Gardener's Grapevine 2011.06.08

Written by David Green.

Last weekend we traveled to Cincinnati for our nephew’s graduation. One nephew graduated from high school and his brother from college. Graduation always makes me think of the progression of time. When you think of 10 or 20 years it seems like forever, but when it’s over it seemed to fly by. This is something that is of extreme importance when planning gardens, yards, or even choosing a tree. 

Some trees are so slow growing that if you need shade you may be dead before it matures. Oaks are beautiful, there is a fabulous specimen in front of Eric and Mary Johnson’s home. It has to be well over 100 years old. It would take two people holding hands to encircle it. Last weekend many beautiful old trees were destroyed in our town. There were two trees that fell across from the church that had to be around 100 years old. It left a very bare area with no shade to the home there at all.

Another example of longevity is at the cemetery. It is so beautiful with the long trunks of the oaks and maples towering over our loved ones. I enjoy walking the cemetery paths and wondering about who these people were and what they contributed to our community.

A property can only support so many trees and keep them healthy to reach their full potential. Many people plant trees in their yard without looking to the future to plan out where it will be when it’s mature. This is why you see trees and bushes that are too tight to the house. The roots and branches can cause some major damage to foundations and siding. What may seem appropriate when a tree is in its infancy can be wrong in the mature state. 

When picking a tree or bush you must consider many of the same things that you consider when choosing flowers. Location, mature width and height, if it flowers or not, which zone it will grow in, how much sunlight it needs, if it is a fruit tree will it produce what you desire or be nonbearing, and how fast it grows and need to be considered.

Some people plant fast growing trees to provide shade, which is great except they tend to be willowy and get damaged easily in storms. It is usually a good idea to mix both so when the rapid growers  come apart in a storm, the slower growers are mature and can take their place.

Have you ever notice how people tend to purchase a home and tear out the landscaping not long after? This is usually due to a desire for a cleaner and fresher look, or if the landscaping is overgrown and removal is the only answer. Mature landscaping can make a property look distinguished if a good plan has been followed. Unfortunately, most owners don’t think of what it will look like in 20 years.

Trees and bushes give so much to our environment and are well worth the effort. When you see a tree felled in a storm it should make you sad; it took years to mature and will take years to replace. Plant a tree…just put it away from your home.

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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