Everybody’s working for the weekend ** insert Loverboy jam session
I love that song. It’s Friday .. and I love Friday. Who doesn’t love the weekends? I’ve never met a weekend that I didn’t like – honestly.
This is all beside the point. I don’t know what’s wrong with me lately – I’ve been starting these posts out on a weird foot these past couple of weeks. It must be the warm weather getting to me – making me all crazy! In last week’s post I said that I don’t drive with the windows down (because it makes my hair blow around), well this week I did! I put the windows down and actually enjoyed my hair blowing round’. That’s a secret .. don’t tell anyone.
Okay, I’m done now.
This week I wanted to talk about planting trees in containers. This is a popular option for people who don’t have a lot of space (city resident’s, store fronts, roof tops, etc.). A homeowner in Philadelphia might not have any planting bed area, but still wants to have greenery in their space. A hotel might have a roof top patio with an unsightly generator, and wants to camouflage it. A store in a strip-mall might want an eye-catching piece next to their door, but have very limited space. These are all examples of times when having a container with a tree and annuals would be a great option!
Here are a few points to keep in mind when choosing a container, soil, drainage, and trees
Tree selection: this should be chosen based on year-around appeal, size and maintenance needs. You’ll want to choose a tree in the dwarf, semi-dwarf or small ornamental category.
A few options are: Japanese Maple, Serviceberry, Magnolia ‘Little Gem’, Crabapple, Juniper, Dwarf Alberta Spruce, Crape Myrtle, and Common Witchhazel (just to name a few)
Container Type and Size: the container you choose should be twice as wide as the trees canopy (if possible). The tree roots need enough room to expand within the container. Clay pots and terracotta are good for windy areas (although if possible, a planter should be kept sheltered), while plastic containers are good for constant moving on a site. Choosing a container with proper drainage holes is also key during selection.
Soil Type: You don’t want to use soil from your garden or property for planting. The soil should provide great aeration and drainage for the tree. A soil-based compost is recommended and can be found at your local Home Depot or garden store.
Watering: Container trees and planters dry out more quickly than they would in the landscape. They deal with hot pavement and harsh weather conditions that dry roots faster. Using a slow-release fertilizer (annually) is also key to provide the plants essential nutrients.
Pruning: Elevation pruning is recommended to keep the tree above pedestrian or vehicle height, while structural pruning will keep the tree healthy and strong. Root pruning is also an option (if you have the strength) to maintain the trees size – similar to Bonsai trees.
Another add-on to trees in containers is that you can spice them up with annuals and other small flowering shrubs. Have fun with this people! Don’t just think, ‘oh I don’t have any space …’ Yes, you do! Put it in a container.
I hope you learned a little something today and maybe had a quick laugh at my odd writing behavior.