Plants for the Maine Landscape

Littlefield Garden, UMaine

CORE COMPETENCIES

If this section is addressed in training, you will be able to articulate and explain:

HERBACEOUS LANDSCAPE PLANTS

  • The life cycles of flowering annuals, biennials and perennials

  • The criteria for appropriate herbaceous plant selection for aesthetic or utilitarian purposes:

    • For different site conditions (sun, shade, wet, dry, etc)

    • To address landscape conditions or problems (screening, wet swale, heavy traffic etc.)

  • Explain the most common ways in which herbaceous plants are propagated

  • Group plants with similar needs (water, fertilizer, sun) for easier maintenance

  • General flower garden care during the season.

    • Site selection

    • Soil preparation

    • Transplanting

    • Managing weeds

    • Fertilizing

    • Effective irrigation

  • Give examples of plants and plant combinations that are suitable for Maine gardens and relatively new in the trade.

WOODY LANDSCAPE PLANTS

  • The three forms in which trees and shrubs can be purchased and the advantage disadvantages of each form

    • Balled and burlapped (B&B)

    • Containerized

    • Bare-root

  • The basic steps and considerations for planting a tree or shrub

    • Selecting the proper tree for the site

    • Timing

    • Hole size (depth and width)

    • Pros and cons of amending backfill

    • Watering

    • Staking

    • Mulching

  • How and when to properly transplant different landscape trees

    • Timing

    • Root pruning

  • The basics of landscape tree or shrub care

    • Establishment period and water needs

    • Fertilization

    • Pruning

  • The basics of pruning landscape trees and shrubs

    • Reasons for pruning (safety, plant health, control size, direct growth, promote flowering or fruiting)

    • Necessary tools, tool care and safety (pole pruners, loppers, pruning saws and hand shears)

    • Appropriate timing (time of year, age of plant)

    • Types of pruning cuts (heading and thinning) and how plants respond

  • Non-native, invasive woody plants in Maine and why they are a problem in managed landscapes.  (Norway Maple, winged euonymus, oriental bittersweet, Japanese barberry, shrubby honeysuckle, etc.)

  • Familiarity with some of the typical native trees and shrubs appropriate for different landscape conditions.  Group plants with similar needs (water, fertilizer, sun) for easier maintenance.

    • Sunny, well drained landscape

    • Shady, woodland landscape

    • Seasonally flooded landscape

    • Coastal, lakeside or alpine landscape (Choose what is most appropriate for your region of the state


SELECTED READINGS AND CONTENT

UMaine Extension Bulletins

Plants for the Native Landscape (From the GardenPro Answer Book)

UMaine Extension Videos

Books

  • Maine Forest Service, Forest Trees of Maine, Centennial Edition also available online
  • Mittlehauset, Gregory, Rooney and Weber The Plants of Acadia National Park Orono, ME, University of Maine Press 2010 (Plants of Baxter State Park due out in 2017)
  • Lawrence Newcomb, Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide New York and Boston, Little, Brown and Co. 1977, video on how to use the guide

Additional Resources


PRACTICAL SKILLS GAINED AND STRENGTHENED

  • RIGHT PLANT, RIGHT PLACE: Give examples of plants and plant combinations that are suitable for Maine gardens

  • How to select healthy plants from a retailer

  • How to plant and care for woody landscape plants

  • Proper use of different pruning cuts (heading and thinning), taking into account how the plants will respond

  • Be able to recommend typical native trees and shrubs appropriate for these different landscape conditions –

    • Sunny, well drained landscape

    • Shady, woodland landscape

    • Seasonally flooded landscape

    • Coastal, lakeside or alpine landscape