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Jan 15, 2018
Comments Off on Fruit Trees

Fruit Trees

Why not grow a home orchard? What could be better than fruit picked fresh from the tree?

Many home gardeners have given up on fruit trees because they did not really get to enjoy the fruit – the local birdlife, possums, bats, vermin or insects got to it first! That can be a problem, but there are also some ways to outsmart the competition so that the feasting rights and benefits become yours.

While there are insecticides to provide an easy solution to the insect side of this problem, it is quite another thing to deter our native fauna. They are, after all, protected and we don’t want to remove them from our gardens, and we don’t even mind sharing some of the fruit with them… just not all of it. Generally, the problem is that while we wait for the fruit to ripen, the possums, bats and birds are happy to feast on the unripened fruit. If we pick the fruit too early, it will not ripen.

Tree nets are now available, which protect the fruit to a large degree, but they are expensive and if not erected correctly, may entangle animals and birds. An alternative to netting is shade cloth over the canopy of the tree, or using individual paper bags over accessible fruit.

Metal sheet Tree Collars are helpful where the issue is a possum or rat climbing up the trunk of the tree.

To keep birds away from ripening fruit, shiny objects hanging in the tree may serve as a deterrent. CDs, aluminium pie pans, strips of reflective tape, a scarecrow shape in the branches – these will all help keep the birds away. Remember to take down the obstacles after the fruit has ripened and is removed. The ecosystem in your garden needs birds to visit and help with cross pollination.

Another solution for the home gardener wanting to enjoy the fruit of their garden is to choose dwarf varieties when planting. These are easier to manage – whether it is spraying for insects or using netting or shade cloth to protect the fruit. These dwarf plants can also be kept in pots, and placed in a protected environment – away from the natural wildlife.

All fruit producing trees and vines should be carefully pruned after fruiting, and will benefit from regular fertilising. Attending to these will help produce a bigger crop for you to enjoy. Even if you have to share some of it with the wildlife!

Sep 26, 2013
Comments Off on Removing Tree Stumps with Salt

Removing Tree Stumps with Salt

After a tree is cut down it may take many years for the roots and trucks to die. Often stumps will go on living for many years to come with new roots developed and sprouts not only appearing at the stump but in the tree’s general area. If stump removal and stump grinding is not an option for you (although they are relatively inexpensive) and you don’t feel the need to burn the stumps or use toxic chemicals, then the use of rock salts might just be for you!

How it is done

  1. Have the tree lopped to as close to ground level as possible. Make sure it is safe and not a tripping hazard.
  2. Drill holes into the side of the stump at a downward angle as close to the top of the stump as you can. Make sure the holes you drill are at least 2 cm in diameter.
  3. Drill additional holes all around the stump. The larger the stump – the more holes it will have.
  4. Fill the holes with rock salt. Compress the rock salt in using a rod.
  5. (Optional) If you are not concerned about nearby vegetation sprinkle salt around the base of the stump.
  6. Cover the stump and salt with soil. Give it a good soak with water so the salt dissolves and enters the soil.
  7. Water the stump every 2-3 days for 5-6 weeks. This helps the salt enter the stump.
  8. If you notice any growth during this period repeat the salting process. Patience is the key to success!

If you’d like the stump to rot faster now that it’s dead, have a read of this organic stump removal process.

The post Removing Tree Stumps with Salt appeared first on Remove Tree Stumps in Sydney.

Dec 4, 2012
Comments Off on Organic Stump Removal

Organic Stump Removal

Removing stumps can be a long, difficult, and exhausting task. There are many methods from digging it out, using toxic chemical, to stump grinding. Somewhere in this spectrum of tree stump removal methods there is removing the stump organically. That is, removing the stump using natural products, methods and allowing Mother Nature to do all the hard work. This article focuses on using mushrooms to speed up the process of decomposition. There are plenty of other organic stump removal methods, this is just one.

Before I begin – organic stump removal isn’t for everyone. It should be used for people who don’t require the stump removed immediately, have limited funds or have an organic philosophy to life.

Stumps are massive. They take several years to decompose unaided. So if that stump is going to be around you might want to make the most of it and get some edible mushrooms out of it… right? Tasty gourmet mushrooms are natural stump removers. They break down the stump while producing a wonderful supply for your gourmet dinners. Mushrooms can halve the time it takes for a stump to be fully decomposed.
Before you start a word of caution – you need to be able to identify the difference between poisonous and edible mushrooms. Just because you plant edible mushrooms doesn’t mean that a poisonous species hasn’t beat you there and has started growing first. You need to be able to correctly identify the mushroom you intend to eat, mistakes can be fatal.

You’ll need to pick a suitable mushroom for the job. Mushrooms like shiitake and oyster grow very well on logs but are not suited for growing on stumps. Stumps are a highly competitive environment and you need to use a mushroom variety that can handle competition. There are some mushrooms that are stump specialists so you may want to consider these; agrocybe aegerite (black popular mushroom), hypholoma sublateritium (brick top mushroom), grifola frondosa (maitake), laetiporus sulphureus (chicken-of-the-woods mushroom), trametes versicolour (turkey tail mushroom). I will leave it to you to do your research and decide what is best suited for your environment and taste buds.

The method is actually quite simple. You need to inoculate the stump with mushroom plug spawn. This is a small wooden down that has the particular mushroom that you were looking to grow on it. Drill a hole in the log or root and then hammer that dowel in, making sure to seal the hole with wax upon completion. Obviously, the more plugs you put in the better. You can space them at around 2-3 centimeters apart. If you don’t have access to a plug spawn you could alternatively use sawdust spawn in the holes. It is harder to protect, but well worth the effort.

Organic stump removal

hypholoma sublateritium

The post Organic Stump Removal appeared first on Remove Tree Stumps in Sydney.