Cafe Bar Nuts  
2 ¼ cups assorted unsalted nuts, including peeled peanuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, pecans and whole almonds
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp dark brown sugar
2 tsp sea salt
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350. Toss the nuts in a large bowl to combine and spread them out on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven till they become light golden brown about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the rosemary, cayenne, sugar, salt and melted butter. Thoroughly toss the toasted nuts in the spice butter and serve warm.


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Branching Out with Faith Appelquist

Questions, suggestions or comments are welcome.

Contact Faith at (612) 618-5244 or by email 


Hello, Vivaldi?
We'd like a Fifth Season, please...
This autumn was the warmest on record in the US. Flip flops and shorts in December, while the down parka stays buried in the closet. The freakishly warm weather has created havoc in the plant world too. Cherry blossoms, buckeye, rhododendron, magnolia, and bulbs are just a few of the plants blooming weeks if not months ahead of schedule in the Northeast and Midwest.
What is happening here is a reflection of the varying ways that plants acclimate, or become dormant, for winter. The process is triggered by a combination of changing fall light and lower temperatures. When everything works properly, warmer temperatures in spring trigger new growth. What will happen when winter inevitably wallops us?
The new leaves and flowers will die when winter literally nips them in the bud. Most of these early-blooming plants won't make new flowers because the buds are set in summer or fall. With their stored energy spent, the plants may not bloom in the spring, and will have to wait until next summer to create their displays.
The good news is that the plants will probably survive whatever nature throws at them; the bad news is that spring may not be quite as pretty as usual.
For more information on this December foolery, enjoy this New York Times Article.

December 27th Cherry blossoms on the Washington, DC Mall.
In Indiana, a confused spring wildflower Jack in the Pulpit,
emerges in December.

Frost in the background, bulbs emerging in the foreground.
Pennsylvania, January 2016
The Value of this Tree

A highway project is expanded, cutting a path through five civil war era bur oaks; a drunken teenager's car runs off the road, careening into a tree in a homeowner's back yard; a tree company cuts down a 50-foot maple at the wrong address.
What do these stories have in common? They are all cases where a tree appraisal was needed to determine the damages. Trees have value apart from the environmental benefits they provide. In most cases, they are too big to be 'replaced' by a new tree from the nursery. A tree that has a trunk diameter of 4 feet and stands 60 feet tall cannot be replaced by a single 4-inch tree from the nursery. They are not the same tree. What is the value of that tree?
Arborists who assess the value of trees work under a set of appraisal guidelines that are recognized by insurance companies, the courts and, in some cases, the IRS. The method typically used is a depreciated replacement cost method. This means the appraiser starts with the cost to replace the tree with an 'ideal' tree from the nursery, then depreciates or marks down anything that affects its value. Drive a new car off the lot and it immediately depreciates in value. It will never again be worth as much as it was on the show room floor.
The appraiser looks at the species of the tree. Is it a bur oak (high value) or a willow (low value)? Then the appraiser considers the tree size. Size is not the height of the tree but the width of the trunk. Is it small enough to be replaceable? Is it too large to reasonably replace? Next comes the condition of the tree. Was it a healthy, structurally sound tree or did it have decay? Finally, there needs to be a look at the location of the tree and what it does for the property. Does the tree have a prominent part of the landscape or is it planted under the power lines?
For example, a solitary 36-inch diameter sugar maple which shades a backyard patio is theoretically worth more than a 36-inch diameter red mulberry that recently had a large limb split away and is located in a wooded area.
An appraisal can be done after your trees have suffered damage or even been cut down, but it's wise to do it while trees are healthy. Take pictures of your landscape to make before-and-after comparisons easier and to expedite the processing of insurance claims.
To hire a qualified plant appraiser, check online for the American Society of Consulting Arborists or the American Society of Consulting Foresters, which has a listing of professionals on its website.

A solitary, mature tree in the front yard provides numerous benefits
and has a high value.

Five oaks tagged for removal because of a major road reconstruction project. An appraisal was done that fairly compensated the homeowners for their loss.

A stump was all that remained after a tree company removed this tree from the wrong address. An appraisal was done with Google images and homeowner pictures.
Thanks for reading. Happy Planting!    


Faith Appelquist

President & Founder


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