Stillwater News Press

Garden

March 1, 2014

What’s Blooming 03-02-14

Volunteers help wind clean tree’s canopies

I like to think of the wind as nature’s way of cleaning out the tree’s canopy. And here lately, there has been a lot to clean up.  

Every year in February, we host an Arboretum Service Day. Several certified arborist from across the state come out and spend the day climbing, cutting and chipping the larger branches on the trees in the arboretum. We also have service groups from around the area come out and help prune and haul off the smaller limbs. The Botanic Garden staff would like to thank Eshleman’s Tree Service, Southern Tree Preservation, Certified Arborist Tom Quick, the Oklahoma State University students from the Service-Learning Volunteer Center, TBG Ambassadors, and the Payne County Master Gardeners for their hard work this year. We had great weather for this event — and a special thanks to Old School Bagel Café for their generous donation that kept our bodies fueled throughout the day.  

This is a great time of year to get out and prune your trees and shrubs.  When pruning, remember the three D’s: dead, diseased and damaged.  Those are the branches you want to start with first. After you have your plant in healthy condition, you can then prune for shape. Remove any suckers, rubbing or crossing limbs or limbs that are hanging too low. Cut at the branch collar so the tree can heal properly. If you make a cut and leave too much of the branch still on the tree, you increase the possibility for disease to enter and cause lasting damage to the tree. Also, if you have a flowering shrub that has become overgrown and doesn’t flower as much anymore, you can coppice prune (cut back to the ground) and this will rejuvenate your shrub.  

Now is also the time to get out and cut back your grasses. You want to cut the grasses back before the new growth begins. If the new growth is already peaking up through the old blades, just don’t cut back last year’s growth as short. You won’t hurt the grass if you do cut back the new growth, but your new blades on the grass will have blunt straight ends and not sleek, pointed ends.  

If you are looking for a place for your group to put in a few volunteer service hours, contact me at laura.payne@ok-state.edu.

Laura Payne is the volunteer and events coordinator at The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University and a field producer for the television program “Oklahoma Gardening.”

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