Building a Tree or Shrub
The first photo is of an Althea or Rose of Sharon bush or small tree. I took a seed from my mom's yard and raised or built this shrub. It has taken 12 years for it to get to the 6 feet it is now and covered with blooms as it was last summer. It has been a long, drawn out project but very satisfying. The second photo is of my cherry tree blooms this spring, followed by some apple tree blooms. I planted the cherry and apple trees about 10 years ago. I bought them from a local nursery when they were in 5 gallon pots, only about 3 feet tall and had slender small trunks. Now they are about 12 feet tall and the trunks are about 8 inches across. They are just now getting big enough to have lots of blooms and hopeful another crop of fruit as we got about 2 years ago. Last year the fruit froze during a late freeze. This year we lost the cherries but it looks like we might get some apples. The small pink flowers in the 3rd photo are of one of my favorite trees called a Redbud. There are several different verities at nursery's but there are wild trees over many states like Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana and others. In the early spring they have tiny orchid shaped blossoms that cover the tree in this nice shade of pink. Later they grow large heart shaped leaves that make for good shade. In the fall the leaves turn a nice shade of yellow. They are easy to grow and I have one that I let grow fro a seed and kept in a pot for a long time making a nice container plant. The last photo is of one of my lilacs another favorite shrub. I have 4 lilacs. 2 came from the nursery in small 1 gallon pots and only about a foot tall. In the 10 years I have had them they are now fairly good sized and bloomed beautifully this spring. The other 2 bushes came from root cuttings I took off of my mom's lilacs. Lilacs spread rapidly and can get aggressive in the wrong areas but are easy to start new plants from. Remember never to prune your lilacs in the early spring. If you do you won't get any blossoms, prune them in late summer.
Many people look at growing a tree as they would raising a child or caring for a pet. They think they have to sweet talk the plant, play music for it, pet it, give it special TLC. For some people this might be the proper approach for growing trees or plants, but not for us builders.
Don't just plant that new tree or shrub. Build it. Any people seem to be afraid of the idea of growing or raising a plant. Working in a nursery I hear so many people complain that they can't raise anything. People make comments saying they don't know why they're buying a tree as it won't grow for them. I say, “Have confidence in yourself.” Build that tree or shrub.
The dictionary defines 'grow' as 'start to increase in size, develop, to reach maturity, to expand.' To 'raise' is 'to cause to move upward, to make greater in size, to build.”
To Build! To develop or expand. Maybe we should stop thinking of growing or raising plants but of building plants.
The same people who say they can't raise or grow plants, frequently are builders. These are people who are architects, and engineers, who build homes, offices and bridges. Or they're mechanic who build or repair cars, trucks, lawn mowers, or all kinds of engines. They can be carpenters, who build or make furniture, and they may be electricians who build or develop computers or cell phones. I can grow a tree, but I would be as lost trying to build a computer as builders would be growing a tree.
We as people 'build' lots of thing including trees, shrubs, vegetables and houseplants. So the next time you start to plant that new tree think of it as a building project.
First you excavate a hole and build a proper foundation by adding peat moss and compost to the existing soil. Insert the tree into the hole in the foundation. Add the right ingredients (a baker 'builds' a cake) of lots of water, the required amount of root stimulator and maybe a stake and tire straps if needed. You want the tree to develop at the proper pace. To increase in size. You want to build this tree.
Remember, this isn't one of those quick, one day projects like painting a room, but an expanding, ongoing, never-ending project, like raising a child. Over the years the tree will expand and mature because you will add the required amounts of water, fertilizer, and mulch. You can help the tree by the occasional fixing or removal of a branch that forms wrong or doesn't look good. Your tree will require cleaning and improvement just as your home, your car or computer does.
Next tine you are looking for a new project – give this a try. Build a Tree!