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Winter tree pruning tips

Trees need to be pruned to protect against falling branches. If the trees have grown so tall that they are closes to overhead power lines, DO NOT be tempted to prune them. Call your service provider to do the job. Thinning out the crown of the tree allows more light and air flow. Remove all diseased branches and dead ones. To encourage height remove all the lower branches. Stand back and look at the shape of the tree and decide if there are any other unsightly branches that need to be removed.
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Indigenous groups of waterwise plants

There are several ways that plants are adapted to being waterwise. 1.Succulents are the first to come to mind. Consider plants like Aloes, Bulbine, Cotyledons, Portulacarya and Crassula families. 2. Some plants have a wax layer which prevents transpiration. Think of Grewia occidentalis and Jasminum multipartitum. 3. Families of small, needle-like leaves like the Agathosma, Coleonema and The Erica species. 4. Bulbs like Cyrtanthus, Scadoxus, Gladiolus, Gloriosa and those with tuberous roots like Kniphofia, Crinums and Dietes.
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Caring for your New Garden

Keep all exposed soil well mulched to minimize water and nutrient loss by the sun. The mulch (3-5cm of leaves, dried grass cuttings and soft plant material) eventually turns into compost as an added bonus. Do not till the beds. It disturbs the beneficial micro-organisms of the soil. Loosen slightly if compacted after applying fertilizer and slightly dig in the yearly dose of compost if still warm. For the first month, water daily and water trees deeply twice a week. After that, generally water less frequently,
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Indigenous plants for Rooftop Gardens

There are many advantages of green roofs other than just looking good. They help to stop the rain gushing down and therefor stop storm water runoff as well as keeping the building cooler indoors. The benefit to humans and animals is that the plants process the carbon dioxide from vehicles and produce oxygen, without which we would not live. They retard fires and help to reduce both noise and air pollution. Once planted up, they will require watering or irrigation until such time as the plants have established themselves.
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Bats in the garden

There are 56 bat species in South Africa and they are either insectivorous and eat mosquitoes, moths and beetles so do leave a dead tree in the garden which will attract insects. Fruit eaters and nectar feeders help with pollination and seed dispersal. To encourage and keep bats, keep an environmentally friendly space without the use of insecticides and poisons. Put up a light to attract the insects which will then attract the bats. Make sure that you have tall trees in which they roost. The fruit bats eat big, juicy ripe fruit so plant a few fruit trees and Ficus species for them.
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Fragrant Leaves

Fragrant leaves are useful if you are doing a flower arrangement as they freshen the air. They can also be used for potpourri. Some people use the crushed leaves of Plectranthus as a body wipe or wash. They grow best in the shade or semi shade. Artemesia afra is a medicinal plant with very strongly scented leaves that are used to cure sinus and other ailments. Clausena arisata's common name is "perde pis" so that gives you an idea of how pungent they are. They are however boiled as a tea to cleanse the body internally. These trees attract butterflies.
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Trees eaten by giraffe

Berchemia zeyherri Red Ivory, Bolusanthus speciosus Tree Westeria, Boscia albitrunca Sheperd’s tree, Cassia abbreviate Sjambok pod, Colophospermum mopane Mopane, Combretum apiculatum Red bushwillow, Combretum erythrophylum River bushwillow, Combretum hereoense Russet bushwillow, Combretum imberbe Leadwood, Combretum zeyheri Larged-fruited bushwillow, Dichrostachys cinerea Small-leaved sicklebush, Diospyros mespiliformis Jackalberry, Dombeya rotundifolia Wild pear, Fairherbia albida Ana tree, Ficus burkei Common wild fig, Ficus sansibarica Knob fig,
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Why plant indigenous?

Why Plant Indigenous Indigenous is trendy as there is a worldwide swing towards organics and planting local species. • Indigenous plants (sometime also called native plants) are plants that have evolved over thousands of years in a particular region. They have adapted to the geography, hydrology, and climate of that region. These plants occur in communities, that is, they have evolved together with other plants. As a result, a community of indigenous plants provides habitat for a variety of native wildlife species such as songbirds and butterflies. •
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