‘Cash’ makes house call to ex­am­ine trees; finds bees

The Palm Beach Post - Residences - - Advertiser Index - ‘Cash’ Cash­ion

I don’t usu­ally make house calls, but out here in Jupiter Farms, if I am on the way to Publix or some­where else, and some­one has some­thing for me to look at, I will oblige. Two of my rules are that I don’t climb lad­ders, and I don’t wade in ponds.

A reader asked me to look at her mango trees and ly­chee trees to see how to start trim­ming them. I did and was im­pressed with her five acres, with well­nour­ished trees and wellkept yard.

In ad­di­tion, she had sev­eral hives of bees. Some of her hives were young, with­out queens, but she had sev­eral well- man­aged vil­lages of hives.

I, too, have a hive with a queen. It is in my “North 40,” and they are like me: a lit­tle un­man­aged and nat­u­ral. Why do I keep them? For their pol­li­na­tion ex­per­tise. I get more fruits and veg­gies thanks to these hard-work­ing in­di­vid­u­als of the in­sect king­dom.

But back to the “bee lady.” I went around her roughly 10-year- old mango trees, and they needed to be pruned so that she will have fruit. I showed her where to prune — at the branch of the growth — so new growth will start at that point.

I also showed her how to re­duce the canopy to let the sun’s rays in and to make the tree shorter and thus eas­ier to han­dle.

We looked at the ly­chee trees, which were very beau­ti­ful. I love them; they are grace­ful and deep- green in color. But no fruit on hers, due to the fo­liage.

I told her that my em­peror ly­chees are eye­height and I trim them by hand, rather than with a ma­chine. They are my beau­ties and bear fruit ev­ery other year — big, de­li­cious, golf-ball-size ba­bies.

Last year, I for­got to “net” them, so the squir­rels got all of them the day be­fore har­vest. But that was my fault — not the trees’ or the squir­rels’.

The bee lady’s trop­i­cal trees were well-formed and great for the bees. She could sell the honey, and it must be de­li­cious with all the dif­fer­ent fruit trees avail­able for pol­li­na­tion.

That is one thing that all you back­yard gar­den­ers should re­mem­ber: Our bee pop­u­la­tion is in dan­ger and has been for a few years. Prod­ucts like Sevin Dust look like pollen to the bees, so they col­lect it and take it back to the hive.

Also, nat­u­ral ail­ments oc­cur, not to men­tion mites and other lit­tle crit­ters that live off the bees.

Rus­sell from Jupiter Jun­gle (http: //jupiter­jun­gle.com) and I are go­ing to try to have talks, ei­ther at his place (on Haynie Lane) or at the Jupiter Farms Community Cen­ter, on plants and trees.

If we get some good at­ten­dance, we will ex­pand and have a clinic or some­thing like that. He is a grower/nurs­ery/ land­scape guy, and I am an old crazy sci­en­tist. What a com­bi­na­tion. If you have a ques­tion for Cash, call (561) 744-4750 or e-mail cleren5@aol.com

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