Saturday, November 01, 2014

Sweet Pecan Trees are the Largest of the Hickory Trees

Pecan TreesCarya illinoinensis, are one of the largest of the hickory trees. Generally growing 75 to 100 feet tall, the trunks often mature in the 2 to 4 foot diameter range. Hardy Pecan is native to the lower Mississippi Valley region from the river valley of Iowa, extending into areas of Kansas and Ohio and on south to Alabama. 

Yellow flowers of the Juglandaceae Carya illinoinensis appear in April to May. While both male and female flowers are on the same plant, they are not within the same flower and are pollinated by wind. Excessive rainfall during the flowering period may prevent pollination

By late summer, the sweet pecan tree has defined buds that grow until ripening in September to October. 
The Pecan fruit is an oval or pear shaped nut enclosed in green husks turning from brown to black as they ripen. When mature, the husks become dry and split away from the nut. 

Most pecan trees begin some nut production as early as 3 to 5 years old. Though, typically Pecan trees do not begin good production until 6 to 8 years with some natural stands not producing until even older. 

Established, mature trees (approximately 15 to 20 years old), cleaned nuts should average about 100 to 160 per pound. Good crops are produced at intervals of 1 to 3 years.

Plant in full sun.  We recommend installing Miracle Tree Tubes on your pecan plants for protection and growth assistance. For individual plants, use the Plant Survival Package which contains only 1 Miracle Tube with accessories.

To learn everything you need to know about growing Pecan trees, visit this link, University of Florida IFAS Extension article on The Pecan Tree

Friday, October 31, 2014

Hackberry Trees are Favorites for Birds and Wildlife

Hackberry TreesCeltis occidentalis, are U.S. native trees that are also referred to as common hackberrysugarberrynettletreebeaverwoodnorthern hackberry and American hackberry. Hackberry grows best in organically rich, well drained soil in full sun to part shade. Hackberry Trees tolerate wind, urban pollutants and many soil conditions. Common hackberry can often be found growing in wet, dry and poor soils. 

You will find your hackberry producing greenish flowers (mostly insignificant) in April to May. By fall, the blooms have pollinated and are not berry-like drupes that mature to deep purple. These fruits are a favorite for many birds and other wildlife

Midwest cities like Hackberry Trees as street trees because of their tolerance to wide ranges of soil and moisture conditions plus it is drought tolerant. Also, hackberry is a favorite for planting in hunting food plots.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fire Light Hydrangea Sets the New Standard for Hydrangea Paniculatas

The Fire Light Hydrangea sets a new standard for Hydrangea paniculatas. White flowers open in early summer on this strong upright shaped hydrangea shrub. As the temperatures begin to cool, usually in September, these white blooms on the Fire Light Hydrangea begin changing to pink almost red colors for its fall presentation.

Fire Light Hydrangeas are hardy hydrangeas and will grow as far north as into zone 3 and heat hardy into zone 9. With its range, the Fire Light can grow in most any location. It's upright growth habit will mature in the 4 to 6 foot height range with an equal spread. You will want to space these gorgeous fall bloomers approximately 4 to 6 feet for an amazing summer to fall color show. 

The easy to grow Fire Light Hydrangea will bloom on new wood so should be pruned or trimmed in late winter to early spring. 

Fire Light Hydrangea paniculata 'SMHPFL' USPPAF, Can PBRAF

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sunny Anniversary Reblooming Abelia Flowering Shrubs Perfect for Small Yards

The Abelia Sunny Anniversary is a new plant introduction for 2014 and a break through for abelia shrubs. This beautiful flowering shrub is not only a reblooming abelia, but a long blooming one as well. The Sunny Anniversary Abelia blooms from mid to late summer on new season growth. Perfect for small yards or limited garden space, the Sunny Anniversary Abelia grows approximately 3 to 4 feet tall with the same width. 

What makes the Sunny Anniversary Abelia so special is it's blooms. In mid summer the upright cascading branches fill with buds that open into wonderfully fragrant yellow blooms painted with shades of pink and orange. Though abelia is generally deer resistant, the Sunny Anniversary attracts butterflies, bees and hummingbirds

Plant abelia in moist, well-drained soil. Prune to shape in late winter to early spring.

Sunny Anniversary Abelia 'Minduo1' USPP 24,445

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Variegated Liriope is Beautiful Fall Interest Perennial Plus It's Deer Tolerant

Liriope muscari 'Variegata' or Variegated Lilyturf is a semi-evergreen grass like plant with long variegated leaves and purple lavender blooms in late summer to early fall turning to dark purple berries. Lilyturf is often used as garden or landscape borders. The long leaves are green with creamy edging. In warmer climates, liriope is often an evergreen. 
Variegated Liriope grows approximately 1 to 1/2 feet tall with a spread of 1 to 3 feet. Plant in partial shade to full shade areas with well draining soil. Water weekly during extreme heat.
  • Fall interest
  • Deer tolerant
  • Salt tolerant
  • Berries for winter food for birds
  • Brightens shaded areas

Monday, October 27, 2014

New Non-Invasive Privet Available at Greenwood Nursery

Finally a non-invasive privet shrub, the Golden Ticket Ligustrum Privet was developed by Dr. Thomas Ranney of NCSU. This easy to grow privet shrub offers fragrant white flowers in spring. A golden vicary privet, the foliage is yellow green and deer resistantGolden Ticket Ligustrum grows to the 4 to 6 foot tall range with an equal spread. An excellent choice as a low maintenance hedge

Prune your Golden Ticket Privet to shape after blooming. Fertilize in early spring. Blooms on old wood.

Golden Ticket Ligustrum x vicaryi 'KCLX1' USPPAF   Can PBRAF

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Native Pawpaw Trees are Easy to Grow and Produce Tropical Looking Fruits

Pawpaw trees are native to the eastern United States, yet also grows wild through many parts of the midwest. The botanical name for the native pawpaw is Asimina triloba, while nickname includes American Custard Apple.

The yellow fruits of the Pawpaw tree is easy to grow in home gardens  and unusual in looks and flavor resembling that of tropical fruits. Pawpaw fruit is wonderfully aromatic with a clean, light fruity fragrance. Pawpaw fruit can be compared to bananas, pears and mangos. 

Best grown in full sun with wind protection, Paw paw can also fruit in some shaded areas, Slightly acid soil is recommended (pH 5.5 to 7) along with good drainage. 

Container grown Asimina triloba or Pawpaws provide the best results in transplanted growth. The first 2 years after transplanting are the most critical and attention should be given for root growth promotion. Water well and provide shade protection during harsh summer months. Pawpaw generally begins fruiting when the trees reach roughly 6 feet in height which can take approximately 5 to 7 years.

Pawpaw fruit is extremely perishable which is why it is rarely found in farmers markets or grocery stores. 
PawPaw does require a second tree that is genetically separate from the other. Our native paw paw comes from a wide enough selection to cross pollinate as their genetics will not be exactly the same. We sell our Pawpaw as 2 plants. Order more for even better fruiting.

For more information on the native Pawpaw Tree or Asimina triloba, visit the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service site and read the fact sheet on Growing Pawpaws.

Pawpaw tree fruit
PawPaw Tree Fruit

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How to Xeriscape Your Landscape to Make it Water Wise and Drought Tolerant

With these Xeriscape guidelines, you can create a landscape that is water wise and drought tolerant

Xeriscaping is landscaping designed for water conservation, resourcefulness for drought conditions, and use of native plants that have adapted to accept lower moisture levels.  Derived from “xeros,” the Greek word for “dry,” successful xeriscaping far surpasses the desert garden look so often associated with it.  Before acting on your own xeriscaping ideas, consider these elements:
*Irrigation potential

With such crucial elements at the center of your garden planning, design is your number one starting place.  While many wonderful gardens grow from whimsy and spontaneity, xeriscape gardens require careful planning, especially where water conservation and run off control are true top priorities.

Setting affects xeriscaping plans in various ways.  Slopes, southern and western exposures, and other similar issues will lead to run off problems and maximum evaporation.  Where slopes are an issue, terracing is the most effective measure for reducing run off and promoting soil soak.  Everywhere water might slowly soak into soil for deep moisture, water is conserved and plants will be healthier. 

Southern and Western exposures promote evaporation of valuable water, but that does not mean that gardening cannot be implemented in such areas.  Trees and shrubs may be incorporated into your xeriscape design to create shade.  Shade helps to cool natural hot zones, and that means cooler soil and lower evaporation rates. 

Extreme soils are not likely to conserve water.  Where high levels of sand exist, water retention is low.  Where clay content is heavy, run off is excessive.  For the greatest potential of supporting plant life and conserving water:
*Compost your soil before planting, adding compost every year
*Amend your soil to balance sand, silt, and clay whenever/wherever possible
*Establish a volume pore space of about 50%

Ideal soil includes:
*Aggregates (clusters)
*Pore space

Balancing sand, silt, and clay promotes the balance for ideal soaking and water conservation.  As the water directs through each of these components, evaporation is minimized, run off is avoided, and deep soaking is increased.

Among the drought-tolerant trees that should blend with xeriscaping in various areas are:
*Green Ash

Place any of these trees strategically to optimize their role in your xeriscape garden.  Acting as both focal points and thermal controls, these trees will set the tone for your entire scene.

Shrubs that help with shade include:

Each of these may be included to create a unique aesthetic within your garden.  Many xeriscapes incorporate spindly pines and low junipers for a pleasing desert garden effect.

Flowers that work well in xeriscapes are native, adapted to specific climates, and perennial, establishing roots to return year after year.  Some of the best choices for low-maintenance xeriscaping are:
*Black-eyed Susan

Adding a selection of spring bulbs and late bloomers will extend your bloom range and make the best use of spring and fall rains.  For this reason, consider introducing tried and true favorites such as irises and crocuses.
The most successful xeriscapes will be designed to include efficient irrigation systems.  Efficient irrigation systems do not:
*Drive or patio watering

Observe the flow of your irrigation lines or plan to determine that each of these inefficient practices is eradicated.  Outlying shrubs, raised plants, trees, and narrow strips of turf will benefit from drip systems.  If your main irrigation plan involves manual watering, try to stick to an as-needed system.  Water those plants that need it most to avoid overwatering and wasting this valuable resource. 

Two other techniques that help to create successful water conservation in your xeriscape design are proper mulching and decrease of lawn blanketing.  Organic mulches are excellent choices for any garden as they add nutrients to the garden as they break down; attract worms, and cool soil.  Often synthetic choices are counterproductive as they increase heat and decrease moisture retention. 

Lawn blanketing, or planting water-thirsty turfs, necessitates frequent watering.  Additionally, narrow strips, quirky corners, and islands of turf can be tricky to water.  Your best bet is to isolate lawn to areas closest to the house or in frequently traveled paths. 

Once you have established your well-planned xeriscape, watering your garden should be a thing of the past. 

Visit Greenwood Nursery for a selection of Xeric or drought tolerant plants for your new water free garden.