5 Self-Pollinating Fruit Trees for Alpharetta Georgia Landscapes
Need help choosing standalone fruit trees for your Alpharetta, Georgia landscape? Knowing which fruit tree species self-pollinate will help you choose individual fruit-bearing trees that provide your Alpharetta, Georgia landscape with shade, beauty, and delicious fruit.
72tree.com gathered species and growing information for several self-fruiting trees hardy to Alpharetta, Georgia, landscapes.
What is a Self-Pollinating Fruit Tree?
Most fruit trees are self-sterile for their own pollen (requiring a second compatible tree and a pollen vector). However, self-pollinating fruit trees only need their pollen to self-fertilize and bear fruit, and they can be planted as a standalone tree. As the name suggests, these trees do not require pollen vectors (bees, flies, wasps, etc.). Consider the following self-pollinating fruit trees for your Alpharetta, Georgia, landscape:
1. Pomegranate (Punica granatum)
Pomegranates can be grown as large shrubs or small trees with smooth, evergreen leaves, and showy orange to red flowers. It produces rounded and seeded fruit with a dry outer covering.
Mature Size – Pomegranates reach 10 to 20 feet in height and have a 10 to 20-foot spread. Soil Needs – This species thrives in loam, sandy, and clay well-draining soil with a 5.5 to 7.2 pH. Sun Requirement – Full sun (minimum 6 hours daily) Water Needs – Irrigate every 7 to 10 days during dry conditions. Pomegranate trees require approximately 60 inches of water annually. Fruiting – Pomegranate trees typically produce a harvest two to three years after planting. Most varieties flower from spring into fall and fruits (set in March or April) will be ready for harvest between August and October. Hardiness Zone – 7 through 10
2. Peach (Prunus persica)
Peach trees typically grow a rounded crown with upward-reaching branches draped in three to six-inch-long, dark green, deciduous leaves.
Mature Size – Peach trees reach 25 feet in height and have a 25-foot spread (when left unpruned). Soil Needs – This species thrives in lightweight loamy, well-drained soil with a 6.0 to 6.8 pH. Sun Requirement – Full sun (minimum 6 hours daily) Water Needs – Irrigate daily with 35 – 40 gallons during summer months. Peach trees require approximately 36 inches of water annually. Fruiting – Peach trees typically bear fruit 2 to 4 years after planting. A peach tree may bear fruit from June through August, with some species bearing fruit through September. Hardiness Zone – 4 through 9
3. Apricot (Prunus armeniaca)
Apricot trees have an upright growth pattern with a broad canopy. The leaves are ovate with a rounded base, pointed tip, and serrated margin. The tree produces white to pink flowers and fleshy yellow to orange fruit. Apricots are self-pollinating, but planting two different varieties (blooming simultaneously) can result in a significantly larger harvest.
Mature Size – Full-size apricot trees reach 25 feet in height and have a 25-foot spread. Soil Needs – This species thrives in loamy, well-drained soil with a 6.5 to 8.0 pH. Sun Requirement – Full sun (minimum 6 hours daily) Water Needs – Provide your apricot tree with an inch of water every ten to 12 days. Fruiting – Apricot trees typically bear fruit 3 to 4 years after planting. Blooming in early spring only on two-year or older wood. Fruits ripen and should be harvested from June through August. Hardiness Zone – 4 through 9
4. Fig (Ficus carica)
The common fig tree is a deciduous, multi-trunk tree with smooth, gray bark and a wide but low, open canopy. This species has large multi-lobed, showy, dark green leaves and produces small, inconspicuous flowers.
Mature Size – Fig trees reach 10 to 30 feet in height with a 20-foot spread. Soil Needs – Figs prefer moist, well-drained, organically rich soil with a 6.0 to 7.5 pH. Sun Requirement – Full sun (minimum 6 hours daily) Water Needs – Fig trees need 1 to 1-1/2 inches of irrigated water or rainfall per week (minimum). Fruiting – Most fig trees take three to five years before ripening fruit. Figs typically form on new stem growth each year and ripen from May through November. Hardiness Zone – 8 through 10 (6 and 7 if protected)
5. Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)
The common persimmon is a deciduous tree grown for its beautiful foliage and delicious fruit. When the fruit ripens, they range in color from yellow to red-orange.
Mature Size – Persimmon trees reach 35 to 60 feet in height with a 20 to 30-foot spread. Soil Needs – Persimmon trees grow best in loamy, well-drained soil with a 6.0 to 6.5 pH. Sun Requirement – Full sun (minimum 8 hours daily) Water Needs – Water a persimmon tree for 10 minutes once or twice weekly in the spring and summer. Persimmon trees can withstand short drought periods. Fruiting – Persimmons are a fall crop typically ripening from early fall through early winter. There are two primary varieties of persimmons (The astringent fruit is consumed when it becomes soft, and the non-astringent fruit is eaten while firm. Hardiness Zone – 4 through 9
Self-Pollinating Fruit Trees
In this article, you discovered species and planting information for several self-pollinating fruit trees ideal for landscapes in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Knowing which self-pollinating trees to plant in your Alpharetta, Georgia landscape will help you grow magnificent shade trees that provide an abundant annual fruit harvest.
Avoid planting trees that require attention, pollination, or not knowing which self-pollinating species are most suitable for your Alpharetta yard.
Keep treatable diseases from infecting and killing your pine trees. Recognizing the signs of disease and taking action to stop them will help you keep your pine trees robust and stable.
72tree.com gathered the following information and tips about pine tree disease signs, treatments, and prevention.
Pine Tree Disease
In years with heavy rainfall or severe drought, pine trees may brown in response. Browning is typically caused by the pine tree’s inability to uptake sufficient water to keep its needles fresh and alive. When moisture is overly abundant (and drainage is poor), root rot and other diseases are often the culprits. Consider the following pine tree diseases:
1. Annosus Root Disease (Heterobasidion annosum)
Heterobasidion annosum is a basidiomycete fungus in the Bondarzewiaceae family. It is considered one of the most economically damaging forest pathogens in the Northern Hemisphere. Heterobasidion annosum is widespread in US forests and is responsible for $1 billion in annual pine tree losses.
Appearance – In some cases, resin flow may appear near the root collar as the tree attempts to defend itself against attack. Diseased pines may show crown thinning and yellowing. In pine trees, the disease is most active in the sapwood, killing tissues and heartwood as it progresses. Treatment – Carefully remove and destroy infected trees and stumps. Any stumps left in the ground should be treated with borax. Prevention – This disease typically enters a pine tree stand when spores land on freshly cut limbs or stump surfaces. The fungus grows from the stump into nearby live trees via root grafts or contacts. For prevention, treat stumps with borax whenever thinning in a high-hazard area.
2. Diplodia Tip Blight (Sphaeropsis sapinea)
Diplodia blight, previously called Sphaeropsis tip blight, is a common fungal disease of stressed conifers, most typically pines with needles in bunches of 2's and 3's.
Appearance – Needles of new shoots will remain stunted, turn straw-colored, and will be glued in place from excess resin. Mature needles on branches end up killed by girdling cankers. Sticky, clear-to-white resin is found on dead twigs, the main stem, or branches with cankers. Treatment – If you previously had problems with Diplodia, consider applying fungicides as the candles are expanding and then two more applications at 2-week intervals (bud break, half candle, and full candle). This typically prevents any spores from being disseminated from infecting the tree’s succulent new growth. Prevention – Proper tree care, including increased irrigation during drought, pruning, and equipment sanitation are often effective methods for control of Diplodia tip blight and canker, especially when pines are newly infected.
Pine trees of all ages can become infected. Symptoms are typically first seen at the base of the crown on older needles. Infected needles develop yellow and tan spots and bands, which soon turn red. As the disease progresses, the ends of the needles turn reddish-brown while the needle base oddly remains green.
Appearance – Reddish brown spots or bands appear on needles in the fall. Needle spots girdle the pine’s needles. The needle beyond the band dies and turns brown, leaving the bottom portion of the needle green. Tiny black fungal fruiting bodies will appear in the bands or the needle’s dead areas. Treatment – A copper fungicide spray is an effective method to prevent needle cast. Other useful fungicides are chlorothalonil and mancozeb. Prevention – If your trees have a history of Dothistroma needle blight, copper fungicides can protect new needles from infection. Fungicides need to be applied before buds open in the spring.
4. Fusiform Rust (Cronartium quercuum)
Fusiform rust is caused by a curious fungus that produces five spore stages and requires an oak and a pine tree to complete its life cycle.
Appearance – Fusiform rust is caused by Cronartium quorum f. sp. fusiforme. It produces bright orange spores on southern yellow pines, especially loblolly pine, in springtime. Treatment – Avoid planting any rust susceptible pine tree species in locations where fusiform rust is or has been an issue. Pruning branch cankers and completely removing diseased branches can help lower potential trunk infection. However, once the trunk is infected, branch pruning is no longer recommended (careful tree removal and destruction is). Prevention – Disease prevention is best accomplished by planting resistant pine species and treating all oak trees growing anywhere in the vicinity of your pine trees.
5. Needle Rust (Chrysomyxa ledicola Logerh)
Pine or spruce needle rust is easily identified by pale, white, or orange blisters appearing on infected needles (in summertime). White blisters will appear on the current year's needle growth.
Appearance – Yellow-to-orange spots or bands appear on green needles in spring. In late spring to early summer, tiny, raised, white tubes form on needles breaking open to release powdery, orange spores. These infected needles can remain attached to the tree for several years. Treatment – Needle rust is considered a minor stress on pine trees and typically requires no management efforts. However, when necessary, the most efficient rust disease control is to carefully prune and destroy affected areas and remove any visible galls (abnormal growths) in late winter or early spring before they can produce spores. Prevention – Follow these best practices to help prevent spruce needle rust:
• Redirect lawn sprinklers away from pine branches and needles. • Plant your spruce trees far enough apart to allow good air circulation between them. • Prune out and destroy wilted or blighted stems and branches.
Note: In most cases, pine needle rust is a cosmetic issue, and no management is needed.
Pine Tree Disease Control
In this article, you discovered essential information and pro tips on identifying, treating, and preventing several pine tree diseases.
Knowing how to identify, control, and prevent deadly pine tree diseases will help you keep your pine trees thriving while stopping these diseases from spreading across your landscape.
Failing to recognize signs of diseased pine trees will lead to their death, potentially causing catastrophic damages and life-threatening injury when they fall.
7 Beautiful Trees for Alpharetta Georgia Landscapes
Avoid planting run-of-mill trees and having a basic landscape. Knowing the unique trees that can grow in your Alpharetta landscape will create a captivating aesthetic and curb appeal.
72tree.com gathered the following species and growing information about 7 of the most beautiful trees to plant in your Alpharetta, Georgia, landscape.
1. Southern Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)
Live oak grows to be a massive, picturesque, sprawling tree with magnificent horizontal and arching branches that form a broad, rounded, and majestic canopy. A squat, tapering trunk supports the massive, irregular limbs, often resting their “elbows” on the ground.
Size at Maturity – On average, this species reaches 50 feet in height with an 80+ foot spread. Soil Requirements – The live oak thrives in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained, and clay soils. Sun Exposure – Full sun to partial shade Water Needs – While your oak tree establishes its root system and matures for the first 2 to 3 years, you should water it weekly. It will take about 10 gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter to keep this species thriving. Hardiness Zone – 7 through 10
2. Rhododendron (Rhododendron)
Rhododendron, or “red tree,” refers to the red flowers and woody growth of some species, but rhododendrons can range in habit from evergreen to deciduous and from low-growing shrubs to tall, stunning trees.
Size at Maturity – This species can reach 5 to 20 feet tall with a 3 to 8-foot spread (depending on the variety). Soil Requirements – Rhododendrons thrive in well-draining soil with abundant organic matter. Sun Exposure – Full sun Water Needs – Water rhododendrons twice weekly during the first growing season. Once established, only water them during dry periods. Hardiness Zone – 4 through 8
3. Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum)
This incredible maple shows off bright green foliage in spring and summer, then turns golden yellow and red in the fall.
Size at Maturity – This species can reach from 15 to 25 feet tall with a 15 to 20-foot spread. Soil Requirements – Japanese maples thrive when planted in well-drained, acidic soil high in organic matter. Sun Exposure – Dappled or Afternoon Shade Water Needs – Water this species heavily twice weekly during normal weather and increase waterings to three or four times during droughts. Hardiness Zone – 5 through 8
4. Weeping Cherry (Prunus subhirtella)
This cherry tree variety generally features non-fragrant pale pink to white flowers in spring, pea-sized blackish (inedible) fruits in late summer, and ovate to lanceolate green leaves gently swaying on drooping branches and stems.
Size at Maturity – This species can reach from 20 to 25 feet tall with a 15 to 20-foot spread. Soil Requirements – Weeping cherry trees are highly-adaptable to a range of soil types but flourish in loose, well-drained, loamy soil. Sun Exposure – Full sun Water Needs – A weeping cherry tree should be watered two to three times weekly during its first year. Afterward, it should only be watered when the top three inches of soil are dry. Hardiness Zone – 4 through 9
5. Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
This tree species displays a variety of colors throughout the year. Leaves emerge reddish, turning vibrant green as they expand. The tree’s foliage is dark green in summer and yellowish in autumn. The tree’s showy flowers are pea-like and rosy pink with a purplish tinge.
Size at Maturity – This species can reach from 20 to 30 feet tall with a 25 to 35-foot spread. Soil Requirements – Eastern redbud trees thrive in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, nutrient-rich, sandy, well-drained, and clay soil. Sun Exposure – Full sun to partial shade Water Needs – Water your eastern redbud two to three times weekly during its first year. Afterward, it should only be watered when the top three inches of soil are dry. Hardiness Zone – 4 through 9
6. Rainbow Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus deglupta)
The rainbow eucalyptus is an evergreen tree with drooping spear-shaped, silvery-green leaves and curious clusters of tiny white flowers. The tree’s most stunning feature is the trunk, which grows rainbow bark in vibrant (nearly fluorescent) green, blue, orange, red, and purple shades. When planted in cooler areas, this tree species will require shelter from freezing wind and extremely low temperatures.
Size at Maturity – This species can reach 60 to 80 feet tall with a 20 to 30-foot spread. Soil Requirements – This species thrives in sandy, loamy soils that are fertile, moist, and well-drained. Sun Exposure – Full sun Water Needs – Water your tree daily for best results, never flooding the tree with standing water. Hardiness Zone – 9 through 11
7. Red Oak (Quercus rubra)
Most red oak leaves fade to brilliant red or orange-red shades in fall and will hold their color longer than other deciduous trees. Some red oak trees have yellow fall foliage instead of red.
Size at Maturity – This species can reach 60 to 75 feet tall with a 45-foot spread. Soil Requirements – Like other oak species, red oak thrives in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained, and clay soils. Sun Exposure – Full sun to partial sun Water Needs – While your oak tree establishes its root system and matures for the first 2 to 3 years, you should water it weekly. It will take about 10 gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter to keep this species thriving. Hardiness Zone – 3 through 8
Beautiful Landscape Trees
In this article, you discovered essential species and growing tips for seven of the most attractive tree species for Alpharetta, Georgia, landscapes.
Knowing which tree species possess beautiful features will help you add intrigue and stunning visuals to your Alpharetta, Ga, landscape.
Not knowing the tree species capable of enhancing your Alpharetta, Georgia yard will leave your landscape dull and impressive.
Skip planting coffee trees in Alpharetta, Georgia for them to only wilt and die. Knowing how and where to plant your coffee trees in Alpharetta, GA will give you a specimen tree worthy of years of conversation and appreciation.
72tree.com gathered the following species and growing information to help you plant, grow, and protect beautiful coffee trees in your yard or garden.
Is Coffee a Plant, Shrub, or Tree?
That depends on how you choose to grow them. Coffee plants are woody evergreens that can grow up to 6 feet and can be groomed to grow as large, sprawling bushes, or as short, robust trees.
Coffee Tree Information
Coffee (Coffea) is a genus of more than 120 species of flowering plants in the Rubiaceae family, mostly native to tropical Africa. Four species are primary coffee sources grown throughout the “coffee belt;” they include Arabica, Robusta, Excelsa, and Liberica. When growing coffee in Alpharetta, Georgia, consider the following species requirements:
Soil Requirement – A healthy coffee plant requires nutrient-rich, well-drained, and acidic soil. The soil also needs to be maintained at a pH level between 4.9–5.6. At these pH levels, the plant can better absorb nutrients, resulting in more coffee cherries and fewer pest or disease-related issues.
Sun Preference – This is a species of understory plants and will not thrive in direct, harsh sunlight. Coffee plants that are exposed to too much sunlight will develop chlorosis and leaf browning.
Water Requirement – Coffee plants need to be watered regularly and will droop when they are under-watered. Keep the soil moist without letting the roots sit in water.
Spacing – Place individual plants 8 feet apart to create a hedge and further apart if you plan on harvesting the beans. You’ll need to leave sufficient room to freely walk around each plant.
Hardiness Zone – Coffee trees are cold hardy to zones 10 and 11 (the Coffee Belt) but can be grown in zones 7 through 9 with proper care and protection in the colder months.
Winter Protection – This species is not frost-tolerant, so freezing temperatures are detrimental to your plant. A coffee tree exposed to temperatures below 30° F (1° C) easily dies. It is better to move the plant indoors (when grown in containers) or well-sheltered or wrapped when grown in the yard or garden.
Harvest Time – Harvest your coffee cherries from October through December. However, depending on the species and weather conditions, you may be treated to a second crop, harvested from April through June.
Note: Proper care will help you maintain and even increase your tree’s output over the years, depending on the variety. The average mature coffee tree can produce 10 pounds of coffee cherries or 2 pounds of beans annually.
Tip: Since coffee trees are so sensitive to colder weather, you may find greater success growing them in containers. This way, when cold or freezing weather approaches, your coffee trees can be moved to a greenhouse, garage, or indoors until warmer weather returns.
How to Process Coffee at Home
Harvesting, processing, and brewing your own coffee beans leaves you in absolute control of the quality, purity, and flavor of your home-grown coffee. The following steps will help you properly harvest, prepare, and brew coffee at home.
Step 1 – Pick ripe coffee cherries – Coffee cherries should be picked at their ripest when they have a dark-red exterior. This allows time for the fruit’s sugars to ferment, resulting in a deep, complex, and sweet cup of coffee when the seeds are roasted.
Step 2 – Remove the beans from the fruit – Soaking the harvested beans in water overnight will loosen the fruit from the bean, facilitating the bean’s removal.
Step 3 – Soak the beans in water for 48 hours – This step will help remove the slimy covering on your beans. They’re ready when they feel rough between your fingers instead of slick. Rinse them off and proceed to the next step.
Step 4 – Thoroughly dry the beans – This step is crucial if you intend to store the beans for any time and prevent mold. Spread the beans out on a flat surface and allow them to sun dry for 2 to 4 days. (If you intend to brew them immediately, skip this step and proceed to step 5).
Step 5 – Removing the parchment from your beans – The parchment is a naturally occurring, papery substance surrounding coffee beans (just like the membrane-like layer enveloping other fruit seeds). Hulling away the parchment is optional since some coffee beans are sold “in parchment” (or “en pergamino”). It depends on your preference.
Step 6 – Roast your beans – You can roast your coffee beans in a stainless steel skillet or pot over medium heat, bake the beans in the oven, or even roast them in an air fryer. Any way you choose, use medium heat, stirring frequently, and avoid burning them.
Step 7 – Grind and brew your coffee – Grind your roasted beans to your preferred coarseness and brew your homemade coffee how you like it.
Note: Traditionally, coffee is harvested by hand in one of two ways: strip picking or selective picking. Strip picking is exactly how it sounds, trees are harvested, “stripping” all the beans from the branches, ripened and unripened cherries. Selective picking is more time-consuming but allows you to harvest only ripe coffee cherries.
Growing Coffee in Alpharetta, Georgia
In this article, you discovered species, growing, and harvesting information to help you grow and cultivate the coffea species in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Properly caring for and protecting your coffee trees can provide your landscape with a unique fruiting plant species that can keep you well-supplied with coffee to grind.
Being ignorant to coffee tree planting and care requirements will lead to their eventual decline and death.
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.