Category Archives: News & Information
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.
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.
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….
2022 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 Fannin Has Done
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.
Why is my Live Oak losing its leaves?
As Spring is arriving, we are receiving quite a few questions about live oaks dropping their leaves. Our customers are worried their trees are dying. Fortunately, that is not the case. While live oaks are considered an evergreen tree, they do naturally shed their leaves March through early May in preparation for the onset of new growth. Sometimes the leaf drop is so severe that a tree appears almost leafless. Leaf drop in the spring is usually due to natural causes and is not generally a cause for concern. Usually, new leaves will appear shortly after leaves are shed. New leaves may also be appearing while old leaves are dropping.
Trees often vary in the amount or degree of defoliation they exhibit. Some live oaks drop almost all their leaves before new growth appears while others growing nearby may hold their leaves longer making the transition into the new growth more smoothly. It is important to remember each tree can be looked upon as an individual, with specific characteristics. Those trees may be different genetically, making one shed and producing new leaves quicker than another. It is also possible that there are environmental and/or physical factors that influence a particular plant to shed quicker.
This leaf drop phenomenon is NOT caused by a disease. It is part of the natural life cycle of the tree. However, if you are still concerned, Fannin Tree Farm suggests the following few things to verify the health of the tree.
How to Check the Health of Your Live Oak:
1. Bend and scratch the small branches or twigs.
a. If they are green and pliable, the tree is alive.
b. If it is brittle or brown and snaps easily, chances are that the branch is dead. Remember trees have dead branches and that is normal but if it does this on many branches, then you need to submit a work order on our website for us to evaluate the tree.
c. You can also scratch the trunk to see if it shows green. If it’s green the tree is alive.
2. Look for leaf buds or newly developing leaves. New swelling leaf buds should be clearly visible when trees are dropping leaves. Occasionally, you may see tiny new leaflets starting to form as leaves drop off.
Thank you to Texas A&M AgriLife for all their helpful information! https://plantclinic.tamu.edu
Click here or Call Fannin Tree Farm at (972) 747-9233 for a free quote on upgrading your outdoor space!
Windbreaks: Trees to Reduce Your Winter Heating Bills
Planting trees around homes is a tried and true concept used to conserve home energy use. Everyone knows that summer temperatures are cooler in the shade. But in winter, it is easy to forget that trees can help cut winter energy costs too. With some forethought, you can save money by planting evergreen trees and shrubs on the north and northwest sides of your property.
Windbreaks, which consist of rows of trees placed perpendicular to prevailing winds, were greatly used in the Midwest to protect exposed houses, livestock, and crops from severe winds. The use of shade trees was especially emphasized during the 1970s to combat the energy crisis caused by Arab oil embargos. The recent concern over global warming has made tree planting and energy conservation important issues again.
“Planting evergreen trees and shrubs in certain areas around your house can create an effective windbreak,” says Tchukki Andersen, BCMA, CTSP* and staff arborist with the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). “Generally, most cold winds come from the north or west. An option for those sides of the building is to plant a dense row of evergreens. This will provide additional insulation for your building. Be sure to plant them far enough from the foundation to allow for growth.”
Creating a windbreak
The ultimate goal of planting a windbreak is temperature control. A landscape design that considers wind speed and direction can offer homeowners benefits ranging from reduced energy costs to more efficient landscape water management. “Wind barriers can channel winds away from your house and cut down on cold drafts getting in,” Andersen advises.
Choosing the best trees and shrubs for your situation is extremely important to ensure an effective, long-lasting windbreak.
- Trees or shrubs need to be winter hardy and should have a good history of being suitable for the site and soils.
- Select multiple species of trees and shrubs so, if there is a failure in a row, the windbreak is still effective.
- A mix of deciduous and coniferous plants is best and should be selected based on the purpose of the planting.
- Use native plants whenever possible.
Windbreak Tree Spacing
It might seem like planting trees close is the best way to keep the wind out. But tightly packed trees will become a problem once they mature. The more space you put between trees in the beginning, the longer your windbreaker does its job.
- If you’re planting rows of shorter trees, leave about 10 feet of space between each tree and 15-to-20 feet between each row.
- If you’re planting rows of taller trees, leave 15 feet between each tree and 25 feet of space between rows.
- Remember as these trees grow the space, they’ll fill in that space.
As the spring is coming, now is a great time to visit Fannin Tree Farm and look at some of our suggested trees for a windbreak in North Texas to be ready for next winter. These are just a few of the trees Fannin suggests for windbreaks.
Every location is different, and there is no perfect design that will be effective in all situations. Call Fannin Tree Farm and one of our tree experts can evaluate your planting sites and help plan an effective windbreak that will offer homeowners a variety of benefits for years to come.
Windbreaks are plantings of single or multiple rows of trees or shrubs that are planted for:
- Wind protection.
- Controlling blowing and drifting snow.
- Wildlife habitat.
- Energy saving.
- Living screens.
- Reducing livestock odor.
The effectiveness of a windbreak depends on choosing the right trees and shrubs and planting them at the right density and spacing.
Click here or Call Fannin Tree Farm at (972) 747-9233 for a free quote on creating a windbreak at your own home!
Time Out in a Treehouse
As we come through the winter freeze, I can’t help but look forward to spring and all the outside time that is on the horizon for me. As I look out at all our trees here on the sales lot, I can’t help but think about the majestic live oaks, Chinese pistache and Bur Oak’s that someday may make a treehouse come true for a little princess, a fierce pirate, or a book worm. As a kid, treehouses were so cool to me. A house in the trees with the birds, squirrels, butterflies and lightning bugs. A get-a-way from a stinky brother, a place a princess lived.
Growing up in the country with the trees all around me, I used to dream of a treetop treehouse I could live in forever and be the princess of. Who knew that would become a trend and a possibility! Not only are there kid treehouses but now there are adult treehouses, resorts that boast treehouses, and shows on TV where people build over the top treehouses. I never dreamed that treehouses would become so cool and chic not only for kids but for adults, too. In fact, I wish someone would send me to time out in a treehouse.
It brings a smile to my face that someday some little boy, girl or even an adult might get a treehouse in one of our trees and not only will the tree bring joy to them but they will provide years of special memories for a “no girls allowed,” a reading nook, a pirate hang out, a chic adult only treehouse, a weekend retreat or all the other many things a treehouse can be.
Take a look at some of the cool treehouses we have found. When you find a treehouse you are ready for, let Fannin Tree Farm know. We can provide a treehouse ready tree, or we can provide a treehouse tree for the kids or grandkids in years to come.