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Archive for ‘March, 2017’

go wild grow wild logoSt. Williams Nursery and Ecology Centre is thrilled to be returning to Go Wild Grow Wild, taking place Saturday, April 8, 2017 at the Metroland Media Agriplex, Western Fair District in London, Ontario.

This incredible event, put on by Carolinian Canada brings together the region’s businesses, experts, organizations, and groups in one massive event!  The Go Wild Grow Wild Expo will inspire you with incredible information, interactive workshops, live demonstrations, booths, and much more

The St. Williams Nursery and Ecology Centre booth will be located in the main lobby.  This year, we will have a variety of flowers, shrubs, and trees available for purchase.  Additionally, we will have our brand new garden packs.  If you are new to native species then our garden packs are perfect for you!  These packs will include a variety of species that are ideal for your garden or yard.

Stefan Weber HeadshotIf you can’t get enough native species (we know how you feel), be sure to check out a workshop being given by our very own Stefan Weber.  Stefan’s workshop is entitled “The Great Canadian Seed Challenge”, and will take place at 3 p.m. on the Gardening Gateway Stage.  Growing native plants for conservation begins with salvaging seed from wild populations.  Find out how St. Williams Nursery and Ecology Centre restores habitats, and produces garden plants using source-identified native seeds.  Learn about ways you can join the effort to save local native seeds.

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Wild Strawberry Despite the recent snowstorm that blanketed much of Southern Ontario, Spring is just around the corner (March 20 to be specific).  What better way to get a glimpse into Spring than to profile one of our favourite early bloomers, Wild Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana).  Wild Strawberry is a flowering herbaceous perennial that blooms in the late spring/early summer and continues to spread by creeping stolons (horizontal stems) all summer.

Fragaria virginiana is typically found in patches in open fields, waste places, and dry openings.  It produces a small, tasty strawberry, which is edible.  The edible “fruit” is actually an aggregate of tiny, hard fruits called achenes, embedded in a fleshy receptacle, where the flower petals attach to the stem. This species is a favourite of many insects, birds, and animals.  The nectar and pollen of the flowers attracts bees, flies, and small butterflies.  It is also common to see robins, pheasants, squirrels, chipmunks, and mice enjoying the tasty fruit.

Fragaria virginianaFragaria virginiana is an excellent groundcover species providing a wonderful carpet of foliage.  Once established, it has been successful in crowding out weeds and other invasive species, providing year round protection to the soil.  This species does require regular maintenance to remove dieback.  Not only does Fragaira virginiana thrive as a groundcover, it can also be used for border edging, as well as naturalizing and woodland gardens.

This perennial thrives in full to part sun in average moistness, but will not tolerate flooding.

To find out more about the Wild Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana) please visit our website at www.stwilliamsnursery.com.

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Native SpeciesSince first being discovered in North America in 2002, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has killed millions of Ash trees throughout Ontario, and the Great Lakes States.  The EAB is known to attack both stressed and healthy Ash trees, and because it has no known enemies, there is no widely accepted treatment to control the population.  The results have been loss of habitat and food for other species, loss of urban and rural biodiversity, and a loss of valuable timber used for the production of furniture, buildings, and recreation.

Ash Trees were once a staple throughout municipalities because of their quick growing nature and adaptability along urban streets.  In some cases, it has been reported that Ash Trees have made up almost 20% of a municipality’s urban canopy.  This poses a serious threat as the removal of these trees has a negative impact on air quality, biodiversity, wildlife, as well as tourism, property value, and the quality of life within urban environments.

Replacements For Ash TreeBased on the degree of infestation and health, many ash trees are being removed to limit hazardous conditions and minimize the safety risk associated with these dead and declining trees.  In order to maintain the current number of trees, replacement plantings have begun in many areas.

St. Williams Nursery & Ecology Centre offers many alternatives that would be ideal to replace Ash trees that need to be removed as a result of EAB.  When selecting a replacement species, it is important to consider soil type and quantity, its ability to work with the surroundings, as well as the requirements for pollution and salt tolerance.  We encourage you to please contact us to discuss your needs so that we can assist you in finding an ideal alternative.

Species to consider:

Larger Trees

  • American Basswood (Tilia Americana)
  • Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica)
  • Chinquapin Oak (Quercus muehlenbergii)
  • Common Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)
  • Kentucky Coffee Tree (Gymnocladus dioicus)
  • Pin Cherry (Prunus pensylvanica)
  • Pin Oak (Quercus palustris)
  • Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

Small Trees & Shrubs

  • Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
  • Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea, humilis)
  • Wild Crabapple (Malus coronaria)

Species for larger areas/parks

  • Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)
  • Freeman Maple (Acer X freemani)
  • Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipfera)

If you are working to replace Ash Trees in your community please contact us today to discuss the best solution to fit your planting needs.  Call us toll free at 1 866 640 8733 or email info@stwilliamsnursery.com.


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