High Line Update: A Completed Work of Art  by  Susan Harris

I first visited the High Line – New York’s famous elevated park along an abandoned railroad track – in 2013 when it was new and incomplete but already stunning, especially in August, as you can see in these photos. Since then it’s become increasingly popular, spurred revitalization in a part of the city that needed it, and opened its final Phase 3 in 2014. Feeling the pull of that new section, I made a day-trip to New York this week just to see it (for an amazing $36 round trip via BoltBus right from my neighborhood!). I saw that on a chilly Tuesday afternoon it was buzzing with people because locals and visitors alike just love it. For me, as great as the design and the plants truly are, the main event is the city itself. From the High Line you see parts of the city you’d otherwise never see as a visitor, including the gritty former Meatpacking District and the many, many new buildings cropping up along it. Talk about a borrowed landscape! Cities across the U.S. and beyond are ho..
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The Time to Plant is Now: Help us Restore our Forests

Community Tree Recovery Corporate Partnerships The Time to Plant is Now: Help us Restore our Forests By Erin Mousel | October 19, 2018 As we continue to experience record-setting fires each year, the Arbor Day Foundation knows that it will take a multi-faceted approach to restore the natural landscape that has been destroyed in communities and to build resiliency in forests near and far. In 1988, the Yellowstone Fires were the catalyst for the creation of the Arbor Day Foundation’s Reforestation program, which helped to restore 8,000 acres of severely burned land in the adjoining Gallatin National Forest. Those fires blackened 1.4 million acres, or 36 percent, of the park. It is still on record as the driest summer for the park. Burn damage on Gallatin National Forest Unfortunately, 30 years later, the unprecedented conditions that brought on those fires are becoming the norm, rather than the exception. Across the West, summers and winters are hotter, with snowpack melt..
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Up With Trees Inspired to Re-envision Program Outreach by Trees Forever

Urban and Community Forestry/Green Infrastructure Up With Trees Inspired to Re-envision Program Outreach by Trees Forever By Matt Spitsen | October 17, 2018 This year, Alliance for Community Trees hosted a mentor exchange program for members through a grant from the U.S. Forest Service. The mentor exchange program paired smaller non-profit groups with larger groups and allowed them to learn by travelling to their location and doing a site visit. Guest post by Steve Grantham, Executive Director, Up With Trees Before the Mentor Exchange, I had never been to Iowa. Everything I knew about the Hawkeye State had come from following the Iowa Caucuses, watching The Music Man, and being a fan of Big Ten football (GO BLUE!). Three days in and around Cedar Rapids gave me a newfound respect and love for the state, the people, and the mission of my host, Trees Forever. If you ever have the chance to sit across from and talk to Trees Forever’s Executive Director Shannon Ramsey, do..
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Garden Year 2018: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly  by  Scott Beuerlein

Well, what with the recent screeching turn in the weather, it’s beginning to feel like the 2018 gardening season is wrapping up. Moreover, I just spent a few days organizing my photos from the year, which reminded me of all I saw, did, and didn’t do. Therefore, seems to me it’s as good a time as any to review Garden Year 2018. Things that Made Me Whoop Removal of perfectly attractive, incredibly healthy evergreen barberries. There are only so many times your hands can be pierced by 2-3” barbs the likes of hypodermic needles before something drastic has to happen. Whirlwinding through Plant Delights Nursery, Duke Gardens, NC Arboretum, JC Raulston, and the Biltmore in the face of a hurricane. Great horticulture, and good food and drink too. Tours of Chicago gardens before that. Of nurseries and gardens in Delaware since. Good year for seeing cool things. Further infatuation with pollinators, and more and more even other insects. Monarda. Never really paid much attention to them bef..
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Another reason to use botanical names  by  Elizabeth Licata

Narcissus tazetta ‘Erlicheer’ Today a dire message arrived in my email. It was from a bulb company. “This year, there is a continued shortage of Paperwhite Ziva,” it said. Yikes! No narcissus tazetta ‘Ziva’?!! Actually, that’s fine with me. I have not bought this variety for 15 years or more, though I grow tazettas every year. I hate even using the term “paperwhite” because my friends immediately assume I am talking about Ziva, which is ubiquitous in every big box and high-volume mail-order house. And at least two thirds of those friends say, “Eeeww! I can’t have those in the house! They smell like … cat pee/dirty socks/etc.!” Then I have to explain that I don’t grow the paperwhites they’re thinking of. I grow tazettas like ‘Erlicheer,’ ‘Grand Primo,’ and ‘Grand Soleil d’Or,’ which have mild scents. This is why is sucks to have one name used for a whole range of cultivars. What’s wrong with “tazetta?” It’s a cool word. Of course, scent is in the nose of the beholder, and I do know ma..
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Girdling Roots And What To Do About Them

Tree Planting Girdling Roots And What To Do About Them By Arbor Day Foundation | October 15, 2018 Guest post by John Lang of Friendly Tree. Imagine wearing a belt around your waist that is being squeezed tighter and tighter, and you’ll get an idea of what girdling roots do to a tree. Girdling roots are more common than many people realize, yet they can be deadly. When lateral roots at (or sometimes, just below) the surface of the soil encircle or cut into the main trunk of a tree, the flow of water and nutrients becomes restricted. The longer a tree has to deal with girdling roots, the weaker and more unstable it becomes. What Causes Girdling Roots? Typically, girdling roots don’t just “happen.” Trees in urban environments are exposed to certain factors trees in nature don’t have to contend with, which can cause numerous issues, including girdling roots. The most common cause is improper planting/transplanting. When trees remain in their nursery containers for too long..
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The Campus Gardens of a Real Plant Geek, with Friends  by  Susan Harris

Horticulturist Sam Bahr, like so many people who work at the University of Maryland, is someone I first met as a neighbor in nearby Historic Greenbelt. He got his coveted job at the UMD Arboretum and Botanic Garden back in 2008 thanks in part to his good education – a B.S. in agriculture from Kansas State University, majoring in ornamental horticulture with an emphasis on landscape design and operations. I asked Sam to show me some of his work there and he generously gave me a guided tour, with follow-up details about my favorite plants blooming there in early October. It was especially fun for me to hear about the plant-lovers around the U.S. and locally who’ve donated plants to Sam for use at the university. More proof to me that serious plant geeks like Sam are a generous bunch with their cherished seeds and cuttings, even with people they’ve only met online. My mini-tour started in Tawes Plaza, where he designs, chooses plants and supervises maintenance of the extensive gardens ..
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Trouble in paradise  by  Elizabeth Licata

Waiting for these Have you ever lived in a place that’s often the punchline of a joke? I have, for most of my life. It never bothered me or my friends much, though we sometimes would chat about unlikely scenarios that would transform Buffalo into a glamorous place to live. Like turning it into the Venice of the North by getting rid of our seldom-used metro line down Main Street, making it into a canal. That was just silly. But it turns out that the waterways we already have, combined with climate change, could, down the line, make Buffalo one of the most desirable places to live in the US, without us having to do anything. According to Harvard scientists, areas near fresh water—but away from regions prone to heatwaves, hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods—will be attractive bastions of livability if the worst happens, as every study (even those done by a science-denying White House) says it will. The “worst” is defined as an (approx) 7 degree rise in global temperatures by 2100—by the wa..
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Kentucky Hemp and The Great American Weed Rush  by  Allen Bush

I have a history of occasional, informal, peer-reviewed, THC trials of psychoactive marijuana. The trial was simple: I smoked marijuana with friends. I try to imagine I was judged, during these trials, as witty and funny—then again, perhaps merely as stupid. Details are fuzzy. It’s been a long time. Marijuana has been loved and reviled since the Chinese first recorded use in a 2600 BC pharmacopoeia. They didn’t know the difference between any of the 113 or so cannabanoids, including tetrahydrocannbinol(THC) or cannibidinol (CBD), but someone must have suspected something was going on. I am new to cannibidinol(CBD), the non-psychoactive compound derived from hemp. You may be wondering: what’s the difference between marijuana and hemp? They are both derived from the same Cannabis sativa species, but they’ve taken different paths for different purposes. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture licenses growers under a Hemp Pilot Program. A miniscule .3% of THC is the Kentucky legal limi..
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Ask an Arborist: How do I Avoid Damaging my Tree’s Roots?

Ask An Arborist Ask an Arborist: How do I Avoid Damaging my Tree’s Roots? By Arbor Day Foundation | October 10, 2018 One of the most common questions we’re asked by members is, “what can I do to avoid damaging my tree’s roots?” In this video, Pete explains how roots stabilize our trees, how they help our trees grow, and how much space they need to grow and thrive. How long are tree root systems and how deep do they grow? Most roots are found within the top two feet of soil. The majority of tree roots grow within the dripline of a tree, the area at the edge of a tree’s crown where rainwater would drip. It is important to see the root flare of a tree, the area at the base of the trunk that spreads out to the roots. Identifying the root flare helps to determine whether a tree was planted at the appropriate depth and how healthy its root system may be. How do I avoid damaging my tree’s roots when planting? Surface roots are common on trees that were not planted deep enough. ..
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