Fruiting trees can be a nuisance to the gardener who wants the color of the blossoms but not the fuss of cleaning up the fallen fruit. Those who would like a beautiful tree that produces large, ruffled, medium-pink flowers but no fruit should consider 'Alma Stultz,' a flowering nectarine, which can be planted now. Among enthusiasts, the tree is known as the azalea-flowered nectarine. That it exists at all is a miracle. Luther Burbank developed it, but because it was not what he was looking for (a tree with both beautiful flowers and good fruit), he is said to have thrown it on his trash pile. A visitor from Beverly Hills named Alma Stultz saw and rescued it.
Before pruning roses, be aware that there are different rules for different roses. The hybrid teas usually should be the most drastically pruned, leaving a plant only one or two feet above the ground. Grandiflora roses should not be cut back as far; 30 inches above the ground is about right. Pruning floribundas is basically a matter of thinning and shaping the bush; the same applies to tree roses. Vining roses can be ruined by improper pruning; the old, dark or gray canes should be eliminated entirely, and this year's long, healthy green canes should be tied over horizontally. Pillar roses can be allowed to remain upright.Most of the miniature roses can be treated as hybrid teas but on a smaller scale. Old-fashioned shrub roses need their dead wood cut out and their crisscrossed branches eliminated. Any good rose book will supply pictures and descriptions of proper pruning.
A live Christmas tree should be kept indoors no longer than two weeks. Plant it where it will get filtered sunlight, and give it a good watering. To keep the Christmas-tree shape, nip the new growth in the spring. Fertilize lightly.