Have your Hedge and Eat It
(Punicaceae) is a rounded shrub that grows to about 8
feet tall, tolerates alkaline soil that would kill most
plants and needs very little watering. In fact, about 2
years ago while we were hiking on an abandoned ranch in the
high desert, we came across a hedge of old, utterly
neglected pomegranate bushes -- and they were still bearing
pomegranate has a growing reputation as an
antioxidant and is a great addition to an edible
landscape. The 'Wonderful', shown here, is one of
the best varieties for hot, dry climates.
In fall the leaves turn a brilliant yellow, and, as
we all know, the fruit looks like a Christmas tree
Another Edible Hedge.
Another shrub that makes for good looks and good eating is
the Pineapple guava
You will often find this drought-tolerant, South American
native in nurseries as a standard or small tree, but it can
be grown as a multi-trunk shrub for an unusual and beautiful
informal hedge. If left untrimmed, it can reach a height of
25 feet -- although we have never seen any that tall. Its
soft gray-green leaves are silvery-white on the underside.
Both the flower petals in the Spring and the fruit in the
Fall are edible. The petals are a perfect addition to a
tropical fruit salad! For more ideas about drought-tolerant
hedge plants, visit our
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Trimming the Tree.
(And we are not talking about shiny red balls on a lighted
Christmas tree.) At this time of year many people decide to
trim back or prune trees which have grown significantly over
the summer months. Tree branches and limbs should be
carefully and selectively thinned using only sharpened
If you are taking out an entire
branch, the pruning cut should leave a branch collar of
about an inch or so extending out from the trunk. This
collar allows the cut to heal. Branches that are cut flat to
the tree trunk leave the tree more liable to become
diseased. And whatever you do, don't just whack off the top
of a young tree. Let it grow to its natural shape.
Actually, we would advise you to use
only a Certified Arborist to prune a tree
that is more than five years old. Yes, Arborists are more
expensive but we have seen far too many over-trimmed trees
-- massacred by so-called "tree trimmers" who are armed with
a chain saw and the mindset of a lumberjack. They don't have
a clue about what they are doing. Trees are an important
part of your property, increasing your home's value by
thousands upon thousands of dollars, so it is definitely
worth it to use only a licensed expert to trim them.
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Newsletter for November 2005 or