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News Filed Under Trees

A small tree grows in the shadow of a mature tree.
September 12, 2017 - Filed Under: Landscape Design and Management, Trees

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are devastating reminders that storms take a terrible toll on landscapes and proof that some trees hold up better than others.

Mississippi landscapes must withstand flooding, hot summers, seasonal drought, ice storms, winters that can dip to single digits, a humid and subtropical climate, and high winds from hurricanes and tornadoes.

John Kushla, a forestry professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Forest and Wildlife Research Center, said native vegetation handles a wide variety of environmental conditions, but some species are able to survive storms better than others.

Man examining a pine tree for evidence of beetles
September 7, 2017 - Filed Under: Trees, Forest Management, Forest Pests

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi is having a breakout of tiny beetles that use pheromones to gather sufficient numbers of reinforcements to overwhelm healthy trees.

Current Mississippi Forestry Commission flyovers indicate nearly 5,000 separate Southern pine bark beetle outbreaks across the state. Outbreaks can range from just a few trees to more than an acre of infested and dying pines.

Outbreaks are especially bad on national forestland, but homeowners and private landowners are also experiencing the problem.

September 7, 2017 - Filed Under: Agri-business, Trees

CARROLLTON, Miss. -- Producers interested in growing fruit trees can learn about tree grafting and varieties during a Sept. 15 field day. 

Southern Cultured Orchards and Nursery in Carrollton will host the Alliance of Sustainable Farms event. Attendees will see a grafting demonstration, learn about varieties that grow well in Mississippi and tour the farm’s orchard.

The field day is free, but preregistration is required. Onsite check-in begins at 10 a.m. The program begins at 10:30 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m. The field day begins at Stephenson’s Bluff, located at 1012 College St. in Carrollton. 

Mississippi foliage is just beginning to change to fall colors in Oktibbeha County on Oct. 12, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
October 14, 2016 - Filed Under: Trees, Environment

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- It appears the fickle Mississippi weather has finally caught up with the calendar.

As of the Autumnal Equinox on Sept. 22, we entered autumn or fall, a glorious transitional season between the sweltering heat and humidity of summer and the cold, damp days of winter. Recent cooler days and crisp nights attest to the change.

Southern Gardening TV recently featured the Savannah holly, which is outdoing itself across the state this year. Its colorful fruit load can weigh down branches. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
December 7, 2015 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Trees

Driving around Mississippi’s coastal counties has reminded me that we are in the middle of the red berry season. Yaupon hollies have translucent red berries that sparkle like landscape jewels, and Nellie R. Stevens have dark, glossy-green foliage that provides the perfect background for bright-red berries.

Trim branches at the branch collar, which is a slightly raised area around the point where the branch is connected to the tree trunk. The tree will heal better if the branch is removed at this point rather than flush with the trunk (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
October 5, 2015 - Filed Under: Trees

In my position with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, I tend to look at myself as a problem solver. I recently had the opportunity to evaluate some less-than-optimal tree pruning.

The question at hand was whether the pruned trees were irreparably damaged or if some corrective actions were needed. In my opinion, while the pruning in this case was sloppily performed, the trees will survive and should be OK.

This crape myrtle branch is encrusted in the white felt of crape myrtle bark scale, an invasive insect that damages the once low-maintenance trees. (Photo by MSU Extension/Blake Layton)
September 9, 2015 - Filed Under: Plant Diseases, Trees

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University experts found an invasive insect that attacks crape myrtles on the coast this spring and now have spotted the pest in two cities on opposite ends of the state.

The insects are crape myrtle bark scale, or CMBS, and they were found March 15 in Ocean Springs in Jackson County. In August, the insects were detected at five locations in Olive Branch and Southaven in DeSoto County.

Crape myrtle bark scale were found in Mississippi in March. This invasive insect, photographed in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, on March 15, 2015, attacks beautiful and normally low-maintenance crape myrtles. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
April 2, 2015 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Insects-Ornamental Plants, Insects-Pests, Landscape Architecture, Trees

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. -- A new insect pest found in Mississippi on March 15 could take away the crape myrtle’s status as a beautiful and low-maintenance landscape tree.

Crape myrtle bark scale, or CMBS, is an invasive insect that came to the United States from China. It was first found in Texas in 2004 and has since spread east to Shreveport and Houma, Louisiana; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Germantown, Tennessee. Ocean Springs joined this list when the insect was found on the coast in Jackson County.

Starkville resident Kathy Elmore, left, cuts a hole into a rootstock during a fruit-grafting workshop on March 26, 2015, at the Northeast Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona as Donna Miller of Starkville looks on. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Nathan Gregory)
April 1, 2015 - Filed Under: Fruit, Trees

VERONA, Miss. -- Six recent fruit tree grafting workshops across the state were in such high demand that the Mississippi State University Extension Service is already planning another series of training sessions for fruit growers.

Crape myrtle bark scale appear as white or gray encrusted waxy spots around pruning cuts and in the crotches of branches. Underneath the waxy coating, the scale appear to be pink. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
March 16, 2015 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Trees

It seems that crape myrtles face a lot of dangers this time of year.

Many still face “crape murder,” or being butchered by having their branches improperly cut off at the same place every year. A novice gardener sees a so-called “professional” landscape company do it, so they think they need to cut their own crape myrtles in the same way. In horticulture CSI terms, this is a classic copycat crime.

But this column is about another threat to our beautiful crape myrtles.

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November 11, 2013 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Fruit, Trees

Last year, I wrote about the wonderful citrus we can grow in Mississippi and how I was inspired by my friend Terry, who actually picked 1,800 Satsuma oranges from his two trees. You have to realize his trees are huge, and since they haven’t been pruned at all, he has to prop up the heavily laden branches with boards to keep them from snapping off.

What you are about to read is my experience as a first-time citrus grower.

The wax myrtle produces thousands of small, waxy, blue berries that feed around 40 species of birds.
October 22, 2009 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture, Trees

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

In my region, the southern wax myrtle reigns supreme. When I say “my region,” you might think I mean the Deep South, but actually it stretches from Texas to the East Coast and as far north as New Jersey. You could not ask for a better small tree to act as a privacy screen around a porch, patio, deck, or garden bath or to soften harsh walls. Coastal residents are always looking for plants tolerant of salt spray, and wax myrtles are among the best.

The maroon leaves of the Delta Jazz crape myrtle do not scorch in the heat of Mississippi summers, and the foliage is accented by medium pink flowers. (Photo by MSU/Wayne J. McLaurin)
September 17, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Lawn and Garden, Trees

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Sales will begin next year for Delta Jazz, a new crape myrtle developed by Mississippi State University that has maroon foliage and handles the heat of Southern summers.

MSU researchers developed and licensed this variety to Plant Development Service Inc. of Loxley, Ala., for commercial sale through the Southern Living Plant Collection. PDSI has established itself as a global leader in new plant introductions. Delta Jazz will be available for purchase in garden centers across the Southeast in the spring of 2010.

A Crimson Queen Japanese maple forms a brilliant backdrop for this yellow flag iris bed, which is set off by the white lamp. (Photo by Norman Winter)
May 21, 2009 - Filed Under: Trees

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Spring landscapes with azaleas, rhododendrons, dogwoods and redbuds look simply incredible. But as magnificent as these landscapes are, they are not complete without the addition of a Japanese maple with its lacy, fern-like foliage.

February 11, 2009 - Filed Under: Trees

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippians will celebrate a 137-year-old holiday honoring the beauty and benefits of trees Feb. 13-20.

National Arbor Day, founded in 1872, is observed nationwide and encourages tree planting and care. States observe Arbor Day during their region's tree-planting season. Arbor Day in Mississippi is honored on the second Friday in Feb., and the celebration continues for one week.

After a summer of medium to dark green color, Autumn Blaze red maple leaves turn fiery orange in the fall.
November 20, 2007 - Filed Under: Trees

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

No tree can paint a picture in the landscape quite like the Ginkgo biloba. I recently wrote about the Autumn Blaze red maple and how its fiery scarlet oranges were lighting up landscapes, and now it's the Ginkgo tree's turn.

After a summer of medium to dark green color, Autumn Blaze red maple leaves turn fiery orange in the fall.
November 15, 2007 - Filed Under: Trees

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Once again I am surprised by the fall leaf color, especially after the drought across so much of the region. Native hickories are showing outstanding golden orange color, but the stalwart performer in many landscapes is the Autumn Blaze red maple.

The deodar cedar is a large, stately conifer that makes a big impact in winter landscapes with its evergreen color. Lower branches bend gracefully downward and up again, and are covered in needle-like, silvery blue-green leaves about two inches long.  Deodars grow into handsome specimen trees.
December 19, 2006 - Filed Under: Trees

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The deodar cedar is one of my favorite trees in larger landscapes. Oddly enough, its country of origin is seen daily in the headlines. Can you guess? It's from Afghanistan and the Himalayas.

To me it's from Lucedale. Some of our great woody ornamental producers grow this tree.  Most of you probably think of me as a tropical nerd or flower nut of some kind, but I'll readily admit that I may wake up a conifer freak some morning.

The goldenrain tree fits nicely in urban landscapes. They are small, reaching 20 to 40 feet in height, and they erupt into long 12- to 15-inch sprays of yellow blossoms. They are drought tolerant once established in the landscape with little-to-no insect or disease threats.
September 14, 2006 - Filed Under: Trees

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Every day as I drive back and forth to the office, I get jealous of a neighbor who has an incredibly beautiful goldenrain tree blooming.

This is such an exotic-looking tree that it also has names like Bougainvillea goldenrain tree and Chinese flame tree. The latter is a very descriptive name because these trees erupt into long 12- to 15-inch sprays of yellow blossoms.

July 27, 2006 - Filed Under: Disaster Response, Trees

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Tree losses in South Mississippi from Hurricane Katrina are still rising 11 months and counting after the devastating storm made landfall.

Glenn Hughes, Mississippi State University Extension Service forestry specialist in Lamar County, said the extent of the damage is still being assessed and more trees continue dying from affects of the storm.

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