Category Archives: Plants

Miscanthus giganteus

I recently saw a stand of Miscanthus giganteus at Cutler Gardens in Binghamton,NY. It is an impressive grass standing at 10-11 feet tall. I am thinking of ordering some rhizomes to grow some. It would make a nice natural privacy fence. It sure looks cool too, even when it dies off it still stands nice and tall. I imagine the snow will eventually knock it over in the winter. When I saw it, I looked it up on the little pamphlets available at the gardens and of course on Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miscanthus_giganteus
Who would have know that it can be actually used as a biofuel! What an interesting plant and it is a so called C4 plant as well just like corn, it can more efficiency convert water and CO2, via photosynthesis into plant material, giving it an edge in creating biomass.

I found a place to order the rhizomes too…

http://www.mapleriverfarms.com/index.php

Bonsai Leaves

Bonsai Comes Back to Life

I had a Bonsai tree that was neglected at times over the winter when we were away from home. It was not getting enough water, dried out and lost all of it’s leaves. I had a few other plants die off but most of them are easily replaced from commonly obtainable seeds. This Bonsai however was a plant that I had for about 10 years and it was disappointing to lose it.

Bonsai ready to be junked
Bonsai ready to be junked

In early May, I pulled it out of it’s pot and put it on a pile to be discarded. Luckily the place where it was put was in the shade. Plus this year (2015) we have received an exceptional amount of rain through June, more than double the average. All of this helped to keep it alive at some low level, even without soil.

It lives for 2 months, no soil, no care.
It lives for 2 months, no soil, no care.

In mid-July, it started to get a few little green leaves on it. What a miracle, it had some life left in it after all! Now it is back in the pot and I will eventually see how many branches are alive.

Rescued Bonsai
Rescued Bonsai

This is the second plant that has come back from the dead this year, the Bonsai along with a Ginko Biloba Tree that came back from the dead.

Rescued and repotted!
Rescued and repotted!
Tiny new leaves on the Bonsai
Tiny new leaves on the Bonsai

 

Ginko Biloba June 2015

Ginko Biloba Tree Comes Back From the Dead

Ginko Biloba Shoots
New Ginko Biloba Shoot

I have a Ginko Biloba tree that was planted in approximately 2009 from a seedling and it was pulled out of the ground in fall-2013 while moving. It sat indoors over the winter, not a good idea for deciduous trees as they need to go through the cold of winter to set their clocks for the Spring budding. It was watered off and on when it was dormant that Winter, but it was mostly dried out feeling. In the Spring the buds were dry and the branches turned pretty hard and dead feeling, snapping off easily. I planted it in the ground in late April 2014 and it sat there dead looking for the entire season.

I decided not to give up on it and pull it out as I have heard that sometimes deciduous trees will come back the following year. The winter of 2014-2015 was particularly harsh, one of the coldest in 100 years with the temperatures reaching up to -28 F below here. In the Spring, still nothing, but I waited and waited to see if anything would happen and if it didn’t I would plant a tree in it’s place in 2016. I was already considering where I might get another small Ginko Biloba tree.

2015 provided a hot May and a wet June, so the ground was good and warm early and had plenty of moisture. One day in mid-June I was mowing the lawn and cutting close to a lot of obstacles such as the tree,  when I stopped dead in my tracks as I noticed what appeared to be weeds growing around the base of it. But, something looked different about the “weeds” and I stopped just in time as to not mow them down. Sure enough it was actually new growth sprouting near the base of the Ginko tree.

For this year I will let the new growth run wild. Leaving the dead stick part of the plant as a marker so I don’t mow or step on the shoots coming up. Next year I will pick the best shoot and let it thrive, cutting the dead growth and the runty shoots that may appear.

It is amazing how nature surprises you just when you least expect it. One of the oldest species of tree the Ginko Biloba has a few tricks up it’s sleeve for survival after all.

Ginko Biloba
Ginko Biloba: June 2015