Administration and Finance Focus

April 2009
January 2011
Employee Spotlight –
Alan Pfeiffer-Traum

Student Spotlight –
Ginger Unegbu

Events Calendar


Textbook Rental Program a Great Success

Cougar Card
Cougar Card offers New Mobile Service

Executive Chef Brent Gorman takes on an Apprentice for a Day

New Food Safety Specialist joins UH Team

Smoothie King gets a Makeover

Starbucks offers Bigger Drink Size

Mileage Rate Change

HUB Statistics

More Discounts from Today’s Business Solutions

Green UH
Campus Community Garden Gives Back

New Sustainability Course offered in Spring

UH goes Green with new Trash Bins

Fruit Trees: The Original Multi-Taskers

Parking and Transportation
New Bike Racks Installed

Plant Operations
Campus Landscape Improvements Continue

Policies and Procedures-
As the UH Policies and Procedures World Turns…

Public Safety-
Mothers Against Drunk Driving Event

Officers attend Additional Duty Safety Officer training

DPS Donates Bicycles to UH Auxiliary Services

Lost and Found Goes

Annual DPS Chili Cook Off

Quick Tip: For enrollment services questions, students can call 713/743-1010.

If you have comments or would like to submit an article to future newsletters, contact Lindsay Marshall at lmmarshall@uh.ed by the 20th of each month.



Fruit Trees: The Original Multi-Taskers
By SUZY FISCHER, Urban Harvest

For the most part, when Houstonians think about trees, they think about the haven they provide from summer's relentless heat. Others consider the dramatic floral display they offer in spring or their ability to dazzle with fall color.

What is often forgotten is that fruit trees can do all of the above and more, providing fresh, nutritious food from your garden in every season of the year and serving as an honoree for an upcoming green holiday.

For a population with a growing environmental conscience, there couldn't be a better way to go green than to celebrate Arbor Day. In the United States, Arbor Day celebrations began when pioneer Sterling Morton moved to the treeless planes of Nebraska. His love of nature led him to champion the planting of trees for their beauty, their shade, to serve as windbreaks, to prevent soil loss from erosion and to provide a source of fuel and building material.

Though Texans and most of the country celebrate Arbor Day on the last Friday in April, Houstonians observe Arbor Day on the third Friday of January. For Arbor Day 2011, consider how one of the more than 8,000 fruit trees and berries at the 11th Annual Urban Harvest Fruit Tree Sale could play a part in your observance of the day. This year's sale will be Jan. 15, just in time to celebrate Arbor Day. It will be on campus at Robertson Stadium.

Houston gardens are able to grow many fruits with little maintenance. Some require more training than others. Other types of fruit may require some pest management, and, depending on where you live, there are different varieties that are best suited to the chilly hours.

At the sale you'll find fruit tree experts on each type of fruit we sell who can answer questions and offer well-seasoned advice. Whether you live on Galveston Island or north of Brenham, the sale offers hundreds of fruit trees perfectly suited to your area of Southeast Texas.

If space allows, you can have fresh homegrown fruit from May through January. Peaches, nectarines and mulberries are first to ripen in May.

The summer months of June, July, August and September bring apples, blackberries, blueberries, figs, grapes, jujubes, muscadines, papayas, pears, plums and pomegranates.

Fall months of October and November find persimmons and star fruit hanging for harvest.
A well-planned selection of citrus will provide fruit from the end of summer through the start of the New Year, with satsumas beginning in August and ending with grapefruits, kumquats, lemons, limequats, mandarins, oranges and pummelos in January. Mexican limes never become quiescent (dormant) so they produce fruit all year long, which is also why they are the least cold-tolerant of the citrus.

Fruit trees can fulfill a garden's need as well as any ornamental needs. If privacy is what your garden lacks, there are evergreen fruit trees such as citrus, avocado and pineapple guava that fill that need. Should you require shade, towering pecans will shield you from the sun.

And if you think fruit trees don't have ornamental value, you need to talk to someone from Washington D.C. about cherries, someone from Washington state about apples or someone from Georgia about peaches, all places where these trees are celebrated.

As long as your garden has an area that receives at least six to eight hours of sun (citrus will produce with less sun), you can produce fresh fruit that will have you disappointed with the taste of almost anything you buy in local stores.

Compared to most trees, fruit trees are relatively small-growing. Still, given the shrinking size of an average urban lot, space may be an issue for some. Employing one of three horticultural training methods, espalier, pollard or pleach may be the answer to a space problem.

An espalier is any tree or shrub trained on a single plane, flat against a wall or trellis, in a formal pattern or a random freeform.

Pollarded trees have been trained through systematic pruning in order to make tree crowns smaller and to keep them small. Pollarded trees are compact and manageable, especially for harvesting fruit.

Pleaching is the art of training trees into what looks like an aerial hedge. Trees are planted in lines and then pruned in a hedge like fashion above the ground level. Branches between trees are woven together by wounding them where they should join and then binding them together.

No matter how big your space is, there's always a place for a fruit tree in a sunny garden. If you're one who wants more from a tree than leaves to fuel the compost pile, fruit trees, from traditional to tropical, are the solution to your garden's arboreal quest.
In short order, your Arbor Day planting will reward you with bushels of fresh fruit that haven't been imported from across the country or below the equator. Now, how green is that?

Suzy Fischer is a registered Landscape Architect and principal of Fischer Schalles, a landscape design/build firm. Contact her at

This column is produced by Urban Harvest. Learn about gardening classes, community gardens and orchards, farmers' markets and more at