Category Archives: News & Information
2023 Earth Day
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.
How Trees Can Help
This year, Earth Day hits especially close to home for Fannin Tree Farm as it is focused on investing in our planet, climate change, and restoring our earth. Trees are a great investment in our planet, curbing 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 footprint. 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. More great ideas about other things we can do on Earth Day and every day to support a healthy earth can be found here: 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 areas.
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.
Winter and Trees
It’s that time of year again! Our deciduous trees have dropped their leaves. Winter is upon us, although it may not always feel like it here in Texas this time of the year. Now is the perfect time to consider protecting your trees from the harsh winds and colder temperatures to come. There are several actions you can take to ensure your trees will be protected during the winter months.
While it may seem counterintuitive, watering your trees 24 to 48 hours before a deep freeze comes is one of the best ways to protect the root system. With our cold weather we often have higher winds, and these winds can cause the trees to dry out faster than one might think they would. Also, since water freezes at 32 degrees having adequate moisture can help maintain that higher temperature in the soil around the roots as temperatures dip dangerously low.
Maples and other thin bark trees
The beautiful hybrid maples such as Autumn Blaze, October Glory, and even the Japanese maples have thinner bark than many of our native oaks and elms. Therefore, it is important to protect the delicate bark on their lower exposed trunk from what is called “southwest injury” or sunscald. You may choose to do it yourself with a thick wrapping of burlap, a white tree wrap (available online at Walmart.com, amazon.com or other similar retailers), or similar materials.
Protect your palms!
Palm trees are generally a tropical species, which often means that they don’t thrive as well in our North Texas winters, but you can help them out by wrapping the trees for protection. Wrap your palms with a thick layer of brown burlap, from the base of the trunk all the way to the base of the crown. It is very important to get that base as that is the growing point of the palm, from which new growth will arise in the spring and summer.
Tips for Preventing Live Christmas Tree Fires
We may not sell Christmas trees at Fannin Tree Farm, but we are very passionate about the safety of all trees. When you bring a live tree into the home during the holiday season, it’s important to consider safety precautions. While Christmas tree fires are rare in the U.S. with an average of only 200 yearly nationwide, these basic tips will hopefully keep that number down to zero.
Tips for Preventing Live Christmas Tree Fires
- Select a healthy tree with bright green needles that hold well when the tree is touched.
- Water the tree base daily, with no exceptions. Dry trees are far more dangerous than flush trees.
- Position the tree at least three feet from any heat source, including fireplaces, candles, heating vents, or lights.
- Do NOT position the tree in front of a doorway or exit.
- Confirm that your tree lighting is designed for indoor use – check the box!
- Replace any damaged bulbs or strings and never use a string of lights with exposed or damaged wiring.
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights as you’re going to bed or leaving the house.
- After the holidays, ditch the tree and remove it from the premises entirely. Many communities have recycling options for old Christmas trees. This is important because old, dry trees present a greater fire risk than healthy trees.
So what’s the deal with dry trees? It’s not so much that dry trees are more likely to catch fire, it’s that when they do catch fire, they burn so much more quickly! An entire tree can go up in flames in a matter of seconds.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology published this video showing the difference in how well-watered trees and dry trees burn:
Follow these basic steps, and you can enjoy a safe and happy holidays with your live Christmas tree. Thank you and happy holidays from your friends at Fannin Tree Farm.
Take Care of Your Trees in Fall & Winter: Watering & Freeze Guide
Winter is coming soon – December 21st – and we want to ensure your trees are properly planted and taken care of! It is widely spoken that fall is the best time to plant trees and shrubs. As Autumn comes to an end, be sure take full advantage of the remaining days of the season. Below we’ve compiled tips from Bradley Boobar, Arborist Representative, about which trees to plant, where to plant them, and where NOT to plant them. Additionally – check out our tree watering guide for winter which helps you navigate any freezes that may occur!
Planting trees in the fall
Planting trees in the fall is the best time of the year for plant growth, because of the cooler temperatures and most deciduous trees are dormant allowing less stress and damage on the tree.
Planting Deciduous Trees
Many deciduous trees provide a beautiful foliage and if planted in the correct spot, they can help reduce your energy bill. Consider planting a deciduous tree like a Red Oak, Cedar Elm, Bur Oak, or Lacebark Elm on the northwest side of your home. This will cool your home in the summer and allow sunlight in to heat your home in the winter.
Planting trees along the North and South side
If you are looking to plant a screen for vegetable gardens or screen from harsh winter winds, consider planting a row of trees, like Eastern Red Cedars, Magnolias, or other full to the ground growth type trees to protect from the cold northern winds. Planting tree rows along the southside of your property will provide a good wind break as they mature.
Do not plant large stature shade trees close to foundation
Most large stature trees, like Red Oaks, Live Oaks, Magnolias, Cedar Elms, and Bald Cypress, need room to grow. Their roots grow outward to stabilize them as they mature. They require water and can reduce moisture near the foundation. It is important to not plant a tree within 25-ft of the foundation of your home. These large tree species can have roots that grow out 3-5 times the width of their canopy.
Do not plant large shade trees beneath utility lines
Selecting the right tree for the right location is very important. Never plant a large stature tree beneath a power line, or within a 25-35 ft of an overhead line. As these trees mature, they will grow into the utility lines and require invasive pruning. According to International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), the correct way to landscape under utility lines is to plant large shrubs or smaller canopy trees that would not exceed the height under the lines.
Don’t forget to water during the fall and winter months
It is a common misconception, that there is no need for watering in the fall/winter months. However, trees always require water throughout the year. We recommend to water as needed to keep the soil moisture at an adequate level during the colder months. To properly prepare for freezing temperatures in the fall and winter, make sure to water the trees an adequate amount the day/night before a freeze to maintain the soil temperature and decrease the chance of plant decline.
Freeze Watering Tips
Water 1-3 Days Ahead of Freeze
- Drought-stressed trees are more susceptible to cold damage, so it’s crucial to water plants a few days in advance of a cold snap.
- Create warmth for your trees by watering them just before a freeze. Water acts as an insulator and it loses its heat slowly over the hours into the colder temperatures. Tree cells that are plump with water will be stronger against cold damage.
Adopt A Watering Schedule
- Moist soil will tend to stay warmer than dry soil, so a regular watering schedule in dry, cold weather can help protect plants from freezing temperatures. In addition, if the ground freezes, the underground water turns to ice crystals which cannot be absorbed by tree roots.
Water Trees Year-Round
- Even dormant trees need and absorb water year-round. If you experience freezing weather only occasionally, and you have had insufficient rain or snowfall, water deeply a day or so before a freeze is forecast.
Water The Entire Root System
- A good rule of thumb is to water an area the size of the trees drip line. Water early in the day, so the trees have time to absorb it before the temperature drops at night. Don’t wet the foliage.
If you have any questions about your trees, feel free to contact the professionals at Fannin Tree Farm. Our number is 972-747-9233 and we have a team of arborist ready to serve.
4 Reasons to Purchase a Mature Tree
Why Mature Trees Provide More Benefits Than Young Trees
At Fannin Tree Farm, we recommend that homeowners purchase mature trees rather than young ones. Adding mature trees to your home landscape can provide many benefits without requiring much upkeep or pruning. Young trees require a considerable amount of pruning and training, and they don’t provide as many benefits to your home and neighborhood as mature trees do.
Tree Considerations When Planting in the Fall
As autumn approaches, be sure to take full advantage of the season. It is widely spoken that fall is the best time to plant trees and shrubs. Here are a few things to consider when planting trees at your home.
1st: Planting trees in the fall
• Planting trees in the fall is the best time of the year for plant growth, because of the cooler temperatures and most deciduous trees are dormant allowing less stress and damage to the tree.
2nd: Planting deciduous trees
• Many deciduous trees provide beautiful foliage and if planted in the correct spot, they can help reduce your energy bill. Consider planting a deciduous tree like a Red Oak, Cedar Elm, Bur Oak, or Lacebark Elm on the northwest side of your home. This will cool your home in the summer and allow sunlight to heat your home in the winter.
3rd: Planting trees along the North and South side
• If you are looking to plant a screen for vegetable gardens or screen from harsh winter winds, consider planting a row of trees, like Eastern Red Cedars, Magnolias, hollies, junipers, or other full to the ground growth type trees to protect from the cold northern winds.
• Planting tree rows along the south side of your property will provide a good wind break as they mature.
4th: Do not plant large stature shade trees close to the foundation.
• Most large-stature trees, like Red Oaks, Live Oaks, Magnolias, Cedar Elms, and Bald Cypress, need room to grow. Their roots grow outward to stabilize them as they mature. They require water and can reduce moisture near the foundation. It is important to not plant a tree within 25-ft of a foundation. These large tree species can have roots that grow out 3-5 times the width of their canopy.
5th: Do not plant large shade trees beneath utility lines.
• Selecting the right tree for the right location is very important. Never plant a large stature tree beneath a power line or within 25-35 ft of an overhead line. As these trees mature, they will grow into utility lines and require invasive pruning.
If you have any questions about your trees, feel free to contact the professionals at Fannin Tree Farm. Our number is (972) 747-9233 and we have a team of experts ready to serve.
Texas Arbor Day 2022
Fall is one of my favorite times of year. Not only is the weather cooling down (we hope in Texas), hockey, college football, and tailgating is in full swing, but Texas Arbor Day is the first Friday of November in, which is prime time to buy and plant your favorite shade or ornamental trees. You might be thinking, “Isn’t Arbor Day in April?” Yes, if you live in most of the country. The first Arbor Day in the United States was celebrated April 10, 1872, in Nebraska, and the idea of an official day promoting and planting trees quickly spread throughout the country.
One hundred years after its first celebration, National Arbor Day was declared as the last Friday in April. The only problem with this is that many times (including this past National Arbor Day), North Texas can see temperatures well into the 80’s with heat indexes into the 90s during late April. Although Fannin Tree Farm has a year-round 98% success rate of planting trees, fall is most often a better time to establish trees. Cooler temperatures create more favorable conditions for a successful transition into the tree’s permanent home. Which is why in 2013, Texas established Texas State Arbor Day, which falls on the first Friday of November.
There are lots of things that you can do to celebrate Texas Arbor Day. In Texas, the official state Arbor Day celebration is held in a different host city each year on the first Friday in November. On National Arbor Day, Texas A&M Forest Service announced that this year’s state celebration will be hosted in Plano, Texas. “The idea is for everyone in Texas to take one day – the same day – to truly appreciate trees and plant one,” said Paul Johnson Texas A&M Forest Service urban and community forestry program coordinator. “Planting a tree leaves a legacy for future generations while beautifying the spaces where we live, work and play today.”
Today, above all, Arbor Day is for children, parents, and grandparents to strengthen the bond between generations by planting trees together. It presents a tremendous opportunity to teach fundamental lessons about stewardship of our natural resources and caring for our environment. There is no more powerful demonstration than helping children plant and care for trees that their own children and grandchildren will enjoy.
Here are some things you can do with your family, school or community for Texas Arbor Day:
• Celebrate by planting a tree.
• Take a class of students on a tree identification hike around campus or within your community. Fannin Tree farm has a program to work with girl scouts, boy scouts, and other groups.
• Plant trees on your school campus.
• Challenge schools within the local districts to create Tree Trails on their campuses.
• Have a contest for students to find the oldest trees in the community and research the history of the tree. For example, when the tree was 10 years old, what was going on in your community, the nation and/or the world.
• Hold an essay contest where students describe the importance of trees to their community
• Select special trees to plant as a memorial or honorary trees (link to the celebration tree graphic with the tree types and meaning.)
• Invite a local arborist to give a tree-climbing demonstration.
• Ask an arborist or Tree Company to come out and give a talk on trees, how to maintain trees or other tree-related topics for your school, community group, church, or scouts group. Fannin Tree Farm will do this for your group.
• Take a Family walk at a local park and talk about the trees and what trees provide to our world.
Fannin Tree Farm would love to spend part of your Arbor Day with you, come out on the 4th, 5th or 6th of November for our Texas Arbor Day Sale. All of our trees will be on sale. We will have Arbor Day Activity Books for the Kids, The Ticket broadcasting live from 12:00pm to 7:00pm, a food truck on Friday night and Saturday afternoon, and lots of great Texas Shade Tree’s to choose from.
Sources for some information:
Fall Tree Checklist and Recommendation
- Never forget to water during the Fall and Winter months.
- It is a common misconception, that there is no need for watering in the Fall/Winter months. However, trees require water always throughout the year; we recommend to water as needed to keep the soil moisture at an adequate level always during the colder months.
- To properly prepare for freezing temperatures in the Fall and Winter, make sure to water the trees an adequate amount the day/night before a freeze to maintain the soil temperature and decrease the chance of plant decline.
- Visit our website to find our post-planting tree care guide and watering instructions.
- Rely on mulch.
- Put mulch under your tree in the fall or early winter to help retain water and reduce temperature extremes in the soil.
- A thin layer of mulch will act like a blanket and give the tree’s roots a little extra protection. Never put more than 1 to 1.5” of mulch over the root ball.
- If you have a Fannin Tree with a tree well, now id the time to refresh your tree well by turning over the mulch and refreshing the tree well.
- Prune your trees.
- Late fall is a good time to prune your trees. Not only are trees dormant in the colder months, but it is also easier to see a tree’s structure when there are no leaves on the branches.
- Proper pruning is vital to the health of trees and plants, in part because it helps relieve stress on trees and keeps them growing. Just be aware that each tree is different and pruning at the wrong time or the wrong way can injure a tree making it more susceptible.”
- Fannin does not recommend pruning trees for 2 to 3 years after the tree was planted. This allows the tree to recover from planting stress. It is ok to prune dead branches from a newly planted tree.
- Plant more!
- Since autumn is the time of year for colorful, falling leaves, many people do not realize that it is also a prime time to plant new trees.
- After cooler weather has set in, conditions are perfect for stimulating root growth in new trees. Once roots are established throughout the fall and dormancy of winter, spring showers and summer warmth encourage new top growth.
If you have any questions about your trees, planting trees, need a quote for pruning or tree well clean up and mulch, feel free to contact the professionals at Fannin Tree Farm. Our number is 972-747-9233 and we have a team of tree experts ready to serve.
Some of this content provided by the International Society of Arboriculture, a non-profit organization dedicated to tree-care research and education. Fannin Tree Farm is a member in good standing with ISA.
Bagworms are a common pest in North Texas; While bagworms are not prevalent every year, it is important to know how to spot and handle them to keep your trees healthy. Once they have infested a tree, they will continue to live there unless controlled.
Bagworms are especially common on cedars, junipers, cypresses, and other evergreens, although they can attack broad-leaf trees (like oaks, maples, and elms) as well. While they are common, they may not always be noticeable, especially on evergreens where they use material from the trees to camouflage their casings. Like other insects, bagworms have a year-long life cycle, and control measures depend on the growth stage of the pest.
WHAT DO BAGWORMS LOOK LIKE?
You probably won’t see the bagworms themselves, but instead, the 2” homes bagworms make in your trees. In the fall, the insects use their silk and pieces of the tree to create a camouflaged, cocoon-looking bag, which they fill with up to 1,000 eggs!
The eggs hatch in late spring or early summer when super tiny, black larvae emerge. At 2mm, they’re barely larger than a pinhead, which makes them light as a feather. The caterpillars use their silk thread as a parachute to travel to nearby trees and begin building a new home (or bag) there. The pests hang out in their bags until late summer or early August when the adult males emerge to mate. Male bagworms are ashy-black moths with transparent wings and are about the size of a quarter.
WHAT DAMAGE DO BAGWORMS DO?
On evergreens, they’ll eat lots of the buds and foliage, causing branch tips to turn brown and then die. But if they eat more than 80 percent of the tree, the entire evergreen may die. On deciduous trees (those that lose their leaves in winter), bagworms chew small holes in the leaves and can cause defoliation. Generally, these trees will bounce back if you get rid of the bagworms.
HOW CAN I GET RID OF BAGWORMS ON EVERGREENS AND OTHER TREES?
You aren’t going to like this, but the easiest and most simple way to remove bagworms is to cut off the bags by hand and destroy them. Be sure to cut off all their silk, too, because that could strangle (and kill) twigs later. It is important to dispose of the bags or destroy them, and not just leave them lying on the ground, as the eggs they contain can hatch and re-infest the tree. Fannin suggests that you put them into a plastic trash bag and send them off with the garbage.
If that’s too gross or there are too many bagworms for you to remove, we can help! Insecticide sprays can be used to control bagworms, but are most effective when the caterpillars are small and can be completely ineffective if the bagworms close their bags which occurs if they molt or during the winter. Systemic insecticides may be used in some cases as a preventative measure.
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Summer Reading and Trees
If your kids are like mine they are excited to escape far from the confines of the classroom, working hard to forget almost everything they learned. At least you can help them avoid the dreaded brain dump this summer by keeping them reading all summer long. I’m already making plans for my kids for this summer and that includes a summer reading list that has many books about trees on it. Yes, I know I am partial to trees and I love trees. It is one of the reasons I work on a tree farm. There are some great books out there about trees for every age child.
One of my favorite quotes about reading is from Laura Bush, “As parents, the most important thing we can do is read to our children early and often. Reading is the path to success in school and life. When children learn to love books, they learn to love learning.” There are many benefits to reading to your kids. Some of those benefits include setting your children up to succeed, reading develops language skills, it exercising your child’s brain, enhances concentration, encourages a thirst for knowledge, a range of books teaches children about different topics (like trees), developing a child’s imagination and creativity, books are a form of entertainment and can be read anywhere ( like under a tree) and my most favorite reason why reading to a child is so amazing, it helps create a bond. As a busy mom, it has always been a way for me to wind down with my son at night. I have always tried to remember, “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” Emile Buchwald.
Over the years, here are some of the favorite tree books that the kids of Fannin have enjoyed. I think a lot of these books are great reads and I encourage you to read them with your kids.
- The Lorax
- The Giving Tree
- Chica Chica Boom Boom
- Go Dog Go
- Winnie the Poo
- Secrets of the Apple Tree
- One Tree
- The Magic Maple Tree
- The Tree Lady
I also love the idea of creating a Reading-Friendly Environment. Barns and Noble explains, that to keep kids reading, you need to remove as many barriers to reading as you can. That means having books at the ready for kids when they want one and having a comfortable, quiet place where they can lose themselves in a book. As summer starts, you can work with them to create a little reading nook, with stacks of books and comfy pillows. You can also designate a night as a “screen-free” night, in which everyone in the house (including you) must do an activity that doesn’t involve a screen. This took a while for my kids to get use to but once we started the screen-free activity night at our home, reading took off!
If you are looking for some great Tree book reading list, here are three places I recommend you go to find some great books to read.
Happy Reading…. Don’t forget the Tree Books….