FALL IS THE TIME TO PLANT
BLUEBONNETS AND OTHER WILDFLOWERS
Is it really bluebonnet planting time in Texas?
A yes or no answer to this question depends on the answers
to 3 other questions: How, when and where do you plan to plant
In years past, wildflower enthusiasts purchased
seeds and cast them onto a planting site. These folks were
gratified to have done something wonderful for the environment.
They looked forward to the beauty the bluebonnets will surely
bring in the spring. But, the birds would also get excited
because bluebonnet seed is like caviar to birds!
Less romantic and more practical gardeners
who want to be assured of successfully planting bluebonnets
can eliminate this seed-caviar from the bird diet. Rather
than casting seed to the wind, rake seed into the soil. Bluebonnet
seed MUST HAVE soil-seed contact before it will grow.
If you are going to cast the seed in the wind
and rake it in a bit, then plant now, and use regular, non-scarified
seed. The seed will lie there until enough moisture and cool
temperatures stimulate a small percentage of the seed to germinate.
Germination may occur this year or next, depending upon environmental
If you want a more dependable technique and
are willing to invest a few extra resources such as water
and fertilizer, you can reliably produce a spectacular bluebonnet
planting. First, you will use scarified seed. The seed coat
of scarified seeds is penetrated by soaking the seeds in acid.
Some left-wing, radical wildflower enthusiasts find this technique
to be cruel and inhumane. Luckily, there is not a seed rights
Scarified seed will germinate within 10 days
after absorbing moisture. Bluebonnet seedlings need periodic
water and nourishment as any other flower or vegetable seedling.
Bluebonnets are plants too, though they are classified as
wildflowers. The water and nourishment provided are critical
during the early stages-- especially if hot, dry temperatures
continue into late September and early October. Protection
against pill bug (rolly-polly, sow bug) populations will also
have to be provided in heavily infested areas. These hogs-of-the-insect-world
consider bluebonnet seedlings a real delight.
Do bluebonnets need to be fertilized? This
is such an elementary question I should not answer it! Yet,
I hear it all the time from plant "experts" who
say bluebonnets can take their own fertilizer from the air.
Rhizobium bacteria on the roots take nitrogen from the air
and give it to the bluebonnet plant. Maybe these little devils
provide some fertilizer eventually, but if you want to grow
a large bluebonnet plant with a spectacular bloom potential
next spring, provide a little unnatural plant nourishment
at the rate of 2 pounds of 19-5-9 (slow release fertilizer)
per 100 square feet of planting area. Then watch these obese
bluebonnets bloom next spring!
Bluebonnets must be planted in a well-drained
location which receives at least 8 to 10 hours of direct sunlight
daily. Most bluebonnet planting failures are caused by planting
them in the shade and too much water. Ideally, keep plants
moist but never continuously wet. "Too wet" will
Colors are the next decision. Bluebonnets are
now available in both seed and transplants in the colors of
blue and maroon. The bluebonnet transplant can be considered
a minor miracle since all of the great "experts"
of years past indicated that a transplant could not be produced
without the presence of mycorrhiza (certain types of fungi).
Use of mycorrhiza has not been perfected so bluebonnet transplant
production should have been impossible. Three years and one-half
million transplants later the bluebonnets have not seen the
first mycorrhiza and obviously don't need those devils!
When planting the bluebonnet transplant, be
careful not to bury it too deep. You will notice that all
leaves of the plant arise from a central crown-like structure.
The point of origin, i.e., the crown, of these leaves should
not be buried. The edges of the peat pot container in which
the bluebonnet transplant is sold should be covered with soil.
Removal of the edges of the peat pot may facilitate proper
planting depth without danger of covering the crown.
Another advantage of the availability of bluebonnet
transplants is that it eliminates the problem of waiting until
plants go to seed in June before removing them. Rather than
suffering with the ugliness of a dying, dying plant which
can last for as long as 40 days after bloom, you can remove
the plant after bloom has occurred. Who cares about the plant
forming seed! You will be able to buy transplants next fall
and prepare the planting bed properly to grow the largest,
most beautiful bluebonnet plants you have ever seen.
The main problem encountered by most patriotic
planters of bluebonnets is the unattractiveness of the plant
from now until they bloom in March. To solve this problem,
plant them in alternating rows with companion plants to provide
fall color. Pansies, ornamental kale or cabbage, or dianthus
are ideal. Space rows and transplants 12 inches apart. These
will be overgrown by the bluebonnets in March as they begin
to expand. At that time the other flowering annuals should
be removed to allow the bluebonnets to become dominant.
Regardless of how you plant, NOW is the time
to begin a bluebonnet experience for next spring. Texans who
don't have bluebonnets growing somewhere on the premises should
be held in contempt!
For more information about growing bluebonnets,
For more information about growing wildflowers
at this time of the year, see:
To see some beautiful bluebonnet and wildflower
For information about the 'Texas Maroon' or
'Alamo Fire' bluebonnet, see:
And who can find the sexist mistake on the A&M
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR
THIRD WEEK OF NOVEMBER 2002
QUESTION: I have several older pecan trees, that frequently
lose limbs, especially when they have nuts on them. Is there
a reason that this happens, and can something be done about
ANSWER: The weight of the nuts can be so heavy
that it can cause some of the limbs to break. Lack of water
and care seems to cause the limbs to be more brittle. Finally,
injured areas in the tree from the loss of a limb or varmints
like squirrels can cause an area to become weak and then when
the trees set a heavy crop, they can't hold the weight and
break off. There's not really much you can do about it except
try to maintain a healthy tree with water and fertilizer.
Pruning the weak limbs would help as well.
QUESTION: I enjoyed the article on mistletoe
on your site! Could you please tell me if there is anything
that can be done to the plant to preserve it through the holidays
after harvesting it for holiday use? I was told that it dries
out and crumbles when simply harvested, and that the store
mistletoe is different from what is on my trees. However,
I'm from the northwest. What is the real story?
ANSWER: All mistletoe comes from the trees just
as yours does. You could increase the "hang life"
of mistletoe by dipping them in an anti-transpirant such as
Cloud-Cover. This slows water loss from the plant tissue.
You might also want to keep the base of the harvested mistletoe
in water by attaching a small container (rose bud vase or
lapel vase) before hanging.
QUESTION: I have a 22-year old pecan tree (I don't know the
variety but it is a good one) that has a very good crop at
least every other year. This year, the tree is loaded and
the pecans are regular size but the meat has dried up. It
is heart-breaking to see all of these pecans falling and not
one is good. We tried watering our tree all summer but it
apparently did no good. What should we have done? I also have
a Choctaw tree that is about 12 years old. It has quite a
good crop but is sprouting before the hulls open. This is
the second year that it has done that. What would cause this?
ANSWER: In a super dry summer as we have just experienced
it is very difficult to provide pecan trees with sufficient
water when the trees are overloaded. I suspect what happened
is that the trees set too many pecans for them to carry and
fill out. Commercially we shake the trees in July to remove
some of the crop so that the tree can fill out the remaining
nuts. Next time the tree sets this many pecans, you need to
pull off as many as you can reach. Thin the clusters down
to one nut per cluster. Also water as you did this summer
with at least 2 inches of water per week in August and September.
Generally, we get a little rain in September which really
helps the trees. However, this year we didn't get any. Finally,
the sprouting of the nuts in the shuck is caused by stress--
either from not enough water, or too many nuts on the trees.
QUESTION: Our pecan tree is approximately 12
years old. This year the nut meat is spotted with dark brown/black
spots. Some of the nut meat has been dry, other is fine, but
spotted. What causes this?
ANSWER: The spots are caused by the feeding
of stink bugs back when the nut was green. The very dry summer
contributed to the dry meat of some of the kernels. Also,
the dry weather is what caused the stink bugs to move to the
pecan trees to feed. They are normally not a problem in pecan
QUESTION: What is an "old-fashioned"
ANSWER: The Older the Better
by Greg Grant
From Argentina they got their start.
In Grandma's yard they played their part.
Were tossed aside for doubles and size.
Now yesterday's goat is today's prize.
Peek into most old Texas country gardens and
you are likely to see swarms of scented petunias in shades
of violet, pink, and white growing in anything from dish pans
to crown tire planters. Everybody seems to have them, but
nobody seems to remember planting them. It's not unheard of
for them to thrive even after the garden is gone. What's the
This hybrid swarm represents the parents of
our large-flowered, brightly colored modern petunias. Although
these old fashioned petunias are rare in the nursery trade,
they are still quite common in old gardens. A logical explanation
would center on their beauty and fragrance. However, the most
like answer is their tenacity. After all, they tend to come
you want them or not. Though certainly not weedy, these old
fashioned petunias are prolific reseeding annuals. Reseeding
annuals return each year from self-sown seed, as opposed to
perennials that return each year from a portion of the same
The 2 parents of these old fashioned petunias
are the white flowered Petunia axillaris and the violet flowered
P. violacea (P. integrifolia). Both perennials are from South
America. The larger, white petunia was introduced from Brazil
in 1823, while the smaller violet petunia was introduced in
1831 from Argentina.
As has happened with many garden plants from
roses to daffodils, modern breeding has given us beautiful
plants to the exclusion of garden vigor. I personally don't
have any problem with large flowers, double flowers, or unusual
colors. However, I do have a problem with high maintenance
and dead plants. Old fashioned petunias were discarded because
their flowers weren't large enough and their color range wasn't
acceptable. But during a typical Texas growing season, doesn't
a living plant look better than no plant at all? Sounds a
little like kicking Michael Jordan off the basketball team
because he wasn't good at baseball!
Fortunately, these petunias are still with
us. We certainly don't deserve them. After all, we threw them
away and have belittled them in garden literature for almost
a century now. But in Texas, beggars can't be choosy. In our
climate, we don't have the luxury of throwing out living,
prospering plants. Actually, petunias are cool season plants.
How much cool weather does Texas receive? We need the toughest,
most heat tolerant, persistent petunias horticulture has to
offer. And lucky for us, we've had them all a long.
The 1998 Texas Superstar , 'VIP' Petunia
was a selection of the wild P. violacea. It's unprecedented
vigor certainly showed its uncultivated ancestry. After all,
it grew up without the benefit of raised beds, irrigation,
pesticides, etc*. The 'Laura Bush' Petunia, another Texas
Superstar , is the result of a cross between the 'VIP'
and the Old Fashioned Petunia. With its larger flowers and
prolific reseeding capabilities, it may prove to be even more
popular than 'VIP'. In addition, most of the recently introduced,
vigorous petunias like 'Purple Wave', 'Tidal Wave', and 'Kahuna'
have these wild petunias in their immediate lineage.
So, if in your future, you're looking to plant
petunias, look no further than the past. Because in this case,
the older the better.
Old Fashioned Petunia seed sources include:
The Fragrant Path
P.O. Box 328
Fort Calhoun, Nebraska 68023
J. L. Hudson, Seedsman
Star Route 2, Box 337
LaHonda, California 94020
Retail plant sources for Old Fashioned Petunias
The Antique Rose Emporium
9300 Lueckemeyer Rd..
Brenham, Texas 77833
And, in San Antonio:
7561 Evans Rd.
San Antonio, Texas 78266
Tenaha, Texas 75974
'Laura Bush' and 'VIP' are available in progressive retail
nurseries and garden centers throughout the state, especially
in the San Antonio, Austin, and Laredo areas.
Wholesale liner sources for 'VIP' and 'Laura
Bush' Petunias include:
Southwest Perennials (214-670-0955)
Old Fashioned Petunias at a Glance
Lifecycle: Annual to short-lived perennial that
thrives during the cooler temperatures of spring and fall.
Exposure: Full sun to part shade in a well drained
Flowers: Medium-sized in shades of purple, pink,
and white. Fragrant, especially at night.
Habit: Vigorous. Bushy and sprawling.
Water: Deep and infrequently.
Fertility: Heavy feeders.
Care: Shear once per month during the growing
season and apply a light application of high nitrogen fertilizer.
Propagation: Seed or cuttings.
Greg Grant is a horticulturist and lecturer.
He is co-author of The Southern Heirloom Garden. He's also
in love with old-fashioned petunias!
QUESTION: I have found many sites and information on planting
pecan trees from roots to small trees. Can you tell me how
to plant pecan trees from pecans? My Dad wants to plant some
pecan trees near a water tank he recently dug, so water shouldn't
be a problem. The soil here is the black-rich "rock-hard
when dry, gummy when wet" dirt. Will this be a problem,
since we know most pecan trees around here are in sandy loam?
ANSWER: "Throw a few pecans in a hole and
wait for them to come up"!!! However, there are a few
major drawbacks to planting nuts in place. The varmints may
dig up and destroy the nuts if planted now, it is hard to
control weeds around such small trees, and it takes longer
to produce a bearing-size tree. Still, if planted now, the
nuts will be stratified this winter if it gets cold and wet,
and then next spring when the temperatures warm up, the seeds
will come right up.
If I was planting pecan trees today, I would
buy either seedlings or non-grafted trees and graft them later,
or I would buy 6 to 8-foot grafted trees. The $20 spent for
a good tree is money well spent.
Trees in the soil you have described will be
slower to develop, but in the long run, they should make nice
Guidelines for planting are located at the following
QUESTION: What is xylosma and is it a recommended plant for
South Central Texas?
ANSWER: After looking at the recommended plants
for South Central Texas, I find that xylosma IS listed.
The following information is from Sunset New
Western Garden Book. Hardiness zones listed are not from the
USDA, but instead their own west coast zones.
"XYLOSMA congestum (X. senticosum). Evergreen
or deciduous shrub or small tree. Zones 8-24. Usually loose,
graceful, spreading shrub 8-10 feet tall and as wide or wider.
Height is easily controlled. Leaves are shiny, yellowish green,
long-pointed oval in shape, clean and attractive. New growth
bronzy. Flowers insignificant, rarely seen. Some plants are
spiny. Left alone, plants develop angular main stem that takes
its time zigzagging upward. Meanwhile side branches grow long
and graceful, arching or drooping, sometimes lying on the
ground. Easily trained as espalier. If shrub is staked and
side growth pruned, can be made into 15-30 feet spreading
tree. Variety 'Compacta' grows more slowly, reaches half the
size of species. Adaptable to most soils; heat tolerant; Xylosma
congestum established plants survive with little water but
look better with adequate water, moderate feeding. Best growth
in full sun or filtered shade. Spray as necessary to control
occasional scale or red spider mites. Apply iron chelates
or iron sulfate for chlorosis. One of the handsomest, easiest,
and most versatile of the all-foliage, landscape structure
plants. Unattractive appearance in nursery cans (especially
in winter, when plants may be nearly bare of leaves) and slow
start in ground may discourage the gardener. Plants actually
are hardy to 10 degrees F., but may lose many (or all) leaves
in sharp frosts. Plant normally sheds many old leaves in April
when new growth begins. Frost at that time will kill new growth.
Well-established plants usually evergreen except in coldest
seasons, and new leaves come fast. Use as single or multi-trunk
tree, arching shrub, ground or bank cover (prune out erect
growth), espalier on wall or fence, clipped or uncapped hedge
(twine long branches together to fill in gaps faster), container
shrub in large (18 in. or more) container."
Find a picture at:
Another plant that you might want to consider
as a sight and sound barrier is xylosma.
The University of Arizona web site discusses
There, you'll find this description:
Evergreen -- hardy; sun, part shade; dry, drought
resistant once established; fast to medium growing; Can be
trained into a tree, grows to 8 feet in 5 years; grows to
20 feet high x 20 feet wide; good by patios and pools; trim
to hedge; plant anytime (best in spring) from containers;
Inconspicuous spring flower (green); disease include: iron
chlorosis in heavy or alkaline soils, and Texas root rot,
spider mites, and scale. Foliage is glossy bright green; bark
is gray; the plant must have well drained soil. It is a large
foundation or patio plant used for wide screening outdoors.
It requires medium maintenance; clip any time; takes pruning;
spray for mites and scale; treat for iron chlorosis with iron;
water deeply; and infrequently feed. Medium to large patio
shrub used for all screening plants. Espalier, woodsy.
Here is a previously asked question that might
also be helpful: I would like to plant an evergreen screening
hedge between my yard and my neighbors yard. What plants would
you recommend for this?
And here is the answer to that question: I would
still include oleander but here are others for you to consider:
Burford holly (Ilex cornuta 'Burfordii')
Compact xylosma (Xylosma congestum)
Silverberry (Elaeegnus pungens)
Heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica)
Glossy abelia (Abelia grandiflora)
Primrose jasmine (Jasminum mesnyi)
QUESTION: I am a Texan and I know when bluebonnets bloom,
so please forgive me if I sound as if I'm wishing (or whining!)
Is it possible that I could have bluebonnets for my late June
wedding in California?
Perhaps there is a late bloomer that grows in California?
ANSWER: I am not aware of any of the native
California lupines blooming that late in the season. If you
are willing to take a chance, try planting Texas bluebonnets
in February and again in March for bloom in June. I am not
sure if the timing will work, but our experience with bluebonnets
in other places, including England, indicate that if the summer
weather is not too hot, you can grow them as a summer blooming
plant. A seed source would be Wildseed Farms, whose catalog
is online at www.wildseedfarms.com.
--Wayne A. Mackay, Research Horticulturist
the Dallas Texas A&M Research and Extension Center
QUESTION: We have several avocado trees (about 5 to 8 feet
tall). They are about 2 years old. How many years does it
take for them to produce?
ANSWER: It can take as long as 10 to 15 years
for seedlings to produce, and then you are not sure what you
are getting. They also get to be big trees. Detailed information
is available at the following Plantanswers site:
QUESTION: Any idea where I can purchase "Butterfly
ANSWER: You will need to look for nurseries
that carry such heirloom plants. A couple include:
444 East Main Street
P.O. Box 310
Westminster, Maryland 21158
Kelly's Plant World
10266 East Princeton
Sanger, California 93657
QUESTION: We did not dig up our canna lily bed last season
and the bulb concentration is very heavy. The plants are 8
feet tall, green and healthy, and are still producing small
blooms and seeds. Should the bulbs be dug while the plants
are green or after the tops die? How should the bulbs be separated
and stored? Will the seeds produce plants?
ANSWER: Check this PLANTanswers web site:
QUESTION: Do you know anything about the Paulownia Tree (Also
called the "Princess" or "Empress" tree)
ANSWER: Only from a story a fellow told about
a trip to China. He writes:
Any farmer who can triple output in a mere 10
years deserves serious study - if not a medal. Yet millions
of farmers in the People's Republic of China have done just
that, and the rest of the world knows little of it.
They have done it using trees to alter the climate at ground
level. And one particular tree must be given much of the credit
- the Paulownia tree. Also called the "Princess"
or "Empress" tree, Paulownia is a native of China.
It has been cultivated by the Chinese for almost 3000 years,
although in recent, difficult times, the techniques were "lost"
and were rediscovered almost by accident.
If someone set out to design an agri-forestry
tree, that is, one suited to use in double harness with livestock
or cropping enterprises, something like the Paulownia would
be the result. It is a multi-purpose tree that fits in perfectly
with a farmer's needs. Its flowers produce honey and herbal
medicines; its wood is light and strong for use in fine furniture,
toys, plywood and packaging; and its leaves are more nutritious
than lucerne when fed to livestock. Planting in a "net"
the trees also slow the hot, drying winds of China that decimate
For these reasons the Paulownia tree is rather
special in China, and is likely to become so in Australia
and other countries. For what the Chinese have done is to
show the rest of the world what can and should be done in
climate control at crop and livestock level, where it really
This is the clear message I received after spending four weeks
in China in the company of Mr. Zhu Zhao-hua, China's leading
scientist on the Paulownia tree. He showed me a mind-boggling
change in Chinese Agriculture from tenuous survival on a wind-swept
floodplain, to self-sufficiency and beyond as a result of
well-organized tree shelter across the countryside.
One county (equivalent to a shire) under intense
study by the Chinese Academy of Forestry gave them these results:
"A three times increase in food production.
Where in 1974 the county produced 3112 kg. of food per hectare,
the 'forest net' and intercropping' systems produced 9360
kg of food per hectare in 1984."
The farmer using the trees for crop shelter
and livestock fodder harvested about 100,000 cubic meters
of wood that they could sell for income. The bulk of it was
Paulownia wood that fetched around $US100 a cubic meter when
sold to Japanese buyers; and,
There was also a harvest of fuelwood for the
cook fires of the country - some 50,000 tons of it a year.
The lessons in this for Australian farmers
are clear. Improve the shelter for crops and livestock and
massive increases in output can be achieved.
Not all counties in China report a three-fold
increase in food output from their growing of Paulownia and
other trees. But the increases are so important to the feeding
of China's 1050 million people that the Chinese authorities
have set a high priority on agri-forestry development.
China currently has some 20 million hectares
of farmland under agri -forestry· development. It is
the world+s largest agri -forestry project, and it has been
put in place, without fanfare, over the last 15 years. Indeed,
so little reportage of the development has occurred that many
authorities still find it difficult to comprehend.
But bee-keepers around the world certainly
have felt the consequences. As the Paulownia tree has been
planted more widely in China's agri - forestry, so there has
been a big upswing in the honey produced from the nectar of
Paulownias most attractive flowers.
In the early 1980's China began exporting the
honey, and it caught the world honey trade completely by surprise.
The tree cover on the Chinese flood plains
has, over the last 10 years, been increased from an estimated
2 per cent to a measured 10.7 per cent.
Paulownia and poplar trees have been formed
into a protective network, the -forest net,+ that now covers
3.2 million hectares of much more productive farmland . So
far the Chinese have planted 45.7 per cent of the flood plains
of the Yellow and Yangtse Rivers to the -forest net+ system.
When viewed from air it looks like a vast fishnet over the
land, protecting it from wind - especially the hot, dry winds
of summer, that can decimate agricultural crops.
Then there is the intercropping system of agri
- forestry, in which closer rows of trees have vine crops
growing at head level, and then vegetable crops at foot level.
In this the shelter effect is at its best.
China's intercropping style of agri - forestry
now covers 940,000 hectares or 57.7 per cent of the floodplain
area suited to it.
As a result of both techniques of farm tree
growing the Chinese authorities estimate that their flood
plains have had an overall increase in food output of 30 per
cent over the last 10 years.
It has been a turnaround from famine to plenty
in some areas. It is also giving rise to a new cash crop -
Besides that there has been a change in the
living conditions for people. The shelter of the trees across
big areas means that it's now much more pleasant to be a peasant
Some 800 million people work in farming in
China and, up until relatively recent times, their living
has been hard.
Paulownia and poplar trees growing is now helping
them to of well beyond agricultural crops and into a wider
range of livestock enterprises. Among these are the raising
of more goats, sheep, cattle, pigs, rabbits, poultry and fish
- all of which can be fed leaf fodder either directly or indirectly
(as worms that feed on the leaf fodder).
China has developed a wonderful integration
of tree crops, agricultural crops, livestock and fish farming
that is only just beginning to be thought about in Australia.
The microclimate effects of Paulownia agro-forestry
are outstanding, although Chinese foresters ruefully admit
to many early failures in the 1970's when they were still
Now, however, the forest net technique reduces
wind speed by 35%
at crop height, and increases humidity by 5 to 10% .
Maximum summer air temperature is only reduced to about one
per cent, but ground evaporation is reduced by about 16%,
and soil moisture increased 9%.
The Chinese thus regard agro-forestry as the
best way to control their hot, dry wind that can decimate
agricultural crop output. Such winds are capable of blowing
six days a year, two years in every three. It takes only one
or two days of such winds to reduce food crops yields 30 to
The winds are those with an air movement of
above three meters a second, a temperature above 30 degrees
Centigrade and a relative humidity of less than 30%.
Such summer winds are experienced in many parts
of Australia. They dry out wheat crops, leaving grain -pinched
and less valuable.
Now, however, they find that forest net agro-forestry
cuts the effective hot, dry wind days to an average of 1.3
a year. Grain crops ripen with full heads, and average grain
yields between the trees is about 15% higher.
Other counties I visited in four provinces
in China reported similar results.
Indeed, in one country the forest net agro-
forestry concept now meant that some 600,000 farmers were
able to produce a handsome food surplus where 10 years before
they faced an annual migration south to beg for food when
their own supplies ran out. Other counties reported similar
Chinese forestry scientists are so encouraged
by results of the last five years that they are now refining
their agro-forestry techniques to further develop food production
This is where Australia is expected to come
Australia's breeding sheep are wanted by China
to upgrade and expand its existing flocks, some which have
a wrinkly Merino look about them. Agricultural policy officials
to whom I spoke in Beijing said China would continue to buy
Merino rams from Australia, but was also interested in cattle
purchases, for bonus beef and dairy expansion.
At present China has a livestock population
estimated at 150 million head - most of which are sheep and
goats. This is a little more than Australia's total sheep
population and is a small number when the expanding needs
of China's one billion-plus population are considered. Officials
told me they were keen to develop livestock output using agro-forestry
resources, especially tree fodder that was something of a
bonus with their new development of the Paulownia tree.
China has now given Australia a gift of seven
Paulownia species in 22 special selections suited to a wide
range of conditions, from our tropical north to our cooler
climates in Victoria and Tasmania. That golden gift is, I
believe about to unlock a wondrous treasury of benefits for
Australian farmers, just as it has done for their colleagues
What is true for Australia is true for America.
Since the publication of this article, China continues to
make progress with their -forest net. Their Paulownia harvest
continues to be purchased even before it is harvested. The
Australians have begun some successful plantations for the
Paulownia, and in America we too have begun to look seriously
at the Paulownia tree and intercropping. Our lumber supplies
are dwindling. Our farmland is becoming non-productive. The
need for the tree and the technology intensify with each passing