Sales Representative & Gardening Coach
TEICH GARDEN SYSTEMS
Q. The street trees along Main Street are so nice. Do dogs really harm the trees?Ã‚Â
A. Yes. They do, but it’s not the dogs’ fault.Ã‚Â The person walking the dog is the one allowing and even pulling them straight toward the trees. Ã‚Â The dogs’ urine burns the roots and causes a salt build up in the soil which is toxic to the flowers and trees. What is also left behind is a foul smell (especially in the summer) and it is not pleasant for those who tend the tree beds. Ã‚Â If you have a dog, it is important that you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t let them eliminate near the soil.Ã‚Â If you see it happening, you could try nicely explaining and asking them not to allow their dog near the trees.
Two years ago, Robert A. McCaffrey
Realty had a new Flowering Pear tree planted in an extended planting bed
in front of their office at 143 Main Street.Ã‚Â Armed with his
donation and request to add Ã¢â‚¬Å“blueÃ¢â‚¬Â plants to it, it was my
pleasure to select and install some easy-care perennials.Ã‚Â A fellow
street tree enthusiast, Cecile Lindstedt (one of the talented and
dedicated tree garden volunteers) added a few more along with mulch
donated by the Village.
Last week, not only were the plants coming back but, looking up, here is where there had been a Ã¢â‚¬Å“tenantÃ¢â‚¬Â last year. Lining the edges of a street tree bed with rocks or Belgian block draws attention, but what works most effectively is a sturdy attractive structure to protect the tree. Ã‚Â This prevents
Fido from lifting and people from opening car doors into trunks or walking onto plants.Ã‚Â
Decorative iron street tree guards, used extensively in Manhattan, can be simple, match a buildingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s existing ironwork, or even replicate a pattern from our history, such as an iron bench or other examples waiting to be discovered in the Putnam County Historical Society & Foundry School Museum. Tree street guards (our local ironworks company is R & G Wrought Iron Railing on Rt. 9) should be installed at the outer edges of the exposed soil and high enough not to be a Ã¢â‚¬Å“trip hazard.Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â
Email your questions to
firstname.lastname@example.org. Barbara Hobens Feldt is a garden and
landscape consultant and designer, deer and gardening with wildlife
specialist, and author of Garden Your City.Ã‚Â See Hudson
Highlands Garden Design on Facebook for links on organic practices,
how-to tips, and plants for gardens, lawns, patios, and yards.
Bamboo, Wisteria & Lawn Invasives
By Barbara Hobens Feldt
April 30, 1011
Q.Ã‚Â There is a tall row of bamboo at the end of my road, can I try transplanting some to my yard?Ã‚Â
A.Ã‚Â Do yourself and future generations a huge favor and donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t. There are non-invasive varieties,
but be very sure of exactly which before you purchase or accept as a
gift. It is so very tempting to be lured by a full, delicate bamboo
plant swaying beautifully in the breeze at the nursery. Ã‚Â If there was
a contest held for the plant that causes the most neighbor disputes and
lawsuits, bamboo would be the clear winner.
Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Just say no.Ã‚Â It easily causes severe damage to driveways and has heaved up arbors, sheds and has grown through cracks in garage floors.Ã‚Â To see for yourself, drive slowly past the battle between nature and the highway department on the northeast corner of Rt. 403 and 9D in Garrison.Ã‚Â The northern tip of an established grove is less than a mile south of there, just before the dip where traitor Benedict Arnold fled to escape running into General Washington.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â
Bamboo is sneaky and before you know it, the damage it done.Ã‚Â Despite warnings, a client dug down and placed a 3Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ deep rigid plastic form to Ã¢â‚¬Å“containÃ¢â‚¬Â a stunning stand of four bamboo stalks.Ã‚Â Five years later, the next door neighbor informed his condo board that it Ã¢â‚¬Å“suddenly appearedÃ¢â‚¬Â growing on the other side of the cement fence.Ã‚Â Lawsuits based on encroachment are not rare.
Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â You can try burning, pesticides, and even professional excavation of your invasive bamboo and if you describe your frustration in the comments below, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll post the details of the secret organic weapon in the next column. Still determined to try just a little on that sunny far side of your property?Ã‚Â Maybe a call to your homeownerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s insurance agent will convince you not to grow bamboo on any structure you want to stay upright.Ã‚Â Ask if you are covered for damages to your own, neighboring, or town property.Ã‚Â
Q.Ã‚Â I love the scent and look of climbing wisteria.Ã‚Â What do you think?Ã‚Â
A.Ã‚Â I would suggest the tree instead of the vine. Wisteria (Wisteria floribunda & sinensis) vine is a beautiful and fragrant non-native that can pull out a window frame, collapse a gutter, and its heavy winding vines have even collapsed iron garden structures. This photograph shows a well-cabled, professionally pruned, and oh-so- tended wisteria vine that is stunning.Ã‚Â But save potential worries, money, and maintenance by choosing a wisteria tree that takes tending but is better behaved. These are non-invasive native alternatives: Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata), Trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans), and American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens).Ã‚Â
Q.Ã‚Â Did the lawn service wait too long to apply a pre-emergent herbicide this year since I now see dandelions?Ã‚Â
A. “Pre-emergentÃ¢â‚¬Â herbicides stop the seeds of annual weed plants before you
can see them in the lawn. Ã‚Â Corn gluten is an organic ingredient that
does the trick, but be sure to keep it away from any vegetable or
flower seed you have started growing.Ã‚Â Any weed killer will also kill
plants you want so donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t apply them on a windy day. The weeds
are already up (and spreading) so head out with your favorite dandelion
tool.Ã‚Â If you just canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t lift the whole root, put an extension
on your hand drill and pulverize it since you must get the whole root
to make any difference.Ã‚Â Although vinegar has worked for weeds in
gravel, a one-on-one removal of dandelions does it completely. It is
much easier to pulls weeds when they are wet. So wait until it rains or
just hose that section well before getting out the kneeling pad. The
more you get this year, then less the next but know that each one of
those yellow flowers produces thousands of seeds so if they are down the
road, expect more.Ã‚Â If you eat them in a salad or make wine, then
you are in luck.
Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Crabgrass and chickweed are also persistent weeds. A pre-emergent herbicide sprayed about two weeks before crabgrass germinates helps and cuts down on other annual weeds like wild carrot (Queen AnneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lace), carpetweed, and chicory.Ã‚Â Some weeds are considered positive like small numbers of plantain (it is edible and you can rub it where you were stung by a bee to stop the pain) and white clover (for food plots for attracting deer).
Email your questions to email@example.com.Ã‚Â Barbara Hobens Feldt is a garden and landscape consultant and designer, White-tail deer and gardening with wildlife specialist, and author of Garden Your City. See Hudson Highlands Garden Design on Facebook for links on organic practices, how-to tips, and plants for gardens, lawns, patios, and yards. Photos courtesy of B.H. Feldt
Questions may be edited for length and clarity. Photographs are encouraged to show your problem or design question. If considered for publication, you will be notified first for permission and photo credit. Submissions must include your name; request if you want your question to be anonymous since it will appear on www.philipstown.info and www.hudsonhighlandsgardendesign.com.