- Author: Anne E Schellman
On Saturday, attendees joined the UCCE Master Gardeners to learn all about trees. The workshop included a presentation on the importance of selecting the right tree for your landscape, and how to correctly plant and prune it. Here is a short description of what they learned that you can apply to your landscape.
Importance of Tree Selection:
When choosing a tree, you want to select one that has the size and characteristics suitable for your site. A well-chosen tree can save up to 15% in energy costs. And, a tree in front of a home can increase the appraised value* of a home by over $7,000!
However, if you select the wrong-size tree for your landscape, you could end up with problems such as:
· A tree that grows into a power line
· A large tree growing too close to your house
· Aggressive roots that are difficult to garden under or break up pavement
· Fruit or flowers that drop onto pavement
Importance of Planting:
Correctly planting a tree helps it get off to the right start so it can thrive for years to come. Often people bury the root ball (area of soil and roots) of trees too deeply. This makes the tree more susceptible to soil-borne diseases.
Importance of Pruning:
The first few years of a tree's life are the ideal time to prune and train a tree. Your tree should have a good structure that includes a single central leader and branches that are well spaced around the trunk. Untrained trees have a greater chance of developing limbs that break away from the tree, especially during storms or windy days.
To Stake or Not to Stake:
In most situations, it's not necessary to stake a tree. When you purchase a tree, the first thing you need to do is remove the nursery stake.
If you couldn't attend our workshop, you can pick up a free copy of our publication, Trees in Your Home Landscape, or download it from our Gardening Publications website. Also, if you stop by, be sure to ask for a set of tree care cards, which are also free.
*according to the Pacific Northwest Research Station http://www.itreetools.org/news/articles/PNW_scifi126_Sept2010.pdf