Yearly Archives: 2021

2021 Earth Day

 

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” — Native American Proverb

Earth Day is an annual event created to celebrate the planet’s environment and raise public awareness about pollution.

The day, marked on April 22, is observed worldwide with rallies, conferences, outdoor activities and service projects. Earth Day is a time of the year to reflect on how your life impacts the planet. On this day, people think about new ways to reduce their carbon imprint and improve water quality.  They get together to get their hands dirty and make earnest strides towards making the Earth a better, and healthier, place to live.  Earth Day is an important day for people to take the time out of their busy lives to consider the impact that humanity has on the environment and for taking steps to minimize these impacts. As a result, we all can live happier and healthier lives in tune with nature.  While it would be nice if we all lived as if every day was Earth Day, this holiday serves as a friendly reminder each year, to respect the Earth and to show a little gratitude to Mother Nature.

Started as a grassroots movement, Earth Day created public support for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and contributed to the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the Endangered Species Act and several other environmental laws. The idea for Earth Day was proposed by then-Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, who died in 2005.  The first Earth Day took place on April 22, 1970, a monumental day that is widely credited for launching the modern environmental movement. 20 million Americans from all walks of life participated in the very first Earth Day. Twenty years later, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million  people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage.

Earth Day is a time to reflect and be thankful for everything the Earth does for us.

It is also a time to strengthen our relationship with nature, to give back, and to think of ways we can work to better support the Earth for future generations.  This year the theme for Earth Day is Protect Our Species.  Nature’s gifts to our planet are the millions of species that we know and love, and many more that remain to be discovered. Unfortunately, human beings have irrevocably upset the balance of nature and, as a result, the world is facing the greatest rate of extinction since we lost the dinosaurs more than 60 million years ago. But unlike the fate of the dinosaurs, the rapid extinction of species in our world today is the result of human activity.

This year, Earth day hits especially close to home for Fannin Tree Farm as it is focused on climate change and restoring our earth.  Trees curb climate change directly by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Through the process of photosynthesis, forests offset 10 to 20 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions each year. Additionally, trees help protect against climate impacts such as flooding, which is getting worse with more locally heavy precipitation. By catching rainwater, reducing erosion, and creating more permeable soils, trees help prevent nearly 400 billion gallons of runoff annually in the continental U.S., which is enough water to fill about 600,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Trees are equally crucial for water and air quality, as over half of Americans depend on forests to capture and filter their drinking water. Tree leaves also absorb airborne pollutants and intercept particulate matter, helping reduce the throat irritation, asthma, and even premature death that these pollutants may cause. By annually removing over 35 billion pounds of these pollutants in the continental U.S., trees prevent over half a million cases of acute respiratory symptoms each year.

Not surprisingly, areas with more trees provide more benefits, like in the Southeast and Pacific Northwest.

However, some benefits are higher in urban areas, which often have higher air pollution and flood risks. Trees in urban areas can also reduce the urban heat island effect and lower air conditioning needs as much as 30 percent by providing a natural shade. Urban trees reduce U.S. energy bills by over $5 billion each year. And since lower energy consumption means fewer carbon dioxide emissions, planting trees can contribute to a healthier planet while improving our daily lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What can we do:

Here at Fannin we are always looking for ways to lighten our carbon foot print.  We re-use all of our plastic container buckets for growing trees.  We stopped buying plastic water bottles for our staff and gave everyone a Fannin Tree Farm bottle. We installed a water cooler that purifies the tap water.  We eliminated 100’s of plastic bottles a month.  I found this list that had some great ideas about other things we can do on Earth day and every day to support a healthy earth.  https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/different-ways-to-celebrate-earth-day.php

Earth Day Activities for Kids

Kids are a lot of fun on Earth Day: they have a natural instinct for conservation and preservation, they like to get their hands dirty, and they love any kind of celebration. Planning Earth Day activities for kids is easy; you should start by asking kids what they would want to do to help the Earth. This brainstorming session will help you decide what sorts of things you and your kids can do to help the Earth. Here are some suggestions:

  • plant a tree or a group of trees to beautify your neighborhood, provide shelter and food for birds, and prevent soil erosion.  In honor of Earth Day and Arbor day, you can pick up a tree to plant at your home for 40% off.
  • have a recycling party where friends and neighbors gather recyclable materials and turn them in for prizes
  • gather a group of kids and clean up garbage at a local park, beach, or other public area

Earth Day Books for Kids

If you read enough of my blogs, you know I love books and reading and love finding books for kids that teach about trees and saving the earth.  I found a few cool book lists about Earth Day and wanted to share them with you.

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/kids/8-inspiring-picture-books-earth-day/

https://www.weareteachers.com/best-earth-day-books-for-kids/

April Fun for Kids

I love April. It’s springtime in Texas, the trees are turning green, flowers are blooming, the weather is amazing (fingers crossed) and the tree farm has a smell that I love.

 

Along with all of that April, also, has Earth Day (April 22nd) and National Arbor Day (April 30th.).  At Fannin Tree Farm we love celebrating these holidays!  This is a great month for activities for the kids to celebrate these holidays inside and outside and read some great books.  I have listed just a few fun websites that have some cool activities and book lists as we go into April to celebrate our great earth!  I hope you and your family are able to take advantage of this wonderful weather, get out and enjoy!

 

Activities:

https://wehavekids.com/parenting/10-Earth-Day-Activities-for-your-Family

 

Book Lists:

https://holidappy.com/holidays/Childrens-Picture-Books-About-Trees-for-Arbor-Day-Earth-Day-or-Every-Day

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/kids/8-books-about-trees-for-arbor-day/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/kids/8-inspiring-picture-books-earth-day/

https://www.weareteachers.com/best-earth-day-books-for-kids/

 

Top 5 Flowering Trees for Spring in Texas

Add Some Color to Your Landscape

 

Fannin_Web_Blog_2017-04

As longer days of sunshine summon us outside, the prettiest trees in Texas begin to show their true colors, dropping hints that spring has arrived. Whether you are looking for the perfect photo opportunity or a beautiful backdrop for a picnic, these are the trees to keep your eye on when warmer weather rolls around.


Redbud

redbud_smallTexas Redbud trees enthusiastically announce spring with a vibrant cloud of pink and purple blooms. As one of the most picturesque signs of the season with their heart-shaped leaves and brilliant buds, these are the perfect ornamental trees to brighten up any yard or garden. Redbuds can withstand drought and easily adapt in alkaline soil conditions, reaching heights of up to 20 feet tall.


Crepe Myrtle

crepe-myrtle_smallAvailable in an array of sizes and colors, the Crepe Myrtle is a southern charmer with its brilliant blooms in both the summer and fall. Because of its extra long blooming period, it has been called the “flowering tree of 100 days.” Add a dwarf variety as a standout addition to a landscape, or plant a large Crepe Myrtle tree as a front-yard focal point. These flowering beauties love sunlight and can grow up to 25 feet tall.


Desert Willow

desert-willow_smallGreat for the low maintenance gardener, this hearty desert tree will survive in dry soil conditions with full sun in the Texas heat. A well-drained, raised bed is the best location to plant desert willows, especially in areas where annual rainfall is greater than 30 inches. Its pink and violet orchid-like flowers are members of the bignonia family. Surprisingly, this species is not related to the willow, as the name might suggest.


Vitex

vitex_smallYou’ll know a Vitex tree by its ostentatious canopy of purple flowers it produces in the summer and fall months. The Vitex is a hardy tree that boasts aromatic green leaves and grows quickly in most climate and soil conditions. This gorgeous Southern native grows about one foot per year, reaching anywhere between 10 and 20 feet tall when it is fully grown.


Magnolia

southern-magnolia_smallThe prominent, large white flowers of magnolia trees are synonymous with Southern style. Little Gem Magnolias, which produce flowers for six months, make a stunning addition to dress up an indoor garden or smaller landscape. Larger varieties like the DD Blanchard Southern Magnolia will flourish as the glorious centerpiece of a yard, standing 60-70 feet tall.

If any, or all, of these trees suit your fancy, head on out to Fannin Tree Farm to pick one out today!

 

Best Fertilizer for Trees

Fannin Tree Farm highly recommends using Osmocote Flower and Vegetable on all your trees twice a year in April and August. It is a pelletized slow-release fertilizer that releases its nutrients over several months. It will not burn plants or trees and only requires two fertilizations per year. It can be expensive, but very effective and mistake-proof.

Why Osmocote

  • Two applications a year – one early Spring and another in early Autumn
  • Contains everything plants need for healthy growth
  • Releases nutrients at the same rate plants are able to take them up through the roots – no wastage or run-off into waterways and drains
  • Includes a wetting agent to help water and nutrients soak into the soil

Features of Osmocote

Boosted magnesium

To keep leaves green for longer, especially on citrus

Feeds when plants need it

The release of nutrients depends on temperature – more when it’s warm and plants are growing and less when it’s cold and growth is slow

Sustainable & environment-friendly

Scotts Osmocote® uses advanced prill technology that ensures even and controlled nutrient release with no wastage Controlled release means feeding less often and more effectively; less frequent feeding is more economical and environment-friendly

Wetting agent

The added wetting agent enhances water absorption into the soil or potting mix and helps plants take up nutrients

Where can I get Osmocote?

  • Amazon
  • Garden Centers

Fertilizer Reminders for Trees

  • Trees require a more “well-balanced” or “complete” fertilizer which provides nitrogen for green, healthy foliage and phosphorus and potassium for flowering, fruiting, and root development.
  • Fertilizer isn’t medicine for sick trees. Force-feeding a declining tree can make matters worse.
  • Don’t fertilize during dry periods. Plants can’t use fertilizer without adequate moisture. Fertilize before a rain, or water after application.
  • Fertilizer is especially effective on younger trees.
  • If in doubt about quantity, always err on the low side, as too much can burn trees. Follow the label.

Remember: Your trees are the most enduring, the hardest-working, and often the most valuable elements of your landscape. They protect you and your home from heat and wind, reducing energy costs and cleaning the air while beautifying the world. Isn’t a good fertilizer program the least they deserve?

How to Treat Freeze-Damaged Trees

I was so glad to see the sun come back out this week and the freezing cold go away.  As my granny always said, if you do not like the weather today just hold on, it will be different tomorrow in Texas.  As you are starting to recover from the historic low freezing temperatures during the week of February 15th through February 19th and checking everything in your home, I want to remind you to check on your trees and start watering them. The most important thing you can do right now for your trees is water (view the Fannin Water Guide).  As the spring starts it will be important to do a deep root fertilization and prune as needed.

As we shared several weeks ago, trees are going to have stress from the deep freeze we just went through last week. The good news is for most of the tree this will only cause a set-back. Most trees will recover from this type of freeze damage. It often takes months for all of the damage to be evident, if any. You may even find that some trees that look damaged immediately after a freeze actually aren’t. The foliage of some trees may look dark and water-soaked and later turn bright green and healthy again.

Fannin Tree Farm is currently seeing that Evergreen trees have experienced excessive leaf burn due to the freezing temperatures. Typically, when freezes occur those leaves will shed, and new leaves will push but the tree will need time and possibly some fertilization assistance. We will be monitoring this situation closely and will be assessing tree conditions and their response to this historic freeze over the next 4 to 8 months. Our current recommendation is to deeply water your trees 2-3 times per week and to highly consider a deep root fertilization program going into Spring. Fannin Tree Farm will be able to provide a deep fertilization program, pricing for these treatments will vary from tree size and number of trees needed to be treated.

To get a quote on Fannin Tree Farms, deep root fertilization program or pruning needs click here or call one of our tree experts at 972-747-9233.

 

How to Care for a Tree Before, During, and After a Deep Freeze

North Texas is in for some very cold weather.

Did you know? It is highly important to water your trees before deep freezes. Be sure to use a deep-watering method to water your trees within 24 to 48 hours of a deep freeze to protect their root systems.

It’s common for Winter damage or winter burn to occur during these longer-term freezing temperatures. Most often the damage is cosmetic, and the leaves drop off and be replaced with new growth in the spring. Sometimes pruning is necessary to remove brown, dead, or broken stems or branches. Although the damage may look bad, many tree species are quite resilient. With proper care, a healthy tree without irreparable damage will likely bounce back. Here are a few things you may see with your trees.

Leaf Scorch 

  • Symptoms are most severe on evergreens such as Hollies, Magnolias and Live Oaks.
  • Most damage will occur during winter, but most symptoms will be observed before spring as new growth appears.

 

 

Blighting or Browning of New Growth

  • Warm temperatures in protected areas in February and March may stimulate buds, flowers, or shoots into growth too early.
  • Subsequent cold weather and frosts will kill young buds and tender new growth resulting in fewer flowers and later leaf development.
  • Frozen tissue damage frequently appears as blackened buds and leaves that may also drop off.
  • Pruning out remaining bare branches will help stimulate new growth later in the spring.

Branch Dieback and Leaf Yellowing

  • These symptoms occur from sunscald, frost cracks, root damage, and cold weather following a warm spell.
  • Frost cracks can occur during the winter on exposed bark, usually on the west side of a trunk or limb, where warming and subsequent rapid cooling causes expansion and contraction of tissues resulting in cracks.

Ice and Snow Damage

  • Symptoms include bent or broken branches from the heavyweight of the ice or snow.
  • Heavy snow can be gently knocked from branches but iced-over branches may actually be more brittle and suffer further damage if removal is attempted.
  • Wind during ice storms will cause the most damage.
  • You can clear ice and snow from small trees and shrubs if you can reach them from the ground. Use a broom to gently knock off snow and ice. If it doesn’t come off easily, leave it alone. Please don’t whack the branches when they’re brittle with the winter cold.

Winter Color of Evergreens 

  • Symptoms of “winter color” can include gray, yellow, brown, and bronze leaves or needles.
  • Causes of ‘winter color’ can include low temperatures and drought stress. Often, the foliage colors will revert back to normal when springtime temperatures return to normal.

What NOT to do After a Snow & Ice Storm:

  • Don’t go near a tree that is in contact with utility lines, and don’t attempt to remove the tree yourself. Ice is dangerous! Electricity passes through it, people of all ages and physical conditions slip and fall on it, and only trained professionals should use power tools when it’s icy.
  • Don’t stand under a snow- and ice-loaded tree, even if you have a hard hat. A lot of emergency room visits are caused by underestimating risk. Let the snow and ice melt naturally and watch from a safe distance.
  • Don’t shake branches to get snow and ice off. Falling snow and particularly falling ice are unpredictable and heavier than you think.

 

Can Squirrels Really Grow Trees?

Squirrels Help Grow Texas TreesEvery March before the leaves on the trees budded out, my dad would drop me off at his mom’s house for a down and dirty spring cleaning of her yard. Granny Halley was a kind, wise, and generous old wrinkly woman who always greeted me with a massive hug and a wet kiss on my forehead. I would return her love with a hug and a loud “I love you too Halley.” (more…)

Selecting Trees and Ongoing Management

selecting a tree from fanning tree farm

Planting a tree is more than digging a hole and setting a tree.  It requires proper selection and planning.  A tree that is planted in the correct location, can be one of the most valuable assets in your garden. If properly cared for, the tree will provide many benefits that could be shared from one generation to the next. When selecting trees, it’s important to know what you are trying to achieve.

The first thing to do is to assess your site.

  • What type of soil do you have?
  • Do you have enough space to plant a tree in the location you are considering?
  • Does this location have good drainage?
  • How far away from the foundation am I am going to plant this tree?
  • How much sunlight does this location receive?
  • Are there any overhead utility lines that may limit your tree selection?
  • Are there any site restrictions?
  • If planting in the back garden, how wide are my gates? Can I remove my fence to allow for a larger tree?

Once you have assessed your site, consider what you are trying to achieve.

  • Privacy
  • Aesthetics
  • Flowering
  • Fall color
  • Shade
  • Wind break

When planting a tree in a specific location, ask a tree specialist about the size of the tree at maturity. If planting multiple trees, consider spacing the trees 25 to 30 feet apart. If you are planting a large stature tree, try to plant about 25-feet away from your foundation or more.

Now that you have assessed your site and know what you are trying to achieve, its time to take some photos of the planting location.  Bring these photos into a nursery and discuss your objectives with a tree specialist.

Tree Specialists

While meeting with a tree specialist, ask them to show you trees that are best suited for your site that also achieve your goal. We advise our clients to ask us about the species and watering requirements. It is good to know if the tree you are considering is in a dry climate, moist environment, or moderate water-loving species? You may also ask if this tree will grow in my soils? Some trees prefer well-drained soils, so planting a dry climate species in a location that stays wet, might not be the best idea. If you have a soil with a high pH, consider a tree that will grow in an alkaline soil.

At the Nursery

While at the nursery, assess the tree before you make a decision. Look at the base of the tree to inspect the root collar. This is sometimes referred to as the root flare. It should resemble the base of a wine glass that tapers outward.

If you are looking for an upright tree, evaluate the tree for good branch structure. A tree with a central leading branch is a good indicator it will grow upright. Then assess the trunk to make sure there are no major scars or damages that jeopardize the health of the tree.

If you are looking to plant a tree for aesthetics, consider the orientation of the tree. Make sure the tree will fit the space. Trees like Live Oaks and Chinese Pistache are naturally oriented to grow wide.  Then there are trees like Red Oaks, Cedar Elms and Hybrid Maples that grow upright and provide height in your garden. Remember to look for overhead utility lines. If you have power lines that are located above the planting location, consider planting a small or medium-sized tree.

Sometimes we plant trees for shading a home to reduce energy bills. If this is the case, consider planting the tree on the west side of the home. You may consider a deciduous tree (drops its leaves in the winter) to reduce the amount of energy used to heat your home.

Last but not least ask the tree specialist for a watering and care guide.  Thoroughly review the guide and discuss any areas of concern with the specialist.  If you are confused about ongoing care for your tree, consider hiring a certified arborist for tree maintenance.

At Fannin Tree Farm we have a large inventory of trees that grow well in the Dallas-Fort Worth and surrounding areas. Come by and see our selection and meet with one of our tree specialists.  We have a great team of knowledgeable experts that are ready to help you find trees that will last for generations.  Give us a call at 972-747-9233 and ask to talk to a tree specialist.

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