SHRUB: Ilex verticillata (Winterberry)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

This native deciduous holly produces prodigious quantities of plump, red, berry-like fruit (called drupes), which decorate the plant from mid-fall into early spring. ‘Red Sprite,’ a female dwarf cultivar, needs the services of the male ‘Jim Dandy’ to make fruit. Purchase at least two females and one male for a “berry” good show. Learn more . . .

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Protecting Young Trees from Deer

By Kirsten Conrad, Extension Agent for Arlington County and the City of Alexandria

Damage to tree bark from deer rubbing their antlers on them. Photo: Christa Rittberg, University of Minnesota Extension

Your young, newly planted trees are very attractive to our healthy white-tailed deer population. Not only are the leaves and tender young growth within easy height for feeding, deer will utilize young trees for rubbing their antlers and do serious damage to the bark and trunk of even newly planted trees.

Protection from wildlife is important for guarding the initial investment of planting. Overall, wildlife protection should be adaptive and based on need, cost, desired effectiveness, installation effort, and ease of maintenance. Continue reading

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New Public Education Offerings

RSVP for Upcoming Public Education Current Classes 

All classes are 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

View New Classes in the Public Education Virtual  Classroom

Sustainable Landscaping Urban Agriculture
Sustainable Landscaping Basics
with Amy Crumpton
Microgreens
with  Rebecca Halbe
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Word of the Week: Dioecious

dioecious [ dahy-ee-shuhs ] adjective: plant species having male and female reproductive organs on different individual plants

Dioecious Ilex verticillata ‘Red Sprite’ (female) and ‘Jim Dandy’ (male) in October. Photo © Elaine Mills

The majority of plants reproduce via “perfect” flowers, meaning they are complete in themselves, having both male and female organs within the same structure or at least on the same plant (monoecious plants). There is another category, however, the dioecious plants.

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GRASS: Schizachyrium scoparium (Little Bluestem)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Common through most of the Mid-Atlantic Region, Little Bluestem gives a brilliant landscape performance. Tight, erect, spiky bluish-green stems and leaves transition to a sizzling fall display of oranges, reds, yellows and purplish-browns topped by fluffy seed heads that persist into winter. Learn more . . .

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