Homes and Property
Grow your cedar in time, earn money
Posted Wednesday, January 30 2013 at 02:00
During December, Christmas tree branches for decorating were going for Shs20,000, enough to buy you an extra chicken for the festivities. You can be super clever by growing your own trees. You will kill two birds with one stone. And be the one to sell these trees at that amount.
Hakim Babara, a salesperson with Mukwano Tree Planting Association says they have seedlings for people who would like to plant their Christmas Trees now, for use in December.
They have three Cedar specie seedlings commonly known as the Christmas Tree, the Suya (Cedarius Suya) and the Sedero for Shs5000 each. Because they grow quickly and their branches can get wild, it is advisable to grow them in spacious places.
How to plant
“Dig a hole 10cm across and five to seven centimetres deep. Pour some soil and dry manure in it before you plant. Make sure the manure is dry. If it is wet, it will burn the plant, because it is acidic. Plant the seedling and water it,” Babara advises.
By December it would have grown to a height of about two metres, because of the adequate nutrients in the soil. It would have grown branches big enough for you to cut and put up in your house for decorating. A Cedar tree branch can last up to three weeks in a house without sunshine. That means if you put it up on December 20, you would be able to have it going strong and green until the January 10, when you are supposed to take it down anyway.
The advantage with having the tree in the compound is that you would cut a branch and leave the rest of the tree to grow and adorn it, waiting for the next Christmas season.
If you don’t have a spacious compound, there is still the option of planting the seedling in a pot. By Christmas time it would have grown to a small tree of about one-and-a-half metres, big enough for decorating.
Keep pruning it to the shape you may fancy – conical, round or any other shape, whenever you see undesirable off-shoots. Change the pot around July, because the tree will have out grown the first one.
While changing the pot, you will have the opportunity to change the soil, as well as check on the roots. Trim the root off-shoots, those that are threatening to overgrow the pot. Do not cut the plant itself. You can keep the tree forever, or till you get tired of it, depending on how you maintain it.
“Water it three times a week, all year round. These trees are not damaged by water, unlike plants that have stems in the ground,” says Babara.
For those who have Christmas tree hedges, this is the time to start growing your branches for Christmas. Let a shoot or two grow out of the hedge as you prune. If you think it will look odd throughout the year, do it in the corners, so that they look ornamental. This way, you can choose which one to keep for yourself and which one to give away to a neighbour, or even sell, at Christmas.
Planning for your tree early will ensure that you make considerable savings come next Christmas. Think of it this way. If you fail to get a natural tree, you will have to settle for an artificial one. These were going for Shs70,000 at Christmas; and that’s a whole turkey.