What’s the difference between a giant Sequoia and a regular old Sequoia? And can YOU grow either one? Mike McGrath, host of You Bet Your Garden, will take a close look at the world’s two tallest trees. Plus: answers to all your growing questions.
Question of the Week
“I would like to grow a Giant Sequoia in my backyard. My property is very narrow and there isn’t a lot of choice for placement; the tree could only be 20 or 30 feet away from our driveway. The yard currently has some mature trees that form a canopy about 75 feet up, but the area does get sunlight for a good part of the day. It’s not wet or swampy, but water can pool up there for a few hours. Do I have any chance of success?”
Brian in Camden County, New Jersey
Photo by Flickr user Miguel Mendoza Muñoz
Highlights from show for October 4, 2014:
Look to the leaves
Cymie in Kingston, NJ moved there three years ago and bought a piece of land with big, beautiful trees on it. She has a big copper beach tree that looks like someone backed into it with a car at one point. The bark is all broken and rotting and she wants to know what she should do to nurse it back to health? Mike reminds that the only thing that defines future death for a tree is if the bark is completely gone in a circle around the trunk — then the tree will die. Damage to one side or a chunk may look scary, but just pay attention to leafing out of canopy in the Spring. If it leafs out well then you are ok. If there are problems with it leafing out than you really want to call in an expert.
How to get your fruit tree to produce fruit
Michael in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA has an orange tree that was 15 years old when he got it. However, this wonderful tree stopped bearing fruit recently, so Michael thought it might be root bound. He laid it down and thinned out the root. Michael is worried he shocked the tree for years to come. Mike wants to know if the leaves are green and glossy. Michael assures him that they are and Mike thinks that Michael is in good shape and he should be able to get this tree to fruit again. Mike suggests going out to an independent garden center and getting true compost and putting a two inch layer on the top of the soil. Then when the flowers finally appear again he suggests using a paint brush to pollinate each flower by hand. That should help get this tree going once again.
Photo by Flickr user Marlis1
Protecting your fig trees
Jeff in Vineland, NJ got two little twigs that he planted and they grew up to be two foot tall fig trees. Mike remarks on how amazing the fig leaves are if you have never seen a fig tree up close. Jeff is worried about protecting these trees over the winter, so Mike has some suggestions. He wants Jeff to pick a site on his property that is protected from “dessicating winter winds”. The area should drain well and can be poor soil, since Fig trees like those conditions. Then Jeff should plant stakes in the ground and wrap burlap around the stakes to protect it even further. Mike wants Jeff to take the other fig tree and keep it in the pot and put it in a garage where it can go dormant over the winter.
Planting a pineapple
Opal in Shreveport, Louisiana got really lucky this year with a pineapple when she cut the top off, put it in some water and actually got another pineapple growing out of it! Opal wants to know if she might get another pineapple out of this same plant. Mike congratulates Opal and says that this is a great activity for children. You just cut the top off of the pineapple put it in some water and then let the roots appear. Mike says once that happens you should really plant the pineapple in a pot. Opal did so well because of her proximity to the equator and having a much more tropical climate. Mike thinks that if she gets the plant in soil in a pot and feeds it with compost she could possibly get another fruit.
Photo by Flickr user OutForARide