White spots on your pine needles? Uh oh.

If you see white dots like these on pine needles, you might mistake them for something the tree produces itself, like pine gum. I did at first, too. But nope. Dots that look like small splashes of white paint or resin on the needles are the winter homes of an insect pest called pine needle scale (Chionaspis pinifoliae). These critters […]

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Whistling Gardens for evergreen inspiration

The Rock Garden at Whistling Gardens What’s going on in your winter garden – anything? With Toronto’s long, dreary winters, you’d expect us to pay more attention to the winter months. Yet, bedazzled by leaves and flowers, winter is often the last thing we think about. In 2012, Whistling Gardens near Brantford opened to give […]

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Lust List: Japanese Umbrella Pine

The Japanese umbrella pine isn’t a pine; it’s Sciadopitys verticillata, and like the ginkgo tree it has a prehistoric history. You can read all about it in this article from the University of Arkansas and this article from Conifers.org. What it is, though, is stop-in-your-tracks gorgeous. Yes, that’s the correct botanical term. Those crazy upside-down […]

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Behold the mighty redwood

Who could not love a tree with the multi-barrelled name Metasequoia glyptostroboides, the dawn redwood? It’s among the marvels of the tree world, a deciduous conifer. People typically think of conifers as being evergreens – the kind you put tinsel on. But conifer just means “cone maker.” The redwood makes cones, but it also sheds […]

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