More Crimes Against Trees

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Trees are a great asset to our landscape. But how we treat them can mean the difference between life and death. It starts with Right Plant, Right Place.


This attached article explains Right Plant, Right Place:




Then its how we care for them.


Many times, we will select trees that we really like and try to make them fit into our landscape.


For starters, “I am Guilty!”


As a lifelong resident of Northeast Ohio, I always loved my evergreens. But coming to Northwest Ohio, I encountered

something unfamiliar… a higher Ph.


In NE Ohio, Ph can range from low 5’s to 6.5.




which is perfect for one of my favorite evergreens, Canadian Hemlock.








In NW Ohio, due to the limestone bedrock, Ph can be as high as 7.4.







This is really to high for many of our evergreens including Hemlock.








In addition, there has been an effort to plant evergreens on mounds.







This helps with drainage but unless there is ample water supply such as irrigation,








they will tend to dry out in the summer and desiccate in the winter.


brn pine





In addition, planting on mounds with landscape fabric can hurt the plants as well.







Also, planting ten feet above the base soil level is almost certain to lead to disaster and eventual death.


10 feet






In addition, using plastic or landscape fiber under a stone used as a mulch can lead to problems.







The exception is when plants are irrigated, they can do well.







Another mulch (if you can call it that?) is ground chunks of rubber tires. 



image provided by Ann Chanon, OSU.


Originally, this was used as a playground surface on school playgrounds. It was never intended to be used as a 'mulch', since it is 100% inorganic and will not decay, rot, or compost. 


But it has found it's way around the bases of trees. Add in landscape fabric and the tree suffers a double whammy!



image provided by Ann Chanon, OSU.


Add in a limited growing space and you have a triple whammy!



image provided by Ann Chanon, OSU





What about when trees require pruning?


This River Birch was cut back much too severely.







It may recover but will sucker leaving week branches.


These maples that have been cut back severely will tend to die back leaving exposed dead word








that will lead to rot and insect infestation.







In a related article titled "Crimes Against Trees", I discussed pruning in more detail:



Planting a small seedling in a hole in a rock may seem like a cool thing to do.







But eventually that tree will become girdled and die.





Volcano mulching is not good for trees.






As Joe Boggs points out in the attached post:


Also, pruning trees with a brush hog is a No No!


brush hog



Or pruning too drastically like this apple tree:









The key is to do your research before you buy.


Select the plants that are best acclimated to your location, and then go search for them.


The following is a list of articles regarding Street Tree Selections:


Street Trees of Ohio – Articles


Street Trees of Ohio – What’s your favorite?


Street Trees – Part 1 – Maples-Acer


Street Trees Part 2 – Aesculus-Buckeye


Street Trees Part 3 – Betula-Birch


Street Trees Part 4 -Eucommia (Hardy Rubber Tree), Ginkgo (Ginkgo), Maclura (Osage Orange)


Street Trees Part 5 – Gymnocladus, Kentucky Coffee Tree, Gleditsia, Honeylocust, and Koelreuteria, Goldenrain Tree


Street Trees Part 6 – Metasequioa, Dawn Redwood and Taxodium, Bald Cypress


Street Trees Part 7 – Quercus-Oaks


Street Trees Part 8 – Elms, Ulmus and Zelkova


Street Trees Part 9 - Cornus-Dogwood, Viburnum, Syringa-Lilac, Cercis-Redbud


Street Trees Part 10 – Ostrya, Carpinus, Chionanthus


Street Trees Part 11 – Nyssa, Black Gum and Liquidambar, Sweetgum


Street Trees Part 12 – Platanus, Sycamore, Prunus, Cherry, Amelanchier, Serviceberry, and  Tilia, Linden




Now’s the time to research. Happy planting!