The Butternut Tree

(Juglans cinerea)

butternutA cousin to the black walnut, and sometimes called the white walnut, the butternut tree is a North American native, especially popular in the eastern United States. Butternuts, as the name implies, is popular in baking for their oily, buttery flavor. This sweet nut is also enjoyed by deer, squirrels and birds.

Here are a few things to note if you’re considering adding a butternut tree to your yard.

Environmental Conditions

  • Butternut trees grow well in acidic, alkaline, clay, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, salty and well drained soils (hardiness zones 3-7).
  • Slow growing tree, growing up to one foot a year and reaching 40-60 feet at maturity.
  • Does best in full sun.

Physical Attributes

  • Produces a rich butternut used in baking, confections and fresh eating.
  • Has a rounded canopy shape, making it ideal as a shade tree.
  • Note: nut production will occur in 7-10 years; it is self-fertile, but plant two trees for best results.

Do you have a butternut tree in your yard? Tag us in a photo, we’d love to see it!

Fall Shipping Starts Today

Today marks the start of fall shipping, which means your young trees are one step closer to arriving at your door step and starting their new life in your yard. Since we ship out by hardiness zones, it may still be a few weeks before some of them arrive. In the meantime, check out Tree Care Tips for Fall Planting to make sure you’re all set to get your seedlings in the ground as soon as they come.

In case it peaks your curiosity, here are the top 10 evergreen trees and shrubs from our nursery that are among the hundreds of trees that will be going out.

Woodward Globe ArborvitaeWoodward-Globe-Arborvitae_1-775[1]






American Arborvitae American-Arborvitae_1-776[1]






Emerald ArborvitaeEmerald-Arborvitae_1-777[1]






Golden Globe Arborvitae Golden-Globe-Arborvitae_1-778[1]






Green Giant Arborvitae Green-Giant-Arborvitae_1-779[1]





Common Boxwood Common-Boxwood_2-797[1]





Korean boxwood Korean-Boxwood_1-798[1]





Green Velvet Boxwood Green-Velvet-Boxwood_1-799[1]





Atlas Cedar Atlas-Cedar_1-806[1]





Deodar Cedar Deodar-Cedar_1-807[1]





What trees are you planting this fall? Tag us in a picture once it’s planted.

In The Kitchen With Chef Thomas: Caramel Apples

Join us as our head chef of the Lied Lodge & Conference Center shows you how to make caramel apples from scratch. Recipe below.


Caramel Apples

½ cup butter, cubed

2 cups brown sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1 pinch salt

1- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

Popsicle sticks

Medium tart apples

Melt butter and add brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cook to a boil, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in milk and vanilla. Cook until a candy thermometer reads 248 degrees. Allow the mixture to cool slightly and dip in apples. Allow that to cool for 45 minutes to an hour. Enjoy!

Tag us in a photo of your homemade caramel apples!

Thornless Honeylocust: The City Tree

(Gleditsia triacanthos)

Thornless-Honeylocust_1-852You may recognize the resemblance the thornless honeylocust shares with its relatives the honeylocust and the waterlocust of the deep South— minus the sharp thorns that cover its branches. The thornless honeylocust is popular for its ability to grow in urban stress areas such as parking lot islands and sidewalks. In fact, it has become so overused in some cities that it has become discouraged to plant to prevent monoculture. When too many of the same species are planted it can increase the threat of pests and disease.

This popular tree has a lot of great characteristics that make it a great contender to add to your landscape if it’s not prevalent in your area. Here are a few things to note if you’re considering adding one to your yard.

 Environmental Conditions:

  • Thornless Honeylocust grow best in deep, moist, fertile soils that are either neutral, slightly alkaline or slightly acidic (hardiness zones 3-9). Avoid highly acidic soils.
  • Fast growing tree, growing more than two feet a year and reaching 30-70 feet at maturity.
  • Prefers full sun, at least six hours of direct sunlight every day.
  • Can be used on hillsides to stabilize poor soil and control erosion.

Physical Attributes:

  • Has small, greenish-yellow blossoms around spike-like stalks, not particularly showy but are notably fragrant. The flowers are a good source for bees.
  • Develops a thin, airy crown that provides dappled shade while allowing grass to grown beneath.
  • Produces brown seeds pods resembling twisted leather straps that are popular among rabbits, deer and squirrels.


Tag us in a photo of your thornless Honeylocust!

Sugar Maple: An American Classic

(Acer saccharum)

Sugar-Maple_2-870[1]Aside from its reputation of being a major source of syrup, the sugar maple is a source of other things as well. Historically, the ashes of sugar maple was used for soap-making, and consuming the syrup was said to aid in kidney and liver problems. Additionally, the hardwood from this tree made it a top choice in furniture making.

Best known for its syrup, the sugar maple supports one of the largest industries in the United States, producing nearly two million gallons of maple syrup every year valued between $29 and $42 million. This tree is so popular that several states have even claimed it as their state tree, including New York, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Vermont.

Interested in adding a sugar maple to your yard? Here are a few things to note.

Environmental Conditions:

  • Sugar maples grow best in acidic, alkaline and well drained soils and are drought tolerant (hardiness zones 3-8).
  • Slow to medium growing, growing 1-2 feet a year and reaching 60-75 feet at maturity.
  • Does well in full or partial sun exposure.
  • Note: Not ideal for planter boxes, confined spaces or compact soil.

Physical Attributes:

  • No showy flowers, but displays vibrant fall foliage.
  • Produces seed pods that attract wildlife, including chipmunks and squirrels.
  • Has a wide canopy, making it an ideal shade tree in the summer.

Tag us in a picture of your sugar maple!

Katsura: The Tree on the Moon

(Cercidiphyllum japonicum)

1024px-Cercidiphyllum_japonicum_JPG01bHave you ever noticed the shadow on the moon? Ancient Chinese and Japanese folklore says that the shadow on the moon was created when a man being punished by the gods was sentenced to cut down a giant Katsura tree on the moon. The shadow is said to belong to the magic Katsura tree which can’t be cut down. As for the man, he is trapped on the moon forever.

Although the Katsura is not native to North America, it has grown in popularity for its appealing characteristics. It isn’t susceptible to many pests, and requires little care. Additionally, the tree emits a caramelized sugar scent in the fall. It doesn’t get much sweeter than that.

Here’s a few things to note if you’re considering adding a Katsura tree to your yard.

Environmental conditions:

  • Katsura trees grow well in acidic, loamy, clay and well-drained soil (hardiness zones 4-8). It is not drought tolerant, so water regularly.
  •  Medium growing tree, growing 1-2 feet a year and reaching 40-60 feet at maturity.
  • Has a shallow root system and some of the roots can grow to six inches in diameter or more above the soil. Does not do well in compact soil. Add mulch around the tree to maintain a cool root environment.
  • Tree grows in partial sun and full sun.

Physical Attributes:

  • Doesn’t have any showy flowers, but displays vibrant fall foliage with shades of crimson and yellow.
  • Relative of magnolia and tulip trees, producing heart-shaped leaves.
  • Releases sweet sugar smell in the fall, resembling brown-sugar or cotton candy.

Tag us in a picture of your Katsura tree!

Green Ash Trees: Food for Borers

(Fraxinus Pennslyvania)

green-ash-1070Green Ash trees are popular because of their durability and tolerance to a wide range of climates (growing anywhere in hardiness zones 2-9). They are great shade trees growing up to 60 feet at maturity and have a wide canopy. Despite being a hardy tree, the green ash has become victim to one of the most invasive insects in American History: the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).

The tree grew in popularity after the onset of Dutch elm disease and was heavily used as a replacement for the American elm. With a shift in evolving tree pests, the green ash is now one of the most susceptible trees to the infestation. EAB beetles feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients. EAB has killed tens of millions of ash trees in southeastern Michigan alone, with millions more under threat throughout the east coast and Midwest.

If you have an ash tree and live in a state where it is detected, you may have already lost it to EAB. If however your ash tree is still standing, then there are different insecticide options to protecting your trees in the fight against the Emerald Ash Borer.

  • Apply insecticides to your trees if you are within 10-15 miles of an EAB outbreak. Insecticides against EAB have progressed since the first outbreak in 2002 and are better than their earlier counterparts and less costly than removing trees altogether. However, this is a proactive measure in applying it to trees before they are infested.
  • If your trees are already infested insecticide will prevent further damage, but it will not reverse what has already been done.
  • There are different application methods of applying insecticides to ash trees, and it is a measure that will need to be continuously done for several years to ensure EAB doesn’t infest them.
  • Trees displaying more than 50% of canopy loss are less likely to recover even if treated with a highly effective insecticide.

figure-emerald-ash-borer-1[1]As important as it is to treat and care for your ash trees before they are infested, starting too early can be ineffective and a waste of money. If you are more than 10-15 miles of an EAB outbreak then it is probably too early to begin insecticide treatments. Stay up to date on the latest EAB infestations with quarantine maps. Learn more about the signs and symptoms of EAB by visiting

Despite the threat of EAB, ash trees are a wonderful species of trees. Their lush canopy provide shade in the summer heat and vibrant foliage in the fall.

Tree Care Tips for Fall Planting

sun thru fall trees

There’s something festive about the changing of leaves and cinnamon spice that loom the air. The cooler weather is perfect for fall planting because the trees are better able to retain moisture.

Despite the cold, as long as you’re able to stick a spade in the ground, it’s okay to plant your trees. They will stay dormant through the season and bud in the spring. In Fact, the roots will have more time to establish themselves, allowing them to bloom more lavishly and acclimate to the warmer weather easier. Plants with an established root system better withstand heat and wind the following summer.

Additionally, Pests and diseases are less likely to inflict trees in the cooler weather. Fall is also great for pruning older trees since most of the branches will be leaf-free.

Here’s a few helpful things to know when planting in the fall:

  • If you’re not able to plant immediately don’t worry, you can store your trees in a cool, dry place for up to five days. The garage or basement are perfect.
  • If you know you won’t be able to plant your trees within a week, then consider heeling in your trees. Better yet, be proactive and pre-dig your holes before the cooler weather sets in. Store the dirt you removed from the holes in a garage or tool shed to prevent it from hardening and becoming more difficult to work with when it comes time to planting.
  • When planting in the fall it’s important to use mulch around your trees to reduce the possibility of freezing and thawing that can lead to frost heaving. Mulch has multiple benefits including preventing evaporation, water runoff, improving water penetration to the root zones and limits weed growth that may also compete for water. A two to three inch layer is most effective.
  • Avoid planting in pots, unless it is a last resort. If you are planting in a pot for the season and intend to transplant it in the spring, be sure to keep the pot indoors or in the garage.
  • One thing to note is that when you do transplant in the spring it will be important to slowly reintroduce the plants to outdoor conditions by leaving them in the pots before transplanting into the ground.
  • Snow on the ground does not mean your soil is frozen. In order to freeze, your day time low temperature has to stay below 32°F for 4-6 weeks.

The fall is a wonderful time to plant because the weather is cool and ground isn’t wet. Fall planting might sound frightening at first because of the winter months the trees have to withstand, but they’ll be in a dormant state and shouldn’t be affected. It’s also great for pruning older trees since most of the branches will be leaf-free. Check out our Tree Planting Guide for step by step instructions on planting your tree.

What trees will you be planting this fall?

Lodi Apple: The Apple to Your Sauce

(Malus x domestica)

lodiThe lodi apple —a hybrid of the yellow transparent and montomgery apple —is a popular choice used in baking pies and making applesauce for their ability to cook down quickly. These yellowish-green apples have a soft, white flesh and sweet-tart taste.

Here are a few things to note if you’re considering adding one to your yard.

Environmental Factors

  • The Lodi grows well in moist, well-drained soil. It is not drought tolerant (hardiness zones 3-8).
  • This is a medium growing tree, growing up to two feet a year and reaching 20-25’ at maturity. Check out our fruit spacing guideto ensure it has plenty of space to flourish.
  • Prefers full sun, preferably 6-8 hours of direct sunlight every day.

Physical Attributes

  • Blooms white/pink flowers early in the season, yields fruit July-August.
  • Available in standard, semi-dwarf and dwarf sizes. Standard size bears fruit in 6-10 years. Will need a second tree to cross-pollinate to produce apples. Can pollinate with a variety of apples including red Jonathan or early harvest.
  • Has a short shelf life, but freezes well.

Do you have an awesome apple recipe? We’d love to hear it!

Stayman Winesap Apple: The Successor

(Malus X Domestica)

Stayman-Winesap-Apple_1-741[1]The Stayman Winesap is unique to other apples for its exceptional characteristics. It was developed in 1866 by Dr. Stayman and believed to be an improvement over its parent tree the winesap. The Stayman was popular to pioneers for its ability to keep long during the winter and its wine-like taste that lingered. It is a high-yielding tree and produces medium to large apples which are great for baking. What makes it even more gripping is that it is a triploid, meaning it has three sets of chromosomes instead of the usual two. The Stayman quickly became favored over other fruit trees for these unique qualities.

Here are a few things to note if you’re considering adding one to your yard.

Environmental Factors

  • The Stayman Winesap grows in deep, moist, well-drained soil, although texture is not critical. It is not drought tolerant, but does tolerate clayish or sandy soils as well as loam or sandy loam (hardiness zones 5-8).
  • Slow growing tree, growing up to a foot a year and reaching 10-25 feet at maturity. Check out our fruit spacing guide to ensure it has plenty of space to flourish.
  • Prefers full sun, preferably 6-8 hours of direct sunlight every day.

Physical Attributes

  • Blooms pink flowers midseason, distinct from other apple trees that bloom white.
  • Available in standard, semi-dwarf, and dwarf sizes. Standard size bears fruit 6-10 years.
  •  Note: the Stayman cannot pollinate other apple trees. But it does require a second tree to pollinate. Plant with yellow delicious, red delicious, red Jonathan or early harvest.
  • Bonus: has a long storage life, able to keep for six months if refrigerated.

Have an awesome apple recipe? We’d love to hear it!