Japanese apricot ‘Peggy Clarke’
Prunus mume
by Alan Pulley

There’s not much out in the garden that can beat the winter blues like Prunus mume ’Peggy Clarke’, also known as the Japanese flowering apricot tree. When it’s too cold for much else to bloom, this small tree bravely sends out its blossoms on bare limbs in mid to late winter, providing the kind of showy display that most plants set aside for spring. It’s an amazing sight in the dead of winter.   >> read article
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Whitewater Red Bud
Cercis canadensis
by Clara A. Curtis

Cercis canadensis ‘Whitewater’ is a “hot plant” out of North Carolina and a North American native tree too! This small, deciduous tree with beautifully variegated white and green leaves was developed by Dr. Dennis Werner at North Carolina State University. It’s a good choice to incorporate into your garden where contrasting foliage color is desired. Traditional magenta-pink flowers of the redbud emerge in the early spring on bare branches ...   >> read article
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‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae
Thuja standishii x plicata
by Kristopher Stone

Do you need a fast-growing evergreen screen that is resistant to deer and bagworms? Or perhaps you are looking for a great focal point evergreen as a specimen or in a grouping? If so, look no further than ‘Green Giant’ arborvitae (Thuja standishii x plicata ‘Green Giant’).   >> read article
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Chinese Che Tree
Cudrania tricuspidata
by Beth Burrell

Grape-size red fruits catch the eye starting in late August on this uncommon but commendable fruit tree known as Chinese che. At first it is slow to grow, a few inches at best. Just be patient – as with many plants three years seems to be the charm ...   >> 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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Made in the Shade
Indicator Plants And Shade Gardening
by Gerald Klingaman

Shade is a major design consideration in most gardens in the Southern U.S. Given the opportunity, we nestle our homes under the spreading boughs of forest giants and are forced from the outset to develop a garden that will never know the full intensity of the sun. Or, if our subdivision was a cotton field or cow pasture in a previous life, we grow our own shade – never quite believing that those small switches we plant will one day become sylvan giants and rob sunlight like a thief in the night. Shade is a good thing, though. It makes our outdoor living spaces habitable during the muggy months and permits the summer-long enjoyment of our gardens.   >> 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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The American Chestnut Story
Hopefully there will be a happy ending
by Fred Wilhelm

It’s sad, but much of today’s news contains stories about the endangerment or extinction of a plant or animal, or even an outright environmental catastrophe. Contrary to that trend, when I recently stumbled on an article about efforts to restore the endangered American chestnut tree to a place of importance in our forests, I immediately thought...   >> read article
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