Ask an Arborist: The ABC’s of Pruning

Ask An Arborist Tree Pruning Ask an Arborist: The ABC’s of Pruning By Arbor Day Foundation | March 31, 2017 This is part three of a three-part dormant season pruning series. Catch up on part two, what are the rules of pruning and watch part one, why do I need to prune. Tree pruning, trimming, or cutting is an ongoing process throughout the life of your tree. After selecting the right tree and carefully planting it, early pruning is the most important thing you can do for a young tree. Pruning during dormancy is the most common practice. It results in a vigorous burst of new growth in the spring. It is usually best to wait until the coldest part of winter has passed. When pruning your trees, there are steps you can follow to ensure you are making the proper cuts and not removing too much off your tree. Tree experts Andrew Pleninger and Chris Luley created The ABCs Field Guide to Young and Small Tree Pruning to help guide the pruning process. The rules of the ABC’s will t..
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Why are nonprofit groups critical to tree survival in cities?

Urban and Community Forestry/Green Infrastructure Why are nonprofit groups critical to tree survival in cities? By Dana Karcher | March 30, 2017 In my prior life (before ADF, which in my world stands for “before I started my work at the Arbor Day Foundation”), I was the Executive Director for a small tree nonprofit group. I lived in a town that was hot, dry, and dusty. With all my heart, I believed that trees were the answer to that community’s woes. After over 15 years working in trees, I KNOW that trees provide a myriad of benefits that can make a difference to communities. The program that I manage at the Arbor Day Foundation is the Alliance for Community Trees (ACT); a network of tree nonprofits across the United States. I would venture to say, and go so far as to guarantee, that as a collective group of tree planters and advocates, the Alliance for Community Trees members also believe that trees are essential in communities. I also believe that organizations that are..
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Duke Energy Florida Helps Customers go Green

Energy-Saving Trees Duke Energy Florida Helps Customers go Green By Kristen Bousquet | March 29, 2017 The following is a guest post from our friends at Duke Energy Florida. Duke Energy is one of the country’s largest electric utilities, providing power to more than 9.1 million Americans. The task comes with responsibility, like ensuring the company is not only meeting customer needs, but doing so in the most efficient and reliable way. It’s important the company delivers energy safely, for both people and the environment. As a result, Duke Energy is always planning for the future and looking for sustainable ways to become more environmentally responsible. Arbor Day Foundation’s Energy-Saving Trees program was a great fit with the company’s goals. Duke Energy Florida discovered a way to engage with customers while benefiting homeowners and the communities we serve. So, to celebrate Arbor Day in Florida, Duke Energy Florida and the Florida Forest Service partnered togeth..
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Tuliptree: A Flower bed in the Sky

Tree of the Week Tuliptree: A Flower bed in the Sky By Arbor Day Foundation | March 28, 2017 Liriodendron tulipifera John Tradescant was a gardener to the King of England when he first brought a tuliptree back with him from North America. This foreign tree attracted attention from the locals for its tulip shaped leaves and fast growing height. The tuliptree is distinguished in many ways—from its beautiful late spring flower show and its almost equally vibrant fall colors, to its place in history and its considerable industrial value. This tree is the tallest of North American hardwoods, growing to 100 feet or more and used in making furniture, cabinetry, musical instruments, and wood veneer. In the early history of the United States, giants 200 feet tall or more were commonly found. Despite its stature, the tuliptree is perhaps most known and loved for its large, yellow and orange, tulip-shaped flowers, which bloom in May and early June. Seen from above, from a hilltop o..
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Is Facebook a great place for gardening questions? Usually not. by Elizabeth Licata

It can depend on who’s in your friend list, but I’ve seen enough to determine that asking random gardening questions on Facebook probably isn’t that hot of an idea. The ones I have seen on my feed—usually about plant IDs or houseplant problems—get such a wide range of answers, mostly wrong, that I wonder how the person asking figures out what to believe. On Facebook, I have a mix of gardening friends (from all over the place) and Western New York/family friends. The twain do not—for the most part—meet, so if one of my WNY friends asks a question, they generally don’t get much in the way of a professional response. It often looks like a loyalty battle more than anything else: Believe me! No, believe ME! And then a lot of people just want to see how ridiculous their answers can be. It is Facebook, after all. I have never looked at Facebook as a place to find the truth, or, really, any kind of information I seriously need. It’s a place for recording vacations and other fun times, keeping..
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Top 10 Fast Growing Trees & Shrubs

Landscape Design Top 10 Fast Growing Trees & Shrubs By Sheereen Othman | March 27, 2017 Spring planting has already started in some hardiness zones. It’s the perfect time to plan your landscape design. If you’re looking to green your property fast, then consider these fast growing trees and shrubs. Here are the most popular fast growing trees sold through the Arbor Day tree nursery, in order of the most popular. North Privet (Ligustrum x ibolium) This deciduous or semi-evergreen shrub is America’s fasting-growing hedge, growing up to 3′ per year. The shrub’s dense, dark, glossy green foliage makes it an excellent choice for hedges and privacy screens. If you’re interested in a hedge with a formal appearance, this privet tolerates shearing well. When you grow it as a hedge, shearing it early and often helps to develop thick layers of branches for year-round privacy. 2. Green Giant Arborvitae (Thuja standishii x plicata ‘Green Giant’) The green giant arborvitae is a la..
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Assessing my Gloves and Trowels by Susan Harris

3 left-hand gloves and 10 right-hand gloves. Wtf? I began assessing my most vital gardening tools – like gloves and trowels – pre-season, in February. I rounded up all the gloves in my collection and discovered first that they’re super-dirty. Can my favorite cheap gloves (just over $2 a pair) be put in the washer? I’ll be finding out on my next laundry day. But then I uncovered a mystery: What’s happening to all my left-hand gloves? How could I have just three of them, versus ten for the right hand? I have no idea, but will be buying another dozen or so pairs because I’m assuming you can’t buy just the lefts. And the new gloves will be nice and clean, for a while. Next up, my trowels, the tool I use the most. Here’s a shame-inducing display of the trowels I found in my tool shed this morning, where they spent the winter covered in dirt. But worse than the dirt is the fact that I don’t actually LIKE any of these, while the trowels I prefer and USE are presumably buried somewhere in ..
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Me and my Weepers by Garden Rant

Guest Post by Bob Hill. I have never fully understood my attraction to weeping plants and I really don’t want to pay some nerdy-looking guy with a psychology degree about $250-an-hour to find out. Truth be told, I’ve spent some time drinking beer and exchanging words like “theorization” and “anosognosia” with otherwise likeable shrinks who at some point toward midnight will confess to being every bit as off-the-edge as their patients, only more expensive. That’s when I start dropping horticulture words like “cleistogamous” and “farinaceous” on them just to level up the conversation. With any luck the bartender will lock up and go home before we get to Rostrinucula dependens. The best I can figure, I just like the aesthetics of weepers. Contrary to what their name might imply, I never see a hint of depression in them, or even gloom. They are simply unique, graceful, confident individuals taking off in a whole different series of directions. At once. Weeping redbud ‘Ruby Falls’ Th..
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How to make your region as garden-crazed as Buffalo by Elizabeth Licata

It takes a 90-page book to explain Buffalo’s garden walks and other programming in July. May is the month designated for extra gardening coverage in the magazine I edit, so I’m in the middle of preparing that right now. This year I decided to focus on classes, workshops, and reliable online learning (giving a nod to Susan’s gardening video site). I’m almost done, and it’s really surprising how much there is, locally. An extensive horticulture class is held from January through June at the local botanical gardens, the extension holds (less intensive) Communities in Bloom days as well as Master Gardener training, and several independent garden centers offer regular half-day and full-day seminars on pruning, seed-starting, vegetable growing, roses, water gardening, and much more throughout the season. I shouldn’t leave out the garden clubs and plant societies, which host experts at most of their meetings. We have a lot of them too. The Federated Garden Clubs of New York State, which meet..
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Turn off the tap for a better garden by Thomas Christopher

I spent the last two weeks in Morocco; as travel is supposed to do, this provided me with a new perspective. Morocco is a semi-arid to arid country. In Fez, where I spent the most time, the wettest month is February, with an average of just 2.8 inches of rain, while the whole of summer (June – August) gets less than an inch typically. Yet Morocco is an important agricultural producer, and has, as I saw, some beautiful gardens. This is possible because water is prized and used sparingly and for the greatest impact. Cities such as Fez and the villages are built around water sources and there is remarkably little suburban sprawl. Gardens might feature a fountain or a rill, but if so, it is a centerpiece, the jewel of the landscape, something to be savored like the spices in the local cuisine. Arriving back in New York, and driving back to Connecticut, then, was an eye-opener. There is the obvious abundance of water with all our rivers and streams, and a just as apparent wastage. We pollu..
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