O Tannenbaum!

Twas the blog before Christmas…  My last chance to post about Christmas trees for another year.  I’m always surprised when I troll around the web or do interviews how many myths about Christmas trees still abound.  So in the spirit of the season, a little Christmas tree myth-busting. “Good grief.  I’ve killed it.” Using a … Continue reading O Tannenbaum!

Foliage fun flaunted!

Not much activity on the Friday quiz!  It was a tricky one.  Take a look at our photos in total: As you can see, these aren’t plant “problems” in the strictest sense.  (The “landscape” in question is a retail nursery.)  They are cultivated anomalies – little mutations that have been discovered and propagated.  There are … Continue reading Foliage fun flaunted!

Friday Foliage Fun!

Take a look at these three closeups of foliage from three different plants in a landscape in Washington state:   You’ve been asked to diagnose what’s going on in this landscape that would cause these foliar abnormalities.  (I get photos emailed to me all the time asking these kinds of questions.)  Bugs?  Disease?  Nutrient deficiencies? Environmental … Continue reading Friday Foliage Fun!

Friday puzzle solved!

Great discussion over the weekend, with some very astute observations.  If you looked at the brown needles under the tree in Friday’s picture, you may have noticed that some of them weren’t needles: Not only was this tree planted too deeply, as several of you pointed out, but the burlap and twine were left intact.  … Continue reading Friday puzzle solved!

Friday puzzle answers!

Good speculation on the rhododendron leaf damage!  Jim in Wisconsin zoomed right in on the causes:  the first photo was taken on a year where we had an unseasonable freeze right as leaves were expanding, and the second was taken on a year where we had unseasonably hot weather as leaves were expanding. In both … Continue reading Friday puzzle answers!

Friday Can O’ Worms

I was pleased to see that at least two of you dug into the literature over the weekend to read these papers!  (I can still remember the first time as a Master’s student when I was assigned a journal paper to review.  I had NO idea what, exactly, I was supposed to be doing.  It … Continue reading Friday Can O’ Worms

Building a better tree? Not in the long run!

One of the landscape tree production practices that drives me absolutely nuts is heading back trees in the nursery to create “columnar” specimens.  It’s easy to find examples of these in Washington state nurseries, like the pathetic oak shown below:   Aesthetics aside, let’s focus on how the tree responds to heading back.  The removal … Continue reading Building a better tree? Not in the long run!