Water Blog

News, notes and thoughts from Blue Water Baltimore.

Nursery and Trees

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This is one of the earliest springs I can remember.  So far we have had the 6th warmest winter on record. I have seen redbuds in bloom near the University of Maryland and I can’t imagine what the Cherry Festival planners in Washington, D.C. are thinking.  Right now in my yard I have blue bells coming up, rock phlox in bloom, blueberries and serviceberries that just want to break open and flower.  With this week’s 70 degree weather I am sure more plants will be jumping ahead.

Showing off an American Elm at the nursery.

Herring Run Nursery grows…

At the Herring Run Nursery we have some exciting things going on.  We built a hoop-house over the winter to enable us to start growing our own perennials and get a jump on potting up some of our woody plants. We will have a nice crop of perennials in May in time for our Mother’s Day sale. We have added new plants that are well suited to both urban and woodland gardens alike.  We will have our new list of perennials on the website by the end of the month.

Vince Vizachero, Nursery Grower, has also found a nice group of native azaleas for this spring. He has also worked to get us better tagging and a speedier checkout and inventory system. We hope this all makes your shopping experience shorter and more efficient. Also, look for our new line of organic lawn care products.

Plant a tree for tomorrow…

The Once-ler says, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Unless…

With the release of the new Lorax movie, we hope homeowners and their kids will be ready to plant a tree this spring. Baltimore City was recently highlighted as having lost 5% of its tree canopy from 2001 to 2005. Its current canopy is 27%, but TreeBaltimore aims for the city to achieve 40% canopy coverage. About 1 million trees will need to be planted and grow to maturity to reach this goal. More than half of the increase will have to be planted on private property. The TreeBaltimore effort is working to plant more than 6,000 trees each year, but we need your help.

“Our native trees are much more magnificent than the Truffula trees.

In addition to providing habitat and food for our birds and bees,

Our native trees work hard to filter and slow down the runoff sleaze,

So won’t you do your part? Native Trees are what everyone needs.”

-inspired by the Lorax

 Ideas for getting a tree this spring:

Some tree species that you may not know but would be great for a shade tree:

Midsized:

Yellowwood  (Cladrastis lutea): Midsized tree like a red maple, flowers every 3-5 years with a large white cluster, yellow fall foliage, smooth gray bark. Rarely reaches 50′.

Blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica): Narrower tree, grows slow but with majestic stiff branching, gorgeous fall color, one of the first trees to color up in the fall.

American Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana): Native fruit tree, grows to 40’ tall, fruit is ripe after first frost in the late fall.

Large Trees:

American Elm (Ulmus americana) ‘Princeton’ or ‘Valley Forge’: A fast growing tree once established.  These two cultivars have been selected for resistance to Dutch elm disease.  Replant the tree that used to line America’s main streets.

Oaks:  Large trees that are long lived and have very high wildlife value.  Oaks as a species attract the highest number of moths and butterflies!  They are one of the longer-lived trees you can purchase.

Willow Oak (Quercus phellos): This oak is known for its small finger like leaves.  It’s fast growing for an oak and will live for generations to come.

Shumard Oak
Shumard Oak is a great choice for a canopy tree.

Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii): This oak can tolerate neutral pH soils. Has beautiful orange-red fall colors and provides fast growth. It’s a southern version of the northern red oak.

All these and more are available at the Herring Run Nursery. We hope to see you at one of our sales this spring!