Friday, August 28, 2015

Dog Days of Summer

Rain fell almost every day in June.  July was cooler than usual with timely rain and high humidity. Thus, fungal issues have been abundant on many ornamentals.  Rust, black spot, powdery mildew, and wilt have been bad this year.  Many of these issues could have been avoided had the plants been given proper spacing at the time of installation.  Consider the mature size (or desired maintained size) when designing and planting. Plant health problems resulting from overcrowding is a big problem with many plants that require good air movement.  With the dog days of summer upon us, we are faced with these plant health problems that could have been prevented.  At this time, fungal sprays will help some of these problem plants hold a few more leaves longer but will not eliminate the unsightly leaves that exist.  The plant will drop these leaves when they don't have enough surface area to function at this time.  Good sanitation of cleaning up the dropped leaves will help prevent re-infecting the plant.

Soon the dog days will be past and Comet and I will be getting ready for hunting season.  New crops will be ready at the nursery and the pace will pick up as fall approaches.  Until then, we're enjoying a refreshing swim in the lake.  

Don and Comet  

  Hillsdale Lake is the place to be.  Lake living is the life for me.  Water spreading out so far and wide.  Keep Olathe, just give us that lake lifestyle.  

(Our apologies to the late Eddie Albert and Green Acres.)

Don Mann, Sales Representative, Loma Vista Nursery

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Trees Tolerant of Flooding

It's raining, again, as I write this! It has been a reccurring theme this year. As a Kansas native, I was reminded of the wet springs I endured living in the Chicagoland area with our unseasonably wet spring leading into summer. Between last year's rapid temperature drop in November that shut down trees in production to store up necessary sugars and the continuously wet soils this spring, it's no wonder some landscape trees are stressed.  

Rock Springs 4-H Center 
Rock Springs 4-H Center, Junction City, Kansas

During a recent hot August weekend, I enjoyed walking Rock Springs' numerous nature trails shaded by large majestic trees towering above me as when I attended 4-H camp in my youth. Even at this utopia I saw newly planted trees that suffered stress from this past year. With the onset of hot days without rain, timely watering this summer and leading into fall are vital for trees that have suffered root damage from flooding.

This year your customers are more likely to become interested in trees that are flood tolerant. The most inclusive list I found about flood tolerant trees is an article on Michigan State University Extension's website. The US Forest Service and Journal of Forestry can also be entrusted as valuable resources on this topic.

Trees ranked with high tolerance to prolonged flooding for more than one year include a select few, e.g. Taxodium distichum. Ash is in this category too, but with the recent spread of the emerald ash borer we will need to find alternative trees to plant such as Red Maple varieties.
Shawnee Brave Taxodium
Very Tolerant - Taxodium distichum 'Shawnee Brave'
Trees that are tolerant to flooding for one growing season include Acer negundo, Acer rubrum, Celtis occidentalis, Liquidambar styraciflua, Platanus occidentalis, Quercus imbricaria, and Quercus palustris.

Exclamation Platanus 

Somewhat Tolerant -
Platanus x acerifolia Exclamation™

Somewhat tolerant species can withstand flooding or saturated soils for thirty consecutive days during the growing season. They include Betula nigra, Gleditsia triacanthos, Nyssa sylvatica, Quercus bicolor, Quercus macrocarpa and Ulmus americana.

There are many symptoms you may notice on flood sensitive trees such as leaf drop or curl, iron chlorosis, branch dieback or even death. Most trees can maintain their health if waters recede within seven days. Don't fret if the flood water is flowing as it has the benefit over stagnant water by providing oxygen to the roots. Any sediment deposits left behind by flood water should be removed quickly as three inches can decrease oxygen to the roots and kill especially a small or recently planted tree.

Loma Vista has added many new crops of container trees to our current inventory as a result of this productive growing season and they are ready for your fall shipments. Call us today for great selection on some beautiful trees!

Would you like to tour Loma Vista's container farm? Contact your sales representative or

Sheila Balaun, Inventory Control/Customer Service, Loma Vista Nursery

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Summer Update From Propagation

We have had a very good year in the Loma Vista Propagation Department.  Thanks to the early spring, we were able to get started on May 15 with softwood cuttings and are approaching our goal of 690,000.  We have also propagated 80,000 unrooted perennial cuttings, seeded 83,600 grass plants and are currently working on grass divisions of Miscanthus sinensis Gracillimus.

grasses in propagation 
Grass divisions are one of our largest propagation duties.  Loma Vista carries approximately 25 varieties of ornamental and native grasses in 1 gallon, 3 gallon and 5 gallon sizes.  We propagate 90 percent of these grasses, which totals about 90,000 plants.

grass divisions


Karl Foerster Calamagrostis

In order to increase our efficiency with this task, we are in the process of transforming an old diesel storage area into a plant washing station.  The plan is to load a trailer with pruned 5 gallon grass plants and then drive into the washing station and remove all of the container media with high pressure water.  Part of the root system will be cut away and the remainder of the cleaned plants will be ready to divide. All of the leftover container media and plant debris will be removed with a front-end loader and the area will be able to be cleaned easily with the high-pressure water.  Thank you Fernando Fernandez, our Operations Manager, for engineering this new facility and Samuel Smith our head mechanic for implementing it.  We will be testing it in the next couple of weekswith divisions of Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass.

As always, I have to thank Tony Marquez for his excellent leadership and experience and the hard work of the 'Propagation Ladies.'

Would you like to tour Loma Vista's container farm?  Contact your sales representative or

Patricia Osborn, Propagation Manager, Loma Vista Nursery

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

We're Going to the IGC

As most people know, late summer is the kickoff to the trade show season.  Like a lot of the nursery and greenhouse folks, we are excited to head to the 2015 Independent Garden Center show at the Navy Pier in Chicago.  Meeting new people, seeing awesome new products and enjoying moving key note speakers.  

Jeremy and I will be attending the show and we look forward to talking with our IGC customers.  The show is August 18-20. Loma Vista is in booth 616.  We will have a nice assortment of our Midwest grown plant material along with a trade show special and wonderful giveaways.  

Carnival Black Olive Heuchera

Proven Winners Lemon Zest Rose
Twilight Oenothera
Oenothera Twilight

This show hits at a crucial time in the business with planning for next season underway and customers buying for the fall plant needs.  Fall and spring tree booking is in full swing.  It's never too soon to book your order for spring!  Stop by our booth and pick up the latest order form.  See you at the IGC.  

By Bobby Fields, Sales Representative, Loma Vista Nursery

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Hot and Beautiful

palm tree  

I recently went on vacation to Cozumel, Mexico.  Wow, the tropical plants were beautiful.  Everything was in full bloom. Palm trees were majestic.  Bird of Paradise blooming everywhere.  What a beautiful paradise.  

palm tree 

When I got home, I was wowed by the beauty of the plants that are blooming in the Midwest now.  Though we are in the heat of summer, we can enjoy so many plants that both thrive in the heat and have wonderful summer flowers.  

Try some of these in your landscape or for sale at your nursery and let your customers enjoy the beauty of summer flowering plants.

Lord Baltimore Hibiscus

Goldstrum Rudbeckia

Enduring Summer Red Crapemyrtle

Kopper King Hibiscus

Hyperion Daylily

Blue Satin Hibiscus

Pinky Winky Hydrangea


by Karen Brooks, Quality Control Manager, Loma Vista Nursery