timeApril 22, 2015

Citrus Tree Examples

Stop!!!! Think before you plant!!!!

I just finished a large job and it occurred to me the importance of taking your time and doing the research before designing and planting your landscape. Sometimes people get so excited to have a beautiful yard that they don't take the time to take into consideration the outcome. When the yard is freshly planted the little plants "look just so cute" and then as time goes by they grow and the person who designed and planted them is gone. The responsibilities of maintaining the landscape usually will fallback on you or the gardener. A lot of gardeners unfortunately don't really know how to care for much of the vegetation that is planted and that's where the problems begin.

Many plants and trees have special needs. Some may need special amendments to the soil, different watering or special fertilization. Many times when I get involved in a "new" makeover I am taken back by what is being proposed to be planted in many landscapes. The sales pitch of "immediate" or a "fast growing" landscape is not always the best solution to what your needs may be. Before you know it you are inside a jungle out of control and you can't keep up with it. The gardener has no clue what to do or the time and you and you can't afford to have it maintained properly or have the time to do it yourself.

Many varieties of fast growing vegetation are also very invasive. Take bamboo for instance. There are many types of bamboo and the main thing to know about bamboo is this, is it clumping or running. Running bamboo grows from underground rhizomes and over time can spread and become very invasive. I strongly recommend planting that type of bamboo in a container or using a root barrier. The other type, a clumping bamboo, grows from short rhizomes and stays much more confined. Both species can be useful in their own settings but you need to make sure that where you plant it won't get into other areas and that you plan to have it for a very long time. Another thing to consider is the mess. Most bamboo will shed and is more difficult to clean because it falls in the middle of the plant. I just did a removal of a large quantity of clumping bamboo. I removed 10,000 lbs of growth above ground and 10,000 lbs below grade to remove the rhizomes. It took 4 attempts to rid the grounds of it!!!!! Yes it grew very fast and filled in quickly but it became too invasive and the homeowner was so done with it. The cost to do it was very expensive and there are no short cuts… it has to be dug out to remove all the rhizomes or it will grow back.

Other plants look so pretty and harmless when freshly planted. Vinca is another. Those cute little purple flowers look so inviting. Just with a little love it will over take your yard in no time. The growing part is easy; it's the controlling and the removal of the plant that is the hard part. Trees also can become a major expense if little thought in choosing of where they are planted is not taken into consideration. It's amazing how many Ficus trees I have worked on that have become very large and they started off as house plants and were planted just outside the front door. The powerful root system of a Ficus tree can extend twice the length of the "drip line" and cause enormous damage. Certain varieties of the Coral tree which have such lovely flowers and provide lots of shade grow extremely fast and needs lots of room to grow. Corral trees are very brittle and may need to be trimmed twice a year. The California Pepper tree grows very fast and needs lots of room to mature. The acid in the leaves make it hard to grow plants underneath. Even the beloved Jacaranda tree has issues. The flowering stage is stunning but can be a chore if planted in an area that you don't want to have a mess.

There are way too many species of trees and plants to mention. If I can give any advice to you is to do your research on all the plants chosen and look at the characteristics of each and see if it's something that you can live with. This also goes with trees: check the trimming needs and the insect problems that they may encounter. Nurseries are in business of selling you their products. Listen to your heart and by doing a little research it could save you a lot of money in the end.

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Member in good standing with the following associations:

International Society of Arboriculture * Professional Tree Care Association

International Society of Arboriculture Professional Tree Care Association