December 29, 2017
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How to Prune Hydrangeas

How to Prune Your Hydrangeas How to Prune Your Hydrangeas How to prune your hydrangeas generally depends on which of the four groups it falls in: Smooth, Panicle, Bigleaf, and Oakleaf. We cover other pruning methods in Pruning & Your Plants; however, this specific article aims to help you identify […]
November 13, 2017
red maple acer rubrum freeman maple crimson king maple royal red maple

What’s A Red Maple, Anyway?

What’s A Red Maple, Anyway? I am often asked if we carry Red Maples at Johnson’s Nursery. My reply is, what do you mean by “red maple”? In this article I break down what is and isn’t a red maple, and why it matters to you. Red Maple The true […]
November 13, 2017
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Wisconsin Natives

Wisconsin Natives At Johnson’s Nursery, we love our native plants. They fill unique roles in our landscapes, are adapted to our soils and climate, and have co-evolved with our other Wisconsin native species to create the mosaic of diversity that is Wisconsin. In addition to their special use by wildlife, […]
November 13, 2017
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Urban Approved

Urban Approved The goal of the Urban Approved standard is to be the starting point when selecting plants for difficult sites in built-up areas. Decisions regarding the Urban Approved title are made conservatively, and we will not grant the title to a plant that has not been adequately tested. What […]
March 12, 2017
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Preferred Characteristics of Urban Plants

Preferred Characteristics of Urban Plants Urban Approved plants should possess one or more attributes that makes them better suited to developed areas over similar species. Broadly, these can be thought of as how these plants interact with the surrounding environment in ways that are beneficial (or at least not detrimental) […]
March 12, 2017
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Structure and Disease Resistance

Structure and Disease Resistance Featured Image: Ulmus spp., Elm Urban Approved plants must have good structure, require low-to-minimal maintenance, and have no major insect and disease issues. These characteristics mean different things for different plant categories, which are explained below. Trees Urban Approved trees must have strong branching that resists […]
March 12, 2017
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Urban Site Challenges

Urban Site Challenges Urban Site Challenges Urban Approved plants must be able to reliably grow in harsh urban conditions. These areas are limited by mainly by soil, but also pollution. Urban soils are best described as heterogeneous and extreme. Within a 10 feet by 10 feet square, the soils can […]
December 29, 2016

Verticillium Wilt

Verticillium Wilt – What to Grow Verticillium Wilt – What to Grow Verticillium Wilt is a soil-borne fungus that affects a wide variety of plants, from vegetables and perennials to trees and shrubs. The fungus damages and kills plants by ‘plugging up’ its vascular tissue, preventing water and nutrients from […]
June 22, 2012
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LIST:
Lilacs Comparison Chart

Common Purple LilacSyringa vulgaris These are your standard, old-school lilacs that mature to at least 8’ in height and are typically as wide as they are tall. Common purple lilacs and their cultivars are excellent choices for the shrub border, as an individual specimen plant, or as a centerpiece in […]
February 14, 2011
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PLANT PROFILE:
Violet Uprising™ Lilac

Violet Uprising™ Lilac Syringa patula ‘JN Upright Select’ PPAF Description & Overview Violet Uprising™ Lilac is a new introduction (2020) selected for its upright habit and heavy flowering habit. Typically, taller than broad, this selection is an exceptional choice for hedging in a sunny location. At 9 years old, the […]
January 9, 2011
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PLANT PROFILE:
Bur Oak

Bur Oak Quercus macrocarpa Description & Overview The iconic oak of Wisconsin! Bur Oak is one of the toughest oaks, tolerant of highly alkaline soils and drought. Most have interesting corky bark on young branches. The acorns make it an excellent plant to attract wildlife. Use where space is not […]
December 13, 2010
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PLANT PROFILE:
Delft Lace Astilbe

Delft Lace Astilbe Astilbe x ‘Delft Lace’ PP19,839 Description & Overview Delft Lace Astilbe is a superb addition to eastern exposures with consistent moisture. Its blue-green foliage has a silver overlay in shaded gardens but will develop attractive purple-red margins in locations receiving direct morning sun. The foliage texture is […]
December 7, 2010
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PLANT PROFILE:
Fall Fiesta® Sugar Maple

Fall Fiesta® Sugar Maple Acer saccharum ‘Bailsta’ PP11,119 Description & Overview Compact and sturdy when young, the Fall Fiesta® Sugar maple matures to a symmetrical, full-sized tree with thick, dark green foliage. It truly shines in autumn, its leaves turning a brilliant mix of red, orange and yellow color! Core […]
December 7, 2010

PLANT PROFILE:
Autumn Blaze® Maple

Autumn Blaze® Maple Acer x freemanii ‘Jeffersred’ PP4,864 Description & Overview A rapid grower with an upright oval habit, the Autumn Blaze Maple has rich dark green foliage which turns a brilliant orange-red in fall. It also holds its color longer than other selections! Core Characteristics Wisconsin Native: No – […]
December 4, 2010
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PLANT PROFILE:
Valley Forge Elm

Valley Forge Elm Ulmus americana ‘Valley Forge’ Description & Overview Released by the U.S. National Arboretum in 1995 for its high tolerance to Dutch Elm Disease, Valley Forge Elm is a whopping 96% tolerant to Dutch Elm Disease. It also has demonstrated excellent resistance to Elm Leaf Beetle, a serious […]
December 4, 2010
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PLANT PROFILE:
Princeton Elm

Princeton Elm Ulmus americana ‘Princeton’ Description & Overview Princeton Elm is an American Elm selected for its vigorous, upright symmetrical habit. Its large, dark green foliage forms a dense canopy turning yellow in fall. Tolerant of urban conditions and highly resistant to Dutch elm disease, Princeton Elm is an excellent […]
December 1, 2010
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PLANT PROFILE:
Sugar Maple

Sugar Maple Acer saccharum Description & Overview The Wisconsin State Tree, Sugar Maple is one of the hardiest and long lived of all the maples. Valued commercially for timber and syrup production, this tree is a staple of Wisconsin woodlands and fall color. With fall color ranging from gold to […]
November 30, 2010
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PLANT PROFILE:
Celebration® Maple

Celebration® Maple Acer x freemanii ‘Celzam’ Description & Overview Celebration® Maple is a fast growing, seedless selection of Freeman Maple. Its naturally symmetrical habit with strong, open branching structure is well-suited for street and residential use. Crisp green foliage turns an attractive golden-yellow with red hues in fall. Introduced by […]
November 29, 2010
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PLANT PROFILE:
Sienna Glen® Maple

Sienna Glen® Maple Acer x freemanii ‘Sienna’ PP11,322 Description & Overview Sienna Glen® Maple is an excellent alternative to the commonly planted Autumn Blaze Maple with stronger wood and denser branching. Its uniform pyramidal shape and strong central leader make it a close substitute for Ash trees, but with better […]
October 12, 2010
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PLANT PROFILE:
False Blue Indigo

False Blue Indigo Baptisia australis Description & Overview False Blue Indigo is a shrub-like perennial with attractive, soft blue-green foliage all season. In spring, open spikes of 1″ indigo-blue flowers emerge, followed by attractive seedpods that can be used in dried arrangements. While the blooms are early-season, the unique texture […]
October 12, 2010
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PLANT PROFILE:
Canadian Columbine

Canadian Columbine Aquilegia canadensis Description & Overview Canadian Columbine is an interesting shade plant with dainty, fan-shaped foliage. Numerous, nodding red flowers with yellow centers are borne on slender stems in late spring and early summer. Delicately beautiful, this plant is an excellent choice for alkaline environments in partial shade. […]
October 8, 2010
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PLANT PROFILE:
Prairie Smoke

Prairie Smoke Geum triflorum Description & Overview Prairie Smoke is an excellent native perennial for all season interest! In spring sprays of pendulous pinkish-white flowers explode into a striking display of smoky-pink feathery plumes creating a billowy cloud of “smoke”. Its fern-like mounds of foliage remain attractive all season and […]
October 8, 2010
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PLANT PROFILE:
Fischer Monkshood

Fischer Monkshood Aconitum fischeri Description & Overview CAUTION: All parts of this plant are poisonous. Handle with care. The stunning, deep-blue flower spikes of Fischer Monkshood provide a beautiful, (but deadly) vertical accent to the garden. Individual blooms are helmet or hood-shaped. Attractive, deeply lobed foliage makes this plant a […]
September 21, 2010
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PLANT PROFILE:
Autumn Fantasy Maple

Autumn Fantasy® Maple Acer x freemanii ‘DTR 102’ PP7,655 Description & Overview Autumn Fantasy Maple is a Freeman Maple cultivar with rapid growth, good branch angles, consistent red fall color, and a wide site tolerance. This selection can be considered an improvement on Autumn Blaze® Maple due to its improved […]
September 17, 2010
katsura tree cercidiphyllum japonicum johnson's nursery menomonee falls wisconsin ftimg

PLANT PROFILE:
Katsura Tree

Katsura Tree Cercidiphyllum japonicum Description & Overview Katsura Tree is a first-rate landscape plant with four-season interest and a fine texture. In spring, minute inconspicuous flowers bloom just before the foliage emerges with a reddish-purple color, maturing to a cool-blue green. The heart-shaped leaves turn a spectacular display of yellow […]
September 11, 2010
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PLANT PROFILE:
Common Hackberry

Common Hackberry Celtis occidentalis Description & Overview Common Hackberry is a large, Wisconsin native shade tree with a vase shape canopy. It tolerates tough sites and excels in urban plantings. Hackberry has characteristic wart-like bark and dark-red to purple fruits, lending itself well to bird-centric landscapes. Core Characteristics Wisconsin Native: […]
August 11, 2010
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PLANT PROFILE:
River Birch

River Birch Betula nigra Description & Overview Excellent for wet soil conditions. Beautiful exfoliating cinnamon-brown bark exposes the pink inner bark. Resistant to bronze birch borer. River birch is also known as Black Birch, Red Birch, and Water Birch. Core Characteristics Wisconsin Native: Yes USDA Hardiness Zone: to zone 3 […]
August 5, 2010
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PLANT PROFILE:
Tamarack

Tamarack Larix laricina Description & Overview Tamarack is a Wisconsin native deciduous conifer. Unlike most evergreens and conifers, the Tamarack tree loses its needles each winter season. It possesses a narrow, open conical form with horizontal branching and drooping secondary branchlets. The soft, bright blue-green foliage turns a rich golden-yellow […]
July 25, 2010
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PLANT PROFILE:
Trevi Fountain Lungwort

Trevi Fountain Lungwort Pulmonaria ‘Trevi Fountain’ PP13,047 Description & Overview Trevi Fountain Lungwort is an excellent low-maintenance perennial for use as a border or groundcover. Its intense blue flowers in early spring add a pop of color when few other perennials are blooming. The low foliage of Trevi Fountain shines […]
July 25, 2010
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PLANT PROFILE:
Zagreb Coreopsis

Zagreb Coreopsis Coreopsis verticillata ‘Zagreb’ Description & Overview Zagreb Coreopsis is a compact, clump forming plant with airy, thread-like bright green foliage. Daisy-like golden-yellow flowers are borne above the foliage throughout the summer. This selection is longer-lived than ‘Moonbeam’, making it a fine replacement that has a place in any […]
July 25, 2010
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PLANT PROFILE:
Ironwood

Ironwood Ostrya virginiana Description & Overview Ironwood is a small, slow-growing pyramidal tree native to the dry understory in our local oak woods. Its small mature size is great for restricted spaces and the tree will thrive in sun or heavy shade. While it has shown promise as a street […]
July 20, 2010
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PLANT PROFILE:
St. John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort Hypericum kalmianum Description & Overview St. John’s Wort is a handsome dense, rounded shrub with charming blue-green foliage. Abundant bright yellow flowers bloom in summer. The stems and seedheads appear varnished in winter adding a unique texture to the landscape. May also be known as Kalm’s St. […]
July 13, 2010
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PLANT PROFILE:
Butterflyweed

Butterflyweed Asclepias tuberosa Description & Overview Butterflyweed, Asclepias tuberosa, also known as Butterfly Milkweed, Orange Milkweed, Pleurisy Root, Chigger Flower is a slow-to-emerge perennial bearing fragrant clusters of orange flowers which attract butterflies. The seedpods are quite ornamental. Drought tolerant once established, requiring well drained soil. Core Characteristics Wisconsin Native: […]
June 25, 2010
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PLANT PROFILE:
State Street™ Miyabe Maple

State Street™ Miyabe Maple Acer miyabei ‘Morton’ Description & Overview State Street™ Miyabe Maple has a uniform, broad-pyramidal shape with excellent branching characteristics. Thick, clean dark green foliage holds its color late in the season then rapidly turns a pleasing soft yellow in autumn. Extremely tough, State Street™ Miyabe Maple […]
June 20, 2010
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PLANT PROFILE:
Espresso™ Kentucky Coffeetree

Espresso™ Kentucky Coffeetree Gymnocladus dioica ‘Espresso’ Description & Overview The Espresso Kentucky Coffeetree is a grafted male selection. Essentially, it’s your typical Kentucky Coffeetree, but there’s no seed pods. A coarse, upright branching habit in youth, this tree shines with age. Great for urban spaces! Core Characteristics Wisconsin Native: No […]