Posts Tagged ‘trees’

Jeffrey Erb Landscape Design

A stranded car caused by a fallen tree

The freak snowstorm that hit Northeastern U.S. last weekend was a brutal combination of heavy, wet snow and leaves still on deciduous trees which resulted in massive amounts of breakage. Falling limbs and entire trees destroyed cars, houses and power lines alike. While the damage of this storm could not be avoided, there are a few things you can do to help lessen the consequences of these situations.

Choosing correct tree species is a huge factor in reducing fallen and broken branches.  Bradford Pear trees have notoriously weak joints that often split without provocation.  Fast-growing trees, while beneficial for filling a large space in a short amount of time, have weak wood.  These trees also have a higher tendency for breaking than slow-growing trees such as Sycamores which have stronger structures. If you have an Ailanthus tree growing anywhere near your home or personal property, you should consider removing it (see our post on these weak-limbed trees).

Jeffery Erb Landscape Design

Heavy snow and leaves didn't mix for this mature Oak

Advanced planning and proper pruning can save you a huge headache later on.  Having a certified arborist inspect older trees on a regular basis is a worthwhile investment.  They can clear out old, dead wood and identify and treat any prevalent diseases before they become a problem.  This is especially important for mature trees.  Let’s face it, nobody wants a branch sticking their roof or draped across power lines.

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Powerscourt House and Gardens is located in the scenic Wicklow Mountains of County Wicklow, Ireland.  It is one of the most well-maintained country estates in Ireland.  A castle was built there by 1300 and was inhabited by several historically significant Irish families.  In the 1600’s, the castle was transformed into the manor house that we see today.  Unfortunately in the 1970’s, a fire gutted the entire house except for the exterior stonework.  A restoration project began in 1996 to repair the house.  Currently there is a new roof and the main rooms of the downstairs have been restored for use as shops, a cafe and historical display.

The gardens of Powerscourt have been worked upon in two main phases.  The first, in the mid 1700’s, involved the gardens of the main lawn and a wooded trail around the perimeter.  In the mid 1800’s work commenced again with a re-drawing of the designs to include Italian and Japanese-themed gardens. It takes about an hour to meander the exterior pathway through 200 year old tree groves, explore the circles of the Japanese gardens, climb the decorative castle tower overlooking the property, and stop to smell the roses.

In typical estate gardening, the more formal gardens are closer to the house while the more wild, free flowing gardens create the outer border.  The Irish environmental conditions, similar to England with lots of rain and minimal temperature extremes, are extremely conducive to creating amazing gardens.

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