Trees and Shrubs

Northern Catalpa Tree

June 18, 2017 lawanda Newspaper Columns

       There was one northern catalpa tree in my neighborhood when I was a child.  I didn’t know what it was, but I loved that tree.  In June, it had clusters of large bell-shaped, ruffled white flowers with yellow stripes and purple spots inside, kind of a combination of petunia and iris and orchid, not […]

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Protect Oak Trees from Oak Wilt

April 2, 2017 lawanda Newspaper Columns

        Before European settlement, most of Winnebago County was an oak savanna.  Oak trees were the main component of the plant community, but their density was low enough that grasses and other vegetation could thrive.  For a variety of reasons, today the oak savanna is one of the rarest plant communities on earth.         While […]

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0 Pests/Weeds/InvasivesTrees and Shrubs

The Mighty Oak

September 18, 2016 lawanda Newspaper Columns

There are almost 100 different species of oak native to the United States. They occur naturally in all of the 48 contiguous states except, oddly, Idaho. Probably the oak most Wisconsinites can identify is the white oak, whose leaves have the classic round-lobed shape.  The bur oak, one of the white oak group, is the […]

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Grow a Little Fruit Tree

February 21, 2016 lawanda Newspaper Columns

Every once in a while, a book comes along that changes everything you’ve believed about a particular topic.  “Grow a Little Fruit Tree” by Ann Ralph, is one that did so for me.  Pruning is something I have fairly good knowledge of but I never questioned one of the basic tenets, the one that decrees […]

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0 Fruits and vegetablesGardening techniques and toolsTrees and Shrubs

Hazelnuts

September 4, 2015 lawanda Magazine Columns

        The combination of hazelnuts with chocolate is almost as popular as the chocolate/peanut butter combo.  Nutella, the chocolate/hazelnut spread, probably has as many fans as do peanut butter cups. You might be surprised to learn that hazelnuts grow throughout Wisconsin and are found along trails, roadsides, fence rows and woodland edges in dry or […]

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0 Edible Wild PlantsTrees and Shrubs

Linden Trees Smell Good

July 5, 2015 lawanda Newspaper Columns

A sweet, sweet smell has permeated my neighborhood for the last week and it’s coming from my yard. The linden tree that shades the south side of my house is in full flower. Linden, also known as basswood, Latin name Tilia Americana, is not a tree for small landscapes. Lindens can grow nearly 100 feet […]

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Grow Your Own Superfruits: Aronia

March 16, 2014 lawanda Newspaper Columns

Health food magazine articles have frequently touted superfoods and superfruits the past few years.  While “superfood” and “superfruit” are marketing terms developed in 2005 and have no official FDA or USDA endorsement, it is generally understood that the terms refer to foods with highly concentrated nutrition in the form of heart-healthy antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.  […]

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0 Fruits and vegetablesTrees and Shrubs

Elderberry

September 5, 2013 lawanda Magazine Columns

Elderberry is a mostly forgotten shrub, often considered a weed along roads and trail sides, ditches and hedgerows.  The abundance of other sweeter, larger berries in grocery stores and farmer’s markets has made them borderline obsolete.    But that’s just why they are special.  You won’t find fresh, frozen or canned elderberries for sale commercially.  If […]

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0 Edible Wild PlantsFruits and vegetablesTrees and Shrubs

Plants are fierce competitors

June 2, 2013 lawanda Newspaper Columns

Competition in the plant world is fierce.  The techniques plants use against each other to ensure their own survival make the conniving in corporate boardrooms and reality TV shows look like child’s play. Some plants develop extremely dense or deep roots systems so they can steal water and nutrients from seedlings of any other species […]

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0 MiscellaneousTrees and Shrubs

Do Not Top Trees!

March 17, 2013 lawanda Newspaper Columns

A few years ago, a guy in a pickup truck filled with ladders and chainsaws came through my neighborhood looking for tree-pruning work.  Unfortunately, several of my neighbors hired him.  Four homes in a row that each had stately 50-year-old maples in their backyards now have big, fat tree trunks with a bunch of spindly […]

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