Category: Advice

Apps to Make it Easy for Tree ID

Tree and Plant Identification in the Palm of Your Hand

There are now a number of apps available, both for iOS and Android devices, which make identifying a particular tree or plant much easier. We have undertaken some research and identified the following, with a section of their descriptive text, which you may like to consider downloading.

 

 

 

Tree ID: Field guide app for trees in Britain. A visual guide to identifying trees of the British Isles. All native and naturalised species covered. No connection to the internet or mobile network is needed. The guide has been created by professional published ecologists. Discover more about each species with fascinating facts, folklore, history and uses – from medicine to musical instruments. 4.6 stars.

Plant Identification++: Identify plants in a snap. Take a picture with the phone’s camera, or pick an image from your library, then use the advanced machine learning algorithm to identify the plant in the picture. Convenient and fast! Instantly identify tens of thousands of plants, flowers, trees, leaves – powered by advanced artificial intelligence. 4.6 stars.

Picture This – Plant Identifier: Instantly identify plants. Accurate, fast and content rich! In addition to description and plant care tips, enjoy beautiful plant pictures from around the world. Capable of identifying 10,000+ plant species with an accuracy of 98%, better than most human experts. 4.7 stars.

Plant ID: Allows you to identify plants, flowers, leaves, trees and herbs quickly and accurately. All you have to do is point your camera, take a picture and artificial intelligence will tell you what the plant is in seconds! The app will also show you additional useful information about the plants. The machine learning model used can identify over 10,000+ plant species with an accuracy of 98%. This covers the most commonly requested plants from Europe, the United States, India and Australia. You can also store all of your identified plants in a simple to use user interface. 4.3 stars.

iplant: Fast and accurate recognition of plants and flowers based on artificial intelligence. Just photograph or select plant images from the gallery on your mobile phone to quickly identify plants. Automatically save identification records and quickly search history records. Share plant images and information to Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter etc. 4.2 stars.

British Tree Identification: An interactive British tree identification app from the Woodland Trust, the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity. In just a few steps, you can identify native and common non-native trees in the UK, whatever the season. Use bark, twigs, buds, leaves, flowers and fruits of our A-Z guide full of stunning, clear images to identify the most common British trees. 3.7 stars.

PLNT: Identifies any plant, tree, weed or flower with 95% accuracy – better than most human experts! Highly accurate plant identification. Whether you manually search for the plant or simply take a picture of it. The AI-powered system provides an immediate result. Explore nature and its wonders while you’re on the walk: combine visual pleasure with learning new things about flora. 4.2 stars.

 

We hope you find these useful in your work.  For tree, plant and landscape advice, for your next commercial soft landscaping project, please contact us.

Successful Urban Tree Planting

The benefits that healthy urban trees provide are significant. However, the environmental conditions found in urban areas can often be challenging to their establishment and long-term survival. To give them the best opportunity to survive and thrive it is essential that they are planted in a way that provides them with sufficient root space and irrigation.

Generally, a minimum of 3m3 of rooting volume is required to give most tree types a viable chance of becoming established. Where this amount of space is not available, tree planting and growth is still possible provided care is taken with species selection and root management. The use of soil structure modules can help to prevent soil compaction and ensure that sufficient rooting volume is available.

 

 

In addition to being provided with sufficient room, tree roots can also be directed to ensure that they do not damage surrounding surfaces or underground structures. This includes, if a tree is to be positioned within or next to a paved surface, then the tree roots will need to be directed downwards to prevent paving heave.

In order for a tree to thrive, the roots must be able to receive a sufficient amount of water. Also, if the rooting area is waterlogged then the surrounding soil may become anaerobic, which is equally likely to result in the destruction of the tree. Therefore, consideration must be given to the substance and structure of the soil surrounding a tree to ensure that there is sufficient drainage to prevent waterlogging. Also as the majority of urban trees are covered by a hard surface, tree planting should also incorporate the means to irrigate efficiently.

Many urban trees are planted in exposed locations where they are vulnerable to the high winds that can develop as a result of urban wind tunnel effects. Therefore, an appropriate form of support is required to help trees through the initial growth phase. Underground guying is often preferred for urban tree pits as it is unobtrusive. Staking is a cost-effective alternative although this usually requires ongoing maintenance.

For further advice on tree selection and planting techniques plus professional tree installation in urban areas please contact us.

 

Urban Trees in Towns & Cities Have a Positive Impact

Most people are aware of the many social and environmental benefits that trees provide. However, these are multiplied when planted in urban areas.

Trees make a positive visual contribution to any landscape. In addition, they help to improve air quality and combat climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen back into the atmosphere, so offsetting and regulating greenhouse gases, to combat important climate damage.

 

 

A simple mature tree can absorb carbon dioxide at a rate of over twenty kilograms per year. In addition, trees also remove and store other harmful pollutants, so improving air quality, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and particulates, sulphur dioxide, nickel and lead.

Trees also counter the effects of climate change by providing shade, and by the transpiration of water, help reduce ambient temperatures and combat urban flooding. They also have beneficial effects on the physical and psychological wellbeing of the local population. This includes cutting noise pollution and urban wind tunnel effects by reducing wind speeds.

As trees planted in urban environments provide so many benefits, it is essential that they are planted in a way that will ensure their long term survival. For advice on tree selection and planting techniques please contact us.

 

Pandemics Affect Trees Too

Using British Trees is Best

In the same way that the Coronavirus pandemic has been sweeping the country recently, our tree population is also in peril as a result of pandemics introduced from abroad.  Almost twenty serious tree diseases have arrived in the UK since 1990.  Most of these are now having a significant impact on our tree and plant population.

The Woodland Trust has reported that trees in the UK are being threatened with foreign diseases caused by a huge increase in low cost imported trees.  Sourced from abroad, particularly from Southern Europe where they can be grown faster, thanks to the climate, and so cheaper, these trees may save money but there is a big long-term cost.

 

 

Between 2010 and 2012, the UK imported over one million ash trees.  The Dieback disease is thought to have arrived in this way and is now expected to eventually kill over 100 million ash trees in the UK.  The importation was banned in October 2012, but it was too late and the clean-up cost is now estimated to be over £15 billion.

In a similar situation, in 2019 Processionary Moth, which not only damages oak trees but is also harmful to human health, was also missed and imported more than 70 times into the UK.  In addition, a new tree disease called Phytophthora Pluvialis, which affects a variety of trees including firs, has recently been found in Cornwall.  It is not yet known how this has arrived in the UK but is another reminder of the vulnerability of the UK’s trees to deadly pests and diseases.

The message is definitely that it is best to buy British trees and to plant a variety on any project, so that disease may not affect all of those within a scheme.  Indeed, trees must grow and survive to maturity, when their carbon-absorbing capacities are most effective.

Wherever possible, we seek to use British trees in schemes and would almost always recommend them. Using lower-cost imported trees can make initial savings but there are long-term costs. For further advice please browse our website or contact us to discuss your next soft landscaping project.

 

Caring For Your New Lawn

 

New turf must be kept moist until it has become fully established. If it does not rain frequently after the turf has been laid and/or during hot, dry or windy conditions you may have to water the new lawn twice or even three times a day.

 

 

Also, water immediately at any sign of the turf drying out or shrinking. If gaps appear in between the joins in the turf, then fill them with a mix of soil and seed.

In spring and summer, the new turf will be ready for its first cut in 7-10 days, but make sure it is a gentle and high cut by raising the cutting height!  You should just level the top of the grass.  Then continue to cut, twice a week in spring or autumn or once a week in summer, never removing more than one-third of the current height. For winter-laid turf, mow only if it is still growing.
Ideally, you should also feed the new lawn using an appropriate nutrient mix. This will also help to reduce the growth of flowering seed heads. When turf is harvested, the majority of the root system is cut off, which is stressful to the grass plants and they produce seed heads as a means of self-preservation. The seed heading will reduce once the turf has established a new root system, which can take 6-8 weeks.

Toadstools may also grow in the new lawn. All soil contains dormant fungal spores, which can lay inactive for years and years. When the soil is disturbed they can spring back to life and grow into toadstools. They will disappear after a couple of mows without doing any permanent damage.

For further information or to commission Panoramic to lay and look after your new lawn please contact us.

 

The Best Time To Turf

 

Turf can be laid at any time of the year, provided the ground is not frozen, waterlogged or very dry. However, the best time to lay turf is Spring or Autumn when the soil is at the perfect soft texture.

 

 

To lay turf in the Spring, ideally, the soil needs to be moist. If not, it should be watered beforehand. You will also need to ensure that the turf does not dry out, to encourage early growth.

Autumn is often known as the best time to lay turf, particularly during September and October, to take advantage of the perfect balance of heat and rain. It is possible also in November, provided there will not be significant frosts. Laying your turf in Autumn is beneficial as the lawn will then have six months to settle in and grow before the following summer.

Although summer months are not ideal, it is still possible to lay the turf. The soil must be well watered before to make sure there is enough moisture to help the grass grow.

It is possible to lay turf during the winter. However, growth can be restricted, especially if the new grass is not properly and consistently maintained. Ideally, it is best to wait until the winter frost has passed in March/April, giving the lawn enough time to establish before the summer.

 

Tree Planting Timing

 

Time and trees wait for no man! Of course, we can plant trees all year round, and we often do. However, there are advantages, not least from a cost perspective, to scheduling tree planting during the autumn and winter months.

 

 

During the coldest months of the year, trees and shrubs are in a dormant state. The soil is also usually moist and easier to dig, making our job easier! As a result, they need less watering after planting. Also, by spring and early summer they will have benefited from optimum growing conditions and had the opportunity to establish their root system.

Root-balled trees and shrubs are more cost-effective without the pots. However, they cannot be used in the summer as the root ball tends to quickly dry out in the warmer weather.

We can also plant trees and shrubs in the mid to late spring and summer, the warmer months, although we then must use containerised trees and plants, costing more to procure and taking longer to install. These have more soil around the roots, which will stay damp for longer. The roots tend to be bigger and so are hardier in the drier conditions.

For further top tips on tree and shrub planting or to discuss the best timing for your next project, please contact us.

 

The Secrets of Successful Seeding

 

When preparing lawns and grass areas, whilst we often use turf for instant results, if the client has the time and/or not the budget, grass seeding is a good alternative. However, there are some ground rules:

 

 

Seed: Use quality seed and of the right type and grade (check the ingredients) to produce the right type of lawn or area and without weeds, which can be in the seed! You will need between 30g and 20g per sq m, depending on whether the lawn is to be ornamental or utility.
Seed Bed: Preparation is the key. Clear weeds (not with a residual weed killer or your new lawn will also die!). Rotavate and cultivate the surface. Tread or roll and rake the area, both several times and in different directions.
Sowing: Divide the area into small sections. Split the seed in half. Sow one half in parallel rows lengthways and the other half widthways. Rake over and then water. If the weather is dry, water again after 2-3 days.

The best time to sow grass seed is in March/April and September/October, when dew occurs for moisture and temperatures are typically best for germination, above 5 degrees. Therefore, if you need grass planting soon, best contact us now.