Cleanup Summer Foliage


Today was one of those sick days you have to go outside and work on trees. Many of the shimpaku junipers were let grow to recover from a bad year past. Between too much heat, sun, and stress most suffered. So this year they were in grow mode to recover. However; we got some brutal heat this summer and the trees stressed out again, the good thing is that I had not cut them hard and wired them. In the heat of summer the foliage looked very tired. After the passing of the worst heat, it was time to open up the foliage, define branches and do a little restyling.

Shimpaku, Before cleanup 2017

Shimpaku, After cleanup 2017

The first project was this shimpaku. It has always suffered since I got it more than 7 years ago. The bottom branch was too weak and split; I had been trying to…

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Hurricanes: bane for birds, boon for birders

Our Fine Feathered Friends

During a program I presented on birds and birding at the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library, an attendee asked me if I knew what happens to birds in a hurricane? The question, no doubt prompted by such recent storms as Harvey and Irma, is of particular concern now that many of our favorite birds are migrating south along paths that could take them into harm’s way.

Well-known birder Kenn Kaufman shared his knowledge about birds and hurricanes when interviewed back in 2011 on the Audubon website. Among some fascinating insight he shared, Kaufman noted that the way intense storms affect birds depends on the species. He noted that a whimbrel, a large shorebird, would be more likely to fly through a major hurricane and live to tell the tale. On the other hand, such a storm would likely prove lethal for songbirds like warblers and thrushes.

To the questioner at my…

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Losing trees: Pyracantha

Nebari Bonsai

This pyracantha had a rough summer of 2016. The leaves’ veins would turn yellow on a branch, then the entire branch would die about a week later. This post details its demi-demise. First this:

Then this:

It only happened to the left side, and the right side was fine. So it went from a double trunk to a single trunk.

Symptoms list: yellowing leaf veins, followed by branch death, on one side of the tree, and bark cracks showing pink/orange fungus-like growth at times. All during the warm summer months. Well, a little too little, a little too late, I started researching the symptoms and found this little gem:

Fusarium Wilt.

From the University of California’s Website:

Fusarium wilt—Fusarium oxysporum

Fusarium wilt affects relatively few woody ornamental species but can kill certain hosts, including albizia, date, palm, hebe, and pyracantha. Most forms of Fusarium oxysporum attack only herbaceous…

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