Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gardening Article: All About Trees

The right tree adds value to a home and provides generations of pleasure, beauty, and cooling shade. The wrong tree planted in the wrong place causes constant aggravation. Selecting, planting, and caring for the right tree is a simple process so long as basic landscaping rules and practices are followed.

Choose the Right Tree for the Right Place

Before selecting a tree for the home landscape, first think about expectations. Is the primary goal shade or ornamentation? How much maintenance is needed? Some trees, like conifers, arbor vitae, and slow growing shade trees need very little care after the first year. Ornamental trees like flowering cherries, crabs, and weeping trees of all kinds require lots of annual pruning and maintenance.

Buy From a Reputable Nursery or Garden Center

Resist the temptation to dig up a wild tree and bring it home. Wild trees are often poorly shaped and can harbor unwanted pests and diseases. Many parks are protected by laws that prohibit the removal of wild trees. Also, choose a tree for its mature size, not its size in the nursery. If the tag says the tree grows to thirty feet tall and wide, believe it, even it if is much smaller at purchase. In general, fast growing trees like poplars. sugar maples, and willows live shorter lives and create more debris than slow growing trees like oaks, hemlocks, and red maples.

Dig a Thousand Dollar Hole for a Fifty Dollar Tree

Most people dig a hole that is much too shallow when planting a tree. To plant a tree correctly, dig a hole that is at least twice the width and depth of the root ball. Mound loose soil in the bottom of the hole to bring the tree to ground level, then fill in with soil, checking the tree regularly to make sure it is straight. Water immediately and apply a phosphorus-rich root stimulator to give the new tree a strong start.

Water Generously

Trees are vulnerable to drought and sun the first year after planting. Deep weekly watering and a monthly dose of root stimulator help a new tree become securely established. After that first year, most trees can fend for themselves, although ornamental varieties benefit from early spring pruning and systemic insecticide. Most people water trees too little and prune too much and too often, when actually the reverse strategy is better for the tree.

Prune Sparingly

When pruning, read up on the species of tree before touching it. A few trees must be pruned after they flower, but most trees are pruned in the very early spring while the weather is still very cold, before the leaves come out and before buds form. Prune away dead branches first, making clean cuts with a sharp anvil pruner. Do not leave stubs. Remove root suckers and small branches that cross each other next. Go slowly and stand back frequently to check the tree's appearance. Once a branch is cut, it can't be put back.

Plant trees in the early spring or in the fall, care for them well, then enjoy them for a lifetime!

About the author: Provided by the research team at, home of HP coupons. FatWallet is a bargain hunting website that provides informational forums, and helps consumers find deals, coupons, cash back, and much more!

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