U-M plans move of 200-year-old burr oak

The costly, months-long process of uprooting a 65-foot-tall, 250-year-old tree will culminate later this month as the University of Michigan has set a move day for the history burr oak at the Ross School of Business.

Officials announced today that the relocation of the tree is scheduled to take place Saturday, Oct. 25, weather permitting.

A crew began the $400,000 process of excavating and moving the legacy burr oak tree in July in order to make way for the school’s $135 million, donor-funded expansion at the school. The cost was factored into the overall cost of the project before it was approved by the Board of Regents.

The plan is to move it from its place in a courtyard at the north side of the Ross complex, facing the School of Education, to a lawn area off Tappan Street, just outside the main entrance of the complex less than 100 yards away.

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Detroit compost company wins award

The Detroit News:

Pashon Murray is in a dirty business — and it’s paying off.

Murray, co-founder of Detroit Dirt, which converts manure and food scraps into compost, won $10,000 as the winner in the food category of Martha Stewart’s 2014 American Made contest.

Detroit Dirt beat out more than 220 other food finalists to win the contest’s food category in agriculture and sustainability. The contest rewards entrepreneurs and artisans across the country for innovativeness, creativity and workmanship in four main categories — food, design, craft and design — and several subcategories.

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Amend your soils to rid soil compaction

MSU Extension:

Gardeners may want to consider whether they’ve been seeing these signs of soil compaction. The soil seems difficult to dig or till. Or the plants are not growing as well as they should and seem to have an inadequate root system. Water tends to collect and puddle after a heavy rain and is slow to drain. Any of these may be due to compacted soils.

Soil compaction occurs when particles are packed too closely together. Compaction is more common in heavier soils like clay and loam; however, it can occur on sandy soils as well, especially if heavy equipment is used on the lawn or garden. Compaction can be compounded by events that occurred to the soil over several years.

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A treasure trove of rare wild tulip photos

girl-carrys-red-tulips-oct-14Tulip lovers have a new website to explore: www.tulipsinthewild.com features photographs of rare wild tulip species in their remote mountain native habitats. The site follows a group of Dutch bulb enthusiasts on a two-decade quest to some of the world’s most forbidding mountain ranges as they find and photograph little-known tulip species in the wild.

Despite their genteel garden image, tulips in the wild are native to harsh landscapes in hard-to-reach corners of the world. They’re often found clinging to barren mountain ledges exposed to wind, cold and drought. The contrast of harsh habitat and colorful tulips makes for some breathtaking photographs, most shot in mountain ranges in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Iran, and Afghanistan.

The site features an interactive map where users can click on a region to view the tulips that were photographed there. A selection of expedition shots is included plus tulip images with a description of each flower and where it was found. The only frustration for many will be the fact that most of the tulips displayed still exist only in the wild or in a few private collections. So for now, the best view of some of the rarest tulips on earth is just a click away, at www.tulipsinthewild.com.

Ripe tomatoes are susceptible to Anthracnose

MSU Extension:

For many gardeners, the end of August and beginning of September are the big times for harvesting ripe tomatoes from their home gardens. As is the usual case, those same excited gardeners have planted too many plants and a great number of tomatoes are being picked almost daily. What many of these gardeners are finding is these ripe tomatoes are rotting rapidly. When the gardeners looked at their plants, the leaves and stems looked good, the fruit was good, but what happened to the lovely tomatoes?

The answer is anthracnose (Colletotrichum coccodes). This is fungus that causes fruit to rot and can also be responsible for a high mold count in canned tomatoes.

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