What's New at Trees From Seeds
Welcome to 2009
06/01/09 @ 0800
 

The 2009 season is just getting started here at Trees from Seeds, with several things to look forward to:

  • Hops - This is the 4th year of the hops, and they growing much better than last year. Three of the four varieties are going strong (again the Glacier are going slowly), and I've planted 2 new varieties at another site. Last year I got nothing; most of the bines were stunted after a huge windstorm shredded them, and then something killed all of them in late July.  

  • Hot Peppers - once again, way too many peppers. I am growing Bhut Jolokia, which is the new "hottest pepper in the world" champion. I might not live through these, although I have successfully tasted habaneros. Here  and here are the planting pages. 

  • Trees - This year I have a few new seeds, some old favorites, and the classic mystery seed.  Here is my planting page.


A new Mystery Tree
12/18/07 @ 1300
 

I have a new Mystery Tree, courtesy of a new friend in Michigan. Elinor described the tree, sent photos, then some seed pods. With some help from the professionals I identified the tree. See the whole story here.


Welcome to 2007
06/11/07 @ 1000
 

The 2007 season is well underway here at Trees from Seeds, with several things to look forward to:

  • Hops - This is the second year of the hops, and they growing much better than last year. All 4 varieties are going strong, and hop pellets are already showing. Last year I managed to make one batch of beer with my harvest; hopefully I'll get more this year. 

  • Hot Peppers - once again, way too many peppers. I have line up a few people who want a dried plant, so maybe I won't fill my cellar this year. Here  and here are the planting pages. 

  • Trees - This year I have a few new seeds, some old favorites, and the classic mystery seed.  Here is my planting page.


A new tree!
08/08/06 @ 0900
 

I was in Italy with friends a month or so ago. At a dinner we had a fruit course, and I had a fruit I had never had before. It was small and yellow, and reminded me of an apricot or a kumquat. I snagged 3 seeds (not easy to do discreetly, since everyone was talking Italian to me, and I was trying to understand them), brought them home, and germinated them. Turns out it was a "nespole" or loquat. Very interesting trees: evergreen, with fruits that overwinter and ripen in the spring. I have 3 little seedlings now (very easy to germinate), one at a friends, one in my front yard, and one looking for a home. Here is a link to some information (Note: this appears to be a commercial site; I have no financial interest in this site).


Welcome to 2006
05/01/06 @ 0900
 

The 2006 season is getting underway here at Trees from Seeds, with several things to look forward to:

  • Hops - I am growing my own hops for my beermaking. I will be setting up a separate page for them, stay tuned. 

  • Hot Peppers - once again I am planting several varieties of hot peppers, even though my pantry is completely full of dried peppers from years past. I grew several in pots last year, and kept them inside. Nothing like the bright red of a hot pepper on a dark winter day. 

  • Trees - some new types, and some old favorites.  Here is my planting page for 2006.

 


Collecting for Next Year
09/27/05 @ 0900
 

I've been making the rounds the past two weeks, checking on how seeds are ripening. This past weekend I gathered:

  • Hophornbeam - I found some new trees to collect from here in Wilmington. I was very excited to see many seed "hop clusters" on one specimen, but was very disappointed to find no seeds. I guess the tree is still young to produce lots of seeds. My old reliable tree I collect from has no seeds this fall; it did earlier in the spring, but the dry weather apparently wiped them out. Note: on 09/27/05 I revisited this site, and found another tree full of hop clusters. I collected several, and now have lots of seeds for next year. These trees were planted at a city park by my friend Vik at the Delaware Center for Horticulture a few years ago. 

  • Persimmon - I found a native or common persimmon at Hagley museum last weekend, and collected from it. I also have found a more "civilized" tree in a neighborhood near me, with larger fruit, and will collect from it when the fruit ripens. I put the persimmon fruit in a ziploc bag and have been letting them ferment and soften. I opened the bag after 2 days and was nearly knocked over by the odor. Lots of seeds, though.

  • Redbud - I had some luck with these two years ago, and want to try them again. 

  • Osage Orange - it is just a little early to get these guys, but I did make an excursion to Hagley Museum to see the largest osage orange in Delaware. Unfortunately, it is a male tree, so no way for me to propagate this historic tree.  The trunk is huge. Click on the below photo for expando-shot. Coincidentally, a new reader, Linda, sent me an inquiry the same day. 

 


Welcome to 2006
05/01/06 @ 0900
 

The 2006 season is getting underway here at Trees from Seeds, with several things to look forward to:

  • Hops - I am growing my own hops for my beermaking. I will be setting up a separate page for them, stay tuned. 

  • Hot Peppers - once again I am planting several varieties of hot peppers, even though my pantry is completely full of dried peppers from years past. I grew several in pots last year, and kept them inside. Nothing like the bright red of a hot pepper on a dark winter day. 

  • Trees - some new types, and some old favorites.  

 


My 2006 Wish List
08/11/05 @ 0800
 

I've been thinking about my 2006 Wish List, the seeds I want to collect and grow next year:

  • Goldenchain tree - I have some seeds that a fan sent me.

  • Black tupelo - I found a tree last fall with lots of seeds; unfortunately, by the time I had ID'd it, I forgot where it was. No, its not that I'm going senile, I was on a bike ride and covered a lot of ground that day. I will try to retrace my route.

  • Katsura - I recently spotted several trees near my plant, and last week found a large tree in Kennett Square with lots of seed pods just starting.

  • Bur oak - last year (2004) I had some acorns that Pete sent me; I have been on the lookout for some seed-bearing trees near me, but have not found any yet. I might have to go to where Pete collects.

  • Sassafras - I spotted some seed-bearing trees a few years ago, but no seeds last fall. 

  • Crape myrtle - these are all over in Wilmington, but my previous attempts have been in vain. I think I need to take a little more care in preventing the seeds from molding over the winter.

  • Hophornbeam - I have 3 seedlings from 2 years ago, but found no seeds last year. This is one of my favorite trees, from the ragged bark to the name.


A gift of seeds
08/10/05 @ 1230
 

A fan from Missouri, Carlene, sent me some goldenchain tree (Laburnum x watereri var. "Vossii")  seeds today. I have not found any of these growing here in Wilmington. Here is a photo I took of a great tree in Edinburgh, Scotland last spring. The tree is in a little park area just below Edinburgh Castle. 

Just so you guys don't think I am a total tree nerd, here is a picture of my main tree-and-seed assistant in front of our favorite bar in Edinburgh. I consumed many Deuchars IPAs here, even though the bartender was really hung-over and could barely muster enough strength to hand-pump my ale.


Early August
08/08/05 @ 0900
 

Well, the summer here has  been hot and dry. I've had to water just about every day, the ground is rock hard, and every time it looks like rain nothing happens but a sprinkle. We've had a few weeks in the upper 90s, and the humidity is crushing. However, the seedlings are doing OK. I received some pawpaw seeds in the mail earlier this year from a fan, and they are doing well.  Out of 9 seeds I have 4 nice seedlings, two on the way, two that didn't germinate yet, and one seedling that died.

 


You know it's June in Delaware when...
06/10/05 @ 0900
 

... the temperature goes from the 70's to the 90's in one week, and the catalpas bloom. For the past 3 weeks we have been surrounded by the purple paulownia blooms, but they have given way to the catalpas. The leaves of these trees are similar, but the flowers are distinctive. While the official street tree survey of Wilmington identifies only 9 catalpas, there are many more "stealth" trees. Here is a good sized one directly outside my plant, in the lot where everyone dumps their old sofas and tires. 

While most of the soil here at Trees From Seeds is a fine mixture of clay, gravel, and crushed brick, there is one spot that is relatively fertile. It also is where our parking lot drains, so it is the wettest spot around. I planted a little catalpa here in the fall of  2002. After the first year it was just the size of a pencil, it froze over the winter, and it popped out of the ground. After the second year it was about 3 feet, after the third is was about 10, and now it is growing strong. Here is a photo, with my assistant in mischief Bob for scale.


Trees from Seeds is BACK
05/27/05 @ 0900
 

Well, after a long break, Trees from Seeds is BACK for 2005. I have been way too busy to update this web page, but the tree growing season is in full swing here in Delaware. After a week of rain and cold weather we are sunny today, and heading for the high 70's. I guess summer is finally here, but without (so far) the humidity. Check out the 2005 Growing Season page to see what is happening.

We have a resident fox here at the International headquarters of Trees from Seeds - here is a shot of her from a few weeks back. We spotted 7 pups last week, but have seen only 3 lately.  They hide in the trees around the plant, but come out to lie in the sun. The mother fox is busy hunting down food during the day and early evening; the pups usually are hidden then.


The 2004 Mystery Tree
11/04/2004 @ 1530
 

I have some new photos of the 2004 Mystery Tree, which I identified as poncirus trifoliata. There are a few nice specimens here in the city, and a recent walking and collecting tour gave me the opportunity to get some nice photos of the tree in fall. See the photos here.


Urban trees, in Wilmington
05/05/2004 @ 1530
 

An article in the Wilmington News Journal today describes how "[a] year long study of tree canopies, the area covered by the circumference of leaves on a tree, will focus on the concept of trees as public utilities that reduce stormwater runoff, decrease air pollution and cut energy costs." The study will be conducted by the Delaware Center for Horticulture. Read the article here.


Redbuds
04/19/2004 @ 1430
 

Interesting article in the New York Times on Sunday about various varieties of redbud, including their expected lifetimes. Some of the varieties are more resistant to canker than others. While some of the varieties have only a 25 year life expectancy, the trees here in Wilmington where I collect my seeds are pretty big, and I expect a little older than that. Read the article here.


Frost dates
03/05/2004 @ 1430
 

The warm weather we have been having the past 10 days or so have put everyone in the mood for planting. Reality check: the frost dates for Wilmington are 04/25 and 10/15. Guess I won't be starting my tree seeds outside any time soon, although my hot pepper seeds will be started in about 2 weeks. You can check your frost dates here


Delaware Big Trees
03/01/2004 @ 0930
 

The Wilmington News Journal ran an article today about the biggest trees of Delaware.  The  number of big trees has declined significantly over the recent years as some of these trees have been cut or damaged. There is link to the official Big Tree site in my resources page.


Lewis and Clark - Osage Orange
02/28/2004 @ 0900
 

The March issue of Smithsonian magazine has a little story about the Lewis and Clark expedition. They were introduced to the Osage Orange tree by some of the native people they encountered, and returned samples to Thomas Jefferson. 


Avocado Seeds
02/18/2004 @ 0800
 

I received a request for information on growing avocado seeds from a reader in Kentucky. I haven't grown them since I was a kid. I vaguely remember that we would peel the "skin" off the seed after it had dried for a few days, then stick 3 toothpicks in the seed and suspend it down into a glass of water that covered the seed about halfway. I don't remember if the pointy end was up or down. We would grow them until they took over the counter and my mom threw them out. I found a discussion on the web.


Big trees on NPR
12/10/2003 @ 1000
 

I heard an interesting story on NPR while driving to work this morning. The correspondent Ketzel  Levine went on a big-tree expedition with Bob Van Pelt, an ecologist from Seattle, to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. They were searching for a Douglas fir that Van Pelt had spotted several years before; he thought it might be a record-setting tree. This story is part of a series "Big Trees and the Lives They've Changed". The audio feed is also available.  Van Pelt is the author of several books on big trees of the Northwest. I have seen most of the big trees in the Olympic Peninsula, including a Western red cedar, atlas cedar, and Douglas fir. If you are from the East Coast, and haven't seen a big conifer, you are missing something. These guys make the biggest trees here look small. (The entire series on big trees is available here.)


 

 

Welcome to "What's New," items about trees, seeds,  and tree growing that I have run across lately.


 
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Last updated: 06/01/2009 08:27:27 AM