Fruit Trees

Gray Barn Green Thumb Guide

Apple Trees

Akane Attractive red ‘lunch box’ apple, dessert quality, excellent tart, sprightly flavor.  Ripens late August to September.
Braeburn Medium size golden red apple.  Excellent flavor, matures late, keeps well.
Chehalis Large yellow-green, mild sweet flavor, juicy and crisp eating apple.  Resists scab.  Ripens mid-September to Early October.
Fuji Sweet tart flavor, yellowish apple [...]

The Fir Trees

What makes a fir a fir? Fir the birds?  Fir everything there is a season? Fir whom the bell tolls? Fir ever and a day?  This tree has been around fir ever. The genus Abies, which is Latin for Silver Fir, [...]

Deciduous Conifers

Conifers generally are evergreen trees that produce their seeds in cones. Familiar friends in this family include the fir, spruce, juniper, pine and yew. There exists, however, a small secretive subgroup of conifers that dares to be different. Perhaps trying to copy their cousins the maple and the oak, [...]

How to Plant a Tree

When rains blow, roots grow.  The fall season is a good time to plant in the Pacific Northwest.  When a tree is entering dormancy and rains provide sufficient moisture, conditions are right for planting.  Transplanting in the middle of the summer is [...]

Dogwood Trees by Elaine

A dogwood is a dogwood is a dogwood…..Maybe, but maybe not.  Here are some tips for distinguishing between the different species of dogwoods. (Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs, by Michael A. Dirr, Pub. 1997)

Himalayan White Birch by Elaine

Now.  Now on a Friday.  Now in March.  Now in the spring of the year two thousand and eleven.  What catches your eye now?  Not that shiny [...]

Meyer Lemon by Elaine

I don’t know how this happened, but as I look around at all the plants in my Sammamish suburban yard I see fruit.  More than I ever imagined would be here.  A Meyer Improved Lemon tree, a banana tree, a tiny little twig of an apple tree, blueberry bushes, raspberry bushes, tomatoes and even Salal [...]

Japanese Snowbell Tree by Elaine

“I’m only happy under a Snowbell tree.”  Even though this probably is not a true statement, I find it very satisfying when I declare it.  I am happy near other plants (roses, tomatoes, maples) but standing under a Japanese Snowbell, during the month of June, when it is in full bloom is somewhat dreamlike.  Gazing [...]

Japanese Maple ‘Ukigumo’ by Elaine


‘I think that I shall never see

A thing as lovely as a tree.’

With leaves of cream and pink and green

Japanese Maples are often seen.

The reason being they have beauty all

winter, spring, summer, fall.

Magnolia by Elaine

I visited Kubota Gardens in South Seattle yesterday and was so happy to discover this hidden treasure.  I brought my three children, ages 9, 12 and 16, who didn’t want to get out of the car (not another garden, mom!) but by the end of our walk they were exploring behind cedars, balancing over narrow [...]