Plant Health Care in Richmond, VA

Trees benefit landscape –

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Patience is rewarded when you plant a tree

Trees are the antidote to our “gotta have it now” world, rewarding our patience with amazing, ever-changing beauty.

In short, trees are an investment.

Watching a tree grow and nurturing it along are part of the fun, according to Kris Bachtell, horticulturist at The Morton Arboretum.

“It’s analogous to raising children,” said Bachtell. “When kids have the proper upbringing, you enjoy watching them become people who are valuable to society, who give back.”

A young tree needs discipline — in this case, pruning. Consider pruning costs as part of your investment.

“The tree will be healthier if you give it structural pruning,” Bachtell said. “In the first 10 years, that means two or three visits from an individual trained in pruning young trees, such as a certified arborist, to shape the tree and give it a good structure. After that, visits can come every five years or so.”

Without pruning, a tree can quickly become unkempt and problematic. “You won’t have something as valuable,” said Bachtell.

Bradford pear (Pyrus calleryana “Bradford”) is the poor pruning poster child. Neglected, it becomes a mess, with crossing, weakly connected branches. But with proper pruning, it’s an entirely different tree.

Some impatient homeowners may choose a tree based solely on growth rate. “This isn’t always the case, but typically, a fast-growing tree is not as structurally sound,” said Bachtell. A weak-wooded tree, such as silver maple (Acer saccharinum), is a poor choice near a home or driveway, although it could work somewhere else on your property.

“There’s no such thing as a bad tree,” Bachtell said. “Trees answer different purposes in any given situation.”

Need more reasons to plant a tree? Visit plantclinic,, or 630-719-2424. Laurie Casey is a staff writer at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle.


Written by vaphc

February 17, 2012 at 11:48 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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