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How to make your Christmas Tree last longer

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Take a look at our simple tips to help make your Christmas tree last through the joyous season.

If you’re getting a real Christmas tree this season, as the other 25-30 million households are across the country, you’ll want it to last through all of the tidings and joy. Nobody wants a dry tree, so here’s what you can do to make sure it lasts throughout the festive period.

Buying your Christmas tree

It’s considered that the best way to ensure the most beautiful Christmas tree is to cut your own from a local farm or to have one cut for you. This will guarantee freshness and by going to local tree farm, you know it’s going to be sustainable, so the trees will be replanted. If you have a choice of farms then choose an organic one, this will help to reduce the use of pesticides. If you buy a pre-cut tree from a nursery, store or scout troop, ask them how recently they were harvested and where they came from. Also inspect them yourself by feeling the needles, they should be flexible, not dry and brittle.

Watering your tree

As soon as possible water the tree, either stand it up in its stand or place it in a bucket if you are going to trim it right away. The base of the cut tree shouldn’t dry out, this will ensure that the needles are fresh. One of the rules is that a typical tree may absorb a quarter of water for each diameter, this means that your stand may need to be topped up daily. If your tree does end up getting drier whilst in its stand, you could try drilling holes at the base and refilling it with water.

Feed

Some people swear by commercial tree preservatives which can be mixed into the water in the stand. Some people find that mixing a tablespoon of syrup or sugar in the stand is a great source of food for the tree, some people also use aspirin.

Tree location

Keep the tree away from direct sunlight, heaters or fans, these will speed up the drying process, you can also try a room humidifier as this will help keep the needles fresher for longer and well as reduce fire risk.

Speaking of fire risk, make sure any lights you put on the tree are in good working order and designed for the purpose. Newer LED lights are priced reasonably making them good value and they also decrease fire risk because they stay cooler, make sure that you keep any open flames away from the tree.

Tree clean-up and recycling

Once you’re done with your tree for the season, don’t just leave it on the curb taking up a lot of space. Recycle it, most cities now have programs that collect trees and turn them into mulch.

With good care your Christmas tree could stay fresh for a month or even longer.

When Should I Put My Christmas Tree Up?

 

 

Preventing Winter Damage to your Plants and Trees

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Winter Plant and Tree Care

We may think that trees, shrubs and plants are tough but harsh winter weather can take its toll on these plants especially those which have recently been planted. Although battling the elements is all apart of nature, you might not want to leave your favourite plants to brave the winter weather. Plants can be extremely damaged by weather extremes of winter and the impacts of wind, rain, frost and snow.

Fortunately it is easy to safeguard these plants with a few quick and simple tricks, we’ve compiled a list of our top tips for preventing your trees and plants this winter.

Potted Plants

Frost, excessive rain and cold can get into your potted plants anywhere, ground up. The best option is to bring potted plants and hanging baskets inside. However, if this isn’t possible, there are steps you can take to protect them outside.

To prevent their roots from freezing, wrap hessian sacking around plant pots and tie it firmly so it can stay there all winter. For very large plant pots you may need several layers to ensure they are fully protected from freezing. You can add straw in between the layers for extra insulation.

Vegetable Patches and Flowerbeds

If you have a vegetable patch, place straw around and on it to prevent the ground from freezing around your vegetables. You can also use mulch which can be placed on top of the soil at the base of any plants in your garden to insulate the roots.

Place cloches over root crops such as carrots and parsnips. Some plants like strawberries and roses can be completely covered by mulch over winter to keep them insulated. Using straw or mulch on and around flowerbeds and ensuring the beds are raised can help to protect them from frost and heavy rain too.

Fragile Plants

If you have delicate or tropical plants such as succulents it is best to keep them indoors throughout the winter months, as they need access to heat and sunlight it may be best to keep them in a conservatory or greenhouse. It is important to make sure they aren’t touching a window as this can transfer cold outside temperatures to the plant. Succulents tend to go into a rest period during winter so ensure the soil dries out fully between watering.

Trees

Many of our native trees have evolved to cope with the harsh cold weather winter can throw at us in the UK. Fill your garden with trees such as elder, goat willow or rowan that will be able to survive winter. Trees that are evergreen, such as holly, have leaves all year and are very resilient meaning your garden will still exhibit some pretty greenery during the winter months.

How Do Trees Survive the Winter?

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What Happens to Trees in Winter?

It goes without saying that trees become bare throughout winter, but not many people know how trees keep alive during the bitter cold. For animals they will usually keep moving and eat more food than usual to survive in winter and ones you don’t see are more than likely hibernating. But what about trees? They actually go through a similar process called dormancy and this is what keeps them alive during the winter.

 

How Do Trees Survive the WinterWhat is Dormancy?

Similar to hibernation, dormancy slows everything down such as metabolism, energy consumption, growth, etc. The first part of dormancy is when trees lose their leaves, trees don’t make food in the winter therefore don’t need their leaves meaning they have no use for masses of leaves that would require energy to maintain.

When trees being to lose their leaves they produce a chemical called Abscisic Acid is produced in terminal buds. The terminal bud is where the leaf breaks off when it falls, so when ABA gathers there, it signals the leaf to break off. The chemical Abscisic Acid also suspends growth, preventing cells from dividing. This is something that occurs in both deciduous and coniferous trees. Impeded growth is another aspect of dormancy. It saves a lot of energy to stall growth during the winter, and during the winter, the tree isn’t making any new food for energy.

Throughout dormancy a trees metabolism also slows down during dormancy, and this is part of why cell growth is impeded. Since it has to conserve the food it has stored, it’s best if the tree uses it up slowly and only for essential functions.

Deciduous Vs. Conifer

Deciduous trees drop their leaves and slow or stop growth, reducing water content in their branches. They also increase the concentration of sugars in branch and root tissues, making their own cellular antifreeze. The dropping of leaves means deciduous trees can cope better with high winds and heavy snow fall, without leaves to act as a large sail in wind, branches can bend and flex, hopefully without too much damage and the snow has nowhere to land.

Conifers such as our native Scots Pine which keep their needles main strategy is to fill their cells with a concentrated sugar solution – which acts as a antifreeze. They also reduce the moisture content in their wood, slowing or stopping growth and coat their needles with wax to reduce transpiration. This has the advantage that come the spring they can start photosynthesising quicker than the deciduous trees.

In Conclusion

The bottom line is that trees can survive by allowing dead cells to freeze and by keeping living cells unfrozen. A large portion of the trunk of trees consist of dead cells—not useless cells, since they still assist with certain functions like the flowing of sap to keep the tree alive during the warmer months. But during winter, with energy and nutrient requirements being much lower, the dead cells can freeze with no ill effects to the tree itself.

Even though trees do a lot to take care of themselves, that doesn’t mean we can’t help them. Call Rufford Tree Services today!

Get your Garden Ready for Winter

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01/10/2018

Get your Garden Ready for Winter

Most of us give our lawns a final mow during October or November and the just leave our gardens to fend for themselves throughout the bitter winter coldness. Spending event just a little bit of time preparing your outside space for the colder weather will help it looks its best com the spring time, clever planting will also ensure that you have a green garden to enjoy throughout the year.

Take a look at our top tips…

 

Tidy paths and paving

Clear up all of the leaves and debris once the trees are bare, it’s much easier whilst everything id dry and crisp. It’s also a good idea to give your paving a thorough clean with a stuff brush and soapy water before the frost arrives, this will mean it’s less slippery and safer during the wet weather months. Alternatively, if you have one, give it a blast with a pressure washer.

Maintain borders

Cut back on the herbaceous perennials in your borders close to the ground as they begin to due down and remove annuals that have finished their show. It’s also an idea to have a generally tidy up of your borders by removing any dead foliage, leaves and weeds.
Clip the lawn edges and clear any spent stems from perennials, save anything that’s got a seeded head as these will look great when frosted. Similarly, don’t cut back on deciduous grasses, leave these until late February as the dead foliage also helps to protect the plant’s crown.
Now it’s time to empty out your compost bins of old, well-rotted material and spread it over the fresh soil to set it up for the spring and make it look presentable during the bare winter months. Your compost bins can then be filled up again with this year’s waste ready to become next year’s bounty. Make sure that you dispose of your weeds separately.
Design wise, narrow strips allow little space for plants and thin borders tight to boundaries are somewhat unimaginative, be generous, use an edging iron to make the borders bigger.

Pay attention to shrubs and trees

Prune any wayward branches on your structural shrubs to improve the overall shape and if required, give your hedges a final trim before the frost hits. Remove any dead, diseased or damaged branches, particularly when it comes to your trees, to prevent the stems from rubbing together and creating wounds or deformities.
Why not add some winter interest to your garden, look for trees and shrubs with brilliantly colour bark, they’ll be at their best and ideal in smaller gardens, where two or more seasons of interest are desirable.

Repair garden structures

Once your borders and structural shrubs and trees have been cut back, it’s a good opportunity to gain easy access to carry out any maintenance work that may be required on your summerhouse, greenhouse or fencing. Keep a particular eye out for any decaying timber or pest infestations and treat or replace accordingly.

Improving Your Garden

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Improving Your Garden

When it comes to the exterior of your house and your garden, it tends to be the first thing that people will notice, whether it’s your family, friends, guests or potential buyers, if you’re selling your house. They will form their first impression of the house through how it looks from the exterior or your garden. The front of your home is the gateway, whether it’s tidy, messy, colourful, brown, bland or interesting, it will be a big contribution to people forming opinions of you and your home.

Take a look at these ways to improve and enhance your garden…

Updating your patio or back doors

Whether your choosing a new door or refurbishing and painting your original back or patio doors, updating a door is quick and easy, as well as being DIY possible.

You could also try and match your front door as closely as possible to the exterior of your home, or if your garden has a theme.

Add new plants and keep them neat and tidy

Trees, plants and blooms will look great outside of your home or in your garden, plants, flowers and trees will add colour, elegance and interest to your garden or the exterior of your home.

Plants are a classic yet contemporary choice and will ensure that the exterior of your property looks excellent. Real life plants are can be very delicate in harsh weather conditions, so it’s important to keep on top of your gardening and keep your trees, hedges, plants and flowers tidy. Through careful maintenance and expertise, pruning and maintaining your plants and flowers can really improve your garden.

New patio installation

When it comes to the exterior of your home and your garden, this is another great way to improve your property. By investing in a new patio, this will have a number of benefits, especially when it comes to adding value to your property. As well as being the perfect spot for all of those garden parties and summer BBQs.

Having a new patio installed in your garden will provides a great impression, especially when considering people’s first look at your property. Should you undergo the correct maintenance for your patio, this will also help as it will keep it renewed.

Installing a new patio can be expensive, but the benefits you’ll get from it will outweigh the initial price you paid. It will breakup your garden area and add character to the back of your home, making your outdoor space even better and a place where you will want to spend a lot of time. Overall this will help to add value to the worth of your home, especially if you look after your patio so it stays in tip top condition.

Summer Garden Ideas

The Significance of Sustainability

Categories:
06/08/2018
The Significance of Sustainability

The Significance of Sustainability

There are many different outlooks on sustainability and the definition of it. It could mean a multitude of things, depending on how you perceive it or the context that you are using it in. Generally, sustainability is the how biological systems endure and remain diverse and productive. Although, down to recent events, the definition has altered slightly where sustainability is the process or concept of how you can meet today’s needs without compromising the ability of the future to meet its needs.

So why is that important?

The population on Earth is increasing rapidly each year as the birth rate is significantly higher than the death rate. This means that the needs for supplies, whether it be natural resources or man-made products, is increasing too. Unfortunately, due to this factor, the demand for these products could become higher than the available supply and that is why it is important for people to understand the importance of sustainability. In theory, when the supply is vastly higher than the demand then the price of commodity decreases. On the other hand, when the demand is higher than the supply the prices will increase as more people will pay to have the product.

Sustainable Wood

Sustainable wood comes from sustainability managed forests, with it being renewable due to the forest stewards who manage the landscape. They do this to prevent damage to eco-systems, watersheds, wildlife and the trees themselves, taking a long term rather than short term view of the resource.

There are many different organisations that focus on maintaining forests from all over the world. An example of these is FSC, the Forest Stewardship Council. Their vision is for the world’s forests to meet the social, ecological, and economic rights and needs of the present generation without compromising those of future generations. Which literally means that they want to keep the forests as sustainable as possible.

Which woods are most sustainable?

Timber is usually classified as either hardwood, from broad leafed trees, such as Beech and Oak, or softwood from conifers like Pine and Fir. Simply because they’re replaceable, fast-growing species like Pine trees tend to be more sustainable than slow-growing trees like Oak. Oak forests have to be managed carefully to make them sustainable, grown and harvested in the right way, but it can be done.

The EU has introduced legal measures to protect its woodlands and forests, and these days more trees are planted than felled. It’s great news for the future, with EU forests actually growing instead of diminishing. Because the law places a minimum requirement on replacing harvested trees as well as limiting annual harvests, buying European wood is usually a safe choice.

It is important to understand how to take care of your garden and the trees in your environment. You can be assured that our team have the expert knowledge to ensure that all of our services are compliant with keeping the environment intact and taking sustainability into consideration at all times.

The Importance of Tree Replantation

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25/06/2018
The Importance of Tree Replantation

It goes without saying trees are vital to sustain life on our planet. If our planet didn’t have trees, out earths eco system would collapse. So, why is replanting of trees so important? Without repeating the obvious, trees are vital to maintain and sustain life. But, thinking beyond just removing carbon dioxide and replacing it with oxygen, trees provide shelter for animals and shade for other plants.

Today, their value continues to increase and more benefits of trees are being discovered as their role expands to satisfy the needs created by our modern lifestyles.

Community and Social Value

Trees are an important part of every community. Our streets, parks, playgrounds and backyards are lined with trees that create a peaceful, aesthetically pleasing environment. Trees increase our quality of life by bringing natural elements and wildlife habitats into urban settings. We gather under the cool shade they provide during outdoor activities with family and friends. Many neighbourhoods are also the home of very old trees that serve as historic landmarks and a great source of town pride.

Ecological and Environmental Value

Trees contribute to their environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality, climate amelioration, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife. During the process of photosynthesis, trees take in carbon dioxide and produce the oxygen we breathe. Trees, shrubs and turf also filter air by removing dust and absorbing other pollutants like carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. After trees intercept unhealthy particles, rain washes them to the ground.

Trees control climate by moderating the effects of the sun, rain and wind. Leaves absorb and filter the sun’s radiant energy, keeping things cool in summer. Trees also preserve warmth by providing a screen from harsh wind. In addition to influencing wind speed and direction, they shield us from the downfall of rain, sleet and hail. Trees also lower the air temperature and reduce the heat intensity of the greenhouse effect by maintaining low levels of carbon dioxide.

Practical and Commercial Value

Trees have supported and sustained life throughout our existence. They have a wide variety of practical and commercial uses. Wood was the very first fuel and is still used for cooking and heating by about half of the world’s population. Trees provide timber for building construction, furniture manufacture, tools, sporting equipment, and thousands of household items. Wood pulp is used to make paper.

Property Value and Economic Value

Individual trees and shrubs have value and contribute to savings but it is the collective influence of a well maintained landscape that makes a real economic impact and has the greatest effect on property value. Direct economic benefits come from a savings in energy costs. Cooling costs are reduced in a tree-shaded home, and heating costs lowered when a tree serves as a windbreak.

Quick Ways to Improve your Garden

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Start with basic maintenance

Before thinking about any changes, it’s important that you focus on ensuring what you already have is in good condition. Remove weeds and tidy up overgrown areas, you can also get rid of any plants that may be looking worse for wear. Also take away any clutter that you no longer need as well as using a rake to collect any loose leaves and debris.

 

Look after your lawn

Another area to look at is to make sure that your lawn is well manicured. Keep on top of your lawn maintenance by keeping an eye on your garden and giving it a once over with your lawn mower. If the grass is looking worn and mowing it isn’t enough, there’s a range of things you can do to improve it and give it some TLC, this includes lawn and soil treatment.

 

Don’t ignore the details

You should keep a look out for anything like fences that could do with a lick of paint or paving stones that would benefit from a good clean, as well as any garden ornaments that may look particularly weathered.

 

Plants, flowers and trees

When it comes to growing plants, trees and flowers in your garden, this can take time and patience, but you can guarantee that the results are always worth it. Prune your plants, clean sweep and freshen the soil, remove dead leaves and petals. You can also play with the colours and heights, this will all depend on the flowering seasons, but you’ll be able to find something suitable. It’s important to manage overgrown shrubs and trees, this will instantly tidy up the garden area. Cutting them back won’t take too much effort but will be very effective when it comes to making the exterior area visually appealing.

Preparing Your Garden for Summer

Artificial plants

Whilst it may sound odd as a garden is for growing, more and more people are starting to use artificial plants, trees and flowers in their garden. Nowadays the products available are very realistic and hard to tell that they’re faux plants. What’s more is this option is very low maintenance, no pruning or preening is required and good quality fake plants will also withstand a range of weather and climates. Artificial plants will also ensure that your garden looks excellent all year round throughout all seasons.

 

Pots and containers

Utilising large pots and containers for your real-life plants, flowers and trees will provide them with the root space and water that they need to keep them going. Large containers can also shelter the plants for the wind.
Clean your pots
Make sure that your pots and containers are clean, this will give the patio a real lift and show off your prized pot plants to perfection.

 

For more information, contact our team we provide a range of garden maintenance services and can help you improve your garden.

Preparing Your Garden for Summer

Categories:
11/04/2018
Preparing Your Garden for Summer

Whether you’re looking for tips on how to prepare your garden for Summer with maintenance or planting, Rufford Tree Services have everything you need. We’ll make sure that your garden is perfectly adapted to Summer, giving you the pleasure of enjoying the results of all your hard work.

It’s safe to say that one thing we’re all looking forward to is warmer weather. With your garden having to bare it for the last few months, it’s time to repay it with some TLC. That said, we have put together some tips on how to prepare your garden for the Summer, and help it to recover from the cold months. Let’s see what it takes to prepare a garden for Summer…

Preparing Your Garden for Summer

8 Ways to Prepare your Garden for Summer Months

Get a head start on preparing your garden for Summer with our handy tips and tips. Then, you’ll be able to sit back and relax while you enjoy the beautiful surroundings of your garden. No matter the size or area of your garden, we’re confident to say that we’ll be able to transform the space. Here are 8 ways to prepare your garden for Summer months courtesy of Rufford Tree Services.

  1. Tidy your tools – let’s begin
  2. Start digging – turnover some fresh soil
  3. Weeds – tidy up all weeds and treat the surfaces
  4. Fertilise the grass – your grass needs it
  5. Plant new flowers
  6. Water your flowers regularly
  7. Stay on top of your lawn – mower often
  8. Buy garden furniture – it’s time to enjoy your hard work!

For more inspiration on caring for your trees and preparing your garden for planting, be sure to check out our blog.

8 Ways to Prepare your Garden for Summer Months

Come to Rufford Tree Services

Here at Rufford Tree Services we are experts in all things garden related, from maintenance to trees, we have you covered. So, whether you simply don’t have time to keep on top of your outside space, or require further advice, we can help. Just come to Rufford Tree Services and we’ll do our best to ensure that we cater to your every need. Regardless of your requirements, Rufford Tree Services are always just a phone call away. Waste no time and contact us today to find out more about the services we offer.

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Caring for Your Tree

Categories:
09/03/2018
Caring For Your Tree

Tree Care Tips

Are you looking for tips on how to care for your tree? Your search is over. Rufford Tree Services have the latest tips on caring for your tree. From the basics to getting to know common tree diseases, we have all you need to know to help you to take care of your tree.

For all gardening enthusiasts, or people who just love to care for the outdoors, we have some tree care tips that’ll provide advice on how to care for your tree. With experience like ours, we have come up with some handy advice on caring for your tree, so that you can rest easy knowing your tree is well cared for.

Caring For Your Tree

How to Care for Your Tree

One of the joys of caring for your tree is watching it grow each month or year. Living in the UK, means that a lot of us are surrounded by big, beautiful trees, which is great for our health and theirs too. It makes sense to say that, caring for your tree is extremely rewarding when you see the benefits your maintenance has made. With that said, here’s our top tips on how to care for your tree…

  • Make sure your tree gets at least 25 gallons of water a week* (1.5 inches of rainfall)
  • Mulch each Season to keep the soil moist
  • Stay in control of weeds
  • Keep weeds, lawn mowers, and wildlife away from the trees
  • If you need to cut, take it to a bud, lateral branch, or main tree trunk
  • Always remove broken, diseased, or damaged wood as soon as possible
  • Know your tree and your diseases
  • Trim back on pruning

Tip: Although it is important to keep your tree watered and fertilised, avoid overwatering or over-fertilising your tree. * Depending on the size and type of tree your caring for, the amount of water it requires can vary. A hydrated, well-watered tree has many benefits, including growth and health.

Dehydration is one of the most common reasons for poor growth, or worse the death of trees. So, it is essential to keep your tree well-watered, especially during Spring and Summer for at least the first two to three years of planting. This will not only help progress the health of your tree, but support it during its first years.

Come to Rufford Tree Services

For further advice and information on caring for your tree, please be sure to contact our team on today 01704 821 239 or 07888 843 079. You can always come to Rufford Tree Services for any advice on how to care for your tree, or for an easier solution, let our team complete the work. We’re happy to help any way possible, whether it be with providing advice like this with tree care tips, or simply doing the caring and maintenance work ourselves.

Waste no time and come to Rufford Tree Services if you require any tree removal, hedge maintenance, or general garden services in the Lancashire area. We’ll be happy to help in any way possible.