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By ILPARW on Nov 24, 2017 8:29 PM, concerning plant: Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides)

A wonderful, beautiful native tree with a large native range covering most of all Canada, some of Alaska, the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevada Mountains out West, New England down to northern New Jersey, northern Pennsylvania, spots in West Virginia, and around the Great Lakes. Fast growing of 2 to 4 feet/year and lives about 40 to 100 years, depending. It has a shallow, fibrous root system that can often cause more trees to sprout up from that system and make a colony. I knew of a landscaper from McKay Nursery in the 1970's in southern Wisconsin who planted sapling trees about 6 to 8 feet high bare root into northern Illinois landscapes. It is offered by some large, diverse nurseries, native plant nurseries, and mail order nurseries. The rounded leaves that quake in the breeze develop good to excellent golden fall color. Beautiful, smooth, tight, white to cream bark. The trunks of each tree is single and is not forming a clump of two or a few trunks like white birches do. The species can suffer some from humid and warm-hot conditions in more southern zones of 5 & 6 and be picked on by Hypoxylon canker and some leaf spots.

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By ILPARW on Nov 24, 2017 7:39 PM, concerning plant: Sea Myrtle (Baccharis halimifolia)

I've seen a good number of this nice native shrub in southeast Pennsylvania in some spots and more throughout Delaware in its sandy, acid soils. Good pollinator plant.

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By ILPARW on Nov 24, 2017 11:48 AM, concerning plant: Anglo Japanese Yew (Taxus 'Taunton')

I consider this to be the best cultivar of either Anglojapanese or Japanese Yews because it grows in a neat yet informal, natural form. This is not for any shearing at all, just some light pruning by hand pruners. It is not commonly used, but it is available at some larger, diverse nurseries. I bought six from Berthold Nursery in Elk Grove Village, IL in the 1990's and planted then around Whitespire Birch trees. D. Hill Nursery in Union, IL used to sell them too. This cultivar is very resistant to winter burn and to heat for a yew. The last time that I saw the yews I planted, they were still in good shape in 2015 and not ruined by what Dr. Michael Dirr referred to as "the worst landscape tool of all time, the hedge shears."

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By ILPARW on Nov 24, 2017 11:30 AM, concerning plant: Seaside Alder (Alnus maritima)

The Seaside Alder is a shrubby small tree or large shrub that grows in the wild in swamps, bottomlands, and along watercourses. It is found in the wild only in three areas: the variety of A, maritima maritima is found in spots in the Delmarva Penninsula; the A. maritima georgiensis is found in northwest Georgia, and the variety of A. maritima oklahomensis is found in two areas of Oklahoma. This species must have had a larger native range in times past, covering over all three recent areas. The glossy leaves are 2.5 to 4 inches long x 1.5 to 2 inches wide. The strobiles are about 1/2 inch long. It can grow in shallow standing water, but also tolerate dry, infertile soils. It is easy to grow from seed. There is a cultivar called "September Sun' that was developed at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa from the Oklahoma variety from the Blue River area that has a more regular form.

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By Australis on Nov 24, 2017 5:30 AM, concerning plant: Orchid (Cymbidium Parish Cherry)

Andy Easton made this cross using the tetraploid Orchid (Cymbidium sanderae 'Emma Menninger'), making this one of the many grexes caught up in the Cym. parishii vs. Cym. sanderae mess.

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By ILPARW on Nov 23, 2017 9:55 PM, concerning plant: Black Alder (Alnus glutinosa)

Native to much of Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa. It has escaped cultivation in eastern North America in some areas and has spread along watercourses and ponds, as I have seen them in northeast Illinois, southeast Pennsylvania, and Delaware. It is sold by some larger diverse nurseries and makes a good-looking, adaptable landscape tree. Fast growing of about 2 to 2.5 feet/year.

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By ILPARW on Nov 23, 2017 9:22 PM, concerning plant: Speckled Alder (Alnus rugosa)

The Speckled Alder is native to much of Canada, New England, New York, northern and western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, northern Ohio, much of Michigan, Wisconsin, and north and east Minnesota in swamps, bottomlands, lake margins, and along water courses. It is fast growing of about 2 to 3 feet/year and lives around 40 years. It is recognized by having white lenticels on the stems and the leaves have big doubly serrate teeth. It is sold by some native plant nurseries for naturalistic landscaping in wet soils. I think it makes a nice birch-like shrub that is smooth and clean.

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By ILPARW on Nov 23, 2017 8:57 PM, concerning plant: Smooth Alder (Alnus serrulata)

The Smooth Alder is an abundant shrub in southeast Pennsylvania in wet soil near ponds and watercourses. It is native from Maine to northern Florida and then to east Texas and up to southern Illinois along the Mississippi . It can range from 6 feet to 30 feet high, but usually is about 10 to 20 feet high. It is very similar to the Speckled Alder, but the leaves are widest just above the middle of the leaf, the leaf margins have small, fine teeth that are regular in formation, and it does not have the white or orange wart-like lenticels on the stems. It is fast growing of about 2 to 3 feet/year and lives about 40 years. It likes moist to draining wet soil that is about pH 6 to 7. I did see the Delaware Native Plant Society selling some of this species in pots and other native plant nurseries do offer this; not in conventional nurseries. I think it is a nice native shrub that is sort of birch-like, smooth, and clean. it is listed as being high in wildlife value by Gary Highshoe in his book of "Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines."

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By ILPARW on Nov 22, 2017 9:10 PM, concerning plant: Japanese Larch (Larix kaempferi)

Japanese Larch is a beautiful conifer tree. Its foliage is bluish-green, with needles about 1 to 1.5 inches long and a little wider than the European's, and whorled on spurs with 40 or more needles on each spur. The 1 to 1.5 inch long cones have reflexed edges; that is, the scale edges roll back. The bark is supposed to be more interesting than the European's. A few large, diverse nurseries offer this species. I've only seen it twice, once in Illinois and once in Pennsylvania.

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By ILPARW on Nov 22, 2017 8:46 PM, concerning plant: European Larch (Larix decidua)

The European Larch is occasionally planted in the landscapes of the Midwest, Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic of the US in parks, on estates, and in wealthy neighborhoods, and is offered at larger, diverse nurseries. It is a good, reliable tree that is more adapted to landscapes than the American species, but the latter makes a fine tree too and is native to the region. (Native species tend to be more useful to native birds, insects, and wildlife.) It is fast growing of about 2 feet/year and lives over 150 years. The European species has curved needles about 1/2 to 1.5 inches long and about 30 to 40 whorled on each spur. It has a lot of small cones about 1 to 1.5 inches long.

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By ILPARW on Nov 22, 2017 8:21 PM, concerning plant: American Larch (Larix laricina)

The Eastern or American Larch or Tamarack has a large native range from Newfoundland to northern Pennsylvania to some spots in northern Ohio & Indiana, and northeast Illinois through most of Wisconsin and much of Minnesota up into the Yukon and central Alaska. It grows mostly in bottomlands, bogs, swamps, and along watercourses, but it can also grow uphill in dry soil from a shallow bedrock. It grows about 1.5 to 2 feet/year and lives about 150 to 180 years. Its flat to slightly 3-angled, slightly curved needles are 3/4 to 1 1/4 inches long and are arranged in whorls on spurs of 12 to 30 needles. The cones are tiny, about 1/2 to 1" long with 15 to 20 scales. It is deciduous and the needles turn a lovely golden color before falling in autumn. It can be grown in a regular landscape and do well, including silty-clay loam soil that is slightly alkaline as typical around Chicago, IL. (It is the European Larch that is occasionally planted in Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic landscapes of parks, estates, or well-to-do neighborhoods, and sometimes the Japanese.) The American Larch is offered by some native plant and specialty nurseries.

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By ILPARW on Nov 22, 2017 8:21 PM, concerning plant: American Larch (Larix laricina)

The Eastern or American Larch or Tamarack has a large native range from Newfoundland to northern Pennsylvania to some spots in northern Ohio & Indiana, and northeast Illinois through most of Wisconsin and much of Minnesota up into the Yukon and central Alaska. It grows mostly in bottomlands, bogs, swamps, and along watercourses, but it can also grow uphill in dry soil from a shallow bedrock. It grows about 1.5 to 2 feet/year and lives about 150 to 180 years. Its flat to slightly 3-angled, slightly curved needles are 3/4 to 1 1/4 inches long and are arranged in whorls on spurs of 12 to 30 needles. The cones are tiny, about 1/2 to 1" long with 15 to 20 scales. It is deciduous and the needles turn a lovely golden color before falling in autumn. It can be grown in a regular landscape and do well, including silty-clay loam soil that is slightly alkaline as typical around Chicago, IL. (It is the European Larch that is occasionally planted in Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic landscapes of parks, estates, or well-to-do neighborhoods, and sometimes the Japanese.)

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By Baja_Costero on Nov 22, 2017 3:02 PM, concerning plant: Propeller Plant (Crassula perfoliata var. minor)

The preponderance of young plants in the images for this plant reflects its lifestyle and the risk posed by flowering in such profuse red abundance that aphids and other insects move in for the kill. Also: do not overwater.

This succulent grows year round in mild climates but pauses to flower in the summer. The flowers are terminal, meaning stem growth pauses until after flowering, when new branches sprout at the base of the inflorescence and the cycle continues. After a year or two (if there are natural predators around to keep the bugs away) the plant starts growing sideways and branching annually as it goes. After a few years it starts to look a little ratty as the lower leaves die and it becomes more creeper than propeller.

By ablating the growth center of a young plant, you can force it to branch in profusion, and have a nice set of cuttings later to grow on.

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By ILPARW on Nov 22, 2017 1:58 PM, concerning plant: River Birch (Betula nigra Fox Valley®)

'Fox Valley' is also known as 'Little King' because it was first discovered and introduced into the trade in the 1970's by Jim King who owned King Nursery in Montgomery, Illinois. That nursery was large and grew a huge variety of different woody plant species and cultivars and it has moved farther west in northeast IL. It is available at some larger nurseries. It is a compact selection that only grows about 15 to 20 feet high and dense, bushy in form. It can be easily pruned up to expose the pretty trunks.

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By ILPARW on Nov 22, 2017 1:34 PM, concerning plant: River Birch (Betula nigra Dura-Heat®)

I've only seen a few trees at the NHC Arboretum in Wilmington, North Carolina, in the southeast part of the state that is close to the Atlantic Ocean and can grow Cabbage Palmettos there in Zone 8a. It was discovered by Moon Nursery in Loganville, Georgia. It looks as though it bark is whiter than that of 'Heritage.'

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By ILPARW on Nov 22, 2017 1:19 PM, concerning plant: River Birch (Betula nigra Heritage®)

I once met the discoverer of the 'Heritage' Birch when he was substitute teaching for Dr. Michael Dirr one day in woody plant class at the University of IL. His name was Earl Cully and he found it in southwest Illinois in a homeowner's yard. He was granted permission to take buds of the tree for propagation. This new cultivar was first called 'Cully' after him. 'Heritage' is the more commercial trade name. It is just like the mother species, except that it keeps the young kind of bark with lots of cream color and some orange-brown with pinkish tints. It is probably sold more in the North than the mother species at nurseries because the bark is so outstanding. Like other birch, it is flexible and resistant to strong winds, but it does drop lots of twigs much of the year.

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By ILPARW on Nov 22, 2017 12:57 PM, concerning plant: River Birch (Betula nigra)

The River or Red Birch is very commonly planted in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast of the US, available at most any nursery. I have seen them wild in swampy places and bottomlands of Maryland and southern Illinois and along creeks in southern Wisconsin. Its native range is from Massachusetts down to northern Florida to east Texas up to southern Minnesota. It is fast growing of about 2 feet/year and lives about 100 to 125 years. It likes draining wet to moist soil, though it can tolerate some good drought, and it needs the soil to be at least a little bit acid. My southeast PA neighborhood has some happy River Birches in pH of about 6.7 to 6.9 as do some northern Illinois neighborhoods. However, I have seen some develop yellow foliage and die out from iron chlorosis because the pH was somewhere above pH 7.0. Overall, it is a good quality, pretty tree, but it does drop lots of twigs in late summer, fall, winter, and early spring, and it does drop a lot of seed in late spring to early summer. Young bark is papery and exfoliating with color of cream, orange-brown and pinkish; then lots of gray and brown scaly bark takes over as the major bark; and then when real old bark becomes blocky red-brown to very dark. Because it tolerates summer heat well, it is not bothered by the Bronze Birch Borer, unless very old. There are a few cultivars that keep the young creamy bark for a very long time as 'Heritage' and 'Dura Heat.'

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By ILPARW on Nov 22, 2017 12:06 PM, concerning plant: Yellow Buckeye (Aesculus flava)

I've seen a few of this good tree species planted at arboretums in southeast Pennsylvania. Its native range in in the Appalachian Region of southwest Pennsylvania to northern Georgia and along the Ohio River to southcentral Indiana. It is hardly different from the more common Ohio Buckeye. It also has its compound leaves with 5 leaflets that turn orange in autumn. The erect terminal flower clusters are also yellow. The husk of the fruit capsule is different in that it is smooth, while the Ohio species has little bumps and spines on it. The Yellow species also likes moist or draining wet soil that is somewhat acid to slightly alkaline. It grows about 1 foot/year and lives about 150 to 250 years. It tolerates a little more shade than the Ohio species. It also can be hit hard some years with cool, wet springs by Leaf Blotch fungus disease, so many leaves darken and fall early in late summer.

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By ILPARW on Nov 21, 2017 4:32 PM, concerning plant: Ohio Buckeye (Aesculus glabra)

I've seen this species planted in a few landscapes here and there in northeast Illinois and a few in arboretums in southeast Pennsylvania. It is native to western Pennsylvania, Ohio, most of IL & IN, Kentucky, Missouri, southern Iowa, east Kansas-Oklahoma-Texas, west Arkansas, and central Tennessee. It is slow growing of about 1 foot/year and lives about 150 to 200 years. Its leaves are of 5 leaflets and it gets a good orange fall color if the foliage is not struck by Leaf Blotch fungus heavily that happens some years of cool, wet springs, so the leaves blacken and fall in late summer. It is messy with the fallen capsules with the buckeye brown nut inside, loved by squirrels. It often makes a great climbing tree for kids. It is offered by some large, diverse nurseries, specialty nurseries, and native plant nurseries.

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By ILPARW on Nov 21, 2017 2:21 PM, concerning plant: American Red Pine (Pinus resinosa)

I adore Pine trees! This is my favorite species that I saw so much in the north woods of Minnesota. It is native to Nova Scotia and southeast Canada, New England, New York, northern Pennsylvania, northern Michigan, most of Wisconsin, northern Minnesota, with some scattered little spots in northern IL, IN, and OH. It grows about 1.5 feet/year and lives about 350 years. Its bright green, long needles get about 6 inches long, are slender, and soft to touch in clusters of 2. Its mature scaly bark is mostly gray with pinkish-orange areas. It bears small 1 to 2.5 inch long cones that do not have prickles on the scales. It is very abundant in the wild and planted up in Wisconsin and Minnesota a lot. It is occasionally planted in the Chicago, IL region, but not a lot in that it does not grow well in heavier clay soils or ones where the reaction is not acid enough or alkaline. (The similar-looking Austrian Black Pine with dark green, broad, and very stiff, prickly needles is grown there instead because it does well in heavier , alkaline soils.) There are some Red Pines planted in southeast Pennsylvania; some doing well and others died out during powerful drought. A most lovely conifer!

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