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Planning in the Winter for Big Tree Projects in the Spring

By John Stonaker, Dec 26 2019 03:52PM

Winter is the perfect time to dream about and plan for landscaping projects in the spring! Well-designed landscaping and outdoor amenities can increase property value by up to 20%. More importantly, you will have more outdoor living space and you’ll enjoy your property more with proper management and development of your landscape.

Think about your yard as your outdoor living room. What does your family do outside, or what would your family like to do? Think about what outdoor items you would like, such as a pool, patio, fencing, or fire pit, and plan them around your trees. Since trees are your largest plant, live the longest, and can have a major impact on the enjoyment of your outdoor space, think about them first before planning placement of any permanent fixtures.

Be sure to look through books and online sites or visit locations with beautiful landscaping to get inspiration, keeping in mind these questions:

•What do you want your trees to do for you? Provide shade? Color? Privacy? Wind barrier?

•What are your existing trees like? Are they an asset to your plans? Should any be removed because of poor health or potential property damage?

•What trees would work best in your climate?

•If the trees will be near an outdoor living space, do they drop seed pods, petals, or nuts that could be messy or hazardous where your family will be living and playing?

•If you want all-year color, which trees will bloom or change colors in succession?

•What do you want the view to look like from various places on your property – from the living room or kitchen window, from the patio, from the road?

Once you’ve answered these questions, make a list of work that needs to be done on your existing trees and include list of trees you would like to add to your landscape. Create a formal layout, considering how the gardens and property will look in different seasons. It’s also useful to create a few future plans, showing the effect on landscaping over the years as your trees mature.

If you are planting new trees, purchase them from a reliable source and consider having them planted by a professional. If a tree is planted too shallowly, it could heave back out of the ground – if too deeply, it can hinder growth. A common mistake is to dig too small a hole for the roots to spread well. Depending on the soil type, a poorly dug and amended hole can either retain water and drown the young tree or limit water retention and dehydrate it.

Another common problem is root girdling, which occurs when the roots grow in a circular pattern. This is common when a plant has been in a pot for too long. Root girdling will eventually choke a tree as the roots grow bigger and tighter around the trunk. A tree specialist will be able to prevent these problems by proper planting methods.

Enjoy your winter months by planning for major tree projects to extend your outdoor living and the enjoyment of your property. Contact us at Stonaker if you are in the Central New Jersey area for all your tree service needs.

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