While fruit trees can’t grow everywhere they are one of the more rewarding plants to grow. They not only provide shade, protection, and help the ecosystem, but provide a delicious treat in fresh, organic fruit right off the branch. Today we’ll talk about how to choose the best fruit tree for you and some of the options available.
Pick The Right Fruit Tree For You
Picking your favorite fruit vs fruit tree may lead to a very hard tree to grow that produces very little fruit. Make sure to pick a fruit tree that grows in your area. If you aren’t sure what fruit trees thrive in your area a Friendly Tree expert can help. This will not only help the tree be as healthy as it can be, but will make sure it is appropriate for your local area.
Make sure you only need one tree instead of two. Just like most species on earth, it often takes two trees to produce fruit. Some trees require cross-pollination and others don’t. Make sure that the fruit tree you pick doesn’t require a partner, and if it does, that they are close enough to pollinate. Our experts are available and can share the right distance, maturity, and pairing.
The size of the tree is also incredibly important. If you have a large space you can grow different fruit trees producing fruit almost year-round with a variety of fruit. If you are short on space, which most of us are these days, you may need to choose a smaller fruit tree. While it may produce less fruit from a quantity perspective, it will have a much smaller footprint. An example of this would be cherry, plum, or even apple trees.
Through years of adjustments and cross grafting, we’ve also been able to make many varieties of fruit trees available in smaller versions. So if your heart is set on a tree that is large and needs lots of space make sure to check to see if a smaller version exists.
Apple trees produce amazing fruit that is enjoyed by all. They are also one of the easier and longer-lasting fruit trees that can produce for decades. They grow in zones from 3-9, so from south Texas to Canada you’ll be safe planting the right apple tree in your garden.
Note that there are two different types of apples one for eating right off the branch and others that are often used for cooking only. There are a few in between apples but make sure to pick one that you’ll use the most. If you’re a Julia Child type, in the kitchen cooking, apples may be the best bet. If you are wanting something to sell at your local farmers market or share with neighbors an apple ready to eat off the tree is what you should pick.
Make sure to check if the tree needs a cross-pollinator, plant, and in 2-4 years you’ll have a tree producing all the apples your family and friends can eat!
The beauty of the lemon tree is that it can be grown anywhere. The reason for that is because it is quite small and can be grown in a pot if needed! Often they are grown indoors in pots, to help fill a space as well as create the most delicious lemons you’ve ever tasted.
The lemon tree is more maintenance than the apple as this requires more than yearly pruning. Lemon trees will produce fruit, but with careful and strategic pruning you can have the tree produce multiples of what an untended tree can. Something Friendly Tree experts can assist with if you don’t feel like going it alone.
Lemon trees often require a lot of nutrients as they can produce fruit year-round. Making sure the nutrients are stable allows for a healthier tree and higher quality and consistent fruit overall.
Finally, there is the peach tree. They are very low maintenance, produce one of the best-tasting fruits in the world.
Peach trees require less fertilizing than a lemon tree and only require a spot that’s sunny every day and enough water to make sure they don’t go dry.
Once planted they grow quite quickly to maturity and can produce fruit as fast as the following year. If you are looking for a reason to get into making jams, jelly, and canning, the peach tree will give you plenty of fruit every year to test out new recipes from cobblers to pies to candied fruit. Peach trees grow in zones 4-9.
While fruit tree often requires extra maintenance to a regular tree you might put in your backyard or even home, the rewards are double as you get something that can make it to your dinner table or be shared as a holiday gift with friends and family.
Reach out to Friendly Tree today if you are looking to plant a fruit or other tree this spring or summer!
With winter here and spring on its way, it’s time to start planning for everyone’s favorite season, and one of the most dreaded days of the year: Spring Cleaning! Spring cleaning is the preparation for better weather ahead and the removal of yesteryear. Take a look at some of the steps you may have missed last year that will leave you with the perfect yard this summer.
Work Your Way In
If you have a larger yard often the biggest items on your to-do list are on the edge of your property. Start with making sure that dead or dying branches, twigs, or leaves have been removed. While winter is here you may start to notice what parts of your trees are doing well and which parts are not. It’s always best to remove areas of a tree that could harm the rest of the tree or are potentially dangerous to people around it. Large branches or entire trees might need the services of a professional to be safely removed.
You also may take this chance to prune and manage your trees and shrubs when looking for unhealthy parts. Often when we all get busy with the holidays and back to school our yard maintenance gets put at the bottom of the list. This causes extra growth to go unmanaged. Make sure to trim back where you can to keep everything tidy.
Retaining walls are also especially important to check on. Catching issues early can save you thousands in repair costs later in the year.
Plan Your Garden
Whether you had a garden last year and for the last 20 years or you are looking to plant your first garden it’s always best to plan AHEAD OF TIME. Gardens can be relatively maintenance-free and produce delicious food for you and your family if managed correctly.
- Start your seeds soon! Seeds are a cheap and effective way to start a great garden. Starting them ahead of time allows your plants to be ready to plant and maximize the growing year.
- Make sure your soil is healthy, if not completely remove or mix in new nutrient-rich soil to give your garden the best shot possible.
- Dig up any left behind plants that need to be replaced that won’t grow back this year.
- Fix up the planter boxes, no matter how you plant a garden you will always have some sort of border, whether a box, a raised bed, or pots. Make sure they are in good working condition and patch up the ones that can be.
Fertilizer and Pest Control
Fertilizing your yard, trees, and plants is critical to making sure your yard and trees stay healthy. Before you do this though you’ll need to remove any debris, dead grass, foliage, and general items that were left from last year. It’s always important to compost as much as you can as this can be used to fertilize naturally and help keep your soil in tip-top shape. If you do decide to use man-made fertilizer read the instructions on timing and quantity as fertilizers can vary, or call a professional for their advice or fertilizer services. Many have liquid fertilizers and can be sprayed in less than an afternoon. Leaving you free to focus on other areas of your yard!
Clearing A Path Top to Bottom
Start up top and make sure to clean out those rain gutters as soon as you get a nice day. Foliage falls all fall and into the winter causing a buildup in your gutters which can not only hamper the flow of water but can expedite leaking water into your home at the extreme. Make sure your gutters are clear and the path of flowing water at the exit is clear and doesn’t flow back towards the house.
Next, begin cleaning up elevated surfaces like the furniture on your patio or the furniture first if you don’t have a patio. While snow and rain feel like they clean a surface it can cause surface buildup and grim on your once pretty patio furniture. Often enough new furniture isn’t warranted, and you’ll have your furniture for years to come with proper care before and after winter.
Power washing your deck and resealing when needed is the difference between having the perfect deck that is frequently used and a deck that causes splinters and is only used on the Fourth of July. Clear debris from the deck, check for and make any minor repairs that are needed, and then power wash.
Lastly, give your pathways a hard edge, while grass tends to grow slower in the colder seasons it can still grow and when neglected due to the elements, start to creep onto your pathways. Setting a hard edge and pushing back nature keeps a lawn looking crisp and clean, as well as prevents people from tripping over overgrowth.
From tree health to pathways to gutters making sure your spring cleaning involves the outside of your home is just as important as making sure the inside is in tip-top shape! Contact Friendly Tree today for all your outside landscaping spring cleaning needs.
Happy Holidays! If you’ve ever wanted to celebrate and go the authentic route, here are the steps to make sure you cut the perfect tree safely. One of the most satisfying things on Christmas growing up was getting ready to go pick out the perfect tree as a family and helping to cut it down for the living room.
Make Sure Your Tree Is The Right Size
While it may seem like a great idea to go cut down the biggest and grandest tree of them all. It may not fit in your living room. Make sure to measure your space ahead of time so that you can find the perfect tree that fits you and your family’s needs.
Make sure to get the height of the tree but just as important is the width of the tree as well. While it is great to have a tree that doesn’t hug the ceiling. It’s often forgotten that trees come in all shapes and sizes. Making sure your tree isn’t hanging over a table or armchair is just as important.
Check If You Need A Permit
While there are tree farms that you can go to and pay to cut down your own tree others enjoy the experience of going out into the forest to find the perfect one. If this is what you are planning on doing make sure to check to see if you need a permit! Permits are oftentimes required, relatively cheap, but usually limited to a certain amount. This helps the forest service continue to provide forest management, trail management, and wildlife management. Make sure you’re helping keep our planet green while enjoying some in the comfort of your own home, and remember you don’t need a permit for trees on your own property!
Get There Early
While not always allowed it has become more common. Make sure to head out early, especially to a tree farm, and claim your tree ahead of time. This allows you to cut it at the right time but still get the tree you want that fits your home. Claiming your tree ahead of time also allows you to not cut your tree too early. Christmas trees once cut have a life of around 3 weeks so make sure to time your cut and take home ahead of time to make sure you get the best experience and don’t end up with a dead tree when Christmas finally arrives. To guarantee an excellent tree, consider planting evergreens on your own property.
Tip: In the first 2-3 days the tree needs a LOT of water. Often a few gallons a day. After this, the water necessary will drop, but make sure to give your Christmas tree what it needs at the beginning.
Wear The Right Gear
It often will be cold, you’ll be handing saw blades or a chainsaw and will need to wear protective gear as well as eye protection. If you’re going the chainsaw route, we recommend wearing ear protection as well.
Cutting Your Christmas Tree
- Cut as close to the ground as you reasonably can. This allows the tree to potentially grow again out of the stump helping the ecosystem.
- Have a sharp cutting tool Nothing is tougher to do than cutting down a tree with a dull blade. It’s a lesson you won’t have to be taught twice. Properly sharpened equipment can make your experience timely and much more easy to accomplish.
- Have someone pull the tree from the opposite side. Most Christmas trees will not be over 10 feet. We recommend getting some help from a family or a friend to ease the pressure on the blade allowing you to cut or saw more effectively.
Clean Your Tree
Congratulations! You’ve got your tree cut, make sure to give it a good shake and pull it stump forward back to your vehicle. Shaking and cleaning your tree causes small branches, leaves, dirt, and insects to be forced from the tree that way you don’t bring in the forest to your home. A tree farm will often provide this service for you. Tie it stump forward onto your vehicle or trailer and enjoy!
Remember, a small strip of land next to your house can provide your very own Christmas Tree “farm”. It’s easier than you think, and we are here to help! Here at Friendly Tree, we wish everyone a happy holiday and hope that the rest of the year is the best of your year.
With the changing of the seasons, there’s often excitement around cooler weather, and the ability to go outside without being scorched by the sun. We all look forward to new activities and seeing our loved ones around the holidays. Something that is can be forgotten is that winter can be a hard time for the trees on your property. Different types of trees and different types of weather can severely impact the health of your tree and how they do in the coming year.
How To Inspect Your Trees
Check For Root Damage
- Just like your indoor plants when they aren’t receiving enough nutrients they begin to wilt and slump over. Trees do the same when not receiving adequate resources. Check your tree’s roots to make sure they are properly covered and haven’t received any damage. If they have this may be a sign that the tree, and its branches, are compromised, and you should call in an expert for review.
Check Your Leaves
- While large flat leaves fall off after changing color in the fall. Evergreens stay permanently and are a key indicator of tree health. The color of the needles should stay consistent and green throughout. If you notice that the ends have turned brown this may be an indication of rapidly changing temperatures and the need to keep a more active eye on your trees.
Check For Rodents
- While some people love the cute cuddly possums, moles, squirrels, and owls. They can do damage to your tree both inside and out. When times get tough during the winter some rodents will start to eat the bark off of a tree. It’s up to you to decide on how to handle this. Always check your tree for bark being eaten, and call in a landscaping team or pest control should it get out of control.
- Weather can change fast and often. Large swings in temperature when the weather is finally turning when spring is coming. You may see buds start to peak out then the tree is hit with a late frost. While not preventable it can cause the tree’s health to suffer.
- During early winter or when spring is arriving you may have good days where children want to use the swing / tire swing attached to the branches of a tree. This is can be dangerous for people you care about but also the tree as well. Branches are in a depleted state after a long winter and are not in the best condition to take on extra weight so suddenly.
- Make sure that no one plays on or around trees that are covered in ice and snow.
- If damage has occurred, hire a professional, especially when conditions are not optimal.
- Water is the 8th wonder of the world. It wiggles its way into tiny cracks you’ve don’t see and can be absorbed or keep a tree cool during the summer. During the winter it can turn deadly.
- Water on the outside of the tree, like snow and ice, can worm its way into the outer part of the tree and become frozen, expanding, and breaking through exposing parts of the core to the elements.
- A tree retains water inside the tree as well. In extreme cases, the water inside can free and cause damage from the inside out. This is why it’s recommended not to water your trees as often as you did during the summer.
As always, If you see signs of an unhealthy tree on your property you want to make sure you call an expert during the winter. Make sure to keep an eye out and let us know if we can help in any way.
Something often overlooked when winterizing your home is the outside of your home as well as the inside. We’ll be taking a look at both to make sure you’re ready for the coming months of cold.
Seal Any Cracks Or Gaps
Often times a house may shift and begin to settle, especially with older homes small openings begin to appear. Sometimes around the door frame, windows, and near the roofline. Make sure that all of your property is checked inside and out for and gaps or cracks that can be filled. Often caulking and all weatherstripping will do the trick but a professional may need to be called if you see serious issues around load-bearing walls or the foundation. Additionally, when planting new shrubs, and trees consider how aggressive the root systems are they can affect foundation cracking, shifting, and settling.
Make Sure The Gutters Are Okay
Gutters often start to get clogged during the fall when leaves being to fall or you experience more precipitation of any kind. Making sure they are clean, and still load-bearing is important to extend their life and to make sure they function properly.
Be clear to any children or elderly that while icicles may look cool that they can be dangerous. Oftentimes people with no experience stand directly underneath them when knocking them off the side of their roof. This can cause unnecessary personal risk to someone who’s just trying to help.
Make Sure Your Landscape Is Okay
Most plants go into a hibernation period during the winter to conserve resources. Make sure to do your tree trimming, as any snow or storms that come through can cause weak branches and limbs to snap. Falling onto your property could cause damage.
Look for signs of unhealthy limbs that may be struggling or need to be removed ahead of time. Secondly, by making sure you take care of this well in advance you can make sure your tree has the time to recover and be ready for winter. Trimming trees is something that might need a professional. Smaller branches and offshoots can be handled by homeowners if they are so inclined, but larger branches and thick growths should be left to the professionals to avoid damage to your home, and ensure the longevity and health of your trees and landscape.
The same goes with any shrubbery that needs major maintenance, better to do it as the weather cools than during the heat of the summer or in winter.
Lastly, make sure to clear out any branches or debris in your yard that is easy to see now but may be dangerous once covered up in snow or pushed around by a storm. A rake, shovel, or other sharp objects may be unassuming in the fall but dangerous in the winter.
Regulate The Heat
While staying toasty inside by the fire is great for you it can cause issues for your home. On especially cold nights make sure that pipes have open access to heated air. Just opening your cabinet doors where exposed pipes are is enough to stop a burst from happening.
Take A Look At The Roof
While it may be too late to have a new roof installed checking it out and making sure there are no obvious signs of holes, patching, sagging, or missing shingles is important. Minor patches and fixes can stop a drip from turning into a much larger issue as the season goes on.
As always, if you require services in making sure that your trees are healthy and ready for the winter please reach out to us!
Cutting down a tree on your property can be quite the task, whether you are looking to hire professionals like us or are wanting to do it yourself. Here are a few steps to get you started, what you can expect, and what you need.
Inspect The Area
Having a tree that needs to be cut down on your property can be the start of a big task. The first step is to make sure to inspect the area. Is it safe to cut down large branches, limbs, or the tree itself? Is there a risk to property or people? If so it may be better to hire a professional. Check for the following:
- Is the tree free from disease and just needing to be removed?
- Are there dead limbs?
- As a tree falls these limbs can be projected large distances, unlike live limbs that often stay on or very near the tree.
- Is there anything in the way?
- A tree is much taller than you imagine and needs a very large fall line to make sure it’s safe. Is there a large area for the tree to safely fall?
Make Sure You Have The Right Equipment
Once you know there is a safe area to fell a tree it’s time to make sure you have the right gear to properly and safely do so. What you’ll need
- Safety glasses: can be used to make sure any splinters or debris are kept your eyes.
- Ear Plugs: while not commonly thought of, chainsaws are quite loud and can cause damage to hearing without proper protective equipment.
- Hard Hat: any falling debris can cause serious injury.
- Gloves: Gloves are there not only to protect your hands but also great for making sure you don’t slip and have a firm grip.
- Chainsaw: to cut down the tree or limbs.
- Felling wedges: while most do it yourself will not use felling wedges they are critical and can help point the tree in the right direction to fall.
Always check with your on local regulations as your county, HOA, or city may require a permit or a licensed professional to cut down a tree in your area.
Fall Length & Plan Your Route
We talked about this earlier but it’s a critical part of cutting down a tree. Double-check your fall line and make sure that you have more than enough room. If you think it is going to be close or “it should be enough room” we recommend hiring a professional. A tree falling can crush a car, crack the foundation of a pool, and go through your roof with ease.
While working on cutting the tree you’ll need to make sure you have a way to safely step away from the tree after it begins to fall or if something unexpected happens. If the tree is tall enough and has to be cut in multiple sections while still standing, your best bet is to hire a professional. Tripping or a slow escape path can cause you to be in harm’s way. Make sure to have a clear path.
Cutting down a tree can be seen as counterintuitive and complex. The first thing to look for is what side of the tree is heaviest and has the most growth. Often people will begin to cut down a tree and not realize that they are cutting in all of the right spots but that the tree is weighted to fall in the opposite direction. Make sure you know which way the tree wants to fall and how to counteract that if it doesn’t align with your fall line.
Begin cutting. Which side you cut on is where the tree will fall if everything else is done correctly.
- Cut at the right height
- A comfortable working height is best. Cutting higher or lower can be dangerous.
- Cut at a 45-degree angle
- You’ll be cutting a notch so you’ll have an angle on the top of the notch and then a flat cut at the bottom of your cut. This allows for the saw to work effectively and minimizes pinching the blade due to pressure from the tree leaning.
- Small Cuts Add up
- You are not cutting through the entire tree. Start with making cuts that are about a third of the way through the trunk of the tree.
- Use your wedges as necessary
- While small trees are relatively straightforward, old-growth trees require special chainsaws that are the right size or wedges.
- Wedges stop the pinch of the tree on the blade that adds unwanted pressure.
The Fell Cut
After you have notched on the correct side you’ll want to make the final cut. Slightly above the top of the notch created you’ll make a cut that is 180 degrees or a flat cut. The goal is not to connect these to but to allow the weight and pressure of the tree to cause the tree to lean. Once the tree starts to lean and move use your path to safety. If everything is done right the tree will fall in the line setup.
As always, cutting down a tree is a much larger task than most people imagine. If you are looking for a safe, efficient, and professional tree removal team in the northeast reach out to us to see how we can help.
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