Caring for Your Trees After a Heavy Snowfall

Tree Care Caring for Your Trees After a Heavy Snowfall By Arbor Day Foundation | February 28, 2018 Guest post by John Lang of Friendly Tree. Anyone who has lived around trees is all too familiar with the dreaded “crack” that often follows a major snowstorm. Spring storms can be devastating as the heavy, wet snow can prove to be too much for some trees. Although cottonwoods, elms, willows and poplars tend to be hit the hardest, due to their soft, brittle wood, no trees are completely safe with heavy snow or high winds. The method in which you care for your trees after a snowstorm will play a major role in their recovery. Assessing the Damage In general, if only small branches are damaged, you can expect the tree to make a full recovery without intervention. If many large branches are damaged, it’s possible to save the tree with proper pruning and care. The general rule of thumb is that if the tree is healthy, its main leader is still intact, it still has most of its maj..
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Alexandra Campbell on YouTube Gardening in England by Garden Rant

Award-winning English writer Alexandra Campbell, recently described what she calls YouTube Gardening in this post on her blog The Middlesized Garden. Like me, she complains about there not being enough good gardening videos for her readers – even there in a lively gardening culture like England’s! She wrote that “the YouTube gardening scene currently seems dominated by the US, Australia, Canada and India/Pakistan. They’re interesting and often useful channels, except when the weather is too different.” Which is exactly my complaint – in reverse – because searching on YouTube produces a preponderance of videos from British television, usually with Alan Titchmarsh. So to learn more about what videos pop up for YouTube searchers from England, and more about this interesting woman, I suggested to Alexandra that we Skype, and she was all-in. English Gardening YouTubers From left, Katie at Lavender and Leeks; Tanya at Lovely Greens; and Sean James Cameron According to her, what the Eng..
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Starting over with the terrarium by Elizabeth Licata

Here it is when it was given to me in 2008. I have always looked at plant failure as an opportunity, but I held out against replanting my terrarium for months. It looked … ok. At first, the fact that one of the succulent varieties was pretty much taking over the thing was fine. But eventually I had to recognize that the stems were browning at the bottom, making it impossible to prune them to healthy areas. After almost ten years, it was time. Close-up with the tiny new plants So everything got pulled out, and I put in a few new plants, still succulents. These are not necessarily recommended for terrarium planting, but I find that their hardy natures work well in that environment. Some years ago, I lined the edges with rocks, holding the cloche away from the base enough to let some air in, and get rid of condensation issues. Which it does. Will I get another ten years from the new array? Maybe not—and that will be an opportunity to try some different plants. Maybe I’ll finally have ..
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Saving Seeds for Biodiversity by Thomas Christopher

It’s called the ‘Mostoller Wild Goose’ bean. Sarah Mostoller found the first seeds in the crop of a wild goose that her son had shot in a mill race in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, in 1865. Sarah planted the rescued beans the following spring and found them to be a particularly productive pole type whose harvest proved excellent for baking. A specialist in rare beans obtained seed from her great grandson in the 1970’s and in 1981 he in turn donated some offspring to the Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa. And now the Seed Saver’s Exchange is sending a sample to Svalbard, Norway to be stored in a tunnel 500 feet beneath an icy mountain just 800 miles from the North Pole. Photo courtesy of Seed Savers Exchange This bean is just one of 2,000 collections that Seed Savers has sent for safe keeping to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Impressive as this number is, it represents only a small portion of the 20,000 varieties of heirloom food crops that Seed Savers Exchange has collected ove..
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6 Things to Know About Presidents and White House Trees

Misc Trees 6 Things to Know About Presidents and White House Trees By Sheereen Othman | February 19, 2018 The tradition of planting and gardening at the White House dates all the way back to the first president to ever take office, when John Adams planted a vegetable garden. But the tradition of planting trees on White House grounds started with Thomas Jefferson. President Jefferson planted a grove of trees on the lawn. Over the past 200 years, numerous U.S. presidents have carried on this tradition of tree planting, whether it was planting memorial trees or planting trees as part of the landscape design. Here are 6 things you probably didn’t know about trees on the White House grounds. (Facts taken from The White House Historical Association.) While the White House was being rebuilt after the 1814 fire, James Monroe increased tree plantings on the grounds based on plans by architect Charles Bulfinch. The federal government used Charles Bulfinch’s planting scheme for a t..
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Obama with Flowers by Susan Harris

I’d seen the new Obama portraits all over the media, so yesterday I subwayed down to the National Portrait Gallery to see them in person. The president’s portrait, on the second floor in the president’s gallery, I found so real, so intense, so HIM, it was hard to pull myself away from it. But let’s get to the flowers and foliage, this being a gardenblog. (And thanks, artist Kehinde Wiley, for giving us an excuse to write about it here.) The flowers are: chrysanthemums (official flower of Chicago), jasmine (evoking Hawaii, where Obama largely grew up) and African blue lilies (for Obama’s Kenyan father). I heard the artist explain that he chose elements that are “personal, decorative and historic,” and that’s all I’ve been able to find about his inspiration. Damn. I was kind of hoping we’d learn about Obama’s as-yet unrealized but lifelong desire to garden. We’ll have to settle for applauding the use of flowers to tell the story of his life, though gardeners might have made the flower..
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A minor rant and a big rave by Elizabeth Licata

At least we still have flowers for Valentine’s Day. Flowers have left the building, as far as the Olympics are concerned. In Rio (2016), medalists were given little sculptures made of resin, polyresin, and PVC, because flowers were “not sustainable.” And this year, in Pyeongchang, the athletes are waving little stuffed animals (tigers) from the podium. There are symbolic reasons for the tiger choice, which make sense, and they are kind of cute (unlike Rio’s resin doodads). But I’m not buying the sustainability argument. Cut flowers are ephemeral. You enjoy them, they fade; they can be composted or even thrown on the ground to decompose. Nothing that’s produced and given en masse is going to do well on a sustainability smell test; my take is that flowers are no more guilty than most gifts. But they’re gone. It appears that London will be the last Olympics that came with bouquets, unless something changes. Thank god for Valentine’s Day, which is creating enough of a flowery atmosphere t..
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Paper Birch & Douglasfir: An Odd Relationship

Misc Trees Paper Birch & Douglasfir: An Odd Relationship By James R. Fazio | February 15, 2018 Trees in a forest are usually thought of as fierce competitors, each struggling for control of available light and soil moisture, usually at the expense of neighboring trees. But Canadian research Suzanne W. Simard and her colleagues found that paper birch can actually aid neighboring Douglasfirs. Through carefully-controlled research, Dr. Simard has documented the transfer of carbon (sugar) from paper birch to nearby Douglasfirs. The transfer takes place through tiny underground strands of beneficial fungi called ectomycorrhizae. These appendages are common on most tree roots. They illustrate a classic symbiotic relationship in that both the host and the fungus benefit from the close association. The fungus obtains a small amount of carbohydrates and vitamins from the tree and in turn greatly increases the absorptive surface of the root. This increases the flow of water and ess..
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12 Things We Love About Trees

Featured Holiday 12 Things We Love About Trees By Sheereen Othman | February 14, 2018 How do we count the ways we love trees? We love trees for all the grace and glory their lofty heights and century-old stories. We love trees for all that they are from cleaning the air to the sea of the arctic char. Where would we be without their bountiful treasures, whether it’s climbing their limbs for outdoor leisure or thrashing in the thickets of a yellow fever. Even the pests of an ash and pine love these trees so much that it’s led to decline. Which is why we must plant more trees in the ground to keep our soil healthy, plentiful, and abound. The roots of trees soak in excess rainwater then release it back to cities as drinking water. The leaves of trees take in the heat of the sun then breathe it back out to cool everyone. Without the trees that line our streets our sidewalks and homes would overheat. We love trees for the fruits of their labor and the joy it brings ..
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The Power of the Sun: Truth or Consequences by Allen Bush

Salvisa, KY. I retired from Jelitto Perennial Seeds last month, and it’s been cold and gray in Kentucky ever since. I’m itching for spring. I have to be picky about my newfound spare time. I’m poring over seed and plant catalogs—a fun winter ritual—and I don’t want to be tangled up in politics when the redbuds bloom. I need to be ready to plant penstemons and phloxes in Salvisa. But look what I’ve gotten myself into. Politics make my blood boil. Mayfield, KY. Solar Energy Solutions photo. Here, at home, the Kentucky House Natural Resources and Energy Committee passed legislation last week that could cripple Kentucky’s solar energy growth. Business groups such as Greater Louisville, Inc. (GLI) and the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce have advocated strongly in support of HB 227— a bill that may jeopardize many of the estimated 1,200 solar jobs in Kentucky. GLI and the Kentucky Chamber reside within a closed loop. You scratch my back; I’ll scratch yours. They are forsaking potential..
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