Archive for January, 2014

Urban Trees Reap Cleaner Air

U.S. Forest Service scientists with the Center for Urban Forest Research report that planting and nurturing street trees in Indianapolis, IN returned 500 percent in benefits from storm water reduction, energy conservation, cleaner air and increased property values. The researchers evaluated more than 117,000 trees the city’s Parks and Recreation Forestry Section manages. It found […]

Winter Sap Bleeding From Trees Not Harmful

Winter can be a cruel period for trees. Day-night temperatures may wildly fluctuate and drying winds tend to injure tender buds. Maples (Acer spp.), flowering dogwoods (Cornus florida), birches (Betula spp.), yellowwoods (Cladrastis kentukea), walnuts (Juglans spp.) and elms (Ulmus spp.) are “bleeders”. The sap pressure inside branches is highest during the winter months. If any […]

Soil Sampling Is Good Insurance

Do you know what your soil needs to grow a great lawn, flower, or vegetable garden? If you haven’t analyzed the soil in the past five years, get it done in any season. Most gardeners do it in late winter when university, state, and private soil labs are busiest. The local Extension office or a […]

“Death By Mower” Disease

“Mower disease” is a totally preventable human malady caused by permitting lawn grasses and weeds from growing near the crown of trees and shrubs. The problem is commonly seen on large properties such as church grounds, cemeteries and public parks. Large gang mowing machines (with many reels) cut 95-98% of the turf area. Workers follow […]

Nativars – New Cultivars Of Native Plants

Nativar is a new term coined by Dr. Allan Armitage, Professor Emeritus from the University of Georgia. It combines the words “native” and “cultivar”. Nativar refers to a cultivar of a native plant. It attempts to excite the horticultural marketplace about new cultivars of native perennial plants, such as blackeyed Susan (Rudbeckia spp.), purple coneflower […]

European Hornbeams Serve As Great Garden Sentinels

Upright European hornbeams (Carpinus betulus cvs.) are versatile small to medium-sized deciduous trees that fit most landscape settings. Depending on which cultivar you select, the tree stands with a narrow vertical profile. It grows 35-40 feet tall and 15-20 feet wide. It’s cookie cutter by design as a street tree or tall narrow hedge. Hornbeams […]

Are Your African Violets Looking OK?

African violets (Saintpaulia ionantha) are easy to grow flowering house plants. Modern day varieties sold at supermarkets and plant shops often bloom 8-9 months a year. Lighting needs are minimal, either from indirect sunlight from an east-facing window or under special “grow lights” 12 hours daily. African violets prefer water at room temperature (65-75 °F). […]

For Dry Sites Try Arizona Cypress

Arizona cypress (Cupressus glabra) is silvery blue needled medium-sized evergreen (USDA hardiness zones 6 to 9). This southwest U.S. native demands full sun and excels in droughty, infertile, and well-drained soils. Conversely, Arizona cypress does not tolerate shade, poor air circulation and flooded soil. Arizona cypress is mostly disease and pest free unless too crowded […]

Shagbark Hickory

Most tree lovers don’t plant U.S native shagbark hickory (Carya ovata) (USDA hardiness zones 4-8). Instead, they often inherit one when purchasing property. Shagbark hickory is notoriously difficult to transplant and grows very slowly in its early years. Like oaks (Quercus spp.) and beeches (Fagus spp.), hickories are long-lived, often standing tall in an open […]

Moving Large And Mature Trees

Perhaps tree lovers can’t plant wonderful trees such as shagbark hickory (Carya ovata), American beech (Fagus grandifolia), or white oak (Quercus alba). They can purchase property with the tree(s) growing on them. Most nurseries do not grow these difficult species or guarantee their success after planting. But, all is not lost! Modern nurseries, backed by […]