The Dirt for January 18 2013

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Helpful tip from The Garden Geeks:  The right Maple (Acer) Trees for the job

*As Hedges: A. campestre (zone 6-8) make wonderful hedges when planted in rows, they also make a good screen for hiding sheds and they block out noise.
*For Color: A. rubrum (zone 3-9) or Red Maple and A. saccharum 'Bonfire' (zone 4-8) or Silver Maple both have wonderful bright red fall color.
*For Interest: A. palmatum (zone 5 to 8 depending on variety) aka Japanese maple have such a delicate grace, they never fail to catch the eye and make a wonderful feature plant in the garden.
*Invasive: A. platanoides (zone 3-7) or Norway Maple can be a nuisance as it self seeds readily and it's roots run wild.
*Weaker Maples: A. saccharinum (zone 4-8) or Silver Maple and A. negundo (zone 4-8) or Boxelder are the easiest torn apart by wind and ice. Don't plant them to close to buildings.
*Pruning: to develop a central leader. Prune only in late summer or they will bleed and make a mess.
*What to plant at it's feet: Their shallow roots make it hard for things to grow but euonymus, pachysandra or periwinkle do best.


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