Plant trees now for future fall colors

Plant trees now for future fall colors

Have you been wanting to add a tree to your outdoor space? Fall is an excellent time for you to plant the tree of your dreams. Our tree canopy is still recovering from hurricanes a few years ago so every tree counts. If you are having trouble deciding which tree to plant, the excellent Website can help. The site gives you a simple click method to learn details on any of these trees and other tree options.

I was reading an interesting article from the Tree People about the top 22 benefits of trees. Trees combat climate change, clean the air, provide oxygen, cool the streets and city, conserve energy, save water, prevent water pollution, help prevent soil erosion, mark the seasons, provide a canopy and habitat for wildlife, and provide wood. Yes, trees are a good thing. Interestingly, the Tree People state that trees reduce violence. They say the neighborhoods and homes that are barren have shown to have a greater incidence of violence in and out of the home than their greener counterparts. The conjecture is that trees and landscaping help to reduce the level of fear.

In the small tree category of less than 20 feet, the Aggies suggest eastern redbud, vitex, fringe tree and rusty blackhaw. Their surefire medium (20-40 feet) selections are lacebark elm (not Siberian elm), flowering dogwood, American holly and eastern hophornbeam. Large trees are 40 or more feet in height. Their best options are the gorgeous sycamore, southern magnolia, bald cypress, cedar elm, Shumard oak, live oak, overcup oak and cherrybark oak. Be sure to plant these giants in the best location to avoid problems in the years to come with foundations, driveways or power lines. When you are looking for a tree to buy, be sure to choose the one free from trunk wounds. A healthy tree has green leaves or no leaves and no undersized or yellowing leaves. If you buy a tree with a V-shaped trunk it will not grow into a straight single trunk unless you are willing to prune and straighten it for the next few years, so avoid them.

Your new young tree should be placed into a hole 2-3 times the size of the container when planting. The bottom of the tree ball should sit on solid soil. Backfill the hole with as much original soil as you can. Flood the hole with a slowly running hose after you plant. Water regularly for the first year and keep 3-4 inches of mulch around the base of the tree. I feel that the person who plants a tree is possibly the most optimistic of all gardeners. Celebrate fall and plant a tree.

Want free trees?

The Arbor Day Foundation will brighten up your fall by offering 10 free autumn classics trees or five free crapemyrtle when you join the organization in October.

The free trees are part of the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation’s Trees for America campaign, a program dedicated to environmental stewardship through the planting of trees.

Everyone who joins the Arbor Day Foundation in October will receive five free crapemyrtle trees or 10 free autumn classics selected for your area. The 10 autumn classics include two sugar maples, two red maples, and one each of scarlet oak, sweetgum, northern red oak, silver maple, white flowering dogwood, and Washington hawthorn.

“Members will especially enjoy these trees during the autumn months because they’ll add abundant, vibrant color to any yard or landscape for years to come,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation.

The trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting, between Nov. 1 and Dec. 10. The 6- to 12-inch trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge. Planting instructions will be enclosed with each shipment of trees.

To receive your free trees, send a $10 membership contribution with your tree selection to Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City, NE 68410, by October 31, 2016, or join online at

Golden Triangle Fall Rose Show

Saturday, Nov. 5, The Golden Triangle Rose Society is hosting its Fall Rose Show. The show is open and free to the public and will be held at the Beaumont Botanical Gardens from 2-3 p.m.

The Beaumont Botanical Gardens is at 6088 Babe Zaharias Drive

For further information, call (409) 886-4616.


Joette Reger is an avid gardener and prides  herself on staying up-to-date on the latest gardening activities and tips. She can be reached by e-mail at joreger [at] msn [dot] com and on Facebook at “Gardengate with Joette Reger.”