Tree Nurseries Ankeny IA
Annuals, Bulbs, Chemicals, Crop Protection, Garden Center Marketing, Garden Centers / Nurseries, Garden Ornaments, Groundcovers, Horticulture Companies, Landscape Contractors, Landscaping Services, Mulch, Perennials, Pest Control Supplies, Plants, Roses, Seeds, Shrubs, Trees
Garden Centers / Nurseries, Groundcovers, Landscape Consulting, Landscape Contractors, Landscaping Services, Perennials, Plants, Shrubs, Trees
Des Moines, IA
Des Moines, IA
Annuals, Bulbs, Chemicals, Crop Protection, Garden Center Marketing, Garden Centers / Nurseries, Garden Ornaments, Groundcovers, Horticulture Companies, Landscape Consulting, Landscape Contractors, Landscaping Services, Mulch, Perennials, Pest Control Supplies, Plant Merchants, Plants, Roses, Seeds, Shrubs, Trees
Greenhouse Growers, Plants
Des Moines, IA
How Trees Work
Trees are essential workhorses in our environment, providing us with oxygen to breathe; foods such as apples, hazelnuts, and maple syrup to eat; and wood for our houses, paper products, and furniture. In nature, trees provide housing for birds, insects, and other animals. They filter water and absorb carbon. For more on all that trees do in our ecosystems, check out the article “ Digging Deeper with Trees ." Their importance is evident, but how do trees actually work?Parts of a Tree
Trees are the world’s tallest freestanding organisms. They have an amazing design that allows them to soak up 1,400 liters of water every day (that’s like drinking enough water every day to fill 700 big soda bottles), and to do it against gravity. The basic parts of the tree are the roots, trunk, and crown.
Roots. Roots take up water and nutrients from the ground. They also anchor the tree in the soil. Most mature tree roots extend twice as far (widthwise) underground as the canopy of the leaves above the ground. Although some trees may also have a taproot extending deep into the soil, it is the roots closest to the surface that absorb the majority of the water.
Trunk. The trunk is the “highway,” or main distribution route, transporting water and nutrients from the roots and crown to the entire tree. The tree trunk and its main branches have five key parts, as illustrated by the Arbor Day Foundation .Its outer bark protects the tree, holding moisture in and keeping excess moisture out, insulating it against temperature changes, and protecting it from insect damage. The outer bark is continually renewed from within the tree. The inner bark , called the phloem, transports food to the rest of the tree, lives a short while, and then becomes cork and part of the outer bark. The cambium cell layer is the part of the trunk that is actively growing. Every year, it makes new bark and new wood. Sapwood , the next layer of the trunk, is new wood and is the transport system for moving water up to the leaves. As the tree makes a newer ring of sapwood, the older sapwood becomes heartwood , the central layer that supports the tree. It is dead, but holds its strength as long as the outer layers are intact. It is super-strong, nearly as strong as steel. Xylem tissue , which transports water, is found within the wood of the tree (both the sapwood and heartwood). The xylem vessels are tiny, each only several microns in diameter. When they die, their cell walls are still intact and continue to serve as a water transport pipeline.
Crown. The crown includes the large and small branches growing from the trunk, as well as their leaves. Crowns of deciduous trees hold many thousands of leaves. According to the Royal Forestry Society, a mature oak grows and sheds about 250,000 leaves a year.Key Functions
Photosynthesis. To make food, trees need carbon dioxide, water, chlorophyll, and sunlight. Through photosynthesis, the leaves capture light energy from the sun and, in the ...
Planting Trees and Memories
In most parts of the country, fall is the perfect time to plant trees and shrubs. The soil is still warm enough for roots to become established before winter sets in, but deciduous trees and shrubs have dropped their leaves and require no energy from the roots for growth. Plant a tree with a child and you're likely also to seed a fond memory that will grow into a deep connection with the tree as both child and tree mature.
There are good reasons to grow trees and shrubs. They provide habitat for birds and other wildlife (especially if you plant native trees); they help to offset global warming and pollution; and they provide shade, flowers, fruit, and beauty for us. The key is to find the right tree or shrub for your location, and kids love helping with that. Invite older children to help you research trees that fit your criteria -- hardiness, size, shape, and ornamental qualities -- on the Internet. Once you've settled on a species, younger kids will have fun accompanying you on a 'field trip' to the garden center or nursery to select the actual tree. They might even want to name it!
When purchasing a tree or shrub, it's usually best to select a smaller specimen. It will have experienced less transplant shock and, once planted in your yard, will recover and grow faster than a large nursery specimen. Consider finding a tree the height of your child or grandchild. You'll be able to measure and compare the growth of both every year.
Tree-planting tips to success:Select the right tree. Most trees need a full-sun location with well-drained soil (the exception is shade-tolerant plants, such as rhododendrons). Be sure your site is away from overhead or underground power lines. Next, determine the tree's ultimate height and spread and make sure it's hardy in your area. Also consider its flowering time and color, if it fruits, and if it will need special pruning and care. Check branch angles and roots. At the nursery, select trees and shrubs with good branch angles and few, if any, broken or diseased branches. Look carefully at the roots of container plants to be sure they aren't root bound. Healthy roots will be white. If the roots encircle the container a little, the plant is still a good purchase. Select another tree if the root ball is all roots and almost no soil, and the roots are pale brown in color. If you buy a tree or shrub with a root ball wrapped in burlap, make sure the tree and root ball move together when you rock them. This means the roots are clinging well to the soil and the tree will transplant better. Prepare the site. At home, dig a hole three times as wide and as deep as the root ball. Unless the soil is very poor, don't amend it with fertilizer or anything else. Anything you add to the soil to 'help' the tree simply invites the roots to stay in your hole and not venture into the native soil. Ultimately this makes for a weaker plant. Plant the tree. Remove the container, burlap, and string, depending on the type of plant...