Landscaping Myths Busted: Part 2
Many who have tackled a complex and expensive landscape design in year one have experienced disappointment as year two unfolds. In a few instances, some element did not survive because of the wrong location, improper soil, or another undefined reason. Below are a few more landscaping “myths.”
“Topping Trees” is Beneficial
According to the Florida Landscape Management Association, “topping trees” (shortening or removing upper limbs) to limit the growth of trees is a harmful practice. Professional landscapers and arborists never do this except when a tree comes too close to a power line. Even then, the pruning should be limited. Topping removes much of the leaves and limbs that produce the tree’s “food.” Your tree can actually starve while it tries to regrow the limbs and leaves.
No Maintenance Landscapes
There is no such thing as no maintenance landscaping. Low-maintenance ones can be beautiful, but water, fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides are still important in those desert landscapes that consist mostly of sand, gravel, and some low water plants. “No maintenance” means complete abandonment which brings very little pleasure to the owner or neighbors.
All Trees Should Be Staked
Newly planted trees should only be staked if necessary. Staking new trees is appropriate when the area is regularly exposed to high winds, if the tree is located near heavy pedestrian traffic, or when it has a disproportionately smaller root system compared to the upper parts. If staking is needed, make sure to regularly check the attached wrap or rope to make sure it is not embedding itself into the trunk.
Adding Sand to Clay Soil
When planting, many believe that adding sand to clay soil will create a looser soil that is more amenable to root expansion. The problem is that when water is added, the soil could essentially turn to concrete. Professional landscapers recommend mixing the clay with an organic like peat, compost, or manure.
If Little is Good, More is Better
Plants require a certain amount of water, pesticide, fertilizer, and herbicide to thrive. Keep track of how much of these additives you add, no more than the instructions, so that your plants and trees can grow normally. Overdoing any of these likely will result in a disaster.
Contact a Professional Landscaper
A professional knows how to design and maintain the best landscape for your area. Save money and improve the results by working with a knowledgeable landscaper.