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Feeling handy? Some helpful hints…
Feeling handy? Some helpful hints…
3 SEPTEMBER 2014
That fresh scent of spring is in the air! Out with the old, in with the new. Basically, new beginnings, pool parties, braaing, fun, sun and best of all...welcoming gardens filled with colour and fragrance. Now is the time to get a head start on making your garden look it's absolute best.

Here are a few tips to consider for getting spring ready:

Assess your yard.
What needs pruning?
Any tree limbs overhanging structures?
Check it all - fences, foliage, pathways - the whole shebang.
Sharpen your tools (or acquire some) and choose new plants for this growing season.
Prepare new beds by removing debris and start planting early.

Not too much for a heavenly haven, right? Since you will be on a roll once started, why not also start a compost pile?
Oh, and don't forget the birds - they will be ever so grateful if you take the time to clean all bird feeders and baths!
Wishing you a wonderful Spring time!
Four Fireproof Landscaping Tips
Four Fireproof Landscaping Tips
25 JANUARY 2017
We strongly recommend you take some time to fireproof your grounds with these TreeCo tips:
• Use rock mulch instead of bark mulch. Although rock mulch doesn't decompose into the soil, it doesn't need to be replaced regularly and comes in a vast variety of sizes, colours and textures.
• Create fire-safe zones by including low stone walls, patios and pathways into your landscape designs
• Choose plants that are natural fire-retardants like aloes, red hot pokers (Kniphofia uvaria) and ice plants (Lampranthus aurantiacus). They can absorb the heat of an approaching fire without catching alight. They can also slow the progression of a fire.
• Use fire-resistant shrubs such as bush honeysuckles, currants and sumacs.

See a comprehensive list of fire-retardant plants here: www.diablofiresafe.org/tolerance.html. Additional tips can also be found on this Western Cape Government page: www.westerncape.gov.za/assets/departments/local-government/Fire_Brigade_Services/Fire_Safety_Programmes/10695m_fire_safe_landscape.pdf as well as this one: www.lfpa.co.za/Publications/Firescaping-your-garden1.pdf
Frozen Compost
Frozen Compost
21 APRIL 2017
From old tyres to an upside down dustbin, even that tuppaware which lost its lid can be repurposed into an urban composter. The basic principle of an ideal composter is to be able to add food waste into the top, and then later extract compost from the bottom. A trick of ours, if you are concerned about fruit flies indoors, is to keep your composting box in the freezer.

To the TreeCo top-in, top-out urban composting method:
• Chop up all compostable food
• Throw choppings into your freezer box
• Use when needed
Frozen compost is best used when planting or transplanting plants, and as a layer beneath the topsoil.

(Image credit: net_efekt | Flickr: http://bit.ly/2pVKXZF)
Give your trees an extra serving of humus this winter
Give your trees an extra serving of humus this winter
2 JUNE 2015
With the season and weather change it would be good to mix some compost into your ground, giving your plants enough nutrients to optimise on the next few growing months ahead. Adding organic material like compost at this time of year is especially important if you are living in the Cape Town area where the soil is predominantly sandy. Sandy soil lacks humus and therefore needs large quantities of organic material to bring the humus back. Another name for this soil-saving humus is mulch.

Mulch is compost that can be dug into the soil or laid on the surface as a top coat. It keeps the soil’s temperature consistent and, as it decomposes, enriches the soil with nutrients and micro-organisms on which plants feed. There’s no such mulch as too much mulch, so don’t be scared of adding more mulch regularly. Not only will your plants love you for keeping their roots warm this winter, but you’ll save some water in summer too.
How To Spot a Quality Tree
How To Spot a Quality Tree
28 JULY 2017
Choosing a quality tree takes a little practice but, if you can remember Rudi's handful of things to watch out for, you will be able to spot a quality tree in a matter of minutes.

1. Stem / trunk: stand back and take a good look to see if the tree is well formed. Does the length of the stem look in proportion to its thickness? A too-tall, skinny trunk means the tree has probably been exposed to an over-use of growth hormones.

2. Leaf colour: are the leaves pale green or yellow? This could indicate disease, chlorosis or iron deficiency. A quick note: always take the season and the species into account when inspecting the leaves.

3. Roots: take your time when observing a tree's roots as they are paramount to the health of the specimen. Straight up no-nos: bright green leaves but tiny roots (too much growth hormone) or dense, thick and knotted roots (overdue on being rebagged/repotted). Are the roots loose in the bag or firmly potted? Loose roots could be the result of over fertilisation or poor potting - both undesirable when looking for quality.

You'll notice that most problems affecting the overall health and quality of trees are caused by the manipulation of hormones. Like humans, hormones regulate specific functions in plants, so a healthy tree is the result of healthy hormones.

Naturally, we do not use growth hormones here at TreeCo. Choose the best quality trees off the bat, place your order with us.Choosing a quality tree takes a little practice but, if you can remember Rudi's handful of things to watch out for, you will be able to spot a quality tree in a matter of minutes.

1. Stem / trunk: stand back and take a good look to see if the tree is well formed. Does the length of the stem look in proportion to its thickness? A too-tall, skinny trunk means the tree has probably been exposed to an over-use of growth hormones.

2. Leaf colour: are the leaves pale green or yellow? This could indicate disease, chlorosis or iron deficiency. A quick note: always take the season and the species into account when inspecting the leaves.

3. Roots: take your time when observing a tree's roots as they are paramount to the health of the specimen. Straight up no-nos: bright green leaves but tiny roots (too much growth hormone) or dense, thick and knotted roots (overdue on being rebagged/repotted). Are the roots loose in the bag or firmly potted? Loose roots could be the result of over fertilisation or poor potting - both undesirable when looking for quality.

You'll notice that most problems affecting the overall health and quality of trees are caused by the manipulation of hormones. Like humans, hormones regulate specific functions in plants, so a healthy tree is the result of healthy hormones.

Naturally, we do not use growth hormones here at TreeCo. Choose the best quality trees off the bat, place your order with us.

If money grew on trees
If money grew on trees
5 AUGUST 2014
It turns out that money does actually grow on trees! For every R1 you spend on trees in your garden, it adds R5 to your property value. What’s more, trees that are properly placed around your home can reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent and can save 20 – 50 percent in energy when it comes to heating. Trees are a great way of seeing the seasons change. Deciduous trees can give you shade, and cool down a hot area in summer, while letting the sun through to warm a living area and even the kitchen in winter. The cooling effect of a young healthy tree is equivalent to about ten room sized air conditioners. Since the electricity prices just keep skyrocketing in South Africa, this is reason enough to start planting!
Indigenous Christmas TreeCo
Indigenous Christmas TreeCo
1 DECEMBER 2015
Have a live tree in the lounge this Christmas - simply prune some of the lower branches to make space for presents and then plant it out into your garden for New Year’s. This festive season, TreeCo’s top Christmas tree stunt-double (conveniently available in different sizes) is the Real Yellowwood (known in isiXhosa as ‘Umcheya’ and in Zulu as ‘Umkhoba’). This tree belongs to the conifer family and is actually South Africa’s national tree. Ideal conditions are sun and sandy soil.

While the Real Yellowwood boasts a more traditional Christmas tree physique, other playful shapes and sizes are waiting for you TreeCo.
Choose your trees from Our Trees Page by selecting from ideal conditions, root system size, overall size and features…or just get Rudi to choose for you. Contact him on on 082 829 5543. Merry Christmas!
Ingenius Indigenous
Ingenius Indigenous
9 JUNE 2016
Blessed with over a 1000 varieties of indigenous trees, South Africa is becoming increasingly patriotic about planting strictly indigenous species. Especially as we have some of the most sought after species in the world: White Milkwoods, Stinkwoods and Boababs. Not to mention our plethora of medicinal trees like: the Red Bushwillow (for stomach complaints), the Apple Leaf (for snakebites) and the Fever Tree (for bringing down fevers). We even have an indigenous lightning conductor! The Knob-thorn Acacia. But more importantly than that, indigenous species are notoriously water-wise compared to their invasive counterparts who degraded our soil and natural habitat. Choosing TreeCo trees means you are an active participant in rehabilitating South Africa's indigenous ecosystem.
Know your grounds
Know your grounds
6 OCTOBER 2015
South Africa has three major soil regions of which the Western Cape forms part of the second region. The soil is generally either grey sandy or sandy loam soil though clay soils are also found. Ideally, your garden’s soil should be deep, granular, well drained and high in organic matter with a slight acidity. To improve your soil quality and get optimum growing conditions for you region you need to know what kind of soil you have. You can test both moist and dry soil to figure out what kind of soil it is.

To test moist soil, take a handful of some moist soil from your garden (or desired planting area). Roll it into a ball and then squeeze it in your fist. Open your hand and look at the creases moulded in the soil. While clay soil forms solid creases, loam soil will have poor creases that break up easily and sandy will, more often than not, not form any creases at all.
To test dry soil, look at the clods (clumps of ground). Clay soil will have very hard and dry clods, loam soil will have hard and dry clods while sandy soil will have soft clods or none at all.

Now that you know your general soil type, you will be able to enrich your soil better as well as choose better trees for your area. You can choose from our outstanding stock on our trees page or give Rudi a call on 082 829 5543 for his expert knowledge and assistance in choosing the best growing trees.
Know Your Roots
Know Your Roots
9 JUNE 2016
Like people, trees have distinct personalities and nurturing them in their favoured environments is crucial to optimal development. Whether you’re an architect, landscaper or gardner you should always keep a close eye on the space allocated to trees in your design, as the trees' whole life-span needs be taken into account. The best way to do this is to know your roots.

Bigger trees need to be planted at least four to five metres away from underground piping, swimming pools and building foundations. Trees with aggressive roots are especially ill-advised in smaller spaces as the recommended space away from underground piping mentioned above is doubled to accommodate trees of the Ficus and Erythrina (10m) families. For detailed information about the roots of your intended trees', or to get a list of suggested trees for your project, give Rudi a call on 082 829 5543.
You are awesome!