Growing Plants in Containers

Have you ever had a pet frog, a bird, a hamster, or a goldfish?  If so, you have some idea of what caring for a potted plant is all about.  Constant vigilance, really.  You want to feed it, but not t...

Why Do Trees Live Longer Than Humans?

On Quora, Eoin Kenny asked:  “Why do trees live longer than humans?” Let me attempt an answer. Because their roots run deeper than ours. Roots, representing faith, are constantly drawing ...

Bamboo for You

Q:  What is the scariest plant? A:  BamBOO I know, it’s a corny joke, but what would you say about a plant that can grow as much as three feet in one day (or one inch every forty minutes)? Or culms (...

Street Tree Possibilities

“I have been unable to plant a street tree after the city removed mine about a year and a half ago because I can’t make a decision from the dozens that seem like good choices. Most people in my...

Fall Planting of Deciduous Trees

When it comes to deciduous shrubs and trees, fall and winter are the seasons they get serious about root growth.  In places like Southern California, where the ground never freezes, roots never stop ...

Botanical Expeditions with Dan Hinkley

Imagine that you are the director of Heronswood, a fifteen acre botanical garden and, when you come home at the end of the day, you are surrounded by a six and a half acre garden of your own.   Both ...

Bananas, Grapefruits, and Oak Tree Beetles

“I have banana trees that bloom and produce fruit of the ‘Ice Cream’ (also known as ‘Blue Java’) variety. I have heard that I should trim the flower off after a single cluster of bananas has formed o...

Flamboyant Tree, Floating Row Cover

During the recent heat wave, something curious happened.  A tree that had every reason to burn or at least get mildly singed emerged unscathed. But first let’s mention some horticultural favorites th...

Fastigiate Trees, ‘Starry Night’

There is something about fastigiate (fass-ti’-gee-it) trees. You either love them or hate them.  Or so it seems. Fastigiate means columnar and I could not help but contemplate this arboreal for...

Epicormic Growth, ‘Reed’ Avocadoes

Do you have epicormic growth? Epicormic (epi = upon, kormos =  tree trunk) growth is the technical term for shoots that develop from hidden buds on tree trunks and branches.  Suckers, which grow out ...