A novice lawn question!

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by Keith Elliott, May 2, 2021.

  1. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    Another early morning visit to the peonies...yes, the ants are back.

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  2. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    Yet another question...is there no end to what the lawns produce here?

    On my early morning trek around the garden, these little fuzzy things appeared. There's quite a few of them. I took several photos, not knowing if any of them would be clear enough to see what they might be. I've not noticed them before.

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  3. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    It looks like Val has this lilac earmarked to go alongside the big lawn. Andy was kind enough to give Val two of them, along with the plum saplings and a couple of hops. The hops are going to go alongside the arbor, which still hasn't been finished. Have to make a double gate for it as a single gate would be too wide.

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    And the hops.....

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  4. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    'LEAVE THEM THERE' Keith, Lol.

    D
     
  5. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Can't see clearly enough Keith, but possibly dandelion seedheads??
     
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  6. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    What a good friend !!
     
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  7. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    No, nothing like that. Not sure if I can get any closer, but they are just sort of a wispy looking, delicate, very fine web affair.

    OK, just went out again, see if you can see these better. They measure between about 3/8" to maybe 3/4". These are the smaller ones, I did see a bigger one in the middle of the grass but no photo of that one.

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  8. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    One thing we can say about the lilacs up this way is that they grow like crazy. We see them in colours from white to a very dark purple or maroon. There are literally thousands of them on this side of the lake...and the deer don't bother them! Now that we are starting to pay attention to all the various plants up this way, perhaps we should be stopping for a few photos.
     
  9. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    'Yes please' !!!?
     
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  10. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    Just cut the netting away from the one iris that is blooming. It opened up a little right away. Maybe by tomorrow it will have had a chance to eliminate the results of its' shackles and will be looking much happier.

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  11. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Do you have any cottonwood trees (Populus deltoides) in the vicinity? The fluff envelopes their seeds and can fill the air and cover the ground in places where they are numerous.
     
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  12. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    Good morning Margot...oddly enough I was just outside and asked Val if she knew what this white fluff was. She looked at me in utter disdain and said "these are the little puffballs that float down from the trees when it's a little windy". How to feel like an idiot in one easy lesson by Keith!

    We may have cottonwood trees here, and I was used to seeing them on the coast. Can't say that I have particularly noticed anything the same here, but that could very well be it. I think it's time I looked for those as well.
     
  13. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Contributor

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    I suggest —
    Cottonwood tree fluff — it is rampant in the Okanagan now (even floats on the lake) —- and floating thru the garden air here at Coast

    Makes me sneeze looking at it!

    Then the sticky bits fall off tree and get tangled in any house pet w longer fur

    Cottonwood is really pretty and has a unique scent when burned on a fire (campfire)

    I can’t find a distribution map readily (UBC EFlora map is not working recently for me on my computer and phone)

    Black cottonwood - Province of British Columbia
     
  14. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    Well, the mystery of the puffballs is no longer a mystery.

    Our neighbours came over for a visit late yesterday and let us know that they do have cottonwood trees on their land. Coincidentally, while they were here, we got inundated again with these little puffballs flying through the air and we were able to trace the source to a tree perhaps 100 yards away. At least we know who the guilty party is now! And, as @GeorgiaStrait mentioned, Steve is given to bouts of sneezing from this tree as well.
     
  15. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    Just received a call from HD, and the scarifier is in at long last. Only took just about a month! We will be picking it up tomorrow and then I can attack the nasties in the lawn! Val is out mowing the lawn as we speak...

    Must remember to take the camera along and see if I can get a pic or two of the smoke tree in their parking lot.

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  16. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Small correction: "Populus deltoides" is the eastern cottonwood of eastern North America. In BC, we have two "species" of cottonwoods, "Populus trichocarpa", associated with coastal BC and "Populus balsamifera", associated with northern BC. In between those two extremes, and even within those extremes of the province, most trees are hybrids of the two species. And, in fact, you can actually tell how what percentage of a hybrid an individual (female) plant actually is by looking at the fallen emptied fruit at the base of the tree (the long strands of chambers that once held the seed and associated fluff).

    Have a look at the third image with this observation black cottonwood from Rabbit Creek Archery Range, Anchorage, AK on June 05, 2020 by Aaron Wells. Closed black cottonwood forest predominantly pole-sized or small timber sized cottonwood and abun... · iNaturalist (direct link, should be here: https://inaturalist-open-data.s3.amazonaws.com/photos/79916747/original.jpeg?1592689586 ) See how most fruit will split into three, but it looks like a few will only split into 2? I'd say this is about a 90% Populus trichocarpa / 10% Populus balsamifera hybrid, though I would like to look at a few more of the fruits to increase the samples observed.
     
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  17. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    It looks like I am going to have to wander down to the suspected tree and see if there are any of the seeds on the ground. Would they likely be there at this time of year Daniel? I'm fairly sure that there must be a number of these trees on the next door property, which is 80 acres in size, and it is essentially all forest, about 100 years in age. There was a slide which came down the mountain about that long ago.
     
  18. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    The fruit husks will fall in a week or two, I suspect -- after all the seeds have been released.
     
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  19. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    I see, thank you very much Daniel.
     
  20. Keith Elliott

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    We have had a very warm wind blowing in from the West for the past several hours, almost reminiscent of a Scirocco. There are thousands of Cottonwood puffs everywhere now. I went down the road and found several more Cottonwood trees, but even as far as I went the air was still filled with flying seeds.
     
  21. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Is either of these the same species as what farmers in the Fraser Valley have long planted as windbreaks? I remember in the 1950s, my father planted several 'poplar' trees on our 2 acres in Burnaby only to take them down several years later because they grew too tall too fast. We considered them junk trees. In those days, we never experienced the blizzards of 'fluff' that are now commonplace in Burnaby at this time of year . . . even though there was far more land available.

    Are Populus trichocarpa, Populus balsamifera and Populus deltoides all responsible for the yearly storm?

    For those who have allergies, the preponderance of poplar trees is not at all popular.
     
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  22. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    Good morning Margot. I seem to think that there still might be some of those "poplar" windbreaks on some of the farms in the Fraser Valley. Quite honestly, I haven't paid any attention for several years, but next time we go down to the coast I will check more carefully.

    Our immediate neighbour here, with all the Cottonwoods, is affected quite badly.
     
  23. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Well, we're pretty far from lawn questions talking about Populus. Windbreaks would likely have been Populus nigra 'Italica', or the Lombardy poplar.

    And the poplars overall get a bad rap -- sure, there might be a few people who are allergic to the fluff, but--let's bring this back to lawns in a way--the overwhelming majority of allergic reactions at this time of year will be due to grass pollen, which occurs at roughly the same time.
     
  24. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    Back to the lawn in question.

    Here is the scarifier which we were finally able to pick up yesterday, put it together this morning and tried just three passes over the edge of the grass. This is the poor grass close to the plant border.

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    here's the business side after the three passes. At this point the collector bag was already more than half full, and the company recommends emptying the bag by this point.

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    This was cut with the setting at zero, or the mid point of the adjustments. They suggest that we start here. There was practically no effort required to push the machine over the grass at this setting, and being electric, it's fairly quiet.

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    On the return pass, I moved the setting one position lower - out of the two lower positions that are possible - and it now looks like this. Doesn't look that different in the photos, but in person the difference can easily be seen. It is still very easy to push.

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  25. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    I should have realized that there would be some soil that would get cut up and deposited in the bag, but I was still somewhat surprised at how heavy this half full bag was. It looks like this after I dumped it into the wheelbarrow. I think I might make a separate compost box for this, considering what it might contain in the way of weeds. If you think that may not be necessary, by all means please let me know, thank you. There are a few very tiny stones in there as well.

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