Tree Care

Trees provide untold value to the landscape. They moderate the climate by providing shade on hot summer days or blocking cold winter winds. They are crucial in slowing stormwater runoff, providing a pollution filter for the Chesapeake Bay watershed. They also improve air quality and provide food and homes for wildlife.

Tree planting is more than just digging a hole. The four major arboricultural mistakes that are consistantly made are:

1. Wrong plant in the wrong place.

2. Planting too deep.

3. Lack of proper developmental pruning.

4. Improper mulching.

When deciding what and where to plant, many factors need to be taken into account. Tall or short? Narrow or wide? Deciduous or evergreen? Wet soils or dry? Alkaline or acidic? Sun or shade? Flowers? Exfoliating bark? Insect resistance? Disease resistance? Future maintenance? Native or palm? Make sure you pick the right plant for right place. For example, don't plant something that wants to grow sixty feet tall underneath the power lines.

Another huge mistake is planting too deeply. A tree that is planted too deep will always struggle. Make sure the root flare is exposed and is well above (3-4") the soil level.

Developmental pruning is pruning that takes place in the first five to ten years. Limbs are removed that could possibly become problematic in the future.

Improper mulching is rampant in the landscape industry. Mulch constantly piled against the trunk could lead to girdling roots and or decay. Remember to mulch wide - not high. Mulch should extend at least three to four feet away from trunk. This will help eliminate turfgrass and weed compitition from the immediate root zone. It will also keep damaging mowers and weedeaters away from the trunk.

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