I was researching the history of a centennial elm on Old Saybrook's Main Street when an acquaintance suggested I pick up a copy of "Urban Forests: A Natural History of Trees in the American Cityscape" by Jill Jonnes. The cover looks like a textbook and the title is almost as exciting, but never judge a book by its cover.
Fast moving and not overly technical, the tale of "Witness Tree" takes us down the path of bio-geographic research, particularly as it pertains to trees. Long-lived as they are, today's trees are likely to encounter unprecedented conditions as they age. The story takes place at Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA, one of the most studied forests in the world.
David Montgomery and Ann Bikle peer into the scientific community's current understanding of the microbial world and its interactions with plants, insects, animals, and people. The writers, a husband and wife team, also bring a personal angle to their motivation for digging into the fast-emerging field of microbial medicine.
In the 1975 movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, King Arthur and his band are blocked by the dreaded Knights Who Say “Ni!” in an enchanted forest.
“Bring me a shrubbery,” demands the giant Knight, adding, “One that looks nice...And not too expensive.”
For many of us, May seems like the very beginning of the growing season. The tomatoes are still in the greenhouse and squash seeds still in the packet.
But by May 15, many weedy plants are already dropping the year's first crop of viable seeds. To reduce future weeds, we need to pull or dead-head seedheads before they can spread.
When it comes to container gardens for the home grower, what's not to like?
Container-grown plants can live close to the kitchen door, convenient to watch, water, and harvest. They are easier to protect from deer and other critters. They largely avoid the weeds and diseases that often visit in-ground gardens.
(See the complete article at The Day.)
There are no weed-free landscapes, but luckily there are good alternatives to herbicides for some weeds. But we need a plan.
Think of them as bait-and-switch artists. They're among the first to leaf out in the shade of backyards, street edges, town parks, and forests.
But take a closer look.
Have you seen trees and shrubs turning brown or ashen gray on one side at the end of winter? You may be looking at winterburn. It's a condition that usually occurs on the south and southwest sides of needled and broadleaf evergreens when winter sunshine heats one side of the plant above the ambient temperature and wrecks havoc on the plant's internal moisture system.
I have long wished I could find horticultural lighting that didn't cost a fortune to operate. For several years, I've revisited the topic of LED lights for indoor growing. At last, their day has arrived.