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Expert Tree Planting Advice

Apr 1, 2017 | Gardens, Lawns, Patios, Services

Johnson’s Landscaping Service is a family oriented business with over 50 years of pleasing homeowners.  Tree planting and yard maintenance are obvious specialties; however, divisions of carpentry, lighting and drainage are highlights featured as well.

This is because your landscape can become a beautiful puzzle of pieces, which you hand us through your ideas and desires.  We then put this puzzle together with our passion of landscaping services.  The final product is a collaborative effort which is timeless and breathtaking.

*In this article “Tree Planting Basics”, Johnson’s Landscaping Service goes into detail about what a tree requires when being planted.  The specific ways to plant a tree, so it has maximum chance of thriving, is a primary focus. How to care for that tree is perfectly conveyed, and this is a useful resource for clients as well as do-it-yourself landscapers.

Tree Planting Basics

When it comes to planting trees, details will vary by species, but the first step in planting any tree is digging a hole. One of the most common mistakes is digging a hole that’s too deep and not wide enough. Plant it too deep and you’ll deny the roots access to enough oxygen to support proper growth. If the hole is too narrow, there won’t be room for the roots to expand to anchor and nourish the tree. So hole size is a crucial element in the art of tree planting. As a general rule, don’t plant any tree deeper than the soil in which it was originally grown. Dig the hole at least 3 times wider than the container or the root ball’s width. Doing this ensures that the tree will have enough worked soil to establish a healthy root system, which is vital to the future of the tree. One caveat — if you’re digging a hole in poorly draining clay soil, it’s important to avoid having the sides and bottom of the hole become smoothed, which forms a water barrier. This is known as glazing. To prevent this, use a fork to work the bottom of the hole and scrape the tines along the sides of the completed hole. Another good idea is to raise the center bottom of the hole a bit higher than the area around it. This will help disperse water and reduce possible pooling around the roots. If you buy a tree that’s balled and wrapped in burlap, it’s not necessary to plant it immediately as long as you keep the root ball moist and store it in a shady spot. (It’s best to plant it as soon as you can, but it’s okay if it’s stored for a few days.) Also, remember to always lift a balled and burlap-wrapped tree by the roots and never by the trunk. When you’re ready to plant, remove the burlap completely if it’s synthetic and not actual burlap. With natural burlap, you can either remove it or pull back the top third. Remove any string or twine used to secure it. Place back-fill soil (top soil combined with peat moss and composted manure) just to the height of the ball or even a bit lower to allow for settling. Make sure not to compress the back-fill soil or it could prevent water from reaching the roots and constrict their ability to spread beyond the ball. To plant a container tree, remove the container if it’s plastic. If it’s a fiber container, you can just tear the sides back. Once you’ve (carefully) removed the tree from its container, check the roots. If they seem compressed (pot-bound), use your fingers to gently tease out the finer roots from the mass and then spread the roots before planting it. If the roots are very woody, you might have to use a spade to break them apart. Loosening the root structure is imperative — if you don’t, the roots can ‘girdle’ and kill the tree! Once you’ve positioned the tree in the hole, back-fill as you would for a balled tree, just to the height of the container and being careful not to over-compress the soil. Just pat it gently using your hands — not your feet. You should water your newly planted tree right away, then water it weekly during the first growing season (in rainless conditions), and more frequently during hot summer weather. Don’t over-water though, as this can deprive the tree of oxygen. Experts recommend regular deep watering rather than frequent shallow watering. The water should reach about a foot or a little more below the surface of the soil. Finally, mulch to a depth of 3-4 inches with pine bark or chips to conserve moisture and promote water and air penetration. To compensate for root loss and transplant shock, treat your tree with mycorrhizal fungi and a fertilizer suited to the type of tree you’ve planted.

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*This featured blog from Johnson’s Landscaping Service offers the advantages of trees to one’s property.  The tangible and intangible benefits of adding trees to your landscape are listed as well.

These aspects are quite often overlooked by homeowners, and the blog shows much added value for which the homeowner can take advantage.

Tree Planting: The Amazing Benefits of Adding Trees to Your Property

Whether you are considering to landscape your yard, or you are simply looking for a way to make your home more energy-efficient, you may want to consider the benefits adding extra trees to your property could provide you with. Not many homeowners take the time to consider whether or not they have enough trees on their property; however, there are a surprising number of benefits that planting trees on your property can provide you and your family with. If you have extra space in your yard, here are just a few of the reasons why you should consider adding additional trees to your landscaping.

Increase Your Home’s Value and Curb Appeal

One reason to consider adding additional trees to your property is that they can go along way in helping to increase your home’s curb appeal, and by association, its overall value. Trees will help to make your home more attractive, and will help to make it stand out in your neighborhood, which can make it more attractive to buyers should you go to sell your home in the future. In fact, not only will trees make your home more marketable, but also, it has been suggested that homes with trees on their lot sell for as much as 10 percent more than homes without trees. Such a small investment in your landscaping can then have a huge impact on the overall value of your home, making tree planting a wise investment in your property.

Provide Natural Shade and Reduce Energy Consumption

Adding trees to your yard can also be a valuable investment by providing your home with natural shade during the hot summer months. This can then allow you to enjoy the outdoors during the summer by creating shady oases in your yard where you will be able to more comfortably relax and enjoy the summer weather. However, adding trees to your property can do more than create shady spots on your property. Having large trees on your property can actually greatly reduce your energy consumption during the summer. In fact, homes that have large trees shading them, and protecting them from some of the sun and heat, can save as much as 25{29178d2fc4e5b7a79403f74a8cde291d6ec0fe622308a6ed68b1dd70eda69e47} on their air conditioning bills when compared to homes that are not shaded by trees.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Adding trees to your property is also a great way for those who are concerned about their impact on the environment to reduce their carbon footprint. Trees naturally absorb pollution from the air, and can greatly reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (which is the primary contributor to global warming). Adding trees to your property can go a long way in helping the environment overall, and in improving the air quality of your neighborhood. Taking these little steps is a great way in which homeowners can help to fight climate change.

Improve Drainage Around Your Home

If you have experienced drainage problems on your property, adding trees to your yard can be a great way to fix this problem. If you yard is prone to flooding when it rains, you may be surprised by how much adding trees to your property could improve your yard’s drainage. Large trees can help to absorb rainwater into the ground during inclement weather. Even adding a few trees to your property can help to reduce the amount of water that lingers in your yard during a storm, and can prevent costly flooding in your home. In fact, proper landscaping is one of the best ways to fix drainage problems on your property. Thusly, if you have experienced flooding problems in the past, you would likely benefit greatly from consulting a professional landscaper to discuss your drainage problems and what you can do to fix them.

Provides Stress Relief

As unusual as it may sound, having trees in your yard can actually help reduce the amount of stress you experience. According to a Texas A&M study, just looking at trees for five minutes was shown to significantly reduce the amount of stress people experienced. Adding trees to your property can then prove to be a boon for your health if you suffer from severe stress.

Invite Wildlife Into Your Yard

For the nature lover, and the birdwatcher, adding trees to your yard can have the particularly enjoyable benefit of bringing wildlife into your yard. Trees provide a place for a variety of birds and animals to congregate, providing a fun view for any animal lover. This is where it can be beneficial to consult a professional landscaper when adding trees to your property, as choosing native trees for your yard will increase the chances that wildlife will be attracted to your property. This is not only beneficial for animal watchers, but is also great for native bird and insect populations whose natural habitats are often displaced for commercial and residential use by providing them with a new home in your yard.

As you can see, there are many reasons to consider adding trees to your property, as there are many benefits that doing so can provide you with. However, when considering adding trees to your yard, it is important to consult a professional landscaper. A professional will be able to help you to determine what type of tree will be best for your property, and where the trees you choose will best thrive in your yard. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of adding trees to your yard, as well as for help in choosing trees for, and planting trees on, your property.

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*This article from the company website, Johnson’s Landscaping Service, goes into a lot of depth regarding tree planting.  Keeping their customers highly informed of their processes is one of many aspects which sets them apart.

Everything You Need to Know About Tree Planting

Planting a tree is more complicated than you might imagine. Rather than simply digging a hole and plugging in the greenery, you have to plan the process carefully, diligently, and with the future in mind.

That process can become complicated. But given the many benefits of tree planting, it should not deter you from making your property more beautiful and more functional through a new tree. Instead, here is everything you need to know about planting a tree.

How to Pick the Right Tree Species

Your first decision, naturally, should be what type of tree to plant. Here are a few of the most common options, along with their general benefits for your yard.

  • Dogwood Trees – Many homeowners choose this species for their front yard thanks to its unique beauty around the year. It flowers red, white, and pink during spring, before developing a lush foliage in summer that turns red in fall. Once the leaves
    fall out, even the branching will be attractive during Maryland winters.
  • Sugar Maple – Probably one of the most common trees in the United States, the sugar maple will be especially distinguished during fall, when it develops lush orange leaves. But be mindful of its size, as it can easily grow up to 75 feet high.
  • Green Giant Arborvitae – You probably know this tree from the countless homeowners who use it as a natural barrier to roads and neighboring properties. It is fast-growing, hardy, and evergreen, making it a perfect fit to replace hedges and fences
    or to provide shade and privacy anywhere in your yard.
  • Red Oak – There is something majestic about any type of oak tree, and this North American variety embodies that feeling. It can grow to up to 90 feet in height, with a sizable tree trunk of up to 40 inches in diameter. Until it does, you can enjoy
    the beautiful red foliage during Fall that gives this tree its name.

Of course, these are just a few of the countless trees you can choose from for your yard. This guide can help you find a tree species that works well for your location, yard, and preferences.

Planning the Planting Spot with the Future in Mind

Next, you have to determine exactly where you want to plant your tree. Here, it’s important to be diligent; focus not just on what the tree might look like in a few years, but keep the next few decades in mind as well. As long as it’s healthy, your tree
will outlive you. In that time span, it will continue growing until it reaches far beyond the initial area you have planned for it.

For your tree planting efforts, that makes the right spot absolutely crucial. Don’t plant it too close to your home, or you’ll risk danger should it ever fall. Similarly, planting your tree too close to electrical lines can invite problems down the road. Or course, unless the type of tree you choose allows for it, make sure you don’t plant your trees too close to each other if you plan to grow more than one.

flowers, shrubs and bushes in a garden

How to Plant Your Tree the Right Way

Finally, it’s time to actually plant the tree. Start by digging a hole that is more than big enough; ideally, the hole you dig should be 2 to 3 times as wide as the root ball of the tree you’re planting. At the same time, keep the depth shallow enough to prevent settling.

Next, place your tree in the hole you dug and gently backfill it while only lightly packing the soil. At this stage, you have to be absolutely sure that the trunk of your tree remains straight. If it doesn’t, you may have to deal with a crooked tree in your yard for generations.

The next step is to support your young tree with a stake. Depending on the size of the tree you’re planting, you may only need a single stake or up to three. Avoid tying the stake tightly to the trunk; instead, make a loose connection that allows for plenty of room to grow.

Finally, it’s time to provide water for the tree. Water it right after planting, and once per day for at least two weeks. After that, move to once per week for about a year, always making sure that the soil around the tree remains moist without being soaked. Of course, the exact watering requirements for a newly planted tree may differ based on the species you choose.


Finding a Company that can Ensure Your Success

Given the above steps required to ensure the success of your tree planting efforts, you may shy away from doing so altogether. After all, you don’t want to make a mistake that might haunt you in future years and even decades. Of course, you don’t have to be alone in planting a tree. Instead, all you have to do is find the right professionals to help you. Not every landscaping company is the same. Some will focus on shrubbery and everyday maintenance, while others pride themselves in being experts on helping you find and plant a tree that will benefit your property in the long term. Your goal in this endeavor, naturally, is to find the latter. Do your research to find a company that has plenty of experience and positive reviews in your area. Then, contact them to learn more about their pricing and availability. Finally, share your tree planting plan with them to make sure that they agree on its viability. As long as you follow these steps, you can feel confident knowing that the tree you plant will enhance your yard for years and decades to come.

Most landscapes have shady areas, depending on the trees on and around the property. Sometimes homeowners ignore the shady areas and plant just in the sunny spots. But, comprehensive overall landscape planning takes the shaded areas into account, filling in a spacious design with shade-loving plants, shrubs, and trees.

Different Amounts of Shade

Many shaded areas in the landscape actually get some sun during the day. The amount of sun varies when deciduous trees are bare and when they have leaves. Determining how much sun the spot gets and when it receives it is part of the science of landscape technology. Let the pros at Johnson’s Landscaping take a look at your shady area and determine which plants, shrubs, and trees will work best in your yard. There are a multitude of choices, so don’t worry that your shady spot will be dull. Plants for shade or those for partially sunny spots provide a diversity of blooms and foliage somewhat different from those found in full-sun plants.

Trees and shrubs for shade or part shade offer a range of forms, sizes, and colors. Many shrubs have colorful fall foliage, and some provide fruit. Often used to block an unsightly view and provide privacy, shrubs are often planted in rows.

Proper Soil

Plants, shrubs, and trees frequently need a specially developed soil, similar to that of the forest floor, where many shade plants originated. Johnson’s Landscaping professionals are experts at soil improvement and the knowledge of what each plant
needs for optimum growth and development

Don’t leave those shady areas bare and unattractive. Let us show you the perfect landscape design for your entire yard, coordinating both the sunny and shady spots. Contact us today to get started on a beautiful design, especially for you.

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* Johnson’s Landscaping Service writes about their most important resource for fresh and innovative input: you, the client.

Your ideas and desires are the first step to any and every project upon which they work.

Plants, Shrubs and Trees to Design the Landscape for Your Home’s Needs

We’ve all seen them, good-looking plantings in a front yard, yet somehow they seem out-of-place. Often the reason is that the landscaping does not match the homes’ style. Many new and longtime homeowners feel overwhelmed when thinking of improving
their landscape. Redesign and improvements appear necessary, but the starting point is unclear.

Perhaps it is time to call in the professionals at Johnson’s Landscaping. We know exactly what to plant to make your landscape match your homes’ design. We maintain plantings in the landscape to keep them looking healthy.

A pleasant, well-maintained landscape is important for many reasons. Good curb appeal improves the value of your property. Proper landscaping includes the upkeep of walkways, porches, driveways and the lawn, keeping you and your family from taking an unexpected tumble. Hardscape features compliment the style of the home when properly placed and constructed.

green plants, shrubs and trees

Turn to Professionals

Even if the homeowner has the expertise and equipment to install a safe and beautiful landscape, they likely do not have the time. That’s why it is best to turn to a well-respected, professional landscape company, such as Johnson’s Landscaping. As award-winning professionals, we design and install unique landscaping designs to match the style of your home’s architecture. Whether it is modern, classic, colonial, farmhouse, or another style, we have a design to match.

Although you won’t be doing the actual work, your input on the design is important to landscaping themes that make you proud of your home. Plan and design with professionals for unique landscaping, avoiding the cookie cutter look.


Let Us Develop Your Vision

Johnson’s Landscaping understands this point and takes special care to develop your vision. With experience in more than planting and pruning, our professionals can improve your outdoor space to match it to your home’s style. Using a unique landscaping design makes the area comfortable for your family and guests. Install a fire pit or outdoor fireplace to extend your outdoor seasons. Add comfortable seating to accommodate those outdoor gatherings. Let us plan and design your landscape to match your farmhouse style home. You’ll want to add a cottage garden and a porch swing. Fruit trees or bushes often have beautiful blooms before producing fruit. A classic Cape Cod style home may call for a focal point to direct attention to a specific area. Ask us about what’s appropriate for your home’s style and let’s get to work on making those changes. Look through our gallery for landscaping design ideas for your home. Plan and design with professionals for the most fulfilling landscape results.

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About the Author

Matt Johnson grew up in a family of landscapers and gardeners as the grandson of Raymond Johnson (Founder, 1933, Johnson's Florist and Garden Center) and son of James and Carol Johnson (Founders, 1960, Johnson's Landscaping Service, Inc.). Since 2007, he has led Johnson's Landscaping Service with his brother, Charlie.  Matt and his wife Jaime live in Petworth in Northwest DC with their 3 sons and 2 big dogs.

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