Thursday, November 10, 2016

New Trees

We've almost got plenty of trees on our little acre- mostly maple and redbud with a few fruit trees thrown in the mix. But there's always room for one or two more, right? We had to cut down all our evergreens a few years ago and I dearly miss them. The maples hang out in the front and sides of the property with the fruit trees in the back section that we loosely refer to as "the orchard." The orchard trees are mostly apple, peach, and mulberry, Just this year we placed a beehive back there and have started paying more attention to the types of trees we have, what we want to keep or add.

I've always like sassafras trees. I grew up drinking sassafras tea OCCASIONALLY as a treat. I remember chopping up the roots from my grandma's tree to brew or buying little cellophane packets of root pieces in the grocery store and taking them home to make tea.  Nowadays the FDA has prohibited the sale of sassafras due to the possibility of liver damage from consuming it. So I am not recommending drinking sassafras tea to anyone. But I still love the smell of sassafras. You can get a good idea of the tree's properties here. A few weeks ago one of my local friends posted on Facebook that she was clearing out a patch of sassafras saplings and anyone was welcome to come over and get some. Boy did I jump at that offer! So this week we planted our very first sassafras trees!

Last week while we were out celebrating our anniversary, we found some persimmon seeds and fruit on the ground. I was excited because persimmons are another tree I've wanted to add to our "orchard." Persimmon fruit makes a very good pudding. It takes a little extra work but the flavor is unique- most people either really like it or really don't. Persimmon trees have some of the same wildlife attractions as the sassafras trees and you can find more info about them here. Once I had posted about finding the seeds on Facebook, another friend offered to let me get some small trees from her property. I think we will try to start them from our seed find first but if that doesn't work out, I'll be taking her up on the offer!

So that's my exciting tree news! I've got a new spark of interest in my orchard, nectar producers for the bees, and an enticement to the wildlife to visit our yard!

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