Beautiful Trees Make the Landscape.

Trees for your Landscape. Tree Care, Tree Planting and Answers for Questions by Contractors Solutions Inc.
Trees and Landscape
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Ask us about Trees, Accent Trees, Crape Myrtle, Edible Nut Trees, Evergreen Trees, Fall Color Trees, Fast Growing Trees, Flowering Dogwood Trees, Flowering Redbud Trees, Flowering Trees, Hardwood Trees, Hedge Trees, Maple Trees, Oak Trees, Ornamental Trees, Pine Trees, Privacy Trees, Shade Trees, Small Yard Trees, Spruce Trees, Tall Trees, Unique Trees, Wildlife Trees, Windbreak Trees, Bushes and Shrubs, Fruit Trees, Evergreen Shrubs, Lilac Bushes, Hydrangea Bushes.
Let us plant your trees.
We'll help you with choices at the nursery, and handle the job from there.
  Ask us about your trees. Answering questions for the entire Philly area, by Contractors Solutions Inc.
Planting trees, container-grown trees, B & B trees, how to control damages from deer, the cost of tree experts, dealing with the root ball before planting, types of compost, types of soil, a better bedline, unwanted plants. Landscape / Trees

        Before you plant a tree in your yard, you have to find out its ultimate size and how long it will take to reach maturity. You should also know of any characteristics the tree has that make it undesirable for the purpose you have in mind. Like, you wouldn't want a tree with big root systems that buckle paving to be planted right next to your patio or parking area. Find out if trees have invasive roots so you can avoid planting them around septic and drainage systems. Then, you need to know how to take care of your new trees before you plant them. Don't choose a high-maintenance tree if you want a low-maintenance landscape.

By the way, have you ever walked through Tyler Arboretum?
The tree experts within Contractors Solutions Inc. help you to know more about: deflect wind, deciduous, summer shade, trees, balled-and-burlapped, container-grown, bare-root types, root ball. The Landscape design and landscaping to add shade or decorate your patio. Know the tree and know the irrigation, trimming, blooming, seasons, mulch, etc. From Folcroft PA 19032 to the neighborhoods surrounding Lower Merion.  Enjoy the flowers and your landscape crew.
Let us plant your trees.
We'll help you with choices at the nursery, and handle the job from there.

Trees are important to start your landscape. Even if it's one tree, planted well, it can impact your yard more than any other landscaping item. Planting trees first shapes planting beds and gives them a head start on growth while you work on other parts of your landscape. When chosen carefully, trees put privacy where you need it, add shade, decorate patios and entries, deflect wind and establish a background for your landscape. Consider if you want year round trees, like evergreens, or trees that shed leaves once a year, deciduous trees. Evergreens give more privacy but usually grow slower than deciduous. Deciduous trees are good to have for making summer shade.

Some trees are sold as container-grown. They have lived their whole lives in nursery pots. Some are sold as balled-and-burlapped, also known as B&B. They start their lives in tree farm fields. After they get dug up with tree spades, their root balls get wrapped with fabric for shipping. Then there are bare-root types, like fruit trees, that come with roots carefully surrounded with packing inside a plastic bag or set in sawdust. Usually, container-grown trees are smaller than ones wrapped in burlap. Since they don't have to be taken out of the ground, container-grown trees are less likely to go into shock and lose their leaves when planted. They're mostly easier for consumers to handle and are available for a longer period of time during the growing season. The best times to buy B&B trees are early spring or late fall. To plant woody trees and shrubs, autumn is the best time. Cold weather slows growth above ground, so a plant's energy goes into expanding roots under the ground. Also, cold weather doesn't put as much stress on new trees as hot weather does. Regular watering is not as important. Insect and disease problems are fewer in fall and winter than in spring and summer. Overall, planting in the fall gets better results and gives you a jump on next spring.

Planting a Container-Grown Tree
First you need some materials to work with. You'll need: a round-point shovel, a hose connected to water supply within reach of your work space, organic matter, like bagged compost, a wheelbarrow, mulch, and gypsum (for clay soil). Begin by digging a hole and make it 1 to 2 times as wide as the tree's container. Make the hole as deep as the container is tall. If you're planting in a spot with heavy clay soil, scrape the sides of the hole with a shovel to roughen them. A slick-sided hole acts like a big clay pot and restricts root growth. Add gypsum to clay soil also. To make things easier, put the soil in a wheelbarrow or on a tarp as you're shoveling.

Next you have to mix amendments into the removed soil. Compost and bagged, composted manure are good organic amendments to use. The amended mixture should contain half native soil and half organic matter.

Gently slide the tree from its container. If you can't get it off without tugging, cut the container with a utility knife. When the container is off, lay the tree on its side. Gently score the root ball with a sharp shovel or utility knife to help the growth of new roots outside the pot-shaped mass of roots. Limit the scores to keep the root ball intact.

Place the tree in its hole. The top of the root ball should be level with adjacent, undisturbed soil. In spots with heavy clay soil, trees should be planted higher so the root ball sticks out an inch or two above the soil surface. Gently swivel the tree so it looks best at the angle you'll see it from the most. Fill the hole with amended soil mixture. Add soil around the root ball pressing it firmly with your hands as you go. If you're planting it during hot weather, water the soil as you fill the hole, then add a little more soil the next day, if needed. Don't stomp on the soil; that makes it harder for water and air to reach the roots. Form a moat around the tree with the left over soil. Make it as wide as the hole. The moat walls should be 3 inches wide and tall. Mulch the area inside the moat and fill with water from a slowly trickling hose. Place the hose at the base of the trunk to soak the root ball. The moat lets the water go down to the roots and not just run off the soil's surface. The moat will melt eventually, but it won't be needed by then.

Planting a B&B Tree
Some things you'll need to work with are: a round-point shovel, water supply and hose within reach of work space, organic matter, like bagged compost, a tarp, and gypsum for clay soil. First, dig a hole and make it twice as wide as the tree's root ball and as deep as the root ball is tall. If you're planting in a spot with heavy clay soil, scrape the sides of the hole with a shovel. Mix amendments into the removed soil. The resulting mixture should be half native soil and half organic matter. In a spot with high rainfall and heavy clay soil, mix native soil with organic matter at a ratio of 4:1. Cut back all metal or plastic fasteners from the root ball and peel back the top third of the burlap after the tree is set in the hole. If the B&B root ball is in a wire basket, do not remove it. It helps keep the root ball intact.

Place the tree in the hole. Peel back the fabric to reveal the top third of the root ball. Leave the fabric in place unless it is nonbiodegradable plastic. That will need to be removed before the ball goes in the hole. The top of the root ball must be level with adjacent, undisturbed soil. You can check this with the handle of a shovel. In clay soil, trees have to be planted so the root ball is an inch or two above the soil surface. Fill the hole with the amended soil mixture. Add soil around the root ball, pressing it firmly with your hands as you go.
If you're planting in hot weather, water the soil as you fill the hole. Don't stomp on the soil because that destroys soil porosity. Form a moat around the tree with left over soil. It should be as wide as the hole and 3 inches wide and tall. Make it sturdy by patting it down with your hands. Mulch the inside and fill the area with water from a trickling hose placed at the base of the trunk. Fill the moat slowly several times, letting water soak in every time. The moat will wash away eventually, but by then the tree won't need it.

Damages from deer
Deer tend to damage landscape plants by browsing on foliage and branches.   Also, male deer rub antlers against the stems of trees or stage mock battles with shrubbery.  To have some control over this, use plants that deer tend not to eat.  Erect physical barriers, or use odor or taste repellents.  Plants deer tend to eat are arborvitae, yew, birch, apple, dogwood, daylily, and hosta.   Plants deer tend not to eat are lilac, forsythia, juniper, spruce, spirea, barberry, potentilla, peony, and daffodil.  Thorny plants and plants with fuzzy or leathery leaves are also less likely to be eaten.  However, hungry deer eat just about anything.  Using plants that sucker or recover quickly from damage, such as bush honeysuckle, reduces negative effects of deer feeding.
Fencing is the most effective way of reducing deer damage.  For small areas, a four-foot fence is good enough.  For larger areas, fences should be at least eight feet high.  Cover low growing plants in vegetable gardens with wire mesh.  Be sure to use mesh that doesn't let deer become entangled or injured.  Electric fencing is effective but because of the cost, maintenance needs, and potential human hazards, it is not practical.  Individual plants can be protected by wire cages, tree wraps, or barriers of sturdy stakes pounded into the soil around and two feet away from main stems.
          Odor and taste repellents, like human hair, deodorant soap, garlic oil, and hot sauce can be applied to branches and foliage to discourage browsing.  Repellents are not effective against antler rubbing.  The effectiveness of repellents depends on the product used, weather conditions, how frequent it is applied, familiarity to the deer population, and feeding pressure.  If properly applied, products with egg solids appear to be most effective.  Most repellents become ineffective over time as deer become accustomed to their presence.  If repellents are tried, use several and rotate them.   Remember, repellents are not fences.  Repellents also include noise devices, motion lights, and reflective materials. Aesthetically, many of these options may be undesirable or may be prohibited by local municipal ordinances.  They are not effective in the long term.

acid soil  Soil with a pH lower than 7.0 is an acid soil. Soil pH higher than 7.0 is alkaline, pH is a measure of the amount of lime (calcium) contained in your soil.
aerate  Loosening or puncturing the soil to increase water penetration.
alkaline soil  A soil with a pH higher than 7.0 is an alkaline soil. (lower than 7.0 is acidic).
bedding plant  Plants (mainly annuals), nursery grown and suitable for growing in beds. Quick, colorful flowers.
botanical name  The Latin or "scientific" name of a plant, usually composed of two words, the genus and the species.
chlorophyll  The green pigment in leaves. When present and healthy usually dominates all other pigments.
complete fertilizer  A plant food which contains all three of the primary elements... nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
compost  An organic soil amendment resulting from the decomposition of organic matter.
corm  A thickened underground stem which produces roots, leaves and flowers during the growing season.
cultivate  Process of breaking up the soil surface, removing weeds, and preparing for planting.
dividing  The process of splitting up plants, roots and all that have began to get bound together. This will make several plants from one plant, and usually should be done to mature perennials every 3 to 4 years.
dormancy  The yearly cycle in a plants life when growth slows and the plant rests. Fertilizing should be withheld when a plant is in dormancy.
double digging  Preparing the soil by systematically digging an area to the depth of two shovels.
drip line  The circle which would exist if you drew a line below the tips of the outer most branches of a tree or plant.
erosion  The wearing away, washing away, or removal of soil by wind, water or man.
espalier  Process of training a tree or shrub so its branches grow in a flat pattern.
evergreen  A plant which never loses all of it's leaves at one time.
eye  An undeveloped bud growth which will ultimately produce new growth.
fertilizer  Organic or inorganic plant foods which may be either liquid or granular used to amend the soil in order to improve the quality or quantity of plant growth.
foliar feeding  Fertilizer applied in liquid form to the plants foliage in a fine spray.
forcing  The process of hastening a plants growth to maturity or bloom.
frost  The condensation and freezing of moisture in the air. Tender plants will suffer extensive damage or die when exposed to frost.
girdling  The choking of a branch by a wire or other material, most often in the stems of woody plants that have been tied to tightly to a stake or support.
grafting  The uniting of a short length of stem of one plant onto the root stock of a different plant (to produce a hardier or more disease resistant plant).
ground cover  A group of plants usually used to cover bare earth and create a uniform appearance.
growing season  The number of days between the average date of the last killing frost in spring and the first killing frost in fall. Vegetables and certain plants require a minimum number of days to reach maturity, so be sure your growing season is long enough.
hardening off  The process of gradually acclimatizing greenhouse or indoor grown plants to outdoor growing conditions.
hardpan  The impervious layer of soil or clay lying beneath the topsoil.
hardiness  The ability of a plant to withstand low temperatures or frost, without artificial protection.
heading back  Cutting an older branch or stem back to a stub or twig.
heeling in  Temporarily setting a plant into a shallow trench and covering the roots with soil to provide protection until it is ready to be permanently planted.
herbaceous  Describes a plant with soft rather than woody tissues.
humus  The brown or black organic part of the soil resulting from the partial decay of leaves and other matter.
hybrid  The offspring of two plants of different species or varieties of plants. Hybrids are created when the pollen from one kind of plant is used to pollinate and entirely different variety, resulting in a new plant altogether.
layering  A method of propagation, by which a branch of a plant is rooted while still attached to the plant by securing it to the soil with a piece of wire or other means.
leaching  The removal or loss of excess salts or nutrients from soil. The soil around over fertilized plants can be leached clean by large quantities of fresh water used to 'wash' the soil. Areas of extremely high rainfall sometimes lose the nutrients from the soil by natural leaching.
leaf mold
Partially decomposed leaf matter, used as a soil amendment.
A rich soil composed of clay, sand, and organic matter.
Organic matter, excreted by animals, which is used as a soil amendment and fertilizer. Green manures are plant cover crops which are tilled into the soil.
Variations of the climate within a given area, usually influenced by hills, hollows, structures or proximity to bodies of water. (i.e. when it's raining at your house, and the sun is shining on the other side of the street)
micro nutrients 
Mineral elements which are needed by some plants in very small quantities. If the plants you are growing require specific 'trace elements' and they are not available in the soil, they must be added.
Any loose material placed over the soil to control weeds and conserve soil moisture. Usually this is a coarse organic matter, such as leaves, clippings or bark, but plastic sheeting and other commercial products can also be used. native plant Any plant that occurs and grows naturally in a specific region or locality.
To plant randomly, without a pattern. The idea is to create the effect that the plants grew in that space without man's help, such as you would find wild flowers growing.
The part of a stem from which a leaf or new branch starts to grow.
organic gardening 
The method of gardening utilizing only materials derived from living things. (i.e. composts and manures)
organic material 
Any material which originated as a living organism. (i.e. peat moss, compost, manure)
parasitic plant 
A plant which lives on, and acquires it's nutrients from another plant. This often results in declined vigor or death of the host plant.
peat moss 
The partially decomposed remains of various mosses. This is a good, water retentive addition to the soil, but tends to add the acidity of the soil pH.
A nonwoody plant which grows and lives for more than two years. Perennials usually produce one flower crop each year, lasting anywhere from a week to a month or longer.
A mineral, which when expanded by a heating process forms light granuals. Perlite is a good addition to container potting mixes, to promote moisture retention while allowing good drainage.
The internal process by which a plant turns sunlight into growing energy. The formation of carbohydrates in plants from water and carbon dioxide, by the action of sunlight on the Chlorophyll within
the leaves.

pinching back
  Utilizing the thumb and forefinger to nip back the very tip of a branch or stem. Pinching promotes branching, and a bushier, fuller plant
The transfer of pollen from the stamen (male part of the flower) to the pistil (female part of the flower) , which results in the formation of a seed. Hybrids are created when the pollen from one kind of plant is used to pollinate and entirely different variety, resulting in a new plant altogether.
potting soil 
A soil mixture designed for use in container gardens and potted plants. Potting mixes should be loose, light, and sterile.
Various methods of starting new plants ranging from starting seeds to identical clones created by cuttings or layering.
The cutting and trimming of plants to remove dead or injured wood, or to control and direct the new growth of a plant.
Basically, pH is a measure of the amount of lime (calcium) contained in your soil. A soil with a pH lower than 7.0 is an acid soil, a soil pH higher than 7.0 is alkaline soil. Soil pH can be tested with an
inexpensive test kit.

A modified plant stem which grows horizontally, under the surface of the soil. New growth then emerges from different points of the rhizome. Irises and some lawn grasses are rhizome plants.
root ball 
The network of roots along with the attached soil, of any given plant.
A condition which exists when a potted plant has outgrown its container. The roots become entangled and matted together, and the growth of the plant becomes stunted. When repotting, loosen the roots on the outer edges of the root ball, to induce them to once again grow outward.
rooting hormone 
A powder of liquid growth hormone, used to promote the development of roots on a cutting.
A slender stem growing out from the base of some plants, which terminates with a new offset plant. The new plant may be severed from the parent after it has developed sufficient roots.
relative humidity 
The measurement of the amount of moisture in the atmosphere.
A short length of stem, taken from one plant which is then grafted onto the rootstock of another plant.
soil pH 
Basically, pH is a measure of the amount of lime (calcium) contained in your soil. A soil with a pH lower than 7.0 is an acid soil, a soil pH higher than 7.0 is alkaline soil. Soil pH can be tested with an inexpensive test kit.
A bog moss which is collected and composted. Most peat moss is composed primarily of sphagnum moss. This moss is also packaged and sold in a fresh state, and used for lining hanging baskets and air layering.
The practice of driving a stake into the ground next to, and as a support for a plant. When attaching the plant to the stake, be sure that it is tied loosely so it doesn't strangle the stem. When staking a potted plant, the stake should be set into the planter before the plant is added.
A chemical which is absorbed directly into a plants system to either kill feeding insects on the plant, or to kill the plant itself.
tap root 
The main, thick root growing straight down from a plant. (not all plants have tap roots)
The twisting, clinging, slender growth on many vines, which allows the plant to attach themselves to a support or trellis.
The layer of dead stems that builds up under many lawn grasses. Thatch should be removed periodically to promote better water and nutrient penetration into the soil.
Removing excess seedlings, to allow sufficient room for the remaining plants to grow. Thinning also refers to removing entire branches from a tree or shrub, to give the plant a more open structure.
A method of pruning and training certain plants into formal shapes such as animals.
The top layer of native soil. This term may also apply to good quality soil sold at nurseries and garden centers.
transpiration  The release of moisture through the leaves of a plant.
transplanting  The process of digging up a plant and moving it to another location.
vermiculite  The processed mineral 'mica'.  A good addition to container potting mixes, vermiculite retains moisture and air within the soil.

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