Tree Sale, Winter Pruning, Cash for Crew

TREE SALE!

It happens every year.  We get all gushy thinking back on another year of hard work, great clients, good times, and want to celebrate.  But instead of breaking out the 60% ABV Dutch brew, we’re gonna do something much more productive and announce our annual Tree Sale!   All native trees come from local Austin growers, all fruit trees come from East Texas.  Prices include purchase, delivery, installation, a little compost for the fruit trees, and a big mulch ring, but not sales tax.

Monterrey Oak, aka Mexican White Oak – Big shade tree, semi-evergreen.  Our favorite oak for its manly resistance to oak wilt and its ability to woo the ladies with its pinkish new growth in spring, plus the bonus of its childish ability to grow like a corn-fed 10-year old.  It might be a legal Mexican but just like Newt, we love it so much that we’ll just call it a native.  3-gallon, $35;  7-gallon, $55; 15-gallon, $95.

Montezuma Cypress – Big shade tree.  Arborists love this tree for its symmetrical upright shape, and its tendency to hang on to its limbs.  It’s a Mexican cousin to our Bald Cypress, which makes it fonder of peppers, breasts, Mary, truck murals, and hot dry weather.  It also grows about 3 times faster than any oak too, so its like, the perfect tree.  3-gallon, $40; 10-gallon, $100.

Texas Mountain Laurel – Evergreen understory tree, 15-20′ Sun or Shade.  One should be careful when describing TMLs.  What if it’s true that plants are way more evolved than humans, and that they really have total control over us?  Nobody would want to be on record for saying anything that sold the king of the natives short when the reign of power is transferred from inferior humans back to the plants.  Texas Mountain Laurel, booya.  10-gallon, $110; 30-gallon, $230.

Texas Kidneywood – 12-15′ Sun or Part Shade.  Don’t call it a shrub to its face unless you want to get knocked out.  It can take the drought like a cactus, only it’s much softer and the bees love it.  A nice tree to plant along the fringes of the shade line of bigger trees, to eat up just a little more St. Augustine from full sun lawns for those of you heading in that direction anyway.  5-gallon, $30; 10-gallon, $90.

Palo Verde ‘Desert Museum’ – Small tree.  This is my favorite weed on the planet.  It usually grows with Retamas and Baccharis all over the nastiest, most disturbed places imaginable.  When the human population is wiped out by the Overpopulation Plague, this will be the most common tree in the New New World.  Some plant nerd in Arizona made a version of Palo Verde with no thorns, and I hope that man is the richest horticulturist that has ever lived.  Give it a little sun, super crappy soil, and either desert or swampy conditions and it will be happy.  10-gallon, $175.

Mexican Buckeye – Small tree happy in sun or shade.  Austin native takes drought like a champ, eats up alot of space that St. Augustine won’t grow in, and is the first tree to bloom in spring with the Redbuds.  5-gallon, $30; 10-gallon, $90.

Bigtooth Maple – Smallish tree.  This one is the wild card for the year.  Mitch grows them, and Mitch is pretty awesome so its good enough for me.  These are the trees that make Lost Maples what it is.  3-gallon, $35.

Fruit Trees – Some will need more than one variety in order to fruit: Apples, Pears, and Plums.  Others self-pollinate so you only need one:  Peaches, Figs, Persimmons, and Apricots.   But the more you have, the better chances of getting fruit after the birds and squirrels have their share.  We will choose the best varieties of each tree for the Austin area.  All trees are bare-root, 2-3′ whips, so they look like sticks until they leaf out in the spring.  They all grow fast, and should start fruiting within the first 1-3 years.  $60/each; $50/each for 3+.

WINTER PRUNING

Some tasks to think about in the landscape for the next few months:  1) plant trees; 2) make your irrigation system more efficient; 3) don’t prune perennials.  It’s been a weird year.  Plants are pretty stressed out right now, and a few of them have already gone to sleep for the winter, only to flush out a little after these teasing spits of rain.  Don’t be tempted to cut them back just yet.  With the warm temps and a little rain, cutting them now could potentially encourage more growth, which would end up getting nipped hard during the inevitable freezes heading this way.  And after such a brutal summer, it could be the last straw for some already stressed and confused plants.

So for now, enjoy the winteresque landscape and allow those perennials a little break for as long as possible.  The skeleton can actually help insulate roots a little, maybe buying a few degrees of warmth during cold snaps.  Let the leaves build up as an extra blanket, and wait until mid/late February to cut back the dead winter growth.

CASH FOR THE CREW

Remember when it was 104 for the 89th time this summer?  And your hard-working landscape crew still showed up on Tuesday afternoon just like they always do, to take care of the unpleasant business of weeding those beds and mowing that grass, without pausing to complain, or without cutting a corner to get out of the heat as quickly as possible?

One could argue that a prompt monthly payment is thanks enough, and I would completely agree.  I have no problems with that argument, I think its a fair and sustainable financial strategy for most folks.  But if you happen to find yourself with a little abundance, and you feel that the guys gave you a little something extra this year, please feel free to show your gratitude by sending a little extra kiss in your November payment.  Just like every year, this extra money is distributed to the 4-man maintenance crew just before they take their one week of paid holiday vacation.  It’s nothing we expect, and nothing we take for granted, but it’s always appreciated.

 

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