How do you determine the value of the firewood you are buying? It is my opinion that the true value of firewood is really about the buyer’s desire for service and convenience. Most consumers consider the standard “cord” to be the best measurement of value, but I would suggest that it is not the only, nor the best, method of calculating firewood value.
Spring has sprung.
The rains have come.
And my tree planting has just begun.
With 250 spruce seedlings in hand , when will my job be done?
Each year I order trees from the Virginia state nursery and plant as many trees as I can. I encourage my friends and neighbors to help and I give to my customers a tree or two. Some times I participate in an Arbor Day exercise with grade schools and offer the seedlings to students to take home to plant. I started doing this in 1986 and am a proud caretaker of a 30 foot tree my son planted when he was in the fourth grade. To me planting a tree is an act of kindness and is a way of paying forward to a clean and healthy environment for future generations.
Planting seedlings can be a fairly easy task. Choose a wet day, add a dibble bar, a bucket of trees, and start planting. Tree seedlings are shipped with bare roots and they need to be kept cool and moist until planted. A dibble bar is used to open the earth and to press the soil firmly against the bare roots. Professional tree planters can plant hundreds of seedlings per day. The more cultivated the soil the more likely the tree is to survive. Seedlings cost under a dollar per tree so if the tree fails to take the first year the loss is minimal and there is always next year to try again.
Large trees are more complicated. When transplanting a tree, whether from the nursery or the wild, you can receive good results if you follow these simple tips.
1. Select young, healthy trees. the younger the tree the more it is likely to survive.
2. Prepare the new planting hole before digging up the tree.
3. Dig or choose a tree with a large root ball, measuring 10 inches in diameter for every inch of stem diameter.
4. Minimize the roots’ exposure to air by covering the root ball with burlap or other similar material.
5. Transport the tree carefully, avoiding damage to the root ball. Employ extra help and special equipment such as a truck, dolly, two man sling, or even a hydraulic tree spade.
6. The root ball must be planted on a solid footing and at the same depth as before its’ lifting. If the planting hole is too deep, back fill with compacted dirt.
7. Care for your new transplant. Plan regular follow up visits, especially during dry times when extra watering is needed. Mulch goes a long way on holding moisture, keeping roots cool during hot times and warmer during cold times. Mulching is the natural way to fertilize and improve your trees growing environment.
Habitat Services is here to assist with your planting needs. Call us today and get a spring in your jump on the planting season.
Charlottesville is having a historic tree symposium on April 6, 2014. Hosted by and at St. Anne’s-Belfield School, Randolph Auditorium
2132 IvyRoad, Charlottesville, Virginia
Speakers and topics:
Dean Norton on Mt. Vernon
Peter J. Hatch on Monticello
Tom Dierauf on Montpelier
Joan Maloof on Old Growth Forest Network
$12 in advance
$15 at the door
$10 C.A.T.S. members
This is going to be sponsored by the Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards, a group of volunteers whose mission is to support rural and urban forests by: increasing public awareness of the intrinsic value and beauty of trees, educating the community about trees and tree care, and partnering with local government agencies and civic groups to improve and restore the tree canopy in the area.
Find out more about the symposium and the Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards.
Stewart was interviewed recently by NBC, Channel 29 discussing the shortage of firewood resulting from the very cold winter this year.
Boxwood come in many shapes and sizes. There are many cultivar of boxwood though
mostly I see the American boxwood and the English boxwood. The American boxwood is simply the regeneration of the plant by seed where as an English boxwood is the regeneration of a cultivar by rooting a clipping from the selected plant. I have been given an odd boxwood dubbed the Weeping boxwood which has done very well and is an extremely fast grower, about a foot per year. One can generally tell the difference between an American, English and Weeping boxwoods by the shape and structure. The English is a dense slow growing shrub with smaller leaves than the American. The American grows faster and has an open sparse branch
structure being more pinical in shape when young. The Weeping boxwood is very fast growing, so much so that in the spring it weeps over with new growth. The Weeping boxwood is even
more sparse in structure and pinical in shape. Boxwood thrive in shade and scattered sunlight. They can tolerate full sun and dense shade. Unlike many woody stem plants in Virginia, boxwoods prefer a less acidic soil and do well in manicured lawn
spaces where lime is employed. Boxwood roots are shallow and need plenty of mulch and protection from draught conditions. Watering is a priority to establishing boxwoods of all sizes. They are relatively easy to root and transplant as long as they don’t dry out. There are a few diseases to be concerned about. In most cases early detection and mechanical treatment or pruning can be the remedy. One obvious pest
visable this time of year (April) is the leaf minor. A close inspection of the under side of an infected leaf when split open reveals the
troublesome grub. Two years ago I discovered an infestation of these insects in some American boxwoods. I pruned back the
infected limbs before the grub emerged. Now the plants are thriving with no signs of leaf minors and no harmful chemicals having been applied.
Fruit trees can be pruned at anytime of the year. However, to maximize the development of an eatable fruit it is best to prune before the flower buds break in the spring. Additional pruning and fruit thinning may become necessary during fruit bearing months to prevent limb breakage due to over burdened branches. A well pruned tree having a stout trunk and branch structure can support a bumper crop of fruit without external support or props.Gather together the necessary tools and size up the job at hand. You may need these tools : CHAIN SAW; POLE SAW; POLE PRUNER; LONG HANDLE LOPPERS; HAND PRUNERS; HAND SAW; LADDER
Faced with a tree in need of a heavy pruning, first picture the finished work in your mind. An apple tree for example requires a strait central trunk with one, two, three, or more levels like a wedding cake or chandelier. Remove congestive branches starting with the big cuts first.
Second, establish the number of levels (apple) or the shape the tree will have. In this example the apple tree has three levels or tiers. Next establish a separation of branches from the ground to the first tier, a separation from the first tier and the second tier, and a separation between the second tier and the final third tier or top level.
Finally prune all remaining branches so there are no deadwood, broken or diseased limbs, crossing and rubbing stems, and thin out any remaining congested areas. If it appears you have taken to much out ,don’t worry it will all grow back in time, especially if you follow my instructions on root zone maintenance. Contact Habitat Services for a consultation. Call now (434)-296-3327 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Early spring is a particularly important time for the trees and shrubs in your yard. Because of plants’ yearly life cycle, it’s a good time to prune, plant, transplant and mulch. Here are a few important tips to help you make the most of your spring landscape care.
Necessary pruning should be done as soon as can be managed. When pruning large amounts of foliage or more than one third the crown mass, pruning is best done in the cool spring and avoided during the hot dry times of the year.
Planting / Transplanting
As the days grow longer, the temperatures rise and the ground moisture remains high, dormancy gives way to new growth. Spring rains may drive me from the tree tops, but once on the ground I grab my shovel and start lifting small trees and shrubs. [Read more…]
Firewood! Just the thought of it brings to mind warmth, comfort and work. That’s right, a lot of work as one cord of wood weighs over 4000 pounds. And guess how many times it must be handled between stump and hearth. First the tree is felled, cut into fire logs and loaded for transport. Second the logs are split and stacked for seasoning. Third the firewood is loaded for transport to the customer. Fourth the wood is stacked for dry storage until needed. And fifth the log is carried to the fire. That’s five times two tons, or ten tons of lifting for every cord of wood burned. Now I ask you is firewood worth so much work? My answer is yes. [Read more…]
On June 2, 1989 a storm struck Cismont. Meteorologists called it a microburst and like a wave of hurricane winds it proved to be the most destructive storm I ever witnessed. Countless numbers of trees were damaged and numerous downed trees blocked several miles of highway. As a tree surgeon seeing this event I was awed by the massive destruction of trees and feared personal injury.
This storm was exceptional, however damage from a passing storm occurs often. Here are some helpful tips to minimize damage and injury when a storm strikes.
1. Assess the damage cautiously. Broken wires or hanging tree parts are life threatening.
2. Clear access to public highways. Carefully remove debris making enough space for one vehicle to pass.
3. Check on your neighbor to render assistance. An injured or isolated neighbor may need help.
4. Seek professional advice. When the emergency is over and the job of clean up is at hand an arborist or tree specialist can assist in identifying hidden hazards.
The above information was provided courtesy of The National Arbor Day Foundation.
Necessary pruning should be done as soon as can be managed. When pruning large amounts of foliage or more than one third the crown mass, pruning should be avoided during the dry hot months. Dead and diseased wood can be removed anytime. The best time to prune is when the tree or shrub is dormant, usually in the winter months.
The images above show the proper way to prune. Images provided courtesy of the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service.