Wednesday, May 11, 2011

King Island bull kelp, lemon-scented gums and frosts in Mitchell

Our 3 lemon-scented gums have grown remarkably well over the summer period but are still vulnerable from frost attack. Therefore, Doug has created an umbrella-type structure to protect them, a task that proved more difficult than it looked and is not entirely satisfactory.

Aluminium foil around their slender trunks is another frost strategy meant to work, so silver trunks they now have!

Seasol (derived from King Island bull kelp that regularly washed up on the coast of a sheep property we owned in the 1980s), made into a spray is another way to protect tender foliage from frost burn. We've made up the mixture and plan to spray the foliage every week or so throughout the frost-prone months.

It seems a lot of work, but the fact that Doug propagated these trees from seed he collected himself makes them special. Next year they should be mature enough to withstand frost. It's surprising that lemon-scented gums are frost-prone because they are actually native to this area of outback Queensland.

A fully grown lemon-scented gum is one of Nature's most majestic sights with its creamy-white trunk, slender form and lemon-scented leaves.

Our group of three will look wonderful in the years ahead, and for a long time after we've gone!

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