Growing Concerns #647:

Wetland trees, a fascinating topic worth a closer look. Larch tree bud.

Wetland trees, a fascinating topic worth a closer look. Larch tree bud.

Plant under spruces, atop a stump, wetland trees, lemons, squashed grasses, tree brokers

This issue's Main features

Spruce Understory: Looking for shrubs to plant under a spruce. Three suggestions plus one bit of advice you may not want to hear.

Treeing a Wetland: There are trees for every situation, including swampy ground. What happens when trees are lost to construction and a nearby wetland becomes the only remaining safe place for big trees?

Of special interest This Week in Our Gardens

We Break a Rule, Fertilize Citrus: We lay off fertilizing houseplants during winter's low-light, low-energy, low-growth time. Yet citrus fruits ripen during winter! So if you're growing that potted tree for the fruit, turn on the lights and break the no-fertilizer rule.

Snow Flattened Grasses Will Rise: Heavy, wet snow and ice can squash an ornamental grass. Remove the weight if you will, you won't change the outcome. Some species will remain down for the count while others are more resilient.

 

New in the Green Thumbs department

Up to Natural Mobiles: A pictorial how-to for those with cabin-fevered youngsters to entertain. Won't break the bank -- materials come from the garden, complete with lessons of Nature. Add bright color in scraps of biodegradable cotton cloth and modeling clay. Tie it all onto a pine branch then watch the merry mobile dance

Down to Beating Snowy Branches: Don't be the straw that breaks the camel's back, especially if the camel is your special Japanese maple, dwarf conifer or young shade tree bent under snow or ice. If you want to help, put on your snow hat and get under those branches.

From our Tip Cuttings division

Careers in Gardening: Young people and those considering a career change need to know if there's steady, rewarding work out in the garden.

They find what they find, like what they like. She wants snail shells on her mobile, never mind what we say!

They find what they find, like what they like. She wants snail shells on her mobile, never mind what we say!

A new item in Mentors' Magic

Seed Savers' Rule of 100: Should you store that seed in the refrigerator or the warm pantry? Our mentors give us an easy answer.

Added to our collection of Big Mistake, Big Lesson

Pretty Rocky Path: What's pretty is not always practical. Before you spend the time and money to lay that cobblestone path, listen to the voice of experience.

Poison Pen: Sometimes a novelty item is not worth the risk.

From the Stumpers department

Plant Over a Ground Stump: Whyizzit that we feel compelled to plant replacement plants exactly in the same place as what went before? Don't be fooled by that noisy, powerful stump grinder. It's rarely a good idea to plant right over the ground-out stump.

Tree Brokers: Whyizzit that we hear about fine, full-grown trees being dug and moved, but there's no buyer for your grand old Japanese maple?