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Judith Adam says
Hi Susan (May 20)
It won’t harm the tree to remove branches. So long as it’s securely rooted, the wind shouldn’t cause any harm. Limbing up trees needs to be done carefully, so they continue to have a natural appearance; that’s something only you can judge. If you do it gradually, removing a bit at a time and studying the effect, you won’t make any mistakes. You could also try thinning branches from the hemlock so that you can see through it. That might give a more natural appearance. Again, only you can judge how this will look. Hopefully, it won’t take too much tampering with the tree to open up your view. Good luck!
susan mcdowell says
Judith – I have enjoyed reading your ‘New City Gardener’ – I have a question about Canadian Hemlock or aka Eastern Hemlock – one was planted in our backyard many years ago not realizing how large this specimen becomes with its lower branches taking up a large portion of the yard – to compound the problem the property is lakefront and the tree is blocking the view – is it ok to remove some of the lower branches to open up the vista knowing a good deal of wind comes off the lake and particularly in the winter months – would appreciate your opinion – regards – Susan McDowell Toronto
Judith Adam says
Thanks for your comment, and the question about bringing container herbs indoors.
If you want to bring the pots of herb plants indoors for autumn and winter use, you'll need to do it very soon, perhaps even this weekend. They can't be out when the night temperatures dip much lower than they already are now.
The second important point is to be sure the plants in the containers (and the soil) are free from resident insects. Standard procedure would be to drench the plant foliage with insecticidal soap; but this is not the best thing to do with a food plant. The soap solution can be washed off and wouldn't harm you, but it might cause off flavours in the herb leaves. And there is still the possibility of insect larvae hiding in the soil, just waiting to hatch out in the warm temperature of your kitchen.
My first choice would be to simply harvest as much as possible from the pots and freeze the leaves. You can freeze them just as they are; or consider blending them with a bit of olive oil, and freezing them in ice cube trays. I'm sure you can find all sorts of way to do this!
Love your new column – most informative!!
I have a great herb garden in a window box on my deck and have been wondering what can be done to preserve them in the winter. Can you bring them indoors or can any be frozen?