Tree Articles

Heavenly Bamboo

heavenly bambooThere is no better name for this shrub than heavenly bamboo, (even if it isn't bamboo).  We are always on the hunt for plants that stand up to the grayness, dullness, and darkness of winter with their bright colored foliage, berries or even flowers. Heavenly Bamboo, as you can see from the picture, is a champion in this category, with an abundance of bright red leaves on its new growth and cascades of berries that make it a real looker. In fact, a healthy specimen properly fertilized has color variations all year long:

"The semi-evergreen, delicate foliage of most varieties of this hardy plant shows different colors every season—pinkish in the spring, then fresh, light green, then bronzy purple in the fall and bright crimson in winter. Large clusters of creamy or pinkish white blossoms appear in late spring, followed by showy red berries." (Cheryll Greenwood Kingsley, WSU Whatcom County Extension)

This beautiful and somewhat delicate looking plant is actually fairly rugged and uniquely suited to our climate and soils. It is cold, heat, and drought tolerant, has rugged woody stems, comes in a variety of forms and sizes, and is easy to care for and transplant.  It is not expensive considering its virtues and is readily available from vendors around our valley.

How to Properly Trim Your Fruit Trees

Trimming your fruit trees is easy, and if you do it correctly, it will result in healthier trees and increased fruit production. Trimming young fruit trees correctly encourages the growth of healthier, stronger branches. Though as saplings that doesn't matter, it will be important when the tree is mature and bearing fruit, or to hold up under high winds or an odd snowstorm. Trimming mature trees incorrectly could reduce fruit production, so it is important to get it right.