Browse Month: December 2019

What Time Do I Slim Liquidambar Trees?

The sweet gum tree (Liquidambar styraciflua), also referred to as liquidambar, has star-shaped leaves that provide cool shade in the summer then burst into a flush of golds and reds in autumn. This tree, that rises in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 to 10, requires little or no pruning during its life cycle, but you might have to prune it to repair damage in a wind storm, eliminate diseased branches or shape it up. If you do that depends on what you would like to accomplish, but generally the best time to prune is in late winter when the tree is still inactive and disease organisms are inactive.

Pruning After Planting

At the time of planting, you should only prune liquidambar to get rid of damaged twigs. These branches should be pruned back to the back. As the young tree grows over the next three to four decades, prune it into the desired shape through light pruning in late winter. Mainly, you will want to make sure it’s only one major trunk, so prune away any branches close to the top of the tree to leave a single, straight leader branch to your back.

Pruning as the Tree Ages

As the tree ages to four decades and past, prune off root suckers during the growing season every year. In late winter, cut away branches at the top of the major back competing with the leader division. Prune these branches all of the way back to the main trunk. This is also the time to prune lower branches back to the back so you have room to walk beneath the tree. The smallest division of a liquidambar tree in the yard should be 8 feet in the ground, and to get a tree that may eventually hang over a street, it should be 8 to 10 feet in the ground.

Proper Pruning

Should you prune liquidambar properly in the early stages of its growth, the only pruning you will need to do to your adult tree is to eliminate storm damaged branches, diseased locations or root suckers. If diseased branches can’t be treated successfully, remove them right away regardless of what time of year. If branches have been broken by a storm and threaten to damage nearby buildings, then remove them at once also; otherwise, wait until late winter when the tree is dormant to prune them. This reduces the risk of exposing the tree to infection, especially in the autumn when fungi are prevalent. Remove a division by cutting it back to the upcoming major division, to a grass on the side of the division or to the back.

Sterilizing Pruners

Sterilizing loppers, pruning shears and chainsaws before working in your liquidambar reduces the danger of spreading infection. Sanitize the equipment from dipping cutting surfaces, and grips subjected to contamination, in 70 percent isopropyl alcohol or wiping it on with a clean cloth. Sanitize chainsaws by removing the chain and letting it soak as you wipe the bar and other surfaces. Alcohol is flammable, so don’t use sterilized tools about open flames. If you’re working on a diseased tree, then spray on the cutting layer after every cut with a household disinfectant.

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Is Birch Wood Good for Furniture?

Birch is abundant in North America, especially in the northern United States and Canada, and while it isn’t a superior furniture-grade hardwood, it’s a great one. It is durable and appealing, it takes stain well and it’s affordable. Birch plywood is also a favorite material for making cabinets, benches and tables.

Birch Characteristics

Yellow and sweet palace are two of the best-known species, and while yellow birch is a bit more difficult, both are comparable in hardness to oak, walnut and other domestic hardwoods. Birch is workable and doesn’t nick or gouge easily, which can be two qualities which woodworkers like. Since it’s a close grain, it stains evenly, but its becoming yellow to tan shade looks attractive even without a stain.

Birch Uses

The blond tones of yellow birch allow it to be a good stand-in for walnut, although its color variations and characteristic grain texture make it easily distinguishable. With red heartwood and sometimes almost white sapwood, these variations are largely absent in Baltic birch plywood, a construction material from Europe that many manufacturers use to make paneling and cabinets. Since Birch is powerful, holds screws well and is affordable, furniture makers use it for bracing and other structural components of furniture as frequently as they perform for its visible parts.

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Do You Pull Weeds After They Die?

Weeds overtake sections of the backyard and may suck on nutrients and moisture from the soil. They key is to maintain the weed population in your backyard and when they are just beginning this is easier to do. Yet another aspect of this is that established weeds can be harder to get rid of, especially after flowering happens. Dead or dying weeds also often harbor insects and diseases which can be passed to your vegetable crops that are healthy, annuals or perennials.

Nature’s Way

All plants need to compete for nutrients, water and sunlight in order to survive. Weeds are actually of regaining bare soil, nature’s way. All plants, such as those that are considered weeds, serve a function in the international ecology by working as air and water filters in addition to food and habitats for wildlife, and they are just a problem when they grow where you do not want them . Eliminating undesirable intruders makes weeding one of the least pleasant chores, but weeding when crops are small, begun establishes. Removing weeds before they begin the odds improve that the crops you do want will develop into effective, healthy and strong specimens.

Marijuana Infection

Plant diseases and insects aren’t selective at all when it comes to plants, plus they affect weeds . A sick or wilting weed that you simply forgot to pull up is a indication that something isn’t perfect. And if the weed is sick, there’s a good chance it may transmit its own illness, or whatever bug is causing it, to a plants. A weed that is dying or dead may also be a prime source of new seeds that take root when the parent plant keels over. Weeding before the plants show signs of stress reduces this problem, but be sure to dispose properly of any you may have missed by burning, burying, or taking them out with the trash. Avoid composting themas the warmth generated by the majority of piles isn’t sufficient to kill seeds that are dormant or diseases.

Ways to Weed

There is some disagreement as to whether or not cultivation is a powerful method to control the growth of weeds, as if the soil will bring weed seeds to the surface in which they are subjected to light to germinate. Hoeing, on the other hand, loosens the soil cuts away grass roots at the pass, and enhances air flow and water absorption. Be certain your hoe is eloquent, or you could be spending a lot of time hacking away in the same place before you begin to find success. The time-honored procedure of hand weeding is still the safest and most thoughtful approach to weed, as it causes the least disturbance round the”good plants.” Whichever method of weeding you use, rake up all of the debris, even as the origins of some weeds that are dead person are capable of creating new plants if left where they are.

Prevention Tactics

There are strategies to be certain as few weeds get a foothold on your backyard. One would be to smother all weed plants that are potential beneath a coating of cardboard, a single depth of vinyl or at least three dozen sheets of paper. Mow the region before applying the mulch, so weeds can not sneak out, overlap the borders of these substances, and weigh the covering to keep it in place. Sunset Magazine’s website recommends leaving the covering on for at least a full season, or for a year or more when removing weeds that are tough. Mulching throughout the period goes a long way toward keeping down bud growth. Choose from organic mulches such as shredded leaves, grass clippings or shredded bark, using from 2 to 4 inches round plants and across the paths between the rows. Landscape fabric and black vinyl provide alternatives that are inorganic and can be purchased at any garden centre.

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My Succulent Leaf Cutting Is Merely Producing Roots

Since they store water in their leaves, succulent plants can endure occasional dry periods, making them a wise option for low-water gardens and neglectful gardeners. Although many succulents are simple to root out from leaves — such as crassulas (Crassula spp.) , which develop in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11) and kalanchoes (Kalanchoe spp.) , which develop in USDA zones 9 through 12, depending on species — not all of the frozen leaves will create new plants. If your frozen leaf cuttings are refusing to develop, you may have attempted to root the wrong succulent, not taken enough cuttings, or taken them in the wrong time of year.

The Wrong Succulent

Not all of succulents grow well from leaf cuttings. Some will root, but seem to stall in that point, rather than sending up new leaves. For instance, leaf cuttings of hoyas (Hoya spp.) , which develop in USDA zones 10 through 11 are problematic. Taking leaf cuttings may lead to deep origins, but a nutritious plant never types. If you wish to propagate a hoya, take a stem cuttingedge.

Too Few Cuttings

An endeavor to root just one leaf may lead to disappointment. Some succulent leaves may root but never generate a plantlet. When possible, take a few leaf cuttings to enhance your likelihood that a number of them are going to grow.

The Wrong Time of Year

Cuttings do best if taken prior to the period of year when they naturally put out the most increase. Summer dormant types grow most vigorously in fall and spring whilst winter inactive types take up during summer. Echeverias (Echeveria spp.) , which develop in USDA zones 8 through 11, depending on species, shouldn’t be propagated during summer. Euphorbias (Euphorbia spp.) , which develop in USDA zones 4 through 12, depending on the species, won’t root well during winter. If you are patient, cuttings that root during the wrong season may eventually send up fresh leaves in a few months.

Rooting for Success

To take succulent leaf cuttings, snip or split leaves from a healthy plant, keeping their petioles — the leaf comes — should they’ve petioles. Put each of the leaves in a bright, dry location, out of direct sunlight, for at least two days to permit calluses to form above the cut edges before you pot them up. To get a potting medium, use a just moist mixture of 1 part peat to 1 part sand or two components of cactus potting soil combined with 1 part of fine grit. Insert each leaf or leaf stem far enough into the soil that the leaf can stand upright at a small angle, and mulch the ground with a layer of fine grit to help retain moisture and support the cuttings. Should you keep the soil lightly moist, then the leaf cuttings should root in three weeks to three months.

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The way to Get Rid of Aphids & Thrips

If aphids or thrips are plaguing your crops, do not despair. At one time or another, these insects bother almost all garden or indoor plants, decreasing their vigor and blemishing them using their waste. Aphid colonies drink sap from succulent stems and the undersides of leaves, while slender, winged thrips favor tender leaf and leaf buds. Some of same methods effectively rid your plants of both.

Identifying the Invaders

Aphids and thrips are small enough you may not observe an invasion until their feeding visibly damages your plant’s health. Aphids — miniature, pear-shaped insects of nearly any color — latch onto stems and leaves and drink the plant’s sap through sharp, hollow mouth components. Most aphids in hot climates give birth to live young, and many of them reproduce year-round. Their vintage calling card is honeydew, the sticky leftovers of their feeding. Slender, winged yellowish to black thrips puncture plant tissue and devour its mobile contents, such as chlorophyll. Pale stippling or silvering along with specks of dark excrement mark their feeding sites. Wind carries thrips from plant to plant.

Bug Them to Death

Green lacewing larvae prey on aphids and thrips, and inviting these beneficial bugs to your garden helps maintain both insects in check. Each female lacewing places hundreds of eggs, and each larva consumes up to 600 thrips or aphids a day for two to three weeks before pupating. Adult green lacewings feed on nectar and pollen from flat, shallow-throated flowers. Lure the adults from scattering annual sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima) and cosmos (Cosmos spp.) Around the backyard, and let their babies go to perform.

Wash Them Away

Spraying your outdoor plants with water from the hose dislodges and drowns aphids and thrips. Aim in the leaf undersides where the insects congregate. To eliminate thrips, place your hose’s spray attachment to spray and fine early in the morning, once the hose water is chilly and the lethargic insects aren’t very likely to fly off. Eliminating thrips requires three or more treatments spaced every a couple of days. This technique also works with aphid-infested indoor plants, since aphids are inactive. Simply take the plants out or set them in a sink or bathtub for spraying.

The Soap Solution

Nontoxic, ready-to-use insecticidal soap controls aphids and thrips on garden and indoor plants. It suffocates the bugs it reaches, therefore direct the spray in the backs of the leaves, the stems, leaf and leaf buds and shoot tips where the insects gather. Treat them when no honeybees, lacewings or other beneficials are present, and when no direct sunlight will hit and possibly harm the plants. To remove the insects, you need to spray on the plants until they drip and then repeat the spraying every two to three days, or in the label’s suggested interval. As a precaution, wear gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, long trousers, socks, shoes, protective eyewear and a respiratory mask when spraying. Consistently apply the soap according to this label’s instructions.

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What Exactly Does a June Bug Look Like?

Also called May beetles, June bugs aren’t really bugs at all, but clumsy beetles that belong into the Scarab family. Adult June bugs only cause foliage feeding damage on crops, trees and plants ; june insect larva, however, can be a serious nuisance on lawns. Identifying the pests can help you choose the ideal course of action to prevent further harm.

Brown Beetles

The Phyllophaga genus comprises more than 400 species of June insects, making identification between species. As with other scarab beetles, June bugs are oval-shaped, with six legs and antennae that are fat. They may be black, brown or maroon, and are involving 1/2 and 1 inch long. Their undersides are hairy. June bugs are most active in June and May . The beetles are attracted to lights at night, and if not feeding, will bump into porch lights.

Seeing Green

Green June beetles are different in appearance than other June insect species. Their bodies are brown or green, and the wings are striped with a green vertical line margined with yellowish orange. Their undersides are metallic and shiny, and may be green or gold. They may be around 1 1/2 inches long, with a small horn on the head. Green June beetles are also called fig eaters because of their love of figs.

Watch Out for Larvae

Larvae generally wreak more havoc in the backyard than mature beetles. Most larvae are between 3/4 inch and 2 inches long. In addition they have brown heads and three pairs of legs. Based on the species, June bug larvae can survive underground for one to four years, feeding on plant roots. Known as”white grubs,” June bug larvae makes a favorite fishing lure in the spring, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Search and Destroy

Insecticides are not warranted for June bugs that are mature, according to the University of Florida Extension. Placing a bucket beneath trees with a few inches of water and a few drops of liquid soap in it might help trap the pests. Even with minimal turf damage predators such as mammals and birds may take care of the problem for larvae-infested lawns. Apply an insecticide containing imidacloprid or halofenozide in early summer removing as much thatch as possible from the yard to allow for complete penetration, if harm is year annually. Apply take appropriate security precautions, and premixed goods in accordance with the label instructions, such as employing on a day with no wind or very little and wearing gloves.

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How to Care for a Elephant Tree Plant

Elephant trees (Bursera fagaroides) stand out with their stout trunks, peeling bark and dark green leaves, which exude a citrusy fragrance when managed. They grow best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9b into 11, where they are used as decorative trees or specimen plants in low-water landscapes. Trees need little attention or care once established at a sunny site with porous soil. But they are vulnerable to mistakes in civilization related to fertilizer, water and fever that may damage or kill elephant trees if they are permitted to happen.

Prune back any overhanging tree or trees branches that throw shade. Remove enough overhanging expansion to supply the elephant tree each day with at least half an hour of sun. Watch for increase in the sea tree because it might indicate it is not getting enough sun.

Examine the soil moisture with your finger twice per week during the summertime and warm water when the soil feels totally dry at the upper 4 inches. Water therefore the soil is moist 4 inches deep. Don’t water during wet cold or foggy weather. Provide enough water to prevent the trunk.

Dissolve 4 tablespoons of compost in 1 gallon of water and then use it monthly from midspring until summer. Elephant trees just if their soil is sandy or very poor. Use fertilizer with an ratio of 5-10-10 or 10-20-20 to reduce growth. Don’t fertilize during the winter.

Prune off any side shoots or crossed branches to create a shape to show off the attractive trunk of the elephant tree, or prune the key branches back to control the size of the tree and promote a fuller shape. Wear gloves when trimming elephant trees because they produce sticky sap that will stick to skin care.

If temperatures are predicted to drop below 30 degrees Fahrenheit cover elephant trees that are youthful. Use burlap or other breathable fabric to cover the tree instead of impermeable material such as plastic. Moisten the upper layer of soil because moist soil retains and releases warmth than dry soil.

Watch dropped fractures in the trunk, foliage in the summer and a general lack. Stop watering if the trunk develops cracks or if the soil feels moist a couple of days after watering. Summertime foliage drop or leaves indicate a nutrient imbalance, so stop fertilizing if these signs appear.

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Will Blackfoot Daisies Grow Back in the Spring?

Reminiscent and Easy of innocence, daisies are among the flowers that are most easily recognizable. The Blackfoot daisy (Melampodium leucanthum) is a portion of the Asteraceae family, which consists of many families and species that feature the familiar white petals and yellow centers. Most, including the Blackfoot daisy, are if they are cared for properly, herbaceous perennials that can grow back each spring.

Cold- and Heat-Hardy

Daisies are plants. They withstand both warm and cold conditions and are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 11. It is in these USDA zones the plant will endure winters and bloom again.

Total Sun, Dry Conditions

If your daisy is to stay healthy enough to blossom year after year proper care is as essential as the climate. So find it where it will receive plenty of sun, the plant thrives in full sunlight. The warmth won’t get to it, and it can even withstand drought conditions. The Blackfoot daisy prefers arid conditions to moist — well-drained soil is essential to the growth of the plant, according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Too wet conditions may cause the roots to rot, and the plant won’t bloom in the spring, when this happens.

Cut Back Growth

Your daisy may grow back in the spring but not look all that good. Daisies and other clumping perennials may get lean and leggy as time passes. If your plant is old and isn’t looking as healthy as it used to, cut it back in late winter — until new growth appears in the spring. Cut it back. This will keep it compact and dense, and rejuvenate the plant.

Likes the Hard Life

It may seem somewhat counterproductive to put such a cheerful plant at a location that is rocky, but the Blackfoot daisy will survive longer if it grows in poorer conditions. It really prefers rocky soil. If you give it plenty of water and plant the Blackfoot daisy in soil that is rich, it will look very healthy and create prolific blossoms — but this may shorten the lifespan of the plant, as stated by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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The Way to Refinish Hardwood Floors Obviously

Refinishing hardwood flooring can prove an procedure, if done correctly but it is far more affordable than replacing the timber, and may restore your floor to its original, natural shine. You must use natural alternatives to find the job finished, if you want avoid destructive and harmful chemicals during the procedure.


Clear out the room and clean your hardwood floor with a mop and a solution of 10 parts water to one part vinegar. White vinegar is a safe, natural solution to chemical-based cleaners, but it is highly acidic, so be certain you dilute it. Hand-sand that the perimeter of the room with 180-grit sandpaper and a sanding block. Try to sand up to six inches outside the bottom board. The regions can smooth out that a buffer can’t reach.


Attach into a floor buffer and a put on a dust mask. You can rent a floor buffer from some home improvement stores if you do not have access to one. Move the buffer throughout the room from the direction of the wood grain, moving from side to side. Maintain the buffer in movement while it is on. Wait about 15 minutes and vacuum or sweep the floor to remove the powder left by the finish.

Choosing Your Finish

While searching for hardwood floor finishes, you may notice that the majority of finishes contain other chemicals and petroleum. If you shop around it is possible to find natural oils that work as eco friendly alternatives. Try a natural oil like jojoba oil, tung oil or Jojoba oil, all which provide an excellent finish without endangering the environment or your health. If you are interested in finding a color finish, or would rather have a commercial finish, start looking for a finishing wax derived from renewable oils and waxes.

Implementing Your Finish

Apply the finish to the perimeter of the room along the baseboards with a small paintbrush. With the perimeter coated, you are able to begin applying the oil. Pour a field of oil across the wood’s grain and work the finish into the floor with a paint roller, moving with all the grain and then across it. Continue distributing the oil. Then add oil. Until your floor is coated, Proceed and add another coat after three hours. Wait 1 week before returning furniture.

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Eliminating an Kitchen Sink to Install Tile

To install tile you need to remove the sink so that you can install the tile. Sinks utilize clamps underneath to hold them. Since you’ll be tiling over the existing countertop, you do not need to be overly worried about scratching the surface of the countertop. While you’ve got the sink out, you might want to think about replacing it. A glistening new sink would put it off, if you’re dressing the kitchen to put your home on the market.

Shut off the water running to the cold and hot water lines. Locate the two valves under the sink, and flip them until they stop. Turn on the taps up top to make certain there’s no tension and drain the remaining part of the water.

Set or pan below the sink. It has to be wide enough to be under the drain at the center and the valves you turned off.

Disconnect the water lines. There’ll be a nut over the valves. Turn them slowly to loosen and then continue turning until you can pull the supply lines.

Disconnect the drain pipe. There’ll be a straight pipe running out to the piece of the base of the sink. At the top between the bits that are straight and curved, there will be a nut holding them. Utilize the pipe wrench to loosen the nut until you can lift the part that is straight .

Remove the straps holding the rim of this sink to the countertop. There are more or eight small metallic clips up under the sink’s edge holding it to the counter. These are held in place. Use a flashlight to find them. Use the screwdriver to loosen the screws before the clamps pull free in the sink.

Cut on sealant or any caulk between the edge of the sink and the countertop with the knife. You ought to be able to lift the sink out of this hole at the counter. The countertop is ready to be prepped for installing tile.

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