aware of it or not, all of us like to
be around trees because they make life
to the presence of trees beyond simply
observing their beauty. We feel serene,
peaceful, restful, and tranquil when around
trees...we are “at home” there.
In studies, hospital patients have been
shown to recover from surgery more quickly
when their hospital room offered a view
The stature, strength, and endurance
of trees give them a cathedral-like quality.
Because of their potential for long life,
trees frequently are planted as living
memorials. We often become personally
attached to trees that we or those we
love have planted.
Most trees in cities or communities are
planted to provide beauty or shade. These
are two excellent reasons for their use.
Not only are trees a beautiful addition
to any outdoor environment, strategically
placed ones (on the west side of a home
or building) can help to reduce cooling
costs during the warm season.
- Even though trees may
be private property, their size often
makes them part of the community as well.
Communities where many trees exist feel
more inviting and are asthetically more
appealing. They provide background to
and soften, compliment, or enhance the
Benefits - Trees alter
the environment in which we live by moderating
climate, improving air quality, conserving
water, and harboring wildlife.
Climate control is obtained by moderating
the effects of sun, wind, and rain. Radiant
energy from the sun is absorbed or deflected
by leaves on deciduous trees in the summer
and is only filtered by branches of deciduous
trees in winter. It's nice to have some
shady refuge around during the hot days
of summer. In winter, we value the sun’s
radiant energy. Therefore, we should plant
only small or deciduous trees on the south
or east side of homes.
The root sytems of moistue-loving trees
such as riverbirch and weeping willow
help to soak up water in boggy areas of
the yard or landscape. Other moisture-loving
plants can be planted along with them
to form a 'bog garden'.
Temperature in the vicinity of trees
is cooler than that away from trees. The
larger the tree, the greater the cooling.
By using trees in the cities, planners
are able to moderate the heat-island effect
caused by pavement and buildings in commercial
areas. The same thing goes for around
Air quality can be improved through the
planting of trees. The Atlanta metro area,
particularly the southside, could sure
benefit! Leaves filter the air we breathe
by removing dust and other particulates.
Rain then washes the pollutants to the
ground. Leaves of trees also absorb carbon
dioxide from the air to form carbohydrates
that are used in the trees structure and
function. In this process, leaves also
absorb other air pollutants - such as
ozone, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide
- then giving off oxygen.
By planting trees, we return to a more
natural, less artificial environment.
Trees will can create
a wildlife habitat on your property,
attracting birds and other wildlife by
providing homes and sometimes food for
them. Planting trees is an excellent way
to restore natural harmony to the urban
Benefits - Trees have
value and become more valuable as they
grow larger. In addition to the economic
benefits associated with energy costs,
trees also substancially increase the
value of your property as they grow larger.
Trees are a wise investment of funds because
landscaped homes are more valuable than
nonlandscaped homes. Hybridizing in the
modern day has helped to bring us trees
that grow much faster than their parents
trees bring color to your landscape in
almost every season. Tulip trees and Okame
cherry are first to bloom in spring. Next
comes redbuds, dogwoods and the other
flowering cherries. Crape myrtles bloom
during the summer and are unrivaled in
longevity of bloom (75-100 days). In fall,
hybrid Maples such as Autumn Flame and
Autumn Blazeset your landscape on fire
with their fire red foliage display. The
Gingko tree produces the most spectacular
display of yellow you've ever seen on
a tree., Many of the Faurieii hybrid crape
myrtles have beautiful fall foliage in
shades of maroon, orange, or red. Bald
cypress and the evergreen cryptomeria
'Yoshino' show off in fall with their
orange to rust foliage.
- Riverbirch, elms, bald cypress, and
many of the Fauriei hybrid crape myrtles
bring winter interest to the landscape
with their attractive shedding bark.
growing trees can quickly
add substantial value to your property.
costs can be reduced substancially
when a home has a windbreak created
or screens using large growing
evergreen shrubs or trees.
Tree selection is one of the most important
investment decisions a home owner makes
when landscaping a home. Considering that
most trees have the potential to outlive
the people who plant them, the impact
of this decision is one that can influence
a lifetime. Match the tree to the site,
and both lives will benefit.
The question most frequently asked of
tree care professionals is “Which
kind of tree do you think I should plant?”
Before this question can be answered,
a number of factors need to be considered.
Think about the following questions:
- Why is the tree being planted? Do
you want the tree to provide shade,
seasonal color, or act as a windbreak
- What is the size and location of the
- Does the space lend itself to a large,
medium, or small tree?
- Are there overhead or below-ground
wires or utilities in the vicinity?
- Do you need to consider clearance
for sidewalks, patios, or driveways?
- Are there other trees in the area?
- Which type of soil conditions exist?
Does the soil in the area retain moisture,
or is it well-drained and drier?
- And finally, do you need a tree that
will grow well in sun, or shade?
Asking and answering these questions
before selecting a tree will help you
choose the “right tree for the right
When making a selection about form, consider
mature tree size. Does the site require
a narrower growing tree or can it afford
a wide growing tree? How tall can the
tree get where you are planting it? Select
a form and size that will fit the planting
space provided. Above are basic tree shapes
and height categories as follows:
- 8-12' height - Semi-dwarf crape myrtles
and tree-form shrubs .
- 12-25' height -Crape myrtles, Japanese
maples, purple leaf plum
- 25-40' height - Flowering cherry,
Trident maple, riverbirch, redbud, dogwood
- 40-60' height - Maples, elms, bald
cypress in dry soil, sourwood
- 60-80' height - Many oaks, gingko
- 60-100' height - Bald cypress in wet
Depending on your site restrictions,
you can choose from among hundreds of
combinations of form and size. You may
choose a small-spreading tree such as
in a location with overhead utility lines.
You may select evergreen
screen trees to provide a visual barrier
between two homes or buildings. You may
choose large, vase-shaped trees such as
Drake elm to create an arbor over a driveway
or city street.
Selecting a tree that will thrive in
a given set of site conditions is the
key to long-term tree survival. The following
is a list of the site conditions to consider
before selecting a tree for planting:
- Soil conditions -
If the soil at the site is moisture
retentive select trees such as riverbirch,
weeping willow, bald cypress, or the
evergreen weeping yaupon holly. The
bald cypress will even grow in standing
water! Red maples, Nutalli oaks and
southern magnolias also tolerate damp
soils fairly well. On the other hand,
trees such as crape myrtles, redbuds,
dogwoods prefer well-drained soils.
- Exposure (sun or
shade) - If the site receives sun all
day long you definitely don't want to
plant a tree such as a dogwood there.
Dogwoods prefer shade or morning sun
only. Other trees such as crape myrtles
like it suny while some such as magnolias
will tolerate sun or partial shade.
- Space constraints -
You wouldn't want to plant an oak that
grows 50' + tall and 40' wide too close
to your home or directly under powerlines.
Instead, use trees such as Trident Maple
(to 25' tall) or Crape Myrtles (from
10 - 25' tall). Riverbirch is a soft
textured tree that can be used to fram
your house, just plant them 12 to 15'
off the corner. Also, make sure not
to plant large growing shade trees too
close to concrete or asphalt surfaces,
swimming pools, foundations, or septic
systems and lines. The root systems
of weeping willows are highly invasive
- make sure to plant them at least 30'
away or more from septic lines and swimming
- In Summary - Before
you make your final decisions, make
sure the trees you have selected are
“hardy” in your area and
that you are planting them in the proper
location. All of the trees stocked at
Wilson Bros. Nursery are hardy in our
area (zone 8).
Think of the tree you just purchased
as a lifetime investment. How well your
tree, and investment, grows depends on
the type of tree and location you select
for planting, the care you provide when
the tree is planted, and follow-up care
the tree receives after planting.
the Tree - The ideal time
to plant trees and shrubs is during the
dormant season - in the fall after leaf
drop or early spring before budbreak.
However, the trees stocked at Wilson bros.
Nursery are container grown and therefore
can be planted any time of year. Container
grown trees have all of their roots in
On the other hand, field dug 'balled
and burlap' trees have had most all (90
to 95%) of their feeder roots cut away
during the digging process and thus should
only be planted during the winter season.
Wilson Bros. Nursery highly recommends
planting container grown trees over field
grown trees in your landscape. Why wait
2 to 3 years for a tree to recover from
the shock of having its legs cut off?
To Transplant an Existing Tree
Mulching can reduce environmental stress
by providing trees with a stable root
environment that is cooler and contains
more moisture than the surrounding soil.
Mulch can also prevent mechanical damage
by keeping machines such as lawn mowers
and string trimmers away from the tree’s
To be most effective in all of these
functions, wood mulch or pinestraw should
be spread 2 to 3 inches deep and cover
the entire root system, which usually
extends just beyond branch spread of the
tree. If the area and activities happening
around the tree do not permit the entire
area to be mulched, it is recommended
that you mulch as much of the area under
the drip line of the tree as possible.
placing mulch, care should be taken not
to cover the actual trunk of the tree.
This mulch-free area, 1 to 2 inches wide
at the base, is sufficient to avoid moist
bark conditions and prevent trunk decay.
Plastic should not be used over the root
systems of trees or shrubs because it
interferes with the exchange of gases
and water between soil and air, which
inhibits root growth. Thicker mulch layers,
5 to 6 inches deep or greater, may also
inhibit these exchanges.
Fertilization is another important aspect
of tree care. Trees require certain nutrients
(essential elements) to function and grow.
Urban landscape trees can be growing in
soils that do not contain sufficient available
nutrients for satisfactory growth and
development. In these situations, it may
be necessary to fertilize to improve plant
a tree can improve growth; however,
if fertilizer is not applied wisely, it
may not benefit the tree at all and may
even adversely affect the tree.
NOTE: Mature trees
making satisfactory growth may not require
fertilization. When considering supplemental
fertilizer, it is important to know which
nutrients are needed and when and how
they should be applied.
Soil conditions, especially pH and organic
matter content, vary greatly, sometimes
making the proper selection and use of
fertilizer is a somewhat complex process.
When dealing with a mature
tree that provides considerable benefit
and value to your landscape, it is worth
the time and investment to have the soil
tested for nutrient content. Any arborist
can arrange to have your soil tested at
a soil testing laboratory and can give
advice on application rates, timing, and
the best blend of fertilizer for each
of your trees.
Mature trees have expansive root systems
that extend from 2 to 3 times the size
of the leaf canopy. A major portion of
actively growing roots is located outside
the tree’s drip line. It is important
to understand this fact when applying
fertilizer to your trees as well as your
Many lawn fertilizers
contain weed and feed formulations that
may be harmful to your trees. When you
apply a broadleaf herbicide to your turf,
remember that tree roots coexist with
turf roots. The same herbicide that kills
broadleaf weeds in your lawn is picked
up by tree roots and can harm or kill
your broadleaf trees if applied incorrectly.
Understanding the actual size and extent
of a tree’s root system before you
fertilize is necessary to determine how
much, what type, and where to best apply
TIP: Generally, we fertilize
trees with 14-7-7 Nursery & Landscape
fertilizer. This is a slow-release fertilizer
that contains an element package.
When planting new trees we always use
Agriform fertilizer tablets - 1 per hal-inch
caliper of the tree. Measure caliper 12"
up from the base of the tree. Caliper
= trunk diameter.
Pruning is the most common tree maintenance
procedure next to watering. Pruning
trees is often desirable or necessary
to remove dead, diseased, or insect-infested
branches and to improve tree structure,
enhance vigor, or maintain safety. Major
pruning of trees should be performed during
winter when the tree is totally dormant.
Because each cut has the potential to
change the growth of (or cause damage
to) a tree, no major branch should be
removed without a reason.
The tree that is pruned incorrectly most
often is the Crape Myrtle. Most people
unknowingly cut them back way too far.
That's why we included a page on this
site that shows how to properly prune
a crape myrtle.
Be careful how many limbs you remove
from any tree. Removing limbs is removing
foliage. Removing to much foliage from
a tree has two distinct effects on its
growth. Removing leaves reduces photosynthesis
and may reduce overall growth. That is
why pruning should always be performed
sparingly. Overpruning is extremely harmful
because without enough leaves, a tree
cannot gather and process enough sunlight
to survive. Understanding how the tree
responds to pruning should assist you
when selecting branches for removal.
Pruning mature trees may require special
equipment, training, and expertise. If
the pruning work requires climbing, the
use of a chain or hand saw, or the removal
of large limbs, then using personal safety
equipment, such as protective eyewear
and hearing protection, is a must.
Arborists can provide a variety of services
to assist in performing the job safely
and reducing risk of personal injury and
damage to your property. They also are
able to determine which type of pruning
is necessary to maintain or improve the
health, appearance, and safety of your
An expert arborist in our area is Brian
Arnold. He can be contacted at 678-432-6892
or visit his company website.
Tree inspection is an evaluation tool
to call attention to any change in the
tree’s health before the problem
becomes too serious. By providing regular
inspections of mature trees at least once
a year, you can prevent or reduce the
severity of future disease, insect, and
environmental problems. During tree inspection,
be sure to examine four characteristics
of tree vigor: new leaves or buds, leaf
size, twig growth, and absence of crown
dieback (gradual death of the upper part
of the tree).
A reduction in the extension of shoots
(new growing parts), such as buds or new
leaves, is a fairly reliable cue that
the tree’s health has recently changed.
To evaluate this factor, compare the growth
of the shoots over the past three years.
Determine whether there is a reduction
in the tree’s typical growth pattern.
Further signs of poor tree health are
trunk decay, crown dieback, or both. These
symptoms often indicate problems that
began several years before. Loose bark
or deformed growths, such as trunk conks
(mushrooms), are common signs of stem
Any abnormalities found during these
inspections, including insect activity
and spotted, deformed, discolored, or
dead leaves and twigs, should be noted
and watched closely.
If you have many large, mature trees
on your property you might want to consider
having a certified arborist do a yearly
check on them. Brian
Arnold & Company is a local tree
and shrub expert serving Henry County
and surrounding areas.
- Disease organisms affect many types
of trees. The trees we stock at the nursery
are selected for their resistance to diseases.
For instance, all of the Crape Myrtle
varieties we carry at the nursery are
These hybrids are highly resistant to
powdery mildew. Disease
Control for Plants & Trees is
a basic guide for helping you to identify
and treat for common diseases.
- Excpet for the Asian
Ambrosia beetle, which has claimed the
lives of a few young Yoshino and Kwansan
cherry trees most insect problems we've
identified in our area have not been life
threatening to trees. Probably the most
common insects are aphids and the Japanese
beetles. Neither do irreparable damage
to healthy trees. Visit the Insect
Control Homepage to identify insects
and find if treatment is necessary.
Summary - None of the
tree varieties we sell at Wilson Bros
Nursery are experiencing any significant
threat by insects or diseases. NOTE: We
are watching seiridium
cankor , a condition attacking
stressed and unhealthy Leyland Cypress.
And of course the Red Tip leaf spot.
NOT plant Red Tips in
your landscape, no matter what anybody
tells you! Wilson Bros. Nursery has not
sold a Red Tip Photinia since 1988 - the
year it opened for business. The leaf
spot contracted by these plants is fatal.
you are planning to plant a screen with
evergreen trees consider
using something other than Leyland cypress.
A disease known as seiridium cackor is
showing up in mature stands of these plants.
There are many attractive
alternatives to choose from.
Personal preferences play a major role
in the selection process. Now that your
homework is done, you are ready to select
a species for the planting site you have
chosen. Make sure to use the information
you have gathered about your site conditions,
and balance it with the aesthetic decisions
you make related to your personal preferences.
The species must be:
- suitable for the geographic region
- tolerant to the moisture and drainage
conditions of your soil
- be resistant to pests and diseases
in your area
- and have the right form and size
for the site and function you have envisioned.
Remember, the beautiful picture of a
tree you looked at in a magazine or book
was taken of a specimen that is growing
vigorously because it was planted in the
right place. If your site conditions tell
you the species you selected will not
do well under those conditions, do not
be disappointed when the tree does not
perform in the same way.
Remember, if you have any questions Wilson
Bros. Nursery is there to help you. We
will do everything we can to help you
to plant the “right tree in the
right place.” It is better to get
a professional involved early to help
you make the right decision than to call
him or her later to ask if you made the
wrong decision. A good place to start
is the Tree
NOTE: If you have planted
a tree purchased from Wilson Bros. Nursery
and there seems to be a problem developing,
please be sure to give us a call as quickly
as possible so we can help in determining
what the problem might be and offer solutions.