Pruning Hydrangeas

In the realm of gardening questions, answering “When can I prune my hydrangea?” can be the most complicated. This is because of the number of hydrangea types that grow in this region, requiring an understanding on our part before the pruning saw is even employed. It’s important to note that pruning most woody plants in…

All That Glitters

Trendy or not painting plants is a surefire way to kill them. Plants have pores (stomatal pore) that are located mostly on the surface of leaves. These pores are how plants gain access to carbon dioxide to carry out the process of photosynthesis. They are tiny and typically not visible with the use of a…

American Robin

Nothing says spring like the American robin. Most years my mom and I will call each other when we see our first robin. There is something uplifting about seeing them. Maybe because they singal the end of winter and the promise of spring. American robins can be found throughout most of North America from the…

Looking Ahead: Plan to Help Pollinators Next Year

Kicking back to consider next year’s garden, let benefitting pollinators be one of your considerations. Of course pollination is important to us because we like to eat—one-third of our food supply exists because pollinators pollinate. Pollinators, specifically native bees, are real work horses of the pollination world—just 250 native bees do the work of thousands…

Follow-up Care For Newly Planted Trees – Fertilization

Like water, fertilizer or added nutrients are needed in greater supply by turfgrasses than trees in the landscape.  If mulched properly and growing on decent soils, the majority of newly planted trees don’t need any supplemental fertilizer.   In fact, applying fertilizer soon after planting can be counter-productive, especially if it contains nitrogen as well as…

Caring For Newly Planted Trees – Pruning

Like staking, pruning is an “as needed” procedure, although the need in the first year is not great.  In fact, because young trees need every leaf that they can get their chloroplasts and vascular bundles on, pruning should be avoided in most cases.  If branches are removed at planting time or shortly after, the tree…

Purple Beautyberry

As flowering plants give way to autumn, it’s the fruit that many produce that add interest to our landscapes. It’s hard to beat the berries produced by purple beautyberry, Callicarpa dichotoma. At a time of the year when fruits highlight the reds, yellows and golds of autumn, it’s nice to see the show-stopping lustrous purple-violet…

Falling Leaves

I love fall. It is my favorite season of the year. When I was a kid I loved walking to school so I could kick the leaves on the sidewalk. The sound and feel of the leaves crunching under my feet and the smell it generated was pure bliss. Then I grew up, got a…

Bugging out with Your Camera Phone

We get quite a few requests to identify a pest or diagnose a problem from a digital photo. Emailing a photo of a pest sample rather than finding a container, catching it and bringing it into our office can help you: Identify your pest. Contribute to the body of science by logging your sample in…

Follow Up Care for Newly Planted Trees – Mulching

Mulching If a little is good, much more is better is not a good mantra for mulching.  For the overall sense of proper mulching technique, take a cue from Mother Nature.  In a forest or natural setting, you’ll commonly see a 2-4 inch layer of fallen leaves, stems, fruits and bark, often referred to as…