Landscaping Tips - If Your Landscape Were A Movie

Landscaping Tips - If Your Landscape Were A Movie

…the Oscar for best performance goes to your trees!  Trees are typically the longest lived and most valuable plants in the landscape. The definition of a tree has changed as humans have intervened in the natural growth habit of many plants so that they conform to the shape, height and look of a “tree” but require regular maintenance to retain the desired shape. The artificial trees are often called “standards” such as oleanders, roses and camellias; all shrubs but now made to look like trees.  Some plants such as palms, bananas, ‘tree’ ferns and bamboos have growth habits resembling trees and are often called trees.

· Trees come in many shapes and sizes and generally fall into three distinct categories: small trees are up to 20’ in height, medium trees are 20’-40’ in height and large trees are any over 40’.  Tree canopies can be as wide as the tree is tall or wider. Both canopy spread and height must be considered when selecting the right tree for the right space.

· Landscape architecture professor Kestutis Zygas states that the goal for planting trees in the desert should be that at least 80% of the ground surface be under tree canopy.  The temperatures under trees canopies are often 5-6°F cooler than the surrounding area.  Since trees cast shade to the side as well as beneath, planting trees to the west, south and southwest of structures along property lines is important. 

· Trees can be used to buffer sound but they must be planted in at least three staggered rows with the selected trees having dense evergreen canopies.

· Trees can be used to frame desired views and mask or hide undesirable views. When planting near structures, to avoid damage to building sides or roofs, the tree should be at least 1/2 the mature canopy spread from the building.

· Deciduous trees provide summer shade and winter sun while evergreen trees provide year round shade.

· Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation is dedicated to planting trees. Its vision is to help others understand and use trees as a solution to many of the global issues faced today.

· So go plant a tree!