Knecht's - Northfield, MN Nurseries and Landscaping

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Firefall Maple & Other Seedless Trees

Thu, 10/08/2015 - 8:50pm
Fall color of the FIrefall Maple

Firefall Maple is a wonderful home grown hybrid maple tree that is right now reaching it’s peak of beautiful red fall color.  The University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum partnered on a tree breeding project that combined the best traits of Minnesota’s Autumn Spire Red Maple with the strong branching and refined appearance of the Bebe Cutleaf Silver Maple.

The result is Firefall Maple – a very hardy, fast growing shade tree with strong, storm resistant branches, brilliant red fall color, classy cutleaf foliage, more compact size than Autumn Blaze Maple, and a tree that is seedless, making it lower maintenance.

Here at Knecht’s – we currently have Firefall Maple available in larger balled and burlapped sizes, and also in handy light weight nursery pots in several sizes.

The week of October 9-16 – should be the best time to check out Firefall Maples as they display their lovely red fall color.

Sometimes our customers express a desire for seedless shade trees.  Happily we are able to carry a nice group of shade trees in our inventory that produce no seed litter, or very reduced infrequent seed crops.

In addition to Firefall Maple, there are several other hybrid maples that are not only seedless, but are fast growers and have beautiful fall color.  Celebration Maple is a seedless shade tree that has very uniform branch structure, resists storm damage, has a narrower crown width and fall color that varies from yellow to orange with some red.

Celebration Maple

Sienna Glen is another seedless maple from a Minnesota origin that develops a dense and uniformly round shape, grows quickly and also has a mix of yellow, orange and red fall color.

Autumn Fantasy maple grows fast and straight, and has burgundy/red fall color.

Other good hardy seedless or mostly seedless shade trees include Espresso Kentucky Coffeetree, his Majesty Corktree, Skyline, Sunburst and Northern Acclaim honeylocust.

For a mostly seedless medium sized ornamental tree you may want to check out the Snowdance Japanese Tree Lilac that can grow well in a variety of soils, including clay, as long as the clay is in a location that has good drainage.

At this time, we are not recommending seedless ash trees due to the invasion of the Emerald Ash Borer insect that is killing millions of ash trees across the Midwest.


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Categories: Businesses

It’s Showtime!!!!

Thu, 10/08/2015 - 8:46pm

The next week should reveal the best autumn colors of the season.  Trees and shrubs throughout our retail and production areas will be displaying impressive combinations of yellow, gold, orange, red and burgundy.

The weather forecast the next few days looks fabulous, so stop in and enjoy the Fall color show, and some incredible savings.  Right now every single tree, shrub and perennial is on sale at discounts of 20% off to 50% off.  We are open 7 days a week for your convenience.

See you at Showtime!!!

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Categories: Businesses

Prime Time

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 8:57am

Once again we are headed into a period of the year that is Prime Time for many of our most enjoyable outdoor activities.  Viewing the beautiful autumn leaves, hiking, canoeing, boating, football games, the World Series and camping can all be enjoyed on some of the nicest days of the whole year!

October is also a traditional time for planting trees and shrubs and a great opportunity for doing a landscaping project that may have been delayed during a busy summer.  Moderate temperatures and crisp fall days make for very pleasant working conditions that allow rapid completion of your late season project.

Stoke your enthusiasm for a Prime Time planting or landscaping project by visiting the nursery now while many plants are at the peek of their fall glory.   This is also Prime Time for big savings on purchases  of trees, shrubs and perennials since every single landscaping plant is discounted from now until November 8th, 2015.

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Categories: Businesses

2015 Fall Sale

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 8:45am

Once again we have lost our minds and have placed every single plant at Knecht’s nurseries on sale at discounts of 20% off to 50% off, depending on the variety.  The 2015 Fall Sale runs from October 1st through November 8th.

People love these huge discounts so inventories are changing daily.  Come on in while the selection is still excellent.  We’d love to show you around!

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Categories: Businesses


Thu, 10/01/2015 - 8:39am
Red Sprite Winterberry in the winter Red Sprite Winterberry

If you would like to have a shrub planting in your landscape to add vibrant color long after beautiful autumn leaves have faded, you may want to consider the Winterberry.  Red Sprite Winterberry, Little Goblin Winterberry and Berry Nice Winterberry all produce brilliant red fruit that hangs tight on the branches well into mid winter, offering a beautiful contrast when old man winter spreads a blanket of white across the landscape.

Hundreds of small round berries 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch in diameter change from green to red during August, and the color stays bright for three to five months.  The fruit of the Winterberry is also a nice food source for birds when food is scarce.

Red Sprite Winterberry is the most widely known Winterberry variety, with a modest side of 3′-4′.  Little Goblin Winterberry is slightly smaller, while Berry Nice Winterberry will develop into a larger size with more eye popping color.  To get proper pollination and fruit set, plant a male pollinator such as Jim Dandy Winterberry nearby or behind your showy female selection.

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Categories: Businesses

September Sale

Thu, 09/24/2015 - 3:58pm

All through the month of September we have been placing more and more varieties of trees, shrubs and perennials on sale at discounts of 20% off to 50% off.  While inventories are changing daily, we still have very good availability on most varieties.

Right now we have over 150 varieties of trees, shrubs and perennials that are on sale at big discounts, which means you can realize some very nice savings on your fall landscaping project.

Good soil moisture levels this fall should make for easy digging and quick planting.

We are open seven days a week through November 8th for your shopping convenience!

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Categories: Businesses

‘Purple Dome’ New England Asters

Thu, 09/24/2015 - 3:52pm
‘Purple Dome’ Aster

Our display beds are showing off their asters!  Every fall we are awestruck by the true abundance of royal purple daisy style flowers on the beautiful ‘Purple Dome’ asters in our display beds.  They never disappoint!  Everyone who sees them goes up for a closer look and to find out what they are.  Asters are inconspicuous wallflowers of perennial beds and borders all summer and then, come September, their song comes on and they hit the dance floor!!  ‘Purple Dome’ is a New England Aster that matures around 2-2.5′ tall and 3-4′ wide.  Because they don’t bloom until later in the season they are excellent planted in conjunction with spring blooming perennials.  Asters combine beautifully with ornamental grasses, sedums, mums and heuchera for dazzling fall plantings.

Plant asters in full sun for best bloom and to discourage mildews from affecting their foliage.  They prefer average soils and can tolerate moist locations provided they have adequate drainage

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Categories: Businesses

The Great White

Thu, 09/24/2015 - 3:42pm

In the midst of brilliant fall colors visible at every turn, it may seem odd to write about how great a landscape color is the color white.  Every scene of gorgeous fall color that my eyes take in brings up mixed emotions.

While I always feel deep and satisfying joy when taking in the reds or golds of autumn, there is also a twinge of sadness knowing that all too soon the landscape will be dominated by more muted shades of tan and grey, the  dark greens of the evergreen and of course white.

Sometimes white seems like the absence of color, but as I think about some of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve seen, white is often a very important part of the scene.


n the spring of the year, I love the mounds of white produced by Renaissance Spireas, Snowball Viburnum, Showy Mountain Ash and Common White Lilacs.  In early summer, the Catalpa trees and Japanese Tree Lilacs are blossoming and by midsummer, the hydrangeas begin to show their lush white blossoms which continue into fall.

My favorite white plant in the landscape has no showy white blossoms at all.  It is the white birch tree.  There are several varieties of birch that develop white bark, including Renaissance Reflection Paper Birch, Renaissance Oasis Paper Birch and the always lovely Dakota Pinnacle Birch.

Forty-eight years ago, I took my first canoe trip into the Boundary

North Country Birch Grove

Waters Canoe Area, and Ontario’s Quetico Canoe Park, and I fell in love with the stands of paper birch that contrast so nicely when mixed with spruce, pine and cedar.  I love the white barked birch trees not only because they remind me of hundreds of happy days canoeing the sprawling wilderness, but also because they are beautiful year round without any color added besides their regal white bark.  The contrast of pristine white against a background dominated by grey and green that I can enjoy all year long.  The bark of a beautiful paper birch is there to enjoy not just for part of one season on the calendar, it stands out all year long.

Oasis Paper Birch in the Fall

Renaissance Oasis Paper Birch is my personal favorite of the white barked birch varieties with the striking Dakota Pinnacle Birch a close second. Don’t forget to plan for some white in your landscape.  Over time you too may come to regard white in the landscape as “The Great White.”




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Categories: Businesses

A Sumac for All Seasons

Sun, 09/13/2015 - 12:51pm
Tiger Eye Sumac

Tiger Eyes Sumac offers year round visual interest for sunny areas of the landscape.  Whether it is spring, summer, winter or fall, Tiger Eyes Sumac has something to offer.

Springtime finds Tiger Eyes Sumac vigorously pushing out bright golden yellow leaves that instantly add a mass of intense color to the  landscape.  A really nice characteristic of Tiger Eyes Sumac is the excellent leaf color that holds very well throughout the summer, adding just a hint of chartreuse by late summer when attractive seed heads form, presenting a nice upright element in the landscape that persists throughout the fall and winter.  The reddish cone shaped seed clusters are utilized by wildlife over the winter when other food sources are scarce, and are an ornamental feature as they stand out against a snowy landscape.

Tiger Eyes Sumac

While Tiger Eyes Sumac provide a great deal of color all spring and summer with their golden foliage, the color show rises to an even higher level as autumn arrives.  Every fall, Tiger Eyes Sumac add beautiful red and orange color to their leaves and the gold color intensifies as well.  In late September and early October, Tiger Eyes Sumac can be found putting on a color extravaganza.

Plant Tiger Eyes Sumac in full sun locations, and in properly drained soils.  Avoid wet areas and shady areas, and plant them where they can form a thicket as they spread by suckers from the roots.  Tiger Eyes Sumac is excellent when used to cover and hold sloped areas that would be difficult to mow. When used as a specimen in a landscape bed, it is often a good idea to place a heavy weed barrier fabric and landscape rock if you want to keep it confined to one small area of the bed.

Tiger Eyes Sumac has a size rating of 6′ x 6′ and is quite cold hardy, rated for Zone 4.

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Categories: Businesses

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry

Sun, 09/13/2015 - 12:40pm
Photo courtesy of Finke Gardens

As the years have gone by my appreciation for Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry has steadily grown.  Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry  trees have lovely lacy white blossoms in early spring every year, grow nicely as either a single stem tree or a clump / multi-stem tree, fit well into smaller areas of the landscape, and have a very nice fall color of orange / red.

Maturing to a height of 15 to 20 feet, Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry has interesting branch architecture that shows well where you want a smaller ornamental tree with character.  The smooth grey bark of Autumn brilliance Serviceberry presents a clean appearance, allowing the eye to take in the spreading form of the tree without distraction.

My favorite feature of Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry trees is their abundant fruit that ripens in the Northfield area in mid to late June.  The fruit has a mildly sweet distinctive flavor that is a marriage of apple and berry and is very nice for fresh eating or preserves.

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry  trees can be used as a single specimen focal point, or as a grouping of several to frame a side yard or rear yard.

Check out Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry trees.  If you adopt one

for your landscape, I think it will become on of your favorites!

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Categories: Businesses

Not an Ash Tree

Sun, 09/13/2015 - 12:40pm
Mountain Ash berries

One of the most beautiful landscape trees of the fall and winter season is the Minnesota native Showy Mountain Ash.  Every August, large clusters of brilliant orange/red berries on Showy Mountain Ash color up, providing a wonderful splash of color that is  a prelude to the fall color extravaganza of leaves turning yellow, orange and red.

I’m happy to note that Showy Mountain Ash is not really an ash tree, and therefore is not at all vulnerable to attack by the Emerald ASh Borer insects now gradually becoming established in Minnesota.  Ash trees that are at great risk from the Emerald Ash Borer are members of the Fraxinus genus of trees.  Showy Mountain Ash are members of the Sorbus genus of trees and are not a target of the incredibly destructive Emerald Ash Borer.


If you want first rate brilliant red color in your landscape throughout the fall and much of the winter, give Minnesota’ native Showy Mountain Ash (Sorbus Decorah) a try.  The medium sized tree matures to a size of about 25′ tall x 20′ wide.  It prefers well drained sunny areas, although it can tolerate partial shade.  We have Showy Mtn. Ash in stock for you to see for yourself the amazing display of luscious red berries.

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Categories: Businesses

The Importance of Tree Protectors

Sun, 09/13/2015 - 11:24am
Tree Trunk Protector

One of the most important keys to success with newer ornamental trees and shade trees is to protect the bark of these young trees for the first 5 to 10 years after planting.

The bark of a tree is like an artery in our bodies.  The living  part of the bark carries sap filled with nutrients and life nurturing water from the roots to the leaves.  Any damage to the bark of young trees is significant and a major hurdle for the tree to overcome since it reduces the flow of nutrients and water.  Never underestimate how important it is to protect the  ark of younger trees.

The most common causes of bark damage are weed whips, mower decks, mice and rabbits eating bark, deer shredding bark with their antlers, and sunlight bouncing off snow cover all winter long.  That’s a lot of potential dangers.  Fortunately, the answer for protecting tree  bark is simple and easy to put in place by installing white plastic trunk protectors to a height of four feet above ground.

We stock four different kinds of plastic tree trunk protectors for $3 to $6 each.  They are very easy to install and very inexpensive insurance for high value ornamental, fruit and shade trees.

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Categories: Businesses

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