The Kerby's Nursery E-Newsletter
September 19, 2019
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The Weekly Special  |   Fall Veggies  |   New Arrivals    |  Fall Workshops

The Chickens Ate My Tree
by Joey Bokor

Who knew that loquat trunks were a delicacy?
You try to do something nice for somebody and they just don't appreciate it. In this case, I guess they aren't somebodies, but somethings: our chickens. It is hot and sunny most of the year, so to protect the chickens from the heat, we planted a loquat tree in the chicken run. Our hope was that over time it would shade the coop from the sun and provide a nice shady spot for the biddies to dust-bathe in. Plus, all of us could enjoy the yummy fruits. You would think that with all that thought put into it, they would be appreciative. Nope. While they have gotten a kick out of the little drip sprayer that comes on each day, their reaction has been to peck away relentlessly at the trunk.

We started noticing them doing it about two months ago. We didn't pay much attention to it, thinking that they were just going after a few bugs on the trunk. Then they started really going crazy on it, removing the bark over an entire chicken-height section. About two weeks ago, we finally decided to do something about it and found an old pool hose, sliced it lengthwise and wrapped it around the trunk. We thought we had the problem solved.

And we did. At least the pecking problem. But then as soon as our afternoon rains dried up a few weeks ago, the tree all of the sudden looked like it was ultra-thirsty. We figured that it had gotten used to the rain and that a little extra drink with the hose would get it through the heat. At this point, it doesn't seem like it. No matter how much water we put on it, it still isn't making a recovery.

Now we're going to attempt a severe prune and hope that allows it to survive. You wouldn't think that a little damage to the bark would cause that kind of damage to a tree, but it does. A good way to think of a tree is as a straw. You know what happens when you put a little hole in a straw. You can no longer suck up liquid. A tree is exactly the same. Damage to the outer layer of the bark on the trunk damages the tree's ability to transport liquid from its roots to its leaves. So the next time you are out tending to the lawn, be careful with the lawn mower and especially with the weed wacker. Those little bits of damage that don't seem like much can cause long-term issues to the health of the tree, or even its demise. Oh, and you should probably keep your chickens away too.

September is moving right along and for Florida gardeners, one of the best seasons of the year starts now. Fall Veggie Season! The fall garden is one of my favorites, filled with cruciferous vegetables and a second season of tomatoes and peppers. Join us at Kerby's this Saturday at 10am for the Fall Veggie Workshop, we'll show you how to get great harvests of homegrown veggies.
Happy Gardening,
The Kerby's Nursery Family

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The Weekly Special
40% off all Concrete Statues
Get a unique statue or sturdy bench to accent your garden during our end of summer clearance sale.
Offer valid through 9/26/19
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Exclusively for Kerby's Preferred Customers

New Arrivals
Piñata Lavender

The First of the Season
6" Pot - $7.99
Veggie Starts are In

Tomatoes, Peppers and more
4 Pack - $3.99


Bright Fall Color
6" Pot - $6.99

Kerby's Nursery

2311 S. Parsons Ave.

Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 685-3265

Store Hours

Monday - Saturday
9am - 5:30pm
11am - 4pm