Archive for the ‘Trees & Shrubs’ Category

Small Landscape Tree – Try Chinese Pistache

Chinese pistache tree (Pistachia chinensis) is an underplanted small 30-35 foot landscape tree native to China, Taiwan and the Philippines (USDA hardiness zones 6b-9). It is related to the edible nut  pistache tree (Pistachia vera). Foliage consists of pinnate compound, dark green leaves (to 10 inches long), each leaf typically having 10-12 lanceolate leaflets (to 4 inches […]

Pest Alert: Deep Freeze Negatively Impacts Hemlock Adelgid Populations in the Smokies

GOOD NEWS! The recent cold snap is having a negative impact on the invasive hemlock wooly adelgids in the Smokies. Since 2002 this insect has killed millions of hemlock trees in the U.S. Biologists in the Great Smoky Mountains report that the recent spell of frigid temperatures has killed off overwintering hemlock adelgids. Over 15 […]

Common Street and Landscape Trees

Across the U.S. and Canada, city planners, landscape architects, and property owners now enjoy a wide selection of landscape trees to plant on city streets, along roadsides, and in yards and gardens. Over the past half century new and improved varieties (cultivars) are disease and pest resistant and exhibit better branching and architecture. We now know to avoid […]

Tree Cultivars That Do Not Produce Seeds Or Fruits

Perhaps you don’t like picking up messy fruits and seeds from your lawn in the fall and winter. Choose landscape trees that have seedless cultivars. A true seedless variety is an easy choice to avoid fruit cleanup. Below are a few non-fruiting or seedless cultivars available at nurseries. Not all plants listed are recommended for all home […]

Steps To Making Gardening Easier

  Take an inventory of your gardening time, talley up of costs, and develop a plan how to make your garden space more beautiful with less work and cost to you. Plant Smarter Simplify! For example, in my zone 6 garden, bigleaf hydrangeas disappoint  tow out of three years and they’re water hogs in the summer. Smooth (AG) hydrangeas (like […]

Five Evergreens For Small Garden Spaces

The following five evergreen shrubs are smaller versions of the larger growing species. They make a better fit in smaller urban gardens. Gyokuryu Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica ‘Gyokuryu’) is a fast-growing, broadly conical selection with coarse bluish-green evergreen foliage. The needles are highly ornamental and remain bluish-green through most of the winter in zone 6 and […]

Protect New Trees From Winter Sunscald

Across the northern U.S. and Canada, cold temperatures can damage many plants. Wide fluctuations in temperature can be particularly detrimental to newly planted landscape and fruit trees from late fall to early spring.  Street trees are particularly susceptible. Sun scald is described by elongated, sunken, dried, or cracked areas of dead bark, usually on the […]

Care of African Violets

African violets (Saintpaulia ionantha) or AVs are among the easiest flowering house plant to grow. They need indirect moderate to bright lighting and moist well-drained potting soil. Grow plants in plastic pots and not in clay (terra cotta). AVs should be repotted annually. Here are some additional cultural tips: Room temperatures: AVs thrive at room […]

Live Cut Foliage And Berries For Home Holiday Decorations

Many conifers make great cuts for indoor and outdoor Christmas decorations. Foliage choices: Eastern red cedar and many other junipers, white pine, Norway spruce, Colorado spruce, Balsam fir, Canadian hemlock, Arizona cypress (and cultivars ‘Carolina Sapphire’ and ‘Blue Ice’),  and False cypresses (C. pisifera). Needle retention varies among species. For example, Norway spruce and balsam […]

Protect Young Trees and Shrubs From Voles, Rabbits And Other Critters

Rabbits, chipmunks, and voles (field mice) need a home for the winter. They often choose to nestle up near newly planted trees and shrubs and gnaw  on their sweet sapwood, girdling the trunk and essentially killing the tree. Fruit-bearing plants often damaged by critters over their first 1-2 winters include: apple, pear, peach, redbud, blueberry, and cane fruits. Young […]