Nature's Best To You.

Paul's Point of View Blog

  • Savoring Summercrisp Pears

    May 2, 2017

    Summercrisp pears are one of many pear varieties hardy to Southeastern Wisconsin and zone 4. The majority of pears ripen in September and October, but Summercrisp is one of the varieties that ripen in August. Most pears are usually eaten when soft but not Summercrisp! This variety was actually chosen because of its sweet, crispy flavor when picked and eaten at the green/ripe stage.



  • Perfect Peaches

    August 16, 2016

    I guess I sort of forgot how luscious tree ripened peaches are. This year my Reliance peaches are spectacular! Certain varieties are better for our cold Wisconsin winters than others. Reliance, Contender and Veteran are a few that come to mind. You will have better success if you start with the best possible variety for our area.



  • Relishing the Pits of July

    July 26, 2016

    Cherry pits. And lots of them. The best sight in July is watching those cherry pits tumble out of the pitter as each luscious, mouthwatering red cherry drops into my bowl waiting to be turned into pies, cobblers and jam.



  • Professor Plum Goes Plum Crazy!

    September 21, 2015

    It is that time of year again. Harvest time. Anyone who knows me well realizes that I am crazy about fruit. All kinds of fruit. It is now the season of prune plums. I just love plums!



  • Espalier Apple Trees

    July 14, 2015

    Espalier fruits have been grown for centuries in Europe and are an excellent way to grow apples and pears in a formal way with unique forms. They take up little space compared to standard or semi dwarf free-standing fruit trees and can be grown along a fence or wall as the growth is mainly horizontal not vertical.



  • New Fruits for 2015

    February 24, 2015

    Growing ones own fruit seems to be a disease for which there is no cure. Once you have success growing sweet luscious tasting fruit, you crave to grow more! We at Johnsons Nursery have heard your requests and have greatly expanded our repertoire of fruits for this coming year. Not only have we increased the selection, we have increased the quantity as well to hopefully keep up with demand.



  • Fruit Growing in 2014- What Happened?

    November 26, 2014

    Our past winter of 2014 was extremely nasty. We had very high winds and cold temperatures to the degree we have not felt in many years. We had low temperatures of -18 for 1.5 weeks. Enough to do considerable damage to many fruits and other ornamental plants.



  • Eubanks Fabulous Cherry

    April 16, 2014

    This is a tribute to a new fabulous tart cherry that originated in Wisconsin and also a tribute to an old friend, Bill Eubank. One of the great legacies he left behind is a new tart cherry variety now named Sweet Cherry Pie". Thank you to the Eubank family for your wonderful contribution to the tart cherry industry.



  • Apple Tree Pest Control: Spray or Bag?

    October 30, 2005

    We sell fruit trees here at Johnson's Nursery. Often when someone buys an apple tree, they ask about what to do to control pests. Rightly so, as many insects seem to enjoy feeding on the apple fruits as much as people do. The big fungal issue to control is apple scab, although a few other lesser fungi can cause problems too.



  • Garden Update: Summer 2011

    October 29, 2005

    Harvesting cherries is over, at least for me anyway. While the cherry harvest in Door County, WI is just starting (July 18th) my North Star cherry tree is now stripped clean of its fruit. What a bountiful harvest it was. My tree is now 8 years old and bore a heavy crop this year. After pitting, I ended up with 28 quarts. Thats a lot of pie! What to do with all those cherries? I gave more than half the crop away to family and friends. I never have a problem with any excess fruit as I always seem to



  • Savor the Zest of Zestar!

    October 28, 2005

    Zestar! is a relatively "new" apple variety that was developed by the University of Minnesota and released in 1998. Perhaps you are familiar with Honeycrisp, another now famous apple also developed by the same breeding program a few years earlier?



  • Success on Apple Budding

    October 27, 2005

    Late last July, Johnson's Nursery put on a seminar on chip budding. I happened to be working that Saturday morning, so I attended the afternoon session. Michael Yanny, our propagator, taught the class. I had previously done a small amount of t-budding and lots of bark grafting of upright junipers, but never any chip budding. I was a bit apprehensive as Mr. Yanny made it look so easy, but he is an excellent teacher.



  • Time to Spray for Peach Leaf Curl

    October 26, 2005

    Anyone who grows peaches in the upper Midwest should be warned that NOW is the time to spray for peach leaf curl control. This disease is caused by a fungus (Taphrina deformans). The fungus overwinters on peach trees bark and buds. Once the bud scale swells and crack in the spring prior to leaf out, the fungus gets into the meristem and is impossible to control. Developing leaves will be puckered /twisted with red or yellow coloration to the infected area.



  • Bridal Rice: A Groundcover Willow

    October 25, 2005

    For the past several years Johnson's Nursery has been propagating and growing a unique small willow that is somewhat uncommon in the plant industry. This willow is Salix repens 'Bridal Rice'.



  • From Shoot to Fruit

    October 24, 2005

    The fruit harvest for 2010 is now over. With the vast array of fresh crisp apples currently in season at the market or local orchard, now is when many people suddenly remember that they wanted to plant out that home orchard but never got around to it. Did you get your fruit trees planted this spring? Or is it still a dream waiting to happen? The best time to plant was last year (fruit trees take a few years to grow before bearing a good crop).



  • Hooray for Hardy Hibiscus

    October 23, 2005

    It is once again time for the hardy hibiscus to make their dazzling appearance during these long days of summer. Unlike their tropical cousins, they are easy to grow, hardy through zone 4 and come in an array of colors. The large flowers are sure to please and always seem to draw attention. Actually, like everything else this season, they are blooming about a week and a half ahead of normal due to the unusual early spring we experienced here (warm and dry in March). It seems everything got a head start this year.



  • Bergeson Compact Dogwood

    October 22, 2005

    About 20 years ago, I took a road trip to NW Minnesota for the purpose of visiting numerous nurseries/garden centers along the way. At the time, I was living in Minnesota and employed at a large bare-root nursery. Hence this was supposed to be a business trip not a plant collecting foray. Sometimes the best of plans work out differently.



  • Unusual Buckeyes for the Landscape

    October 21, 2005

    Buckeyes and horse chestnuts are magnificent trees that deserve more prominence in the landscape. They are quite under-utilized and have much to offer. While there are differences between the two groups, they are similar enough that many people tend to refer to all of them as "buckeyes".



  • The Bark of Winter

    October 20, 2005

    The recent December snowstorms in our area have really changed the winter landscape. The wet, heavy snows have blanketed the ground and the plants as well. At first glance, it seems as if nature has stripped the landscape bare. No leaves or flowers to contend with at this time of year! A few remaining fruits persist on some trees (coffeetree, hawthorn, crabapple) gently reminding us of the past growing season.



  • The Autumn Landscape

    October 19, 2005

    Many people think that once October arrives the yard and garden season is over. Not true! There are many plants that are at their peak performance at this time. Sadly most people do not plan for a fall landscape and miss out on such exciting plants.



  • Evans Cherry

    October 18, 2005

    I am proud and excited to announce that Johnson's Nursery is offering Evans cherry in #7 container. I have heard so much good news about this tart cherry that I think it will be an excellent addition to our line of container fruit trees.



  • First Fruits

    October 17, 2005

    June is the month of the first fruits of the season. Local grown anyway. Most people would think of strawberries (yum!) but other fruits are available from the home landscape as well:



  • May Fruit Growing Tips

    October 16, 2005

    Fruit trees require lots of care in May. Early May is a great time to fertilize young fruit trees if they have not had adequate growth rates in the past. Typically we expect to get 12" - 18" of new growth each year on young apple trees. If not, then your tree may need fertilizer. The best time to fertilize fruit trees is early May or sometimes late April when the buds are swelling or just opened.



  • The April Landscape

    October 15, 2005

    April is the start of the busy season for anybody in the professional plant business. We really look forward to spring during the long winter months but when it finally arrives, we find no time to "stop and smell the flowers". Now is the time for us to help make your yard beautiful. Sadly, our own yards must wait until time permits.



  • March Madness for Gardeners

    October 14, 2005

    March is a trying month in our part of the country. It can be warm one day then cold with snow the next. Sometimes it is hard to get any yard/garden chores accomplished. Yet March is an ideal month for several tasks (as weather permits):



  • Dealing With Mites on Roses

    October 13, 2005

    I have been growing roses for many years, including hardy shrub, tea, grandiflora, and floribunda types. While I occasionally dealt with powdery mildew or blackspot, I never had a severe outbreak of mite damage until last summer in 2008.



  • Feature Rose: Winnipeg Parks

    October 12, 2005

    Winnipeg Parks rose is a beautiful shrub rose that was developed in Canada and released in 1990. It is part of the Parkland rose series. This hardy shrub rose is a recurrent bloomer and boasts raspberry red flowers that are fragrant. The flowers are borne in clusters and are extremely colorful. After blooming, a bonus is the development of nice red rose hips.



  • Choosing the Right Shrub Rose

    October 11, 2005

    With the 2007 planting season soon to start, now is the time to start planning out any new shrub beds/borders to be installed this year. Or perhaps you have a too well established shrub bed that is in need of renovation. What better plants to use than shrub roses? As long as the space has good sunlight (3/4 of the day or more) then roses can successfully be grown and will provide some awesome color.



  • What Is A Dwarf Apple Tree?

    October 10, 2005

    Let's start with the basics. Apple varieties must be cross-pollinated to set fruit. This means that apple flowers must have pollen from a different apple/crabapple variety in order to set fruit. This is why you must plant 2 different apple varieties (unless you have a crabapple nearby). The seeds produced in the apple will be a hybrid of the 2 parents but the fruit will always be the same as the parent tree. Because of this, one cannot plant seeds from a McIntosh apple & have it bear McIntosh fruit!



  • Serviceberries of the Upper-Midwest / Plains States

    October 9, 2005

    Here in Wisconsin we have 4 species of serviceberry common in the wild: Amelanchier laevis (allegheny serviceberry), Amelanchier x grandiflora (apple serviceberry) , Amelanchier canadensis (shadblow serviceberry) , & Amelanchier stolonifera (running serviceberry). All four have delicious black fruit similar in size to a blueberry and are quite tasty! Birds also relish the fruit so the big problem is getting the fruit before they do.



  • Feature Rose: My Hero

    October 8, 2005

    My Hero rose is a relatively new shrub rose on the market. It was developed by Bailey Nurseries, Inc. of St. Paul, MN in their rose breeding program. Bailey Nursery has taken on the immense task of breeding hardy shrub roses for the North that offer cold hardiness & good disease resistance that are also superior to selections already available in the trade. My Hero is one of several they have recently introduced.



  • North Star Cherry

    October 7, 2005

    North Star Cherry is a delightful tart cherry that was introduced by the University of Minnesota in 1950. It is extremely hardy and self-pollinating. This cherry is a genetic dwarf that usually only grows 6'-10' tall. Its short height makes it a favored cultivar to the home gardener as it is easy to reach the fruit for harvesting.



  • Pruning Shrub Roses

    October 6, 2005

    With spring on the way it soon will be time to give some thought to pruning your shrub roses. I find it fascinating that most gardeners either forget & neglect this important task or falsely assume that there is no maintenance issues with shrub roses. Such sloppy gardening will only catch up with you in time when your rose grows far too big for its space or you eventually end up with a tangle of dead canes and plants with poor shape.



  • Pruning Apple Trees

    October 5, 2005

    Pruning fruit trees is an often-neglected task by the backyard gardener. Most people don't know how to prune, what to prune, when or why? Usually the task is thought of but no action is taken. Without the proper knowledge how can one even start?



  • Feature Rose: Chuckles

    October 4, 2005

    Chuckles rose is a short rose (30") with single deep pink petals. The flowers average 3"-3.5" in width and can be solid pink or sometimes have a white eye. This trait seems to vary throughout the bloom season. This rose is also extremely floriferous and an excellent repeat bloomer. The flowers are born in clusters so immense that sometimes when in bloom the foliage barely shows amidst all the pink petals.



  • Honeycrisp Apple

    October 3, 2005

    Over the years the University of Minnesota Fruit Breeding Station in Chanhassen, MN has quietly developed & released numerous fruit selections for northern climates. While some of these selections have remained quite popular in the northerly parts of the U.S., it is one of their latest introductions that has captured the attention of the fruit industry not only in America but also in other fruit growing regions of the world. Honeycrisp, their somewhat recent release has created an uproar in the apple industry!



  • Feature Rose: Champlain

    October 2, 2005

    Champlain rose is a hardy shrub rose named after Samuel De Champlain (an early French explorer of Canada). This rose originated thru breeding efforts done at the Ottawa research station in Canada. It is part of the Explorer Series of roses that were developed there and named after early Canadian explorers.



  • Fall Care of Shrub Roses

    October 1, 2005

    With the winter season drawing near, many people with roses are calling to find out what fall care should be done to best get their roses thru the winter. What needs to be done depends on the type of roses you have. Roses can be divided into different categories such as floribunda, tea, grandiflora, hardy shrub, ect.



  • Preparing Young Fruit Trees for Winter

    September 30, 2005

    Now that autumn is here, anyone who has young fruit trees should be prepared to take good care of their trees for winter. Young trees have thin bark and thus can be damaged from southwest winter injury, rabbits or mice during our winter season. As fruit trees age, their bark at the base of the trunk becomes much thicker & less prone to damage. A little prevention now will result in a much healthier tree come spring!



  • Thinking Of Growing Your Own Fruit?

    September 29, 2005

    Recently I read an article that stated how vegetable plant sales really increased at garden centers in 2008 due to the economy. But how about fruit trees? If more people are now growing their own vegetables, are they attempting to grow fruit as well? If so, what should they be looking for when purchasing fruit trees?




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