I know it may seem presumptuous of me to repost this comment I made on the Is this Autumn Blaze Maple worth saving? thread. My reply is a bit off-topic in that context but, I think, deserves wider consideration and comments from forum contributors-at-large. The issue, as I see it, is whether new scientific revelations about good gardening practices should replace tried-and-true methods, anecdotal as they are. Obviously, I'm not neutral on this: I think they should. __________________________________________________________________________ I have read all 40-or-so of Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott's "Horticultural Myths" Linda Chalker-Scott | Washington State University at least once and many of them, several times. I have changed my gardening practices drastically over the years because of the science-based evidence she presents that shows there is often a better way of gardening than what was recommended in the past. Often too, we formerly did things and used products that have been proven to be uneccessary, wasting time and money. For my own interest, I quickly made this list of a few changes I have made over the past few years: · don't use bone meal or epsom salts (The Myth of Beneficial Bone Meal) · don’t paint cut ends of branches or wounds (The Myth of Wound Dressings) · avoid manures and other mulches or amendments containing phosphate (Several articles) · do not put drainage material in containers (The Myth of Drainage Material in Container Plantings) · never use landscape fabric, newspaper or cardboard to suppress weeds (The Myth of Landscape Fabric) · do not amend the surrounding soil when planting trees or shrubs (The Myth of Soil Amendments – Parts I, II & III) · avoid staking newly-planted trees if at all possible (The Myth of Staking) · loosen roots of perennials, shrubs and trees before planting (The Myth of Fragile Roots) · leave leaves and other ‘clean’ plant debris under shrubs and trees It has been difficult sometimes to put my faith in new practices when I have seemingly been successful doing things the way my parents did decades ago. However, when I read the scientific evidence showing how plants grow and respond to their environments, I cannot ignore the logic.