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Home | Turkish Gardens | Trees 1 | Trees 2

Trees in a Turkish Garden

Palm Trees

Planting Palmiye (palm trees) is similar, in most ways, to planting other kinds of trees. Nursery-grown palms are generally sold either potted or balled and burlapped. Try to plant your tree shortly after purchase. If there is going to be any time lag between purchase and planting, make sure that the tree's root ball is kept moist but not soaking. When transporting and handling palm trees, use care. The bark is easily damaged and damaged areas leave the tree vulnerable to insects and fungus. The best time of year to plant is during the warmer months when the soil temperature is at least 65 degrees F.

Dig a hole wide enough to fit the root ball with plenty of room to spare. Twice as wide might be a good rule of thumb in many cases. The hole should be just deep enough so that the tree is planted at the depth at which it was grown. Do not plant the tree any deeper as this may deprive the roots of nutrients and water. When the tree has been situated in the hole, backfill with the freshly dug soil. When the palm tree has been planted, build a soil barrier around the circumference of the hole to form a dam that will hold water. Then lay down a layer of organic mulch around the tree. About three inches deep should do.

Frequent watering is crucial for newly-planted palm trees. Daily for about the first two weeks and then tapering off over several months as the tree establishes itself. Use a bubbler or arrange a hose to slow soak the area around the tree. It is important not to allow the soil to dry out as this will severely weaken your new palm. Palm trees also require periodic fertilizer applications. Finally, exercise caution when using lawnmowers and weed-whippers around palm trees as even minor bark damage may attract insects or invite disease.

Orange Trees

The Portakal tree (Orange tree) was first found in Southern China and North India. Because Europeans in the 1500’s valued the fruit for its medicinal qualities, it was imported by Portuguese traders into around the sixteenth century. By the seventeenth century, small greenhouses were being built in Europe to cultivate orange trees, which by then were known for their sweet taste.

Orange trees should not be pruned, as this impedes their natural development. You must make sure the tree is in a sunny area, in soil that does not retain water. Do not plant trees in alkaline soil, as they will not be able to survive. Mulch is always an asset, as it helps water to move through the soil and provides nutrients for the tree. If your area does not receive much rain, water the tree at least once every week and a half. If temperatures drop suddenly, cover the bottom of the trees in plastic.

If you plan to fertilize your tree, there are several different routes you can take. You should only fertilize the tree 4-5 times during its growth period. When figuring out the dose of fertilizer to give a tree, consider the nitrogen content on the label of the fertilizer you plan to use. Since a tree generally needs 1.5 lbs. Of nitrogen once a year, split your doses up accordingly. If you use fertilizer in the form of pellets, tablets or powder, make sure that these release nutrients slowly enough to ensure steady growth for the tree.

In Turkey there are several different varieties of orange trees to choose from. The basic orange, blood oranges with red pulp and juice, mandarin orange, and Tarunc which is thick skinned and pulpy. It's an orange that is mainly used for marmalades and jams.

Lemon Trees

If you plant, remembering to water and fertilize your lemon trees with care is not only crucial but will help result in consistently healthy, attractive trees, as well as a quality harvest. Follow these simple but important steps to grow and take care of the lemon tree you've always wanted. Plant the tree in a warm, sunny area where the soil drains well. Water the tree deeply once every 3 to 4 days in mid-summer (newly planted trees may need more frequent watering until established). Water less often if it rains or if the weather is cool.

You can also apply 2 to 3 inches of organic matter under the canopy of the tree to conserve moisture. Fertilize every four to six weeks from February to August. Prune trees every year or two to keep them within bounds and easy to pick. Cut back new growth by one-fourth to one-third. Protect trees from frost if temperatures are forecast to drop below 30 degrees F.

Olive Trees

The Zeyatin Tree (olive tree) symbolises the essence of the Mediterranean landscape. It is an elegant, evergreen tree which makes an excellent specimen plant for a sunny courtyard in a terracotta pot or planted in a Mediterranean style garden. Olive trees like full sun and do best in areas where the summers and long and hot and the winters relatively mild. They also tolerate temperate coastal areas. They cannot tolerate temperatures below 15 degrees F.

A mature olive tree can reach a height of 25 to 50 feet with about the same width, although they are usually topped a lot shorter than that. Even though olives grow rather slowly, young olive trees put on height fairly quickly so training should begin early. Olive trees are very flexible and can be shaped in many ways. They can be grown as single or multiple trunks.

Olive trees prefer deep rich soil, but will grow in a variety of soils, including alkaline and rocky soil. They are drought resistant once established, but do need regular, moderate irrigations. The most common pests are: Scale which can be sprayed when needed, Olive knot disease, which forms galls on twigs or branches, can be pruned out of the affected area and sterilizing the pruning shears after each cut, and Verticilium wilt which is a disease causing die-back in some branches and can be similarly pruned out.

Nar Trees

The Nar (pomegranate) is a deciduous shrub or small tree which is native to China and to Southern Europe. A number of varieties exist, both ornamental and fruiting, but the fruiting varieties will grow to about 10 feet tall. The fruit and flowers are both red, and the fruit ripens in the fall. Pomegranates are self-pollinating. They thrive in the heat and need long hot summers to produce well. They tolerate many soil types including very alkaline soils but deep loams are best. They are drought tolerant but need regular deep irrigations for good fruit development. They tend not to fruit too well in cool coastal areas. Pomegranates are hardy down to 12 degrees F. roughly. If grown in a container they can be brought indoors during cold weather or grown in a greenhouse.

A common problem is splitting of the rind. This is usually caused by heavy watering following a period of drought. Keep soil moisture relatively even to avoid this problem. When you recieve a pomegranate tree bare root, do not allow the roots to dry out. Put roots in water for an hour or two then plant or pot immediately and water in. If you recieve your tree in a container then transplant the entire root ball taking care to disturb the roots as little as possible. Water regularly during the growing season when the plant is young and less often as it becomes established. Spray with Sevin or Malathion or insecticidal soap if insects become a problem. The Turkish insecticidal soap - Arap Sabun is available at Migros or other markets.

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