Brad Ross: Fall is a good time to think about your trees


Fall is here in all its splendor. We’d better get outside and enjoy it now before it is gone!

I don’t know about you but, for me, fall is my favorite time to be out biking, canoeing, hiking and camping. It’ll be gone at the blink of an eye if we don’t enjoy it now.

For most of us, the symbol of fall is the spectacular show of colors our trees provide and the crisp feel of the sun and cool air. From the banks of the Scioto River to our own backyards, the trees are glorious. Fall is a good time to walk around your yard, admiring the foliage and figuring out how you can help your trees and shrubs thrive through preventative maintenance. During those walks, you may also find that you wish to add to your existing landscaping.

According to the National Arbor Foundation, a beautiful landscape, including trees, can add as much as 20 percent to the value of your property. For most of us, a tree is the highest investment we make in terms of plant material. Selecting the right tree for the right space is critical to the health and vitality of the tree and to your enjoyment.

Three good questions to ask before purchasing a tree are: What do I like? What do I want the tree to do? How much maintenance am I willing to provide?

Trees not only provide beauty, they clean our air and water, save energy, reduce soil erosion, create wildlife and plant diversity, produce oxygen, combat the greenhouse effect, increase economic stability, reduce noise pollution, provide wood, and create screens.

It’s important to consider what the tree will look like as it grows to maturity and its attractiveness throughout Ohio’s four seasons. Do you want a tall shade tree? Food for attracting wildlife? Do you need an understory tree that can withstand shadier conditions? Are you looking for winter appeal? If so, an exfoliating bark (such as a river birch) may add color and texture to your landscaping when most everything else is covered in snow.

Space, light, wind, water, soil, pH, drainage and hardiness are factors to research so that your tree is well-matched to its permanent location. Know the height and canopy width of the tree when mature so that you can avoid power lines, both overhead and underground, drainage improvements, and building foundations.

If you have questions and want more detail about trees in your landscape, the Delaware Soil and Water Conservation District has just the thing to assist you. The SWCD is holding a workshop titled “The Proper Tree Care and Management of Landscape Trees.”

This event will be on Monday, Nov. 9, at the Powell municipal building from 9 to 11 a.m. The workshop is free; however, reservations are requested. Stephan Carbonara from McCullough’s Tree Service Inc. will be the featured speaker and will cover the following topics:

• Common tree care issues, including pests and diseases.

• How to choose a tree.

• Replacements for ash trees.

• Proper tree planting.

• Proper tree care and maintenance.

To make your reservation for the workshop, email [email protected] or call 740-368-1921. And take time to savor the fall beauty in and around your yard and Delaware County.

Brad Ross

Contributing columnist

Brad Ross is communications specialist at the Delaware Soil and Water Conservation District. He can be reached at [email protected].

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