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hummingbird pollination flowers

Pollination in Fruit Trees

Pollination is the transfer of pollen grains from the male part of a blossom to the female part of a blossom. Fertilization occurs within the ovary when a sperm cell from a pollen grain unites with an egg to produce an embryo which then develops into a seed. After fertilization, the ovary that contains the […]

blueberry grow guide blueberry pie

Why Is My Blueberry Bush Not Producing Fruit?

So, you have blueberry plants, but you don’t have blueberries. What’s up with that? Are your blueberry bushes in full sun? If not, you will be disappointed. Like most plants grown for food, blueberries do best in full sun (at least 6 hours). They can take some partial shade, but too much shade will decrease […]

trees roots plants

What We Need to Know About Tree Roots

A Tree’s roots serve two important functions: They anchor the tree in the soil so that its photosynthesizing parts (the leaves) are elevated and exposed to the sun; and they take up the water and minerals that the tree uses to make carbohydrates for food and proteins for everything else. (Roots also must absorb oxygen, […]

Thuja Green Giant tree

Where Should I Plant a Thuja Green Giant

Thuja ‘Green Giant’ is a hybrid between the American native, western red cedar (Thuja plicata), and the Asian native, Japanese arborvitae (T. standishii). It was discovered in 1935 growing in a seedling bed in Denmark where they had been growing both parent species. Green Giant was introduced to the United States at the National Arboretum in 1965. Thuja ‘Green Giant’ […]

epiphytes in bath

Epiphytes and Parasites

Plants that grow on other plants or objects solely for support are called epiphytes (or air plants). Epiphytes attach to trees, rocks, and other objects, but do not take energy, water, or nutrients from them. Instead, epiphytes produce their own energy by photosynthesis, and get their water and nutrients from the air, the rain, and […]

Granny Smith Apple

Fruit Trees for the Midwest

There are many different kinds of fruit trees that are well adapted for growing in the American Midwest. The backyard orchardist can choose from popular apple, pear, Asian pear, peach, nectarine, cherry, and plum tree varieties. A little more obscure, but just as much fun to grow are persimmons and pawpaws. Growing your own fruit […]

leyland cypress fast growing privacy tree

Privacy Trees

  Privacy trees are trees that we plant to act as screens in order to block an unwanted view out of, or into, our property. In addition to providing privacy, these living fences also block noise, reduce air pollution, and slow the wind. We love the appearance of a living privacy fence, and appreciate the […]

Plant Hardiness Zones USDA planting zone

Plant Hardiness Zones

About Those USDA Climate Zones   The familiar United States Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone Map is based on the average annual minimum temperature for each zone. Needless to say, some years a zone will get a minimum temperature lower or higher than the average. Nevertheless, the average minimum temperature is a fairly good indicator […]

fertilizers

All About Fertilizers

Of the more than 115 chemical elements in the periodic table, only 16 are sure to benefit plant life. These are essential nutrients. (There might be others that we don’t know about, but surely they must be needed in very small quantities and are probably never lacking.) Carbon (C), oxygen (O) and hydrogen (H) are […]

ann magnolia tree

Top 5 Early Spring Flowering Trees

IT’S SPRING!       Among our favorite early spring blooming trees are: Japanese magnolia (like the Ann or Jane), eastern redbud, flowering dogwood(white and pink), Taiwan cherry, and wild plum. The Japanese magnolias are among the first bloomers of spring. Three important types of early blooming Japanese magnolias are: The star magnolias (Magnolia stellata) […]

pruning and plant care guide

Basic Pruning for Shrubs and Trees

We prune our trees and shrubs to control their size, shape and scale within our landscape. Proper pruning also stimulates flowering and fruiting and helps to keep shrubs and trees healthy and vigorous, thus reducing the likelihood of future problems.   There are two main kinds of pruning: Thinning and Heading.    Thinning Thinning cuts […]

frost and cold protection

Frost and Cold Protection

Frost and Cold Protection Frost is the enemy of most flowers and some leaves. A dusting of frost can kill blossoms and even the leaves of many kinds of plants. Frost forms on surfaces when the temperature goes below water’s freezing point of 32°F (0°C). Note that the temperature at ground level and on plant […]