February 2020 Public Education Events

MGNV LogoThese public education events for are open to all, but space may be limited. To reserve a spot, please register online https://mgnv.org/public-education-events/vce-horticulture-programs-registration/.


Monday, February 3,
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Westover Branch Library
1644 N. McKinley Road, Arlington 22205
OR Thursday, February 13,
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Burke Branch Library

4701 Seminary Rd., Alexandria 22304

How to Build Inexpensive and Effective Grow Lights

Give your plants a healthy start with grow lights to ensure your seedlings get great light indoors, even when it’s freezing outside. Grow unusual and hard-to-find varieties of vegetables not offered at local garden centers, or farm nutritious microgreens indoors. Learn the pros and cons of light systems and options for creating your own. Instructions and material lists provided are to help you jumpstart your garden. This class is offered by Extension Master Gardeners.

Free. Advance registration requested at mgnv.org.
Questions? Telephone 703-228-6414 or email mgarlalex@gmail.com.
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TREE: Quercus alba (White Oak)

2020 Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

MGNV - Native Plants LogoYou will need plenty of space for this beauty, which can spread wider than it is tall, maturing at over 100 feet.  Often dominant in the canopy, the State Tree of Maryland supports 80 birds and mammals and up to 534 Lepidoptera species. How fitting that the largest recorded US specimen lived on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. At nearly 500 years old, the majestic Wye Oak fell in 2002. The Virginia Native Plant Society honored White Oak* as Wildflower of the Year in 2011.
More . . .

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Climate Change, Weather Extremes, and Oak Decline

By Leslie A. Cameron, Extension Master Gardener

Oak decline in the North Ridge neighborhood, Alexandria, VA, 2019.

In 2014, Jane Seward and Lynn Gas began noticing a lot of trees dying in their North Ridge neighborhood in Alexandria, Virginia. By 2019, it seemed the losses had accelerated dramatically. On a walk through about 20 blocks of their neighborhood, they counted approximately 90 dead and 90 seriously declining trees, mostly Quercus alba (white oak) and Quercus montana (chestnut oak), and they noticed that many of the chestnut oaks along a ridge line were dying. Some of the trees had infestations of ambrosia beetles as well.

In September 2019, the University of Maryland Extension’s Total Pest Management/Integrated Pest Management (TPM/IPM) Weekly Report for commercial horticulturalists included information about large numbers of white oaks dying in Takoma Park, a heavily tree-lined community in Maryland. Extension Specialist Stanton Gill asked readers if they were seeing similar problems. Over the next two weeks, Gill was inundated with reports of trees in the white oak group declining and dying all over the area. Continue reading

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Invasive Plants in Northern Virginia

By Elaine Mills, Extension Master Gardener

With increased interest in native plants of the Mid-Atlantic has come a growing awareness of the invasive plants that can threaten natives’ survival in natural areas within our region. The alien species, some of which were introduced to the United States as much as 200 years ago, cause environmental harm through their prolific spread by suppressing native vegetation, reducing biodiversity, and destroying habitat for wildlife. Continue reading

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