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Trees on the Homestead

Faithful HomesteaderOne of the things that attracted us to the area where we live was the abundance of trees. Just immediately around our house, there are seven large mature trees. We started out with three pine trees, one post oak, one live oak, a mimosa and what we think is an elm tree. We certainly love the shade that our trees provide and the birds that they attract.

Cardinals often visit the tree.

Not long after we moved in, my husband was insistent on adding some fruit trees. We planted two fig trees and three apple trees. I didn’t really know much about trees and cross-pollination. I thought you could just plant a fruit tree and call it good. I didn’t know that having a variety of apple trees cross-pollinating with each other could bring about a better-flavored apple.

Unfortunately, I have not yet had the opportunity to enjoy such apples. My husband confessed to not taking good care of the apple trees. He said, “I dropped them in a hole and forgot about them.” Needless to say, they have not done that well. It is a good reminder of the importance of taking care of them. Initially we had difficulty with the fig trees growing, losing 4 of them. We have one now that we are watching and it seems to be doing well as far as we can tell.

We have also planted some peach trees. Last year we had a couple that were looking so good and then the floods came and destroyed most of what we had planted. We planted some more peach trees just recently.  I sure love their pretty flowers. We also have a jujube tree that we planted as a seedling from China that has done well.

One thing that my husband has done as we think of adding more trees to the property is to prepare the ground for the trees. It takes a bit of patience and planning, but he prepares the soil a couple of years ahead of time with compost, manure and other additions. This helps condition the soil nutritionally and biologically. This mimics soil under a mature tree. In theory, this should be better for young trees, and it has worked out really well for our jujube tree.

In a world that is cutting down too many trees, we say more trees. We love the shade from the trees. We want to be fed by our trees. We also like to attract birds with our trees.