Johnson's Spring Open House begins Friday, March 15!

Hello, again!

There are specific dates at the start of every year that give us hope that spring is near. Whether it’s Groundhog Day, Daylight Savings Sunday, or - for me - when the Bradford pear trees bloom. I think it’s this for me because I remember on the day my daughter was born - April 1, 1980-something - that all the pear trees were in bloom.

Back 20-30 years ago, the Bradford pear was the go-to tree to plant. It seemed like every house, business and tree row in Wichita contained at least one Bradford pear. What we didn’t realize is that the Kansas wind would wreak havoc on these narrowly structured, weak trees making their branches snap off in any strong gust of wind. Looking back, I think it was some sort of April Fool’s joke Mother Nature played on us. While they can be nice to look at, Bradford pears are weak, and man do they stink when in bloom!

So if Bradford pears are “out”, what tree is “in”? It’s a good thing you asked. Just this week, we received a huge shipment of trees to restock our nursery. For a flowering tree, like the Bradford pear, but with a better shape, better branching structure and beautiful blooms, I’d choose a crabapple. Here are several varieties of crabapples that I love:

Sargent Tina is a smaller variety of crabapple with a height/spread ratio of 5’ high to 6’ wide. It flowers white, is slow growing and has a nice globe shape.

Royal Raindrops is a beautiful burgundy flowering tree that is more upright with a height/spread ratio of 20’ high to 15’ wide.

Prairie Fire blooms in pink and purple and presents a nice, round 20’ by 20’ shape.

Spring Snow is a fruitless, white flowering crabapple that grows to 25’ tall and about 22’ wide.

I always recommend planting your trees and shrubs with ferti-lome Root Stimulator and mulching them with Johnson’s Blue Ribbon All-Bark Cedar Mulch which will be on sale during our Spring Open House March 15-24!

If you haven’t been in yet this spring, stop by and see us. Bring your questions, and we’ll help you get growing in the right direction!

Your friend in the garden,

Marty Johnson
Owner - Johnson's Garden Centers