Which Georgia Tree is Right for You?

Since July of 2017, we’ve been assembling a list of trees found in Georgia, and it’s grown substantially since we debuted with the Sugar Maple!  As we settle into fall (one of the best times of year for new planting), we wanted to gather this veritable forest of features in one place for you.

Please note that not every tree here is a Georgia native, but we’ve taken care to ensure that they do well in our area. Here are some of the factors to consider when deciding what to plant.

Loveliness with Longevity

If you’re in it for the long-haul, the Southern Live Oak may be one of our region’s most signature and stately selections. Plan ahead when planting, as they command a great deal of space both above ground and below, and can take 70 years to reach their full circumference.

The Shagbark Hickory is another magnificent species that can also take a few decades to mature, but it’s extremely adaptive and requires little fuss. The American Sycamore could be a fantastic alternative if you’re looking for a hearty hardwood that will fill out much more quickly.

Providing A Fancy Flourish

When it comes to a brilliant shower of springtime blossoms, there’s a reason the South is decorated with the Flowering Dogwood. This popular tree is also lovely in nearly every season, with lush green leaves in summer, and red-tinted foliage in fall.

If you’re looking for a real showstopper, the Yoshino Cherry is not only gorgeous, but also tolerant of most soils, as long as you keep it well-watered. For a differently distinct aesthetic in your yard, the Paperbark Maple adds uniqueness in both texture and color.

Mixed with Fruits and Nuts

Looking for a tree that provides more than shade or showiness? The Butternut Tree yields uncommonly delicious nuts enjoyed by people and animals alike. (But consult with an expert before planting to choose the best location and transplant time in order to properly care for their rapidly developing root system.) If you’ve got room on your property to keep it away from vulnerable plants, the Eastern Black Walnut is another tree whose nuts will please both your family, and the squirrels.

Beyond the popular peaches and apples we see in our state, if a fruiting tree is what you want, consider the Persimmon! This tree comes in two varieties that produce fruits of quite different flavors, but both can punch up what’s in your pantry.

Evergreen Excellence

Going green can be practiced in your yard all year long with these beauties. The Leyland Cypress is often a popular choice for a Christmas tree look, while the Canadian Hemlock grows its own adorable little pinecone ornaments. If your land can get a bit waterlogged, the Spruce Pine will allow you to enjoy some bushy green boughs without getting bogged down.

There are many more fantastic trees to grow and enjoy in Georgia, and our expert arborists can help you select and care for the ones that suit you best. Browse through all of our Georgia Tree Know-It All features, and then call (404) 252-6448, or request a consultation with us online.

The Fire is So Delightful: How to Cure and Stack the Best Wood

Once you’ve done your winter tree removal this season, you may be left with a handsome pile of more than kindling. And we all know there’s nothing like gathering around a fire pit or fireplace to warm the heart (and the toes) in the winter months. Winter is also a great time to prepare your woodpiles ahead of summer grill-outs, so here’s some guidance from our experts on how to properly cure and stack firewood for the most ideal flames.

Which Wood?

Density and dryness are the two factors you most want to consider when selecting the wood you’ll burn. Hardwoods such as Shagbark Hickory, Sugar Maple, and various oaks are considered to have high heat values, while softer woods like pines and Eastern Cottonwood won’t offer the same heat return on your investment.

Salvaged wood is a great way to keep the fires burning without burning up essential members of your local ecosystem, but avoid anything painted or varnished, plywood, particleboard, or compressed paper products, as they may produce hazardous fumes.

Doing the Splits

If you’re chopping wood yourself, there are a few important tips to keep in mind. The most surprising one (especially for Tin Man fans) may be that a regular ax is not the best tool for chopping wood. A splitting ax has a narrower, more lightweight head that will make the job much more efficient. Be sure that the blade is sharp, and that you always place the log you’re splitting on a chopping block rather than the ground.

Those who have a lot of wood (and a lot of time) may consider renting an electric or gas-powered log splitter, though those are quite noisy, slow, and may not provide the same lumberjack-style satisfaction of cutting your own.

Careful Seasoning

Since dryness is essential for a smooth-burning wood fire, be prepared not to burn your freshly-split firewood immediately. Common sources recommend 6-18 months of drying time for firewood, though that timeline may not take into account your local humidity, the density of the wood, or how dead the wood was when you began cutting it up.

Unsure whether your wood is dry enough? Small cracks from the center to the barkline, a darkened or faded color, loose bark edges, and even the wood’s scent can all be clues about its moisture content. Smaller pieces will also always dry faster, so keep that in mind when you start cutting.

Stacking with Style

Regardless of how and when your firewood is chopped (or, even if it’s purchased elsewhere), stack your firewood as quickly as possible. This will allow for air circulation that helps to prevent mold from forming in tiny nooks and crannies. A quality cover (which can include a basic tarp) will also keep rain or snow from soaking your stack.

There are several stacking styles you may choose from, including the German, Shaker, and Holzhous method. The stacking pattern you choose may depend on the area of space you have available, and how much sun exposure the area gets, but always be sure to keep your wood off the ground to prevent moisture seepage and termite infestations. You’ll also want to stack the bulk of your firewood away from your home, as unwanted rodents, insects, and even snakes may find it a cozy place to settle in.

If you’re considering a new tree to cut, are pruning back for a healthy growth season, or want advice on what to plant for future firewood, Premier Tree Solutions is eager to provide expert assistance at every stage. Contact us online for an assessment or call us at (404) 252-6448 with your questions.

Timb-brr! When’s the Best Time to Cut Down a Tree in Colder Weather?

Spring tends to be the time of year when most homeowners start thinking about their landscape. But if you’ve spotted a problem tree during the winter months, there’s no need to wait for warmer weather to take care of it. In fact, there are a few compelling reasons why winter is an ideal time for tree removal, as long as you plan strategically. Here’s what you should know.

Why Have a Tree Removed in Winter?

Dormant trees have several characteristics which could make them easier to remove. For one, foliage is less of an issue, so it’s easier for tree care professionals to assess the structure of the tree and make precise cuts. Bare limbs are also lighter and easier to manage, making tree removal more efficient this time of year. With fewer leaves to worry about, post-removal cleanup is also less of a hassle.

Another reason to chop a tree in winter is that most homeowners’ lawns and gardens aren’t in bloom, so you won’t have to worry about disturbing surrounding plant life during its peak season. Plus, you can use the winter months to plan out how you’ll use your revised lawn space when it comes time for spring planting, whether it’s expanding your gardens, planting a new tree, or simply laying sod to add more grassy area.

There are also some circumstances for which tree removal simply cannot wait. Though many factors go into the decision to have a tree removed, according to experts from the University of Maryland, the following criteria could be considered dangerous and call for prompt attention:

  • Leaning
  • Proximity to power lines
  • Severe trunk damage
  • Damage to 50% or more of the tree
  • Hollow trunk
  • Many dead branches
  • Trunk rot, fungus, or other disease that cannot be remedied
  • Root system damage

If any of these factors are noticed or develop during the winter months, it’s best to schedule your tree removal from a certified arborist right away to minimize the additional risks that could be caused by any winter weather.

When Should You Cut Your Tree Down in Colder Weather?

Most deciduous trees are dormant in Georgia from late fall through the end of winter, between the months of November and March. Deciduous trees drop their leaves in fall and include certain varieties of maple, dogwood, magnolia, ash, gum, willow, cyprus, sassafras, birch, and walnut.

When it comes to evergreen trees, such as Virginia Pine, Loblolly Pine, Eastern Hemlocks, and Atlantic White Cedars, winter is still a good time of year for removal. Although these trees don’t have a seasonal leaf drop like their deciduous siblings, they still tend to have flowering seasons in the spring. Therefore their branches may be lighter and visibility may be greater in the winter months, when blooms aren’t a concern.

Whether it’s warm or cold outside, Premier Tree Solutions is here for all of your tree maintenance needs. To plan your removal this winter, contact us online or by calling (404) 252-6448.