Leaf Scorch

Leaf scorch, also called sunscald, is the bronzing of leaf surfaces and crisping of leaf edges.  Even plants that are well-adapted to our climate can be scorched.  Plants have amazing resiliency, especially when Mother Nature eases them into changing seasons.  But taking into consideration a spring like this one—cold and rainy—then an abrupt change to…

Early Summer Stress

What happened to spring?  We know that Southeast Nebraska and Southwest Iowa can have some challenging weather to contend with, but this caught us all off guard.  We are getting calls asking how this will affect our landscape plants and what can be done to mitigate damage.  We experienced record heat over Memorial Day that…

Maple Bladder Galls—“Freckles” on the Leaves

If you have a sliver or red maple tree, you’ve most likely noticed small raised bumps on the leaves.  Tree owners will call them “freckles”, “measles” and sometimes even “zits”.  Whatever they are called, maple bladder galls are caused by a very tiny mite.  The galls themselves are made up of plant tissue and are…

Mulch Volcanoes—Compromising Tree Health

You’ve seen this before—mulch piled so high around a tree that it resembles a volcano with a stick coming out of the center.  So goes the plight of trees trying to survive under such conditions.  Despite the research indicating how bad this is for trees, we see it time and again. Exactly how do mulch…

Right Plant, Right Place Part 2

  The coined phrase Right Plant, Right Place (RPRP) has stuck for many reasons, but the most important one is that it has passed the test of time.  Also, it’s just common sense.  Basically, RPRP is relatively straightforward; it’s about installing the best plant for the site, taking sun/shade, soil characteristics, pest history and many,…

Pruning Trees and Shrubs – When and How

It’s a necessary thing – to prune.  Prunes can be important for human health too, but that’s for another blog.  Removing unwanted or broken/diseased stems is important for the health of the woody plant, but perhaps even more important is the timing of the action.  Some pertinent specifics follow:   Shade trees:  the best time…

What’s in My Tree?

Spring has finally sprung in the Omaha Metro area and many of us are taking full advantage of the warmer weather.  Leaves are just starting to pop on trees but this allows us time to notice and sometimes panic when we see something that doesn’t look quiet right. Take for instance the cover photo for…

After the Storm

This week is Severe Weather Preparedness.  We often make plans for what to do in worse case situation for families but we often are caught off guard what to do with our trees.  Damage done to trees can be from wind, hail, snow/ice, lightning and more.  Sometimes the damage is silent and does not appear…

One Woman That I Admire

I’ve admired the work of Dr. Bonnie Lee Appleton for many years.  I first ran across her work when I was working closely with Fine Gardening magazine/Taunton Publishing, and the editors sent me some of her work to use as a model.  She wrote a number of books and magazine articles including Trees, Shrubs and…

Trees are For the Birds!

There’s no better way to explain nature to your kids than to feed the birds, using the right combination of bird food, feeders, bird baths and shelter.  Cardinals, juncos, chickadees, goldfinches and mellow morning doves are among the common species in our area.   Start off with one of the most overlooked tools to attract…

Forcing Flowering Branches

In the drab, grey days of February and early March, indoor color is welcome.  Most Nebraskans get a sort of “cabin fever” after being forced indoors for several months.  Fight back with some blooming branches. Simply prune off several branches from spring flowering trees and shrubs and plunk them in a large vase of water. …

My Favorite Garden Books…a Series of Sorts

When I go to a garden book, it’s usually to find an answer about specific features of a plant.  With that in mind, it’s no wonder that my favorite book is actually a series of books, connected in one way or another to the University of Illinois.  As you read down through the list, sometimes…