This week Ann-Christine gave us the theme for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #50 – Trees. Here are some of my tree stories.
I’m thankful for having many trees in our front yard and the garden in the back of the house.
Our county is named Orange County known for the orange groves. In 1948, a vast forest of five million Valencia orange trees grew on 67,000 acres. The postwar population boom triggered an almost wholesale conversation of farmland to suburbia.
Our home was built before 1948 with an orange tree planted in the backyard. The Valencia tree produces two crops a year yielding several hundreds of oranges each crop. The juice we squeeze and freeze from each crop lasts for four months.
I planted two plum trees in my garden several years ago. The plum blossoms start earlier than any flowers. In 2017, when the trees were mature and started having full blossoms, I worried there were no bee attracting flowers to pollinate the plum blossoms. Well, I said there were no bee attracting flowers around, it was not entirely true. There were clovers with yellow flowers but yellow was not my favorite color of flowers. To one person is flower, to another person is weed. I consider clovers weed and always pulled them to give room for planting other flowers. That year, after I pulled two handful from the slope blanketed with clovers, I spotted bees. I was surprised and happy, but sorry for what I did. I quickly plugged the clovers back to the soil. Ever since then, I leave a large area on the slope for clovers.
This year, with five months of winter rain, both plum blossoms and clovers grow wild. There are several hundreds of plums on each tree.
(Note: The heavy rain throughout the winter boosted the growth of the plums. When they started ripening. For the sake of curiosity, I tallied as I picked them. From June 16 to July 15, 2019, one thousand and one hundred plums (1100) were picked. What a year!)
Without giving too much thought on many kinds of apples, I planted a Granny Smith apple tree several years ago. It turned out that Granny Smith apples were too sour for me to eat. My friends recommended to use them to make apple pies. We don’t eat pies too much for health reason. I ended up chopping down the tree and planted a Red Delicious apple tree. The tree is three years old with thin branches, but with the help of heavy rain this year, there are a couple hundreds of apples. I had to use heavy sticks to pop up the weighed down branches.
Cypress trees require little water to grow to a maximum of 100 feet tall and 20 feet wide. Many homes use them as natural fence for privacy or border of the property. We grow them for privacy reason. The home on the hill on the top of our slope has the backyard facing our second story. Even though people don’t purposely intrude other people’s homes, we wanted to have the added beauty of the trees and privacy.
There are three Hibiscus trees, two in the garden in the back of the house and one in the side yard. Hibiscus tree has gorgeous flowers without requiring too much water. I used to water them the same way I did for other trees and flowers. Then I noticed white flies growing from the back of the leaves. My gardener asked me to rinse the leaves with soapy water. I got rid of the white flies with soapy water, but I decided not to water the trees at all. Since the roots of the trees are deep and draw water from the deep soil, the trees grow beautifully with dark green leaves and bright color flowers.