This was not what I planned on writing about for part II (that post will now become part three) but since it is taking a while to write that post I thought I would quickly tell you what we did Tuesday.
A few weeks ago I decided to order 4 Basswood trees also known as American Linden trees. http://forestry.ohiodnr.gov/basswood I have been shopping local garden centers for these trees for the past two summers but have yet to find them. We were not really sure about ordering bare root trees through the mail, because we haven’t had very good results doing this in the past. I was able to find a nursery in Michigan that had them for sale, http://www.coldstreamfarm.net/american-basswood-tilia-americana.html but a 6 hour round trip to purchase a few trees did not seem very practical. Since I really wanted Basswood, ordering them seemed our best option.
I love things that serve multiple purposes and Basswood trees seemed a good choice for several reasons. Basswoods are sometimes called bee trees as the blossoms are said to attract bees and butterflies. The nectar is said to make a high quality honey. The flowers of the Basswood (American Linden) can be used to make a tea which is used for medicinal purposes. I have also read that their leaves are edible. Basswood grow into great shade trees and their fruit is eaten by wildlife.
Tuesday morning the trees arrived via UPS. The weather was favorable for planting trees so we packed up and headed for the farm.
The trees looked very healthy and had good root systems.
This one is somewhat camouflaged in the photo.
After each tree was planted we put a fence around it to protect it from deer. Before next winter we will also need to protect the trunks from being eaten by mice or rabbits.
I am looking forward to seeing these trees leaf-out over the next few weeks. Planting trees does not offer the quick gratification that you may get from planting annuals or perennials, and I am not certain how old these trees have to be before they flower and bear fruit, but we intend to be around and keeping bees for many years, so we look forward to seeing that as well.
If you are thinking about planting trees and providing food for the bees, fruit trees are another good option. I would recommend doing a little research before you select a tree, because some fruit trees need a second variety, as a pollinator, in order to produce fruit. Then you and the bees can both benefit from the tree(s).