With both Earth Day (4/22) and Arbor Day (4/27) fast approaching, it’s a perfect time to talk trees. Trees provide a long list of benefits, as well as adding beauty to our landscapes. From cleaning the air and providing shade to cool your home, to lovely spring blossoms and glorious fall leaves, trees can have a positive impact on our energy bills, feed birds and other small wildlife, and be the aesthetic focal point of a home’s exterior. Fall and early spring are the best times of the year to plant a tree in our region, but with proper watering, trees may be planted throughout the warmer months.
Where to Plant
Deciding where to plant a new tree largely depends on what you’d like to accomplish. Shade for your deck or patio? Broader shade for the sunniest and warmest side of your house? For aesthetic reasons? Knowing your goal before heading out to the garden center makes sense. Once a goal and location is determined, you’ll not only know which types of trees to search for, but also which are most suitable for your property.
What to Select
Next, it’s time to narrow your selections. Large deciduous trees will provide broad shade to your home, reducing your energy bills in both summer (with shade) and winter (letting the sun shine through after leaves fall). Flowering trees – such as various ornamental fruit trees in the spring and crepe myrtles in the summer – provide a lovely focal point and beautiful blossoms. However, if falling blossoms, fruit, and leaves are an issue, particularly around water features of any kind, evergreens are a great option and provide privacy as well.
How to Plant
Once your selection is made, you will need to prepare for planting. The general rule of thumb is to dig a hole that is three times wider than the root ball of your new tree at a depth that is equal to or slightly shallower than the root ball. Don’t be afraid to plant slightly higher than ground level – it’s where the most oxygen is available, plus trees tend to settle a bit after planting. Backfill the hole, being sure to break up the soil so that it is loose around the new tree, and water immediately. New trees require careful watering to get established, and how much water is dependent on your climate, rainfall, and soil – ask a local extension office or nursery what a proper water schedule should look like. And although adding fertilizer or amending your soil prior to planting is not recommended, a layer of mulch, kept a few inches away from the tree’s trunk, will help retain moisture and control weeds.
Design and Build Your Dream Home with Columbia Builders
Columbia Builders is the home builder of choice in Howard County, offering homes in Ellicott City, Elkridge, Laurel, Columbia, Marriottsville, Fulton, Clarksville, Dayton, and Brookeville. No matter what the size and scope of your project, we have the skills, experience, and resources needed to bring your vision to life. We offer a level of customization that is truly unmatched and are committed to using materials and craftsmen of the highest quality, so you can trust that your new home is built to last.
If you’re ready to invest in a home that is built with your needs in mind, trust in us. Give Columbia Builders a call today at 410-730-0215 or use our contact form here. You can also keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Houzz, and Youtube, and don’t forget to check back on our blog for more tips and information!