Remember the Archer family? They were one our three 2017 Gift of Beautiful Trees recipients, and we recently cut their split maple tree down that was heavily damaged in last June's tornadoes. (You can read more about their story here). Not long after we removed that tree, Cub Scout Troop 1885 was looking for an opportunity to plant a tree for a service project and they heard about the Archers through our Gift of Beautiful Trees charity program. The perfect match!
What to plant?
When clients and friends ask us, "What should I plant?" we always refer them to the ReTree Nebraska's list of 17 Trees for 2017. This is a great list of native or regionally adapted trees that do well in the Great Plains. And, when we can, we send our clients over to our good friends at Great Plains Nursery in Weston, NE where they have an amazing selection of high quality trees, most of which are grown from local seed sources. They take incredible care in ensuring their trees grow fibrous root systems, which lead to the best planting outcomes. Great Plains Nursery was so generous to offer to donate a tree to the Archer family. They chose a Northern Catalpa (my personal favorite!) which will be provide good shade over their house and their lovely June flowers will not only beautify their neighborhood, but also attract pollinators. What's not to love about a Catalpa? (Can you tell it's my favorite?)
Call in the troops!
With summer fast approaching, we needed to beat the heat and get the tree in ground soon. On May 8th, Troop 1885 met at the Archer's house, ready to dig! Okay, maybe Jeff did most of the digging. But we had plenty of helpers to move soil back into the hole and to water it in!
The scouts learned many tree planting tips and techniques. They got to see and feel the difference between fibrous roots (which take up water and nutrients), and structural roots (which give the tree stability). They got to see what a high quality tree looks like from a nursery that uses RootMaker bags, which prevent circling roots and encourage fibrous root systems. They learned how to plant a tree at the proper depth so as not to bury the root flare. They even learned how to properly mulch around the tree, and why mulching is important for protecting the trunk from weed trimmers and mowers, and regulating soil temperature and moisture. (Remember, Troop 1885: No mulch volcanos!)
There's no better way to teach the next generation of tree huggers than to give them hands on experience. We're honored that our community has continued to bless the Archer family with their generosity and kindness, and this new tree will continue to give back for decades to come.
We wrapped up our third annual Gift of Beautiful Trees program this month, providing tree trimming and removal services to THREE families in need this year. We were overwhelmed this year with the number of applications we received, and we couldn't just pick one family. We enjoyed reading each and every story that came through and were inspired and touched by how our community is full of so many good people seeking to care of their neighbors, friends and family. Trees truly are a living, breathing component of our community that tie us all together. Keep up the good work, Omaha!
Our crew made quick work of a few trees that desperately needed to come down. We also trimmed a beautiful red oak tree in the front yard and a silver maple over the roof. Her home got a major facelift, and we hope we also lightened the burden for Amelia who has worked so hard to support her family, all while being a great friend.
Congratulations again to our three recipients! We look forward to doing it all over again this December! Follow us on Facebook for updates and for information on how to nominate a family in need!
Please help us congratulate our newest Nebraska Certified Arborists, Nolan and Rick! These two have been dedicated for the last three months in attending courses and studying for their exams. They were tested in the areas of tree identification, pruning and tree structures, climbing and rigging skills, tree biology, insect and disease management, chemical application, and electrical and safety hazards. Continuing education is required to maintain this certification. What an accomplishment!
You can read more about the Nebraska Arborists Association and how to select a Certified Arborist here: http://nearborists.org/selecting-an-arborist/
Now that the Emerald Ash Borer has made its way to Omaha, homeowners with ash trees have an important decision to make: remove the tree, or preserve the tree. The solution isn't always simple, and we have conversations with each of our clients, taking into account each of their unique circumstances and needs. During these conversations, we find our clients' plans fall into one of these four categories:
DO NOT WAIT UNTIL YOUR TREE DIES TO REMOVE IT!
DEAD TREES ARE MORE EXPENSIVE TO REMOVE
The longer you wait to remove your tree, the higher the price tag. Healthy trees can be climbed or accessed in a straight forward manner. Dead or dying trees that have become brittle are extremely dangerous to remove and may require expensive equipment, such as a crane. That cost is passed onto the homeowner.
Oftentimes, the cost of tree removal isn't based on the tree's size alone. It is based on the tree's location and accessibility, the amount of material being hauled away, and the risk associated with removing it. Is the tree near a structure? Does the tree pose a great-than-average risk to the workers removing it?
SAVE MONEY; SAVE A TREE CARE WORKER
Tree removal is a risky business. In 2016 alone, 92 fatalities were reported to the Tree Care Industry Association. This number has increased every year since 2013, and it is no coincidence that as EAB sweeps across the U.S., dead and dying ash trees are changing the scene and increasing risk for tree care companies and their workers.
This risk is not limited to the tree care company - it could extend to the homeowner, as well. That's why it is ESSENTIAL that the tree care company you hire carries liability insurance AND worker's compensation insurance, so that if an injury or fatality were to occur, you are protected. Always ask to see current insurance certificates before hiring a tree care company, and understand that a company providing a low-ball bid may not be adequately covered by insurance. If you are collecting bids and one is significantly lower than the others, consider it a red flag and ask questions.
WATCH FOR CANOPY DIE-BACK
Are you planting a new tree this fall? Good for you! Fall is a GREAT time to plant a tree. Get that little guy in the ground as it enters dormancy (and we mean little: plant small trees!) and watch it take off in the spring!
Last year, we published a 3-part blog series about the ins-and-outs of tree planting: 1) Where and what to plant; 2) Finding quality nursery stock; and 3) How to plant it right! Still, we are asked frequently...
"What should I plant?" It's a complicated question, as every landscape is unique, and every homeowner has different expectations for what their ideal tree would offer. Should it be tall or wide? "Tidy" and easy to maintain? Flowering or fruiting? Should it offer sparse or dense shade? Is it purely for beauty in the landscape or does it have a job, like shading a driveway or home?
Thankfully, the Nebraska Forest Service publishes an awesome list of suggested trees each year. This year, it's 17 Trees for 2017. The trees from that list are shown below, along with their seeds/fruit, foliage and fall color. Click the tree name for more information!
New for 2017!
New to the list this year is the Turkish Filbert (aka Hazelnut) tree. You'll go "nuts" for its great yellow fall color! It's a medium/large deciduous tree with a unique pyramidal canopy shape that's more tall than wide, making it a great choice for a landscape that is short on space. And yes - you can eat the nuts!
This list is not all-inclusive, of course, but it does provide great trees that are proven to thrive in our region and that are readily available. If you need suggestions on where to find these trees, we've got suggestions for some great local nurseries that provide high quality stock at an affordable price. Please avoid big box stores, however tempting the price tag may be. Don't buy your tree where you buy your toilet!
17 Trees for 2017
Large Deciduous Trees (40'+ at maturity)
Small to Medium Deciduous Trees
Our Treatment Method
Arbor Aesthetics uses a macro injection system to flush iron (and/or manganese, depending on the species) directly through your tree's vascular system via injection sites at the root flare. These treatments are performed in the fall and can provide up to three years of green, happy leaves for your tree!
We're revolutionizing the tree trimming industry! Introducing Arbor Anesthetics - the new technology that allows us to humanely trim your trees. Now you can rest assured - your tree will feel absolutely no pain during the limb removal process! Isn't it time we treated our trees with more respect and humanity?
But all joking aside, there is a right and a wrong way to trim a tree. Trimming a tree correctly leverages a tree's own recovery system, which walls off decay and prevents the spread of disease.
Don't fool around with your trees! Hire a professional, Certified arborist, like Arbor Aesthetics Tree Service!
Time to freshen up that mulch, but remember - not too much!
I know, I know. We post this at least twice per year, but I won't quit until I stop seeing MULCH VOLCANOS! (Yep - I dove right into this volcano to dig down to the root flare!) Never bury the root flare under mulch or you'll be inviting decay and girdling roots to the party. We know you don't want that! Our brains have been programmed to prefer the volcano look, so do us a favor and SHARE this post so we can spread the word about proper mulching technique: No more than 2" deep, and not burying the root flare.
BONUS: Post a photo below of a properly mulched tree and we'll send you an infamous Tree Hugger t-shirt! Let's see some happy trees!
Amy Grewe, Certified Arborist & Co-Owner