Quotes

Sensory Design: How Contemporary Projects Enhance Our Understanding of the Landscape

In recent years, landscape architecture has expanded beyond traditional projects to include land art projects, community-driven designs, and creative temporary uses for urban space. The range of these projects is vast and driven by human creativity, from Richard Serra’s project ‘Viewpoint’ in Germany, to Rebar Art and Design Studio’s ‘bicycle parklet’ located on Filbert and… More

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No Site Too Small

Imagine you own a small vacant plot, less than a quarter acre, in a quiet residential neighborhood. Its slope and wedge shape makes it less than ideal for development, but it is not serving any purpose sitting vacant behind a fence. It gets plenty of sun exposure, has a nutrient-rich clay soil and is located… More

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Want Pollinators? Plant Trees

Thanks to widespread efforts to raise awareness of the large declines in bee and Monarch butterfly populations, most people are aware of the need to protect pollinators.  Monarch butterfly populations have declined 90% in the last 20 years. Bees and other pollinators are in trouble too. Primary causes of the drastic declines in pollinator populations… More

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The History of Marker Trees

We are all searching for signs in our lives. Which way do I go on this highway? Where should I live? Where should I work? We take internet quizzes to tell us what career we should have and what kind of dog we would be and in what country we were meant to live. We look… More

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To Root Prune or Not to Root Prune?

One of the questions I am most frequently asked is, “How often do you root prune?”  This is a tricky question and one for which I wished there were a more clear cut answer. First let’s dispel a myth.  Ready? Ok, here it is. We do NOT root prune every tree in the nursery.  (Take… More

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Beyond “Green Side Up” Four Reasons Your Trees May be Failing

You’ve done your site analysis and ensured enough rooting volume for the tree.  You spent time carefully selecting the right species and cultivar. You’ve even inspected nursery stock and rejected specimens with uncorrectable root defects. In other words, you tried to do everything right. Yet six months later, the trees don’t look so good. What… More

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For Mulch

Last year,  Jim Urban wrote a post for this blog entitled Against Mulch. The principle reasons he cited for his position were: 1) Mulch floats and can clog drains and releases “lots of phosphorus” as it breaks down, and 2) work by Gilman et al. that suggest that mulch does not reduce evapo-transpiration. We discussed… More

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Are Natives the Answer?

My blog, The Garden Professors, has an ongoing and lively discussion about invasive plants.  Let me state up front that none of the Garden Professors is promoting invasive plants.  But the issues surrounding invasive plants are extremely complex and have profound implications for many groups with whom we work in landscape horticulture and urban and… More

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The Champion and the Elf: Variability of the Coast Live Oak

Nature vs. nurture is an old debate in human psychology: are we the way we are because of our genetics or our environment? Plant people know that both environment and genetics play a role in plant development.  Perhaps one of the most dramatic examples can be found in the Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia) in… More

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