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Citrus Trees May Be Planted Now

■THE planting of lemons, oranges ■*• and evergreens can now be carried on with comparative safety. There should be more warmth in the soil now, so that root action is more rapid and the trees soon become established. This, however, is not always followed by immediate top growth, which is often a source of anxiety, for it frequently happens that, even when planted under the most favourable conditions and healthy root action is taking place, little or no growth is made until the summer or early autumn. It is for this reason that, when planted in districts subject to severe frosts, some protection should be given during the winter or until the trees are sufficiently advanced and hardened. Before planting thorough soil preparation and drainage should receive attention, for there are few trees which succumb quicker to an excess of soil water. In planting the greatest care should be taken not to place the roots too deep in the soil, in fact it is advisable to have the trees slightly raised above the surrounding surface and in no case to cover with soil the part of the trunk where the buds have been inserted. Too deep planting is the cause of many failures.

At this time of the year, when the secateurs are being freely used, it is necessary to remind amateurs that trees and THE FLOWERING shrubs which SHRUBS produce their displays in spring must not be touched with the knife. Varieties such as lilacs, mock orange, flowering cherries, plums and peaches, and in fact any kind of tree or shrub which is expected to become florally attractive from the end of August to the latter part of October, should not have branch reductions made after the early part of summer. Flower buds now are in existence, and if any of the stems are cut off at this period it will follow that there will be fewer blooms in the spring. Many promising displays are considerably lessened by the injudicious use of the pruning knife. In all cases flowering trees and shrubs should be pruned and made shapely soon after they have terminated their season of floral usefulness. A realisation ■■of this fundamental cultural principle will make it clear that spring flowering trees and shrubs should be pruned at the end of spring. Varieties which bloom in summer should be operated on at the end of that season, and so on through the year.

The time will soon be here for deal-1 ing with the chrysanthemums. The) old clumps of last season will now be throwing I NEXT YEAR'S up numerous] CHRYSANTHEMUMS shoots and, these should! be taken off as cuttings. These 1 shoots can be cut off just above the! soil and planted in a sandy compost! to root, or they can be cut just below the soil, when it will be found they have a few roots attached: These offsets can be planted out into a nursery bed, later on to be transferred to their perinanent quarters. Of the merits of cuttings or offsets there is a difference of opinion, but good blooms can be grown on both. One point in favour of cuttings is that more stock can be obtained from one stool than by means of offsets. This point, however, has little appeal to the home gardener, who can usually obtain all the plants he wants from one stool. The method of offset gives the best results in a garden where time and facilities are not too numerous. When taking off these offsets do not plant a long piece of white underground stem, often as long as the top part of the ■ plant. Cut the offsets an inch or so below the surface. This will give one or two small rootlets and these will be sufficient. The offsets should be planted in a nursery bed of sandy soil and if the weather should be fine and sunny it is necessary to give some shade until the plants are established. The nursery bed should be kept moist, as it is essential that the! base of the offset or cuttings should not become dry.

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Bibliographic details

Citrus Trees May Be Planted Now, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 181, 2 August 1945

Word Count

Citrus Trees May Be Planted Now Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 181, 2 August 1945

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