Category: trees

Wildfire Worries for Ancient Trees

Photos of fire workers wrapping the ‘largest living tree on Earth’ in silver fire retardant foil got me thinking, and worrying, about the awe-inspiring trees we saw during our visit to the ‘Avenue of the Giants‘ in Humboldt Redwoods State Park in northern California,… Continue Reading “Wildfire Worries for Ancient Trees”

Old Growth Forest Destruction

Imagine going into an art museum full of old masterpieces and laying waste to them with a chainsaw. Unthinkable, right? Now imagine those same masterpieces are living, breathing things, the last stalwarts standing tall against climate change. Yesterday’s story in the Seattle Times, B.C.… Continue Reading “Old Growth Forest Destruction”

O Deer!

One important job in the home landscape should never wait. Over the years, I’ve seen whitetail deer cause severe, life threatening damage to young trees. Damage to the main trunk of a tree occurs during deer mating season, which is commonly known as “the… Continue Reading “O Deer!”

Maple Tar Spot

Seeing spots? On your Maple trees?? My friend Sandy Feather at Penn State Extension – Allegheny County helped me confirm that our three ‘Jefferred’ Autumn Blaze® maples have Maple Tar Spot disease, as well as some small spots that are likely caused by Leafhopper… Continue Reading “Maple Tar Spot”

Going Solar With Large Trees

When we first landscaped our house, nearly 40 years ago, we made sure to plant a large growing Maple on the west side. That planting location came very close to the concept of planting a large deciduous tree on the southwest side of a… Continue Reading “Going Solar With Large Trees”

Storm Damage

Our area was rocked by stormy weather when a cold front came through earlier this week, and more stormy weather is in the forecast for tomorrow. The weather forecast even includes hail. Downed and damaged trees are often highlighted in subsequent TV news broadcasts,… Continue Reading “Storm Damage”

Fracking Setbacks

As more peer- reviewed health studies are completed around unconventional gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing across the United States, more mothers, doctors, and local citizens are calling for greater setbacks from these industrial- grade activities that are used to drill and frac Marcellus Shale… Continue Reading “Fracking Setbacks”

Pittsburgh’s Best Kept Secret

Packed with beautiful annual flowers, perennials, trees, shrubs and vines, this roadside garden center in the South Hills has it all. Shrubs ‘n Stuf on Library Road (Route 88 in Bethel Park), just south of the entrance to South Park and the first McDonald’s… Continue Reading “Pittsburgh’s Best Kept Secret”

World Class

Sometimes the best is close to home! If I’ve driven past McMurray Nursery once, I’ve driven past there 10,000 times. It’s completely evolved over those 40 years, most recently under the loving care of its third owner, Paul Hauber. Due to extensive work on… Continue Reading “World Class”

Fire Blight

Some plants suffer from being ‘pushed’ with too much Nitrogen fertilizer. Fire blight is caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora and affects over 100 different plants. It’s generally more serious in Apple and Pear trees in orchards due to loss of production (technical information). First… Continue Reading “Fire Blight”

Deadwood

Bought a 2x4x8 stud lately? Pennsylvania is known for its hardwood trees, but it’s the softwoods attracting all the attention right now. Spruce, Pine and Fir aka ‘SPF‘ in timber talk. Do-it-yourselfers and home builders are getting stung by a huge rise in lumber… Continue Reading “Deadwood”

Tree For Me

A few tips when you are selecting and planting a tree in your yard. If ‘Spring Fever’ has grabbed you like it has me, you’ve probably found yourself at nurseries or big box stores looking at more trees for your yard, even if your… Continue Reading “Tree For Me”

Pole Pruning

Other than choosing the right tree for the right place, getting trees off to a good structural start is the most important in their development. The last thing we did before lowering a tall tree into a planting hole was give it a proper… Continue Reading “Pole Pruning”

Shrimp of the Land

This story from New Jersey caught my attention this morning… imagine actually eating those weird looking Cicadas! Billions of 17-year periodical cicadas are predicted to emerge this spring across the U.S. (Shutterstock) Some people call them Locusts, but they are actually Cicadas. You may soon… Continue Reading “Shrimp of the Land”

Frozen Fragrances

A couple weeks ago, the weatherman was talking optimistically about this week being our average last annual Spring frost (April 23rd), but now he’s forecast up to an inch of snow this morning, with a hard freeze tonight. The snow has already begun to… Continue Reading “Frozen Fragrances”

Wrong Tree

Wondering why your tree changed color? A friend recently mentioned that part of his tree was blooming in a different color from the tree he purchased. So what’s up with that? Freak of nature, evolution, or a new discovery perhaps?? Chances are, his case… Continue Reading “Wrong Tree”

That Smell

It’s not “that smell” Lynyrd Skynyrd sings about, it’s that funky odor you smell outside on these Spring days. That funky odor caught my nose yesterday while out walking, shortly before I saw the Flowering Pear tree in the above photo. It’s the opposite… Continue Reading “That Smell”

Protecting Your Trees

A stringline trimmer aka ‘weed whacker’ can be a tree’s greatest enemy. Just inside that ‘dead looking’ outer bark of a tree trunk is living tissue in need of your protection. Damaging that living tissue can lead to the death of the tree, by… Continue Reading “Protecting Your Trees”

The Mighty Oak

Memorable trees for generations of wildlife and people WHITE OAK – Quercus alba Easy to identify due to its finger-like lobed leaves and stately growth. Of particular note is the 400-year-old Wye Oak in Maryland which boasts a trunk diameter of 8 feet and a branch… Continue Reading “The Mighty Oak”

Maple Flowers

You say, “WHAT???” Maples don’t flower! Some trees are known for their blossoms, like one of my favorites shown above, the Star Magnolia that was blooming yesterday. Other trees have blossoms that are far less pronounced, even though you’ve probably noticed these “insignificant” blossoms,… Continue Reading “Maple Flowers”

W&J College Campus Trees

Far different story than the myth about George Washington and the Cherry tree! WASHINGTON, PENNSYLVANIA – Washington & Jefferson College in Washington County has earned renewal of its Level I Accreditation by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum.  As of April… Continue Reading “W&J College Campus Trees”

Spring Fertilization of Trees and Shrubs

With Spring just days away, it was time to give our trees and shrubs a Spring boost with some organic fertilizer. Giving plants some nutrients ahead of the growing season ensures a good flush of new growth… No pun intended, since Milorganite actually is… Continue Reading “Spring Fertilization of Trees and Shrubs”

Trees & Shrubs for Pennsylvania Wildlife

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is selling bundles of trees and shrubs for a very reasonable price! 2021 Tree Seedlings Index“The Tree Seedlings Index for 2021 has the most variety of tree and shrub species offered by the Game Commission’s Howard Nursery: 9 evergreens, 8… Continue Reading “Trees & Shrubs for Pennsylvania Wildlife”