As a native of north central Kentucky Kris Stone has years of experience with the common everyday challenges of maintaining a healthy landscape in the difficult climate of the Ohio Valley. Currently Kris resides in Northern Kentucky just outside of Burlington and is the Director of Boone County Arboretum.

Kris holds a Bachelor's of Science in Plant and Soil Science from the University of Kentucky, maintains certification as an ISA Certified Arborist, and is an active board member for the following organizations: KY Arborist Association, Northern KY Urban and Community Forestry Council, KY Exotic Pest Plant Council, Friends of Boone County Arboretum, and technical advisor to the Boone County Urban Forest Commission. Kris is passionate about his life long love of plants and enjoys spreading his knowledge and experience to the public he serves.


Recent Blog Posts

Mar 09
Spring Slowy Awakens   (1 comment)

Feb 10
Early Bloomers Burned   (2 comments)

Nov 17
Fall is for Fruit!!  

Sep 16
Beautiful bayberries!  

Jul 15
Keep watering!  

May 12
Plant Profile: Japanese Snowbell  

Mar 25
Yellow Magnolias  

Feb 06
February Flowers  




Beautiful bayberries!
by Kristopher Stone - posted 09/16/12

Northern bayberry (Morella Pensylvania), once known as (Myrica pensylvanica) is a great shrub for Kentucky landscapes that doesn't seem to be as widely used as it once was in recent years.  This deciduous to semi-evergreen shrub varies in height from 5ft to 12ft, though I have seen a planting at the Campbell County Extension office in Northern KY that approaches 20ft in height! Typically the habit is rounded, and shrubs sucker at the edges to form dense mounds.  Female plants are covered in beautiful bright blue-gray to white small fruits.The waxy coating on fruits has been historically used for the nicely aromatic bayberry candles.

Use northern bayberry in massing, borders, foundation plantings, and along roadways where a salt tolerant plant is needed.  Highly adaptable, this plant thrives in poor soil, sunny conditions (does well in part shade too), and tolerates well our typically heavy clay soils of Kentucky. 

Consider trying this beautiful and durable east coast native shrub in your landscape today!

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Keep watering!
by Kristopher Stone - posted 07/15/12

Although some areas of Kentucky have been receiving some beneficial rainfall in recent days, many of us have missed out, or have not received enough rain to end the drought.  It is extremely crucial that you not stop watering newly planted trees at this time.

This young Ginkgo (above) is suffering badly from the drought, and had started to exhibit early fall color and leaf drop. Trees near parking lots like this one have restricted root zones and are even more adversely effected by droughts. If using a lawn sprinkler be sure to place a rain gage in the area to be sure you are applying at least 1" of water per week. If you are soaking individual trees, water the area until the ground appears saturated under and out to at least the drip line of the tree at least once per week.


The National Drought Monitor has almost all of Kentucky in abnormally dry to extreme drought conditions as of last week.  Lets hope things improve in the coming weeks!





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Plant Profile: Japanese Snowbell
by Kristopher Stone - posted 05/12/12


Are you looking for an excellent small flowering tree for your landscape? Japanese snowbell (Styrax japonicus) is rarely encountered in the landscapes of Kentucky but deserves much wider use. This small tree reaches 20-30 ft tall and wide with elegant horizontal branching. One of its most well-known features is the dependable and heavy bloom of small white bell shaped flowers that hang downward in great masses from May to June.  Fall color is a good yellow with hints of red at times. 



Use Japanese snowbell as a specimen tree, patio tree, or in groupings.  Try to place the tree so that the blooms can be viewed from below.



The Japanese snowbell will do best in full sun to part shade and prefers moist, acidic soils.  Avoid thin, drought-prone soils, and in the event of significant drought, this tree must be provided supplemental watering to avoid scorching of the foliage. 


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