Protect your Japanese blueberry tree from fungus, decline, and death. Knowing some of the more common problems your Elaeocarpus decipiens can go through will help you avoid losing your tree to poor health conditions.
72tree.com gathered the following information to help you identify and quickly treat some of the more frequent problems occurring with the Japanese blueberry species.
What is a Japanese Blueberry Tree?
The Japanese blueberry tree (Elaeocarpus decipiens) is a remarkably beautiful, broad-leaved evergreen tree originating from East Asia. Its compact form, lush appearance, and elegant branching pattern make this tree species a sought-after lawn, garden, or street tree with year-round appeal.
Japanese Blueberry trees grow up to 40 feet with a spread of about 30 feet. This allows tree owners to prune and shape the tree however they want. The tree is a fascinating topiary canvas, allowing growers to be creative and build their yards and gardens the way they like.
Note: This evergreen can be grown as a large shrub or tree.
Japanese Blueberry Tree Problems
When it comes to tree problems, Japanese blueberry trees are exceptionally resilient and disease-resistant. The tree’s troubles are minor, but they still require attention to keep them under control. If you’ve spotted any of the problems listed below, quickly take action, as they can all be solved with the appropriate care and attention.
1. Tree Tops Dying Back
There may be several reasons for this damage. Borers can cause mechanical damage to the trunk shutting off the water and nutrients going to the top. Diseases developing beneath the bark can do the same thing. Because the Japanese blueberry is relatively thin-barked, sunburn or sunscald from intense sunlight can kill the trunk in that location and cause this dieback. Human activities around the tree can cause similar bark damage as well.
Boring Insect Solution: For boring insects, the best treatment is prevention. There is little you can do to save the tree once they’ve infested it. You can protect un-infested trees from borer infestation and damage with an insecticide soil drench once a year and an annual checkup from an arborist or trusted tree service.
Sunburn or Sunscald Solution: Again, the best remedy is prevention. If your Japanese blueberry is thinning out or your pruning activities have exposed areas of the bark, you can use white wraps around the trunk, either paper or plastic, as well as white paint to reflect the sunlight and keep the bark from overheating. Avoid pruning your tree too thin.
Human Damage Solution: Avoid vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic beneath the canopy of your Japanese blueberry. Pruning activities should be done by a professional tree service, arborist, or landscaper (specialized in topiary cutting and care).
2. Chlorosis (Iron Deficiency)
Japanese Blueberry trees are susceptible to chlorosis. This condition occurs when the tree does not get enough iron from the soil. Iron is a mineral required by plants, shrubs, and trees to make chlorophyll. This substance gives leaves their green color and is essential for photosynthesis.
Chlorosis causes a lack of chlorophyll in the tree’s foliage, making it relatively easy to identify. Leaves will begin to lose their green color, turning yellow. Over time, these yellow leaves will fall, and the barren branches left behind will start to die.
Two primary reasons cause Iron deficiency in your Japanese Blueberry trees. The first is a lack of iron in the soil. This, however, is not common. The more likely cause is an inadequate soil pH level.
Japanese Blueberry trees grow best in neutral pH. These trees prefer a soil pH between 6.1 and 7.5. Any higher, and it would be too acidic for the roots to efficiently absorb any Iron from the soil.
Chlorosis Solution: A soil pH test can determine if the pH is the problem. In case it is the pH that is causing the chlorosis issue, the solution is simple. You may have to either increase or decrease your soil’s acidity:
• Use sulfur, compost, or mulch to increase soil acidity • Apply a material containing a form of lime to decrease soil acidity
Tip: When in doubt about pH testing or adjusting your soil’s acidity, consult your landscaper or arborist on how to proceed.
3. Leaf Rust
Leaf Rust is not a lethal affliction and can be easily treated. Leaf rust is caused by the Naohidemyces Vaccinii fungus, this fungal growth results in yellow spots growing on the tree’s foliage. These “spurs” eventually develop into rust-colored blemishes. In addition, leaf rust can stunt your tree’s growth and make it unhealthy if not properly addressed.
Leaf Rust is formed when the fungus grows on the tree’s leaves. For the fungus to develop, it requires a moist environment, and wet leaves are ideal. This is why watering should occur at the soil level around your Japanese Blueberry trees.
Leaf Rust Solution: Once you have identified leaf rust spreading through your tree, you must treat it with an anti-fungal or a fungicide to avoid spreading the fungus any further.
4. Sooty Mold
Sooty mold does not directly harm the tree; this affliction is not too troublesome and can typically be easily resolved. The problem behind sooty mold is that it can make your tree an eye-sore with black patches all over the leaves, and as the black mold accumulates, it blocks sunlight from reaching the leaves and disrupts photosynthesis. Without photosynthesis, the tree will lose its vibrant color and wilt, eventually dying.
To understand how to fix this affliction, you must first understand what causes sooty mold to form. Sooty mold will only develop on honeydew. Honeydew is a waste product deposited by aphids and other invasive insects that feed on your Japanese blueberry.
A sign that your tree has an aphid problem is the presence of ants trailing up and down the tree, tending to and protecting the honeydew-producing insects. Another sign is bees flying around the leaves for no apparent reason.
Sooty Mold Solution: A quick but temporary solution is to spray your trees with a garden hose, washing away the honeydew and sooty mold buildup.
Neem oil applied to affected areas serves as a natural pesticide, repelling the insects feeding on your tree’s foliage and the ants protecting them.
Ladybugs have a voracious appetite and are extremely effective in eliminating aphids and scale. Ladybugs can be purchased in bulk and released directly on your tree. They will naturally spread throughout your landscape, potentially eliminating the need for any chemical-based pesticide applications.
Japanese Blueberry Tree Care
In this article, you discovered how to identify and treat several commonly occurring problems with your Japanese blueberry trees.
Knowing how to identify tree problems and take swift measures to resolve them will help keep your Japanese blueberry trees flourishing on your property.
Ignoring Japanese blueberry tree problems can quickly lead to severe tree problems, diseases, and infestations that will kill your tree.
Avoid losing your trees to a tree-boring beetle infestation. Knowing how to identify tree-boring beetles and prevent them from destroying your trees will help you preserve and strengthen your landscape’s ecosystem.
72tree.com gathered the following information to help you identify tree-boring beetles, the damage they do to trees, how to treat them, and how to prevent beetle infestations.
Tree-Boring Beetle Damage
Borers tunnel into trees to feed on their inner wood. Symptoms can be slightly different depending on the borer, but in general, these critters create holes in tree bark, leave behind sawdust or sap and cause leaf discoloration and branch dieback, and can ultimately kill the tree. Consider the following:
Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis)
Emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis, is an exotic beetle discovered in southeastern Michigan near Detroit in the summer of 2002. The adult beetles feed on ash foliage but cause minor damage. The emerald ash borer’s larval stage is responsible for the damage that leads to the host tree’s death. The larvae’s feeding under the tree bark eventually interrupts the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients from the roots to the tree’s foliage, causing ash tree decline and death.
The emerald ash borer has decimated over 40 million ash trees in Michigan alone and tens of millions throughout other states and Canada. Small (younger) trees can die as soon as one to two years after an EAB infestation, while more mature infested trees can survive three to four years. Without intervention and preventative measures, an EAB infestation is 100% fatal to the host.
Vulnerable Tree Species – All eastern North American ash species are susceptible to EAB, including green, white, black, blue, and pumpkin ash trees. Infestation Signs – Thinning and yellowing leaves, D-shaped holes in the bark, and severe canopy and bark loss Treatment – Injection by a professional pesticide applicator (or a certified arborist) is the best option for trees greater than 48 inches in circumference (15 inches in diameter). Sprayed and poured insecticides are not as effective. Prevention – It is challenging to prevent an initial EAB infestation of an individual tree. But you can prevent EAB from spreading to other trees. The only way to prevent your ash trees from falling victim to EAB is to treat them. Untreated ash trees are a significant contributor to EAB’s spreading. Information/Reporting – If you suspect you’ve seen the emerald ash borer or ash tree damage caused by a potential infestation, report it immediately by calling 1-866-322-4512. You can also report your findings online at aphis.usda.gov/aphis/resources/pests-diseases/hungry-pests/Pest-Tracker
Note: You can also report an EAB sighting or infestation by reaching out to your county’s Extension office or a designated state representative found at emeraldashborer.info/reporting-eab.php
Mountain Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae)
The mountain pine beetle (MPB) is a bark beetle species native to the forests of western North America from Mexico to central British Columbia. It has a hard black exoskeleton and measures approximately 1/4 inch (the size of a grain of rice). MPB is the most aggressive, persistent, and destructive bark beetle in the western United States and Canada. MPB affects pine trees by laying eggs under the bark. The beetles introduce blue stain fungus into the sapwood preventing the tree from repelling and killing attacking beetles with tree pitch (sap).
Vulnerable Tree Species – Ponderosa, lodgepole, white bark, limber, sugar, blue spruce, bristlecone pines, and several other pine species. Infestation Signs – Signs of MPB infestation include white pitch tubes, running pitch, “sawdust” at the base of the tree, and multiple small emergence holes in the bark. During warmer months, these beetles can kill a tree in two to four weeks. Treatment – Removal. Cut and destroy infested trees along with a wide buffer strip of healthy trees. Prevention – The only treatment that can be applied to the tree is preventative. This will protect the tree by killing the beetles before they infest it. Insecticides containing the active ingredients permethrin or carbaryl and labeled for bark beetle control should be done by early June to protect trees from MPB. Information/Reporting – If you suspect an MPB infestation, hire an arborist to confirm the infestation, begin treatment and removal efforts, and contact local authorities to help contain the beetle’s spreading.
Metallic Wood-Boring Beetle (Buprestidae)
Buprestidae, also called Jewel Beetles, comprise any of some 15,000 beetle species (insect order Coleoptera). These beetles are primarily distributed in tropical regions and are among the most brilliantly colored insects. Buprestidae adult beetles feed on their host tree’s foliage, resulting in little damage to the tree. The larvae of these beetles burrow through the bark, roots, and stems of multiple tree species and woody plants to reach the cambium (water and nutrient delivery system of the tree).
Vulnerable Tree Species – Pine (Pinus), spruce (Picea), fir (Abies), hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), ash (Fraxinus), beech (Fagus), hazelnut (Corylus), apple (Malus domestica) Infestation Signs – Partially consumed foliage (leaf notches), chlorosis of foliage in sections of the crown, dieback of foliage and stems, frass (sawdust) found on the bark from burrowing activities, D-shaped exit holes in tree bark, suckers and water sprouts growing in the crown, on the trunk, and/or from the roots, woodpecker damage (woodpeckers hunt beetle larvae), squirrel activity (some squirrel species feed on beetle larvae) Treatment – Due to their larvae’s hidden feeding activities, treating a metallic wood-boring beetle infestation is not always possible and should be evaluated by a certified arborist. Prevention – Select well-adapted tree species not commonly attacked by wood-borers in your region. Select and prepare suitable planting sites to avoid tree stress, freeze damage, sunscald, windburn, and other common tree stressors. Information/Reporting – If you suspect a metallic wood-boring beetle infestation, hire an arborist to confirm the infestation, begin treatment and/or removal efforts, and contact local authorities to help contain the beetle’s spreading.
Sometimes. Tree-boring beetles are attracted to trees that are already stressed and injured (pruning wounds are common entry points for first-generation borers). Adding mulch around your tree and providing it with consistent waterings and seasonal fertilization can help it fight off or resist borers while recovering from previous damages.
Note: When you see signs of decline or bark damage (entry/exit holes or woodpecker damage), call a certified arborist to evaluate the situation and recommend a course of action.
In this article, you discovered essential information on identifying a wood-boring beetle infestation, the damages they can cause trees, how to treat and prevent infestations, and who to call for help.
Knowing how to identify, treat, and control tree-boring beetles will help you prevent or stop severe infestations from killing stands of trees on and around your property.
Ignoring beetle infestations can result in the quick death of your trees and property damage if said tree falls on your home.
Avoid planting a tree species that’s not well suited for your yard. Knowing the pros and cons of eucalyptus tree species will help you make informed decisions about what to plant in your yard.
72tree.com gathered the following information, pros, and cons of eucalyptus trees and how they affect their surroundings.
Eucalyptus globulus Labill is an evergreen aromatic tree in the Myrtle Family (Myrtaceae). This tree species commonly reaches 150 to 180 feet in height and has a diameter of 4-7 feet. This tree has a straight trunk up to two-thirds of its total height and boasts a well-developed crown.
Eucalyptus Tree Foliage
Eucalyptus tree species are evergreens. Unlike other northern hemisphere trees that are deciduous in harsh fall and winter periods, eucalypts have leaves all year. These trees are described as ‘sclerophylls,’ meaning ‘hard-leaved.’ The species’ leaves are thick, leathery, and tough due to lignin and do not easily wilt. When eucalyptus trees are used for privacy screening, this attribute is their greatest pro.
Eucalyptus Tree Stands
A properly functioning watershed has a forest or tree stand with three canopy levels; a lower (understory), middle (middle story), and top or (overstory). With all three canopy levels, the trees can better trap water by slowing rainfall, trapping mist from the air on leaves, which drips into the soil and naturally replenishes the water table below. However, when the stand or forest is composed of eucalyptus, there will only be an overstory canopy level, and the ground will be practically devoid of understory trees and plants.
The leaves and roots of eucalyptus trees inhibit other plants from growing under them due to naturally-occurring chemicals. Having no middle or lower canopies causes soil to easily dislodge and wash downslope through streams and rivers, which can rapidly increase land and soil erosion.
Note: Many plants produce compounds that will inhibit or stop the growth of nearby plants to better compete for nutrients, sunlight, and other vital resources. This is known as allelopathy, and black walnut, maple, pine, and eucalyptus species are some of the better-known examples of tree species that employ this. Allelopathy is a severe con to planting eucalyptus trees on your property.
Invasive Eucalyptus Roots
Since a eucalyptus tree’s lateral roots spread up to 100 feet outward, they are known to grow into ditches, plumbing pipes, and septic tanks, damaging, clogging, and cracking them. In fact, eucalyptus roots penetrating or lifting foundations is a common complaint when this species is planted too close to a home.
If you choose to plant eucalyptus trees, you can limit or prevent some of the dangers associated with its shallow root system by placing root barriers and with proper planting and maintenance. Plant eucalyptus trees so the distance away from utilities, structures, driveways, sidewalks, and roadways is equal to two-thirds the potential mature height of the tree.
Note: Eucalyptus roots will typically encroach on a structure’s foundation only when there is an active water source like a burst pipe or poorly connected drain. This attribute of the eucalyptus species is a severe disadvantage to its planting.
Eucalyptus Tree Dangers
While there are many attractive advantages to the eucalyptus species, there are some downright terrifying disadvantages to having the species anywhere near your property. Consider these eucalyptus species’ cons:
Water – Eucalyptus trees have a terrible reputation as extensive water users and significant contributors to soil depletion. While they do need copious quantities of water, their colossal taproot can find moisture even in the most barren areas. This voracious appetite helps maintain their incredibly rapid growth.
Toxicity – Some homeowners place eucalyptus leaves around their homes for their aroma or will plant eucalyptus in their landscapes. However, eucalyptus plant foliage is toxic to animals and humans if ingested.
Toppling – Eucalyptus trees are prone to falling because of their shallow spreading roots that don’t do an efficient job of anchoring or steadying the tree in loose soil or when an external force places overwhelming pressure against the trunk and branches.
Exploding – Eucalyptus oil gives off flammable fumes, and these fumes can be ignited by lightning, flying sparks, and cinders, causing the tree to explode.
Fireballs – During brush or forest fires, the eucalyptus species releases great quantities of flammable gas that mix with air to produce fireballs full of sparks and embers exploding out in front of the fire.
Note: According to North Carolina State University, eucalyptus foliage and bark are considered poisonous in large amounts. If too much is ingested, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can result.
Eucalyptus Tree Uses
Knowing the dangers posed by growing eucalyptus trees, it is difficult to believe that anything good can come from this species. Consider the following (surprising) benefits:
• Eucalyptus oil Is naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal • Eucalyptus vapors can decrease and clear mucus • Eucalyptus is used for household cleaning • Eucalyptus soothes and refreshes dry skin on contact • Eucalyptus is an efficient insect repellant
Note: Topically applied, eucalyptus can offer you a break from everyday aches and pains.
Eucalyptus Trees Species Pros and Cons
In this article, you discovered essential information, pros, cons, and unusual species traits for the incredibly robust eucalyptus tree species.
Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of planting a eucalyptus tree on your property will help you make informed decisions about planting distances and tree safety.
Planting a eucalyptus tree without knowing how to care and its potential for invasive roots can unintentionally cause costly damages to your property.
Avoid planting trees that produce awful aromas. Knowing which trees smell bad will help you cultivate a beautiful landscape without the horrific wafting odors of urine or excrement.
72tree.com gathered the following information about five tree species that emit a repugnant smell through their bark, foliage, or fruit.
1. Bradford Pear (Pyrus calleryana)
Bradford Pear is a variety of pear trees native to Korea and China called Pyrus calleryana. This species was introduced into western horticulture in 1908 and has been causing a stink ever since.
Pyrus calleryana is one of the first tree species to flower in the spring and typically one of the last trees to have colorful foliage in the fall. The tree’s white blossoms are about a half-inch in diameter and fill its canopy. Bradford pear fruit is small, round, and hard until softening after the first frost.
When Bradford pear trees are in bloom, they will unleash a canopy of beautiful white blooms but will also emit a stench that’s often likened to rotting fish.
Bradford pear trees are hardy to zones 5 through 9, and at maturity, this tree species can reach heights of 40 feet and a spread of 20 to 30 feet.
2. Callery Pear (Pyrus calleryana)
Closely related to the Bradford pear, the Callery pear is a small to medium-sized tree with a compact, symmetrical, or columnar shape that spreads to become oval with maturity. Many cultivars exist with slightly different characteristics, but all of them contribute to the species’ invasiveness.
If you see this tree in bloom, you may want to keep your distance (or take an out-of-town vacation). The aroma produced by these pretty Callery pear flowers have been compared to the smell of human male semen and vomit.
Callery pear trees are hardy to zones 4 through 8, and at maturity, this tree species can reach heights of 40 feet and a spread of 20 to 30 feet.
3. White Spruce (Picea glauca)
This species of spruce is native to North America, and its timber is principally used in general construction. Its uses also include timber for cabin construction, musical instruments, paddles, furniture, cabinets, pallets, boxes, and food containers. Picea glauca is also commonly used as a Christmas tree.
The tree’s needles are a stunning bluish-green color but give off a horrid aroma when the needles are crushed. Other names the tree goes by include cat spruce and skunk spruce due to the foul odor.
White spruce trees are hardy to zones 2 through 6 and, at maturity, will often reach 60 feet in height and 10 to 20 feet in diameter.
4. Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
Known as one of the most distinct and beautiful of all deciduous trees, the ginkgo certainly stands out. With its unique, fan-shaped leaves that turn a stunning yellow in the fall, it is a tree that can tolerate many unfavorable urban conditions, including heat, air pollution, and salt. This tree also takes root easily.
For all of its majestic traits, there is one that stands out – its hideous odor. When the females of the species drop their leaves and fleshy fruit, when crushed by vehicles or pedestrians release a distinct stench that has been likened to rotten butter, vomit, dirty gym socks, or dog excrement.
Ginkgo trees are hardy to zones 4 through 9 and, at maturity, will often reach 25 to 50 feet in height and 25 to 35 feet in diameter.
5. Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)
This towering tree species is often identified by its smooth and brownish-green bark when it is young, eventually becoming light brown to gray in its maturity, resembling cantaloupe skin. This tree’s scientific name, Ailanthus (sky-tree), and its common name, tree-of-heaven, both refer to its ability to quickly grow towards the sky.
Even with such a celestial name, you cannot get by its terrible smell. The leaves of male trees smell like rancid peanut butter or well-worn and musty gym socks.
Tree of Heaven is hardy to zones 4 through 8 and, at maturity, will often reach 60 to 70 feet in height and 80 feet in spread.
In this article, you discovered several tree species that most people deeply regret ever having planted on their property due to the horrible odors that they emit.
Knowing which tree species smell bad will help you avoid embarrassing moments when trying to explain the foul stench in the air.
Planting trees that smell bad will leave you with an unenjoyable landscape riddled with off-putting aromas.
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.