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Carpenter Costin Blog

Fall Tree Care for New England Trees

Fall may seem like the time of year when things begin to slow down heading into the winter months, but tree care should continue in order to protect all of your plantings including shrubbery and mature trees. Here at Carpenter Costin we want to review some of the steps you can take to care for your trees and plantings this fall. 


Plant New Trees

Fall can actually be a great time to plant new trees, shrubbery, or even grass. The cooler temperatures allow for roots to take hold and plantings to experience less stress. Don’t forget if you are planting in the fall to allow for long and deep watering that allows the roots to grow downward and thus stronger. 

Remove Dead Branches 

Fall should be a time when homeowners take note of branches that are dead or dying to be trimmed before the brutal winter weather settles in. 

Between snow storms, wind storms, and the occasional hurricane that can make its way up the coast, trees with damaged branches are especially vulnerable to breakage. 

Dead or damaged branches should be trimmed and removed so that they do not fall during a storm and cause injury or damage to the property. 

Keep in mind that the fall is not the best time for pruning trees as that should be done more in the spring while ornamental trees and shrubs are best done in the summer months. 

Prepare for Winter 

While humans have the opportunity to head indoors for the harsh New England winters or at least dress warmer, trees and shrubs are not afforded that luxury. 

To avoid winter injury to ornamental shrubs and bushes as well as your mature trees it is advised to take a few last minute care steps before the ground freezes. Most arborists will tell you to give your shrubs, bushes, and trees one last watering before the ground becomes frozen. Watering before the trees and bushes go dormant can help them better tolerate winter conditions. 

In addition to one last watering, ornamental shrubs and bushes should also be protected from the hazards of heavy snow, ice burn, and the potential of de-icing or salt damage. 

To avoid heavy snow or damage that can occur when a storm hits our area, cover your shrubbery with burlap or a wooden structure so that piles of snow do not break branches. Salt is also another chemical hazard that can get into the soil causing issues for early spring growth. 

Now that fall is in full swing and the temperatures are headed downward, it might be a good time for homeowners to take inventory of their plantings to ensure they make it safely to next spring. 

Importance and Value of Trees Part 1

Ecological & Environmental Value

Trees and forests are constantly cleaning our air and improving the air quality. Trees absorb CO2 and other air pollutants by removing it from the air, storing it, then releasing oxygen back into the air. In one year, a mature tree can remove as much carbon dioxide as an automobile that drives 26,000 miles generates!

Trees Clean the Air & Provide Oxygen

As mentioned above, trees clean the air and convert it into oxygen which is a byproduct of producing the carbohydrates they require to grow. Proper oxygen levels are necessary for both humans and all other animals to live.


People living in heavily polluted cities are already going to extremes and buying oxygen tanks to help 

them breathe. In one year an acre of mature trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people. Which is why a possible solution of simply planting enough new trees in and near these cities will help provide the extra needed oxygen and reduce local air pollution.

Rain forests have often been called the lungs of the earth because they produce so much of the worlds oxygen. Trees planted anywhere in the world are beneficial to everyone due to the global air currents which allow the oxygen produced to circulate around the world!

Trees remove odors, pollutant gases like nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone. Trees filter the particulates out of the air by trapping it on their bark and leaves. The chemicals within the trees go through a series of biochemical reactions which can convert them into non-harmful compounds.

Trees Cool the Streets and the City

Canva - City Landscape

On the streets and in the cities, the sun can cause buildings and pavements to hold heat and raise the temperatures. A decline in tree coverage over the years will cause the heat-absorbing roads to absorb more sunlight and in turn increase the temperature.

Trees remove humid haze which is a combination of air pollution and water particles suspended in the air.

Humid haze has many negative impacts including:

  • Traps in heat
  • Reduces visibility
  • Causes respiratory distress

Due to the small size of air pollution particles they remain dispersed rather than collecting into droplets to form clouds and rain. Large forests can dramatically reduce these hazes by giving off water vapor along with bacteria that trigger the humid hazes to form into clouds. The pollution and water then rains down into the forests where the trees and soil microorganisms break most of the pollutants down.

Trees Conserve Energy and Save Water

Trees placed strategically around your home can conserve energy needed for summer air conditioning by 30%. By reducing the energy demand for cooling in the summer, we reduce carbon dioxide and other pollution emissions from power plants. Shade from trees slows water evaporation from thirsty lawns. Newly planted trees need only fifteen gallons of water a week. As trees transpire, they increase atmospheric moisture.

Trees planted around homes will block winter winds and help reduce heating costs!

Trees Help Prevent Water Pollution

Canva - Green Trees Surrounding Lake

Trees reduce runoff by breaking rainfall which allows the water to flow down the trunk and is absorbed into the ground below the tree instead of carrying pollutants to the ocean. When the tree is mulched properly the trees act as a sponge and filters the water naturally and recharges groundwater supplies. Trees on hillsides or stream slopes slow runoff and hold the soil in place.

Trees Help Prevent Soil Erosion and Dust Storms

There are places around the world where all the original plant life has been cleared and the exposed soil has turned to dust. Without trees and vegetation to slow down the winds, hold the soil in place, and keep the soil moist, winds pick up dust and carry it hundreds of miles.

Dust storms have become big problems in areas without plant or tree cover. These dust storms cover everything in fine dust which cause mechanical failures, lung problems, loss of visibility and a number of other problems including the spread of disease.

Replanting trees in these areas of very few trees and vegetation can help make the soil healthy and moist again. This helps prevent dust storms as well as rebuilding healthy ecosystems.

Trees Provide Food and Habitat for Wildlife

Canva - Close-up Photo of Brown and Gray 4-legged Animal Stands on Gray Tree Trunk

Wherever trees are planted, wildlife and other plants are sure to follow. Trees provide food and shelter for a variety of birds, small animals and other plants. Flowers, fruits, leaves, buds, and woody parts of trees are used by many different species of animals. Each tree species has its own benefits. For example, Sycamore and Oak trees are among the many urban species that provide excellent urban homes for birds, bees, possums and squirrels.

Interested in learning more about the importance and value of trees? 

Check out our following post, "Importance and Value of Trees Part 2"


If you have any questions or concerns or are interested in any of our services please contact us at 877-308-8733.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Preparing for Spring Landscaping

Landscaping Services in the Spring

It doesn't feel like Spring is around the corner but in reality now is a great time to start planning your Spring landscape. To begin, think about how you want to use your yard this year and consider areas for kids or pets, entertaining or outdoor living. If you're not sure, our landscape architects have great ideas and will help you envision your yard as a perfect place to play and relax.

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Here are some ideas for Spring Landscaping:

  1. Bring warmth and fun to your backyard with a stone fire pit

  2. Redefine the entrance to your home with a new walkway

  3. Add a beautiful flowering tree for an interesting focal point

  4. Introduce seasonal color to your property by adding flowers that bloom all season

  5. Add outdoor living space with a new patio

  6. Remove or transplant overgrown shrubs that detract from curb appeal

  7. Install a stone wall to delineate a seating area

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Carpenter Costin’s landscape architects will work with you to explore the possibilities of your property and turn your dreams into reality. Call now for a no obligation consultation on spring landscaping, 877-308-8733.

Time for Shrub and Ornamental Tree Pruning

As we inch closer to the official start of summer, it’s time to start thinking about pruning your shrubs and ornamental trees.

Spring is a glorious time to be in the landscape. Shrubs and ornamental trees of all sorts will be flowering at various times throughout the spring, adding tremendous color and appeal to the landscape. Just remember, once the shrubs and ornamentals are done flowering you need to prune them to ensure they retain their desired shape, and remain insect and disease free. Pruning this summer will help promote optimal flowering next spring as well.

Ornamental tree and shrub pruning can be a “do it yourself” project, as long as you know a few things beforehand. First, ensure your pruning shears are sharp. Sharp tools will not only make the job easier for you, but it will be better for the tree or shrub being pruned. Just be careful to avoid injury. Next, be sure you know a little about the tree or shrub being pruned to ensure that the pruning is beneficial and not detrimental. For example, pruning fruit trees usually requires different sprout management than flowering trees.

Once you’ve sharpened your tools and identified any specific pruning needs, you’re ready to get started – just make sure you go slowly, and take the occasional step back to see the entire pruning subject before you snip off too much!

If you’d like to leave your shrub and ornamental tree pruning up to the experts, we’d be happy to help out. Click the button below for your free pruning consultation from a Certified Arborist.

Request A Free Consultation

ornamental tree and shrub pruning

"Frenchy" hand pruning shrubs last June.

Enhance Your Landscape with Plantings this Spring

Consider adding softscape features to your landscape this spring while the weather is still conducive for successful planting.

If you’re looking to add plants to your landscape consider doing it sooner rather than later. Waiting too long to plant could actually hinder plant development, and may require a plant replacement next year. Spring and fall are really the best times to plant, so if you want to have a plant-filled landscape this summer, we recommend planting as soon as possible.

Planting in the spring is a good idea because conditions are usually great for plant growth and root development. With ample moisture and light, and warming, but still moderate temperatures, newly installed plants will thrive through April and May. Fall likely gets the nod for better planting season for trees and shrubs due to the excelled root development, but if you’re looking to enjoy your landscape throughout the summer, you need to plant in the spring!

This doesn’t mean that planting can’t be done in the summer, because with the right landscape professional and consistent watering throughout the summer, it can be done successfully. However, for optimal results, try to stick to spring and fall planting.

If you’re thinking of adding some plants to your landscape this spring please take advantage of our free consultations and meet with a Landscape Architect. Our Architects can not only recommend the best plants to install and design them perfectly into your existing landscape, but we also have the crews to install them. Click below for a free consultation.


spring landscape planting

Add plants to your landscape this spring for great, natural appeal.

Tree Planting and Transplanting Solutions

Out with the old; in with the new. Planting or transplanting mature trees can be tricky; but with the right equipment and personnel, it can be done effectively.

Planting and transplanting medium to large trees is extremely difficult, and near impossible to do without the proper equipment. This task becomes even more challenging when obstacles come into play. Utilizing a professional company with the proper equipment is the only way to proceed with planting and transplanting maturing trees.

In a recent project, we removed a dead Hemlock and replaced it with a large, maturing tree. In addition to the large size of the tree (estimated at around 800lbs), there was a 12 to 15 foot wall that needed to be cleared. This required a piece of equipment that we call a "log loader" that has a large grapple and hydraulic lifting arm that could raise the heavy tree above the wall.

tree planting and transplanting

Moving a mature tree is not an easy feat, but it is certainly possible with the right equipment and manpower. Don't hesitate to contact a Certified Arborist or Landscape Architect if you would like to add a large tree to your landscape, or replace a stressed, dead, or dying tree with a new one.

planting a large tree

There is still time this year to plant large trees, but the window is shrinking dramatically each day, and depending on the type of tree you want to plant, it may be best to wait until next spring. Your Arborist will be able to make recommendations for you.

replacing dead trees

Out with the old: in with the new! Replace a dead tree with a new one!

Save Money and Ensure Plant Health with November Plantings

Experience great results and cost savings by adding new plants in the 11th month!

Planting in the fall ensures optimal root development. Although many home owners have an urge to plant in the spring time, and are more focused on getting the snow blower running in November, it is actually better to add new plants in October, November, and even into December than it is in the spring. Much of a plant's spring time energy is spent on flower and bud production; however, during the fall months, a plant will focus all of its energy on root development. Fall planting ensures strong root development, and allows for a much better bloom come spring.

Another benefit of fall planting is that there is a actually a costs savings to be had. Local nurseries will lower their prices in an attempt to sell their inventory before winter. This allows Carpenter Costin to save even more on our already discounted prices and then pass those cost savings on to our customers.

Planting in November is both great for your landscape and great for your wallet. Plus you'll be able to enjoy your new plants early next spring. Don't wait too long though. Request your free consultation now.


fall plantings

Take advantage of fall cost savings at our local nurseries.

Fall Tree and Lawn Care Services

Improve your landscape this fall with timely lawn and tree treatments.

Fall is a great time to improve your lawn, trees, and landscape. Warm sunny days and cool moist nights create prime conditions for root development, seed germination, and plant growth.

Our lawn care experts highly recommend certain cultural practices each fall to help create a healthy lawn through the fall and winter, which makes spring lawn care a breeze. These cultural practices include:

  • Core Aeration

  • Over Seeding

  • Top Dressing

  • Lime Application

These lawn care services increase the nutrient, water, and air flow in your soil; improve seed germination for a thick, healthy lawn; and create the desired ph level in your soil.

In addition to key lawn care practices, the fall is also a great time to plant trees and shrubs. In the spring, trees and shrubs focus most of their energy on producing visible growth, like leaves and flowers. In the fall, however, plants place all their effort on developing strong root systems. This helps ensure that trees and shrubs have a solid root system to survive the winter, and also allows them to start producing flowers and foliage immediately in the spring. Our Landscape Architects and Certified Arborists highly recommend planting trees in the fall, as opposed to spring or summer.

Fall lawn and tree care is ignored by too many people, simply because they feel the season is winding down, and their lawns and trees will soon be browning as winter nears. We can assure you that this is not the case, as investing in fall landscape services truly pays dividends year round.

Click here to request a free consultation with one of our Lawn Care experts.

Consult With A Turf Pro



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