Archive | October, 2015

Zoning of Plant Material

22 Oct

When I started in this business 44 years ago, the plant Zones were relatively new and were used by Nursery men and Propagators in the selection of Plants which made it into the lining out lists for future plants to be sold in Canada. Great changes over past decades or two have effected the plants presented for retail sale and re wholesale here in Ontario.

Transportation logistics and the Internet have made the world a smaller place, combined with Corporate Giants consuming 70% of the retail market place across North America. Plant conditioning,  long warranties and flush presentation have effected the way we see and buy plants.

Last Winters harsh lesson will effect profitability and many retailers and landscapers will heed the warning of pushing the planting bar up 1 more notch. Planting in Toronto along the lake versus planting north of the 407 should be a strong consideration when Fall planting , fresh West Coast products in wind swept exposed subdivisions in the Northerly extremes of the GTA.

History and experience goes hand and hand and the Plant Zoning has been a good guide line which should strongly be revisited when making an investment in plants. There are other means available to ensure good results, like hardening off plants, some Winter protection and waiting for Spring to plant items that are highly likely to suffer a bad winter season.


Gingko's in Fall Colors

Gingko in Fall Colors


Maples In AutumnColors

Maples In AutumnColors

What’s All That Browning in My Evergreen Trees

9 Oct

At this time of the year our phone and Email is busy with enquires about the title of this blog. Two trees that cause most concern are Cedars and White Pine.

Like all living things we shed skin and hair as we grow and develop. Trees are no different. If a tree didn’t shed previous years needles it would be 10 times heavier than normal with no ability to hold up all the compiling needles from previous years causing branches and main trucks to break from sheer weight. A large White Pine would have a pile of needles 100 inches deep for a 100 year old tree roughly 1″ per year x’s 100 years. As trees cannot move this is the only method the tree can use to provide nutrient buildup below the drip line for its roots to amass the nutrients needed to further growth.

Cedar trees like others also protect the future for the species by developing a much heavier seed count after a severe Winter or very hot drought Summer. The seeds are brown the same color as the molting vegetation and needles so tress look like they are dying to many people.

The process on the average take 3 or 4 weeks to complete. A good strong wind or heavy rain will bring the tree back to its normal Evergreen self quickly.

When walking through the woods on a nice fall day and the ground is covered with soft brown needles with mushrooms poping up this is truly Canada, which give us 4 beautiful seasons with all its changes and surprises.



When Seeking Professional Advice, where’s the middle ground

2 Oct

Every year we receive emails, calls and visits regarding a tree or tress not doing well, or not up to expections. Warranty is one thing, but expectations are important for our customers and essential for future business and referals. So we are concerned that we do proper follow up. When a client calls a professional Arborist in a situation is incubated that creates a who’s right issue. The arborist has to justify his time and a report is required for payment in most cases. As professionals in our field its not good to be critical of our peers. Plants as people all carry potential disease and illness within, not all things will blow up into full born situations where the plants are at risk as in people versus cancer, diabetes or heart and stroke problems.

Fertilizing, proper watering, right locations, good soil all will affect a plants performance. Some plants that are challenged with one of all of the above need time to establish or find level of establishment based on conditions of a new home. The seller still has as much investment as the pu

rchaser till the warranty is completed. Send a picture make a call and usually an answer came be found at the level before others are required.

This is my personal opinion.

Paul Offierski


Fall foliage

Fall foliage

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