Tree Transplanting tips

tree nurseryWhether moving from the tree farm to the customer’s location or from one location on a property to another, transplanting considerations are needed to avoid damage that might affect the tree’s survival. Unnecessary root exposure or rough handling can seriously impact the tree’s health and, for the nursery or landscaper, can become an expensive problem.

Determine the Destination Before Lifting

Knowing where to place the tree is a fundamental consideration. Minimize the time from lifting to planting with advance planning. When identifying the spot for transplant, consider the eventual size and breadth of the tree so it will not experience undue interference. Planting too close to a building, fence or pavement will cause problems later. Be sure the tree will not interfere with overhead power lines that cross the property and have any underground utility like sewer, electrical, or water lines located before planting.

Make sure the tree is placed for optimal sunlight exposure. Some trees are more tolerant to shade than others.

Also, project the direction of the shade that the tree will project in the future.

Digging the Hole

Once the site has been identified, using a labor-saving device like the ProLine™ Tree Augur to create a perfect hole for easy insertion of the tree ball. The skid steer-attached Tree Augur’s tapered design will cut through the hardest soils at a 25-degree angle.

The hole should be two to three times the width of the tree’s root ball and about 1” to 2” deeper than the height of the root ball. This ensures the tree roots will be comfortably placed and the surrounding soil will be loosened around the root system to accommodate outward spread.

Refill the Hole

Once the tree is in place, refill the hole to the level of the surrounding ground. As the soil is being replaced, tamp it down at different levels to fill any air pockets that may have resulted as you shoveled the soil around the roots.

Check Out ProLine Attachments

The professionals at ProLine, a subsidiary of Heritage Oak Farm, have applied their vast nursery and tree farm experience to developing the ideal tools for managing high volume tree and shrub management. ProLine equipment is easily attached to modern skid steers and designed to lift, transport, dig, and plant large and small nursery stock without manual labor or damage.

For more information, visit the professionals at ProLine, or phone 1-888-288-5308.

Midwest Ash Tree: Could the Polar Vortex actually have saved them?

Extremely low temperatures that swept the upper Midwest jeopardized people, animals, and many trees, shrubs, and plants. Another result that tree experts are debating is the impact of this polar vortex on Emerald Ash Borers that have such a devastating, sometimes fatal, impact on Midwest Ash trees.

The debate pertains to whether the extreme cold helped the trees by killing off these insects or whether the cold had little impact on their population.

What is the Emerald Ash Borer?

While the adult beetle itself ingests exterior foliage, it does little damage. The larvae, however, chow down on the inner bark of the ash trees, disrupting the normal flow of water and nutrients, and can eventually kill off the tree.

So, the question is: even though there is much optimism among some experts, did this recent period of brutal, sub-zero weather kill off the existing Emerald Ash Borer larvae population enough to save the Midwest Ash population?

Did the 2019 Polar Vortex Actually Kill the Larvae?

Several reports in recent weeks have extolled the possibility that the extreme weather may have killed a major portion of the larvae. Since winter conditions in the Midwest during the past decade have been warmer than average, these borers have thrived. Some believe that the -20º weather may have killed the larvae and slow their spread.

However, the fact that the larvae reside beneath the bark layer, even the recent cold may not have been sufficient enough to penetrate this insulating cover to kill them.

According to Arborjet®, a significant drop in temperature can kill the Emerald Ash Borer larvae. Experts agree that the larvae are most at risk when temperatures drop suddenly from mild to very cold.

However, in the recent instance, the average temperatures were already low and simply dropped further. In these instances, the larvae may have already transitioned and adapted to cold temperature survival and may continue to thrive even in the below-zero conditions.

ProLine™ Tree Nursery Equipment

ProLine, the nursery equipment subsidiary of Heritage Oak Farm, has designed many practical skid steer attachments for tree and shrub management for nurseries, landscapers, and tree farms.

One attachment, ProLine™ Grabber provides the simplest way to move, load and unload B&B stock easily without manual work. The unique paddles are designed to eliminate damage or distortion.

Check out the ProLine website to view all of the other innovative products from Heritage Oak Farm.

Why is Fertilizing in Spring Important?

fertilizing in spring

As the final vestiges of winter fade away, homeowners and professional landscapers begin to compile the annual list of things to prepare for the new growing season. Raking away debris and leaves that may have remained after the winter, servicing equipment, and clearing gardens are some of the routine operations needed in order to get ready for the glorious renewal of spring. Continue reading

Landscape Professionals Need Professional Equipment To Get Top Clients.

In today’s market, the business of professional landscaping is no longer about just cutting the grass; it has become much more diverse. Clients that hire Landscape Professionals are looking for architectural detail and precision to make their property an extension of their living space. Ask any realtor and they will tell you the best way to improve your home’s value is to get it professionally landscaped. So this has introduced a whole new sector to professional landscaping. And the best way to capitalize on this trend is to have professional landscape equipment. Continue reading

The Cocoa Tree: New Threats It Faces

cacao tree drawingThe Cocoa Tree is one of the world’s most valuable commodities, because chocolate is one of the world’s favorite flavors. Besides craving the creamy and delicious tastes of chocolate bars and candies, we enjoy chocolate in hot beverages, cakes, pies, and puddings, and as a very popular flavoring in milk. Chocolate ice cream, along with all of its many collaborations with other flavors, is also a global favorite.

Perhaps surprising to some, Americans consume less chocolate per capita than many of their European counterparts. According to a 2015 Forbes Report, the Swiss lead the way with 19.8 lbs./capita. The United States only ranks 9th at 9.5 lbs/capita consumption.

Overall, the world consumed approximately 7.7 million metric tons of chocolate so far in 2018, according to Statistica.

Cocoa Trees are Under Threat

Scientists and other experts are predicting trends that may be threatening the healthy development of cocoa production. Chocolate is made from the beans of cocoa trees. Mostly, the cocoa trees thrive in hot and wet conditions within 10° of the Equator. Most of the global output is harvested in the West African countries of Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon.

Threats to future cocoa production come from several fronts. First, according to, several diseases are increasing the risks to overall cocoa bean output.

These are:

  • Black Pod Disease: A type of water mold, Phytophthora, blackens and kills the cocoa pods that contain the beans. The damaging spores are carried by wind and water as well as insects, bats, and rodents which cause the pods to rot.
  • Witches’ Broom is a fungus that stunts the growth of the flowers and pods.
  • Mirids are insects that feed on the trees, leaves, and branches and cause death.
  • Other threats are frosty pod riot, vascular streak dieback, and pod borer.

Long-term Threat: Global Warming

While these insects and fungi remain a growing threat to cocoa tree farmers, global warming represents a real long-term concern. Scientists are predicting that the change of climate will change the climate conditions required to grow cocoa and will create a substantial reduction in capacity.

ProLine™ Nursery and Landscaping Equipment

For decades, Heritage Oak Farm has worked with professional landscapers and nursery professionals to design time, labor, and money saving landscape and nursery equipment that is ideal for managing trees and large plants. One product, Proline™ Grapple collects and hauls branches, logs, and boulders with ease.

For more information regarding the ProLine Series of time-saving equipment, visit the website or call 1-888-288-5308.

Fall Treatment For Leaf Blight

AnthracnoseAs autumn kicks in and a new array of responsibilities appear, landscape professionals begin to prepare their crews and clients for taking the necessary steps to protect trees, bushes, and plants from the elements of winter as well as common things like leaf blight and to ensure each returns to brilliance when spring arrives.

Trees are the most valuable and critical elements of any landscape. Specific treatments during the weeks before winter ensure that they are not affected by the fungal spores that cause leaf blight.

What is Leaf Blight?

Leaf blight, more scientifically known as Anthracnose, is caused by fungus growth on twig and leaf tissue and is particularly prevalent in wet climates. Usually developing in springtime, the fungus causes considerable leaf damage and early loss. Many trees are susceptible to one or more species of Anthracnose. These include oak, ash, maple, hickory, elm, linden, birch, walnut, sycamore, and dogwood.

Early detection can save later problems. The condition is noted by red or tan lesions that develop on the leaf edges and veins. If the problem has progressed, an abnormal amount of leaf loss for the time of the season will indicate the problem.

Best Time for Anthracnose Treatments

While spring applications are useful, a fall treatment will work well to prevent an early emergence of the fungus condition. Fall applications work better for most professional landscapers since springtime schedules are so densely booked.

Also, if the tree already shows signs of leaf blight, picking up and removing all leaves, twigs, and fallen branches surrounding the tree during the fall is essential to eliminating the fungus from the area.

Fall pruning of old limbs and dead wood will also help prevent the occurrence or a relapse of the condition along with a fall application of industry recognized and proven fungicide chemicals, injections, or sprays to clear up the problem and ensure healthy spring leaf growth.

Ensure trees have the proper amount of sunlight, water, and fertilizer to keep them strong enough to withstand a fungus attack as weakened trees are most susceptible.

ProLine™ Tree Handling Equipment

Heritage Oak Farm has been a key player in the tree management business for several decades. Through their broad experience in the industry, they have invested their time and labor to create their money-saving ProLine equipment for tree handling, transporting and planting.

One essential piece of ProLine equipment specifically designed for landscapers and tree farms is the patented ProLine GRABBER. The GRABBER has a unique paddle design which eliminates trunk or ball damage while retrieving healed-in or in-ground B&B stock.

For more information, visit the ProLine website or call 1-888-288-5308.

Why Trees Are the Key to a Better Landscape

tree importanceLandscape design tend to focus on grasses, edible plants, and flowers to attract pollinators, with trees being almost forgotten. The truth is that trees are an integral part of any landscape and may even be the most important aspect of a design. Trees provide social, environmental, economical, and communal benefits in any landscape, but consumers often aren’t aware of these advantages. Here are a few facts about trees that you can share with customers when they are making decisions about landscaping. Continue reading

How Does Investing in Your Community Grow Your Landscape Business?

community gatheringIt is a fact that socially responsible companies get more business. Whether they operate on a global scale or a local scale, companies that give back to their communities tend to grow faster and remain stable longer than the competition. If you run a landscape business, you are in a unique position to give back to your community. Chances are good that you want to invest in your community because you care about your neighbors and the place in which you live, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be secondary financial gain for your business. Here is why it is good for your bottom line when you invest in your local community. Continue reading

Gardening and Landscaping Tips –gear it toward winter time

gardening and landscaping

Gardening and Landscaping Tips: Winter Time Considerations

Even though temperatures have fallen below freezing and snow may be on the way, gardening and landscaping planning does not need to go into hibernation.

Although your colorful plants are now sleeping and color has faded, the winter season is a great time to re-plan your landscape to provide year-round enjoyment. You may not be planting anything during this season, but a closer view of those bare plants and limbs can spark ideas for the coming season. Some possibilities include adding new stone and other hardscape features that will add definition to your landscape. A new wall, perhaps some statuary or strategically placed boulders, can dress up a winter landscape. As plants and vines wind their way through these features, your garden will eventually take on a sophisticated and elegant aspect. Continue reading