Keep boredom and lack of exercise from creeping into your lifestyle. Knowing where to go in Alpharetta, Georgia for fun outdoor activities, nature walks meandering alongside rivers and lakes, or simply time to play, you can get out more often and fight to preserve your health.
72tree.com gathered the following location and history information about several open air parks in the City of Alpharetta, Ga
1. Winward Community Park
Photo Credit: alpharetta.ga.us
Location – 6435 Windward Pkwy, Alpharetta, GA 30005
Description – Windward Community Park is a three-acre space nestled along the Windward Parkway corridor close to McGinnis Ferry Road. This new community park opened in June 2020 and features a multi-element playground. You will also find picnic pavilions, walking/jogging paths, swings, restrooms, and open green space.
Hours – This park is open during daylight hours.
Contact Number – 678-297-6123
2. North Park Park
Photo Credit: mapquest.com
Location – 13450 Cogburn Rd, Alpharetta, GA 30004
Description – This 97-acre park includes five tennis courts, two multi-purpose synthetic turf fields, eight softball fields, two playgrounds, Adult Activity Center, a lake, Arts Building, a reflection garden, and a walking trail. Two picnic pavilions can be used for gatherings or celebrations (one is first-come, first-serve and the other is available for rental).
Hours – Sunrise to 10pm
Contact Number – 678-297-6130
3. Webb Bridge Park & Arboretum
Photo Credit: tripadvisor.com
Location – 4780 Webb Bridge Road, Alpharetta, GA 30005
Description – With nearly 110 acres, this gorgeous park is located off Kimball Bridge Road bordering the city limits. The park’s many amenities include three grass soccer fields, a multi-purpose synthetic field, four baseball fields, four tennis courts, a 1-1/2 mile trail, outdoor fitness equipment, lake, concession stands, playground, and arboretum. The park also features three picnic pavilions for family gatherings and celebrations (both pavilions are available on a first-come, first-serve basis).
Hours – 8:00am to !0:00pm daily
Contact Number – 678-297-6123
4. Rock Mill Park
Photo Credit: tripadvisor.com
Location – 3100 Kimball Bridge Road, Alpharetta, GA 30022
Description – This 20-acre park is situated on Kimball Bridge Road at the access for Alpharetta’s Big Creek Greenway. There are nicely paved, shaded pathways that are great for walking, biking, picnicking, etc. The park also features a small group pavilion for family gatherings and celebrations (the pavilion is available on a first-come, first-serve basis).
Hours – Sunrise to 10pm
Contact Number – 678-297-6123 or 678-297-6130
5. Cogburn Road Park
Photo Credit: mapquest.com
Location – 12825 Cogburn Road, Alpharetta, GA 30004
Description – Cogburn Road Park is an Alpharetta neighborhood park offering a playground, a .02 mile paved walking path, parking, restrooms, water, and pristine open green space.
Hours – Sunrise to 10pm
Contact Number – 678-297-6106
6. Garrard Landing Park
Photo Credit: roswellgov.com
Location – 8000 Holcomb Bridge Rd, Alpharetta, GA 30022
Description – The Garrard Landing Park Loop has a smooth gravel/dirt surface. The impressive half-mile segment along the Chattahoochee River is fully shaded and has a wooden observation deck. The rest of the trail finds its way through an open meadow and features a man-made lake, cascading stream, covered bridge, and pond. This loop trail is generally considered an easy route and takes an average of 40 min to complete. This trail is exceptional for bird watching, fishing, and hiking.
Hours – 7am to 9pm
Contact Number – 770-641-3727
7. Big Creek Greenway
Photo Credit: ajc.com
Location – 3104-3122 Kimball Bridge Rd, Alpharetta, GA 30022
Description – This concrete trail is nearly 9 miles long and gently borders Big Creek parallel to North Point Parkway, from Windward Parkway at Marconi Drive on the north end of the trail to Mansell Road on the south end. This greenway presents the perfect setting for walking, jogging, inline rollerblading, and biking.
Hours – Sunrise to 10pm
Contact Number – 678-297-6123
While not an official city park, you can create your own private getaway in your own backyard by installing water features, pathways, planting fragrant shrubs and fruit trees, or even building a treehouse. You will need to hire an arborist to evaluate the health of your trees and assess your landscape’s potential to be your private getaway.
Alpharetta City Parks
In this article, you discovered several places in the City of Alpharetta to escape from the hustle and stress of traffic, work, and never-ending responsibilities.
By taking time to visit, walk, or play in one of the many exceptional green spaces in the City of Alpharetta, you can supplement your daily exercise quota, relax and bond with nature, breathe fresh air, and increase your health and wellness.
Choosing to ignore your need to get out in nature and maintain regular physical activities can contribute to weight gain, chronic illnesses and other preventable conditions.
Avoid catastrophic accidents and injuries from a poorly constructed treehouse. Knowing how to properly plan and construct a treehouse will help you provide years of fun and learning experiences for your children and their friends.
72tree.com gathered the following essential information, steps, and professional tips on safely constructing a treehouse.
Building a treehouse can provide years of a “second home” for you, your loved ones, and their friends. The following steps and tips will help you build a safe and weather-resistant outdoors retreat:
Step 1 – Select Your Tree(s)
Choose a tree sturdy enough to withstand the weight of your new treehouse and its visitors. Ideally, a tree with a distinct “y” shaped branch will serve you best, but there are other things to consider:
Species: Hardwood varieties (oak, maple, and hickory) Height: The tree should be tall enough to provide a fun view but should consider the safety of the builder and children as well. A minimum of 6 to 10 feet high is recommended. Branches: The branches need to be strong and thick enough to bear the structure’s weight. Quality: Take care to select a tree that is not damaged or ailing in any way. Avoid trees with shallow roots or unstable soil, making them more vulnerable with a weak foundation.
Tip: If you do not have a tree that could support your idea of a treehouse, consider building one on stilts around a tree. You’ll have to significantly modify your blueprints, but you can still build your outdoor retreat.
Step 2 – Design Your Treehouse Blueprint
Your next step is to design the treehouse plans as accurately and as detailed as possible. Developing a treehouse blueprint will help you acquire the right materials during the build.
Measure the intended height from the ground to the platform, then measure how large you want the platform, and finally, measure the circumference of the trunk and branches that will intersect with the treehouse.
The height and platform measurements are crucial to your build. They will ultimately decide the project’s shape and details. Include your ideas for walls, railings, roofing, and ladder. These will provide shelter and safety for the treehouse’s visitors.
Step 3 – Consult an Arborist and an architect
Before moving forward, hire an arborist to evaluate the tree you have selected for your project. Experienced arborists are trained to detect developmental issues, disease, infestations, and other commonly overlooked tree problems and weaknesses.
Once your tree has a green light from your arborist, contract an architect to review your blueprints and offer any suggestions to increase your treehouse’s stability and safety.
Step 4 – Assemble Construction Material
What Is the best lumber for outdoor projects?
•Cedar is preferred when it comes to outdoor designs, while pine and fir are most commonly selected for outdoor treated wood projects
•Pressure-treated wood is chemically treated using pesticides, fire retardants, etc.
According to your blueprints, purchase the appropriate lumber quantity and size to complete your treehouse and have a few planks to spare (these come in handy for repairs or minor building modifications).
Tip: Verify your measurements before purchasing your lumber.
Referring to your blueprints, determine how you plan to attach and secure your treehouse components. Consider the following:
•Galvanized lag screws and washers
•Galvanized joist hangers
•Galvanized rafter ties
•Pulley for 1/4″ rope
Tip: Galvanized screws, nails, and metal components are zinc coated and have undergone a galvanization process. This process leaves the metal with a protective barrier making it resistant to rust and corrosion.
Step 5 – Treehouse Building Tools
Consider that you are building a small, elevated house. Here are some of the building tools required for this project:
Note: A stable ladder or stepladder is vital to preventing overhead lifting and potential injuries.
Step 6 – Lay Out the Wood and Material
Before attaching any treehouse components to your tree or mounted supports, lay out the section of the project to visualize what you are assembling. This will give you the opportunity to make any needed alterations or additions.
Note: This step also allows you to collect any hardware you will need before going to work on it
Step 7 – Secure the Support System to the Tree
Now it’s time to either attach the floor joists to the tree or put your concrete deck blocks and posts in place.
When using the tree for support:
•Pre-drill the tree and lumber before attaching them to one another, as it will make it easier to install and significantly decrease the potential of your boards cracking.
•Once drilled, use an impact wrench to tighten the screws. These lag screws should be at least 6 inches long.
•Now, add the remaining floor joists.
With the joists in place, add joist hangers using your hammer and 1-inch galvanized nails.
When using concrete deck blocks:
•Place your concrete deck blocks around your tree as determined in your blueprint.
•Place 4 x 4 posts on the concrete deck blocks and use scrap lumber to hold them up until they are connected.
•Once posts are on the blocks, connect them using 2 x 8 bands.
•Use a level to make sure they are lined up correctly.
Tip: Whatever height you attach your floor joists on the tree will not change as the tree grows. Tree trunks grow outward by adding layers to their circumference but not upward.
Step 8 – Build Your Platform
To keep your treehouse stable, center the load over the trunk and spread the weight among several branches (if possible).
It will be much easier to build the rest of the treehouse if the floor is level and can support the entire weight of the structure. Consider the following:
•Lay beams across tree branches and shim them until level.
•Run beams between trunks of two trees.
•Cantilever beams out from a single trunk and provide support from above or below.
Tip: Take your time building the platform. Any mistakes here could result in a flimsy or off-centered construction.
Step 9 – Brace Your Platform
Your platform should feel secure and not wobble or shift. If it does, you will need to add extra support to halt this movement by:
•Tightening screws and bolts
•Adding additional support from the trunk
•Making sure joist hangers and rafter ties are properly spaced and installed
Tip: Do not continue building your treehouse until you have firmly secured the platform
Step 10 – Install a Pulley System
A pulley will mostly be for your kids’ enjoyment, but it’s helpful for lifting tools and materials to the platform during construction. Put a pulley in now and hang a basket from it. This will save you from making multiple trips to manually haul your building materials up a ladder.
Step 11 – Build Walls and a Roof
Attach wall supports or framework to your platform (this should be planned out in your blueprints). Remember to give your walls the needed height and strength to support the treehouse’s roof.
If you are using paneling, attach the panels to the frame and cut out your windows and door.
You can temporarily use a tarp held in place with bungee cords for the roof.
Once you have built a fully functional and secure treehouse, attach its permanent ladder and put it to good use.
Municipal Codes and Building Permits
Do you need a building permit?
Maybe. It depends on local laws and the nature of your treehouse. If you’re considering building one that will be visible to your neighbors, discuss it with them in advance to avoid any confusion or problems. Often a municipality only becomes involved after a neighbor complains.
Avoid building near property lines and never build a treehouse where it will infringe on a neighbor’s privacy.
Tip: This is one of the questions you will answer in step 3 with your architect.
How to Minimize Tree Damage
Also, in step 3, work with your arborist to discuss ways to minimize or prevent tree damage during your construction process. Consider the following:
•Consider using ground supports to take stress off the tree.
•Make the least amount of punctures necessary to safely support the treehouse.
•Don’t screw fasteners in too close together (this can significantly weaken that section of the tree). Use bolts spaced at least 18 inches apart vertically and 12 inches apart horizontally.
•Avoid slinging cables and ropes over branches. They can cut through the bark (girdling the branches) as the structure moves.
Note: Any tree bark damage is a potential entry point for infestations and disease.
Building a Treehouse
In this article, you discovered steps, advice, and pro tips on how to safely construct a treehouse for your family’s enjoyment.
Knowing how to properly design and build a treehouse will help you create a stable play place for your loved ones and family friends.
Trying to build a treehouse without planning it out or consulting tree and building professionals can result in catastrophic structural failures and severe injuries.
Avoid a barren and boring yard . Knowing which shrubs give off a delightful fragrance will help you plant a yard full of aromatic surprises.
72tree.com gathered the following list of fragrant shrubs to help you balance beauty with aroma when planting in your yard and garden.
1. Jasmine (Jasminum)
Jasmine is a large deciduous or evergreen vining shrub with a graceful look and an appealing sweet scent.
Sun Requirement – Jasmines need 6 or more hours of daily sun. For species requiring partial shade, they will require 2 to 4 hours of daily sun. Soil Requirement – Jasmine shrubs need well-drained, moist, and moderately fertile sandy, loamy soil. Size – Jasmine typically grows to a height of 10 to 15 feet as a tall, semi-vining shrub. Blooming Season – This species blooms in clusters from spring until mid-fall. The sweet flowers are often cream, white, pink, or yellow. Fragrance – Jasmine has a floral scent considered rich and sweet. Hardiness Zone – This species thrives in zone 7 and can sometimes survive in zone 6.
2. Lilac (Syringa)
Lilac is a deciduous shrub with an irregular, rounded outline. The shrub is fast-growing when young but slows considerably with age. Lilac stems are dark gray to brown, and the wood is strong. Leaves on this shrub are dark green to blue-green on top and pale green below.
Sun Requirement – Lilacs need 6 to 8 hours of daily sun. Any less, and they may not bloom. Soil Requirement – This species grows best in slightly alkaline (6.5 to 7.0 pH), moist, well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Size – Lilac grows to a height of 8 to15 feet and a spread of 6 to 12 feet at maturity. Blooming Season – Lilac typically blooms for 2 weeks in mid-spring. However, some varieties bloom in early and late spring. Fragrance – Lilac is quite different from other species. Its scent is more deeply, and richly floral, similar to rose with subtle hints of vanilla. For those who prefer stronger perfumes, Lilac is a suitable choice. Hardiness Zone – This species thrives in zones 3 through 7.
3. Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides)
Gardenias have glossy evergreen leaves typically arranged opposite each other. The shrub’s tubular flowers are white or yellow and bloom singly or in small clusters. This shrub produces large berry-like fruits with sticky orange pulp.
Sun Requirement – Gardenias need a minimum of four hours of daily sun. Soil Requirement – This species grows best in acidic (5.0 to 6.0 pH), moist, well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Size – Gardenias grow 3 to 5 feet tall and wide. Blooming Season – This species blooms in from late spring until mid-fall. Gardenia flowers are known to last several weeks before wilting. Fragrance – Gardenias produce significantly fragrant flowers that may change scents during the day. The aroma is often described as a spicy, zesty scent, sometimes with coconut or even peach undertones. Hardiness Zone – Gardenias thrive in zone 6b.
4. Viburnum (Viburnum)
Viburnums are large-flowering shrubs, with some varieties reaching up to 20 feet. There are both evergreen and deciduous viburnum varieties.
Sun Requirement – Viburnums thrive in full sun but will grow as well in light to partial shade. Soil Requirement – This species will do well in moderately fertile, moist, and well-drained soil with a 5.6 to 6.6 pH. Size – Viburnum grows from 3 to 20 feet at maturity. Blooming Season – Most viburnums flower in spring. Fragrance – The flower’s scent is sweet and pervasive with clove-like notes. Hardiness Zone – Viburnum is hardy to zones 2 through 9.
5. Honeysuckle (Lonicera)
Honeysuckle shrubs are deciduous perennials with oval leaves and clusters of tubular flowers at the branch tips.
Sun Requirement – Honeysuckles need 6 to 8 hours of daily sun. Any less, and they may not bloom as much. Soil Requirement – This species requires organically rich and well-drained soil. It should be moist but not soggy and should be an acidic to moderately alkaline soil ranging from a 5.5 to 8.0 pH. Size – A honeysuckle vine can reach an astounding 30 feet in height, while other varieties grow to only 10 feet. It can take 10 years for honeysuckle to reach these mature heights. Blooming Season – Most varieties will bloom in the spring, but some continue to flower all through summer and into early fall. Fragrance – Honeysuckle is a pungent, almost thick scent, but it’s fruity with hints of honey and citrus. Hardiness Zone – Honeysuckle is hardy to zones 5 through 9.
In this article, you discovered species and planting information about 5 fragrant shrubs to grow in and around your garden and yard.
Planting fragrant shrubs in your yard and garden adds another dimension to the pleasant experiences you are trying to create around your home.
By not planting fragrant shrubs in your yard and garden, you are squandering an opportunity to add diversity, pleasant aromas, and curb appeal to your home.
3 Fruit Trees for Your Alpharetta Georgia Landscape
Avoid planting the wrong fruit trees, or species that will eventually die. Knowing about some of the best fruit trees for Alpharetta, Georgia yards will help you choose hardy species when planting time comes around.
72tree.com gathered the following list of 3 fruit trees hardy to US hardiness zone 7b and the city of Alpharetta, Georgia.
1. Apple (Malus)
Most apple trees are small to medium-sized trees that grow to heights of 16 to 33 feet, with a central trunk dividing into several branches. This fruiting tree’s foliage is oval in shape and can reach 5 inches long and 3 inches wide.
Popular Varieties: Some popular apple varieties include:
• Honeycrisp • Fuji • Gala • Red Delicious • Granny Smith • Pink Lady
Planting: Place your tree in a bucket of water for a few hours or overnight so the roots can re-hydrate before planting. Plant your apple tree properly by digging a hole at least twice the width and depth of the tree’s root system. Look for the graft union on your tree as well as the slight change in color on the bark just above the roots (soil should not cover the trunk above the last roots).
Pruning: Pruning apple trees should be done only when the tree is dormant, between leaf fall and bud burst (typically between early November and late February).
Water Requirements: For an established tree, you won’t need to water it unless you are not getting much rain or there is a particularly dry spell or even drought. About an inch (2.5 cm.) or so of rainfall every week to ten days is adequate for most apple trees.
Fruiting Season: Apple trees set fruit in the spring, and the apples mature from late summer through fall. Each apple variety matures on its own particular schedule, with early varieties like Zestar ripening first.
2. Cherry (Prunus avium)
Cherry trees are typically large and upright, some reaching heights of 36 feet tall. Its fruit is a fleshy drupe (stone fruit), generally heart-shaped to nearly rounded, about 1 inch in diameter, and varies in color from yellow through red shades to almost black.
Popular Varieties: Some popular cherry varieties include:
• Sweet • Vandalay • Benton • Black Tartarian • Van
Planting: Plant your cherry tree in a sunny site with plenty of air circulation. Avoid planting near trees or buildings that will shade the cherry tree during daylight hours. Cherry trees require deep, well-drained soil. Space larger variety cherry trees 35 to 40 feet apart.
Pruning: Cherry tree pruning is usually done in late July or August when silver leaf and bacterial canker are not likely to infect your tree. However, light formative or cosmetic pruning can be done in early spring as foliage starts to develop.
Water Requirements: Cherry trees should be deep watered every other day for the first week after planting. The second week they can be watered deeply two or three times. After the second week, you can deep water your cherry trees once a week for the rest of the first growing season. Scale watering amounts as needed during times of drought or heavy rainfall.
Fruiting Season: For cherry trees planted in warmer regions, harvest time can occur as early as May. In cooler areas, cherry harvests occur primarily in June and July.
3. Peach (Prunus persica)
The peach tree is a deciduous tree or large shrub in the Rosaceae family grown for its edible fruit-bearing the same name. Peach trees are relatively short with slender branches. The tree’s foliage is alternately arranged, slender (3 to 6 inches long), and pointed.
Popular Varieties: Some popular peach varieties include:
• Santa Rosa • Red Beauty • Red Top • Elegant Lady • Yellow
Planting: A dormant, bare-root peach tree needs to be planted in late winter, while a container-grown peach tree should only be planted in the spring. Peach trees need to be planted in full sun, and newly planted trees should be staked for the first growing season.
Pruning: Peach trees should be annually pruned in the spring, right when buds swell and start turning pink. Remove vertical shoots developing in the center of the tree at any time. These shoots will block sunlight and airflow from reaching the fruit.
Water Requirements: Peach trees require a lot of water. On average, a mature peach tree will need at least 36 inches of water per year and 35 to 40 gallons per day in mid and late summer.
Fruiting Season: A hardy peach tree will only bear fruit 2 to 4 years after planting, occurring in mid to late summer (June through August).
Fruit Trees in Your Yard
In this article, you discovered several fruit trees hardy to zone 7b and perfectly suitable for planting in Alpharetta, Georgia yards and landscapes.
Knowing which fruit trees are hardy to zone 7b will help you plant fruit trees that will thrive and eventually bear fruit for you to harvest and enjoy.
Ignoring a fruit tree’s hardiness requirements can result in the death of your tree, the loss of your investment, and costly damage if the tree falls on your property.
Prevent the embarrassment of a sloppy and poorly planned front yard. Knowing some easy landscaping ideas and tips can make your front yard the envy of the neighborhood.
72tree.com gathered the following list of 9 professional front yard landscaping ideas and several tips to enhance the beauty and practicality of your front yard.
Front Yard Landscaping Ideas
With housing prices on the rise and the ease of posting lawn and garden photos on sharing platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, homeowners are now seeing their front yard’s potential in a whole new way. A well-designed landscape can help highlight the beauty and architecture of a house and increase the its value by improving its curb appeal. The following 9 landscaping ideas will help you design and bring to life the perfect front yard:
1 – Plant a Climbing Wall
When your goal is to disguise an unattractive wall, fence, or mailbox? Establish trellises that cover or encircle the area you wish to hide and plant one of the following:
• Clematis Tangutica • Kiwi • Sweet Pea • Virginia Creeper • Star Jasmine • Honeysuckle • Climbing Hydrangea • Climbing Rose
Tip: Plant climbing vines or plants that are hardy to your USDA Hardiness Zone and preferably evergreen species.
2 – Plant Potted Borders
This is a brilliant idea if you are new to gardening. Planting your garden in pots and planting your pots along your garden allows you to easily experiment with different species without constantly tearing up your garden. This idea also helps you corral bulbs which often require special care and sometimes need to overwinter indoors.
3 – Use Floral Borders and Window Boxes
One of the fastest ways to increase appeal to your front yard is to plant colorful flowering plants along your entryway. Window boxes planted with perennials, annuals, or small evergreens will add charm and a sense of coziness to your home’s architecture.
4 – Drought Tolerant Front Yard Landscaping
If you have yard space in a hot, dry region, this one’s for you. Grow succulents and cacti or seek native plants that don’t require much water. Eliminate the need for grass by covering your soil with landscaping rocks, crushed stone, pebbles, or gravel. Knowing your plant hardiness zone will help you determine the best plants to grow in your area. Xeriscaping (a popular form of landscaping in southwestern regions) uses native plants and drought-resistant plants to keep the landscape thriving with little water or maintenance.
5 – Display a Planted Wheelbarrow
Recycle a rundown, ready-to-discard wooden wheelbarrow. Planting hanging species like petunias, dwarf lavender, pansies, fuchsias, and other common “basket” favorites are particularly attractive when they spill over the wheelbarrow’s sides. For best results, use a high-quality potting mix that retains moisture in the wheelbarrow to keep your plants thriving during hot weather.
6 – Install a Water Feature
Install a small water feature, such as a fish pond or a glazed pot with a circulating pump, and let the overflow splash into a bed of attractive rocks. Fountains are also a great way to add an organic touch to your yard. Allow the soothing sounds of the water to drown out the noise from street traffic. Outdoor fountains create a calming oasis in your yard, while a tabletop fountain can be used on your front porch to bring the zen right to you.
7 – Plant a Shrub-Edged Pathway
Plant small hedges along your entry path or driveway. Boxwood shrubs suit this idea best because of their tightly leaved branches and topiary potential (this species is easily shaped into a multitude of designs). Small and round or clipped into a short rectangular hedge, they help lead the eye to your front door while encouraging foot traffic to stay on the pathway instead of trampling on the grass.
8 – Showcase Your Mailbox
Not every home has abundant space for a garden, but your stand-alone mailbox can be a vehicle to display shrubs, flowers, and climbing vines. Whether you go with pavers to create a border (and “official” garden space) or allow your plants to grow wildly around your mailbox, the result is certain to increase your home’s curb appeal.
9 – Install a Lighted Driveway Bed
Driveways and pathways benefit from a narrow garden bed along their length. This gives your yard a tidier and more appealing look while giving you the opportunity to install lighting at the edge of the driveway or pathway, naturally guiding your guests to your door. Small lanterns are fun and whimsical while remaining practical.
Tip: Solar and wired garden lights can be found in most gardening and home improvement stores.
Landscaping Your Alpharetta or Roswell Front Yard
In this article, you discovered nine ideas and multiple tips about designing your front yard to increase curb appeal and help you avoid embarrassing moments with your guests.
Knowing how to quickly and easily landscape your front yard will help you continuously evolve it into a show-stopping work of nature’s beauty.
Ignoring your front yard can lead to dying plants, shrubs, and trees while causing embarrassing moments with your neighbors and guests.
5 Shrub Species for Your Alpharetta Georgia Garden
Prevent your garden from looking neglected and ugly. Knowing which shrubs to plant in and around your garden will help protect it from severe weather and keep it looking sharp.
72tree.com gathered the following list of 5 ideal and hardy shrub species for your Alpharetta, Ga garden.
Alpharetta Georgia Gardens
Alpharetta, Georgia, gets approximately 53 inches of rain per year. That’s 15 inches more than the US average at 38 inches per year. This rainfall helps prevent drought and supports plant species growth throughout the year.
On average, Alpharetta sees about 220 sunny days per year. This promotes a healthy environment with ample opportunity for plants, shrubs, and trees to photosynthesize.
Alpharetta is entirely situated in USDA hardiness zone 7b. When selecting plant species for your Alpharetta garden, they should be cold-hardy for zone 7b for maximum growth and health potential.
The following are 5 shrub species selected specifically for Alpharetta, Ga:
1. Ixora Maui red (Ixora coccinea)
Ixora Maui Red grows as a dwarf, evergreen shrub thriving on heat and humidity. A shrubby, sprawling plant with many clusters of tubular, bright orange flowers displayed on the foliage in shades of bronze to incredible glistening dark shades of green.
While this species is hardy to zones 9 through 11, they can survive zone 7b winter temperatures if sheltered during the cold season.
2. Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)
Hydrangeas include over 75 species in their genus and surpass 600 named cultivars native to multiple climates, regions, and countries. Another common name for hydrangea is hortensia. Hydrangeas can grow as climbing vines and trees but are most commonly found growing as a shrub. The plants can reach heights ranging from 1 foot to nearly 100 feet as a vine!
The showy flowers produced by this plant species are what make it so popular. Most put on a blooming display from early spring all the way into fall. The large flowers can come in a wide variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. Hydrangea blooms can be pink, blue, red, white, purple, and green (depending on the mineral content of the soil).
This flowering shrub can grow in partial shade to full sun and will thrive in hardiness zones 3 through 7.
3. Anise (Pimpinella anisum)
Star anise is a quickly growing, evergreen shrub Capable of thriving in hardiness zones 7 through 10. Star anise shrubs can be grown as dense hedges or windbreaks, and they can also be pruned as a border plant. If allowed to, star anise will grow to a height of more than 15 feet and a width of over 10 feet. It tolerates both sun and shade but will grow significantly thinner in the shade.
In culinary terms, anise is used as a flavoring agent. It possesses a sweet, aromatic taste that highly resembles the taste of black licorice.
4. Arborvitae (Thuja)
With glistening emerald evergreen foliage and a classic narrow, pyramidal form, the arborvitae is a popular selection for gardeners looking to make a statement in all seasons.
The slow-growing arborvitae is an excellent selection for a specimen or accent tree. It serves well as a hedge tree, has the height to serve as efficient privacy screens, and makes a good foundation plant.
Hardy to zones 3 through 7, this species will add class and a sharpened look to your yard and garden.
5. Boxwood (Buxus)
Boxwood plants are dense, evergreen shrubs frequently planted in elegant and formal landscapes. This species is also popularly utilized in topiary. Boxwoods are grown for their foliage as their flowers lack any significance. Growing a boxwood shrub on your landscape allows you to create a topiary, a formal hedge, a matching border, or a pair of boxwood shrubs to balance out an entryway.
Boxwood is cold hardy to zones 5 through 9 and thrives in the Alpharetta, Ga area with little effort.
Growing Shrubs in Hardiness Zone 7b
In this article, you discovered 5 shrub species that grow well in the city of Alpharetta, Georgia, which is situated in hardiness zone 7b.
Knowing which shrub species to plant in your Alpharetta garden and landscape will help you maintain a sharp-looking and healthy ecosystem thriving year-round.
Haphazardly planting inappropriate species for Alpharetta’s cold hardiness can result in stunted growth, plant failure, disease, and insect infestations exploding over your landscape.
Have you noticed cracks and splitting in the trunk of your tree? Is your foliage located in a spot with exposure to frigid winters? If so, it could be a frost crack! These appear as a vertical crack along the trunk of your tree. This damage can be dangerous to a tree because it is severe enough to split through the tree.
Luckily, with a few extra care steps throughout the year, you can prevent these and help your trees stay healthy and in one piece! Read on for advice on how to prevent and treat frost cracks.
Frost Crack Causes
These vertical cracks form when a tree trunk is exposed to extreme changes in temperature between winter and summer. The repeated heating and cooling can cause the molecules to slightly expand and contract just enough that a bark crack can form as a reaction to the extreme changes. Below are ways of helping your tree survive the winter months.
Reversing the Damage
If you notice the cracking, should you do anything about it? Not necessarily, because in most cases, the tree will be able to recover on its own through the natural processes of healing.
However, you can help it recover, and prevent a split trunk, by sealing the crack with plastic. The plastic seal protects the opening from potential infections caused by bacteria and pests. Be careful, though! You should remove any wrapping you place on the tree before summer. Otherwise, it may foster infections instead of preventing them.
Frost Crack Prevention Methods
Insulation – Because frost cracks arise from the changing temperature, you can help prevent the tree trunk from cracking by insulating the base.
Insulation includes wrapping the trunk with a thick protective layer. Ideally, you’d want to use something that would keep warmth, like a tarp, burlap, or cloth.
You can also help insulate your tree’s trunk by planting evergreen plants and bushes around the base. Keeping the bottom of the tree lush with plants and bushes will help keep it warm during the winter and prevent deep freezing.
Keep Trees Healthy – A healthy and vigorous tree will be more capable of healing after a crack and more resistant to bark cracking in the first place. Read on to learn ways to keep your foliage healthy.
Every summer, make sure you give the soil a fresh layer of fertilized dirt to mix into the already present substrate. On top of that, layer some mulch or bark pieces to help pack in the new soil. This mulch technique will also work as a form of insulation during the wintertime.
Pruning or trimming the foliage can also encourage it to sprout new healthy growth, improving its overall health status. However, you should hire a professional, as it can be dangerous to do it on your own.
Be Careful Where You Put Your Tree – Location plays a massive role in the health of your foliage during wintertime! To avoid having a split trunk, be careful that your tree is not exposed to strong winter winds because this will cause the bark to become even colder and has a higher chance of cracking.
Shallow and porous soil/substrate is a bad idea because of how important hydration is for your foliage in winter. Stick to locations where the tree’s roots can extend very far downward for more support and a healthier root system.
Choosing a location with a proven water-retaining soil system always works best. These locations already help your tree stay healthy enough to avoid cracks and heal any cracks that it may have in the future!
Trees Prone to Frost Cracks
Like all organisms, trees have adapted to survive in various climates. Some have adapted better than others to areas with intense winters and are less likely to experience a split trunk.
If you are undecided on what tree species to use, here are a few that are less resistant to winters and more likely to experience bark cracks:
As a rule of thumb, the thinner the bark on the tree, the less resistant it is to cracks. In cold climates, choose trees with thick bark like aspens!
Frost cracks result from trees going through extreme cold and heat. The slight expansion and contraction of the molecules inside the tree result in the bark cracking on the surface of the tree.
If you see this happening, it is good to prevent infections and pest infestations by wrapping them in plastic. Consider insulating your tree trunk with either burlap, a tarp, or evergreen shrubbery to avoid cracking in general. Keep your tree healthy by fertilizing, watering, pruning, and adding a mulch layer.
If you keep these tips in mind when placing and taking care of your tree, you will be set for it to resist vertical cracks even in the harshest winters!
How To Mitigate Landscape Problems Caused by Juglone
Prevent your landscaping and gardens from mysteriously dying shortly after planting them. Knowing what may be lurking beneath your soil will help you select more appropriate trees, grass, and plant species for your planting projects.
72tree.com gathered the following crucial information about juglone, what produces this toxin, how to prevent it from killing your yard and garden, what plant species are tolerant to it, and how removing the tree may not eliminate its toxicity.
What is Juglone?
Juglone is a naturally occurring chemical compound produced by all walnut species, pecan trees, and hickories. Juglone appears in chemical form as (5 hydroxy-1,4- napthoquinone), which naturally occurs in all parts of the tree. Higher concentrations of juglone are found in the tree’s buds, nut hulls, and roots. Leaves and stems contain significantly smaller amounts of juglone, which is leached into the soil after they fall.
High concentrations of juglone occur in the soil under the tree’s canopy. However, highly sensitive plants can exhibit toxicity symptoms far beyond the canopy’s drip line. This occurs because decaying roots release the greatest amounts of juglone.
Other closely related trees produce juglone but at considerably lower concentrations than black walnut. Rarely will these trees produce or concentrate enough juglone to adversely affect more sensitive trees and plants. These trees include:
• English Walnut • Pecan • Butternut • Shagbark Hickory
Tip: Since tree roots in the Juglandaceae family often stretch well beyond the tree’s
Of the juglone-producing tree species, Black walnut and butternut both release the chemical (in significant quantities) from their roots during the growing season and in such a concentration that is lethal to many species of plants otherwise tolerant to the chemical.
It is understood that the production of this “natural herbicide” evolved in the species to decrease competition from surrounding or encroaching trees. This phenomenon of plant to plant interaction is known as allelopathy. The toxic effect of juglone on other plants is often referred to as “juglans” toxicity or walnut wilt.
All species of the walnut family (Juglandaceae) produce juglone. This would include many native trees such as black walnut, butternut, hickories, and pecan. However, black walnuts have the highest concentration of juglone, posing the greatest threat to your landscape and lawn, and garden.
How Do You Neutralize Juglone?
Juglone cannot be easily neutralized – and it can persist in your soil for years, so even the most vigilant property owners may find this challenging. Since juglone is present in all parts of the tree but is especially strong in the roots, which extend far beyond the canopy.
So, if your intention is to remove your tree(s), plan for a complete removal, including the canopy, trunk, suckers, and all of its roots. Once your tree has been removed, it may be suggested that you till the soil frequently. This may do more harm than good, as the soil’s biodiversity and nutrient content can be lost. Simply allow the juglone contamination to naturally dissipate.
Note: if you do not remove the tree’s roots, juglone will persist in your soil until the roots have fully decayed and then for months afterward.
Tip: Typically, one year after a full removal, the soil will have returned to safe nutrient, chemical, and organic content levels
Juglans toxicity and its symptoms can be prevented by avoiding the planting of sensitive plant species beneath or around the tree. The dripline of black walnut and butternut trees. Sensitive species planted beyond the root zone will be less affected.
Removing Juglone from your landscape and gardens
In this article, you discovered essential information about tree species that produce the allelopathic compound juglone, How to remove juglone from your landscape and protect the health of your soil.
Fully removing plants and trees that produce juglone (from crown to roots) is a great way to start the process of making your soil safe for more vulnerable plants.
When your trees, plants, and grass keep dying over and over, the problem may not be with the fertilizer or mulch. Stop replanting and discover if you are dealing with a naturally occurring herbicide.
Prevent the frustration and embarrassment of planting a beautiful garden, only to have it wilt and die within weeks. Knowing how black walnut trees are toxic will help you plant vulnerable species out of their reach.
72tree.com gathered the following information about black walnut tree toxicity, how to prevent it from killing your yard and garden, what plant species are tolerant to them, and how removing the tree may not eliminate its toxicity.
What Is Black Walnut Tree Toxicity?
Black walnut (Juglans nigra L.) is a highly sought-after US native hardwood lumber tree. Black walnut is typically grown as a landscape shade tree and, often, for its edible nuts. While some plants and trees grow well near black walnut, there are many plant and tree species whose growth is adversely affected by this tree.
Black walnut trees produce a chemical called juglone (5 hydroxy-1,4- napthoquinone), which naturally occurs in all parts of the tree. Higher concentrations of this chemical are found in the tree’s buds, nut hulls, and roots. Leaves and stems contain smaller amounts of juglone, which is leached into the soil after they fall. High concentrations of juglone occur in the soil under the tree’s canopy. However, highly sensitive plants can exhibit toxicity symptoms far beyond the canopy drip line. This occurs because decaying roots tend to release juglone.
Other closely related trees also produce juglone but at considerably lower concentrations than black walnut. Rarely will these trees produce or concentrate enough juglone to adversely affect sensitive plants. These trees include:
• English Walnut • Pecan • Butternut • Shagbark Hickory
Note: The relationship between plants in which one produces a substance adversely affecting the growth or health of another is known as “allelopathy.”
Tip: If you consider removing your black walnut to curb the toxic effects of juglone, consider that soil toxicity may persist for several years after removal (while the tree’s roots decay). Complete tree removal (tree, stump, and roots) is recommended for faster soil recovery.
Juglone Toxicity Symptoms
Juglone toxicity symptoms begin to appear either when a black walnut is maturing and its root zone increases in size, encroaching on other sensitive plant or tree roots, or juglone-sensitive plants are placed within the black walnut’s root zone (60 feet or more from a mature black walnut’s trunk). These symptoms manifest as:
• Wilting • Yellow Leaves (chlorosis) • Stunted or Slow Growth • Rapid Decline and Death
As of the publication of this article, there is no known remedy, treatment, or cure for juglone toxicity once a sensitive plant or tree has been affected.
Note: Some highly sensitive plant species that cannot tolerate even the slightest concentrations of juglone can die in a matter of months or even weeks.
Tip: Because juglone toxicity symptoms may be easily confused with other diseases, infestation, or nutrient deficiency problems, it is recommended to hire an arborist to evaluate the landscape and recommend a course of action.
Plant Species Sensitive to Juglone
The following plant species should not be planted in a garden situated within 60 feet of a mature black walnut tree:
Note: If proximity to a black walnut tree is unavoidable, raised garden beds offer a creative solution. However, the bed must be constructed in a way that minimizes or eliminates tree root penetration. These beds must also be kept free of black walnut leaf litter or nuts.
Juglone Tolerant Plant Species
The following plant species have exhibited tolerance to juglone:
Tip: When in doubt about a plant’s tolerance to juglone, ask the garden center or nursery attendant for help.
Are Black Walnut Trees Toxic to Dogs?
Yes. They can be, when moldy (Penicillium spp.), fallen walnuts containing the mycotoxin (Penitrem A) that is poisonous to dogs and other animals that eat the moldy walnuts. Dogs, in particular, can develop convulsions a few hours after eating these moldy walnuts. Hyperthermia, rapid breathing, urination, and dilated pupils may also be seen in affected animals.
Tip: If you suspect that your dog has consumed these nuts, seek immediate veterinary assistance (take a sample of what was consumed with you to the vet’s office).
Killer Black Walnut Trees
In this article, you discovered essential information on black walnut toxicity, protecting your yard and garden space, and how removing the tree may not eliminate the problem.
Planting juglone tolerant plant species and keeping more vulnerable species far from the black walnut tree, you can still create a harmonious ecosystem for your landscape.
Ignoring the juglone toxicity symptoms of your plants, shrubs, and trees can leave you running in circles looking for reasons why your landscape is dying, and nothing you plant will grow.
Prevent your trees from being weakened by suckers and watersprouts stealing their water and nutrients. Knowing how and when to remove tree suckers will help you keep your tree healthy and thriving.
72tree.com gathered the following information about tree sucker and water sprout removal, the damages they cause trees, and how to properly control them.
Removing Tree Suckers
Allowing suckers to remain on your tree will only divert water and nutrients from the vegetative and fruiting wood that needs to grow strong and healthy. Suckers should be removed when they appear, and they will grow very quickly.
Suckers grow from the base of the trunk or from roots and will need to be removed manually. Ideally, they should be pruned back to the point where they emerge from a root or base of the tree. Consider the following:
• Using a hand trowel, expose the sucker to the area where it emerged from the root.
• Snip or cut it off at the base with a sharp pair of garden shears (leave the collar, where the tree sucker meets the tree, to help speed wound recovery)
• Cover the cut area (with soil) and allow it to heal
• Repeat this process for any other suckers
Avoid mowing these growths. Mowing activities can cause abnormal growth, and damaged growth can become a vector for disease and infestation.
Tip: Leaving a stub can make the problem worse by causing multiple shoots to form. You will need to dig to get to where suckers emerge from roots.
Note: Once suckers start developing on a tree, they will usually continue to occur for the rest of that tree’s life and will need to be removed regularly.
Watersprouts like suckers are fast-growing and tend to grow vertically, either from the trunk or from an existing branch. They, too, divert water and nutrients from the tree, block sunlight and air circulation. Here’s how to remove them:
• Identify watersprouts as being unnecessary growth to be pruned away
• Use pruning shears to cut them from the tree
• Cut them back to their point of emergence from the trunk/branch (again, leaving the collar, where the watersprout meets the tree, to accelerate wound recovery)
• Allow these wounds to heal like other pruning wounds
Tip: leaving a stub when removing watersprouts can make the problem worse by causing multiple shoots to form.
What Causes Tree Suckers and Watersprouts
When trees are stressed or have suffered trauma, they often respond by producing upright shoots called water sprouts and suckers. Here are some of the occurrences that can cause them to grow:
Note: Suckers and watersprouts can be a sign of a tree’s aging. Many trees will sucker as they grow old and start to decay or even die.
Water sprouts and suckers grow from dormant buds in the bark and/or roots and are flimsily attached to trees unless allowed to grow for many seasons.
Tip: Once you detect a problem with suckers and watersprouts, hire an arborist to evaluate the health of your tree(s).
Tree Sucker and Watersprout Control
There are products containing Napthalene Acetic Acid (NAA) labeled to control sprouts on certain trees. Research must still be done on their effectiveness with landscape trees.
Products similar to Bonide’s “Sucker Punch” have a water-based paraffin wax emulsion, so once it is applied, it will last for up to 6 months.
Similarly, some herbicides are effective at controlling and suppressing suckers but are not recommended for all plant or tree varieties. Likewise, herbicides applied to suckers can severely harm the tree. Such products should be applied by a certified arborist.
One of the best ways to prevent water sprouts and suckers on your trees is to keep them as healthy as possible with proper care and pruning. If your trees already have multiple sprouts, do your best to figure out (or call in a professional) to find out what is causing the stress and strategize to correct it.
Tree Suckers and Watersprouts
In this article, you discovered information about tree suckers and watersprouts, what damages they can do to your trees, and how to properly remove them.
Knowing why suckers and watersprouts grow on trees will help you determine if there is more severe damage occurring within the tree or what steps should be taken to increase the tree’s vigor.
Ignoring a problem with watersprouts and suckers can make a troubled tree even further from recovery. As time passes, your tree’s water and nutrients can become severely depleted, leading to more tree problems, infections, infestations, and eventual death.