Drip Drop, How do Trees Make Flooding Stop?

Tree City USA Urban and Community Forestry/Green Infrastructure Drip Drop, How do Trees Make Flooding Stop? By Sheereen Othman | May 30, 2018 Natural disasters often strike without warning and wreak havoc wherever they land. A city can never be fully prepared for natural devastation, but there are measures they can put in place that will help reduce the impact. One of the easiest and cheapest tools a city can use is its urban forest. A thick, urban forest can reduce the environmental and economic impact of heavy storms. A dense urban forest helps reduce flooding during a rainstorm because trees act as a sponge by soaking up stormwater. When there are less trees, there is more stormwater runoff. In the same way that shrubs and trees planted along waterways slow flood waters and filter runoff from land, a thick urban forest absorbs excess rain that would otherwise flood flat surfaces. When storm drains reach capacity, stormwater has nowhere to go, so it runs along streets a..
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Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf by Allen Bush

Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf opens with Oudolf pulling out colored pens and drawing, with his left hand, bright squiggles, slashes, curlicues and abbreviated Latin plant names. Oudolf’s paper drawings and seasonality become seductive themes of Thomas Piper’s film. “Yeah, it may look wild, but it [his gardens] shouldn’t be wild. This is what you’d like to see in nature,” Oudolf explains. I watched Five Seasons in mid-May at Louisville’s Speed Museum Cinema. Thomas Piper, the film’s director and producer, was introduced by Tom Smarr, who worked with Oudolf on the High Line in New York. Smarr is now the Horticulture Director of 21stCentury Parks and the new Parklands of Floyds Fork in Louisville. First drawn by Oudolf’s garden aesthetics, Piper was soon enticed by Oudolf—the character. Oudolf cuts an impressive figure. He’s tall and handsome with a full head of stylish silver hair. The 73-year-old Oudolf doesn’t come off like a “rock star” or “cool guy,” according to Piper ..
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Weeping Willow: The Tree of Romance

Tree of the Week Weeping Willow: The Tree of Romance By James R. Fazio | May 29, 2018 Were they water maidens in the long ago, that they lean out sadly looking down below? — Walter Prichard Eaton If ever there were a tree to stir the heart of a poet, weeping willow would claim the honor. To Walter Prichard Eaton, the long, slender branches gently dipping to the water of a river, “still…deep and brown,” is nothing if not the hair of a once-fair maiden. Robert Herrick also saw melancholy, proclaiming, “Thou art to all lost love the best,” a tree under which distressed young men and maids “weary of the light…come to weep out the night.” Napoleon Bonaparte must have seen something of this in the tree, too. When banished to the island of St. Helena, Napoleon is said to have found a favorite place beneath a weeping willow, undoubtedly reflecting there on his lost honors. He was buried by the tree, and cuttings from it came into high demand around the world. One even made its ..
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Navigating With Butterflies – Up, Up and A Weigh by Bob Hill

As it turns out butterflies are not free. They can cost anywhere from $3 to $6 each. They will arrive at your doorstep in small white insulated boxes carried by FedEx trucks with purple and orange logos. They will come tightly sealed in skinny envelopes with necessary ice packs included. Then you can then pop that tight package of butterflies into a refrigerator or ice chest until a grand release. What’s wrong with that picture? The entire journey is slightly reminiscent of the days when Mom and Dad would stuff us five kids in the old Studebaker for a Sunday drive. Except for the ice packs part. And my older sister picking on me. That was all so easy compared to Monarchs’ trips from Mexico to Minnesota to Montreal and back home again – a remarkable journey that can require four or five generations of sadly fluctuating numbers covering thousands of airborne miles. Talk to me all you want of science, biology and ultraviolet light explanations, how do they do that? If it’s the shippi..
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Common Tree Pests and How to Spot Them

Tree Care Common Tree Pests and How to Spot Them By Arbor Day Foundation | May 25, 2018 Guest post by John Lang of Friendly Tree. Spring is a wonderful time of year, when everything around us is bursting to life. This, of course, includes pesky insects that have it out for your trees. As the weather warms up, pests come out of the woodwork, so to speak, and you’ll want to know what signs to look for. When trees are stressed after a long winter, they are especially susceptible to attack. These are some of the most destructive and prevalent insects that can cause serious damage to your tree and even lead to tree death. Defoliators Gypsy Moth USDA Forest Service , USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org The gypsy moth is notorious for defoliating more than a million forested acres each year since 1980. As leaves emerge in the spring, the moths leave masses of eggs which hatch into hungry larvae. The moth’s larvae defoliate hardwood trees, especially oak, birch, elm and maple. ..
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How our Energy-Saving Trees Program Earned our Partner an Award

Energy-Saving Trees How our Energy-Saving Trees Program Earned our Partner an Award By Kristen Bousquet | May 24, 2018 Oncor Electric Delivery has been named the Environmental Leader Project of the Year Great change happens when organizations work together. The Energy-Saving Trees program is a living example of the impact community trees can have on communities and the utility companies who distribute them. For the last six years, we have partnered with Oncor Electric Delivery to give away free trees to Oncor customers in its service area throughout Texas. Participants use the online mapping tool to place trees on their property where they make the most impact. In the fall of 2017, the company gave away more than 8,500 trees — more than any other Energy-Saving Trees program. The trees come from local nurseries throughout Texas that are grown specifically for the Oncor program. Together, we have given away more than 43,000 trees to Oncor customers. Trees that are streng..
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Two Great Events You Can Attend by Susan Harris

On June 29 the Slow Flower Summit is happening in Washington, D.C.! The website tells us: Developed and produced by Debra Prinzing and Slow Flowers LLC, this one-day event is designed to celebrate American Flowers Week and bring together creatives, thought leaders and change agents with a lecture series featuring leading voices in the progressive American-grown floral community. The Summit began last year in Seattle, where GardenRant’s own Amy Stewart (author of Flower Confidential) gave this keynote address. This year the line-up of speakers looks awesome, and it includes two who are local to us in the Mid-Atlantic: Walker Marsh from Tha Flower Factory, an urban flower farm in Baltimore, and floral designer Kelly Shore, serving the DC area. I’ll be there! Then in July the National Children and Youth Garden Symposium is happening. It’s a professional development event for people who work with, or are interested in working with young people in garden settings and other outdoor env..
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Container rules are meant to follow, bend, or break by Elizabeth Licata

I love this shape for smaller pots. In a recent column, Washington Post gardening columnist Adrian Higgins addressed the long-hallowed “thriller/filler/spiller” theory of container gardening. He defended it and debunked it at the same time, which seems right to me. While it’s true that the drama of a tall plant is heightened by contrasting plants that spill over the sides and fill in the middle, there are plenty of other ways to create great containers. One big beautiful plant—papyrus, coleus, colocasia, banana—or a colorful array of dense annuals can be glorious in a good container. Ordinarily, however, I do like color contrast. My favorite contrasts are various permutations of yellow/purple/white, and green (light green). It tends to work better if the contrasting plants have different forms and textures, so you find yourself following t/f/s almost by default. There are other elements where I agree and disagree with the how-tos. Soil The recommendations are always to provide brand..
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Thornless Honeylocust — Nature’s Aberrant

Tree of the Week Thornless Honeylocust — Nature’s Aberrant By James R. Fazio | May 22, 2018 Gleditsia triacanthos form inermis One of the most startling trees to encounter on a walk in the riparian woodlands of the east and Midwest is our native honeylocust, Gleditsia triacanthos. It just can’t be missed. No other tree is guarded by such a mass of sharp, branching thorns, some of them as long as a foot in length. They are truly ferocious. Fortunately for our community forests, someone noticed that some of the trees had all the other characteristics of honeylocust — except the nasty thorns! Scientists and plant breeders found that while the thornless honeylocust is distinctly different from honeylocust in the not-so-minor matter of thorns, it is not otherwise different enough to be classified as a separate species. Moreover, offspring from the thornless trees will sometimes have thorns. This twist of genetics has led botanists to classify thornless honeylocusts as a form ..
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Kentucky’s Secret Gardens by Allen Bush

Looking for inspiration and information? Catch a glimpse of Kentucky’s Secret Gardens. Author Tavia Cathcart Brown hosts the documentary, sponsored by Kentucky Education Television (KET). I was flattered to be included in a small piece of the first round of Kentucky’s Secret Gardens, and I enjoyed the show more than I had imagined. Videographer and Co-Producer Frank Simkonis shot some beautiful footage. The drone shots of the prairie are way cool. As soon as I walk into a garden I can tell if it is loved or not. I’m partial to gardens that are tended hands on. Passionate and committed gardeners have created vastly different Kentucky Secret Gardens. See for yourselves. I’ve never been to these Kentucky secret gardens. (Where have I been?) I’m ready to pack the car for a road trip to Woodford County, Lexington, Newport, Berea, Eubanks and Louisville. I’d love to visit them all. The program held my attention from beginning to end. Rose enjoyed it, too, but thought that, clocking in a ..
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