Posts tagged hackberry

Champion tree tour in Cedar Rapids

    You only have until Wednesday, June 17, 2009, to register for the Freedom Festival champion tree tour. The tour will be Friday, June 19, from 7-8:30 p.m.

Ashley Green at Trees Forever told me this morning that tour-goers will see the largest trees nominated in Cedar Rapids of the following species: cottonwood; Scotch pine, sycamore, yellow buckeye, Douglas fir and hackberry.

 You can learn about these giants from Cedar Rapids City Arborist Daniel Gibbins, Trees Forever staff and tree owners.  This is a great activity for tree lovers or those who just want to spend a summer evening discovering some of Cedar Rapids’ natural treasures.

 Here’s the info from Trees Forever:

 Meeting Location: Ushers Ferry Historic Village, 5925 Seminole Valley Trail NE, Cedar Rapids

Dress: Please dress for the weather- will be going outside unless there is lightning.

Transportation: The first 10 registrants can ride in a van with the tree experts. Additional tour participants can car pool in their own vehicles. 

Cost: Free of charge (though donations to Trees Forever are always welcome)

RSVP:  By Wednesday, June 17, online at http://www.treesforever.org/Events/20090619/45/Liberty-Trees-and-Champion-Tree-Tour-Cedar-Rapids-IA.aspx, or with Ashley Green at Trees Forever at (319) 373-0650 ext. 25 or agreen@treesforever.org

 Contact on the Day of the Event: call Karen Brook at Trees Forever at (319) 721-4472

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Attracting birds and other wintertime tips

The following Q&A is from Iowa State University Extension’s garden experts:

I recently purchased a Norfolk Island pine.  How do I care for it? 

 

The Norfolk Island pine is a popular houseplant. During the holiday season, many individuals turn their plants into living Christmas trees by decorating them with miniature lights, ribbons and ornaments. The Norfolk Island pine thrives indoors when given good, consistent care. Place the Norfolk Island pine in a brightly lit location near an east, west or south window. Rotate the plant weekly to prevent the plant from growing toward the light and becoming lopsided. 

 

Thoroughly water the Norfolk Island pine when the soil surface becomes dry to the touch. Discard the excess water, which drains out the bottom of the pot. From spring to early fall, fertilize the plant with a dilute fertilizer solution every 2 to 4 weeks. A temperature of 55 to 70  degrees F is suitable for the Norfolk Island pine. Winter is often a difficult time because of low relative humidity levels in most homes. Raise the humidity level around the Norfolk Island pine with a humidifier or place the plant on a pebble tray. Low relative humidity levels, insufficient light, or infrequent watering may induce browning of branch tips and lead to the loss of the lower branches. 

 

Which trees and shrubs provide food for birds during the winter months? 

 

When attempting to attract birds to the landscape, trees and shrubs that provide food during the winter months are extremely important as natural foods are most limited at this time of year. Trees that provide food for birds in winter include hackberry (Celtis occidentalis), hawthorn (Crataegus species), eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) and crabapple (Malus species). Shrubs that provide food for birds include red chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia), northern bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica), sumac (Rhus species), roses (native species and Rosa rugosa), snowberry (Symphoricarpos species), nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) and American cranberrybush viburnum (Viburnum trilobum). 

 

Can I dispose of my wood ashes in the garden? 

 

Wood ashes contain small amounts of several plant nutrients. The nutrient content of wood ashes depends on the type of wood burned, the thoroughness of its burning, and other factors.  Generally, wood ashes contain 5 to 7 percent potash, 1 percent phosphate, and small amounts of other elements. However, the largest component of wood ashes is calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate is a liming material. Liming materials raise the soil pH. 

 

The soil pH is important because it affects the availability of essential nutrients. The pH scale runs from 0 to 14. Any pH below 7.0 is acidic and any pH above 7.0 is alkaline. A pH of 7.0 is neutral. Most vegetables and perennials grow best in slightly acidic soils with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Plants may not perform as well in soils with a pH above 7.0 because of the reduced availability of some essential nutrients. 

 

Avoid applying wood ashes to garden areas with a pH above 7.0. Applying wood ashes to alkaline soils may raise the soil pH and reduce the availability of some plant nutrients. An application of 10 to 20 pounds of wood ashes per 1,000 square feet should be safe if the soil pH is below 7.0. If the soil pH in your garden is unknown, conduct a soil test to determine the pH of your soil before applying wood ashes to flower or vegetable gardens. 

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