How To Prune

How To Prune

Targeting a Pruning Cut Large trees aside, there are many pruning jobs that you can do on your own. In all cases, the key is to prune the unwanted branch while protecting the stem or trunk wood of the tree. Tree branches grow from stems at nodes and pruning always takes place on the branch side of a stem-branch node. Branches and stems are separated by a lip of tissue called a stem collar which grows out from the stem at the base of the branch. All pruning cuts should be made on the branch side of this stem collar. This protects the stem and the other branches that might be growing from it. It also allows the tree to heal more effectively after the prune. To prevent tearing of the bark and stem wood, particularly in the case of larger branches, use the following procedure:

Three steps to pruning large branches.

  1. Make a small wedge shaped cut on the underside of the branch just on the branch side of the stem collar. This will break the bark at that point and prevent a tear from running along the bark and stem tissue.
  2. Somewhat farther along the branch, starting at the top of the branch, cut all the way through the branch leaving a stub end.
  3. Finally, make a third cut parallel to and just on the branch side of the of the stem collar to reduce the length of the stub as much as possible.

A similar procedure is used in pruning one of two branches (or one large branch and a stem) joined together in a ‘u’ or ‘v’ crotch. This is known as a drop crotch cut. Make the first notch cut on the underside of the branch you’re pruning well up from the crotch. For the second cut, cut completely through the branch from inside the crotch well up from the ridge of bark joining the two branches. Finally, to shorten the remaining stub, make the third cut just to one side of the branch bark ridge and roughly parallel to it.

*Source: http://tree-pruning.com/how-to-prune.html

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5 Pre-Season Snow Season Tips

Five Pre-Season Snow Season Tips

  1. Develop a comprehensive pre-season snow and ice removal plan
  • Identify existing conditions and trouble spots
  • Establish a plan for how you will remove snow and ice and who will do so.
  1. Identify when removal will take place in correspondence with when the snow falls
  2. Weather Mats: place weather mats at all entrances to the building for a distance of 40 feet. These mats should be placed in both directions to catch snow and water when entering and exiting.
  3. Machinery & Equipment: inspect all equipment from the last snowfall and develop a full maintenance makeover.
  4. Salt: cannot stress the importance of purchasing sufficient salt well ahead of time and of managing its distribution wisely.
  5. Consider hiring a snow removal contractor.

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Grasses for wet sites

Grasses for wet sites

Grasses are tough plants that can be counted on to perform in difficult sites. Wet or dry, there are grasses that grow naturally in these extreme conditions. The fibrous roots of bunch grasses and the tough, woody rhizomes of spreading grasses are excellent at stabilizing soil and preventing erosion, whether on steep slopes or on lakeshores and stream banks.

Grasses tolerate seasonal variations in soil moisture, and some are quite forgiving of standing water for 24 hours. Knowing your soil type is also helpful. Sites with sandy soil that drains well, but floods occasionally, create a challenge because plants may end up with extremely wet or dry conditions.

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Xeriscapes

Xeriscapes

With recreation time at a premium and a growing global concern for the supply of water, savvy landscapers are adopting Xeriscaping principles into every zone of their landscape design.

The term ‘Xeriscape’ was coined in America after a prolonged drought in Denver Colorado led locals to look for a less resource-dependent way of gardening. Xeros is a Greek word that means dry. A Xeriscape works with nature employing the natural flow of water through the landscape as the basis for water conservation. Creative xeriscaping not only conserves water through plant groupings, mulching and the use of native plants it keeps watering and weeding to a minimum and negates the use of any chemical fertilizers. Ultimately this all leads to healthier soils and a reduction in ongoing landscape maintenance.

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Color Year-Round

Color Year-Round

Annual flowers add a refreshing burst of color to gardens and yards. Unfortunately, they are short-lived and can leave a feeling of disappointment as they fade and can be expensive to replant each year. Many landscapers prefer to work with plants that will live for several years, surviving the winter months at worst and creating winter interest at best:

  • Perennials

It is a common misconception to think that perennials die over the winter. Although many appear dead, they are actually just in hibernation; their roots are hard at work under the soil preparing for new growth in the spring.

  • Evergreens

When looking for a plant that stays lush all year, evergreens are often the first type of plant that comes to mind.

  • Year-Round Flowers

Not all evergreen plants flower and many that do only bloom at certain times of the year.

  • Containers

Container-grown plants can be enjoyed indoors during cold weather and moved back outside in the spring if desired.

 

Seasonal Flower Guide:

Spring: azalea, daffodil, forsythia mandevilla, dogwood, wisteria, bearded iris (pictured), peony

Summer: hydrangea, daylily, gardenia, crinum, lantana, crepe myrtle, impatiens, zinnia

Fall: pansy, aster, sugar maple, beautyberry, ginger lily sasanqua camellia, holly, autumn crocus, mum

Winter: winterberry, Colorado blue spruce, amaryllis, Lenten rose, rosemary, saucer magnolia, flowering quince, crocus

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Types of Edging

Types of edging

There are several different types of edging available. The four main types include spade-cut, strip edging, masonry and wood edging. Look around your landscape and choose a material that aesthetically matches the design and style of your outdoor space. Each edging material has advantages:

Spade-Cut Edging

For the simplest type of border, choose spade-cut edging. Spade-cut edging involves digging a narrow trench around the outside of the bed you are setting part and is the least expensive type of edging available. Use a flat spade with a straight cutting edge to get the job done.

Strip Edging

Strip edging consists of a shallow barrier that is anchored beneath the ground. The very top part of the edging is visible to subtly set the bed and lawn apart. Strip edging works best for creating curves and comes in plastic and metal varieties. Plastic is less expensive and easier to install. Metal edging comes in steel or aluminum and lasts longer but is less pliable.

Masonry Edging

Masonry edging, composed of stone, brick or concrete, is the most expensive type. Stone is very attractive and allows you to match borders to any existing stonework you have used in the landscaping, garden or exterior of your home. Cement borders often come in preformed sections of different shapes and styles, allowing for easier installation.

Wood Edging

Wood edging comes in precut sections of alternating heights, either as round logs or flat boards. All types of wood edging are durable and most are affordable. The types of wood most often used include cedar, cypress and redwood, which resist rot naturally when lying next to soil. Pressure-treated wood is resistant to moisture and a good value for larger projects.

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