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Article Highlight: Emerald Green Arborvitae Facts and Care

Learning the facts about the care of Emerald Green Arborvitae ('Smaragd') can help you determine if it's an evergreen landscaping option for your home. You may be surprised to discover how easy it is to grow… Keep reading »

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about trees

Everyone knows how vital trees are to the well-being of the earth. But there are also many benefits to growing them in your own backyard. By providing shade for enjoying time outside, trees can shade our homes to keep them cooler in the summertime. They can hide unsightly views, dampen noise from nearby roads, and serve as windbreaks. They also provide homes for wildlife. Many types also produce flowers and fruit. These tall plants simply make our homes and neighborhoods more attractive.

Choosing Trees

When planting, it's wise to plan your selections carefully. Planting a tree is a long-term commitment. Large shade varieties, especially, take a long time to mature. And once planted, they are difficult to move. Trees can also be a significant financial investment, so it's important to choose wisely.

Many yards have space for only a few large plants. You may not have room to grow all the types you want to try. So take the time to choose a plant you like that also will thrive in the conditions you can provide. Trees vary widely in their needs for space, light, moisture, and soil conditions.

Decide whether or not you want to take the time to evaluate your landscape and research yourself. Otherwise, it's a good idea to hire or consult with a landscape architect, designer, or arborist. A knowledgeable professional can help you select varieties that will grow well and look good in your yard. They can help you choose plants to meet certain needs, such as accenting the design of your house or garden, providing seasonal interest, and creating privacy. Consulting books and visiting arboretums and nurseries are also helpful during the planning process.


Once you've made a choice, you'll need to prepare your site for planting. You may need to clear the area of other vegetation and amend the soil with organic matter such as compost. If you plant yourself, carefully follow the instructions given by the nursery or read "How to Plant a Tree". Your success depends on proper planting.

Providing proper care after it's planted is also important. Young plants should be babied for the first few years. Feed regularly, water deeply, and prune carefully, so they become strong and healthy. Mature plants usually don't need to be watered or fertilized; they develop large root systems and can fend for themselves.