Tree time

Go Gardening - - Editorial | Contents -

The view from my of­fice win­dow is filled with a huge old tulip tree (Liri­o­den­dron tulip­ifera) ablaze in gold against a bright au­tumn sky. The birds I hear singing in its branches are a happy distraction from the sound of pass­ing traf­fic.

Soon, when the win­ter sun is beam­ing through its bare branches, the tulip tree’s leaves will be feed­ing the mi­crobes in our com­post heap. Those leaves will give us cause for a bit of healthy ex­er­cise as we clear them from the gut­ter­ing and sweep them from the decks. It’s a small price to pay. Come spring and sum­mer the tulip tree will fill its lofty branches with shapely green leaves and unique chartreuse flow­ers.

When I leave this gar­den for new own­ers to en­joy I’ll miss this tree. Even if there is space in my next gar­den for such a large tree, I couldn't grow an­other this big in my life time. I’m ever thank­ful to the tree planters who went be­fore me. They in­spire me to keep plant­ing the trees that might be en­joyed by oth­ers long after I’m gone.

On my wish list for my next gar­den is that it will at least have room for fruit trees. Luck­ily most fruit trees are pro­duc­tive within a few years of plant­ing and they can be grown to fit the small­est of gar­dens. It’s the time to plant fruit trees now. Read more on page 12.

Win­ter is also plant­ing time for the thou­sands of na­tive trees and shrubs that will be planted around New Zealand to en­hance and pro­tect our nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment. June 5 is Ar­bour Day, the day all ki­wis are en­cour­aged to plant and care for trees. It’s a great chance to en­joy the sat­is­fac­tion that comes from get­ting in­volved in a com­mu­nity plant­ing project or cel­e­brate by plant­ing a tree of your own.

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