Indigenous Christmas TreeCo
1 December 2015
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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!
Water-wise advise
4 November 2015
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As you are all aware, we did not have enough rainfall this past winter so this November we advise you to be water-wise and ready for possible water restrictions this summer. With some mental preparation done we need to make sure that our gardens are ready and that we treat our plants and trees with the correct compost and organic food/fertilisers to give them the final boost before the real summer heat starts.

You do not have to water your garden every day; once or twice a week, depending on what type of soil you have, will suffice. The top TreeCo tips here are:
- Give your plants/garden a good soaking of water when you water the garden. You really want the water to penetrate the soil and go deep into the ground. As it dries out over the next couple of days the roots will go after the water and also go deeper into the ground thereby becoming more self sufficient. You will basically be hardening them off using this technique. If you water daily for short intervals the roots will always sit on the surface and be reliant on you for their water.
- Use mulch on the surface area of the garden to prevent evaporation of water.
- Don’t prune trees now, but, if you have to, not too much as it is already too hot for pruning. Trees need their leaves now to keep cool in this heat.
Know your grounds
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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.
Top tips for the warmer weather
6 October 2015
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It’s that beautiful time of the year again where all the different species of trees welcome us with new growth points that will bud into beautiful blossoms. It surely is a wonderful time of the year and, as it’s starting to get warmer, it’s very important that your trees are treated with good quality organic fertiliser and compost now. Remember, when using TreeCo’s top notch fertiliser, less is always more.

Pruning is also very essential at this time of the year because it ensures your trees grow in the direction you want them to grow in. Please don’t hesitate to contact Rudi on 082 829 5543 for some assistance in fertiliser quality and quantity, as well as expert pruning techniques and tips for your tree species.
Arbor week
1 September 2015
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It’s National Arbor Week from 1-7 September so we call on all South Africans to plant indigenous trees as a practical and symbolic gesture of sustainable environmental management. What makes this week so important to us is the fact that it affords the government, the private sector, non-governmental and community based organisations and the public an opportune time to be actively involved in improving local communities through urban greening.

Throughout history, the public join hands with partners in local government and community-based organisations during Arbor Week, so if you have the initiative but not the know-how, give Rudi a call on 082 829 5543 for recommendations on which trees are best to plant in your area. As you know, in South Africa, townships and informal settlements specifically need greening because of ill planning in the past. Ordering a handful of trees from us this Arbor Week can make all the difference in the future.
Fancy a cuppa (earthworm) tea?
4 August 2015
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While soil is a medium that supports plants and stores the nutrients necessary for plant growth and development, the choice of soil makes a substantial difference to how plants thrive. As we all know, microbes play an important role in improving soil fertility, and today the secrets to the ultimate soil conditions are all too easily found in the form of chemical compounds. But what about a cup of earthworm-pooh tea in your pot plant?

Vermicompost, the end product of an earthworm meal (yes, earthworm pooh), not only dramatically increases plant growth and yield, but also suppresses diseases, parasitic nematodes and arthropod pests. Vermicompost maintains high levels of microbial activity, which produces invaluable plant compounds such as growth hormones, plant growth regulators, and soluble nutrients. Vermicompost is also easier to transport and apply to crops than other types of fertilizers, and plants love it almost as much as we do.
TreeCo tips for this winter’s stormy season
7 July 2015
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Though we’ve been blessed with a mild winter to date, the Western Cape is notorious for its severe winter storms and TreeCo was recently hit by a big one that managed to topple a handful of our trees (photos on our Facebook page).
The storm systems in this part of the country can lead to surface winds gusting up to 100 kph or higher - these winds are strong enough to rip the roof right off your house so here are some TreeCo tips for protecting your trees and your property from seasonal storm damage:

– Keep your big trees’ branches trimmed so that high winds can pass through between the branches.

– Don’t plant trees with shallow root systems too close to buildings on your property.

– Always plant your trees properly. Poor planting techniques always result in poor root growth which makes trees susceptible to being blown over. If you are about to plant new trees for a landscaping project or in your own garden, give Rudi a call on 082 829 5543 for the perfect trees and proper planting instructions.
Give your trees an extra serving of humus this winter
2 June 2015
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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.
Berms – what they do and how we use them
7 May 2015
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In the modern world, a berm is a raised, earthen barrier built in a natural environment. The word, ‘berm’, has its origins in the Middle Dutch and German, ‘berme’, from medieval times when berms were used by military engineers as a geological strategy performing functions beyond the battlefield. These varied functions are so versatile, berms have been trending the landscape scene for centuries.

Commonly used as a component of a floodwater storage system, berms work as a slope length reducer, they reduce the size of outlet pipes required and minimise the peak flow occurring further down in the watershed. In these instances, berms are categorised as floodwater collectors or deflectors.

Other uses of berms are for geothermal heating in earth berm homes (it’s true, berms are so awesome people actually live in them), storm resistance, creation of more usable land, and, most importantly, good ol’ peace and quiet. Berms are perfect for properties with noisy neighbours as they act as noise barriers that can create a peaceful sanctuary and provide extra privacy.
Bad trees happen to good people: make an informed decision when buying new trees
8 April 2015
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As you know, choosing the wrong tree for your (or your client’s) home can have devastating effects. Just one wrong decision can have dire long term consequences on the property and its value. Some questions you should ask while shopping for trees are: Will the lawn grow beneath it? Will the roots crack the swimming pool? Will the kids be poisoned if they eat the leaves or chew on the twigs? All of these questions need to be answered before you purchase, but where does one start in the decision making process?

Firstly, start by understanding the classification of ‘alien invasive species’:

Category 1: Invader plants that must be removed and destroyed immediately. If you have these on your property, get rid of them as soon as possible.

Category 2: Invader plants must be grown under controlled conditions only. No permits will be issued for these species.

Category 3: Invader plants that may not be planted anymore. You will not be required to remove these if they are already on your property.

Alien invasive species have a huge, negative impact on the South African environment because of devastating effects on all components of biological diversity. Ask us to assist you in choosing the best trees for your property before one bad tree spoils the soil and your garden.
A few simple tips on how to care for trees
10 February 2015
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Your tree has found it’s forever home in your lovely garden, but once it has been planted, you need to know how to care for it. Here are some simple but handy tips...

The tree will need to be watered at least 2 to 3 times per week during the dry season. A deep watered tree will become self-sustained sooner and grow more vigorous than a shallow watered tree.

The amount of water will depend on your soil type and how well or poorly it retains water. The soil should stay moist.

If you live in a windy area, it is advisable to stake your tree while it settles and anchors itself in the ground.

You will need to feed your tree, but stay away from fertilizers and rather opt for earthworm tea and compost mulch every 3 months, where possible.

Lastly, refrain from pruning your tree in the first year, as it settles into it’s environment.

Happy Gardening!
Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree – let me know more about your history
9 December 2014
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It is that time of the year again! St. Nick is making his final checks and getting his reindeer all geared up. The mistletoe is being strung up and the aroma of feasts and cookies hang in the air. Yes, it is time again for Christmas.

Whilst not as popular a tradition in South Africa, as for our friends in the North, there is a certain appeal to having a live Christmas tree, as compared to its plastic counterpart. Live Christmas trees (preferably potted and not chopped), bring a beautiful ethereal look (and smell) as your celebrated centrepiece and can perhaps even be recycled in your garden, long after the festivities.

Traditionally, the Evergreen fir tree or conifer is used as Christmas trees. Evergreens, as the name suggests has leaves throughout the year and is always green.

The first documented use of a tree at Christmas was in the town square of Riga, the capitol of Latvia in the year 1515. Since then, Pagans used the branches of firs to decorate their homes during the Winter solstice. The Romans used fir trees to decorate their temples during the festival of Saturnalia and Christians use it as a sign of everlasting life with God.

Besides Evergreens, many other trees are used for festivities all over the world. Whichever your choice, perhaps Christmas can be a little greener this year, with a new live addition.
Things that you didn’t know about trees
6 November 2014
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Yes, there is the photosynthesis (regulates the air quality and produces loads of oxygen) thing, which is just all kinds of cool. They also prevent erosion and moderates ecosystems. There is so much more to trees than the obvious.

Trees can help with crime prevention. Studies have found that neighbourhoods with larger trees experience less crime then neighbourhoods with smaller trees. The conclusion of the study indicated that larger trees seem to serve as a proverbial safety net.

They also “talk” to each other. No, really. Certain types of trees send chemical warnings when under attack from insects. The chemicals they secrete not only warn the neighbouring trees, but also reduce the nutritional value of the leaves, leaving the insects with the human equivalent of rice crackers. Once the neighbouring trees receive the warning, they also send the message on.

Trees also get stressed, believe it or not. They are sensitive to their environment and if the ecosystem gets disrupted, the stress can inhibit a it’s growth and photosynthesis cycle.

Who knew?
Meet the Oak
10 October 2014
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Introducing the attractive Quercus Robur, more commonly known as the English Oak, also known as the French Oak.

Native mainly to Europe, this Oak is a symbol of persistence and stability. The Vikings regarded it as the Tree of Thor (God of Thunder).

The English Oak is not only planted for forestry, producing durable heartwood (wood more resistant to decay due to a natural chemical transformation), but is also useful in homeopathic remedies. Querc, otherwise known as Quercus Robur Glandium Spiritus, is derived from the acorn kernels produced by the English Oak and has been used in remedies for alcoholism, spleen complaints and even vertigo.
Spring has sprung
3 September 2014
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So, Spring is looming it's pretty, oh so pretty head and you are getting THAT feeling. You want a change, a fresh start and your "to do" list is just getting longer.

A good place to start is to get those shears and start pruning! Most trees and shrubs benefit from annual pruning. We are talking feel-like-new makeover for your gorgeous trees and shrubs. Pruning keeps them in good shape by getting rid of diseased and deceased wood and encouraging new growth.

So what are you waiting for? Get snip, snip, snipping! A word of advice though - early spring bloomers could lose some blossoms if they get their trims too soon. Make sure to check on the bloom time of your trees and shrubs, but let it be said that even the early bloomers can sacrifice a few blooms if they are in need of a good shaping.
Feeling handy? Some helpful hints…
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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!