May 27, 2008

Plants and Groundcovers for Shade

Trees making it difficult to plant grass? Join the club. A love affair with big shady trees makes it frustrating to find sharp-looking plants and groundcovers that will thrive in the shade. It is one of the most often asked questions that my customers ask.

Try these on for shade...er, size:

• Southern shield fern Dryopteris ludoviciana
This deciduous native fern is tall -- it grows up to 4 feet with 1-foot wide fronds. This fern will tolerate more sun than most ferns, if moisture levels are adequate. Cut it back in August. Also known as a wood fern or Southern maiden fern.

• Spreading sword fern Nephrolepis cordifolia
Great ground cover for moist shade. Grows into spreading masses.

• Crested iris Iris cristata
A spreading evergreen that has pale flowers in spring, and of course, loves shade.

• Walking iris Neomarica gracilis
Prefers good morning sun with afternoon shade. Produces white blooms with yellow, blue and brown markings.

• Pigeonberry Rivina humilis
Produces small flowers and red berries. Good for growing under trees and tall shrubs. Likes moist, productive, and well-drained soil. Not good in droughts (oh well).

• "Katie's compact" ruellia Ruellia brittoniana "Katie's compact"
A top choice. Forms clumps with dark green foliage, and has purple flowers. Not particularly cold-hardy but will come back.

• Australian violet Viola hederacea
Evergreen and spreading. What else do you need?

• Creeping jenny Lysimachia nummularia
Especially good for areas that stay rather wet. Good for sun or shade. Has yellow flowers in summer.

• Ajuga Ajuga reptans
Fast growing and has dark blue flower stalks. Will grow in deep shade but requires decent drainage.

Not a comprehensive list, by any stretch. If you have a suggestion, share it with us by commenting below.
Special thanks to Landa Gay, from the Houston Chronicle and http://www.chron.com/houstongardening

May 15, 2008

GAA Announces "Hands-On" Ground Worker Training

The Georgia Arborist Association is continuing their vision for high-quality training for the tree care industry. This particular seminar is designed for participation, meaning that a number of activities will actively engage each person in “doing” as opposed to “watching.”

The targeted number of instructors for each learning station is 2, creating a 5:1 instructor/student ratio. A Spanish translator will be available for each group of 10 Spanish speaking participants. A brief written test at the end of the seminar and certificates of completion will be awarded each participant. These subjects will be offered:

1. Electrical Hazards
2. Ground Safety
3. Ground Operations
4. Hazard Assessment
5. Knot Tying
6. Throw Line

Six I.S.A. Continuing Education Credits will be offered

Contact
Office: (770) 554-3735
Fax: (770) 554-2022
georgiaarborist@bellsouth.net
www.georgiaarborist.org

When
Saturday, May 31, 2008 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Where
United Methodist Children’s Home
500 S. Columbia Drive
Decatur, GA 30030

May 13, 2008

City of Milton Passes Tree Ordinance Resolution

On May 6 the Milton City Council gave a nod to a future revision of the current Tree Conservation Ordinance.

When the City of Milton incorporated in late 2006, it adopted the Fulton County Tree Conservation Ordinance which was used in the area prior to the City's formation. Now, as the new city is maturing, council has approved a resolution to establish a citizens' participation group to revise or create a new Milton Tree Preservation Ordinance. The city of Sandy Springs, incorporated a year prior to Milton, successfully implemented a whole new ordinance in early 2007.

When a community decides to adopt a new or revised tree ordinance in Georgia, the creation of a citizen's participation group or task force is a common procedure in Georgia.

May 7, 2008

Guess the Tree's Age and Win!

MikeB over at RegularDad gave me a great idea for this month's contest.

Can you correctly pin this tree's age?


Here is what you need to know:
• The tree is in the Red oak family, most likely a naturalized Scarlet oak hybrid.
• It is growing in the Atlanta area.
• The photographs were taken last week.

Make your guess by post a comment below. The person who comes the closest will receive a winner's link, with anchor text, to their blog or website of choice. Multiple winners are possible, so get at it!

May 6, 2008

Reader Speaks Out

Today I was talking to Harefoot, a daily reader of Tree News. He was commenting on how much he enjoyed reading the articles, but he had one concern.

This is how the conversation went:

"I check your blog every day, but I've been a bit bored with it lately."

Really? Do you want more content...more posts...maybe another Tree Care Handbook?

"No. I'm bored from that insipid map of Atlanta quadrants."

Now it is true that the Arborist Quadrant Map does not exactly meet the quality control guidelines of Tree News. It is also true that this graphic element is a bit too dry for us drought-weary Georgians. But the map does clearly and succinctly illustrate the bold numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Understand that Harefoot does not live in Atlanta and does not fully appreciate how exciting the organizational structure of the City Arborist Quadrants can be. So I politley laughed, gave an accepting nod, and quickly changed the subject.