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Tree Research ⋆ Edible Backyard


This is Project 4 in my Start a Garden Guide, and is the perfect autumn mission for anyone planning on planting trees this winter.

Rule number 1 for an easy garden life, is be sure the fruit/ shelter/ shade trees you plant are well matched to you + your garden.

Take a little time + do a little tree research before shopping, (I have hope). Find trees that:

  • suit your soil
  • happily cope with all 4 seasons at your place (sunshine, shade, temperature, frost, rainfall)
  • are the right size for the available space – yes please!, pay double attention to this one.
  • fulfil your wishes: grow your favourite fruits, attract birds, glow with autumn colour, create privacy/ shelter, provide summer shade …

Good matches are my wish for you! When well matched, strong growth comes with next to no effort, and you avoid future tree dramas.

The ultimate tree research list

Grab a big sheet of card and set it up with the headings below. Stick it on the wall/ fridge/ headboard to keep it alive in your mind.

Use these headings:

  • Shelter.
    Up to 3m is the most useful height – sheltering animals/small fruit trees/berries/vegies/you – find lots of these.
    3-5m to shelter house/ larger fruit + nut trees/ for big winds.
    Over 6m suits larger tracts of land, for soaking up water, for erosion control. Consider big trees carefully!
  • Deciduous tree/s for leaf supply, shade and autumn colour
  • Shade trees for greenhouse/ animals/ chooks/ humans
  • Nitrogen fixing trees and shrubs for orchard and garden companions
  • Deciduous fruit + nut trees
  • Evergreen fruit (citrus, avocado, olive, feijoa)
  • Fruiting vines
  • Berries + Currants

Community Research

Your wider community is the very best place for your tree research. Google can give you some up’s but nothing as valuable as what your neighbours/ local pro’s can.

  • Scout out the gardeners in your hood. Then turn up with scones and pick their brains!
  • Join community gardens.
  • Check out your council website for suitable natives.
  • Visit local nurseries.
  • Go to lots of garden open days/ tours/ workshops.
  • Attend Tree Croppers meetings.

Jot down trees as discover them. You’ll appreciate this list bigtime, when you come to buy your trees in.

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