How To Spot a Quality Tree
28 July 2017
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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.
Frozen Compost
21 April 2017
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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)
Tips for the Dry-Wise Gardener
17 March 2017
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With all the water-wise advice available these days, we recommend taking Rudi's hands-off approach to being a Dry-Wise gardener:

(a) don’t prune leafy branches yet; it’s better to wait for winter time as the leaves are currently essential for protection
(b) don’t worry if leaves go yellow; this is due to heat, try and use as much of your greywater as possible
(c) don’t worry if leaves fall off; it's a protection mechanism which keeps energy inside the tree

We have some excellent, heat-hardy specimens for you to plant over the remaining summer months; give us a call for more details on which trees you should be planting to ensure the best results on your gardening projects.
Four Fireproof Landscaping Tips
25 January 2017
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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
Lower Water Levels
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With impending tougher water restrictions ahead, we cannot stress enough the need to BE WATER WISE.

If you are concerned about your choice of plants for a project or for your own garden, please don't hesitate to give us a call on 021 864 3046; we have the expertise to assist you in making water-wise decisions and we are always willing to share our knowledge with you.
Drought-Proof your Garden
15 December 2016
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Please remember that we are under strict water restrictions this summer, which means you cannot water your grounds as freely as you may wish to. Place an additional layer of mulch on your flower beds to reduce evaporation of the soil's moisture and reuse water from the house in your garden. Installing more permanent greywater solutions are advised.

It is also advisable to use less fertiliser, refrain from pruning your shrubs and trees, and move potted plants into shadier areas. You can get up to speed on the restrictions with City of Cape Town's website as well as keep tabs on the water restrictions through News24.
Cape Green Forum in Spring
16 August 2016
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It's Cape Green Forum time again and TreeCo will be there on the 24th of August. We’re looking forward to meeting up with you again. In a nutshell, for those who don't know, The Cape Green Forum was formed in 1999 to connect growers, retailers, landscapers, estate managers, irrigation specialists and other suppliers to the green industry in the Cape.

On Trade Day, we usually set up a dense mini forest which features TreeCo's diversity of stock and superior quality of viable and reliable trees. Younger developers can expand their knowledge of TreeCo's varieties within species, affording clients with different soil types equal aesthetics. More traditional landscapers will enjoy our new stock section and possibly even catch a glimpse of every South African garden's super star, Keith Kirsten.
Trees Open Olympics
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When 11549 competing athletes each received a seed to plant in the opening ceremony of the Olympic games, the simple gesture of planting a tree became a global beacon of society. 207 species native to Brazil were planted to represent the 207 National Olympic Committees who are competing in the games this year.

In our own Olympic Marathon, we are still hard at work perfecting our production line. Going into spring and summer, we’ll have a good amount of trees available.

Please contact Rudi 082 829 5543 or Mireze 079 150 0233 for availability or quotes.
Light Work for the Winter Garden
14 July 2016
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With winter well on its way, getting your garden winter-ready is easily done with these three key TreeCo Winter Gardening tips:
1. Mulch, mulch, mulch. Feeding your garden with enough mulch is done so that the right nutritional values are grown from within your soil. Adding an extra-thick layer of mulch (of about four inches) will also help protect your plants from frost.
2. Plant evergreens. The upcoming winter rains are perfect for giving your new evergreens' roots enough juice to settle in well before the heat of summer returns.
3. Call us for your evergreens; we've got superb stock in stock: 021 864 3046.
Know Your Roots
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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.
Ingenius Indigenous
9 June 2016
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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.
Change With the Seasons
5 May 2016
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After April's much needed bouts of rain it's time to add that extra bit of organic food to your trees' feeding process; please do bear in mind that less is more when fertilising. As you have also noticed, the seasons are busy changing so constant watering of your garden is no longer necessary as the cooler temperatures will keep your watering area moist for much longer. With the upcoming winter showers we would like to reassure you that, come rain or shine, TreeCo trees get to where they're going!
TreeCo’s Autumn Pruning Guide
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You will need a pair of good quality secateurs (pruning shears) and a small wood saw for bigger trees. Start by cutting away all the dead wood and branches; this is very important to do as the rainy season forms rot within the dead wood. 

As you know, each tree is different so prune according to their growth rate, your desired shape and fruit-picking order.  Shrubs and hedges need to be pruned right back for them to thicken; roses should be pruned depending on the rose bush/tree/climber varietal; perennial flowers are uprooted and their seeds dried for replanting in spring. 

Edible gardens need their soil renewed so splash a dash of organic fertiliser on your herb and vegetable patches. Don't limit your garden to a veggie patch and herb garden though, drop us a line to start your own orchard too.
Feeding Time
12 April 2016
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The season is changing and it’s a good idea to add some spice to your trees’ feeding regime.  A little bit of organic fertiliser would be enough to give your tree that much needed boost after the hard and dry summer days we’ve had. You can make your own organic fertiliser at home with combinations of these key ingredients: banana peels, coffee grounds, eggshells, seaweed, molasses, grass clippings, dog food and good old-fashioned cow poop.
As you know, different plants thrive on different nutrient combinations so drop us a line on 021 864 3046 for advice or to order some of our ready-made fertiliser (much faster).
Water-wise Your Garden: Triple distill
1 February 2016
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With this extreme heat that we are experiencing, water-wising your garden is a practical must. True to the “re-use re-cycle” tradition, we recommend you re-distill your garden’s water this summer with the help of our TreeCo water-wise condensation guide:
1st: collect roof runoff
2nd: mulch, mulch, mulch
3rd: milk your air-con.

Of course, the layout of your garden and the kind of plants you have plays a major role in how much water you are actually losing, so give Rudi a call for expert input. We at TreeCo are no strangers to nursing plants through the thick and thin of climate changes.
So What’s Your Tree Sign?
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We know a lot about trees. But what exactly do trees know about us? In the Iron Age, Celtic druids used their natural connection with and knowledge of Earth’s cycles to develop Celtic Tree Astrology. By their reverence for the sacred knowledge held by trees, the druids observed trees’ characteristics mimicked in people’s behaviour.

Achievers behaved like Birch trees; observers, like Willows. Now we have three species of Oak, in stock, which can confirm that Oak people (born between June and July) have the special gift of strength, usually root for the underdog and pair off well with Reeds.