3 States With Fantastic Fall Foliage


Southeastern Growers: 3 States With Fantastic Fall Foliage

When the crisp breezes of autumn begin to blow, you know that beautiful fall foliage is on its way. The only question you have to ask yourself is exactly where you should go to view one of the most enchanting shows that nature has to offer. Here are a few of the best places that you can visit to surround yourself with the alluring colors of the changing leaves.

South Carolina

A harmonious blend of southern charm and picturesque views greet you in South Carolina. There’s no need to drive down some scenic route to view the leaves because there are a variety of outdoor activities that are perfect for immersing yourself in the colors of nature. Autumn temperatures in South Carolina tend to stay on the mild side, so it’s great weather for going on a picnic, hiking and camping. Surrounding yourself with the glorious colors of the state’s changing oak, maple and elm trees while enjoying outdoor activities is a great way to spend the day. Those that do prefer a scenic drive can enjoy the views from the Blue Ridge Parkway. The parkway stretches 469 miles, and it’s highest point, the Richland Balsam Overlook, tops out at 6,053 feet. This gives you a perfect vantage point to enjoy the autumn landscape.

North Carolina

Another great place to visit if you want more than a quick drive through the leaves is North Carolina. While you’re main purpose may be to watch the changing colors of fall, you can enjoy the view while hiking, mountain biking, or even whitewater rafting. One particular place of note in North Carolina for leaf viewing is the town of Asheville. They have one of the longest autumn foliage seasons in the world. This means that there is even more time for you to enjoy nature’s splendor. North Carolina is home to a number of deciduous trees, such as the white oak, sugar maple, and the quaking aspen.


Numerous species of maple, hickory, and birch trees paint a beautiful picture across the landscape of Tennessee. If you’re like a large number of visitors to the state you may enjoy the view of the leaves as you walk along the trails of the Great Smoky Mountains. The elevation of the mountains reach up to 4,000 feet, providing you with an astounding view of the surrounding foliage. If walking sounds a bit too tame for you, you can join the countless others who have enjoyed the autumn view from above the tree tops. Zip-lining is a popular way to view the fall colors when visiting the Smoky Mountains.

Best Plants for the Office


Southeastern Growers: Best Plants for the Office

Plants are the perfect addition to any work space. They can improve air quality by removing toxins from the air. They also are attractive and enjoyable to look at, and a great way to personalize your work area. Listed below are some plants that do well in a indoor office setting, and are easy to care for.

Spider Plant

A spider plant requires partial sunlight, and will grow in any soil type. This plant has arched green and pale yellow stems. It also produces tiny white flowers during the summer. It does well in a hanging basket or up high on a filing cabinet. Water when the plant feels dry.

Snake Plant

Snake plant’s have broad upright leaves that are marked with a pattern in a lighter color. They sometimes go by the name mother-in-law’s tongue, due to their sharpness. They also look like serpents rising from the soil. Water when soil is dry to the touch, and allow to dry out between watering to prevent the roots from rotting. This plant will tolerate low light, though it prefers brighter light.

Peace Lily

Peace lily’s do best in the shade and should be kept away from direct sunlight. They produce stunning white flowers that bloom in early summer and often stick around. Keep the soil moist at all times, but be careful to not over water.


Jade plants have thick branches with smooth green oval shaped leaves. They are shrub like in appearance. Allow the soil to dry out between watering, and keep the soil moderately dry. Over watering can cause root rot, and jades prefer drier soil. This plant requires medium light for a few hours each day.

African Violet

This plant type has fuzzy leaves with small colorful clusters of flowers. The flowers can be pink, purple or white and are eye catching. African violet’s do best in slightly acidic to neutral soil PH, with partial sunlight. Keep the soil slightly damp, but avoid getting the leaves wet while watering, as this can cause them to wilt.

Rubber Plants

The rubber plant has shiny leather type leaves. This plant grows well in low light, and should be kept away from drafts. It does well in full to partial sunlight. The soil should be kept moist.

How To Tell If A Tree Is Healthy Or Dying

southeastern growers dead tree

There are a number of factors to pay attention to if you are trying to determine if your trees are healthy or if they are on their way out. Take note of the following key indicators and Southeastern Growers assures you that your understanding of trees and the ecosystem that is located in your own private yard will expand tremendously.

Leader Of The Pack

Most trees, especially ones that are regularly used in landscaping, have one central trunk (the “central leader”). Trees should be pruned so the central leader can provide the entire tree with strength and stability. Failing to do this may cause the tree to split.

Annual Growth

New growth should occur on both the trunk and branches of a healthy tree. You can measure annual growth by noting the distance between this year’s current buds and the scars from last year’s buds. Average growth varies depending on the tree, so a little research is necessary.

Pruned Perfection

As soon as you notice dead or broken branches, they should be pruned away. If you do not do this, insects and diseases are more likely to infest the tree and cause irreparable damage. You can tell a branch is dead if you scrape it with your fingernail and the exposed bark is dry, brown, and brittle. A healthy branch would show green underneath. Also, a healthy branch is supple and can bend easily. If you can easily snap the branch, it is dead.

Tip-Top Trunks

Typically, bark should not be loose or peeling off of the trunk of your tree (with the exception of some trees like birches, eucalyptus, and maples). Also, fungi should not be growing on the tree. When using tools and gardening equipment around trees, be careful as to not leave any wounds in the trunk where insects and diseases will attack. There should also be no large cracks or holes anywhere.

How Are Trees Grown In Containers

Growing trees no longer requires acres on acres of open land. In fact, you can grow trees in compact containers on your porch, patio, or balcony!

Containerized trees are primarily used to frame entryways or to provide additional decorative or focal elements to a property.

There are a wide variety of containers that one can choose to grow/keep a tree in, and they range in size, material, shape, and color. This will require you to consider what you want your container to look like in the location you’ve planned on. You will also have to consider the size the tree will eventually grow to so the container can accommodate that size and the roots.

One should also keep in mind that the container should be equally wide as it is tall to ensure proper insulation of the roots.

While clay pots are more stable and durable than plastic ones, they are heavier. So, if you are planning on having your tree on a balcony or rooftop, a lighter, more portable plastic pot is for you.

When it comes to soil selection, drainage is paramount. First, ensure that your container has enough drainage through holes on the bottom. Next, you want to select soil – not directly from your garden or yard –  or soil-based  compost from a nursery or garden supply store.

Containerized trees are more prone to drying out, and therefore, require regular and thorough watering. Additionally, a fertilizer is necessary to facilitate proper growth either through an application of slow-release fertilizer annually, or by using a liquid feed on regular intervals.

Some great choices for trees that do well in containers are:

  • Holly
  • Japanese Maple
  • Star Magnolia
  • River Birch
  • Crepe Myrtle

How To Plant A Containerized Tree

So you’ve just purchased your containerized tree and are ready for planting. Here are the necessary steps to planting a containerized tree in your yard:

  1. Dig a whole that measures at least 3-4 times wider than the container your tree came in. The sides of the whole should slop in – allowing  proper root growth.
  2. Carefully remove the tree by tapping around the outside of the container to loosen the edges. Then, gently remove the tree, trying your best to keep the soil around the roots intact.
  3. Sometimes the roots of a containerized tree become root-bound (when the roots have spiraled around the root ball) and need to be released. Simply, using a sharp knife, cut an X across the bottom of the root ball, as well as four slices vertically up the sides.
  4. While you want a wide hole, it shouldn’t be too deep. The base of the tree should land just above the surface. If the hole is too deep, pack some soil just below the root ball.
  5. Give the tree a thorough watering by creating a water-holding basin that goes around the hole. Once the water has soaked in, layer 2-3 inches of protective mulch around the base of the tree stretching out at least 3 feet.
  6. For the first year of a tree’s life, it is imperative to keep the soil around the tree moist. During dry weather, make sure to give the tree a good watering every 7 days or so, just don’t let the mulch get soggy.
  7. Remove any tags or labels from the tree as soon as possible. They may affect the growth of the plant later on. Also, prune any dead or broken branches to maintain the health of the tree.

Why You Should Consider Planting More Trees

southeastern growers

So you’ve decided to plant new trees, shrubs, and other greenery in your yard. Although your intentions may have been purely for aesthetic purposes, did you ever wonder if this brought your yard any other kind of value? Planting trees and shrubs can have loads of benefits that you may not have realized before. Below is a list of some of these great benefits.

Dry Up Wet Spots

Some yards just have higher water tables, or perhaps do not properly drain for one reason or another. If you’re hoping for your yard to become a more family-friendly space, you may need to find a way to drain out some of the water from your soil. Trees or shrubs are great, natural ways to make your lawn drier and more water efficient. Placing trees and shrubs in areas that are usually drenched will help soak up some of the excess water present in your lawn. Some trees can even soak up to 50 to 100 gallons a day, although much of that is “perspired” in some way later according to Gardens Alive.


Trees that are large enough can provide ample amounts of shading for your home. One great output of shading is energy efficiency. Because your home is well-shaded, there is less of a need to blast the air conditioning during the warm summer months. Because of this, you save energy as well as money in your next home bill.

Environmental Impact

Okay, everyone knows the environmental impact trees have on the world. They are the givers of oxygen, and therefore life. Without trees, the earth could no longer sustain life on its own. Trees are also the worlds natural filters, cleaning and improving the air we breathe by removing dust, particulates, and other pollutants. One source reports that: “one acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people.”


Almost as superficial but more practical than just “beautifying” your garden, adding certain trees and shrubs to your yard can add extra value to your home. Trees are the most valuable part of a landscape primarily because of their many practical uses – many listed here!


Finally there’s the beautification process. Even when considering aesthetics, trees provide more than just pretty ornate foliage and color to your yard. Trees can provide food and shelter for animals from the surrounding ecosystem. Your garden can become a mini testament of nature at its finest and fullest.

If you liked this post and would like to read more on tree varieties, check out our twitter @. If you’re interested in purchasing some of our trees, check out our main site. Thanks for reading !


The Tragedy of (the other) Prometheus

In August of 1964, a graduate student hiked off the trails on Wheeler Peak in eastern Nevada to conduct research and killed one of the old organisms ever discovered.

Let’s back up.

Donald Currey was a graduate student of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill,studying the climatology of the Little Ice Age. He wanted to study rings of very old trees using dendrochronology. Dendrochronology can help scientists determine the calendar year a tree formed, determine important information about the ecologies it’s lived through, and most importantly to Currey, the climates.

Around this time, the leading minds of Forestry were excitedly dating very old trees in the United States, spurred on by the discovery of bristlecone pines in the White Mountains in California that were over 4000 years old. Currey had heard that there were bristlecones in White Pine county and on Wheeler Peak specifically and wanted to see if he could further his research by taking some samples.

He hiked out to the grove, and found a large specimen to take sample of. Currey attempted several samples with his long borer tool. After a few attempts, his tool broke leaving him without a means to achieve his intended sample. Here is where the details start to get blurry. Some accounts say that Currey was working with some Forest Service personnel and some say he was working alone. In any case, the decision was made to simply cut down the tree to get a full cross-section of the tree. The tree, which Currey had identified as WPN-114, was later dated at over 4800 years old. That makes WPN-114 the oldest living organism ever discovered — that is, until Donald Currey found it. The dead tree was nicknamed Prometheus and the  incident ruined his career as a Geomorphologist.

However, let’s not jump to villainize Currey. Imagine being a young graduate student, your advisor is telling you to get a sample and sends you off with little guidance. You find a tree that looks like all the other trees in a grove and fail to get the sample you’ve been tasked to collect. The Forest Service guy you’re working with suggests that you just cut it down — after all, there are lots of similar trees in the same grove. The next thing you know, you’ve destroyed a global wonder. You’re demonized by the community you are trying to be a part of and your reputation is destroyed.

Currey changed academic fields and ended up a successful Geographer, earning Professor Emeritus status at the University of Utah. He passed away in 2004.

In 2012, researchers identified a tree in California aged over 5000 years. So let’s give Don a break.

Gardening in May

What to plant in May?

Oh no! May Day has come and gone and you haven’t gotten any seeds in the ground! All your friends have been tending their plots since late March, but you’ve been too busy on Netflix to even notice. Well, have no fear! There is still plenty of time to have a bountiful, productive, and rewarding vegetable garden. But you should get started now.

So what can we plant in May? There are plenty of vegetables that will benefit from the warmer soil temperatures. Warmer ground temperatures allow for a fast germination, so the stables of summertime kitchens are great choices. Plant some melons, cucumbers, and squash.

In May there is basically no worry about frosts, so you can plant the more delicate herbs that love the heat. Great ones to start with are sage, basil, oregano and dill. Obviously you can always transplant herbs you’ve purchased, but in May, these are still great to start from seed.

Another excellent type of plant to start in May are beans. Beans come to fruit rather quickly, so with some strategic sowing, you can have fresh beans all summer. Get a few different varieties and sow them continually for 7 to 10 days. This will ensure a regular flow of bean crops, rather than one huge harvest. Having all your plants, especially if it’s one type, come to harvest at the same time is a great way to waste a lot of produce.

And of course, it is never too late for tomatoes. Tomatoes are probably the most popular garden plant for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, they are delicious! The warmer weather will help your tomatoes grow nice and plump, so think about starting with transplants.

And even beyond May, there are lots of plants that do well getting started later in the summer. For instance, you can plant carrots in June or even mid-July for a wonderful fall harvest. Broccoli planted midsummer can yield all the way into November! Spinach, radishes, peas — all of these can begin in the summer.

So cut yourself some slack. Maybe you were a bit lazy in the early spring, but there are still plenty of ways to ensure a kitchen full of homegrown goodness.

The Vitex Agnus-Castus Shoal Creek Tree: Better Known as the “Chaste Tree”

Vitex Agnus-Castus Shoal Creek Tree Southeastern Growers

With the ability to become a staple in any garden, the Vitex Agnus-Castus Shoal Creek Tree, also known as the “Chaste Tree”, is one of nature’s most beautiful flowering trees.

The Vitex blooms blue flowers throughout the majority of the year, sometimes even budding pink, purple, and white flowers. The Shoal Creek, the most popular variety of its genus, has blue-violet flowers that are largely winter-hardy. Therefore even when the weather drops in some regions – specifically in the Southern United States – the tree will remain lush and beautiful throughout the winter months.

The “Chaste Tree” is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub that grows upright. It measures up to 10-15 feet tall, and spreads at around the same width at 10-15 feet. The tree is largely used as an ornamental tree, although it has some shading and medicinal qualities as well. Within your yard, it works best as stand alone specimen, much like a centerpiece of your lawn. According to Southern Living, Vitex trees are also attractive in a row along a property lines or driveway.

The Chaste Tree is a native of southern Europe and central Asia, thriving best in the Mediterranean-temperate climate. It prefers prolonged periods of sunlight while well-drained, needing medium amounts of moisture. Once established the tree is very drought-tolerant, however it will grow faster with supplemental summer water. Unfortunately, It is not entirely low maintenance, but will require regular pruning to produce an attractive multi-trunked tree. Because it grows quicker than most trees, feel free to prune as much as you see fit.

The fruit and seed of the Vitex  are often used to make medicine for a variety of purposes. To this day, the chemicals produced by the tree are used to treat ailments affecting women. For example, medicines that treat menstrual irregularities, Premenstrual Syndrome, and menopause contain chemicals from this tree. Vitex Agnus-Castus also contains chemicals used to prevent miscarriages, and treat women throughout their pregnancies. In general, the Chasteberry was used to regulate and maintain the female reproductive system during periods of irregularities.

Herbs from this tree also have another historical relevance. According to Herb Wisdom, the fruit of the “Chaste Tree”, was used to control and suppress sexual desires. In Roman times, the herb was used by wives of soldiers to suppress such desires while their husbands were abroad at war. During the medieval ages, monks often used it as a food spice at monasteries for similar purposes, hence the Chasteberry’s other nickname, “Monk’s Pepper.”

If you liked this post and would like to read more on our selection of trees and shrubs, check out our twitter @SEGrowers for more. Thanks for reading !

Gardening Essentials: Gardening Tools and Accessories for Comfortable Gardening

Home gardening and farming isn’t about creating the perfect garden, it’s also about enjoyment and relaxation. In order to enjoy your gardening and lawn maintenance undertakings, you need to be as comfortable as possible in the tasks you perform. If you’re forced into awkward, aching positions, then you will surely not enjoy the activity. Tools and supplies can also be quite heavy when carrying out larger projects. Heavy lifting, and extraneous work can lead to injury if not careful. In these cases, certain tools and accessories are available to make your gardening experience as smooth as possible. Below is a list of some necessary items to help protect and comfort you throughout your gardening experience.

Hat and Sunblock

Although this may seem like a minute detail, hats will protect your face from sunburns and skin damage. The American Skin Cancer Foundation suggests wearing a hat and sunblock every time exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods of time. Make sure to find a hat with proper coverage, that covers the entire head instead of just a portion of it. On blazing hot days when the sun is most potent, a hat will also protect your head from heating up, which can increase the risk of heat stroke.

Kneeling Pad

A kneeling pad will protect your knees after hours of gardening. If you are tending to a smaller gardening bed, a kneeling pad is a perfect way of providing comfort during a sometimes back-breaking task. Some kneeling pads can even convert into garden chairs, in case you choose to prune your plants without putting too much stress on your back.


Gardening gloves exist to protect a gardener’s hands from gardening hazards. If you’re working with tools, gardening gloves can prevent blisters and calluses from forming. Of course, gloves will also protect gardeners dealing with thorny rose bushes and plants.


Wheelbarrows will help you move soil and heavier object around your yard without too much hassle. If you’ve ever pot planted, you know how difficult moving filled pots can become. Wheelbarrows will help you avoid a great deal of trouble when undertaking larger projects.


Cloches are round or cylindrical clear instruments that protect and insulate young plants. According to Lee Reich of Gardening, gardeners and farmers often use cloches to extend vegetation as long as possible before farming season officially ends. They are either made of glass or clear plastic, allowing plants to absorb sunlight from within. The cloche also allows plants to retain humidity and moisture during warm summer days. This creates an optimal growing environment for your plant.
If you found this information useful and would like to learn more gardening and planting tips, check out our twitter @SEGrowers for more info. Thanks for reading !