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Keeping Fruit Trees Healthy Year-Round

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Keeping Fruit Trees Healthy Year-Round Gardeners or hobby farmers who are fortunate enough to have fruit trees on their property can testify to the feeling of accomplishment and self-reliance that comes when being able to walk out to your yard, pluck a perfectly ripe piece of fruit, and savor its juicy sweetness only moments after picking. Being able to grow your own fruit takes the concept of “fresh fruit” to a whole new level.

As any seasoned gardener will tell you, maintaining proper fruit tree health all year, not just during the growing season, will result in a big pay off when harvest time rolls around. In order to ensure your fruit trees are strong and ready to bear, we would like to offer the following suggestions for your consideration:

1. Ensure your fruit trees are receiving adequate water. Watering is especially important after the tree has set fruit, but routine watering during the entire year will contribute to the overall health of the tree. Many times, novice gardeners neglect to provide sufficient water while the tree is still a sapling and during the dormant season. While a tree’s need for moisture is less during these times, it still needs a regular drink, even if a small one.

2. Ensure your fruit trees are receiving proper nutrition. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are all necessary for trees to bear fruit, and maintaining a healthy balance among the three nutrients is important. A soil analysis would provide valuable information regarding deficiencies.

3. Remember, sometimes less is more. Reducing the overall pieces of fruit a tree bears is a technique known as “thinning.” By strategically removing some of the fruit while it is still small, the tree is able to put its energy into increasing the quality of the remaining fruit. Some trees, such as apricot trees, will drop fruit before fully developed if not thinned.

4. Proper care of your fruit trees does not end with the harvest. Avoid inviting pests and disease-causing pathogens into your yard by cleaning up any overripe or rotting fruit at the end of the growing season.

In a perfect world, the care and keeping of fruit trees would be effortless. Unfortunately, growing your own fruit isn’t quite as easy as sticking a sapling in a hole, then returning to find fruit on it at harvest time. However, the experts at Chambersville Tree Farm are standing by to answer any questions you have, or offer our suggestions on how you, too, can see an extravagant harvest from your trees. Contact us to learn more.

Add a Splash of Color to Your Yard with Crape Myrtles

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Add a Splash of Color to Your Yard with Crape MyrtlesOf all the plants we sell at Chambersville Tree Farm, crape myrtles are one of the most popular. With its beautiful, showy flowers that appear late in the summer, and its delicate crinkled bark, this tree is a great addition to any property because of their unique versatility. Crape myrtles can be planted in a linear fashion to form an interesting hedge to divide a yard from a neighboring property, or, because of its color, can be used as a focal point in a corner of a property.

Crape myrtles come in a variety of colors. The ‘Centenial’ species produces bright purple flowers that provide an amazing pop of color against the tree’s grayish bark. The ‘Natchez’ variety produces white flowers that stand out in contrast to its cinnamon colored brown bark.  If you are looking to add a splash of red to your surroundings, consider planting the ‘Watermelon Red’ variety, which changes to a golden auburn hue in the fall.

The crape myrtle prefers moist, well-drained soil and grows very well in warm, sunny locations. It is drought tolerant, but requires some deliberate watering during unusually dry summers. The tree grows quickly, and can quickly take on a bush-like appearance if not properly cared for. Suckers will insistently sprout from its trunk; removing them will help the tree put more energy into flowering and will contribute to the neat, clean look you desire on your property.

To learn more about maintaining your crape myrtles or for more information about how crape myrtles can add a splash of color to your property, contact us today!

The Importance of Tree Trimming

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The Importance of Tree TrimmingThere are many important reasons for tree trimming, otherwise known as pruning. If you are wondering why you should bother with trimming your tree, then you have come to the right place. To learn more about why pruning your tree is so important, then read on.

Safety

One of the most important reasons for tree trimming is so we can keep others safe. Tree branches can often become too heavy for the tree to support so, by trimming them, we can keep them from collapsing and falling on people, cars, and other property. We also trim trees to keep them from touching power lines, which can also be dangerous.

Healthy Tree Growth and Structure

Another reason that you should consider trimming your tree is because it can positively affect your tree’s growth and structure. When your trees are properly pruned, the branches can be trimmed to help the tree grow into a certain configuration of limbs and branches to ensure that the tree’s structure is more secure. Pruning the tree will result in an all around healthier tree that will experience less broken and damaged limbs and branches. Not only is pruning good for the healthy tree, but it is good for the dormant tree as well.

These are just a few reasons why you should consider trimming up your tree. There are many more reasons why you should prune your trees, however. If you have any questions or concerns about trimming your trees, please do not hesitate to contact us.

4 Ways Trees Are Good For Your Health

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4 Ways Trees Are Good For Your HealthYou know that trees are beautiful and good for the environment, but did you know that trees can also have a positive impact on your health? From improving the quality of the air that you breathe to boosting your immune system, there are many reasons to consider enriching your home and community with trees!

1. Trees clean the air you breathe by removing airborne pollution that can contribute to lung disease and reduced cardiac function. Planting more  trees can help reduce overall rates of premature death by preventing airborne pollution from aggravating existing lung and cardiac diseases (U.S. Forest Service).  And in addition to cleaning the air, trees provide much of the oxygen that our bodies need in order to survive!

2. Trees help you focus.  The presence of trees can help relieve mental fatigue and improve brain functioning by providing a visual break from the demands of modern life. Exposure to trees and natural settings can actually improve attention and performance on cognitive tasks.

3. Trees reduce stress. One study found that people who are exposed to trees have lower levels of stress hormones in their systems. This is important because, in addition to being psychologically damaging, stress has been linked to several chronic diseases including heart disease, asthma, and diabetes.

4. Trees boost your immune system. Spending time among trees can increase the number of immune cells that your body produces, which reduces your susceptibility to infection. The immune benefits can last for up to a week, showing that trees truly are powerful healers!

Trees are a healthy and beautiful addition to any home or business. Feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to help you find the best trees for your space!

3 Tips for Pruning Your Evergreen Trees

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3 Tips for Pruning Your Evergreen TreesThere is something truly wonderful about evergreens. They look great on both residential and commercial properties, and they’re easy to take care of. Plus, they add beauty and color to your landscaping all year long.

To keep your evergreens looking great, however, you do need to prune them. Luckily, evergreens don’t generally require a lot of pruning, so you’ll only need to make a few snips here and there. These are a few tips that can help you keep your evergreens well-pruned and looking great all the time.

Avoid Pruning in the Early Fall

It’s not a good idea to prune your evergreens in the late summer or early fall. If you do, you might encourage new growth on your evergreens. Then, the growth might not have time to fully grow before the temperatures drop.

Ensure There is a Dominant Leader

The main thing that you need to be worried about when pruning your evergreen trees is to ensure that each tree has a dominant leader. The leader is the tall vertical stem that sticks out at the very top. Some evergreens develop two leaders; in this case, you’ll need to snip one off.

Protect the Branch Collar

The branch collar of your evergreens actually protects the trunk from damage. Therefore, when you’re pruning, you should protect the branch collar and prune outside of it.

Remove Dead Branches

If any of the branches are dead or diseased, they should be snipped away to keep your trees looking great and to keep them healthy.

Pruning your evergreens will help keep them looking great. For evergreen trees that are beautiful and healthy, contact us at Chambersville Tree Farm.

How to Plant Japanese Maples

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How to Plant Japanese Maples

‘Inaba Shidare’ Japanese Maple

 

Very few trees are as stunning as Japanese Maples. With their vibrant red leaves and charcoal bark they are a lovely addition to any garden or commercial plot. If you have purchased one of these eye-catching trees or are planning to here are a few simple tips to go about planting it.

1. Location location location!

Japanese Maples prefer dappled shade, so any piece of ground near the thick foliage of older trees where sunlight still filters through is ideal for planting these trees. However, if this is not an option in your garden fear not any place that receives diluted sunlight will do.

2. Digging the hole.

You want the hole for your Japanese maple 2 to 3 times wider than the root ball. As this tree has shallower roots the wider you dig your hole the better. Also because of this you do not want to dig your hole very deep, it should be slightly shallower than the root ball.

3. Filling the hole.

To properly fill the hole you just dug, mix the native soil with 50% organic matter such as compost, soil conditioner or leaf mold. Then place the Japanese Maple in the center of the hole and fill it halfway with the soil you just mixed. Water the root ball and soil around it thoroughly, then fill in the rest of the soil. (The Japanese Maple should be slightly above ground level.)

4. Mulching

Surround the Japanese Maple with 2-3 inches of mulch (pine needles, pine bark or finely chopped leaves). This stabilizes the ground temperature and retains moisture.

5. Water!

Like most young trees Japanese Maples need to be watered regularly to successfully take root. So after you’ve planted your maple make sure to water once or twice a week for the first couple years.

If you have any questions or are interested in buying a Japanese Maple please contact us. We carry over 35 varieties of this beautiful tree to choose from in a wide selection of sizes, so we’re sure to have the right tree to suit your needs.

 

Digging a Proper Hole For Your New Tree

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Digging a Proper Hole For Your New TreePreparing a proper hole is a vital first step to planting a new tree or bush. Many novice gardeners, by failing to prepare a proper hole, set their new plant up for undue stress, which can hinder the establishment of a strong root system. Digging an appropriately sized hole is necessary for long-term tree health, so before you grab your long-handled shovel, consider the following:

  1. Depth – The hole should be as deep as the root ball or root mass. If you are planting in an area with poorly drained soil, dig a hole about two inches shallower than your root system. This will allow your tree to take in oxygen through its uppermost roots, and prevent it from drowning in saturated soil.
  2. Width – Here is where most gardeners go wrong. A good hole should be at least twice the diameter of the root system. Roots will quickly grow into surrounding soil that has been both loosened and improved.
  3. Nutritious soil –  To make sure your new tree or plant has plenty of nutrients to support establishment and new growth, you may need to amend your soil with nitrogen-rich organic compost. Be careful to add the compost to the entire hole, not just where the immediate root system lies. Otherwise, your roots will remain in that small area, and not venture out into the surrounding soil, which hopefully, you have already prepared by digging a hole that is at least twice the diameter of your plant’s root system.

Believe it or not, the Texas State Historical Association’s division of land resources recognizes over 1,300 different soil types in our state. If you are unsure of the attributes of soil on your property, a soil test may help you determine which plants would flourish on you property, or if your soil needs specific amendments. Contact us to learn more.

From Top to Bottom: Important Tips for Tree Health

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From Top to Bottom: Important Tips for Tree HealthA healthy tree is a happy tree. But when a tree’s health is compromised, the obvious signs of its ill-health are like a beacon for aid. Calling out in subtle ways that, when caught early enough, can save the tree.

Trees should be examined regularly for negative and potentially deadly diseases and problems, and late summer/early fall is the best time to be on the look out for hazards that can lead to limb loss or even tree death.

Don’t know what to look for? Here are some warning signs that your tree’s health is in danger.

Begin at the ground. The soil is the first thing you should look at. Near the root entrance, look for signs of fungus growth (an indicator of rot or decay) and other obvious defects, like hollow cavities or dead spots. Cracked soil or raised ground near the tree’s base are also a sign that the tree is uprooting, and it’s time to act.

From there, move to the trunk. A crack or split in the tree could quickly lead to a toppled tree. Identify spots where there is little to no bark. No bark could mean a dead section or a bout of fungus. If you see sawdust, insects have burrowed inside the decay and could be slowly eating the tree inside. Any of these signs means it’s time to call a certified arborist to save the tree.

Finally, take a close look at the branches. Dead branches are natural, but an over abundance of dead branches, or a surprising lack of needles falling from a pine tree might mean that decay is present. For larger, upper-level branches, you’ll need an aerial view. For the best results, hire an aborist to perform an aerial inspection to look for decay that may not be present from the ground.

For more information on how we can help you, please don’t hesitate to contact us for all of your tree needs. Want to visit? We are located just a short drive from Dallas and 12 miles northwest of McKinney in the small community of Chambersville.

Can You Plant Roses in Fall? Yes You Can!

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Can You Plant Roses in Fall? Yes You Can!Though fall is ideal for planting flowers for spring, is it right for planting roses?

While many gardeners would argue that some variety of roses have “special” times of year that work best for things like trimming, does that mean they also have a time of year that works best for planting?

Because we hold roses close to our hearts, and because of what they symbolize, we often view them as having special needs, which includes planting times.

But as it turns out, just like with most plants, roses don’t have a special planting time. Also, as it turns out, fall might just be ideal for planting roses!

This point, while not necessarily true for colder, northern states, holds true here in Texas. So to ensure that your rose planting is successful (even if you wait until next fall), here are a few tips to ensure a great start.

Wait until the nights get just a little cool before planting. Think of how it feels in late September. That’s perfect for roses. You can even wait until early October if the weather is still nice. Otherwise, if you wait until November, you might have missed the opportunity.

Because you want a strong root structure, don’t fertilize when you plant. Fertilizer can encourage too much top growth, and you want your newly planted beauties to grow strong roots for winter, which encourages a lovely spring bloom.

Leave the pruning for after spring. Having an open wound on a newly planted rose bush encourages cold weather to harm the plant, so hold off on the trimming.

Mulch fairly heavily around the rose plant. Mulch keeps the ground warm, which in turn helps roots establish. It also traps moisture and prevents cold from affecting the rose negatively.

Follow these tips and, come spring, watch the fruits of your labor grow into a beautiful, flourished and flowering rose bush.

Fore more information on how we can help you, please contact us any time.

4 Tree Trimming Tips For Your Japanese Maple

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Japanese maples4 Tree Trimming Tips For Your Japanese Maple are a beautiful tree with their red leaves and dark bark. They are a graceful addition to any landscape, even before they reach full growth. Each type of tree has its own, special appearance to add grace to a garden, yard or commercial landscape. After the first three years, these trees may need some trimming. There are a few easy-to-follow rules for tree trimming when dealing with Japanese maples.

When To Trim

Winter, summer and autumn are the only seasons to trim Japanese maples. During spring, the sap is rising in the tree and trimming damages the tree at that time. Major trimming is always done during the coldest months of the winter because the tree is dormant. This is the time to clean out all the dead leaves and branches. Summer and autumn are for minor trimming issues to make the tree look visually balanced and well-kept.

How Much To Trim From The Top

There are many forms this beautiful tree can take. Some species of maple grow into an umbrella shape. Never take more than one-third off the crown of this tree. For taller and less spread out maple trees, never take more than twenty percent off the top. Neither of these amounts count towards taking out the dead leaves and branches on the lower side of the tree.

How To Make The Cuts

Cutting with a sharp instrument, whether it is a pair of trimmers or a saw, is important. Making cuts with a sharp instrument causes less damage to the tree. Always cut back to the nearest bud when taking off a small branch. The bark will have a texture change at this point, making it easy to tell exactly where to cut.

What To Cut

Always take out dead leaves and branches first. Next look for branches that cross over one another, and choose one of them to cut out. When thinning the branches, choose those that will allow the most light to penetrate to the inside and lower branches of the tree. Thinning this way allows the lower branches fuller growth.

If interested in planting one of these colorful and graceful trees, please contact us today. We have more than 35 Japanese maple varieties available.