Tree shortage

on Tuesday, 21 January 2014. Posted in Landscape architect, Landscape contractor, New Plants

Get ready to be flexible on your tree choices

fall trees

So there is talk in the nursery trade of tree shortages.  This is because with the downswing in the economy, many nurseries closed, went bankrupt or severly cut down their production.  Trees are not like many other commodities.  You can't just call up the factory and tell them to ramp up production and make more trees, like it's a flat screen TV, because demand is up.  Trees are on a long term cycle.  You have to produce a large tree from a smaller one so there are many stages to go through before you can have the quantities that you are in need of.  It seems as if we may not be back to normal for at least 5 years.  


So what does that mean for you as a landscape contractor, designer, or consumer?  It means that you need to get your orders in early, be prepared to not always get the size or variety you have specified, be flexible on possible subs, and work with your local nursery.   We are ordering more trees than usual and growing more than ever so that we can supply the rising demand for trees, shrubs, and perennials.   We are making sure to get in the varieties early that seem like they are going to be harder to get later in the season, like dogwoods and Zelkovas.  We are growing as much as we can ourselves so we are not dependent on what is going on in other growing areas. 


This also means that we are your nursery resource.  We are well versed in what is available, what is a totally appropriate sub if needed, and are happy to help all of our customers make the best choices.  


We think the tide has turned and landscaping needs are increasing again.  So this tree shortage is a good sign in some ways!  But it just means we all need to work together.   Our availablity is always on our website and may not show everything that is on its way but please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you need anything reserved or have questions.  Wholesale customers may use our retail or wholesale list.


Or come to our Landscape Professional Open House to preview the great selections we will have this year!  There is one in March and one in May.  Be sure to stop by and join us for drinks and dinner as well!


Pollination of fruit trees

on Friday, 27 September 2013. Posted in Edibles, Fruit trees

Making sure your fruit trees are pollinated


Very quickly, just came across this useful little website.  Gives you a succinct rundown of pollination basics for fruit trees.  I learned that Pears are not all that attractive to bees so they need to be closer together to pollinate by wind.  And Bartlett Pears can pollinate Asian Pear trees.  So there you go!

Check it out:

Bees and fruit trees

on Tuesday, 09 July 2013. Posted in Edibles, Fruit trees, Classes

fruit trees not fruiting?

Has this happened to you?  Fruit trees with no fruit?!  We had a recent customer with this problem, despite him taking loving care of his fruit trees.  That is not only disappointing, but it's also telling us that something was not in balance.  Here is another example of how we affect the bees and how the bees are essential to our gardens and our existence.  Are YOU going to move the pollen from flower to flower?

asian-pear--closeupbee and echinacea



Our client wanted me to come visit his fruit tree garden because he was concerned he had no flowers or fruit on his fruit trees and he didn't usually see bees around his floriferous garden.  He was on the right track noticing there weren't any bees in his yard.   It was also strange that his fruit trees had the healthiest leaves I've even seen, not a brown or yellow spot, full and green, and lush.



Vegetable & All Purpose Mix 4-6-2 (6 Lb Box)So I started asking him what he fertilizes with and what kind of chemicals he sprays them with.  He showed me 5 different fertilizers that he applies to his trees!  Many of them were the ubiquitous Miracle-gro, which is best left, if at all, to the annuals.  Most of them were formulated for lush leaf growth and very heavy in nitrogen (the first number on the bottle).  This doesn't work for plants you want to make flowers and fruit, but explains his beautiful leaves.  Fruit trees want an application of lower nitrogen, balanced, ideally organic fertilizer.  Something that is formulated for fruiting crops.  So that would be heavier on the phosphorus and potassium (the last two numbers on the box). He also was applying the fertilizer way more often than even the bottle recommended.  Too much fertilizer can't all be taken up by the plant and just gets flushed out into waterways. Without going into too much detail, making the soil healthy will maintain a happier fruit tree, it will be able to uptake the nutrients that are there or that you apply. 

bee friendly farming

Then he showed me the insecticides he used on the trees.  After looking them over and reading all the warning labels about they can harm vertebrates such as frogs, I asked do you want to eat fruit that has this absorbed into it?  He hadn't really thought about it. Second, the insectides were to kill off caterpillars and other bugs that chewed into fruit trees leaves, but it also said right on the bottle, that is was toxic to bees.  So many of the insecticides are not specific and will kill anything feeding on the plant or even collecting its pollen.  So do we really wonder why the bees are collapsing?  If this man thought all these things were okay to apply to his garden, how many times over is it happening all over the world?  Time to think about your little corner or the planet and what you can do for our bee friends.