Texas Mountain Laurel

What’s that fragrance, you say? Does it smell like Grape NeHi Soda? That wonderful grape scent is coming from our native Texas Mountain Laurel. They usually bloom in March, and the blooming period may last 3-4 weeks. The Texas Mountain Laurel is an evergreen native tree that is quite drought tolerant, once established. Establishment can take up to three years, as it does with many trees. The old adage “the first year they sleep, the second year they creep, and the third year they leap” is appropriate for this gorgeous [...]

By | 2018-03-21T22:29:39+00:00 March 21st, 2018|Plants, Trees|

March Gardening Checklist

Annuals and Perennials Now is the time to be planting warm season annuals and perennials. Their root systems will have a chance to become established before the summer heat sets in, and you will not need to hand-water as long as you would if you wait to plant later.  Be ready to protect your newly planted/tender plants with frost cloth just in case we get a late freeze. The average last frost in Burnet County is March 15. Some of my favorite plants to add instant color to the winter-worn [...]

By | 2018-02-28T15:36:38+00:00 February 28th, 2018|Fruit & Nuts, Plants, Trees, Vegetable Gardening|

JANUARY GARDENING CHECKLIST

ANNUALS AND PERENNIALS: Continue watering and fertilizing cool-season annuals to ensure productive flowering.  Use NutriStar Color Star time-release fertilizer or Ladybug ‘Flower Power’ Organic fertilizer. Continue planting pansies, violas, ornamental cabbage and kale, snapdragons, dusty miller and cyclamen. VEGETABLES: Begin planting beets and carrots about mid-month, direct-seeding into the garden. Spinach, lettuce, Swiss chard and other cool-season greens may be direct-seeded now as well.  Be prepared to cover as needed on freezing nights.  Parsley likes the cool season as well, and will do well if planted this month. Plant asparagus [...]

By | 2018-01-02T11:41:24+00:00 January 2nd, 2018|Trees, Vegetable Gardening|

Trees for Fall Color

Fall color in tree leaves is determined by many factors. Any tree grown from a seed, such as an acorn, will have genetic variability in developing fall color. This is observed by watching our native “Spanish Oaks” as the leaves begin to turn in fall. Many will have beautiful red fall color, but we also observe some trees with leaves that simply turn brown and hang on the tree most of the winter…. What if I want to be SURE that a tree that I plant will have fall color? [...]

By | 2017-11-01T13:12:36+00:00 November 1st, 2017|Trees|

Japanese Maples in Central Texas

Fall is upon us, and many of us are looking for trees with brilliant fall color to enhance our landscapes. Japanese Maples can fill this need for color in the fall, with their dissected leaves giving contrast in texture as well. Japanese Maples can be an attractive addition to almost any landscape. To assure trees that thrive, locate your Japanese maple where it will receive dappled sun under the canopy of trees, with no more than two to three hours of morning sun. Japanese Maples will tolerate low winter temperatures [...]

By | 2017-10-25T17:28:15+00:00 October 25th, 2017|Trees|

My Crape Myrtles Aren’t Blooming!

Every year I get several inquiries about why someone’s Crape Myrtle is not blooming. There are several conditions that might affect a Crape Myrtle’s bloom period. Read the causes below to help figure out why yours aren't blooming. -Different varieties begin blooming at different times. Natchez (white blooms) is usually one of the first to begin blooming. Some varieties may not begin blooming until late June. - Crape Myrtles require at least 8 hours of direct sun to bloom. If your crape Myrtle receives too much shade, it will not [...]

By | 2017-06-28T13:04:47+00:00 June 28th, 2017|Trees|

How to Choose a Crape Myrtle

It may seem kind of silly to write about “Choosing a Crape Myrtle”. Don’t you just decide what color you like and buy that one? Well, maybe. But there are other factors to consider as well. We now have a plethora of varieties to choose from, some with dark colored leaves, different colors of exfoliating bark, brilliant fall colors from red to orange, and a myriad of flower colors.  While all of these are important, remember to first identify the mature height of Crape Myrtle that would be appropriate for the [...]

By | 2017-06-21T14:51:21+00:00 June 21st, 2017|Trees|

Tree Borers

Tree Borers Many tree boring insects are attracted to weakened, damaged, dying or dead plants. They are referred to as “secondary invaders” because they attack a plant only after it has been weakened by stress or injury. Wood boring insects that attack living, healthy trees are known as “primary invaders”, and may eventually kill trees. It is important to differentiate the two when implementing borer control methods. Borer infestations usually go unnoticed until the tree shows external signs of damage, such as browning leaves or dying branches. The holes on [...]

By | 2017-05-08T10:40:16+00:00 April 4th, 2017|Insects, Trees|

Redbuds: Harbingers of Spring!

Redbuds We’ve had a wonderfully mild winter so far, and with this mild weather come the early spring blooms! Redbuds are an excellent indicator of warmer days ahead. From the bean-like seed pods, we can tell that they are in the Legume (or bean) family. Their flowers come in a range of shades of deep rose, pink, purple and white, as well as a range of forms such as single trunk, multi-trunk and weeping. Although we often see the native Redbuds growing and blooming in full sun, they also do [...]

By | 2017-05-08T10:35:44+00:00 April 4th, 2017|Trees|

Growing Japanese Maples in Central Texas

Japanese Maples The Japanese Maples are absolutely glorious this spring! With dissected leaves in various shades of burgundy and red, they make a welcome contrast with the greens and grays in the landscape. Japanese Maples can be an attractive addition to almost any landscape. To assure trees that thrive, locate your Japanese maple where it will receive dappled sun under the canopy of trees, with no more than two to three hours of morning sun. Japanese Maples will tolerate low winter temperatures quite well, but suffer from moisture loss from [...]

By | 2017-07-27T07:40:56+00:00 April 4th, 2017|Trees|

Sick Trees Care and What To Do About It

Sick Trees The vast majority of diagnostic questions I receive each year are related to trees with health issues. Many of these issues could be avoided by proper (and consistent) care of the tree from the day it is planted. Sometimes things do go wrong, and knowing what to do can be instrumental in reviving the health of a tree. Trees have the amazing ability to “compartmentalize” diseased and damaged tissue, and to produce healthy tissue around it. If a tree has been stressed by environmental issues such as compaction [...]

By | 2017-05-08T10:29:22+00:00 April 4th, 2017|Trees|