Archive for November, 2013

Top Conifers Picks By Southeast Reference Gardens

In 2011 poll conducted at the SE Region meeting in Athens, GA, the top favorite conifer picks from SE Reference Gardens. Georgia Lockerly Arboretum, Milledgeville Cryptomeria japonica ‘Elegans Nana’ Juniperus virginiana var. silicicola ‘Brodie’ Platycladus orientalis ‘Aurea Nana’ Thuja occidentalis ‘Rheingold’ Smith Gilbert Garden, Kennesaw Cedrus deodara ‘Gold Cone’ Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Verdon’ Platycladus orientalis ‘Morgan’ […]

Ranking Four Popular Evergreens As Privacy Screens

If you are searching for a tall evergreen conifer as a privacy screen, the four most popular in the Southern Appalachian region (USDA hardiness zones 6 and 7) are: # 1 is Leyland cypress (x Cupressocyparis leylandii) which rapidly grows 40-50 feet tall and 20-25 feet wide in less than 25 years…if they live long […]

Mexican Feather Grass

The ultra-fine soft foliage of Mexican feather grass (Nassella tenuissima) will grab your interest. Just a slight breeze will create wave movement in your garden (USDA hardiness zones 7 to 10). It grows 1½ feet high (2 feet tall in flower) and 1½ to 2 feet in width. Mexican Feather Grass is a cool season […]

Pyramidal Forms Of Cryptomeria

Cryptomeria, aka Japanese cedar, (Cryptomeria japonica) is an evergreen conifer native to China and Japan. It rated to be very long-lived (USDA hardiness zones 6 to 10). Some cultivars may be hardy in 5-b as well. There are many forms of cryptomerias, ranging from dwarf globe-shaped shrubs to narrow pyramidal trees. Needle foliage may be […]

Renewal Pruning Is An Easy Technique To Learn

Renewal pruning is the practice of severely cutting back selected shrubs and trees. The task is simple. There are no books to read. Select a day from mid-February to early April (USDA hardiness zones 5-7). Cutback the entire shrub(s), leaving 3-5 inch tall cut stems or stubble. The cut stems will bud out in the […]

Staghorn Sumac’s Reliable Fall-Winter Assets

Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) is known by several names, including velvet sumac and hairy sumac. This large shrub or small tree is native to northeastern U.S. and eastern Canada (USDA hardiness zones 3-8). Staghorn sumac often arrives uninvited into a landscape and its aggressive suckering root system makes it difficult to eradicate. For landscape use […]

China Fir Deserves A Look

To begin, China fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) is not a true fir (genus: Abies). Branches are broadly pyramidal when young, and open up to become slightly pendulous as the tree ages. China fir grows broad at the base and spire-like on top. The tree often grows multi-stemmed to 75 feet in height and 20 to 30 […]

Three New Spreading Junipers Waking Up Landscapes

In times past Chinese junipers (Juniperus chinensis) were popular foundation shrubs and ground cover (USDA hardiness zones 4-9). They were popular choices in sunny locations for erosion control and around seashore areas. Three exciting cultivars have arrived on the landscape scene and should bring junipers back in vogue. Angelica Blue Chinese juniper (J. chinensis ‘Angelica […]

Kentucky Coffee A Superior Large Native Tree

Kentucky coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus) is a large native tree found in 18 states, from New York west to Nebraska and from central Minnesota south to Oklahoma (zones 4 through 7). It reaches a mature height of 70 feet (some greater than 90 feet) with a spread of 50 feet. Established in 2-3 years, annual growth […]

Burning Bush Turns Fire Engine Red In The Fall

Be cautioned from the start that planting dwarf burning bush (Euonymus alata var. compactus) in some states in the U.S. is prohibited. This deciduous shrub is known for its awesome fire engine red fall foliage color (USDA hardiness zones 4 to 8). In shady areas fall leaf color tends to be more pinkish. Fall leaf […]