Landscaping Tips For The New Year

Landscaping Tips For The New Year

Working on your garden has been shown to help reduce stress. Now, it is important to note that gardening itself can be stressful as well. Luckily, there are many ways to deal with that stress and one of those ways is by trying new things. Especially with the new year approaching, now is the perfect time to look into new landscaping tips to implement and new projects to take one. So, with that said, let’s take a look at a few landscaping tips and techniques you might want to try out in the new year.

Compost Heaps and Composting

Do you currently have a compost bin or a compost heap? If not, you should know that there are a plethora of sizes when it comes to compost bins and methods for composting. For example, there are cold composting in a bin or heap, bokashi, wormery, hot composting, and a composting trench. Now, if you already have a compost bin, but it is not working right, keep in mind that at times it is necessary to turn your compost. The reason being that the material can become compacted within the bin, and thus it does not rot down properly.

Feed The Birds

Most gardeners know that garden birds can be your best friend as they will eat slugs, snails, and other soil-borne pests. By encouraging the birds in your garden, you will also improve the overall health of the habitat as the dynamics of the food chain apply to even the small domestic plots. So, if you happen to have a selection of bird feeders in various areas of your garden, you should take some time to check on them and make sure if they need to be replaced. You don’t want to have any moldy food at the base of a feeder as it is no good for the birds.

Plant A Tree

This time of year is actually the optimum time for planting bare root trees and shrubs, so that might be something you may want to look into for the new year. Keep in mind though that you can plant container grown plants at any time of the year if you choose to. Plus, there are so many options for you to do based on the parameters you are working with. For example, if you are short on space, you can plant a patio sized fruit tree in a pot. Or, if you do have a little more space to work with, you can try a tree with style like an Aser griseum.

So, these are some tips and techniques you might be interested in trying in the upcoming new year. For any further questions or additional information, please call Giovine Landscaping today at (973) 325-1758!

Tips To Care For Trees And Shrubs In The Winter

Tips To Care For Trees and Shrubs in the Winter

The winter season is rapidly approaching and with it comes storms, ice, and rapid temperature fluctuations above and below zero which take their toll on trees all across the country. Especially for species that are native to the closer regions, this can be a stressful time, particularly for exposed and isolated trees of the residential landscape. Now, unfortunately, some of the stress is unavoidable as the typical tree owner has no control of the climate. Luckily, there are ways to minimize the damage caused by the winter. So, here are some tips to care for your trees and shrubs during the winter season.

Cold Stress

Now, cold stresses can take on a plethora of forms with the first being the effect on mature trees with the rapid change between daytime heat and nighttime freezing. These temperature variations can lead to stresses within the tree between the outer bark and inner wood. This leads to cracks that are known as frost cracking. Unfortunately, in most situations, there is little that can be done to prevent frost cracking. The tree is actually able to repair itself even though the cracked area will remain vulnerable to subsequent cracking at the same place causing further major damage. Now, you may want to consider wrapping the bark with tree blankets to help this cause. 

Winter Drought

Another issue during the winter, especially for evergreens is drying out. This occurs when a tree loses more water than it can absorb from the frozen ground. Windy conditions can also worsen this issue. To handle this situation, you can try to lay down a thick layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree in the late fall before the winter officially sets in. This mulch will help to slow down the moisture loss and runoff while also acting as a temperature buffer for the roots.

Branch Breakage

Branches are also very vulnerable to breakage during the cold winter. Especially with deciduous trees, the wood will harden and become more brittle, susceptible to wind damage. There is also the issue of ice and snow accumulation which can affect both deciduous trees and evergreens alike. Now, in order to minimize branch breakage, you should look to continue with your fall maintenance, especially pruning. By pruning the weak and vulnerable branches and then removing one limb of a pair to share a deep “v” crotch, you will make the entire tree less susceptible. Another solution for small trees and shrubs is to cover the entire tree with a sturdy tent-like housing. Finally, for the larger evergreens, try using a rope to tie up and reinforce branches.

These are just a few tips that you can use to keep your lawn healthy during the winter months. If you have any further questions or are in need of professional assistance, please feel free to contact Giovine Landscaping today at (973) 325-1758!

Fast-Growing Shade Trees That Can Help With The Electric Bill

Fast Growing Shade Trees That Can Help With The Electric Bill

The sun provides us with free solar energy that keeps us warm, brings light into our homes, grows our food, and can generate renewable electricity. However, once the weather heats up, the sun can cause us to use even more energy as we need to run our air conditioners and fans to cool us down. Keeping the sun off of our homes and windows during the summer, which is rapidly approaching, can help you save both money and energy. One of the best ways to do just that is by planting shade trees right in the location of your home so that they can block the sun from streaming through the windows. There are so many options to choose from as well, but you can also find options that can grow fast. So, here are some of the popular fast-growing trees that can add shade to your property.

Hybrid Polar

One of the most popular fast-growing shade trees is the hybrid polar. These trees can grow up to 8 feet per year and even mature at about 40 to 50 feet high. There are many different types of hybrid polars like the Populus deltoides x Populus nigra variety, which is also known as the “cottonless hybrid” and it is a little less messy in the yard than some of the other varieties. 

Nuttall Oak

Nuttall Oak is another fast-growing shade that is also known as red oak or pin oak. These are also the fastest-growing variety of oak and they provide not just a leafy canopy, but also a consistent supply of acorns each year.

Red Maple

Red Maples are also good for more than just casting shade as they also add a burst of color in the fall as the leaves turn a vibrant red before they drop. Red Maple’s growth rate comes to about 3 to 5 feet per year and tops out at about 40 feet high which helps to rapidly create privacy and shade for the home and the yard. 

Paper Birch

Paper birches, while also being a fast-growing shade can also feature white bark which can add to the look of any yard, especially during the winter once the leaves have dropped. These can also be tapped for their sap and be made into birch sap. Keep in mind that you might need a few of these trees if you want to make it work your while. 

American Sycamore

The American Sycamore, also referred to as the American planetree is another fast-growing shade tree that also has a whitish mottled bark and is capable of growing to be quite large. Now, these are typically found near rivers and ponds, but they can also be grown in an urban yard and grow as much as 6 feet per year reaching heights of 70 feet and more.

 Now, be mindful that not all of these shade trees will be the best fit for your yard. There will be many variables that you must take into consideration such as the length of the growing season, the frost dates, the temperatures, annual rainfall, and the type of soil in your yard. So, if you have any questions about which fast-growing shade tree will be best for your specific region, feel free to contact Giovine Landscaping at (973) 325-1758!

How Landscaping Can Increase Your Home’s Value

How Landscaping Can Increase Your Home's Value

Landscaping is one of the most effective methods that can help increase the value of your home. Not only that, but it is also great for the environment and has been shown to improve your health as well. So, regardless of what you intend to do with your home in the future, a quality landscaping design can boost your curb appeal while increasing the property value. So, let’s take a look at some ways that you can increase your home’s value with a landscaping design.

Design The Landscape With A Strategy In Mind

If you are looking to increase your home’s value with a landscaping project, you will need to implement a specific strategy. For example, you wouldn’t want to just fill your yard with various plantings and landscape design elements for the sake of adding them to the yard. You might want to work with a professional who can help you achieve a uniform look with the right amount to keep things interesting, but not so little that it comes off plain and boring.

Add Trees To The Yard

While this might seem like a simple strategy, adding a few trees to your landscape can make a huge difference in the value of your home. In fact, in one study by the Wall Street Journal, including trees helped homes sell for 10-15% more than their asking prices. There are many reasons for this, some of them include: trees can remove carbon dioxide and pollution from the air; trees are viewed as an environmentally-friendly option; the shade that trees produce also keeps yards cooler and more inviting; and finally, plants, including trees, bring a relaxing and calming feeling to your space.

Have A Uniform Style Between Your Home And Landscape

Another great way to increase your home’s overall value is to create a singular style and sticking with that style. For example, if you have a modern style home with a Mediterranean-style landscape design, it can create too many opportunities for design clashing and it would take away from the home’s appeal. So, your best option would be to create a versatile landscape that you can adapt to any style home, in the event your taste changes or you decide to sell your house.

Add Color

Having a garden with full, leafy plants and vibrant flora will add color, texture, and dimension to your landscape. These beautiful flowers and blooming plants will create an instant curb appeal to your home and give your landscape a well-maintained appearance. You may also want to include aromatic plants and flowers as those will invite birds and butterflies to your yard. 

These are just a few ways you can use landscaping to add more value to your home. For more information or if you are looking for professionals to assist you in your landscaping project, give Giovine Landscaping a call at (973) 325-1758 today!