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Home | Turkish Gardens | Trees 1 | Trees 2

- A garden has this advantage, that it makes it indifferent where you live. A well-laid garden makes the face of the country of no account; let that be low or high, grand or mean, you have made a beautiful abode worthy of man... Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)

Trees in a Turkish Garden

Dut Trees

Mulberry Trees, known as Dut trees in Turkey, are both sweet and nutritious. They are high in vitamin C, iron, calcium, and protein, and are a good source of dietary fiber. Since ancient times, mulberries have been highly valued. Charlemagne, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, ordered them cultivated as a useful plant on the imperial farm, and Syrup of Mulberries is mentioned in Spain's Calendar of Cordova for the year 961. In Chinese Medicine, mulberries are classified as a blood tonic. They have been used medicinally to:

  • Benefit the kidneys
  • Treat weakness and fatigue
  • Correct anemia
  • Help protect against cancer
  • Reverse premature graying of the hair
  • Promote sleep
  • Calm the mind

Mulberries are a source of Resveratrol, a plant compound also found in red wine grapes, which helps starve cancer cells by inhibiting the action of a protein called nuclear factor-kappa B. Research shows that resveratrol blocks the action of cancer-causing agents, inhibits tumor growth and development, and causes precancerous cells to return to a normal, healthy state. Resveratrol, which functions as both an antioxidant and an anticoagulant, also shows promise in controlling heart disease, based on the results of cell cultures and animal studies.

Dried mulberries are somewhat crunchy, like figs. They can be eaten as is, providing a refreshing alternative to raisins or other dried berries, or used to make a mulberry candy (grind them in the blender, mix in nut butter, and sweeten to taste). They are especially delicious in yogurt or with granola.

Mimosa Trees

For over thousands of years the bark of the Mimosa has been used to treat lesions of the skin. For hikers hurt and bleeding this is a benefit to have growing nearby. Mimosa root bark contains 16% tannins, which act as an astringent, making the skin stop bleeding. This helps protect the body from infection, while the skin's cells repairs DNA and builds new protective tissue.

On the ecological/symbiotic side there is a species of beetle; the oncideres which finds a mimosa tree, climbs, and lay her eggs on. this is done by crawling out on a limb, cutting a longitudinal slit with her mandible and depositing her eggs. Now beetle larvae cannot survive in living wood, so she backs up about a foot and for about 8 hours cuts a neat circular girdle all around the limb, through the bark and down into the cambium and then she leaves. The limb dies from the girdling, falls to the ground with the next wind storm and the larvae feed and grow into the next generation.

Left to themselves, an unpruned mimosa tree has a life span of twenty-five to thirty years. Pruned each year, which is what the beetle’s girdling labor accomplishes, the tree can flourish for a century. The mimosa/beetle relationship is an elegant example of symbiotic partnership.

  • Buy a young tree or start with a seed pod you can get from anyone who has a mimosa tree.
  • Plant the tree in full sun. If you live in a cold climate, it is best to plant your mimosa tree near a wall to help it to retain heat.
  • Water your mimosa tree only during very dry periods. It is not necessary to water it if you are getting normal rain levels.
  • Remove dead branches as they occur to keep the tree healthy.
  • Weed out baby trees that develop from seed pods. Mimosa trees can be very intrusive, making hundreds of babies which grow from their dropped seed pods.
  • Fertilize your mimosa tree in the early spring before there are signs of new growth if you live in a milder climate and your tree has survived the winter. You also might want to fertilize the tree if you notice signs of leaves turning yellow. Yellowing leaves is an indication of a fungal disease. There is nothing you can do to save the tree from the disease, but fertilizer can prolong the life of the tree and slow down the progression of the disease.

Jacaranda Trees

The jacaranda comes from the warmer parts of the globe - especially Brazil, Mexico and Central America, and Australia and southern Africa. Australian cities use it widely as a decorative tree. The species usually referred to as jacaranda is Jacaranda mimosifolia. As well as the spectacular flowers, the tree also has attractive foliage, quite fern like in appearance.

Unfortunately if it is to be grown outside that is where it needs to stay! It is not a recommended plant for any part of northern Europe. They can usually be kept outside during the summer as long is they are whisked inside when temperatures threaten to fall below 5 degrees. The jacaranda tree likes to be well watered but not to sit in wet soil - so only water when the soil has pretty much completely dried out from the previous watering. Despite its being sensitive in milder climates, the jacaranda is highly recommended if you do have a conservatory, or a sunny terrace and a large indoor space to put it for a few months of the year.

Eucalyptus Trees

Eucalyptus are very sensitive to root damage and restriction. It is therefore essential to select a small tree (generally about 1 - 1.5' tall) that is not potbound, and that looks healthy and vigorous. It is very much to the benefit of the tree for it to get established in the ground and growing in the native soil as a small plant. There are numerous other benefits to starting with small plants. Large, top-heavy, or rootbound potted eucs are generally problematic.

Once you have obtained your Eucalyptus, it is important to plant it out in its permanent location immediately before it has a chance to become rootbound and lose its vigor. Generally, Eucalyptus can be planted at any time of the year. However, if you live in a climate where your Eucalyptus is expected to be marginally hardy, I would advise planting it in mid-spring so that it can reach the maximum possible size before the following winter. Similarly, if you have hot dry summers and anticipate that it will be difficult to keep the Eucalyptus watered, it may be best to plant it in the autumn (or the beginning of the rainy season). These are very important factors to keep in mind while deciding when to purchase your Eucalyptus, because it should be planted immediately after purchase!

Eucalyptus require relatively little care after planting. Although many Eucalyptus are very drought tolerant once established, they must not be allowed to dry out when they have just been planted and are small and vulnerable. You may need to water the Eucalyptus as often as once a week to once a day, depending on the consistency of your soil. Just do whatever it takes to keep the soil moist until the Eucalyptus is well established and has grown several feet. Of course if the soil remains moist because of frequent rains or lawn irrigation, then no supplemental watering is needed at all.

There are several benefits to mulching. The mulch will help prevent the soil from losing moisture through evaporation. It will help keep the soil from freezing, which can be a crucial factor in winter survival. Weeds and grass should not be allowed to grow up around the base of the Eucalyptus or they will slow its growth by competing for nutrients and moisture. Mulch can prevent this as well. (This problem, it should be noted, is not as serious as the problem of Eucalyptus being slowed from having their roots restricted, because it is very easy to correct. In some situations, grass competition is not even regarded as a problem, since Eucalyptus are subjected to these conditions when growing in their native habitat.)

Mulch the Eucalyptus heavily - about 3 - 6" thick is fine (so long as the weeds/grass can't grow up through it), and mulch the ground about 1.5 - 2' out (or farther) from the trunk of the plant. With Eucalyptus it is OK to bury the base of the tree a little bit. Many products can be suitable for use as a mulch, including bark, wood chips, leaves and grass clippings. Compost, manure and other products containing a lot of nitrogen are generally less suitable, because weeds will grow up in them more readily, and because they will cause the tree to produce too much top growth for the size of the root system.

If browsing by animals is likely to be a problem, a wire cage of some sort can be set up around the Eucalyptus to protect it. Creatures such as deer do not generally like Eucalyptus, but may nibble a branch or two off, or scrape the bark of with their antlers. The Eucalyptus will recover from this, but of course it will be damaged some.

Eucalyptus should not be transplanted. That is, if you have planted it in one place in the ground, and it becomes established there, you should not move it. Eucalyptus are much more sensitive to root damage than normal trees when young. If you dig it up and fail to get at least 40 - 80% of the roots (this can vary according to the time of year), then the tree is likely to die outright. Even if it survives transplanting, its vigor will be greatly reduced. "It is therefore important to ensure that they are planted where they are to grow to maturity in the first place.

Eucalyptus do not generally need to be pruned. However they are very responsive to pruning and will resprout vigorously from very large branches. A large proportion of the foliage can be removed from the tree if necessary. Eucalyptus should not have their lower branches removed. They should be removed only after they have died on their own. This helps to prevent the tree from becoming top-heavy.

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