Lichens on Tree Bark

  Have you ever wondered what those colorful crusty growths on tree trunks are? You’ll be happy to know that they are not usually harmful, but simply a relationship between three separate species that are mutually helpful to one another. The fungal part of this relationship cannot survive without the availability of photosynthetic products from the other two species, green algae and cyanobacteria.       Lichens grow on trees, shrubs, soil, and rocks and provide additional moisture and protection to whatever they grow on. If a tree or shrub [...]

By |2022-04-07T15:05:29-05:00April 5th, 2022|Plants, Trees|

Redbuds-Harbingers of Spring

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 quite well as an understory tree, tolerating partial shade very  well. To avoid the ever-present “leaf-scorch” in late summer, [...]

By |2022-03-13T10:16:36-05:00September 15th, 2021|Trees|

Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon (aka Althea) Hibiscus syriacus Native to China and India, Rose of Sharon was introduced to the gardens of Europe in the 16th century. The specific epithet “syriacus”, refers to it having been collected from gardens in Syria. It is propagated by seed and cuttings, and many new cultivars have shown up in recent years. Many of these cultivars produce little to no seed. Rose of Sharon is a deciduous, multi-trunk woody shrub to small tree that is cold hardy to Zone 5b (-15°F). It tolerates heat, poor [...]

By |2021-08-21T13:44:43-05:00August 21st, 2021|Plants, Trees|

Crape Myrtle Bark Scale

When a customer calls or comes in with black sooty mold on their Crape Myrtle leaves, the first thing we look for is aphids. The second thing we look for is Crape Myrtle Bark Scale. Although this introduced species from China, Japan and Korea is not as common as aphids on Crape Myrtles, we are seeing it more and more frequently in recent years. Like aphids, this scale insect has sucking mouthparts which suck the juices from the plant cells. Since they cannot utilize the “sugars” in the cells, they [...]

By |2022-01-15T12:06:50-06:00August 10th, 2021|Insects, Trees|

Borers in Shade Trees

One of the most frequent questions we get at the nursery is about borer holes in tree trunks. Unfortunately, almost everyone wants to know how to “treat” for the borers, not realizing that the presence of borers is just an indication of a larger problem. Wood boring insects include the larvae of various beetles, moths and even a wood boring wasp. Most of these insects lay their eggs on the bark and the hatching larva chew their way into the plant to feed. Most wood boring insects cannot successfully attack [...]

By |2022-01-15T12:08:36-06:00July 7th, 2021|Insects, Trees|

Gummosis in Fruit Trees

Gummosis is a term that refers to the presence of  amber-colored sap oozing from the trunk or branches of a tree. It is important to understand that the term “gummosis” is a symptom, not a cause of a tree ailment. Anything that stresses the tree can be a causal factor. It is necessary to determine the cause of the stress in order to mitigate future damage to the tree. Gummosis has a variety of causes: Environmental stress: Compacted soils, poorly drained soils, light sandy soils, use of weed and feed [...]

By |2022-01-15T12:09:08-06:00July 7th, 2021|Disease, Fruit & Nuts, Insects, Plants, Trees|

Watering Guidelines for New Plants

First of all, I’d like you to know that this is a difficult subject to write about. There is no “one size fits all” for watering newly planted trees, shrubs and perennials. Soils are different, climatic conditions are variable, and plants are different in their water needs and rate at which they establish. That being said, I will attempt to give you some “guidelines”.  I am sure that you will need to adjust them to your own set of conditions. Trees *Newly planted trees will require from 1-5 years of [...]

By |2022-01-15T12:13:50-06:00June 23rd, 2021|Plants, Trees|

2021 Freeze Update April 1

2011 Freeze Update April 1 So many questions!!! Is it dead or alive? Do I cut it back or wait? Should I replace it with something else? Unfortunately, it is impossible to provide a “blanket answer” to these important questions. Each situation is different, and each outcome will also be different. Is it dead or alive?   At this point, if it has not begun leafing out, the best way to evaluate it is to see if the twigs are still flexible. If they snap, cut them down. They may still [...]

By |2021-11-22T08:57:18-06:00March 31st, 2021|Plants, Trees|

2021 Freeze- 5 weeks after

2021 Freeze-5 weeks after Thankfully, many plants are beginning to show new growth after being assaulted by record-low temperatures in February. However, we are still not “out of the woods” yet, as some plants may be late to show signs of life. There are many that we KNOW either will not come back or will not come back satisfactorily, so they may be removed/replaced now. I’d also like to remind everyone that although we did get a bit of rain this week, we have been and are currently under drought [...]

By |2021-11-22T08:57:35-06:00March 23rd, 2021|Plants, Trees|

One Month After the Freeze

One Month After The Freeze It’s hard to believe that it has only been four weeks since Winter Storm Uri graced us with frigid temperatures, ice and snow. We have already had so many warm days that it truly feels like spring! Our landscapes are once again showing signs of new growth. Live Oak trees are pushing out catkins which will be full of pollen soon, and tiny oak leaves are beginning to show.                 Many of our native plants are putting out [...]

By |2021-11-22T08:57:46-06:00March 18th, 2021|Plants, Trees|

Freeze Update

I have been getting a lot of questions on whether this plant or that plant will be likely to recover. I think it is important to understand that the plants are still in the process of reacting to this freeze. They aren’t done yet!!! The healthier a plant or tree was going into this freeze, the better the chance of recovery, especially with our native and adaptive species. In the coming weeks or even months, as trees and shrubs that still have the ability to put out new growth begin [...]

By |2021-03-09T14:03:44-06:00March 9th, 2021|Plants, Trees|
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