TREES, MORE INFORMATION FOR YOU!

For those of us that are trapped,oops, I mean that live in Minnesota or other northern parts, this is a reminder to you to keep on watering your lawn and landscape. If you’ve blown out your irrigation system, which you should have done by now, you need to pull out the hoses and sprinklers. Until the ground freezes solid, try to get at least an inch of water a week on your lawn and landscape. Trees and shrubs that were planted this year, actually need more than that. Try to wrap the tree trunks of smaller trees, 3 inch diameter or less, with white drain tile pipe to protect them from bark eating varments and late winter sun scald. As a side about your trees, if you are in clay type soil, either do not or use very little mulch around the base of the tree. In sandy soil, use 4 to 6 inches of mulch. Try to ring your trees regardless, to protect the trunks from mower hits and weed whips!

Winter is the best time to prune and/or remove trees. When a tree is dorment, trimming won’t stress it as much or open it up to airborne diseases or destructive insects. Do not paint the wound on the tree from the cut, it needs air to heal over properly. If you can, have a tree trimming expert do the job for you. It really is amazing the way they can “open” up the middle of a large tree to sunlight and air, and by July the tree is prettier than ever, healthier too! Winter, with frozen ground and snow cover is the ideal time to remove large trees from the landscape. Because the ground is frozen, there is less damage done as the limbs and trunk come down.

What trees to remove? Sick , weakened or damaged ones need to come down. If it’s an older tree, chances are there’s no saving it. Sometimes, by removing the sick and damaged areas of a tree, the tree becomes an eyesore. Just take the whole tree down. In Minnesota, the Department of Natural Resources has listed chinese/siberian elm trees and buckthorn as “noxious” plants. Buckthorn occurs more in border areas of wooded or natural areas. These horrible elms, unfortunately have shown up in the domestic landscape. They are “prodigious seeders” and very unattractive overgrown weeds in our environment. They create havoc in the landscape as the seedlings sprout all summer, and are difficult to kill with chemicals! They are not very long lived, but do grow quickly to heights of over 75 feet. They start dying at full growth, and drop dead branches and limbs until complete death, which takes several years to happen. I’ll say it out loud again, remove these ugly, dirty weeds from our landscapes. Cottonwoods, almost as dirty and messy as the elms, should be removed from the landscape as well. Because the elms and cottonwoods are so large and dirty, they create problems for your friends and neighbors as well. So, I beg of you, to keep the peace in your neighborhood, if you have these trees on your property, remove them this winter, please. You may also add to the list of removable trees some of the “soft wood” maples, most especially the silver maple. These trees get wrecked easily in high winds, produce tons of “helicopter” seeds, and their root systems create havoc on the lawn, side walks, and house foundations. Consult with me, if you’re not sure what are the best trees to grow.

Cam ObertMy business cardYoung trees

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