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JAMES HODGES


As container-grown and marketed shrubs and trees have become readily available for spring planting, there are fewer people planting container or bare-root plants during the fall and winter. After one of the worst spring and summer planting seasons in years because of heat and drought, one might reconsider the benefits of fall planting when new shade trees, fruit or nut trees or berry plants are needed.

Many fruit and nut trees have been traditionally planted in the late fall and early winter as bare-root plants. Sources for these are bare-root plant nurseries in the South. Orders must be placed in the fall while supplies are abundant. A good time to plant bare-root trees and shrubs is during early winter, starting in December. Fall and early winter planting allows plants to adjust to new ground conditions before hot temperatures return mid-spring.

The Abbeville Extension office has its traditional fruit and nut tree sale again this year where local residents can purchase bare-root trees and shrubs for pickup in December. Trees and berry plants come from a Southern nursery with plants adapted to local conditions and ready to plant here. Clemson University's Home and Garden site has excellent bulletins on many fruit and nut trees, and berry plants suited to our area. You can find bulletins on locally adapted fruit and nut trees at clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/vegetables/tree_fruits_nuts/.

If you had trouble getting good results from spring-planted shrubs and trees, you might consider getting plants into the ground by late fall. Root growth on fall-planted material will start during warm periods this fall and very early spring, and plants will be more prepared to survive early heat and drought conditions while you are at the beach during early July.

Don't forget about bare-root plants or fall planting of container plants since both can be purchased this time of year if you check for good local of mail order sources. If you are also looking for older standby cultivars of fruit, nut and flowering trees and shrubs, it might be good to start searching now for available plants. We all have our favorites from our youth that are hard to find at local box stores. Clemson University's Home and Garden website provides many locally recommended cultivars of fruit, nut, and flower trees and shrubs.

If you have questions, you can stop by our office on East Cambridge Avenue or call 864-223-3264. The 2016 Berry, Fruit, Nut, Shrub, and Tree Sale organized by the Abbeville Extension Office is underway and order forms are available at the Abbeville or Greenwood office.

Annual FCL Trip to Christmas Show in Charlotte

Tickets are still available for the Greenwood County Family & Community Leaders (FCL) trip to the Southern Christmas Show in Charlotte on Nov. 15. The cost is $42 per person. Reserve your seat on the charter bus with a check written to Greenwood County FCL and mailed to 106 Clark Ave., Greenwood, SC 29649. The fee includes ticket to the show, charter bus transportation and light refreshments on the way to Charlotte. The bus will leave Greenwood at 7:30 a.m. and return by about 7:30 p.m. For information, call 864-554-4740.

James Hodges is a Clemson Extension agent in Greenwood County. He can be reached at 864-223-3264.