How To Tell If A Tree Is Dead Or Still Dormant

Trees and shrubs can sometimes be slow to leaf out in spring. Are they alive, dead, or just stubborn? There are several ways to tell. A little detective work can determine whether the woody plant is dead, in which case we might as well look for a replacement. But if it’s alive, we’ll know to…
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The Importance Of Fertilizing Tulips Each Spring

There’s a key step to keeping tulips and other spring bulbs healthy and blooming year after year. Tulips and other bulbs usually bloom spectacularly the first spring following planting. But they’re often a disappointment in following years. It’s usually because they lacked the proper nutrition in spring. I’ll refer to tulips, but all spring bulbs react in…
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Remove Tree Wraps This Spring

Tree wraps are important for protecting young trees against winter damage, but they shouldn’t be left on all year. Be kind to your young trees and remove wraps each spring. When they’re applied in the fall, tree wraps shelter tender young bark from animals and sunscald. Sunscald injures bark when the winter sunshine reflects off of…
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Are Two Apple Trees Needed For Fruit?

Is it really necessary to plant two apple trees in order to get fruit? And are they supposed to be the same variety or different? Will crabapples work? How close do they have to be? Apples are well-adapted for home-yard growing. But to get fruit, certain pollination requirements must be met. Apple trees are self-sterile, which…
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When To Dig And Divide Rhubarb

There’s something comforting about rhubarb. Having a plant or two in the backyard means all is right with the world. And it’s a link to our pioneer ancestors for whom rhubarb was a must-have on their homesteads. I treasure our own red-stalked plants that were passed along through three generations, first planted by my grandmother 90 years…
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