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Dallas County Master Gardeners and Japanese Maples

Everyone loves Japanese Maples! Dallas County Master Gardeners were able to learn about them from expert, Scott Hubble, at our September meeting last week.

Scott works at Metro Maples in Fort Worth  and shared a wealth of information about these trees which come in all shapes, sizes and many colors.

Our Texas sun is the most important factor to consider when picking a location for a Japanese Maple. Morning sun with shade in the afternoon is generally perfect.

Japanese Maples are well situated when they are under the canopy of larger trees receiving dappled light throughout the day.

Remember they do not like soggy roots so plant them in areas with drainage.

No more words, let’s gaze at these beauties.

Look carefully inside this Japanese Maple to see homeowner’s mailbox. This  25-30 year old tree grew around the mailbox.

Thank you Metro Maples for the presentation and pictures.

Ann Lamb

All Master Gardener meetings are  held the 4th Thursday of the month at varying locations are open to the public.

Tool Time and education for all Thursday, October 3rd at 10am at The Raincatcher’s Garden. Click here for details.

Don’t forget to visit the Red Maple Rill at the Dallas Arboretum with over 80 varieties of signature Red Maples.

 

Vitex agnus castus

The beautiful  blue blooms of the Vitex tree are swaying in our summer breezes.

Vitex or Chaste Tree

Yesterday I visited the Dallas Arboretum and took a walk  under a lane of  fragrant Vitex aka Chaste Tree located at the back of the garden along the shores of White Rock Lake.   The snarly branches of  blue blooming Vitex  with the  yellow St John’s Wort planted at its feet almost made me swoon!Vitex Trees at the Dallas Arboreteum

Once established, Vitex is a drought tolerant tree and delight to bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.   Shear it back after every bloom cycle to keep up the maximum flowering production  By doing this, you can get three bloom periods every summer. Texas A&M agrees!

It will also need a good shaping in winter months.  Some gardeners  cut it to the ground every year to keep it shrub size. At our garden  we have let it  grow into a 15 foot tree.

*Here are some different ways to use chaste tree in the landscape:

1. As a single specimen in the lawn (See ours at The Demonstration Garden)

2. In a row along a property line or a driveway

3. Limbed-up in a border with lower plants growing beneath it (As seen at The Dallas Arboretum)

4. As a small patio tree ( I have also seen it grown as a topiary)

Ann

*List adapted from Grumpy Gardener of Southern Living

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