The annual tree and shrub pruning workshop is coming soon!

If you want to learn about proper tree and shrub pruning, this hands-on workshop will begin with an indoor PowerPoint program on proper pruning techniques and afterwards, the class will move outside into the Dane County Extension Teaching Garden for a demonstration/participatory pruning session on shrubs and trees in the Garden. The PowerPoint lecture will […]

Check Your Ash Trees for Signs of Emerald Ash Borer This Winter

Woodpecker flecking on ash bark Photo credit Lisa Johnson Woodpecker Flecking on Ash Photo credit Wisconsin DNR Even before humans are able to detect signs of emerald ash borer in ash trees, woodpeckers know the larvae are there, feeding just under the tree’s bark. Woodpecker damage, called “flecking,” occurs when birds peck away the top […]

New Tree Planting Handout

One of the tools we have for climate resilience and mitigating the effects of urban heat islands in cities is planting more large-scale trees. This new two-sided publication from Dane County Extension Horticulture and the Tree Canopy Collaborative illustrates the steps in planting a tree, whether it is in a pot, bare root or has […]

Forcing Flower Bulbs

You may have received or purchased some flower bulbs over the holidays. For forcing, you need to know whether you have a precooled or non-pre-cooled bulb. Or maybe you have an amaryllis bulb, which needs no cooling due to its tropical origins. Amaryllis bulbs produce large showy blooms on a sturdy stalk. The common name […]

Protecting Trees and Shrubs from Critter Damage in Winter

Before the ground freezes too far down, it is a good time to put protective fencing around trees and shrubs that may experience damage from deer, rabbit, vole, or mouse feeding over winter. Fruit trees, crabapples, burning bush, shrub hibiscus, Fothergilla, young witch hazel, low-growing junipers and arborvitae are among the plants most commonly damaged, […]

It’s Garlic Planting Time

The month of October or even the beginning of November is the best time for planting garlic in the southern part of Wisconsin. The second or third week of October is the usual planting time in northern Wisconsin. We used to plant late in the fall to avoid having cloves sprout. However, new research shows […]

Plants With Great Fall Color

The autumn of 2022 was one of those amazing years for fall color. 2023 has been fairly good as well, which I was not expecting, given the severe drought that can cause woody plants to defoliate earlier than usual. But in 2022, even some woody plants that I don’t normally see great fall color on looked […]

Testing Seed Viability

Seed starting time is coming! Do you know if your seeds are viable? Here are some tips to keep in mind. Fresh seed germinates best. Seed packets are labeled with the date they are best used by. Though seeds are usually viable longer than that date, some species lose viability faster, and germination decreases for […]

De-icing Salts Damage Soils, Plants and Water

January 23 begins Salt Awareness week. With the recent snowfall, you may be using de-icing salt products to keep driveways and sidewalks clear. Excess de-icing salts can damage soils, plants and water sources. It just takes one teaspoon of salt in a five-gallon bucket of water before it starts to create problems. It also is […]

Protect trees and shrubs from winter wildlife damage

If your ground has not frozen yet, it is not too late to put protective fencing around trees and shrubs that often experience damage from deer, rabbit, vole, or mouse feeding over winter. Fruit trees, crab apples, burning bush, forsythia, dwarf Korean lilac, shrub hibiscus, low-growing junipers, and arborvitaes are among the plants that are […]

Keep Watering in Fall to Protect Evergreens from Winter Burn

‘Winter burn’ refers to a type of damage to evergreen foliage that typically occurs over winter. Common symptoms are browning and dying from the tips of the foliage inward. Several factors cause winter burn on evergreens, including winter ‘thaws’ while the ground is frozen, dry soil in autumn, a long period of very cold temperatures, […]

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