Learn about allergy free gardens, including how to plant and grow them. Listen to podcast: It’s garden and allergy season. 50 years ago, less than 5 percent of the population had allergies to plant pollen. Now that number hovers closer to 40 percent. What happened? Plant breeders started selecting male trees and shrubs (which are loaded with pollen) over females (which have little pollen) to reduce that amount of “litter” that falls to the ground from female plants. The unintended consequence is that we have more street, park, and landscape […]

Ulmus americana   Other Name Elm   Sun Requirements full sun   Bloom Period and Seasonal Color Grown mostly for it’s unique vase shape   Mature Height x Spread 60 to 90 feet x 30 x 70 feet   Added Benefits native   The American elm was the quintessential, deciduous street tree throughout many towns and cities in New England until the Dutch elm disease wiped out many of the trees in the early 1900s. You can see why this was such a prized tree. The large trunk grows up […]

Fagus spp   Other Name common beech   Sun Requirements full sun   Bloom Period and Seasonal Color Grown mostly for its tall stature, colorful leaves, attractive bark and bronze or yellow fall foliage color.   Mature Height x Spread 50 to 70 feet x 100 feet. There are dwarf and weeping forms as that grow much smaller.   Added Benefits native, attracts beneficials, fall color, drought tolerant, deer resistant   The beech tree is a staple in New England forests. Its large spread, attractive light gray, smooth bark and […]

Betula spp.   Other Name American birch   Sun Requirements full sun   Bloom Period and Seasonal Color Has attractive green catkins in spring, but mostly grown for the arching shape, colorful bark and yellow fall color   Mature Height x Spread 30 to 40 feet x 12 to 15 feet   Added Benefits Native, fall color, deer resistant   This native, deciduous, North American tree is commonly found in New England forests, but also makes a great landscape tree in the yard. Birch trees are one of New England’s […]

Sun Requirements Part shade or dappled shade Bloom Period and Seasonal Color Depending on the species they bloom either in winter/early spring or fall Mature Height x Spread 6 to 15 feet tall and 5 to 7 feet wide, but there are varieties as small as 2 feet tall and as large as 20 feet tall Camellia is a prized evergreen shrub or tree that brightens a shady area in your landscape with beautiful rose-shaped flowers. Camellias are hardy in USDA zones 7 to 10 with a few varieties tolerant […]

Tsuga canadensis   Other Name Eastern hemlock   Sun Requirements full sun, part sun   Bloom Period and Seasonal Color Grown mostly for its deep green needles and majestic form   Mature Height x Spread 40 to 70 feet x 25 to 35 feet. There are creeping, weeping and shorter forms as well.   Added Benefits Native   Canadian hemlock is an evergreen, native tree that is often found in New England forests. This beautiful tree can be seen growing along streams and wet areas in the woods providing quiet […]

Thuja occidentalis   Other Name arbovitae   Sun Requirements full sun, part sun   Bloom Period and Seasonal Color Grown for its evergreen foliage   Mature Height x Spread 12 to 15 feet x 3 to 5 feet   Added Benefits native, drought tolerant   Cedar is native to New England and an all-purpose evergreen. You often see it grown as a foundation plant around houses, specimen in mixed shrub borders or hedge plants to block a view or define a boundary line. The species version doesn’t have the same […]

Learn about chestnut trees, including varieties and how to plant and grow them. Listen to Podcast: On my recent Garden and Food Tour of Sicily, we visited Mt. Etna and I was amazed at the groves of Italian chestnuts growing in the forests there. They were loaded with prickly covered nuts. It got me thinking about our American chestnut. Chestnut trees used to grace the eastern forests from Georgia to Maine providing food for humans and wildlife and great rot resistant lumber for building. Chestnut fruits are unique. They are […]

Learn how to select live holiday trees and how to plant a live one in your yard after the holidays Listen to Podcast: There’s something special about stomping through the snow on a cold winter morning to pick out a holiday tree. Although I grew up with the classic plastic tree, as an adult I love the feel and smell of a good balsam tree. Here’s how to select the best tree. First, decide on the type of evergreen. Balsam has a great fragrance. Blue spruce has stiff needles, but […]

There’s nothing like the taste of home grown citrus. Unfortunately, only gardeners in USDA hardiness zones 8 and warmer usually get this experience. But even gardeners in colder climates can enjoy some citrus in containers grown as houseplants in winter and moved outdoors in summer. In warm climates citrus can grow into medium-sized trees (20 to 30 feet). But grown in a container they stay manageable and dwarf. How to Use in Foodscaping Outdoors grow citrus trees in the yard as a specimen plant or grow dwarf varieties in a […]

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