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What's With All This Snow and Cold?

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

January 2013 was recorded as the second warmest in 35 years. The high for January 29, 2013 was 62 degrees. That memory has likely faded away deeper and deeper as we shovel our 33+ inches of snow we have had this winter. While we are not so happy above the snow, plants below the snow cover are taking the winter in stride and enjoying the time away from the drying winter winds and sun. Ev...

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Site Your Home Orchard in the Best Place

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

Where you place your dwarf fruit tree home orchard, or even the one or two fruit trees you are going to grow, makes a big difference in how the fruit tree grows and performs. A major consideration is the soil in the area you are considering for your fruit trees. Fruit trees are no different than other trees and shrubs in your landscape; they need good soil drainage. Place the home orcha...

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Training Dwarf Fruit Trees

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

Just what do fruit tree experts mean when they say, "You need train your fruit tree?" Home orchardists need to train their trees for structure to encourage fruit production, to have a high-yielding home orchard, and to have a tree that can hold the fruit load without needing to prop or tie up the branches. The scaffold branches are positioned to allow good sunlight throughout the canopy to prom...

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crosspollination

Dwarf Fruit Trees and Pollination

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

January is not too early to start to plan for a new home orchard or to consider replacements for aging fruit trees in an existing orchard. There are several different kinds of fruit trees to consider, including apple, cherry, peach, pear and plum. As we live in the northern portion of Illinois, apple is likely the main fruit tree grown in back yards and commercial orchards. Certainly...

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Presents for the Birds and Your Backyard

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

Just about now, you can see holiday trees sitting in the front or side yard, waiting for the assigned pick up date to be collected and mulched. This is one way to be sure your holiday tree gets recycled to the benefit of the environment. The follow through to getting your tree composted in a community program is to be sure your take advantage of the composted material later by bringing some bac...

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What's in your Mailbox?

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

The mail carrier is currently catching his breath after a hurried season of delivering holiday cards and packages. The many flower and seed catalogs will be the next thing showing up in our mailboxes courtesy of the post office. Starting in January, which is typical, now you can expect the catalogs you have requested and a bunch more you had not. Each year every seed house is trying to...

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