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The All-American Wintergreen

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The Wintergreen Boxwood, otherwise known as the boxwood, is native to the eastern portion of North America. It does not survive in clay soils, so provide it with well-drained soil, preferably acidic. The Native American tribes of North America used this plant medicinally, brewing a tea from the leaves for ailments such as: headache, fever, sore throat, and bodily aches and pains. The ripened berries can be used to make pies.

The All-American Wintergreen

This beautiful plant is a treat for the senses. It is a handsome shrub, coming in at a mature height of 6″. Its creeping stems have clusters of dark green leaves that are very aromatic when they are crushed. That is, in fact, where Wintergreen oil comes from. Though it is evergreen, the leaves take on a reddish appearance in the winter. It has little, light pink flowers in the summer that turn into dark red berries in the fall, making this a plant for all seasons.

If you do not live in the mountains, it is not a problem. This partial shade loving beauty will do well in a woodland or shaded rock garden setting, as well as a large pot on the porch or patio. Just be sure to give it regular waterings and plenty of organic matter for nutrients.

If you would like to know more about this American native, or if you would like to purchase it, contact us today.

It’s Time to Get Your Garden Ready for Autumn

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Even if you don’t have seasonal vegetable harvests, September is still an important turning point for your garden. Not only are plants starting to burst into fall colors, this period of time actually helps set the stage for your spring garden next year. Here’s a quick to-do list so you can keep your garden healthy even as the year starts to speed up.

It's Time to Get Your Garden Ready for Autumn

Should you start getting your yard ready for winter?

A lot of national advice and major gardening websites are starting their winter preparation articles. But a large majority of those are aimed at regions that not only have snowy winters but also have a chilly autumn. That’s not something you have to worry about in the DFW area. Whenever you’re Googling about your yard or how to prepare it for a seasonal change make sure your searches include ‘Texas’ or our specific growing zone; Texas occupies USDA Hardiness Zones six through nine, and this area is in 8A. Finding regionally relevant sources helps you match up with your trees’ active and dormant seasons, and takes into account factors like rainfall. But here’s what Texas gardening should look like for September:

Prune only what needs to be pruned.

This largely includes dead and damaged branches. Cutting away the wood before it gets infested or infected is better for the whole tree, so make sure this is a monthly priority. This is also a good time to ensure your tree’s branches are at least five to ten feet away from any structures. Windy storms and falling leaves are on their way, and you don’t want to damage your roof or clog your gutters.

You can also prune perennial flowers, but don’t prune spring-flowering plants unless you see signs of damage.

Watch for pests.

Your harvesting plants will get a lot of attention soon. Acorn, pecan, and other nut trees will invite squirrels into your yard and pests will want to comb over anything that’s rotting on the ground. Keep your yard as sparse and uninviting as possible by raking up any early leaf piles and smashed nuts.

If you want to use September to get a new fall garden in order, go to Chambersville Tree Farm to get started.

When Should You Trim Your Trees?

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Trees are some of the best additions to your home’s lawn and yard. Not only do they provide shade year-round, they add character to your home’s curb appeal and help maintain the soil. But if you let your trees overgrow, their branches can start to scrape along the roof and damage your shingles. Instead of waiting too long and needing a professional to do the job, maintain your trees by trimming them regularly. It’s better for both your house and your budget.

When Should You Trim Your Trees?

When should you trim your trees?

Most heavy maintenance is saved for late winter. Not only does this mean you can prune without leaves getting in the way, the trees can heal and start to grow according to your pruning. If you have flowering trees, pruning can also safely be done after they finish blooming. However, you should also trim any time you notice thin branches getting too close to your roof or your driveway.

The most important aspect of timing when you’re trimming to protect your roof is to monitor the tree while the branches are thin and manageable. Not only are thicker branches more difficult and sometimes dangerous to cut through on your own, you don’t want to risk the damage they might cause falling on your roof. Instead, regularly trim back the branches as thick as your finger.

How do you know when the branches are too long?

Branches shouldn’t be within six feet of your roof, as a general rule of thumb. Not only does this give you a longer margin in case you fall a bit behind in trimming your tree, it means you don’t have to trim it as often. This rule also means squirrels are less likely to jump on your roof and there are fewer leaves that can land in your gutters.

Other signs you should look for are:

  • Dripping sap. Even if the branches aren’t causing direct damage to your roof, they can still leave behind residue that can impact shingles, flashing, and any vent grilles in the area. If you have a tree near your driveway, you should also check your car for signs of sap and use that as a guideline for more trimming.
  • Sounds of branches scraping your roof during a storm. Even if you’re maintaining the six-foot rule, some trees bend more than others in a high wind. While it can be hard to hear over the rain, take note of any scrapes or rustles.

Keeping your trees trimmed keeps your home safer. Go to Chambersville Tree Farm for more seasonal maintenance tips.

Make Your Yard Pop with Evergreen Trees

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Sometimes it seems like, no matter how much you might water your lawn and take care of your garden beds, everything is turning parched and slightly brown. If you’re considering relandscaping your lawn and you’re looking for plant varieties that can stay healthily green no matter the weather, there are two main categories of plants that need relatively little care to keep your yard green: local varieties and evergreens.

Make Your Yard Pop with Evergreen Trees

How can evergreens flourish in your yard?

Even though evergreens like pine and hemlock are usually pictured exclusively as northern trees, evergreens are well-suited to southern climates. In fact, they are most vulnerable to winter damage, when cold winds can dry out their waxy needles and leaves. But it’s easy to minimize that risk in north Texas just by finding the right location to plant them. Because evergreens need both sunlight in the summer and protection from too much sun in the winter, planting evergreens along the northern side of your property helps them flourish without regular maintenance.

Evergreens have a waxy coating on their leaves that helps the trees retain moisture, so they aren’t vulnerable to dry weather. However, they will need some watering throughout the year, and covering the base of the tree trunk with mulch can help them retain moisture even better because water can’t evaporate as easily from the soil.

With just a bit of regular watering, evergreens can stay bright and green year-round no matter what the weather conditions are. If you’re looking to add more color to your lawn, go to Chambersville Tree Farm to get started.

Why Are Mature Trees the Best Choice for Rental Properties?

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Why Are Mature Trees the Best Choice for Rental Properties?Once you’ve made your initial renovations to a property, your focus should be on maintenance; whether it’s keeping the interior and exterior in consistent condition through multiple rotations of tenants or by maintaining your property’s comparative advantage through routine upgrades. No matter which focus you maintain, mature trees help.

They don’t require careful attention to foster proper growth.

Most young trees are fragile through the first couple years on the property. Not only do they need to adjust to the soil, weather, and water availability, they are more susceptible to damage from sudden freezes or too much sun. Young trees also need careful pruning to encourage growth in the right shape, especially if they are fruit or flowering trees. Mature trees, on the other hand, are durable, hardy, and already pruned over a succession of years to grow beautifully.

Perhaps even more importantly, it’s easier to place mature trees the correct distance away from the actual building. Young trees will quickly grow out their root system, and many people make the mistake of planting trees too close to their foundation line or pavement. Within a matter of years, they can start to grow into the foundation slab and start tilting the driveway.

They immediately add value to the property.

People like trees in the yard, even if it’s not a feature they’re explicitly looking for. While young trees are cheaper to purchase and plant, most realtors don’t see any impact on prospective tenants’ response to a house. Mature trees are much more memorable, and they tend to add between 10 and 20 percent to the property’s value.

Go to Chambersville Tree Farm here to find the perfect type of low-maintenance, colorful trees for your properties.

Do’s and Don’t’s for Pruning Your Crape Myrtles

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Crape myrtles can flourish with very little care. They’re well-suited for the North Texas climate and can grow into a thick, shady plant in no time. But if your crape myrtle is starting to take over your lawn or you want to make sure it stays healthy, here are some tips for keeping your crape myrtles in good condition.

Do's and Don't's for Pruning Your Crape Myrtles

Do:

  • Prune the center of the tree. Removing trunks and branches growing in the middle of a crape myrtle allows sunlight to reach every part of the plant and stops it from choking itself. While it can be difficult to reach the middle if you haven’t pruned the tree in a while, and you’ll certainly want to keep a wary eye out for wasps, it’s a quick trick to ensure good growth.
  • Prune in winter. Late winter is the season for most tree pruning, but it can be tricky to find just the right moment between winter continuing and summer starting. Aim for February so you can prune without reducing the spring’s bloom. It also makes pruning easier because there aren’t leaves obscuring your vision and you don’t have to worry about wasps.

Don’t:

  • Prune crape myrtles down to a small base. While it’s a common practice, trimming your crape myrtles down too far keeps new branch growth weak and unable to support the weight of the blooms. It also means the bark will never turn mottled and leaves your trees looking ugly during the first few months of the year.

Crape myrtles are a great addition to your yard because they can handle a wide variety of care and conditions. Go to Chambersville Tree Farm here to find a few to add to your lawn.

2 Trees That Stand Up Well to North Texas Weather

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Trees are a lifetime investment. They’ll grow with your family, they’ll become part of your house, and they will be part of the property for decades. So finding the right variety is important, both in terms of a tree that looks the way you want it to and that can adapt well to North Texas weather. If you’re not sure what type of tree you’re looking for but you want a hardy tree that can grow strong no matter is thrown at it, here are some of the top choices for a North Texas home:

2 Trees That Stand Up Well to North Texas Weather

  • Cedar elm varieties: Trees can use up a lot of water if you pick a northern species, and that can wreak havoc on your watering bill once the roots start to pull moisture away from your grass and hedges. But choosing a drought-tolerant species like cedar elm is a great solution because it can handle both extensive water shortage and torrential rain. More than that, it can stand up to hail and high winds without extensive damage. The only downside is their susceptibility to mistletoe infestations, which can be easily stopped by an occasional inspection.
  • Oak trees: Oaks, especially bur oaks, are well suited to Texas climates and they even benefit the homes they’re near. While you don’t want to plant these trees close to your home because they need a lot of room to grow and spread out, they provide a lot of shade as they age and can keep your house cooler in the middle of the summer. Many oak varieties are native to Texas, so they are equipped for strong sunlight, droughts, and extreme weather, and they also aren’t as susceptible to local diseases or parasites.

No matter what you’re looking for in a tree, local, hardy varieties are the best choice because they’re built for North Texas conditions. Go to Chambersville Tree Farm to look through our available trees and find the right ones for your home.

Where Should You Plant Your New Trees?

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Finding precisely the right spot in your yard or lawn for a new tree varies by species. Some local or tropical varieties can flourish in direct sunlight and can handle southern exposure. They can even help protect your house by shading it from the summer sun and lowering your energy bill. But some northern varieties aren’t equipped for the full Texas sun, especially when they’re young, and so might do better along the northern side of your property.

Where Should You Plant Your New Trees?

When you’re positioning your new trees, it’s also important to take your foundation into consideration. While hedges and garden bed plants can help hold soil in place against the perimeter of your house and even regulate the soil’s moisture and temperature, the same isn’t true for trees. Planting trees too close to your foundation means the tree’s roots might start to burrow through the slab. Even with root guard, the growth can displace the soil and concrete, which leads to settling and cracking.

In order to better protect your house and help your tree grow to its full potential, make sure you plant large trees over twenty feet away from the perimeter, medium trees fifteen feet away and small trees at least ten feet away. The same is true in regards to your driveway, since roots can lift up the slabs and make your driveway uneven.

Go to Chambersville Tree Farm to find the right trees for your yard and expert advice on where to place them so they grow healthy and strong without damaging your property.

Tips For Growing Great Pond Cypress Trees

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There are many types of great trees to grow in North Texas. One of the most popular of these is the Pond Cypress. Here’s what you need to know about taking care of this gorgeous tree.

Tips For Growing Great Pond Cypress Trees

Pond Cypress Trees Need Shade

If you plan on planting this kind of tree, you need to make sure it gets a little shade to keep it healthy. While it can do quite well in full time, partial shade helps keep it from getting a little too hot. That’s why they work so well when planted by each other as they can provide shade to the lower areas of neighbor trees.

Drench Their Soil

After planting these trees in 3-4 inches of organic mulch, their soil needs to be drenched with water. Cypress trees typically require a pretty hefty load of water, particularly in the spring time. During this season, they go through their growth spurt. After drenching their roots, they should be fine with an occasional watering.

Fertilizer Needs Are Low

One nice thing about the Pond Cypress is that it doesn’t need a lot of fertilizer. A single fertilization once a year should be more than enough. Add one inch for every drunk diameter. Once the tree is quite strong and has reached an adult age, it probably doesn’t need any more fertilizer for the rest of its life. Those needs will vary depending on your area’s soil.

If you are interested in planting these gorgeous trees in your yard and need care tips beyond these, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our experts can help you get the best looking Pond Cypress trees in all of North Texas.

Planting Around Your Trees

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Trees not only provide shade to your landscaping, they can add a magical bit of majesty, as well. As beautiful as they are, though, they generally only continue the palette of greens, browns and grays. Planting around the base of those trees can bring some color to the landscape, or, if you opt for foliage over flowers, those plant contribute texture to the aesthetics. There are some important things to remember before you start digging, though.

Planting Around Your Trees

First Rule: Do No Harm

When you are planting beneath trees, you have to consider both the needs of the new plants and those of the trees. The tree roots may be exposed or near the surface, so be careful when you start digging, so you don’t injure them. And dig individual holes for each plant, rather than digging out the whole area.

Also, those roots need oxygen to keep the tree alive, so don’t smother them! Don’t build raised beds or pile on heavy loads of soil. Instead , after you dig the individual plant’s hole, add a little compost in it before the plant. After all the plants are in, add a thin layer of mulch – no more than 3 inches. Leave at least 1 inch between the mulch and the trunk of the tree, as well

Even better, consider a container garden for under your trees. Not only does this prevent damage to the trees’ roots, it allows you to move cold-sensitive plants indoors during the winter or to change them out easily.

Prepare the Area First

Even shade-loving plants need a little sunshine to thrive, so trim back the lower branches of the tree to allow the light through. You want to plant at least 1 foot inside the tree’s drip line, so use that as a guide to choose the branches to trim or remove.

Smother any existing grass by covering it with wet newspaper and then a light layer of mulch. This may take awhile, so plan ahead before purchasing your new plants.

Choose the Best Plants

Whatever variety of plants you choose, go with the smallest ones available. This allows for less disturbance to the ground and to the roots.

Opt for native plants as much as possible. They have already adapted to the growing conditions in your geographical area, so they are more likely to do well, and they will need less care over time. If natives aren’t an option, check the light, water, and soil requirements carefully when selecting plants.

Ground covers, like hosta, sweet woodruff, and Spanish bluebells make good choices, as do sage, periwinkle, violets, lilies, ferns, and primrose. Impatiens add a blaze of color, as well, and they are relatively easy to care for.

Hostas are great choices for adding texture to the plantings, either by themselves or as filler with other plants. The foliage color varieties seem nearly endless, including white with green edges, olive green with white edges, and even gold with dark green edges.

Fringed bleeding hearts have beautiful pink flowers and blue-green foliage, and Dicentra exima will continue to bloom through the summer.

You might also opt for annuals like caladiums, salvia, violas, begonias, and violas. Or, if you prefer a bushier planting, oakleaf hydrangea and azaleas are lovely around a tree.

Are you ready to expand your landscaping? Contact us for tips and suggestions for the best trees for your yard.