Versatile Chinese Tallow Tree

Just as every human being is a multi-faceted creation of immense — if not yet fully developed — potential, so it is with plants. Take Chinese tallow tree, for example.  In 1772, Benjamin ...

How to Care for Fire Damaged Trees

After a fire, plants may look dead but still be alive. When evaluating what to do with a plant burnt by fire, the best advice is that given when a plant has been burnt by freezing temperatures:  wait...

The History of Fruit Tree Grafting

No one knows when grafting of plants began.  Initially, grafting was thought to be an extension of vegetative or clonal propagation by cuttings.  Just as softwood (shoot) or hardwood cuttings, detach...

Black Fruit, Red Fruit, and Birdscapes

There is a reason that mulberries and blackberries are so attractive to birds. In whatever stage of their development, whether red and unripe or black and ready to pick, mulberries and blackberries s...

Why Do Trees Have Bark?

It happened that a certain student, full of philosophical curiosity, went to a sage, someone steeped in ancient wisdom, and complained, “I don’t understand,” the student began. “Why did God create a ...

Australian Natives

If you take a map of the world and draw a horizontal line through Los Angeles, you will eventually reach southwestern Australia.  Any plant that grows there can grow here, too.  The sea- bordering, s...

Replant Disease

Have you — or, more precisely, one of your newly planted fruit trees or roses — ever been a victim of replant disease? Now that spring is upon us in earnest, planting decisions are being ...

From Aleppo Pine to Silk Tree

“For about 8 years we enjoyed a lovely Aleppo pine on my hillside yard.  This tree was purchased in a large box and was quite mature when we brought it in and it flourished for many years.  We ...