Today is Arbor Day, a national celebration of trees and conservation. The observance started in the 19th century on the plains of Nebraska as settlers moved across the country. To their dismay, they found beautiful prairies and rolling hills but no trees or foliage!
In 1872, J. Sterling Morton encouraged fellow Nebraskans to set aside one day devoted to planting trees and shrubs in their local town. By the following year, the movement had spread across the state. In 1882, the United States government chose to make the celebration a national holiday.
These days, many Americans, civic organizations, and schools spend Arbor Day the same way their ancestors did. Libraries host readings about trees. Local groups plant trees in public settings to combat deforestation. Homeowners improve their properties by selecting trees for the landscape.
If you’d like to join the movement and celebrate Arbor Day in your own yard, follow these guidelines before planting:
Picking the perfect tree
Choose a tree that will stand the test of time. A tree’s longevity is better for the environment. Larger trees provide shelter for animals and a healthy growth pattern produces more oxygen.
Find out whether a tree flowers or produces fruit. You should also know its estimated height and width at maturity. The more information you know about a tree prior to planting will help you ensure a long and fruitful life for the new addition.
A dogwood is small and compact. It attracts birds due to its production of berries. Small, white flowers appear in the summer and the foliage turns to a dark red. This tree is a great choice to plant alone or collectively with other dogwoods for a living fence or windscreen.
If attracting wildlife is a part of your landscape planning, a crabapple produces small fruit. The flowers are gorgeous in the spring and summer, and they help provide shade.
Proper planting space
To provide the ideal growing environment, check soil conditions and water drainage before planting. Select a location away from homes, outdoor buildings, and other possible impediments to a tree’s root system.
The planting site should also take into account the amount of sunlight the tree needs. Once a proper location is selected, dig a space two to three times larger than the root bulb of the tree. Once planted, water thoroughly.
For the first few weeks, monitor the tree for a precise water schedule and to ensure the tree is acclimating to its new home.
Should you need help in selecting a type tree or proper planting location, click here to contact one of our experts. There are many native Maryland trees to choose from, and we’re happy to help you pick the perfect one.