Friday, March 09, 2007

Sourwoods for Everyone!

Well, maybe not everyone. I have a thing for sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum) trees. I have been taking care of more than 20 seedlings since December 06. These seeds came off the tree in my yard at home. The seedlings have been growing in a south facing window in the house. This plant has been growing since mid-January 07.

As you can see, the plant is very small, maybe a half-inch tall. But we finally have 2 true leaves on it with a third on its way. The hairs on the leaves are very big for the size of the leaf. I had no idea it would be this hairy.

My intent is to prick the seedlings out and transplant them to a larger container by the end of March. I'll post more later as they grow.

For more information on sourwood trees, visit UConn's website.

Office questions

It's defintely March -- more questions are rolling into the Extension office. Here's the rundown with a few of my suggestions:

1. Deer resistant plants -- The best thing to understand about deer is that if they are hungry, they will eat anything. There are some good websites which list 'preferred' plants and 'rarely damaged' plants. I would advise looking at sites from WVU or Rutgers. Consider using some repellents, whether they be purchased products or hanging soap or hair around the garden.

2. Weed control for lawns -- Crabgrass can be a non-issue this summer if you apply a pre-emergence herbicide. The best time for this is mid-March. Get this without fertilizer attached to it! Broadleaf weed control should be done in the spring and the fall. Bermudagrass is a whole 'nother issue....

3. Roots of silver maples -- Genetically, this tree likes its roots above the ground. Nothing you can do will change this feature of silver maples. Covering up the roots with mulch might help the looks somewhat, but you need to be careful not to layer anything too deep. This could smother the roots and lead to tree decline.