Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Best Types of Grass in Georgia

Grasses common to Georgia

When they’re getting a new lawn, people often don’t think hard enough about the type of grass they want to put down. There’s a wide range of grass types out there, varying in price, quality, and availability.

Whether you want something easy to maintain that the kids can play on, or a yard that looks great all year round, it’s important to know what landscaping options are available to you in Georgia. In this blog post, we’ll bring you a list of the top 7 types you can get in Georgia.

Georgia’s Climate

First, it’s essential to get a sense of the unique climate in Georgia to understand why not all types of grass in the US are suitable for landscaping here.

Situated in the South, Georgia is much better suited to what is known as warm-season grasses, that is, varieties that perform best when they are exposed to hotter temperatures with greater sunlight.

That’s why the majority of varieties on this list are warm-season grasses. toddsmariettatreeservices.com advises against buying cool-season grasses for landscaping unless you’re adding them to a mix with warm-season varieties.

1. Bahia Grass

Bahia grass is a resilient, coarse grass that’s especially useful for soil conditions with a poor level of nutrients. This type can survive where other varieties might not.

Bahia grass doesn’t mind being in the shade, so long as it’s exposed to a regular dose of sunlight.  You can leave the grass to grow two or three inches, meaning you won’t have to mow it every week.

2. Bermuda Grass

Bermuda grass is one of the oldest and most popular choices for lawns, thanks mainly to its resilience after heavy footfall. It’s especially ideal for sports fields. It’s fast-growing, though, so make sure you’ve got the time to mow it regularly.

Bermuda grass loves the sun, so it’s not the right choice for you if you have a lawn in a shady environment. And because it’s fast-growing, you’ve got to make sure you keep it in check by mowing regularly.

3. Centipede Grass

Centipede Grass has a moderate texture and is low-growing. It doesn’t even mind being in the shade for extended periods. Plus, this type is easy to manage and won’t grow out of control.

Don’t buy this variety if you’re looking for something that’ll grow fast – Centipede grass takes its time to reach its full potential. It’s also delicate and can’t withstand lots of activity.

4. St Augustine Grass

St Augustine Grass has a dark green color and a somewhat rough texture. Aside from being watered from time to time, this variety does not require lots of maintenance, and its blades can be left to grow. It doesn’t mind being left in the shade, either.

However, this isn’t the type of grass that can withstand lots of activity – it’s likely to get compacted and damaged if it’s trodden on regularly.

5. Zoysia Grass

Although it thrives best in hot, sunny conditions, Zoysia grass can also withstand cooler temperatures without any problems. This variety is soft to touch, and the blades usually grow together into densely-packed clusters.

However, don’t get Zoysia grass if you’re looking for something that’s low maintenance. This variety grows very quickly and is prone to spread into flowerbeds and other parts of your garden if it’s not carefully maintained.

6. Fescue Grass

fescue grass species is a popular lawn summer grass

Fescue Grass is best suited to areas deprived of shade, where other varieties might be unable to thrive. It has a smooth, thin shape which helps it grow quickly.

This variety is known for its resilience. It’s capable of surviving under a range of different temperatures and can withstand periods of drought. However, it does need regular watering in the summer, or it ends up receding and going dormant.

7. Blue Grama Grass

Blue Grama Grass is a bit of a wildcard on this list. It’s not a traditional type of grass used for lawns, and historically it was more likely to be found on unmanaged fields. However, it’s grown in popularity for garden landscaping in recent times due to its naturally unkempt appearance.

This grass type is not suitable to cover an entire lawn with, but it is useful as a decorative plant to surround the edges of a property or replace thin strips of grass in your garden. Best of all, it requires next to no maintenance, so you can let its long silky blades grow out to their full length.

Grasses In Georgia

Remember, the most critical factor in having an impressive, consistent lawn is the amount of time you spend on maintenance. Regardless of the grass type, no yard is going to look good if you neglect it.

That’s why when you choose a grass type for your landscaping, make sure you have a clear idea of how much time you’re able to commit to maintaining it, as some types require a lot more work than others.

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on: http://www.toddsmariettatreeservices.com/best-types-of-grass-in-georgia/

Thursday, August 26, 2021

What Should Be Pruned in the Fall?

Fall pruning to remove storm damage and dangerous growth

Prevent your shrubs and trees from becoming diseased and dying due to untimely fall pruning. Knowing when to prune your plants, shrubs, and trees in the fall will help you keep them thriving.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered the following information about the heightened risks of pruning activities performed during fall months.

The Risk of Early Fall Pruning

It is not advised to conduct ANY pruning activities in early fall. All pruning activities encourage new plant growth. When these activities occur in early fall (when the tree or plant is starting to go dormant), any new growth won’t have enough time to harden before the first frost and freezing temperatures set in. This tender new growth, damaged by freezing weather, can become a vector for infestations and disease.

Why Fall Pruning Is Discouraged

The dangers of early fall pruning include:

Disease – As the seasons change from summer to fall, rainfall is typically increased, creating a moist or wet environment that promotes the growth and spreading of disease-causing bacteria and fungi.

Infestation – Like disease infections, insect infestations are supported by a moist or wet environment. These conditions delay a tree or plant’s ability to heal pruning wounds.

Off-Season Growth – As mentioned, pruning encourages growth. Pruning a tree or plant before dormancy can result in tender growth that becomes a vector for disease and infestation (when damaged by freezing weather).

Tip: Put your pruning shears away for another couple of months and allow your trees and plants to go completely dormant. Once dormancy has settled in (after all the leaves have dropped), you can safely prune trees and shrubs.

Note: If you must perform fall pruning, wait for your tree, shrub, or plant to go completely dormant. This “fall” window of opportunity is generally between the Thanksgiving and New Year holidays. However, if you can wait, late winter (late February) pruning is far less risky.

Fall Pruning Exceptions

There are exceptions when pruning should occur in the fall like storm damage and dangerous growth

Some situations arise, demanding immediate pruning activities. While most of these apply to trees, large or overgrown shrubs may require similar attention. Be on the lookout for the following:

Overhanging or Dangerous Growth – When trees or large shrubs grow over a structure or lean in that direction, they can cause great concern. This is true, especially in regions prone to severe weather.

The solution to this predicament is to prune back the limbs or branches causing the concern or to remove the tree or shrub, eliminating the threat altogether.

Dead Limbs or Branches – For all plant life, dead wood represents an easy entryway for disease and insect infestation. In fact, dead limbs or branches may result from a disease or infestation and should be investigated.

This dead wood should be removed upon discovery, regardless of the season or circumstance.

Storm Damage – Severe weather events seemingly occurring more frequently and consequently causing sometimes catastrophic damages to trees, shrubs, and plants.

When you detect storm damage in your trees, shrubs, and plants, you should take immediate action to remove the damaged wood and prune back limbs that have snapped or broken off (eliminating rough or uneven surfaces). Handling storm-damaged trees is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. Minor damages can be resolved, but for more extensive damages, hire a professional tree service to help you sort out what can be salvaged and what is a threat and needs removing.

Plants and Shrubs That Should Be Pruned in the Fall

While the overall intent of this publication is to discourage fall/autumn pruning, the following species of plants and shrubs benefit from fall pruning:

  • Bearded Iris (Iris germanica)
  • Bee Balm (Monarda)
  • Bellflowers (Campanula)
  • Catmint (Nepeta)
  • Coneflowers (Rudbeckia)
  • Columbine (Aquilegia)
  • Daylily (Hemerocallis)
  • Phlox (Phlox paniculata)
  • Salvia (Salvia spp.)
Fall pruning should be done to specific plant species including daylilies

Counter to the standard, these above plant species do require fall pruning. However, to be more informed, read when should I prune trees and discover best practices of tree pruning?

Generally speaking, plants hardy in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 9 will need fall pruning.

No shrub species require fall pruning:

Shrub pruning should be treated the same as tree pruning. Early fall pruning can severely damage your shrubs and should be avoided until the shrub has gone dormant for the season.

Tip: You can and should prune shrubs any time it becomes necessary (broken branches, dead or diseased wood, or removing growth that is obstructing a sidewalk or road).

Alternatives to Fall Pruning

Fortunately, there is no shortage of activities you can perform in place of pruning. Your landscape will benefit from the following:

Rake Leaves and Debris – Most fungi and bacteria overwinter (lie in wait) in fallen leaves and debris. Rake this material up regularly and dispose of it from your property. Avoid composting these leaves and material as you may be cultivating harmful plant/tree pathogens.

Mulch – Offer a protective layer of mulch to trees, shrubs, and gardens for the winter months. A new or refreshed three to four-inch layer of organic mulch will help regulate soil moisture and temperature.

Fall activities can include mulching

Amend Your Soil – The fall season is also a good time to amend your landscape and garden soil with compost or fertilizer. A simple soil test can reveal which nutrients your soil is lacking.

Mark Your Trees – Instead of pruning, take a can of red or pink spray paint and mark the branches you’d like to remove at a more appropriate time. Branches to be marked may include:

Fall pruning can be avoided by marking the trees to be removed in winter or early spring
  • Branches obstructing free-flowing light and air through the canopy
  • Crossover branches that rub and cause open wounds to form in the canopy (remove the smaller of the two)
  • Low hanging branches that may interfere with foot traffic
  • Branches or limbs growing vertically (water sprouts)

Tip: The more prep work you can get accomplished in the fall, the less work you’ll need to do, and the better your landscape’s conditions will be in the spring.

Pruning in the Fall

In this article, you discovered what to prune in the fall and when your trees, shrubs, and plants respond best to pruning activities.

Knowing when and what to prune in the fall season will help you maintain the health and vigor of your plants, shrubs, and trees.

Haphazardly pruning in fall months can lead to diseased or infested plants, shrubs, and trees, sometimes resulting in catastrophic damages when they die or are destroyed in severe weather events.

Sources:
hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/2015/03-13/pruning.html
extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.html?number=B961&title=Pruning%20Ornamental%20Plants%20in%20the%20Landscape
johnson.k-state.edu/lawn-garden/agent-articles/trees-shrubs/fall-pruning.html
extension.usu.edu/archive/is-it-too-late-or-too-soon-to-prune
extension.umn.edu/news/prune-or-not-prune-0

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on: http://www.toddsmariettatreeservices.com/fall-pruning/

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Fusiform Rust Identification, Information, and Control

Fusiform rust disease forms galls on pine trees

Prevent your pines from becoming gall-ridden, sick, and dying trees. Knowing how fusiform rust develops and spreads will help you take the necessary steps to keep your trees safe.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered the following information, ways to identify, and control measures for fusiform rust.

What Is Fusiform Rust

Fusiform rust is a rampant and damaging disease of multiple pine species in the south and southeast. This lethal rust disease is caused by the fungus Cronartium quercuum f. sp. fusiforme. For this disease to complete its lifecycle and colonize a pine (Pinus) specimen, it must first find a host in the oak (Quercus) genus. The disease leads to rust galls and/or crippling cankers on pine tree trunks and/or branches.

Some of the more susceptible oak species include:

  • Water (Quercus nigra)
  • Willow (Quercus phellos)
  • Laurel (Quercus laurifolia)
  • Bluejack (Quercus incana)
  • Blackjack (Quercus marilandica)
  • Southern red (Quercus falcata)
Fusiform rust disease requires a tree from the quercus species to continue its lifecycle

While more than 30 pine species are affected by fusiform rust, the two most impacted species include:

Fusiform rust disease easily infects loblolly pines
  • Loblolly (Pinus taeda)
  • Slash (Pinus elliottii)
Fusiform rust disease easily colonizes slash pines

Fusiform rust is indigenous to the Southern States stretching from Maryland south to Florida and west to Arkansas and Texas.

Fusiform Rust Identification

The colloquial name of this fungus comes from the spindle-shaped (fusi-form) or tapered galls produced on pines at the infection site. In early spring, powdery, orange spores are produced by the fungus coinciding with the emergence of oak foliage.

In the tree’s weakened state, the following secondary pests may also appear:

  • Black turpentine beetles (Dendroctonus terebrans)
  • Coneworms (Dioryctria spp.)
  • Pitch canker fungus (Fusarium moniliforme var. subglutinans)

Note: The most common way to identify fusiform rust is in early spring, when its galls on pines produce the signature orange, powdery spores.

Fusiform Rust Lifecycle

What makes this pathogen intriguing is that it requires an alternate host (oak) for the fungus to complete its 5-step lifecycle. Consider the following:

  • In March, galls on pine trees produce aeciospores (the orange, powdery spores)
  • The spores are carried by wind to infect emerging oak foliage
  • In late spring or early summer, the oaks produce basidiospores on the underside of the infected foliage
  • The spores formed on oak foliage are then carried by wind to the growing tips of pine trees
  • The lifecycle of this clever pathogen completes as the pines are infected from late spring through early summer

This fungus may be unsightly during its lifecycle, but it does little to no harm to the oak foliage it colonizes.

Fusiform rust disease uses two hosts one oak and one pine species

Note: The annual timing of this entire lifecycle may vary depending on geographic location and when average temperatures are higher.

How Do You Treat Fusiform Rust

Fusiform rust management in a forest or landscape setting poses interesting challenges but can be accomplished over time with patience. Consider the following three control methods:

Oak Host Management – When seasonally appropriate, susceptible oaks (like those listed above) in and immediately adjacent to pine stands should be chemically treated, pruned, and fallen foliage collected and destroyed. Hire a professional tree service to help you suppress potential infections.

Although spores that infect pine species can be transported extremely long distances by wind, nearby infected oaks tend to account for most of the surrounding pine infections.

Pine Host Management – Avoid planting rust susceptible pine species in locations where fusiform rust is or has been an issue. Pruning branch cankers and removing diseased branches can help lower trunk infection potential. However, once the trunk is infected, branch pruning is not recommended. Diseased pine trees are not a direct risk to surrounding healthy ones since spores that infect pines come only from oak leaves.

If you are working with a dense planting site, hire an ISA-certified arborist to help you with sanitation thinning (of infected trees), creating an age-diversified stand, all while avoiding exceeding planting densities which may result in secondary insect infestations and infections.

Pathogen Management – Consider sanitation thinning where you have multiple pines growing. Remove pines with trunk galls and those riddled with branch galls. Pruning pines with multiple branch galls is not preferred or recommended. These pruning activities, when done from February through June, may result in the colonization of these pruning wounds.

Fusiform rust disease control includes sanitation thinning

Stand or specimen burning is not recommended. However, when burning is prescribed, avoid igniting resinous trunk cankers, which will likely end with charring and potential tree death.

Currently, one of the better fusiform rust management methods is prevention. This is best accomplished by planting (naturally or engineered) resistant pine species and treating oaks growing in the vicinity of your pines.

Fusiform Rust – Cronartium Quercuum f. sp. Fusiforme

In this article, you discovered information about fusiform rust, how it is identified, and several control methods.

Understanding the unique way this disease completes its lifecycle and how it is entirely dependent on a secondary host species will help you control it in forest, landscape, nursery, and planting for future harvest.

Neglecting to address fusiform rust will lead to the formation of galls and cankers that can severely weaken the tree, reduce its value for timber, increase wind susceptibility, and cause its death.

Sources:
fs.fed.us/research/invasive-species/plant-pathogens/fusiform-rust.php
forestry.alabama.gov/Pages/Informational/Diseases/Fusiform_Rust.aspx
tfsweb.tamu.edu/uploadedFiles/TFSMain/Manage_Forest_and_Land/Forest_Health/Stewardship/Fusiform_Rust.pdf
forestry.ces.ncsu.edu/2017/04/so-what-is-the-orange-stuff-on-my-pine-trees/
aces.edu/blog/topics/forestry/managing-fusiform-rust-on-loblolly-and-slash-pine-in-forest-and-landscape-settings/
forestpests.org/nursery/fusariumrust.html

Photo credit: Robert L. Anderson, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org.

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on: http://www.toddsmariettatreeservices.com/fusiform-rust-identification-information-and-control/

Friday, June 25, 2021

Pecan Phylloxera Identification and Control

Phylloxera galls appear on leaves from insect feeding activities

Prevent repeated pecan phylloxera infestations from severely damaging or killing your pecan trees. Knowing how to identify and control phylloxera will help you stop this insect from slowly debilitating your tree and take measures to effectively control it.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered the following information about pecan phylloxera, the damage it causes, how to identify it, and what can be done to control it.

What Is Pecan Phylloxera

Pecan phylloxera is an insect that can cause significant damage if ignored or treated incorrectly in pecan orchards. Phylloxera can attack pecan tree shoots, leaves, and fruit. Due to the life cycle of phylloxera, timing is very vital to controlling the infestation. Once you see that galls have developed, it is too late to stop the infestation in the current season. The following are three species of phylloxera and the galls they form:

Pecan Phylloxera (P. devastatrix Pergande) – This insect species produces large, green galls on stems, twigs, petioles, midribs, and nuts. Winged phylloxera emerge from these galls.

Pecan Leaf Phylloxera (P. notabilis Pergande) – This species causes small galls to develop next to the midribs or veins of leaflets. The galls are oval to spherical, open on the ventral surface of the leaf, are typically evenly green on the top, and often appear reddish beneath. Winged phylloxera also emerge from these galls.

Southern pecan leaf phylloxera (P. russellae Stoetzel) – This phylloxera species causes the formation of small galls on leaf surfaces between the veins. The galls are round and somewhat flat, open on the ventral surface. The opening will typically contain dense, short, white hairs. Phylloxera emerging from these galls are wingless.

Pecan Phylloxera Damages

Phylloxera damages can appear as dieback chlorosis fruit damage and allow secondary infestations

Pecan phylloxera in isolated cases does not cause any significant damage to its host tree. However, large and/or repeated infestations can result in the following:

  • General wilting and/or drooping
  • Chlorosis of affected foliage
  • Dieback of affected branches
  • Early leaf drop
  • Weakened/Declining tree health
  • Causes increased susceptibility to secondary infestations and diseases

Note: For trees with previous disease and infestation incidences (including repeated and heavy phylloxera infestations), significant phylloxera infestations can ultimately lead to or participate in the host tree’s death.

How To Identify Pecan Phylloxera

Pecan phylloxera are tiny insects resembling aphids (without the cornicles) that range from cream to a pale yellow color. Phylloxera have sucking mouthparts and are 1/10 to 1/5 inch long. Their feeding stimulates the tree to produce galls on leaves, stems, and nuts where wounded. The phylloxera reproduce inside the galls. All phylloxera species overwinter in the tree or orchard and feed on new growth in the spring.

Pecan Phylloxera Lifecycle

The three species of phylloxera follow somewhat identical lifecycles. Observe the following:

Eggs – Phylloxera overwinter as eggs in sheltered spots like bark on the tree trunk or branches, within opened/spent galls, underneath the carcasses of dead phylloxera, etc.

Stem Mothers – The young that hatch from overwintered eggs are referred to as “stem mothers” and appear around the same time new foliage and growth begin to emerge.

Gall Formation – As the stem mothers hatch, they migrate to emerging tissue to begin feeding. This feeding stimulates the host tree to develop galls that enclose the insect within a few days.

Phylloxera galls enclose and shield the insects as they mature

Nymphs – Inside the galls, stem mothers mature, lay their eggs, and die. Shortly after that, nymphs hatch from the eggs and feed until the galls split open in late spring or early summer, at which time new adults emerge.

The following are how each of the species continue their reproductive cycles:

Pecan Phylloxera (P. devastatrix Pergande) – Winged, asexual adults emerge from the galls and migrate to other parts of the same or nearby tree where they deposit small eggs that hatch into male insects and larger eggs that hatch into female insects. Once mated, the females die with a fertilized egg still inside them (protected for the winter). This species produces one generation of galls per year.

Pecan Leaf Phylloxera (P. notabilis Pergande) – Winged, sexual adults emerge from the galls resulting from the stem mother. These adults mate and the females locate a protected place to lay a single egg (which also hatch asexually) before they die. This species crawls to new areas of foliage on the same tree and forms a second and, sometimes, a third generation of galls in a single season.

Southern pecan leaf phylloxera (P. russellae Stoetzel) – These produce wingless, sexual adults in the galls resulting from the stem mother. The females will crawl to protected/secluded places to lay their single eggs. These eggs are typically not entirely laid by the female, remaining attached to her dead body. This species only produces one generation of galls per year.

Watch this video to see phylloxera insects inside a gall.

Pecan Phylloxera Control Measures

If any of the phylloxera species are present, insecticide applications should be made to your tree(s) between bud swelling and early leaf expansion (when the leaves have begun to unfurl). If galls are found, another insecticide application should be made the following year. Consider the following when acquiring an insecticide for phylloxera control:

  • Acquire adequate equipment to thoroughly distribute (spray) the insecticide on infested specimens
  • Select an insecticide containing a growth or reproductive inhibitor
  • Use insecticides containing carbaryl as an active ingredient; it is one of the most readily available phylloxera treatments for homeowner applications
  • Solutions containing neem oil are also highly effective, killing small soft-bodied insects like phylloxera on contact
  • Imidacloprid (made to mimic nicotine, which is lethal to insects) is also a good, systemic choice for phylloxera control.
  • Learn the recipe for how to make your own insecticidal soap to combat pests – toddsmariettatreeservices.com/insecticidal-soap-recipe-control-tree-pests/

You can reduce or eliminate the potential for such infestations by planting resistant cultivars and promoting their vigorous, healthy growth.

Tip: Insecticide applications must be made prior to gall formation. Once the insects are enclosed in the galls, reliable control is no longer possible.

Watch this video for more on pecan phylloxera

Disclaimer: This website provides general information only about a chemical or class of chemical products; it does not and cannot provide detailed safety information specific to any particular consumer product, it is not intended to be comprehensive or complete, and it should not be relied upon to ensure safe and appropriate use of any particular insect control product. Read product labels for warnings, advisories, and instructions.

Southern Pecan Leaf Phylloxera

In this article, you discovered information about the several pecan phylloxera species, the damage they can cause, ways to identify them, and control methods.

Knowing when to take action against phylloxera is as crucial as how to do it. Enacting well-informed and timed control measures will help you keep phylloxera infestations under control.

Ignoring or incorrectly treating a phylloxera infestation can allow its rapid proliferation, decline in overall tree health, and eventual tree death.

Sources:
hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/southern-pecan-leaf-phylloxera/
entoweb.okstate.edu/ddd/insects/phylloxera.htm
extension.msstate.edu/sites/default/files/newsletter/bugwise-newsletter/2016/2016%20BugWise%20No%202%20-%20Pecan%20Phylloxera.pdf

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on: http://www.toddsmariettatreeservices.com/pecan-phylloxera-identification-and-control//

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Tree Root Pruning

Tree root pruning to encourage feeder root growth

Root pruning can prevent your tree from dying when it comes time to transplant it. Knowing the ins and outs of root pruning will help you smoothly relocate your tree.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered the following information about what root pruning is, why you should root prune, how to do it, and when it is necessary.

What Is Root Pruning

Root pruning is the practice of encouraging tree root growth (before transplanting) by severing existing roots at the tree’s drip line – the ground equivalent of the outer extremity of the tree’s crown.

This practice encourages new feeder root growth within the root ball to be transplanted along with its tree. Smaller root balls, with multiple feeder roots, help the tree acclimate faster to its new environment and soil.

Established trees have roots that reach out far beyond the tree’s drip line. These longer roots are used for anchoring and support. Most small feeder roots, which deliver water, food, and nutrients to the tree, will likely be found on these far-reaching roots at a greater distance from the tree.

It is nearly impossible, in most cases, to include all of these roots in the tree’s root ball. Yet, the more roots a tree has when it is transplanted, the faster and better it will adjust to its new location. Thus, root pruning is performed to encourage root growth before being transplanted.

Watch this video to see how root pruning can be accomplished without cutting roots.

Why Root Pruning Is Necessary

When a tree is unearthed for transplanting, the portion of the roots taken (the root ball) is only the circumference of the drip line, often less. Since the tree will be dependent on this root ball for most of its nutrients and water, it will need feeder roots within the root ball to continue sustaining itself during transplant shock. To encourage feeder root growth, closer to and within the drip line, the long anchor roots are pruned off.

How To Prune Roots

Root pruning is the severing of tree roots around the tree’s entire drip line. This can be accomplished by slicing down with a sharp spade. Consider the following steps:

  1. Dig a trench around the outer edge of the tree’s drip line
  2. Cut any roots you encounter with a sharp spade or shovel edge
  3. Keep going until you have dug down far enough to sever the majority of the roots
  4. Once you are satisfied with your work, fill in the trench with the soil you dug out
  5. Replace the soil as it was, with the topsoil on top
  6. Finish the pruning job by deep watering the tree
Tree transplanting requires deep watering after the roots are pruned and it is replanted

Note: The larger the tree’s root ball, the more feeder roots it will have for a successful transplant. However, larger root balls are increasingly heavy. Transplanting an established tree is not a job for one person, and you should consider calling a professional tree service for assistance.

When To Root Prune

Transplanting a tree isn’t a project that can be done on a whim without severely crippling or killing your tree. It’s going to take time, observe the following:

  • If your tree will be moved in the fall, prune the tree’s roots in the spring; if the tree will be transplanted in the spring, prune the tree’s roots in early fall. This window of 6-7 months is enough time for new feeder root development.
  • When transplant day arrives, dig out the trench and extract the root ball. Look closely and find that your previous pruning activities caused many new feeder roots to grow within the root ball (right where you need them to be).
Tree root ball excavation for transplanting

Note: Root pruning, besides stressing your tree, leaves multiple open wounds that can fall victim to opportunistic pathogens, fungi, and pests.

Tip: Avoid root pruning activities if your other trees or plant life have recently been affected by disease or insect infestation. A professional tree service should be called in to evaluate and treat any disease or insect problems before starting a root pruning project.

More Reasons To Root Prune

Moving or transplanting a tree are not the only reasons to root prune. Root pruning also serves to:

  1. Maintain the size of “dwarf” trees. When dwarf trees start to grow beyond their desired height or crown size, root pruning will shock the tree, causing it to divert its energy to root growth.
  2. Encourage fruit trees to bloom. The tree thinks it is being attacked and sets a stress crop to propagate itself.
  3. Slow the growth of potted plants that have outgrown their container. If you don’t want to move it to a larger container, root pruning and replanting (in the same container) with fresh soil should do the trick.
  4. Remove surface roots that disrupt or invade your lawn (continuous damage to these roots may cause disease or infestation to weaken and eventually kill your tree).

For more on how to stop, remove, and kill invasive roots, visit toddsmariettatreeservices.com/tree-root-killing-removal-cutting/

Root Pruning

In this article, you discovered information about root pruning, why it should be done, how you can safely do it, and when it should be done.

Proper root pruning allows you to safely transplant an established tree without causing it to undergo severe shock.

Failure to root prune before moving an established tree leaves it without necessary feeder roots, starving it of water and nutrients, and can lead to its rapid decline and death.

Sources:
hort.ifas.ufl.edu/woody/root-prune-guidelines.shtml
hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/transplanting-established-trees-shrubs/
extension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/sp571.pdf
extension.psu.edu/transplanting-or-moving-trees-and-shrubs-in-the-landscape

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on: http://www.toddsmariettatreeservices.com/root-pruning/

Friday, April 30, 2021

6 Fast Growing Evergreen Trees for Shade and Privacy

Evergreen thuja privacy and shade hedge

Having your home or family activities on display for nosy neighbors is unnecessary. Knowing which fast-growing evergreen trees to plant for screening and shade will help you regain your privacy, outdoor comfort, and potentially increase your property’s curb appeal.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered the following information about fast-growing evergreen trees to help you make informed decisions about planting the right shade and privacy trees in your yard.

Fast-Growing Evergreen Trees for Privacy


The following evergreens are fast-growing, long-lived, and highly recommended for planting as a year-round privacy screen.


American arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) – Also known as eastern arborvitae, this species is most well-known and potentially the hardiest of the arborvitae.

Evergreen thuja hedge trees
  • Growth and Dimensions – Provided optimal growing conditions, American arborvitae can grow as fast as 3 feet per year and reach heights of 40 to 60 feet with a spread of 4 to 12 feet at maturity.
  • Hardiness Zone and Lifespan – Thuja occidentalis thrives in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 8 and can live from 50 to 150 years.
  • Planting and Spacing – Plant arborvitaes in full sun or partial shade. The soil should be well-drained and free from clods, rocks, large weeds, and invasive plants that will compete for water and nutrients. Since this species reaches an average of 10 feet across at maturity, planting them 10 feet apart will work best in most scenarios.
  • Pricing – Thuja occidentalis can be found between $15 and $20 for a 1 to 2-foot specimen and $45 to $55 for a 2 to 3-foot tree.


Note: Depending on the species and cultivar, arborvitae can grow as a shrub remaining under 3 feet tall or as a 70-foot tree 25 feet wide.

Green Giant Arborvitae (thuja standishii x plicata) – Also known as Thuja plicata “Green Giant,” this tall, narrow, evergreen tree can be planted for privacy or as a specimen.

Evergreen thuja shade and hedge trees
  • Growth and Dimensions – When planted in optimal conditions, Thuja plicata can grow as fast as 4 feet per year and reach heights of 45 to 65 feet with a spread of 12 to 20 feet at maturity.
  • Hardiness Zone and Lifespan – Thuja plicata thrives in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 8 and can live from 40 to 60 years.
  • Planting and Spacing – Plant this arborvitae in full sun with partial afternoon shade. Soil should be moist but well-drained. Besides being drought tolerant, this species is pest and disease-resistant. Planting these trees 5 feet apart usually works best for privacy screens.
  • Pricing – Thuja plicata can be found between $15 and $30 for a 1 to 2-foot specimen and $30 to $55 for a 2 to 3-foot tree.

Note: Arborvitae’s rot-resistance and fragrant qualities make it a popular choice for roofing shingles, hope/storage chests, and some musical instruments.


Leyland cypress (Cupressus × leylandii) – This fast-growing conifer is a hybrid cross between the Monterey cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) and nootka false cypress (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) species. Leyland cypress wood is popular in furniture making and boatbuilding.

Evergreen cypress trees for shade and privacy
  • Growth and Dimensions – When properly planted and cared for, Leyland cypress can grow from 1.5 to 3 feet per year and reach heights of 60 to 70 feet with a spread of 15 to 25 feet at maturity.
  • Hardiness Zone and Lifespan – Cupressus × leylandii thrives in USDA hardiness zones 6 through 10 and can live from 10 to 20 years.
  • Planting and Spacing – Plant Leyland cypress in full sun or partial shade. The soil should be moist, well-drained, and acidic to slightly alkaline with a pH between 5.0 and 8.0. Planting this species 4 to 6 feet apart will provide a decent privacy screen within 2 to 4 years. If you are not in a hurry, plant your cypress trees 6 to 15 feet apart.
  • Pricing – Cupressus × leylandii can be found between $15 and $25 for a 1 to 2-foot specimen and $35 to $45 for a 2 to 3-foot tree.

Tip: When planting along a fence, plant your Leyland cypress trees a minimum of 5 feet from the fence; this will allow them space to grow in that direction as well.

Fast Growing Evergreen Shade Trees

The following evergreen trees are fast-growing and highly recommended for planting as year-round shade trees.

Eucalyptus Trees (Eucalyptus globulus) – This delightful, fast-growing evergreen tree is highly popular for its fast growth, year-round shade, and commanding presence when it reaches maturity.

Evergreen eucalyptus trees for shade and privacy
  • Growth and Dimensions – When properly planted and cared for, a eucalyptus tree can grow from 3 to 4.5 feet per year and reach heights of 150 to 180 feet with a trunk diameter of 4 to 7 feet at maturity.
  • Hardiness Zone and Lifespan – Eucalyptus globulus thrives in USDA hardiness zones 8 through 11, and most species live from 200 to 250 years.
  • Planting and Spacing – Plant eucalyptus trees in full sun or partial shade. The species will tolerate a wide range of soil types as long as it is well-drained with low salinity. When planting multiple eucalyptus trees, they should be spaced 30 to 40 feet apart.
  • Pricing – Eucalyptus trees ready for planting can be found between $75 and $110 for a 1 to 2-foot specimen and $50 to $70 for a 2 to 3-foot tree. Depending on the species and size of the tree, these prices can fluctuate dramatically.

Note: Considered by many to be one of the most beautiful tree species planet-wide, the rainbow eucalyptus (Eucalyptus deglupta) transforms Into a rainbow as its bark sheds.

Boxwood Tree (Buxus sempervirens) – Also known as American boxwood, common boxwood, and European box, this plush, dark green species is often referred to and considered a shrub.

Evergreen boxwood trees used for privacy hedges and shade
  • Growth and Dimensions – When properly planted and cared for, boxwood trees can grow from 6 to 12 inches per year and reach heights of 15 to 20 feet with a spread of 15 to 20 feet at maturity.
  • Hardiness Zone and Lifespan – Buxus sempervirens thrives in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 8 and can live from 20 to 30 years.
  • Planting and Spacing – Plant boxwood trees in full sun or partial shade (in warmer climates, boxwoods will benefit from afternoon shade). The species will tolerate a wide range of soil types as long as it is well-drained.
  • Pricing – Buxus sempervirens can be found between $25 and $60, depending on the species and size.

Note: Boxwoods are frequently pruned into specific shapes and commonly found in topiaries.

Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) – This species is often referred to as eastern hemlock or Canadian hemlock and, before medical advancements, was considered valuable for its medicinal value. Today, the species is more commonly used for shade.

Evergreen hemlock privacy trees
  • Growth and Dimensions – Given optimal growing conditions, Tsuga canadensis can grow as fast as 2 feet per year and reach heights of 40 to 70 feet with a spread of 25 to 35 feet at maturity.
  • Hardiness Zone and Lifespan – Tsuga canadensis thrives in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 8 and can live up to 800 years, often taking 200 to 300 years to reach maturity.
  • Planting and Spacing – Plant hemlocks in partial shade for best results. The soil should be well-drained sandy or loam. This species should be planted 30 to 40 feet apart and 15 to 20 feet from structures.
  • Pricing – Tsuga canadensis can be found between $80 and $140 for a 5 to 6-foot specimen and $150 to $180 for a 6 to 7-foot tree.

Note: Besides making an excellent shade tree, Eastern hemlocks also respond well to shearing, making them a dense and graceful privacy screen.

If you would like more options, see our blog post for 5 Popular Marietta Georgia Shade Trees.

Fast-Growing Evergreen Trees

Evergreen trees add an elegant touch to your landscape, often without much maintenance required to keep them healthy and vigorous. However, not all evergreen trees are created equal. Some evergreen tree species grow incredibly fast, dwarfing other tree species in a matter of one or two growing seasons, making them highly desirable when planted for privacy and shade. Evergreens are pretty resistant, but winter freezing temperatures can be problematic. Once planted, learn about Tips for Protecting Your Evergreen Trees and Shrubs this Winter to protect your investment and see to it that they become the healthy shade trees you intended.

Evergreens for Privacy and Shade

In this article, you discovered species, planting, and pricing information about fast-growing evergreens for shade and privacy.

Knowing how evergreens grow, you can make informed decisions about which species will suit your landscape better as shade trees or as privacy screening.

Not knowing which evergreens to plant for screening may lead you to plant slow-growing species, delaying the time it will take to regain your privacy.

Sources:
hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/leyland-cypress-alternatives/
arborday.org/trees/treeguide/treedetail.cfm?itemID=779
plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/thuja-green-giant/
plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/cs_tsca.pdf
ag.ndsu.edu/trees/handbook/th-3-149.pdf
trees.stanford.edu/ENCYC/EUCglo.htm
web.extension.illinois.edu/treeselector/detail_plant.cfm?PlantID=279
uaex.edu/yard-garden/resource-library/plant-database/shrubs/common-boxwood.aspx

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on: http://www.toddsmariettatreeservices.com/6-fast-growing-evergreen-trees-shade-privacy/

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Tree Pruning in Spring

Spring tree pruning is often necessary to remove disease or dead wood

Prevent the dead wood on your trees from attracting infestation and disease. Knowing which trees you can prune in the spring will help you promote their health and vigorous growth.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information on pruning trees and shrubs in springtime, which trees to never prune in spring, and some of the diseases and insects to be aware of.

When To Prune Trees in Spring

Should I prune in early, mid, or late spring? This answer depends on when and how your tree blooms.

Consider the following species and their blooming patterns:

  • Abelia (Abelia x Grandiflora) Prune in early spring. Blooms in summer.
  • Apple trees (Malus Domestica) Prune in early spring. Blooms in mid to late spring.
  • Apricot trees (Prunus armeniaca) Prune in early spring. Blooms in early spring.
  • Azalea (Rhododendron) Prune after spring flowers fade. Blooms from early spring to late summer.
  • Chaste trees (Vitex agnus-castus) Prune in early spring. Blooms from late spring until early fall.
  • Cherry trees (Prunus avium) Prune in early spring or mid-summer. Blooms in mid-spring
  • Chokecherry trees (Prunus virginiana) Prune in early spring. Blooms in late spring.
  • Clethra or Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia) Prune in early spring. Blooms in mid-summer.
  • Crabapple trees (Malus) Prune in early spring. Blooms in mid to late spring.
  • Dogwood trees (Cornus florida) Prune in early spring during dormancy. Blooms in mid to late spring.
  • Forsythia (Forsythia x intermedia) Prune in late spring after blooms fade. Blooms in early spring.
  • Hawthorn (Crataegus) Prune in early spring. Blooms in late spring or early summer.
  • Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) Prune in spring. Blooms in mid to late summer.
  • Juneberry trees (Amelanchier lamarckii) Prune in early spring. Blooms in mid-spring.
  • Lilac trees (Syringa reticulata) Prune immediately after spring flowers fade. Blooms in early spring.
  • Magnolia trees (Magnolia grandiflora) Prune immediately after spring flowers fade. Blooms in early spring.
  • Peach trees (Prunus persica) Prune in spring as buds swell. Blooms in spring.
  • Pear trees (Pyrus calleryana) Prune in early spring before bud swell. Blooms anytime through mid-spring.
  • Plum trees (Prunus domestica) Prune in early spring before bud swell. Blooms in early spring.
  • Roses (Rosa) Prune in early spring before leafing. Blooms in spring, summer, and fall.

Maple (Acer), Walnut (Juglans), and Birch (Betula) trees tend to ooze copious amounts of sap after winter pruning. These species release less sap in early spring, making it the preferred time for pruning them.

Tip 1: Trees and shrubs flowering in mid or late summer are doing so on the current year’s growth. Promote this growth by pruning them in early spring.

Spring pruning for flowering trees is determined by when they flower

Tip 2: Trees and shrubs flowering in spring are doing so on the previous year’s growth. These should be pruned only after their flowers fade. Pruning these species before blooming may significantly reduce or eliminate the season’s flowers.

The dormant season is critical in the deciduous tree life cycle, but since trees bloom and enter dormancy at different times, When Should I Prune Trees is a pertinent question that we are often asked. As indicated above, pruning prior to blooming season is a good rule of thumb, but not all trees adhere to this rule, and pruning them incorrectly can be disastrous.

Trees To Never Prune in Spring

Spring tree pruning should never be performed on some species like elm

Spring pruning for some species can result in catastrophic consequences. The following species are already highly susceptible to disease, and pruning them in spring only exacerbates their susceptibility:

  • Oak trees (Quercus) susceptible to oak wilt.
  • Elm trees (Ulmus) susceptible to Dutch elm disease.
  • Sycamore trees (Platanus occidentalis) susceptible to anthracnose.
  • Honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos) susceptible to stem cankers.

These and most deciduous tree species should be pruned during their dormant season (late fall through early spring).

Note: Storm and other types of damage should be immediately pruned off the tree, regardless of the season. Leaving damaged wood on any tree species will likely result in infestation or disease.

Tree Diseases and Insect Infestations

Spring tree pruning can leave some species vulnerable to disease and infestation

If you live in an area affected by an insect or disease epidemic, hire a professional tree service to perform any spring pruning activities on your trees. Such epidemics or outbreaks may include:

  • Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) only attacks ash species.
  • Dutch Elm Disease (DED) primarily affects elm species.
  • Anthracnose – Shade trees such as sycamore, ash, oak, and maple are highly susceptible.
  • Bark Beetles attack cedar, spruce, fir, and pine tree species.
  • Ambrosia Beetles attack thin-barked, deciduous trees, including more than 100 species.

Tip: Inquire with your local university extension or an ISA certified arborist to confirm any disease or insect epidemics/outbreaks in your area. You can also inquire with your local USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) office.

Further Reading: If Anthracnose is prevalent or relevant in your region, we wrote an in-depth article on How to Identify, Treat, and Prevent Anthracnose that would be a beneficial read.

When To Prune Trees

In this article, you discovered which flowering tree species can be safely pruned in spring and which species to never cut or prune during the spring months.

Promote vigorous growth and increase your tree’s health by using timely pruning practices in spring.

Without proactive pruning, dead or diseased wood left on your tree will attract diseases and infestations lethal to them.

Sources:
hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/pruning-trees/
hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/2015/03-13/pruning.html
content.ces.ncsu.edu/granulate-asian-ambrosia-beetle-1
fs.fed.us/projects/hfi/field-guide/web/page09.php
ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7420.html

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on: http://www.toddsmariettatreeservices.com/tree-pruning-in-spring/