February 2

Maine Gardener: Maine to hire invasive plant specialist

First on the agenda will be identifying what land plants qualify for the distinction.

By Tom Atwell

(Continued from page 1)

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Autumn olive is already recognized as an invasive plant in Maine, along with Japanese knotweed and swallowwort.

He recommends making the hole three times the size of the root ball, but to make a divot in the bottom of that hole the exact size of the root ball. That smaller hole will serve as an anchor for the tree, stiffer and more packed than the soil you put back. That anchor hole avoids the need for staking the tree.

For MELNA’s annual awards, Al Lappin Sr. of Al Lappin Landscaping in Scarborough won the Al Black Award as the state’s outstanding horticulturist for the year. Lappin began his career at Skillins Greenhouses in Falmouth before starting his own landscaping company, which also includes his sons. Lappin Sr. was credited at the meeting with giving early jobs to many of MELNA’s officers and other leaders.

Irene Brady Barber of Durham was named Young Nursery Professional of the Year. She is a horticulture therapist and landscape designer, working at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and her own company, Irene Brady Greenscape Designs. Earlier she worked at O’Donal’s Nursery in Gorham, where she formed the landscape design division.

Another interesting MELNA program was presented by Allison Dibble of the University of Maine, who discussed a trial on attracting native bees as pollinators. And bees love some great plants for pollinators, such as knotweed. Next week I will write about that program.

O’DONAL’S had not created its winter seminar program by the deadline for last week’s column. It will offer free programs on new hydrangeas with representatives from Bailey’s Nurseries and McHutchison Horticulture at 10 a.m. Feb. 20, insect and disease updates with two assistant state horticulturists at 10 a.m. Feb. 27 and new plants at 10 a.m. March 20. Call 839-4262 to register.

Tom Atwell has been writing the Maine Gardener column since 2004. He is a freelance writer gardening in Cape Elizabeth and can be contacted at (207) 767-2297 or at:



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