Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New Zealand White Clover an Orchard Cover Crop

New Zealand White Clover (Trifolium repens) is a perennial nitrogen fixing legume that reaches about 8-12 inches in height.  New Zealand White Clover is more tolerant of heat and drought than larger clovers, is more vigorous, and tolerates a wide range of soils.


New Zealand White Clover forms a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen fixing soil bacteria called Rhizobium trifolii. Rhizobium bacteria are found in root nodules of clover and other legumes. The Rhizobium bacteria fix atmospheric nitrogen into ammonium that the plant uses for growth and development. The plant in turn provides a suitable growth environment (root nodule) as well as other nutrients such as carbohydrates and protein.
 
New Zealand White Clover is used as green manure as it fixes up to 170 pounds of nitrogen per acre. Excess nitrogen is released into the surrounding soil where associated plants use it for growth and development. Local Orchards, Valencia County Extension Service, and Homeowners use New Zealand White Clover under their orchards or vineyards to provide natural organic nitrogen and eliminate the need to buy inorganic nitrogen fertilizers (photo).


New Zealand White Clover is also used as “living mulch”. Like other mulches a surface crop of New Zealand White Clover protects the soil from drying, high temperatures, chokes out weeds, and the flowers attract beneficial insects like honeybees (photo).

Reminder also, that a field of clover is just enjoyable to view, smell, and search through for lucky 4-leaf variations.

New Zealand White Clover will grow on most soils but requires regular moisture for growth. This is one reason it is well suited as an orchard or vineyard cover crop because fruit crops require regular moisture for production. Leave clover un-mowed in late summer or early fall so that this added bulk can act as an insulator through the winter months.

Trees That Please Nursery has both White Clover and New Zealand White Clover available for planting as an orchard cover crop.  Contact the nursery for more information and pricing.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Yellow Bird of Paradise

Yellow Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii) is a small shrub that may reach 6’-8’ tall and wide. It is a member of the legume family (related to peas and beans). It is commonly known as bird of paradise, but more specifically Yellow Bird of Paradise. The Yellow Bird of Paradise has yellow petals with bright red stamens (see photo).


Two other commonly grown related species are Red Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) that has red flowers and Mexican Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia mexicana) that has all yellow flowers. Yellow Bird of Paradise is the hardiest of these three species.

The plant has a light feathery appearance because of its leaves. Leaves are structurally bipinnate, with 3-10 pairs of pinnae, each bearing pairs of thin leaflets (photo).


These leaves are similar to those of the mimosa tree (photo).


Flowers are found on short stalks and begin blooming in late spring or early summer and then occasionally through the rest of summer. Yellow Bird of Paradise makes a striking low water ornamental plant due to its showy display of flowers (photo).


Plant it in the rockscape or xeric garden or against a wall for a splash of color.


The plant has been used medicinally for fever, sores, and coughs by people of South America. The seeds and seed pods of this plant are poisonous. Plants are hardy to USDA zone 6-7 with occasional winter damage or dieback.

Trees That Please Nursery has Yellow Bird of Paradise available in 5 gallon containers. Contact the nursery for more information and pricing.

Written By:
Stephen Sain
Staff Plant Physiologist

Friday, May 18, 2012

Come Join Us tomorrow for Our “Spring Fling in the Trees”

You are invited to The Arboretum Tomé  to enjoy our  unique collection of native high desert trees during our annual ‘Spring Fling in the Trees’ open house.  The Arboretum Tomé is a collection of rare trees endemic to the desert Southwest.  The collection includes a huge variety of Oak trees, the genus Quercus, along with Redwoods, Giant Timber Bamboo, and Maples, including a Western native sugar maple called the Bigtooth Maple, Acer grandidentatum.


The Arboretum is a great place to spend some time under the shade of mature native trees, to study and observe, to be inspired, or to see the great variety of native landscaping trees the southwest has to offer. The Arboretum is also used as an outdoor classroom where lectures are performed. Tours are available for school field trips, students, academic professionals, and individual showings.


Our Spring Fling is Free
May 19th  9:30 to 4:00
Located at 9 Gilcrease Road, Los Lunas, NM 87031

Bring your sack lunch and enjoy the shade of  Fruit Trees, Redwoods, Maples, & Oaks.
 
Lectures at 10 am on Soil Building, Landscape Design, and
How to Successfully Plant Trees.
 
In the afternoon enjoy live music by Mike Montiel.

Visit our Website for more information and directions:  www.treesthatpleasenursery.com

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Spanish Broom

Spanish Broom (Spartium junceum) is a perennial, evergreen, nitrogen-fixing (leguminous) shrub native to the Mediterranean area of Southern Europe, Asia, and North Africa. In its native habitat it is found growing in full sun on dry, sandy soils. Spanish Broom does well in many New Mexico landscapes which have characteristics similar to its native habitat.


It is used as an ornamental in the garden, around the house, or xeric landscape plantings. Spanish Broom can grow 1’-1.5’ annually reaching up to 10’ tall and wide.  It grows as an upright shrub with green trunk and stems with occasional small leaves during spring and summer. In late spring Spanish Broom is literally covered with very fragrant yellow pea-like flowers.

 
As a nitrogen-fixing legume it is related to plants in the pea family which is easily seen by a close look at its flower (photo).


Spanish Broom is best grown in well-drained soils in full sun and can be grown with low to regular water after establishment. When Spanish Broom exceeds its allotted space or needs reshaping it can be rejuvenated by pruning it back.  The older, large stems can be pruned down to near ground level. This leaves only smaller, newer branches and encourages development of new growth. New stems tend to flower more heavily than the older stems, so pruning increases flower production by the plant. Spanish Broom is hardy to USDA zone 6.

Trees That Please Nursery has Spanish Broom in 1 and 5 gallon sizes. Contact the nursery for more information and pricing.
Written By:
Stephen Sain
Staff Plant Physiologist

The Arboretum Tomé “Spring Fling in the Trees” is in 2 Days

You are invited to The Arboretum Tomé to see our unique collection of native high desert trees during our annual ‘Spring Fling in the Trees’ open house.  The Arboretum Tomé is a collection of rare trees endemic to the desert Southwest. The collection includes a huge variety of Oak trees, the genus Quercus, along with Redwoods, Giant Timber Bamboo, and Maples, including a Western native sugar maple called the Bigtooth Maple, Acer grandidentatum.


The Arboretum is a great place to spend some time under the shade of mature native trees, to study and observe, to be inspired, or to see the great variety of native landscaping trees the southwest has to offer. The Arboretum is also used as an outdoor classroom where lectures are performed. Tours are available for school field trips, students, academic professionals, and individual showings.


Our Spring Fling is Free
May 19th  9:30 to 4:00
Located at 9 Gilcrease Road, Los Lunas, NM 87031

Bring your sack lunch and enjoy the shade of  Fruit Trees, Redwoods, Maples, & Oaks.

Lectures at 10 am on Soil Building, Landscape Design, and
How to Successfully Plant Trees.
 
In the afternoon enjoy live music by Mike Montiel.

Visit our Website for more information and directions:  www.treesthatpleasenursery.com

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Only 3 More Days - The Arboretum Tomé Open House

The Arboretum Tomé is a collection of rare trees endemic to the desert Southwest. Started by the founder of Trees That Please Nursery and Soil Secrets in the 80′s, the collection includes a huge variety of Oak trees, the genus Quercus, along with Redwoods, Giant Timber Bamboo, and Maples, including a Western native sugar maple called the Bigtooth Maple, Acer grandidentatum.


You are invited to see this unique collection of native high desert trees during our annual ‘Spring Fling in the Trees’ open house. After 25 years the Arboretum is known worldwide for its collection of Oaks and the remediation of the saline sodic alkaline clay of the site that exemplifies sustainable biological management of soil using techniques that meet the benchmark of organic.


The Arboretum is a great place to spend some time under the shade of mature native trees, to study and observe, to be inspired, or to see the great variety of native landscaping trees the southwest has to offer. The Arboretum is also used as an outdoor classroom where lectures are performed. Tours are available for school field trips, students, academic professionals, and individual showings.


Our Spring Fling is Free
May 19th  9:30 to 4:00
Located at 9 Gilcrease Road, Los Lunas, NM 87031

Bring your sack lunch and enjoy the shade of  Fruit Trees, Redwoods, Maples, & Oaks.

Lectures at 10 am on Soil Building, Landscape Design, and
How to Successfully Plant Trees.

In the afternoon enjoy live music by Mike Montiel.

Visit our Website for more information and directions:  www.treesthatpleasenursery.com

Austrian Black Pine

The Austrian (or European) Black Pine (Pinus nigra) is a tree with strong character and visual interest. Pinus nigra is a native tree of the Mediterranean region, from southern Europe into Northern African and Western Asia. It grows up to 1′-1.5′ per year reaching 25′-35′ tall and 15′-25′ wide.

It usually grows with a rounded conic form, becoming more irregular in older trees.


The Austrian Black Pine has a lifespan of several hundred years with some trees living over 500 years. It is best grown in full sun on a well-drained soil, so is ideal for properties with sandy soils like the local mesas (see photo above). The Austrian Black Pine can also be grown on light clay soils with good drainage. This tree does not tolerate shade. The trunk bark is greyish to yellow-brown, and fissured (see photo below).


The Austrian Black Pine is a great landscaping tree. Even when young and small they are considered cute and have a dense canopy (photo).

 
If the lower branches are left in place the Austrian Black Pine makes a great screen or visual barrier. If planted in clumps their dense growth is ideal for wildlife.


Although often planted as an ornamental, the Austrian Black Pine produces a dark shade canopy


so should be considered when looking for shade producing trees.

 
The Austrian Black Pine is much less susceptible to diseases that affect other pines like Pinon Needle Scale or Pine Tip Borers. This Pine is best grown with low to regular water and is Hardy to USDA Zone 4.

Trees That Please Nursery has Containerized Austrian Black Pines in 5, 10, 15, and 20 gallon sizes. Larger B&B trees are also available. As with all our plants, nursery staff can deliver and plant your tree which will be guaranteed for one year after planting. Contact the store for more information and pricing.

Written By:
Stephen Sain
Staff Plant Physiologist

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Only 4 More Days - The Arboretum Tomé Open House

The Arboretum Tomé is a collection of rare trees endemic to the desert Southwest. Started by the founder of Trees That Please Nursery and Soil Secrets in the 80′s, the collection includes a huge variety of Oak trees, the genus Quercus, along with Redwoods, Giant Timber Bamboo, and Maples, including a Western native sugar maple called the Bigtooth Maple, Acer grandidentatum.

You are invited to see this unique collection of native high desert trees during our annual ‘Spring Fling in the Trees’ open house.


The Arboretum is a great place to spend some time under the shade of mature native trees, to study and observe, to be inspired, or to see the great variety of native landscaping trees the southwest has to offer. The Arboretum is also used as an outdoor classroom where lectures are performed. Tours are available for school field trips, students, academic professionals, and individual showings.


The Arboretum is the proving ground for Soil Secrets and contains a production nursery for Trees That Please Nursery. This botanical garden exhibits trees of the world which have been planted in soils that were formerly toxic clays. These soils were fixed using the products of Soil Secrets.



Our Spring Fling is Free
May 19th  9:30 to 4:00
Located at 9 Gilcrease Road, Los Lunas, NM 87031

Bring your sack lunch and enjoy the shade of  Fruit Trees, Redwoods, Maples, & Oaks.

Lectures at 10 am on Soil Building, Landscape Design, and
How to Successfully Plant Trees.

In the afternoon enjoy live music by Mike Montiel.

Visit our Website for more information and directions:  www.treesthatpleasenursery.com

Monday, May 14, 2012

Only 5 More Days - The Arboretum Tomé Open House

You are invited to see this unique collection of native high desert trees during our annual ‘Spring Fling in the Trees’ open house. After 25 years the Arboretum is known worldwide for its collection of Oaks and the remediation of the saline sodic alkaline clay of the site that exemplifies sustainable biological management of soil using techniques that meet the benchmark of organic.


Our Spring Fling is Free
May 19th  9:30 to 4:00
Located at 9 Gilcrease Road, Los Lunas, NM 87031



Bring your sack lunch and enjoy the shade of Fruit Trees, Redwoods, Maples, & Oaks.


Lectures at 10 am on Soil Building, Landscape Design, and
How to Successfully Plant Trees.

In the afternoon enjoy live music by Mike Montiel.



Visit our Website for more information and directions:  www.treesthatpleasenursery.com

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Apache Plume

Apache Plume (Fallugia paradoxa) is a native plant of the southwestern United States including New Mexico. It grows throughout all four of the southwestern deserts: Chihuahuan, Great Basin Mojave, and Sonoran.  Apache Plume is a small, drought and heat tolerant shrub, normally growing to about 3’-4’ tall and wide. It is at home in the xeric landscape or any hot, dry, exposed place in your yard (see photo).

Leaves are small, dull green, lobed and curled (see photo).

Apache Plume is a member of the rose family (Rosaceae). The flowers of Apache Plume are white and rose-like in appearance (photo).

 Its flowers attract both bees and butterflies to the landscape. After the white petals fall away the elongated plume-like styles (plumes) become very apparent and most often have a pinkish color (photo)


but sometimes they are white (photo).

These styles are part of the female portion of the flower and are attached to a developing fruit (carrying a single seed) called an achene. Eventually, the wind will pull the plumes away from the plant and carry the achene (seed) away.

            The Apache Plume is best grown in full sun on a well-drained soil. It is cold hardy to -30 degrees. It requires little care. After establishment water deeply once every 7-10 days during summer. If it becomes overgrown or oddly shaped simply prune it back. Pruning is best done in late winter before spring growth resumes. Prune the plant back to about 8”-12” when overgrown or woody and this will reinvigorate it, normally resulting in vigorous spring growth.



Written By:

Stephen Sain
Staff Plant Physiologist

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Autumn Sage

           Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) is also commonly known as Cherry Sage owing to its flower color.

Autumn Sage is native to the Chihuahuan desert. It is a small, evergreen to semi-evergreen shrub reaching 2’-3’ tall and wide. It blooms repeatedly through summer until frost making it a great addition to the garden or xeric landscape. It has one inch red to pink flowers that are found on spikes up to 10 inches long and are attractive to hummingbirds (see photo below). The red and pink flowered varieties are the most common but Autumn Sage can also be found in white, yellow, and orange flowered types.

Autumn Sage is very heat tolerant and best grown in full sun on well-drained soils. It is a low water use plant once established but flowers more regularly with extra water.  Care consists of late winter pruning to remove dead wood and dead tips to encourage lush regrowth (see photo below). Autumn Sage is hardy to USDA zone 6.

Autumn Sage makes a colorful addition to the landscape. Use in borders, along walkways, and in the xeriscape (see photo below). Its colorful flowers add interest to the landscape and bring in the hummingbirds and butterflies.


 
Written By:
Stephen Sain
Staff Plant Physiologist

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Plant of the Month: Shantung Maple

            The Shantung Maple (Acer truncatum) is also known as the Purple Blow Maple due to the color of its newly emerging leaves which are red-purple (see photo below). These young expanding red-purple leaves change to green as they mature. Leaves are small, about the size of Japanese Red Maple leaves, perhaps 3’-4’ wide at maturity. 

The Shantung Maple grows 1′-2′ annually reaching 25″ tall and wide.  This is our tree for all planting situations. This Maple does well in heavy clay, sandy soils, full sun, or part shade. It can be planted in a lawn or next to a hot asphalt street (see photo below). It seemingly is a happy tree enjoying life wherever it is placed.  One place we would not recommend planting this tree is in a rockscape which is just too hot and inhospitable to support this beautiful tree.

             A smaller tree, the Shantung Maple can be planted closer to structures. Its fall color is a brilliant golden yellow. The Shantung Maple produces a winged fruit called a samara (see photo below). Kids call these helicopter seeds because when thrown into the air they fall spinning to the ground like helicopter blades. The Shantung Maple is best grown with low to regular water and is hardy to USDA Zone 4.

              The Shantung Maple has a rich green canopy that produces a nice dark cooling shade inviting you outdoors to enjoy the fresh air and spend time in your yard (see photo below). The Shantung Maple would make a great addition to your landscape. Come by the nursery to see our selection of Shantung Maples, all grown from seed collected locally from specimen trees.