Bring Me a Shrubbery: Best Shrubs for Georgia Soil

Whether you have a small green area next to your patio or a yard that stretches for acres, shrubs are a great addition to your outdoor space. When planted in the right spot, they bring in huge energy savings as well as seasonal beauty and a home for wildlife. On top of that, when you plant new shrubs, you’re doing your part to make our environment healthier — going green, both literally and figuratively.

However, not every shrub will grow successfully in every location. The experts at Premier Tree Solutions have put together some simple tips and advice for choosing the best shrubs for Georgia soil.

What Shrubs Should I Consider for my Georgia Home?

The good news is that there are countless options for you to consider. The University of Georgia has an extensive list of all of the best landscaping plants for Georgia, including shrubs of many sizes. The bad news is that this long list can be a bit overwhelming. How do you know which ones will be best for your yard?

We’re breaking down the biggest things that will impact the health of your yard and your shrubs now.

USDA Hardiness Zones

Hardiness zones are geographic areas that are defined by their range of climates and conditions that directly affect plant growth and survival, so it’s extremely important to uncover what your soil’s hardiness zone is.

The USDA has created a chart to help gardeners understand what plants grow best in what area. Most of Georgia is considered to be in zones 7 or 8.

Keep Your Yard Green All Year Long

Several of the best shrubs for Georgia soil have green leaves throughout much of the year. While some bloom for a short time in spring and/or summer, they keep that appealing “live” look all year round. When picking out a shrub for your yard, you’ll want to pick something that will stay alive and green all year long, like an evergreen.

Think About the Butterflies

Some of the best shrubs for Georgia soil happen to be especially appealing for butterflies! Consider the Caprifoliaceae, for instance. This is a beautiful shrub that remains evergreen in south Georgia, though it may only be semi-evergreen in the northern reaches. This shrub has funnel-shaped flowers that bloom from early summer through the first frost of autumn. Those flowers, also called honeysuckles, are famous in the South for their sweet taste.

If you want a shrub that will attract more wildlife, aim for something like the Caprifoliaceae. Doing your research beforehand will inform you what creatures are attracted to what shrubs.

Shaded Areas Need Shrubbery Too

In Georgia, shade is a common sight and extremely important. Those gorgeous and towering pine and oak trees do great work protecting us from the harsh southern sun and heat. But, if you’re worried about your shrub not getting enough sun thanks to the natural shade in your yard, there is an easy solution for that.

Pick a shade shrub that can flourish in the shade! The anise is a great choice, creating a bright spot in a shaded area.

Winter Beauty

Even though Georgia stays in the heat longer than the cold, our winter months can be harsh and brutal for outdoor plants. But that doesn’t mean you want your yard to be bare during that time of year. To fix that issue, consider a shrub that flourishes in winter such as the holly bush. Most holly bushes are evergreen and the red berries really stand out in the winter months.

As you can see, there is a lot to think about when choosing the best shrubbery that works well in Georgia’s climate and soil. If you have any questions or would like to talk to an expert about to care for your shrubs, reach out to us at Premier Tree Solutions by calling 404-252-6448. We look forward to helping you create an outdoor space that feels like home!

Don’t Curb Your Enthusiam: How to Boost Your Overall Curb Appeal

They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but who really listens to that advice anyway? That is certainly true when it comes to houses. Whether you’re getting ready to sell or just want to be the talk of the neighborhood (in a good way), it’s a great idea to focus on how to boost your overall curb appeal. If you’re wondering what curb appeal is, this term is defined as “the attractiveness of a property for sale and its surroundings when viewed from the street.”

If you know your house’s curb appeal could use some help, it can be a daunting task if you have no idea where to start. The experts at Premier Tree Solutions are here to help you tackle the task!

Keep reading below for the top ways you can boost your overall curb appeal without draining your wallet or your free time.

Love Your Lawn

 

No matter how beautiful the outside of your house is, an unkempt lawn will immediately scare away new buyers or have neighbors turn up their noses. In some neighborhoods, it’s a requirement by the Home Owner’s Association to make sure everything is neat. The good news is that, as long as you keep up with the care, you won’t have to spend an enormous amount of time or money to have a beautiful lawn.

Just do the obvious things: cut the grass, trim the edges and bushes, water everything well, and banish the dead leaves or weeds.

Play With your Landscaping

If you have a bare or boring yard, consider adding value to it by picking up flowers, bushes, and trees to make it sparkle. Not sure what to look for or where to start? The experts at Premier Tree Solutions are here to help!

Time for a Bath

You can tell when it’s time to grab a power wash and give your house a much-needed washing. All that built up grime on the surface of your house, sidewalks, and porch doesn’t have any place on your updated curb appeal. Not only does doing this make the outside of your house actually gleam, but it’s also pretty fun to do.

Finish Those Repairs

Is there a ripped screen in front of one of your windows? What about a light bulb out in the lighting for your porch? Chipped paint somewhere? Those tiny flaws can really stand out to someone putting your house under scrutiny. Don’t give them something to complain about, especially something that is extremely easy to fix. Write a to-do list and get to it!

Outdoor Furniture is a Balance

As much as you don’t want a naked front porch, you also don’t want to overcrowd it or put a lot of junk out there. Consider your space available, colors of your house, and other decorations before picking your outdoor furniture.

Set the Mood With Lighting

You want your house to look smart and feel safe, especially at night time. The perfect way to do that is by picking out the lighting that not only is efficient but also boosts the curb appeal of your house.

To do just that, make sure to do the following:

  • Have all dark areas lit up. Common areas include the sides of the back of your yard. Consider making it a movement sensitive light, so you are never in the dark when trying to get out of your car to the front door.
  • Line your pathways with lights to make walking less dangerous in the dark.
  • Do the extra step and put something decorative out to really add extra sparkle and warmth. Bulb lights around your porch are a fantastic example.

Small Steps Make a Big Difference

Here are some of the smallest, cheapest DIYs you can do to your house that will make a huge impact on your overall curb appeal:

  • Replace old and rusted house numbers with something new and shiny.
  • Dress up your doors with seasonal wreaths.
  • Speaking of doors, consider changing the color of your front one for something bright and fun. When picking an option, make sure to consider the current color scheme of your house.
  • If your mailbox is out of date and damaged, consider swapping it out with something affordable but stylish.
  • Is the color of your garage door really faded? Instead of spending a lot of money to replace it, consider staining or painting it a new color to make it pop.

Premier Tree Solutions has been providing quality, professional tree services to the metro Atlanta and surrounding areas for the past ten years. If you have any more questions about how we can assist you to boost your overall curb appeal, especially when it comes to sprucing up the beautiful trees on your property, pick up the phone and call 404.252.6448.

BE A GEORGIA TREE KNOW-IT-ALL: EASTERN WHITE PINE

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. This month, we are showcasing the Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus). Learn all about the Eastern white pine below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Premier Tree is your local source for professional tree services in the metro Atlanta area. We provide tree removal, trimming, pruning, stump grinding, and more. Check out all of the services we offer, and contact us today for a free consultation!

Timber! Scary Signs Your Tree Needs to be Removed

Trees make a lovely addition to any landscape. Whether small and shapely, decorating a pathway or bed, or tall and sweeping to provide summer shade, trees are an age-old addition to gardens worldwide.

However, trees can be dangerous as well. Whether a tree drops a limb on your home during a thunderstorm or topples right over onto the drive or into the street, the consequences are potentially severe … especially if you bring down a lawsuit as well as twigs and leaves. There’s one easy way to avoid this: know the warning signs.

Here are five of the scariest signs that your tree needs to be removed today.

1. Cracking or Splitting

One of the most obvious symptoms of old age, rot, and disease is cracking and splitting along the trunk. This usually means that the tree is no longer sound and needs to be taken out immediately. In some cases, splitting along a limb indicates the tree can still be saved … but it’s critical you get that limb down ASAP.

2. Rotting

If you see rot in limbs, branches, twigs or – worst of all – the trunk, it’s time to call in a pro for tree removal right away. Rot turns the inside of the tree to mush or sawdust (depending on the type of rot) and will ruin its structural integrity, making a topple more likely.

3. Lightning Strike

Trees located on their own out in pastures or fields are more vulnerable to lightning strikes, but it can happen in your own backyard as well. At the very least, you need to get that tree checked out immediately. Often, it will have to go.

3. Pests

If your tree is crawling with pests, from mites to boring insects and more, it’s important you don’t put off the issue. You might be able to treat the tree, but in many cases, it will need to be removed. That’s both to avoid it falling over, and to protect the trees around it from infection.

4. Dropping Limbs

If your tree has already dropped limbs, that’s a sign that all is not well. Get an arborist out to determine whether it was the limbs themselves that were the problem, or something inherently wrong with the entire specimen.

Do You Have a Tree That Needs to be Removed?

If you see any of these warning signs, it’s time to call in a tree professional today. If you’re not sure whether or not your tree is in good health, call in Premier Tree Solutions to give your arboreal friends an audit. Better safe than sorry … so call today!

Soil, on the Rocks, With Salt and Lime

“Barkeep! I’ll take two fingers of soil on the rocks. Don’t go easy on the salt and lime. There’s an extra dollar in it for you if you put some speed on it!” …said no tree ever. And even if they could talk, we’re pretty sure this isn’t an order they’d place in a hurry.

Despite that fact, many people use rock salt on their soil to manage their yard’s green life. The question becomes if trees and shrubs don’t appreciate overapplication of salt (and if it’s a winter concern of which any gardener should be aware), why do they do it at all? And should you tune in to the benefits of rock salt as well?

These are good questions, all. Let’s clarify some of the confusion today.

Road Versus Rock Salt

The first point of confusion is the difference between road salt, which often comes in rock form, and rock salt for gardeners. Road salt is used to mitigate ice and snow, and often splashes on the leaves and stems of perennial plants, damaging them and drying them out.

Rock salt, on the other hand, is used intentionally by many gardeners. It has two main purposes in gardening, which we cover below. But first, let’s tackle another problem: definitions.

Salt: A Better Definition

Another point of confusion is what salt actually is. We think of it as sodium chloride, or table salt, when this is in fact just a type of salt (the same way Kleenex is a type of tissue).

In chemistry, salt is “a class of compounds formed by the replacement of one or more hydrogen atoms of an acid with elements or groups.” It is formed when an anion and cation combine, when an acid neutralizes a base, forming a strong and stable bond.

As with anything else, salt is a double-edged sword. Therefore, it’s important that we understand salt’s many facets.

The Right Use of Salts

Many fertilizers are salts, and plants need them to thrive. Both nitrogen and phosphorous must first become salts before plants can take them up, for instance. While it’s great if you can give your plants such nutrients from organic applications (manure or compost), you may also need to add additional types of salt for maximum plant health.

The other main use of salt is classic sodium chloride rock salt to kill weeds. Anywhere you put rock salt, plants won’t grow because high concentrations are toxic to them. Be aware that while this might have a nice effect on paths or driveways, salt is likely to travel when it rains, so be sure there aren’t any desirable plants in its path.

Are you still confused about the proper application of rock salt? Speak with a tree professional such as those at Premier Tree Solutions, and we’ll get your questions answered and make your landscape as healthy as it can be.

BE A GEORGIA TREE KNOW-IT-ALL: LONGLEAF PINE

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. This month, we are showcasing the longleaf pine (Pinus palustris). Learn all about the longleaf pine below!

Longleaf Pine Text Infographic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://plants.usda.gov/factsheet/pdf/fs_pipa2.pdf

Premier Tree is your local source for professional tree services in the metro Atlanta area. We provide tree removal, trimming, pruning, stump grinding, and more. Check out all of the services we offer, and contact us today for a free consultation!

Nurse, Scalpel: A Five-Point Guide to Transplanting Trees and Saplings

Trees are adaptable, but they’re still prone to illness and ailment under stressful conditions. Transplanting, unfortunately, definitely numbers among the most stressful conditions in life. After all, think about how you feel when you have to move, and your roots aren’t even getting ripped out of the ground. So, yeah … trees don’t like it.

That doesn’t mean they won’t come through a transplant just fine, as long as you know what you’re doing.

So what are the best practices to ensure the tree remains safe and happy? Let’s take a look.

1. Know Your Tree’s Preferences

A sycamore is different from a live oak, which is different from a cypress, and so on. Each of these trees exhibits different leaf types, growth patterns, and site preferences. If you don’t know what they are, there’s a good chance you’ll move your tree to the wrong place.

Accordingly, never move a tree before thoroughly researching its needs. That means taking into account water, light, nutrients, and more. You should also know its common pests (for instance, do deer like its bark, and will they have access to it?) to avoid leaving it vulnerable.

2. Ready the New Site

Dig the hole for the tree’s new home before you remove it from its current location. Make the tree wide enough to fit the entire root ball (see Step 4), and leave the excavated earth nearby to fill in immediately after planting.

3. Water the Day Before

Transplanting involves trauma, but you can reduce it by making the exit process gentler. To that end, water the tree thoroughly the day before. This will soften the ground and loosen the soil around the roots, which lessens the chance that the tree’s smaller capillary roots will get ripped off in the move.

4. Prune the Roots

You can’t move a tree’s entire root system, so you’ll have to prune it. Mark off a zone around the tree, giving 10-12 inches of root ball diameter for every inch of trunk. Then chop through the roots with a sharp spade or loppers when needed. Remove the tree, bury it in its new site, and water thoroughly again.

5. Get Help If You Need It

If your tree is bigger, or if you just don’t feel equipped to move it on your own, it’s time to call in the pros. Experienced arborists such as those here at Premier Tree Solutions can help you find the best site for your new or relocating tree. Whether it’s an emergency or a simple gardening goal, contact us today. We’re here for you!

Bye Bye Bugs: What You Can Do Now to Prep for Summer

Raise your hand if you’ve heard the phrase “beneficial insect” bandied about in recent years? Us too, and it’s definitely true that some creepy-crawlies are our friends. Ladybugs, mantises, spiders, ground beetles, midges, and wasps all do their part to keep the environment free of pests – and that’s before we even talk pollinators, which are crucial to a thriving world.

Don’t let that fool you, though: There are plenty of nasty bugs out there yet. If you don’t take care to protect your trees from them, you’ll be sorry.

Here’s the quick rundown on how to prep for summer and keep your trees shipshape all season long.

 

Say No to Pruning

Most trees want to be pruned in winter or early spring. It’s true that some fruit trees benefit from a light summer pruning, but for the most part, you should avoid whipping out the shears this time of year. Pruning essentially means making a wound in the tree’s protective layer, making it easier for pests to get in and infect it. Unless you have to prune to get rid of a weakened branch or pest problem, avoid it.

Use Natural Sprays

Protecting trees from pests isn’t a “new” idea. Since ancient times, people have sprayed their landscape and orchard specimens to control bugs, using a variety of natural substances. These include salt and essential oils that kill pests, mineral oils that protect bark, diatomaceous earth that desiccates pests, and more.

Enlist Friendly Species!

Hey, remember when we talked about beneficial insects? Well, they can help! So can birds and bats. Put up homes for flying friends, including birdhouses, bat boxes, beetle banks, and flower gardens. This will attract lots of natural pest-eaters, keeping your trees safe and your garden buzzing all summer long.

Get Help from an Expert

If you’re facing a pest problem and just don’t know what to do, it might be time to call in the experts. Don’t just pick a name out of the proverbial phonebook at random, though … no one wants to be that homeowner.

Instead, choose a licensed, insured and experienced arborist like the ones here at Premier Tree Solutions, and we’ll help you decide on the best decision for your trees. All you have to do is pick up the phone and call 404.252.6448 (or 404.569.8897 for an emergency), and we’ll “bee” right there.

BE A GEORGIA TREE KNOW-IT-ALL: LAUREL OAK

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. This month, we are showcasing the laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia). Learn all about the laurel oak below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Premier Tree is your local source for professional tree services in the metro Atlanta area. We provide tree removal, trimming, pruning, stump grinding, and more. Check out all of the services we offer, and contact us today for a free consultation!

BE A GEORGIA TREE KNOW-IT-ALL: EASTERN REDBUD

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. This month, we are showcasing the eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis). Learn all about the eastern redbud below!

Infographic of the characteristics, growing conditions, tree care, and signs of distress of the eastern redbud tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Premier Tree is your local source for professional tree services in the metro Atlanta area. We provide tree removal, trimming, pruning, stump grinding, and more. Check out all of the services we offer, and contact us today for a free consultation!