Healthy trees provide many benefits for our environment and landscapes here in Northwest Florida. They cool our surroundings, buildings and homes in the hot summer months. Trees provide aesthetically pleasing views, provide privacy and so much more.
In order to have success with trees, we need to begin by selecting the right tree for the right place and then plant and care for it correctly.
Many avoidable mistakes are made when people purchase trees without doing their homework. And many avoidable mistakes are made when planting and caring for landscape trees, including planting a nice tree too deep, hitting the truck of a tree with mowing equipment or using an excessively thick layer of mulch around a tree’s truck. These common planting and maintenance mistakes result in short-lived trees. Many trees are doomed from the start, becoming an eyesore instead of a landscape asset. And worse, they become hazards, waiting for the next windstorm to drop a large limb on your house, fence, car, power line or neighboring property.
You’re planting the future when you plant a tree. When the right tree is planted in the wrong place or the wrong tree is selected, you plant future problems.
Some trees are not well suited for Florida. We live in a high wind climate. As a result, many fast growing trees are inherently weak wooded and fall apart with time as a result of windstorms. Many times people don’t consider the mature size of a tree in height and width. As a result, trees that grow to a mature height of sixty feet are wrongly placed underneath a power line/utility line that is only twenty feet above ground. Then, with time, the tree must be severely pruned as it begins to grow into the lines, interfering with that service. Sometimes a person does not allow enough room for a tree to develop in width and the misplaced tree eventually interferes with the use of a driveway, walkway, road or its limbs cause problems with a nearby roof, adjacent property or building. Some trees become “messy” with time as they begin to produce and drop unwanted fruit, seeds, large leaves, etc. You’d be wise to put some time into selecting the right trees for your property.
I will present a seminar titled Selecting and Caring for the Right Trees in Your Landscape on Wednesday, August 19 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Okaloosa County Extension Office, 3098 Airport Road in Crestview.
There is no cost to attend this seminar but space is limited. For more information and to register, please call 850-689-5850.
Larry Williams, UF/IFAS Extension Agent, Okaloosa County, August 12, 2015