Welcome, September! The dog days of summer are coming to an end, and cooler temperatures means it's a great time to plant a tree! Earlier this 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 as a landscape accent or does it have a job, like shading a driveway or home?
Thankfully, the Nebraska Forest Service has published an awesome list of suggested trees for 2016. The trees from that list are shown below, along with their seeds/fruit, foliage and fall color. Click the tree name for more information!
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. We work with select local nurseries that provide quality stock. Call us if you're interested in planting any of these species!
16 Trees for 2016
Large Deciduous Trees (40'+ at maturity)
Small to Medium Deciduous Trees
Oak, Gambel (Quercus gambelii)
Mulch is a useful tool that benefits and beautifies your landscape in many ways, but you need to make sure you're installing it correctly in order for plants to reap those benefits instead of suffer. Unfortunately, many landscaping companies install "mulch volcanos," and we see so many instances of these around town that it's practically burned into our minds as the correct way to do it! WRONG! Some might find these volcanos to be visually appealing, but boy do they make us arborists cringe!
When choosing a new tree to add to your landscape there are lots of things to look for. Here are a few tips when purchasing a quality tree.
1. First of all… start at a LOCAL nursery or garden center.
2. A tree is only as good as its root system so that’s where we’ll start:
3. Evaluate the Crown
By following these basic guidelines you’ll be enjoying your new trees for years to come.
Diagrams courtesy of Dr. Edward Gilman
How did we decide on this tree? They were looking for a tree to plant near their driveway for shade, and a tree that would offer privacy for the house. The tree would have a somewhat limited canopy space later in its life because of other nearby mature trees and a power line. Ginkgos are heat tolerant, work well as street trees and are good for somewhat confined spaces. Lastly, the customer also loved the aesthetics of this tree and its gorgeous yellow fall color. Ginkgos are a great choice for southeastern Nebraska!
Eeny Meeny Miny Mo
Many times, deciding on which tree to plant is more complicated than, "Hey - that one's pretty!" There are a number of factors that should be considered to responsibly select the "right tree for the right place."
What is its purpose?
Size & Location
Fruit, Flowers & Foliage
Whew! That's a lot to consider!
So it's time to do some research. Please feel free to reach out to us if you need some suggestions or insight from a Certified Arborist!
Additional resources that may help you in your decision process:
Stay tuned for Part 2: Purchasing your New Tree
Our friends at the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum composed a nice list of the best (and worst) trees to plant in Nebraska and we thought we'd make a nice visual to go along with it!
Click here to read more about why or why not to plant these trees!
Amy Grewe, Certified Arborist & Co-Owner