Above freezing — As I look at the forecast, I don’t see one day or night below freezing through the work week. Yea! Read on for a vital task that can be done as long as the weather is above freezing.
Getting rid of weed trees — You may recall that we had a bumper crop of tree seeds that became tree seedlings last spring. Some of us may or may not have hoed up all the seedlings when it was easy to do so. Volunteer trees from other times also may be growing in your yard. If they’re too big to pull at this point, you can cut the little trees to a stump and apply a stump killer with a paintbrush, Ward Upham of K-State says.
Use triclopyr or glyphosate labeled for a cut stump treatment, Upham says. Use undiluted herbicide on the cut stump immediately after cutting, using a paintbrush. A foam brush rather than one with bristles is less likely to drip, Upham says.
“Trees do not need to be actively growing to be controlled. Actually this time of year is a very good time to treat as long as applications are made when the temperature is above freezing.”
One note of caution: Do not use stump killer on suckers, because it could kill the original tree, Upham says. “It is also possible for larger trees of the same species to be root-grafted,” he writes in the newsletter Horticulture 2014. “Even though root-grafted trees are not suckers, they do share materials between the individual root systems and therefore herbicides used to treat one tree can be passed to its neighbor.”
If there is a volunteer tree that you might like to keep, but in a different spot, transplant in the spring, Upham says.
Poinsettia care — “Modern poinsettia varieties stay attractive for a long time if given proper care,” Upham writes in this week’s Horticulture 2014 newsletter. You can’t always put it in the most favorable spot depending on how you’re using a poinsettia in your decor, but here are the best conditions for keeping the plant going for the longest possible time, Upham says:
Sunny window or brightest area of the room, not letting it touch cold windowpanes.
Day temperature of 65 to 75 degrees, night temperature of 60 to 65. Move plants away from windows at night or draw drapes between them to avoid damage from the cold.
Stick your finger about 1 inch deep in the soil every day. When it is dry to that depth, water the plant with lukewarm water until some water runs out of the drainage hole, then discard the drainage water.
Illuminations — Illuminations at Botanica runs from 5:30 to 8:30 nightly through Dec. 31 (excluding Dec. 24 and 25). Tickets are $8, $7 for members, $6 for ages 3 to 12, under 3 free. Advance tickets at Botanica, 701 N. Amidon, or QuikTrip stores. Information: 316-264-0448; botanica.org.
Winter Luminary Walk — Dec. 6 is the last night for the Winter Luminary Walk at Dyck Arboretum of the Plains. Hours are from 5:30 to 8 p.m., at 177 W. Hickory St. in Hesston. Admission is $5 for adults; $4 for members, seniors and college students; and $2 for ages 3 to 15. Information: dyckarboretum.org.