Arbor Day

tree baby

KUSA – Arbor Day (from the Latin arbor, meaning tree) is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees.


The first American Arbor Day was originated in Nebraska City, Neb. by J. Sterling Morton

In 1854 J Sterling Morton moved from Detroit to the area that is now Nebraska. He and other pioneers noticed a lack of trees, which were needed to act as windbreaks to stabilize the soil and to give shade from the sun. Morton planted many trees around his own home and encouraged others to do the same.

On January 4, 1872, he proposed a holiday to plant trees on April 10 that year. This was known as “Arbor Day” and prizes were awarded to the counties and individuals who planted the most trees on the day. About one million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day. In 1885, Arbor Day became a legal holiday and was moved to April 22, which was Morton’s birthday. In 1989 the official state holiday was moved to the last Friday in April. All states in the US now have an official Arbor Day, usually at a time of year that is has the best weather conditions for planting trees.


Birdsey Northrop of Connecticut was responsible for globalizing it when he visited Japan in 1883 and delivered his Arbor Day and Village Improvement message. In that same year, the American Forestry Association made Northrop the Chairman of the committee to campaign for Arbor Day nationwide. He also brought his enthusiasm for Arbor Day to Australia, Canada, and Europe.

For a little Arbor day fun Try this quiz


Benefits of Attracting Birds

It can be a lot of work to attract backyard birds, but doing so can offer many benefits beyond just enjoying backyard visitors.

bird house

Your backyard birds are part of the local ecosystem, and attracting them to your yard means planning bird-friendly landscaping, adding fresh, clean water to the yard and choosing the best bird feeders and bird houses. If you do these things, you will

discover benefits such as:

  • Pest Control: Many birds eat a variety of insects, including aphids, mosquitoes, spiders and other bugs that may not be welcome in a yard or garden. Attracting birds encourages them to take advantage of this natural food source, eliminating the need for harsh chemical insecticides.
  • Flower Pollination: Hummingbirds, orioles and other birds that sip nectar are efficient pollinators of garden flowers. This can give flowerbeds an added color boost from extra blooms, which will in turn attract even more birds.
  • Weed Control: Finches, towhees and sparrows consume great quantities of weed seeds, making them effective landscapers to help control unwanted plants. Planting seed-bearing flowers for birds can also give them a natural food source to enjoy without needing frequent feeder refills.
  • Food Sharing: Many fruit trees for birds are also great for birders, including apples, peaches, plums and pears. Planting these trees and berry-producing shrubs to attract birds will give backyard birders fresh, delicious fruit to enjoy after every harvest.
  • Environmental Conservation: Bird-friendly landscaping makes use of native plants and available resources in environmentally conscious ways. Native plants use less water and are more resistant to diseases, making them better for the local ecosystem and requiring less work to maintain.
  • Increased Property Values: A home that is well-maintained with appropriate native landscaping that attracts birds has better curb appeal and good value for homeowners. This helps keep neighborhood values rising and is a great investment for home sales.
  • Education: Observing backyard birds is a unique opportunity to study local wildlife, and attracting birds all year round gives backyard birders the chance to see seasonal plumage changes, migration, courtship behavior and nesting. This is also a great way to introduce children to wildlife enjoyment and appreciation, spreading birding across generations.
  • Wildlife Conservation: As more habitats become threatened through development, attracting backyard birds provides a critical oasis for bird and wildlife conservation, both for local species and migrating birds. This helps preserve birds both in the yard and in the larger local environment.
  • Stress Relief: Watching birds, interacting with them, listening to their songs and taking the time to work outdoors improving their habitat can help relieve stress and promote well-being. Time outdoors can also ensure backyard birders have an adequate supply of vitamin D and detoxify the body through fresh air.

For many backyard birders, the best benefit of attracting birds is simply being able to enjoy them, but attracting them with proper landscaping and attentive care can lead to a range of other benefits that make enjoying the birds even more exciting and productive.

General Perennial Garden Planting instructions


1. Plant perennials as soon as possible after the ground defrosts. Choose a location where water drains quickly after a rainfall. Prepare your planting bed by loosening and turning under the soil to a depth of 8 in. Level the soil with a rake to remove large clumps of grass and large stones.


2. Amend your soil - add peat moss or compost and work in.


3. Dig the hole for each plant a little larger than the root ball. Set each plant with crown even with or slightly below the level of the surrounding soil. Fill in around roots with fine soil and firm lightly, leaving a slight depression or “saucer” around the plant to catch and hold water.


4. Water your perennials. Gently add about a quart of water to the “saucer” around each plant. Water again; let soak in. Fill in loose, fine soil around clump. Water again as needed. As a weed preventative you may want to mulch your garden and then put a light sprinkling of preemergent (preen) over the mulch.

5. Mulch in cold climates. After soil freezes solid in late fall, apply a mulch around perennial clumps. Use loose straw or evergreen branches that will not pack down tightly. Remove winter mulch in spring before growth begins.


1. Spring mulching. After perennial clumps begin growth in spring, add mulch to soil around plants. Do not cover crowns. Use grass clippings, shredded leaves, compost, wood chips, etc. Mulch keeps soil moist, roots cool; prevents weed growth and adds a layer of humus which will aid future growth.


2. Stake taller perennials to prevent damage by wind. Tie plants up as they grow.


3. Pruning. When perennials have finished blooming, remove dead flower heads and stalks, to prevent the plants from setting seed and to preserve their strength. Apply a slow-release fertilizer to keep foliage growing. This will assure healthy growth and good bloom the following year.


4. Fall trimming. Some perennial plants die back to the roots in fall; cut stems back to 3-4 in. above crowns. The clump will send up new growth in early spring.

5. Dividing and Multiplying. Most perennials may be divided after 2 or 3 years to provide a continual source of new plants. To keep plants healthy, they should be divided before they become over-crowded. After 3 or 4 years of growth, dig up the root masses in early fall or spring in our area. Cut the crown of each perennial into several sections with a sharp knife, with each piece retaining its own root system. If the center portion of the old plant shows heavy, woody growth, discard it and replant only the younger outer portions of the clump. Mulch perennials heavily to provide winter protection.


Practical gardening tips for the first week of April

The Weather has been up and down, but it is finally starting to stabilize a bit. Temperatures are still dipping into the 30′s at night, but at least it’s the high thirties!

Forking the veg patch

Here are some tips for things to do and plant, even with these cooler nights

Plant                                                                                                                               Spring is a great time to add new plants to your garden. But it is a little too early for those tender annuals.You can plant  such things as trees, fruit or shade, shrubs, asparagus, rhubarb ,strawberries, and summer blooming bulbs. If you have an asparagus or strawberry patch started now is a great time to clean out the dead from last year and get those perennial weeds out. spread some mulch over it and then lightly preen to keep new weeds from starting

Prune out dead or damaged branches 
Prune unwanted branches of trees and shrubs after new growth has begun.If you haven’t done it yet there is still time to prune those fruit trees! Cut back any remaining dead perennial foliage from last season. Prune roses just before they start to bud out. Spring blooming trees and shrubs, however, should not be pruned in late winter; their flower buds are ready to open as temperatures warm. Azaleas, forsythia, weigela, dogwood, and other spring shrubs can be pruned.

Fertilize & Mulch
Start thinking about applying your lawn fertilizer (click here for the application chart) (and by the way our turfline is in) Rake, fertilize and mulch beds and borders ( Our Mulch sale will be going through April 31.)   Spring is also a good time to fertilize fruit trees. If you applied heavy winter mulch for protection for certain plants ie: roses,or perennials from the cold, its getting time  to clear it away.

Stake plants that may be prone to wind damage during the unpredictable spring weather.

Tend to your compost if it has been neglected over the winter. give it a turn to keep it airiated If you do not have a compost bin, spring is a great time to start one.How to fix a soggy compost pile.

Early spring is a great time to prepare your tools for the oncoming gardening season and to make any necessary repairs or new purchases.

Ok That ‘s enough for this week! Don’t want you to break your back, we have a long spring ahead of us. Have a great week and enjoy this beautiful weather!!!!!!! ( I know the weather doesn’t look that great this week, but at least its not snowing : )