Tag Archives: planting a tree

Hardiness Zones

At Westchester Tree Life, our goal is for your plants, trees and shrubs to maintain a constant peak of health!  To give your plants, shrubs and trees a healthy start, it is vital to select an area they would best thrive.  If you’ve ever browsed online for seeds or bulbs, you’ve probably seen a reference to hardiness zones.  Knowing all about hardiness zones is a great way to maximize the success of your plantings and to know which plants may be vulnerable during the harsher times of year.  If you have any questions or concerns about your plant’s health, ask a Westchester Tree Life professional!  Call Westchester Tree Life here:  (914) 238-0069

hardiness zones

Westchester Tree Life Explains Hardiness Zones:

So what does hardiness zone refer to?  To put it simply, the United States is divided into hardiness zones based on each region’s weather patterns.  There are 13 hardiness zones in the US.  The lower the number, the colder the winter.  For example, Louisiana is in Zone 9 while North Dakota is mainly in Zone 3.  If you’re considering planting a shrub best suited to hardiness zone 5-7, you want to make sure your location falls within that range.  Otherwise, your plants may not survive until spring.

It’s also important to know that some plants actually need a certain level of cold in order to survive.  A plant that is hardy enough to grow in northern Maine may not grow in Florida.  The hardiness zones in one state can vary widely.  Here in New York, you could be in zone 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7!  Our own local Westchester County area, as well as New York City, northern New Jersey, Rockland county, southern Connecticut, and parts of Long Island are in hardiness zone 6.  

New York State Hardiness Zone MapWhile hardiness zones can be a useful guide in knowing which plants can thrive in your yard, there are other factors to take into consideration.  Wind, rainfall, humidity, soil composition, and sunlight can all effect the health and growth of your plants.  When considering adding a new tree, shrub, or perennial to your existing greenery, it’s always a good idea to seek the advice of an expert.

Proper Tree Planting

Spring is one of the best times of the year to plant, but do you know the steps of proper tree planting?  This seemingly easy project is actually a quite complicated procedure!  The improper planting of a tree can lead to an unhealthy and high maintenance tree, which could become a costly venture.

Plant Health Care Westchester Tree Life

The Planting Site

Before you shop for your tree, select the planting site for your new tree.  It is vital to keep in mind that your tree will need space to grow.  Consider any power lines which may interfere with your growing tree’s branches; it is ideal to maintain at least a 15-foot distance from a utility line, after allowing for 20 years of growth.

  • Soil Check – Check the soil in the area of the planting site which you have selected.  Most trees thrive in a moderate to well-drained site.
  • Climate Conditions – Selecting a tree which can thrive in your climate conditions will set you up for success!

Selecting the Proper Tree

Once you have identified the planting site, spacial restrictions and soil and climate type of your area, you are ready to begin tree shopping.  We advise that you select a healthy tree from a reputable tree nursery.  The staff will be able to assist you in selecting exactly the type of tree for your area, while also explaining how to best care for your new tree!

Proper Tree Planting

More complicated that simply digging a hole and sticking a tree in it, proper tree planting has specific steps and guidelines which should be followed for success.  Before you begin, remove any dead or broken branches.

  1. Digging the Hole – The width of the hole should be at least twice the width of your tree’s root ball.  The hole should not be deeper than the root ball.  Avoid compacting the soil around your tree’s root ball.
  2. Backfill Soil – Mix one part peat moss or composted organic material with four parts soil for your backfill soil.
  3. Mulching is Key – Apply 3-4 inches of mulch over your tree’s root ball, while staying slightly away from the trunk.  This helps to keep soil moist while reducing weed growth.  Do not apply more than 4 inches of mulch, and keep away from the trunk of the tree.  Only brace your tree if it is absolutely necessary.
  4. Watering Procedure – Water your tree extensively after planting and at least once a week during dry periods.  Avoid wetting the leaves of the tree, when watering.

If you come across any issues while planting your tree, feel free to call a professional arborist at Westchester Tree Life; we are happy to assist and answer any questions you may have.

Maintaining your new tree’s health is just as important as proper tree planting procedure.  A competent and professional arborist (arborists are specifically trained in tree health and the care and maintenance of trees; this is not true of lawn care professionals) can offer diagnosis and preventative maintenance to keep your trees (new and old) in peak condition!

Call Westchester Tree Life today:  (914) 238-0069

(All information cited from the National Arborist Association, now known as the Tree Care Industry Association)

Choosing the Right Tree in 4 Easy Steps

Choosing the right tree for your business or property may seem like an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be!  Shopping for long-term vegetation such as a tree should be a process carried out with intention.  This guide will help you choose the right tree in four easy steps!

Step One:  What is the tree’s function?

Trees offer social, economical, and economical benefits.  Which function does your tree need to serve?

Sandbar Willow Westchester Tree Life

Sandbar willow makes a great visual screen.
(Image Courtesy of ded.ny.gov)

If you are planting a tree in your yard, you may want a large, deciduous tree, which looses its leaves in the fall; these trees provide ample shade, and offer a windbreak which assist in lowering heating and cooling costs.  A great example of a large, deciduous tree is the Sugar Maple, or acer saccharum (to learn more about The Sugar Maple, read our article here). Planting evergreens in your backyard is a great way to provide privacy, without a fence!

If you are planting a tree close to the street, consider a tree such as the Common Hackbery, or celtis occidentalis.  Common to North America, this tree is ideal in providing privacy while visually improving the surrounding area.  Planting a tree close the street also assists in reducing runoff, and decreasing the glare from the pavement!

Step Two: What size and form is your ideal tree?

Diagram of Different Tree Forms Westchester Tree Life

Diagram Courtesy of www.dot.ny.gov

Is your ideal tree a low, spreading tree, or a tall and slender tree?   When choosing your ideal tree, consider the maintenance of the tree which you are selecting.  (Westchester Tree Life is here to assist you in the complete process of introducing a new tree to your yard or business.  Our certified arborists are here to assist you in committing to a Plant Health Care Management plan for your tree.) 

Step Three:  What are the conditions of your planting site?

Soil PH Westchester Tree Life

Image Courtesy of www.bocc.citrus.fl.us

The conditions of your planting site are important factors in narrowing down your options, when shopping for a tree!  Your soil’s pH, sun and wind exposure, drainage, space constraints, hardiness zone, human activity, and insect and disease susceptibility are all vital variables to consider when choosing the right tree.

Step Four:  Tree Quality Characteristics

Healthy Tree  Westchester Tree Life

Be sure to consider the quality of any tree you choose!
(Image Courtesy of yourleaf.org)

Determining a tree’s quality is not to be overlooked when choosing the right tree for your location.  Qualities to observe when inspecting tree quality characteristics include checking to ensure that the tree has strong form, with well spaced branches, a quality root system to ensure a optimal growth, and a trunk free of wounds and damage.

You are now ready to choose the right tree for your location!  Remember that our team of certified arborists are always here to support you in your tree care maintenance!

The Benefits of Trees

The benefits of trees are vast, making the addition of a tree or two to your property a valuable investment.  Perhaps your backyard offers little shade; planting a tree would be a great way to add shade and aesthetic.  The benefits of trees range from increase privacy, increased property value, and lowered heating and cooling costs.

NY Tree Care Westchester Tree Life

Image Courtesy of Raceswat

Lower your monthly cooling and heating costs with the addition of one or more trees, when re-vamping your backyard!  The tree’s shade will be a welcome relief when hosting barbeques and outdoor family parties, as well as act as a windbreak, lowering your heating costs during the winter.

Westchester Tree Life NY

Image Courtesy of Homegiudes SFGate

Raise the property value of your home up to 20% just by adding trees to your landscape.  Variables such as size, condition, species, and placement of the tree all play a part in determining the amount your property value will increase.  Westchester Tree Life’s certified staff of arborists are happy to assist you in mapping out which trees would work best for you.  Our team of tree specialists can also assist you in caring for your tree to ensure a long and healthy life expectancy.

Westchester Tree NY Trees

Image Courtesy of Organic Comfort Zone

Add privacy to your home without the installment of a fence!  Placing trees strategically around your home or business can assist in creating a visual barrier as well as a sound barrier.  The added privacy will create a more personal environment for you to enjoy.

These are only a few of the benefits of trees.  Your tree will improve air quality, reduce stormwater runoff and house a variety of wildlife.  Interested in adding a tree or to to your home’s exterior?  Call Westchester Tree Life today!

 

Planting a Tree

There are a few things to consider before you begin the process of planting a tree.  Trees are aesthetically-pleasing additions to the exterior of your home of business, and can give your property value a little boost.  To properly plant a tree, we recommend you consider the following things:

1)  What are your goals?

Maple Tree Goldfinch Westchester Tree Life

Photo credit: Sharon Sauriol
The maple tree is a favorite perch of the goldfinch.

Are you planting your new tree to gain privacy without blocking yourself off from neighbors with a fence?  Are you introducing a new tree onto your property because you are interested in attracting certain birds or looking to create a sound barrier?  Before you begin mapping out all of the fun details of planting a tree, we recommend you consider your goals.  Acknowledging your goals will make choosing a location and a tree-type easier, and ultimately make your project more successful.

2)  Location is key!

Planting a Tree Westchester Tree Life

Though location seems like an obvious factor, we urge you to think deeper, more to the root of the problem, if you will.  Tree roots need adequate amounts of space to grow and develop, so try to choose a location with ample room for your tree to flourish.  Avoid planting a tree underneath or around powerlines and telephone lines; placing a tree too close to a building will also cause future issues for both the tree growth and possibly the building and its patrons.

NOTE:  We advise contacting your utility company to mark the location of any underground lines which may come in contact with your newly planted tree.  You may be held accountable for any damage done to such lines.

3)  Follow proper planting procedure.

Tree Sprout Westchester Tree Life

Image courtesy gardening.ktsa.com

We understand, planting a new tree is exciting!  Though the idea of just digging a hole and setting your new tree up for success is enticing, following proper planting procedure for your tree is the best bet.  Take weather conditions into consideration; trees are best planted during times of low wind, cloudy, and slightly cool but not humid.  If you are unsure of the proper temperament by which your tree should be planted, ask an arborist at Westchester Tree Life to assist you!  We would be happy to help you plant your new tree and set it up for success!