More information found for fixtures in the ground

[singlepic id=181 w=320 h=240 float=left]By Aaron James

Last month’s article just didn’t provide enough space for everything that needed to be said about trees, so here I am again. First of all, I should explain that I originally contacted Scott Banbury of Midtown Logging because I had heard he provides a rather unique service. During our phone interview last month, he described, “Using a portable sawmill, we save city trees from going to the landfill and give them a second life as beautiful furniture, cabinetry, and millwork.” If you are considering having a large tree removed, give Scott a call first, and he will tell you if the main trunk is of a quality sufficient for milling. Also, if you do remove a tree, Scott recommends that you consider planting an appropriate replacement tree in a more life-sustaining location.

On that note, this month’s photograph shows trees (A) planted 35 years ago by my dad, originally intended as a hedge between our house and the cantankerous elderly widow next door and (B) planted 30 years ago to commemorate the birth of his first grandson. Both are prime examples of where NOT to plant trees. Example A has destroyed the driveway, not to mention the fact that pines are notoriously damaging to lawns. Luckily, the new neighbors prefer keeping the shade, and the broken concrete drive will soon be replaced with gravel. Example B simply does not provide sufficient ground area for a root system and will need to be removed in the not too distant future in order to avoid the inevitable sidewalk heave. I have always been told that when Cooper-Young was developed, a tree was planted in each section of the front yard, which certainly seems a more appropriate urban setting. In fact, a few of our luckiest neighbors still have these now mature originals.

Another valuable source of information is the International Society of Arboriculture. In watching an interview just the other day on the cable access channel, a local representative shared the following: Instead of simply digging a hole to plant your new tree, you have to prepare a site at least 2–3 times the diameter of the root ball. Also, do not over-water. “Keeping young trees hydrated is important to their survival, but soaking the ground around their root system can be more damaging than beneficial. Over-watering causes leaves to yellow or even drop. Young trees should be watered once a week, unless there is substantial rain. In hot weather, more frequent watering may be necessary. Continue watering through mid-autumn, tapering off as colder weather approaches, which requires less frequent watering.”

And a new one for me is that new trees should not be staked. “Studies have actually shown that trees establish more quickly and develop stronger trunk and root systems if they are not staked at the time of planting.” (Hmm… Do I see a life lesson in there somewhere?) And last, but not least, if you need help planting a tree, either with labor or borrowed tools, a call to the CYCA office will have me there in a jiffy!

To contact Scott, visit, and for more information on the International Society of Arboriculture, visit


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