Archive for October, 2010

trees before fall pruning

Time to bring those tropical’s indoors for the winter. We are asked many times if trees should be sprayed with pesticides before being brought in. This sounds good in theory but is not a sound practice. The reason being unless you are spraying with an approved systemic, just spraying once for pests you don’t see can encourage any pests present to develop an immunity to that pesticide and others in that family of pesticides. Spray only when insects are present and then use an insecticide for that pest, make sure you follow directions, and spray at 4 times 6 days apart. This catches any stragglers.

trees after fall prunning

At this point we’ve brought in all of the tropical’s as well as the sub-tropical’s. If you are growing under natural light make sure you have the correct amount of daylight hours for the material you are placing in a given window.   If you are not sure or you think you may not have enough you can supplement with a simple fluorescent twist in a regular lamp, or install a light set up with fluorescent tubes. Which ever way you plan on wintering your trees something to be aware of, you will experience leaf drop with the decrease in light going from out to in. Allow the tree to adjust to the new situation by not feeding, over-watering, or moving the tree constantly (think about it: trees don’t walk in nature). Unless you feel you have a better situation elsewhere. Just remember that the tree can only become used to a new situation by ridding itself of old leaves used to a different light situation and producing newer foliage used to a new light source.  During the fall and winter as the day length decreases and we have times of cloud cover the trees inter nodes will stretch and when they are again exposed to a sunny period they may wilt don’t assume they are in need of water at this time.  If you mist them a few times daily they may surprise you and gain their strength back.  This is not uncommon and growers get used to it overtime.  We just need reminding.

At this time of year we try to do a final heavy pruning going into winter.  Keep in mind when doing so to prune each tertiary branch back to approximately 2 leaves this allow for growth, without making the tree look over-pruned.  This is a time to take a good look at the trees to see if there are any underlying problems which need attention.  During the winter most of the tropicals get a long with pinching, with some judicious pruning now and then.

Greia cafra before pruning

The sub-tropicals will continue to grow through much of the winter, and may require more pruning.  The Grewia pictured on the left has not been pruned for a few months, and so needs to be pruned severely, because it is a subtropical  it will continue growing through much of the winter.  When pruning leave 2 leaves on each tertiary branch this allows space future growth.  To keep the tree healthy and flowering pinch out new growth, and watch the winter watering.  This is true for most of the sub-tropicals they will generally take sltightly lower temperatures than the full tropicals.

Grewia after fall pruning

We have had some questions that might be of help to some beginners.

Question:  I purchased a
Trident Maple and a Montpelier Maple  when we visited about 2 or so weeks ago.
I have a question about the size of the pot I should use for the Trident Maple.  I recently bought a  10 inch pot but it seems as if it
is kind of big for the tree.  Would you say that a 10 inch pot is too  big.

Answer:  First you need to decide what size your tree will ultimately be, your pot should be no more than 1 1/2 times the height of the overall tree.  The depth of the pot should be no more than twice the width of the tree at the base.  As for the soil, did you specify soil for a deciduous tree?  You may have received a mix for conifers (not suitable for your trident).  In this area we need a slightly more water retentive mix which means more organic matter.  If your mix drains to quickly so that you have to water more frequently you may find it hard to keep your leaf size down.  Hope that helps.

We have added some more classes for this year and next.  We will be adding more as time goes by.  Some will be free classes so check the website.  Remember we are now open on Sat. 8-3.  If you have questions please send them to us.  Now that the summer and heat are over it is time to breath, and rest.  Best of luck


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