Over the course of many years, Doug Grimm has been searching out, collecting, sampling, and developing new and native trees for his own corner of the world, here in Northeast Kansas. Though Doug has traveled the world over, he has been searching mostly for trees that can be grown in a very tough climate, Kansas.
Here in Kansas we have more extreme weather than almost anywhere in the continental United States. In 24 hours we can go from 60 °F to 20 °F and back up again. We have tornadoes, ice storms, drought, extreme wind, heat waves, torrential rains and flooding, hail, extreme temperature swings, occasional earthquakes, heavy snow and blizzards, everything but volcanoes and hurricanes. Our trees have to be tough. Perennials and shrubs have smaller root systems and generally can rebound quicker from extreme weather, but trees grow slowly in comparison and cannot survive many weather onslaughts.
The last few years, Doug and Nick Haedt (Grimm’s Gardens’ arborist) have been working with UpShoot and Blue Heron nursery to select, develop, and produce trees that can withstand much of our land’s mood swings. In other words, they have been selecting trees that are TOUGH enough to handle the Kansas climate.
Over the next few months I will be introducing you to some of these trees, as they become available in our nursery and to you. Some may seem like old trees reintroduced, but mind, these trees have been selected for their excellent performance over decades of Kansas weather, disease and insect resistance, and beauty in the landscape.
The first 6 trees I am going to introduce to you are Scarlet Oak ‘Infraray Red’, Redbud ‘Raspberry Twinkles’, Whitebud ‘Mr. America’, Shantung Maple ‘KC Gold’, Ginkgo ‘Asian Princess’, and Sycamore ‘KC Snow’. Over the next 8 weeks I will give you the stories behind these trees, and their value for the Kansas landscape. You will fall in love with them as much as I have.