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Oak trees need pruning

Question: I recently purchased property with a number of large oak trees. When we were cleaning out all the buckthorn and other invasive plants last fall, a friend told me I should have the oaks pruned over winter. I don?t think these trees have been pruned for years. Should oaks be pruned? Is this a good time to prune oak trees? — D.D.

Answer: Oak and other large older trees should be pruned every few years. Pruning is important to remove dead wood and maintain good tree structure.

Oaks should be pruned during the dormant season, approximately November through early March. Late fall and winter pruning is recommended to prevent the spread of oak wilt disease.


Oak trees need pruning

Question: I recently purchased property with a number of large oak trees. When we were cleaning out all the buckthorn and other invasive plants last fall, a friend told me I should have the oaks pruned over winter. I don?t think these trees have been pruned for years. Should oaks be pruned? Is this a good time to prune oak trees? — D.D.

Answer: Oak and other large older trees should be pruned every few years. Pruning is important to remove dead wood and maintain good tree structure.

Check houseplants for pests before they get out of control

This is a good time to take a look at your houseplants to check for pests. We’ve been heating for quite a while now, and dry hot air provides the best conditions for pest popuIations to explode.

Insect pests will not get out of hand if your plants are in good health and get the care they need. But all it takes for a spider mite population to get out of control is to let the humidity levels drop briefly. All it takes to get a fungus gnat explosion is to overwater a plant even a couple of times (to say nothing of the other types of problems this causes). If you familiarize yourself with the damage insects cause, though, you can use some of the simpler, less toxic methods for getting rid of them.

5 steps to an organized pantry

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We confront it every day, morning and night, for one of our most basic needs — the search for food.

If your pantry is a mess, it can bookend your day in frustration.

A schedule for seeds

It seems fairly fitting that we are getting a slight break in the weather just in time to think about seed starting and garden plans. So, let’s get started!

But make sure to put some thought into it before starting all your seeds at once. When planning seed starting, it really is critical to have a schedule. If you start things too early, you will end up with stretched, overgrown plants that will have a really hard time adjusting to being planted outdoors.

Heirloom or hybrid?

Question: This year I want to grow tomatoes from seed instead of buying whatever transplants I can find. Some of my gardening friends told me the best tasting tomatoes are heirloom varieties like Brandywine. What are heirlooms? How are they different from other tomatoes? Do heirlooms taste better? — B.N.

Answer: Heirloom or open-pollinated plants are varieties that have stable traits from one generation to the next. Open pollinated plants are chosen for one or two specific characteristics. Therefore, individual plants of heirloom varieties may differ greatly in size, shape and other traits.

Biker chic: Decor made from bicycle parts

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Bikes have become part of hipster culture. There are bicycle-themed dining, drinking and shopping establishments from Portland, Ore., to Brooklyn, N.Y., and dozens of bike-friendly burgs in between.

While the rides themselves are often tricked out with colored tires, swanky seats and vintage baskets, there are also those who see more than the sum of two wheels, a frame and a seat. Designers and artists are creating furnishings and art that give bicycles a whole new way to roll down Cool Street.


Love My Ride

Parts & projects

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

About seven years ago, Kenosha resident Steve Schneider held a family vote to determine whether he should keep or sell his 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS, which he had owned for more than 30 years.

Deere Hunter

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PLEASANT PRAIRIE — Ever since his childhood, John Serzynski has been a big fan of John Deere tractors and riding mowers.

“My stepfather (George Paulausky) owned a landscaping business, and I used to play out in the sandbox all the time, all day long, with my cousin,” said Serzynski, a Waukegan, Ill., native who moved to Kenosha County in the late 1990s.

‘Kenosha Cadillac’

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

A bit of nostalgia prompted Peter Wenglowsky to obtain his 1961 Rambler Classic about 20 years ago.

Wheeling through Wisconsin

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BY JEREMY REEVES

jreeves@kenoshanews.com

Mercedes-Benz makes driving painless

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If there’s anyone who appreciates having a luxurious car like a black 1999 Mercedes-Benz S420 more than David Gregorski, good luck finding him.

Gregorski, 56, was a local barber for 28 years who was forced to retire about a decade ago because of back problems. He’s since had eight back surgeries.

Masi the Matador

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

Jim Masi, his older brother Jeff Masi, Dennis Curnes and Butch Funk were all Kenosha teenagers in the early 1960s. And their passion was cars.

Taking flight: ‘As soon as the wheels leave the ground, it’s exhilarating’

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Whenever John Munson gets behind the controls and lifts off in his 2006 AMD Zodiac CH601XL factory-built, special light-sport aircraft, he experiences emotions unlike any other.

“As soon as the wheels leave the ground, it’s exhilarating,” said Munson, 66, a Kenosha resident. “You’re airborne, and it’s a whole different feeling. It’s the most enjoyable recreational activity I’ve had. I like it a lot.

British imports become part of family

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

KENOSHA — What started as a gift for his wife, Mary, more than 30 years ago has evolved into a type of extended relative for Kenosha resident Jim Hawkins.

Skully’s ‘Last Ride’

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

Kenosha resident Jason Beiser, 30, has been welding for about seven years and started his own business, “Skully’s Welding,” a couple years ago.

Firebird fulfills promise

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

SALEM — It took Mike Vandeville about 25 years but he finally made true on his pledge to himself.

A lifetime of Nashes

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

PLEASANT PRAIRIE — When it came to his first car, Eric Nelson Jr. didn’t have many options.

Proud Centurion

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

Kenosha resident Florian Kreft, 84, has owned about 25 cars in his lifetime, covering most American manufacturers (Chevy, Ford, Buick, Chrysler and Dodge).

Jeff and Mary Albrecht’s 1991 Four Winns 325 Cabin Cruiser

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

Whether on Lake Michigan, inland lakes or even the Gulf of Mexico, Jeff and Mary Albrecht have been boating enthusiasts since they were kids.

‘Regular guy’ drives a Mercedes

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

PLEASANT PRAIRIE — Wayne Walker isn’t the type of person you’d immediately expect to own a Mercedes Benz, especially one imported from Germany.

This ’72 Chevrolet Monte Carlo even better than first one

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

SALEM — Judy Grasser said her husband of 26 years, Mike, isn’t much of a sentimental type.

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