Susan Russell speaks to Jefferson Garden Club.

Jefferson’s City Arborist, Susan Russell, spoke to the Jefferson Garden Club about a wide range of topics on September 25. She recommended fall, every year, is a good time to get your soil tested to find out PH level of lawns and gardens. Then you will know what amendments need to be added. Susan handed out Soil Sample Bags to members. Additional bags are available at the Extension Office and it costs $8.00 for the testing of each bag.

Susan also addressed that the popular “Knockout Roses” in the area are being damaged/killed by a virus called Rosetta Disease. There is no treatment for this virus. As a result, they will only survive 4 to 5 years. It is best to remove the plants at this stage and not purchase anymore. When “Knockout Roses” were bred the resistance to diseases was not included. The best roses to plant are old stock antique ones that can be purchased from Antique Rose Emporium in Texas.

One of the most interesting things that Susan shared is that “Jefferson is a model city in the state of Georgia for Green Infrastructure. The City of Jefferson is not just planting for beautification any longer. Green Infrastructure is a part of our overall city planning.” The Forestry Commission also emulates our city for forestry ideas across the state. She added that trees shade us in summer, shelter us in winter, filter out air pollutants, absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen, soak up heavy rainfalls, and screen our roads from whiteouts. City green space and trees save millions of dollars in health care as they soak up air pollution, mitigate heat stroke, screen skin-damaging ultraviolet rays, encourage more outdoor exercise and ease stress. The savings to cities and towns escalate as green infrastructure effectiveness reduces costly expansion of grey forms and shrinks flood damage. Nearby property values rise. Community gardens provide healthy food.

Virginia Aultman hosted the meeting that was held at Northminster Subdivision’s Clubhouse. Ruby Lynn Minish and Jerri Herring were co-hosts. Eighteen people were in attendance.


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