If you have trees in your landscape, you should already know the immense value they can bring to your property. More-so, you should be aware of the danger they may pose if left uncared for. Keeping your trees healthy, well pruned, and vibrant works to create a diverse landscape ecosystem while boosting your home’s curb appeal.
The Role of an Arborist in Your Tree Care
When in the planning stages or the implementation phase of your landscape, consulting an ISA Certified Arborist will keep you from making potentially costly mistakes. Some trees should never be planted near structures, while others (with invasive root systems) should not be located near water supply lines, driveways or asphalt.
As your landscape grows and ages, the role of a Certified Arborist is to help you maintain your trees properly pruned, trimmed, and more importantly – healthy. When those trees are compromised by disease, pest infestations or severe weather, it is a properly trained and equipped arborist who can determine the best course for its removal.
Simply put, an arborist is a tree care professional. They are trained and have invested significant time in the study of planting, caring for, treating, removing, and overall maintenance of trees, either individually or in an ecosystem.
What is an ISA Certified Arborist?
For nearly a century, the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) has been a fundamental part in both the science and education within the tree care industry.
To become an ISA Certified Arborist, an individual must reach a level of knowledge and practice in the art and science of tree care. To carry the title “certified”, a comprehensive exam (created and developed by leading tree care experts) must be passed. It cannot go without mentioning that this process and certification are completely voluntary.
It doesn’t stop there. In order to maintain certification, Certified Arborists must follow a strict code of ethics and continue their education. Due to this aspect alone, when you call on a Certified Arborist, more-than-likely, the individual will possess the most current knowledge and practice available in the tree care industry.
NOTE: ISA Certification can attest to the knowledge of a tree care professional. It does not measure the standards nor the quality of service or performance.
The Hiring of a Tree Care Professional
All ethical Certified Arborists will agree that the decision to hire a tree professional should not be taken lightly. It is important to do the research and “know” who you are contracting to manage your tree issues. All ISA certified arborist are listed here: http://www.treesaregood.org/findanarborist/findanarborist
Look for reviews, ask for references, check out current or past projects to see (first hand) the quality of their work. It cannot be overstated, the necessity to be comfortable with the services provided by your tree professional, as that relationship may be ongoing for many years.
72tree.com staffs a master arborist to help Roswell residents with tree removal, cutting, disease, or assessment services. We look forward to assisting you and preserving the health of your trees and plants.
Tree Buying Tips
These tree buying tips will assist you in the purchasing of a healthy tree. Keep in mind that proper tree care starts when you select a tree, making the right selection will affect its shape, strength, and even its life span.
Research is key. Before buying trees, layout a plan of where they will be planted. Know how large they will grow, how far the canopy will extend, and how much space they will need to reach their maximum potential.
The Hardiness Zone Map will help you select appropriate trees for the geographic region they will be planted in. Consulting your local tree professional is always a good idea if you have any doubts.
The USDA Hardiness Zone Map Explained
The state of Georgia finds itself in zones 7-A & B and 8-A & B. A hardiness zone is based on a 30 year average of annual extreme minimum temperatures. It’s not based on the lowest recorded temperature in a region or what may happen in the future.
Keep this in mind as you choose plants and trees, especially if you are planning to “push” the hardiness zone by planting trees and plants not designated for your particular zone.
Planting – There are two seasons for planting trees. Early spring and early fall. There is an interesting debate here. One side of the argument is that planting in early spring (when the tree is coming out of dormancy) reduces the shock and recovery time of the tree. The other side argues that planting in early fall allows the tree to establish its root system and adapt to its environment before entering dormancy.
Depending on the hardiness zone and the tree species, either season may be appropriate for planting. If you have any doubts, consult our tree service and professionals.
Transplanting – Regardless of how carefully performed, transplanting results in the damage of a great portion of the tree’s root system. It is important that the digging, moving, and replanting operations be carried out with the least possible damage to the remaining root system.
The recommended time for moving trees is during the dormant season. Early spring is generally the best time to transplant; conditions should be ideal for rapid root growth.
Bare Root – Abundant root growth should be present, there should be fibrous and numerous small roots as well. They should have good color to them being flexible and moist. Deciduous trees should present roots equal in length to its stems.
Container Grown – Avoid trees that have become root bound in their container. Roots circling around in the container will likely become circling roots (cut them when planting).
NOTE: Examine the tree’s roots, trunk, and canopy. Trees are able to absorb water from the tips of their youngest roots and undisturbed, fibrous, and non-circling root systems are your best option.
Buying Strong and Healthy Trees
When deciding on which trees to purchase for your landscape or project, keep in mind that the Hardiness Zone Map will guide you by the geographic region you are planting in, while the season you are planting in will determine if you should plant or transplant.
Whether you choose bare root or container grown, be sure to inspect the roots, trunk and canopy. Avoid trees that don’t meet your standards, and always look for the strong and healthy ones.
Trees, Shrubs, and the USDA Hardiness Zone Map
If you have ever gone into the nursery and picked a plant or tree, later to realize it was not suitable to be planted in the environment in which you live, this can be avoided. Besides the scientific plant name and care instructions, you will notice the hardiness zone printed on its tag.
The USDA Hardiness Zone Map splits North America up into 11 separate planting zones. Each individual planting zone is around 10°F colder (or warmer) than the adjacent zone during an average winter. If you’re reading a plant description in a gardening magazine and you see a mention of a hardiness zone, then it’s likely referring to the USDA Hardiness Zone map.
What are Hardiness Zones?
A hardiness zone is based on average annual extreme minimum temperatures across a 30-year period. It’s not based on the lowest recorded temperature in a region or what might possibly happen in the future. Gardeners must keep this in mind as they choose plants and trees, especially if they are planning to “push” the hardiness zone they live in by planting trees and plants not suited for that particular hardiness zone. Something else to keep in mind is that there could be microclimates that won’t show up on a map – even one as detailed as the current USDA PHZM map.
Eastern Zones vs Western Zones
Eastern Zones – The USDA map is great at its job of outlining the different gardening climates of the eastern half of North America. This is a comparatively flat area, which means it can be mapped out by drawing lines approximately parallel to the Gulf Coast around every 120 miles as you progress north. The lines will start to tilt northeast as the Eastern Seaboard approaches. The USDA map also accounts for the special climates caused by the Appalachian mountains and the Great Lakes.
Western Zones – A range of factors including winter lows, elevation and precipitation determine the growing climates in western North America. The weather in the west floats in from the Pacific Ocean, becoming less humid as it moves around the mountain ranges to the west. The growing climates in the west can vary quite a bit compared to the east, where cities in similar zones can grow the same plants in the same climates. The weather – and the plants that can be grown in it – in coastal Seattle are much different than what you can expect in the higher and more inland Tucson, Arizona. This is in spite of both cities being a part of zone 8 of the USDA map.
Ideal Trees and Shrubs for Alpharetta and Roswell Ga
Many of our customer’s aim to improve their well-manicured yards with trees, shrubs, and flowers. Of course the right sunlight, soil, and moisture conditions are factors needed for these plants to flourish. After being asked for specific species, we created a short list of popular trees and common shrubs that will thrive in Alpharetta and Roswell Ga. 7a and 7b are the zones for North Georgia, so next time you visit the nursery, be sure to look for plants that are conducive to living in these zones.
Other Factors to Consider with the Hardiness Zone Map
There are other environmental factors that determine whether a plant succeeds or fails on top of the hardiness zones. Wind levels, soil type and moisture, humidity, pollution, winter sunshine, and snow are all major contributing factors to plant survival. Whether or not a plant survives can also depend on where it is planted, how it is planted, their size, and their overall health.
The map was most recently updated in 2012 when the USDA adjusted the plant hardiness map to account for the warmer global temperatures occurring over the past thirty years. Refer to this resource when purchasing trees and plants for your garden and landscape.