Jr. Fletcher | 10/30/2007 1:48:08 AM
If you decide that you want to change your landscape, it is important not to simply remove everything that is there. In established landscapes, retaining trees, shrubs, perennials and other plants will save money – and it also preserves established wildlife habitats. Larger, older plants also create a feeling of maturity that newly planted landscapes lack. The trick is knowing which plants to keep. Following these simple guidelines will help you make decisions in determining which plants to retain and which ones to remove.
|To determine which plants to remove, consider this checklist:|
? Unhealthy and invasive plants are not worth saving.
? Foundation plants located too close to walls block air currents and prevent access for home maintenance.
? Discard tightly spaced plants. Over time, tight spacing fosters moisture problems, which can lead to disease problems and stress the plants.
? Plants under eaves often prove problematic; they may not receive adequate rainfall or may be damaged by the force of rainwater dripping from a gutter. Consider carefully before keeping these plants.
Once you know which plants you intend to save, ensure that roots are not damaged through construction activities or soil compaction, which slows growth. Avoid disturbing the root zone of these plants in any way. This includes driving over them with heavy vehicles, digging into the root zone area or mounding soil against the base of plants. To protect trees, construct barricades at the edge of the canopy drip line to prevent construction equipment from driving over roots. Even though this does not protect the entire root system, it will improve your trees’ odds for survival.
Trees particularly sensitive to soil compaction include beech (Fagus spp.), dogwood (Cornus spp.),sassafras (Sassafras spp.), tupelo (Nyssa spp.), pine (Pinus spp.), white oak (Quercus alba), black oak (Quercus velutina) and most nut trees, such as black walnut (Juglans nigra), hickory (Carya spp.) and pecan (Carya illinoinensis).
|Disease: an interaction between an organism and its environment that results in an abnormal condition; can be caused by living organisms (fungus, bacteria, nematode, virus) or nonliving factors (cold, chemical injury, nutrient deficiencies, soil pH).|