A Horse of A Different Color

Aesculus hippocastanum Flower in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Aesculus hippocastanum Flower (photo: www.comanster.edu)

Aesculus hippocastanum, or common horse chestnut, is a popular choice for park settings and a perfect tree for a large lawn.  Not to be confused with our nearly extinct American Chestnut, Castanea dentata, horse chestnut is native to Southeastern Europe, hardy in zones 4-7, with an expansive architecture reaching over 80′ tall and 40′ wide (at a growth rate of 2-3′ annually).  Horse chestnut prefers full sun with moist soil, has palmate, five fingered foliage that may bronze in fall, and a lifespan over 150 years. It produces cone shaped, lightly fragrant oatmeal colored blossoms in May, with separate male and female flowers on the same tree. Aesculus hippocastanum is also known for its curious golf ball sized (toxic-not edible), prickly fruit that falls in late summer. Following are a few other large aesculus alternatives to consider: [Read more…]

Turning Tragedy into Triumph

Fallen Trees Blog#1 in A Garden for All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Two Fallen Trees Hurricane 2011 (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

Weather wise, 2011 was a challenging year for those of us in New England.  January started with heavy snow fall, a sign of things to come.  Then the devastating hurricanes in August caused great floods, followed with a freak snow storm in October that resulted in thousands of trees being completely destroyed.  Up until 2011, Connecticut had been relatively fortunate as far as wide spread weather related tragedies go.

All around the world we are seeing severe storms creating unprecedented damages.  Across the country, hundreds of thousands of heirloom trees are burned to death in fires, stripped of their branches by harsh winds or felled during heavy floods.  Just as your family antiques are irreplaceable treasures, so too are the established trees of our landscape.  Once they’re gone, they’re gone forever. [Read more…]