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Trees & Shrubs

Plant A Patch -- American Bittersweet ( Celastrus scandens)

    American bittersweet can be counted on to give spring, summer, fall and winter beauty. This native vine, which grows well in poor to average soil, prefers full sun for maximum flower and fruit production, but it will also tolerate part shade. The greenish-white to yellow blooms appear in May and June. In late …

Plant This Not That

We’ve decided to add on to our deck this fall. At our house, that means countless trips to the big box hardware store to pick up a different tool, another bracket or more wood. Since I can only look at 2 x 12s so long, I usually find myself wandering off to the garden center …

A Dry Fall Threatens the Landscape

Kansas City and the surrounding areas are currently experiencing what the state climatologist is calling “abnormally dry conditions.” Entering into the month of December, the area has consistently seen warmer than usual temperatures combined with rainfall amounts averaging 4.5 inches below normal. These near-drought conditions can cause stress to turf, trees and broadleaf evergreens. In …

It's Time For A"Long Winter's Nap"-- For Your Yard

With the temperatures staying so warm this fall — 70 degrees on December 2nd here — I’ve postponed some of my usual end of season yard tasks.With the weather so consistently warm,  I was afraid that I would do more harm than good by following my usual routine. To be on the safe side, I’ve checked …

Anchor of the Landscape -- Evergreens

Have you ever seen the hilarious Abbott and Costello sketch Who’s on First?”   Over the Thanksgiving weekend I happened to overhear (Ok, I was eavesdropping; it was too funny to miss) a conversation that immediately reminded me of the sketch. A relatively harassed sounding salesperson was trying to explain to a very confused woman the …

Plants for the Winter Landscape

Creating a landscape that flows effortlessly through all four seasons takes intentional thought and planning. Unlike other building tasks that require a specific order, designing a year round landscape can be approached in numerous ways. The common thought is that the spring and summer gardens are designed first since those are the seasons that people …

Give the Earth a Gift - Plant a Tree

  When you really stop and think about the big picture, planting trees is one of the most important actions you can take for yourself, your community and even the planet. On a personal level, trees provide beauty, promote wellness and have economic value. Properly placed shade trees reduce energy consumption, resulting in lower costs …

"Fallin" for ShadeTrees

I was out working in the yard the other day when one of the neighbors from down the street stopped by to chat. The conversation quickly turned into some mild grousing by my neighbor about having to deal with “all these blasted trees and their leaves.” Since our houses are built next to a large …