Archive for December, 2014

Pruning Tips

Friday, December 19th, 2014

tree pruningIt’s pruning season, right?  That depends on what we are talking about.

It IS the season to prune hardwood trees such as black walnut, red oak and white oak.  If you are ready to get out there and prune, but all means, get at it!  Here are some pruning tips:

  • Start at the top and work down. Assist the central leader by assuring its tip or apical bud is taller (higher) than any other leaders or branches that are competing for dominance. Totally remove or at least tip-prune any competitive leaders.
  • Remove no more than one-third of the tree canopy in any single year season. The key to a healthy root system is a healthy crown. If you remove too much of the tree’s ability to make food, root growth will suffer and set the stage for reduced crown growth the following year, that will lead to reduced root growth.
  • Do not prune flat to the stem. Instead, make an angled cut just outside of the branch collar (the donut-shaped growth surrounding the branches’ attachment to tree) so that the wound is about the same diameter as the branch. Do not leave stubs.

Crape Myrtle Trees – don’t murder them! 

The best time to prune Crape Myrtle trees is late winter, February – March.  The goal is to enhance the trees natural form, don’t force it to grow in a small space or prune it into an artificial shape. Crape myrtles naturally grow as small upright or vase shaped trees with multiple trunks. A well pruned crape myrtle will have the trunks grow upward and outward, with branches fanning out rather than growing inward into the center of the tree.

The wrong way to prune. A misconception that Crape Myrtles need to be severely cut back in late winter or early spring in order to flower well in summer has led to the unhealthy practice of topping these plants. If necessary, Crape Myrtles can be reduced in height without being topped.

Topping (buck horning or dehorning) or “crape murder” involves cutting stems back at an arbitrarily chosen height rather than pruning back to a bud, side branch, or main stem. Topping trees and shrubs is harmful in many ways and regarded as an unacceptable practice by trained horticulturists and arborists.   Research shows that stem decay significantly increases when topping cuts are made, and that more dead branches also occur within the canopy.  The trees are more prone to disease as well with topping.

Fruit Trees – NOT YET! 

WAIT…until the last hard freeze.  We need to wait until winter is almost over and spring is fast approaching. Since our average first frost-free day in Texas is around March 15, this month can be thought of as our early spring month. The best time to prune is late January through February.

Plants which bloom in early spring with the appearance of new leaves should be pruned after they flower. Those that bloom later in the spring or summer should be pruned during the dormant season in January or February.

Have any questions?  Let us know.  We are here to help.

 

 

2015 Texas Stock Show Dates

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

StockShow2014Show season is still going strong!  Here are the dates and locations of several major events around Texas in 2015.

Ft Worth Stock Show and Rodeo: Jan. 16-Feb. 7, 2015

San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo: Feb. 12-March 1, 2015

Star of Texas (Austin): Mar. 14 – 28, 2015

Houston Stock Show & Rodeo: Mar. 3-22, 2015

State Fair of Texas (Dallas): Sept. 25 – Oct. 18, 2015

 

Tips For A Dog Safe Christmas Tree

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Christmas-dog

Dogs can be incredibly curious about anything new in their environment, and this includes your holiday tree. The challenge is to anticipate your dog’s need to investigate before he gets into trouble.  Nothing can ruin the holidays quicker than a trip to the emergency vet. Follow these tips and help ensure your pet’s safety this holiday season.

Prevent Tipping

Make sure your tree has a steady base. Tipping can be a big problem, and your dog could be injured if the tree tips over on him. Once you have set it up, test your tree to see if it wiggles at all. If need be, you can anchor the base with some large rocks. Depending on where you set up the tree, you might also want to use some fishing line to tie the top of the tree to a banister or curtain rod to give it even more stability.

Cover the Water Basin

If you have a real tree, the water in the stand harbors bacteria and other chemicals. When you anchor the base with rocks, arrange them to cover the basin as well and just leave enough room to add water. Place your tree skirt over the rocks, and this should keep your dog from drinking the water.

Take Care with Decorations

Avoid hanging ornaments near the bottom of the tree where they are easily knocked off and broken. Your dog could cut his feet on the pieces or choke on an ornament if he tries to chew on it.

Tinsel presents another hazard. It can cause an intestinal blockage if your dog eats it, so consider another type of garland that’s not so easy to pick off the tree.

Cover Electrical Cords

If you use an old-fashioned string of lights to light your tree, you’ll want to make sure your dog can’t chew the cord. Make sure the cord drapes off the back of the tree, and tape the excess cord to the floor using duct tape.

Create a Barrier

You can easily cordon off the area around your tree using a portable exercise pen. Just run the panels around the tree to keep your dog away from it, and you can remove the pen when it’s time to hand out your gifts.

Source:  Kelly Roper

Dog Breeder and Exhibitor

November 29,2011

Winter Hunting Opportunities

Friday, December 12th, 2014
TX Dpt WildlifeSeasons are underway for the ever-popular geese, duck, whitetail and turkey. The Outdoor Annual provides the specifics of where, when and what species are in season.Other ongoing and upcoming seasons to anticipate in some zones are:

  • Late Dove – December 19-January 7 or 25 depending on zone
  • Pheasant – December 6-January 4 in 37 counties
  • Quail – October 25-February 22
  • Turkey – Various fall and spring dates depending on county
  • Chachalaca – November 1-February 22 in 4 counties

Check the Outdoor Annual from the Department of Texas Parks and Wildlife for detailed information about seasons, zones, counties and bag and possession limits.

7 Plants That Need Winter Pruning

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Between now and mid February Texas Pruning (1)gardeners should begin winter pruning.  Neal Sperry offers this list of plants that should be pruned during this time of year.

  • Shade trees:  remove damaged or dead branches (pruning sealant only on oak cuts). All cuts should be flush with the branch collar on the trunk.
  • Evergreen shrubs: prune to maintain natural growth form of your evergreen shrubs.
  • Peach and plum trees:  prune to remove vertical growth and keep plants low and from spreading.
  • Grapes: for those that grow grapes, remove as much as 80 to 85 percent of cane growth.
  • Summer-flowering shrubs and vines: prune damaged or excessive branches. Do not top your crape myrtle plants.
  • Prune dead stems and leaves from perennials to tidy up your garden beds.
  • Prune freeze-damaged stems from plants hurt by December cold. (Could include gardenias, oleanders, bottlebrush, pittosporum, depending on where you live in Texas.)

Spend the time now to prune and care for your trees and plants, it will pay off in the spring.  Looking for garden supplies?  Come visit our store!

2015 Great Backyard Bird Count

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Cedar Wax WingThe 18th annual GBBC will be held Friday, February 13, through Monday, February 16, 2015.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are.

Everyone is welcome–from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds.

Participants tally the number of individual birds of each species they see during their count period. They enter these numbers on the GBBC website.

Participants may also send in photographs of the birds they see for the GBBC photo contest. A selection of images is posted in the online photo gallery.

WHY COUNT BIRDS?

Scientists and bird enthusiasts can learn a lot by knowing where the birds are. Bird populations are dynamic; they are constantly in flux. No single scientist or team of scientists could hope to document and understand the complex distribution and movements of so many species in such a short time.

Scientists use the GBBC information, along with observations from other citizen-science projects, such as the Christmas Bird Count, Project FeederWatch, and eBird, to get the “big picture” about what is happening to bird populations. The longer these data are collected, the more meaningful they become in helping scientists investigate far-reaching questions, like these:

• How will the weather influence bird populations?

• Where are winter finches and other “irruptive” species that appear in large numbers during some years but not others?

• How will the timing of birds’ migrations compare with past years?

• How are bird diseases, such as West Nile virus, affecting birds in different regions?

• What kinds of differences in bird diversity are apparent in cities versus suburban, rural, and natural areas?

The Great Backyard Bird Count is led by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, with Canadian partner Bird Studies Canada and sponsorship from Wild Birds Unlimited.

Yeti Christmas Slider

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Christmas Sale on Federal Ammunition

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

rifleJ&N Feed and Seed is now running a Christmas Sale on Federal Brass 5.56/.223 ammunition, $165 per 500 ct.

This sale will be available until January 1st or while supplies last.

For the hunters on your Christmas list, nothing says Merry Christmas like a gift box full of .223 rifle ammo!

 

Lindner Pig Feed and Supplements

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Lindner Pig FeedJ&N Feed and Seed is now offering Lindner Pig feeds and supplements.

Lindner Pig Feeds-

Lindner Pig Supplements-

Stop by J&N Feed and Seed for all your show pig feed and supplement needs!

2014 Christmas Stroll and Lighted Parade

Thursday, November 20th, 2014
Dec ’13
12
5:00 pm
Dec ’14
4
5:00 pm

Join us Thursday, December 4th in Graham’s Downtown Square for this year’s Christmas Stroll and Lighted Parade.  The Stroll kicks off at 5PM with the chiming of the Methodist Church Bells.  Stroll along the Square and vote for your favorite Wassail.  Merchants will have specials all night long and shoppers will receive double punches on their Shop Gramam First Holiday Shopping Spree cards.

The Lighted Christmas Parade starts at 7pm.

Location: Graham’s Downtown Square

Date: Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014

For more information on Graham’s Christmas Stroll and Lighted Parade please call the Graham Chamber of Commerce at (940)549-3355.

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