Archive for the ‘mulching trees’ Category

Fall Leaf Gathering Turns Into “Black Gold”

              In autumn the cool crisp air paints the land with a colorful array from tree and shrub foliage. As days turn into weeks, leaves fall away and pile up on rooftops, walkways, lawns and gardens. Instead of just raking and tossing them curbside, gather and put them to good use. Fallen leaves (and grass clippings) can be […]

Selecting Japanese Maple Varieties For Winter Hardiness

              Japanese maples (Acer palmatum) and (A. japonicum) are among the most picturesque of trees and shrubs. Their star-shaped leaves are comprised of 5-7-9 pointed lobes, depending on variety (cultivar). Trees exhibit layered branching, cascading form, lacy foliage (dissectum types), and stunning fall color. There are countless numbers of cultivars… […]

10 Winter Care Tips For Landscape Plants

              Fall-planted perennials, shrubs and trees need some additional attention. Here are 10 basic tips to help plants get past potential winter woes: Select balled-and-burlapped (b&b) or container-grown plants rather than bare-rooted stock. Most bare-root plants are planted in late winter or early spring when plants are still dormant. Evergreens, […]

Should You Plant In Fall?

            Should you plant in the Fall? It depends what region you live in, what month in fall, and what species you’re planting. If you live in the mid-Atlantic, coastal New England, or Southeastern U.S., fall is an excellent time to set most hardy plants. Most (not all) trees, shrubs, perennials, […]

American Fringetree – A Spring Flowering Treasure

American fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus) is one of the finest spring flowering trees (USDA hardiness zones 4-9). Individual flower heads are large and billowy, snowy white, and very fragrant in the early evening hours. Flower panicles peak through the large leaves, and are large and showy compared to Chinese fringetree (which I also like). Leaf sizes […]

Lacebark Pine Is An Arboreal Gem

Lacebark pine (Pinus bungeana) is an arboreal gem which few gardeners are privileged to own (USDA hardiness zones 4-8). Hopefully, this will change. Lacebark is a lovely 3-needle pine with exquisite exfoliating bark which becomes more attractive as it ages. Bark mottling begins after 8-10 years, that’s worth the wait if you’re a young patient […]

Avoiding Crape Myrtle Hardiness Problems

Late summer (September 1st) is your deadline to plant crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia spp.) in USDA hardiness zone 6. Your primary objective should be to grow deep plant roots. Crape myrtles are classified as perennials in northerly areas of zone 6. In many years their woody branches die back after a cruel cold winter. The hardy […]

“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 […]

What Can Be Done About Phytophthora

Phytophthora disease (Phytophthora spp.) is the fatal cause of root rots, stem cankers and crown rots. Several hundred species of plants are susceptible, including redbuds, dogwoods, rhododendrons, camellias, white pines, firs, yews (Taxus spp.), and fruit trees. It thrives in warm moist saturated soils. Phytophthora may lie dormant in the soil for several years, waiting for a […]

Volcano Mulching Harmful

Piling up mulch around trees or shrubs, called “volcano mulching”, is a bad practice and is killing them. Perhaps you’ve seen a neighbor or a professional landscaper doing it, and assumed that it must be alright. It’s not! The deep mulch pile smothers the natural buttress flair of the trunk which breathes and absorbs air for […]