When Is The Right Time To Plant A Tree?

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Trees add beauty, shade and structure to your yard, being both functional and ornamental. But when is the best time to add new trees to your yard? Many professional arborists say that spring and offers the ideal, mild conditions for new tree planting, but others say fall is the better option for planting new trees. Here we look at what makes the right time to plant a tree and how you can get the best results for new trees in your yard.

Trees are an Investment

The trees in your yard are not just an investment in the appearance of your yard, they can also add to the value of your home. By some estimates, a healthy, mature tree can add up to $10,000 to the value of a property. So, it’s important to make the right choice about when to plant your tree and how to nurture it to optimum health. Your local arborist is an expert on which trees are best suited to your climate and environment, and which choices will add the most value to your home in terms of beauty and quality.

Spring or Fall?

In warmer climates like California where it doesn’t usually get cold enough for the ground to freeze in winter, the timing of planting a tree isn’t so critical as long as you can provide the tree with sufficient water. Usually the best time for planting a new tree is late summer and early fall, where the weather is starting to cool down and rainfall increasing, but while the temperatures are still not so cool as to discourage tree growth and development.

In the initial stages after a tree has been planted, the tree needs to immediately lay down new root systems to support itself. This tends to happen better in the cooler weather of fall and winter as root growth is increased in cooler soil. Trees planted in spring expend more energy putting forth new leaf and flower growth and often don’t have the resources to lay down a root structure as well, and this actually disadvantages trees in the long run.

However, some types of trees tend to survive better when planted in spring, including magnolia, dogwood, tuliptree, sweet gum, red maple, birch, hawthorn, poplars, cherries, plum and many of the oaks. If you are thinking of planting one of these trees, consult with your local professional arborist about when you should plant these trees in your specific location and climate.

Tips for New Tree Success

In order to give your new trees the best chance for survival, make sure they receive plenty of water in the months after they are first planted. It’s often helpful to water less often, but water deeper, so that moisture reaches the deepest roots. Avoid pruning the tree while it is still newly developing by Berkeley Tree Pruning professionals or anyone else. Don’t fertilize under the second growing system, but you can use mulch on the planting area, about 12 inches away from the young trunks.

If you’re thinking of planting new trees in your yard in California, consult with your local arborist for more specific guidance on determining the best time to plant trees for your yard and local conditions.

Summer Stressed Out Your Trees? Regenerate Your Trees in Fall

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Hot weather and ongoing drought has left California trees drained, dehydrated and in need of a little TLC. Thankfully, with fall here and winter around the corner, now is the perfect time to regenerate and reinvigorate your trees and bring them back to full health. If some of your trees didn’t survive the summer, or you’re looking for a change, fall is also the perfect time to plant new trees and get your garden back in shape before winter.

Prune Leaves and Branches of Existing Trees

A harsh summer may have left dead and dying branches on your trees that should be trimmed during fall and certainly before winter. If your tree added a lot of growth during summer but is still relatively healthy, tree trimming may still be necessary to remove some of the excess leaves and foliage that the tree may not be able to support during winter. Fall is the best time for tree trimming, as you can correct summer growth while also prepare for winter.

Of course, any overgrown trees or trees growing over property or power lines require advanced tree care and should be trimmed by a local arborist. Because winter can mean storms and strong winds that cause branches to drop, make sure a professional tree company inspects your trees for weak branches and applies cabling and bracing as necessary.

Plant New Trees

If you want to plant new saplings, fall is the ideal time, with milder temperatures and moderate rainfall to help encourage new tree growth. If you want to increase the number of outdoor trees in your yard, adding new saplings in fall provides them the ideal conditions to create strong, healthy root systems before the chill of winter.

Regenerate Soil

Dry, hot conditions can deplete the nutrients and moisture content of soil, causing soil to become dry, hard and compacted. Aerating your soil helps to break up compacted ground, and mulching is the ideal way to add essential nutrients and moisture back to your soil. Mulch also helps to protect your soil from the heat of the sun and the chill of cooler weather as winter comes closer. Your local tree care company can deliver mulch to your garden to protect your tree roots and reinvigorate your soil.

Water Deeply

As you regenerate your trees and replace lost water in the soil, it’s a good idea to use deep watering techniques to ensure water reaches the deep root systems and soaks into the soil for longer lasting hydration. It’s better to water deeply just once or twice a week, rather than watering superficially more often. Be sure to pay close attention to watering saplings and decaying trees, as these will need the most TLC.

While hot dry summers can take a toll on your trees and leave your garden looking worse for wear, some expert help with arboriculture from your local tree company and some focused attention on planting, pruning and regenerating the soil, can bring life back to your garden during fall.

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North Berkeley removal of oak canopy leaving main trunk from wildlife habitat.

What’s The Difference Between a Landscaper and an Arborist?

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Many homeowners may not put much thought into the differences between landscapers and arborists. They both do work in the garden and make your yard look beautiful, so it’s the same job right? Actually landscaping and arboriculture are two very different and distinct fields of work. Hiring the wrong professional for the job could lead you to having issues with your yard or trees, or even worse, cause damage or injury to people, property, or your yard. By understanding the unique capabilities and expertise of both landscapers and arborists, you can choose the right professional for the work you need done in your yard.

Difference in Scope of Practice

The difference between in the expertise offered by both landscapers and arborists lies in their scope of practice. Landscapers are mostly involved in designing and installing landscapes, installing hardscapes, lawn care, installation and maintenance of lawn irrigation, mulching, garden bed care and maintenance and sometimes pruning shrubs and small plants.

On the other hand, arborists are primarily concerned with the details of tree and plant care, such as caring for mature trees, tree removal, pruning, cabling, stump grinding, checking for pests and diseases, along with other areas of practice.

Skills and Training

It’s important to distinguish between these different scopes of practice for both landscapers and arborists, because it indicates what skills and training they have each undergone, and their areas of specialty. The skills and background of landscapers makes them knowledgable in how to make your yard look its best, specializing in lawn care services, lawn treatment, and yard maintenance, to help keep your garden looking beautiful and in good shape.

On the other hand, if your trees and plants are looking dead, dying or sick, or you need help with tree pruning or tree removal, a certified arborist should be the first person you call every time. Arborists have an in-depth knowledge of tree care theory and techniques to help keep your trees healthy and your environment safe.

Use Of Specialized Tools

One of the many reasons why it is important to call a certified arborist for tree care is because of the need to use specialized tools in the correct manner to effectively prune or remove trees. Certified arborists are properly trained in tool use, and are accustomed to using equipment such as chippers or chainsaws. However, in inexperienced hands this equipment can be extremely dangerous.

Landscapers may not be accustomed to using this kind of specialized equipment, nor may they be experienced in working on difficult projects such as pruning or removing tall or large trees. This is where the skills and training of a qualified arborist are indispensable.

Benefits of Collaboration

For the best results in your yard or garden, there’s no doubt that both landscapers and arborists should work together to produce truly beautiful landscapes and outstanding results for your trees and plants.

If your garden needs a redesign or overhaul, contact a landscaper. If your trees or plants need work, call an arborist. But for truly beautiful, healthy and safe yards, get a landscaper and an arborist to work together to bring the best of both worlds to your garden.