Winter Wonderland December 21, 2010
One of my favorite things to do in the winter is sit by my back windows and watch the bright blue birds eat the brilliant fruit off of my crabapple tree.
It's one of those trees that, despite losing its leaves and becoming a seemingly uninteresting skeleton, transforms into a gathering place for the birds, tweeting and twittering as they munch on the abundant red spheres on the branches. And the arrival of cold weather often adorns the tree in striking frost. The crabapple is truly a tree with incredible winter appeal that brings enjoyment to my whole family.
And what is a landscape if not a canvas for providing yourself with endless enjoyment in every season, regardless of what Mother Nature may bring in the form of harsh winds, sleet, snow and ice.Read More
Prevent Ice Damage on Trees December 13, 2010
There's nothing worse than walking out the front door, confidently bundled up in a warm coat, hat, scarf and gloves only to take that first certain step and have the ice lurking beneath the snow make you do a slipping, sliding dance where your legs brace in a slight squat position and your arms flail out trying to help keep yourself balanced and upright.
Absolutely no one looks cool doing the ice dance.
When ice coats trees in thick crystal layers, forming perfect icicles that clink together, making pretty music in the wind, it can be a beautiful site (and sound). That is until evergreens start to double over and deciduous tree branches hang heavy as if weeping.Read More
Light Up the Night December 10, 2010
During the winter months, the night comes sooner, darkness lasts longer and most things around us are enveloped in shadow.
That is until the snow falls, collects and starts to shimmer. The emerald evergreen branches become heavy with white flakes, accentuating their pyramidal, dense shape. And every single trunk, branch and twig of their deciduous counterparts become outlined in pure, gleaming cotton. It lights up the winter night.
While we aren't lucky enough to get perfect snowflakes that collect and sparkle every day of the winter, during the holidays we get a similar, magical effect as lights outline tree shapes, bringing them to life when they seem the most quiet.Read More
Oh, Deer! December 3, 2010
I recently ran into a good friend who lives on the edge of a park. She loves her acre of land and has a favorite reading spot under a large tree where it's shady, cool and private.
This retreat is anchored by impressive, velvet green arborvitae. Since the weather began getting colder, she hadn't spent time there for a few weeks. But on one recent, Indian summer weekend, she headed to her favorite spot only to find chunks taken out of her arborvitae up to about 4 or 5 feet. Just a tuft of green remained at the top of each plant.
Six or seven years ago, Davey Resource Group Biologist Ken Christensen had a similar problem, caused by a majestic and elusive creature - a deer.Read More