Connect with us

Live Better

Tree talk: Tips for planting trees

Published

on

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.

Start Digging

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


SOURCE:
Arbor Day Foundation

Continue Reading

Live Better

Go green with home cleaners

Published

on

(Family Features) If you’re among those looking for ways to clean your home while also going green, it may be easier than you think.

Consider these easy and affordable solutions to help you live more environmentally friendly. You may be surprised to find you already have many of these household products on hand.

Baking soda: A natural, safe, effective and gentle solution, baking soda can serve multiple home cleaning needs. Make a paste of three parts baking soda to one part water. Rub onto silver with a clean cloth or sponge. Rinse thoroughly and dry for shining serving or decor pieces. Additionally, you can sprinkle baking soda on upholstery and carpet to get rid of odors.

Vinegar: With the acidity to help get rid of dirt and grime around the home, vinegar can be used to clean cloudy glassware. Simply soak paper towels or a cloth in full-strength white distilled vinegar and wrap around both the inside and outside of the glass. Let sit before rinsing clean. To remove lime deposits on your tea kettle, add 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar to the water and let it sit overnight. In the morning, boil the vinegar for a few minutes then rinse with water.

Lemons: With a fresh, natural smell, lemons have the acidity to remove soap scum, clean and shine brass and remove hard water deposits. Just spray some lemon juice on tile surfaces to remove soap scum or hard water deposits. Squeeze lemon juice on a cloth and use to polish brass around the home.

Houseplants: Plants serve as natural air purifiers. African violets and ferns are beautiful ways to help clear the air.

Other easy, green ideas for keeping your home clean include opening windows and doors while you clean to improve air quality and taking off your shoes when you come inside, which can help avoid tracking dust, dirt, pollen and more throughout the house.

Visit eLivingtoday.com for more eco-friendly advice.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash


SOURCE:
eLivingtoday.com

Continue Reading

Live Better

Tool to help hobbyists, professional get the job done

Published

on

(Family Features) Whether you’re into woodworking, metalworking, building models or another craft or hobby, the right tools allow you to work faster, easier and smarter.

A capable and versatile project partner, the IQ Vise System by Work IQ Tools is a problem-solving bench vise system that is transforming the way DIYers, craftsmen, hobbyists, makers and pros get the job done. It features a ball and socket design that articulates and rotates 360 degrees for optimal work positioning while complementing task-specific jaw sleeves are crafted to create the perfect grip for an extensive range of shapes and materials.

Plus, with four ports built directly into the vise, you can attach the plug-and-play workshop accessories including the IQ Connect Work Light, Magnifying Glass and Cell Phone Holder directly to the vise or take them where you need them around your workspace.

With three mounts – a bench mount to screw directly into your workbench or stud wall, a magnetic mount that can attach to any metal surface and a clamp mount that functions like a common c-clamp for quick and temporary mounting to any surface edge 2 1/4 inches or under – it’s like having an extra set of hands to help tackle whatever project you’re taking on.

Find more tools to help you work smarter at workiqtools.com.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=lkSVaIVDVtE%3Fmodestbranding%3D1%26rel%3D0%26showinfo%3D0


SOURCE:
WorkIQTools.com

Continue Reading

Live Better

High-ROI home projects

Published

on

(Family Features) Spring is nature’s cue to renew and refresh. Whether you’re looking to add value for potential sale or simply create a more comfortable living space, you can make the most of the season and breathe new life into your home with projects that provide a high return on investment (ROI).

Consider these top home renovation projects to tackle this spring from the experts at Westlake Royal Building Products – a leader in innovation, design and production of exterior and interior building products including siding, trim, mouldings, roofing, stone, windows, outdoor living and more – based on the 2024 Cost vs. Value Report from “Remodeling Magazine.”

Remodel the Kitchen and Bathroom
The average seller can expect an 96.1% return on a light touch to the kitchen, according to the report, and 73.7% on a modest bathroom renovation. Because personal preferences can vary widely among buyers, minor upgrades can provide a higher ROI than large, upscale remodels. A few easy ways to refresh your kitchen or bathroom include updating shelving or adding new hardware. Decorative trim and mouldings are also cost-effective ways to add visual interest.

Upgrade with Stone Veneer
As natural and textured home trends continue, homeowners are gravitating toward stone veneer, or manufactured stone, as it can replicate the look of real stone, adding comfort, character and beauty to homes. An option like Versetta Stone from Westlake Royal Building Products offers the authentic, handcrafted look of stone in a panelized format that’s easy to install with nails and screws. There’s also no need to paint, coat or seal once installed. Ideal for its ability to add texture and dimension throughout both home interior (accent walls and fireplaces) and exterior applications (siding, entryways and walkways), stone veneer – which comes with a 153.2% ROI – can influence mood, emotion and energy levels while serving as a focal point of your home’s design.

Install New Windows
Depending on the harshness of winter in your area and the age of your home, you may notice certain windows have developed drafts, allowing cold air to enter and heat to escape. Replacing drafty or outdated windows with modern, energy-efficient models is one of the most effective ways to enhance your home’s energy efficiency. Additionally, a vinyl window replacement brings approximately 67.1% ROI.

Replace Siding
In some cases, applying a fresh coat of paint is enough to refresh your home. However, if you’re looking to enhance your home’s curb appeal while making a long-term impact, consider installing new siding or replacing existing siding. Because vinyl siding serves as an additional layer of insulation, improving the energy efficiency of your heating and cooling systems, it offers a 80.2% ROI. Weather-resistant, low-maintenance siding like Celect Cellular Composite Siding, which is now available in on-trend colors including Imperial Red, a robust shade of red; Deep Pewter, a compellingly modern forest green; and Timberland, a rich, natural brown, won’t warp, sag or buckle and is built to withstand even the harshest weather conditions. Its patented interlocking joints provide a seamless look and it’s easy to install in small spaces, like along a knee or pony wall.

Update Decking
If you want to entertain guests outside, spring is a perfect time to get your patio or deck ready. While a new coat of stain can update your existing deck’s appearance and help protect it, spring is also an ideal time to build a deck if your home doesn’t currently have one. When choosing a decking material, cost and maintenance are two factors to consider. Composite decking offers a 68.2% ROI and is low maintenance as it’s not susceptible to cracking, warping and weather damage.

Find more ideas to update your home this spring at WestlakeRoyalBuildingProducts.com.


SOURCE:
Westlake Royal Building Products

Continue Reading
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad

Trending