Category Archives: News & Information
Texas’ Top 5 Summer Flowering Trees
When summers in the air, the kids are out of school & we are spending more time outside who does not want to be surrounded by summers flowering trees. Spring’s beautiful blooming trees of fresh flowers aren’t just limited to that season. There are many trees that thrive in our Texas climate during the summer and some of them produce the most colorful blooms around.
Here are Texas’ Top 5 Summer Flowering Trees:
Blooming Period: Late Spring – Early Fall
Flower Color: Purple
This multi-trunk tree is known for its breathtaking displays of purple blooms on long spikes that jet out at every growth tip during the late spring into summer. The Vitex has aromatic green leaves and is a rapid grower in most climate and soil conditions. It prefers summer heat for more colorful blooms. The Vitex is a drought-tolerant, pest-resistant tree that grows to reach a height between 10 and 20 feet at maturity. The Vitex’s twisting trunks under the bright flowering canopy gives this tree a unique, grand appearance. Its canopy is large and layered, which allows sunlight to penetrate the ground below. The Vitex requires minimal water and little maintenance while its blooms attract many pollinating insects, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
Blooming Period:Mid-Spring – Late Summer
Flower Color: White, Pink, or Purple
The Desert Willow is one of Texas’ best trees. Overall, it is somewhat delicate yet can withstand all the heat Texas can bring. Its leaves are long and narrow, its flowers are orchid-like and have a lengthy flower period. The flowers emanate from new branch growth, and therefore pruning accentuates the process. This water-wise and drought tolerant tree produces magnificent blooms of exotic trumpet-shaped purple flowers. The Desert Willow has an airy canopy and is visually appealing in many landscape styles. The flowers range in color from light pink to light violet. The seeds of the desert-willow are eaten by wildlife, and the flowers often attract hummingbirds.
Blooming Period: Late Spring – Late Fall
Flower Color: Red, White, Pink, or Purple
The Crepe Myrtle has something to offer for every season but stands out in late spring to summer when it begins producing stunning blooms of purple, pink, red, and white flowers that are pleasing to the eye. The Crepe Myrtle is known for its long and constant bloom cycle and works well in just about any landscape. One of the most beautiful characteristics of this tree is its slick, light-colored bark and small leaves that turn yellow and red in the fall. It grows 1.5 to 2.5 feet annually until it reaches a height between 10 and 25 feet at maturity. Is well-suited for hot, sunny climates.
Blooming Period: Early – Late Summer
Flower Color: White
Both a flowering tree and an ornamental tree, the Southern Magnolia is sure to turn heads in any landscape. Its large spoon-shaped leaves provide a thick canopy of shade and produce magnificent large billowing white blossoms that have a fragrant smell to them. They prosper in many conditions, and there is very little maintenance with this tree. It is loved for its year-round foliage and ability to look fantastic in many different landscapes. This magnolia grows one foot annually until it reaches a height between 60 and 70 feet at maturity.
Little Gem Magnolia
Blooming Period: Early Summer – Late Fall
Flower Color: White
The Little Gem Magnolia is the perfect tree for your yard if you are seeking a smaller version of the evergreen magnolia without sacrificing any of the usual beauty. This is a stunning small tree for interior landscapes. The Little Gem Magnolia produces large, fragrant and saucer-shaped flowers that are creamy white in color and reach a width of 8 inches. It will continue to produce flowers for 6 months every year. This magnolia’s leaves are leathery with a deep, glossy green color on top and a bronzy brown, fuzzy underside. The Little Gem reaches only 20-25 feet with a spread of 8-12 feet and has a slow growth-rate, approximately 1½ feet per year.
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Are you looking to add some beautiful summer blooming trees to your yard? Request a quote and we’ll help you find, install, and maintain your beautiful new trees!
Our Favorites: Kids Books About Trees (At Home Reading List)
If your kids are like mine, they are in need of activities to keep them occupied and learning. One way to do that is by reading. Our favorite reading topic is trees. Yes, I know I am partial to trees. It is one of the reasons I work at Fannin Tree Farm. There are some great books out there about trees for children age 1 – 101.
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 instilling problem-solving skills, language development, enhancing concentration, teaching about the world, enhancing imagination development, entertainment, empathy development, and, my most favorite reason to read to a child, building a bond with one another. As a busy mom, it has always been a way for me to wind down with my son at night after a long day. I have always tried to remember Emile Buchwald’s quote, “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”
I asked some of the families that work here at the tree farm what some of their favorite books about trees are and here are some of our staff’s kids’ top picks. I think a lot of these are great reads as well!
The Giving Tree
Chica Chica Boom Boom
Go Dog Go
Winnie the Poo
Secrets of the Apple Tree
The Magic Maple Tree
The Tree Lady
We Planted a Tree
The Story of Ferdinand
I also love the idea of creating a Reading-Friendly Environment. Barnes 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 used 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!
Earth Day Blog
“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 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. 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 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.
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
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
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.
- 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
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
The added wetting agent enhances water absorption into the soil or potting mix and helps plants take up nutrients
Where can I get Osmocote?
- Garden Centers
When should you feed your 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?
Memorial Tree for Jay Friestad
Memorial trees are very special to me and it makes me appreciate even more my love for them when a customer shares a story and a picture from their memorial tree experience. LeAnne Sandefer reached out and shared this sweet story about the Harrolle Rattler baseball team and the memorial tree the team dedicated to their coaches’ father, Jay Friestad.
Here is what LeAnne sent to Fannin Tree Farm:
“As part of the Flower Mound Memorial Tree program, our Fall FMYSA 11u Harrolle Rattler team went together to purchase a tree for our coach’s father, Jay Friestad, who passed away right after the season ended after a long illness. Up until the fall season he had been a part of every game rooting from the dugout and cheering them on. When he couldn’t make it to our last tournament, he rooted us on from his bedside and we won the tournament! To honor his legacy, we had this tree planted at Bakersfield Park in Flower Mound so it will be right by the baseball fields! With Pam’s help, and the help of the town, we got the tree planted at the park and were able to present it to him on February 9th. In addition, FMYSA will be donating a permanent bronze plaque that will honor Jay as well.”
Remembrance Tree: A Living Memorial
When memorial trees are planted in honor of a person who has passed away, these memorial trees sometimes have plaques with the honoree’s name, birth and death dates, or a short motto.
Fannin Tree Farm provides a certificate of remembrance on all of our memorial and celebration trees. Memorial trees can be planted with or without the person’s ashes. Some people may choose to select a tree in a park where groves of trees are planted in memoriam.
Some families prefer to plant the tree on private property — at the family home or place of personal meaning. Wherever you choose to plant your memorial tree, the practice can be very healing as a life-affirming way to remember and honor a loved one, as it has for me.
The Symbolism Behind Celebration Trees
In honor of a parent who has passed away, one might plant an oak tree where, when it becomes older, they might visit to sit peacefully in its shade and feel connected to their loved one. After losing a pet that was part of the family for many years, planting a tree in their favorite spot in the yard is a good way to remember them. After all, they carved out a special place in our hearts and in our lives. These are just a few of the reasons people plant a celebration or memorial tree.
Fannin Tree Farm Celebration Trees
Fannin Tree Farm would love to help you commemorate a special occasion, celebration or loss in your life or your family’s life. Come in and talk to one of our tree specialists to learn more about the native trees we carry. Fannin has an assortment of tree sizes starting in 30-gallon containers to commemorate these celebrations and memorial events in your life.
Over 35 Years of providing quality trees for Texans
Can Squirrels Really Grow Trees?
Every 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
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.
- Fall color
- 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.
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.
Over 35 Years of providing quality trees for Texans
Keeping Your Trees Healthy This Winter: Maintenance Guide
It’s that time of year again! Our deciduous trees are changing colors and dropping 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.
Texas Arbor Day 2019
Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. Not only is the weather cooling down and 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.
Why does Texas have it’s own Arbor Day?
One hundred years after its first celebration, a 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 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. This is why in 2013, Texas established Texas State Arbor Day, which falls on the first Friday of November.
What are some ways to celebrate Texas Arbor Day?
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.”
Plant the Seeds for the Next Generation
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
- 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.
- 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 the 1st to the 3rd for our Texas Arbor Day Sale. All of our trees will be on sale and select inventory up to 30% off. We will have Arbor Day Activity Books for the Kids, a food truck on Saturday and lots of great Texas Shade Tree’s to choose from.
How-To Care for Your Trees This Fall
Colder temperatures, football back in season, and the leaves are starting to change, which could only mean one thing… fall is here! While we as Texans enjoy our break from the sizzling hot summers, your tree needs a little extra help preparing for the colder months ahead. At Fannin Tree Farm, we recommend following these tips to properly prepare your tree for the colder weather ahead:
Start from the Ground Up With Mulch
Putting down a fresh layer of composted mulch under your tree is a great way for your tree to retain moisture and protect its roots from extreme temperatures. Fall is the perfect time of the year to do this since your tree has not been fully exposed to the extreme cold temperatures that lead to stress.
Hydrate Even in The Cooler Months
While the temperatures may be cooler, your tree can still suffer from drought. Much like a summer drought, occasional watering (especially with younger trees) in the fall and winter can be lifesaving.
Rule of “tree”: Only water when both the tree and its soil are cool but not frozen.
Protect Your Tree from Harmful Outdoor Elements
Ice and snow accumulation are one of the main causes for limb breakage or splitting during the cooler months, right along with gnawing and rubbing by animals. These two factors can be easily avoided by wrapping the tree at its base with a solid plastic guard or metal hardware cloth. These forms of protection are another means to also prevent temperature damage in the winter months.
Rule of “tree”: When spring arrives, be sure to remove the base cover to avoid any potential damage during tree growth.
Prime Pruning Season
Late into the fall season is a good time to prune trees. This is the time of the year when trees become dormant due to the colder weather. When in their dormant state, trees drop their leaves and make it easier to see the structure of the tree, allowing you to identify any signs of disease and insect problems. Pruning is a vital component to the health of your trees because it helps relieve any stress on trees and tender new growth.
Rule of “tree”: When your tree has dropped all of its leaves, that means your tree has become dormant and is ready for pruning. Pruning later into the fall season, the better, to prevent any chance of injuring your tree.
Fall Time is The Best Time to Plant Trees
Not only is fall the best time of the year, but it’s also the best time to plant trees! After the cooler temperatures have been around for a while, conditions are prime for stimulating root growth in new trees. Set you and your tree up for success this fall by following our Fall and Winter Tree Planting checklist.
If you’re needing more help on how to care for your trees this season, feel free to contact the professionals at Fannin Tree Farm at 972-747-9233. Our team of Tree Experts are ready to answer any questions you may have and work with you to find your next tree!
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