northiowalandscaping

Take Splendor in Maples

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What is better than sitting in the shade under a large maple tree on  a hot summer day drinking lemonade? 

Or taking splendor in the yellows, oranges, and reds of a maple tree in the fall? 

Maple trees have stood the test of time. And now there are new varieties available that will help you choose a maple best suited for your yard.

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Here are some of our best selling maples:

Amur Maple: Small maple in single or multi stems, beautiful red fall color, grows 15’

Autumn Blaze – Stunning bright red color in fall – cross between a silver and a red maple, fast growing but not as sturdy as a sugar maple, upright grower 50-60’

Brandywine – beautiful deep red/burgundy color in fall, Seedless, oval shape, 30-45’

Burgundy Belle – beautiful deep red foliage in fall, 45’

Crimson King or Royal Red – deep burgundy color all year, slow growing but worth the wait, grow 35’

Deborah- Foliage has red cast in spring, turns deep green in summer, grows 40-50’

Emerald Luster – a Norway maple, fast growing but sturdy, bright green leaves in summer, resistant to leaf tater, yellow in fall, grows 45’

Matador: beautiful red fall color, grows 40-50’

Red Sunset- Early fall color of bright orange/red, fast growing, 40-50’

Silver Maple- if you had a lot of seeds this spring you may have a silver maple, fast growing but not as sturdy or long lived as sugar maples, good for windbreaks, grow 50-60’

Sugar Maples:  Sugar maples bring us some of the most beautiful colors of fall.  We carry

·      Fall Fiesta – this variety is very resistant to winter sun scald on the bark grow 50-75’

·      Green Mountain -  Beautiful orange/red fall color, grow 40-60’

·      Majesty – Beautiful orange/red color in fall, grow 60’

Sun Valley – a small maple if your space is limited, beautiful red fall color, grows 25’

 MORE: 10 Reason to Plant a Tree HERE

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

 

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What's Blooming: 5/22/19

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I know the weather hasn’t been feeling like spring, but the blooms at the nursery and around town are telling us otherwise!

Here’s a round up of some of the things that are blooming at the nursery, in my yard, and around town!

First up, creeping phlox. The top left picture was taken on Main Street in Clear Lake. They are putting on quite the show right now!

First up, creeping phlox. The top left picture was taken on Main Street in Clear Lake. They are putting on quite the show right now!

I’m sure we’ve all noticed the Crab trees around town in all their glory. I just wish they would last longer!

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Lilacs are blooming! And they smell so good! Want to add some fragrance to your landscape? Here’s an article to get you started  HERE

Lilacs are blooming! And they smell so good! Want to add some fragrance to your landscape? Here’s an article to get you started HERE

Daffodils and irises make a lovely combination.

Daffodils and irises make a lovely combination.

And an old classic, the bleeding heart, pic taken from my yard.

And an old classic, the bleeding heart, pic taken from my yard.

So many beautiful blooms right now and we are just getting started!

What’s blooming in your yard?

What's New for Shrubs

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The varieties of new shrubs coming on the market is staggering! We can hardly keep up with all the new ones. But the new varieties offer great qualities of disease resistance, better and longer lasting color, more blooms, and dwarf selections of some of the “old favorites”.

Here are just a few of the newer varieties that we carry at NP that you may want to consider.

Barberries (Multiple new varieties -here are some of the ones we carry)

Cabernet:  Deep burgundy foliage, grows 2-3’

Cherry Bomb: Crimson burgundy red, compact, grows 3-4’

Japanese Concord: Deep burgundy/purple, compact grows 1 ½-2’

Golden Ruby: Coral to orange foliage, Grows 2’

Orange Rocket: Bright coral to orange foliage, Grows upright 4-5’

Sunsation: Golden Yellow, slow growing 3-4’

Exochordia (Pearlbush)

Green with profuse beautiful pearl like white blooms in spring. Grows 4-5’

Hydrangea (Multiple new varieties -here are some of the ones we carry)

Bobo – Dwarf, white flowers turn to pink, grows 3’

Candy Apple – Flowers lime green, grows 4-5’

Quick Fire – White blooms turn fiery red , grows 6-8’

Seaside Bar Harbor – Similar to Annabelle but more compact, grows 4’

Seaside Cape May – Large lacecap blooms in blue/pink, grows 3’

Strawberry Shake- Large blooms white turning pink, grows 4-5’

Spireas:  (Multiple new varieties- here are some of the ones we carry)

Birchleaf: A smaller version of the old fashioned “Bridal Wreath”, blue green foliage which resembles eucalyptus leaves, grows 3-4’

Dakota Goldcharm: Dwarf, compact, gold leaves, pink blooms, grows 2-3’

Pink Sparkler First Edition: Deep green with pink blooms, Grows 3’

 Weigelas (Multiple new varieties – here are some of the ones we carry)

Dark Horse: Burgundy/bronze leaves with pink blooms, grows 3’

Rainbow Sensation First Edition: Variegated leaves, pink blooms, grows 3-4’

Wine and Roses: Deep burgundy foliage, pink flowers, grows 4-5’ 

Pruning Evergreens and Boxwoods

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Pruning evergreens and Boxwoods

I hope you have enjoyed some of our other articles on pruning (click the title below to view the other articles!)

Today’s topic is all about pruning your evergreens (shrubs and trees) and your boxwoods.

Evergreen shrubs and Boxwoods

A few of the varieties of evergreen shrubs require little or no pruning.

Some of these include Hetz Midget and Danica Arborvitae, Blue Star Junipers, and Dwarf Japanese Garden Junipers.

Most other evergreen shrubs will benefit from trimming. These would include plants such as Boxwoods, Yews, Mint Julep Junipers, Mugo Pines, upright evergreens, and many others. 

Generally trim once or twice a year in early spring and/or in early fall. Trim just to shape the plant. Do not do extreme pruning.

If evergreen plants have become very overgrown, you may have to trim severely to get them back in to a good shape. However, they may not look good for a season or two. Avoid this problem by trimming once or twice a year.

Evergreen Trees

Young evergreen trees can be trimmed to help shape them. Trimming will also cause them to be more full and dense.

Check the leader (top branch ) of the tree. If there are 2 main leaders, trim out the weakest of the 2. This will allow 1 strong leader to take over.

Generally the best time to trim evergreen trees is just after the new growth, or the “candle” has emerged (usually early June). Trim off about ½ of each candle. You may also trim as needed to shape the tree.

EVERGREENS

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Evergreens add year round beauty and interest to your yard. They add shade, habitat, and protection for wildlife. Evergreen windbreaks slow down winter and summer winds to reduce heating and cooling bills.

Years ago choices were limited and evergreens planted around home foundations often became over-grown and unruly. Today we have hundreds of varieties to choose from.

Here are a few common varieties of evergreen options today:

Low Growing Evergreens

Some low growing evergreens may get only 6 inches tall but spread 6-8 feet. These are useful on banks or wherever you want to fill in an area with a low growing shrub. Some varieties include Blue Chip Junipers  and Icy Blue Junipers. 

For evergreens around a foundation, there are new dwarf varieties that stay small and compact and require little or no trimming. Some of these include Hetz Midget Arborvitae, Danica Arborvitae, and Blue Star Junipers.

 Mid-size Evergreens

There are many new varieties of mid-size evergreens that grow anywhere from 3 to 6 feet tall. They come in a variety of foliage and colors. Mint Julep junipers are deep green and are a good foundation plant. Sea of Gold Junipers are green with golden tips for added interest. Globe Blue Spruce grow 4-5 feet tall with a rounded shape, a very blue color, and require little or no trimming. Dwarf Norway Spruce also grow into a similar size and shape but are a deep green color.

If you have a lot of shade, Yews are your best option. These are deep green, soft needle evergreens that tolerate full or part shade. Taunton Yews grow 3-5 feet tall and wide and can be trimmed.

Upright Evergreens

For some added height, upright evergreens are a good choice. Emerald Arborvitae are deep green and grow 12-15’ tall but only 3-4’ wide. Blue Arrow Junjpers grow 12 feet tall but only 2 feet wide. Techney Arborvitaes are often used on farm windbreaks. They grow about 15 feet tall and 6-8 feet wide. There are many varieties of upright junipers, yews, and other arborvitaes to choose from.

Evergreen Trees

There is nothing more stately than a 100 year old, 100 foot tall  drooping Norway Spruce. These have survived the test of time. Unfortunately some tall evergreens have become susceptible to disease. 20 years ago Colorado Spruce were a favorite, but these have now become prone to a disease and are no longer recommended.

Eastern Red Cedars are the only native evergreen to Iowa. These have also survived the test of time and can be seen growing wild in ditches and along roadways. Although they are not the most beautiful shape, they survive the tough Iowa winters and thrive here.

Ornamental Evergreens

One of the most fun new additions to the plant world are ornamental evergreens. A Globe Blue Spruce Tree is basically a Globe Blue Spruce on a 3 to 5 foot stem. Some old traditional evergreens are now trimmed into pom pom shapes, spirals, and other interesting forms. These all add interest and some fun to your landscaping.

Globe Blue Spruce in the snow

Globe Blue Spruce in the snow

Care and Maintenance of Evergreens

Care and maintenance of evergreens will extend their life and keep them looking beautiful. New plantings should be watered 2-3 times a week for the first season. Established plantings are usually self sufficient but still need to be watered in prolonged periods of dryness. Be sure plants are well watered going into winter. This helps prevent winter burn.

It is good to fertilize evergreens with Miracid fertilizer at least 2-3 times during the early growing season. It is best to not fertilize in the fall. Trim evergreens to keep a nice shape. Most can be trimmed in the early spring. For evergreen trees it is often recommended to trim one half of the “candle” as new growth emerges.  

If you have a special need for an evergreen or have questions, feel free to call the nursery.