A beautiful garden seems incomplete without at least a few trees. A garden isn’t so beautiful when the wrong trees are planted. In this post we will discuss the challenges involved with selecting the right trees, and how to plan and maintain the tree of choice.
Trees are interesting, love property assets that could either bring you quite a significant return on investment, or it could cost you dearly for a number of troubles it does to your garden.
Before deciding on which tree/plantation to grow in your garden based on aesthetic considerations, do some homework on their rooting system as well as their water and nutrient requirements.
Bamboo for one is a very invasive species where the roots can readily penetrate residential foundations and piping systems. It is advised to plant bamboo far away from your home and carefully monitor its growth if planted in soil. Alternatively, durable pots should be used for any landscape design that is close to the property.
Having said that, a carefully designed bamboo patch makes a tremendous natural screen wall to maximise the privacy on your property. Many landscaping designs also incorporate the use of sand and pebbles to add an accent of serenity to your garden.
Pine and Spruce
Not all trees would live in perfect harmony with your lawn. Have you seen someone’s yard with tall trees and ugly brown patches of soil right below it? It is a very common sight in the Pacific West Coast. There are ways to work around this issue to charm up your garden. Let’s first address why grasses turn brown under these evergreens.
It is a general misconception that the needles from pine and spruce trees are too acidic for healthy grass growth. Numerous researches have proven this claim false by confirming the pH of pine needles to be near neutral.
What is causing the retrieve of lawn around these trees has to do with nutrient and water supply. Pine and Spruce’s trees require a significant amount of water, and they can easily sap away the moisture from the lawn close to them. The accumulative layers of fallen needles with the added blockage of sunlight from the tree shades creates a perfect environment for fungal and bacterial growth, a perfect killing zone for a lawn.
If these are the type of trees you are planning to invest, plant a rounded circle and cover them with coarse rocks. Aesthetically, the needles would fall through the cracks easier this way, making the scene more pleasing to the eye. Trim and prune your tree accordingly annually, so it does not outgrow the planned radius of your landscape design.
Safety and Forecasting
When buying and planting a tree, know the vigour and the growth rate of your tree. This is especially important when a power line runs across your property. The last thing you want to do is having to top the grown trees, which is in a way a slow death sentence to the tree.
Do leave enough space around your shed, vegetable garden and deck to avoid potential crowding from the tree.
There will come a time when your tree has grown in enough size where pruning and trimming are evident. It is highly encouraged that homeowners do some online research before picking up the trimmer or chainsaw to start hacking away your precious vegetations.
In the powerline scenario mentioned earlier, it might easy to conclude that topping the tree is the best solution for safety. However, when a tree is topped, or horizontally cut of all its branches, the tree goes into a state of shock as it no longer has sufficient foliage to provide the nutrients for the tree.
This forces the tree to rapidly grow out new shoots to try and compensate for the loss of energy production. These new shoots will go up fast and furious, while stressing and reducing the health of the tree significantly. This downward spiral creates many problems as infections could start to set in from the declining tree health. The tree might be required to be topped again in a year or two given the rapid growth of the new branches.
When in doubt, consult a professional tree service company for the best pruning strategy. Winter time is perfect as one can have a clear view of how the tree is performing. Pruning after the plant has gone into dormancy also ensures that no new shoots are produced after the pruning.
This practice is in place in the vineyards as well. There is a lot of garden work that can be done during the winter months.
Some homeowners choose to water their trees daily, some every few days. Some species are more so than others. The rule of thumb is, get in the habit of applying thorough watering deep into the grounds every so often during the warmer months to promote root development.
Surface watering does not allow moisture to trickle deep into the grounds. When watering occasionally but thoroughly, moisture is retained deep in the soil which promotes better rooting network to develop. This can be a life saver during the hotter summer months.
The real trick is winter. In some parts of the continent, winter drought is an issue a the tree struggle to retain enough moisture from the freezing environment. A good trick homeowners can employ to mulch around the plant.
Mulching not only locks in more moisture around three, but at the same time serves as an insulator against the cold. Do not mulch too close to the trunk however, as the pest can become a concern.
Now that we covered the planning and maintenance side of things, what are some top tree picks for home gardens?
The List of Awesome Garden Trees
- Crab Apples
- Weeping Cherries
- Honey Locust
- Citrus Trees
Video speaks louder than words, so we’re going to give credits to the English Gardening Magazine for a video on how to pick the right tree: