2018 Video Tour
2018 Video Tour
IT'S FINALLY HERE!!!
Our 2018 video tour of Kahnke Brothers Tree Farm is ready for viewing. Head "behind the scenes" with a guided tour of the site. This video provides our community of customers with an inside look at what is beyond our perimeter. There is SO much to see!
Considered a "time-tested classic" by ProvenWinners.com this big and bold shrub stands well above it's competition, 6-8 ft. tall to be exact. To sweeten the pot, maintenance of 'Limelight' requires only regular watering and pruning in late winter or early spring. Weeds don't stand much of a chance when competing for growing space and a harsh winter won't phase it's summer bloom. Healthy hydrangeas easily recover from the occasional insect infestation. A strong spray of water to wash the
Happy Thursday! Is everyone ready for this week's feature? It's gonna be big... "Bonanza" big! You may recognize the name, but no, I'm sorry it has much less to do with the Cartwrights and Virginia City than you think. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the ranch had some of these trees hanging around. This week's feature is called the Ponderosa pine.
The Ponderosa pine was also highly utilized by the Native American population. By tradition, most each part of the tree was used. From the outer bark to the inner gum, no part of the tree went wasted.
If a tree was cut to make a new canoe, the leftovers were carefully kept. The seeds of the tree were often eaten raw while the young cones were boiled for food. The outer bark of the tree was harvested in early spring as a sweet treat on special occasions.
Not only will it's lumber beautifully furnish your house, but it will also provide the planted area with stability and hardiness. What I find most interesting about this tree's stout persona is it's ability to withstand the worst conditions. Living in Minnesota, "the worst" seems common.
Once established, this tree can survive through most anything. It's drought tolerant and withstands plantings at higher elevations (thanks to it's mountain heritage), extreme temperatures, even wildfire!
Typically, it begins feeling like spring to me when the first geese appear on Lake Kahnke. However, I actually took this picture because I wasn't completely sure that they hadn't frozen there in place. This cool weather does not upset me, though. In my line of work, keeping track of what the weather does from year to year is part of the gig. I know that it isn't normal to have 70-degree days in March; at least not in Minnesota. I also know, that unseasonably warm days can be bad for the plants. Slow and steady really is preferable, while not quite as fun.
Just for kicks, while writing this, I decided to look back at what the weather was really like last March. It's amazing to me how deceptive our memories are. We had a few really warm days last year, but we're not really that far off schedule. I think the local meteorologists have lead us down a rather negative path and I'm about to take a detour.
As Bob Dylan so aptly put it, "A Change is Gonna Come." I actually just stepped out of my office to try to catch a photo of the birds I have been hearing sing their little beaks off as I sit here at my desk. Unfortunately, the sun has become draped in clouds and it is difficult to capture the cheeriness of blackbirds singing on a dreary day. You get the idea, though. While temps are expected to hover in the "ho, hum" range for the foreseeable future, the critters seem to think that warmer weather is inevitable and far be it for me to question their logic.
What I CAN say, is that it is beginning to feel very much like spring beneath the cover of our greenhouses! Check out what a difference a week makes in the pictures below. On the left, is the "before" picture...
My dream playground includes several, "upside down" crabapples. Personally, I think weeping trees are beautiful. However, it seems like many folks have a hard time visualizing them on their properties. Younger eyes might be able to see pink waterfalls or Barbie hair or cotton candy. One or two willows will have to be included. What kid doesn't want to feel like Tarzan for a few moments out of the day? Pendulous branches make perfect camouflage during games of Hide-and-Seek. They also serve admirably as temporary "hair-dos" and "beards". An Oak or two must also be utilized. Their longevity and strength can transcend generations. Trees should be legendary and Oaks have that potential. A few, American Elms would also be nice. Long gone are the times when our streets were encompassed by the arching canopies of elms on either side. Now that Dutch Elm Disease resistant trees exist, we need to show future generations the amazing ambiance they can create.
While I am just scratching the surface with these ideas, I know that trees made a difference for me. They were objective listeners to my silent, childhood plights. Their branches embraced me whenever I dwelt beneath them. As I learned to "pump" my swing to new altitudes, I was rocked into a hypnotic state. No Earthly cares could invade my brain. Sharing my peace with future generations through trees is a dream come true. I can hardly wait to get started!
My name is Connie Kratzke. I have worked with Kahnke Brothers for 16 years. During this period, I have done everything from watering the plants to designing our website. My role at the nursery involves selling stock, managing inventory, marketing plants and overseeing the production of shrubs and perennials. Sometimes I sit at a desk and other times I can be found in a Bobcat. During my career here, I have become a MNLA Certified Professional. I am also an at large member of the Minnesota Grown Promotion Group/Minnesota Grown Advisory Committee. Currently, I serve as City Arborist for Silver Lake, Minnesota, and a member of their planning commission. My focus is on helping our clients succeed with their landscaping efforts. Education is a huge factor influencing that success. Keeping it real is my strategy. Through sharing my experiences at the nursery and at home, I hope to debunk myths and eliminate concerns. At the same time, I want people to be aware of what doesn't work. Living things are somewhat unpredictable, but they all have basic needs. Understanding how to fill those needs while simultaneously achieving landscape goals is a process that I want to share with as many people as possible, because I truly enjoy it.
May - November
from 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Appointments available by request
Call Connie to set-up an appointment