Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Acorns Fall into Winter

white oaks
have hopes
many fell
look well
make a tree?
we'll see
depends on
the winter flows
and weevil goes

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fall Color at Glacier Oaks

Colors are coming and insects are humming. Fall is for planting! Call for availability in our container line of native trees and shrubs.

The intensity of fall leaf color depends a lot on weather in early fall. Optimum color results when soil moisture is good, days are clear and nights are cool. So far so good!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Signs of Summer #2 - Lightning Strikes White Pine Afterall

White Pine (Pinus strobus) is one of the great 5 needle natives for the midwest. One of the more ornamental pines in maturity, it is thought to be somewhat resistant to lightning. Mother Nature is always making exceptions to our rules...

Signs of Summer #1

For a fast-growing, shade tolerant, heat resistant, all season colorful native shrub, Diervilla lonicera (Dwarf Bushhoneysuckle) is one of the best. For a woodland border plant, it is extremely site tolerant and works well in many urban locations.

If honeybees are any indicator, Diervilla is high on the scale of fine nectar as well.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It's a Spring thing!

The sequence of leafing-out this spring is the same, but the time frame much condensed. A walk a day will keep the doctor away --and you won't miss the flowers and fragrances of spring.

On your walks, take note of plants along the way. This time of year lots of little treasures will be popping up under thickets of weeds. Native plants provide food for insects and birds passing through or native to the area. Although non-native ornamental plants have their place, and attract winged wildlife, they may not be able to sustain all of the life cycles that a native plant does. A plant that attracts butterflies with its nectar, may not have leaves to support the butterfly larvae. Taking note of the biodiversity around us will help us take care of our native species as well as our ornamental gardens.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Spring is Here! (knock on wood)

Corylus americana

American Hazelnut

wakes up

after a very long winter.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Thoreau's Winter

I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech-tree,
or a yellow birch,
or an old acquaintance among the pines.
Henry David Thoreau 1817-1862

Monday, February 4, 2008

Saving McHenry County Oak Groves

The Chicago Tribune article today highlights the efforts of The Land Conservancy of McHenry County, McHenry County Conservation District, Glacier Oaks Nursery and Project Quercus.

McHenry County coalition works to return oaks to full splendor
In McHenry County, coalition taking steps to restore shrinking forests

By Carolyn Starks- Tribune staff reporter

"The oak saplings at Glacier Oaks Nursery in Harvard are bundled like children in a snowstorm inside warm tunnels that will help them thrive until spring. They may look fragile, but their spindly branches carry a heavy burden.

Conservationists are counting on these baby trees as a small step in helping assure that mighty oak forests remain rooted in McHenry County..."

Another article on Project Quercus in McHenry County appeared in the Northwest Herald, on 12/28/07.
'County's Oak Population Getting Bare'

The following is a breakdown of oak forest coverage in McHenry County by the year.
1838: 143,000 acres.
1872: 72,000 acres.
1939: 26,350 acres.
2005: 18,000 acres.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


This month we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision of 'making a difference'.

At Glacier Oaks, making a difference comes in the form of propagating and growing native plants used in woodland and savanna restoration, native and sustainable landscaping.

It may be cold outside (there is a wind chill of -15ºF) but we are busy inside planning our native plant propagation for our contract growing program. (inquire by calling Mary Tree at 815-482-7404).

See the Jan/Feb'08 issue of Chicagoland Gardening for our contribution entitled Chicagoland Natives - Native Plants to Attract Wildlife.