Get unlimited digital access to baltimoresun.com. $0.99 for 4 weeks.
News Opinion Op-Eds

Douglas fir not native to Maryland

The top of my Douglas fir is dead. What killed it? It's a native tree, so shouldn't it grow well? If I cut off the top will it grow back?

Douglas fir (a Pseudotsuga, not a real fir) is native to the Rocky Mountains and the West Coast, very different environments from Maryland with its high temperatures, humidity and drought. Even Maryland has vastly different climatic regions. When you seek a compatible plant and find "native" on the label, be sure it's native to your region. It's common for Douglas fir to grow well here for years and then succumb to drought and stress. It will not grow back satisfactorily if the top is removed.

I need a "green" fix on these dreary days. Is there a conservatory around here?

You'll feel like you're in the tropics at Baltimore's own Rawlings Conservatory, recently renovated and expanded. Bask in the Mediterranean House, the Palm House, Orchid Room and more. There is even a Desert House full of a Dr. Seuss-worthy cacti. This historic conservatory and botanic garden is the second-oldest municipal glass conservatory in America and recently marked its 125th anniversary. Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, and until 7 p.m. June to September. Call 410-396-0008 about guided tours or scheduling an event or visit rawlingsconservatory.org.

University of Maryland Extension's Home and Garden Information Center offers free gardening and pest information. Call 800-342-2507 or send a question to the website at extension.umd.edu/hgic.

Plant of the week

Bird's Nest Spruce

Picea abies 'Nidiformis'

This dwarf conifer looks good throughout the year, but proves invaluable in the winter landscape when the short fine-textured needles remain a dark rich green. In spring, new growth appears a cheery yellow-green at branch tips. This flat-topped, spreading spruce has a slight depression in the center, reminding one of a bird's nest. Ultimately about 4 feet high by 5 feet wide, bird's nest spruce is useful in a foundation planting, rock garden, border or as a specimen. It likes full sun in moderately moist well-drained soil. This low-maintenance plant requires no pruning and is seldom damaged by deer.— Marian Hengemihle

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Garden Q&A Archive
    Garden Q&A Archive

    Each week the University of Maryland Extension's Home and Garden Information Center offers free gardening and pest information. Have a question about your home or garden? Call 800-342-2507 or send a question to the website at hgic.umd.edu.

  • Ferguson, Mo., is not an exception
    Ferguson, Mo., is not an exception

    By now, it should come as news to no one that Ferguson, Mo., has a lousy excuse for a police department.

  • The Sikh's public relations problem
    The Sikh's public relations problem

    In 2013 the popular retailer GAP featured a turbaned Sikh actor in a major advertising campaign. Sikh-Americans were thrilled. When the company responded to the vandalism of the ad in New York by using the original photo as the background of its Twitter page, Sikhs' spirits were buoyed even...

  • Allow children sentenced to life a second chance
    Allow children sentenced to life a second chance

    I am a successful Baltimore businessman and nonprofit leader, but when I was 17, I made the worst mistake of my life. I overreacted during an argument and took a man's life. I was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in Maryland.

  • Reserve ignition interlock for hardcore offenders
    Reserve ignition interlock for hardcore offenders

    Maryland lawmakers are considering new legislation that would require every drunk driving offender to install a Breathalyzer, known as an ignition interlock device, in his or her car. Putting more interlocks in more vehicles might seem like a sensible way to curb alcohol-related fatalities, but...

  • From now on, she walks to school
    From now on, she walks to school

    Since there have been parents and kids, each generation has struggled to understand the other. To me, it appears that children today are much less accountable and have fewer responsibilities than I did growing up. One of our kids is an over-achieving, motivated 17-year-old girl. All of her...

  • No bees? No food.
    No bees? No food.

    The honey bees are in trouble. Since 2006, beekeepers have reported average hive losses of 30 percent or higher each year. In 2012, Maryland beekeepers lost nearly 50 percent of their hives.

  • Reject the proposed merger of Exelon and Pepco
    Reject the proposed merger of Exelon and Pepco

    Since 2008, University Park Community Solar LLC has attempted to make community solar more feasible for other Marylanders, through the organizing and building of one of the first community solar projects in the nation and through our efforts to provide information and free technical...

Comments
Loading