Category Archives: News & Information
The Top Five Texas Trees for Planting
Texans love their trees and share a strong relationship with its trees. Whether they’re being used for climbing, forgetting some desperately needed August shade, marveled at as tier role as a local landmark, as easy-to-remember landmarks for locals making plans to meet each other or a gathering place. We are lucky that our climate permits the planting of trees all year long. There are many kinds of trees available for planting in your yard. This is Fannin Tree Farm’s Top 5 list of Best Texas Trees to Plant.
Top Texas Tree #1: Live Oak
Live Oaks are large stature trees that are commonly around 50 ft tall with a short, stout trunk that casts a massive amount of canopy to create shade against the Texas heat. Their wood is very hardy making the tree easy to protect in stress. Live Oaks are some of the most popular and well-known landscape trees in Texas.
Top Texas Tree #2: Bur Oak
Bur Oaks are large stature trees, native to Texas, also its large leaf and enormous acorn puzzles artistic interests in people. It great adaptability makes it an excellent choice for the Texas environment, as it can adapt to cold and extreme heat. Finally, Bur Oaks have a long taproot which makes it very drought tolerant and thrives well with small amount of water.
Top Texas Tree #3: Cedar Elm
Cedar Elms are known as the most common elm trees in Texas next to American Elms and are widespread throughout East, South, and Central Texas. Cedar Elms can typically grow in many kinds of soils which makes it a more desirable tree in most areas. As well, Cedar Elms are very drought tolerant and cast a very nice shade to fight the Texas heat.
Top Texas Tree #4: Bald Cypress
Bald Cypresses are native to Texas and adapt to various soil conditions, most commonly found in a more wet environment naturally. However, they can withstand those poorly drained areas more than most trees. They can be used for shade and have a very defined pyramidal shape with feather-like leaves that make them more aesthetically pleasing.
Top Texas Tree #5: Magnolia
Magnolias are commonly known as “southern” trees and strive well in the more Eastern part of Texas. They have large, waxy, fragrant white flowers and large glossy, dark green, leathery leaves that appeal to the eye. Magnolias typically prefer full sun which Texas has no problem with providing and require deep well-drained soils to perform the best.
Fannin Fun Tree Facts
Tree Facts Are Fun!
I love fun facts about anything. You never know when they will come in handy at a party to break the ice, on a first date trying to impress, playing trivia on a cruise ship or just in everyday conversation. One of my favorite things about working at Fannin Tree Farm, other than the trees, is Mikey. Every day he has a new fact about trees to share, and believe you me, they have come in handy from time to time. I’m pretty sure my children and husband are over my fun tree fact finds but I wanted to share with our Fannin Fans some of my favorite tree facts.
- There are 7.5 times more trees on earth than stars in the milky way.
- An average size tree can provide enough wood to make 170,100 pencils!
- The Amazon rainforest produces half the world’s oxygen supply.
- Cricket bats are made out of a tree called Willow, and baseball bats are made out of wood from Hickory, Ash, Maple, and Bamboo trees.
- Oak trees start producing acorns at 20-30 years of maturity!
- Every Year in Washington DC The National Christmas Tree is put up and the walkway surrounding the National Christmas Tree features 56 state and territory trees decorated with handmade ornaments that are unique to each tree.
- Trees drink about 2,000 liters of water each year.
- Pine trees are the only species in the whole world that spread seeds in cones, and those cones also have genders.
- A tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide each year and can sequester 1 ton of carbon dioxide by the time it reaches 40 years old.
- Trees lower air temperature by evaporating water in their leaves.
- The different parts of a tree grow at various times throughout the year. Typically, most of the foliage growth happens in the spring, followed by trunk growth in the summer and root growth in the fall and winter.
- Adding one tree to an open pasture can increase its bird biodiversity from almost zero species to as high as 80.
- The world’s tallest living uncut decorated Christmas tree is a Douglas Fir. It is approximately 160 foot tall, lighted with over 50,000 LED lights and is located in Blue River, Oregon USA.
- Strategically planting trees and shrubs can save you up to 25 percent on your energy bills. Not only do they provide shade in the summer, but serve as a windbreak in the winter, too.
- The Texas State Tree is the Pecan Tree
- Our National Tree is the Oak Tree in the United States
- There are approximately 25-30 million Real Christmas Trees sold in the U.S. every year.
- Possibly the most colorful bark found on any tree in the world can be found in Hawaii, and it is referred to as the Rainbow Eucalyptus. Originating in the Philippines, the Mindanao gum tree in its natural habitat can grow up to 6 ft wide and over 250 ft tall. Outside of it, the tree only grows up to 125 ft.
Largest Tree in the US
General Sherman is a giant sequoia tree located in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park in the state of California. It stands 275 feet tall and is over 36 feet in diameter at the base. Sequoia trunks remain broad high up. Sixty feet above the base, the Sherman Tree is 17.5 feet in diameter.
Trees Can Talk
A wise old man once made a statement that trees could talk. How could that be? Well, the answer is “of course.” All you must do is listen.
Listen: To the swaying branch of a tree, listen carefully.
Listen: To the leaves clapping their hands with laughter and delight.
Listen: As the trees groan to the weight of their limbs stretching in the early morning sun.
Listen: To the acorns falling to the earth, bouncing limb by limb as they fall gleefully until they rest peacefully on the ground.
Listen: As the limbs rub together like a fine violin and its bow.
Listen: As the sweet dew drops of water splash in freefall of symphony between leaves and branches making a joyous melody.
Listen: When birds land safely inside the limbs and branches and shout out to their friends “it’s safe to build our homes here and raise our families.”
Listen: As animals like trapeze artist swing branch to branch laughing as they play animal games.
Listen: As the moon speaks thru the trees all is well, and you can rest in the shade and darkness.
Listen: As the wind is told to slow down there are children at play in my branches.
Listen: As the sun provides a warm light to grow the young and old trees, and the crackle of new buds and leaves sound a graceful noise.
Complete Tree Care Services
Caring for trees is more than one size fits all approach. At Fannin Tree Farm, we are professional soil and plant scientist as well as Certified Arborist. In Fall of 2018, we are rolling out our Thrive Program – Advance.
The new Advance program is a holistic approach that is unique to your tree and shrub needs. This will allow us to develop a program that is tailored toward your specific needs and aesthetic goals. This program exceeds the standards of arboriculture (ANSI A300) and the Best Management Practices (BMPs).
We are utilizing an Integrated Pest Management approach to plant healthcare as well as our tailored fertilization program. Our program will require a full assessment by our professionals. This includes soil sampling and a condition assessment of the trees and shrubs. A prescription for proactive care will be provided after the assessment. Our team maintains photographic and field assessment records.
Quarterly assessments are provided by our arborist. We maintain records for all treatments and closely review prior to an arborist visiting your property. Your program will include necessary treatments to prevent infections for common pest and diseases.
During the quarterly assessment, a health care report card is provided to the client. Our tree service coordinator will contact you to setup these quarterly assessments.
Thrive Program – Advance
- Prescription Fertilization
- Plant Pest and Disease Preventative Care Management
- Quarterly Assessments and Recommendations
- Winter Dormant Oil
Fannin Tree Farm is the largest tree contractor in the Dallas Fort Worth. We have been a staple in the community for over 40-years. Our tree care service team is ready to advance appropriate arboricultural care for the Dallas-Fort Worth and surrounding cities.
What is Cotton Root Rot and How Does It Impact North Texas Trees?
Less than a century ago, the Dallas-Fort Worth area, was primarily agricultural land. This land was used to grow crops, hay, and raising cattle. The native tree species were much more limited. Now the land is used much differently. The old family farms are being developed into new shopping centers, homes, and other urban developments. The land use has changed and so has the landscape.
The DFW has added many new plant species to the pallet. As a landscape industry, we have integrated many plant species that have adapted to our area and climate. Some species were more successful than others. After many years of trial and error, plant diseases have found many suitable host species.
Photo 1: Fungal Mat ‘Phymatotrichopsis omnivora’
Photo 2: First Signs of Wilting
As new plant species were brought into our area, plant pathogens, whether native or not, have found their way in to our landscape as well. One disease that has over 2,300 host species (1,800 dicots), is known as, ‘Phymatotrichopsis omnivora’ (also referred to as, Cotton Root Rot, Texas Root Rot and Ozonia Root Rot). This is a soilborne fungus that lay dormant in the soil for many years.
As you may guess, cotton, a common crop that is grown in North Texas is very susceptible to this disease. Trees that are infected with Cotton Root Rot should be removed and only planted with tolerant or resistant plant species. Here’s a link to an online publication from Texas A&M University of Tolerant Plant Species: https://aggiehorticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/publications/cottonrootrot/cotton.html
Diagnosis is very easy during the early and mid-summer. As the soil temperature exceeds 82 degrees, Fahrenheit, which is usually in the spring and early summer, the disease will develop in the plant. The first symptoms are wilting, followed by death. Often smaller plants are quickly killed by this disease. While larger trees may require more time for the disease to terminate the tree.
As a diagnostician, we are looking for key symptoms and signs out in the field. Common species, like Lace Bark Elms are very commonly killed by this disease. During the early summer, we look for fungal mats that develop on top of the soil as a key indicator that the pathogen is present. It has been demonstrated in research that the fungal mat does not spread the spores, so don’t worry about spreading this pathogen if you walk through a fungal mat or two.
The Boots on the Ground Approach by Tree Care Professionals
Landscaping is a multi-billion-dollar industry within horticulture. Trees are one of the most valuable amenities in a landscape. These assets need to be adequately cared for to maintain safe and functional green spaces. Whether you have trees at your home, place of business, or if you’re responsible for a master-planned development, trees are a significant consideration on real estate value.
If you have considered purchasing real estate, especially in a neighborhood, the landscape is one of the first things that you see. If your first impression is unmaintained landscape with dead, or dying trees, it can be a real turnoff.
It’s our responsibility as homeowners, managers, and developers to contract professionals to take care of landscapes and trees. An industry as large as horticulture, there are many contractors for hire. When considering any engagement, there should be a standard of education, training, and performance.
The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) has built a certification program, for individuals to complete, to be certified as a tree care professional. A credentialed arborist should be an ISA Certified Arborist or an ISA Board Certified Master Arborist. Additional certifications and licensing is added-value and speaks mainly on their behalf. It is essential to contact a Certified Arborist to manage your trees.
Here is a link on “Why Hire a Certified Arborist”:
After 20 years of managing trees and landscapes, I have found that time and continuity is the best value that I have provided my clients. I call this, “The Boots on the Ground Approach.” It requires many essential aspects:
- An in-person meeting to discuss goals and objectives.
- A thorough inspection of trees and landscape surroundings, to include potential hazards associated with recommended services.
- Photo documentation and note-taking.
- Follow up
- Clearly written objectives in the form of a report or an estimate.
- An email or phone call.
- Proper planning
- Job briefings
- Well executed performance
- A service overview referred to as a debrief.
The Boots on the Ground Approach is like the old saying, “the best fertilizer is the farmer’s footsteps.”
Throughout my career, I have noticed one thing; clients are incredibly loyal. A good arborist listens to your needs and makes reasonable recommendations.
What should you be looking for in hiring a Certified Arborist?
- They must be certified through the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).
- I would ask about their experience. A good arborist has gone through the appropriate training and may still be in training, under the supervision of an experienced arborist.
- It’s beneficial for them to have advanced education in horticulture, agronomy, or forestry.
- A good arborist has a good knowledge of other plants and how to care for them.
- They should follow industry standard of arboriculture (ANSI A300 and ANSI Z133.1)
- The company should maintain commercial liability insurance.
- Ask for client references.
At Fannin Tree Farm we have a great team of knowledgeable professionals that are ready to help you maintain safe and sustainable trees. If you are interested in meeting with one of our arborists, contact us at 972-747-9233.
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 benefit 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), develops 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 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.
I asked some of our kids here at the Tree Farm whose parents work here, what some of their favorite tree books were and here are some of the answers I got. I think a lot of these books are great reads and I encourage you to read them with your kids.
- The Lorax – Garrett, age 11
- The Giving Tree – Chase, age 14
- Chica Chica Boom Boom – Miles age 4
- Go Dog Go – Natalie age 6
- Winnie the Poo – Eve age 14
- Secrets of the Apple Tree – Finley age 1
- One Tree – River age 3
- The Magic Maple Tree – Kaitlyn age 13
- The Tree Lady – Grey age 12
I also love the idea of creating a Reading-Friendly Environment. Barnes and Noble explains, 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 awhile 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….
Summer Tree Care Checklist
Summer is here and our trees should be full of leaves this time of year. Now is the time to consider tree maintenance to prevent damages from storm events.
- Tree Pruning & Supplemental Support Systems
Contact an arborist to evaluate your trees for pruning. A qualified arborist should be able to identify risk associated with structural defects. Prune to remove and/or reduce over extended branches that may fail or break off during a storm event. Install supplemental support systems (cabling, bracing, propping) to reduce branch or tree failure potential. Remember, this should only be conducted under the supervision of a qualified arborist.
Fertilizing trees is a good thing in most cases. We recommend fertilizing new trees and trees in poor vigor. If you have goals for a tree to grow into a large shade tree, fertilizing will improve growth.
- Pest Management
Contact a qualified certified arborist to evaluate your trees for pest and diseases. Watch for harmful insects and pathogens that may attack your trees.
- Tree Removal
Remove hazardous trees to mitigate risk associated with failure and impact.
- Irrigation Management
Contact a licensed irrigator to inspect your irrigation system. Make sure that it is working properly. If you have poor coverage, broken heads or lateral lines, this could cause harm to your trees. Also, setup your controllers to properly water your tree. If you are concern about how often and how much you should water your tree, contact a certified arborist.
Walk around your garden on a weekly basis throughout the summer to ensure that you are trees and shrubs are healthy. If you see anything out of the ordinary, you should reach out to a professional.
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.
What is the Water Smart Tax Holiday?
Established in 2016, the Lawn & Garden Water Smart Tax Holiday was created to encourage responsible water use in Texas. During the Memorial Day Weekend event, certain water saving products are tax-free!
When is the Water Smart Tax Holiday?
The tax-free holiday falls on Memorial Day Weekend from Saturday, May 26 to Monday, May 28.
What water smart item qualify for the tax-free exemption?
Here are the categories of products that qualify for the sales tax exemption
- Watersense Products: Any product tax free that displays a WaterSense label or logo whether for personal or business purposes.
- Water-Conserving Products: Consumers can also purchase certain water-conserving products tax free. Unlike WaterSense-labeled items, these items are only exempt when purchased for use at a residential property.
- Water Conservation Items: These would include items used or planted to conserve or retain groundwater, recharge water tables, or to decrease the ambient air temperature, limiting water evaporation
Here are some examples of items that qualify for the exemption:
- Soaker or drip-irrigation hoses
- Moisture control for a sprinkler or irrigation system
- Rain barrels or an alternative rain and moisture collection systems
- Permeable ground cover surfaces that allows water to reach underground basins, aquifers or water collection points
- All plants, trees and grasses
- Water-saving surfactants
- Soil and compost
What items do not qualify for the tax-free exemption?
Examples of items that do not qualify for the exemption include:
- Construction/building materials
- Awnings and other items used to create shade
- Air conditioners
- Ceiling fans
Fannin Tree Farm is proud to be part of this annual event and help conserve one of our most precious and limited resources in Texas: water.
Fannin Tree Farm – Holiday Weekend Hours:
Saturday 5/26/18: 9am – 5pm
Sunday 5/27/18: 1pm to 5 pm
Monday (Memorial Day) 5/28/18: 10am – 3pm
Have you ever notice a white powdery substance on your leaves? This may be Powdery Mildew. This disease can impair the photosynthetic process, stunt leaf growth and cause early defoliation.
Powdery Mildew has fungal hyphae on the leaf surface in the spring and uses specialized absorption cells (haustoria) to obtain nutrition from the host plant. The pathogen uses enzymes to break down the structural components of leaves.
At Fannin Tree Farm we apply preventative fungicides to trees with a history of Powdery Mildew to prevent development of Asci Spores enclosed in these dark colored fruiting bodies known as Chasmothecium. This prevents the pathogen from overwintering in the bark of trees and may prevent future development.
If you would like to have one our trained arborist evaluate your trees, call us to setup an appointment. We have the diagnostic skills to protect your trees!