Joe versus the volcano

It’s spring, and “mulch volcanos” may be erupting around some of the trees in your neighborhood. What’s wrong with that? A short answer is tree-killing stem-girdling roots, which is also a good name for a band. A longer answer is in an instructive and fun article by CFAES’s Joe Boggs on the Buckeye Yard and Garden onLine (BYGL) website, which shows you how to mulch a tree right. (Photo: Volcano (non-mulch type), iStock.)

Ask your gardening questions online

How soon in spring can you plant peas? What are good shade trees to grow in Ohio? What’s this weird weed in your lawn?

Get science-based answers to your gardening questions using CFAES’s “Ask a Master Gardener” website. Simply type in your question, attach a related photo if you have one, say which county you live in, and get an answer by email.

The free service is provided by Master Gardener volunteers, plant experts trained by CFAES’s Ohio State University Extension outreach arm.

Why get all pruney

CFAES’s Secrest Arboretum in Wooster is holding a workshop on pruning on March 8. Why? Experts say proper pruning of trees and shrubs can help them grow, look, flower and fruit better. It also can cut their pest and disease risk. Find details and a link to register ($25 for Friends of Secrest Arboretum members, $30 for nonmembers.) (Photo: iStock.)

O! See 18 Christmas trees all grown up

Visit Secrest Arboretum and see 18 examples of big, tall, still-growing Christmas trees. Read more, get their GPS locations and see photos of all 18. (There’s a slideshow, too, of their needles close up.) The arboretum is on CFAES’s Wooster campus. (Photo: Eastern white pine, Ken Chamberlain, CFAES.)

See green Feb. 2, save green by Jan. 26

male gardener working in greenhouseThe 2017 Tri-State Green Industry Conference is Feb. 2 in Cincinnati — the tri-states being Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. It’s for anyone whose work involves plants, including landscapers, lawn and tree care workers, greenhouse managers, and others.

Of note: There’s a whole track of sessions on sustainable landscaping. Plus sessions, too, on planting for pollinators, managing urban and suburban deer, and the evidence for — and changes to landscape plants caused by — climate change.

Early bird registration, which saves you $10 and includes lunch, ends Thursday, Jan. 26.

CFAES’s OSU Extension outreach arm is one of the organizers. Read more.

Berry nice! 7 jolly alternative hollies you can grow in Ohio

Image of longstalk holly for GBPaul Snyder of CFAES’s Secrest Arboretum in Wooster lists seven jolly hollies that provide year-round good looks, food for wildlife and cut branches for decorating at the holidays, and unlike the traditional English holly, can handle Ohio’s bleak midwinters. (Photo: Finetooth holly in Secrest Arboretum by Mitch Moser, CFAES.)