While the weather this spring may have been less than desirable for those of us who prefer hot and dry conditions, it couldn’t be better for all the plants in our yards. I can’t recall such an extended spring season with so little concern about watering my new plantings. And now that summer is upon us, the conditions are perfect to add that new tree to the garden: soils are still moist from our frequent rains and continuing moderate temperatures make working outdoors a pleasure.
Trees add so much pleasure to our outdoor living, and they also help increase the financial worth of our home. A relatively minor investment now—as little as the cost of a fancy family dinner at your local restaurant or a family day at a theme park—yields a significant increase in home value that begins as soon as it is installed.
A properly-sited shade tree reduces summer air conditioning costs by as much as 30% and moderates wind exposure to help lower winter heating expenses.
In addition to providing economic value, trees enhance the enjoyment of your home. A magnolia, cherry or crabapple offers springtime flowers attractive from the street/driveway and appealing when viewed out your kitchen/living room window.
Stewartia comes into bloom just as summer takes hold, and along with trees like red maple and dogwood, expand seasonal satisfaction with their colorful fall foliage. The distinctive white bark on a birch tree or clump adds garden interest during those cold winter months when our spirits may need a lift.
Every tree in your local garden center can be successfully installed in your summer garden. Most garden centers will deliver trees that are too large to fit in your vehicle. Planting a tree is readily accomplished on a weekend with a few hours of preparation and installation.
Choose the site with care, considering how much space your tree will need as it grows to maturity. Soil preparation is important, as is the depth of planting and provision for providing water to its roots, especially during the first few months and until the ground freezes. Adding mulch reduces weed germination and helps retain soil moisture. Click on this link for planting guidelines.
It’s so easy for each family member to participate in adding a tree to your yard, and the process can be a memorable experience. As simple as doing it yourself is, having your tree professionally installed is always an option, and landscapers tend to be less busy during the summer. Can you think of a better time to take advantage of this weather and start enjoying that new tree you’ve always wanted?
About the Author
Wayne Mezitt is a 3rd generation nurseryman, a Massachusetts Certified Horticulturist, now chairman of Weston Nurseries of Hopkinton, Chelmsford & Hingham MA, and owner of “Hort-Sense”, a horticultural advisory business. He currently serves in various capacities on several horticulturally-related organizations, including the Massachusetts Horticultural Society at The Gardens at Elm Bank in Wellesley MA, and chairman for the Massachusetts Invasive Plant Advisory Group (MIPAG).