Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Beautiful and Majestic Bur Oak

I love this is a tree of the grassland prairies and a true Texas performer. It is adaptable to our soils, but be aware it will need space...lots of space, this not a tree to be planted in a 3 foot parkway ( as I have witnessed). The acorns on this tree are as big as golf balls...some have said they get as big as softballs....yeah I have never seen anything like that.The extension research center on Coit road in Dallas, has a planting of various oak trees, it is a good place to visit to see if one of these will fit your property. Please give your new tree planting adequate space to grow and prosper, if a tree is listed as having a 40 foot spread then do not plant 10 feet apart......please!!!!! 

And since we are talking......Crepe Myrtles....please do not whack the tops off of these lovely trees it will produce a weak and "droopy" new growth......if you must prune, trim the cross over branches from the interior of the tree allowing proper air circulation. Trim the sucker growth away from the bottom of the tree, then if necessary put on a stout glove and "glove prune" away the seed pods.....frankly I leave the seed pods on and just trim the interior of the tree for air circulation (really helps with a reduction of powdery mildew).

Bur Oak, Mossycup Oak, Mossy Overcup Oak, Prairie Oak

Quercus macrocarpa
Fagaceae (white oak group)

Bur Oak is a majestic tree of the tallgrass priarie that once covered central North America. It grows best in deep limestone soils of riverbanks and valleys but it will adapt to many different environments. It has a long taproot which makes it hard to transplant but also very drought-tolerant. It is also fast growing and long-lived. Bur oak is noted for its very large leaves and acorns: the leaves are from one-half to one foot long, and acorns can be as large as 2 inches long and wide, enclosed in a cup with fringe on the edge. It casts deep shade.

Plant Habit or Use: large tree

Exposure: sun

Flower Color: catkins 4 to 6 in. long

Blooming Period: spring

Fruit Characteristics: large acorn to 2 in. around with fringed cup

Height: 60 to 70 ft.

Width: 60 to 70 ft.

Plant Character: deciduous

Heat Tolerance: very high high

Water Requirements: medium low

Soil Requirements: adaptable

USDA Hardiness Zone: 3

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Something New...Something Old

Perennials are an excellent addition to any garden that will give it great color and add sparkle to its appearance. They are easy to maintain and come in a variety of choices that allow you a chance to transform any space set aside for your garden into something special. With so many types to consider it will allow you the chance to enjoy a very beautiful garden with a limit of upkeep. Venture out into the world of perennials....
everyday a new, yet old perennial is discovered for your garden.

1. Mum Matchsticks. These are a new variety that is just now available to the consumer in 2011 as part of the new sun perennials. They are a composed of red and yellow quill petals that unlike other mums require no staking as part of their maintenance. Once they are cut they will survive for more than three weeks.

2. Echinacea Summer Suns. This is another flower that came available in 2011. Its stunning petals come in tones of apricot and reddish orange. The cut blooms have a very wonderful and long lasting fragrance. When full grown they can be as tall as forty inches. These coneflowers come in more than thirty versions.

3. Phlox Shockwave. As one more of the new options for 2011 this plant has very intensely fragrant blooms. One of the benefits to this purple flower is being highly resistant to mildew. Its leaves will look colorful all season long. The plant offers over two months of fragrant blooms making it a very ideal addition to any garden.

4. Rose Knock Out. There are several different types of these plants available to the purchaser. The Rose Knock Outs of the red tint make wonderful choices for landscape since they cultivated in shapes that fit any size of garden. It does very well in heat and humidity and resistant to Japanese Beetles and powdery mildew. With a blooming season of up to five months, the Rose Knock Outs are a wonderful addition to your flower purchases.

5. Budlesia Black Knight. Its deep purple flowers cluster on the eight to ten inch stems. The scent of this flower is one that often attracts butterflies. This is a plant that does very well in both heat and drought. During the first year of planting it will flower for a very long period of time.

6. Echinacea Green Jewels. The Echinacea Green Jewels have large flowers that are a bright green color. Those petals will hold that color and not fade as they age. Its fragrance will last up to two weeks once they are cut. The blooms will last eight weeks during the mid summer season, which is a very desirable factor when picking your choices for your garden.

7. Stokesia Peachie’s Picks. This plant provides a bounty of petals in hundreds of three inch blue flowers. They are considered to be deer proof and very attractive to butterflies. It is completely suitable for very poor soil conditions even clay. The petals have a blooming season that can last up to fifteen weeks.

8. Coreopsis Crème Brulees. These yellow flowers bloom non-stop from frost to summer. It makes them an ideal long lasting type of ground covering that is drought resistant. The petals of the Coreopsis Crème Brulees are very attractive to butterflies. Having a multi-seasonal appeal allows them to be a very worthwhile consideration for any gardener’s needs.

9. Geranium Rozannes. This is one of the most longest blooming of any geraniums. Its blue petals will bloom for months at a time. They have been known to still be in bloom in Michigan as late as October. Plus the plant is one that will attract butterflies. Once planted they will provide a rapid spreading ground cover.

10. Festuca Boulder Blues. The plant’s steel blue foliage is semi evergreen in nature. It is drought proof and thrives in full sunlight. This is a type of plant that does great in heat and humidity. It is a great choice for a flower to plant by walkways and in containers.

Taken in part from : Lawn Care  Thank You Very Much!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Average Date for Last Killing Frost

Be Careful!!!

Okay, Okay....... This is a picture of early February and not mid March, this particular climatic event followed up on the heels of a previous freeze and was particularly damaging to many, many woody ornamentals and most soft tissue plants. Do not, I repeat, do not freak out, there will some topical freeze damage, but the plant will grow out of it soon. Minor trimming, proper watering, with sunshine and you will be amazed the strides your plants take this spring. But what about my grass??........Well..... all vegetative growth will take off when the ground temperature maintains 65 to 68 degrees...that is ground temperature.

Be aware we could still have another killing frost, I cannot tell you how many times I have been on bike rides on April 1st when it was freezing and sometimes even snowing. So be patient and if not, then watch diligently and be prepared to protect your new plantings.
According to some maps for Dallas, the average last frost date varies even within the city, with some neighborhoods having a last frost date from March 1st through March 10th; whereas, some neighborhoods in North Dallas have a last frost date of March 10th to March 20th.

Remember that these are averages!!! If you look at historical data for my zip code on, you can see that my area has had a freeze as late as April 13th., but then I live in Mckinney.

Spring  is almost in full stride......enjoy the life......

Monday, March 14, 2011

Grassy Weeds

Common Grassy Weeds

Folks I am not a great proponent for heavy chemical usage in the yard, although sometimes you have to do what you have to do…..please remember less is better. Get on a program of 7 to 9 applications a year of weed control and light fertilization. Keep the program working and you will not have to do heavy applications of weed control herbicides……next time we will talk about the broadleaf weed or what I hear a lot on the phone “ hey I got those big floppy looking weeds in my yard can you kill them?” yes of course we can kill anything... but do we really want to?……….remember mow, water..light fertiliztion…mow, water…..light fertilization. That is your new mantra, when your grass gets strong, healthy, bold…well you know what I mean, then it will choke out those dreaded weeds….


This is by far the worst weed we encounter. Because this weed is perennial, meaning it comes back from the roots every year, the pre-emergence applications do nothing to stop it. If you had dallisgrass last year, you will have it again this year. Round-Up, then grin and bear it as the dead spots cover over with grass


This weed is easy to control if you take the pre-emergence applications in the spring. With this weed, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure….remember treat this bad boy when you do not see it…repeat after me: I will use pre-emergent

Fescue and Wild Rye

These weeds are yet another weed we all see far too often. If you over-seeded your lawn or worse yet if your neighbor overseeded last year with winter grass and you didn’t do it this year, you can count on this weed. Most fescues and ryes will die in the summer, but a few will survive by going dormant.

Poa annua

This weed is only a problem in the later winter and early spring. This weed will die in the early summer once we start getting daily highs of 90 degrees. Great identification tool…the tiny white seeds….this weed drives the golf course people crazy..


Pre-emergence applications do no good on this hardy rascal. Round Up has little or no effect……..this is the number 1 weed in the world. This weed requires a special herbicide to kill it without damage to the lawn. If you have this weed contact your local weed control specialist and then offer up prayers…..