4 tips for planting trees
(Family Features) Trees are virtually everywhere you turn, from your own backyard to nearby parks and forests where you enjoy hiking. They provide shade and beauty, and some even bear fruit. Beyond all the immediate benefits, you may be surprised to discover trees are also a critical key to the future.
These facts and tips from the book “Now is the Time for Trees” offer practical insight on the importance of trees and how to nurture one from selection to planting and beyond.
A compelling and ever-growing body of evidence generated by scientists, health care professionals, conservationists, humanitarians and both public and private corporations supports the critical importance of trees and their impact on the human condition. Trees filter pollutants out of the air and water and provide protection for people and communities from dangerous heat and flooding. They lower urban temperatures, reduce energy bills and sequester carbon to slow the rate of climate change.
When you plant a tree in your yard or neighborhood, that tree goes to work filtering out pollutants, intercepting stormwater and capturing carbon. With proper placement, that tree can also help lower household energy use by as much as 20%.
You can engage in the tree planting movement and make a difference by planting trees around your home and surrounding community with these tips.
Consider the Growing Region
Choosing a tree that will flourish in your growing region is fundamental to becoming a successful tree planter. Start by getting familiar with the growing conditions of your planting site, including factors like sunlight, soil condition and room to grow.
The amount of available sunlight at your planting location will determine which tree species will be successful. Most trees require full sunlight for proper growth and flowering. Some do well in (or even prefer) partial or light shade, but few perform well in dense shade.
Before you plant, get your soil tested by a lab to evaluate what’s happening underground. Test results, which are usually returned in a couple of weeks, provide a complete analysis of nutrients, possible contamination and pH (alkalinity or acidity), as well as directions for correcting problems.
Be conscious of overhead or underground utilities, pavement, buildings, other trees, traffic intersections and other factors that may impact your planting space.
Shopping for a Tree
When choosing which kind of tree to plant, be conscious of details like size, flowering, color (including how colors may vary through the seasons) and your view from inside the house. While shopping, you can rely on plant labels to learn details about a tree’s growth pattern, sun requirements, watering needs and soil requirements.
Two common styles of trees are container-grown trees, which spend their entire nursery lives growing in a container, and ball-and-burlap trees, which grow in the ground until they achieve a targeted size.
A well-tended container-grown tree has been carefully monitored and moved into larger containers as the plant grows. Be wary of a tree with roots that circle or twist within the container, which may cause roots to die. For a ball-and-burlap tree, look for a firm, securely tied root ball that is large enough to support the mature tree; it should be about 10-12 inches wide for every inch of trunk diameter.
Prepare Your Planting Site
Properly preparing your planting site is one of the best things you can do to get your tree off to a strong start. Before you plant, make sure your tree is thoroughly hydrated by watering the container or root ball several hours before proceeding. When planting a tree into a lawn, remove a circle of grass at least 3 feet in diameter where the tree will go to reduce competition between turf and fine tree roots.
Dig a broad, shallow planting hole with gently sloping sides 3-4 times wider than the diameter of the root mass and the same depth. Mound removed soil on a tarp for easy backfilling. Loosening the soil on the sides of the hole allows roots to easily expand and establish faster, but don’t disturb soil at the bottom of the hole.
Once the tree is positioned, replace the soil while firmly but gently tamping the original soil around the base of the root ball to stabilize it. Create a water-holding basin around the tree by building up a ring of soil and water to settle roots. Spread protective mulch 2-4 inches deep in a 3-foot diameter around the base of the tree, but not touching the trunk.
Find more tips to successfully plant and care for your trees at arborday.org.
A Handy Guide for Planting Trees
A rally cry against climate change, “Now is the Time for Trees” is an inspirational and informative guide that explains the important role trees can play in preserving the environment.
Author Dan Lambe, CEO of the Arbor Day Foundation, offers compelling reasons to plant more trees while providing simple, actionable steps to get involved, choose the right tree and achieve planting success. For each book sold, the foundation will plant a tree in a forest in need.
Pick up a copy wherever books are sold or visit arborday.org/TimeforTreesBook.
The Power of Trees
From backyards to tropical rain forests, trees provide the necessities of life. Trees clean air and water, provide habitats for wildlife, connect communities and support human health.
- Trees are a proven affordable, natural way to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
- Trees filter water and slow storm surge and flooding in cities.
- Trees provide shade, cooling cities by up to 10 degrees, which can help prevent heat-related deaths.
- Neighborhood trees can reduce stress, improve overall health in children and encourage physical activity.
- Trees support wildlife and aquatic life by providing habitats and helping keep waterways healthy, which ensures ecosystem balance and promotes biodiversity.
- Trees and other forest life work together to ensure a clean source of drinking water, buffer against extreme weather, provide medicines, offer outdoor recreation and enrich human culture.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images
Arbor Day Foundation
Celebrate the season with pop-able fall flavors
(Family Features) As part of the season of change with leaves crunching underfoot and a crispness in the air, remember to pause to celebrate a food known for its change, crunching and crispness – popcorn.
In honor of National Popcorn Poppin’ Month, a time when farmers head to the fields to harvest crops, gather with loved ones to celebrate this humble yet extraordinary snack. Whether it’s prepped on the stove, in the microwave or purchased ready-to-eat, Americans consume around 14 billion quarts each year of the wholesome whole grain, according to the Popcorn Board.
With each kernel, popcorn’s tantalizing aroma fills the air, setting off a journey of sensory bliss, as the sound of popping echoes in ears and the taste of buttery goodness dances on tongues. Whether enjoyed at the movies, during a cozy night in or at festive gatherings, popcorn brings people together, creating moments of shared joy and laughter. Catering to every palate, popcorn’s versatility knows few boundaries, as it can be dressed up with caramel, chocolate or even savory seasonings.
Join the celebration this fall with a fitting recipe like Old Fashioned Bourbon Maple Popcorn with Pecans. Accented with warming flavors of bourbon, orange and bitters, this maple-glazed treat offers a fun, cocktail-inspired snack perfect for sharing.
Discover more snacks that celebrate fall flavors at Popcorn.org.
Old Fashioned Bourbon Maple Popcorn with Pecans
- 8 cups popped popcorn
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 dash bitters
- Place popcorn and pecans in large bowl.
- In small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine maple syrup, bourbon and butter; bring to boil. Cook, swirling pan, 3-5 minutes, or until mixture thickens to corn syrup consistency. Stir in orange zest and bitters.
- Drizzle maple syrup mixture over popcorn; toss to evenly coat. Cool completely and serve.
Tips: Substitute bourbon with rye or whiskey. For “mocktail” popcorn, substitute with non-alcoholic bourbon or whiskey.
Find holiday gifts teens, young adults will actually like
(Family Features) One of the best parts of the holidays is being together with those you love, and for many families that time together involves the exchanging of gifts among loved ones young and old. Finding the right gift for everyone can be a challenge, especially if teenagers and young adults are on your shopping list.
It seems like social media feeds are constantly filled with a new tech item, style, pastime or trend, making it more challenging to pick out gifts for the young ones on gift lists. This year, consider some on-trend gift ideas – like Jelly Belly Jelly Beans – to show appreciation for the Gen-Zers in your life with presents and stocking stuffers that can win them over.
New in Tech
As one of the most popular categories of gifts for teens and one that’s always evolving, deciding which devices and gadgets to gift can be hard. Consider your loved ones’ hobbies and interests to make the job easier; for example, if they’re music lovers or podcast fanatics, wireless earbuds or headphones are a perfect option. If social butterflies are on your shopping list, portable phone chargers and smartphone accessories like a pop-out phone grip can make sure they’re one step ahead of their next photo or social post.
For Boba and Candy Lovers
Many Gen-Zers love a good cup of bubble tea or boba swag, so feed their cravings with an option like Jelly Belly Boba Milk Tea jelly beans. With gift boxes, snack bags and more, these delicious treats made for candy lovers provide a perfect balance of tea, tapioca and sweetness in five true-to-life milk tea flavors: Mango, Taro, Matcha, Strawberry and Thai Milk Tea jelly beans. Find these treats at JellyBelly.com where you can purchase online or locate a store near you.
For teens heading to college or young adults venturing out on their own, consider gifting items to spruce up their new spaces. You can give them a helping hand to start their next chapter with fun decor items like throw pillows and blankets or add life to their new homes with stylish wall art or flower subscriptions. For simple reminders of home, consider candles with their favorite scents or aromatherapy diffusers and essential oils to add a touch of calm to the chaos of heading out on their own.
Play to Their Hobbies
Help them embrace their talents and favorite activities whether it’s art, reading, cooking, gaming, playing sports or mastering instruments. New paint kits and supplies can help young Picasso’s take their art to the next level while a new appliance or cookbook can provide an upgrade for avid home chefs.
The Gift of Music
Whether they have a favorite band or are up-and-coming musicians themselves (or both), give the gift of music with fun ways to enjoy their favorite songs. Record players and vinyl records are making a major comeback while portable speakers allow music lovers to take their favorite sounds wherever they go. A subscription to a streaming service can be perfect for casual listeners or, if you’re looking to splurge, consider concert tickets.
From jogging around the neighborhood to exploring nearby parks and trails, outdoor enthusiasts can never have enough gear. Runners are always searching for the latest sneaker launch or fitness tracker to keep on pace with their goals while more casual enjoyers of the outdoors may love a new water bottle, picnic blanket or beach bag.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (girl opening gift)
Getting your pet ready for fall
(Family Features) Pets provide unconditional love to their companions; in return, it’s important to make sure they live happy and healthy lives by providing the best care possible. This means making sure that in addition to food, treats and toys, they receive daily care for their eyes, ears and overall health.
With a desire to bring a dog into his family’s lives, Albert, a Bausch + Lomb employee, rescued a terrier mix named Watson. However, it soon became apparent Watson needed some extra love and care to help protect his eyes and ears from irritation and excess buildup. When finding a remedy proved difficult, Albert worked with veterinarians to develop Project Watson Health Care for Dogs, a comprehensive line of quality products targeting these specific areas.
To help ensure your furry member of the family has the best head to tail health possible, consider these tips.
Schedule Regular Vet Visits
Routine wellness checks are an essential part of your pet’s care. Annual screenings, even if your dog seems healthy, allow your veterinarian to provide vaccines to combat disease and uncover any health issues that may have otherwise gone undiagnosed until symptoms advanced.
Watch Your Pet’s Diet
Feeding your pet a proper diet based on his or her breed, age, size and lifestyle plays a big role in overall health. A balanced diet that includes high-quality food can lead to a shiny coat, healthy skin, bright eyes and may also help strengthen your pet’s immune system, maintain intestinal health, increase mental acuity, regulate weight, keep muscles and joints healthy and more.
Support Clean Ears and Eyes
Often overlooked, the eyes and ears are vital areas to the overall health and wellness of your pet. To help keep these areas free of any buildup of bacteria that may cause irritation, consider an option like the line of Project Watson Health Care Products for Dogs, which includes an eye wash, eyelid wipe, ear wash, ear wipe and supplements made using high-quality and naturally inspired ingredients.
Excessive blinking or pawing at the eyes can be signs of buildup, irritation or infection. Dirt and debris trapped around the eyes can also clump in fur, leading to skin irritation and infections while excessive tear production can lead to fur staining, which can develop an unpleasant odor. Eye wipes can be used daily to relieve staining and remove excess buildup. Washing your dog’s ears may help reduce dirt, debris and wax buildup; help prevent itching; and reduce the chance of infection while keeping ears smelling fresh.
Create an Exercise Routine
Walks, games in the backyard and social time with other pets can help keep your furry friend in good physical condition. While different breeds and species often have different needs, adequate activity can provide benefits beyond the physical, including reducing boredom, which can potentially lead to anxiety or destructive behaviors.
In addition to regular vaccinations, ensure your pet is up to date on parasite prevention. This includes fleas, ticks, mites, heartworm and more which can cause reactions ranging from mild to severe (or even fatal in some cases of heartworm or Lyme disease). Look for pests and skin abnormalities when grooming your pet and contact your vet if your pet excessively scratches, chews or licks his or her fur or ears, or persistently shakes his or her head.
For more solutions to keep your four-legged friend happy and healthy, speak with your veterinarian or visit tryprojectwatson.com.
Bausch + Lomb
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