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Trees, trees, trees...

It's getting late in the planting season but we have finally taken delivery of more trees and after several days of planting have them all safely in the ground. Let the growing begin.
August 08, 2012
  trees 
Quince root stock for grafting dwarf pear and loquat

Quince root stock for grafting dwarf pear and loquat

Botanical name   Cydonia oblonga
Details   Quinces are used as a root stock for producing dwarf pears, loquat and other quinces.

Root stocks can be created from root suckers, stool bed or seeds from overripe fruit planted in late autumn.
Flowers   White
Fruit / berries  
Tags     graft  dwarf  fruit tree  pear 
Benefits   The primary benefits are smaller trees that fruit sooner
Negatives   Many cultivars of pear are not directly compatible with quince and require double grafting with a compatible interstock
Pears grafted on quince have shorter lifespan than on seedling grown root stocks
Quince trees are prone to suckering, sending up growth from around the base of the tree and near damaged roots. These can be used as rootstocks.
Pruning fruit and nut trees

Pruning fruit and nut trees

Time of year for pruning, and an attempt to improve the shape of the trees for easier picking.

Our orchard has a number of large trees as well as a collection of younger ones, all require attention.
June 16, 2010
  Fruit  Trees  Pruning  Almond 
Visit from Tree Crops North Canterbury

Visit from Tree Crops North Canterbury

Details   We enjoyed a hot and sunny afternoon touring 11 people from the North Canterbury Tree Crops group. I think our alternative and rather unorthodox approach and philosophies were quite an eye opener for most of them...
Date   November 04, 2017
Tags     education  trees 
Sea Buckthorn / Sea Berry seeds

Sea Buckthorn / Sea Berry seeds

Botanical name   Hippophae rhamnoides
Details   Supply update September 2021 - This seed will be unavailable for the foreseeable future as our last 2 shipments were destroyed by border biosecurity due to improper packaging by the supplier. Our own plants are unlikely to be producing viable seed for another season or 2. Check back here in autumn 2022.
Drought tolerance  
Edible  
Evergreen  
Fruit / berries  
Nitrogen fixer  
Perennial  
Tags     perennial  tree  berry  health 
Price   $4.90  20 seeds
Long lasting tree identification labels

Long lasting tree identification labels

While I have a detailed planting map in the computer, it is useful to be able to identify trees out in the real world so I made these metal name tags using sheet aluminium. The names are stamped out using individual letter stamp / punches.
September 09, 2013
  tree  technology 
Trees for animal fodder

Trees for animal fodder

By now it should be obvious that we need more trees in our landscapes, however inconvenient that may seem. The benefits are numerous. Using trees for supplementary animal feed is a smart strategy in drought prone areas. This includes:
  • Fresh leaves / foliage
  • Fruits and berries
  • Nuts and seeds
Once established, trees are long lived with a deep root system capable of funding moisture in dry times. Large volumes of edible material can be produced, along with all the other benefits provided by appropriate species of trees.
September 04, 2018
  trees  animals 
Osage Orange seeds

Osage Orange seeds

Botanical name   Maclura pomifera
Details   Thorny tree with very hot burning wood, also used for making excellent bows and natural livestock fencing.
Tags     perennial  tree 
Price   $4.90  20 seeds
More Trees

More Trees

This weekend I planted a number of crop trees. For the most part it was seedling walnuts collected from under my grandmothers tree but also included 5 grafted fruit trees I purchased.

2 x apricot
2 x nectarine
1 x almond
July 25, 2010
The myth about tree & pasture incompatibility - photographic evidence

The myth about tree & pasture incompatibility - photographic evidence

I am passionate about trees and their numerous benefits so I frequently encounter this commonly held misconception when I try and encourage grass growers to consider incorporating trees on their farms. The argument goes something like this: "I can't plant trees in or around my pasture because they compete with grass for light, water and minerals, grass production would suffer".

This photo, taken a few hundred meters from my home on a conventional sheep and beef farm during the worst drought in decades is evidence that certain tree species can actually improve the performance of grass. If only people were as observant as they are quick to dismiss the value of trees in the landscape.
May 06, 2015
  trees  grass  drought 
Laburnum

Laburnum

Common name   Golden chain or golden rain tree
Details   Yellow pea-flowers in pendulous leafless racemes 10–40 cm (4–15.5 in) long in spring, which makes them very popular garden trees.

All parts of the plant are poisonous, although mortality is very rare. Symptoms of laburnum poisoning may include intense sleepiness, vomiting, convulsive movements, coma, slight frothing at the mouth and unequally dilated pupils.
Family   Fabaceae
Flowers   Yellow
Diameter   6.00
Height (m)   6
Drought tolerance  
Nitrogen fixer  
Perennial  
Shade / Sun   Full sun / part shade
Soil type   Most
Wind tolerance   Good
Tags     perennial  tree  legume  hardy 
Senna Seeds

Senna Seeds

Common name   glandular senna, downy senna, buttercup bush
Botanical name   Senna multiglandulosa
Details   A fast growing evergreen shrub which become treelike. The leaves are each made up of several pairs of thick, hairy, oval-shaped leaflets each measuring up to about 4 centimetres long. The leaves are studded with visible resin glands between the leaflets.
Evergreen  
Frost sensitive  
Nitrogen fixer  
Perennial  
Tags     evergreen  flowers  N fixer  tender  tree  yellow 
Price   $3.90  20 seeds
Watch Learn More Only 10 in stock   Order
Learn to graft fruit trees (seasonal)

Learn to graft fruit trees (seasonal)

Grow your knowledge of fruit tree cloning through the ancient art of grafting. Learn by seeing and doing with hands on examples and one on one tuition and explanation. We will cover:
  • Collecting and storing grafting (scion) wood from desired trees
  • Understanding and propagating rootstocks
  • Grafting tools and techniques
  • View many examples of grafted trees of various types, complexity and age
2 hours
  July   August   September  
$80.00
Red cherry guava seeds

Red cherry guava seeds

Common name   Strawberry guava
Botanical name   Psidium cattleianum
Details   Small evergreen tree or shrub slowly growing to 6 meters. Native to Brazil. Red fruit, up to 3cm in diameter, with numerous hard small seeds. Rich in vitamin C
Edible  
Evergreen  
Frost sensitive  
Fruit / berries  
Perennial  
Tags     edible  evergreen  fruit  perennial  red  tender  tree 
Price   $3.90  20 seeds
Watch Learn More Only 7 in stock   Order
Thornless Honey Locust Seed

Thornless Honey Locust Seed

Botanical name   Gleditsia triacanthos f.inermis
Details   Excellent shade and autumn colour tree. Produces very large pods with sticky sweet pulp, valued for stock fodder. Thrives in the heat and dry.
Drought tolerance  
Jugulone tolerance  
Nitrogen fixer  
Tags     deciduous  N fixer  tree 
Price   $4.90  20 seeds
Purple Akeake Seeds

Purple Akeake Seeds

Botanical name   Dodonea viscosa
Details   A reasonably fast growing NZ native bushy shrub or small tree with purple leaves. Good for creating shelter and controlling erosion. The timber from akeake is one of the hardest native woods. It was traditionally used for paddles, weapons, digging sticks and spade blades.
Drought tolerance  
Evergreen  
Perennial  
Tags     evergreen  flowers  native  purple  tree 
Price   $3.90  20 seeds
Colour   Purple
Flowers   Pink
Wind tolerance   Excellent
Watch Learn More Only 1 in stock   Order
Paulownia Seed

Paulownia Seed

Common name   princess tree, empress tree, or foxglove-tree
Botanical name   Paulownia tomentosa
Details   Deciduous hardwood tree with very large leaves. Fragrant flowers, large and violet-blue in colour are produced before the leaves, in early spring. Native to central and western China. An extremely fast-growing in the right conditions reaching a height of 10 - 25m
Perennial  
Tags     deciduous  flowers  pink  tree 
Price   $4.90  20 seeds
Learn More Out of stock
Spring grafting season for fruit and nut trees August - October

Spring grafting season for fruit and nut trees August - October

Wood is cut and graded in June for dispatch in July – August. On receipt, scion wood will need to be stored refrigerated until the appropriate local grafting time.

Length: 150 – 170mm with 3 - 4 buds

Diameter: 5 – 12mm


Grafting is the process of adding part of a known, desirable tree onto existing, growing roots of a similar species. This process offers many benefits such as having many types of apple on a single tree or influencing the characteristics of the tree such as size, soil requirements and disease resistance.
  May   June   July   August   September   October  
  graft  fruit  trees 
Tree growth on terraces

Tree growth on terraces

Details   6 years of growth from 2014 - 2020
As part of our water wise landshaping, we spent considerable effort creating a number of hand dug terraces as well as having a mini digger create an access track on a sloping amphitheater.
Terraces allow for improved rainwater infiltration, reducing runoff and erosion while also making it easier to work and harvest from the trees.
This particular area is a nice sun trap and has excellent cold air drainage. The biggest challenge is the dry and, in some places, the blackberry. Here we grow a number of fruit tree types with a focus on apricot.
Date   April 28, 2020
Tags     terrace  trees  progress  zone3 
Planting shelves

Planting shelves

I grow a lot of plants and trees from seeds. One space saving way that I have come up with is to use the vertical wall space at the back of the house where my nursery is located. Adding these metal 'gutters' as plant growing shelves has given plenty more growing area situated at perfect working height.
March 23, 2019
Tagasaste (tree lucerne) seeds

Tagasaste (tree lucerne) seeds

Botanical name   Chamaecytisus palmensis
Details   Fast growing, drought resistant nitrogen fixer (legume). This small tree has white flowers which are loved by bees, bumblebees and native pigeon. Grown as a nurse or support tree during the establishment of more long term tree plantings. Useful as a quick canopy / umbrella over citrus, avocados etc. or used as physical scaffold for climbers such as grape, kiwifruit etc. Good firewood from mature trees. Pour hot water over the seeds and soak for 24 hours before planting into course sand.
Drought tolerance  
Evergreen  
Nitrogen fixer  
Perennial  
Tags     evergreen  flowers  N fixer  tender  tree  white 
Price   $1.90  20 seeds