Planting a tree is one of the best long term property improvements that you can make. Trees offer many benefits to you and the community around you including increasing in value as they mature. An improperly situated or inappropriate species of tree can become more of a liability than an asset. Putting the right tree in the right place, this is the golden rule in having a tree that will provide many generations of people and homeowners benefits with fewer maintenance costs and issues.
Before choosing which species to plant, take a look at the tree location as this will influence the decision and list of adequate tree species to choose from. Ideally any tree should be placed in an area where it will have a chance to reach maturity without growing into conflict with other trees or property.
Often trees are placed too close to buildings and require a lot of clearance maintenance or early removal because the tree selected grows too big for the desired location. Trees that often get planted way too close to buildings are columnar aspens, these trees get to be well over 4 stories tall and cause significant damage to rooves and eaves troughs when they bash against them in the wind. Fence lines are also a popular choice for tree placement that can lead to unfavorable results. As the trunk grows the tree may cause damage to the fence. Remember that trees grow to be quite large, if planted too close to a property line a large portion of the tree canopy ends up in the neighboring property.
Trees too close to a property line have been known to cause wars and rifts between neighbors. Trees grow tall, keep this in mind and look up before you plant so that you can avoid future concerns with overhead utilities such as communication and electrical lines. An open area that allows for your new tree to grow in all directions is the most ideal placement to maximize on the benefits provided to you by the tree.
One of the best strategies you can use to manage pests is monitoring. With accurate monitoring you can identify and mitigate pest problems on your trees and other plants in your yard. A pest can be classified as any insect, disease or weed that has a significant impact on human health or crops.
Proper monitoring involves a few key elements. You need to know the plant species you are dealing with, also be familiar with or research which pest problems the plant is most likely to have, including pest life cycles. Now you know what to keep an eye out for. Identification of the pest is really important because there are many insects that are either beneficial or benign. Some insects only cause cosmetic damage to trees, the tree will not die from the insect causing a little bit of damage. Now we are getting into pest thresholds which can be covered in a different article. Most spray insecticides are non selective which means they kill all of the good bugs with the bad bugs.
Ideally monitoring for pests should be done early and frequently throughout the year. Early observation will allow you to catch pest populations and implement any control measures if required before you see significant damage to your plant. Early detection and control can also help prevent minor infestations from becoming severe infestations.
You should also monitor regularly throughout the season, if you are not familiar with what plant you have or which insects to look for keep an eye on the overall vigor of the plant. A great time and schedule to follow for monitoring would be while weeding or watering the garden and yard. Besides monitoring do what you can to keep your tree healthy with regular watering and fertilizing if the plant is showing signs of deficiency. The words plant and tree are being intermixed in this article because monitoring for pests and integrated pest management applies to all plants especially food crops including trees.
Some useful tools used for monotiring include a magnifying glass and a keen eye with attention to detail. One of our favorite tools to use to check for insects like mites, aphids and other small insects is a sheet of paper. Shake a branch over a sheet of paper to observe if any critters end up on the paper. Keep an eye on the underside of leaves and at leaf/stem intersections as many insects like to hide in these areas.
Tree Frog Tree Care is proud to be a division of Bartlett Tree Experts, and our staff now has the backing of an international tree-care company and tree research laboratory to help continue providing excellent tree service and shrub care in Alberta.
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