Category: General

Christmas Trees

CHRISTMAS TREE SELECTION & CARE (1) A few simple care tips will keep your Christmas tree fresh and fragrant throughout the holiday season. For the freshest tree possible, consider going to a tree farm to pick and cut your own “Texas Grown.” If buying a precut tree, buy early for the best selection and to … […]

Posted in General


PRUNING PRINCIPLES Looking around East Texas this year, you will no doubt see trees that are pruned in several ways. How a tree is pruned will greatly affect the growth form, vigor, and stability of the tree. Two common types of pruning are thinning out and topping. Topping is not a recommended practice. In fact, … […]

Posted in General, Shrubs, Trees

Planting Trees And Shrubs

We are lucky that our climate permits the planting of trees and shrubs just about all year long. Bare-rooted plants can be planted in the winter and early spring. The advantage of bare- root planting is that you can back fill the hole with the dirt you dug out, which helps get uniform water penetration … […]

Posted in General, Shrubs, Trees

Ornamental Grasses

When we think about grasses, most of us think about turf grasses, but there are ornamental grasses that can enhance your garden. Being as attractive in winter after their top has dried as they are in summer, they are considered a four season plant. Keeping them in bounds is not a problem because they grow … […]

Posted in General, Shrubs

Native Plants

If you’re planning your landscape for color, beauty and food for the birds, try making native or adapted plants part of the picture. Here are some interesting plant options. Staghorn Sumac – from the Cashew family of plants, it turns bright scarlet in autumn and has small clusters of small red, one-seeded fruits. These make … […]

Posted in General, Shrubs


Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that thrives on other living plants for water and nutrients. Because it does not have a true root system, it feeds on a host tree using root-like projections called haustoria. These projections penetrate the host tree and suck out water and nutrients, thereby earning the name “Vampire plant”. It can … […]

Posted in General, Trees

French Drains Around Huge Oak

We have a huge pin oak (also called water oak) tree behind the house that covers the entire back yard on the left side. Due to the neighbor’s draining lawn flowing into our yard and a gutter at the back of the house, we have standing water on rainy days around much of this wonderful … […]

Posted in General, Trees

Vines for Shade and Color

Vines can be a lovely addition to your yard. They offer shade, screen and shelter. Many have colorful blooms; some have a lovely fragrance. Some will even provide edible fruit. Train vines on a fence or trellis for screening purposes, or shade a patio or an arbor with them. Vines are particularly useful in an … […]

Posted in General, Master Gardener Tips, Trees & Shrubs

Transplanting Trees and Shrubs

Although the ideal transplanting time in East Texas is early February, now is a good time to get ready for the newest member of your landscape family. After choosing a specimen tree or bush for your landscape, you should have done some root pruning to the transplanted around June or July. This is where you … […]

Posted in General, Master Gardener Tips, Trees & Shrubs

Pruning Young Plum Trees

The plum tree you planted last year survived. Now What? If your tree grew vigorously last year it may be time to prune it. Plum trees should be pruned in the late winter, just before the bud breaks. Open center pruning is recommended for stone fruit trees and should be done when the tree is … […]

Posted in General, Master Gardener Tips, Trees & Shrubs