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  • Writer's pictureKent Arboreal | Tree Work

A fun Q and A Taken From the Kent Arboreal Quora

Updated: Jun 24, 2019

Quora is a great way to answer questions in your field of expertise, and of course to ask questions of the right people. We've been using it for a short while now so here are a few of the questions that we have fielded so far and the answers we've given. Some are a bit silly. You were warned! Enjoy!

How do you make natural mulch?

It depends on what your aim is, as a feed for example, chopped and dried veggie peels can be very nutritious, dried chopped banana peels will give soil a potassium boost. If you want to really pep up the soil, well rotted pig manure is unbeatable and can be either dug in or mulched. Leaf mould (rotted deciduous leaves) can be mulched in the late autumn and throughout the winter months too. Wood chips from tree surgery companies can be obtained cheaply and will keep weeds down and improve soil, although watch out for conifer chips, too much of these can cause the soil to get too acidic.

I have a crabapple tree that is fruiting right now. What,if anything, can I do with the fruit?

Make apple sauce, or apple and blackberry jam (assuming you live somewhere that blackberries grow) You can eat crab apples, but they’re not very nice, but boil them up with some sugar and fruit and you’ll be golden!

What is your least favorite word? What word drives you up the wall? What word do people use that instantly makes you dislike them a little?

Mushroom. I know, weird, huh? It’s the sh sound in the middle of the word that makes my skin crawl!

If I keep cutting mango tree from top to restrict its height then what will be the spread of roots? Will they still grow too much deep and wide?

It won’t make any difference to the size of the root system, it will just cause the tree to become a bit bushier.

How quickly (or slowly) does a tree grow?

Depends entirely on the type of tree, some species grow several feet a year, others only fractions of inches. Also other factors make a difference too. If a tree is in fertile soil it will grow faster than one that isn’t. If it gets more light it will grow quicker, and plenty of rain. If you look at the rings in a felled tree, you can not only tell the age of the tree, but which years were best suited to the tree growing, usually warmer wetter years. The rings formed in those years are much wider apart because the tree grew more in those years.

What is a fast growing tree that I can plant in my yard that will produce food for my family?

An apple tree will usually bear fruit the year that it is planted provided you give it plenty of manure and water to feed it and allow the roots to establish. Obviously only if you plant a tree, not a seed!!!

If you plant a seed in a pot (in a closed environment) will the combined weight of the pot and plant increase as the plant grows?

Yes it will capture nutrients from the soil which will react with water to create heavier compounds, it will capture carbon from carbon dioxide in the air, and as it grows it will capture water.

What will happen if we do not grow a new plant?

You will only have your old plants

How many years does it take to grow a tree big enough for firewood?

Depends on the species, some softwoods as quick as 5 years, plus a year for seasoning, some hardwoods 100 years or more

How do I care for a topped tree?

In most cases just let it be. Some fruit trees can be susceptible to disease on fresh cut branches so it can be wise to cover the cuts with beeswax to seal them in these cases. Other than that, your tree will be just fine if it has had a crown reduction, or been pollarded.

Can I plant my fruit trees in an area of my yard that is landscaped with pea gravel? I plan to leave a ring of soil around each tree but the area would otherwise be entirely pea gravel on top of landscape fabric.

Yes, that is fine. The only thing you need to be aware of is that pea gravel has usually been dredged from the seabed so can be quite salty, so rinse the gravel in water before you put it down so that the salt cant soak into the ground and cause problems for the tree.

Which indoor plants can survive without water?

None can but many can survive being watered only once or twice a year. Cacti in particular, and Aloe Vera. If you want plants but never want to water them, then try a bottle garden. This creates a sealed closed system which can continue indefinitely with just the water added the first time before the bottle is sealed.

Why do people prefer lawns with grass instead of a garden of fruits and/or vegetables?

It’s lower maintenance. Most people are a bit intimidated by the idea of growing their own veg. They think there is some magic art to it. Theres not, its just that you have to tend to your veg throughout the supring and summer to get a good crop.

If you could outlaw one vegetables what would it be?

Celeriac, definitely. Trouble is it would just lead to groups of students having surreptitious 4:20 meet ups to eat celeriac and talk about how we’re all just clinging to an insignificant speck of a planet as it hurtles through the unimaginable cold vastness of space at thousands of miles per hour. And then if they were caught by law enforcement it could have a knock on effect as promising well rounded young people find themselves with a criminal record and no prospect of employment all because of one bite of that sweet sweet celeriac. Celeriac eating would become rife in poorer neighbourhoods and competition for the best corners to sell from would lead to violent crime.

How can you prevent moss growing in a light back garden?

It’s more likely to grow in shady areas so that’s a good start. You can use moss killing products but the best way is to scarify it and cut grass regularly.

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Kent Arboreal provide professional tree surgery, hedge cutting, and garden clearance services in East Kent, Thanet and Medway. We are fully insured and excellent value for money.

As well as being tree surgeons, Kent Arboreal are also bloggers, writing regular blogs of wildly varying quality on all things arboreal.

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