Interesting stuff

5 Tips to Help Fast-Growing Trees Thrive

When you think of the ideal version of your home and yard, what do you see? Perhaps there’s the iconic white picket fence, some flowerbeds pristinely placed just below the windows, or a romantic patio swing just for two on your front porch. Whatever your vision entails, more often than not, somewhere within the vision will also be a tall, sturdy tree to provide a little privacy, maybe some mystery, and the perfect touch of shade on a hot summer day. A tree’s shape, size, and species will often be just as unique as each homeowner. A commonly sought out feature, though, especially when planting a new tree, is fast-growing trees.

As you may have guessed, this trait is popular because fast-growing trees can provide us the shade, beauty, and curb appeal we desire within a few short years. If you’re considering, or already have, fast-growing trees within your landscape, there are some tips the experts at Mr. Tree would like to pass on to help you ensure your trees thrive from the very beginning and for years to come.

1. Pick the Right Tree for Your Landscape

While it may seem obvious, it’s important to ensure you have the right fast-growing tree for your landscape before it’s ever planted. Not all trees thrive in all climates or soil types. A good place to start when considering a fast-growing varietal is to compare the tree’s ideal plant hardiness zone with the ranking of the zone in which you live. This will ensure the tree doesn’t suffer damage from too much or not enough sun, shade, or water, as damage can lead to the loss of your tree.

Once you’ve determined if your ideal fast-growing tree will thrive geographically, you should check the soil composition of the plant site. As different soil types will provide different types of nutrients, water retention, and water drainage, it’s good to know the makeup of yours and compare it to the needs of your tree. For those homeowners unsure of their soil composition, you can always consult professionals for assistance with testing.

2. Give It Nutrients

Once they’re planted, the next tip to help your fast-growing trees survive and thrive is to give them nutrients via fertilizer. Just like we take vitamins to help us grow big and strong, so should we give vitamins to our trees for the same effect. This is one way to help balance out a lack of the needed nutrients from your yard’s soil composition or a way to boost the benefits further. The results will include stronger root systems, fuller foliage, increased growth, and longer life spans for your tree.

Again, knowing your soil composition here can greatly impact the decisions you make. Fertilizers come in many composition varieties to both balance out what your landscape may lack and to address what your plants and trees need. If you don’t know the specifics of your soil, then focus on fertilizers that meet the known needs of your tree species by doing a bit of research or consulting a local licensed arborist.

3. Keep It Hydrated

Again, just like our own reliance on water, hydration is life to your fast-growing trees. For survival, it’s required; for thriving, it’s necessary at the right time and in the appropriate amounts. Your watering habits should adjust with each season.

During hot summers, you need to ensure your trees are watered on a fairly consistent basis and usually during the coolest time of day. This will ensure optimal saturation within the soil for the roots to get their fill, without losing the water to evaporation. During the cooler months, depending on the local rainfall, you may need to water your tree very little, if at all. Instead, you may be more focused on ensuring the surrounding soil has good drainage so the roots aren’t drowned, making the tree more susceptible to root rot and disease.

Because the root systems of your fast-growing trees need both water and oxygen to thrive, there are various methods of watering. One of the most popular is the slow-drip irrigation method. This ensures a nice long slow drink for the tree’s roots. It also includes a balance of oxygen and hydration by giving an ample amount of time for the water to saturate and drain through the soil. It can be accomplished over an extended time period with a hose, or there are commercial slow-drip bags and spikes that can significantly decrease your active time investment in this watering method.

4. Prevent Pests and Disease

Pests and diseases can be the downfall of any new or established tree. For fast-growing trees, they pose an increased threat due to the instability they can cause in the foundation. Because fast-growing trees grow quickly, their root systems are that much more important to the stability and life span of the trees.

When your tree has to allocate its resources to protect itself against pests or fight off disease, it can hinder the development of the root system. This can slow the growth or make the tree less sturdy and more susceptible to falling because of wind and rainstorms. Regularly look for signs of pests and disease, like peeling bark or yellow and curling leaves not consistent with the fall season. If you think you see signs of an infestation or problem, reach out to trained arborists, like those at Mr. Tree, to get it under control quickly and with the least amount of damage to your tree.

5. Prune Regularly for Health

Pruning and trimming benefit all trees. These are ways of removing diseased or dying areas from your tree, while also ensuring optimal growth and shape. It should be done regularly every couple of years, depending on the type of tree.

Based on the species and varietal, there are different times of the year recommended for pruning to ensure trees heal properly and continue growing. While you can trim your tree yourself, we recommend working with a professional for safety and the best results. Pruning and tree trimming will give the tree the ability to refocus its energy and nutrients on growing taller, faster, and stronger.

For more tips, best practices, and recommendations for taking care of your landscape and trees, check out the other resources Mr. Tree publishes to address any and all of your concerns.

Let’s Karaoke!

I happen to think that I can sing well. And most Karaoke/Videoke machines agree with me 🙂 I am not about to quit my full-time job though – my singing won’t be paying the bills, for sure.

We’ve owned a Videoke machine for years – my Dad loves to sing-along too, probably more than I do. It is a LOT of fun, specially when you do sing-offs with family and friends. Should you be in the market for your own system, this post is for you.

Here are Things to Consider Before You Buy Your Karaoke Machine:

Deciding on which karaoke machine to choose when you are interested in buying one can be quite challenging, especially considering the barrage of options that you will be faced with. The entire process may be even more complicated if you do not have information about karaoke systems and are working with a limited budget. A number of factors are worthy of consideration before you buy your karaoke machine. Invaluable help is provided by the Best Karaoke Machines 2018 – Ultimate Buyer’s Guide.

Here are things to consider to help you make the right choice:

The speakers

When choosing a karaoke system, speakers are an important consideration. The quality of the speakers and the output power differentiate good speakers from those that are not. Karaoke speakers for kids usually have not more than 5 watts power output, while home karaoke systems can be up to 10 watts, but not more. For outdoor parties, speaker jacks are required with the karaoke machine for a higher power and quality output.


Karaoke microphones are arguably the most important karaoke machine accessories. For home karaoke systems, one microphone is usually provided, with an input jack that allows one more microphone to be connected when necessary. The same setting applies to karaoke systems designed for kids, and the extra microphone would be purchased when needed. The two microphones are used when there is the need to sing duets.

Ease of setup and portability

When trying to decide on the karaoke machine to buy, the portability of the machine and how easy it is to setup is a relevant factor. Most machines come with manuals to offer guidance on how they should be setup, but you still need to verify if the procedures are not too complicated. When your intention is to carry the karaoke machine around, then portability is key. Having to spend a lot of time assembling and putting it apart when you want to carry it around is a put-off.

Option for recording

There are karaoke machines that have the option of being able to record songs that have already been performed. Such machines have USB ports and SD card slots for memory sticks to be connected for recording when singing. Besides, such karaoke systems have playback features that allow recordings to be played back instantly for assessment. An added benefit is that the memory devices containing the recordings can be copied on to computers, mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) or burnt on to CDs.

AC Power

The very fact that karaoke systems can be used at home or outdoors means that they come with AC adapters, and sometimes battery terminals. Your intention should dictate if you want both the AC adapter and the battery-powered kind or just the AC-powered type only.

Sound and Voice controls

Good karaoke systems should come with the option to use automatic voice controls that give singers the freedom to mute voices of singers while allowing only the background music to keep playing. That way, you can overwrite the singer’s voice with yours on the same background music, allowing you to create a new mix.

I hope you find this guide useful. What’s your favorite tune to sing-along to?

Netflix Now in the Philippines

When it was announced in January that Netflix has expanded its reach and is now available in the Philippines, I was so excited to sign up. But we were having Internet connectivity issues at home so I decided to wait until we had more reliable connection before I signed up for the free 30-day trial. I decided that today was that day.

Sign up is quick and easy. In less than 5 minutes, I was streaming my first movie: Aloha, starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, and Rachel McAdams.

There was no hassle whatsoever. Perhaps it helps that it’s Sunday at noon and other people have better things to do than hog the Internet. The husband is also fast asleep, having come home from shift last night. If he was right next to me playing online, that might be a different story.

Already, I like Netflix. It may be a good reason to give up our premium cable subscription, but we’ll see. We had decided a few weeks ago to upgrade to Sky Broadband’s hi-speed offering but they are taking their sweetest time to get here and set us up. So earlier today the husband went online and signed up for an upgrade for our PLDT DSL connection. We are still considering which option will allow us to save on both Internet and cable, but I guess in the end, the fastest to get us setup would win. I just hope whichever comes first, doesn’t disappoint.


It’s been so quiet around here I feel like stepping inside an old house and hearing my voice echo off the walls as I say “Hello! (oh-oh-oh)”

I attended the Life Bliss Weekend a month ago and I had a milestone – I came home with a different realization than what I thought I set off to have.

Let’s just say that thinking about what I thought my life’s mission was (prior to the weekend) meant staying in my current job for another year or two, and then setting off on an entirely different course.

What happened was that I went home with a renewed sense of what I should be doing in the role I currently have. How my mission can and should remain the same over time, albeit set in different roles in life.

I have tried many times to write about that weekend, but where do I begin? What’s important is that I have taken steps to work on my takeaways from that experience, and it looks like I’m well on my way to finding bliss.

How does that relate to this blog? Everything is connected. My desire to define my mission in life, the need to rekindle a passion for my work, and the non-activity on the blogs, are all connected.

And things that are happening now couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve had an opportunity at work to attend a training/workshop that gave me further affirmation that I’m where I am supposed to be.

For my blogs, I’ve been working on material that I signed up for two years ago. I’ve been stuck on having a mission and unable to move forward. But working offline on myself, I think, is allowing me to move forward here too. So I’m working on that.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I am in an ongoing reboot process. Personal Reboot, Work Reboot, and even a Blogging Reboot, because really, how can you separate the three?

When was the last time you did a reboot?

100 Happy Days



Have you heard about it? I’m on Day 6 of my personal 100 happy days’ challenge. What is it all about?

Here’s what it says on the challenge home page:


We live in times when super-busy schedules have become something to boast about. While the speed of life increases, there is less and less time to enjoy the moment that you are in. The ability to appreciate the moment, the environment and yourself in it, is the base for the bridge towards long term happiness of any human being.

71% of people tried to complete this challenge, but failed quoting lack of time as the main reason.These people simply did not have time to be happy. Do you?

How? Plain simple!

every day submit a picture of what made you happy! 

It can be anything from a meet-up with a friend to a very tasty cake in the nearby coffee place, from a feeling of being at home after a hard day to a favor you didto a stranger.

#100happyday challenge is for you – not for anyone else.

It is not a happiness competition or a showing off contest. If you try to please / make others jealous via your pictures – you lose without even starting. Same goes for cheating.

So I took up the challenge and began on February 11th. I think it’s important to note that for some people, happiness doesn’t come naturally. Which is why we must intend to be happy. It is my intention to be happy for a hundred days. That’s more than enough days to make happy a habit. Smile

I’ve always said that I already am a generally happy person. It takes a lot to get me down. But it may also mean that being so leaves me highly prone to taking for granted those that make me happy. Hence the challenge to document and share the 100 little or big things that make me happy.

Please do join us! I share my photos via Instagram (@verabear) with the hashtag #100happydays. It can be shared in any way you choose – via Facebook, or your blog, Twitter, or if you choose to go private, you can just send them a daily email. If you’re already doing this, or are already done, please do link me up because I definitely would like to know what makes your days happy Smile

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