To be woody or to be herbaceous, that is the question. ‘Tis in the minds of men (and women) of the Green Spring Gardens Master Gardener class of 2016.
I was always told woody plants were made of wood. … Seems like common sense.
When you put it like that, there’s not much more to say.
- Definition, just to refresh the memory: Perennial in which the shoot, the above ground part, persists during plant dormancy (usually winter).
- As with all things botanical, there are exceptions, but let’s move on.
- Woody plants include:
- Trees (but not palms, which are classified as grasses – big honkin’ grasses – and there’s one of those exceptions)
- Categorize your woodies – what the cool kids call Woody Landscape Plants – further:
- Deciduous angiosperms, which lose their leaves in autumn.
- Broadleaf angiosperms evergreens that retain they foliage all year long.
- Conifers, gymnosperms, mostly (but not always) evergreens that have needle, scale-like or awl-like foliage.
- Reminder: Angiosperms have true flowers and gymnosperms bear naked seeds in cones and modified cones.
- The distinction between a small tree (15-25 feet at maturity) and a large shrub (more than nine feet tall) is “somewhat arbitrary.”
- Rules of thumb for pruning “woodies”. That’s the cool kids name for Woody Landscape Plants:
- Prune spring-flowering plants after they finish flowering.
- Prune summer-flowering species in the late fall, winter or early spring.
- And finally, don’t brush snow off your woody plants. You’ll do more damage than good.
- Microclimate – Atypical high or low temperatures within a larger climate zone. For instance, a back yard can have a climate different from the surrounding neighborhood; that would be a microclimate.
- Provenance – Geographic source of a plant.
You gotta be careful with common names. They don’t mean a lot.
Not a woody, but very pretty.
Read Handbook chapter on Turf. All right! We finally get to the grass.