They happen every day – mostly by the ill-informed, mis-informed, careless or just plain malevolent, and it’s the latter I have a problem with. I witnessed such a crime this Sunday in my own neighborhood, and I felt truly sickened yet helpless. For some unknown reason, this homeowner decided to cut down a perfectly healthy, beautiful Bradford Pear – it was the epitome of its species. This tree stood proudly in their front yard. It posed absolutely no risk to the home, the sidewalk, the lawn or the allergic. It had just finished blooming, and in its prime was a sight to behold. What started out as irresponsible pruning led to the entire tree’s demise. I was shocked and horrified. Just the day before, I watched the homeowner edge out a tree ring, and in my naivety, I thought they were planning to mulch the tree, and I was proud. Such a beautiful tree deserved to be taken care of, but mulching was not in their plans. I then thought they were simply pruning the tree, which was a problem in and of itself, but I could have never imagined that they were cutting the whole thing down. I was speechless. Within an hour, the whole tree had been leveled, and for the life of me, I had no idea why.

I’ve seen other crimes, and I’m sure you have too. Some are laughable and some are downright sickening. I think many times people simply don’t do the necessary research and end up with something too big, too small, too high maintenance, etc. Below are some things to consider for your home landscape:

Light requirements (shade –vs. – sun)
The mature size of any given plant
Soil requirements
Maintenance requirements

Additionally, the following should be kept in mind to ensure the health of your plants:

Proper planting
Proper pruning

Lastly, we’ve listed some of the more common problems that can affect the health of your plants (a.k.a. crimes against nature):

Planted too deep
Lack of water after planting or during drought
Improper pruning or pruning at the wrong time
Volcano mulching
Over planting (too many planted too close together)
Underestimating a plant’s size

Example of volcano mulching

It is Sweeney’s philosophy to be good stewards of this earth and all mother nature has given us. Our customers have entrusted us, and it is our duty to take good care of your landscapes in a responsible manner compatible with the natural form and growth of the plant.

“Nature with her wealth of birds and flowers,

Has in her heart a place for every weed;

For her quick eyes require no microscope

To note the varied wonders and delights

That the Creator’s humblest works possess.”

– Martha Lavinia Hoffman

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney