Mary Preisel grew up in the Allegheny National Forest, with which she credits cultivating her love of trees and the outdoors.
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We've all seen this common shrub, used for boundaries and privacy screening. These easy-to-grow plants may seem like they're completely maintenance free, but with a little extra love, they will live long, healthy lives. Here are 6 tips for growing your Arborvitae from www.doityourself.com...
Arborvitae is a wonderful tree with thick dark green foliage that will stay all year round and create a natural privacy screen. There are many varieties, some growing over 40-feet tall. There are things you can do that may damage the arborvitae, however, so it is important that you are careful as you plant, grow and maintain your plants and trees. Make sure that you watch out for these mistakes, and your trees should grow and thrive for many years.
Our expert gardening advisor, Rachel Klein adds, "Arborvitae are slow growers so if you plan to use them as a privacy hedge, keep in mind that it may take a few years for you to get the privacy you want. Arborvitae growth averages 4-9 inches in height and 2-6 inches in width per year."
1. Ignoring Weather Conditions While Planting
Though your arborvitae can be planted during any season, there are certain conditions that are not good for it to start off. If you are having an especially hot summer and are experiencing drought, make sure that you wait before planting in the soil. You can keep it near your house in a growing pot, but you must make sure it is in a place where it will experience both sunny and shaded conditions, and is well watered so that the soil will not become dried out.
Rachel advises, "Arborvitae can be planted in full sun or partial shade and can grow in most soil types, though they prefer slightly acidic soil."
2. Pruning During the Wrong Season
Although arborvitae generally will not need to be pruned, you may need to cut back the branches from time to time. Avoid pruning in any season but spring. Pruning your tree in spring allows it to fully heal and continue its growth without damage caused by heat, extreme cold, or insects.
Rachel notes, "Keep in mind that trees pruned on the top will be thicker and bushier. Trees that are not pruned will be tall but skinny and will need to be placed closer together for the optimal level of privacy."
It is not uncommon for some arborvitae branches to die. Dead growth should be pruned off immediately.
3. Planting the Wrong Variety
Although most arborvitae will grow in any climate, certain varieties grow better in each zone. When you are purchasing your arborvitae, research the climate zones where it will flourish. This will make your arborvitae care much simpler and the tree will require less maintenance.
4. Spacing Improperly
Although arborvitae, when grown next to each other, make a good hedge or fence, make sure they are properly spaced apart. Planting them too close together will prevent them from growing as they should because they will all be competing for the same minerals and nutrients in the soil.
Check your variety of arborvitae to see how far apart they should be placed and make sure that you follow those steps to keep them healthy. Most varieties should be placed at least 2-feet apart.
5. Forgetting Winter Care
Heavy snow and built up ice can be very damaging to your arborvitae trees. Make sure you maintain your trees during that time by knocking the snow off the branches and allowing the trees to stay upright. This will prevent disease caused by cold and keep your tree's branches from breaking.
Consider purchasing a mesh to go over your arborvitae during the autumn and winter. Not only will this help the snow fall to the ground, but it will also protect your tree from foraging animals. Rachel suggests, "Heavy duty multi-strand mesh offers the most protection for your arborvitae and even offers UV protection. It is green, to blend right in and can last for seasons."
6. Forgetting to Water in the First Season
Since arborvitae are so green, many people forget to water their newly planted trees. New trees need to be watered deeply for the entire first season after planting. Sprinklers never work as well as a deep soak. The best way to achieve this is simply to turn your hose on and leave the open end at the base of your tree for 10 minutes every few days in the hot summer. If you wait until the foliage begins to turn brown, you may have waited too long. A layer of mulch 3-inches deep will do wonders with moisture retention. As the tree matures, forgo the watering.
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One of our wonderful customers shared this article with us and since Spring has sprung and gardening season is upon us, we thought we'd pass the info along. Thanks for sharing, Mr. Wyatt!
What has your experience with different mulches been? Do you agree with the article or have tips of your own you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments section below!
Here is the link for the original article:
And here's a link on a related article for your learning satisfaction:
All mulched up and waiting for blooms? Post your gorgeous garden pics in the Comments below!
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Along with icy temps and a new appreciation for long johns, February also brings Ridgway, PA's annual Chainsaw Carvers Rendevous. The gathering takes place in different areas around the sleepy town and gives carvers from all over the country the chance to meet, learn new techniques, and auction their work at the end of the week long event.
We attended the very first Saturday, and what a doozie of a day it was! Lots of wind and snow, but that didn't keep us from taking the trip to check out some really great work. All over town tents were set up and there were some goings-on in some of the shops as well. Most carvings were of animals, and even an 11 foot bear that had to have weighed at least half a ton! There were some interesting carved benches and intricate pieces that I wish I would've taken some pictures of (Sorry, folks!)!! And, of course, a few essential carnival food stands (Funnel cake in a February snowstorm? Yes, please!) Some of the carving stations were in plazas so a duck into Dan Smith's Candies and Country Squirrel Outfitters helped break the cold and satisfy the sweet tooth.
I wish we would've made it back for another look-see, as I'm sure it would've been more enjoyable without the harsh wind and snow, but we weren't able to make the trip back--which is also an amazing drive in itself. Will have to wait until next year, which we are really looking forward to.
Chainsaw carving is a pretty amazing art and since the Rendevous, Ryan's been trying his hand at it--so far no pics he'll let me post (artist's ego I suppose ;) ), but it is a lot of fun. Here's a link to our favorite carver (Matthew Crabb)'s website www.exmoorchainsawcarving.co.uk/ Matthew does some really neat pieces like dragon thrones and carvings for playgrounds. Check him out, and if you've got some ideas for Ryan's carvings, let us hear about them!
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Since this is the first official blog post of the first official blog, I wanted to start things off with a, "Hi, how are ya?"
Your narrator for the duration will be me, Mary. Comments are welcome and highly encouraged (blogging can sometimes sound like a lot of crickets...)! If there's a topic you are interested in, please let me know, I love writing suggestions.
So, some background on the orator of this journey...as you can see to your right, I grew up in the woods--Tionesta, PA to be specific. Lots of beauty, lots of hunting, lots of camps. Less people, less stoplights, less run-of-the-mill entertainment (restaurants, movies, much-to-do, what-have-you). Made for a very creative, outdoorsy upbringing.
Besides this blog (and some other freelance pieces) I write short stories, newspaper articles, and childrens books. I love Seinfeld references, SNL, and Will Ferrel movies. I love to cook and am the master of 2 very lively dogs (master might be an exaggeration, these are VERY lively dogs).
I started this blog because, well, blogs are fun. What you can hope for in the future...
lots of information on weird trees and cool tree house ideas...links to interesting articles I find and my take on them (hilarity included)...maybe some backpacking tips, definitely some good tree stories from the job...possibly a recipe or 2, gardening info...again, suggestions highly encouraged! Did I mention I also love feedback??
I think this is a good start to our blossoming relationship and I'm tired of talking about myself, so with that I will end this one-sided conversation. Adieu and I'll meet you back here next time.