Magazine article American Forests

Ask the Tree Doctor

Magazine article American Forests

Ask the Tree Doctor

Article excerpt

Don't know when to prune? Curious about lobed leaves? Have no fear-- the Tree Doctor is here.

Q: My neighbor has been cutting down his trees because he says they shed and make a mess. I live in a crowded, overpopulated suburban area. I told him I was sorry to see him doing it, but I was wondering if you have any presentations on the value of trees. I'm not sure how to speak effectively to him.

A: Handling conflicts with neighbors can be difficult, but you could try appealing to his or her pocketbook. Tell your neighbor that planting trees around a home will conserve energy and lower the cost of utility bills. Three well-placed deciduous (leaf-losing) trees on the east, south, and west sides of a home will shade it from summer sun and lower cooling costs by 10 to 50 percent. Trees can also produce savings in cold weather. Staggered rows of evergreen trees on the northwest side of the house (or the side with prevailing winter winds) will block harsh winds and lower heating costs. And homes with trees can sell for 12 percent more than those without and sell faster and better in bad markets. For more information see www.americanforests.org.

Q: I live in Erie, Pennsylvania, and near our pond I saw a tree that might be an ash. It had light green flowers that looked a little like a magnolia; the petals were an apricot color. I picked them and put them in water for a pretty centerpiece. The buds were a tulip shape before they bloomed. Do you have any idea what tree this is and how I would root it to grow it closer to my house?

Andrea, via e-mail

A: It's hard to say without looking at the tree and flowers-perhaps a tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) from your flower description, although it has very different leaves. The compound leaves of the ash also could be a walnut or hickory. Magnolia has several unusual varieties as well, but it has a simple leaf and ash has a compound leaf. …

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