Klehm Receives Award

Friday, October 17, 2014 by

Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden is honored to recently be awarded the 2014 Non-Profit Beautification Award by the Rockford Area Gardeners of America. The award is in recognition of an outstanding Horticultural and Floral Site serving Rockford and Northern Illinois....

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Nature and Fallen Leaves

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 by

Not only do leaves make trees look beautiful, their importance in sustaining life on this planet cannot be understated. Their bright green appearance in the spring is an indication of the beginning of a new life cycle. In the summer leaves provide much needed shelter from heat and rain for wildlife and humans alike. They also serve as the vehicle through which trees produce their own food. Their dramatic beauty in the fall is simply unparalleled. In addition to all of this, properly used as mulch or compost they provide outstanding organic matter and nutrients to the soil called humus. Soils that have a high humus content, have abundant living biological activity to convert plant residues, leaf litter, animal dung and various biomass into stable humus. Humus gives the soil the ability to absorb...

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Indicators of Trunk Decay

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 by

A good indicator of decay is the presence of fungal fruiting structures on the trunk, limbs, or roots.  Fungal fruiting structures come in a variety of shapes such as bracket, hoof, shelf (collectively called conks) and mushrooms (toadstools).  Textures can range from spongy, stringy, crumbly, flaky, woody, leathery, corky to fleshy.  Color may be yellow, orange, brown, white or black.  Sunken or raised areas that are wet or dry on trunks or limbs can also be indicators of decay.  Open wounds at the base of a tree or spots where limbs have failed or have been pruned, especially improperly pruned, often signal extensive wood decay. Identifying trees with wood decay can also be difficult at times.  Decay that occurs cylindrically in the center of the trunk may be hidden from view by a ring...

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Autumn Leaves

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 by

According to horticulture experts in Illinois, favorable spring and summer weather will lead to vibrant fall tree colors throughout the state. Some sugar and red maples have already started to change color at Klehm.  The fall tree colors could last longer if the first frost holds off for a while, and if leaves aren’t knocked off of trees due to strong storms.  University of Illinois Extension Office horticulture educator Kelly Allsup also says that cooler temperatures produce better colors. Some trees are still stressed from last year’s drought, which can trigger early color changes.  Murphy also adds that a major weather change that happened last November caused many leaves to change prior to the final color stage. The autumnal equinox occurred on September 22nd, marking the official start of fall.  The dominant colors in...

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Why Leaves Change Color

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 by

Every autumn we revel in the beauty of the fall colors. The mixture of red, purple, orange and yellow is the result of chemical processes that take place in the tree as the seasons change from summer to winter. During the spring and summer the leaves have served as factories where most of the foods necessary for the tree’s growth are manufactured. This food-making process takes place in the leaf in numerous cells containing chlorophyll, which gives the leaf its green color. This extraordinary chemical absorbs from sunlight the energy that is used in transforming carbon dioxide and water to carbohydrates, such as sugars and starch. Along with the green pigment are yellow to orange pigments, carotenes and xanthophyll pigments which, for example, give the orange color to a carrot. Most of the year...

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Mark Dwyer Presentation

Saturday, September 20, 2014 by

Saturday, September, 20 10:00am-11:30am Mark Dwyer, Director of Horticulture at Rotary Gardens in Janesville, will give a presentation focused on a few shade plants that are good performers, not just new plants that have not been trialed. There is a lot to consider: type of shade, soil conditions, moisture, maintenance and more. You’ll learn what questions to ask in order to purchase the right perennials for a shady area. Members: Free Public: Included with admission.   Mark Dwyer’s presentation is hosted by the John and Pauline Cook Horticultural Lecture Series...

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