The Greenhouse Effect

Greenhouses have been given a bad rap. The term “greenhouse effect” implies that somehow greenhouses, and horticulturists who use them, are the cause of global warming. In reality, global warming and climate change have nothing to do with greenhouses but they are connected to the greenhouse effect. Warming in a greenhouse is the result of …

Bristlecone Pine (Pinus aristata and Pinus longaeva)

                What once was one species has now been divided into two. Pinus aristata is the Rocky Mountain Bristlecone Pine and is found at elevations of 7500 to 12,000 feet in Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. Pinus longaeva, called the Great Basin Bristlecone Pine, grows in California, Nevada, and Utah at heights of 5600 to …

Yellow-flowered Magnolias

                One of the first trees to bloom in the spring with showy flowers is Magnolia. Who can resist the large, fragrant, pink, white, or yellow flowers? Yellow? Where did that come from? We are all familiar with the pink-flowered Saucer Magnolia, Magnolia x soulangiana, or the white-flowered Star Magnolia, Magnolia stellata, but the yellow-flowered …

Tsuga canadensis (Canadian Hemlock, Eastern Hemlock)

                Name a conifer that tolerates heavy shade, and the answer “yews” doesn’t count. The correct answer is Canadian hemlock, Tsuga canadensis. Canadian Hemlock is native to eastern North America, from Canada south to Maine and Wisconsin and following the Appalachian Mountains south to Georgia and Alabama. In Wisconsin it inhabits the northern boreal forest. …

Picea orientalis (Caucasian Spruce; Oriental Spruce)

                When you hear the word “spruce,” no doubt the Colorado spruce (Picea pungens), Norway spruce (Picea abies), and White spruce (Picea glauca) come first to mind. If you live in northern Wisconsin, you might even think of Picea mariana, Black spruce. But few would think of Picea orientalis, commonly known as the Oriental spruce …

Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum) and Three-flowered Maple (Acer triflorum)

                Acer griseum and Acer triflorum are two closely-related plants of the maple section Trifoliata. Along with Acer maximowiczianum, the Nikko maple, they all have compound leaves with three leaflets. They are small to medium-sized plants with great autumn foliage color.                 Maples are members of the Sapindaceae or Soapberry family. Most of the 136 …