Learn More About Sweet Olive Trees

The Osmanthus fragrans, also known as sweet olive, tea olive, sweet osmanthus, and fragrant olive, is a popular tree or shrub to plant in your yard. Osmanthus is derived from the Greek words osma (fragrant) and anthos (flower), and the sweet olive tree is most certainly fragrant. During the fall the tree’s unassuming white flowers bloom. While the tree also blooms during the winter and spring, the fragrance is not as prominent.


For the past 2,500 years, the Chinese have cultivated the sweet olive tree. The flowers are typically used in tea, wine, and herbalism. In fact, one of the tree’s common names (tea olive) comes from its use in scented tea. The Chinese city of Guilin takes its name from the sweet olive tree. Guilin means “Forest of Sweet Osmanthus.”

Where To Plant

Since sweet olives smell so wonderful it’s best to plant the trees in a location with a lot of foot traffic. The front yard is a great choice. Sweet olives also make wonderful hedges. A row of sweet olives can provide your home with privacy and sweet fragrance at the same time. Sweet olives don’t require special soil conditions, but it’s still not a bad idea to add a layer of compost to the area where you plan to plant.

Planting Tips

When planting multiple sweet olives to form a hedge, make sure to plant them at least four to six feet apart. This will give them space to grow. Sweet olives do well in full sun; however, some variegated types require shade every now and then so that they don’t dry out.

If you live in a climate that experiences cold winters, then you should reconsider planting sweet olives. The shrubs do best in Mediterranean climates where temperatures don’t go below freezing for extended periods. However, if you live in an area with cold winters, you should consider growing sweet olive in a container. Then you can bring the plant inside when the weather becomes too harsh.

During the first year of the plant’s year, you should water it regularly. Be careful to not overwater, though. Overwatering can cause white oak fungus. After the first year of growth, you will only have to water the plant if your area experiences drought conditions. It’s not necessary to prune sweet olives in order to ensure growth, but you should prune if you want to maintain a particular size.

3 States With Fantastic Fall Foliage


Southeastern Growers: 3 States With Fantastic Fall Foliage

When the crisp breezes of autumn begin to blow, you know that beautiful fall foliage is on its way. The only question you have to ask yourself is exactly where you should go to view one of the most enchanting shows that nature has to offer. Here are a few of the best places that you can visit to surround yourself with the alluring colors of the changing leaves.

South Carolina

A harmonious blend of southern charm and picturesque views greet you in South Carolina. There’s no need to drive down some scenic route to view the leaves because there are a variety of outdoor activities that are perfect for immersing yourself in the colors of nature. Autumn temperatures in South Carolina tend to stay on the mild side, so it’s great weather for going on a picnic, hiking and camping. Surrounding yourself with the glorious colors of the state’s changing oak, maple and elm trees while enjoying outdoor activities is a great way to spend the day. Those that do prefer a scenic drive can enjoy the views from the Blue Ridge Parkway. The parkway stretches 469 miles, and it’s highest point, the Richland Balsam Overlook, tops out at 6,053 feet. This gives you a perfect vantage point to enjoy the autumn landscape.

North Carolina

Another great place to visit if you want more than a quick drive through the leaves is North Carolina. While you’re main purpose may be to watch the changing colors of fall, you can enjoy the view while hiking, mountain biking, or even whitewater rafting. One particular place of note in North Carolina for leaf viewing is the town of Asheville. They have one of the longest autumn foliage seasons in the world. This means that there is even more time for you to enjoy nature’s splendor. North Carolina is home to a number of deciduous trees, such as the white oak, sugar maple, and the quaking aspen.


Numerous species of maple, hickory, and birch trees paint a beautiful picture across the landscape of Tennessee. If you’re like a large number of visitors to the state you may enjoy the view of the leaves as you walk along the trails of the Great Smoky Mountains. The elevation of the mountains reach up to 4,000 feet, providing you with an astounding view of the surrounding foliage. If walking sounds a bit too tame for you, you can join the countless others who have enjoyed the autumn view from above the tree tops. Zip-lining is a popular way to view the fall colors when visiting the Smoky Mountains.

Best Plants for the Office


Southeastern Growers: Best Plants for the Office

Plants are the perfect addition to any work space. They can improve air quality by removing toxins from the air. They also are attractive and enjoyable to look at, and a great way to personalize your work area. Listed below are some plants that do well in a indoor office setting, and are easy to care for.

Spider Plant

A spider plant requires partial sunlight, and will grow in any soil type. This plant has arched green and pale yellow stems. It also produces tiny white flowers during the summer. It does well in a hanging basket or up high on a filing cabinet. Water when the plant feels dry.

Snake Plant

Snake plant’s have broad upright leaves that are marked with a pattern in a lighter color. They sometimes go by the name mother-in-law’s tongue, due to their sharpness. They also look like serpents rising from the soil. Water when soil is dry to the touch, and allow to dry out between watering to prevent the roots from rotting. This plant will tolerate low light, though it prefers brighter light.

Peace Lily

Peace lily’s do best in the shade and should be kept away from direct sunlight. They produce stunning white flowers that bloom in early summer and often stick around. Keep the soil moist at all times, but be careful to not over water.


Jade plants have thick branches with smooth green oval shaped leaves. They are shrub like in appearance. Allow the soil to dry out between watering, and keep the soil moderately dry. Over watering can cause root rot, and jades prefer drier soil. This plant requires medium light for a few hours each day.

African Violet

This plant type has fuzzy leaves with small colorful clusters of flowers. The flowers can be pink, purple or white and are eye catching. African violet’s do best in slightly acidic to neutral soil PH, with partial sunlight. Keep the soil slightly damp, but avoid getting the leaves wet while watering, as this can cause them to wilt.

Rubber Plants

The rubber plant has shiny leather type leaves. This plant grows well in low light, and should be kept away from drafts. It does well in full to partial sunlight. The soil should be kept moist.

How To Tell If A Tree Is Healthy Or Dying

southeastern growers dead tree

There are a number of factors to pay attention to if you are trying to determine if your trees are healthy or if they are on their way out. Take note of the following key indicators and Southeastern Growers assures you that your understanding of trees and the ecosystem that is located in your own private yard will expand tremendously.

Leader Of The Pack

Most trees, especially ones that are regularly used in landscaping, have one central trunk (the “central leader”). Trees should be pruned so the central leader can provide the entire tree with strength and stability. Failing to do this may cause the tree to split.

Annual Growth

New growth should occur on both the trunk and branches of a healthy tree. You can measure annual growth by noting the distance between this year’s current buds and the scars from last year’s buds. Average growth varies depending on the tree, so a little research is necessary.

Pruned Perfection

As soon as you notice dead or broken branches, they should be pruned away. If you do not do this, insects and diseases are more likely to infest the tree and cause irreparable damage. You can tell a branch is dead if you scrape it with your fingernail and the exposed bark is dry, brown, and brittle. A healthy branch would show green underneath. Also, a healthy branch is supple and can bend easily. If you can easily snap the branch, it is dead.

Tip-Top Trunks

Typically, bark should not be loose or peeling off of the trunk of your tree (with the exception of some trees like birches, eucalyptus, and maples). Also, fungi should not be growing on the tree. When using tools and gardening equipment around trees, be careful as to not leave any wounds in the trunk where insects and diseases will attack. There should also be no large cracks or holes anywhere.

How Are Trees Grown In Containers

Growing trees no longer requires acres on acres of open land. In fact, you can grow trees in compact containers on your porch, patio, or balcony!

Containerized trees are primarily used to frame entryways or to provide additional decorative or focal elements to a property.

There are a wide variety of containers that one can choose to grow/keep a tree in, and they range in size, material, shape, and color. This will require you to consider what you want your container to look like in the location you’ve planned on. You will also have to consider the size the tree will eventually grow to so the container can accommodate that size and the roots.

One should also keep in mind that the container should be equally wide as it is tall to ensure proper insulation of the roots.

While clay pots are more stable and durable than plastic ones, they are heavier. So, if you are planning on having your tree on a balcony or rooftop, a lighter, more portable plastic pot is for you.

When it comes to soil selection, drainage is paramount. First, ensure that your container has enough drainage through holes on the bottom. Next, you want to select soil – not directly from your garden or yard –  or soil-based  compost from a nursery or garden supply store.

Containerized trees are more prone to drying out, and therefore, require regular and thorough watering. Additionally, a fertilizer is necessary to facilitate proper growth either through an application of slow-release fertilizer annually, or by using a liquid feed on regular intervals.

Some great choices for trees that do well in containers are:

  • Holly
  • Japanese Maple
  • Star Magnolia
  • River Birch
  • Crepe Myrtle

How To Plant A Containerized Tree

So you’ve just purchased your containerized tree and are ready for planting. Here are the necessary steps to planting a containerized tree in your yard:

  1. Dig a whole that measures at least 3-4 times wider than the container your tree came in. The sides of the whole should slop in – allowing  proper root growth.
  2. Carefully remove the tree by tapping around the outside of the container to loosen the edges. Then, gently remove the tree, trying your best to keep the soil around the roots intact.
  3. Sometimes the roots of a containerized tree become root-bound (when the roots have spiraled around the root ball) and need to be released. Simply, using a sharp knife, cut an X across the bottom of the root ball, as well as four slices vertically up the sides.
  4. While you want a wide hole, it shouldn’t be too deep. The base of the tree should land just above the surface. If the hole is too deep, pack some soil just below the root ball.
  5. Give the tree a thorough watering by creating a water-holding basin that goes around the hole. Once the water has soaked in, layer 2-3 inches of protective mulch around the base of the tree stretching out at least 3 feet.
  6. For the first year of a tree’s life, it is imperative to keep the soil around the tree moist. During dry weather, make sure to give the tree a good watering every 7 days or so, just don’t let the mulch get soggy.
  7. Remove any tags or labels from the tree as soon as possible. They may affect the growth of the plant later on. Also, prune any dead or broken branches to maintain the health of the tree.

Why You Should Consider Planting More Trees

southeastern growers

So you’ve decided to plant new trees, shrubs, and other greenery in your yard. Although your intentions may have been purely for aesthetic purposes, did you ever wonder if this brought your yard any other kind of value? Planting trees and shrubs can have loads of benefits that you may not have realized before. Below is a list of some of these great benefits.

Dry Up Wet Spots

Some yards just have higher water tables, or perhaps do not properly drain for one reason or another. If you’re hoping for your yard to become a more family-friendly space, you may need to find a way to drain out some of the water from your soil. Trees or shrubs are great, natural ways to make your lawn drier and more water efficient. Placing trees and shrubs in areas that are usually drenched will help soak up some of the excess water present in your lawn. Some trees can even soak up to 50 to 100 gallons a day, although much of that is “perspired” in some way later according to Gardens Alive.


Trees that are large enough can provide ample amounts of shading for your home. One great output of shading is energy efficiency. Because your home is well-shaded, there is less of a need to blast the air conditioning during the warm summer months. Because of this, you save energy as well as money in your next home bill.

Environmental Impact

Okay, everyone knows the environmental impact trees have on the world. They are the givers of oxygen, and therefore life. Without trees, the earth could no longer sustain life on its own. Trees are also the worlds natural filters, cleaning and improving the air we breathe by removing dust, particulates, and other pollutants. One source reports that: “one acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people.”


Almost as superficial but more practical than just “beautifying” your garden, adding certain trees and shrubs to your yard can add extra value to your home. Trees are the most valuable part of a landscape primarily because of their many practical uses – many listed here!


Finally there’s the beautification process. Even when considering aesthetics, trees provide more than just pretty ornate foliage and color to your yard. Trees can provide food and shelter for animals from the surrounding ecosystem. Your garden can become a mini testament of nature at its finest and fullest.

If you liked this post and would like to read more on tree varieties, check out our twitter @. If you’re interested in purchasing some of our trees, check out our main site. Thanks for reading !


The Tragedy of (the other) Prometheus

In August of 1964, a graduate student hiked off the trails on Wheeler Peak in eastern Nevada to conduct research and killed one of the old organisms ever discovered.

Let’s back up.

Donald Currey was a graduate student of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill,studying the climatology of the Little Ice Age. He wanted to study rings of very old trees using dendrochronology. Dendrochronology can help scientists determine the calendar year a tree formed, determine important information about the ecologies it’s lived through, and most importantly to Currey, the climates.

Around this time, the leading minds of Forestry were excitedly dating very old trees in the United States, spurred on by the discovery of bristlecone pines in the White Mountains in California that were over 4000 years old. Currey had heard that there were bristlecones in White Pine county and on Wheeler Peak specifically and wanted to see if he could further his research by taking some samples.

He hiked out to the grove, and found a large specimen to take sample of. Currey attempted several samples with his long borer tool. After a few attempts, his tool broke leaving him without a means to achieve his intended sample. Here is where the details start to get blurry. Some accounts say that Currey was working with some Forest Service personnel and some say he was working alone. In any case, the decision was made to simply cut down the tree to get a full cross-section of the tree. The tree, which Currey had identified as WPN-114, was later dated at over 4800 years old. That makes WPN-114 the oldest living organism ever discovered — that is, until Donald Currey found it. The dead tree was nicknamed Prometheus and the  incident ruined his career as a Geomorphologist.

However, let’s not jump to villainize Currey. Imagine being a young graduate student, your advisor is telling you to get a sample and sends you off with little guidance. You find a tree that looks like all the other trees in a grove and fail to get the sample you’ve been tasked to collect. The Forest Service guy you’re working with suggests that you just cut it down — after all, there are lots of similar trees in the same grove. The next thing you know, you’ve destroyed a global wonder. You’re demonized by the community you are trying to be a part of and your reputation is destroyed.

Currey changed academic fields and ended up a successful Geographer, earning Professor Emeritus status at the University of Utah. He passed away in 2004.

In 2012, researchers identified a tree in California aged over 5000 years. So let’s give Don a break.