Fall is a Good Time Check for Noxious Weeds and Invasive Species

Midwest residents may be seeing vines in area woodlands and field edges this fall with red berries and orange or yellow seed capsules. American bittersweet (Celastrus scandens) is native, and has orange seed capsules with the seed clusters near the tips of the branches. Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) is invasive, and has yellow seed capsules with the seed clusters forming […]

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Propagating Woody Plants in the Spring

There are several ways to propagate woody plants using stem cuttings: Herbaceous: Cuttings come from non-woody herbaceous plants; Softwood: Cuttings come from new growth of woody plants just after leafing out in the spring; Semi-hardwood: Cuttings from partially mature wood, usually July to fall; Hardwood: Cuttings taken from dormant (before budding) mature woody stems in late fall winter or early […]

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Pruning Apple Trees and Woody Plant Control

Pruning trees–especially apple trees–is recommended between January and March each year to avoid potential disease and insect problems during the summer months. This winter period is also an excellent time to control unwanted or invasive woody trees and shrubs such as buckthorn, Siberian elm, Japanese barberry, and oriental bittersweet. Pruning Apple Trees For pruning apple trees, you want to prune […]

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Selecting fruit and nut producing plants for your landscape

There are many benefits to planting trees and shrubs in your landscape. Trees take in carbon dioxide and expel oxygen in a harmonious relationship with breathing animals and humans. “One acre of forest absorbs 6 tons of carbon dioxide and produces 4 tons of oxygen. Enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people.” (USDA) Trees improve soil and water […]

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Preparing your trees for winter

It may not seem like it with the unseasonably warm temperatures we’ve been experiencing this fall, but winter is on its way. Are your trees and perennials prepared for the changes ahead? Perennial shrubs and trees, especially conifers, should be watered generously until the soil freezes. Mulching trees will help reduce winter root damage. Young maples and thin barked trees may […]

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Woody Vegetation Control

Trees and shrubs are valued in the right location but may need to be controlled when invading areas where they are not wanted. Invasive trees and shrubs are non-native plants that can reduce economic values, damage the environment, or cause harm to human health. Native woody plants can be aggressive also, spreading into areas where they are not desired. An […]

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Morel mushrooms

The morel mushroom (also called yellow morels or sponge mushrooms) is known around the world but is most prevalent in the northern hemisphere. In North America it is found from Texas to Alaska, in each state. I have great childhood memories of going down to the creek on my grandparents farm and hunting for morels with my cousins. I think […]

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Expiring Conservation Reserve Program Options

Over 292,000 acres of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land in Minnesota will be expiring from this USDA program on September 30, 2012. Conservationists are concerned that many of these CRP acres which have been planted to native grasses and forbs may be converted to annual row crops due to economic land use practices and returns. This conversion will potentially increase […]

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Winter Habitat for Pheasants

Establishing good winter habitat for pheasants is often neglected until there is a devastating winter blizzard or ice storm, when it is too late to help the pheasant population.  When spring weather melts the snow drifts and landscapes become green, it is easy to again forget to make appropriate winter habitat available for pheasants to survive the next winter. Plan now […]

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