Knowledgebase

Search Johnson's Nursery plants or plant matters.

Knowledgebase

Search Johnson's Nursery plants or plant matters.

July 17, 2017
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Plant Sex

Plant Sex Wisconsin summers are like a tumultuous love affair. They can fluctuate from hot and steamy to cold and rainy in the course of one night. Did you know that summer love affairs are happening all around us in broad daylight? Plants everywhere are fornicating, right in front of […]
July 13, 2017
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USDA Hardiness Zones

USDA Hardiness Zones USDA Hardiness Zones are the first step in determining which plants will reliably perform in a given space. The map breaks the US into numbered zones (1-13) based on the mean annual minimum extreme temperatures over the last 30 years, which are divided in increments of 10° […]
July 13, 2017
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Crazy Common Caterpillars

Crazy Common Caterpillars My son, Jack, loves books. He is almost one year old and loves to grab them, throw them, chew on them. He also adores books being read aloud to him. The other night I was reading him “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle and it occurred […]
July 2, 2017
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Rabbit Resistant Perennials and Shrubs

Rabbit Resistant Perennials and Shrubs Rabbit Resistant Perennials and Shrubs Recently, my husband and I were babysitting my cousin’s kids. Since we don’t have children of our own, the selection of kid-friendly movies in our house is pretty limited. But my husband does have a complete set of Looney Tunes […]
June 17, 2017
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Naughty Natives pt 2: Shrubs

Naughty Natives – Part 2: Shrubs Naughty Natives – Part 2: Shrubs If you missed Part 1 of the “Naughty Natives” series, we highlighted trees. And here in Part 2, we’re discussing shrubs. This “Naught Native” series aims to highlight the Wisconsin native plants that have a bad reputation as […]
June 14, 2017
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Soils & Stones Beneath Your Feet

Soils & Stones Beneath Your Feet When you’re talking plants – you can’t ignore the soils and roots. When you’re talking roots – you can’t ignore the soil. When you’re talking soils – you can’t ignore the bedrock. Southeast Wisconsin’s “dirty” history (get it? DIRT?!?) begins many millions of years […]
June 11, 2017
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Choosing Natives

Choosing Natives You may ask yourself, what is a native plant? Well, simply said (or not so simply) a native plant is one that has occurred naturally, without human help, in a particular place since before European settlements. These plants have existed and evolved over thousands of years in a […]
May 25, 2017
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Phenology

Phenology The calendar says that spring is officially here, but it doesn’t really look like it yet. Today’s tip touches on a branch of science called phenology, meaning when climatic conditions correlate with plant and animal behaviors. Some say spring has arrived when you spy a robin. I say it […]
May 19, 2017
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History of Johnson’s Nursery

Johnson’s Nursery History Johnson’s Nursery, Inc™ (“Johnson’s Nursery”, “Johnson’s”, “JNI”) history begins its roots in the 1950’s with Clark Johnson. The original site was just south of the current location on Marcy Road in Menomonee Falls. In less than 10 years it outgrew its hobby intention and Clark opened the […]
May 16, 2017
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2017 Spring Plant Draft Picks

2017 Spring Plant Draft Picks We’re excite to announce the 2017 spring plant draft picks. Tulip blooms dotting the landscape aren’t the only sign that spring has arrived. Football fans eagerly watch to see who their favorite teams will acquire to create a winning line up in fall. These players […]
May 7, 2017
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Summer Bird Gardening

Summer Bird Gardening Your favorite bird or flock of birds are returning from their annual migrations and Mother Nature is providing a welcome home feast for them. Learn how to invite them to the yard and create a “birdscape”! You can still have feeders with seeds, nuts, and fruit to […]
May 2, 2017
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Nativars In Landscaping

What is a nativar? In the last few months I have had numerous people ask me what I thought about nativars and their appropriateness for native landscaping. Here are my thoughts. Allan Armitage, a horticulture professor at the University of Georgia, likely created the term nativar to mean a cultivar […]
April 18, 2017

Cultivar – What Is It?

Cultivar What is a cultivar? What are their advantages? My husband and I are expecting a little seedling in the fall. Thank goodness there is only one in here, but say I were having identical twins. They would be genetically identical, just like a plant “cultivar”. When the seeds of […]
April 14, 2017
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Hedging & Shearing

Hedging & Shearing Hedging & Shearing Featured Image: Taxus x media ‘Tauntoni’, Taunton Yew **If you are unsure if this method is best for your plant, search for your plant here in our knowledgebase and scroll down to the maintenance section within the plant’s profile.** When should you prune? – […]
April 14, 2017
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Rejuvenative Method of Pruning

Rejuvenative Method of Pruning Rejuvenative Method of Pruning Featured Image: Hibiscus ‘Cherry Cheesecake’ PPAF **If you are unsure if this method is best for your plant, search for your plant here in our knowledgebase and scroll down to the maintenance section within the plant’s profile.** When should you prune? – […]
April 14, 2017
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Thinning Cuts Method of Pruning

Thinning Cuts Method of Pruning Featured Image: Cornus sericea, Redosier Dogwood **If you are unsure if this method is best for your plant, search for your plant here in our knowledgebase and scroll down to the maintenance section within the plant’s profile.** When should you prune? – Annually or as […]
April 14, 2017
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Heading Cuts Method of Pruning

Heading Cuts Method of Pruning Featured Image: Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’**If you are unsure if this method is best for your plant, search for your plant here in our knowledgebase and scroll down to the maintenance section within the plant’s profile.** When should you prune? – Annually or as needed […]
April 14, 2017
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Haircut Method of Pruning

Haircut Method Pruning Featured Image: Hypericum kalmianum ‘Ames’, Ames St. John’s Wort **If you are unsure if this method is best for your plant, search for your plant here in our knowledgebase and scroll down to the maintenance section within the plant’s profile.** When should you prune? – Once every […]
April 10, 2017
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Delicious Landscapes

Delicious Landscapes We are in the age of sustainability. We buy energy-saving light bulbs and hybrid cars. I will furiously rummage through the office trash to retrieve an aluminum can that didn’t make it into the correct recycling bin. We want our ribeyes to be grass-fed, our eggs to be […]
April 9, 2017
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Deer Resistant Plants

Deer Resistant Plants Deer can be lovely to look at in the wild, but when they are dining on your most valuable landscape plants they can raise the blood pressure of even the most ardent nature lover. No list of deer resistant plants is 100% trustworthy. Their tastes can change […]
April 9, 2017
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Black Walnut Toxicity

Black Walnut Toxicity Occasionally, clients will call our offices with complaints about an area in their yard where nothing seems to grow. One of the questions we ask is “Is there a Black Walnut tree nearby?” Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) and a related species, Butternut (Juglans cinerea) produce juglone, a […]
April 5, 2017
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Signs of Spring

Signs of Spring Officially, the calendar says March 20th is the Vernal Equinox and the first day of spring. But in Wisconsin, where a snowstorm might still be around the corner, I know that spring isn’t official until I see certain signs every year. Sign #1 – Migrating birds start […]
April 1, 2017
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Harvest Windows & Dig Times

Harvest Windows Throughout the spring season, we hear from a lot of panicked people who think that their trees have to be in the ground by June. So not true! Trees merely have certain times of the year that they will tolerate having their roots physically cut and dug out […]
April 1, 2017
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Naughty Natives pt 1: Trees

Naughty Natives – Part 1: Trees Naughty Natives – Part 1: Trees Explaining why native plants are great could fill an entire library, trust me. However, sometimes people think that because a plant is native that must mean it is perfect, and all native plants are well-behaved and interact nicely […]
March 22, 2017
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Green Screens: Living Privacy Fence with Evergreens

Green Screens: Living Privacy Fence with Evergreens Green Screens: Living Privacy Fence with Evergreens Today the first signs of spring have brought me back to our tree farm in Jackson. Our fields are full of trees for potential green screens to hide your neighbors, a shed, or whatever obstacle you […]
March 13, 2017
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Tapping Maple Syrup

Tapping Maple Syrup “It’s what’s on the inside that counts when tapping maple syrup.” How often have we all heard that saying? When most people are enjoying the majesty of our state tree’s handsome shape or the breathtaking colors that the chills of autumn bestow upon its leaves, what’s on […]
March 12, 2017
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Redbud in Wisconsin

Redbud in Wisconsin Here at Johnson’s Nursery we have been growing Redbud trees almost since the beginning of our time. These are beautiful small trees that get to about 20 to 25 feet tall and wide, with a somewhat rounded outline. In flower they are absolutely stunning! They have magenta, […]
March 12, 2017
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Preferred Characteristics of Urban Plants

Preferred Characteristics of Urban Plants Featured Image: Exclamation!™ London Planetree, Platanus x acerfolia ‘Morton Circle’ 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 […]
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 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 vary from compacted […]
February 20, 2017
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Wisconsin’s Native Oaks

No group of trees symbolize strength and longevity more than Wisconsin’s native oaks. They has been revered by people all over the world for thousands of years. The Druids would not meet for ritual without having an oak tree present. The masts of the sailing ships that brought the pilgrims from […]
February 20, 2017
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Wisconsin’s Native Oaks – Red Oaks

Red Oak Group Red Oaks Northern Pin Oak, Hill’s Oak, or Scrub Oak Quercus ellipsoidalis 60’ tall by 45’ wide Northern Pin Oak or Scrub Oak as it is often called in the sand country of Central Wisconsin is a really tough, small scale species in the Red Oak group […]
February 20, 2017
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Wisconsin’s Native Oaks – White Oaks

White Oaks White Oaks White Oak Quercus alba 50-80’ tall by 50-80’ wide White Oak, along with Red Oak, is perhaps the most important Oak species in our Southern Wisconsin forests. The White Oak is common in our pre-settlement woodlands and can be easily distinguished from other oaks by its […]
February 20, 2017
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Wisconsin’s Native Oaks – Pests

Native Oak Pests & Diseases Two-lined Chestnut borer “The most important insect cause of oak mortality is the two-lined chestnut borer (Agrilus bilineatus).” This statement by Phil Pellitteri, a former professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is one all who plant native oaks in Wisconsin should be aware of. These […]
February 18, 2017
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Forcing Tree Stems

Forcing Tree Stems We are smack in the middle of a long cold winter and that darn groundhog says it won’t be over soon. Today I’m going to show you how to bring a little spring indoors by forcing tree stems. Cutting stems of spring flowering trees and bringing them […]