Tag Archives: Trees

Redbud Trees

Redbud My first acquaintance with the redbud dates back a quarter a quarter of a century. It was on an excursion to the historic spot of Starved Rock on the Illinois River.  Everywhere the bluffs were colored with the blossoms of the redbud.  To me, who had never seen this plant before, it we a […]

Snow Catchers

Snow Catchers  Snow transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary.  Dull landscapes turn into breathtaking splendors and, trite though it sounds, into a winter wonderland.  Plant horizontally branched trees and shrubs to catch the snow and hold it aloft until it melts.  Bur and White Oaks with their burly outstretched arms do it best; their open […]

Save Our Savannas

Which is worse? This?  Buckthorn-choked savanna? Or this? A lawn grown under the oak trees, mowed, fertilized, and watered on a regular basis. Well, this one certainly looks better, carefully kept, all neat and tidy. I hope you already know the answer.  Actually, they are both terrible.  Both sites guarantee the demise of our oak […]

Fiery Fall Foliage

Fiery Fall Foliage First Week in November The Chicago area landscape was formed by ice.  As the Wisconsin glacier receded about 13,000 years ago, it deposited glacial till it had collected when it moved forward—boulders, stones, gravel, sand, and clay particles—and built overlapping moraines.  The material dropped out unevenly thereby creating rolling hills, ridges, and […]

Should Leaf Blowers Be Banned?

Should Leaf Blowers be Banned?  For those of us who enjoy a walk around the neighborhood on a lovely fall weekend,  noisy leaf blowers with a multi-decibel whine can destroy tranquility, conversation, and ones hearing.   Birdsong,  rustling leaves,  and laughter are drowned out.  And noise isn’t the only pollution the leaf blower produces.  It also […]

A Kaleidoscope of Color

A Kaleidoscope of Color  In autumn, most leaves turn to an all over solid color such as cranberry, scarlet, or gold.  But a few turn slowly, with different pigments showing up at different times, thereby creating  multi-colored leaves.  Here are my two favorites, both of which I have planted in my savanna garden on the […]

FALLEN LEAVES–Part I

FALLEN LEAVES–Part I       The City of Elgin spends $1000’s of dollars every year disposing leaves from private property.  Is this necessary?       Let’s not be so quick to have them hauled away. Fallen leaves can be beautiful. The ground was blanketed with wet leaves of every hue from livid crimson […]

Flames of Scarlet and Gold

Flames of Scarlet and Gold Frequently seen on magazine covers and calendars in fall, Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) is the quintessential tree of autumn with its brilliant scarlet, tangerine, and topaz foliage.  It’s the first shade tree to color, starting as early as late September,  continuing through the end of October.  A majestic tree, it […]

Returning Birds

For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtles is heard in our land. Song of Solomon 2:11-12   2ND WEEK IN MARCH Returning Birds   In 1948, Paul Müller of […]

Underplanting Trees

Underplanting Trees in the Yard and on the Parkway True or false: Mulching  a tree circle with wood chips is the best thing for a tree,  ecologically. Actually, a wood chip mulch is the 2nd best thing for a tree.  It keeps lawn mowers and string trimmers from damaging the tree bark, it keeps down weeds, […]