In the garden
Gardening and landscaping advice from the Henrico Master Gardeners
In the wake of Hurricane Irene, people are dealing with downed trees and the damage they caused. Some are considering not replacing or taking down additional trees in their yards, but Henrico Extension Agent Karen Carter is telling people, “Don’t hate your trees!”
“Most of the trees that came down had compromised root systems,” she said. “That’s why it’s so important to select the right tree for the space you have and plant it properly.”
Before choosing a large Willow oak, look at the space where you want to plant. Utility wires or security lights nearby mean you may need to select something like a White fringetree (Chionanthus retusus) that will stay smaller and grow slower.
Fall is a good time to plant a tree.
The most important factors in the success of a new tree are proper planting and care during the first year.
Carter says the biggest problems she sees are trees that have been planted in holes that are too small and too deep.
“There’s a lot of truth in the old saying that it’s better to plant a $50 tree in a $100 hole than a $100 tree in a $50 hole,” says Carter.
The hole should be wide, at least two to three times the width of the root ball, and shallow, no deeper than the root ball. “Studies show at least half of the trees being planted are set too deeply,” she said. Find the top-most root and measure from it to the base of the root ball before you dig so the tree isn’t set too deep and rests on undisturbed soil.
“If I could only say one thing about planting a tree,” said Carter, “I’d say plant it at the right depth.”
Another hot button issue is using too much mulch. “I see mulch volcanoes around tree trunks,” says Carter, “And that is very, very unhealthy for the tree.” Mulch should be only 2” to 3” deep, applied in as broad a ring around the tree as practical, ideally to the drip line of the tree.
Henrico Master Gardeners involved in the Tree Smarts program will host free seminars about "Caring for an Older Tree" next week (Sandston, Oct. 25; Twin Hickory – Oct. 26 and Glen Allen – Oct. 27).
Pre-registration is requested at 501-5160.
Reynolds Community College will host Richmond sculptor Paul DiPasquale Sept. 28 as he shares his presentation “Art Talk, Why Art Matters” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Conference Center Gallery of the Workforce Development and Conference Center on the Parham Road Campus, located at 1651 E. Parham Road in Richmond. This event is free and open to the public. > Read more.
The Children's Clothing Closet at Highland Springs United Methodist Church will be open Saturday, Aug. 27 and Tuesday, Aug. 30 to provide free new or nearly new children's clothing for families in need, prior to the start of the school year. The Clothing Closet will be open from 10 a.m. to noon both days. The church is located at 22 North Holly Avenue. > Read more.
Beautiful fall weather is back this weekend! Don’t leave your favorite pooch at home – take the whole family to Canine Companions’ DogFest Walk ‘n Roll at West Broad Village or FETCH a Cure’s annual Mutt Strutt at Deep Run Park. Pets are also welcome at this weekend’s Central Virginia Celtic Festival and Highland Games. Halloween events taking place Sunday include the University of Richmond’s 18th annual Trick or Treat Street and Goblins and Gourds at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
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Oct. 20, 2016Click here to read the print edition.
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