Question Anyone got any tree growing tips

Discussion in 'Other' started by Flatland, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I've planted pepper trees (peppercorn tree) for shelter for the animals. They are growing OK but I would like them to grow faster. Soil is sand & I am watering them once a week & using a soluble fertilizer & seasol. I have mulched them with horse poo. Has anyone got any other ideas? I could cart over some liquid horse manure tea if it would help.
    Also they are growing with lots of branches more like a shrub than a tree with a single trunk. Would it help them to get more height quickly if I pruned off some of the brunches so that they could put more energy into a smaller number of branches. If they stay bushy they will be a better wind break but if they grow up quicker as a single trunk tree they will give more sun shade for the horse, if that makes sense.
     
  2. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Flatland, from my experience of pepperina trees, they have a very specific habit.
    They are very slow growing, usually branch low down near the ground & will have 2 or 3 leader trunks.
    Their upside is that they will tolerate difficult conditions such as dry, salt & sandy soil, regular insect & browsing attack & strong wind.
    They also provide good wide shade away from their trunk which helps prevent trunk & root damage by resting stock.

    These are all the reasons you planted them originally.

    Did you succeed at germinating some pigeon pea trees?
    Adding them into the rows will give you the quick height for windbreak while the much slower pepperinas grow up.

    There might also be some type of wattle that grows like a weed in your area that could be used for quick windbreaks, then die after a few years. Wattles are usually in the legume family so will contribute some nitrogen to the growth zone when they die if planted alongside the pepperinas, as will the pigeon peas.

    The downside of the weedy natives would be high seeding & regeneration capacity & possibly some suckering too.

    The thing about pushing trees to grow faster is that it generally causes the wood to be weaker & the plant in general to be far more susceptible to insect attack. They are more fleshy so don't stand up well to difficult conditions.
     
  3. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Hi ClissAT. Are Pepperinas and pepper trees the same tree?
    I bought 60 pigeon tree seeds, carefully planted them and 2 came up. Not what you would call a good sprout rate. The 2 are still alive but not doing well. they are about 2 inches high
     
  4. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Yes those are the same tree.

    re pigeon peas, be careful not to overwater or over fertilize particularly when young.
    Often, just having moist potting soil is enough to germinate the seeds & they don't require fertilizer until around 6inches high. Then they like half strength liquid fert or just being transplanted into compost will be enough.
    They thrive on neglect.
     
  5. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    I don't know much about peppercorn trees but I googled them and most seem to have a fairly long trunk and if you are wanting them more for shade then perhaps pruning some of the lower branches would help with shape and encourage growth...
     
  6. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I've been looking at peppertrees that are growing around my area. (there are lots) And it seems to me that when theyare younger they have lots of trunks and look like bushes but as they get older they lose the extra trunks and because more like trees. Maybe they need the extra bushiness here to deal with the winds. Milang is famous for its winds
     
  7. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I had two peppercorn trees planted on black soil during quite a drought season. One survived, the other just keeled over and died. The surviving one is thriving quite well now, and it seems to be quite a hardy tree. I'm wondering what could have gone wrong to the dead one, being planted in the same area under the same conditions.
     
  8. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    It can happen... some trees just don't make it and it's sometimes hard to determine why.
     
  9. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Last winter mine were attacked by beetles that stripped a couple of them of every leaf. Had I not checked & sprayed the bugs I am sure those ones would have died & I would not have known that the deaths were caused by bugs. They are tiny tiny beetles.
    My trees seemed to have slowed their growth for winter. They grew a fair bit over summer but I think they are planning on doing nothing of winter
     
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