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Taking Root

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SHREVEPORT, La -

With the colder weather of fall and winter the thought of planting vegetation may be distant from your way of thinking. Not so for KTBS Neil Shaw in this Ark La Tex in Depth Report.

It may seem odd to be out planting now instead of springtime, but it is nearing the time of the year to plant fruit bearing trees. There are several reasons that factor into this truth.

Mark Walton of Garrison's Greenwood Garden explains "It's cooler, rainier, less stress on the plants. We have much more problem in our area with hot summers than we do winter.

And now that the so termed growing season has ended the time is actually ripe to plant trees. There are many varieties that are suitable for our climate. Look into the future and anticipate planting a tree or vegetation where you can pluck the fruit and eat it. It may take years to become reality but experts say it is worth the wait.

Ricky Kilpatrick of the LSU AG Center states "We've lots of choices, some people like plum trees muscadines or wild grapes are another good option, mayhaws. The big thing is knowing your land, your soil that type thing. If you live right next to the Red River you don't want to plant the same type trees than if you live in Keithville for example. There is a good bit of difference in the soil type.

The ag center has a kit you may purchase in order to have your soil tested

Mark Walton also tells us "People are really into producing their own food right now and understanding where it comes from. Fruit trees are really super popular as one of our best sellers nowadays."

It may go against conventional wisdom but the best time to plant a tree is when the leaves have fallen and it's a good idea to find a tree that you want to transplant from the ground while it has leaves on it. So you will know what it looks like. Then go back in the winter when the leaves have fallen and find your tag to tell it's the right tree and what kind of tree.

Mark Walton has more advice "You should be careful when you get into fruit trees because the maintenance if different because they vary a little bit. And also spacing is critical.

It's best if fruit trees get at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. And there is also soil preparation to consider.

More information about planting trees can be found on the web site for the LSU Ag Center. www.lsuagcenter.com  There are estimates that there more than two hundred thousand new trees are planted in Louisiana each year. Most of those by commercial growers.

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