You Can’t Judge a Tree by its Bark April 15, 2010
Today is my birthday. I'm 40 years old, and I'm not happy about it.
Now I've always been told I have a youthful face so as I enter - gulp - middle age, I realize that I might be able to lie about my age and get away with it. Maybe shave just a few years off the top and linger around 38 for awhile.
And then I realize as I observe an oak I'm evaluating for a customer that a tree never has this option.Read More
This Bud's For You April 8, 2010
In spring, most people are overeager to get outside and enjoy the warm weather. So many changes are happening around them as the landscape comes back to life. And it's quite intoxicating.
People smile more freely. There is a definite and extra bounce to everyone's step. All too quickly, they break out the shorts, t-shirts, tank tops and sunglasses. They talk at length about their first chance to fire up the grill and their initial family meal outdoors. My neighbors even race to see who can be the first to mow their lawn. It's quite refreshing … and addictive.
But the changes are happening so quickly that few stop and just observe long enough to catch the tiniest and most subtle transformations.Read More
Trees That Give Back April 5, 2010
You give and give to your trees. You treat them well and give them lots of attention, particularly during the growing season.
So they should give back to you, right? And they can … all year long.
Most landscape trees offer an abundance of color and beauty for short, intense flowering periods in spring and early summer and then again during the fall. But why couldn't you plant trees to capture attention all year long - even during the dead of winter … or just before the birth of spring buds when you're overeager for summer to arrive? A little interest here, a bit of color there. Some green here, some texture there.Read More
Assessing the Situation April 1, 2010
This is that time of year when the first hints of sunlight and slightly warmer weather make me want to get outside and get busy in my garden. In other words, I get the gardening bug. And as the days get longer I watch the plants emerge from the sleeping soil and am dying to get my hands dirty.
So this morning before heading to work, I took a walk around my yard to assess what affect winter had on my landscape. My arborvitaes were nice and green - ready to offer me privacy once more on my backyard patio. My blue spruces were also standing strong - seemingly unaffected from all the heavy snow their branches supported this winter. (What a beautiful scene they created out of my dining room bay window covered in the cold white stuff around the holidays!) My two English oaks, which are in my front tree lawn and are known for being relatively tolerant of the salt spray from cars and trucks, seem strong and sturdy, ready to flower and bud. And my Crimson King maples also look eager for spring - I'm looking forward to seeing their burgundy leaves emerge once again, creating a nice contrast to the lime and jade tones of the rest of my trees.
Then, I turned toward the front of my house. I have two juniper skyrockets flanking my front door. And the first thing I noticed was that the normally parallel frosty blue spikes weren't in order. The right tree stood tall, but the left was bent slightly inward toward my front door - usually not a good sign for a tree.Read More