SG592: Trees: Caring for the Garden’s Gentle Giants with Rex Bastian

Hit Play

Trees are the Gentle Giants of our Gardens and today we are so fortunate to learn from Master Arborist and Beloved Industry Expert Rex Bastian.
 
Trees are so essential to our lives. They give us oxygen. They anchor the soil. They provide shelter and store carbon.  In the garden, trees provide so very much, yet many gardeners often feel uncertain about caring for their trees; unsure of how to properly care for them and unsure of how or when  to prune them.  Indeed, when problems arise, we can be at a loss for how to best help our trees.  Without much baseline knowledge, most of us have much to learn about trees.
 
Today’s guest Rex Bastian will share some insights and practical tips to get you started on the path toward better tree stewardship. Increased knowledge about tree stewardship not only benefits our trees, but also our gardens, our environment, wildlife, our communities, the economy, our health, and even the future.
 
I learned so much from my chat with Rex. I wanted to give you a preview of five things I learned from Rex that I think are valuable insights to help you take better care of the trees in your garden. When you hear Rex talk about these in the interview - you’ll know to pay particularly close attention to these key points.
 
1. Trees don’t heal. They seal off.  So when there is a wound or a problem, that’s how trees respond.  It’s their way.
 
2. Trees shed branches and leaves to make handling their large mass more manageable.  This is something we need to be more aware of as we become better monitors of our trees and their health.
 
3. Trees must grow.  They are committed to increasing their mass. If they stop growing, they die.  We’ve all seen Russian nesting dolls and the rings on trees.  Trees grow like those russian nesting dolls - adding a whole layer to the tree every year.  So whether they are growing fast or slow - it only matters that they grow.  In the world of trees - it’s grow or die.
 
4. The "Decline Spiral" of trees can be stopped - if it’s caught early enough. So knowing your trees is very important.
 
5. The phenomenon that occurs every fall - when the leaves on the trees change colors and fall off - is awe-inspiring.  But, the science behind it is often misunderstood. Most people think that cool weather alone causes leaves to change color. But actually, the lengthening of night-time hours - increasing darkness is the most influential factor among many.  I find we always underestimate the power of light and darkness when it comes to plants and their behaviors.
 
Now for a little bit of information about today’s guest. Rex Bastian is a technical advisor for The Davey Tree Expert Company and he recently received a 2017 Award of Distinction from The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Rex was honored with ISA’s 2017 Award of Merit, the ISA's highest honor for outstanding service in advancing the principles, ideals, and practices of arboriculture.
 
Jim Zwack, general manager of the Davey Institute, the Davey Company’s premier research development and innovation division. , says this about Rex,  
“Rex has a unique combination of breadth and depth of subject matter expertise, and it is difficult to find a topic for which he lacks a qualified opinion. He masterfully combines an enthusiastic teaching style with years of wisdom accrued by observing and assessing the plant health care services we provide for our clients.” 
 
Rex started with The Care of Trees (TCOT) in 1989 and joined Davey in 2008 through the TCOT merger with Davey. He works as a regional technical advisor with emphasis on education and training and diagnostics. He holds a Ph.D. in entomology from Iowa State University, and he is an International Society of Arboriculture Board Certified Master Arborist. 
 
Rex is getting ready to retire later this year - so I’m thrilled I got the chance to speak with him before he starts the next chapter in his life. Rex has influenced and educated thousands over his career, and I’m so thrilled that he gets the chance to make a difference yet again with the listeners of the Still Growing Gardening Podcast.  Without further ado, here’s Rex Bastian.

Thanks for Listening!

Still Growing,

6ftmama flower signature

New Episodes Released Every Friday (1)
The Garden News Roundup

Heard Weekly on the Still Growing Gardening Podcast

Guest Update

Sustainability

Continuing Ed

How to / DIY

Plant Spotlight

In the News

Dream Guest

Science

Shopping

Inspiration

Recipes

SIGN UP NOW FOR THE GARDEN NEWS ROUNDUP

Curated content & the latest episodes delivered to you each week.

helping you + your garden grow

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.
Youre invited join the listener community
Welcome New Members

Craig LeHoullier

Debra Anderson LaTerza

Angela Flippings

Christina Schaefer Rocco

Pattie Lou Lauer

Britney Ammen

Sandra Orr

Judy Homa Ronan

Rita Merringer

Andrea Elmer

Maureen Bonnes

David Douglas

Listener AdvisoryBoard (LAB) (2)
Help a gardener
+ their garden grow...
Please Share this Episode

“Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
― Robert Louis Stevenson.

Still Growing Hotline (1)

What Listeners Are Saying...

I never write reviews but this is the best gardening podcast out there. Jennifer has interesting topics and guests and is not one bit annoying like some others are. I love that she involves her kids at the end of the podcast - usually with poetry or music. Really good podcast.

- Barbcfc, Mar 23, 2016

Still Growing is one of the reliably informative gardening podcasts from North America. The format consists of an intro (personal gardening status chat, seasonal remarks), an extended interview with a guest, and an outro with funny outtakes, side remarks, and some chatter (poems, readings) from the host's children. The podcast is focused on reliable knowledge - the guests are typically experts like academics, master gardeners, gardening entrepreneurs or public garden leaders. The intro and especially the outro give it a homey feel. Given I live in the high northern region, just a little below the Polar Circle, I'm always looking for more cold-weather oriented gardening information. Jennifer Ebeling is in Minnesota, so that's helpful to me! Vegetable gardening (my main interest) gets a good share, but is not predominant. Most topics transcend your specific gardening interest and are applicable to many styles: landscaping principles, vermicomposting, greenhouses. The episodes are typically an hour long, which is just fine for me.

- cwaigl, May 29, 2014

Best gardening podcast out there. Her preparedness leads to a good interaction with the guests and brings out the best in them. Very informative and yet personable.

- Corn bug, June 15, 2016

This is a great podcast. Really well produced and organized with good sound quality. I love the mix of information and personal touches. Jennifer has great guests and asks the best questions. You can tell she really does her homework. I listen to several gardening podcasts and this is my absolute favorite!

- So Cal Gardengirl, June 19,2016

You can always find Still Growing on iTunes or on my favorite app: Stitcher Radio.

Listen to Stitcher

Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
Jennifer Ebeling
Join the Still Growing Listener Community on Facebook! Click here

Leave a Comment