Enjoy Your Tree Daily

Sometime ago one of my co-workers asked me why it is important to plant trees in the landscape. My answer was very long and winding which includes; trees increase property value. If the right trees are planted at the right place they will add monetary value to your home. Trees provide shade to the house which subsequently causes a reduction in cooling bill. Also, it is said that trees improve air quality by capturing carbon, reduce noise pollution and they give off oxygen which is vital for the survival of animals including human beings. Tree roots reduce the effect of erosion by holding soils in place while leaves and branches reduce the impact of rainfall on the soil which can cause splash erosion. Finally, trees provide food and shelter for wildlife.

It is important to plant the right tree at the right place; sun loving plants in the sun, shade loving plants in the shade and water loving plants in moist areas. Many people often forget that they should factor in their USDA hardiness zone when planting trees. USDA hardiness zone tells whether certain plants will grow effectively in a specific area due to the climatic condition of the geographic location. For instance, Kissimmee is in UDSA zone 9b while Atlanta is in zone 8b. Dogwood, azalea, and hydrangea will flower profusely in Atlanta but not as well in Kissimmee due to the lack of chill temperature requirement. My mind went back to a New Yorker who brought his red maple to Atlanta, the tree did not get as red as it was in New York, so he got frustrated.

As a reminder, it is always best to get basic information on a tree before making a purchase. Information such as native or non-native, size at maturity, sun or shade, water requirement, nutrient needs, and soil type should be gathered before purchasing. In addition, it is important to know plant bloom time and if it is a pollinator.

Let’s plant a tree today. For more information on trees and other horticulture related topics, contact Grantly Ricketts at UF/IFAS Extension in Osceola County at gricketts@ufl.edu or by phone 321-697-3000.

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