Apr 02 2015
Garden Word of the Month
What’s that fragrance rising from a garden after a rain? It is petrichor; the earthy aroma is partly from soil bacteria called actinomycetes. AHS March E-BULLETIN
Kramer Comes to Call at the Kruse House
(Kramer, as in, ‘Kramer Tree Specialists’.)
Trees, like all plants in the garden, need care. And, who better to do it, than the tree experts, Kramer Tree Specialists! There are three huge maples in the front yard of the Kruse Garden that had numerous dead and low hanging limbs which desperately needed attention. So this was the year to invest in taking care of the trees. This particular job is called ‘pruning & crown raising’ in the trade. We spent a chilly afternoon in the Kruse Garden watching the tree trimming and the results are truly rewarding. The trees said ‘thank you’ from the bottom of their hearts…plants are sentient you know?!
The particular species of maple at the Kruse house is Norway maple, Acer plantanoides. This tree is native to eastern and Central Europe and southwest Asia. It was introduced into this country as early as the 18th century and became a popular replacement for diseased and dying Elm trees during the 1930s and 40s. Chosen for rapid growth and dense shade, Norway maples flooded the market. There are, however, drawbacks to this tree. The heavy seed crop and high germination rates lead to invasive tendencies and in many areas of the U.S. it is banned for sale. It is also prone to frequent wind damage, a constant problem for home owners and municipalities. Since the trees are so large they often cause significant damage to adjacent structures as the limbs break in storms and because of their shallow root system, it isn’t uncommon for the whole tree to blow over. The maple tree in the center of the Kruse garden is a perfect example of past storm damage. It has had lots of limbs cracked off in wind storms and consequently has an ungainly shape. Another of the maple trees in the yard appears to have been struck by lightning in the past (not uncommon given the height of these trees). You can see the streak down the trunk and the tree has large fungus growing in the crook of the tree.
Given the opportunity to contemplate the condition of these trees carefully we were reminded that gardens never stay the same. Not a problem…real gardeners step up and deal with it!
Looking forward to sharing lots of information about the Kruse Garden at the April Garden Club meeting.
Gardening with Spring in our step. -Billie, Angie, Tom & Kerry