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Cycads

Are you familiar with the ancient group of plants called cycads? These “living fossils” have been around since the time of the dinosaurs, although they are no longer as numerous as they once were. These cone-bearing plants hail primarily from the tropics, but many are easily grown as container plants. To learn more about cycads, read this article…

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Daphne xburkwoodii ‘Carol Mackie’

If you want a medium-sized shrub with fragrant flowers in spring and attractive, variegated foliage the rest of the growing season, consider ‘Carol Mackie’ daphne. This mound-shaped shrub is covered in intoxicatingly scented flowers in late spring. To learn more about this  low-maintenance plant, read this article…

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Maple Gall Mites (Eriophyidae)

Have you found little green or red bumps or other weird growths on maple leaves and wondered what caused that? Inside each bump are tiny eriophyid mites, feeding on the developing gall tissue. If you want to learn more about these mites and what to do about this problem, check out this article on maple gall mites…

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Espalier

Are you interested in getting higher yields of fruit, want a fruit tree but don’t have space for a regular-sized one, or just want an interesting pruned plant as a focal point in your garden? There is a horticultural technique involving pruning and training that can accomplish all of these goals. Read this article to learn more about the classic technique of espalier…

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‘Tiger Eyes’ Staghorn Sumac, Rhus typhina

Looking for a striking foliage plant? Tiger Eyes™, introduced in 2004, offers a long season of interest with deeply-cut, almost lacy leaves that start yellow and turn orange in fall. This medium-sized, slow-spreading shrub is a big departure from the typical staghorn sumac. Learn more about Tiger Eyes™ sumac in this article…

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Amur Cherry, Prunus maackii

In cold climates with long winters, it’s nice to incorporate plants with winter interest in the landscape. Amur cherry is a small tree from the Far East that has cinnamon-brown exfoliating bark that is most prominent in winter, when the leaves have fallen. To learn more about this attractive, underused tree hardy to zone 2, read this article…

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Landscaping In Spite of Black Walnuts

Black walnut trees can have a dramatic, negative affect on certain plants. Black walnut trees, and a few other types of trees, produce a chemical called juglone that causes wilting, yellowing of leaves and sometimes the death of susceptible plants. To learn more about juglone toxicity and which plants are suceptible, read this article…

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Concolor Fir, Abies concolor

Native to the western US, concolor fir is a great  evergreen tree for the Midwestern landscape. It is one of the most adaptable firs and is a good substitute for blue spruce. Slow-growing, with an almost perfect pyramidal Christmas tree shape, this tree needs little maintenance in most landscapes. To learn more about concolor fir, read this article…

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