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  • Writer's pictureJefferson Landscape

Trees



Trees are the most essential living component in our nature, helping to maintain a balance in the ecosystem. Trees are undoubtedly the best carbon capturing technology in the world. When they perform photosynthesis, they pull carbon dioxide out of the air and release it as oxygen. The rate at which they are being cut down worldwide remains alarming. Trees not only provide us with material substances for use, they are also a habitat to many types of organisms. They provide sustenance and shelter to all kinds of animals, including humans. It makes perfect sense to include trees in your landscaping.

 

Broadly speaking, trees are grouped into two primary categories:

deciduous and coniferous.

 

Deciduous Trees

Any trees that shed leaves seasonally, including most of the broadleaf trees, are deciduous. Due to these leaf patterns, they typically enjoy a high rate of photosynthesis and are therefore highly beneficial. Shedding leaves is their way of preparing for the winter. Some deciduous trees are indeed able to conserve water and adapt to changing seasons. Some are not. Deciduous trees such as oaks and maples, have deep root systems that allow them to access water from deep within the soil. These trees are truly a wonder. They are great for water conservation because they can survive with minimal watering and can even withstand drought conditions. Other deciduous trees such as dogwoods and birches have shallow root systems that require more frequent watering and are less drought tolerant.

 

The same deciduous tree that shades your home in the summer, lets sunlight filter through its bare branches to help warm your home in winter after it drops its leaves. Many deciduous trees, such as maples, offer a demonstration of color in autumn when their leaves change colors. Some deciduous trees, such as birches and crape myrtle, have exfoliating bark that provides a beautiful winter focal point. Fruit and nut trees (also deciduous) offer a bountiful harvest. Flowering trees are also great for landscapes.

 

Evergreen Trees

Trees that typically keep their leaves or stay green are referred to as evergreens. These trees are precisely opposite to deciduous trees. The leaves remain on the tree throughout the year, as there is no seasonal shedding. As these trees age, old leaves are replaced with new growth. Many tropical rainforests are considered evergreens as they favor mostly warm, temperate climates. Some of these have traditional leaves, others are conifers, or trees with needles or needle-like growth. Trees like pine, fir, spruce and cedar are evergreens. Eucalyptus are evergreens—so are Christmas trees.

 

Evergreen trees not only shade your home in the summer, but they also provide a wind screen to block harsh winter breezes. The coniferous tree types can help to provide a year-round privacy fence to block unwanted views. Birds seek refuge in evergreen trees, particularly during the winter.

 

However, before planting any tree type, consider its placement and other factors. Look overhead. Are there power lines that an older tree may obstruct? Practice proper tree pruning techniques to keep your trees in optimal health. Plant trees far enough from your patio, sidewalk, home, driveway and fences so their root systems don't disrupt hardscapes and other structures.

 

When planning your landscape design, you'll want to consider what it looks like during all seasons of the year. Because trees provide the framework that forms the backbone of your yard, you may want to consider a mixed planting that includes a variety of different sized trees. Beyond aesthetics, strategically placed trees can actually help lower your heating and cooling costs.

 

Jefferson Landscape and Design can help you put together a well-balanced landscape that incorporates your preferences with the scale and look of your yard. We'll help you choose suitable tree species that will not only live in your yard but will thrive there.

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