Posted by: Highland landscaping | March 8, 2018

March 2018


March 2018                                       EDITION 109

817-488-2718  Phone |


               “Every spring is the only spring-

                 a perpetual astonishment”.

                        -Ellis Peters (1913-1995)

Rose Rosette Disease Update

      As our blooming beauties are awakening from their winter slumber, many home and business owners are thinking about new or amended landscape designs. We are often asked about installing roses. At this time, we are still not recommending or installing roses. In our December, 2015 edition, we presented an update on Rose Rosette Disease (RRD) for the fifth time. Past issues of the newsletter may be viewed on our website.

As we researched current progress on defeating this disease, we found that the prognosis is still bleak. University Agri-Life programs in numerous states are studying various aspects of RRD. Research teams meet regularly to share their findings.  Texas A&M Agri-Life is leading the charge. In July of 2017, the Texas A&M Rose Breeding and Genetics Program identified a few species and cultivars that had not yet developed symptoms.

But, on November 11, 2017, the program announced they had completed the removal of the remaining rose families from their plots in College Station due to disease. Based on the life cycle of the mite that carries the virus, it is theorized that the transmission of the virus occurs primarily between May and mid-July. Symptoms of the disease can present from 17 days to 279 days after infection.

Halfway through a five-year, $4.6 million grant to combat rose rosette disease in the U.S. by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Research Initiative, researchers are encouraged by the vast knowledge gained and the national effort that has come together.  Rose growers and enthusiasts have reported their observations as well, which has been welcomed by those involved researching various   aspects of the plants and the disease. The national  research team admits, though, that they have a long way to go in defeating this deadly disease.

Ongoing research in developing RRD resistant cultivars is somewhat stifled because of the complex chromosomes of roses. They are polyploids, and have four or more sets of chromosomes. This complex genetic profile places roses in the company of other important ornamental and food crops, such as; coffee, bananas, potatoes, and chrysanthemums. For each gene there are 4+ choices. To create a genetic profile from such complexity, and then test each one for RRD resistance takes a long time.

Some landscape companies, growers, and garden shops suggest considering using roses as an annual color in a landscape design. When the roses show signs of disease, they can be removed.  It is the position of Highland Landscaping that to stop the spread of the disease, infected roses should be properly removed and disposed of, and NO new roses should be planted until the disease is controlled or eradicated.

“Men are born to succeed-

not to fail”

         -Henry David Thoreau

Plant trivia

For whom was the genus Forsythia named? (look for the answer at the end of our blog)

Featured project

The Hilton is a beautiful “showcase” property in the heart of Southlake Town Square. It is also one of our longer-running commercial accounts. Before this project started, the hotel entrance exhibited a very typical commercial landscape consisting mostly of Holly hedges and Boxwoods. Even though these were fully grown and manicured regularly , it was time for a change. Highland had already updated and enhanced other areas on the property, and the hotel management desired a new look for the arrival area. The side railings are now filled with different sized plantings in order to add dimension, but not overtake the building and railing like the prior  landscaping did. You will find incorporated, some stunning Wichita Blue Junipers and Scarlet Peaks Hollies to add height and texture to this bed. Below these trees are Andorra Junipers, Iris, Red Hot Pokers, Cleyeras, and Variegated Euonymus groundcover. Not only are all these plants evergreen (which means they will keep their green foliage year round), but they also have different-colored foliage or stunning flowers during their respective blooming seasons. Highland also installs and maintains the gorgeous seasonal color in front of the fountain (that will soon be replaced with vibrant spring colors and plantings).



Brooke Sugden Photography : 817-948-6428

 Seasonal color this month…

Alyssum, Carolina Jessamine, Foxglove, Loropetalum, Pear Trees, Petunias, Redbuds, Saucer Magnolias,Tulips, Forsythia

March landscape Tasks:

  • Plan landscape and hardscape projects
  • Install early spring seasonal color
  • Plant trees, shrubs, ground covers
  • Prune trees, evergreens and shrubs
  • Apply post-emergent for weeds
  • Run-through sprinkler system
  • Mulch landscape beds to 3”


Highland Landscaping has just been awarded Tops In Tarrant in Society Life’s 2018 Magazine! After working hard each and every day in the business to serve our customers, improve, and grow, it is an honor to be recognized in this way.  Many thanks to all of you who voted for us.


Trivia Answer

Scottish botanist, William Forsyth (1737-1804)


Featured plant—Loropetalum

Picture7Loropetalum (Loropetalum chinese),  is a member of the Witchhazel family.  Also known as Chinese Fringe Flower or Chinese Witchhazel,  this evergreen shrub or tree is native to the Himalayas, China, and Japan. The name, “Loropetalum”, is derived from  the Greek words “loron” (strap) and “petalon” (leaf or petal), which describe the form of the flower petals.  Flowers are produced in clusters of 4-6 slender strap-shaped petals.  The fragrant flowers bloom in late winter or early spring.

Branches are arranged in horizontal layers.  Leaves, spaced alternately on stems, are oval in shape and measure 1-2” long and 1” wide.  The weeping character of the long arching branches and the unique leaf color options make loropetalum a desireable addition to many landscape designs. Picture8.png

Loropetalum was first classified by Scottish botanist Robert Brown (1773-1858).  Brown was a botanist and palaeobotanist who made significant contributions in the field of botany through his work with the microscope.  He is known for his early work on plant pollination and fertilization.  Many of the plant classsifications he made are still recognized today.

The loropetalum species first introduced to the United States in 1880 was the green-leafed, white-flowered variety.  The tree typically grew to a height of 10-15 feet  with a somewhat smaller width.  There are, however, 100 -year old specimens that are 35 feet tall.  The purple-species was not discovered in the Hunan Province until 1942.  This pink-flowering tree was introduced in the U.S. in the late 1980’s to early 1990’s.

Loropetalum has established itself as a versatile planting in many landscapes.  Cultivars of various sizes and color combinations are now available. Proven Winners has created five cultivars, and will be introducing a dwarf (24-48”) bush with deep plum foliage and pure white flowers in 2019.  Monrovia introduced its first cultivar in 1998, and Southern Living has numerous selections, as well.

Loropetalum has achieved recognition in the Earth-Kind Landscaping program, and has been rated 8 (10 high) on the Firewise Index.  Its diverse uses in the landscape include: accent plant, container planting, hedge, and ground cover.  Its deep root system  anchors it solidly on slopes. The spring blooms attract butterflies and hummingbirds.



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