The Care of Trees

By calebnelson · No Comments December 8, 2015

Recently I was invited to sit on the Urban Forestry Council. As I ponder what I have to offer in that position I realize that I am passionate about nature and its interaction with us in our lives. Here’s my thoughts:

Everywhere we go nature is about us; sometimes it’s blatant, and sometimes it’s more covert. But it’s always there. We need nature. We need plants. We need trees. They make us happy (in addition to scrubbing our air clean and providing lots of life-giving oxygen).

It makes me frustrated and sad to see people unknowingly mistreat plants. If you pay attention you can see it everywhere you go. Shrubs go from an interesting shape that Mother Nature gave them to a ball or a cube, trees get topped so the view is unimpeded, or they are pruned to the point where they only have 3-4 branches left. It’s sad. And it kills them.

That’s where hiring professionals comes in to save the day. It starts with hiring a landscape designer to put the right plant in for the right spot. Most good designers have rather extensive horticulture training and know very well what plants to use where.

If you want to preserve a view, plant a tree that will achieve a mature height (10yr.size) that will not intrude into the view. Don’t plant a 50’ tree in a 20’ space.  Also choose shrubs that will achieve a mature size that is appropriate for its space. This prevents you from having to do extra yard work (a plus even to me!) and allows for happy and natural looking plants and trees.

Of course sometimes you NEED to prune a tree. This is where a professional can save the day again. There are a lot of ‘tree guys’ out there. Lately it seems that anyone who has a chainsaw and a truck can call themselves an arborist.

But you should get somebody that is an ISA (Int’l Society of Arboriculture) certified arborist (Not to mention licensed-bonded-insured). They have been trained and certified and go through ongoing education to be the best at what they do. Their purpose is to help the tree thrive. Bad pruning will kill a tree. Good pruning benefits it.

Hiring a professional might cost a bit more up front, but it will more than return its investment by providing a healthier landscape that lasts longer and needs less maintenance to keep it looking gorgeous, year after year.

In the end, if we take better care of nature, it will take better care of us.

 

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Categories : Plants

Proper Plant Placement

By calebnelson · 1 Comment December 1, 2015

Hello, It’s me again your local landscape designer, Caleb.

At times on our Facebook page I play a game with my fans called What’s Wrong With This Picture. I thought I’d share it with you to illustrate an important concept.

Last time I wrote about why it is so detrimental, and ugly to prune trees in the wrong way. But another thing that is of most importance to maintaining healthy and attractive trees is to first choose the right tree (or shrub) for the right location.

If you need a plant to be 15 feet tall then research out on what will grow to 15 feet tall. Then you will not have to prune it all the time to keep it where you want it.

Also you should do the research as to how big it will ultimately grow. Usually this is accomplished by reading the tag that came with it. However if it proves to be harder than that, you can ask your local nursery-person or consult with a Western Garden Book. If you like gardening and/or plan to do much of it, this would be a wise purchase . Or contact a professional landscape designer.

The conventional teaching that designers learn at school is that you should design to the 10 year size of a tree or shrub. This will help you create an attractive garden, sustain the health of the plant and save you money by not purchasing more than you need.

You should consider the height of the tree as well as the width. I have seen massive trees planted within mere feet of a home because it looked good right then. But it will definitely cause problems down the road.

Let’s use a picture and some paint to illustrate a perfect example.

This person wants privacy, and spent thousands to obtain it. But in the end it will all become a huge disaster and will ultimately be lost. There are 4 trees in the space of one, and they are really not going to get along here in a few years. Reading, measuring, and putting some thought into this would have yielded a much nicer product that would last many many years.

So next time you buy a plant remember: read, measure, plan.

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Categories : Landscape Design Plants