When we completed construction on our home late in the year 2000, we had a small palm tree in a planter on our terrace. It was perhaps two feet tall at the time. Sometime in 2001 we planted that palm to the side of the house, and ever since it has been reaching for the sun. The opening sentence in the article below, combined with the photo from the same article that I have inserted with it, struck a chord. We need to think about this tree’s future in a way we did not when choosing where to plant it 20 years ago. My thanks to Margaret Roach– who wrote the article and is the creator of the website and podcast A Way to Garden, and a book of the same name–for this:
Many people find trees a little enigmatic. But there is help for the asking. (And it’s free.)
The biggest plants in our gardens often get the smallest share of our attention. And it’s not because trees don’t need or want attention — or because we intend to neglect them.
Maybe it’s because they look so strong, holding most of their foliage overhead and not making their needs known near ground level, where we are busy paying attention to everyone else. Or maybe we just don’t have much tree-care confidence.
At The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Ill., Julie Janoski and her Plant Clinic colleagues respond to gardeners’ and green-industry professionals’ questions — about 17,000 a year. And many of those questions are about trees.
From that sampling, the team can infer that people find trees a little enigmatic.
In 2020, they received calls, emails and visits from residents of 48 states, requesting help with plant and pest identification and treatment, pruning, arborist referrals and more. The questions are answered free of charge by two full-time staff members and about 45 volunteers, many of them master gardeners who receive 30 hours of training at the arboretum, which is about a half-hour west of Chicago and welcomes more than a million visitors a year.
The Morton’s mission is to act as “a champion of trees.” The 1,700-acre institution, preparing to mark its centennial in 2022, is a research center, conservation and educational organization — besides being an arboretum and public garden with more than 222,000 plant specimens representing some 4,650 species and varieties.
Ms. Janoski, a former landscape designer, has been the Plant Clinic manager for three years, working under the mandate she learned as a volunteer for five years before that: “To teach gardeners the best practices in plant care, based on the latest science,” she said, “unbiased and research-backed.”…
Read the whole article here.