One of the most common ways homeowners fill out their empty yard areas is through planting trees. Unfortunately, what they may not understand is that there is a wrong way to go about it.
Incorrectly planting trees will lead to their growth getting stunted, or even dying out altogether. That just wastes time, effort, and money!
Part of passing on the knowledge we’ve learned from operating Rochester Tree Service is helping people learn better planting methods. Here are some helpful tips for planting trees!
Ensure That You’re Safe
Most communities have specific policies regarding digging in your yard. Although they may seem frivolous at first, it’s for your protection.
In addition to checking with your city’s digging laws, you’ll want to dial 811 on your phone. Calling that hotline will mark your utilities for free, preventing you from accidentally striking an underground wire or gas line.
Finally, you don’t want to plant a tree directly near buildings, homes, fencing, or power lines. As the try grows taller and expands, it can create any number of hazards.
Research Soil Acidity
Dealing with plants involves more chemistry than you’d initially think. Depending on what species of tree that you’re considering planting, you will need to treat the soil’s pH level.
Soil pH determines how acidic the ground is. Some trees require higher acidity, while others need a baser level.
Too high of pH will result in acid burns throughout the plant. Too low of pH, on the other hand, may prevent it from growing at all!
Know What You’re Planting
Some homeowners enjoy the novelty of tossing an apple core or other seeded fruit into the ground to see what happens. Although this is a neat experiment to try out, it doesn’t guarantee results.
Depending on the chemicals or genetic engineering of your fruit, the seeds may not produce any trees at all. Or, if they do happen to sprout, it isn’t guaranteed that you’ll get the exact type of fruit planted.
Using an apple core, for example, may not directly grow the same type of fruit you purchased. And if you don’t treat the soil first, nothing may grow at all!
Instead, you’ll want to purchase a tree from a reputable retailer or local nursery. That way, if you have questions, they can best advise you on planting techniques.
In many communities, the municipal trash service will account for green waste and yard debris pickup. And while some of these items may get recycled, it’s likely that they may just toss it in a landfill.
Because of the potential to create more waste, Rochester Tree Service recommends recycling some of your debris for home landscaping applications. You would be amazed at all the uses for dead leaves, bark, and fallen limbs!
Recycling your yard waste materials isn’t just good for the environment, but it helps promote better growth. Here are some of our preferred methods to reuse yard waste!
Start a Compost Pile
Do you ever wonder how forests remain so self-sufficient? It’s not like someone is going around tending to them!
The reason is that forests and wooded areas creating compost themselves. As the dead plant materials decompose, they nourish the soil below.
By taking yard wastes and everyday non-meat kitchen scraps, you can make compost yourself. Just create a pile of alternating dry and green yard wastes, and let nature do the rest!
Once the compost becomes a crumbly, soil-like texture, it’s ready to get spread into plant beds and around trees. It’s just that simple to recycle!
Create a Green Recycling Can
Creating compost can become an intensive process is the moisture levels don’t even out. Too dry or too wet composting materials will prevent beneficial bacteria growth.
Instead, you can quickly create a continually composting green waste can. Just take a large yard waste bag and fill it with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer, some lime, and alternating your wastes.
Just make sure that your pile isn’t too acidic, or the process won’t take off. Also, you should cover it to reduce the smell, as well as to conserve enough moisture.
If you’ve ever taken a walk around your neighborhood and spotted metal cables around tree trunks or branches, that is an instance of cabling. By installing and anchoring them, it can allow damaged trees to heal an regrow over time.
Unfortunately, cabling trees that don’t require it may lead to producing the opposite effect. You can think of it as a back brace for trees!
Today we’re covering what tree cabling is, how the application works, and whether or not your plants require it. And for all other concerns, you can always call Rochester Tree Service!
What is Cabling?
Trees that become split at the trunk, are structurally unstable, or at risk of breaking open require some form of cabling. Often the process involves holding the branches together, although a girdle can get used to force the trunk in place.
Another reason cabling is useful is for enormous branches growing in odd directions. Rather than cutting it off, it can get trained instead.
Cabling is useful for branches that you don’t want to remove, or even can’t, due to their location or necessity to the plant. But through cabling, you can ensure that they won’t fall on top of what’s below.
Do All Trees Need Cabling?
A common misconception for homeowners and even some landscaping service providers is that all trees require cabling at some point. While some saplings do need them, wiring young trees unnecessarily can lead to it growing incorrectly.
Rather than producing proper stature and growth, it can force it to become misshapen, or lean to one side. Over time, it can push the tree to uproot itself, causing it to collapse.
Unless a tree is a recommended candidate for cabling, it’s something you’ll want to avoid doing. Otherwise, it may create stress cracks in the trunk, or even kill it from the pressure.
Although cabling trees get primarily used for structural concerns, there are other applications as well. In fact, sometimes a tree isn’t cabled until after it’s suffered storm damage.
When a damaged area poses a threat of splitting the entire tree, cabling can take much of the weight and stress off of it. Even if it’s partially destroyed, you can give the affected area a fighting chance.
Another reason to cable is preventing limbs from falling into public sidewalks or walkways. When a significant branch hangs over where people visit, it’s a courtesy to avoid unnecessary accidents and injuries.
What Does Crowning Accomplish?
Crowning a tree reduces its “crown”, or the bushy areas above the trunk. By applying the proper pruning technique, it will redirect the flow of nutrients from thicker branches to connecting thinner ones.
How crowning works is by finding the split in a branch where one end is thick, and one limb is about 1/3rd of its diameter. By carefully removing the taller branch, the plant will stop sending nutrients to it and redirect it to the smaller one.
In the end, it will prevent the larger branch from continuing to sprout, while allowing the thinner areas to fill in. It’s a win-win, and one that makes your trees look their best!
Is Crowning Like Topping Trees?
For a long time, tree topping was considered the way to go when attempting to shorten trees. However, for the most part, topping a tree produces more risk factors than it’s worth.
However, there are some situations where a tree does require topping. But attempting to top a tree that doesn’t need it will likely wind up being its demise.
Crowning a tree occurs through precise pruning intended to guide a plant’s nutrients to the areas that need them. Topping, on the other hand, often winds up as if you’ve cut the head off of it!
Dangers of Topping Trees
Unless you are told to top trees by a care service provider, you should avoid these cuts. Otherwise, you are creating the potential for a variety of symptoms to take place.
The most frequent issue is that topping can force a tree to starve to death. By removing a significant portion at once, it renders the plant unable to produce enough food to live.
The branches that grow out of a topped tree are often tangled, weak, and grow in erratically. Soon it will be just as tall, except now it appears as if it has gotten mangled!
These weakened branches are prone to developing fungal infections, and the formerly cut areas grow in denser. When it’s time to prune again, it’ll feel like cutting through steel!
Call in the Experts
Both crowning and topping are advanced pruning techniques. If you have never attempted these cuts, it’s not something you want to learn the hard way.
Instead, you should leave it to the experts at Rochester Tree Service. Our team has the experience and tools you need each time!
Rochester Tree Service wants to help you care for the trees on your property. Trees are valuable resources and we want to provide interesting information to you!