Northern Crapemyrtle
The Summer Show Can Extend Well Beyond the South
by Dr. Carl Whitcomb

As I skimmed through some of the State-by-State Gardening Midwest magazines, it occurred to me that readers in Northern states, for example in Zones 6 and 5 and in even especially warm spots in Zone 4, can, if done properly, grow crepemyrtle (Lagerstroemia indica). I have a test plot in Ft. Atkinson, Wis., and have had crapemyrtle surviving, growing and flowering the last three years. The first year the plants grew ...   >> read article
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Bad Storms, Better Trees
by George Weigel

Some years are bad years to be a tree. Tornadoes, borers, diseases, monsoon-like rains and snow storms tag-team to blow down, rot out and crack apart untold thousands of landscape trees throughout the East and Midwest. That puts many a tree-less homeowner in the market for replacements in spring. Future storm-related tree trouble can be reduced greatly by better selection, better siting and especially better planting and care practices.   >> read article
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Honoring Our Elders: Preserving Ancient Trees
by Charlotte Kidd

Trees that are 100, 200 or even 300 years old require special management techniques. Here are some examples of trees that are getting the proper care and some tips on how you can cultivate and coddle your own veteran trees.   >> read article
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A Different Kind of Snow
by Maria Zampini

The Snow Fountains weeping cherry tree stands out in the ornamental crowd as it offers four seasons of beauty for year-round appeal. It also can be clipped, pruned, shaped, staked, bent and otherwise manipulated into a dozen or more forms. This is one small chameleon tree that you might not recognize from afar, but you will admire and desire it.   >> read article
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Common Diseases of Landscape Trees & Shrubs
by Douglas A. Spilker, Ph.D.

What’s that spot on the leaves? Or that fuzzy stuff? Why are the leaves falling off? Here’s how to tell whether your woody plants are really sick or just have a little case of fungus.   >> read article
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Boxelder tree
Acer negundo
by LeeAnn Barton

Acer negundo has a large native range throughout the southern and midwestern United States as well as parts of Canada. Usually found in bottomland forests and populating old homesteads. Its tolerance to extreme cold and drought has made this tree a survivor through much of the U.S. It can be used as a temporary planting, providing fast growth and shade while slower growing trees gain maturity. Wide, relatively shallow roots are perfect for erosion control.   >> read article
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Growing Tropical Fruit in the Midwest
by Tammy Weiss

With the cold winter behind and the warm, humid summer just about here, I begin to dream of the tropics, and with that, the full-flavored, juicy fruit whose sweet fragrances fill outdoor markets and lone fruit stands on the side roads. Sadly though, with the economy not cooperating and the present fashion to have stay-cations, I have decided I could and would have both. Thus began my search for the ever-elusive tropical fruits that I could grow in my Kentucky backyard garden.   >> read article
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Is it OK to prune roots?
by Bonnie Lee Appleton

When you prune a plant, whether you’re pruning stems or branches aboveground, or roots below ground, you’re wounding the plant. A wounded plant will attempt to seal off or compartmentalize the wounded area to prevent decay. This process forces the plant to use stored reserves (starches, etc.), and thus has a depleting effect. Pruning can also stimulate new growth, but for this new growth to occur, additional stored reserves must be used. Therefore, even though top and root pruning can be, for certain objectives and at certain times of the year, beneficial to a plant, the plant does pay a price...   >> read article
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