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 ...

A Quick Guide to Pine Trees

If you notice something emerging from your garden soil that resembles an exotic spider or the green tentacles of a misplaced sea creature, do not be alarmed.  You are merely witnessing the germinatio...

Oaks and Acorns

If you have a dog, you should be extra diligent these days about examining its fur for ticks.  My wife, who works next to a park resplendent with mature oak trees, brought attention to the fact that ...

The Truth About Deodar Cedar

Learning the origins of plant names tells you a lot about how people relate to the botanical world around them.  Take deodar cedar.  Deodar is derived from devadaru, a Sanskrit word that combines dev...

Growing Money Trees Can Make You Rich

Money Tree = Jade Plant You might think the idea of a money tree started in ancient times yet all evidence points to it being a rather recent concept.  Some say that the money tree is a jade plant (C...

Northfolk Island Pines & Flame Vines

They are the most distinctive and unforgettable trees in Southern California gardens and landscapes.  Unlike palm trees, which also have an exotic look, there are not so many of them as to become bor...