Greetings Friends!
This year has been one of the best growing/planting seasons in recent years. It isn't quite over though, and there's much to be done before the plants go dormant. Wildlife needs all the help they can get to prepare for the winter. This chilly and rainy seasonal weather provides optimal conditions for plants to root in; the ground is soft, the temperatures aren't blistering, and there has been decent rainfall.

The feature article this month addresses the recent news about Hawaiian pollinators making the endangered species list. Carrie Hennessy writes about her favorite fall blooming plants for the pollinators. The plant of the month is the delicious American Filbert, also known as Hazelnut. It is one of nature's best Wisconsin natives, grown locally here at Johnson's Nursery, has stellar fall color, and it benefits wildlife. What a combination!

Don't forget that you can also find several of our most popular fall-related videos, guides, resources and downloadable content after the Leaf Lore section.
Thank you for reading. Enjoy!

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Fall Blooms for PollinatorsFA
by Carrie Hennessy, Landscape Designer      
For the last few years, a lot of attention has been paid to the fact that certain insect populations are being threatened. The once ubiquitous Monarch Butterfly has been consistently declining in numbers and now the news is abuzz (pardon the pun) over the Honeybee ( Apis mellifera). Though not native, the honeybee has become an important part of our ecosystem. However, native bees are now being threatened as well. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service just added 7 types of yellow-faced bees found in Hawaii to the endangered species list. In Wisconsin, the rusty-patched bumblebee already has that distinction. Once extremely common, the rusty-patched bumblebee population has been reduced by 90% in the last two decades, due to habitat loss, insecticide use, and climate change. The UW-Madison Arboretum discovered the rusty-patched bumble in 2010 and has since made efforts to preserve its habitat and encourage it to thrive.

If loss of habitat and rampant pesticide use goes unchecked, we will most certainly see more native pollinators (whether bees, butterflies, beetles, etc) declining to the same fate. It is estimated that 1/3 out of all fruits and vegetables that we consume is owed to the work of pollinators. One out of every three bites! So what can we do to help? Glad you asked.

Fall has once again arrived and as the dipping temperatures have us reaching for warm drink to ward off the morning chill, your local pollinators still need sustenance beyond pumpkin spice lattes. By including autumnal-flowering plants in the yard for your local bugs and butterflies you will help them make the transition to winter and offset habitat loss. One usually thinks of leaves in the landscape this time of year, but below is a list of plants with bloom times that stretch into October to brighten your yard and support your pollinators.
Fall Blooming Plants for
the Pollinators
  • Anemone species
  • Aster species
    • Sky Blue Aster ( Aster azureus)
    • Woods Aster ( Aster dumosus)
    • Heath Aster ( Aster ericoides)
    • New England Aster ( Aster novae-angliae)
  • Montrose White Calamint
    • Calamintha nepeta 'Montrose White'
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Tall Tickseed
    • Coreopsis tripteris
  • Spotted Joe-Pye Weed
    • Eupatorium maculatum
  • Sun-loving Hydrangea
    • Hydrangea paniculata
  • Prairie Blazing Star
    • Liatris pycnostachya
  • Catmint species
    • Nepeta
    • Note: if you cut back the entire plant to the ground after it flowers in spring, you will be rewarded with a second display of lavender flowers in September/October.
  • Russian Sage
    • Perovskia atriplicifolia
  • Rugosa Rose
    • Rosa rugosa
  • Black-eyed Susan
    • Rudbeckia
  • Showy Sedum
    • Sedum spectabile
  • Prairie Dock
    • Silphium terebinthinaceum
  • Goldenrod species
    • Solidago
Aster azureus, date taken: October 9
Aster dumosus, date taken: September 25
Calamintha nepeta 'Montrose White,
date taken: October 10

Chrysanthemum, date taken: October 4
Hydrangea pan. 'Limelight', date taken: October 1
Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Little Goldstar', date taken: October 10
Silphium terebinthinaceum, date taken: September 27
Solidago rug. 'Fireworks', date taken: September 29
Additional Reading:
American Filbert has a variable fall color.
American Filbert
Corylus americana

A deciduous multi-stemmed shrub, tolerant of a wide range of soils and light conditions, American Filbert [aka Hazelnut] grows to 8'-10' tall and wide. Best used as a hedge planting, or understory shrub, American Filbert has a variable fall color ranging from attractive combinations of orange, rose, purplish red, yellow and green to an undistinguished, dull yellowish green. Small, egg-shaped, 1/2" long, edible nuts (maturing July-August) which are encased in leafy, husk-like, ragged-edged bracts are similar in flavor to the European filbert, and may be roasted and eaten or ground into flour. If you can get to them first, they are delicious. Commonly the squirrels and birds will out race you.

The name comes from the Greek word korylos, or from korys meaning a helmet, in regard to the husk on the nut.
Corylus americana grown locally at Johnson's Nursery in Menomonee Falls. 
In September, the nation was shocked to learn that millions of honeybees were killed during an aerial pesticide application that was targeting Zika virus-carrying mosquitoes. This collateral damage came at a time when the honeybee is already threatened by habitat loss, agricultural practices, Colony Collapse Disorder, and the parasitic Varroa Mite. So alarming are the threats, that the Environmental Protection Agency has included the honeybee in its plans to protect other plant pollinators (including birds, butterflies, bats, bumble bees, wasps, and other insects) even though the honeybee isn't technically native to the U.S.

There are nine species of honeybees, but the one that is most important to agriculture is Apis mellifera (pictured above). Honeybees were brought to North America in the 17th century by Europeans, not for their honey production, but for the bees wax byproduct that was used for making candles. Previously unknown to Native Americans, they called the new insects "white man's flies". As colonists moved west, so would the honeybee, arriving in Wisconsin sometime in the early decades of the 1800's. Unlike most introduced non-native species, the honeybee proved to be a beneficial addition to the New World, without adversely affecting our native bees. Honeybees have been on our continent for 400 years and there are no records of native bees being eliminated in a habitat, so the general consensus is that honeybees and native bees are a great combination.
from The Dirt
Duration 2:09

Autumn in Wisconsin is a special time! At Johnson's Nursery, we still have a lot to do before breaking out the sweaters. Some trees can only be dug in fall. Fall is a fabulous time to... Learn more.
from Carrie's Quick Tips
Duration 1:10

Learn how to protect your trees from buck rub. The trees in your yard are an investment. Do you have deer roaming through your area? Protect your trees by using these techniques... Learn more.
from The Dirt
Duration 1:59

Many people think trees need to be in the ground by June. That's not true. Deciduous trees can be planted anytime before... Learn more.
from Carrie's Quick Tips
Duration 0:51

The cooler temperatures of autumn are approaching. While people are putting on more clothes, but evergreens are shedding. It's more noticeable on certain plants like... Learn more.
from Carrie's Quick Tips
Duration 1:07

Certain plants in your landscape may be too temping for deer or rodents to ignore over the winter. If you don't like the look of wire cages in your yard, there are alternatives... Learn more.
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Johnson's Nursery, Inc.
W180 N6275 Marcy Road. Menomonee Falls, WI 53051 ( map)
p. 262.252.4988