Author Archives: Westchester Tree Life

10 Considerations When Planting a Tree That You May Not Have Thought Of

Trees serve a number of obvious purposes in the landscape such as creating shade, blocking wind, reducing noise, defining boundaries, and focal points are just a few.

Deciding where to plant a tree goes beyond just creating a beautiful design. There are many other factors an arborist will take into consideration when making the best possible recommendations the types of trees to plant and how to maintain them for many years to come.

Here are 10 things to consider when you are deciding what and where to plant trees on your property to save you time and money.

Play Areas

You may want shade over designated play areas or sand boxes on your property to provide protection from the afternoon sun. However, you also may want to consider the mess that birds and other critters can cause if the canopy extends over the area.

One solution to this is to map out the line of the sun during the day and place trees strategically in the path, but a distance away from the play area. This will provide the needed shade, but also keep the area clean.


Keeping a pool clean can be hard enough without a tree hanging over it. And while most pools are built in sunny locations, you may want your pool to be in a spot where you can relax out of the sun.

Unlike play areas, you may not want to shade the entire pool area. In this case, do not plant trees in the direct line of the sun. You can plant your tree on one side or the other to create a shady spot. Evergreen types are a great option to plant around pools.

Footings and Foundations

Be sure that roots will not grow and seek water too close to concrete, footings, or foundations.
Roots can become very powerful and break foundations, sidewalks, paths, or walls. This can be a costly mistake.

Power Lines

Be sure you check what’s overhead. A tree that grows into power lines can wreak havoc for you and your neighbors!

Property Lines

Be aware of property lines and easements. This one can make enemies out of neighbors.

Underground Utilities, Sewers, and Septic Tanks

Not only can roots grow and break pipes or lines, you also want to plant your tree in a place where it won’t have to be moved should you need to replace or repair these lines. Locate these lines and plant away from to avoid any problems in the future.


Keep in mind the size of the tree. As a tree matures and reaches its full size, it should be in proportion to the size of your home. Small trees can look out of place next to a large home and large trees next to a small home can be overpowering.

Hiding or framing a home

You’ll want to consider whether you are looking to accent your home or hide it from neighbors or the street. This will help you decide upon the size and type of the tree you choose to plant.

Parking Areas

Like the play area, parking areas give birds and other critters to make a mess! Take a look at the areas the canopy will cover if this is a concern for you.


Trees will need to be cared for to maintain optimal health. This can include pruning, watering, and pest and disease prevention. An arborist can help you keep trees healthy, full, and strong so you can minimize your risk of damage and keep your property safe and enjoyable.

If you’d prefer to consult an arborist, we’d be happy to help you. Give us a call at 914-238-0069 and we’ll assist you in recommending the best locations to plant trees in your yard and how best to maintain them.

How to Plant a Young Tree

Besides water and essential nutrients, one of the most important things a young tree needs is support to grow. By helping the tree stand tall, you can prevent it from bending and growing crooked. Supporting the tree will help it grow tall and straight. 

One of the most popular methods of helping a young tree grow straight and tall is to place long stakes into the ground on either side of the tree and tying them together, making loops around the tree. The loops you make around the tree should be fairly loose to allow for the trunk of the tree to expand.

Staking a tree can help prevent wind and other forces from moving the ball of roots within the ground, giving the tree a chance to grow a stable base into the Earth. The most devastating thing that can happen to a young tree is to have movement before it has had a chance to properly plant its roots firmly in the soil.   

Before you stake a young tree, be completely sure that it needs it. You do not want to constrict the growth and movement too much, which could cause damage beyond repair. For example, the material you use to stake the tree could cause abrasion on the trunk. This may happen anyway in nature, but why have it happen needlessly?  

The process of staking your young tree is rather simple. Just take three stakes and tie each one separately near the base of the tree. An even better option is to use a sort of tether to prevent potential rope burn on your tree. Materials can be purchased at any gardening shop or home improvement store. The goal is to minimize the friction from the rope that the tree endures.

When the tree has been staked long enough to stand on its own and its roots are secure, you should remove the stakes. Keeping the tree constricted may cause it to lose some of its vitality. You may even want to check your local weather report to be sure there are no storms or high winds coming in that could harm the tree.

You should always be sure to stake a young tree that needs the extra support to give it the best chance to grow tall and strong. However, staking a tree that doesn’t need it can be just as damaging as not staking a tree that does need it.

If you’d prefer to consult an arborist, we’d be happy to help you. Give us a call at 914-238-0069 and we’ll assist you in recommending the best trees to plant in your yard and how best to maintain them.

3 Simple Tricks to Make Fall Cleanup Easier

It’s a beautiful time in New England where the trees give us a stunning show and the leaves change from a bright green to shades of red, orange, and yellow.

The views are spectacular, but after a week or two, they now cover your lawn! A covering of leaves can suffocate your lawn, causing mold and fungus to grow.

Here are 3 simple tricks to help the Fall cleanup go smoother:

1) Use a tarp.

Instead of picking up many piles of leaves and breaking your back, lay a large tarp down and rake or blow the leaves onto the tarp. Not only can you easily drag the tarp to the place you will keep your leaf piles (see the next tip!), you can make less trips depending upon the size of the tarp.

2) Mulch instead of rake.

The best way to do this is to first shred the leaves with a mower or compost shredder. This also saves your back from raking!

Begin a compost pile with the mulched leaves. You can simply pile up shredded leaves or build a small fenced in area to store the clippings. Over time, the mulch pile will turn into a nutrient rich soil to use in the garden.

3) Enlist the help of the family.

Children can help with the raking, especially when creating a pile of leaves to jump in (minus the sticks, of course). Make the Fall clean up a fun family activity and end the day with a cup of hot chocolate, blankets, and a movie.

If you don’t have the time, tools, or energy, to clean up your lawn, we’re happy to help! Call us at (914) 238-0069 to schedule a visit.

The Sugar Maple

The Sugar Maple, also known as Acer saccharum, is a beautiful addition to any yard!  Sugar Maples are known for their bright, eye-catching foliage during Autumn, especially in New England, and are one of the largest trees in the hardwoods family!

Sugar Maple trees flourish in cool, moist climates, and are able to grow on sands, loamy sands, loams, and silt loams, but does best when planted on well-drained loams!  A loam is defined as a fertile soil of clay and sand containing humus.  Sugar Maple trees tend to do best when placed in an environment with abundant organic matter.

Sugar Maple Forest Westchester Tree Life

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Why are Sugar Maple trees an ideal choice for your yard?  The Sugar Maple is a tree that continues to grow up to 148 ft., and has wide, dense leaf coverage which offers a great amount of privacy.  Consider planting a string of Sugar Maple trees instead of a fence, when considering privacy options for your residence or business.  The large, looming Sugar Maple tree also offers cover from direct sunlight, and a windbreak, which are factors that play into the cost of your home or business’ heating and cooling bills.

Spring Grove Nursery Westchester Tree Life

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The resilient Sugar Maple Tree is a fantastic option when considering what trees to plant on your business or home property!