Starting Small – Welcome to the New Year

The new tree

I planted a small podocarpus recently. The front yard needed another shade tree and winter is the best time to plant in Florida. There used to be a larger tree there, a southern magnolia planted two years ago this coming March. Unfortunately it was done in by the one-two combination of hurricane Matthew last year followed by Irma this year. So, time to try again.

This time I went small, real small. I found a 1-gallon, two-stemmed, 20” tall Podocarpus macrophyllus “shrub” for $5.00. After getting it in the ground and eliminating the smaller stem, I’ve rechristened it a “tree.” Or maybe I should say “a tree to be.” Although typically pruned as shrubs here, P. macrophyllus does grow into a large tree if given time. That’s my plan; give it time and attention.

I’ll have to wait for the shade of course, but it was a whole lot easier to plant this little tree than a 25- or even 15-gallon version. Also a smaller plant will establish more quickly (meaning less watering for me) and will be at less risk of root disruption when hurricane season stars again next summer. All of the small stuff I planted along with the magnolia made it through the storms just fine. Hopefully this little guy will too.

As we see from the magnolia, not all plants work out as intended, but if you walk around my yard there are many large and medium sized trees that used to be tiny. Time and persistence can work wonders for your landscape.

Same with health and wellbeing. Many times our 25-gallon resolutions don’t lead to deep-rooted habits fast enough to avoid toppling when the storms of life hit; while smaller initiatives, implemented slowly and progressively, have a better chance of long-term survival come what may.

Welcome to the New Year! I hope you grow many good roots in 2018!

Let me know if I can help.

Sincerely,

Pete

Comments

  1. Gene Truchelut says:

    Happy New Year Pete! Hope your Christmas with your family was peaceful.
    PS – the FUN convention is in Tampa this week. We’re going Saturday.

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