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Your Anti Desiccant Reminder

Protect your evergreens to prevent dieback.

Anti desiccant is the best winter protection you can provide for your evergreen trees and shrubs. Besides keeping them from drying out from winter winds, this wax like material also lets you enjoy your plant’s beauty and color against the season’s white background. Best of all, it’s economical and easy to apply.

There’s a good biological reason for applying anti desiccant to your evergreens. In winter, both conifers and broadleaf evergreens slow down their life functions. It could be compared to animals like bears hibernating. Unlike deciduous plants, evergreens don’t go completely dormant. 

Evergreens’ leaves or needles continue to manufacture food through the energy trapping process of photosynthesis. That process requires water, which is normally absorbed by the roots and transported to the leaves by the plant’s xylem. Water, also a byproduct of the process, is given off through the leaves. This is called transpiration.

When the ground is frozen, the roots can’t absorb water, so the plant reabsorbs transpired water and recycles it during photosynthesis. This is fine until the wind blows. Wind picks up transpired water and carries it away before it can be reabsorbed. When this occurs, photosynthesis shuts down and the affected leaves, needles and branches die. 

Desiccated leaves and branches turn brown. Rarely does the whole plant die. It just has ugly brown patches, and the only remedy is to cut out the deadwood. This affects the aesthetics of an otherwise graceful, beautiful evergreen.

Before anti desiccant was introduced, wrapping the plant in burlap was the only protection available. Instead of islands of green punctuating the sea of snow, drab brown stood out like shrouded statues. There’s still a need for burlap wraps but only for plants affected by salty road spray, young trees and shrubs that are still getting established, or tender plants that may be near the limit of their hardiness zone.

Garden centers and home stores sell anti desiccant in spray bottles. The most familiar brand is Wilt Pruf, and it’s in easily recognized green bottles. Buying one or two of these bottles to apply to a couple of evergreen shrubs is a good DIY project. Buy any more and your hand will let you know how hard it is to squeeze those spray triggers. 

For properties with many or large evergreens like towering conifer trees, it’s more economical and efficient for one of our Plant Health Care professionals to apply anti desiccant. We buy it in bulk, which is considerably less than buying those consumer-size containers at retail, and you don’t have to worry about properly disposing of the empty containers. Our PHC pros apply anti desiccant with backpack sprayers that have enough pressure to reach the tops of tall trees.There’s a relatively short window of opportunity to apply anti desiccant. The temperature needs to be consistently near 40ºF but not down to freezing. If it’s too warm, it melts, too cold and it coagulates. If we get sustained warm spells during the winter, additional applications may be necessary. Nothing needs to be done in spring. The anti desiccant just melts when the weather warms up.

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There’s Still Time For Fall Fertilization

It’s not too late to apply fall fertilizer to your trees, shrubs and lawn, even though the calendar says November. This is actually the best time to fertilize deciduous trees and shrubs, and you can apply it until the ground freezes. 

The first thing to get out of the way is the notion that you feed the plant when you fertilize. The late plant physiologist, Dr. Alex Shigo, stressed that plants make their own food through the process of photosynthesis. However, nutrients from the soil are needed for that process to take place.

In a perfect world, your native soil would have sufficient amounts of the necessary nutrients there for the plants’ taking. The truth is, though, that developers often strip the nutrient-rich top soil, and may not replace it with soil of equal quality. Consequently, the nutrients need to be replenished periodically through the application of fertilizer. 

Although deciduous trees and shrubs may appear dead when they lose their leaves, they really are alive. They’re just dormant. Their roots continue to function by absorbing water and nutrients whenever the ground thaws. When spring arrives and the sap again begins to flow, and it’s very rich with sugar. There’s no better example of this in our area than the sugar maple. It’s during this period that the maple syrup producers tap the trees.

Fertilizing trees and shrubs now, when they’ve defoliated, or are in the process of defoliating, is the perfect time. If you apply it earlier, you run the risk of the plant generating a new flush of leaves at a time when they’re supposed to be going dormant. That defeats the purpose of defoliation, which is to protect the trees from the extra weight of snow and ice clinging to large surface area of the leaves. We’ve all seen the damage that can result from early season storms that arrive before the trees and shrubs defoliate.Lawns, too, can use some extra nourishment as they prepare for winter dormancy. That’s why fall fertilization is included in our lawn care programs. If you haven’t been on a lawn care program, you can still have our lawn care professionals apply fall fertilizer at this time. You can also have our Plant Health Care professionals fertilize your trees and shrub even if you weren’t on a PHC program. Hopefully these applications will illustrate the benefits of fall fertilization when your plants come back vigorously in the spring. Fall fertilization is to help sustain the plant during the winter and give it a head start in spring. It needs food stored in the roots to flower and foliate next spring. Spring fertilization provides the nutrients needed for top growth and overall vitality in the spring.

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Plant Cover Crop To Protect Bare Soil

Leaving bare soil in your landscape is not a good idea. Bare soil is subject to erosion from water run-off, it can starve beneficial organisms in the soil, and it creates a perfect spot for weeds to germinate. There’s still time for you to plant cover crops to protect those bare spots.

Hopefully, you’ve mulched the soil where plants are already growing – around trees, shrubs and perennials for example. But what about bare spots in the lawn, annual beds and vegetable gardens? 

For bare spots in the lawn, it’s best to seed them with a mixture that will blend with the existing lawn plus a healthy amount of annual rye. Annual rye germinates quickly and is very cold tolerant. It will also protect the other seeds in the mixture that take longer to germinate and are less cold hardy. The rye will grow for only a year and then die off, leaving the perennial grasses in the mixture to live on their own.

You have several cover crop options for large, bare areas like annual beds and veggie gardens. Take a lesson from the agriculture community. Farmers select cover crops for the dividend they’ll pay in terms of benefitting the soil. If the soil needs nitrogen, they’ll plant legumes like beans, peas or clover. Otherwise they are more apt to plant a grain, with rye being the most popular.

For the home gardener, crimson clover is a popular legume. Like all legumes, crimson clover has nitrogen-producing bacteria in its roots. When the plant dies, it leaves fixed nitrogen in the soil. Crimson clover produces an attractive red flower that makes your garden look nice while its roots are holding the soil in place and fixes nitrogen. 

When the nitrogen-fixing benefits of legumes aren’t needed, annual ryegrass is a good cover crop choice. It’s fast growing, not unattractive and compostable in spring. If you don’t mow the rye grass in the planting beds, you can just pull it up in spring and put it on the compost pile. During the winter, the grass roots feed beneficial microbes and any plants that died decomposed, returning nutrients to the soil. 

Mustard is another cover crop used by some gardeners. Its roots release chemicals into the soil that suppress weeds and soil borne pests. Good soil is, arguably, the most important factor in successful gardening. That’s why so much time and money is spent applying fertilizer and soil amendments. Planting cover crops to protect bare soil yields many of the same benefits during the season when the soil isn’t being used for other purposes.

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The Science Of Fall Color

We all marvel at the fall colors in our region. That’s because we’ve been blessed with the right climatic conditions. However, there are a lot of explanations for this phenomenon, many of them wrong.

Back in 2012, the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) posted a release on its treesaregood.org website explaining the science of autumn beauty. It’s all about the temperature swings and diminishing hours of daylight. The release says, “Leaf pigments play a crucial role in the colors we see. Chlorophylls, carotenoids, and anthocyanins present in a leaf help determine what color the leaf will display.

“The pigment that gives leaves their green color is chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is used in photosynthesis, which is the process that uses sunlight to transform carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates (sugars) that fuel tree growth. During the spring and summer, with more hours of sunlight and warmer temperatures, this photosynthetic process is most active, thus leaves are green. 

“When daylight hours become less and temperatures are cooler, photosynthesis slows down, and there is less chlorophyll. This decline reveals a yellow or orange pigment, carotenoid. Carotenoids, the same pigment found in carrots and corn, are usually masked by the chlorophyll.

Unlike chlorophyll and carotenoids, which are present in leaf cells throughout the growing season, anthocyanins are produced in autumn. Anthocyanins give color to familiar fruits, such as cranberries, red apples, cherries, and plums. These complex, water soluble compounds in leaf cells react with excess stored plant sugars and exposure to sunlight, creating vivid pink, red and purple leaves. A mixture of red anthocyanin pigment and yellow carotene often results in the bright orange color seen in some leaves.

“Weather conditions that occur before and during the decline of chlorophyll production can affect the color that leaves may display. Carotenoids are always present, so the yellow and gold colors are the least affected by weather. 

“Colors most affected by weather are the red tones created by anthocyanin. On warm sunny days lots of sugar is produced in the leaves. Trees exposed to brighter sunlight generate the reaction between the anthocyanins and the excess sugar creating the bright red hue. Cooler temperatures cause the veins in the leaves to gradually close preventing the sugars from moving out which preserves the red tones. Thus, a succession of warm sunny days and cool crisp nights can paint the most spectacular display of color.

“The level of moisture in the soil can also affect autumn color. A severe summer drought can delay the onset of color change by weeks. Ideal conditions for producing the most brilliant colors are a warm wet spring, favorable summer weather, and sunny fall days with the cooler temperatures at night.”Now that you know the science between the color change, enjoy your fall leaf peeping.

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Aerate Your Lawn This Fall

Aeration is one of the kindest things you can do for your lawn before putting it to bed for the winter, especially if you have the heavy clay soil that predominates our area. Fall is a good time to aerate your lawn, and I recommend that you do it before you do any overseeding.

Plant roots need water and oxygen. When soil is compacted, there’s little space between soil particles for these essentials. Aeration removes plugs of soil, giving the particles a little more breathing room. The spaces created by aeration quickly close up when a heavy lawnmower is run over it every week and the family plays on the lawn. As a result, aeration may be an annual part of lawn care in many area communities.  

At first glance, aerators may look like a big walk behind lawn mower. Instead of blades, though, an aerator has spoon like tines or hollow tubes that the machine drives into the sod. The tubes come out of the soil filled with sod and deposit it on the lawn surface. The “plugs” are left in place to decompose and return organic matter to the lawn. 

Initially, the holes left by the sod plugs provide a wide open space for water and oxygen to enter. With time, though, the holes close up with surrounding soil, which expands to fill the empty spaces. The looser soil provides the water and oxygen with a path to penetrate the whole lawn.

Aerators can be rented at equipment rental stores. If you decide on the DIY approach, I think it’ll be a one time task.  Next time, you’ll turn it over to our lawn care professionals. An aerator may look like a lawn mower but it’s heavier, takes more strength to control and operates slower than a lawn mower. When you calculate the cost of renting the machine, transporting it to and from your home and the sweat and hard labor you put into the task, I think you’ll opt for having the job done professionally.

Two other jobs that are often associated with aerating are rolling and dethatching. They shouldn’t be. Lawns should not be rolled, especially those growing in clay soil. Rolling is done to take bumps out of the lawn but the soil in those bumps needs to end up somewhere. It fills up already restricted spaces between soil particles, further compacting the soil. If you do roll, it’s best to aerate right after, whether you planned to or not, in order to allow the soil to breathe. Dethatching is the gathering of dead grass plants that accumulate in turf, not grass clippings. Some lawns never need dethatching and most don’t need it as often as aerating. A lawn care professional can advise you on any services needed for a beautiful, healthy lawn.

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Bring Houseplants Back Indoors

As we get deeper into autumn, the nights are getting cooler, while the days continue to be warm. This is ideal weather for planting trees and shrubs but will soon be too cold for those tender houseplants that have been vacationing on your deck or patio all summer.

The first step for your houseplant migration back indoors is to prepare the space for them. The odds are that the space these plants vacated last spring is already repurposed, either with other plants or something else. Consequently, there may be some rearranging needed before your plants can be returned to their favorite spot.

Your houseplant transition doesn’t have to take place all at once. Base the move on forecast overnight lows nearing each plant’s cold tolerance level. They should all be back indoors when the first hard frost warning is issued.

Be sure the plants are clean before moving them inside. Remove weeds that may have taken up residence in their container. Also guard against taking insects indoors where they can infest your healthy plants. If you can see insect activity, such as eggs, chewed leaves or the insects themselves, pick off what’s visible and hose off others. If no insects or insect activity is visible, take the precautionary step of shaking the plant and then submerging the container in water to drown any insects in the soil or on the soil surface as a result of your shaking them.

Quarantining the plants for a day or two before taking them into the house would be a good idea if you’re able to. You need a place in which they can get sufficient sunlight during the day and not freeze at night. Suggestions include a garage or outbuilding with enough windows to allow photosynthesis to continue or a glassed in, unheated sunroom. This quarantine will allow the plants to adjust to an inside environment gradually. It’ll also give their soil an opportunity to dry out from their dunking, and you can check for any lingering insects. Don’t forget to water these plants if they need it. When you take the plants indoors, base your watering regimen on the humidity in the house. There’s no rain to supplement your watering. It’s all up to you to quench their thirst.

While in quarantine, check your plants to see if they’ve gained weight on their summer vacation. Those whose crowns are substantially larger than when you put them outside can be pruned before going into the house. Otherwise, they may not fit the space you have planned for them. Using pruning shears or sharp kitchen scissors remove up to half the foliage, if necessary. One third is even better. If you can identify new growth, you can prune off only that foliage and it’ll look just like it did when you took it outside. Regardless of how much you prune your plants, try to maintain their natural shape.

I’m sure you enjoyed your houseplant gracing your deck or patio all season. But now it’s time to bring them back to their natural environment. There’s a reason why they’re called houseplants; the house is their natural environment. These easy steps will make the transition good for the plants and for you.

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Turn Fallen Leaves Into Next Spring’s Compost

The bane of fall can become the boom of spring. I’m talking about fallen leaves. They should be raked or blown from the lawn and flower beds, so why not put them to work helping maintain your landscape?

Leaves that you rake or blow to the curb for the municipality to take away will be composted and used in parks and around public buildings. With a little extra effort, you can compost and use the good, natural organic matter to keep your own landscape healthy. Compost is sometimes referred to as black gold, and soon it could be all over your yard just for the taking.

If you already compost, all you need to do is add the leaves to the material already decomposing. If you’re new to composting, you’ll need a bin for the raw material to decompose in. If you’re handy, you can make a wood box or a chicken wire enclosure, or even use a plastic trash can.  Periodically, you’ll have to stir the material up. You can find how-to information online. You can also buy tumbling composters at big box stores and online. Then all you do is turn the handle periodically to stir the material.

Leaves should be chopped up or they won’t compost thoroughly over the winter. At least not in cold climates like ours here in upstate New York. My favorite chopping method is to load the leaves into a plastic trash can. Put on safety equipment, especially safety glasses. Then fire up your string trimmer and plunge it into the can of leaves just as you would an immersion blender in the kitchen. Repeat until the leaves are pulverized. Finally, haul the trash can to the composter and dump it. 

The easiest way to compost leaves that fall on your lawn is to set your lawn mower to mulching mode when the leaves begin to fall. Each time you mow, the mower will chop the leaves right along with the grass clippings and drop them into the turf. As the leaves and clippings decompose, they’ll return organic matter to the soil. 

While the mower will take care of the leaves that fall on the lawn, you’ll still have the leaves that fall in your planting beds, on the driveway and other hard surfaces to compost and return to the beds in the spring. When the soil has dried out in the spring, load the compost into a wheelbarrow or garden cart, and take it to the beds. Don’t dump it. Using a shovel, scatter it throughout the beds. Then work the compost into the soil with an iron rake. 

Don’t compost leaves from diseased or insect-infested trees. They could contaminate the compost and spread the disease organisms or insects to other plants when you spread the compost in the spring. Contaminated leaves should be bagged and put in a trash tote. You can compost some kitchen scraps like coffee grounds and fruit and vegetable scraps. If you throw kitchen scraps into the compost, check for animal activity when you turn the compost. Some people have reported rodents going after the food scraps.

Compost is an excellent source of organic matter for your soil. It’s free and requires little more labor than it takes to get your leaves to the curb. Your plants will love it and so will you.

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Selecting A Quality Tree For Fall Planting

Fall doesn’t officially begin until later in September, but everyone considers Labor Day the unofficial start. Typically, the nighttime temperatures begin to fall while the daytime temperatures stay warm. It’s also when the rains return so new plantings will receive sufficient water without your having to supplement it with irrigation. And, that’s exactly why the nursery industry reminds us that Fall is for Planting.

Garden centers join in on this promotion, too. Contrary to some people’s opinion that garden centers just use the fall season to get rid of leftover nursery stock, reputable garden centers actually get fresh stock for the season. They may mark down stock that’s left from spring sales, also. That’s OK because most of their nursery stock will be perfectly fine, if they took care of it. So, how do you tell a good tree from a bad one? The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) published a consumer information bulletin, Buying High-Quality Trees, in which they offered the tips below.

A high-quality tree has….

• Strong form with well-spaced, firmly attached branches.

• A  trunk free of wounds or damage.

•  A quality root system to support healthy growth.

Conversely, a low-quality tree has…

• Weak form in which multiple stems originate from the same point and branches grow into each other.

•  A trunk with wounds from handling or incorrect pruning.

•  Limited, crushed or circling roots in an undersized root ball or container.

Some of the ways you know a tree’s form is strong is even spacing of branches along the trunk. Avoid branches facing upward and forming narrow angles. As the branches grow, they’ll compete with the trunk for the limited space between them and branches usually lose the fight and break. Trees in which the trunk splits into two equal leaders can be a problem as it grows. Those two leaders are called co-dominate but one is always stronger. If the angle between them is narrow, the weaker will inevitably split. This can be prevented by cabling and bracing but that’s an extra expense. It should be noted that the limbs you see on a young tree will seldom survive to maturity, but the spacing will remain true to form. Branches don’t grow upward; they remain in the same position for life. As the trunk grows higher, it shoots out new branches, while the lower ones are shaded out by the upper branches or have to be pruned off for clearance purposes.

Always inspect the trunk of a tree you’re considering buying. Look for signs of insects, wounds like frost cracks (injuries to the bark that run vertically up the tree), and improper pruning cuts. Sometimes the grower removes the lower branches to encourage a fuller crown. If flush cuts – those flat to the trunk – were made, special tissue in the branch collar was removed. This tissue contains cells that help the pruning wound to callous over to protect the tree from insect or diseases. Any pruning cuts should bulge out like a donut but shouldn’t leave any branch stubs. If the trunk is wrapped in protective material, remove it and inspect the trunk before you buy the tree.

Whether the tree is bare root, balled and burlapped or containerized, you should check the roots before buying. Bare roots are easiest to check. Make sure the roots are moist and not discolored or crushed. The roots were probably pruned when the tree was dug. Make sure the root ends are cleanly cut, rather than ragged as though they were ripped from the ground. If the roots are long, the ragged end can be pruned so it’ll grow correctly. Containerized plants are the next easiest to check at the garden store before buying. Slip it out of the pot and look for roots encircling several other roots. If present, try pulling the offending root out straight. If it’s too big to be straightened, pass on the tree, unless the garden center offers to fix it for you at no charge. The repair involves cutting the offending root and removing the section that crosses other roots. A girdling root that remains in place can eventually kill all or part of the tree. Also check the root collar, the point at which the root and trunk connect, to be sure it’s not buried in the container soil. If it is, pull the soil away and make sure that collar remains exposed when you plant the tree.

Balled and burlap roots are the most difficult to check. However, you can check the root collar and make sure it isn’t buried. Be sure to retain the right to return the tree if you find any root damage like girdling root when you get the tree home. You’ll cut the string or wire holding the burlap to the trunk when you plant the tree, and that’s when you can examine the rootball closely.

Regardless of whether you buy a bare root, containerized or balled and burlapped tree you should keep the roots moist but not sopping wet if you aren’t going to plant it right away. When you do plant it, dig the hole two or three time larger around than the rootball but only as deep. Before planting, remove the pot from containerized trees but just the string or wire from balled and burlapped trees. The burlap will decompose in the ground. Spread the roots out when planting bare root stock. As you backfill, stop periodically to tamp down the soil lightly but not enough to compact it. Be careful not to bury the root collar. Finally, water the backfill.

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Time To Think About Fall Color

When you think about fall color in your landscape, what comes to mind? Colorful leaves that give trees and shrubs a moment of brilliance before falling to the ground for you to rake up? Or perhaps chrysanthemums (mums)? Colorful leaves are short lived and mums all by themselves are quite boring. This post gives you ideas for other colorful fall plants that are hardy in our area.

Flowers that provided early spring color can also provide late fall color. These include violas like pansies and violets. Snap dragons and marigold will also bloom well into the fall, as will petunias. You may have to refresh or replace them in the late summer or early fall, especially if they didn’t get enough water or deadheading but they’re well suited to the weather that’s in store.

If you started the season with crocuses, you may want to end the season with the plant we call fall crocus. This bulb isn’t just a rebloom of the spring crocus. It just looks like it. Actually, the spring crocus is a member of the same family as the iris while the fall crocus is a member of the lily family. Another common name for the fall crocus is meadow saffron but don’t get excited about the saffron name. In fact, you won’t want to confuse it with the very expensive spice. The meadow saffron, or fall crocus, is actually poisonous. The fall crocus photo was taken in October at Chanticleer, a public garden in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

I’m not trying to minimize mums. Mass plantings are beautiful. I’m just making the point that they aren’t the only plant that flowers in fall, and suggesting that you diversify your autumn plant palette. Monoculture (limiting your plantings to one species) is never a good idea. Asters are the most common companion to mums. That’s because they both have similar growing requirements and blooming schedules. The list of fall blooming plants also includes Black Eyed Susans, Autumn sedum, Cranesbill (hardy) geraniums, sweet alyssum and heuchera, which is also called coral bells. Daylilies can also bloom into the fall, as can sunflowers.  Bleeding hearts, another early spring bloomer, also adds another dimension to your fall plant palette. 

Don’t forget shrubs when planting for fall color. The hydrangea is an example of a late blooming shrub. Witch hazel blooms in late fall into winter.  But shrubs can show color in other ways. For example, the beauty bush displays its fruit (pictured) well into the fall and dogwoods are famous for their red twigs.

Fall doesn’t have to be any less colorful than spring and summer. Before you start packing things away and battening down the hatches for winter, why not take a trip to your garden center and see what they’ve got to make your autumn more colorful than ever? We have two or three months before you have to think winter. Make it joyful and colorful. Fall is for planting bedding plants and perennials as well as trees and shrubs. If you’d like help making selections and planting them, our landscape professionals are happy to lend a hand. 

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Tree Selection & Placement

Fall is for planting, and that time will soon be upon us. Selecting a tree and a planting site should be no trivial matter. After all, many trees that are planted this fall may outlive their owners. You should prepare to plant with longevity in mind because it’ll only happen if you select the right plant for the right place. Otherwise, your efforts and investment could become a short-lived money pit.

If you don’t like where you’re living, you can move. Few trees have that luxury. They have to stand there and take whatever nature and the environment metes out. As stressed trees’ health decline, they begin costing money for repair. When they finally give up the ghost, the cost to take them down becomes a major investment. It will then cost even more to fill the empty space left by the tree removal.

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) suggests you ask yourself these questions and use your answers in making your tree selection and placement decisions:

• Why am I planting this tree? What functions will it serve? Large, healthy trees increase property values and make outdoor surroundings more pleasant. A deciduous shade tree that loses its leaves in fall provides cooling relief from summer’s heat while allowing the winter sun to warm your home. An ornamental tree displays beautiful flowers, leaves, bark or fruit. Evergreens with dense, persistent foliage can provide a windbreak or a screen for privacy. A tree or shrub that produces fruit can provide food for you or wildlife. Trees can also reduce runoff, filter out pollutants and add oxygen to the air we breathe.

• Is a small, medium or large tree best suited for the location and available space? Do overhead or belowground utilities preclude planting a large, growing tree — or any tree at all? What clearance is needed for sidewalks, patios, or driveways? Selecting the right form (shape) to complement the desired function (what you want the tree to do) can significantly reduce maintenance costs and increase the tree’s value in the landscape. In addition, mature tree size determines the level of benefits received. Larger trees typically provide the greatest economic and environmental returns. Depending on the site, you can choose from hundreds of form and size combinations. A low, spreading tree may be planted under overhead utility lines. A narrow, columnar evergreen may provide a screen between two buildings. Large, vase-shaped trees can create an arbor over a driveway. 

Site conditions to consider when making your selection and placement decisions include soil conditions, exposure to sun and wind, drainage, space constraints, hardiness zone, human activity and insect and disease susceptibility. If the site is shady, you’ll want to select a shade tolerant tree instead of one that loves sun. You won’t want to select a tree that won’t tolerate wet feet for a low part your landscape. Hardiness is the plant’s ability to survive in the extreme temperatures of the particular geographic region where you’re planting the tree. We’re in Zone 5. Planting the wrong tree in the wrong place accounts for more tree deaths than all insect and disease related deaths combined.

• What are the soil conditions? Is enough soil of sufficient quality available to support mature tree growth?  When new homes are built, the soil is often disturbed, shallow, compacted and subject to drought. Most trees will suffer in these conditions without additional care. We can take soil samples from your yard to test for texture, fertility, salinity and pH (alkalinity or acidity). These tests can be used to determine which trees are suited for your property and may include recommendations for improving poor soil conditions. 

Following these ISA recommendations, which I heartily endorse, can make this an autumn to remember…the start of a long and beneficial relationship.