Pecan trees (Carya illinoinensis) are as beautiful as they are useful – growing 75 to 100 feet with a wide spreading canopy. Pecan trees can be damaged by many things, including poor, heavy soil, frost or high winds, and of course, disease. Keep the trees healthy through proper watering and conduct a soil test to check for any nutrient deficiencies. Scab is one of the most common diseases to infect pecan trees, depending on where you live. Although fungicides are available, the average home grower lacks the equipment necessary for application. These fungal diseases enter pecan trees that have been injured by storm, improper pruning or damage during home construction.
Julie Christensen learned about gardening on her grandfather’s farm and mother’s vegetable garden in southern Idaho. Take care not to bury the trunk in soil when planting a palm tree, as this could cause rot. In the first year, do a foliar feeding in spring and a time release granular feeding with a 3-1-3 ratio every 4 months.
With very little palm tree care, these majestic plants will live in your landscape for a generation or more, providing shade, dimension and exotic beauty.
Plant propagation is an important step in producing additional plants in the garden or home.
While there are many types of plant propagation techniques, there are two categories into which they generally fall: sexual and asexual.
However, some seeds (like that from various shrubs and trees) require a chilling period underground throughout winter before their germination can take place.
Softwood cuttings are best taken in late spring to early summer, while hardwood cuttings should be taken when plants are dormant during fall and winter. Air layering involves slitting the stem and prying it open with a toothpick or similar device. When dividing plants, each section should contain roots, bulbs or tubers in order for the plant to thrive. Birds flock to feeders in winter, especially during cold spells, heavy snows and ice storms. For seed, using a mix of black-oil sunflower, white millet and sunflower chips (sunflower seeds without the shells) will cover most of your spring bases. Chickadees, nuthatches, house finches and cardinals love sunflower, and so do migrating rose-breasted grosbeaks. Suet is a favorite of woodpeckers all year, but in the spring, tanagers, warblers, bluebirds and kinglets also relish this high-energy treat.
Summer means lots of hungry young bills to feed, with some birds having as many as four or five broods of babies. Young and old birds alike will continue to eat your seed mix if it’s loaded with black-oil sunflower.
Suet eaters like woodpeckers are around all summer and love to bring the family over for a bite. Both seed and suet eaters are attracted to seed cylinders if they’re heavy on sunflower and nuts. Think of fall as spring migration in reverse, only with more birds, including young ones making their first trip south. Feed a mix with sunflower, millet and chips to see some of the same migrants you saw last spring.
Warblers and kinglets might join the year-round woodpeckers and nuthatches at your suet feeder.
Year-round residents like cardinals, woodpeckers, nuthatches, jays and chickadees are hunkering down for the winter and are looking for regular sources of food and cover to get them through the cold months ahead. Keep your seed and suet feeders filled so your yard becomes a regular stop on their feeding circuit. High-fat, high-calorie suet is the perfect food to help birds get through longer nights and colder temps.
Put out a seed block, making sure it’s heavy on high- fat sunflower and nuts that birds love.

Starlings, grackles and squirrels can dominate feeders, so consider switching to safflower to break their habit since they don’t like it.
Fresh oranges lure orioles to your backyard and might even tempt tanagers, grosbeaks and house finches. Many think of suet as a fall and winter treat, but it’s also a secret weapon for attracting spring migrants like warblers, tanagers and kinglets. Double the number of seed and suet feeders around your yard as birds are currently flocking, and there are more mouths to feed (like this black-billed magpie). Switch to hopper-style feeders, which are more practical than tray feeders at times when the moisture from rain and snow can ruin food. Check the condition of your feeders and squirrel baffles to make sure they will make it through winter. I LOVE your website, I visit it all the time, and I think this one is one of my fav’s. More ArticlesHow to Deal with Bully Birds at Your FeedersFree up your backyard feeders for your favorite songbirds by learning how to discourage bully birds. Sunflowers For BirdsSave money feeding birds by harvesting sunflower seeds from your garden. This disease is rarely serious, but in some cases, it can defoliate the trees in late summer.
Instead, your best strategy is to plant disease resistant varieties, such as Cape Fear, Desirable, Elliott and Chickasaw. Once the fungus enters the tree, it slowly rots the wood, weakening and eventually killing the tree. Growing palm trees outdoors in northern climates can be challenging due to their frost intolerance but some, like cabbage palm and Chinese fan palms, will survive temperatures to 15 degrees Fahrenheit (-9 C.) when mature. Choose one that is hardy in your region and situate it where it gets adequate light and has excellent drainage.
Larger trees should be grown in ground while smaller varieties, such as sago, are useful for growing palm trees outdoors in containers. Do not let the soil dry out completely for the first several months, but also do not let it stand soggy or you will invite fungal issues. Sexual propagation involves the use of floral parts to create a new plant from two parents. There are four factors influencing successful seed plant propagation: heat, light, water, and oxygen. Simple layering is accomplished by bending a branch to the ground, adding some soil over the middle portion, and then anchoring it in place with a stone. This is then surrounded with wet (or moistened) sphagnum moss and wrapped in plastic or foil.
By Anne SchmaussRobert KennedyNorthern cardinals are some of the most popular visitors during winter.
Times have changed, though, and birders are starting to realize how much fun it is to feed birds year-round. Lots of your favorites, like cardinals, chickadees, nuthatches and juncos, will stick with you through these cold, dark months and maybe even brighten your days a bit.
You’ll want to use large-capacity feeders so you don’t have to trudge through the snow as often to refill.
Fill feeders in late afternoon so food is available just before nightfall and at daybreak, when birds need a boost after the long, cold night. A wide variety of colorful songbirds are coming home to nest, while others are just passing through, so pull out all the stops by offering a banquet. The millet that falls to the ground might attract migrating white-throated, white-crowned and chipping sparrows. Feed live mealworms to bug-loving new arrivals like bluebirds, robins, wrens, warblers and mockingbirds.
Here’s a spring must: Display fresh orange halves, meat side up, on a spike or dead tree branch.
Even though nature provides plenty of bugs, berries and seeds, it’s fun to watch fledglings flap their wings, squawk and beg their patient parents for food at your feeders.
Chickadees, house finches, sparrows, cardinals, nuthatches and more will bring their babies to your seed feeders for a lesson in finding a free lunch.

Often, when you see several woodpeckers together at a suet feeder in the summer, you’re seeing parents teaching their big, awkward babies where to find a snack. These large cylinders last a long time and need little maintenance, making them perfect when you’re away on vacation.
If you surround your feeder with honeysuckle, salvia or trumpet vine, you should see increased hummingbird action, especially in mid- to late summer as young ones join their parents at the feeder. Hummingbird activity often peaks in September as local parents and babies join migrants from further north on the road to Mexico or Central America. Make sure your seed feeder has enough space so larger birds like cardinals and grosbeaks are comfortable. Also, freely toss seed mix loaded with millet on the ground in several places around your yard. Less natural food is available in early spring than at any other time of the year, since most berries and seeds from plants have been eaten throughout the winter and little growth has begun. In hot weather, sugar water can ferment quickly, so change the nectar in your feeder at least twice a week. No, it doesn’t interfere with hummingbird migration, and you just might get some stragglers. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 10, although they are most commonly grown south of zone 7. To prevent wood or heart rot, prune the tree regularly to remove branches damaged by ice or wind. There are many varieties of palms from which to choose, but consideration should also be taken as to the plants mature size. The area should have organic nutrients over a large area since palm tree roots will spread and should have access to these nutrients many feet from the trunk. Spread mulch several feet from the trunk out around the root zone to provide supplemental nourishment over time as it composts. Topping a tree is not recommended which is why it is important at purchase to consider the mature size. Seed stratification involves breaking, scratching, or softening the seed coat in order for the germination process to begin. Any lower leaves should be removed, and the cuttings should be placed in a growing medium (sand, soil, water, or peat and perlite) after being dipped in rooting hormone, which is optional but recommended.
Generally, spring and summer-flowering plants are divided in fall while the opposite is true of fall-flowering varieties, which takes place in spring. To get more birds (and more kinds of birds) at your feeder, just follow these simple seasonal tips. Bring bird feeders up close to the house, since most of your viewing will happen from inside. But by the time bugs become plentiful later in the spring, you probably won’t see many warblers, buntings or tanagers at your seed feeders. Lots of juncos, migrating sparrows and towhees can spread out to eat with plenty of elbow room. Buy disease-free trees from a reputable nursery and plant them in loose, well-draining soil.
To treat this condition, spray the leaves with a solution of 1 tablespoon zinc sulfate per gallon of water. Follow all package directions carefully and make applications every three weeks from the time leaves first emerge until the shells harden. No matter where you have the plant, knowledge on how to take care of palm trees will help you have a healthy specimen standing proudly in your garden. These might include different types of cuttings in addition to several methods of layering or dividing plants. In severe cases, the tree becomes defoliated, which can weaken the tree and reduce pecan production. Make applications based on soil test results or at a rate of ? pound per inch of trunk diameter.

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