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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Soil Volume Recommendations for Vines, Hedges, and Palms

We love trees. We also love woodies. For those of you who have been reading this blog for a while, you will know that we promote large volumes of non-compacted, biologically active loam as essential for street tree health and longevity. There are other plants which require soil volume and need attention as well. Vines,… More

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Video: Stomata Opening and Closing

You know how when you learn something in school, it sounds a little abstract until you actually see it? For example, I remember learning about what stomata are. Here is the definition according to Wikipedia: In botany, a stoma (plural stomata) (occasionally called a stomate, plural stomates)[1] (from Greekστόμα, “mouth”[2]) is a pore, found in the epidermis of leaves, stems and… More

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What’s for Dinner? Shop Your Sidewalk

While “summer reading” may conjure up frivolous beach novels that you don’t mind getting wet or sandy, may I recommend something both entertaining and informative this summer. The Dandelion Hunter: Foraging the Urban Wilderness by Rebecca Lerner is a combination memoir/essay about urban foraging, or the art of finding food and medicine in the plants… More

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