Not Quaking In Their Roots March 5, 2012
It takes many years to form a forest. But over a longer period of time - 80,000 years, in fact - one special tree, and its several hundred quaking aspen clones, have formed a colony.
And very little has shook it ever since.
The Pando (in Latin: "I spread") is a "clonal colony" of single male quaking aspen, located in the Fishlake National Forest in south central Utah. This 6,615-ton giant is a legend; in fact, its root system is one of the oldest living organisms on Earth. And, as you may imagine, the Pando is the heaviest species in existence.Read More
Seeking A Winter Color Fix January 26, 2012
Now that Mother Nature's typical winter persona has dumped inches (and feet) of snow onto my home, car and landscape, I find myself wishing there was something more to look at besides the blinding, stark blankets of white that now cover just about anything in sight.
How many more weeks are there until spring?
As others might look forward to Valentine's Day this time of the year, I spend my January counting down the days until Feb. 2, or Groundhog Day. It's funny how serious I take Punxsutawney Phil's reaction to the sunlight, or lack thereof. But who among us hasn't hoped the groundhog wouldn't see his shadow so we could quickly cross winter off of the list and start planning for warming days and blooming plants?Read More
City Trees Can Get By With a Little Help From Their Friends January 18, 2012
My dad kept a ficus tree for 27 years before it grew too tall and too wide to keep indoors during the winter months.
I was convinced that tree was his first child. My dad kept up on watering, cleaned out the sparse dead leaves when necessary and, in the summer, staked the tree container in our backyard to avoid damage from strong winds. Among the vegetables in his garden and the perennials we planted together each spring, it was quite obvious that ficus meant a lot to my dad.
When he decided to give his tree away for indoor space limitations, my dad posted ads in the classifieds for an appropriate and trusting new owner. Although he was giving away the tree at no cost, my dad screened the callers with questions to be sure his ficus tree ended up in the right hands.Read More
True Blue December 1, 2011
As families recover from consuming heaping dishes of traditional delights during Thanksgiving weekend, they can crank up the holiday tunes, dive into boxes of decorations in reds, greens and golds, and begin thinking about another seasonal holiday that will be here before they know it. That's right, I'm talking about Christmas.
Within the coming weeks, you'll notice evergreen trees more clearly, scattered among their deciduous friends in your landscape. Their colors, blends of blues and greens, will dominate your visual attention over the bare, brown branches and blankets of white snow.
You'll also see evergreens appear in your neighbors' large front windows, dazzling those who walk by as sparkling crystal ornaments reflect tiny bulbs in bright, bold colors.Read More