Posts

Using Your Landscape to Care for Deer

Many homeowners go to great lengths to keep their landscapes well-maintained and healthy. Consulting and working with professional arborists, aligning properties with fences and working to limit, or completely eliminate, wildlife from encroaching upon a property are just a few examples of things that are often done to care for a landscape.

However, what if a homeowner desires to establish a landscape that is aesthetic, but also attracts wildlife, specifically deer? There are ways to make a landscape both attractive to and suitable for deer. Here are a few ideas how.

First, speak with an Austin wildlife specialist or perhaps a hunting club representative. Often, these individuals are quite knowledgeable when it comes to the specifics of deer in Austin. They can most likely address such questions as when do they begin to move, in which conditions do they best thrive and what do they eat. Answers to each of these certainly gives a homeowner desirous of making his/her landscape an environmentally-friendly one a great place to start in establishing such a place.

Second, plant trees, grasses and other sustenance that will attract deer to your landscape. Consider planting oaks, which produce acorns, a favorite for deer, or trees bearing fruit, such as pear, cherry or apple. You might also consider planting a clover patch, another favorite of deer, or adding a salt lick to an area of your property which is well hidden from view. This is because the deer will ardently dig to get to the salt and other minerals found in a salt lick. After several years of this behavior, it is probable that some of the soil will be displaced, and likely an eyesore, due to this manner of excavation.

Bear in mind that it may take some time, perhaps several seasons, before any trees you plant mature enough to achieve the purpose of attracting or feeding deer. Also, be especially cautious as to the proper care of any oak trees you plant, as oak wilt in Austin, although preventable, has become a growing problem in recent years. A licensed Austin tree trimming professional should be contacted immediately for assistance if you suspect that an oak on your property is affected by oak wilt.

Third, you might also consider planting areas of dense shrubbery or pine trees. Shrubs and accumulations of pine needles are preferred sources of bedding for deer.

Finally, be mindful of other animals that may be present on the property, whether welcomed or not. Pets, such as dogs, and other regionally-specific wildlife, such as mountain lions, bobcats, foxes and coyotes, may frighten the deer you set out and put forth such diligent effort to attract. Any natural opposition that exists between them could lead to injury to the animals, unsuspecting individuals or property.

Because a lack of food sources during the colder months could lead to a slow and cruel death through starvation for a species that is frequently overpopulated, these are great ways to help ensure the survival of perhaps one of the most beautiful and graceful of all wild creatures. If you have questions about how you can make your landscaping trees and other plant life both beautiful and provisional for the local deer herd, contact an Austin tree care specialist for guidance.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree service in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and oak wilt treatment. For more information on Austin tree service, please visit https://www.centraltexastreecare.com.

Benefits of Winter Pruning

Although it may seem that spring and summer are the seasons when a lot of attention is paid to landscaping, winter can be quite beneficial to your landscaping goals as well. Harsh winter conditions may make for potentially unpleasant conditions in which to work, but the benefits from winter pruning are indeed noted.

Perhaps the most notable benefit of winter pruning is that trees are dormant during this time. Dormancy is a period in which there is no active growth of a plant in response to adverse conditions. Regarding trees, this is a means by which to survive the frequently adverse conditions brought on by winter, including snow or ice, frigid temperatures, and decreased precipitation. When a tree is pruned during the dormant season, the pruned areas tend to recover before new branch and leaf growth occurs in the spring. There is also less chance that the tree will wilt due to an excessive loss of water. This is because less water is needed and, therefore, lost when a tree is dormant.

The effects of winter pruning are frequently and especially visible when spring arrives. This is because pruning during the winter months fosters more vibrant springtime blooms from flowering trees, as well as more numerous and healthier fruits from fruit-bearing trees. Providing care to your trees during the winter can reap great benefits by springtime. An Austin tree trimming specialist can help you determine how best to prune your trees so that great results are achieved.

Another benefit of winter pruning is that by the time winter arrives, the tree has already lost its foliage. Without the leaves impeding view, determining which branches to prune becomes an easier process. When the crown of the tree is exposed, one can more easily determine which branches to remove or shorten. If present, dead branches can be more readily identified as such and removed from the tree. Of course, the likelihood of personal or property damage is lessened when dead braches are removed from a tree. Additionally, if proper care of pruning tools and equipment is taken, diseased branches can also be identified and removed. The chances of spreading the disease to other viable trees are decreased when pruning occurs during the winter months. Consult an Austin tree removal professional to help determine whether or not specific branches may need to be removed for the overall benefit of a tree.

There are considerable benefits to pruning your landscaping trees during the winter. With a little careful forethought and attention, there may be some spectacular results from all of your efforts when spring rolls around!

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree services in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and stump removal. For more information on Austin tree service please visit https://www.centraltexastreecare.com.

Austin tree trimming specialist to learn tips for selecting landscaping trees.'>

Tips for Selecting Landscaping Trees

Without a doubt, a well-planned landscape can add beauty and value to a home. And when it comes to planning one’s landscape, there are numerous species of trees from which to choose. While a large selection can certainly give the property owner an advantage, it’s also possible that it may, at times, also make selection of the right tree a daunting and overwhelming task. So, what are some basic considerations for selecting the landscaping trees for one’s property?

When selecting trees for your property, it’s important to first consider the size of the tree at maturity. Many trees may be quite eye-catching while they are small and growing in containers in the nursery. This initial appeal may be amplified for those trees that may have beautiful blooms. But what dimensions should be anticipated when the tree is fully grown? Is it a species known to be small or large? Sometimes homeowners fail to consider what the long-term growth implications may be for the trees they select. Always be certain to consider this important factor when selecting trees for your property.

It’s equally important to consider the overall size of the property. If the property is large, selecting trees that are too small may not help achieve any desired aesthetic effect the homeowner hopes to accomplish with the landscaping. The trees may appear to be scattered too few and far between. An inappropriately selected tree planted in the wrong location could potentially devalue the property. On the contrary, if the property is small, selecting one or more trees that grow to large dimensions at maturity may crowd the property (or that of a neighbor) at best or may cause structural damage at worst. Large trees that grow on small properties have potential to affect foundations, septic systems, rooftops, privacy fences, and more.

When selecting trees for one’s landscape, a property owner should also consider the purpose(s) of the tree. Is the addition of a tree purely aesthetic? Is it purely functional? Is it a combination? Certain trees lend themselves to specific purposes, and this may help the homeowner determine the best tree for their property. For instance, if the tree is strictly for beautification, a homeowner may select a tree that presents beautiful blooms, such as a dogwood or a crabapple, throughout the year. Perhaps the homeowner would like a tree that serves a functional purpose, such as a large oak planted strategically to either shade the home during the hot summer months or to block the harsh winter winds. Perhaps the homeowner would like a tree that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional, such as planting a maple to shelter the home and provide beautiful fall foliage, or an evergreen that also provides some manner of shelter to the home and provides beautiful color to the property during the often bleak winter months when deciduous trees have lost their once-colorful leaves. Consult an Austin tree trimming specialist to help determine the best species of trees suitable for the desired purposes.

These are just a few things to consider when selecting landscaping trees. There may be other considerations necessary for a homeowner to make. These may include average temperatures, precipitation, and soil conditions specific to the area of the country in which a homeowner lives. An Austin tree removal specialist can assist with this information, as well as assist with any additional questions or concerns a homeowner may have when it comes to selecting the right tree for the landscaping goals he or she hopes to achieve.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree services in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and stump removal. For more information on Austin tree service please visit https://www.centraltexastreecare.com.

Effective Noise Reduction Using Landscaping Trees

The perfect landscaping trees can add value and beauty to your property. They may be used as an environmentally-friendly method to establish boundaries surrounding your property by taking the place of a wooden privacy fence, and the overall environmental benefits that come from planting trees are well-documented. But there is another benefit of landscaping trees to consider. After all the investment and effort put into designing the perfect, relaxing landscape, shouldn’t you be able to enjoy it in relative peace? The very same trees you select to design your sanctuary may also be used to effectively reduce noise pollution by creating a buffer.

It is important to place the buffer as close to the source of the noise as possible. Depending upon the size of the property, tree buffers, and some additional landscaping considerations, can greatly diminish noise. For instance, traffic noise from roads which allow moderate speeds of under 40 miles per hour (mph) can be reduced when a 20 to 50 foot wide buffer is placed within 20 to 50 feet of the center of the traffic lane nearest the property. Traffic noise from roads which allow high speeds of greater than or equal to 40 miles per hour (mph) can be reduced when a 65 to 100 foot wide buffer is placed within 50 to 80 feet of the center of the traffic lane nearest the property.

By using these dimensions as a guideline, appropriate placement, or setback, for effective results is possible while still taking into consideration those factors for which you may have no control. For instance, safety of drivers is important. By placing the buffer within these dimensions, there remains a margin for error. Should a driver’s vehicle veer from the road, the trees included as a part of the buffer are not so close to the road that immediate impact is a problem. Additionally, the trees you choose to include in the buffer should include species able to tolerate weather conditions and actions taken as a result of them. For instance, should snow or ice impact the area, the trees need to be able to tolerate any clearing or de-icing actions the local municipality may take to make the roads safe and improve driving conditions. The effectiveness of the buffer is further amplified if additional setback exists between the house and the edge of the buffer facing the house.

Other considerations to make when establishing a buffer include using evergreens. Because they retain their greenery year-round, there is never a time throughout the year when their effectiveness is lessened. Consider placing them closest to the source of the noise. A buffer should also be created as densely as possible to increase both effective noise reduction and longevity. Although the purpose is to have a dense area of vegetation to drown out unwanted noise, there still may be times that it requires pruning, especially on the side of the buffer nearer the home. An Austin tree trimming specialist can assist you with this task, keeping your buffer both sightly and effective. Finally, natural features of the landscape may assist with the buffer. Don’t underestimate the value of a natural roll in the land, such as a gradient or even a small hillside.

If, at any point, sources of noise are diminished or even removed (for example, a road formerly near the property is permanently closed or relocated) and you wish to thin the barrier you’ve created, consult an Austin tree removal specialist, who can assist with the appropriate methods and equipment necessary for removing trees and other vegetation.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree services in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and stump removal. For more information on Austin tree service please visit https://www.centraltexastreecare.com.

Using Your Landscaping to Support Wildlife During Winter

Most who take a vested interest in the landscaping of their lawns recognize the value of doing so. They carefully weigh the options for species of trees (or shrubs) to plant, the ideal location for planting them, and the efforts necessary to maintain them. With careful planning and maintenance, the end result is usually aesthetically appealing. With some extra effort, however, landscaping trees can serve a dual purpose. Landscaping can be environmentally friendly by supporting wildlife throughout the harsh winter months.

Because food for wildlife is scarcer during winter, consider adding trees or shrubs that bear food year-round. Consider crabapple or holly, which continue to fruit during the winter. These two trees provide food for wildlife during a time when many other tree species have stopped producing. Bear in mind that it isn’t just birds that are supported by winter-thriving landscaping. Other wildlife also benefit. Deer thrive on the fruit of American holly or hawthorn, or the nuts from oaks, hickories or beech. Wild turkey feed on the fruit of the highbush cranberry. Like deer, squirrels, too, can weather the winter months by feeding from nut-producing species.

Consider using your landscaping trees to support wildlife by buying or building a feeder and hanging it on the trees. Add wild bird seed to help them locate some easily attainable sustenance. Do online or library research, or consult a wildlife agency, in order to learn about the various seeds birds will eat, as well as recipes to make a homemade suet ball. To help feed any squirrels, or to keep them out of your bird feeder, consider making a feeder for them. It can be easily attached to a fence or, if you don’t have a fence, attached to a free-standing post. You can purchase squirrel feed at local department or pet stores or make your own homemade blend. Be sure to include dried corn, sunflower seeds, and some shelled peanuts.

Your landscaping can also support wildlife by providing them with shelter. Consider landscaping trees with cavities as an eco-friendly tree. The cavity provides a natural inlet of protection for trees or squirrels. Evergreen trees whose branches are low to the ground offer additional protection from winter’s bitter cold and winds. In fact, trees or shrubs of any species with dense branching offers this same protection to a multitude of wildlife. If, at any point, branches hang on the ground or too low for your personal liking, contact an Austin tree trimming specialist to assist you in making the tree more sightly. Also, if they exist, areas of your landscaping that may seem less than ideal can be beneficial to wildlife. Rock or brush piles which haven’t yet been attended to can be disguised by planting a shrub in front of it. Doing so hides the eyesore factor while providing shelter for wildlife to ride out the winter. A fallen tree offers the same winter protection. However, should you wish to remove a fallen tree when warmer weather returns, an Austin tree removal specialist can assist you.

If these natural sources of shelter are unavailable through your landscaping trees, consider purchasing or building a birdhouse to hang from your trees, add to a fencepost, or place as free-standing on your lawn.

These are a just a few ideas to consider to help maintain a beautiful landscape while supporting wildlife during a particularly critical time in their survival. For additional ideas about using your landscape to support wildlife, consult an arborist or local wildlife societies.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree services in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and stump removal. For more information on Austin tree service please visit https://www.centraltexastreecare.com.

Benefits of Landscaping Trees

Trees play a significant role in our environment. This message has been highly touted by environmental activist groups for more than a decade now, and its popularity continues to grow, as does the group of those who ascribe to its valuable message. But trees need not only be a rural treasure. There are significant benefits to incorporating a notable tree population into urban areas, too. For this reason, many homeowners, community businesses, and municipalities set aside a portion of their annual budget to create and maintain landscaping. And as this practice has grown, benefits of doing so have been studied and brought to light.

From a practical standpoint, landscaping trees benefit the average homeowner in several ways. Trees planted on the eastern and western sides of homes shade and cool during the summer and provide a windbreak, keeping the home warm during the winter. This may reduce a homeowner’s heating and cooling bill substantially. Appropriately placed landscaping trees are an excellent means of climate control on private property. Given ample space, homeowners may choose to grow their own organic food by planting fruit-bearing trees or shrubs. And should they choose to sell their home at some point, a homeowner may find that well-planted, well-kept landscaping trees may increase the overall value of the property by as much as 15%.

Within local communities, the benefits continue. For instance, landscaping trees aligning concrete provide a cooling effect by reducing the amount of heat able to be absorbed by the concrete, as well as other infrastructure. This is known as the “heat island effect,” and it can be significantly reduced by environmentally-sound measures which municipalities can easily accommodate in their budgets. In addition to cooling the community at large, trees that align public sidewalks and other paved surfaces provide a layer of protection against the elements that may extend the life of the paved surface. The less money needed for this manner of upkeep means more availability of funds for other projects or needs, or the conservation of taxpayer dollars. Like those planted on personal property, strategically planted landscaping trees also provide a measure of climate control for community businesses, organizations, or local government buildings. They also provide privacy and reduce glare.

When it’s time to prune, however, contact an Austin tree trimming professional to help protect the investment made in community landscaping. Perhaps most interesting, research shows that roadways aligned by trees promote safety because of the perception by drivers of narrower roads. This is true, too, of closely-spaced trees aligning roadways, which cause drivers to perceive excessive speed and, therefore, slow down. Trees also promote safety by creating a barrier between drivers and pedestrians.

Environmental benefits of landscaping trees within urban and suburban areas include a natural reduction of carbon dioxide, as well as absorption of other environmental pollutants. Trees reduce erosion, as well as control flooding by breaking rainfall and water drainage paths. Flowering trees provide food for wildlife. And noise pollution is lessened by landscaping trees.

Studies indicate that sociological benefits of landscaping trees in urban and suburban areas include creating a feeling of relaxation for onlookers, while other studies show that patients in hospital rooms whose view includes trees typically recover faster than patients whose rooms do not include such scenery.

If the unfortunate need to have a tree removed ever arises, an Austin tree removal specialist can certainly assist. However, there are numerous reasons to plant and maintain as many trees as are possible and compatible within any given populated, urban area. The benefits are quite expansive and rewarding.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree services in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and stump removal. For more information on Austin tree service please visit https://www.centraltexastreecare.com.