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Industrious, delicate, colourful. The spindle is at its loveliest in autumn when its leaves turn russet and its pink and orange fruits ripen. Wildlife loves its leaves and fruit, and aphids flock to it, bringing with them an array of their predators. The fruits were once baked and powdered and used to treat head lice or mange in cattle. Spindle is a deciduous native tree, and mature trees grow to 9m and can live for more than years. The bark and twigs are deep green, becoming darker with age, and have light brown, corky markings.
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By Gary Wade, Ph. Our native landscape is the inspiration for this guide to native plants for Georgia gardens. We would like to acknowledge the following University of Georgia faculty who wrote the original manuscript for this publication: Mel Garber, E. Neal Weatherly Jr. We also extend sincere appreciation to the following individuals who provided images of the plants described in this publication. Any use of these images beyond this publication is discouraged and will require permission from the photographers.
We also express appreciation to the Georgia Native Plant Society for providing funds for technical support.
There are many definitions for native plants. Several references say native plants are those that grow naturally in a particular region without direct or indirect human intervention. Other references place a historical timeline on native plants, saying they are plants that were present in a particular area prior to European settlement of that area. Others say they are plants that have inhabited a particular region for thousands of years.
Even the federal government published an "official" definition in the Federal Register, defining native plants as those that are "naturally occurring, either presently or historically, in any ecosystem of the United States.
Before the development of the nursery industry, native plants were the only choice for landscape plantings. Early settlers transplanted dogwood, redbud, oak-leaf hydrangea and other plants with appealing qualities from the woods into their landscapes.
Harvesting native plants from the wild for landscape purposes is no longer acceptable and is illegal in some areas. Today, nurseries and garden centers offer a wide variety of native plants, and some even specialize in native plants exclusively.
A native plant community, left undisturbed and incorporated into a landscape, is low-maintenance and self-sufficient. Today, there is a growing interest in preserving native landscapes as "green space" in residential communities, giving them a park-like ambiance and providing space for birds and other wildlife.
A casual stroll through a woodland setting teeming with ever-changing flora and fauna is a relaxing and peaceful diversion from our daily lives. Native plants provide "watchable" wildlife habitats. Native butterflies, insects, birds, mammals, reptiles and other animals evolve with the native flora and are sustained by it year round, providing diverse food, shelter and support for native food webs. They also create a sense of place, fostering appreciation of our natural heritage and the diverse beauty of unique regional landscapes.
Weather extremes, either temperature or drought, have shown us one of the best and most practical reasons for using native plants — their adaptations to local climate. Many Georgians will recall the extremely low temperatures in December and January that killed or critically damaged many introduced species. Few native plants, however, were injured because of the cold hardiness they had developed over many generations.
When provided with growing conditions like those of their native habitat, native plants are dependable additions to cultivated landscapes. Ecological preservation is another reason for using native plants. With the increasing destruction of natural environments for urban and agricultural use, many plant species and the animals they support have declined dramatically in numbers and in range.
In fact, some native plants, having a limited growing range and very specific growing requirements, may decline or die when subtle alterations are made in their native habitat. Oconee-bells Shortia galacifolia and Florida Torreya Torreya taxifolia are examples of plants that require specific habitats and are rare in the woods of Georgia.
Failure to conserve, tend and preserve the habitats of these and other native plants can lead to their extinction. Habitat protection and preservation are obligations of all Georgia citizens. The ecological diversity in Georgia is complex and wide-ranging, from high mountain ridges of north Georgia to flatwoods and swamps of south Georgia. Among the geographic regions of the state, numerous ecosystems or environments exist where unique plants and animals have adapted. In some cases, plant species have adapted to very specific and restricted environmental conditions.
Others occur over much wider and more general environments. Georgia environments can be divided into a number of basic groupings: wet, moist, dry, upland or bottomland. There are more than distinct environments or plant communities in the state.
Depending upon past adaptive changes in each of these environments, some plants will be dominant while others will be rare or unable to survive. Plants grow where they do because they have finely adjusted to the local environment. For example, some plants require a bare, mineral soil for seed germination. A thick layer of pine straw or leaf litter on the surface of the soil will prevent this type of species from getting started.
Some bottomland species of trees grow well on upland sites once they have germinated. Their seeds, however, require wet soils in which to germinate.
Other plants are tightly constrained by the environment to small ecological niches or "homes. Planting trees in areas similar to their native habitat will maximize their chances of survival and success.
In nature, the macroclimate of an area, including winter and summer temperature extremes, precipitation and humidity, dictates the geographic distribution of a native plant. For instance, white pine and sugar maple can be found in the mountains of north Georgia, but the heat and humidity of the Piedmont and Coastal Plain restrict their occurrence in south Georgia. Fevertree Pinckneya bracteata , Red Titi Cyrilla racemiflora and Black Titi Cliftonia monophylla are limited to the southern half of the state because the soils and climate there satisfy their special growing requirements.
Environmental features such as moisture, soil pH and sunlight level of a smaller, more focused area, are called the microclimate. Subtle changes in microclimate influence where native plants grow. Mountain Laurel Kalmia latafolia , for example, is common in certain areas of north Georgia, but it is rarely found in the Coastal Plain. Pockets of Mountain Laurel, however, can be found as far south as the Florida panhandle in areas where it receives its required growing conditions, including adequate moisture, shade and cool soils.
Our native habitats are full of subtle beauty that can be skillfully and beautifully incorporated into our gardens. Few people can resist the dramatic and breathtaking beauty of native azaleas, the fragile white blooms of the Silverbell Halesia spp.
True plant lovers will carefully select from the array of plants available, both native and introduced, to create the most beautiful and functional gardens possible.
People who own naturally wooded lots or acreage will benefit from and enjoy the shade, coolness and beauty of a forest. There are several ways to develop these types of properties while capitalizing on their native beauty. One way is to leave the largest and healthiest trees that form the canopy untouched, remove weak, spindly and diseased trees, then selectively thin the undergrowth.
Another approach is to remove no more vegetation than is necessary to locate and build the house. This hands-off approach is more environmentally friendly. It preserves species diversity and distribution, and maintains the natural environment.
If other species are introduced, their cultural requirements should be compatible with those of plants already there. Unfortunately, many new landscapes do not have a plant community already in place. It takes time for a tree canopy and subsequent plant community to evolve on a site. If existing trees are small, delay planting shade-loving plants until tree canopies develop and cast shade.
Deciduous trees provide moist, fertile mulch for understory plants. Broadleaf evergreens, coniferous trees and shrubs are useful in providing natural windbreaks, screening unattractive views, and creating areas of privacy for outdoor living and enjoyment. In large, sunny, open areas, such as fields and rights-of-way, native grasses may provide a low-maintenance alternative to turfgrasses.
Broomsedge Andropogon virginicus and other early succession forbs, may already be present in open, sunny areas. Mints, goldenrods, asters and legumes can often be found growing naturally with many native grasses.
These areas can be mowed once a year to prevent forest succession. Otherwise, they can be left alone. The guidelines when planting a native landscape are the same as those for any landscape: select plants adapted to the soil, local site conditions and climate. Putting the right plant in the right spot will help ensure your long-term satisfaction and success with the landscape. Also, make certain all plants in a given location have similar cultural requirements for ease of maintenance. Native plants vary widely in their requirement for plant nutrients and soil pH a unit used to measure the acidity or alkalinity of a soil.
Since pH influences nutrient availability in the soil and nutrient uptake by the plant, it is a useful measurement to know before planting. A soil test , available through your local county extension office for a nominal fee, will provide information on the nutrient content and pH level of the soil. Many soils in Georgia are acidic pH less than 7.
Most native plants grow well at a slightly acidic pH around 6. Although native plants generally do not require supplements to their native environment, adjustments may be necessary when they are planted outside their native habitat to provide suitable soil fertility for best growth. The level of sunlight is an important consideration. Most large trees require full sun to grow and develop properly because, in nature, they are dominant plant species.
Planting sun-loving plants in shaded areas will result in spindly, weak growth, while planting shade-loving plants in full sun may cause leaf scorching or anemic-looking foliage. Plants that naturally occur under the shade of more dominant trees are called understory plants. To simulate the understory, plant shade-loving native plants where they will receive partial shade, particularly during the afternoon when sunlight levels are usually more intense.
It often requires one to two growing seasons to determine when a plant can adjust to the specific light environment provided. Furthermore, light levels change as the plant canopies mature and change. Water is essential for plant growth. In nature, plant growth on moist sites is usually abundant and lush. On dry sites, plant growth is often sparse and stunted. Plants vary tremendously in their need for moisture and their tolerance of moisture extremes. Northern and eastern exposures, slopes and bottomland are normally moist, while southern and western exposures, ridge tops and rocky soils tend to be dry.
Red maple, bald cypress, willow and buttonbush are common species found in wet areas, although they will also adapt to dry sites when planted in landscapes. Species that occur where it may be wet in winter and dry in summer, such as southern wax myrtle and yaupon holly, also are reliable landscape plants.
For a sustainable stream bank environment, plant native trees and shrubs. Over time, grass alone will not keep stream banks intact during flooding. Stream banks have moist, well-drained soils that fit the habitat needs of several native species, including rhododendron, mountain laurel, stewartia and oakleaf hydrangea.
Some outstanding garden plants reward us with beautiful autumn berries, fruits, seeds and seed pods in the fall. Don't neglect to include some of these in your garden, and you'll have plenty of interest outdoors as well as material for beautiful fall arrangements. Acer buergerianum , trident maple, ZonesWinged seeds samaras ripen in the fall and are often very abundantly produced. Ampelopsis brevipedunculata , porcelain berry vine, Zones
I have 2 year old small meyer lemon tree in the garden. it had 10 beautiful bright yellow fruits this winter now half of the leaves have fallen out. I guess it.
Home gardeners often become concerned when their fruit trees begin dropping fruit prematurely. In some cases, fruit drop is nature's way of reducing a heavy fruit load. In other cases, premature fruit drop may be caused by pests and diseases, adverse weather conditions or poor cultural practices. Apples may have a couple of periods when fruit drop occurs. The first is often after the flower petals fall off and may last two to three weeks. The very small dropping fruits are the ones that were not pollinated, so will not develop further. Many fruit species need to be pollinated by bees. Lack of pollination may be the result of cold or wet weather during the bloom period, or by a lack of honey bees. Also, if there is freezing weather just before the flower buds open, more fruit drop may occur. Other adverse weather conditions may also contribute to fruit drop.
A small tree can bring beauty and diversity into your yard while taking up very little space. One could be planted next to your doorway, on the edge of a driveway, in the narrow strip between the sidewalk and street, in the garden bed by your patio or even in a large pot on your deck. The woody trunk and branches will provide visual interest and habitat for wildlife throughout the year in a way that annual flowers and groundcovers cannot. Below is a list of a dozen small trees that have flowers and foliage that support pollinators, fruits and seeds to nourish wildlife, leaves in a variety of shapes and shades of green, and diverse bark and branching patterns. And like all native plants, each of these trees support other creatures from our local ecoregion and will help draw them into your home landscape.
Fall color is upon us, in all its heartbreakingly beautiful glory.
Flowering dogwood is recognized by most people for its spring floral display that can be white or pink. The showy part is actually a leaf-like bract under the tiny flowers. It is a common understory tree in wooded areas throughout the state. The Kentucky champion tree is in Warren County and is about 35 feet tall. Borers are a big threat to flowering dogwood, especially when its trunk is damaged by lawn mowers. It is best to locate dogwood in a bed to Cornus florida protect it from lawn mower damage.
Australian House and Garden. It's a misconception that if you garden in Australia's warm and coastal climates, you'll not be able to experience the sort of bold autumn colour and textures that are enjoyed by gardeners in more temperate regions. But hiding in full view are many beautiful trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals, that colour in autumn, such as stately Canary Island date palms carrying fountains of fruit, knee-high fiery flowers of cosmos 'Little Lucifer' or the glowing leaves of the deciduous claret ash. All of which provide the variations for recreating the looks and scents of an authentic, cold-climate autumnal garden. Liquidambar styraciflua The stately and reliable liquidambar, or sweet gum, is one of the most adaptable deciduous trees, colouring its leaves into varied shades of yellow, orange, red and deep purple as far north as the subtropical coast of Brisbane. Further inland, where winters are cooler, liquidambars colour reliably as far north as the Atherton Tableland.
Here are some of the reasons why fruit trees lose leaves and what to do when it happens. Signs of overwatering or underwatering a fruit tree.
In ancient times in Japan, autumn coloring was associated with the yellowing of the leaves of the Japanese maple tree "Momiji". In reality, no Momiji trees exist they are actually "Kaede" trees , but over time, the term "Momiji" began referring to the changing red and yellow coloring of the leaves. Ginkgo trees are known to have extremely long lives. Written in Chinese characters, the ginkgo tree also has another name "Kosonju", which means that it will not bear fruit until the grandchildren's generation.
By Gary Wade, Ph. Our native landscape is the inspiration for this guide to native plants for Georgia gardens. We would like to acknowledge the following University of Georgia faculty who wrote the original manuscript for this publication: Mel Garber, E. Neal Weatherly Jr. We also extend sincere appreciation to the following individuals who provided images of the plants described in this publication.
Common Name: Tree-of-heaven. Miller Swingle Synonym: A.
The fungal disease anthracnose is the most common cause of flowers turning black. The symptoms are small black spots developing on the flowers, stalks and small fruit. Preventative sprays can reduce the risk of infection. Fruitspotting bugs and bacterial flower disease also cause black spots on the inflorescence. Bacterial black spot invades young leaves and fruit mainly through surface damage caused by wind. Windbreaks reduce wind damage to trees and thus help to control infection. A sustained regular spray program using a registered fungicide will manage the disease.
David Trinklein University of Missouri trinkleind missouri. The mention of fall color associated with a woody plant normally conjures up images of trees with leaves vibrantly aglow in fiery hues of yellow, orange and red. In contrast, the fall foliage of hawthorns pales in insignificance to the color provided by the small, abundant fruits of these species. Additionally, unlike foliage color, fruit color tends to persist longer into the fall and early winter, providing extended landscape appeal.