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CARSON ARTHUR: Knowing when it’s time to say goodbye to your tree

When is it time to say goodbye? A lot of homeowners and gardeners get attached to trees and plants in their space and the idea of composting them, or even cutting them down, just seems wrong. There are some situations when you just have to realize that it’s time to make the cut (so to speak).

Trees

When a tree is struggling with a majority of its leaves missing, or even chunks of bark peeling off, it is pretty easy to say that it is unhealthy and can pose a safety risk during the winter or through a heavy wind storm.

But what if the tree looks healthy and is growing in the wrong spot, or if it has a large branch that is growing awkwardly over you house or the spot you park the car?

Sometimes making the decision can be a lot harder. In these situations, I advise homeowners to invest in getting an arbourist in for a consult. Even in the fee is steep, there are a few things to consider. Insurance companies are now denying claims on the basis that you ignored the situation.

Also, consider that a tree has a value to your property of somewhere between $12,000 and 25,000, depending on the age and size and position. Spending a few hundred dollars on expert advice doesn’t seem so costly anymore.

Ferns and flowering tropical plants

What about all of those gorgeous ferns and flowering tropical plants that are currently on the patio? What do you do with them? Many people try to bring those plants indoors and wonder why in mid February they don’t look like they did at the end of summer.

The truth is, our homes are too dry for these plants to really survive well. Also, outdoor light levels drop significantly during our winter months. So, if you want to try and save that diplodenia or the stunning Kimberly fern that doubled in size this summer, plan on investing in a grow light and a humidifier to help them live in your home. Even then, odds are

Slim that they will be happy.

Writers

Finally, when is it time to say goodbye for a garden writer? The answer to that one is easy — when he has nothing left to say! So, it is with a heavy heart I am saying goodbye to you. It has been a fantastic run and I have received emails, pictures and even phone calls from readers that have warmed my heart (and sometimes set me straight on a few topics). I never for a moment thought that when Claudia (my editor) asked me to come on board, I would make so many memories or new friends writing a simple article on gardening and landscaping.

So, from me to you ... thank you. I have grown and gotten better at what I do because of you. (And yes, I do have

a tear in my eye right now.)

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