Tree Planting: How to Choose the Right Planting Site
By Arbor Day Foundation | April 6, 2018
Guest post by John Lang of Friendly Tree.
With the world bursting into life all around us, spring is the perfect season to plant a tree. Many homeowners spend lots of time and energy choosing the perfect tree and digging the right sized hole, yet take very little time to consider the planting site itself. Trees have very specific site requirements that should be considered before they are given a new home.
Planting a tree is not like hanging a picture; it is very difficult (and expensive) to move if you don’t get it just right. Here are some steps you can take for tree planting success:
First, choose the right species for your yard
It can be tempting to pick the prettiest tree in the nursery, but looks aren’t everything. You’ll need to determine what kind of tree will do best in your climate, soil, and growing conditions.
Trees that require full sun need a minimum..
Arborist Advice: Mulching 101
By Arbor Day Foundation | March 28, 2018
Guest post by John Lang of Friendly Tree.
With spring right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about your yard again. One item that should be at the top of your list is applying mulch to your landscape. It’s one of the most important things you can do to keep your trees and plants healthy, but it’s also one of the easiest things to over apply that can have negative effects on your plants. This season is the perfect time to start mulching.
Before you get your gardening gloves on, you should know that if done improperly, mulching can actually kill your trees and plants. So, here’s what you need to know to mulch right.
First, Choose the Right Kind of Mulch
The right kind of mulch does more than just make your yard look good; it adds valuable nutrients to the soil, helps to retain moisture, suppresses weeds and protects your trees’ roots from damage.
For trees and shrubs, organic m..
Introducing Scarlet Fire® Dogwood
By Arbor Day Foundation | March 19, 2018
Guest post by Dr.Thomas Molnar, Rutgers University
Are you looking for vibrant flowering trees to add to your yard, but also in need of a tree that is low-maintenance? Scientists at Rutgers University have developed a kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa) hybrid that is deep fuchsia in color and more resistant to common dogwood pests than the native kousa dogwood. It’s called the Scarlet Fire® Dogwood and it is shattering the nursery industry.
Dogwood breeding has been a focus at the university since 1970 under the direction of famed plant breeder Dr. Elwin Orton. Dr. Orton is most well-known for his hybrid kousa dogwood (Cornus florida x C. kousa) releases such as Stellar Pink® and Celestial®, and more recently the Venus® dogwood (Cornus kousa x C. nuttallii).
One of the earliest goals of the Rutgers breeding program was to develop a dark-pink kousa dogwood, as the kousa dogwood is a pe..
Do it Yourself
DIY: When Your Spring Flowering Trees Should Be Pruned
By Coe Roberts | March 16, 2018
Welcome to the heart of March. The time when our ‘spring forward’ time change prompts many of us to turn our attention to our yards. Now, as you may or may not know, winter dormancy is the best time to prune the majority of our trees. You can find an overview of proper pruning techniques and other information here.
But for the purpose of today’s post we are going to focus on the beautiful spring bloomers in your yard. Here are a few examples of spring flowering trees:
Flowering cherry (Prunus)
The difference in optimal pruning time for this category of trees and the difference it can make on how your trees bloom in the spring highlights the importance of knowing what trees you have in your landscape (Not sure? Don’t worry, you can find out here).
So the difference? The difference is because the flowe..
4 Things You Should Know About Lawn Care
By Arbor Day Foundation | March 1, 2018
Guest post by Vincent West.
All beautiful gardens and green spaces have one important thing in common: green, luscious grass growing abundantly on the entire surface. This is why lawn care is such an important part of gardening. But is it really as easy as it seems?
Things to Know
When looking after your garden, the lawn is a central element in the process. And while it might seem simple enough, there’s more to care than mowing it from time to time. Everything from soil care to composts to watering needs to be mastered. Here are four things you should know about lawn care.
1. Having Proper Equipment Matters
The importance of wearing proper clothing and safety gear while maintaining or mowing the lawn cannot be stressed enough. Safety goggles are a must, as is having a good pair of logger boots to support you through endless hours of working with vegetation. Lawnmowers are ..
Caring for Your Trees After a Heavy Snowfall
By Arbor Day Foundation | February 28, 2018
Guest post by John Lang of Friendly Tree.
Anyone who has lived around trees is all too familiar with the dreaded “crack” that often follows a major snowstorm. Spring storms can be devastating as the heavy, wet snow can prove to be too much for some trees.
Although cottonwoods, elms, willows and poplars tend to be hit the hardest, due to their soft, brittle wood, no trees are completely safe with heavy snow or high winds. The method in which you care for your trees after a snowstorm will play a major role in their recovery.
Assessing the Damage
In general, if only small branches are damaged, you can expect the tree to make a full recovery without intervention. If many large branches are damaged, it’s possible to save the tree with proper pruning and care. The general rule of thumb is that if the tree is healthy, its main leader is still intact, it still has most of its maj..
6 Things to Know About Presidents and White House Trees
By Sheereen Othman | February 19, 2018
The tradition of planting and gardening at the White House dates all the way back to the first president to ever take office, when John Adams planted a vegetable garden. But the tradition of planting trees on White House grounds started with Thomas Jefferson. President Jefferson planted a grove of trees on the lawn. Over the past 200 years, numerous U.S. presidents have carried on this tradition of tree planting, whether it was planting memorial trees or planting trees as part of the landscape design.
Here are 6 things you probably didn’t know about trees on the White House grounds. (Facts taken from The White House Historical Association.)
While the White House was being rebuilt after the 1814 fire, James Monroe increased tree plantings on the grounds based on plans by architect Charles Bulfinch.
The federal government used Charles Bulfinch’s planting scheme for a t..
Paper Birch & Douglasfir: An Odd Relationship
By James R. Fazio | February 15, 2018
Trees in a forest are usually thought of as fierce competitors, each struggling for control of available light and soil moisture, usually at the expense of neighboring trees. But Canadian research Suzanne W. Simard and her colleagues found that paper birch can actually aid neighboring Douglasfirs.
Through carefully-controlled research, Dr. Simard has documented the transfer of carbon (sugar) from paper birch to nearby Douglasfirs. The transfer takes place through tiny underground strands of beneficial fungi called ectomycorrhizae. These appendages are common on most tree roots. They illustrate a classic symbiotic relationship in that both the host and the fungus benefit from the close association. The fungus obtains a small amount of carbohydrates and vitamins from the tree and in turn greatly increases the absorptive surface of the root. This increases the flow of water and ess..
12 Things We Love About Trees
By Sheereen Othman | February 14, 2018
How do we count the ways we love trees?
We love trees for all the grace and glory
their lofty heights and century-old stories.
We love trees for all that they are
from cleaning the air to the sea of the arctic char.
Where would we be without their bountiful treasures,
whether it’s climbing their limbs for outdoor leisure
or thrashing in the thickets of a yellow fever.
Even the pests of an ash and pine
love these trees so much that it’s led to decline.
Which is why we must plant more trees in the ground
to keep our soil healthy, plentiful, and abound.
The roots of trees soak in excess rainwater
then release it back to cities as drinking water.
The leaves of trees take in the heat of the sun
then breathe it back out to cool everyone.
Without the trees that line our streets
our sidewalks and homes would overheat.
We love trees for the fruits of their labor
and the joy it brings ..
Featured Tree of the Week
Paper Birch: Shining Beauty
By James R. Fazio | February 13, 2018
…it is now one of the best loved trees of the New England landscape, and when we remember a scene there, we see birches in it — gleaming white trunks, houses, and churches painted a cold, clean white, and pure country snow stretching white over dale and hill. — Donald Culross Peattie
Beauty and romance may be the first images many people associate with the gleaming white paper birch. But this symbol of the north country, and the state tree of New Hampshire, has earned its place in history as a continuously useful tree that has served North Americans since the earliest days of human activity.
Along with its close associate, quaking aspen, paper birch is one of the most widely distributed tree species on our continent. It is primarily a tree of the great boreal forest that stretches from New England to Alaska. Specifically, it is an ecological product of short gr..