Are We Helping the Pollinators?

What is a pollinator?   A pollinator is an insect or any agent that conveys pollen from one plant to another for fertilization.  Without fertilization, plants would not have any fruits or seeds.   Simply put, if we want apples, we need pollinators.  If we want sweet corn, we need pollinators.  What are some pollinators?   Bees, birds, moths, butterflies, wind and any insects that transfer pollen from one plant to another. So what can we do?  We can plant plants that attract pollinators.  Clover, milkweed, coneflowers, Joe Pye Weed, bee balms, etc. are great pollinator plants.  If you are unsure, please ask our staff to help you find some good pollinator plants. As more and more homes are being built, these pollinators are losing their undeveloped land with wildflowers and clover to pristine lawns.   Every homeowner should plant at least a small garden with some pollinator plants to help keep these pollinators around for successful crops. 

Are We or Are We Not a Zone 5?

There are 13 planting zones in the U.S., each are divided into two segments, a and b, with 5 degrees separating the two segments. We are now Zone 5a but not Zone 5B.  Zone 5a’s average annual extreme low temperature, between years 1991 and 2020, is -20 to -15 with Zone 5b average low temperatures of -15 to -10.  The very northern part of La Crosse County is Zone 4b, with -25 to -20 temperatures.  These temperatures are based on 30 year averages.

So what does this mean?   You now have an opportunity to plant some of those  Zone 5 plants you have been drooling over the past years.  However, be careful.  Do not overdo it.  Winters are unpredictable and we still may experience some really cold winters.   Some plants have information tags on them.  Read them and if the tag lists the minimum temperature for the plant, choose the plants that are in  Zone 5a, not Zone 5b.  In the past we have carried some Zone 5 plants that have proven to survive in this area.  This year more Zone 5 plants will be added so PLEASE ask staff if you are uncertain about what zone that plant is in.   Occasionally we do carry Zone 5B or higher Zone plants as customers ask for them.  

Most trees and shrubs are warranted for one year.    Staff should inform you if that particular plant is not warranted.     We do not warrantee any perennials.

Happy planting and please ask staff for Assistance if you are unsure about any plant.  

Wilt Pruf & Why You Need It

If you, like many folks this season, had one or a few too many plants struggle with this season’s drought or you want to prepare your new plants for winter, then you may want to look at applying Wilt Pruf to your plants.

Wilt Pruf can keep plants healthy year-round, providing multiple layers of protection against transplant stress, seasonal drought, and winter burn. A few items that Wilt Pruf can be applied to include boxwood, rhododendrons, and evergreens. It can also be used on your holiday decorations too! Extend the life of your garland, wreaths, porch pots, and Christmas Tree! 

Wilt Pruf should be applied to the point of run off and allowed to dry outdoors in daylight for 3 to 4 hours. One application will last three to four months.

Make a plan to stop at the garden center and pick up a bottle of Wilt Pruf for year-round protection for your plants.

Wilt Pruf Ready to Use or Concentrate

Delosperma Alan’s Apricot Ice

Delosperma ‘Alan’s Apricot

This hardier succulent is perfect for higher elevations and more northernly areas of the western US. An excellent, waterwise, flowering groundcover, with softs shades of pink, yellow, and apricot. A 2016 Plant Select® Winner. Evergreen.

Light:  Full sun
Bloom:  Late spring thru summer
Size:  2″ tall x 15″ wide
Zone:  4-10

Information courtesy Monrovia Nursery


Hydrangeas have become a top seller for many nurseries.  The newer generations are looking for color in their yard with easy maintenance.   Growers are steadily working on improving hydrangeas so that they blossom more and survive Zone 4 winters.   In the last few years several new varieties have been developed for our zone.  We currently have over 400 hydrangeas in stock, with about 20 varieties to choose from.   If you are unsure of what will grow best in your yard and location of the sun, please talk to the staff and they will put you in the right direction of the ones that will do best.   Following is a slideshow of some of our hydrangeas in stock.


Blue Enchantress

Pink Splendor

Seaside Fire Island Hydrangea
Photo courtesy of Monrovia Nursery


Berry White




Quick Fire

Vanilla Strawberry













Twist & Shout


Summer Crush Hydrangea
Photo by Trees Today Nursery



Pink & blue hydrangeas
Photo by Trees Today Nursery


Sea of Hydrangeas
Photo by Trees Today Nursery



Vertical Gardening

Have you ever thought about adding a vertical plant to your garden? A clematis on a fun obelisk, on a trellis or on a simple piece of chicken wire attached to a couple posts will provide a beautiful vertical accent to your garden. Clematis’s come in all colors from blue to purple, from pink to red and even white. Some will bloom from spring to fall while others only bloom in select months. Our staff will tell you the pruning technique for the clematis you are interested in and how to plant it. Once establihed, they do not like to be moved. Some of the varieties we have in stock are H F Young, Tranquilite, Corrine, Issy, Edda, Roouge Cardinal, Sapphire Indigo, Rebecca, Garlland Tekia, Bernadine, Nubia, Sally, Boulevard Zara and Avante Garde, along with the ever popular Jack Manii. We also carry several obelisks and trellises. Stop in soon while you can still select the color you want.


Silver Moon
Photo by Trees Today Nurse

Nellie Moser Clematis Photo by Trees Today Nursery


Photo by Trees Today Nursery


Photo by Trees Today Nursery

Photo by Trees Today Nursery

Spring Flowers & Fall Color: Double Duty Plants


There are several plants, trees and shrubs alike, that are well known for their early season attributes, but go amiss when it comes to their fall foliage. As we turn the calendar to September and prepare for fall, the garden center is beginning to transition to reds, oranges, yellows, from the typical greens that gather the rest of the season. As you walk around, you can see its more than just the maples, oaks, grasses, and dogwoods turning color, there are common spring and summer staples that are also pulling double duty as we head into fall.


Crabapples are commonly known for their showy spring flowers, but did you know they also have fabulous fall foliage? Flaunting tones of red and orange, crabapples do not receive enough attention for their fall foliage which should be equal to their spring flower. So the next time you are seeking a new tree for your yard don’t forget about the dueling seasonal opportunities a crabapple can provide!


An under utilized garden gem! Available as a tree or shrub, this specimen boasts beautiful spring florals that lead to edible small purple-black berries. The tree form ‘Autumn Brilliance’ is a beautiful medium sized ornamental tree if you are looking to add diversity to your landscape. The shrub form, ‘Regent’ is a great addition for feeding wildlife in your yard or creating a small hedge or screening. Not only will these plants bring spring color and edible fruit, the blaze red/orange fall color is a show stopper for sure!


Prolific blooms fill these plants early season. Bright pink, purple, white and orange are colors you can expect from these spring flowers. Many people desire the spring impact that the azalea and rhododendron bring to the landscape but many are unaware of the bonus fall color they are in for. Broad, thick leaves bring copper and bronze hues into fall with the next season’s buds adding a depth of texture, what a sight to behold!


So, as we make our way to the end of another year, planning for the next begins. Consider adding a few of these double duty plants to your landscape and enjoy an eye catching spring and fall landscape.

Serviceberry Fall Foliage

Crabapple Fall Foliage

Mums: Garden versus Fall

Now is the time of year when beautiful mums appear at Trees Today Nursery, grocery stores, and home stores.  These are called “fall” or annual mums.  Their colors are an assortment of reds, oranges, bronzes, yellows, whites, and many more.  They look beautiful sitting in pots on front porches or placed in gardens.  However, they generally do not survive being replanted in the garden in  Zone 4 (our area of Wisconsin and Minnesota).  If they do survive a winter, chances are they will not survive the following winter.  If you succeed in overwintering a fall mum in your garden, to get a bushy blooming mum in fall you need to start pinching it back in July or chances are it will become stringy and lanky.

Garden mums are the perennial mums hardy to Zone 3.  At Trees Today we carry Mammoth Mums that were bred at the University of Minnesota for endurance and cold.  Once planted in your garden they may grow to 3-3 1/2  feet wide by 3-4 feet tall.  Their colors are limited, but their abundant blooms are very showy and last for weeks.  Also, these mammoth mums do not need any pinching.

Orange fall mum
Photo from Trees Today Nursery


Mammoth lavender mum
Photo by Trees Today Nursery



Sharing Photo of Pink Splendor Hydrangea

Look at this beauty! A customer snapped this picture of their Pink Splendor hydrangea from 2020, stating “This brings a pop of color to my patio!”

A great addition to a small garden or as a patio plant, the Pink Splendor will quickly reach a height and spread of 4 feet. This hydrangea thrives in morning sun and afternoon shade or filtered sun.

If you are looking to give this one a try, stop in and pick one up, we just received a fresh shipment.


Continue reading