Monday, September 18, 2017

September Make & Take Workshop: Hypertufa

Do you enjoy gardening and gardening related crafts? If you answered yes, then you are in luck!

On September 30, 2017, Master Gardeners at UF/IFAS Extension Polk County will present a “Make and Take” workshop on hypertufa. During this workshop, participants will learn about this creative gardening craft and also create their own hypertufa pot with supplies provided.  


What is hytpertufa you ask? Well, it is a mix of water, Portland cement, peat moss, or coconut fiber and either sand, perlite, or vermiculite. The final result is a pot that looks like stone but is lighter in weight and less expensive. 


For more information on creating hypertufa, join us Saturday September 30 at 10:00 AM at UF/IFAS Extension Polk County, 1702 US HWY 17/98 South, Bartow, FL. The cost is $15.00 cash or check at the door or credit card online.



  
For information on other gardening and landscaping classes and workshops, check out our Eventbrite website.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Proper Palm Pruning, Not "Hurricane Pruning"

With preparations for the storm in mind, you may think you need to “hurricane prune” your palm tree. Well let me stop you before you do more harm than good. While in the past people thought by removing almost all palm fronds, leaving only the youngest few, you would create a more wind resistant palm. However, new evidence suggests that thought is not correct and “hurricane pruning” actually weakens palm trees and they could become more vulnerable to damage.

So what are some better pruning techniques when it comes to palms? First, only completely dead fronds should be removed. While yellow leaves may be unsightly, they are an indication of something going on. These leaves should be left on as they are still helping to support the palm through mobile nutrients, such as potassium (K).

A healthy palm tree should actually have a 360 degree canopy of leaves. However, often they are overpruned due to nutrient deficiency symptoms. Never remove any leaves above the horizon of three to nine (on a clock).

One other thing to consider when pruning palms are the flowers and fruit. It is fine to leave them or prune them. If you have a palm that produces fruit that you do not want littering the yard, it is actually easier to trim off the lighter flower stalk rather than waiting to prune a heavy fruit stalk.

Please keep in mind, if you cannot safely prune a palm tree or any tree safely, it is best to hire a Certified Arborist to complete the task. These professionals are trained in proper pruning techniques, safety, and are up to date on the latest recommendations through continuing education classes. You can find a local Certified Arborist by visiting the International Society ofArboriculture online.

For more information on proper palm pruning check out:

Trees and Hurricanes



As Hurricane Irma approaches, many people are rushing to prune trees.  Please make sure you follow UF/IFAS recommendations and always hire a certified arborist to do the work.






Here is some helpful information for before and after the storm: 

Hiring an arborist

Trees and Hurricanes website

New research on pruning to reduce wind damage (contains pruning techniques, videos and pruning comparisons)

Proper pruning near power lines

Tree management for wind resistance

Palm Care:

Proper pruning of palms

Restoring damaged palms

Remember, if you have any questions about how to care for your trees before and after a hurricane, you can always contact UF/IFAS Extension Polk County. Stay safe!