Trees Used in Unconventional Ways

Most of us probably think about trees as more of a decoration; a part of the landscape that we don’t have much to do with. We know they provide us with wood for countless purposes, and likely many of us were incredibly fond of tree houses as kids, whether we managed to build one or not. But recently people have been finding new ways to incorporate trees in our lives. Trees work kind of like active air filters for us, providing us with oxygen. Without trees, human life on earth would be barely sustainable. So I say the more trees the merrier!

People have been using trees as gifts to give their loved ones for special occasions, birthdays, weddings, etc. Imagine you get a new house with an empty yard, and one of your friends gives you a small grove of trees to plant in your yard as a gift. Wouldn’t that be fantastic? With tree gifts you’re not only doing something thoughtful for a friend, you’re contributing to a healthy environment and the earth’s well-being.

Another thing that people have been doing for a while now is burial trees. Most people who pass away have a specific way they want to be commemorated; through burial, cremation, etc. Now you have the opportunity to give back to the earth through burial trees. The way it works is they take your ashes and combine them with tree seeds to plant a new tree or small grove of trees. Many people find this a spiritual or deep way to connect with the earth in passing.

We use wood for making all kinds of things; from tables and furniture to paper and books. With all the trees that are being cut down every day (whether it’s due to need, sickness, or simple inconvenience) we need to think about replenishing the earth’s population of trees to keep the planet a friendly environment for human life.

Trees have been around for ages, and planting new trees will always be a great way to give back to the earth for all it’s given us. Think about getting your friends that tree gift. They may really like it!

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Common Tree Diseases

A healthy tree is a huge bonus for any property, but like humans, trees can also get sick. It can be helpful to know some of the diseases and symptoms that trees can have so you can be aware of the health of your tree. Today we’re going to look at a couple of tree diseases and some of their symptoms.

When a group of fungi attacks twigs, leaves, fruits and flowers on a tree they can cause a disease called anthracnose. Anthracnose is mostly found in trees in North America. This generally leads to branch dieback, defoliation and even the death of the tree in question.

Crabapple trees are susceptible to a disease called apple scab, where the leaves start darkening and molting. This is mostly an aesthetic condition, however, and generally doesn’t mean your tree is in real harm. It can be dealt with by using fungicide applications.

Cedar rusts are a disease common to crabapple and hawthorn trees. You can recognize it in rust-colored or orange speckles that show up on the leaves of the tree. This disease can result in twig cankers and dieback. Proper pruning paired with fungicide applications will efficiently rid your tree of cedar rusts.

Diplodia is a disease common to pine trees. It starts and the bottom of the tree and works its way up, expanding the pine needles till they die. You can spot diplodia in dead shoots with needles only half elongated and lots of resin. You can also find black fruiting structures on cones and between needles. Prune well and apply fungicides to avoid diplodia.

A fungal disease causing premature defoliation in old trees is called dothistroma needle blight. It’s common in pine trees all over North America, but can’t be found in pine trees in the central Rocky Mountains or the western Great Plains. The main symptom of dothistroma is tan or yellow bands appearing on the tree’s needles in fall.

Palm trees in Texas and Florida are often victims of lethal palm yellowing. You can normally find this disease in date palms, coconut palms, and Canary Island date palms amongst others. This disease of ten results in tree death.

There are many more tree diseases that show up in American trees, but with some of these tips you might be able to get ahead of your tree diseases in time to save them.

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What Happens When You Have a Tree Removed?

Trees are, for the most part, an asset to a property. They provide aesthetic beauty, shade in the summer time, not to mention they provide us with oxygen which is essential for human life. Occasionally, however, trees can turn out to be more of a nuisance than a help and can sometimes even be a safety hazard. A rotting tree that’s past the point of saving is risky to have sitting around on your property. Branches may begin falling off and could accidentally ruin your property and even seriously harm people.

There are a few signs that make it clear that you might want your tree removed. If the tree is growing too close to power lines this could be dangerous. The health of the tree should always be taken into account, and if the tree has passed too far into decay then you’ll want to get rid of it before you get a bug infestation or it falls and damages something.

If you’ve noticed that your tree’s giving up the ghost, it may be wise to have it removed. But what does that entail? Removing a tree is not a job done too easily for the regular civilian. It’s pretty much always better to hire a company of licensed professionals who have tackled jobs similar to this in the past rather than try and take on tree removal alone.

Removing a tree can cost anywhere from $150 to $1,500, mostly depending on the size of the tree and the rates of the company you hire for the job. The nationwide average price comes to about $650 for tree removal.

The actual tree removal generally relies on several basic parts or steps; cutting down the tree so only the stump remains, cutting the trunk into segments that are manageable for movement, cutting off the branches and/or chipping them, and finally transporting the lumber away from the site.

Removing a tree stump is a whole different job in itself and can also be tackled a few different ways, but that’s generally not something that most companies would include in tree removal and has to be done separately.

Most importantly, don’t try and remove trees on your own! It’s a dangerous and complex job.

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Types of Trees and Where They’re From in the US

The United Stated is a rich land with phenomenal nature that stretches from coast to coast, and one of the key features that makes American nature so appealing is its trees. There are allegedly 950 species of trees that grow originally in North America. In this article we’re going to go through a few of the most common trees that grow across the United States.

Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

This tree stays red all year long. The buds that show up in the winter, the spring flowers, the summer leafstalks, the fall foliage; all red. These hardy trees can thrive in many different types of soil, allowing it to grow in many locations. The red maple works well as shade, since it can grow up to between 40-60 feet in height and 40 feet wide once fully mature. It’s a fast growing tree that thrives off the sun. The red maple is Rhode Island’s state tree.

Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda)

This tree is one of the fastest growing pines in the south and has also been called “old-field pine” and “bull pine.” This tree is native to the east coast and grows from Florida to New Jersey, although it can also be found in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. Chipmunks and squirrels eat the seeds of the loblolly pine, and it also acts as shelter for a variety of birds from the southeast. This tree can also grow well in different type of soil and grows to be 60-90 feet tall and between 25-35 feet wide once fully mature. The loblolly pine is the state tree of Arkansas.

American sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua)

The American sweetgum grows in the southeastern United States. The leaves on this tree are star-shaped, glossy and green and in the fall they turn yellow, then purple and red. They stay on the tree much later into the season than most trees. This tree can grow to be 60-70 feet tall and 40-50 feet wide once mature.

Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)

The Douglas-fir is and evergreen that’s shaped like a cone when it’s young and grows to look more like a pyramid as it matures. The name “Douglas-fir” can be written hyphenated or as a single word to indicate that it’s not a real fir. It’s commonly used as a Christmas tree since the needles are hardy and don’t easily shed. It grows to be 40-70 feet tall and 12-20 feet wide once mature. It grows better in neutral or acidic soils and won’t grow well in poor, dry soils. The Douglas-fir is the state tree of Oregon.

These are just a few of the majestic trees that grace our landscapes, but there are so many more.

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Tree Pruning Done Right

Trees are far more important than you may think. They not only add aesthetic value and beauty to the landscape, but they also play a part in providing us with healthy oxygen so we can breathe. Trees are essentially a vital part of human life.

But for trees to carry out their own functions properly, they need a little help. Trees will often grow long branches that take up a lot of their nutrients, and they’ll also develop bunches of branches that grow into each other and hinder proper growth. Because of this, pruning and trimming trees is important not only for their beauty but also for their health.

Tree trimming is no small task, especially for large trees where ladders and chainsaws are needed. It’s not only a job that you need the knowledge and experience for, but it can also be very physically taxing and take a lot of time out of your day. Not to mention how important it is to know exactly what parts of the tree you’re trying to trim. You don’t just want to start randomly hacking off branches, otherwise you could end up with a damaged or sick tree. To properly trim a tree you first need to be able to identify which branches are healthy and important to the infrastructure of the tree, and which ones are sick or rotten and need to get cut away. These are just a few of the reasons why it’s not a good idea to take on tree trimming on your own if you’re not a licensed and professional arborist.

A common mistake that rookie tree trimmers will fall for is using dull tools. You’ll want to make sure that any saws you’re using are razor sharp so you can cut through branches with ease. Of course, this adds the risk of cutting yourself especially if you’re not used to maneuvering around through the branches of trees with a sharp tool.

I could go on all day, but to make a long story short, it’s definitely a good idea to hire professional help when you’ve realized that it’s time to prune your trees. You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble and heartache while making sure that your trees get the proper attention that they need.

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