I have nothing against birds and the feeders that help them survive. However, I do wish bird lovers would consider the health of their living trees when installing bird feeders.
Once the Katsura tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) "swallows" the string, there is no way to correct the situation. The girdling that occurs leads to two huge problems: 1) water and food transport are limited and eventually completely cut off. Then the branches die.
2) The other problem is failure at the point of constriction.
In the above example, only one branch is affected and it's already dead. I couldn't really cut it off because I didn't want to deal with relocating the bird feeder. I suspect the branch will eventually fail. Then the owner should consider other ways of hanging the bird feeder.
Definitely help birds in your garden but don't forget about girdling and the death it causes.
Winter pansies and Dusty millers are basic plants installed for some winter color. But the planting above is backwards. Dusty millers should get bushy as they mature and they will most likely obscure the pansies behind them. That's not what we want.
Proper planting demands pansies along the curb to allow for color viewing. Note: the pansy colors should have been mixed a bit. The line pictured above is all purple.
Dusty millers should go to the back. They are treated like annuals and replaced in spring. Some home gardeners keep them around.
Don't forget to dead head your pansies as the fall season progresses.
It's mid-November and fall clean-up is in full swing. Below is a typical residential client example. A huge maple in front finished dropping its leafs ( leaf senescence). So I quickly cleaned it up and moved to the back.
There was more fun to be had in the back. Bramble encroaching from the back wild zone had to be pushed back and taken off cedar hedges.
No, it's not always beautiful work. Some projects are total grinds but this client had a real, I would say overdue, problem with encroaching bramble.
I grabbed a brush cutter attachment, safety hard hat with visor and headset attached, gloves, some gas and I went to work. An hour later it was all good.
All that's left to do is bedwork. Some minor hand pruning, evergreen shearing and leaf and weed removal. Then we'll have a happy client set for winter.
Also note that the lawns are clear of any crow damage. We applied nematodes this summer and, fingers crossed, the lawns will remain damage-free. The only bad news with nematodes is that they will have to be re-applied again next summer. But this particular client loves his lawn so there will be a fight.
This was my first nematode application and it was an important test. We know nematodes work. Especially in this setting. Large strata sites are more difficult to treat.
Once your fall clean up is completed you can look forward to next spring!
Vas Sladek, B.Sc., CLT
Red Seal Journeyman Landscape Horticulturist and ISA certified arborist