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By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | January 17, 2013
I'm losing one blue spruce after another. Branches die at the base near the trunk, though tips stay green at first. Then it works its way up until the entire tree dies. It takes a few years. I don't see any signs of insects. They're planted on a hill in clay soil. Cytospora canker disease is extremely common on blue spruce. This fungus targets blue spruce stressed by drought or poor site conditions. Spores invade through openings such as mower wounds. Older (lower) branches are more susceptible than younger ones.
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By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | January 17, 2013
I'm losing one blue spruce after another. Branches die at the base near the trunk, though tips stay green at first. Then it works its way up until the entire tree dies. It takes a few years. I don't see any signs of insects. They're planted on a hill in clay soil. Cytospora canker disease is extremely common on blue spruce. This fungus targets blue spruce stressed by drought or poor site conditions. Spores invade through openings such as mower wounds. Older (lower) branches are more susceptible than younger ones.
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By Ellen Nibali and David Clement and Ellen Nibali and David Clement,Special to The Sun | June 23, 2007
I never heard of gypsy moths on blue spruce, but they're eating the top of mine! What do I spray? It's too prickly to band. Gypsy moths are back, and spruce is a new target. It's too late this year to spray with Bt, the recommended insecticide. Right now, shade tree owners should install burlap bands on trunks where caterpillars can hide and be destroyed daily. Before next April, you can scrape egg masses off trees, buildings and any other place the females found handy. Do not inhale the irritating tiny hairs covering the egg mass.
NEWS
By Arin Gencer and Arin Gencer,sun reporter | December 24, 2007
"Are you open?" The question was almost always the first asked of Wayne Thomas yesterday by the customers who braved the wet and walked up the short driveway entrance to his tree farm in Manchester. The answer: Of course. After pointing them to the saws hanging on a nearby tree, and the carts for toting a selection, Thomas would stand back and watch as another family - father-daughter duos, mother-child-father trios - walked toward the rows of Christmas trees, searching for the perfect pine.
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By Jamie Stiehm and Jamie Stiehm,SUN STAFF | December 7, 2000
Brenda G. Van Bergen took a long look at the overgrown Colorado blue spruce on her lawn and thought: Wouldn't this look nice outside the White House? Or maybe the State House? Or some place closer to home? Washington and Annapolis mulled over her telephoned offers, but she decided to give Baltimore the Christmas gift. Today, it stands in War Memorial Plaza, in front of City Hall, none the worse for wear after being hauled from Van Bergen's home in Glen Burnie. It took five hours and massive equipment and manpower - a crane, a chainsaw, climbing gear, and several public works forestry workers - to cut, lift and load the 30-foot tree onto a tractor-trailer Tuesday.
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By Ellen Nibali and David Clement and Ellen Nibali and David Clement,Special to The Sun | May 26, 2007
When should I prune, fertilize and transplant? I have flowers, fruits and, this year, vegetables. I get really confused! Our free newsletter features a monthly gardening calendar that should prove helpful. Call or e-mail us to subscribe. We also offer turf-care schedules based on University of Maryland recommendations and fertilizing schedules for just about all plant categories. I'm losing a blue spruce a year. Branches start dying at the base and this continues to the top. What can I do?
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By JON TRAUNFELD AND ELLEN NIBALI and JON TRAUNFELD AND ELLEN NIBALI,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | December 24, 2005
I am overwintering some dianthus and impatiens plants in my house, but I would rather keep them in my unheated garage (with no or very little sunlight). Will they survive? For the dianthus, it depends on what species you have. The common dianthus grown as an annual, D. barbatus (Sweet William), is actually a short-lived perennial that can take somewhat colder temperatures and may be able to weather your garage. Impatiens would not survive your garage. They need temperatures above 50 degrees and full sun. Water only when the soil is dry. New plants can be started from cuttings taken in late winter and moved outdoors after danger of frost is past.
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By SARAH YURGEALITIS and SARAH YURGEALITIS,SUN REPORTER | November 26, 2005
A favorite tradition of the Christmas season is going to pick a tree. Driving to a tree farm and felling your own makes for a festive outing. Whether you like them short or tall, round or slim, Scotch pine or blue spruce, Maryland's tree farms probably have a tree just right for you. Many open for business this weekend (call ahead to make sure) and close only when this year's crop of trees runs out. Most provide saws and help getting your tree securely atop the car. Prices vary, and some farms offer other greenery, food and hot drinks.
NEWS
By Dennis Bishop and Dennis Bishop,Special to the Sun | January 4, 2004
I would like to grow some of my own vegetable and flower plants from seed this year. Can you recommend a good soil mix for starting seed? Dirt is what you sweep up with a broom. Soil is what you find in the garden. Growing media is what plants are started in, and it should not contain soil or dirt. It can be purchased already mixed, or you can mix your own at home. There are a number of recipes for growing media, but all have two primary components -- peat moss and perlite or vermiculite.
NEWS
By Jon Traunfeld and Ellen Nibali and Jon Traunfeld and Ellen Nibali,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | January 2, 2005
My wife and I purchased a 3-foot Colorado blue spruce to use as a live Christmas tree. We have the tree in a pot on our back porch. Is there any way we can keep this tree in our home as a houseplant and keep it alive year-round? A blue spruce requires a cold period for best growth. Its native habitat is the Rocky Mountains from New Mexico to Wyoming, where it grows 30 feet to 60 feet tall with a 10-foot- to-20-foot spread. It will not survive warm, dry conditions indoors, because the longer you keep it in the house the less winter hardy it will become.
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali and David Clement and Ellen Nibali and David Clement,Special to The Sun | June 23, 2007
I never heard of gypsy moths on blue spruce, but they're eating the top of mine! What do I spray? It's too prickly to band. Gypsy moths are back, and spruce is a new target. It's too late this year to spray with Bt, the recommended insecticide. Right now, shade tree owners should install burlap bands on trunks where caterpillars can hide and be destroyed daily. Before next April, you can scrape egg masses off trees, buildings and any other place the females found handy. Do not inhale the irritating tiny hairs covering the egg mass.
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali and David Clement and Ellen Nibali and David Clement,Special to The Sun | May 26, 2007
When should I prune, fertilize and transplant? I have flowers, fruits and, this year, vegetables. I get really confused! Our free newsletter features a monthly gardening calendar that should prove helpful. Call or e-mail us to subscribe. We also offer turf-care schedules based on University of Maryland recommendations and fertilizing schedules for just about all plant categories. I'm losing a blue spruce a year. Branches start dying at the base and this continues to the top. What can I do?
NEWS
By Laura McCandlish and Laura McCandlish,Sun Reporter | November 5, 2006
The first tree, in Sykesville, is too green from lack of sunlight and on the large side. And the third tree, in Westminster, is too squat and might be diseased. But the second tree, in Hampstead, is just right. With lush, balanced branches tinted a true blue-green, the blue spruce lives up to its name. "That is pretty darn close to being a perfect tree," says Jim Slater, Carroll County's environmental compliance officer. The winning tree will be chopped down within two weeks, trucked to the County Office Building in Westminster and propped up outside on a stand in the water fountain to prepare for the holiday tree-lighting ceremony Nov. 28. It's fast becoming an annual tradition.
FEATURES
By JON TRAUNFELD AND ELLEN NIBALI and JON TRAUNFELD AND ELLEN NIBALI,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | December 24, 2005
I am overwintering some dianthus and impatiens plants in my house, but I would rather keep them in my unheated garage (with no or very little sunlight). Will they survive? For the dianthus, it depends on what species you have. The common dianthus grown as an annual, D. barbatus (Sweet William), is actually a short-lived perennial that can take somewhat colder temperatures and may be able to weather your garage. Impatiens would not survive your garage. They need temperatures above 50 degrees and full sun. Water only when the soil is dry. New plants can be started from cuttings taken in late winter and moved outdoors after danger of frost is past.
NEWS
By SARAH YURGEALITIS and SARAH YURGEALITIS,SUN REPORTER | November 27, 2005
A favorite tradition of the Christmas season is going to pick a tree. Driving to a tree farm and felling your own makes for a festive outing. Whether you like them short or tall, round or slim, Scotch pine or blue spruce, Maryland's tree farms probably have a tree just right for you. Many open for business this weekend (call ahead to make sure) and close only when this year's crop of trees runs out. Most provide saws and help getting your tree securely atop the car. Prices vary, and some farms offer other greenery, food and hot drinks.
NEWS
By Jon Traunfeld and Ellen Nibali and Jon Traunfeld and Ellen Nibali,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | January 2, 2005
My wife and I purchased a 3-foot Colorado blue spruce to use as a live Christmas tree. We have the tree in a pot on our back porch. Is there any way we can keep this tree in our home as a houseplant and keep it alive year-round? A blue spruce requires a cold period for best growth. Its native habitat is the Rocky Mountains from New Mexico to Wyoming, where it grows 30 feet to 60 feet tall with a 10-foot- to-20-foot spread. It will not survive warm, dry conditions indoors, because the longer you keep it in the house the less winter hardy it will become.
NEWS
By Laura McCandlish and Laura McCandlish,Sun Reporter | November 5, 2006
The first tree, in Sykesville, is too green from lack of sunlight and on the large side. And the third tree, in Westminster, is too squat and might be diseased. But the second tree, in Hampstead, is just right. With lush, balanced branches tinted a true blue-green, the blue spruce lives up to its name. "That is pretty darn close to being a perfect tree," says Jim Slater, Carroll County's environmental compliance officer. The winning tree will be chopped down within two weeks, trucked to the County Office Building in Westminster and propped up outside on a stand in the water fountain to prepare for the holiday tree-lighting ceremony Nov. 28. It's fast becoming an annual tradition.
NEWS
By Dennis Bishop and Dennis Bishop,Special to the Sun | January 4, 2004
I would like to grow some of my own vegetable and flower plants from seed this year. Can you recommend a good soil mix for starting seed? Dirt is what you sweep up with a broom. Soil is what you find in the garden. Growing media is what plants are started in, and it should not contain soil or dirt. It can be purchased already mixed, or you can mix your own at home. There are a number of recipes for growing media, but all have two primary components -- peat moss and perlite or vermiculite.
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