Sunday, December 30, 2007

Mulch and More Mulch

AEP and Asplundh brought our first load of mulch in December.

The entire back corner will be a thick layer of mulch. Because these tree trimmings have quite a bit of green material, we will keep it away from the trees and their beds. But it is a wonderful material for our "forest floor". This mulch will also be our initial path material.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Some TLC for the "Forest"

After the trees had been in the ground for more than a month, it was time to work on their beds. We had taken great care to make sure they were planted at the proper depth - (which is the exact same depth that they had been growing). Click here for instructions from the Texas Forest Service about how to properly plant a tree. We added some compost to the bed and formed a water ring at the drip line. This is a Texas Persimmon, Diospyros texana. It can be identified by its smooth trunk, much like the trunk of a Crepe Myrtle.
This Anacua, Ehretia anacua, looks so well groomed now!
In spite of the lateness, we scattered some wildflower seed in the tree beds.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Our First Planting!

The Cameron County Master Gardeners were excited to dedicate our new Arboretum on November 13, 2007. The previous August, the Cameron County Commissioners Court dedicated this piece of land for Master Gardener use. Our plan is to create an educational garden using water-wise plants and techniques. In addition to hosting gardening classes, the Arboretum will be a self-guided educational garden. Our first phase is planting the Valley Native Forest. This will include examples of trees that we feel do well in the home landscape - a few of them are well-known but most are not.

Commissioner David Garza shared a few words. The City of San Benito, the San Benito Chamber of Commerce, and the San Benito School District were well represented at the dedication.

The dignitaries and the Arboretum Committee get ready to plant our first tree!

Our first tree to plant was a Brasil Tree. It's a native to our area. Check back at this sight for information on each of the species that we include in this project.

Lastly, we watered our new trees in! It has been a long time since it rained, so this acre was absolutely arid. Large cracks were found all over the heavy clay ground. Thankfully, the county send a water truck that gave each tree a BIG drink of water. See the holes in the background? Each of those - a total of 29 - will hold a tree by the end of the day.