Shrub of the Week: Rhus

    When considering adding a touch of fall color to your landscape, don’t forget the sumacs.  Belonging to the family Anacardiaceae, some of their notable relatives include cashew, pistachio, mango, smokebush, and even poison ivy and poison sumac.  The genus Rhus, consists of around 35 species and grows in subtropical and temperate regions throughout the world, especially in East Asia, Africa, and North America.

 

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Jim Chatfield

Goldenrod is Glorious in Geauga!

It is a weed of waste places, which turns wherever it grows into a yellow-gold slice of sunshine on the ground, is Solidago spp. or more commonly known to many as the annoying weed, Goldenrod.  While it is known as a weed, it also provides a vibrant splash of color to the edges of fields, in ditches and other abandoned or disturbed sites.

 

Goldenrod on a hillside...
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Erik Draper

Root of the Matter

  Tonight I am doing a program at Secrest Arboretum in the Ohio Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture series for arborist certification. We will be learning together about “Tree Biology”, so let’s remind ourselves – and teach others – about “the root of the matter.”  Here are four maxims about the critical, but often overlooked by many, key to plant health: roots.

 

  First, from Nina Bassuk of Cornell, speaking of mature landscape and community forest trees:  

 

1). Tap roots are rarely present.

2). Most (> 90%) roots in upper 3...

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Jim Chatfield
Joe Boggs
Erik Draper

Flowerosophy

The lovely flowers embarrass me,
They make me regret I am not a bee –

         ~Emily Dickinson

 

  Flowers are, of course, wondrous, the birds and the bees and all that, the pollen grain germinating on the receptive stigma with the pollen tube then delivering sperm nuclei to the ovules below, with the thus fertilized eggs becoming seeds surrounded by the ovary ripening into the fruit. Flowers may be inconspicuous, but they may also may be beauteous; here are a few captured by camera this past week.

 

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Jim Chatfield

Perennial of the Week: Ironweed

Here at the Medina Extension Office, we have Ironweed (Vernonia spp.) planted among other native and annual flowers outside.  And every year people visit our office just to ask, "What is that giant purple flower!?"  Its purple flowers are quite an eye catcher and, despite having "weed" in its name, ironweed's late blooms in summer to fall and brilliant color make it an attractive native wildflower for many gardeners.

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Ashley Kulhanek

Tactile Paving and Truncated Domes

  One of the joys of horticulture is the variety of people all of us meet and all of our different experiences and knowledge. With that in mind, earlier this year I learned about the world of truncated domes and tactile paving. 

 

Small older truncated dome

 

  This past Spring, Kenny Cochran, happily “retired” OSU Secrest Arboretum Director, Beau Mastrine and Phil Olsen...

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Jim Chatfield

Diagnostics: Who Knows Most About the Plants?

  On Vesey Street in downtown Manhattan, between the 9/11 memorials and the Irish Hunger Memorial along the Hudson River, is a row of Chinese elms in a streetscape. Recently, as I was walking there I noticed two of the elms with thinning foliage, and for that matter they were set apart by big-time protective railings and stakings and alone among the row, Treegators, extra factors that turned out to be mostly non-sequiturs, but did initially catch my eye.

 

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Jim Chatfield