It’s a new year, and many of us are thinking about how to take better care of our families and ourselves. But what about our trees? As Portland certified arborists, and tree lovers at heart, we’re here to suggest ways to take exceptional care of your trees in 2015.
Taking Care of Your Own Trees
Whether or not you consider yourself a tree-hugger, there’s no denying that trees are beneficial additions to any property. Like all mature landscaping, trees drive up property value. According to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, a mature tree can be worth $1,000 to $10,000. Likewise, the USDA Forest service reports that property value is driven up by an average of 10% when healthy, mature trees are present. Moreover, the US Department of Agriculture has determined that a young, healthy tree provides cooling power that “equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours per day.” The visual beauty of trees also helps families de-stress.
Considering how much trees do for your family, it’s natural to want to take care of them in turn. Here are a few resolutions for taking care of trees on your property in 2015.
Portland Certified Arborists on How to Care for Your Trees in 2015
1. Create an Annual Tree Care Plan. Master gardeners appreciate the importance of planning. During the soggy moths of late winter, they relish putting together a landscape plan for the entire year. Start brainstorming about which tree care tasks you will tackle during each season. Oregon State University’s Extension Service has an excellent online resource for gardening tasks to do during each month of the year.
If it’s been a while since you tackled landscaping tasks, consider a design consultation. Urban Forest Pro’s founder has an exceptional eye for design, and positive, enduring relationships with dozens of local landscaping professionals. He is happy to put his talents to work designing a stunning landscape for your yard.
2. Sign up for Professional Winter Tree Care.
While trees are dormant in the winter months, this is an important time for tree care. As we covered in last month’s blog post, winter tree care tasks include assessing for winter damage, discovering rot and other tree health problems, and checking soil quality. Our winter Portland tree service includes all of these tasks. Our certified arborists can give you a big-picture understanding of your trees’ health, so that you can arrange for their continued wellbeing throughout the year.
3. Sign up for Professional Pruning. Because poorly done pruning can harm or even kill trees, we recommend that homeowners arrange for professional tree pruning services. Our Portland tree service experts can visit your home several times throughout the year, as various species are most ready to be pruned. For instance, spring-blooming trees and shrubs should be pruned once spring blossoms have faded.
4. Plant a New Tree. A new tree will add value to your property while bringing enjoyment to the whole family. Particularly if you’ve recently lost a mature tree, 2015 is a great year for planting new trees. Our arborists are happy to provide suggestions for your yard based on soil condition, sunlight and water patterns, and characteristics of mature species. Friends of Trees is one of our favorite local non-profit organizations; they source and plant affordable trees for Portland residents. Since 1989, Friends of Trees has planted 450,000 trees in Portland, Vancouver, and Eugene.
5. Be Picky About Pesticides.
Tree pesticide sprays have been blamed for poisoning cases across Oregon. Some tree pesticide sprays have been linked to bee colony collapse. While tree health sometimes demands the use of pesticides, responsible homeowners go organic as often as possible. Call our expert arborists for insight into which pesticide will best treat your trees while causing the least amount of harm to the surrounding ecosystem.
Taking Care of Trees Across the State
We couldn’t survive without trees. They breathe out the oxygen that we breathe in. They provide shelter and dozens of resources that we use daily. And they beautify our world. This year, show Oregon’s trees some love by working toward these resolutions:
1. Take Advantage of Hoyt Arboretum.
Portlanders are fortunate to have access to a world-class arboretum within city limits. Hoyt Arboretum is spread across 189 acres in the West Hills. The arboretum offers educational classes and volunteer opportunities throughout the year. This year, make a point to take at least one class, or volunteer at least once at Hoyt Arboretum. As an example, the Saturday Crew volunteer program works to remove invasive species, maintain trails, and more.
2. Volunteer with Friends of Trees.
Friends of Trees could not do their important work without the assistance of hundreds of volunteers. You can sign up to help with tree plantings on Saturdays or Wednesdays. Alternatively, you can assist with driving or biking trees and materials on tree planting days.
3. Volunteer with the Portland Fruit Tree Project.
The Portland Fruit Tree Project harvests fruit from urban trees, and redistributes city-grown fruit to those in need. In 2013, the Portland Fruit Tree Project harvested 32,700 pounds of fruit for more than 4,112 families in need. Sound like a neat volunteer opportunity? It is. You can volunteer as a Tree Scout, finding fruit trees that are not currently being harvested. Alternatively, you can help harvest fruit, teach workshops, or assist with tree care.
4. Sign up for Oregon Wild’s 50 Hikes Challenge.
Oregon’s trees are truly phenomenal. To fully appreciate our state’s trees this year, we recommend signing up for Oregon Wild’s 50 Hikes Challenge. The goal is to hike in as many of the fifty Oregon wilderness areas listed on Oregon Wild’s website. Oregon Wild Members can earn loot for completing as few as ten hikes. Plus, you’ll have incentive to take in some amazing trees across our great state.
With these tree care resolutions on your horizon, 2015 will be a great year!