Get to know Georgia’s beautiful array of trees and how you can take care of your own! Each month, we feature some of the most popular trees in the state. For December, we are showcasing the Leyland cypress (Cupressus × leylandii). Learn all about the Leyland cypress below!
Premier Tree Be a Georgia Tree Know-It-All_ Leyland cypress (Cupressus × leylandii)

Boo to Brine: The Effects of Road Salt on Trees and Landscaping

As the winter season rolls around, salt starts piling up on the road. Of course, it melts right into the snow and ice it’s meant to protect against, but that doesn’t mean it goes nowhere. That melted salt turns into what is essentially brine, then seeps into roadside soils, damages tree roots and sprays up on shrubs. Not good.

Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent salt from taking your trees down with it this year. Here are five of our favorite steps to put into place right now.

  1. Keep Trees as Healthy as Possible

One of the most important steps to take is to keep your trees healthy the rest of the year. Prune them properly, water them regularly to combat dryness (yes, even during the winter!) and fertilize when necessary. It’s also a good idea to mulch them to protect their roots from temperature shifts and keep salt from soaking through.

  1. Put Up Barriers for Susceptible Plants

If you have super-delicate shrubs such as daphne or other evergreen leaf plants, the simplest way to protect them from spray is simply to erect a barrier. Pieces of plywood will do the trick, or you can hang plastic between stakes.

  1. Wash Leaves and Needles

As soon as it’s above freezing, wash your plants off. Drag a hose over or bring cans of water and give your trees and plants a light rinse. If you can’t reach to the top of them, that’s okay; do the bottom, which is the area most affected by spray anyway. Do NOT try this when temps are below 32, as that will cause far more harm than good.

  1. Keep Salty Sites Clear

Perhaps the easiest way to avoid salt damage is to … wait for it … have no plants there. Genius, we know. If you can, just find other areas to put your trees and you’ll be happier.

  1. Remove Unhealthy or Diseased Trees

When salt is in season, you can’t afford anything that might compromise your trees and shrubs further. That means it’s super important to reduce the chances of disease as much as possible. Contact a professional such as Premier Tree Solutions to prune out diseased limbs and remove dead or dying specimens as soon as possible if you want to avoid the spread of pests, fungus, or bacteria.

To get in touch, contact us at 404.252.6448 for routine maintenance, or for an emergency, ring 404.569.8897. We’re here to ensure tree health all year long, so don’t be shy!

Christmas Tree Trends: Real or Fake?

Today, we’re here to talk about The Great Holiday Tree Debate. If you haven’t lived under a rock the last 20 years, you’ve likely heard the green enthusiasts offer their arguments in favor of real trees over fake trees and vice versa.

While no one answer is the “right” answer, it’s important you have all the facts before making your choice. Here are the pros and cons of real vs. fake.

Real Trees: Beautiful and Not Eco-Deadly

You’ve likely heard people make claims that real trees are environmentally unfriendly and a no-go for greenies. That, however, is untrue. As The New York Times points out, trees are like any other crop. You can get them grown sustainably and organically, and they provide valuable air-cleaning services while they grow. If you love the real tree look and smell, don’t fret.

Make sure when disposing of your tree that you follow your city’s regulations. If your city doesn’t pick up trees or you live in an unincorporated area, you’ll have to find another method. Consider sinking your tree in a pond to provide nutrients and protection to fish, or putting the tree in a chipper to become mulch for the garden.

Fake Trees: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

For obvious reasons, the materials that make up fake trees are not nearly as environmentally friendly. However, your purchase can last much longer, reducing the inputs used on real trees. The NYT reports that it takes 5 years for your fake tree’s environmental impact to dip below a real tree’s, so make sure it’s a long-term investment.

Before you go assuming that fake trees only come in the weird, shiny, white variety à la the 60s, think again. There are many great options today that look just like the real thing, and some have lights pre-wired into them to save you the hassle.

Live Trees: A Great Short-Term Option

Live trees are another option that many people don’t consider, mostly people they won’t stay healthy indoors for long. Evergreens go dormant during the winter, but bringing them inside can “wake them up,” overheat them and damage their metabolisms. Then when you put them back outdoors, they don’t have the protection needed to survive the winter.

If you’re going the live route, keep your tree indoors for a few days only, then plant it outside immediately after. You can even harvest a live tree from your own property, assuming you take good care of your landscape specimens. That’s where Premier Tree Solutions comes in, so contact us today to help you keep those trees healthy all year long!