Family Tree and Turf Care ® FAQ

How do I know if My Turf Needs Fertilizer?

The best way to determine if your lawn requires certain plant nutrients is to get the soil tested. This test is available through your local Extension Agent. It is easy to do and inexpensive. The results returned to you will include recommendations on the amounts of plant nutrients and lime that would be beneficial to your lawn. Soil tests are not used to determine nitrogen needs. Nitrogen is applied based upon established requirements by grass species, seasons of growth and intended use

What if I Don't fertilize?

Your lawn will gradually thin and weeds may invade. Proper and timely fertilization can be good for both your lawn and the environment. There is less chance for nutrient and soil runoff to surface waters from a healthy stand of grass than bare soil or thin grass. Healthy lawns will have less disease, insect and weed problems, reducing the need for pesticide applications. Well-maintained lawns look appealing and are more wear tolerant.

Why are trees beneficial?

A: Trees provide a variety of benefits besides environmental, such as social, community, and economic. Trees provide an array of benefits, including: * Cost Reduction? reduces yearly heating and cooling costs by 2.1 billion dollars 
* Increase Property Value? well-cared landscape properties are 5-20% more valuable than non-landscaped estates. 
* Privacy and Scenery, aesthetic values
The following facts are results from studies conducted by UIUC Human-Environment Research Laboratory: 
*Fewer Crimes? apartment buildings surrounded by trees and greenery are dramatically safer than buildings devoid of green
* Improves Concentration- children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) are relieved after contact with nature. The greener the setting, the more the relief. 
* Sound Barrier- acts as sound barriers and provide protection against crowding, noise, and danger, which all can contribute to mental fatigue, and can help inner-city residents cope with the many poverty related-stresses

What type of tree should I buy?

Tree selection is one of the most important investment decisions for a homeowner. First, examine the location conditions of where you want your tree to be planted. Take the following into consideration before selecting the tree species you want: 
* Amount of space 
* Clearance from overhead and underground utilities 
* Weather conditions 
* Tree functions you desire 
* Exposure to sun and wind 
* The quality 
Then, utilize the information you have gathered and select the tree species that works best with the conditions.

How should I plant my tree?

A: Location conditions are extremely important and vital to a tree’s health. Be sure to examine the tree location conditions and follow these steps when planting your new tree:

What should I do if I think my tree has insect and/or disease problems?

As soon as you notice any abnormality in your tree’s appearance, you should begin a careful examination of the problem. Insects and diseases can threaten a tree’s health. By identifying the specific symptoms of damage and understanding the causes, you may be able to diagnose the problem and take appropriate actions for treatment.

How often does my tree need care?

The type and frequency of tree care depends on the species, age, location, climate, and other factors that affect the tree’s growth. The first step is to educate yourself about your trees and understand their needs. It is imperative to understand that proper tree care is a life long process, and that planting and caring for a tree is a long-term commitment, not just a one time deal.

What is topping a tree?

Topping is the indiscriminate cutting of tree branches to stubs or lateral branches that are not large enough to assume the terminal role. Other names for topping including “heading,” “tipping,” “hat-racking,” and “rounding over.” Topping is perhaps the most harmful tree pruning practice known. It is usually done to reduce the size of a tree. Often, homeowners top their trees because they feel that they have become too large for their property and are a hazard. However, topping will make a tree more hazardous in the long term and is very harmful to the health of a tree.

Can trees be hazardous?

Trees are essential to our world, offering a wide range of benefits to our environment. However, trees become hazardous liabilities if they fall and injure people or damage property. Proper constant maintenance will help prevent and identify when a tree becomes dangerous.

What is pruning a tree?

Pruning is the cutting or removing branches or parts of trees or for improving the shape or growth of trees. This is the most common tree maintenance procedure. Usually, trees are pruned preventative or as a corrective measure to remove dead branches, crowded or rubbing limbs, eliminate hazards, and increase light and air penetration. Since each cut to a tree has the potential to change the growth, it is important to educate yourself, considering no branch should be removed without any reason.

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