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How Trees Help Maintain Healthy Streams and Waterways

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Trees are an amazing natural resource, as well as being an aesthetically pleasing, curb appeal-increasing addition to homes, business, and rental properties. They help to clean the air we breathe and provide us with more oxygen, but did you know that planting trees can even help keep the water clean?

How Trees Help Maintain Healthy Streams and Waterways

Water is the most vital ingredient in an environment. Without water, nothing else can really grow and thrive. You might not think much about the environment on a day-to-day basis, but placing trees near streams can sometimes go a long way toward helping everything stay balanced while also giving your property the aesthetic boost it needs.

If your home or business sits near a waterway, consider adding trees along it to help filter pollutants and hold the soil in place. Trees bury their roots deep into the ground and help stop erosion during events like runoff from storms. They can also help to filter out certain kinds of toxins from the soil as they grow, slowly working to restore both stream and soil health.

Large trees can go a long way toward helping keep larger streams and waterways clear of debris, especially during the rainy season, and can even reduce the risk of flooding by keeping excess dirt out of the water where it may build up and either block or divert the course of the waterway. Smaller trees work great as barriers when placed near stream beds and on slopes where storm water runoff can occur.

If you’re in North Central Texas and looking for quality, organically grown trees at competitive prices, look no further than Chambersville Tree Farm. Our operation is wholesale to the trade and open to the public for retail sales, conveniently located in the small community of Chambersville, just a short drive from Dallas and about 12 miles northwest of McKinney.

A Look At Gorgeous Mexican Feather Grass

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Mexican Feather Grass is a gorgeous type of ornamental grass that can be used for a variety of different home yards and growing situations. Those who develop this kind of grass need to know a few care tips and understand when it is a wise decision to raise it in their lawn.

A Look At Gorgeous Mexican Feather Grass

The Nature Of Mexican Feather Grass

Mexican Feather Grass is what is known as a mounding plant. This term means that it grows rather large and bulky, spreading far across your lawn when you install it. It is also effortless to fit in a yard because of its shape and size. Even better, its seeds will naturally spread in the wind, meaning that you can get more Mexican Feather Grass around your yard without doing a lot of work.

The Best Ways To Use This Plant

If you are interested in Mexican Feather Grass, it is wise to use it in a large mass. That’s because it so quickly spreads and is easy to maintain. It makes a perfect cover for the ground and is also a great way to cover hilly areas. If your yard has a lot of slopes, dips, and rises, Mexican Feather Grass is the perfect addition.

Care Tips For Mexican Feather Grass

Make sure that your soil has a pH range between 5.8-8.0 to avoid any damage to its roots. The soil must also be well-drained and aerated to provide its roots room to grow. Try to make sure it gets as much sun as possible, as this grass needs a lot of sunlight and warmth to succeed. Trim it during the later winter to help promote stronger growth in the spring and summer months.

If your goal is finding the best ornamental grass for your yard , please don’t hesitate to contact us today. We can help you find a the grass that suits your yard best, provide planting and care tips, and improve your yard to make it look better than ever.

How to Keep Your Japanese Maples Healthy This Fall

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How to Keep Your Japanese Maples Healthy This Fall

Japanese maples can add a splash of beautiful color to every yard. The red and purple leaves look great whether you have a large tree planted in the middle of your front yard or you have a collection of small, potted maples around your patio. Here’s how to keep them healthy as summer turns to fall.

 

The summer heat isn’t over yet.

If your home is on the border between the 9A and 9B hardiness zones, then your Japanese maples may have had a difficult summer. High temperatures and too much sunlight can overload the plant. If you have your maples in large pots and containers, keep them away from straight southern exposure for now; the relative shadiness of the east and north sides of your house are still the best places for them. If your tree is planted in the yard and you can’t shade it, make sure you protect the roots and base of the truck with a few inches of mulch. This will also help fight back the drought.

Diagnose leaf damage carefully.

If something is wrong with a plant, the general rule is that it’s been watered too much or it’s been watered too little. Plants can have the same withered leaves and yellow patches either way. But, unless you’ve been watering your Japanese maples frequently, the usual Texas culprit is too little water. So make sure both planted and potted maples have a good layer of mulch to hold in water.

But some leaf damage isn’t a sign of drying out. If you see irregular patches of crispy leaves, that could be sun damage. If most of the problem is concentrated on the southern side of a planted tree, it’s almost certainly the sun, so don’t increase your watering schedule just yet. While potted plants can just be relocated, on planted trees all you can do is remove the damaged leaves.

For more tips on how to care for your Japanese maples, or to add more varieties to your yard, go to Chambersville Tree Farm.

The American Chestnut: A Cautionary Tale

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There are a number of chestnut species throughout the world but the American chestnut is only native to the United States. It long provided versatile timber and food for the eastern United States and beyond. After millions of years of robust growth throughout the forests of its range, this species was brought to the brink of extinction through an invasive species. Luckily, there is hope that this remarkable tree will make a comeback.

The American Chestnut: A Cautionary Tale

According to The American Chestnut Foundation, this species was once prevalent throughout the eastern United States with approximately 4 billion trees. It was fast growing, large and tall and provided rot resistant, straight-grained wood suitable for numerous applications. The nut crop it produced was used as food for people, livestock and wildlife. It seemed the chestnut was a resilient tree that would be around forever.

Then the chestnut blight struck. Cryphonectria parasitica, the causal agent, began killing American chestnuts around the turn of the 20th century. It was accidentally imported from Japan via Japanese nursery stock and was first noticed in 1904. In approximately 40 years the species became functionally extinct. The blight doesn’t, however, kill the root system. Chestnuts have barely endured by sending out stump sprouts that grow well before ultimately succumbing to the blight and dying back, only for the cycle to be repeated. As long as there are chestnut stumps and viable roots, there is a chance this species can be saved.

Through breeding and scientific research TACF has been working to develop a blight-resistant strain of chestnut. There are plantation efforts underway throughout the chestnut’s native range but nothing has proven altogether viable. Through the work of countless volunteers and paid staff, tremendous fundraising and donations, and lots of research, the American chestnut has managed to hang on. But it would have been infinitely preferable to have avoided the situation in the first place. This is why it is critical to prevent invasive species from entering ecosystems and spreading.

One of the best ways to do this is to consult with local nurseries and tree farms to select native species that have been grown in the area. Contact us to discuss what trees that best suite your needs and will have minimal to no negative environmental impact.

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.