Looking for a way to enhance property value, save energy costs, boost mental health, and help the planet in one simple, low-cost step? Yeah, me too. Let me know if you think of something.

Seriously, though, a few well-placed trees in one’s yard typically add at least 5% to a property’s value. Having large older specimens (of trees, I mean) around the house can push that figure close to 20%. In terms of energy savings, deciduous trees on the southern and western sides of a house tend to slash cooling costs by roughly one-quarter.

Trees enrich our lives in subtle ways too. We recover from surgeries and illnesses more rapidly if there are trees in view out our window. Crime rates drop when neighborhoods are planted with trees. Plus, lying under trees might cure acne. OK, not sure on that one.

Giving genuine thought to site and species selection is critical to the long-term survival of landscape trees, and right now is an ideal time to plan for success. Any given location will be great for some trees, yet awful for others. Poor drainage, exposure to deicing salt, restricted root area, overhead wires, and shade are but a few possible constraints. Any these attributes alone can lead to the decline and eventual death of certain trees.

On the other hand, that there are species and cultivars able to mature and thrive no matter what limitations a site has. “Right tree, right place” is an arborist mantra. We have others, like “please clean the dog poop before I come look at your tree,” but I digress.

The point is that sometimes you shouldn’t plant that mountain ash, birch clump, or crabapple right where you had in mind. But another location on the property could be perfect. If you only have one available site, there are always plenty of great selections able to live long and prosper there.

One of my favorite resources on landscape tree selection is a free booklet published by Cornell University’s Urban Horticulture Institute. It’s written largely by Dr. Nina Bassuk, whose work is universally esteemed by arborists. You can get the download at http://www.hort.cornell.edu/uhi/outreach/recurbtree/pdfs/~recurbtre...  (No, I’m not at all biased – why do you ask?) Also, Tree Canada has an excellent resource page at https://treecanada.ca/resources/canadian-urban-forest-compendium/8-...

Given our long winters, it’s good to have trees with off-season aesthetic interest. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Hawthorns are salt-tolerant native trees maturing at around 20’; good for under utility lines. 'Winter King' has copious persistent fruit that look great in winter and provide bird food.
  • River birch are medium-large trees with attractive and unusual pinkish-white exfoliating bark. 'Heritage' is resistant to many pests and diseases.
  • Kentucky coffeetrees are tall and drought-tolerant, with few pests or diseases. Their coarse-textured branches produce a striking winter effect.
  • For spacious sites, bur oak has twisting branches with corky wings. A bur oak silhouette in winter is breathtaking. Especially if it’s real cold. These massive trees tolerate both drought and intermittent flooding, and can live hundreds of years.

ISA-Certified Arborist Paul Hetzler is a former Cornell Extension educator. He’s looking for new mantras.

 

Views: 42

Comment

You need to be a member of CornellForestConnect to add comments!

Join CornellForestConnect

Forum

The Village of Hastings-on-Hudson is hiring a p/t urban forester!

Started by Haven Colgate in Woodlot Management Aug 2. 0 Replies

See https://tinyurl.com/mpnp4szy for details.Contact:Aaron PodhurstApodhurst@hastingsgov.org914-478-2380 x640Continue

Agroforester Job Opening

Started by Katie Commender in Agroforestry Jun 23. 0 Replies

Appalachian Sustainable Development is searching for a part-time, regionally remote Agroforester to join our team! This new position will be responsible for providing technical and financial assistance to producers for alley cropping and…Continue

Gypsy Moth (aka Spongy Moth) spray control in priority areas by DEC

Started by Brett Chedzoy in Woodlot Management May 24. 0 Replies

A partial answer to a frequently asked question of recent months - what, if anything, is the DEC planning to do...DEC Announces Aerial Treatment for Spongy Moth in Six High Priority Forest AreasAerial Treatment Taking Place Through Approximately May…Continue

Audubon NY "Bird Friendly" webinars organized by the SFL Chapter of NYFOA

Started by Brett Chedzoy in Woodlot Management May 17. 0 Replies

Well over 200 registered for the March and April webinars presented by Zach Boerman and Suzanne Treyger of Audubon NY - showing that perhaps good forestry really is for the birds!For those of you who would like to watch or re-watch the webinars, the…Continue

Wand for applying herbicide to cut stems

Started by Freyda Lynn (Black) in Woodlot Management Apr 8. 0 Replies

I found an ingenious tool for applying herbicide for cut and paint. It is made by a volunteer prairie group in MI but no longer shipped. I am including a link to their page describing its use and with photos.  It appears to be made of standard pvc…Continue

micorrhiza

Started by Jim Martin in Woodlot Management Mar 16. 0 Replies

Peter,I have been hearing a lot about mycorrhizae.  Much has raised  many questions.How  can one make mycorrhisae  either for an addition to planting or for later addition to an older plantation and also for gardening.How does it  interconnect with…Continue

Wildfire Risk

Started by John Kontrabecki in Woodlot Management. Last reply by Kim Slezak, CF Feb 16. 1 Reply

We own a 60-acre eucalyptus forest in Pacifica, CA, just south of San Francisco.  Can anyone recommend a forestry consultant to prepare a wildfire risk assessment and mitigation plan?  California has suffered from large wildfires for the past two…Continue

Agroforester Job Posting - 1/9/22

Started by Katie Commender in Agroforestry Dec 16, 2021. 0 Replies

Greetings,Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD) is searching for an Agroforester to join our team! This new position will focus on alley cropping and silvopasture, and will be responsible for co-developing agroforestry trainings for natural…Continue

Badge

Loading…

© 2022   Created by Peter Smallidge.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service