trees, as they need full sunlight for ultimate growth and fruiting.

The Right Soil Requirements for Citrus Trees: All citrus trees require deeply draining soil. This means runoff water leaves the area and the drainage beneath the surface is excellent and will not saturate the root system. Finding out what kind of soil you have to a depth that your new citrus will grow can be as simple as taking stock of what the other trees in your yard look like. Healthy shade and ornamental trees in your landscaping is a good sign that your soil should be great for growing citrus trees.

You can also plant your new citrus orchard in raised beds to create better drainage below the surface. Your soil pH should be in the range of 6-8 and not be high in salt, as citrus won’t be happy about dwelling in the wrong conditions. You can get your soil pH tested easily with pH test kits from your local garden center.

Planting Your New Citrus Trees in the Yard: Unlike many types of nursery container grown plants, citrus trees will take a long time to root past the potting medium and into your ground soil. To help them spread their roots faster and improve initial new growth rates, remove the exterior of the potting soil just as you are ready to slip the tree in its installation hole. '’t take all of it off, that would be harmful – just the outer half inch or so to allow the roots to be surrounded with your ground soil. This is very simple to do by washing it off with the hose immediately before sinking your young citrus tree in its new real soil home.

You want to cut a 4 ft. circle out of your lawn as the start of your planting hole. Discard the grassy top layer and dig your hole half again wider than each citrus tree’s root ball. When planting citrus you will want to ‘plant it high’, meaning you want the top of the finished planting surface to be crowned 1 inch higher than the lawn. This creates your surface run-off of water, and will be a great assistance to your tree in wet weather.

You won’t need to do a lot of amending with good soil, so '’t worry about adding compost and peat unless your soil is not good quality for drainage. With your tree set in the planting hole, fill around it half way to the top and thoroughly saturate the back fill soil. This helps it to settle around the roots of your new citrus tree’s ball. Finish filling the hole and tamp your loose soil into place lightly. Cover the roots with no more than 1 inch of ground soil to seal the potting soil from direct air contact. Soilless medium used in production nurseries is design to air dry too rapidly for home growing, blocking the air with a layer of soil stops you from having rapid drying problems.

To let your citrus tree be able to have deep root watering, build a water retention ring around the perimeter of your planting circle that is 5 – 6 inches tall and 6 – 8 inches thick. When completed, your watering ring should be slightly wider than the removed circle of lawn for your planting hole. '’t skimp, should you be short on soil left from the planting, buy some from your local garden center or borrow it from your garden. Fill your new citrus tree’s watering basin with water, touching up any sinking spots in the planting hole that may settle after this first deep root watering.

Mulching: Do not mulch over 3 inches deep and never put mulch any closer to the trunk of citrus trees than 12-24”. Nature didn’t create mulch, man did. Mulch can cause fungus issues with citrus plants.

Watering: When freshly planted, citrus trees need a deep, thorough watering two to three times the first week and one to two times per week for the next few weeks, depending upon soil type, rainfall and the time of year. Once this adjustment and establishment period is over, water them deeply whenever the soil begins to get dry an inch or so below the surface. Simply fill the water ring each time. Within about four, perhaps six months, your watering reservoir will erode away. '’t worry about rebuilding it, by this time your new citrus trees will be established enough that you can use a soaker hose to supply that deep root moisture as the water in your soil level drops.

Nutrition: '’t worry about fertilizing your new citrus trees when planting. Once your plants begin putting on new growth you will want to begin your fertilization schedule of once a month from February through October. Citrus trees are hungry plants and excellent performance will come from applying citrus fertilizer on a timely basis. You will also have good results with palm fertilizer, as they have almost identical requirements. Organic products to look for are Citrus-tone from Espoma and Dr. Earth Organic 9 Fruit Tree Fertilizer.

Scatter the prescribed amount of organic fertilizer on the ground at least a foot away from the trunk and promptly water it in thoroughly. Notice in the chart below that young citrus will need an increasing amount of fertilizer applied in the first few years you have it in your yard.

Citrus Tree Fertilizing: February – October
Year 1 monthly application 1 cup
Year 2 monthly application 2 cups
Year 3 monthly application 3 cups
Year 3 monthly application 4 cups

Container grown citrus needs to be feed more frequently than trees planted in outdoor ground soil.

Pruning: Grown in outdoor soil, these fruit trees will have a naturally full and pleasant shape. Citrus trees grown indoors can become leggy and getting them to be fuller is 'e by partially cutting back the growth to increase branching and density. Should the canopy of your indoor citrus get way too big for the containerized roots, some falling leaves and fine twig dieback can happen. This is corrected by pruning your citrus plant’s canopy back heavily.

Which Fruit Trees Grow Best in Zone 8? Fruit trees grow best within an optimal range of temperatures and are injured by excessive heat or cold. Heat and cold tolerance varies greatly between fruit tree species. The U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone map is helpful in assisting the home gardener in selecting trees that are appropriate for their location. Gardeners in USDA zone 8 can select from a diverse array of easy-to-grow fruit trees that add bold color, flowers, fragrance and visual interest to the landscape.

Pear Trees

Cleveland pear trees (Pyrus calleryana 'Cleveland Select') are well suited to cultivation in zones 5 though 8. The tree exhibits clusters of fragrant, white flowers in spring and resists damage from wind, ice and snow. The fast-growing tree quickly matures to a height of 30 to 40 feet tall and does well in small garden spaces. Cleveland pear trees do best in organically rich, well-drained soil and prefer a full-sun location. In autumn, the leaves turn a deep scarlet red. Kieffer pear (Pyrus communis x P. pyrifolia) is a heat-tolerant pear tree that flourishes in zones 4 though 9. The hardy fruit tree grows from 15 to 30 feet tall with a 12- to 20-foot spread and produces delicious, gold-colored fruit. It is important to plant at least two Kieffer pear trees to assure pollination.

Cherry Trees

The Kwanzan cherry tree (Prunus 'Kwanzan') flourishes in zones 5 through 9. In spring, the fast-growing tree displays clouds of fragrant, deep pink-colored flowers. Kwanzan cherry trees grow in almost any soil condition and reach a mature size of 30 to 40 feet tall and wide.

Apple Trees

Dwarf Gala apple trees (Malus 'Gala') grow well in zones 5 though 8. One of the most popular varieties of apple tree, the Gala apple resists bruising and softening. Flavorful and delicious, Gala apples are a tasty addition to the home orchard. Gala apple trees reach a mature height of 10 to 15 feet and achieve a width of 8 to 10 feet. They prefer well-drained, nutrient-rich soil and a full-sun location. Stayman Winesap apple (Malus x domestica) grows best in zones 5 to 8. The hardy tree produces an abundance of pink flowers and tart red apples.

Apricot Trees

Early golden apricot (Prunus armeniaca) is an attractive landscape tree that exhibits pink or white flowers followed by sweet and plump apricots. The fast-growing apricot tree is well suited to cultivation in zones 5 though 8. Moorpark apricot (Prunus armeniaca) grows best in zones 4 though 8. The fast-growing tree produces fruit in July and August.

Fruit and Nut Producing Trees for USDA Hardiness Zone 8B Below is a list of trees that will grow in zone 8b (USDA Hardiness 15 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, Austin, TX to Gainesville, FL). I've put together this list for those interested in beginning to research an orchard or fruit tree grove. I've included general characteristics about the tree, harvest time, height, and applicable hardiness zones. Additionally, I've included Latin names for all varieties to make future research easier. Please note with many of the rootstock varieties, researching by Latin name versus commercial name may be more difficult.

Trees (Nut/spices)

Black Walnut zones 4-9 - Can grow to more than 130 feet (40m) tall, yields whole fruit with husks around October. Crops tend to alternate crop yield (e.g. heavy, light, heavy, light). (Latin: Juglans nigra)

Chinese Chestnut zones 4-8 - Can grow to 60 feet (18m) tall. (Latin: Castanea mollissima)

Hardy Pecan zones 5-9 - Can grow to 130 feet (40m) tall and sometimes rarely past 144 feet (44m) tall, yields fruit mid-October and can live and yield fruit for up to 300 years. Part of the hickory family. (Latin: Carya illinoinensis)

Shagbark Hickory zones 4-8 – Can grow up to 80 feet (27m) tall, yields fruit in autumn. Can live and yield fruit up to 200 years. (Latin: Carya ovata)

Hazelnut zones 4-9 – Grows to about 12 feet (4m) tall, yields fruit in September to October. (Latin: Corylus americana)

Fruit Trees

Cold Hardy Banana Tree zones 5-11 - Grows to a height of about 15 feet (5m) tall, including leaves. (Latin: Musa basjoo)

Stella Cherry Tree zones 5-8 – Grows up to 100 feet (32m) tall, fruit becomes edible mid-summer. Note all parts of the tree, but the fruit, is slightly toxic. (Latin: Prunus avium)

Plum (Gulf Beauty) zones 8B-9 – Grows to 20 feet (6m) tall, fruit ripens late summer. (Latin: Prunus angustifolia)

Apple (Carter's Blue) zone 8b – Normally grown on rootstock, height is limited. Fruit is ripened and ready to pick by November. (self-fertile) (Latin: Malus domestica)

Maroon Crabapple zone 7-8B – Grown as cross-pollination source for orchard, fruit is not palatable when raw. (Latin: Malus angustifolia)

Peaches (Gulf Crimson) zones 8A-8B – Grows to about 30 feet (9m) tall, fruit is ripened by late summer. (Latin: Prunus persica)

Pears (Pineapple) zones 8-9 - Normally grown on rootstock, height is limited. Fruit is ripened and ready to pick by November. (needs Golden Boy Pear to pollinate) (Latin: Pyrus communis)

Pears (Golden Boy) zones 8A-9 - Normally grown on rootstock, height is limited. Fruit is ripened and ready to pick by November. (needs Pineapple Pear to pollinate) (Latin: Pyrus communis)

Olive zones 8A- 11 - Grows to 20 feet (6m) tall, although typically shorter. Fruit is late fall / early winter. Depending on variety, typically self-fertile, however recommended that they be planted in groups of three of more. (Latin: Olea europaea)

Citrus Trees

Mid Sweet Orange zones 8B-10 – Grows to about 35 feet (10m) tall, fruits are harvested in winter . (self-fertile) (Latin: Citrus sinensis)

Clementine Tangerine (Fina Sodea) zones 8B-10 – Must be cross-pollinated to avoid seeds in fruit, fruits are harvested in winter. (needs Orlando Tangelo to pollinate) (Latin: Citrus reticulata)

Orlando Tangelo zones 8B-10 - Must be cross-pollinated to avoid seeds in fruit, fruits are harvested in winter. (needs Clementine Tangerine to pollinate) (Latin: Citrus tangelo)

Meyer Lemon zones 8B-10 – Grows to about 10 feet (3m) tall, fruits are harvested in winter. Quick growing variety, from seed to fruit takes about four years. Large bushy tree. (self-fertile) (Latin: Citrus meyeri)

Limequat zones 8B-10 – Grown in a container, more cold-hardy than limes, however a slow fruit producer. (self-fertile) (Latin: Citrus floridana)

Citrus Owari Satsuma Tangerine - Citrus reticulata: The very largest fruit of the mandarin family and well known for its cold tolerance. This tree is found throughout FL and in the coastal areas of GA, AL, MS, LA and SC. Fruit ripens very early in the season. Honey-sweet, seedless and very juicy, Satsumas large segments separate easily. Even the youngest child can enjoy this "Zipper peel" fruit.

Meiwa Sweet Kumquat - Fortunella japonica: Beautiful quarter-size, bright orange fruit cover a lush, dense small tree. Ideal for container planting. The best fresh eating kumquat. Usually called the "sweet" kumquat. Zones 8b-10.

Improved Meyer Lemon - Citrus limonia: Meyer Lemon blooms early, usually fruiting the first year. Hardy to 18 degrees F and ornamental, being slightly sweet with an excellent lemon flavor. The peal is yellow-orange and very juicy. This tree is a lovely container plant and will produce well in a pot. For planting outside in marginal citrus zones like 8b choose Meyer Lemon grafted on trifoliate orange. For pots choose macrophylla or rooted on its own roots.Zones 8b-10.

Flying Dragon Trifoliate Orange - Citrus trifoliata L. var. monstrosa T.: Flying Dragon's thorns are long and curved, plant is small (up to 6'). Extremely ornamental with corkscrew growth habit. A show-stopper at the nursery, especially with it's display of orange fruit in the fall! No insect or disease problems. We make citrus-ade from the juice, adding sweetener and water. Fruits are highly aromatic.The Japanese name for them is "Karatachi". There is even a Japanese folk song named "karatachi". A small jar filled karatachi fruit seeped with honey provides a sweet liquid that makes a great topping for yogurt... or a spoonful in hot water is a delightful tea. Fruits are inferior to lemons, being seedy, resin-like, and not juicy. Not to be eaten whole fresh. Will take below zero temperatures planted in the ground, so it is the hardiest of citrus along with the straight thorn Poncirus. Can be made into a prize-winning bonsai. Space 7' circle Height 6'. Zones 6-9.

Trifoliate Orange - Poncerus trifoliata: The Japanese name for them is "Karatachi". There is even a Japanese folk song named "Karatachi". A small jar filled karatachi fruit seeped with honey provides a sweet liquid that makes a great topping for yogurt... or a spoonful in hot water is a delightful tea.Can be grown outside in Zone 6. Prune lower growth back to encourage canopy. Golf-ball size fruits are best used for drinks and marmalade. The hardiest true citrus, though fruits are inferior to commonly known citrus, being resiny, seedy, and extremely tart. Can withstand below zero temperatures. Commonly used as a rootstock in northern citrus growing regions. Makes a very ornamental hedge which is impenetrable. Height 10'. Zones 6-9.

Yuzu Hardy Citrus - C. ichangensis x C. reticulata var. austera: Yuzu is a naturally occurring hybrid long cultivated in China and Japan for its useful fruits. In their native environment these evergreens often withstand temperatures dipping into the teens or lower. Supposedly, Yuzu, can endure lows approaching 0 degrees F. Some sources say 15 degrees F. Zone 8 > 10.

Clementine Facts and Care Tips Every December you probably notice Christmas trees and lights going up everywhere, all over your neighborhood and on the inside of every store. You also probably notice citrus hitting the shelves of super markets at low prices. This is because winter is citrus season, so there’s an abundance of fresh oranges, lemons, and limes. One of the most popular seasonal citrus fruits is the Clementine, so this article includes facts and helpful care tips all about it!


1. Clementine Trees are hybrids between Mandarin Orange Trees and Sweet Orange Trees.

2. Some sources say that a French monk by the name of Marie-Clement Rodier created the hybrid tree. Other sources say that the Clementine Tree existed in China years before Rodier made his hybrid. Either way they made it to America in 1909.

Christmas Fruit and Spice3. Although Tangerines and Clementines are both linked to Mandarins, Clementines taste very sweet while tangerines taste sour.

4. Tangerines have seeds, but Clementines are seedless. Sometimes Clementines are referred to as ‘Seedless Tangerines.’ Due to their ripening season from November to January they’re also known as ‘Christmas Oranges’.

5. You can recognize a Clementine by its small shape. They’re wider than they are tall and have smooth glossy skin.

6. The skin on Clementines is extremely easy to peel. Also, Clementines can very easily be broken apart into 8 – 14 different sections.

7. The nutrients found in Clementines includes fiber, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C.

Care tips

1. Clementine Trees flourish in full to partial sunlight. Even though they prefer full sun, they can tolerate shade. 2. Sandy soil is best for Clementine Trees, but they will adapt to your natural soil. To make your soil sandier mix in sand or a fine potting mix. Just make sure that your soil is well draining.

'’t over water your tree. Check on your soil every few days, and only give your trees water when your soil is dry to the touch down to about 2 inches below the surface.

4. In the early spring and early fall give your trees some citrus fertilizer that’s high in acidity. However, wait until your tree has had one year of growth before you fertilize it.

5. Clementine Trees produce white flowers in the spring before their fruit begins to grow. Your fruit will be ripe and ready to be harvested towards mid-November when its skin fully turns orange. If you see green on the skin or around the stem then your Clementines aren’t ready to be harvested yet.

6. Clementine Trees are recommended for growing zones 8 through 11, and are cold hardy down to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

7. If you live in an area that gets colder than 20 degrees, plant your Clementines in containers and bring them indoors when it gets cold. These trees do extremely well in pots, and indoors. Just place them by a large sunny window and watch them take off.

Yard Fanatic I live in Zone 8; the same climate as Portland, Oregon. What I am trying to do here in Austin would make the Oregon-resident Sheryl scoff. After all, I am the same gardener who stopped raising roses because they couldn’t fend for themselves. And now I’m stringing lights, creating plastic domes, and sobbing in the garage over some trees?

CITRUS TREES It isn’t hard to grow a lifetime supply of free organic citrus. Citrus trees '’t have lots of pest issues and they are highly resistant to disease. Even if you live in a climate with very cold winters, you can still enjoy fresh, organic citrus grown at home.

Your first step is to determine if you live in a location where your citrus trees can be planted outside in your yard. For most of the country, your new citrus plants will best be grown in a container. If you live above zone 8b, or if frost is even a remote possibility, you will want to grow your citrus trees in a container and bring them indoors during the winter. Your young tree will need excellent drainage and lots of sunshine no matter where you plant it. So, only select pots that have drainage holes in the bottom for colder regional growing success.

Lime Tree

Unless you live on a large piece of land, most homeowners will have limited planting choices. For homeowners in zone 8, be safe and plant your citrus trees along the southern or southeast side of your home. This offers extra protection from northwestern winter cold fronts. Plant your new citrus tree 6-8 feet away from the walls of your house, so the heat from your home will work to add warmth during those surprise cold snaps. Maintain the same distance from garages, driveways, walks and fences, as well as spacing citrus trees away from each other. You’ll have an easier time picking your tree’s sweet fruit and caring for your new citrus orchard this way.

'’t get the idea that you’re protecting your citrus plants from cold by planting them under big trees. You won’t have an abundant harvest without full sun. Also, be sure you '’t plant the trees over or close to sewer lines or a septic field.

The best soil for citrus trees is deeply draining with good top runoff. This allows water to drain away from the deep root system. If you are not sure how well your subsoil drains, the other trees in your yard bear clues. Are your shade and spring flowering trees all very healthy and producing vigorous growth? If so, you most likely have the level of drainage already in place to succeed in growing citrus plants. If other trees in your yard aren’t looking healthy, you will want to grow your citrus trees in raised beds.

As with any other plant, the level of pH in the soil will present you with problems if it is too low or too high. For citrus trees, you need 6-8 pH for them to grow well. Citrus also is not tolerant of high soil salinity, which can be present near saltwater shores. Discovering the pH is easily accomplished with a soil tester purchased from local stores.

Start your planting process by digging a hole 3 feet wide in your yard. Save all soil and get rid of the grass and its roots on the top layer. Dig your hole twice as wide as the root ball. Loosen the soil beneath where your tree will sit, which will help your roots grow easier.

It is up to you to create the surface runoff for the tree. This is 'e by crowning the final soil surface an inch higher than the surrounding soil level in the grass.

Clementine Nules

Coaxing your new citrus tree to spread its roots out into the soil is easily 'e. Rinse the soilless medium away from the roots, about ½ inch deep on all sides of the root ball. This is not 'e until the moment you are going to place your new fruit tree in the planting hole. Do not remove more than ½ inch of soil medium from your tree’s roots, because this could damage your tree. What this does is allow the roots to be surrounded with your ground soil. Do this by simply washing it off with the hose immediately before planting your tree.

There isn’t any need to add compost to the existing soil. It will not improve drainage because your tree’s roots will grow deeply into the ground. Check the depth of your hole before rinsing away potting soil with the hose. Then, place your tree in the hole. Fill the hole halfway up with dirt, and evenly around the roots. Add some water, and then finish filling the hole with soil. Pat the surface of your finished planting area to lightly compact the soil.

During the first few months your tree is in the ground, it needs deep root watering. This is easily accomplished by building a water reservoir, with soil walls, around the perimeter or your tree circle. Form the dirt walls 6 inches high and 6 inches thick. Your finished deep water reservoir should be solid. At this point, your new citrus tree needs a big drink quickly. With reservoir walls properly in place, fill the watering resevoir with water. Any areas that sank when the water has drained need additional soil. Maintaining surface runoff is not possible with depressions in the soil surface.

Caring for Newly Planted Citrus Trees


No matter what kind of shrubs, trees or plants are in your landscaping – never put down mulch that exceeds 3 inches deep. Mulching around your new citrus tree is not a good idea, since it can sometimes cause fungus problems. If you simply must have that aesthetic appeal, keep all mulch two feet away from the trunk.

Meyer Lemon tree


Following the initial deep root watering at planting time, new citrus trees need a deep watering 2 – 3 times during the first week in the ground. For the next few weeks, fill the watering reservoir 1 – 2 times a week. Watering will vary according to your type of soil, how much rain you’ve had that week, and what time of year you planted the new tree. This watering schedule is an establishment practice. After the first month to six weeks, you will only need to provide deep watering when your ground soil dries to a depth of an 2 inches.

By the end of six months or less, the soil walls of your water reservoir will have eroded away. You '’t need to replace them, since they only help your tree get established.


At planting time, '’t fertilize citrus trees. Instead, wait until new growth appears. Then you should begin a feeding schedule of once a month from February through October. For excellent fruit and growth production, you’ll want to use quality organic citrus fertilizer. Look for organic fertilizers formulated perfectly for citrus trees, such as Citrus-tone from Espoma and Dr. Earth Organic 9 Fruit Tree Fertilizer. If you cannot find either of those, you can use palm fertilizer, as they have almost identical requirements.

Scatter the measured organic fertilizer on the ground at least a foot away from the trunk – thoroughly water the fertilizer. Young citrus trees have an annual increased need of fertilization because their root system is increasing over this time span. Bear in mind that if you are growing your trees in containers, they will need fertilizing more often than a tree planted in the ground.

Growing Citrus Trees in Containers

Selecting the Right Pot

To succeed at growing live plants, it doesn’t matter if the container is made of plastic, clay, metal or wood – it must have adequate bottom drainage holes. '’t worry about potted soil escaping. Just buy a water tray and place a fine meshed screen or weed barrier cloth on the bottom before planting. The layer of porous material allows water to leave while keeping the potting soil in your container.

Consider the mobility you will need when selecting your citrus tree’s container. Whatever you choose will weigh far more filled with your tree, potting soil and drainage gravel. Clay and ceramic containers are a lot heavier than plastic. Resin and wood containers will be far easier to move around in the house and into the outdoors during summer.

Don’t start off with a small tree in a huge pot, thinking it will be economical. Too much soilless medium surrounding the citrus plant’s roots will bring you high moisture health issues.

Correct Citrus Tree Potting Method

With your weed barrier or screen in place at the bottom of your pot, lay in an inch or two of pea gravel for proper drainage. Next, you will need to get your potting medium right. Not all commercial mixes found at your store will be okay. Most of these products are predominantly sphagnum peat, which is highly acidic and inappropriate for the longevity of many plants… especially citrus. Do not use ordinary top soil in any container planting; it will quickly kill the contents of your pot.

Select an easy to obtain soilless potting medium that contains either vermiculite or perlite. Blend in some cedar shavings with your potting medium for even distribution. Fill the planter partially and you are ready to inspect the citrus tree’s root system. Any plant grown in a container will become somewhat root bound, a condition that should be dealt with whenever you transfer them to a larger container. You can easily correct the situation by carefully spreading the larger roots, allowing them to grow outward instead of continuing to grow in the same tight circle. Be sure to loosen the remaining outer roots to help them escape from their previously cramped condition.

Situate the tree in your partially filled container. Maintain the same surface level of potting soil as it was growing in the original nursery pot. Complete the process of filling around your root ball. Be sure to leave watering depth, from the rim of the pot to the soil surface, of ¼ to ½ inch. '’t fertilize until you see new growth appearing, just as is 'e in outdoor growing of citrus trees. After watering your newly potted tree thoroughly, you have finished your planting.

Sunlight Exposure

Most fruit crops do best in full sun, but some will do well in partial shade. As with anything that flowers, the more hours of sun each day, the heavier the blooming will be. Without flowers, fruit cannot form. This controls how big your harvest will be at the end of your citrus tree’s cycle. Over the winter, you will want to house your tree in front of the sunniest window you have. Once all threat of frost is over, you can move your citrus tree outdoors into a spot where it will get at least 8 hours of direct sun every day.

Any plant kept indoors over the cold season must be slowly adjusted to the intense light. Consider how you experience the instant introduction to brilliant light after being in the dark for a long time. Prepare citrus trees for full sun placement by alternating shade and sun exposure, adding an hour every few days. Begin with an hour on day one. To prevent shock, start the process 2 weeks before the full time move. The same is true of preparing citrus trees for being moved back indoors for winter. Whichever direction you are headed with light acclimation, you’ll want to slowly change from direct sun exposure or part shade exposure.


Tropical and subtropical fruit trees cannot tolerate freezing temperatures. Some will suffer “die back” only on the youngest twigs, while others will die back to the ground. Being without insulation, and completely exposed to frigid temperatures, is something only very cold hardy plants can endure.

Just moving them inside is not total protection from icy drafts. Always place your potted citrus tree where cold blasts from opening exterior doors and the heating system vent cannot hit them.

You must pay attention to the cooling night temperatures. It would be best to start the process when nighttime temperatures begin dipping into the high 40s. Also keep watch for unexpected frost. You can always move the tree inside for the night, and go back to light acclimation, after the frost has melted. The time this will happen is all dependent on how far north you live.

Water Right for Best Results

The most common reason people fail at growing plants in containers is either not enough or too much water, whether caused by a lack of drainage or watering too often. You should only water as needed, especially with citrus trees. Clay and wood containers will dry faster than plastic, metal and ceramic because air can enter the walls of these pots. This is why you should never use real soil with a tree in a container.

Always check your potting soil for dryness watering; you want the surface to be very dry to the touch. The light consistency of soilless medium makes it float away when a rush of heavy water presents itself, so be sure to slowly add the water to your pot, and avoid exposing the citrus tree’s roots to the air. Empty the pot’s water tray if it starts filling up. Good drainage isn’t happening if the bottom drainage holes are submerged in deep water. Cooler temperatures always slow the growth and water needs of citrus trees.

While the roots prefer to stay on the dry side, citrus leaves love humidity. Indoor Citrus will do best if misted daily especially when you are running your heat during cooler months. You can also use a humidifier or fill your pot’s saucer with rocks and add water; place your plant on the rocks ensuring the bottom of the pot is above the water line.

Fertilizing Container Grown Citrus Trees

An excellent, balanced fertilizer schedule is highly important to your success in receiving an abundant harvest from vigorous container-grown citrus trees. Over fertilization can result in too much foliage growth, poor fruit production and dieback. Use organic fertilizer blended for the needs of citrus trees, like Citrus-tone or Dr. Earth’s Organic 9, and follow the directions on the label for container-grown plants. When the mature foliage on your citrus trees is deep, rich green, you know you have the correct fertilizer application.

Citrus trees '’t do well in saline soils. If a white crust forms on the potting soil surface, it is likely due to excess fertilizing and/or your water has large amounts of soluble salts. This situation should be corrected by washing the trapped salts out of the container by slowly running water through the container for several minutes. This will carry the excess salts down through the potting medium to exit via the drainage holes.


Citrus trees grown outdoors are always naturally dense with a lovely full shape. When growing citrus plants indoors, the weaker light in winter can cause them to become leggy. Pruning back the tree’s canopy partially will induce more branching to assist you in producing a fuller tree and more fruit. You can also control the amount of space the citrus tree starts to take up in the house as it matures by pruning. When the top of your citrus tree have outgrown the available root space in the container, it is normal to see falling leaves and young twig die-back.

Loquat Trees

CTG plant of week: Satsuma ‘Orange Frost’ Thanks to Larry Stein from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service for this picture of a new cold hardy satsuma orange cultivar ‘Orange Frost.’

Satsuma "Orange Frost" Texas Superstar

This great addition to our satsuma mandarin choices is a brand new Texas Superstar plant that our AgriLife researchers have been trialing for a few years now.

‘Orange Frost’ mandarin is a hybrid cross between a very seedy but cold hardy, Changsha tangerine and a very high quality Satsuma.

The fruit is very sweet, easy to peel, and only has one or two seeds per fruit.

More importantly, the tree has more cold hardiness than satsuma, so once established, it will tolerate more cold, meaning that it can be planted in the landscape a bit further north than other citrus.

‘Orange Frost’ has proven to be reliably hardy in zone 8, which includes Central Texas. But for the first few years, when the tree is young and getting established, you’ll need to protect it during the winter.

‘Orange Frost’ needs full-day sun to perform and fruit well. And it gets only 8 to 10 feet tall, making the fruit easy to harvest. But it can also get 8 to 10 feet wide, so be sure to give it plenty of space to spread out. Be sure that the soil has good drainage. And '’t plant until after ALL danger of frost has passed. For good growth and a bountiful harvest, water regularly and fertilize monthly during the growing season.

As with other citrus trees, ‘Orange Frost’ satsuma is evergreen, and if it DOES get bitten by the cold, the good news is that it isn’t grafted, meaning that it will come back true if it has to regrow from the roots. This tree will also work well in containers.

Satsuma Orange Frost, a new Texas Superstar, should expand the planting zone for citrus in the ground moving as far north as U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 8, which includes the Hill Country

SA FRUIT TREES Garden Center

Belle of Georgia Dwarf Peach Trees: Very vigorous, hardy and productive. Leading white variety for commercial use. Fruit large, with bright attractive red almost covering the white background. Flesh white, highly flavored and very firm. Freestone. Self-pollinating. $9.95+

Belle of Georgia Peach Trees: Very vigorous, hardy and productive. Leading white variety for commercial use. Fruit large, with bright attractive red almost covering the white background. Flesh white, highly flavored and very firm. Freestone. Self-pollinating. $8.95+

Bing Cherry Trees (Sweet)--Large, delicious, dark red fruit with rich, firm flesh, excellent for eating, canning and preserving, ripens mid-June. Needs another variety for pollination. $10.95+

Bing Dwarf Cherry Trees

Black Tartarian Cherry Trees (Sweet)--The big, almost black sweet Cherry everyone likes. Fine for eating, canning and freezing. Luscious Cherries ripen in June. Needs another sweet cherry for pollination.

Black Tartarian Dwarf Cherry Trees

Bonanza Dwarf Peach Trees--Medium to large yellow-red fruit. Freestone with fragrant yellow flesh. Genetic tree with large pink flowers. Ripens early to mid-June. Self pollinating.

Chojuro Asian Dwarf Pear Trees--Known as the Rum Pear. Medium to large golden-russet fruit has rich butterscotch or rum-like flavor. Ripens in early to mid-September and keeps until January if refrigerated. Trees are very productive, so be sure to thin fruit early in the season.

Danube Cherry Tree--The very large, firm, burgundy red fruits have thick red flesh and red juice. Their unique sweet flavor and high sugar content makes them exceptionally delicious for fresh eating, desserts and home wine-making. Ripening early to mid-July, the cherries store well, keeping for days at room temperature. Trees are self-fertile and grow 10 to 15 ft tall. $10.95

Danube Dwarf Cherry Trees

Early Richmond Cherry Dwarf – Bright red, juicy fruit. One of the earliest sour cherry varieties. Strong, healthy tree. Plant with another variety.

Elberta Dwarf Peach Trees – Still the most popular peach on the market, and universally planted. Yellow freestone of excellence quality, juicy, firm, but tender. Tree is hardy, productive and disease resistant. Self-pollinating. $12.95

Encore Dwarf Peach Trees – Large, yellow-fleshed peaches are super sweet and juicy. Ripens late August to early Sept. Nearly as winter hardy as Reliance! Pollinate with any other variety. $9.95

Enterprise Apple Trees - A super-sized winesap type! Measures up to 4" in diameter. It has that old-time flavor combination of tart and sweet. This variety provides more fruit, with less peeling, to make excellent pies and tarts. Improved flavor, texture and disease resistance.

Freedom Apple Trees – Yields crops year after year without spraying! A descendant of McIntosh, Rome, Golden Delicious, and others, trees are vigorous, spreading, with leathery-textured leaves. Fruits are large, bright red with almost invisible background. Fine-textured, tender and juicy flesh.

Gala Apple Dwarf – This tree is rated at the top of the list for fresh eating. A dependable bearer and nursery folks rave about being disease resistant to most diseases. Pollinate with another variety. $9.95

Garden Beauty Nectarine Dwarf – Pink-white blossoms blanket the green foliage each spring, then by August you’ll pick up to a half-bushel of premium-quality, full size fruit. $9.95

Garden State Nectarine Semi-Dwarf - it resembles and grows like peaches with the same luscious, sweet, juicy, mellow golden flesh. The thin, smooth, plum-like skin is absolutely fuzzless. Self-pollinating.

Golden Jubilee Dwarf Peach Trees – A very popular early yellow flesh peach, excellent for home garden planting and local sales. Good size fruit of fine quality. A very important feature is its excellent winter hardiness which insures a fine crop each year. Self-pollinating.

Golden Sweet Cherry Dwarf Trees – Delectable golden fruit ripens in June. Birds often go for red fruit first, leaving the gold for the grower. Use any variety of Cherry as a pollinator.

Goldmine Nectarine White flesh is sweet, but not all sugar. Has sub-acid taste like yellow fleshed varieties. Red over 70-80 percent. Attractive. Freestone. Self-pollinating. Ripens early August.

Goldrush Apple Trees – Wonderfully complex flavor! One of the finest apples you’ll ever eat! Mostly tart at harvest in mid-October, mellowing to a sweeter flavor by November. Keeps its very firm texture and flavor through May in common refrigeration. Very quick to bear and annually productive.

Governor Wood Cherry Dwarf Trees – Small to medium sized fruit with very good, sweet, juicy flesh. Good table variety. Ripens early. Self-pollinating.

Grimes Golden Apple Trees – The tree is hardy, grows upright and is quite disease resistant. Medium to large, bright yellow, flesh fine grained, juicy, with a very pleasing spicy flavor. Highly recommended and widely planted to pollinate self sterile varieties. Pollinate with any other variety. Dwarf & semi-dwarf.

Hale Haven Peach Trees – Today’s most planted, most popular and most dependable hi-yielding, hi-quality, hardy yellow freestone. Rapidly overtaking Elberta. Self-pollinating.

Honeycrisp Apple Semi-Dwarf - A quick-bearing apple that will ripen in September. Has large fruit- stays crisp for 3 months-Hence it’s name. Pollinate with any other variety.

Independence Nectarine - Large fruit. Brilliant red skin. Golden yellow, firm flesh, good flavor. Attractive bloom. Freestone. Trees produce very well. Winter and frost hardy. Self-pollinating. Ripens late June.

Intrepid Dwarf Peach Trees – The perfect peach to pick for peach cobbler, peach preserves or just eat right of the tree! Yellow fleshed fruit has an excellent, sweet flavor that you can’t help but love. Intrepid is a late bloomer and boasts extreme hardiness, and has been known to withstand freezing temperatures at half to full bloom with little or no damage. Ripens late June to early July.

Kansas Sweet Cherry Semi-Dwarf Trees - Rose-blushed golden cherries '’t tempt birds like red ones do–you’ll love the tasty results! Large yields ripen in mid to late June. Hardy in bud and wood. Use any variety of cherry to pollinate.

Kristin Cherry - Purplish black Cherries- fruit ripens in July. Grows up to 25 feet tall. Cherries are very tasty. An extra sweet Cherry. Pollinate with any other cherry variety.

Lapins Cherry Trees - Sweet treats ripen late July to early Aug. Fruit is firm and resists cracking. A relatively small tree, Lapins is self-pollinating and an excellent pollinator for other sweet cherry varieties.

Large Korean Asian Dwarf Pear Trees – Also called Korean Giant and Dan Bae, these golden-brown pears often weigh up to a pound. They have wonderful sweet flavor and crisp, juicy texture. Fruit ripens in early to mid-October and keeps extremely well in cold storage. Vigorous, upright trees bear big crops annually.

Le Grand Nectarine - Very large. Yellow with red blush. Firm, yellow flesh, rich sweet flavor. Clingstone. Bears consistently. Vigorous tree. Ripens early August.

Mericrest Nectarine - Nectarines are the fuzzless peach. Green foliage followed by pink blooms. Ripens in August. Has a tangy taste-Freestone- this tree is self pollinating.

Montmorency Cherry Trees (Sour) - Universally recognized the best sour Cherry for eating fresh, canning, baking and preserving. Bears large fruit very young. America favorite hi-yielding cherry. Self-pollinating.

Nanking Cherry Trees - Sets fruit its first year! Early and extra productive! Produces sweetly scented spring flowers and tremendous crops of tasty fruit. Bears up to 8 qts. of bright red cherries. ripens in July. Grows 6-8 ft. high. For best yield, plant two or more.

Red Haven Dwarf Peach Trees – From beautiful pink blossoms in spring to red fruit in summer this freestone peach is an all-time favorite for the home garden. Strong-growing, prolific. Fruit is excellent for canning, freezing and fresh. Self-pollinating.

*Reliance Dwarf Peach Trees – Probably the most hardy peach. Produces medium to large fruit and has an extremely sweet flavor. Self pollinating- Ripens Early.

Sunred Nectarine - Medium. Bright red skin. Firm, yellow flesh, sweet, good flavor. Semi-freestone. Bears well in warm winter areas. Ripens mid May to early June.

Surecrop Nectarine Dwarf – It resembles and grows like peaches with the same luscious, sweet, juicy, mellow golden flesh. The thin, smooth, plum-like skin is absolutely fuzzless. Self-pollinating.

*Zestar Apple Trees – Tastes like brown sugar! Large, highly flavored apples have overtones of brown sugar! Excellent for fresh eating, pies, sauce and cider. Red-over-cream-colored fruits are medium sized and ripen in July. Keeps up to 2 months in the refrigerator. dwarf & semi

Good to eat

Mulberry 1-2 FEET Purplish-Black fruit-Ripens Mid-July. Self Pollinating. Grows up to 30 feet. Famous for Mulberry Jelly. $5.95

Paw Paw 2-4 FEET Banana tasting 6 inch fruits turn light green to black after ripening. Grows up to 25 feet. Large drooping leaves. Self pollinating. Makes a neat flowering tree. $6.95

Berry Plants:

Apache Thornless Blackberry Plant patent 11685- The sweetest of all blackberries. Excellent plant for colder areas. Self Pollinating. Bears in late July to early August. $8.50

Arapho Thornless Blackberry Another special plant with patent 8510. Has a sweet mild flavor. Ripens in late July- Self pollinating and no thorns. $8.50

Chickasaw Thorny Blackberry Very disease resistant- canes are self-support. Ripens in Mid June self-pollinating. $6.95

*Elderberries - THE BEST JAM OR JELLY EVER Large clusters of purple-black berries. Grows 8-10 feet. Makes tasty wine. $6.95

Gooseberry – 1-2 FEET A vigorous bush that produces loads of quality berries excellent for pies and preserves. Plant in ether the garden or shrub border. Shipped at 1 to 2 feet. $7.95

Kiowa Thorny Blackberry - Plant patent 9861- These shiny berries- have a wild delicious taste- The taste is so good it has been awarded a patent. Ripens Mid-July. Self-pollinating. $6.95

Navaho Thornless Blackberry - This plant is special awarded plant patent No.6679. Canes are self-supporting. Fruit ripens in 4 weeks starting in early July. Self Pollinating. $8.50

Flowering Shrubs:

Purple Wisteria Tree – 2-3 FEET Deciduous vine trained to grow in tree form. Showy display of lightly fragrant purple blooms on 10" long, pendulous clusters in early spring. Shipped at 2 to 3 feet $4.95

Red Spirea – 1-2 FEET Spiraea Clusters of rosy red flowers to bloom from June to fall on a multi-stemmed shrub to 3-4. Adaptable, but flowers best in full sun. Shipped at 1 to 2 feet $3.95

Spirea Van Houttie – 1-2 FEET Displays a contribution to your garden of long arching stems lined in the late spring with so many white flowers that it hides the foliage. Shipped at 1 to 2 feet $3.95

Super Hardy English Lavender – 1-2 FEET Enjoy the beauty and sweet fragrance of lavender indoors! Stately lavender spires make a beautiful addition to your indoor flower arrangements, and fragrant, too! Capture the legendary fragrance all winter long in bouquets and sachets of dried flowers. Dense, low growing hedge – perfect for boarders, dividers, path edges…a must for every rock garden. Shipped at 1-2' $3.95

Flowering Trees:

American Redbud Trees 2-4 FEET Tiny red-pink flowers cover the twigs and branches of this tree, before the leaves appear in early Spring. The beautiful heart shaped green leaves turn brilliantly yellow in the Fall. At maturity these trees grow to 20 feet in height.Shipped at 2 to 4 feet $6.95


Flower Bulbs:

Big Leaf Elephant Ears – 4 Bulbs per pk Available from Jan 20th to May 20th $9.95

Orange Beauty Cannas – 3 bulbs per pk Mature Height: 5' to 6' tall Available Jan 20th to May 20th $7.95

Richard Wallace Cannas [yellow]- 3 bulbs per pk Mature Height: 4' to 5' tall Available Jan 20th to May 20th $7.95

Wyoming Cannas [orange] – 3 bulbs per pk Mature Height: 4' to 5' tall Available Jan 20th to May 20th $7.95

Yellow King Humbert Cannas – 3 bulbs per pk Mature Height: 4' to 5' tall Available Jan 20th to May 20th $7.95

City of Portland Cannas – 3 bulbs per pk Mature Height: 4' to 5' tall Available from Jan 20th to May 20th $7.95

Orange Beauty Cannas – 3 bulbs per pk

Blue Jay Hosta - Just 10 inches high at maturity, this slow-growing treasure is so intensely colored it makes a much bigger impact than its size would suggest! Never greening out in summer’s heat, this blue beauty is the most vibrant we’ve seen. Lavender blooms arise in early summer. Use for edging and containers! Space 1? apart. Zone 3-8; early summer, part sun/full shade; H: 10?, W: 18? $6.95

Gold Standard Hosta - Excellent border plant, foliage spring – frost, partial sun to full shade, zone 3-9. height 24 – 30? Available from October 20th to June 10th. $6.95

Prairie Sky Hosta - One of the bluest hostas available. Retains its showy color all season. Forms a tight clump of powdery blue, lightly cupped leaves of thick substance. Pale lavender flowers. Try pairing this cool blue hosta with yellow leaved Heucheras. $6.95

Royal Standard Hosta - Excellent border plant, foliage spring – frost, partial sun to full shade, zone 3-9. height 24 – 30? Available from October 20th to June 10th. $6.95

Sum and Substance Hosta - Excellent border plant, foliage spring – frost, partial sun to full shade, zone 3-9. height 24 – 30? Available from October 20th to June 10th. $6.95

Ranunculus Mixed – 12 bulbs per pk Big buttercup blooms in bright sunny colors are so easy to grow. Great for customers who want lots of flowers from each bulb. Bloom early summer. Hardy outdoors in Zones 8-11. Height 16. Size 7/+ cm. $9.95

SAWS: No-Fail Fruit Trees for San Antonio It is best bet is to select fruit trees that are suited for our warm winters. Consider these:

For peaches, 'June Gold,' Tex Royal' and 'La Feliciana' do best; 'Elberta' will not survive here.

For apples, try 'Dorset Golden' and 'Anna;' forget about 'Red Delicious.'

The best pear varieties are 'Warren' and 'Kieffer;' 'Bartlett' pears are highly susceptible to fire blight.

The 'Methley' plum is the best choice for San Antonio.

Full sun and good drainage are musts for all fruit trees whether they're grown in native soil or raised beds.

A&M: Fruit Trees in San Antonio

FRUITS FOR SAN ANTONIO The toughest, most adapted fruits include Oriental persimmon, pomegranate, blackberries, and figs. Plums, pears, and grapes are in an intermediate category, and apples, strawberries, and peaches are the most difficult to grow. Do not bother to try and grow raspberries, cherries, or blueberries; they do not survive in our alkaline soil and/or weather conditions. Apricots make a pretty tree but are not productive in this area.

Oriental persimmon make a wonderful lawn tree. The trees are small and open with large leaves that can be colorful in the autumn. The fruit on the tree often looks like Christmas bulbs—colorful, well spaced, and showy. Persimmon is astringent; it will make you pucker up if it is eaten before it is mushy ripe. The exception is Fuyu. Another variety to consider is Haichiya. The birds, raccoons, and opossum will eat the fruit you do not harvest. Oriental persimmon can be grown in our native soil. It will survive without irrigation but will produce more fruit if it is watered regularly in the summer.

Figs are also easy to grow in San Antonio. Select from Celeste and Texas Everbearing. They all have a closed eye (keeps insects out). Brown Turkey has an open eye but is still a good choice. Once established, figs can survive without irrigation but will not produce much fruit. Mulch heavily (4 to 8 inches) over the root system and irrigate regularly for maximum production.

Blackberries are so productive they can be overwhelming during their short season. They also can take over your garden because of their growth rate and thorns. If you have blackberries, expect to be ruthless in rogueing out the canes that spread from the original planting. The old wood must also be removed after harvest in April or May to make room for the new canes. Consider Brazos, Kiowa, or Rosborough for huge yields. Thornless selections such as Arapaho and Navajo are not as productive but are easier to manage.

Pomegranate is an interesting fruit. The tart flesh surrounds the seeds inside an apple-shaped case with a crown. The fruit is attractive on the shrub but the blooms are spectacular. They are glow-in-the-dark red-orange in late spring. The plant is one of the few deer-proof fruits. It makes a large dense deciduous shrub. Wonderful is the recommended variety. Pomegranate is a good xeriscape plant.

SA Fruit Tree Project video

Why People Fail at Avocado Trees

CTG San Antonio Wonderland garden in San Antonio|Ragna & Bob Hersey|Central Texas Gardener

Growing alvocados in San Antonio Texas pt 2

News Articles

How to plant a tree every time Trump mocks climate change

Treehugger, by Melissa Breyer

Don't throw your phone at the wall every time the president says something infuriating about the environment, plant a tree instead!

I am psyched to have discovered a new coping tool: Treespond [ ].

The US is losing 36 million urban trees a year The USDA Forest Service reveals that cities and communities are losing 175,000 acres of tree cover annually, while pavement, roads, and buildings are increasing.

15 of the most remarkable trees in AmericaFrom the world's largest to ones that were here long before the Mayflower, these noble trees are nothing less than U.S. national treasures.

Angel Oak: The perfect southern host

While they aren't celebrated as much as they should be, few things are as iconic as a country's trees. They stand witness to history, being rooted in place sometimes for thousands of years, as generations of people come and go. They act as landmarks; they are the centers around which stories take place. They are workhorses for the environment and give us shade and food. We would be nowhere without them

Angel Oak: The perfect southern host

The massive southern live oak (pictured above) on Johns Island near Charleston, South Carolina, may not be the oldest or largest tree in the county (we'll get to those in a bit), but in terms of grandeur, it's hard to beat. Plus, 400 to 500 years under its belt isn't too shabby.

The storybook beauty is more than 66 feet tall, which is impressive for a live oak since they are known for growing out more than up. Proof can be seen in Its longest branch, an arm that stretches out a remarkable 187 feet. The canopy produces 17,200 square feet of shade!

The tree was named for the family that once owned the state, Justus and Martha Waight Angel, and is now the property of the City of Charleston. Local lore suggests that the ghosts of former slaves hover around the tree like angels. That the tree has survived so many natural disasters and plans for land development may prove that it has its own angels after all.

Callery Pear in NY

Survivor Tree: The callery pear that withstood 9/11

When 9/11 workers discovered the charred remains of this callery pear tree under rubble for a month, they didn't give up hope. With just a single branch showing signs of life, this perseverant tree was sent for convalescence under the care of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. After nine years of rehab at a Bronx nursery, the so-called Survivor Tree was planted at the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum, where it thrives amongst a solemn place that is filled with both memories and life. "New, smooth limbs extended from the gnarled stumps, creating a visible demarcation between the tree’s past and present," notes the Museum. "Today, the tree stands as a living reminder of resilience, survival and rebirth."

Wi’áasal: A giant, ancient sacred oak

Wi’áasal: A giant, ancient sacred oak

In Teculuma, California, on the reservation of the Pechanga Band of Luiseños Indians, the Great Oak – known as Wi’áasal by Pechanga people – stands grand and sacred. From the Pechanga website:

To the Pechanga people, the land and the Great Oak that stands upon it carry meaning that transcends physical presence. The Great Oak has come to embody the identity and character of the Pechanga Band: strength, wisdom, longevity and determination. - Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians To the Pechanga people, the land and the Great Oak that stands upon it carry meaning that transcends physical presence. The Great Oak has come to embody the identity and character of the Pechanga Band: strength, wisdom, longevity and determination.

This incredible tree is known as the largest naturally grown indigenous coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia) in the West, a place of many storied oaks. With a trunk exceeding 20 feet in circumference, and a height of 100 feet, Wi’áasal’s largest branches touch the ground, “supporting the tree’s weight and creating a sheltering canopy for countless generations of people and animals.” The Great Oak is also impressive in age; at over 1,000 years old (and up to 2,000, say some), it is one of the oldest living oak trees in the United States.

And even so, the tree continues to bear acorns, an important food for Californians for millennia before the Europeans appeared. When diminutive saplings sprout beneath the canopy, they are transplanted into pots. Once mature enough, Wi’áasal’s “children” are planted in other places on the reservation, ensuring many generations of Wi’áasal to come. If only all trees were respected thusly.

Jackson Oak: The tree that owns itself

Jackson Oak: The tree that owns itself

This tree in Athens, Georgia has more property than many an American. The Tree That Owns Itself is a white oak (Quercus alba) that possesses legal ownership of itself and the land within eight feet of its base. Also known as the Jackson Oak, the original tree was so beloved by the man who owned the land, William H. Jackson, that he granted it autonomy upon his death. From the deed, according to lore:

“For and in consideration of the great love I bear this tree and the great desire I have for its protection for all time, I convey entire possession of itself and all land within eight feet of the tree on all sides" -William H. Jackson

Swoon! Sadly, the original tree, which dated to some time between the mid-16th and late 18th century, toppled in a windstorm in 1942. Undaunted, residents of Athens started a new tree from an acorn of the papa tree and planted it in the same spot, giving rise to the Son of The Tree That Owns Itself.

Chandelier Tree: An ancient drive-through giant

Chandelier Tree: An ancient drive-through giant

Hey, here's an idea! Let's carve out a huge hole in the middle of a ~2,000-year-old tree to spark automobile tourism! Sigh. Though I suppose it's better than just cutting the grand coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) down for lumber, a fate that happened to so many of California's arboreal giants during the 19th century. Amazingly, some of the tunnel trees have managed to survive their butchery, like the Chandelier Tree, a noble beauty that lives in a private redwood grove in Leggett, California. At 276-feet high and 16-feet in diameter, the tree's graceful branches are said to resemble a chandelier; albeit a chandelier with a big missing chunk. Thankfully we no longer remove giant essential parts from trees that have survived for 2,000 years.

Endicott Pear: Bearing fruit since 1630

Endicott Pear: Bearing fruit since 1630

The first cultivated tree to be planted by European settlers, this stalwart European pear (Pyrus communis) was planted by Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor John Endecott in the 1630s. The pear sapling was imported from across the Atlantic; upon its planting, Endicott said: "I hope the tree will love the soil of the old world and no doubt when we have gone the tree will still be alive." Almost 400 years later and this enduring tree is not only still alive, but continues to bear fruit as well.

General Sherman: The largest tree alive

General Sherman: The largest tree alive

The gentlest of giants, this massive majesty from California's Sequoia National Park is the largest, by volume, known living single stem tree in the world. Named the General Sherman, this giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) is neither the tallest known living tree, nor is it the widest or oldest – but with its height of 275 feet, diameter of 25 feet and estimated bole volume of 52,513 cubic feet, it's the most voluminous. And with a wise old age of 2,300 to 2,700 years, it is also one of the longest-lived of all trees to grace the globe.

Hangman's Elm: Manhattan's oldest tree

Hangman's Elm: Manhattan's oldest tree

The stately English elm (Ulmus minor) that anchors the northwest corner of New York City's Washington Square has a grim name but likely one that is apocryphal. Known as the Hangman's Elm or The Hanging Tree, there are no public records of actual executions from the tree, which was part of a private farm until the the city purchased the land in 1827 and added to the Square in 1827. That said, the area was found to be the burial grounds for slaves who had died from yellow fever. The impressive elm stands 110-feet tall and has a diameter of 56 inches. In 1989, the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation revealed that the tree was 310 years old, making it the oldest known tree in Manhattan.

Hyperion: The world's tallest tree

Hyperion: The world's tallest tree

This tall drink of water, Hyperion, beats all other living trees on the planet when it comes to height. The coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) that tops the charts at 379+ feet was discovered by Chris Atkins and Michael Taylor in California's Redwood National Park in 2006. Hyperion is not just tall, but a true survivor, living on a hillside, rather than the more-typical alluvial flat, with 96 percent of the surrounding area having been logged of its original coast redwood growth. Based on the nearby clear-cut, experts believe it was just a few weeks away from being cut down. Phew. Hyperion is still on the young side – a mere 600 years old – and will likely continue to reach new heights.

Bennett Juniper: The oldest known juniper in America

This grand juniper (Juniperus grandis) in the Stanislaus National Forest, Tuolumne County, California is the largest and oldest known Juniper in the country.

Named after the 19th century naturalist, Clarence Bennett, the old gnarled beauty is more than 80 feet tall. Several estimates put its age at 3,000 years old, but since the trunk is hollow it could be even older. One expert suggested it may be as old as 6,000! Amazingly, the Bennett juniper and its juniper relatives endure the freezing temperatures, strong winds, poor soil and low moisture of their habitat high in the Sierra Nevada, yet they persist ... and with gusto.

Lone Cypress: The most photographed tree in North America

Lone Cypress: The most photographed tree in North America

What does it take to become the most photographed tree on the continent? Christopher Reynolds’ LA Times description of California’s famously photogenic Lone Cypress may hold the answer:

It stands along famously scenic 17-Mile Drive, raked by wind, swaddled in fog, clinging to its wave-lashed granite pedestal like God's own advertisement for rugged individualism.

Indeed, the 250ish-year-old Monterey cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) might act as muse for many: All alone on the Pebble Beach bluff, defying the elements and maintaining its elegant integrity in the face of it all. Even if it is, as Reynolds writes, a “spindly old conifer, small for its species, scarred by a long-ago arson,” and supported by half-hidden steel cables. There is no denying its beauty … as millions of photographs can confirm.

Methuselah: The world's oldest known tree

Methuselah: The world's oldest known tree

The great basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva) called Methuselah lives hidden in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest of the White Mountains in the Inyo National Forest, California. With an age of around 4,700 years, the forest service decided to keep the ancient organism's location a secret to protect it from, you know, humans. The one pictured here could be Methuselah, or could be a relative from the same general area – it's probably best if nobody ever knows.

Pando: The trembling giant

Pando: The trembling giant

In Utah's Fishlake National Forest, a grove of quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) flutters and quivers; all 47,000 members of a single organism. The Trembling Giant is also known as Pando, Latin for "I spread." This clonal colony is a marvel; all 47,000 trees are genetically identical and spring forth from a single root system, making it the most massive single organism known to man. (The largest single living organism is a giant carpet of fungal mats in Oregon, but Pando outweighs all other with its weight of more than 6,000 tonnes.)

Spreading out over nearly 110 acres, it's hard not to be in awe of this giant rustling being, imagine the sound alone. And then to really put things into perspective, consider this: Scientists estimate Pando to be anywhere from 80,000 to one million years old, making it one of the oldest, if not the oldest, living organism on the planet.

Seven Sisters Oak

Seven Sisters Oak: The tree that's a president

This stately lady, the Seven Sisters Oak, is a southern live oak (Quercus virginiana) in Lewisberg, Louisiana, that is thought to be around 1,500 years old. Named by Carole Hendry Doby, one of seven sisters, the tree also has seven main branches radiating out from the center.

And it is huge. With a trunk that measures more than 38 feet in circumference, it is the largest certified southern live oak tree. It is also the National Champion on the National Register of Big Trees and the Champion Oak of Louisiana, according to the Louisiana Forestry Association. And because trees can have jobs too, Seven Sisters currently resides as president of the Live Oak Society, an honor earned by being the largest live oak registered by the society. Thank you for your service, Madam President!

Circus Trees: A folk art

Circus Trees: A folk art haven for the arboreal set

While it might seem that bending trees into submission may not have the tree's best interests at heart, horticulturist Axel Erlandson seemed to have nothing but love for his babies. Born in Sweden in 1885, Erlandson moved to the United States at a young age and went on to become a farmer in California. Having studied trees closely, he began shaping them according to the natural process of inosculation, in which tree branches naturally unite. WIth a combination of grafting and bending to coax the trees into whimsical forms, The Tree Circus was born. Even though he clearly employed his knowledge of horticulture, he often said that his only secret to growing tree sculptures was talking to them.

While many of the original trees met a sad fate before horticulture enthusiast Michael Bonfante became their caretaker. He relocated the trees to their current spot, Gilroy Gardens, in 1985; 25 of Erlandson's original trees can be visited there – and talked to! – including his first, the "Four Legged Giant."

Get Ready to Be Inspired by the Man Who is Saving Endangered Redwood Trees If you have ever had the honor of seeing California’s redwood trees up close, you already know they are truly one of the world’s wonders. The awe-inspiring tree can reach 320 feet into the sky and have trunks more than 27 feet wide, with the potential to live for over 2,000 years. Which means some of these giants living today were alive during the time of the Roman Empire.

But the redwoods are in danger. Before the mid-19th-century, coastal redwoods spread from Big Sur and stretched all the way up to southern Oregon, a range of some two million acres along the California coast. But then logging came with the gold rush and today only five percent of the original old-growth coast redwood forest remains. And the loss of trees has a domino effect. Over the past 40 years, we have lost about 52 percent of the world’s wildlife and deforestation plays a major role in this, according to Mongabay, 50,000 species go extinct every year.

But lucky, the redwoods have a hero on their side: David Milarch. According to an article from TreeHugger, he is an arborist from Michigan and in 1991 he died from renal failure, before being revived. The near death experience inspired a new life mission, harvesting the genetics of the coast redwoods and give them an assist in migration. What does that mean, exactly? Milarch is cloning and replanting the redwoods in places where the trees once were.

Incredible video. Hit arrows to expand to full screen.

Archangel Ancient Tree Archive [AATA]

Archangel Ancient Tree Archive

Get Ready to Be Inspired by the Man Who is Saving Endangered Redwood Trees If you have ever had the honor of seeing California’s redwood trees up close, you already know they are truly one of the world’s wonders. The awe-inspiring tree can reach 320 feet into the sky and have trunks more than 27 feet wide, with the potential to live for over 2,000 years. Which means some of these giants living today were alive during the time of the Roman Empire.

But the redwoods are in danger. Before the mid-19th-century, coastal redwoods spread from Big Sur and stretched all the way up to southern Oregon, a range of some two million acres along the California coast. But then logging came with the gold rush and today only five percent of the original old-growth coast redwood forest remains. And the loss of trees has a domino effect. Over the past 40 years, we have lost about 52 percent of the world’s wildlife and deforestation plays a major role in this, according to Mongabay, 50,000 species go extinct every year.

But lucky, the redwoods have a hero on their side: David Milarch. According to an article from TreeHugger, he is an arborist from Michigan and in 1991 he died from renal failure, before being revived. The near death experience inspired a new life mission, harvesting the genetics of the coast redwoods and give them an assist in migration. What does that mean, exactly? Milarch is cloning and replanting the redwoods in places where the trees once were.

Incredible video. Hit arrows to expand to full screen.

Archangel Ancient Tree Archive [AATA]

Moving the Giants video, movie for sale

"The best time to plant a tree? Twenty years ago. The second best time? Today." -Chinese Proverb.

One Man’s Mission to Revive the Last Redwood Forests

Watch the video: Moving the Giants: An Urgent Plan to Save the Planet. top right on the screen.

Biodiversity for a Livable Climate Archangel partner. Restoring ecosystems to reverse global warming.

Eden Project Archangel partner. Transformation, it's in our nature.

Famous Redwoods

Video: Grove of the Titans: Lost Monarch poor sound

Video: Lost Monarch- World's Biggest Tree & the Grove of Titans- Jed Smith Redwood Park wonderful pics

Video: The largest tree in the world 2016 - 2017

Lost Monarch the name of a Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) tree in Northern California that is 26 feet (7.9 m) in diameter at breast height (with multiple stems included),[1] and 320 feet (98 m) in height. It is the world's fifth largest coast redwood in terms of wood volume (the Del Norte Titan was listed as the largest single-stem coast redwood tree, in part because the basal measurements of the Lost Monarch contain multiple stems).

Lost Monarch was discovered on May 11, 1998, by Stephen C. Sillett, and naturalist Michael Taylor, and is located among other giant redwoods called "The Grove of Titans" in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, although its exact location has not been revealed to the public out of concern that excessive human foot traffic may upset the ecosystem or lead to vandalism. The tree is estimated to contain 34,914 cubic feet (988.7 m3) of wood volume, and is surrounded by other coastal redwoods known as some of the largest of the species. Of the surrounding redwood trees, some have names from the discoverers, such as El Viejo del Norte, Screaming Titans, Eärendil and Elwing, Stalagmight, and others.

Lost Monarch

Grove of Titans The Grove of Titans is a redwood grove in Northern California, home to ten of the world's largest trees.

Lost Monarch


Video: 17 BIGGEST Trees in the World

12 Trees You Won't Believe Actually Exist

One Man’s Mission to Revive the Last Redwood Forests

Redwoods: The Tallest Trees | National Geographic

Giant Old Growth Redwood Trees from the past

Nonprofit grows redwood trees to restore forests about AATA

Exploring the Redwood Forest

The Giant Redwood Trees Of California - 1912 Educational Documentary

How fast does a REDWOOD GROW ?

How to Grow REAL Giant Sequoia at Home! zone 5-8. Good drainage.

The first nine years of two giant sequoias

Group Clones Giant Trees to Fight Climate Change Associated Press story


General Pruning Techniques



Tree Seeds questions & orders 1-802-363-1582. Sellers of Tree & Shrub Seeds

How to Grow Tree and Shrub Seeds start indoors anytime: have a sufficient heat source (70-75 degrees) and growing lights. We recommend using a seed starting heat mat. Outdoors, plant in the spring.

Mimosa Tree Seeds $1.00 pkt Rec'd 8/3/17. Scarify the seeds and then plant.

Eastern Redbud: Seed requires scarification then 30 days cold moist stratification.

Chinese Maackia: Hot water treatment and then plant.

One-Seed Juniper: 90-120 days cold stratification.

Utah Juniper: 60-90 days cold moist stratification.

Golden Rain: We recommend a hot water treatment to scarify the seed coat - followed by 30-90 days cold moist stratification.

Royal Empress Tree [Jacaranda] Seeds: Refer to the High Humidity Germination section at the top of this page. High Humidity Germination: (Also called 'Sow Under Glass').

American Elderberry: 30-60 days warm stratification followed by 90-120 days cold stratification.

Sweet Crabapple: 60-90 days cold moist stratification.

Japanese Flowering Cherry: 30-60 days warm stratification followed by 90-120 days cold moist stratification. Before starting the warm stratification - soak seeds in room temperature water for 48 hours. Change the water after 24 hours.

Black Chokechery: 30-60 days warm stratification followed by 90-120 days cold moist stratification.

Black Cherry: 30-60 days warm moist stratification followed by 90-120 days cold moist stratification.

Weeping Higan Cherry: 30-60 days warm stratification followed by 90-120 days cold moist stratification.

Northern Catalpa: None required

Chinese Angelica: 60-90 days cold moist stratification.

Banana: Plant in very warm soil with temperatures of 75-80 degrees F. Germination can take 3-7 weeks.

Chinese Date [jujube]: Hot water treatment then cold stratification for 40 days.

Common Apple: 60 days cold moist stratification.

Manchurian Apricot: 30-60 days warm stratification followed by 90-120 days cold stratification.

Papaya: None Required. Seed can take 2-3 weeks to germinate.

Pomegranate: Soak seeds in water for 24-48 hours and then cold moist stratification for 30 days. Germination can take several months.

Wild Purple Passionfruit: Seed requires scarification before planting. After scarification - soak seeds in warm water for 24-48 hours before planting.

Pineapple Guava: None Required

Common PawPaw: 60 days cold moist stratification.

Passion Fruit: Plant outside after all frost danger has passed. Plant indoors with an average temperature of 70-75 degrees. Germination can take 30-45 days.

Pecan: 60-90 days cold moist stratification.

Almond: 60-90 days cold stratification. Almond tree seeds are slow to germinate.

Golden Chain: Scarification required. Soak seeds in room temperature water for 24-48 hours.

American Beautyberry bush: 90 days cold moist stratification.

Bird of Paradise: Scarify seeds before planting or soak in warm water for a few hours before planting.

Fragrant Suma bushc: Scarification required before planting.

Shadblow Serviceberry bush: 30-60 days warm stratification followed by 90-120 days cold stratification.Z

Beauty Bush: 90-120 days cold moist stratification.

Climbing Hydrangea: See the 'High Humidity Germination' process at the top of this page.

Texas Mountain Laurel: Scarification required before planting.

Rose of Sharon: Scarify seed before planting. You may mechanically clip or file small lots. Some growers soak seed in water until they sink and then plant the seed.

Chinese Wisteria: None Required

Japanese Wisteria: Soak seed in water for 12-24 hours then plant.

Blue Passionflower: None Required

Passion Fruit: Plant outside after all frost danger has passed. Plant indoors with an average temperature of 70-75 degrees. Germination takes place in 30-45 days.

Desert Willow: None Required

Cold Stream Farm located in Michigan is a wholesale shrub nursery and bare root tree nursery.

Black Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) - 6-12" $4.39
Chinese Wisteria [Wisteria sinensis] - 6-12'' $5.20
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina) - 6-12" $4.39
UPS Ground $12.96 Your order # is: 100152418. Ordered 3/6/17

Black Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) 1-2' $5.64

Sweet Crabapple (Malus coronaria) 1-2' $5.00 Other common names: sweet crabapple, garland crabapple, American crabapple

Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans)

Above 3 ordered 11/18/17.

Arbor Day Foundation

Tree and Shrub Seeds for zone 8

Customer Service Hours: Monday - Friday 9am-4pm EST (Eastern Standard Time)
Phone Orders: 802-363-1582
Mail: | PO Box 293 Winooski, VT 05404

Douglas King Seeds

Douglass W. King Co.
4627 Emil Street
San Antonio, Texas 78219
Open M-F 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Pineapple Guava

Feijoa-- Acca sellowiana, a species of flowering plant in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae, is native to the highlands of southern Brazil, eastern Paraguay, Uruguay, northern Argentina, and Colombia. It is widely cultivated as a garden plant and fruiting tree. Wikipedia

Pineapple Guava bush/small tree

CTG: Pineapple Guava Acca sellowiana Pineapple guava is an evergreen shrub native to subtropical, higher elevation, regions of South America, but is well-adapted to our Central Texas climate.

It may struggle a bit in the extreme heat of a full-on Texas summer, so plan to water it regularly during the hottest months of the year. Planting in an area with protection from late-day sun would also help. This evergreen shrub is listed as hardy to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pineapple guava performs best in well-drained, loamy soil, rich in organic matter, but it will tolerate a bit of clay.

If left to grow naturally, pineapple guava will grow to about 15, maybe 20 feet tall and just as wide, but you can also train it to be a small tree. It responds very well to pruning, making it a good choice if you’re looking to create a hedge row.v

Pineapple Guava bush/small tree

The leaves are light green, thick, and somewhat leathery, with soft gray undersides. The flowers are quite striking as well, with just a few pale-pink petals, but dozens of long red stamens. Bees and butterflies absolutely love them!

Its fall ripened fruit is edible, though many recommend letting them actually fall to the ground for the sweetest taste. If you’d like to produce a nice harvest, you should fertilize the plant in spring and give it plenty of water during the heat of the summer.

Feijoa Pineapple Guava Info: Tips On Growing Feijoa Fruit Trees One of the easiest fruits to grow, pineapple guava gets its name from the flavor of the fragrant fruit. Pineapple guava is ideal for small spaces because it’s a small tree that doesn’t need a second tree for pollination.

Pineapple Guava bush/small tree

Pineapple guava (Feijoa sellowiana) is an attractive, evergreen tree or shrub with many landscape uses. It’s ideal for warm, western climates and well suited to home gardens. The plant grows 12 to 15 feet tall and wide. The edible flowers bloom in May, followed in late summer or fall by sweet, fragrant, reddish fruit that drops to the ground when ripe.

Feijoa fruit trees and shrubs look best when you prune them lightly. Clipping them into a formal shrub destroys their natural shape and reduces the fruit yield. It’s best to remove side branches that are less than 1 foot off the ground. If you want to grow the plant as a tree rather than a shrub, remove the lower branches up to one-third of the tree’s height over a period of several years.

Gardeners in warm, western climates will love growing pineapple guava for its delightful fragrance, attractive flowers and tasty fruit. The tree is very easy to care for and requires very little pruning.

Although it is considered hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11, it can’t tolerate the high humidity of the Southeast. It withstands winter temperatures as low as 12 degrees Fahrenheit (-11 C.). In fact, the fruit tastes better when the tree is exposed to some freezing temperatures.

Feijoa pineapple guava performs well in full sun or partial shade. It prefers rich, organic, well-drained soil with an acid or slightly alkaline pH. When the pH is too high, the leaves turn yellow. Newly planted and young trees need weekly watering in the absence of rain. As the tree matures, its drought tolerance increases.

Pineapple guava needs light fertilization every other month in most soils. Use about half the recommended amount of 8-8-8 fertilizer for the size of the tree. Scratch it into the surface of the soil and water deeply to distribute the fertilizer.

You’ll find plenty of uses for pineapple guava. It makes a dense informal hedge or screen that needs very little pruning. Use it as a container or specimen plant on patios and other places where you can enjoy the intense fragrance of the fruit. The plant provides cover for wildlife, and the flowers attract hummingbirds. Space the shrubs five feet apart for a barrier hedge and 3 feet apart for a foundation planting.

Pineapple Guava bush/small tree

Pineapple Guava – A great shrub for your Edible Landscape The Pineapple Guava is one of my favorite plants. It serves many purposes in the edible garden. It’s an easy care, evergreen shrub that has edible flowers, edible fruits and somehow, the deer '’T eat it. How could you know?

Where I live, deer eat almost all our plants, so having one that does all these good things is a real treasure.

Climate:The Pineapple guava grows in Zones 8 – 10. What this really means is that it likes some cool weather, can go down to 10 deg. F, likes rain in the 30? – 40? range, and doesn’t like super hot daytime weather – not so good in the desert.

Soil: It’s adaptable to a wide range of soils, including acidic soil, but prefers a humus rich soil that is well drained. Adding compost and not manure works for this plant.

Sun: Full sun is best – but it can tolerate partial shade

Wind: The Pineapple guava makes a good windbreak. It can take some salt air, but I wouldn’t put it on the dunes as a first line wind break.

Pineapple Guava bush/small tree

Care: What I really love about this plant is that it needs so little care. It just grows happily on its own. You can prune it for shape or let it alone. If you prune it back hard, you will lose some fruit production.

Pests: Almost none. Well, I haven’t seen any.

Fruit and flowers: The flowers which bloom late Spring are edible. The thick petals are spicy and are eaten fresh. The petals may be plucked without interfering with fruit set.

Pineapple Guava bush/small tree

The fruit ripens in late Fall, which is a great boon, since almost everything else in the garden is gone. The fruit in the picture below, came from my garden on December 22 after many days of frost. They taste fresh and tangy. We eat them by scooping out the fruit with a spoon. Or you can cook them in puddings, pastry fillings, fritters, dumplings, fruit-sponge-cake, pies or tarts.

Hamelia patens ["Firebush", "Scarletbush"]

Hamelia patens: Hamelia patens is a large perennial shrub or small tree in the coffee family, Rubiaceae, that is native to the American subtropics and tropics. Its range extends from Florida in the southern United States to as far south as Argentina. Wikipedia

CTG: comes in standard or compact size. Try 'twist of lime' or 'lime sizzler' spp. Bummingbiirds go crazy for it. Gets big. Full sun is best.

Hamelia patens, Mexican Firebush

Firebush, Scarletbush The Firebush is probably one of the most commonly planted unknown edibles. They are usually arranged in the landscape to attract butterflies and migratory or resident humming birds. However the fruit is edible and the plant has a long history of medicinal and industrial uses.

It would be difficult to make a better consumer lawn shrub than the Firebush. It is showy, fast-growing, evergreen, stays small, attracts birds and insects and provide an edible fruit. It blossoms all year with tubular flowers, reddish-orange or scarlet. Even the stems of the flowers are red.

The fruit is a juicy berry with a lot of little seeds. It ripens from green to yellow to red then black. It can be eaten out of hand, made in to a syrup or wine, a particular favorite in Mexico. It can fruit nearly all year unless damaged by cold. The berry is deceptive raw. It has an initial sweetness and grape-texture that yields to a sticky, lingering, slightly bitter aftertaste in the back of the mouth. Try one first, not a lot. See if you like it.

Hamelia patens, Mexican Firebush

The Mayans called it, Ix-canan, or “guardian of the forest.” In Belize the Firebush is used to treat a variety of skin problems including, sores, rashes, wounds, burns, itching, cuts, skin fungus, and insect stings/ bites. For topical use they boiling two handful of leaves, stems and flowers in two gallons of water for 10 minutes. Once cool, it is applied liberally to the affected area. This same liquid is drunk as a tea to relieve menstrual cramps.

The Choco Indians in Panama drink a leaf infusion to treat fever and diarrhea; the Ingano Indians make a leaf infusion for intestinal parasites. Tribes in Venezuela chew on the leaves to lower body temperature to prevent a sun or heat stroke. In Brazil the root is used as a diuretic, the leaves for scabies and headaches. Cubans use the leaves externally for headaches and sores while a decoction is taken internally for rheumatism. In Mexico it is used externally to stop staunch to flow of blood and heal wounds.

Hamelia patens, Mexican Firebush

Hamelia (Hamelia patens) Few plants really thrive in our Texas heat from July to September, but Hamelia patens (sometimes listed as H. erecta) seems to thrive on it. It is a member of the Madder family (Rubiaceae) and is actually a large shrub or small tree native to Mexico. Firebush is a dependable and useful perennial for the southern half of Texas, where it freezes to the ground and resprouts each spring. It typically makes a 4- to 5-foot mound of tubular, reddish orange flowers from early summer until late fall. Its leaves appear in whorls of between 3 and 7 at the nodes of the stems, and are about six inches long and lightly haired.

In addition to its long blooming season, there are several other significant attributes of the plant. Hamelia is very drought tolerant and thrives in most any soil as long as it is well-drained. Full sun or partially shaded locations are preferable to shady ones which will result in rank growth and little bloom. The foliage often turns bright red before freezing back and the small, dark fruit is edible. In Mexico, a fermented drink is said to be made from the fruit. The leaves and stems have been used for tanning an a concoction reportedly is used for various medicinal purposes.

Hamelia patens, Mexican Firebush

The flower buds last longer than the flowers themselves and appear in great numbers. After maturing, the flowers drop off quickly and the plant requires only occasional shearing to keep it in a nearly perpetual state of bloom.

Another common name for H. patens is Hummingbird bush. Hummingbirds are attracted to the tubular red flowers and add another value to the plant.

Fruit Trees for SAT

mySA: Fruit trees that survive Citrus make desirable lawn and container trees but have varying degrees of cold tolerance. The species in descending order of cold tolerance are:

Changsha tangerine
Satsuma mandarin
Navel orange
Meyer lemon
Mexican lime

Calamondin fruit is small and sour. Use the plant for an 8-foot-tall evergreen hedge and use the fruit as you would lemons in cooking. Satsuma mandarins are very productive large sweet fruit. They can tolerate temperatures to 28 degrees. Changsha are generally more cold tolerant than Satsuma, but they are very seedy, and the fruit is small. Navel orange and grapefruit will produce fruit if you protect them from extended temperatures below 30 degrees. Use Meyer lemons and Mexican limes in half whiskey barrels on the patio, where you can enjoy the foliage, blooms and fruit, and where they can be protected from temperatures below 30 degrees.

Peaches are among our favorite fruits. They can be grown here, but trees are generally short-lived (seven to 10 years) and require a disciplined spray program to fight off diseases and insects.

Apples are even more difficult to grow than peaches for many of the same reasons. It is best to have two varieties of apples that bloom at the same time to accomplish pollination. The combination that works best is Dorset Golden and Anna. Red Delicious apples will not produce in our area.

Fruit Trees in San Antonio Have you ever considered planting a fruit tree in your yard? Mid-winter is an excellent time to plant fruit trees in the Bexar County area. Planting at this time allows the tree to place its energy toward root development in preparation for spring growth. Most fruit trees require a growing space of 25 feet by 25 feet; but dwarf fruit trees need only about 12 feet by 12 feet. The site must have exposure to full sun for at least 7 to 8 hours per day. '’t plant too many fruit trees! A single peach tree can easily produce two bushels of fruit–about 100 pounds!

Prior to planting, the site should be prepared as follows: clear the site of perennial weeds and thoroughly till an area at least 4 feet by 4feet in size. Any hard pan layer beneath the soil should be broken up as well. Level the site, then till again. Organic matter may be added to the planting area, but it is not necessary. '’t add fertilizer. To allow for better drainage, the planting site may be built up so that the tree will be sitting on a small berm.

At planting time, plant the tree in the middle of the prepared area in a hole as big as the root system, usually about 12 inches square, and at least 18 inches deep. Plant the tree and refill the soil to the same depth that the tree grew in, at the nursery. Be careful that the tree does not settle too deep. If the trunk of the plant is submersed in soil at a higher level than it was originally grown, the tree will die. In April or may, as the grass greens up, spray a 3 or 4 foot circle around the base of the tree with a glyphosate herbicide. It is critical that this be 'e if the tree is to grow well. If you do little else, maintain this weed-free circle around the tree. The tree will do better than if nothing else is 'e.

Recommended fruit varieties for our area include:

Peaches: Springold, Bicentennial, Sentinel, Ranger, Harvester, Red Globe, Milam, Denman, Loring, Dixiland, Redskin, Jefferson, Surecrop, Belle of Georgia

Apricots: Bryan, Hungarian, Moorpark

Plums: Morris, Methley, Ozark, Premier, Bruce, Allred

Pears: Orient, Moonglow, Kieffer, LeConte, Ayers, Garber, Maxine

Apples: Jerseymac, Gala, Starkspur G. D., Starkrimson R. D., Mollie’s Delicious, Ozark Gold

When buying your new fruit tree, select a mid-size tree. They are usually cheaper and grow just as well, if not better, than the larger trees. It is also easier to cut a 3 to 4 foot tree back to 18-24 inches, than to prune a 5 to 6 foot tree to that small size. Such strong cutback is necessary not only to remove apical dominance, but to put the top in balance with a reduced root system, and force out strong vigorous shoots which are easier to train. When purchased, the trees should have healthy white roots with no brown streaks. Also reject any tree with borer presence or damage. With proper care, it is very possible for your fruit tree to fruit the second year after planting.

SAWS: No-Fail Fruit Trees for San Antonio Around February, area nurseries will begin receiving shipments of fruit trees for the year. Did you know there's a large assortment of fruit trees you can grow with much success in San Antonio? The key: choosing the right variety.

Some fruit trees such as pears, oriental persimmons, figs, and pomegranates are easy to grow since they do well in our native soils and ''t require extensive pesticide spraying to survive and produce a crop.

Apples, peaches and plums are another story. They do best in raised garden beds with drip irrigation and must be sprayed every week with an insecticide and fungicide to prosper.

It is best bet is to select fruit trees that are suited for our warm winters. Consider these:

For peaches, 'June Gold,' Tex Royal' and 'La Feliciana' do best; 'Elberta' will not survive here.

For apples, try 'Dorset Golden' and 'Anna;' forget about 'Red Delicious.'

The best pear varieties are 'Warren' and 'Kieffer;' 'Bartlett' pears are highly susceptible to fire blight.

The 'Methley' plum is the best choice for San Antonio.

Full sun and good drainage are musts for all fruit trees whether they're grown in native soil or raised beds.

Grow Organic: Warren Pear Tree, European Type (Semi-dwarf) 5* Excellent Disease Resistance and Cold Hardy $13.99

Warren Pear pyrus communus x Warren Pear was named after T O Warren from Hattiesburg, MS. Thought to be a seedling selection from the breeding work of USDA's fruit breeder Dr. Magness, Beltsville,MD. T O, a fruit explorer, found the tree at a pear test plot near his home and popularized the variety. Warren pear comes from the same seed stock as Magness Pear and is very similar in appearance and disease resistance.

Zone 5-8 semi dwarf tree space @ 10' circles.Estimated Chilling Requirement 600 hours below 45°F USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5 - 9 Pollination Self-fruitful. Bloom Season within fruit type. midseason to late midseason.

Warren Pear Tree

Harvest Season within fruit type midseason. Harvest Dates August 7 to August 27. (approximate for Hickman, CA) 3 weeks later in Virginia.

Warren is an excellent quality dessert pear, tree is highly resistant to fire blight. Medium to large, long-necked fruit with pale green skin, sometimes blushed red. Smooth flesh (no grit cells) is juicy and buttery with superb flavor. Good keeper. Cold hardy to -20 deg F. From Mississippi.

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced gardener, planting and caring for a pear tree should be easy. If a spot is already considered for planting, good. The semi-dwarf need a 10 - 15' circle and dwarf's 8 - 10'. Standards are 15 - 20' circle. Full sun is best. Pears have an upright growth habit, they are usually taller than wider. Soil prep will go along way. If the area chosen has been cultivated for the last few years, good. If it's just lawn, there's some work. Pears exceed in a loose, moisture retentive soil with good drainage, adequate nutrition of organic matter with a Ph @ 6.2 or 'fairly sweet'. If the area is usually acidic then annual lime is a good course. The additions of this calcium works well with pears, especially if they have some susceptibility to fireblight. Compost will increase the organic matter and manure, if old, works, but not a lot. Once the plant is set in place a mulch of 1 to 2 year old bark works well to keep all things snug and weed free for the first growing season. Hopefully, your chosen spot is not frequented by deer, and is easily watered. Deer browsing on a young plant can set it back a lot. Sometimes never to recover. Bunnies like to nibble on the young bark near the ground of pears, as do voles. To prevent this, aluminum screen around the trunk and stapled together at the ends, will keep them off. The screen should go into the loose soil about 1" to protect below the soil surface too. Keep the diameter of the screen larger than the trunk diameter. Oh yes, and another aspect of your chosen site. Make it hard for squirrels to get to it. If a taller tree is near your pear they can easily jump from it to your fruit. Squirrels do not like being on the ground to long, especially if there are dogs around. So, keep this squirrel tip to add to others you may learn in the future years, because there will be more. Tip one - make squirrels run to your tree.

Warren Pear Tree

Crows will also peck the heck out of the fruit, usually to the point they drop before you think they're ripe. Choosing a site where human activity usually is, can keep the crows away. To get a better idea of your pears evolution, familiarize yourself with it's family heritage. Knowing about what part of the world it originated gives you a good idea of what attributes and limitations it evolved with. Now that you've made the pear feel like a honored guest with its own 'room' with a 'view'. It should have no trouble becoming a healthy member of the family. As the tree matures and begins to set fruit there will be questions that arise from your observations. Insect knowledge, pruning, harvesting, ripening and animal knowledge will mature in you as the tree grows. None of these areas of endeavor are 'rocket science' since pears are fairly easy to grow. Challenges for success ''t come all at once, but are seasonal. Plus the season from one year to the next will differ in the severity of the challenge. Aggie: Pears We always look forward to the end of August and September for the maturity of one of my favorite fruit, and really one of the easiest to grow sustainably, pears. Across Texas, and indeed all of the south, the variety of pears we can grow is limited by fire blight, a bacterial pathogen that will flat out kill susceptible varieties like ‘Bartlett’.

In the highest rainfall, most hot and humid part of the state, standards like ‘Kieffer’ and ‘Orient’ are the most durable and long-lived choices, but in the Hill Country, drier parts of Central Texas and West Texas, we have many other varieties we can grow successfully. . At our sustainable fruit planting in Fredericksburg, we have 14 pear varieties planted, both Asian and European Hybrid types, and we like what we see.

The first is the old blight resistant standby ‘Orient’. Not a favorite fresh eating pear, its great for canning or cooking. Very blight resistant and productive, this pear is a good choice for growers in East Texas or the Gulf Coast.

The next and one of my favorites is ‘Ayres’, a 1954 release from the Tennessee Ag. Experiment Station that arose as the result of a cross between ‘Garber’ and ‘Anjou’. ‘Ayres’ can be a bit small, but its attractive blush, sweet, aromatic flavor and melting flesh make it one of the best pears we can grow. ‘Ayres’ is pollen sterile, so it must be planted with other varieties to set fruit. It has held up to fire blight pressure very well across the Hill Country.

This next pear came to us from my neighbor across the creek, Lewis Hussing. His pear tree is easily forty years old and when he gave me fruit a few years ago, I flipped. Easily the best pear I have ever had. Sending photos around, George Ray McEachern identified this pear variety as ‘LeConte’. That’s what we think it is, and fruit from our Fredericksburg orchard this past year did not disappoint us. Amazing that from the old heirloom varieties we already have that there are pears we can grow that are this good!

Kieffer Pear: An Unexpected Delight The Kieffer pear tree is said to be an accidental hybrid, a cross of the Sand Pear and Bartlett. It was first cultivated on the farm of Peter Kieffer in Philadelphia in the 1860s. So how did the Kieffer pear come to be? Peter Kieffer planted a seed from a Sand pear tree, and it was pollinated by a nearby Bartlett pear tree. The effortless product that came grew in popularity for its mixed characteristics, resembling that of a pear and an apple.

Kieffer pears are large and golden yellow with a coarse, white flesh (drier than Orient Pear) and musky aroma. They are very hardy, tolerating both drought and floods (hardiness zones 4-9). The tree blooms small, white flowers in the spring and has dark glossy leaves. Similar to other pear trees the Kieffer is self-fertile, but for optimal results planting a second pear tree is beneficial. It is fast growing, so it won’t be long before you can enjoy the fruit under the shade of its canopy. Kieffer pear trees reach up to 20 feet at maturity.

Keiffer Pear: an Unexpected Delight

The Kieffer Pear Tree In Old World folklore, planting a pear tree was a living good-luck charm. Our lovely little peach tree was planted eight years ago on the exact spot where my daughter and son in law stood to exchange their wedding vows. It's a Kieffer pear (originated near Philadelphia in 1863), the only pear tree in our orchard. Because it is special to us, we have enjoyed watching it's slow and steady growth with patience and anticipation. We were not disappointed. This year, for the first time, our pear tree was was loaded with fruit!

The Kieffer Pear is considered a self fertile, hearty, heirloom pear tree that seems to have lots of mixed reviews. After a little first hand experience, I can honesty tell you that I also was a little confused about how and when to harvest this little jewel of a tree!

As September rolled around, the little pears had turned into lovely big fat pears. Their color was a beautiful spotted golden-green. We watched and waited until the middle of October for the pears to turn yellow and soften into that delicate, buttery eating stage ... but they just never did!

Keiffer Pear: an Unexpected Delight. In the spring, the tree is covered with beautiful white blossoms!

After a little research, I think I totally understand this pear! First, I went back through my files and read the description for the tree, "large, yellow skinned fruit with dull red blush. Crisp, juicy white flesh with coarse texture. Great for canning and baking. Hardy, vigorous tree, tolerates hot climates and is a heavy producer". This tells me it's a CRISP pear and it's good for canning and baking. It says nothing about eating!

The kieffer Pear is considered an Oriental pear. Think... crunchy like an apple, only with a coarse texture. When picked green and refrigerated this pear will keep for weeks. When you're ready to use, ripen in a brown bag. Now that we know what to expect from our long awaited peaches, they are best pickled, baked, poached, thinly sliced for salads or with a little cheese, the Kieffer pears are worth the wait. They are loaded with a high potassium and fiber content, making it a very healthy fruit!

Keiffer Pear: an Unexpected Delight

KIEFFER PEAR TREE fast growing. The pear tree that grows anywhere in the US! Kieffer Pear Trees produce delicious pears for fresh snacking, baking and desserts. The Kieffer Pear tree is one of the latest ripening pears available,

Kieffer Pear trees are one of the later producing pears, ripening from October to November. The Kieffer Pear is fire blight resistant and requires roughtly 400 chill hours for fruit to produce (3 weeks of 45 degree temps. or below). The Kieffer Pear Tree is a large pear tree of the antique variety, that produces large, aromatic, golden-yellow fruit that also has a ruby red cheek.

Can Two Kieffer Pears Pollinate Each Other? Among the kinds of pear trees referred to as European, Kieffer pear trees (Pyrus communis x P. pyrifolia) produce ripe fruits as long as fruits are picked off the trees well before they become soft and ready to eat. Typically producing ripe fruits in winter, Kieffer is a hybrid pear tree variety. A Kieffer pear tree needs successful pollination from itself or another pear tree, which can be another Kieffer pear tree or a pear tree that is a different variety. Kieffer pear trees are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9.

LECONTE PEAR TREE Leconte Pear are an early season producer that requires low chill hours. Leconte Pear trees require pollination from another variety of Pear. The Leconte Pear Tree is an old North Carolina variety that produces bell-shaped fruit that is bright yellow, with a pink overlay. In the Fall, the yielding large crops of fruit ready to be eaten fresh.

mySA: Growing peaches on a backyard tree isn't as tough as it seems Too much trouble? Not necessarily, says Larry Stein, co-author of the new Texas Peach Handbook (Texas A&M University Press, $24.95). Many home gardeners see fruit trees as magnets for insect pests that require spraying.

"You can grow fairly good peaches without a whole lot of spraying," says Stein, who with co-author Jim Kamas

Stein and Kamas, both horticulturists with Texas AgriLife Extension Service, work with commercial peach growers, and their book is one that will work for growers with 100 trees or one tree. And one peach tree is all you need in your yard.

"''t plant 10 trees. Then you can't care for them," Stein says. "And if planted too close, they compete with each other." In a good year, a single tree should produce about 500 peaches. How much cobbler can you make?

Other tips for growing peaches:

Start with the right variety. Choose a bare-root specimen of 'La Feliciana,' 'TexPrince' or 'June Gold,' all varieties that bear fruit with about 500 chill hours, or time with temperatures below 45 degrees.

Plant in January or early February in a spot that will receive at least eight hours of sun a day. Grow in deep, well-draining soil - about 20 inches deep, even if that means building a raised bed. Give the tree room to spread to about 20 feet wide.

Keep the area from the trunk to the outer edge of the branches free of weeds and grass. Apply a layer of mulch 4 to 6 inches deep to that area.

Apply an inch of water a week at the drip line if there's no rain.

As buds start to swell in mid- to late January, spray with dormant oil to suffocate eggs and tiny insects. The key, Stein says, is to spray every surface thoroughly and to shake the oil-water mix as you spray so the oil stays in suspension.

Fertilize new trees in May with 1 cup of nitrogen fertilizer such as ammonium sulfate. Organic gardeners should adjust the amount to achieve the same rate of nitrogen.

Give mature trees, those about 5 years old, two doses of fertilizer a year, one when the buds break early in the year and another in May if they have peaches. Use a half-pound of nitrogen per inch of trunk diameter at each feeding.

Once the tree blooms, prune it. Yes, you are removing a lot of potential peaches, but that's good for the tree. "A mature peach tree will put on 5,000 flowers. You need 500 to make a good crop," Stein says. Leaving all 5,000 on the tree will stress the tree.

Stein and other horticulturists say to prune the tree so it has an open center and looks like a wine glass. But he advises homeowners not to get bogged down in technicalities. "Just take off 60 to 70 percent of the wood that grew the year before."

Follow those steps, Stein says, and "every once in a while you're going to have peaches regardless of whether you spray for insects."

June Gold Peach Estimated Chilling Requirement 600 hours below 45°F. USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 6 - 9. Pollination Self-fruitful. Bloom Season within fruit type(see note) midseason. Harvest Season within fruit type early midseason. Harvest Dates June 20 to July 4

Large, firm, yellow-fleshed fruit is red-skinned and freestone when fully ripe. Early midseason harvest, 7-10 days before Redhaven. Long time leading fresh market peach in Texas. Frost hardy, showy blossoms.

June Gold Peach

June Gold Peach Produces yellow fruit with sweet, juicy yellow flesh. Freestone. Perfect for eating fresh or for baking.

Botanical Name Prunus persica ‘Junegold’. Exposure Full sun. Height-width 10-15' H x 10-15' W. Hardiness Hardy to -10°F. Water Keep moist until established. Needs average water during the growing season and more during times of drought.

Peach 'June Gold' Prunus persica June Gold normally grows to a max height of 17.88 feet (5.50 metres metric). June Gold Peach tends to need a moderate amount of maintenance, so ensuring that you are aware of the soil, sun, ph and water requirements for this plant is quite important to ensure you have a happy and healthy plant.

June Gold Peach

Try to plant in a location that enjoys full sun and remember to water moderately. June Gold is generally regarded as a hardy plant, so it can be safe to leave outdoors for the majority of winter (although if in doubt, using a row cover is often a good idea). The USDA Hardiness Zones typically associated with June Gold are Zone 5 and Zone 9. June Gold needs a loamy and sandy soil with a ph of 4.5 to 7.5 (moderately acidic soil to weakly alkaline soil).

Transplanting June Gold--June Gold is hardy, so ensure you wait until all danger of frost has passed in your area before considering planting outside.

La Feliciana Peach A later ripening variety that yields a large, sweet, freestone peach. Big producer and excellent flavor. Great for the home orchard. Self fertile.

Botanical Name Prunus persica ‘La Feliciana’. Exposure Full sun. Height-width 10-15' H x 10-15' W. Hardiness Hardy to -10°F. Water Keep moist until established. Needs average water during the growing season and more during times of drought.

La Feliciana Peach

Tex Royal Peach Yellow fleshed, red freestone fruit. Self fertile. 600 chill hours.

Botanical Name Prunus persica ‘TexRoyal’. Exposure Full sun. Height-width 12-18' H x 12-18' W. Hardiness Hardy to -10°F. Water Keep moist until established. Needs average water during the growing season and more during times of drought.

Tex Royal Peach

Anna Apple * Self Pollinating Semi-dwarf growing tree that produces large sized sweet fruit. Yellow-skinned fruit with a heavy red blush ripens in mid-summer. This is a popular low chill variety but requires a pollinator for best yields. 300 chill hours.

Botanical Name Malus domestica ‘Anna’. Exposure Full sun. Height-width 15-20' H x 15-20' W. Hardiness Hardy to -30°F. Water Keep moist until established. Needs average water during the growing season and more during times of drought.

Anna Apple

Dorsett Apple One of the best low chill apple varieties. Skin is golden with a hint of red blush. Very flavorful, similar in taste to ‘Golden Delicious’. Self fertile. 200 chill hours.

Botanical Name Malus domestica ‘Dorsett’. Exposure Full sun. Height-width 15-20' H x 15-20' W. Hardiness Hardy to -20°F. Water Keep moist until established. Needs average water during the growing season and more during times of drought.

Dorsett Apple

APPLE TREES - DORSETT GOLD Scientific Name: Malus domestica Best Planted In Zone: 6-9

5* The Dorsett Gold Apple tree produces a medium sized, firm, and sweet apple that is perfect for eating fresh off the tree. The apples, a soft yellow with a pink blush, ripen in late June, and after picked, they can be kept for two weeks if refrigerated. The Dorsett Gold is perfect for Gulf Coast planting. It requires 250 chill hours and needs a pollinator. The Dorsett Gold Apple trees prefer full sun and slightly acidic soil. At maturity, the Dorsett Gold apple can reach a height and width of 10-20 feet. The Dorsett Gold can be pollinated by the Anna or the Ein Shemer apple.

Dorsett Gold Apple

Methley Plum * Self Pollinating Medium to large reddish-purple fruit with red flesh. Excellent quality. Sweet mild flavor. Excellent for eating fresh or processing. Self pollinating. 250 chill hours.

Botanical Name Prunus salicina ‘Methley’. Exposure Full sun. Height-width 10-15' H x 10-15' W. Hardiness Hardy to -20°F. Water Keep moist until established. Needs average water during the growing season and more during times of drought.

Methley Plum

Wonderful Pomegranate Wonderful deciduous shrub or small tree with outstanding qualities. Showy orange-red flowers give way to delicious, reddish, vitamin rich fruit.

Botanical Name Punica granatum ‘Wonderful’. Exposure Full sun. Height-width 10' T x 10' W. Hardiness Hardy to 0°F. Water Keep moist until established. Needs average water during the growing season

Wonderful Pomegranate

Niagara Grape Strongly flavored white grape that is produced in large clusters. Used for eating fresh, juice and making wine. Vigorous vine.

Botanical Name Vitis labrusca ‘Niagara’. Exposure Full sun. Height-width As trained. Hardiness Hardy to -30°F. Water Keep moist until established. Needs average water during the growing season.

Niagara Grape

Texas Everbearing Fig Violet-brown skin and amber colored flesh. Bears well, having two crops of fruit a year.

Botanical Name Ficus carica ‘Texas Everbearing’. Exposure Full sun. Height-width 10-15' H x 10-15' W. Hardiness Hardy to 0°F. Water Keep moist until established. Needs average water during the growing season .

Texas Everbearing Fig

Texas Mission Almond One of the top almond producing trees. It is very ornamental with a showy white bloom in spring. Produces a sweet nut.

Botanical Name Prunus dulcis ‘Texas Mission’. Exposure Full sun. Height-width 10-15' H x 10-15' W. Hardiness Hardy to 0°F. Water Keep moist until established. Needs average water during the growing season .

Texas Mission Almond

Prairifire Crabapple Showy landscape tree with bright red flowers and red-purple fruit. New growth is reddish, maturing to dark green. Rounded canopy with age. Good disease resistance.

Botanical Name Malus ‘Prairifire’. Exposure Full sun. Height-width 15-20' H x 15-20' W. Hardiness Hardy to -30°F. Water Keep moist until established. Needs average water during the growing season .

Prairifire Crabapple

Hopa Crabapple Upright, spreading ornamental shade tree with masses of fragrant, pink blooms in early spring. Showy round fruits in late summer, persisting into winter.

Botanical Name Malus ‘Hopa’. Exposure Full sun. Height-width 20' H x 20' W. Hardiness Hardy to -30°F. Water Keep moist until established. Needs average water during the growing season .

Hopa Crabapple

For peaches, 'June Gold,' Tex Royal' and 'La Feliciana' do best; 'Elberta' will not survive here.

For apples, try 'Dorset Golden' and 'Anna;' forget about 'Red Delicious.'

The best pear varieties are 'Warren' and 'Kieffer;' 'Bartlett' pears are highly susceptible to fire blight.

The 'Methley' plum is the best choice for San Antonio.

Edible Landscaping

Texas Fruit and Nut Blog

Texas Pecan Nursery Texas Pecan Nursery carries more than just the highest quality pecan trees. Browse our website and see all the varieties of nut, fruit and shade trees we have to offer.

10 great trees for small yards Even small yards and gardens can be home to a variety of trees, without crowding out everything else, and provide fruit, shade, wildlife habitat, or all three.

Even a young tree begins to provide a wealth of benefits to both people and wildlife, and by the time a tree is full grown, it can shade an entire yard or feed an entire family many times over, with very little input other than water and perhaps some compost. They say that the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, but since we ''t have an app for time travel yet, we'll have to focus on planting during the second best time, which is right now. And you ''t have to have a massive lot or backyard in order to plant trees for food, shade, or beauty, as there are many tree varieties that remain small enough to not crowd or shade out everything else, and which can function as either the canopy layer or the sub-canopy in permaculture-style plantings even in a smaller space.

Japanese Maple

1. Serviceberry: A number of species of Amalanchier, or serviceberry, are available, with varying heights ranging from shrub-sized to small tree, and with some producing a delicious blueberry-like fruit after the fragrant white flowers are pollinated. Also called saskatoon, juneberry, shadbush, or sugar-plum, serviceberry trees also produce a flash of fall color when their leaves turn, and can thrive in a wide variety of climates.

2. Crape Myrtle: Sometimes referred to as the "lilac of the South," crape (or crepe) myrtle (Lagerstroemia) trees are well-suited to full sun locations, are heat tolerant, and produce showy flowers even in poor soil.

3. Dogwood: Although the flowering dogwood (Conus florida) is the most commonly seen kind of dogwood, there are a number of other varieties of dogwoods, ranging from shrub-sized to tree-sized, but most will thrive in moister, shadier locations. With showy flowers in white, pink, or red, dogwoods can add a burst of spring color to the yard, and certain species, such as the Korean dogwood (Cornus kousa) produce an edible fruit, while other species' fruit is more suited to the wildlife.

Dogwood Blossoms

4. Japanese Maple: Acer palmatum is a fairly common landscape tree, and with good reason, as its small stature and bold colors can be a great accent in a little space. Japanese maple trees come in hundreds of varieties, with a wide range of leaf types, growth habits, and colors, but most of them are best suited for partially shaded locations, and although the flowers are rather modest, the fall leaf color of these trees can more than make up for that. Although the fruit (samara) isn't edible, according to The Spruce, the Japanese sometimes fry the maple leaves to make candies.

5. Witchhazel: The source of the common astringent named after it, witchhazel (or witch hazel) grows as a small tree or a large shrub bearing fragrant yellow or orange-red fall or winter flowers (which is why it's also sometimes called winterbloom).. the only major drawback to witch hazels lies at their roots—a preference for well-drained, loamy, acidic soil means that they grow less than happily in clay soil."

6: Elderberry: Elderberries (Sambucus) are most often seen as shrubs, although varieties that grow more like a small tree are available, and their flowers and berries are good for pollinators and other wildlife, while the fruit is also prized for making jam, wine, pies, and other delicacies. According to, elderberries "grow best in a slightly acidic soil that is high in organic matter and stays consistently moist," but that is well-drained, and are suited to full or part-sun locaions.

7: Apple: Although a full-sized apple tree might overwhelm a small yard, dwarf apple trees can stay at or under 8 feet tall, while still producing a good-sized crop of full-sized fruit. There are literally thousands of varieties of apple trees, many of which are grafted onto dwarf rootstock, which keeps the trees smaller, while upper portion (the scion wood) determines the quality and type of fruit.

8: Fig: There's nothing quite like a ripe fig, right off the tree, and although figs seem like they're only for Mediterranean zones, there are fig varieties that can be successfully grown in a number of different climates, and in small spaces.. and can even thrive in pots or containers, which can then be brought inside or sheltered during the winter, and in contrast with other fruit trees, can benefit from heavy pruning each year to keep them to size.

Fig Tree

9. Vitex: The chaste tree, or monk's pepper (Vitex agnus-castus), is a multi-trunk small tree with clusters of fragrant purple flowers and lacy gray-green leaves. The fruit resembles a peppercorn and is used in alternative medicine, and the flowers are a favorite of butterflies, bees, and people alike. Vitex grows best in full or part-sun locations with well-drained soil, and can aggressively invade nearby soil in the right conditions.

10: Redbud: Redbud trees, which can actually have white, pink, red, or purple flowers, are a staple showy spring treat in the garden, and although some can grow 20 to 30 feet tall, can be a good addition to a smaller yard or garden, especially with some careful pruning. Redbud seeds are good forage for wildlife, and redbuds are said to be an important source of nectar and pollen for honeybees and other pollinators. This fast-growing tree prefers well-drained soil and full sun to part shade, and because it's in the pea family, can get some of its nitrogen from the air so that only light fertilization is necessary.

Best Reading
Tudge, Colin. The Tree: A Natural History of What Trees Are, How They Live, and Why They Matter. Broadway Books; Reprint edition (October 23, 2007) ISBN-10: 0307395391.

Wohlleben, Peter. The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from a Secret World. Greystone Books (September 13, 2016) ISBN-10: 1771642483.

Planting Time References

White Flower Farm See plant descr. then click on Growing guide

West Coast Seeds see plant descr. then go to Growing Guides

Johnny's Select Seeds


Plant Hardiness:

By Zip 1st freeze 11/12... last freeze 3/20

USDA 8b 1st freeze 12/1... last freeze 3/1

Rainbow Gardening by the Month

Persian Silk Tree [Albizia julibrissin pea family]

Albizia julibrissin Albizia julibrissin (Persian silk tree, pink silk tree) is a species of tree in the family Fabaceae, native to southwestern and eastern Asia.

[the tree described by Antonio Durazzini. John Gilbert Baker used the same scientific name to refer to Prain's Albizia kalkora, the Mimosa kalkora of William Roxburgh.]

When allowed to grow on its own, it will form a dome shape and have multiple suckers. ~ A dark-leaved variety named “Summer Chocolate”

The genus is named after the Italian nobleman Filippo degli Albizzi, who introduced it to Europe in the mid-18th century, and it is sometimes incorrectly spelled Albizzia. The specific epithet julibrissin is a corruption of the Persian word gul-i abrisham which means "silk flower"

Albizia julibrissin is known by a wide variety of common names, such as Persian silk tree or pink siris. It is also called Lenkoran acacia or bastard tamarind, though it is not too closely related to either genus. The species is usually called "silk tree" or "mimosa" in the United States, which is misleading - the former name can refer to any species of Albizia which is most common in any one locale. And, although once included in Mimosa, neither is it very close to the Mimoseae. To add to the confusion, several species of Acacia, notably Acacia baileyana and Acacia dealbata, are also known as "mimosa" (especially in floristry), and many Fabaceae trees with highly divided leaves are called thus in horticulture.

The classic leaves of a legume. ~ Herbarium entry at the University of North Carolina.

Its leaves slowly close during the night and during periods of rain, the leaflets bowing downward; thus its modern Persian name shabkhosb means "night sleeper". In Japan its common names are nemunoki, nemurinoki and nenenoki which all mean "sleeping tree". Nemu tree is a partial translation of nemunoki.

A. julibrissin is widely planted as an ornamental plant in parks and gardens, grown for its fine leaf texture, flowers and attractive horizontal canopy. Other positive attributes are a fast growth rate, low water requirements and the ability to thrive planted in full sun in hot summer climates. It is very frequently planted in semi-arid areas like California's Central Valley, central Texas and Oklahoma. Although capable of surviving drought, growth will be stunted and the tree tends to look sickly. As such it should be given infrequent, deep waterings during the summer, which will benefit growth and flowering.

An ornamental pioneer species can make a renovation project more beautiful! ~ Pods are great animal feed!

The broad crown of a mature tree makes it useful for providing dappled shade. The flower colour varies from white in A. julibrissin f. alba, to rich red-tipped flowers. Variants with cream or pale yellow flowers are also reported. Other cultivars are becoming available: 'Summer Chocolate' has red foliage ageing to dark bronze, with pale pink flowers; 'Ishii Weeping' (or 'Pendula') has a drooping growth habit.

There is also a form, A. julibrissin f. rosea (pink silk tree) which has, in the past, been classed either as a variety or as a cultivar. This is a smaller tree, only growing to 5–7 m tall, with the flowers always pink. Native to the northeast of the species' range in Korea and Northern China, it is more cold-tolerant than the typical form, surviving temperatures down to at least -25 °C. The selected cultivar A. julibrissin 'Ernest Wilson' (also known as 'E.H.Wilson' or 'Rosea') is a cold-tolerant tree with deep pink flower colour. In Japan, A. julibrissin f. rosea is often used for non-traditional bonsai. The name nemunoki*(Jap. ????, Kanji: ???) and its variants is a kigo representing the summer in haiku, especially a sleepy summer evening. The variety A. julibrissin f. rosea has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

The seeds are used as a food for livestock and by wildlife, and the sweet-scented flowers are a good nectar source for honeybees and butterflies.

~ The Silk Tree attracts a lot of beneficial and beautiful insects.

Silk Tree, Mimosa Tree, Pink Siris, Persian Silk Tree Soil pH requirements: 4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic)

Propagation Methods: From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

On May 26, 2017, Rests from Bryan, TX wrote: Had a mimosa tree in the backyard for 37 years. Was told that mimosas usually ''t live that long. This tree survived 2 tornados and being hit by lightning. The lightning split the tree down the middle. I wrapped it with anything and everything to put it back together thinking it would soon die. It grew back together and lived and thrived another 15 years or more. I know in Tenn. they are considered a nuisance tree, but here in Texas they are loved. They are just hard to find at nurseries here. Mimosas are tough and easy to grow.

A well-known ornamental, the Persian Silk Tree has a lot more to offer than just beauty!

Permaculture Plants: Persian Silk Tree Common Names: Persian Silk Tree, Pink Silk Tree, Pink Siris, Mimosa, Lenkoran Acacia, Bastard Tamarind
Scientific Name: Albizia julibrissin
Family: Fabaceae (the Legume, Bean, or Pea family)

This small, legume tree is fast growing and short-lived. Known primarily as a tropical-looking, ornamental tree, it has many additional uses. It fixes-nitrogen into the soil which allows it to grow in poor soils and act as a pioneer plant in addition to fertilizing surrounding plants. While the leaves and flowers are edible, they are reportedly not great; however, many animals (wild and domesticated) use the leaves and pods/seeds for food, and they are increasingly used as a fodder crop. It attracts beneficial insects, bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, and the wood can be used for many things, from furniture to firewood. The Persian Silk Tree (or Mimosa) is an ideal Permaculture tree to reclaim damaged soils and help establish a quality Forest Garden.

The Persian Silk Tree is used in traditional Chinese Medicine to “nourish the heart and calm the spirit”; recent research shows that the tree contains an anti-depressant effect


Primary Uses:

Ornamental Plant – this has been one of its primary uses around the world due to its showy, fragrant flowers and attractive leaves

Nitrogen Fixing Plant – this plant creates its own nitrogen through a symbiotic relationship with microorganisms (bacteria) in its roots. It typically produces an excess of nitrogen that can be used by neighboring plants.

Edible Leaves – Considered a potherb (a plant used as a vegetable or as a seasoning). Use when young, before they become fibrous. Aromatic. Dried leaves can be used for teas.

Edible Flowers – cooked and eaten as a vegetable.

Classic legume pods… a sign that this is a nitrogen-fixing plant!

Secondary Uses:

General insect (especially bees) nectar plant

Butterfly Plant – this plant has nectar that attracts Butterflies

Hummingbird Plant – this plant has nectar that attracts Hummingbirds

Fodder Crop – leaves, pods, and seeds – used for cattle, sheep, and goats

Wildlife Food – many animals will eat the pods and seeds (deer, squirrels, birds, etc.)

Wildlife Shelter – mainly birds and small mammals

Drought Plant – this species can tolerate prolonged dry conditions once established

Windbreak Species – fast growing, but not very tall, also it does not tolerate very high winds

Wood – used for furniture, cabinets, and other building applications (a few reports say it is a strong wood, but other say it is a weak wood… with this conflicting information, I would avoid using it for structures)

Fuel Wood – firewood, charcoal

Coppice Plant – while not a traditional coppice plant, this plant will grow back from the stump (or stool) and from the roots.

Pioneer Plant – helps reestablish overused or damaged land


Light: Prefers full sun

Shade: Tolerates minimal shade

Moisture: Prefers moist soils, but can grow in a dry conditions

pH: 4.0-8.0 (tolerates a wide range of soil conditions)

Special Considerations for Growing:

If you live in an area where wilt is common, consider growing a resistant variety (Charlotte and Tryon are two that know of)


Typically from seed. Scarification of the thick seed coat improves germination. Pre-soak for 24 hours in warm-hot water. Germinates in 2-3 months. Can be propagated by root cuttings (Winter), wood cuttings (Summer), and division of suckers (late Winter).


Moderate. Need to monitor for seedlings and suckers.


Dispersive – self-seeding can produce many seedlings.

In some areas, there is a high amount of pests and disease (wilt and web worms are most common). This is a mixed issue… if the tree shoots up and then dies back due to pests/disease, then we have to ability to speed succession, but we need to be monitoring closely and planning well.

Mimosa Rosea; Persian Silk Tree Albisia julibrussinZones 6 thru 9.

Nitrogen-fixing; hummingbird nectar.

Albizia julibrissin Albizia julibrissin (Persian silk tree, pink silk tree) is a species of tree in the family Fabaceae [pea family], native to southwestern and eastern Asia.

The genus is named after the Italian nobleman Filippo degli Albizzi, who introduced it to Europe in the mid-18th century, and it is sometimes incorrectly spelled Albizzia. The specific epithet julibrissin is a corruption of the Persian word gul-i abrisham which means "silk flower."

Seidenbaum (Albizia julibrissin) an der Karlstraße in Hockenheim / Closeup of Albizia julibrissin foliage, flowers and immature fruit
By Philmarin - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, / By "Eurema blanda laying eggs by kadavoor" © 2010 Jeevan Jose, Kerala, India is used here under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Albizia julibrissin is known by a wide variety of common names, such as Persian silk tree or pink siris. It is also called Lenkoran acacia or bastard tamarind, though it is not too closely related to either genus. The species is usually called "silk tree" or "mimosa" in the United States, which is misleading - the former name can refer to any species of Albizia which is most common in any one locale. And, although once included in Mimosa, neither is it very close to the Mimoseae. To add to the confusion, several species of Acacia, notably Acacia baileyana and Acacia dealbata, are also known as "mimosa" (especially in floristry), and many Fabaceae trees with highly divided leaves are called thus in horticulture.

Its leaves slowly close during the night and during periods of rain, the leaflets bowing downward; thus its modern Persian name shabkhosb means "night sleeper". In Japan its common names are nemunoki, nemurinoki and nenenoki which all mean "sleeping tree". Nemu tree is a partial translation of nemunoki.

There are two varieties:

A. julibrissin var. julibrissin. The typical variety, described above.

A. julibrissin var. mollis. Differs in the shoots being densely hairy.

The seeds are used as a food for livestock and by wildlife, and the sweet-scented flowers are a good nectar source for honeybees and butterflies.

Flowers are attractive to bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. The fruit is a flat brown pod 10–20 cm (3.9–7.9 in) long and 2–2.5 cm (0.79–0.98 in) broad, containing several seeds inside.

This tree is allelopathic to its neighbors and undergrowth (although Miner's Lettuce seems to thrive in its shadow in cool moist climates). Its seeds are numerous and they are fertile even over long periods of drought. Each pod, which resemble a flattened bean pod made of paper, contains an average of 8 seeds. The pods burst in strong winds, and the seeds carry over surprisingly long distances.

Urban Forestry

The Arborist: Teaching About Trees

The Arborist Urban Forestry in San Francisco

Jujube Tree

Jujube: A Fruit Well Adapted to Texas

Manchurian Apricot Tree

How to Make a Manchurian Apricot Tree Produce Fruit Manchurian apricot is a species of edible apricot tree that is prized for its rapid growth and cold hardiness down to USDA Zone 3. Originally from Manchuria, or present day China and Korea, it develops white to pale pink flowers in spring, summer and fall fruits and bright orange fall foliage. Apricot trees are able to fruit when they reach maturity at between two and five years old.

Almond Verbena

CTG: Almond verbena Aloysia virgata Almond verbena is a must for anyone who loves summertime fragrance! This large, shrubby, deer-resistant plant is an should be planted in full sun, or only light shade, and given plenty of room to grow.

This plant does get very tall, usually very quickly. My experience has been in the range of 10 to 12 feet tall and about 3 to 4 feet wide.


Be sure to plant near a patio or porch to get the full effect of its strong, but lovely, delicately sweet fragrance. Almond verbena is a repeat bloomer, usually from late spring all the way through fall, maybe taking a break during the hottest time of an extremely hot, dry summer.

And when in flower, bees, butterflies and hummingbirds will be attracted to it like magnets.

Listed as hardy to USDA Zone 8, in most warm climates, almond verbena will be deciduous, especially in mild winters. But even if it doesn’t die back to the ground, it will perform best if you treat it as you would other root-hardy perennial shrubs, shearing it back to the ground in late winter. This hard pruning forces almond verbena to put on all new growth, making it fuller, greener, and bushier. A little light pruning in mid-summer can reinvigorate the plant for fall growth.


Plant almond verbena in well-drained soil and water sparingly, but regularly. Once a week watering should be fine, and fertilizer is not needed. This easy-care, root-hardy shrub would make a great addition to any low water-use garden.

Sweet Almond Verbena, Incense Bush Sweetly fragrant spikes of tiny white flowers are produced from spring to fall on this little known but easy to grow and tough deciduous shrub. Its intensely fragrant flowers attract a host of pollinators and it is considered to be an especially good honey plant. Sweet Almond Verbena, a 2008 Florida Plant of the Year, is a vigorous and pest free, heat and sun loving loving large shrub to small tree. Plant it with Sweet Olive, Gardenia, and Banana Magnolia to have outdoor fragrance nearly year round in zones 8-9.

Sweet Almond Verbena is fully hardy well into zone 8 but may freeze to the ground in the coldest winters but well-established plants readily return from the roots and quickly regrow in spring and are flowering again by early summer. Consider providing a loose protective winter mulch in zone 8 to help ensure its survival and plant in spring or early summer to give small plants time to get established. Otherwise provide plenty of sunlight, good drainage, and average moisture and establishment should be easy with this fast growing fragrant shrub.


In mild winter climates Sweet Almond Verbena can reach 15' high and wide and it is certainly amenable to periodic pruning if you so desire. You can cut it back fairly hard in early spring just as or before growth begins to maintain a smaller plant. Sweet Almond Verbena can also be trained into a single or multi-trunked small tree but this should be 'e only in areas where winter temperatures do not fall below about 20-25oF for extended periods as it can freeze to the ground and your work will be for naught.

Grows To: 10'H x 10'W
USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 8,9,10,11
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Part sun, Part shade
Soil pH Range: Acidic, Mildly Acidic, Neutral
Soil Types & Moisture: Average moist well-drained soils. Somewhat drought resistant once well-established.
Deer Resistance: Not Yet Bothered in Our Gardens
Native To / Cultivar Origin: Argentina


Plant This: Sweet almond verbena Looking for a flowering, sweet-scented shrub that can take the heat and drought dished out in a central Texas summer? Then try sweet almond verbena (Aloysia virgata), an Argentinian deciduous shrub with a strong vanilla almond fragrance. Mine grows at the base of our elevated deck, and the sweet scent wafts up to us when we’re out in the evening.

SAV in Austin

With scratchy, coarse leaves and an open, rather gangly growth habit, sweet almond verbena is not a good focal-point plant. Better to hide it behind prettier, smaller shrubs or perennials. But it is Texas tough once established, thumbing its nose at the Death Star and blooming all summer long in full sun on a spare ration of water.

And the white flower spires are lovely close-up—rather like the flowers of our native kidneywood tree (Eysenhardtia texana), which I also highly recommend, but which doesn’t bloom continuously all summer, as sweet almond verbena does.

SAV in Austin

Another bonus is that honeybees love it. Sweet almond verbena dies back after a hard freeze but is root-hardy. I cut mine to the ground by mid-February, before new spring growth begins, but it doesn’t really put on a lot of growth until it gets hot. It can get pretty big by the end of summer—maybe 8 to 10 feet tall and wide—but you can cut it back mid-season to keep it smaller and still get a late-summer flush of flowers.

Note: My Plant This posts are written primarily for gardeners in central Texas. The plants I recommend are ones I’ve grown myself and have direct experience with. I wish I could provide more information about how these plants might perform in other parts of the country, but gardening knowledge is local. Consider checking your local online gardening forums to see if a particular plant might work in your region.


Sweet Almond Verbena Lovely spikes of small white flowers, true—but the real kablam is in the fragrance. They ''t call this plant Sweet Almond Verbena for nothing. The evening scent is so powerful, actually, that a more accurate name would be "You can smell it before you can see it."


Here's that same plant three weeks later. New spikes are at the top, while the ones in in the picture above are still hard at work on both flowers and fragrance. The spikes lengthen so productively, and over such a long period, that they give the impression of fireworks caught in the act.

Fragrant and fireworky, and from July to frost. Could any plant do more?

Here's how to grow this tireless and fragrant shrub:

Common Name: Sweet Almond Verbena
Family: Verbenaceae, the Verbena family.
What kind of plant is it? Deciduous flowering shrub.
Hardiness: Zones 7 - 9.
Habit: Multi-stemmed and bushy; a die-back shrub in Zone 7 and into Zone 8; further south, a large shrub or, with some training, a small tree.


Rate of Growth" Fast.
Size in ten years: If in a climate mild enough that there isn't Winter die-back, a large shrub or small tree to fifteen or even twenty feet tall.

Texture: Rather boring just in leaf, but fantastically redeemed by profuse long fingers of small white flowers at the tips of all the stems, for a lively (as well as deliciously-scented) presence throughout the hot months.

Grown for its vigorand flexibility: A. virgata flowers at the tips of new growth, which it produces with gusto given the least encouragement. It can grow as a die-shrub (mulch it well, though) in Zones 7 into 8, a solidly bushy shrub in Zone 8 into 9, and if limbed up, a small tree. It will also grow in containers.

Grown for its flowers: tiny white flowers in narrow pointed spikes that lengthen impressively over several weeks . New spikes appear at the tips of branches as long as the weather's warm enough. Although the flowers are only tidily engaging in themselves, their fragrance—-an almond scent so powerful you'd think someone had just spritzed the whole bush, even the entire garden, with almond extract—-is truly astounding. Stronger in late afternoon and into the evening, it makes sweltering hot Summer nights something to wish for.


Grown for its appeal to pollinators: just about anything that crawls, hovers, or flutters will come for visits. Grow sweet almond verbena and you'll feel like you've 'e a real favor for your entire animal ecosystem.

Flowering season: July to frost; much of the year at the warmest end of its hardiness range.
Culture: Full sun, any reasonable soil and watering.

How to handle it:

Having any sweet almond verbena is better than having none at all, so growing the bush where it wouldn't otherwise be hardy is irresistible.

If there's a chance at all it's hardy in-ground (from coastal Virginia south), growing in all possible sun in promptly-draining soil are the first helps to successful overwintering. Next, mulch the bush heavily after hard frost, and ''t cut back the wood until the plant has started sprouting in the Spring. A little Winter-kill isn't a problem—or even a lot: The bush is so responsive it will resprout even from the roots.

If your climate is mild enough for the bush to get through the Winter unscathed—roughly from coastal South Carolina down to north Florida—you'll probably still want to prune heavily in the Spring to concentrate the display and fragrance of the flowers, just like you'd do with butterfly bushes. Or you could limb the bush up to create a small tree. Or you could do both: Limb it up to make a tree, and then pollard the tree. With flowers only on this season's growth, last season's growth is merely taking up space.

Northern gardeners, though, will need to grow A. virgata in a container. The bush is readily deciduous, so if it gets even a mild frost it will shed its leaves and let you store it dormant in a cool and dark spot—your basement, an unheated but frost-free garage—until it's convenient to bring it into more light and warmth. The shrub is fast growing—or would like to be—so give it plenty of nutrition grow on: good soil, regular fertilizing, and attentive watering. More growth, after all, means more flowers and more fragrance. Want more of everything? Pinch the soft tips of the branches for even bushier growth.

If you have room, you could keep the plant in leaf through the Winter and move the container to a sunny spot to keep the plant active and in bloom as long as possible. Remember, though, that this is a subtropical species, and is used to cool Winter nights and even some frosts. So give it some down-time in the Winter. This isn't the plant for a truly tropical environment, indoors or out, nor for peak performance year-round.

My sense, then, is that it's easier for both you and your sweet almond verbena if you let the plant go dormant. Then keep it dormant in coolness and darkness for weeks or even months until you have the space indoors to start it back into growth, or your weather has become truly Spring-like and you can move the pot outside for the season. If it's still dormant when you move it outside it will tolerate very light frosts and will know to wait until the weather's really warm before resprouting. But if it's already in leaf indoors, wait until your weather is reliably frost-free before setting the pot outdoors.

My full fantasy is to have standards of sweet almond verbena, which I can overwinter in the basement dormant, leafless, and, thanks to a quick pollarding just before the move-in, nicely compact.

Downsides: If only the plant were hardier. Indoors, it, too, is probably as much of a martyr to white fly and spider mites as lemon verbena is (see Variants below), all the more reason to overwinter it dormant and leafless.


There aren't any cultivars, but A. virgatum's cousin A. triphylla—lemon verbena—is, in its own way, just as seductively fragrant. This time, the fragrance is all in the leaves, and it's as powerful as a lemon scent can be that's still legal. Even a light brush-up against lemon verbana foliage releases a massive whiff of lemon, so it's great to keep a pot of this near a pathway where you and your visitors can't help but encounter it. The flowers themselves are neither fragrant nor showy. In flower as well as fragrance, then A. triphylla is the yin to A. virgatum's yang: Virgatum fragrance is only in the flowers not the foliage; triphylla fragrance is only in the foliage not the flowers.

Lemon Verbena ~

Lemon verbena isn't as hardy, but is equally easy in a pot. Cut it down to stumps in early Spring; by August it will still get four to five feet tall and bushy. It's a martyr for white fly and spider mites, so ''t torture yourself or the bush by trying to overwinter it in leaf. Let it get a hint of frost, just enough to drop the leaves, then store it cool, leafless, and bug-free until Spring.

Propagation: By cuttings and (I suppose) layering.

Lemon Verbena ~

Tree Guilds

Hugel Hoops as Tree Guilds--In a hugel hoop, the process is used to form a large ring around a tree, beyond the root line. This creates an ongoing food supply for the tree while simultaneously creating a water collecting basin at the tree’s base.

My Earth Garden Hugel Hoops: The Circle of Life, by MICHAEL NOLAN on JUNE 6, 2015

See photo above. The topography of our suburban lot is as typical as you can imagine. It’s flat from the street to the fence at the rear of the property. The feature that makes it a dream for teenage lawn mowers across the country makes it less-than-ideal for permaculture purposes. Let me explain…

One of the foundations of a permaculture design is water. You want to keep as much of that good stuff on the property as possible, slowing its movement when heavy rains would normally cause it to make a beeline for the nearest storm drain. This is accomplished in a variety of ways, including rain barrels, heavy mulching, and swales, but the easiest way to slow its journey is to give it a few twists and turns.

Think back to the last time you were on a long stretch of road, so straight you could see the curve of the earth ahead. You’re all alone on that road, so of course your foot gets a little heavy on that pedal.

Then you get to a few hairpin curves in the road. What do you do? Slow down, of course. The same principle applies to water. If you want it to have more time to soak in before it leaves your land, you need to give it a reason to stick around.

Below is a basic design sketch of the planting scheme for this area. As you can see, there will be a lot of herbs (5 different types), as well as edible annual flowers that will be used to adorn salads throughout the season.

So now that you understand why flat land is no bueno for permaculture, you will better understand the mechanics behind the brand-new hugel hoop I just completed in the front yard. A hugel hoop is the perfectly-named creation of the folks at Our Fertile Earth [] in Jacksonville, Florida, based on the centuries-old composting process known as Hügelkultur.

Hügelkultur is a method that mimics the natural decomposition and composting process that happens in the woods. Felled trees and branches line the base of a ditch, and are covered with wood chip mulch, leaves, and other fine debris. The lot is then covered with soil, creating a hill or mound. The mound can then be planted, the buried materials act as a water sponge while they decompose and add nutrients to the soil.

In a hugel hoop, the process is used to form a large ring around a tree, beyond the root line. This creates an ongoing food supply for the tree while simultaneously creating a water collecting basin at the tree’s base.

The photo above shows the hugel hoop in-process. The right side has been dug and filled with limbs and mulch.

I dug a trench about ten inches deep around our peach tree. The bottom was then lined with branches, followed by enough wood chip mulch to create a mound about six to eight inches above ground level. I soaked the ring thoroughly, giving the wood a chance to drink up all of the water it could.

On top of the mulch was added a layer of shredded leaves, which were then covered with the dirt I removed from the trench. At this point, the hoop is rather substantial and ready for planting. It should be protected with a layer of straw before watering everything in to help keep the soil in place while everything settles.

Pear Tree Guild. Pear, apple mint, wheat, calendula, boarge, columbine, crimson clover, scallions, day lily, spike dandelion

Identifying Trees

Get to know your trees Knowing their names and needs, you'll be more inclined to protect them.

Magnolia tree

I’ve been thinking about trees recently (and not just because I work for TreeHugger). A magnificent magnolia on my property has become diseased this summer, infected with a white scale that covers the underside of every branch. Apparently, this scale houses an insect that feeds on the tree’s sap and leaks honeydew onto the ground below. This has led to black moldy growth on all the hostas and cedar hedges beneath the magnolia. It’s a big mess and a heartbreaker for me, since I love this tree. It’s 75 years old and a glorious sight in springtime.

After getting in touch with an arborist at Davey Tree, however, I was told that the magnolia could likely be saved. A worker spent six hours scraping off the scale by hand, then sprayed the tree with dormant oil and fertilized the ground around it for an extra boost. He treated two smaller magnolias in our front yard, too. Now we’ll have to wait and see what happens over the next year.

While the arborist was here, I had dozens of questions for him about the various trees on my property. We have an impressive array, planted by the previous owners, but not all are in optimal health. We discussed the viburnum, the pear tree, the harlequin maple, and the three magnificent Austrian pines at the back property line that my neighbor wants to cut down – and I’m rather embarrassed to admit that I learned many of their names for the first time during this conversation.

For all of these trees, the arborist had detailed suggestions for how to boost their health or save them outright. Not once did he say, “That one will have to go,” despite this being a common refrain from Town staff and acquaintances.

The Austrian pines, for example, the arborist told me, could be helped by adding acidic cedar mulch or flowers like rhododendrons and azaleas around their base, instead of planting grass seed, which my neighbor has 'e. The viburnum is being hurt by a Japanese beetle, which can be caught with a pheromone trap in early summer next year. My pear tree does not require pruning if I’m not aiming for fruit production, and the harlequin maple has mildew on its leaves and needs more acidity.

Our conversation has made me realize how little I – and many others in my town, it seems – know about trees. There’s a tendency to view urban trees as being either healthy or slated for cutting, with no middle ground for treating and healing trees. Why this is the case, I do not understand, especially considering the investment of years to grow a tree and the property value and beauty they offer. Perhaps cost is a factor, but surprisingly it cost less to treat the magnolia than it would have to cut, remove, and plant another species in its place.

Over the past week, I’ve been looking at my yard with new eyes. The trees that surround my home and shade my children’s play spaces have needs and desires; it’s as if they’ve acquired personalities, now I’ve spoken with the arborist. I am more inclined to protect and fight for them, instead of fretting about the gap they would leave in the yard.

lickr -- An American elm tree in winter/CC BY 2.0

It makes me think of Gabriel Popkin’s article in the New York Times last week, “Cure Yourself of Tree Blindness.” He has embarked on a mission to get to know tree names, which is valuable for many reasons – from marveling at the wonders of tree reproduction in springtime to understanding the tragedy of their deaths by invasive species, from the practicalities of foraging for food to revealing how well we’re managing today’s forests.

“When you engage with a tree, you momentarily leave the human-created world. Look at an American elm in winter, its limbs waving like Medusa’s snaky hair. The elm may grow along streets and sidewalks, but there is nothing tame about that tree. In cities, where animals feast on human gardens or garbage and most landscape plants are domesticated cultivars, native trees are the last truly wild beings.”

The arborist’s visit has inspired me to get to know trees better, too. There are various ways to do this, such as the respected vTree app from Virginia Tech [] that lists regional species based on a zip code and the Arbor Day Foundation’s tree app [] that Melissa wrote about. Arborist Now [] has a good list for teaching kids to identify trees, starting with a few basic species. But nothing beats going for a walk with someone who knows what they’re talking about. See if you can arrange that for your family or a group of friend.

What's that tree? This app puts an arborist in your pocket Know your trees! The Arbor Day Foundation’s tree ID guide offers a mobile version of their award winning field guide.

Scratch test for tree viability

Is that Tree Alive? Learn How to Test for Life in a Tree video Use thumbnail and scratch bark. Remove the top layer of bark. If dark brown or tan and keep scratching and cannot find any green areas, it is dead.

Winter Differences Of Dead And Live Trees video Far North Bushcraft And Survival. Look up, if you see few fine branches and bark falling off. It is dead. Okay to cut for firewood.

How To Tell If A Plant Is Alive or Dead video scratch test. If you wouldn't buy it, get rid of it.

How to tell if Frost damaged plant is alive video. Are there any buds starting to pop? Brittle? Break off branch; any green in the bark?

Pruning Freeze Damaged Plants video backyardfarmer.

Unexpected Frost and Tomato Damage: Tips and Lessons Learned video. Make sure plastic bags do not touch foliage.


V Cutting down Aravaipa Avocado trees sunburnt avocados. Dying back? Cut them down to green. Shamus O'Leary in Phoenix

V How to eat avocado seed

V How to Grow an Avocado Tree from seed

The EASIEST way to sprout avocado seeds - NO toothpicks or mason jars needed!

V AVOCADO SEED GROWING: Fastest Hack with Results | How to grow Avocado from Seed germination

V How to: Grow Avocado from Seed (A Complete Step by Step Guide)

Camu Camu

43 Times More Vitamin C Than an Orange, a Weapon Against the Flu Hailed for its ability to ameliorate ailments including cold sores, herpes, shingles, colds and flu - it also assists with wound healing, reducing plaque buildup in your brain, repairing bones and teeth, and helping absorb iron. Yet odds are you've never heard of it.

Camu camu (Myrciaria dubia) is a small orange-red fruit, similar in size to that of a large cherry, with a tart flavor; the camu camu tree grows primarily in South America

Camu camu contains exceptionally high amounts of vitamin C — anywhere from 1,882 to 2,280 milligrams per 100 grams of fresh fruit. For comparison, acerola cherries typically contain around 1,678 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams

Vitamin C is an important immune booster and helps defend against viral attacks and inflammation. It’s also used by your body for wound healing, repairing and maintaining the health of your bones and teeth

Camu camu also contains a number of other valuable nutrients, including manganese, copper, carotenoids, flavonoids, essential amino acids (including valine, serine and leucine), gallic and ellagic acid, and fiber

Research suggests camu camu can help boost cognitive function and reduce your risk of dementia, facilitate muscle growth, aid digestion, lower your risk of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cancer, macular degeneration and more

Best Trees for Desert

V 5 BEST FRUIT TREES FOR DESERT BACKYARD GARDENS! Jake Mace, Vegan athlete in Arizona desert.

Palo Verde. Seeds are edible; Yellow flowers

Iron Tree. Purple flowers in spring. Flowers edible. Peas later are edible.

Saguaro fruits edible.

Jo Jo ba bushes. edibble

Chupa Rosa flowers edible. Taste like cucumbers.


Eat what is local to become immune to allergies.

V How to Feed & Fertilize a Fruit Tree, part 1 Jake Mace, Vegan athlete in Arizona desert.

About 3 times a year to ensure that the fruit trees grow and fruit

Hit it with iron, liquid seaweed [sea kelp], and compost. Also rock dust and worm castings. Mix pond water, liquid iron and sea kelp. Each tree 2 5-gallon buckets, Southern AG chellated liquid iron from Amz about a cup in each bucket. Seaweed extract about a cup or 1 1/2. Like tar. Pours against the trunk.

Secret is also a lot of mulch, wood chips.

Go to Seed Bank to see what he is planting. Can get box of seeds mailed to you every month.

Seed Bank Box all organic, non-GMO, heirloom. Free shipping over $50

All of our seeds are for edible gardens. Expect 8 to 10 varieties of seeds every month.

Egyptian Spinach Seeds 500ct Price $5.50. Heat loving green. Eat in salads, cook, or use dried leaves as thickening agent. Grows up to 9 feet. Plant 1/4 in. deep in full sun. Germinates in 3 days. Thin to 10 inches apart. Pinch top buds to encourage branching.

Moringa Seeds 25ct Price $6.50.

Moringa oleifera, also known as the drumstick tree, miracle tree, horseradish tree. Grows really fast in warm garden, up to 16 feet each year. Needs water only in first year. Very drought tolerant. From India, long bean-pod fruits are loved there. Plant seeds in Spring. Love heat. Seeds germinate in about a week, shooting to 16 feet first year. Water deeply about once a week, first year to become established. Out of stock.

Hibiscus Roselle Organic Seeds 25ct Price$5.00


Barbados cherry tree, fruits about 8 mos. out of year. Neem tree.

Natives are best, like mesquite, ironwood, palo verde, desert willow.


HOW TO GROW MORINGA IN YOUR HOME GARDEN In the huge plant kingdom, the family of Moringa is considered one of the smallest since it has only 13 members. While there may be 13 species in that small family, only Moringa oleifera is cultivated with much enthusiasm. If you ever hear the word Moringa being mentioned in the context of food, then know that the conversation is most probably about the edible Moringa i.e. M. oleifera.

Even though the names of most plants have Latin origins, this plant’s name comes from the Tamil/Malayalam word murungakka for drumstick. One look at a plant bearing eponymous fruits and you will understand why it is called murungakkai. The people of Philippines lovingly refer to it as the “mother’s best friend,” while in Florida, it is called “the horseradish tree”.


Here is an easy guide to growing this monstrous plant in your own backyard:

  1. Six weeks before you intend to plant Moringa, find a sunny patch of soil in the backyard and mark an area as big as 4.1 m
  2. Next, make a hole that is 2 feet deep in that area and add manure to the soil that you dug out. The manure and soil should be in the ratio 1:1.
  3. Now, refill the hole with the fortified soil
  4. Water the area thoroughly and leave the manure untouched to decompose
  5. Once the 6 weeks are over, use a board to divide the area you selected into four beds
  6. In each bed, make a square hole that is 30-60 cm deep
  7. Place the seed within the hole so that is not deeper than 1 cm
  8. Lightly fill the hole with loose soil that you dug out and water the seed but not too much!
  9. You will observe the seedling break the soil cover within 1-2 weeks
  10. You can harvest Moringa 60 days after you planted it!

V Moringa Documentary - the 'miracle' tree Philipino families all grow Moringas. All parts of the tree are useable. Use the roots as a tea. Scrape the bark and the juice will heal a cut. Used widely in Africa and S. Asia. S. America and Central America. Native to arid hot places like Africa.


V Best Moringa to Grow & Rare Herb Nursery S.Florida. owner George, a shaman, in Loxahatchie. 101 west C St. Moringa farm. Ships plants and seeds. Found on Craig's list.


John from visits Moringa Place, a nursery in Loxahatchee, Florida and shares with you the best variety of Moringa Oleifera he has found. In addition he shares many unique cultivars of some herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables.

1021 C rd., Loxahatchee FL 33470 / (561) 633-8751

Comfrey--Bocking 14 variety,

Papayas, Dragon Fruit,

Nettle from Uruguay, no stingers, tastes sweeter. Eat wild plants.

PFAF, plants for a future, favorite database.

Trellis with galvanized fencing wire and pole stuck in 5-gallon bucket. Easily moveable.

Lemon grass, favorite in soups. Amazonian variety has higher oil content. Most are from Asia. This variety smells and tastes better.

Epazote, better variety. Different variety from Costa Rica mild lemon sweet flavor instead of gasoline.

Figs are easy to propagate. Just cut off branches and stick in ground and keep wet. Subtropical. From Mediterranean, but need chill hours.

Buy plants in your temp. zone you know does well.

These plants are tropical.

Stevia. sweet herb. This variety is great. S.America on family farm.

Moringa. Can purify water. This variety is a hybrid of 6 different M. Easy crop to grow. Grows like a weed. When gets too tall, chop off the top and plant. Can make tea from stems or leaves.

Flowers are fragrant. Producing seed pods after 1 year. Longer than others. Leaves stay better tasting than mature leaves.

Moringa Place facebook

40 Acres specialized in Moringa Oleifera trees,seeds or fresh leaves ,dried and derived products.Stevia rebaudiana fresh,plants ,seeds or dried.Comfrey (Bocking 14),plants,fresh or dried leaves,oils cream,etc.. and over 600 different plants and seeds to use as food or for alternative medicine,like :Curry tree,Lemon Verbena(CEdron) Yerba Mora,Parsley,Lemon grass,italian and greek oregano,20 different basils,Mango trees, Gumbo Limbos,Coconut Palms,Giant tomato,Guanabana(soursop),DRagon fruit,Chia,Blueberry,Figs trees,many exotic plants from Amazons platou,Luffas,etc...

Moringa Place This domain has recently been listed in the marketplace.


THE BENEFITS OF MORINGA OLEIFERA, THE MIRACLE TREE Being hailed as a superfood, this plant has a well-developed nutritious profile. Then there are the other characteristics, such as its antioxidant activity and anti-inflammatory properties that make Moringa oleifera so popular. Identifying the drumstick tree is easy because it is small statured and produces fruits that look like drumsticks!

It is found growing in Eastern parts of the world, such as Nepal, India, and Pakistan. In these countries, it has been a part of traditional medicine since it has healing properties against disorders like diabetes, anaemia, heart disease, skin, respiratory, and digestive disorders. Let us take a look at the health benefits that this tree possesses:



It can help you meet the entire household’s nutritional requirements! The most nutritious parts of the tree happen to be its leaves. They are rich in calcium, along with many other minerals and vitamins. In fact, the amount of calcium is 17 times more than that found in milk. They are also protein-rich and can provide you with four times as much protein as you would get from eggs. Since moringa leaves also contain the essential amino acids, they can be considered equivalent, if not superior, to the animal protein sources.

Since we regularly expose ourselves to stressful situations, chemical reactions in our body produce free radicals, which are bad news overall. They will cause cell damage, inflammation, and even mess with our DNA. The only thing that can counter the harmful effect of these free radicals happens to be antioxidants. Guess which plant is full to the brim with antioxidants, whether in its leaves, seeds, or flowers! That’s right, Moringa has various antioxidants, including flavonoids, ascorbic acid, and polyphenols. The antioxidant activity, however, is much higher in the leaves than in its flowers and seeds.

If you are still not sold on the superfood status of the drumstick tree, then this next property might help convince you. When your body is off fighting an infection, fever and inflammation are signs that the fight is still on. However, chronic inflammation can be a bad thing because it is often the result of the damage inflicted by free radicals. If allowed to go uncheck, such inflammation will affect the metabolic system negatively. It is thought that some common diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and insulin resistance are actually consequences of chronic inflammation! All parts of the moringa tree, including leaves, fruits, flowers, and seeds, have anti-inflammatory properties but as always, seek medical advice before using.

If the article has convinced you of the necessity of including Moringa or the drumstick tree in your life, then you might be considering growing it. The moringa is a plant from some of the hottest regions of the world. It won’t like any frost and will require regular watering. In that case, it would be a good idea to maintain a watering schedule for the plant. Using EasiOyYa can make that happen. It is a cost-effective watering solution that will change your garden forever!

EasiOyYa saves you watering by delivering moisture straight into the root zone of your plants 24/7Z

For thousands of years, farmers from villages around China have understood the benefits of using clay Olla’s to water their crops.

Now you can make use of a more modern technology to set up a network of clay capsules that will look after your plants when you’re not around.

Water seeps through the porous terracotta, straight into the root zone, exactly where it’s required

EasiOyYa Professional Watering Spikes Automatically Delivers Water To The Roots Of Your Plants 24/7 - Your Long Term Holiday/Vacation Watering Solution - Natural Olla Irrigation 4s $57.00 p

V Moringa Trees in my Frontyard Jake Mace. Taste like asparagus.

Moringa Trees in my Frontyard

V Grow Moringa Trees for Leaves - See What's Possible In Only 3.5 Months! Tremendous growth from seeds.


Mercola Moringa Powder “The 2008 Mystery Plant of the Year: Packed With Nutrition, Valued Throughout History for Over 300 Conditions, and Exceptionally Promising for Reversing Major Environmental Problems”

Initially exposed to the world in a televised documentary, Moringa oleifera is a nutrient-packed tree found in Africa, India and SE Asia, South America, and the Pacific and Caribbean Islands. Besides being a vegetable that many locals eat daily, it’s been dubbed the “miracle tree” during its thousands of years of use by Ayurvedic and other health practitioners around the world.

  • It originally came from Tamil Nadu, India, but now grows in many tropical areas of the world
  • It’s been used for thousands of years by Ayurvedic and other health practitioners for over 300 conditions
  • It grows easily in drought, damaged soils and can help restore poor soils to a healthier state
  • It can be eaten in its entirety
  • Its seeds contain oil that can be used as a source of renewable energy
  • Its leaves are an excellent source of protein – an oddity for a plant food
  • It could help save millions of lives as all the countries in which it grows have a significant percentage of malnourished citizens


I’ll be the first to say that the word “superfood” has become one of the most overused – and sometimes misused – words in the English language.

However, what other term can you use to describe a food that, gram for gram when dried, has…

15 times the potassium of bananas
12 times the vitamin C of oranges
9 times the protein of yogurt, and
3 times the vitamin A of carrots

Moringa, or Moringa oleifera contains over 90 vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, 46 types of antioxidants, and 36 anti-inflammatory compounds. And it has one of the highest, if not the highest protein ratio of any plant studied.

But how can you tell a high-quality Moringa powder from one that’s just mediocre?

  • Make sure it’s made only from the leaves. Its valuable nutrients are concentrated in its leaves.
  • Make sure it’s raw and not exposed to high heat. Excessive heat can destroy Moringa’s fragile compounds.
  • Make sure at a minimum it’s organic to avoid potentially dangerous pesticides and herbicides, but ideally goes beyond organic and is produced according to Biodynamic® standards for optimal environmental stewardship.
  • Make sure it’s a dried powder. When Moringa is dried and turned into a powder, its potency increases. A dried Moringa leaf has three to five times more nutrients than a fresh leaf.
  • Make sure it contains no fillers or genetically engineered ingredients. You want 100 percent pure Moringa with nothing else added.
  • Make sure it is made by a company you can trust as some so-called organic Moringa powders are being found to contain pesticides and heavy metals!

Our Organic Biodynamic® Moringa is raw, organic and produced according to Biodynamic® standards. Plus, it’s made only from the leaves of the Moringa tree, so you get nothing but pure Moringa.

Moringa can also grow in regions where strong winds and long dry spells occur at the same time, leading to serious soil erosion.

Unlike regular crops that can fail due to poor growing conditions and lack of water, Moringa trees offer a hardy and weather-resistant alternative that can continue to support communities and feed mouths.

In support of these regions facing such challenges, I am sourcing our Organic Biodynamic® Moringa from an Egyptian community that has been embracing sustainable development for over 40 years.

Ordered 1 bottle 6/9/18

Subtotal $19.97
Shipping: Economy (2 – 5 Business Days) $4.95
Sales Tax $0.00
Order Total $24.92

V Largest MORINGA TREE Leaves I've EVER EATEN | Backyard Fruit Tree Forest Tour | Part 7

V Awesome Cooking Moringa Leaves With Chicken ( Korko ) Cook Delicious Recipe - Village Food Factoy

V Moringa Roots Are Amazing! Harvesting and Replanting Moringa Roots


V How to Feed & Fertilize a Fruit [Moringa] Tree, part 1 Jake Mace, Vegan athlete in Arizona desert.

About 3 times a year to ensure that the fruit trees grow and fruit

Hit it with iron, liquid seaweed [sea kelp], and compost. Also rock dust and worm castings. Mix pond water, liquid iron and sea kelp. Each tree 2 5-gallon buckets, Southern AG chellated liquid iron from Amz about a cup in each bucket. Seaweed extract about a cup or 1 1/2. Like tar. Pours against the trunk.

Secret is also a lot of mulch, wood chips.

Go to Seed Bank to see what he is planting. Can get box of seeds mailed to you every month.

Seed Bank Box all organic, non-GMO, heirloom. Free shipping over $50

All of our seeds are for edible gardens. Expect 8 to 10 varieties of seeds every month.

Egyptian Spinach Seeds 500ct Price $5.50. Heat loving green. Eat in salads, cook, or use dried leaves as thickening agent. Grows up to 9 feet. Plant 1/4 in. deep in full sun. Germinates in 3 days. Thin to 10 inches apart. Pinch top buds to encourage branching.

Moringa Seeds 25ct Price $6.50.

Moringa oleifera, also known as the drumstick tree, miracle tree, horseradish tree. Grows really fast in warm garden, up to 16 feet each year. Needs water only in first year. Very drought tolerant. From India, long bean-pod fruits are loved there. Plant seeds in Spring. Love heat. Seeds germinate in about a week, shooting to 16 feet first year. Water deeply about once a week, first year to become established. Out of stock.

Hibiscus Roselle Organic Seeds 25ct Price$5.00

V Growing and Harvesting Moringa with Pamela Mace Longevity gardens

Moringa Seeds 25 for $6.50

The Moringa oleifera, known also as the drumstick tree,miracle tree, and horse radish tree, is truly an amazing addition to any warm-climate garden.

Fast-growing, up to 15' the first year from seed. Needs water only first year. Drought tolerant.

Easy to grow. Choose full sun location. Plant seeds in Spring after warm; moringas love the heat [from India]. Will shoot up in about a week. Provide deep water once a week.

Some call it the miracle tree, the multivitamin tree, the drumstick tree. Can eat the pods when they are young.

The entire tree is edible. Leaves are nutritious. The roots taste like horseradish. Leaves taste like a multivitamin. 17 x more calcium than milk. 4 x more protein than egg whites. More calcium than oranges. More potassium than bananas.

Really drought tolerant. Tap root goes straight down to find water. Can plant really close to your house because roots are not invasive. Cut down almost to ground in winter. Grows right back. Great shade.

Wood is soft. Got more iron than spinach.

Ways to eat: tea: cut off branches and hang upside down for two days outside. Then make tea.

Use powder in capsules for multivitamins.

Crepe Myrtle

Crepe Myrtles: Plant Care and Collection of Varieties We have 484 images of 459 crepe myrtles in our Crepe Myrtles database. Crepe Myrtle Database

The Crepe Myrtle is a fast-growing, small to medium-sized deciduous tree that produces large, colorful flowers over a long period from midsummer to fall. The foliage is attractive in fall and the textured bark provides winter interest. Another common name is southern lilac. It is typically cultivated as a multi-trunked flowering tree grown throughout the warmer climates of the world.

It is native to the Indian subcontinent, southeast Asia, northern Australia and parts of Oceania. Its genus was named after the Swedish merchant Magnus von Lagerström, who supplied Carolus Linnaeus with plants he collected.

The Crepe Myrtle may be the most widely grown ornamental shrub in the southern United States. In the summertime, the showy blooms last for several months, withstanding high temperatures, punishing heat, and powerful sunlight.

Flower colors include pink, red, purple, and white, depending on the variety. Most grow 15 to 25 feet tall and wide, with some shorter varieties growing only 2 to 5 feet tall. Dwarf varieties can be grown in containers.

Ongoing Care

Apply a layer of compost under the tree each spring, spreading it out to the dripline (the area under the outermost branches). Add a 2-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds, keeping mulch a few inches away from the tree trunk.

Water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. Flowers are produced on new wood, so prune back weak, spindly growth in spring to encourage better flowering. Prune off dead, diseased, and broken branches anytime.


Propagation Methods

Crepe myrtles can be propagated using pretty much every method out there. Cuttings, divisions, seeds, and layering all produce good results.

For seed starting, stratify seeds for 60 days. Best results can be had using the paper towel method. Sow seeds into a paper towel inside a plastic zip-top bag, moisten and place in the fridge for 2 months, then place the bag under growlights. As soon as the seeds sprout pot them up into 4" pots. Transplant into the ground once nighttime temperatures stay above 50 degrees. Seedlings started in the spring will often bloom during their first year.

Crepe myrtles have a habit of suckering - putting up new shoots out of the ground. With most varieties, you can carefully dig out these suckers along with some roots and have a new plant.

Softwood and hardwood cuttings both work fine. Rooting hormone and frequent misting dramatically improves cutting success.

Crapemyrtle-The Perfect Texas Landscape Plant San Antonio Express News

What is the most versatile plant in the Texas landscape? The one which flowers all summer, is available in different colors, has beautiful bark, has different shapes and sizes from groundcover to shrub to tree, is drought tolerant after it is well established (approximately two years), grows well in alkaline or acid soil, is a fast-growing plant with a long life span, is disease resistant and the foliage displays fall color? The answer has to be crape myrtle.

Crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia species) is a handsome, summer flowering, deciduous (loses its leaves) tree-shrub-groundcover. It has been called the lilac of the south. The most common species in the United States is Lagerstroemia indica. It is native to China and Korea, but is naturalized in the Southern U.S. L. fauriei, native to Japan, is another species found in the United States. Hybrids of the two species generally result in excellent selections as pictured and described at: http://aggie

The crape myrtle is valued mainly for its long period of striking summer flowers. These showy flowers may be shades of white, pink, red or lavender. Bloom time varies, depending on the variety. Large clusters appear on the tips of new branches beginning in early summer and continue into fall. After flowers fade and fall from the tree, the fruit (small brown capsules) can be cut from the plant to stimulate more bloom in 30-45 days. Fruit capsules should not be removed after September.

The attractive, exfoliating bark peels away to expose a trunk which ranges in color from many handsome shades of brown to gray. This bark is especially noticeable in the winter months when the tree is leafless.

Fall leaf color ranges from yellow to orange and red. Although the same plant may display leaves of several colors, the white flowered types often have yellow fall color, and the pink and red flowered types show yellow, orange and red leaf color in the fall.

The crape myrtle can be planted as a specimen or in groups, and looks attractive when underplanted with a ground cover; the dark green of the groundcover contrasts well with the handsome bark. It adapts well to confined spaces, and is, therefore, well suited for small areas close to sidewalks or parking lots, and can provide shade in deck and patio areas.

The plant typically develops several main stems. These multi trunk crape myrtles are more desirable than single stem plants in landscape plantings.

Crape myrtle can be a low maintenance plant, and the best way to ensure this is to choose the cultivar that best suits your landscape needs before planting. There are many new cultivars in different sizes and colors. The dwarf (3 to 6 feet) and semi dwarf (7 to 15 feet) selections now available make it easy to choose the right size plant for a certain space.

The flowers of some selections may stain car paint, and the honeydew drops from aphids on the plant may stick on cars or patio furniture. As cultivars are now available in a wide range of growth heights, certain selections can be used under utility lines without fear of interfering with these lines.

The ideal planting site is in well prepared, well drained soil, with full sun exposure and good air circulation. Crape myrtles planted in partial or full shade will have reduced flowering and increased disease susceptibility.

Heavy nitrogen applications cause the plants to flower less and produce shoot and leaf growth that may be subject to winter injury. Light applications of a complete, slow-release fertilizer such as 19-5-9 in early spring should be made just before new growth begins. A general recommendation of 2 pounds (two cupfuls) of the slow-release fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of root area is sufficient for most trees and shrubs. This can be repeated again in the late fall. The number of square feet in the root area is determined by the branch spread of the tree.

For a discussion of pruning old and young trees as well as pest problems which can be encountered, see the second column in September entitled: CRAPEMYRTLE – THE BEST LANDSCAPE PLANT FOR TEXAS at:

Dr. Jerry Parsons is a Professor for Texas A&M University and a Texas Cooperative Extension Horticulturist for over 30 years in South Central Texas. For more information on this or other horticulture topics, go to and our County Extension website at

Crepe Myrtles for Texas

Characteristics of Crape Myrtle Varieties Information provided courtesy of Fanick's Garden Center Inc., 1025 Holmgreen Rd., San Antonio , Texas 78220, Phone: 210 - 648 - 1303

How to Grow Crape Myrtles from Seed After crape myrtles bloom in the summer, they form lovely seed heads that last through the fall. The pods can be left for overwintering birds, or you can collect the seeds to use for growing in the spring.

As with many other landscape plants, crape myrtles are often hybrids, which means that the seeds might not produce a plant exactly like its parent. If you want the new plant to be exactly like the parent, you should propagate by cuttings rather than seeds.

But if you have a non-hybrid variety, or if you don’t have a specific variety in mind, it’s easy to propagate crape myrtles from seed. Here’s what you need to know to get started.

How to Collect Crape Myrtle Seeds

When the blossoms fade, crape myrtles form seed heads, clusters of pods that start out as greenish berries, then darken and dry out as the weather cools. Eventually, they pop open and the seeds fall to the ground, where sometimes they sprout on their own.

If the seed heads are opening, you can collect the seeds straight from the tree. Gently shake the pods over your hand or into a paper bag, and the seeds will fall right out. If the seed pods haven’t opened yet, you can cut the entire cluster, take it home and put it in a vase of water. It will open and drop the seeds within a few days, so you may want to sit the vase on a tray to catch them.

Gather the seeds and keep them dry and cool until you’re ready to plant. The seed coating is very papery, so be careful with them. Broken seeds might sprout, but intact ones will do better.

How to Plant the Seeds

Crape myrtle seeds will germinate most any time, but they will do best in early spring when the days are lengthening. Gently press them into the surface of a light, moist potting medium. Cover with a layer of milled sphagnum moss, and mist until damp. Cover the pot with plastic, and put in a warm, bright place (75° to 85° F).

The seeds should sprout in a few weeks. Once they sprout, you can remove the plastic and keep the seedlings moist and in bright light as they grow. Wait until they have two sets of true leaves before transplanting to individual pots. Keep the pots indoors until late spring, then move them to a shady spot outdoors for a couple of weeks to acclimate before planting. Bring them indoors if nighttime temperatures drop below 50° F.

Once the plants are acclimated, and warm weather is here to stay, you can plant them in their permanent homes. The seedlings will grow rapidly during the summer. Keep them well watered, and feed every few weeks with a balanced organic fertilizer.

Crape Myrtle: Texas State Shrub Texas designated the crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) as the state shrub in 1997 (Texas also recognizes an official native shrub--Texas Purple Sage)

Crape myrtles are among the toughest, most adaptable, and showiest plants that can be grown on Texas landscapes. The dark green leaves often turn orange or red in fall. Sometimes called "the Lilac of the South", and "perhaps the most beautifully branching flowering tree in the world."

Crape Myrtle in Austin, Texas; photo by CameliaTWU on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / no derivative works).

The deciduous Crape Myrtle is among the longest-blooming shrubs (up to 120 days), and varies in size from dwarf to large shrubs or small trees. It has dense clusters of crinkled, crepe-papery flowers in white or shades of pink, red, or purple, and lives happiest in hot-summer climates.

SAN ANTONIO SOILS NOT MEANT FOR MADRONE The madrone tree is known for its lovely exfoliating bark, but San Antonio soils are all wrong for it. Rest assured, there are a couple of alternatives to ease your broken heart.

Chances are you have or will visit Big Bend National Park. After all, more than 16 million people have since 1944, according to the National Park Service website. And if you go this time of year, I can tell you what will inevitably happen.

As you're driving down the endless stretch of US Highway 385 a flash of red will catch your eye. The madrone tree might be one of the most beautiful trees you've ever seen with its rich, lustrous red bark peeking out from scraps of peeling brown remnants. Based solely on its beauty, you make a note to purchase one at your favorite nursery when you get home.

But this love can't last. San Antonio soils are all wrong for the madrone tree.

According to the Garden Geek, who was also our region’s resident state forester for 23 years, madrones are members of the Heath family which have a very complex relationship with mycorrhizae, a family beneficial fungi. It's difficult to find or recreate mycorrhizae in urban soils. That being said, we have a couple of alternatives to ease your broken heart.

Texas Persimmon

While the bark isn't red, Texas persimmon's smooth, muscular trunks peel in shades of silver, black and white — making this the perfect tree to show your Spurs pride! This native persimmon is a workhorse in the watersaver garden and bears black fruits that can be used to make jams and jellies.

Caring for the Texas persimmon is easy, too. Plant it in an area with full sun and space to grow. Mulch the root area with 2 inches of mulch and water when rainfall is absent for several weeks.

Natchez Crape Myrtle

When it comes to traffic-stopping red bark, Indian crape myrtle, aka Natchez, is hard to beat — plus, it grows well in San Antonio! Its falling flowers dust the ground with delicate white flakes all summer long. Natchez is also resistant to powdery mildew. See it at the San Antonio Botanical Garden.

Caring for the crape myrtle is the exact same as for the Texas persimmon — mulch 2 inches and water if rain is absent for an extended period of time. Avoid pruning, removing only the dead, damaged and crossing branches. Do not by any means commit crape murder, or the severe and indiscriminate topping of crape myrtles.


V How trees talk to each other | Suzanne Simard

Cordia boissieri (Mexican olive) (Hummingbirds, late summer fruit)

Cordia boissieri (Mexican olive)

Cordia boissieri a species of flowering shrub or small tree in the borage family, Boraginaceae. Its native range extends from southern Texas in the United States south to central Mexico. Common names include Anacahuita, Mexican Olive, White Cordia, and Texas Wild Olive.

Cordia boissieri (Mexican olive)

C. boissieri reaches a height of 5–7 m (16–23 ft), with a symmetrical round crown. It is evergreen but will lose leaves if it suffers frost damage. The white, funnel-shaped flowers are present on the tree throughout the year. The drupes are yellow-green, olive-like, and 1.2–2.4 cm (0.47–0.94 in) in length. They are sweet but slightly toxic when fresh, causing dizziness in humans and other animals. The tree has a lifespan of 30-50 years.

Cordia boissieri (Mexican olive)


Northern Catalpa [Catalpa speciosa] This is a tree that demands your attention. White, showy flowers. Giant heart-shaped leaves. Dangling bean-like seed pods. Twisting trunk and branches. How could you not stop to take it in?


The catalpa tree is found in forests from southern Illinois and Indiana to western Tennessee and Arkansas. First cultivated in 1754, the wood was used for fence posts and railroad ties because of its resistance to rot and the tree’s fast growth rate. Common names for this tree are many and colorful—including cigar tree, Indian bean tree, catawba, caterpillar tree, hardy catalpa and western catalpa.

Anacacho Orchid

Anacacho Orchid Bauhinia congesta Anacacho orchid is a beautiful spring blooming accent tree that continues to open its orchid-shaped pale pink flowers throughout the season. At maturity, it is 8-12' high and 6-12' wide, great for small spaces or to highlight a corner of the garden.

It’s extremely tough and very waterwise once established. With just a little bit of soil preparation, it will find itself at home in well-drained soil. It likes good sunlight. It will tolerate partial shade but doesn’t bloom as well.


Anacacho Orchid Tree: Bauhinia lunarioides (B. congesta) In its native habitat in Texas it grows on rocky limestone canyons, and needs well-drained soils to thrive.

Anacacho orchid tree, Anacacho bauhinia, Orchid tree, Texas plume Anacacho orchid tree makes a gorgeous display with its silvery gray bark and fragrant white flowers that resemble orchids. It is a relatively rapid-growing tree after its first year when placed in a favorable location

Anacacho orchid tree, a great landscape plant Anacacho orchid trees apparently can grow well in understory or open-sun sites.


Nanjing Beauty

'Nanjing Beauty' on the campus of Stephen Austin State University

Taxodium Nanjing Beauty [Taxodium 'Zhongshansa' ALSO KNOWN AS Taxodium x 'Nanjing Beauty'Nanjing Beauty Hybrid Cypress

A hybrid of Bald Cypress & Montezuma Cypress that is a very vigorous growing tree, with the same soft texture and durability of its parents without the irksome knees of the Bald Cypress. Extremely popular in China where it is planted by the millions as street trees, screens, and specimens but is seemingly rare in the US.

Tree Conifer
H: 50'-100'
W: 25'-35'
ZONES 6a-11

Seaside / Salt TolerantVerticillium Wilt Resistant


Osmanthus fragrans

Osmanthus fragrans – a Chinese treasure In China, old sweet olive trees ( ?? ) are revered, signed and interpreted, and given holy attendance. Protective fences mark their importance.

Tourists flock to gawk at their size and glory. In fact, during October when the species is at its best, over ten Chinese cities honor the plant with a wide variety of special holidays. In a carnival-like atmosphere, Chinese citizens flock to sweet olive festivals to bask in the fragrance and glory of the plant.

Flower fragrance is held in high esteem, and I was told that with some varieties, only two flowers floating in a tea cup were needed to fill a small closed room with fragrance.

The most ancient plant known in China rests comfortably in the grounds of the Shengshui Temple, Nanzheng County, Shannxi Province and is over 2100 years old. It’s forty feet in height and this mystical tree was planted by the Xiaohe himself, the Minister of the Han Dynasty.

The most impressive tree that I’ve seen up close was the stately specimen in the landscape of Linggu Temple, Nanjing city, Jiangsu province and this dense-foliaged giant is over 20’ tall, sixty inches in circumference and sports a crown diameter of 25’. It rests alone in the valley and when in bloom on a still early morning the entire valley is filled with its magic. Keep in mind that sweet olives are one of the ten “traditional flowers of China” and this is a species planted in the millions.

Ancient sweet olives are status symbols and the rich Chinese will spend thousands, tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars to own a specimen tree. With the grand scale of development in China it’s not surpising that many ancient sweet olives have found themselves in the way. These trees are dug, relocated, cut back, and given special attention for a decade or more before finding a permanent home. Time is an interesting thing to a Chinese businessman – ancient trees are an investment.

In plant-hunting circles, one of the treasures yet to say hello in southern horticulture is the elusive red-flowered form of sweet olive, Osmanthus fragrans. I’ve seen O. fragrans ‘Zhusha Dangui’ in a sweet olive garden near Suzhou, China with flowers just a bit spent, but reddish orange enough to drive me to fighting the urge to liberate a cutting. I didn’t because Chinese jails are reported as Spartan and I’m timid about things like that. Whether or not a true red exists in culture or in the wild is the stuff of legend, rumors and innuendo.

There are now over 157 varieties of sweet olive in China divided into four main groups: Fragrans, Latifolius, Thunbergii, and Aurantiacus. It’s the latter that’s attracted the plant hunter’s eye, for it’s this group that finds the orange and orange-red flowers. In the last twenty years, an effort has been made to preserve the species in China and select superior cultivars. Cultivars have been selected for flower size, characteristics of the flower, abundance of flowers, time of bloom, tree form and habit, bark, branch, leaf, pedicel, and fruit. Osmanthus fragrans has been in cultivation in China for over 2000 years, well before it was ever introduced into the west in 1856. The most exciting recent introduction into the USA is ‘Fudingzhu’, or more popularly known as ‘Nanjing Beauty’. It’s very floriferous, white flowered, and is known to bloom quickly in the nursery container and over many months.

Osmanthus fragrans ‘Nanjing Beauty’

O. fragrans var. aurantiacus is the orange-flowered form that one can find occasionally in the landscapes of the South and it’s a treasure when it reaches peak bloom and fragrance. Unfortunately, the blooms only last a few days but you can spend the next twelve months in high anticipation. Dirr lists nine varieties, but there are others and none have taken the trade by storm.

Osmanthus fragrans var. aurantiacus – Oct 17, 2004

Osmanthus fragrans var. aurantiacus

There are numerous varieties in China and most have yet to find their way into commerce there or anywhere in the world.

Osmanthus fragrans ‘Xue’

In the mix of things, there are reports of many “colorful” leaf forms with some sporting red to burgundy to pink new growth. I ran across a form with contorted branches in Suzhou China. However, I can now say that yes, variegated forms do exist. In June 2012, I visited a very small nursery near Chang Jie village, Ninghai county, Ningbo city in Zhejiang province in southeastern China.

Osmanthus fragrans ‘Qiannan Guifei’, Yong Feng Nursery, Ninghai, China, June 2016

There’s another species, O. yunnanensis, that is rarely encountered and we are proud to have a large specimen in the Ruby Mize Garden. While never destined for the mass market, it boasts good fragrance and growth rate.

Osmanthus yunnanensis in the Ruby Mize Garden – January 18, 2012

In terms of popularity, sweet olive has a long way to go in the USA. We visited one nursery near Guangzhou that produces 1.5 million cutting grown plants per year! While most Chinese nursery plants are destined for the China marketplace, which is huge, there is growing interest in exporting new cultivars and plants to the international market. For that to happen there will have to be cooperation, marketing and promotion. Until that happens, southern nurserymen and landscapers are encouraged to take a new look at an old friend, the sweet smelling sweet olive.

Osmanthus yunnanensis – March 11, 2010

Osmanthus fragrans shrub

photo source = Achillu, September 17, 2010

Osmanthus odorous (Osmanthus fragrans) € 150.00 in Italy

Shrub or small evergreen tree, with shiny green leathery leaves. From late summer to early autumn they bloom in small bunches of fragrant white flowers.

Shrub or small evergreen tree, with shiny green leathery leaves. From late summer to early autumn they bloom in small bunches of fragrant white flowers.

Cultivate in fertile, well-drained, in full sun or in the shade, sheltered from cold and dry winds.

Final dimensions: hedge from 180 to 250 cm., Single specimen up to 5 m. about.


How to Plant a Tree or Shrub 1.The ideal time to plant a new tree is when it is dormant: after leaf drop or in the spring before the leaf buds break open.

2.Dig a hole a little wider than the tree root ball but only just as deep. The International Society of Arboriculture gives this advice on their web site: “Make the hole wide, as much as three times the diameter of the root ball but only as deep as the root ball. It is important to make the hole wide because the roots on the newly establishing tree must push through surrounding soil in order to establish. On most planting sites in new developments, the existing soils have been compacted and are unsuitable for healthy root growth. Breaking up the soil in a large area around the tree provides the newly emerging roots room to expand into loose soil to hasten establishment.”

3.Remove burlap or other wrappings.

4.Place the tree in the hole so that the root flare and top of the root ball is level with the surrounding soil. (ILLUSTRATION A.)

5.Back fill the hole with the soil that you excavated, tamping in firmly as you go. It is not necessary to amend the soil. In fact, pouring rich soil into the soil creates a “container” effect; the tree roots will tend to stay within the small bowl of soil instead of spreading out and forming a strong, stable base for the mature tree or shrub.

6.Apply a layer of mulch—professional arborists recommend that mulch be only 2-4 inches deep—DO NOT MOUND THE MULCH UP AGAINST THE TRUNK. (ILLUSTRATION B.) This type of “volcano mulching” is harmful to trees: it can starve the roots of oxygen and/or encourage the tender feeder roots to grow up into the mulch (rather than down into the soil) where they dry out quickly and are more susceptible to damage from insects and foot traffic.

7.Create a shallow “well” with the mulch that will help to collect rain water and prevent run off during irrigation.

8.Make sure your newly planted tree receives 1-inch of water per week the first 1-2 years after planting. ''t assume or guess how much it rains. Use a rain gauge and when rain fall is insufficient, place a trickling hose pipe on the root zone for an hour. Monitor the water flow so that it doesn’t wash away mulch or soil.

9.Stake the new tree only if it is an extremely windy site. Research has shown that new trees will grow stronger and establish roots more quickly when not staked.

The International Society of Arboriculture offers provides a wealth of information on their website at, everything from how to buy the right tree, to planting, pruning and proper mulching techniques, and how to locate a local certified tree specialist.

Add Berries!

Make your garden even more colorful with these berry-bearing trees and shrubs. Hungry birds will thank you: Red chokeberry, Winterberry, Firethorn, Coralberry, American cranberry bush, Hackberry, Serviceberry.

Fall Berries for Birds These 5 easy-to-grow shrubs, trees and vines provide berries for birds in the fall and winter: American Beautyberry shrub (Callicarpa americana), Coral Honeysuckle vine (Lonicera sempervirens), Firebush shrub (Hamelia patens), Southern Wax Myrtle tree or lg. shrub (Myrica cerifera), Yaupon Holly shrub or tree (Ilex vomitoria). All grow in zones 7-10 in sun or shade.


Get An Unlimited Supply Of Beans Growing This Tree Mesquite Trees, sometimes referred to as ‘Devil Trees,’ are native to Southwestern America, and can be a great resource if you know how to use them. Mesquite trees cover over 100 million acres of land in the United States, with over 50% of that in Western Texas.

These trees range in size from small shrubs to as much as fifty feet tall, depending on their location and conditions. Their spread is usually directly correlated to their height, so that a four-foot tree will have a four-foot spread, and a fifty-foot tree will have a fifty-foot spread.

The mesquite tree’s bark varies from a yellowish color to a reddish-brown hue, and is quite rough and hardy in texture. The leaves are delicate and fern-like, but the base of the leaf stems is covered in long, sharp thorns.

During the spring fluffy, frothy clusters of flowers bloom. These are usually a pale yellow or green shade.

During the fall, mesquite trees grow long, tubular pods that contain beans. These beans are edible, and that’s the real point of today’s article.

The History of The Mesquite Tree and Its Beans

Mesquite pods and beans are some of the oldest known foods of prehistoric North American people.

Native Americans used the entire tree, crafting sewing needles from the thorns, bows and arrows from the wood, baskets from the bark, black dye from the sap, healing tea from the pods, and food from the beans.

That herbal tea was said to remedy colds, diarrhea, dysentery, the flu, measles, pink-eye, stomach-ache, sore throats, and various wounds.


Pioneers later used the wood to build wagon wheels, furniture, fence posts, wooden walkways, and campfires. The beans were referred to as “manna from heaven” and men would often roast or boil them to eat. During the Civil War, soldiers used roasted and ground mesquite beans as a coffee substitute.

How to Grow Mesquite Trees

Mesquite trees can often be harvested from the desert, requiring no real work on your behalf, or they can be grown on your land as a domesticated tree.

You can grow these plants from seeds or sprouts, or you may purchase young trees from a reputable nursery. MESQUITE TREES FIX NITROGEN IN THE SOIL, AS LEGUMES DO, and will not need supplemental nitrogen or minerals provided.

For Seeds

Get An Unlimited Supply Of Beans Growing This TreeGermination occurs when the temperature is between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, in soil that is not overly sandy or moist.

Place the seeds in your desired location, and dust them with topsoil. Consistently water the seeds until they sprout, either via rainstorms or with a watering bucket.

After the seed sprouts they’ll do better in drier and slightly hotter conditions, preferably around 90 degrees Fahrenheit.


For Saplings

Dig a hole that is twice as wide, and as deep, as the roots. Fill the hole to the top with water, then leave it for about thirty minutes and check how it’s draining. If some water remains, you need to add about three to five inches of sand or small rocks to the bottom of the hole to assist with drainage.

Place the sapling in the hole, and fill it back in with soil. Keep the soil around the tree moist for the first sixty days, to help it better establish itself.

After this 60 day period your mesquite tree will not require you to water it anymore, unless you undergo a severe drought. This tree is a desert native and will drink up any and all water available to it. If you continue to overwater your tree, it will grow quickly but have weak wood.

Surviving Winter

If you live in zones 6 through 9, you won’t need to do any additional work to keep your mesquite tree alive during the winter months. If you live in zone 5 or below, you will have more work to do.

To overwinter a mesquite tree, it’s best to mulch your tree heavily, wrap it up in burlap, and do what you can to protect it from harsh winds.

Mesquite trees do not do well in planters or pots, as they require a long taproot and root system. Because of this, they aren’t capable of being brought indoors, unless you wish to keep them as a small shrub-sized tree.

How to Harvest and Store Mesquite Beans

Seed pods are ripe when they are dry and brittle during June, July, August, and September.

Pick the pods directly from the branches, rather than the ground, to avoid contamination by bacteria and insects.

If you’re picking from wild mesquite trees (rather than a tree you raised), it’s advised that you taste the beans of each tree, to avoid the bitter beans. Even though the trees look alike and grow together, their flavorings can wildly differ. A good mesquite bean is sweet and resembles a candy in its taste.

To store your mesquite pods and beans, you must first dehydrate them. To dehydrate mesquite beans, you can lay them out in the sun for a day or two, or stick them in the oven at 150-175 degrees Fahrenheit, until they are dry and brittle.

Once dehydrated, store in a cool, dry place. Freezers are an excellent storage solution. It’s best if your storage container is ‘breathable’.

How to Fix and Serve Mesquite Beans

Mesquite beans have a sweet (like a combination of malt, mocha, cinnamon, and vanilla), nutty-like flavor, contain significant amounts of fiber, minerals, and protein, and are gluten-free.


Use the syrup to sweeten anything you would typically put syrup on, such as pancakes, waffles, ice cream, or as a glaze on chicken or pork.

Syrup can also be used to brew a unique craft beer.


Treat the jelly as you would any other, spreading it on biscuits, crackers, toast, and more.


Mesquite flour can be used to make tortillas, waffles, pancakes, cornbread, cookies, bread, banana bread, zucchini bread, muffins, fruit cakes, and more. Native Americans mixed the ground meal with a little water to form small, round cakes. They would eat them raw, fry them like mush or used them to thicken stews.

Mesquite flour is used to make a refreshing drink. If allowed to ferment, a mixture of water and mesquite flour produces a fizzy alcoholic drink.

You can also add a tablespoon or two of mesquite flour to your coffee or tea for a shot of flavor.

Mesquite trees are unique, handy sources of food and flavor. Harvest them from a nearby desert, or grow your own to have your own unlimited supply of sweet mesquite beans!


Watering Trees


Native and established trees generally don't need any supplemental water. But should the weather turn particularly dry, they just might. Be sure to water them correctly.

By definition, established trees — those that have been in the ground for two or more years — seldom need supplemental water other than natural rainfall.

If they do need watering, say for an extended drought of five to six months, then there’s a correct way to do it.

When that time comes, keep these things in mind:

The dripline of the tree is the key watering area. This is where the tertiary roots — those that absorb the most water and nutrients — are located.

When watering a tree, the emphasis is on infrequent and deep. Infrequent means once every 30 to 40 days in the absence of effective rainfall – that is, a ½ inch over several hours. If we have a “good rain” then supplemental water is not needed. Deep is a slow watering that penetrates the top 6 to 10 inches of soil. Generally, for our area this is 1 inch to 1 ½ inch of water per application.

Applying 2 inches of mulch beneath the tree and beyond the dripline helps reduce the amount of supplemental water necessary.z

Mulch reduces water evaporation and cools the soil, which in turn encourages root growth. The more roots, the less supplemental water required. Trees that have been properly planted and established seldom need supplemental water.


SAN ANTONIO SOILS NOT MEANT FOR MADRONE The madrone tree is known for its lovely exfoliating bark, but San Antonio soils are all wrong for it. Rest assured, there are a couple of alternatives to ease your broken heart.

Chances are you have or will visit Big Bend National Park. After all, more than 16 million people have since 1944, according to the National Park Service website. And if you go this time of year, I can tell you what will inevitably happen.

As you're driving down the endless stretch of US Highway 385 a flash of red will catch your eye. The madrone tree might be one of the most beautiful trees you've ever seen with its rich, lustrous red bark peeking out from scraps of peeling brown remnants. Based solely on its beauty, you make a note to purchase one at your favorite nursery when you get home.

But this love can't last. San Antonio soils are all wrong for the madrone tree.

According to the Garden Geek, who was also our region’s resident state forester for 23 years, madrones are members of the Heath family which have a very complex relationship with mycorrhizae, a family beneficial fungi. It's difficult to find or recreate mycorrhizae in urban soils. That being said, we have a couple of alternatives to ease your broken heart.

Texas Persimmon

While the bark isn't red, Texas persimmon's smooth, muscular trunks peel in shades of silver, black and white — making this the perfect tree to show your Spurs pride! This native persimmon is a workhorse in the watersaver garden and bears black fruits that can be used to make jams and jellies.

Caring for the Texas persimmon is easy, too. Plant it in an area with full sun and space to grow. Mulch the root area with 2 inches of mulch and water when rainfall is absent for several weeks.

Natchez Crape Myrtle

When it comes to traffic-stopping red bark, Indian crape myrtle, aka Natchez, is hard to beat — plus, it grows well in San Antonio! Its falling flowers dust the ground with delicate white flakes all summer long. Natchez is also resistant to powdery mildew. See it at the San Antonio Botanical Garden.

Caring for the crape myrtle is the exact same as for the Texas persimmon — mulch 2 inches and water if rain is absent for an extended period of time. Avoid pruning, removing only the dead, damaged and crossing branches. Do not by any means commit crape murder, or the severe and indiscriminate topping of crape myrtles.

Texas Persimmone

SAN ANTONIO SOILS NOT MEANT FOR MADRONE The madrone tree is known for its lovely exfoliating bark, but San Antonio soils are all wrong for it. Rest assured, there are a couple of alternatives to ease your broken heart.

Chances are you have or will visit Big Bend National Park. After all, more than 16 million people have since 1944, according to the National Park Service website. And if you go this time of year, I can tell you what will inevitably happen.

As you're driving down the endless stretch of US Highway 385 a flash of red will catch your eye. The madrone tree might be one of the most beautiful trees you've ever seen with its rich, lustrous red bark peeking out from scraps of peeling brown remnants. Based solely on its beauty, you make a note to purchase one at your favorite nursery when you get home.

But this love can't last. San Antonio soils are all wrong for the madrone tree.

According to the Garden Geek, who was also our region’s resident state forester for 23 years, madrones are members of the Heath family which have a very complex relationship with mycorrhizae, a family beneficial fungi. It's difficult to find or recreate mycorrhizae in urban soils. That being said, we have a couple of alternatives to ease your broken heart.

Texas Persimmon

While the bark isn't red, Texas persimmon's smooth, muscular trunks peel in shades of silver, black and white — making this the perfect tree to show your Spurs pride! This native persimmon is a workhorse in the watersaver garden and bears black fruits that can be used to make jams and jellies.

Caring for the Texas persimmon is easy, too. Plant it in an area with full sun and space to grow. Mulch the root area with 2 inches of mulch and water when rainfall is absent for several weeks.

Natchez Crape Myrtle

When it comes to traffic-stopping red bark, Indian crape myrtle, aka Natchez, is hard to beat — plus, it grows well in San Antonio! Its falling flowers dust the ground with delicate white flakes all summer long. Natchez is also resistant to powdery mildew. See it at the San Antonio Botanical Garden.

Caring for the crape myrtle is the exact same as for the Texas persimmon — mulch 2 inches and water if rain is absent for an extended period of time. Avoid pruning, removing only the dead, damaged and crossing branches. Do not by any means commit crape murder, or the severe and indiscriminate topping of crape myrtles.

Ulmus crassifolia (Cedar elm) (fall seeds)

Eve's Necklace

Eves Necklace Sophora affinis Related to Texas mountain laurel, this is another specimen tree as an accent in sun to part sun. This deciduous small/tree shrub gets to be about 15-20' tall. In spring, it produces light pink flowers, followed by interesting black seeds that look like they’re strung on beads along a necklace. It’s extremely tough, it’s extremely hardy, it’s not prone to deer problems. They may nibble a bit, but aren’t prone to extensive dining. It’s free of disease or insect problems and makes an excellent choice in smaller gardens or as an accent in larger ones.

Forest Bathing: Shinrin-Yoku

What Is Shinrin-Yoku: Learn About The Art Of Forest Bathing It’s no secret that taking a long walk or hike in nature is a great way to relax and unwind after a stressful day. However, the Japanese “forest medicine” of Shinrin-Yoku takes this experience to the next level. Read on for more Shinrin-Yoku information.

Shinrin-Yoku first started in Japan in the 1980s as a form of nature therapy. Though the term “forest bathing” may sound somewhat peculiar, the process encourages participants to immerse themselves into their woodland surroundings by using their five senses.

Anyone can take a brisk hike through the forest, but Shinrin-Yoku is not about physical exertion. Though forest bathing experiences often last several hours, the actual distance traveled is usually less than a mile. Those practicing Shinrin-Yoku may walk leisurely or sit among the trees.

However, the goal is not to accomplish anything. The key aspect of the process is clearing the mind of stress and becoming one with the surroundings through close attention to elements of the forest. By becoming more aware of the sights, sounds, and smells of the forest, “bathers” are able to connect to the world in a new way.

Health Benefits of Shinrin-Yoku Forest Bathing

While there is much research to still be done regarding the health benefits of Shinrin-Yoku, many practitioners feel that immersing themselves in the forest improves their mental, as well as physical health. Proposed health benefits of Shinrin-Yoku include improved mood, improved sleep, and increased energy levels.

Some studies suggest that many trees emit a substance referred to as phytoncides. The presence of these phytoncides during regular forest bathing sessions is said to increase the amount of “natural killer” cells, which may boost the body’s immune system.

Where to Practice Shinrin-Yoku Forest Medicine

Within the United States and abroad, trained Shinrin-Yoku guides can assist those wishing to try this form of natural therapy. While guided Shinrin-Yoku experiences are available, it is also possible to venture into the forest for a session without one.

Urban dwellers can also enjoy many of the same benefits of Shinrin-Yoku by visiting local parks and green spaces. Before beginning the process, ensure that the selected locations are safe and have minimal interruption from man-made nuisances.


Sensational Sumac The spectacular color and form of this lesser-known tree make it a garden stand-out.

Want something completely different, super-exotic looking, and incredibly tough and hardy, that nobody else has in their landscape?

Think sumac—one of North America’s best contributions to European gardens. Our native sumacs are small trees, up to 30 feet tall, with fern-like compound leaves which make great loose-textured landscape accents, highly favored as small courtyard trees in English and European gardens and as erosion control in hard-to-mow dry hillsides.

The spreading, multiple-trunk plants have hollow, pithy stems which were highly valued by Native Americans and colonists for making pipe stems.

Clusters of small, greenish-white summer flowers, usually covered with bees and other pollinating insects, are held upright in thick spires up to a foot long, which quickly start forming the characteristic dense clusters of crimson red seeds.

The small drupes are covered with very fine hairs that have a distinct citrusy flavor when tasted; in fact, as a Boy Scout I often made a tangy summer “lemonade” by soaking and swishing the fruits in water before straining and adding a little sugar. As a bonus, the tiny hairs on the fruits are high in ascorbic acid and vitamin C! The dried drupes of some species can also be ground into a crimson spice used in preparing rice and many Middle Eastern dishes.

The plants are easily spread by seed, but usually far away from your own garden so there is less pulling needed for errant new plants. However, sumacs can spread from underground rhizomes into sometimes–large colonies.

Sumac seed pods remain on plants well into winter, adding a dash of extra texture and color long after everything else has turned brown. They attract colorful winter birds, which know it as a great emergency food when other sources of food may be lacking.

By the way, because sumacs are either male or female, only the female plants have the attractive seed clusters. If you are collecting a specimen for your garden from a native stand found along a roadside, be sure to dig a small plant or two from the outer edge of a clump of female sumac, to be sure you will have the fall and winter fruits in your own garden.

Best of all, one of their strongest suits for sumac is their unsurpassable fall colors. Topping the wide, architectural plants are leaves that turn brilliant golden and crimson in the fall, from Canada and New England to even the normally fall color-starved coastal Southeast and other mild-climate areas. In fact, the name sumac comes from an ancient word meaning “red.”

Unlike its close relatives, poison ivy, oak and sumac, the landscape sumacs do not cause itchy rashes. Vine- and shrub-like poison ivy and oak have three distinct leaflets per leaf, so there is no confusing those. But poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix) is also a small tree with leaves like regular sumac. Difference is, poison sumac has clusters of grayish white berries that hang down, and the plants grow exclusively in low, wet, or flooded areas such as swamps and peat bogs. You will not find poison sumac growing up on high, dry hillsides where non-poisonous ornamental kinds typically grow.

The most popular sumacs for landscape use are winged, staghorn, and smooth sumac, either the native wild species or specially-bred cultivated varieties such as the golden leaf “Tiger Eye” sumac.

Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) is a small tree with branches that spread to make a small rounded crown. Its forked branches are covered with furry rust-red colored hairs, much like a stag’s antlers. Fruit clusters are long and tight, and covered with the same velvety fur.

“Cutleaf” staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina laciniata) is an especially beautiful form with finely divided leaflets.

One of its most exceptional cultivars is 'Tiger Eyes', with chartreuse green leaves that quickly change to yellow, in a nice contrast to its rosy-pink leaf stems; it is especially dramatic when the leaves begin to turn scarlet in the fall.

The leaves of winged sumac (Rhus copallina) feature flat membranes called “wings” along the midrib. The flower and fruit panicles are only four or five inches long and wide, and are less dense than other species.

Smooth sumac (Rhus glabra) is a smaller tree with smooth twigs and looser fruit clusters. The undersides of the leaflets are pale, almost white, giving it a shimmery effect in soft breezes. ‘Prairie Flame’ is a cultivar with exceptionally brilliant red fall color.

There are other sumacs worthy of landscapes, including a low-growing, fast-spreading “fragrant sumac” (Rhus aromatica) which makes a superb groundcover for dry slopes. Though its fall colors are as brilliant as any other sumac, it has three leaflets per leaf, making it look a little too much like poison oak or ivy for some people’s comfort.

Sumacs are not for everyone or every garden. In spite of their many great attributes—native plants, good for bees and birds, great for erosion control, tolerant of poor soils and prolonged drought, and no real pests, their architectural look and spreading habits may be too bold for some.

But if you are looking for something special – appreciated in European gardens more than in their native lands – sumacs are hard to beat. And you can make lemonade from them in the summer.

The Tree: A Natural History of What Trees Are, How They Live, and Why They Matter, by Colin Tudge


the only reason we have such dexterous hands and whirling arms is that our ancestors had spent eighty million or so years (so some zoologists calculate) in the trees. Arboreal life requires dexterity and hand-eye coordination.

The ruins that survive from classical times are all of stone, but that’s only because wood rots. Architecture in stone and bricks evolved from timber architecture, and needed wooden-handled tools and wooden scaffold for its construction—and timber roofs and rafters.

Yet timber is not the end of it. Trees are the source of drugs, unguents, incense, and poisons for tipping arrows, stunning fish, and killing pests; of resins, varnishes, and industrial oils, glues and dyes and paints; of gums of many kinds, including chewing gum; of a host of fibers for the rigging and hawsers of great ships (whether made of wood or not) and for the stuffing of cushions; and of course, perhaps above all these days, for paper. All that, plus a thousand (at least) kinds of fruits and nuts and—in traditional agrarian societies—a surprising amount of fodder for animals, including cattle and sheep, which most of us assume live primarily on grass. As a final bonus, the wooden husks of many a tree fruit make instant household pots and drums and ornaments.

Perhaps this is why we feel so drawn to trees. Groves of redwoods and beeches are often compared to the naves of great cathedrals: the silence; the green, filtered, numinous light. A single banyan, each with its multitude of trunks, is like a temple or a mosque—a living colonnade. But the metaphor should be the other way around. The cathedrals and mosques emulate the trees. The trees are innately holy.

For them (as Newton put the matter) science was the proper use of the God-given intellect, the better to appreciate the works of God. Pythagoras, five centuries before Christ, saw science (as he then construed it) as a divine pursuit. Galileo, Newton, Ray, and the rest saw their researches as a form of reverence.

how [trees] live, competing and cooperating. The revelations build by the week: how they may live and grow huge on what seems like nothing at all; how they draw prodigious quantities of water from the ground, send it up into the atmosphere, and then (so some have claimed) may call it in again, by releasing organic compounds that seed fresh clouds; how they speak to one another, warning others downwind that elephants or giraffes are on the prowl; how they mimic the pheromones of predatory insects, to summon them to feed upon the insects that are eating their leaves. Every week the insights grow more fantastical—trees

“I NEVER STOPPED THINKING like a child,” said Einstein. Neither should any of us. It’s the way to get to the heart of things.

Banana trunks are not made of timber; its hardness is reinforced, as in a cabbage stalk, by the pressure of water in the stem. So botanically the banana plant is a giant herb.

constant self-renewal, powered by an endless intake of energy, is called metabolism. Metabolism—the basic business of staying alive—is half of what living things do. The other half is reproduction.

Being big is difficult, too. To hold a ton of leaves aloft in the sun and air requires enormous strength: specialist material like wood, and clever architecture.

A mature oak or beech may produce many millions of seeds in a good year (good seed years are known as “mast” years), and although they won’t do this every year, they may well have scores or even hundreds of prolific years in the course of their lives.

Thus the advantages of treedom are both manifold and manifest. Big plants can metabolize more effectively because they command so much earth and sky; and they can produce literally tons of seeds, to be scattered far and wide. Small wonder that a third of all land is covered in forest.

trees cannot grow where it’s too dry or the soil is too thin, and so they leave scope for many smaller plants that can.

So the world’s grasslands are vast too, like the savannahs of the dry tropics, the prairies of temperate North America, the pampas of subtropical South America, and the steppes of Asia. These grasslands at best have scattered trees, though they grade into open woodland—many small trees but with big, mainly grassy spaces in between, as in the dry, tropical Cerrado of Brazil.

Furthermore, trees are classic keystone species: simply by existing and doing their thing, they create niches where other creatures can live. Hence forests create endless scope for small, quick-growing plants—herbs and ramblers—to occupy the ground in between the trees; and a vast variety of plants of all kinds (mosses, liverworts, ferns, and many kinds of flowering plants, including many relatives of the arum lily and of the pineapple, some cacti, and most of the orchids) grow on the trees themselves, as epiphytes.

Whole, viable populations of small plants may need only a few square yards, while a population of wild trees that is numerous enough to endure will generally need many acres. So although there are tremendous theoretical advantages in being a tree, the species of trees are outnumbered

India Miracle

Couple creates wildlife sanctuary in India by letting barren farmland return to nature Melissa Breyer

The husband and wife have spent 25 years buying up wasteland farmers no longer wanted; now elephants, tigers and leopards roam free there.

Sometimes it takes a village, sometimes it just takes a person or two, as in the case of Anil and Pamela Malhotra who together are creating what is likely India’s first private wildlife sanctuary.

Having met and married in the United States in the 1960s, the couple moved to India in 1986 after visiting for the funeral of Anil’s father. While generally it would be the beauty of a place to inspire relocation, for the Malhotras it was the opposite – the terrible state of nature in Haridwar was the attraction.

"There was so much deforestation, the timber lobby was in charge, and the river was polluted. And no one seemed to care. That was when we decided to do something to reclaim the forests in India," Anil tells the India Times [ ].

India Times: Couple Spends 26 Years And Turns A 300 Acres Of Barren Land Into A Flourishing Rainforest A couple has transformed 300 acres of denuded farmland in Karnataka into what is probably India's first private wildlife sanctuary. Pamela Malhotra walks through the forest, pointing out a spot where she and her husband saw a herd of 10 elephants a few days ago. She also shows off a giant tree nearby.

"That tree is about 700 years old and draws different types of birds," she says, running her hand along the massive trunk

Pamela and her husband Anil K Malhotra have spent the last 25 years buying denuded and abandoned agricultural land in Karnataka's Kodagu district and reforesting it, to return the land to a bio-diverse rainforest for elephants, tigers, leopards, deer, snakes, birds and hundreds of other creatures.


The couple owns 300 acres of land in Brahmagiri, a mountain range in the Western Ghats, which houses the Malhotras' Save Animals Initiative (SAI) Sanctuary. It's probably the only private wildlife sanctuary in the country with more than 300 kinds of birds as well as many rare and threatened animal species.

But this was not the scene in 1991 when Anil, 75, and Pamela, 64, who run the SAI Sanctuary Trust, came to this part of the country.

"When I came here with a friend who suggested I buy this land, it was a wasteland of 55 acres. The owner wanted to sell because he couldn't grow coffee or anything else here," says Anil, an alumnus of Doon School, who worked in the real estate and restaurant business in the US before moving to India. "For me and Pamela, this was what we were looking for all our life."


They had almost given up the search for land after hitting the land ceiling hurdle in North India

The couple, who met and married in New Jersey, US, in the 1960s, had a love for nature from their childhood. When they went on their honeymoon to Hawaii, they fell in love with its beauty and decided to settle there. "That is where we learnt the value of forests and realised that despite threats of global warming no serious efforts were being made to save forests for the future," says Anil.

Red Leaves ~ Crown Flower

When the Malhotras came to India for the funeral of Anil's father in 1986, the pollution in Haridwar horrified them. "There was so much deforestation, the timber lobby was in charge, and the river was polluted. And no one seemed to care.

That was when we decided to do something to reclaim the forests in India," says Anil, sitting below a dense canopy in front of their house facing the Brahmagiri hills.

When they realised they would not find land in north India, the search turned southwards. Malhotra's friend had told him that if he was looking for returns, this land in Brahmagiri wouldn't provide any. "We were not looking for money.

Early on, we realised that shortage of fresh water will be a concern for India and the rest of the world. Acquisition, protection and reclamation of forested lands and wildlife habitat, where vital water sources have their origin, is the only way to save ourselves," explains Anil.

They sold property they owned in Hawaii, bought the first 55 acres at the foothills of the Brahmagiri range and began afforestation work. Soon, they realised there was no use nurturing a forest on one side of the stream when landholders on the other side were using pesticides for cultivation.

"We started buying lands across the stream whenever they came up for sale. Many of the farmers considered their holdings 'wasteland' as very little grew on it and were happy to get money," says Malhotra

But there were legal complications as many land documents were not in order and many farmers had debts to be settled. "Once we bought the land, we allowed the forest to regenerate. We planted native species where necessary and allowed nature to take care of the rest," says Anil.

Today, SAI Sanctuary covers approximately 300 acres, and draws naturalists and scientists doing research on the different animal species as well as hundreds of indigenous trees and plants, which have medicinal value as well.

Hunting and poaching was a challenge and often locals did not understand what "this couple from the US" was doing, so it was slow going and required a lot of talking to create awareness. "A priest of a temple located on a nearby hillock was killed by a tiger and villagers were afraid.


We helped them rebuild the temple at a safer location, but our condition was that they'd give up hunting and poaching," says Pamela. "When they asked us why, we asked them why they worshipped Hanuman and Ganesha but killed animals. It worked," she says.

They worked with the forest department to set up camera traps and keep poachers away. "There are times I have fought poachers with logs," says Pamela. The couple gets help from other trustees to keep the sanctuary going.

They also try convincing large companies to buy land and let it flourish as part of their corporate social responsibility plans. "Corporates should extend their CSR activities towards this sector," says Pamela. "Without water, what business will you do?"


After looking for land to purchase, in 1991 they settled on a 55-acre plot down south in Brahmagiri, a mountain range in the Western Ghats. The land was a mess, Anil, 75, and Pamela, 64, say that the owner wanted to sell it because he could no longer grow on it.

"For me and Pamela, this was what we were looking for all our life," says Anil. And thus began the transformation, orchestrated by Mother Nature, of barren farmland into what is now the Save Animals Initiative (SAI) Sanctuary [].

Since then, the couple has been purchasing land as it becomes available, most of it agricultural acreage that has been stripped of its fertility.

"Once we bought the land, we allowed the forest to regenerate. We planted native species where necessary and allowed nature to take care of the rest," says Anil.

As of now, the SAI Sanctuary boasts some 300 acres of beautiful bio-diverse rainforest that elephants, tigers, leopards, deer, snakes, birds and hundreds of other animals all call home. Naturalists and scientists come to do research on animals as well as the hundreds of indigenous trees and plants. And guests are invited to come and stay in the two eco-tourist cottages on the property as a way to help support the continuing efforts of the Malhotras. Efforts that are making waves in both a mountain range in India and all the way across the world as news of this noble endeavor continues to spread.

You can see all of the beautiful nature and meet the Malhotras in this trailer for a film made about the couple and their work.

Video: trailer [above]

Video: Sanctuary: A Home In The Kodagu Forests In south Kodagu in Karnataka, at the end of a long and bumpy road, is the Save Animals Initiative Sanctuary. It is a 300-acre dream - the dream of Pamela and Anil Malhotra, who came here to try and save a part of Kodagu's precious forests and keep it safe for wild animals and indigenous plants.

Watch full show:


Video: Tata Safari - SAI Sanctuary Getting out there, living life, taking the road less traveled, accepting a tough week at the office because the weekend offers enough adventures, that’s what the Tata Safari has always represented. So here we were on the Kerala-Karnataka border, at the SAI (Save Animals Initiative), spearheaded by Pamela in the most powerful Safari till date, the Storme VARICOR 400.


And for more information, visit the the sanctuary's website

Our main mission:

• To protect and preserve the last remaining natural Wild Places of the Earth—especially equatorial rainforests—thereby safeguarding our vital water sources as well as the planet’s rich biodiversity of both flora and fauna for ourselves and future generations.


To this end, we at SST use a three-pronged approach:

~ Acquisition, protection and reclamation of forested lands and wildlife habitat where vital water sources have their origin,

~ Rescue, rehabilitation and re-introduction of indigenous species of wildlife back into the wild, and

~ Spreading awareness to the global and local community about the 'Web of Life' and the necessity to help re-establish the Balance of Nature.


Through acquisition and protection of forested lands and the reclamation of degraded lands through reforestation projects, the source of all fresh water—the forests—are preserved and expanded. This also helps mitigate the disastrous effects of Global Warming, while safeguarding the habitat for various species of wildlife since the forest is their home.

Through anti-poaching measures and rescue, rehabilitation and release programs of wildlife, the health of the forests is insured, since a forest cannot be healthy without the wildlife that lives within it, protecting and expanding the forest through their natural living cycles.


Methods for spreading awareness of the importance of the forest includes:

~ Writing articles for and giving interviews to the local, national and international media,

~ Education and awareness programs including talks, slide shows, and the establishment of Nature Clubs, and

~ Networking and partnering with business groups, other service organizations, indigenous people, and the general public.

Red Leaves ~ Crown Flower

In today’s world, where global warming has become an accepted scientific fact, where species of plants and animals are vanishing from the planet at an unprecedented rate, where vital water sources are drying up due to the unrelenting pace of deforestation, we at SAI Sanctuary Trust renew our commitment to work toward our goal: the re-establishment of the Balance of Nature through the protection and preservation of Earth’s remaining forests.

*SAI Sanctuary Trust is an independent Registered Nonprofit Charitable Trust. While ‘SAI’ is an anagram for ‘Save Animals Initiative,’ the word ‘SAI’ also means ‘Universal Mother’—i.e., Mother Nature.


Video: This Couple Nursed a Rainforest Back to Life What was once 300 acres of coffee and cardamom fields in India’s Southern Ghats is now lush native forest, all thanks to the hard work and dedication of Pamela Gale Malhotra and her husband Anil. The couple started India’s first private wildlife sanctuary, SAI sanctuary, and for the past two decades they have been nursing the land back to life. Here’s how they did it.


Video: SAI Sanctuary - The only Private Wildlife Sanctuary in India - HD The Couple Who Transformed 55 Acres Of Barren Land Into A 300 Acre Wildlife Sanctuary.

Pamela and Anil Malhotra bought 55 acres of land 23 years ago, and today they have converted it into a beautiful forest of over 300 acres. Here’s how SAI Sanctuary, the only private wildlife sanctuary in India, came to host animals like Bengal Tiger, Sambhar and Asian Elephants.

The couple, passionate about wildlife and nature conservation, bought 55 acres of land to plant native trees and protect the environment. Today, they are responsible for creating over 300 acres of wild life sanctuary that hosts animals like Bengal Tigers, Asian Elephants, Hyena, Wild Boar, Leopards, Sambhar, etc.


* Video: An Intro to SAI Sanctuary SAI Sanctuary is an incredible place. Not only is it a paradise for all forms of life-- humans, rare plants, and even rarer animals-- but the ecological services that are protected in this area are crucial for maintaining the entire south Indian region... and protection of this rainforest is critical for the environmental health of our entire globe.

The sanctuary borders the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, acting as a buffer between the villages and the primary forest and providing Asian elephants with an unmolested corridor in which to travel freely. Among the animals regularly spotted on sanctuary grounds are the rare Bengal tiger, the Asian elephant, Sambar deer, and leopard, as well as countless rare amphibians and insects.

So what you can do? Come and stay at our cottages! Spread the word about SAI! And donations are always welcome-- they are tax-deductible in India as well as in the United States.


Video: Couple Buys 300 Acres Of Barren Land, Converts It Into India's First Private Wildlife Sanctuary Pamela and her husband Anil K Malhotra have spent the last 25 years buying denuded and abandoned agricultural land in Karnataka's Kodagu district and reforesting it, to return the land to a bio-diverse rainforest for elephants, tigers, leopards, deer, snakes, birds and hundreds of other creatures.

The couple owns 300 acres of land in Brahmagiri, a mountain range in the Western Ghats, which houses the Malhotras' Save Animals Initiative (SAI) Sanctuary. It's probably the only private wildlife sanctuary in the country with more than 300 kinds of birds as well as many rare and threatened animal species.

Mushroom ~ Kingfisher

V Shantiniketan - The Abode of Peace in Indian--Santiniketan (Santiniketôn) is a small town near Bolpur in the Birbhum district of West Bengal, India, approximately 180 km north of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta). It was established by Maharshi Devendranath Tagore, and later expanded by his son Rabindranath Tagore whose vision became what is now a university town, Visva-Bharati University - Wikipedia

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