Over the last few years I have noticed blue spruce trees dying. It starts with the lower branches. The needles lose their color and drop. This continues up the tree, usually quite rapidly, and suddenly there are no needles left. I want to say the whole process runs its' course in three years or less, sometimes in a single growing season. Lower branches that are shaded will naturally drop needles over time, but if you see needles dropping on lower branches growing in the sun that used to be full and dense with needles, that tree might be next. I found this credible and recent article for more information. If you or someone you know has blue spruce trees, keep an eye on them. The best way to deal with this is to avoid planting these trees. It is always best to plant more than one species. If you need a replacement or want to plant a screen or barrier, use a mix of evergreen species.
Our native common elderberry is now in bloom (Sambucus canadensis). This shrub is very durable and thrives in a wide range of habitats as witnessed now, while its huge flower heads give away just how common it is. It is everywhere- you can see it driving down most any rural road or interstate in a variety of conditions. This is such a great shrubs for the home landscape as well. It usually grows very rapidly and is very easy to manipulate. I have read of people treating it like a perennial and cutting it back to the ground every year. Of course, the berries are edible for us if you can beat the birds to them. Our straight native species can be difficult to find in popular nurseries. Most likely you will be directed to some novelty derivative of the European elderberry that has colored leaves, smaller stature, or some other undesirable feature (undesirable to me at least). You could say our elderberry is loud and proud. Don't settle for a novelty knock-off.
Before and After. The left is spring 2018, after a growing season in the ground. The elderberries were in 3 gallon pots and 30" tall. The right is summer 2019. These plants are now 8 feet tall after being in the ground for 2 growing seasons.
This is what I have for sale now. This list is subject to change almost on a daily basis and doesn't include everything I have for sale. I didn't list some plants because there aren't very many or they are too small. The perennials are mostly in 3" pots with some available in 1 gallon pots. Trees and shrubs are available in one gallon or three gallon pots. I'm a backyard grower, so I need to be notified ahead of time if you would like to stop by to purchase your native plants. Call, text, email, or message.
1 gallon $10
3 gallon $20
I'm trying all the time to offer more species, so speak up if you don't see something you want. If enough people ask, I might start growing it. I hope to have some goldenrods available by late summer.
Spring is here and as landscapes are being cleaned up, it is a great time to see the small details and changes happening. This photo shows a cluster of black-eyed susan (R. hirta) seedlings that germinated last summer or fall in the upper right part of the picture. This was planned. Black-eyed susans don't live very long, but readily self-sow in most situations. By starting out with one plant, a self sustaining population can be established. Of course being able to identify seedlings helps. A good rule of thumb to follow is if you can't i.d. it, leave it.