Mid-Winter Tree Care

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As we draw near to mid-February and winter is showing no signs of ending anytime soon, it may be time to get a little concerned for your trees. Most trees are pretty hardy, but a long winter can cause a lot of damage if you haven’t been maintaining proper tree care. One of the best things you can do for your trees right now is to give them a thorough inspection:

How to Save Your Trees in 10 Minutes or Less
Because Punxsutawney Phil didn’t give us the early spring we were hoping for, now is the time to prepare your trees for the remaining weeks of winter ahead and look forward to a happy, healthy spring. …

Even if you don’t notice any problems, there are still some preventative measures you can take to protect your trees – especially if there’s going to be more snow and ice:

“Branch breakage or splitting can be caused by ice and snow accumulation, or chewing and rubbing by animals. Prevent problems on young trees by shaking heavy snow or ice from branches and wrapping the base of trees in a hard, plastic guard or metal hardware cloth (metal flashing).” (Full article here.)

Additionally, watering your trees on a warmer winter day can be extremely beneficial in helping to prevent winter burn. The following video provides a good explanation of winter burn, and how to avoid it:

Hang in there – we’re over halfway through the winter. You and your trees can both make it!

Mid-Winter Tree Care appeared first on FairfaxTreeService.com.

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February Landscaping

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It’s a cold and gloomy February day. The sky is gray, with a mixture of rain and snow coming down. Gardening is probably the last thing on our minds – I know all I want to do is curl up in front of the fire with a cup of tea and a book. However, spring may not be as far away as it seems. If you want to preserve your gardens and landscaping, February can actually be an important month for preparing for the spring gardening spree:

February Landscape To-Do

It may not feel like it, but we are just about there.  Spring is knocking on the door. Here are some garden tips to tackle in February to help you get ready for the busy season ahead. …

Surprisingly, even if it’s still too cold to plant anything, there’re still some landscaping tasks you can do. You can also use the particularly cold days to start planning out your 2014 garden – and for this job you can stay curled up by the fire!

Finally, you can use those rare sunny days to get in some mulching. Here in the Fairfax/DC area we’ve had pretty varied temperatures recently. All this thawing and refreezing is hard on your plants – which is why you might consider adding a protective covering of mulch:

Winter Mulching in Cold Climate Gardens

In areas that experience freezing temperatures, winter mulching differs from mulching during the growing season. We mulch our gardens in the spring to suppress weeds, retain moisture and feed and warm the soil. While we may spread a layer of soil conditioning compost or manure in the fall…

Don’t let the winter doldrums get you down – use the wet days to plan ahead, and take advantage of those sunny days to get out there and start on your landscape!

February Landscaping appeared first on FairfaxTreeService.com.

Should I Have My Tree Removed?

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If you live in a tree-populated area, as most of us living in Virginia do, knowing when a tree needs to be removed is an important skill. As much as we love our trees, trees that are sick or dying, or large trees right next to the house can be highly dangerous.

Tree fallen through a house

In some cases, dangerous trees are easy to spot – limbs are falling off, the tree is becoming uprooted, it sways dramatically in the slightest breeze, etc. Any of these things are clear indicators that the tree is unstable, and depending on its size and location, should be removed immediately. Premium Lawn and Landscape has an article expounding on these aspects:

Should I Remove my Tree?

Tree removal is done for many reasons.  The most likely being that the tree is dead or a hazard.  Sometimes it is merely because it is unattractive or ugly.  Most trees add color and curb appeal to our properties.  So when and how do we know it is the right decision to remove a tree? …

However, sometimes it’s harder to notice a dangerous tree, which is why knowing how to properly inspect your trees is important. The four main things you ought to thoroughly examine are the tree as a whole, the ground, the trunk, and the canopy. This article discusses further:

How To Spot a Dangerous Tree

Every year, falling trees or branches cause tragic deaths and tens of millions of dollars in property damage. As a result, some homeowners have come to the unfortunate conclusion that they should get their big trees removed. But if the tree is healthy, this isn’t necessarily the best course of action! …

If after a proper inspection you believe that the tree is dangerous, you must now decide whether or not to have it removed. The tree’s size and location are the main things to consider.  If the tree is relatively small and in a remote location, where neither you nor anything on your property (including your house) are at risk if branches drop or the tree falls, then it is most likely fine to leave it. If, however, branches are going to fall on your car or your children, or the tree will take out your living room if it falls, then you should have it removed ASAP.  Contact your local tree removal service today to ensure a clean and safe removal.
 

Should I Have My Tree Removed? appeared first on FairfaxTreeService.com.

Creative Planters

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When I  think of landscaping,  I generally think of grandiose gardens or lawns, with pristinely trimmed shrubberies and brick/stone patios and walkways. Usually something like this:

Elaborate landscaping

Most of us, however, have neither the time nor the money to create, or even maintain  such a landscape. Bu just because you cannot afford brick walkways does not mean that you can’t have a pretty, simpler landscape of your own. Why not consider doing something creative with planters? Planters can add charm and character to your landscape, without breaking the bank. In fact, you can make some wonderful planters just with things you have around the house. Listotic has twenty-four super creative ideas:

24 Creative Garden Container Ideas

I suppose I’ve never been very creative in the garden; whenever I want to plant something, I always go for a boring old pot! But really, you can make a planter out of just about anything. Why not add a little bit of whimsy and charm to your garden with items you already have around the house? …

If you want to try smaller, decorative planters, perhaps just to decorate your deck or front or porch, you can even use objects you find at a thrift store! This woman was super creative with her $3 Goodwill finds:

Look around your house, see what you can use, and create your own, unique little landscape. Above all, think creatively!

Creative Planters appeared first on FairfaxTreeService.com.

Landscaping – Importance and Tips

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If you want your house to be noticed, whether you’re trying to sell it or you just want to stand out, landscaping is perhaps the most important aspect to consider. No matter how beautiful your garden in the back yard is, no one driving by is going to notice the house if the front is plain and unadorned. Check out the following video to understand more about why landscaping is important:

 Now that you have a better understanding of the importance of landscaping, why not consider improving it? The following article offers four relatively simple landscaping ideas for the new year:

Four Landscaping Ideas for 2014

A properly developed plan to landscape your home has long been known to add great value both in terms of lifestyle enhancement and resale. What is interesting is how significant that added resale value might be. A few years back, Walt McDonald the past president of the National Association of Realtors was quoted as saying, “When people ask me how they can get strong interest in their property…

 Or, perhaps you’re happy with your current landscaping, but are not sure if you are maintaining it properly. You might be surprised to know that appropriately caring for your landscape in winter can be just as important as caring for it in the summer:

Wintertime Tips to Keep Landscaping Safe

The Professional Landscape Network (PLANET) offers some tips for how to protect your plants during deep freezes and harsh winter storms. Some of them might actually come as a surprise, such as this one: Don’t remove snow from your flower beds; let the snow melt. Digging out plants from under compact snow can actually cause them more harm. …

 Don’t wait – now is the time for action. If you want new landscaping, you have the next month or so of winter to decide what you want done. Or if you just want to maintain what you have, don’t wait until spring and hope that everything comes back to life. Put the work into it now, and be thrilled with your summer blossoms.

Landscaping – Importance and Tips appeared first on FairfaxTreeService.com.

Hedge Trimming – A DIY Catastrophe?

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that a badly-trimmed hedge ruins the appearance of your otherwise-pristine landscaping.  This truth is one that many an inexperience trimmer who bravely attacked his hedge with a chainsaw has learned the hard way. If you are one such unfortunate individual, likely you now understand why such tasks are often best left to the professionals. However, if you are content with less professional results, some trimming tasks are perfectly fine to do on your own. The first thing to understand is that different trimming techniques and tools are required depending on your desired result. View the following video for some tips in this area:

 

 Another thing to be aware of is that not every kind of hedge needs to be trimmed. Occasionally, simply leaving the hedge to its own devices results in a beautiful, more natural appearance. Kristi Waterworth provides of a list of more ‘informal’ hedges, require little if any trimming:

Hedges That Don’t Need Trimming

Hedges make a yard feel cozy and secure, providing a screen from the outside world. Although the hedges of yesteryear were regularly trimmed, today more hedges are being created from bushes that have beautiful natural forms and don’t need to be trimmed. Your choice of informal hedges can include added benefits such as flowers — and even edible leaves. …

If, however, you want your landscape to be adorned with immaculately trimmed bushes, you would be wise to hire a professional. Read below to understand the full benefits of having it professionally done rather than attempting it yourself:

The Benefits of Hiring Landscapers for Hedge Clipping and Pruning

A hedge is comprised of closely growing bushes. Numerous bushes, shrubs and trees can become hedges with proper maintenance, care and clipping techniques. Any property will be beautified with hedges and other shrubbery that add a touch of class and sophistication. …

To summarize, if you are up for an adventure and do not mind the possibility of having haphazardly-trimmed bushes, by all means acquire the proper tools and do it yourself. But if you want a perfect landscape, then it is time to call in the skilled workers.

Hedge Trimming – A DIY Catastrophe? appeared first on FairfaxTreeService.com.

Christmas is Over – What to Do with Your Live Tree

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In my family, Christmas isn’t over until nearly all the needles have fallen off the Christmas tree. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration – but I’m fairly certain that at least once we still had a tree up in February. It just seems like such a waste to take a perfectly good tree into our house for Christmas, only to throw it out a few weeks later.  Fortunately, there are actually many more uses for your leftover Christmas tree than you might realize. This video from The Nature Conservancy discusses a few eco-friendly ways of recycling your tree:

You can also use the tree, or portions of it, to enhance your garden, help with landscaping, or create a good soil bed for spring planting. Did you know that you can even use pine needles as a sort of mulch? The following article suggest a number of creative uses for your dead tree:

10 Uses for Your Dead Christmas Tree

When the holidays are over, take down the tinsel, but don’t bag the tree. Its needles, boughs, and trunk can do more than hold ornaments.  …

Or, do you just want to get the tree out of your yard, but still recycle it? The opening of this article from the National Christmas Tree Association has five options for you to choose from:

Real Christmas Trees are Recyclable

After the holidays, don’t throw your Real Christmas Tree in the trash or set it on the curb. Real Christmas Trees are biodegradable, which means they can be easily reused or recycled for mulch and other purposes. Here are some recycling options and tips on what to do with your tree after the holidays. Every community is different, but in general, you have these options …

Because a Christmas tree is biodegradable, the possibilities for the tree to be reused in nature are numerous. My dad usually leaves our tree standing on our deck, near the birdfeeder, for a few weeks after Christmas. The birds love it, and it sometimes allows us to see different kinds of birds that would not normally venture so far from the safety of the tree line. So this year, when you’re getting rid of your Christmas tree, don’t just throw it on the side of the road for the trash collectors – be creative!

Christmas is Over – What to Do with Your Live Tree appeared first on FairfaxTreeService.com.