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By ILPARW on Dec 9, 2017 2:11 PM, concerning plant: Pin Oak (Quercus palustris)

The scientific name is all Latin and means Swamp Oak. I think it is called Pin Oak because the lower branches often bear sharp short branches that hurt if one bumps into them. I've seen them growing wild in swamps in southern Illinois and along low creek areas in Maryland. So it does usually grow in bottomlands, but it occasionally is found in open upland sites from Long Island and New Jersey down into North Carolina to northeast Oklahoma & southeast Kansas to northern Illinois through southern Michigan back through much of Pennsylvania. Its lustrous dark green leaves get to about 6 inches long and almost as wide are 5 to 7 lobed with the sinuses being sort of uneven and U-shaped, and develop good orange to red fall color. It bears small round acorns to about 1/2 inch long with a thin, scaly, shallow cup that mature every two years like other members of the Black Oak subgroup. It grows about 2 feet/year and lives about 150 to 200 years. It grows in a triangular form for a long time until really mature. It does not develop a taproot and is easily transplanted. Pin Oak is abundantly planted over the Midwestern, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and upper South of the USA. It is available at many nurseries. This species does have to have acid soil. I think the breaking point is at pH 6.7 or 6.8 where above that point it develops iron chlorosis. I would say that more than half of the trees planted in the neutral reaction soils of northern and central Illinois do well, but there is a good number that die from the soil not being acid enough because they don't get enough iron micronutrient. I've some seen trees die in southeast Pennsylvania where the parent rock of the soil is limestone, where the pH can be 6.9 or 7.0. Treat with iron chelate injections in the trunk or lay down iron sulfate and/or sulfur granules over the ground if chlorosis of yellowing leaves happens.

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By ILPARW on Dec 9, 2017 1:38 PM, concerning plant: Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea)

I believe that this species gets its name from its good scarlet or red fall color. It grows in well-drained or dry soils in uplands, hills, and mountains from southern New England & parts of New York down to northern Georgia & Alabama & Mississippi to southeast Missouri of the Ozarks, far southern Illinois & Indiana, an area in northwest Indiana, southeast Michigan, and much of Ohio & PA. It grows from 1 to 2 feet/year and lives about 200 to 300 years. Its appearance is very similar to the Pin Oak that grows mostly in bottomlands and swamps. The Scarlet Oak has leaves to 6 inches x 4.5 inches that have deep, circular, even sinuses (rather C-shaped) and usually 7 lobes, to 9 possible. Pin Oak's leaves are usually 5 lobed, 7 lobed possible, with less even U-shaped sinuses. The oval acorns of Scarlet Oak get to 1 inch long and have deep, bowl-like scaly cups. I see some wild Scarlet Oaks every so often on the forested hills of PA and I have seen a few trees, still small, planted in some parks. Some large, diverse nurseries, native plant and specialty nurseries sell this species.

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By ILPARW on Dec 9, 2017 12:53 PM, concerning plant: Shingle Oak (Quercus imbricaria)

Shingle Oak got its name in that settlers used to like its wood for making shingles. The native range of Shingle Oak is from a little bit of Maryland and West Virginia and western Pennsylvania, all through Ohio & Indiana, southwest Michigan, most of Illinois & Missouri & Kentucky, western Tennessee, northern Arkansas, and a little of east Kansas and southern Iowa, growing in bottomlands and in uplands. It grows about 1 foot/year and lives about 200 to 250 years. Its beautiful shiny, leathery leaves are simple with no lobes, getting to 6 inches long and 3 inches wide. They get a good orange fall color and usually remain on the tree brown for most of the winter, like the similar Pin Oak. It bears small acorns to about 5/8 inches long that, like other members of the Black Oak subgroup, mature every two years. Even though it develops a taproot, it is still not difficult to transplant. I see it infrequently planted in some kind of park, school campus, or office park, and every once in awhile in a yard. Some larger, diverse nurseries and some native plant nurseries sell some, and they are mostly used by landscape architects or designers that know about this handsome tree. It should be planted more. I've never seen it in the wild.

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By ILPARW on Dec 9, 2017 11:42 AM, concerning plant: Black Oak (Quercus velutina)

Black Oak is one of the climax forest trees and it has a large native range from southern Maine to northwest Florida to east Texas & Oklahoma & Kansas, most of Iowa to central Wisconsin to southern Michigan to a tiny bit of southeast Ontario. I have not found this species just growing everywhere, as its very similar sister of Northern Red Oak. I've only seen it as a wild tree growing in acid, sandy or dry soils, such as around the Indiana Dunes, in the serpentine barrens of southeast PA, and the acid sandy soils of Delaware. It develops a deep taproot, so it has not been used by the conventional nursery industry as a shade tree for planting in landscapes. There are a good number of the native plant nurseries that grow some in large pots for sale. It grows about 2 feet/year and lives about 150 to 200 years. The leaves of Black Oak are a little larger than Northern Red Oak to about 10 inches long by 7 inches wide and it has less lobes and sinuses, being usually 7 lobes to 9 while Northern Red Oak usually has 9 to 11 lobes with more sinuses.

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By ILPARW on Dec 9, 2017 11:14 AM, concerning plant: Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra)

Northern Red Oak is one of the common climax forest trees, as it is the most tolerant oak in growing in shade when a young forest tree, in a large native range from southeast Canada & Nova Scotia down to southern Alabama to east Oklahoma up to northern Minnesota, widespread in many places. It is also one of the most common shade trees planted in landscapes in eastern North America and is offered by many nurseries. It grows about 1.5 to 2 feet/year and lives about 200 to 300 years. It is adaptable to many soils. It transplants easily as it does not develop a taproot. It bears one of the larger acorns for a member of the Black Oak subgroup that gets about 1.25 inches long that is loved by birds and mammals. It develops a good autumn color ranging from yellow to orange to red. It is a high quality plant that makes an excellent shade tree for landscapes.

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By sunnyvalley on Dec 9, 2017 1:18 AM, concerning plant: Tall Bearded Iris (Iris 'Marco Polo')

Ref: http://www.brightonparkiris.co...
states parentage as: Vert Gallant X Grace Sturtevant

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By ILPARW on Dec 7, 2017 9:23 PM, concerning plant: Chestnut Oak (Quercus montana)

This lovely large tree is a common climax forest tree in uplands from southern New England down to central Alabama in the Piedmont and Appalachian Mountains of the East to far southern Illinois & Indiana. It grows about 1 foot/year and lives 200 to 300 years or more. It likes well-drained acid soils. It bears a large acorn to about 1.5 inches that is loved by birds and mammals. It develops a large taproot so it is difficult to transplant, but it can be done B&B in early spring. Some native plant nurseries offer this. Someone must have planted one in a narrow parkway in Downingtown, PA where I took two shots of the whole tree.

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By ILPARW on Dec 7, 2017 8:48 PM, concerning plant: White Oak (Quercus alba)

White Oak is a common species as one of the climax forest trees in forest, but it sometimes does grow out in meadows or open fields from Maine to northwest Florida to east Texas up to central Minnesota over to a little of southeast Ontario. It is the state tree of Illinois. It grows about 1 foot/year for the first 30 years of its life, then slower and lives about 350 to 500 years. It has a deep taproot and is difficult to transplant, but it can be moved B&B in early spring. Some large diverse nurseries and native plant nurseries grow some for sale. Like other oaks, it is a host to many beneficial insect species that birds need to survive upon. The large acorns borne every year are eaten by birds and mammals. Like a number of other oaks, it is sensitive to any ground disturbance as construction nearby or a sudden change from forest to lawn. I consider it as the most glorious oak species in the world, and they are all good.

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By ILPARW on Dec 7, 2017 4:17 PM, concerning plant: Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor)

Swamp White Oak has during the last few decades become a popular tree in professional landscapes of parks, public properties, schools, universities, and such. It is medium fast to fast growing of about 1.5 to 2 feet/year and it does not develop a taproot, but has a fibrous system that makes it easy to transplant. It likes acid soil best of pH 6.0 to 6.5, and can get iron chlorosis if the soil is neutral; however, it can adapt to pH around 7.0 after awhile. It is sold by many larger nurseries and native plant nurseries. Its native range is from southern New England into much of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Maryland, some of West Virginia & Kentucky, northern Missouri, southern and central Wisconsin, all of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, and southern Michigan, growing in swamps, bottomlands, and along watercourses. Its large acorn gets to about 1.5 inches long and are loved by wildlife. Its leathery leaves are 5 to 6 inches long x 2 to 4 inches wide with large, irregular, rounded teeth and the underside of the leaves are usually whitish from thick plant hair. The bark is gray or brown-gray with papery flakes or heavy scaly for a long time before eventually becoming deeply furrowed and dark gray-brown. It lives about 150 to 200 years.

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By ILPARW on Dec 7, 2017 3:29 PM, concerning plant: Southern Red Oak (Quercus falcata)

The Southern Red Oak is a handsome large tree that is common in upland dry soils of many areas of the South into the Mid-Atlantic. Its native range is from southern New Jersey down into northern Florida to east Texas up to southern Illinois. Its lustrous leaves are 5 to 9 inches long that are 3 to 7 lobed with the terminal lobe longer than the others. The rounded acorns are small of about 1/2 inch long. I've seen quite a few in the sandy, acid soils of southern and central Delaware and some in a few spots in southeast Pennsylvania.

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By ILPARW on Dec 7, 2017 2:58 PM, concerning plant: Chinkapin Oak (Quercus muehlenbergii)

Chinkapin Oak is a most lovely member of the White Oak subgroup that has a good sized native range from the southeast tip of Ontario to some spots in New York & north New Jersey & Pennsylvania down to northwest Florida to east Texas up eastern Oklahoma & Kansas through half of Iowa to barely into southern Wisconsin through southern Michigan back to Ontario. It grows about 1 foot/year and lives about 200 years. It grows in well-drained to dry soils that are barely acid to well-alkaline. I first saw some growing in dolomitic limestone soil near Batavia in northeast Illinois. This is one of those species that is found only in certain spots and is not wide-spread all over the place as Northern Red Oak. Its acorns are very high value to birds and mammals and it hosts a large number of beneficial insects as other oaks do. A few large, diverse nurseries and some native plant nurseries sell it. I've only seen one planted in the Morton Arboretum landscape; otherwise, I've only seen wild ones.

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By ILPARW on Dec 7, 2017 2:23 PM, concerning plant: American Beech (Fagus grandifolia)

It is a magnificent large tree that is one of the climax forest trees of the eastern forests from Nova Scotia and far southeast Canada down to northwest Florida to far eastern Texas, Arkansas, southeast Missouri and southern Illinois through most of Indiana, northeast Wisconsin and upper Michigan and back to Canada. It is a slow growing tree starting out growing about 1 foot/year and lives about 200 to 300 years. It does not have a taproot, but a wide system of mostly shallow roots. It is very sensitive to any ground disturbance; therefore, any nearby construction or changing the environment around the tree from forest to lawn is often deadly for the tree. Its nuts are of very high value to birds and mammals and the foliage supports a good number of beneficial insects. It needs a good quality soil that is usually moist, and it needs acid pH. I once saw an American and a European Beech growing right together on the campus of the University of Illinois, both doing well, where the pH had to be about 7.0 that is typical of east central IL. It is sold by a few large, diverse nurseries and native plant nurseries and can be a good yard tree.

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By Paintedtrillium on Dec 6, 2017 7:56 PM, concerning plant: Cranesbill (Geranium macrorrhizum 'Ingwersen's Variety')

This particular cultivar is known for its red/coppery-red fall color. For me, plants in full sun in garden soil turned scarlet red and plum colors this fall, but plants near the foundation, which are growing mostly in pine duff, are still green. I'm crossing my fingers!

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By ILPARW on Dec 6, 2017 5:25 PM, concerning plant: Dwarf Fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii)

This is a wonderful species for landscapes in that it is neat and clean and has good ornamental characteristics of good foliage, flowers, fall color, and winter form. Its ashy gray twigs are flexible and sort of rubbery. The mother species is often about 3 feet high in nature, but can get to 6 feet or more. It does do some ground suckering. Its native range when discovered by botanists is in coastal North & South Carolina to eastern Tennessee down to spots in Alabama & Georgia, into northwest Florida in swamps, bottomlands, along watercourses, around and in upland woods. There are a number of cultivars selected. 'Mount Airy' is the most common one growing about 5 to 6 feet high.

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By ILPARW on Dec 6, 2017 5:15 PM, concerning plant: Dwarf Fothergilla (Fothergilla 'Mount Airy')

'Mount Airy' seems to be the most common cultivar of this species in the US. It was selected from the Mount Airy Arboretum in Cincinnati, Ohio for its good bluish-green foliage color, its abundant display of flowers that are larger than the straight species, its good yellow-orange-red fall color, its good vigor, and its 5 to 6 feet high form. It is offered by many nurseries and garden centers around New England, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Georgia, Texas, and more. The mother species has a native range in coastal North & South Carolina to eastern Tennessee, to spots in Alabama & Georgia to northwest Florida. It does need a good quality soil that is draining wet to moist to well-drained, and it can tolerate pH a little above 7.0.

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By Australis on Dec 6, 2017 1:05 AM, concerning plant: Lily (Lilium taliense)

There are two colour forms of this species: 1) the more familiar white and 2) a yellow, also known informally as var. kaichen. Lilium jinfushanense has also been recently merged into this species.

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By ILPARW on Dec 5, 2017 8:48 PM, concerning plant: Cedar elm (Ulmus crassifolia)

This is another tree of the southern USA and some of northeast Mexico. It is very similar to the Winged Elm (Ulmus alata) and to the September Elm (Ulmus serotina); the latter having bigger leaves of 3 to 4 inches long. This species has tiny leaves that are about 1 to 2 inches long x 0.5 to 1.5 inches wide, are very lustrous, dark green, stiff, and rough to touch and are sort of rounded in shape. Its tiny flowers develop in late summer and its dry fruits of samaras are about 0.5 inches long, deeply notched, and white hairy and mature in the fall. The twigs have two narrow corky wings. It is used as a shade tree in the south. Native from Mississippi to Arkansas to Texas. (Oooops! My 4th photo of ILPARW is that of Winged Elm that has longer, narrower leaves).

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By ILPARW on Dec 5, 2017 8:19 PM, concerning plant: Winged Elm (Ulmus alata)

The Winged Elm is a tree species of the Southern USA, growing wild from Virginia to central Florida to east Texas up to southern Illinois, being common in upland dry soils. Its tiny leaves are 1.5 to 3 inches long and 1 to 1.5 inches wide and are shiny and can sometimes develop a good yellow fall color. Its twigs are corky winged. In the South it is used as a street tree and as a shade tree. One person from Texas told me it seeds itself around a lot. I think it has outrun the Dutch Elm Disease and selected its own resistant progeny or already had resistance. I first saw one in southern Illinois at a cemetery of some of my relatives, and it looked good.

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By ILPARW on Dec 5, 2017 7:48 PM, concerning plant: Siberian Elm (Ulmus pumila)

The Siberian Elm from northeast Asia is not a really good quality tree which is very twiggy with brown fissured bark that is not interesting. I have seen a few that look good, but very few. It is fast growing of about 2 feet/year and it is brittle wooded and loses some branches due to storms, and drops lots of twigs much of the year. In many places in the Midwest, as in northeast Illinois, it is an invasive species that is usually a weed tree. It was used to replace the American Elm after the Dutch Elm Disease devastated the latter, but it does not compare. It has tiny leaves about 3/4 to 3 inches long that fall green or poor yellow-green in autumn. It should have been left in Asia.

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By ILPARW on Dec 5, 2017 7:48 PM, concerning plant: Siberian Elm (Ulmus pumila)

The Siberian Elm from northeast Asia is not a really good quality tree which is very twiggy with brown fissured bark that is not interesting. I have seen a few that look good, but very few. It is fast growing of about 2 feet/year and it is brittle wooded and loses some branches due to storms, and drops lots of twigs much of the year. In many places in the Midwest, as in northeast Illinois, it is an invasive species that is usually a weed tree. It was used to replace the American Elm after the Dutch Elm Disease devastated the latter, but it does not compare. It has tiny leaves about 3/4 to 3 inches long that fall green or poor yellow-green in autumn. It should have been left in Asia.

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