Gardening With Tony
Arborists Are Physicians For Trees
By Tony Tomeo
Apr 10, 2012 - 9:23:24 AM

BEVERLY HILLSLandscapers and gardeners are only the two most familiar of horticultural professionals. There are also landscape designers, horticulturists, greens-keepers and various nurserymen, just to name a few. Each of the many distinct horticultural professionals works within a specific horticultural industry, much like each of the many different types of physicians works within a specific medical industry, even though many might work together in the same hospital.

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Old fashioned geum blooms soft orange where it 'almost' naturalized on rocky outcrops in Malibu. (It still needs to be watered occasionally and likes decent soil.) Modern cultivars bloom brighter yellow, orange or red.

Arborists are the horticultural professionals, or even horticultural 'physicians', who work specifically with trees. In fact, they had historically been known as 'tree surgeons' because they perform what might be considered to be surgery on trees. After nurserymen grow trees in nurseries, and landscapers install trees in landscapes, arborists take over to care for the same trees like gardeners take care of landscapes below the trees.

Arboriculture, or the horticulture of trees practiced by arborists, is important because trees are so different from other plants in the landscape. Obviously, trees are larger than anything else. Structural problems or instability can have devastating consequences, not only to the affected trees, but also to anything around them that might be damaged by falling limbs or even entire trees. Some trees are large enough, or even have limbs that are large enough to crush an entire home.

Arborists who are certified by the International Society of Arboriculture, or ISA, have passed an examination of their arboricultural expertise, and maintain their certification by attendance to educational seminars, workshops and other relevant ISA approved events. Certified arborists are the most qualified to assess the health, stability and structural integrity of trees, and prescribe any necessary arboricultural procedures. Such matters should not be trusted to other horticultural professionals who specialize in other aspects of horticulture.

The website of the ISA at www.isaarbor.comis the best resource for finding certified arborists and the tree service businesses that they are affiliated with. Arborists can be found within particular regions by city or ZIP code, or directly by name. The website also features all sorts of information about trees that is useful to anyone who lives with them or wants to add more to the landscape.

Flower of the week: Geum

Old fashioned Geum (or 'avens'), Geum coccineum, was popular in rock gardens of the 1970s because it clings to stone, and cascades somewhat. In modern gardens, it works just as well in large pots or planters, mixed with other perennials. The fuzzy foliage forms compact mounds about half a foot high and wide. The orange flowers with fuzzy yellow centers stand about twice as high, and bloom from spring through summer. Removal of fading flowers promotes continued bloom.



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