The Tree “Baby Boom” – an Important Tip for Tu BiShvat
One of the prominent traditional symbols of Tu BiShvat is tree planting, in addition to eating dried fruit imported from abroad, of course J. It seems that this is the season of a tree “baby boom”; we all go out to plant masses of tiny seedlings in the hope that they will grow into mature trees, but it’s a mixed blessing: in practice, a significant number of them will not be able to acclimatize and survive.
To enable this tradition to serve its purpose and ensure that the planting effort will not be in vain, we thought you might like to know a few things about planting:
Not every tree is suitable for planting on Tu BiShvat! Many of the trees we plant each year do not survive the winter.
So what’s not suitable for planting now? Evergreens, that look amazing in winter with their fresh, green leaves, are not suitable for bursting into life in a new location during this season. If you were planning to plant an evergreen tree, like the stone pine or Palestine oak, or an evergreen shrub, like viburnum, Pistacia lentiscus or Pittosporum tobira “Wheeler’s Dwarf”, wait until the weather gets warmer.
And which ones are the most suitable? Deciduous plants of course. Deciduous plants cope with the cold via hibernation and a minimum investment of energy. The most suitable species are those belonging to the rose family: almond, nectarine, apple, pear and their relatives. They may be bought with their roots exposed, an ideal situation for planting in this season. Yes, they look poorly and not very attractive – a stick with roots at the end, but wait for a surprise as spring and summer approach. The stick will wake up and sprout as if it had been here since last year.
The king of hibernation that is worth planting with exposed roots is the rose. If you buy one with exposed roots it will be cheap. At the time of purchase you can examine the state of health of its roots and plant it without damaging them. If you buy a rose plant of the same size in a large container you will pay three or four times more. An intermediate situation that may be seen even at the supermarket is three dormant rose branches peeking out of a bag containing planting mix. These will also need to find their place in the garden soon in order to wake up in the spring.
So from now on we’ll all remember – on Tu BiShvat we plant only deciduous plants!
אז מעכשיו כולנו זוכרים – בט"ו בשבט נוטעים רק עצים נשירים!