How to Grow and Care for Weeping Cherry Trees Prunus spp.
19.01.2024 - 23:45 / backyardgardener.com
Even if you’re not a gardener, you may know the fir tree from the popular balsam firs sold as cut trees over the holidays. This tree and other related fir trees make beautiful landscape plants, providing a habitat for birds as well.
The firs (Abies) are in the Pine family and are called conifers since they produce cones similar to pine trees. Since firs often come from mountaintops, they prefer cooler climates as in the north. They tend to be somewhat slow growing, but over time make stately trees. They are not for urban settings as they can be injured by air pollution.
You can tell firs from spruces usually by squeezing the needles. Those of firs are soft to the touch, while spruce needles are sharp-pointed and will prick.
Firs have easy culture. Give them full sun for best growth, and a moist but well-drained soil, preferably an acidic one. Try to avoid clay soils. Diseases to watch for include rusts and root rots, the latter if soils stay too wet. Pests to watch for include the woolly adelgid and bark beetles that may disfigure the tree but not seriously harm it.
The balsam fir (balsamea) with its rich green leaves prefers cold climates, being hardy to USDA zone 3 (-30 to –40 degrees F). It will tolerate some shade and wet soils. It is native in much of eastern North America, especially the higher elevations. Although this tree might eventually reach 75 feet high and 25 feet wide, over 10 years you might expect 10 feet high and six feet wide from planting a foot high seedling. This fir has very fragrant needles you can buy in sachets, or collect when fallen from holiday trees to make your own winter potpourri.
You often can find seedlings for sale in spring from conservation districts in bundles, useful for
How to Grow and Care for Weeping Cherry Trees Prunus spp.
Placing trees of these colors needs great care, but their colors mingled with the multitude of others in autumn are effective and of great beauty; they do not blend well with the normal greens, particularly if used in quantity. They should, therefore, be used sparingly in isolation at points where they will inevitably catch the eye.
While gardeners often extol the virtues of outstanding bark and winter interest, let’s not kid ourselves—flower power reigns supreme. A tree that is a stately focal point most of the year will be transformed into an awe-inspiring centerpiece by spectacular blooms. Spring-flowering trees often occupy prime garden real estate, but for some easy, unexpected floral elegance, it is truly worthwhile to plant trees that bloom in summer, fall, or even late winter. Many of my favorites even have dazzling displays when they aren’t in bloom. Here are some excellent choices for you to consider.
If you’re a gardener—and since you picked up this magazine I’m guessing you are—you probably get peppered with plant questions all the time. I know I do. Take Thanksgiving just this past year. My dad was looking for some trees that would “subtly block” his neighbors who had recently put a pool in their backyard. So in between doling out mashed potatoes and deciding if I wanted apple or pumpkin pie for dessert, I pulled out Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs from the nearby bookshelf to spark some suggestions. (That illustrated encyclopedia was a Christmas gift a few years back to help my dad make plant choices without my help. Its successfulness in doing so is still up for debate.) This same scenario takes place at summer picnics, children’s birthday parties, or even on planes when my seatmate asks what I do for a living. After I answer, it’s common to hear, “Wow, that’s so interesting. Listen, I have this spot where I need something …” Most of these inquiries center around trees too—and I get it. A tree is an investment with a capital “I.” Not only is a tree the single most expensive plant you will likely purchase for your landscape, but it is also the longest lived. Trees don’t like to be moved, they generally require a bit more effort to get established than a perennial or shrub, and they are usually the focal point of a specific area. For all of these reasons, everyone wants to choose the right tree.
Pruning can be intimidating. Many of us fear making a mistake our plants won’t recover from. Overall, trees are resilient; with a little practice and know-how, any gardener should be able to tackle this task. Here are some things to keep in mind before grabbing the saw.
While many of us think of trees as super-tall giants or stand-alone specimen plants, we also know that most trees naturally grow in forests and that forests aren’t all made up only of tall trees. There are trees that mature at different levels, and certain trees prefer growing in the dappled light of their taller neighbors. We call these understory trees, and there are many that work well in our home gardens, adding interesting forms and structures, colorful blooms, or intriguing foliage. They also can provide food and shelter for wildlife. The following trees and shrubs all take full sun to partial shade. So if you’ve got some dappled shade under a tall canopy of trees, consider one of these excellent options.
Bagworms are caterpillars that make homes using twigs and silk. If you see bags hanging from your plants, they might be bagworms, causing harm by eating leaves and adding weight to branches. You can remove them manually, use insecticides with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), or invite birds and wasps to control them. If the problem persists, consult a pest control professional.
We plant trees for their beauty of leaf, whether green in Summer or red in the Autumn; for their bark which becomes particularly fascinating. We plant trees because we love them. Some trees linger in our memories as old friends, from whose branches we have swung and “skinned-the-cat”; under whose cool shade we have rested from play or work. Some trees seem to have moods, changing from day to day, season to season, and from youth to old age.
These were certainly known to the Ancient Egyptians and are probably natives of northern and western Asia. They are extremely hardy.
Planting a tree takes a lot of thought. We may have to consider if we want a tree that is:
Japanese Maple seeds have a very hard outer coating as do many ornamental plants. Under natural conditions, the seeds would have to be on the ground for almost two years before they would germinate. All that happens the first winter is the moisture softens the hard outer shell, and the second winter germination begins to take place. For all of this to happen in the proper sequence so the seedlings sprout at a time of the year when freezing temperatures or hot summer sun doesn’t kill them, takes a tremendous amount of luck. You can improve the odds by controlling some of these conditions, and shorten the cycle.