Nashville Tree Guide: Selecting and Installing the Right Trees for Your Property and Needs

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Trees are important. More than important, trees are an essential part of the Tennessee countryside. From food to firewood, shade to oxygen, soil erosion prevention to creation of habitats for endemic birds and other species, trees in the greater Nashville area are much more than simply a beautiful adornment to the landscape. It’s hard to imagine the rolling hills of Davidson County without their picturesque blanket of naturally occurring trees. While Mother Nature has done an incredible job of creating this beautiful scene, there are many important factors to take into consideration when selecting and installing the right species of trees for your property and needs.

Why It’s Important to Start By Thinking Endemic

When developing a tree installation plan, start by considering endemic species. Endemic species are those that are native to a given area. Endemic tree species in Tennessee have been here for thousands, even hundreds of thousands of years. Over this extended period of time, these trees have developed mutually beneficial relationships with other plants and animals that are also endemic to the area. They have also adapted to the environment, weather, seasons, soil conditions, etc. Both of these attributes make them more adept at restricting and limiting the establishment of invasive species (such as the emerald ash borer) and at surviving and flourishing within this geographical region. Endemic trees require less maintenance, are more likely to survive, and will be more likely to attract local bird species.

Maple and Ash and Oak, Oh My! – Trees Native to Tennessee

Due to the incredibly diverse forested landscapes in the temperate forests of Tennessee, Nashville area residents have a lot of endemic tree species to choose from.

If you are interested in something traditional, consider maple, ash, or oak. For maple, there are several larger options (red maple, silver maple, and sugar maple) and smaller options (striped maple and mountain maple) to choose from. However, the native ash (white ash and green ash) and oak (white oak, scarlet oak, southern red oak, overcup oak, bur oak, swamp chestnut oak, chinkapin oak, water oak, nuttall oak, cherrybark oak, willow oak, chestnut oak, northern red oak, shumard oak, post oak, and black oak) varietals are typically on the larger side.

Perhaps you prefer conifers to deciduous trees? If this is the case, you have the eastern red cedar, shortleaf pine, eastern white pine, loblolly pine, and eastern hemlock to choose from.

Maybe you’re looking for something a little more unique. Some options could include the pecan, hickories, black walnut, sycamore, black cherry, American linden, hornbeam, dogwood, hawthorn, or witch hazel.

Maybe you’re looking for a fast growing tree that will quickly fill in a desired space in your landscape or a hole created by a recently dead or removed tree.

If your head is starting to spin, don’t be ashamed. Nature has provided Tennesseans with perhaps too many options. Don’t panic! We’re here to help you select the right tree for your individual situation, desire, or needs.

What to Consider if Selecting Non-Native Trees

Don’t feel bad if you are thinking about incorporating a non-native tree species into your landscape. Certain decorative trees are highly appealing based on their aesthetic value. We understand.

However, when incorporating a non-native plant or tree into your landscape it is important that you work with an arborist who knows the species, what it requires, and how it interacts with other plants and animals. All too often, well-intentioned plans are ruined by incorporating a tree that simply cannot survive in a specific climate, soil, moisture gradient, or in close proximity to other specific species. This can be frustrating and costly. Give yourself peace of mind and let us help you establish a tree selection and installation plan that is right for you. We guarantee that we will help you realize your goals while also honoring and understanding the geographic and environmental limitations and constraints of the Tennessee landscape.

Tree Selection and Installation: What’s Right For You?

With so many options, it’s incredibly difficult to decide what’s right for you and for your specific landscape. This is why it can be incredibly beneficial to contact the tree experts at The Parke Company when planning your next tree installation project. Our certified arborists have decades of experience working with endemic and non-native tree species in every type of ecosystem and landscape that the greater Nashville area has to offer. We can help you decide where to plant specific species of trees in order to achieve your goals, whatever they may be. Just as important, we can also help you avoid planting trees in areas, soils, or habitats where they will struggle to survive, potentially saving you lots of frustration, time, and money in the long run.

Do You Have Issues with Trees on Your Property? The Parke Company is Here to Help

In addition to selection and installation, we are also here to help you with all of your tree needs. From crown thinning to cold weather care, weight reduction to cabling and bolting, tree removal to stump grinding, we offer a wide variety of tree services. However, we don’t stop there. Trees come with leaves – and we’ve got leaf cleanup and removal covered as well! We can also work with you to develop a landscape management plan to ensure that all aspects of your land, lawn, and gardens are well-maintained and cared for, not just your trees.

Whatever Your Tree Needs Are, Let The Parke Company Go to Work for You

Locally owned and operated, The Parke Company provides community-centered, high quality, and affordable tree and landscaping services to municipalities, businesses, and private residences in the greater Nashville area. Our certified team of Nashville locals has a reputation for being clean, consistent, professional, and for being leaders in their industries. We at The Parke Company stand behind our work and pride ourselves on our ability to respond quickly, provide efficient and cost-effective services, and meet your needs every step of the way. Please feel free to give us a call (615-350-6033) or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you.

Springtime Seasonal Landscaping Maintenance in Nashville

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Spring has arrived in Middle Tennessee, and people are once again spending more time outside their homes enjoying the great outdoors – even if that “outdoors” is just out back on a patio or deck. Spring is a time for new beginnings, and homeowners in Nashville, Brentwood, Cool Springs, and other communities who have invested in beautiful landscapes need to take a breath and remember they have some springtime lawn issues to deal with to protect those investments.

The Parke Company, a leading landscaping service in Nashville, firmly believes that proper lawn maintenance not only keeps the lawn and shrubs healthy, but can add to the value of the property as well. Investing in landscaping yields many benefits, but it does take some work and care.

So, let’s get started. Here are two simple spring lawn maintenance tasks to get a Nashville landscape off to a great start.

Mulching

Nashville can get hot quickly. Protecting plant beds with a couple of inches of mulch will help retain moisture, keep the soil cool, inhibit the growth of weeds, and give your plants a healthy head start. At the Parke Company, we offer a variety of traditional mulches along with two alternatives that may prove more beneficial.
Pine straw is an excellent renewable, organic, lightweight mulch that holds better than traditional mulch on slopes. If you have a planting bed that is built on an incline, pine straw may be your best solution. Shredded pine tree mulch is also an effective mulch, with the added benefit of a pleasant pine aroma.

If your lawn has debris and litter left over from the winter weather, we have an option you may be interested in. We offer a chopping and grinding service (using a Vermeer shredder) that will take your “waste” wood, branches, stumps, brush, and other organic debris and shred it into mulch.

Inspecting the Health of Plants and Shrubs

How well have your plants, shrubs, and trees survived the winter? A quick inspection can reveal common problems, hopefully early enough to get plant-saving intervention. Look for new growth on all the plants. New growth is typically an indicator of a healthy plant or tree. If you spot dead patches in shrubs or tree limbs that are bare, you should have a professional look at them.

If black spots appear on leaves, it could be an indicator of azalea lace bugs. If these spots appear on new growth, then you need to explore treatment options to prevent spread. Boxwoods are a favorite in the Nashville area, and they are also a favorite for boxwood leaf miners. Flip the leaves over and use a handheld magnifier to look for their eggs.

Finding these signs early is essential. Too many times, the conditions are allowed to progress to the point where there are no viable treatments and replacement is the only option.

Of course, if you would like a professional to make these evaluations, feel free to call us. We can have a qualified technician or arborist do a thorough inspection and create a treatment plan specific to your plants’ condition. You can count on the Parke Company for the best in tree service, lawn maintenance, and landscaping. Call today.

Tree Removal – Don’t Be Too Quick to Make the Decision

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Trees are one of nature’s most beautiful gifts. Even a single tree located on your Nashville property has a special attraction to humans. Their grace and strength give them a character that we can connect with. They represent continuity and stability, something missing in modern chaotic life. They give us shade in the summer and put on a show in the autumn. Losing one is like losing an old friend. But at times, trees can present a serious risk to people and property within their reach. Trees seriously damaged by storms or disease are going to fall down. Because they are big and heavy, if they fall on a roof, a car, or a family member, there’s going to be serious damage. The most common way of dealing with this risk is tree removal.

5 Signs it May Be Time to Remove a Tree

Removing a tree is an extreme step. We can’t overemphasize the need to have an arborist, like the ISA certified arborists at Nashville’s leading landscaping service, the Parke Company, inspect the tree first. However, there are signs that a tree may be in trouble, and you can use those tips as the trigger to call the arborist.

  1. Rough, upturned soil under the canopy of the tree and particularly at the base of the trunk.
  2. The growth of mushrooms at the base of the trunk. These decay-producing fungi are easy to spot.
  3. Excessive chipped or peeling bark in the trunk.
  4. Dead or hanging branches located in the upper portion of the crown.
  5. Twigs on the end of branches that don’t have a living bud.
  6. Remember that these are just signs, not absolute proof that warrants the removal of a tree. If you see these signs, it’s time to call us.

If you can keep a tree, you can continue to benefit from its presence. Removing a tree and disposing of the debris can be a labor-intensive and expensive proposition. It’s not just a matter of cutting down a tree. That tree needs to be cut into lengths, a stump grinder needs to remove the trunk and roots, and a wood chipper is required to clean up the debris.

An arborist is in a position to recommend strategies to keep the injured tree. Those strategies might include pest and disease treatments and/or specific pruning. An arborist is the best person to tell you what path to follow.

Don’t Be Fooled by a Leaning Tree

Don’t jump to the conclusion that a tree is falling down just because it’s leaning. Trees will “lean” naturally to get more sunlight. If a tree is close to a structure, or too close to another tree, it will change the direction of the trunk to get a better shot at the sun. If a tree is leaning because of wind damage, you need a visit by the arborist. Often, trees that have been bent by wind can be recovered through cabling and bracing. Getting reseated takes a fair amount of time but you can save the tree and avoid the expense of tree removal.

If you have trees that you are concerned about, give us a call today and we can arrange for a certified arborist from the Parke Company to visit your property.

 

Nashville, Now is the Time for Tree Trimming

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Late winter, before the first spring growth, is the best time to trim most trees and prune shrubs. Wounds are only exposed a short time before new growth begins accelerating the healing process. There’s another practical reason for tree trimming in late winter. Bare branches give the arborist a better view of the tree’s structure, allowing for more accurate pruning decisions.

Speaking of arborists, Nashville’s leading landscaping service and tree service, the Parke Company, is a member of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and is staffed with ISA Certified Arborists. Trimming mature trees should be left to the professionals. Inaccurate trimming, particularly to the crown, can cause serious damage or even the loss of a mature tree.

Tree Trimming Basics

Tree pruning isn’t done just to improve aesthetics. It can be a lot more complicated than that, and that’s why you want a professional doing it. The health of the tree, the health of the lawn beneath the tree, and the tree’s interference with structures or risk of wind damage all play a role in making tree trimming decisions.

On mature trees, the crown receives most of the pruning attention. Focus is placed on the extremities of the crown to keep a shape unique to the species. Trimming in close to the stem is usually done only to remove dead or dying limbs, or to allow more light to penetrate the crown and reach the grass at the base of the tree.

Limbs are also pruned back to avoid contact with structures or power lines. Prudent tree trimming significantly reduces wind resistance, lowering the risk of storm damage.

Common Types of Pruning

  • Crown Thinning. On young trees, this is the selective removal of branches throughout the crown. It promotes good health by letting light get to interior branches, providing good air movement, and removing weak branches. 
  • Crown Raising. This is usually done on mature trees. Lower branches are pruned to “raise” the crown above turf, sidewalks, or streets.
  • Crown Reduction. When done properly, crown reduction is not crown “topping,” which should be avoided if possible. Crown reduction involves removing branches that are immediately above lateral branches, leaving no stub. This reduces the height of the tree without the hazards associated with “topping.” When a tree is topped (basically cutting off the top branches and stem) it exposes the tree to sun damage and insect infestation. It also causes a myriad of small and weak branches to grow, which have the potential to break or snap off, causing damage below.

A tree trimmer has to understand the “anatomy” of the tree being trimmed to avoid causing it serious harm. Only entrust a certified arborist to perform this task on your trees.

As we said earlier, now is a great time to prune your trees, and we invite you to call the Parke Company to arrange an inspection of your property. Give us a call today and we will have an ISA certified arborist visit and prepare an affordable estimate to take care of your “forest,” even if it’s a single tree.

After the Storm – Correcting Tree Damage

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Strong winter winds and trees are not compatible. Toss in the weight of ice and snow and trees have to struggle to remain intact and in place. Too often the overwhelming forces of nature will damage your trees, possibly seriously, and when that happens, the crew from Nashville’s leading tree service fires up the equipment and responds.

Emergency tree service focuses first on correcting dangerous conditions. The Parke Company will remove trees leaning on structures, clear and remove trees and limbs from driveways, and prune or remove trees that might represent a risk of personal injury.

Our objective is to address the emergency conditions quickly. Storms usually mean that everybody needs help all at the same time. Our first priority is our clients, but we have the tree specialists, wood chippers, and other equipment to assist others as well.

Inspecting for Hidden Problems

Once the immediate problems are resolved, we recommend a survey of the rest of the trees by one of our arborists. Each tree should be inspected for root health, cracks, crown damage, and signs of disease.

Treatment recommendations on storm damaged trees will depend on the type of damage, tree health, species of tree, and potential for a recurrence of failure. Where tree trimming is required to restructure the crown, the tree will frequently require a series of pruning sessions over a number of years to bring it back to a desirable shape and strong structure.

Trees less than 20 feet high that are “leaning” can often be corrected by using cables, guys, and bracing to straighten and strengthen the plant. Typically the braces and guys are removed after a single growing season. Larger trees in the leaning category have to be carefully evaluated because they represent a likely risk for future falling.

The one positive that winter provides is that it makes it easier to evaluate a tree’s structure. With no leaves to contend with, an inspection for cracked branches, splits in stems, and shifting of root plate are far easier to do. However, the inspections should not end just because the storm is over.

Storms cause stress to trees, often creating cracks and damaging bark that can be missed in an inspection. When the thaw comes and growing season begins, those cracks can be open doors for insect infestations. An inspection at the start of spring will determine if the tree needs to be treated.

Mulching, fertilizer, and adequate irrigation will also assist a tree in recovering from a strong storm. Trees are a treasure. They are worth the effort to keep them alive and well.

Taking Advantage of Storm Damage

One silver lining can be had from a winter storm that damages your trees.

After the inspection, a general cleanup is usually performed, removing fallen branches and debris that is littering the lawn. If you like, and if the trees are appropriate, we can provide you with wood chip mulch using the tree parts we have cleaned up. If tree removal was part of the process, we can provide split firewood as well.