What’s So Hot About Autumn Blaze?

It’s August now, and I admit that part of me is starting to think about the upcoming fall season. It’s the landscaper part of me that’s looking ahead; the outdoor enthusiast part of me is quite content with the current season and has no desire to rush the summer!

Read more…

Designing Underneath a Shade Tree

The Arbor Day Foundation approached me about designing several plant combinations that their members and fans could use to create plantings of aesthetic interest and which provide function in the landscape.  Over the next few months I will be sharing information behind these plant combinations and how they can be used as “do  it yourself landscape designs”.  Previously I outlined the Hedgerow Bird Shelter, aka the Bird Magnet planting.  Let’s now explore the Shade Tree Planting. 

Shade Tree Planting

While working on the design for the Shade Tree Planting, the primary goal was to produce an attractive planting that could be installed below a mature shade tree.  Often times the area below a mature shade tree becomes problematic for the homeowner due to the canopy of the  mature tree shading out the turf below as well as the trees surface roots sometimes becoming unattractive.  The Shade Tree Planting is designed to be installed below the canopy of a mature shade tree and offer months of flowering interest. Read more…

How to Create Clumps of Birch Trees

Paper Birch and River Birch are some of the most popular landscape trees.  These deer resistant trees have gained popularity due their unique bark and great yellow fall color.  You may notice that some yards have a single tree birch tree while others have clumps or multiple birch trees.  If you enjoy the multi stem look here is how you can do it yourself.

Read more…

Designing Conservation Buffers

The USDA National Agroforestry Center’s publication, Conservation Buffers: Design Guidelines for Buffers, Corridors, and Greenways offers over 80 illustrated guidelines for designing conservation buffers.

Conservation buffers are strips of vegetation placed in the landscape to provide a variety of ecological, economic, and social benefits to society.  They are called by many names, including wildlife corridors, greenways, windbreaks, and filter strips to name just a few. 

Read more…

Adding Fruit Trees to your Landscape Design

As the Apple Orchard Manager at Arbor Day Farm, I often get questions about how to create a fruit orchard in a home or landscape setting.   There are several items that you should consider to make sure you find a tree that is right for you.

Buy Apple Tree

Determine the Right Fruit Tree for your landscape

Step 1: When choosing a fruit tree in your yard or home, the first consideration is the growing zone in which you live.

Read more…

Don’t Look Down on Dwarfs

Mugo Pine“What’s up with dwarf trees? Who would want a tree that’s essentially a runt? I’d somehow feel gypped if I bought a tree that stayed short instead of growing up tall like all the normal trees.” I can easily imagine such lines appearing in a Jerry Seinfeld act. Or to put it more succinctly, in honor of a comedian from an earlier era: “Small trees get no respect.” But dwarf trees can be a valuable addition to many landscapes and landscape design projects.

Read more…

The Fastest Fast Growing Trees

 

Some of the most popular trees around today are fast growing trees.  Fast growing trees give homeowners the opportunity to realize the benefits of a mature tree sooner. Individuals seem to especially focus on using fast growing shade trees and fast growing hedges in their landscape to reap the benefits of these value added landscape design practices sooner.  Today, I want to focus on ten of the fastest fast growing trees available on arborday.org.  Once these trees are properly planted and established these trees will grow several feet per year.  

Read more…

Designing Bird Habitat in Your Yard

The Arbor Day Foundation approached me about designing several plant combinations that their members and fans could use for plantings of aesthetic interest and which provide function in the landscape. During the next few months, I will be sharing information behind these plant combinations and how they can be used as “do it yourself landscape designs.” All of the plant combinations are available online now. 

Hedgerow Bird Shelter aka the Bird Magnet
When designing the Hedgerow Bird Shelter plant combination two basic goals were desired. 1) To design a planting which would be attractive to birds by way of food and shelter, and 2) provide visual interest for all seasons.
Read more…

Tree, Nature, and Landscape Photography Tips for Beginners

Nature is a great subject for photos. A few of my thoughts on capturing the beauty.

With so many great cameras on the market today, it is getting easier for photographers of all skill levels to shoot amazing photographs. However, having a good camera is only one part of the equation. Here are a few tips and tricks for capturing compelling images of the natural world.

Read more…