Red Dragon Japanese Maple Tree The tree I decided to plant for my extra credit

Red Dragon Japanese Maple Tree

The tree I decided to plant for my extra credit, in my front yard, to add to our landscape, was a Red Dragon Japanese Maple Tree “cascading branches forming an elegant mounding shape, palm-shaped foliage matures to red-purple, holds its color throughout the growing

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season”. The Red Dragon Japanese Maple Tree is also known as an Acer palmatum var dissectum “red dragon”. This tree is a native tree out of Japan, Korea, and China, is also a

category of the Sapindaceae Family of plants typically blooms in April. The Red Dragon Japanese Maple Tree typically grows to eight to ten feet tall, it will give random shading, its branches and leaves are more scattered than a typical full-leaved/foliage tree. This tree only needs partial to full sun light and grows to be ten to twelve feet wide, light watering, and requires low maintenance, which helps with daily busy lives. Spacing from other trees is recommended around ten feet apart, which we had done a bit further with this tree from our other trees in the front yard. The Red Dragon Japanese Maple Tree needs fertilizing every spring before new growth begins to help continue it progress year by year.

The first process of planting a tree is picking your spot in your yard to make sure you have enough room or sunlight for the tree. Then to locate a grower or a home improvement store such as Home Depot, like in our case, and then picking out your tree of choice. Next is to pick out your fertilizer and mulch to help your tree get off on the right foot. Then the digging begins, the tree is already in a large container, so we dug a hole one and half times the size of the original container. We had also bought black plastic tubing with holes to go under the tree for watering (a drench under the tree, so it did not interfere with the root growth) and with both ends sticking out of the ground, on opposites sides since we do not have a watering system in our yard. Once the hole was dug with a shovel and pick, the black plastic tubing was put in place, which was then covered with a small amount of fertilizer and dirt that we had removed previously while digging the hole. The Red Dragon Japanese Maple Tree was then taken out of the black plastic container it was purchased in and the tree was placed into the hole in the ground. The fertilizer and dirt mix was then placed into the hole around the newly planted tree. The placement of the mulch is to help conserve moisture, this mulch was placed over the fertilizer and dirt mix around the tree. The Red Dragon Japanese Maple was then watered after planting and has been watered depending on our current monsoon weather, recommendation for this specific tree is two to three times per week until established. It has been four days since planting Red Dragon Japanese Maple tree in the front yard and it is doing great adjusting to its new environment. It was a great experience for me to plant my first tree, even though the ground is hard clay, but with my husband’s help, we accomplished a great thing together.

Benefits from trees and grasslands are huge to our environment, “tree’s work for us” is a statement made by Forest Service ShieldU.S. Forest Service. Some trees live for hundreds of years and

others may live for only twenty or thirty years. Trees give us oxygen and improve air quality, stabilize soil and give us materials for tools and shelter. Trees intake carbon dioxide from the air and make sugar (for their personal benefit), then releases gases through their leaves. It is documented by the forest service that one hundred trees remove fifty-three tons of carbon dioxide and four hundred thirty pounds of pollutants per year. One hundred and thirty-nine thousand gallons of rainwater is caught by trees every year. So not just on the environmental level, trees placed correctly on your property brings higher property value besides making your yard look beautiful and the tree coverage around your home decreases your air conditioning cost by blocking the sun.

Trees take in carbon dioxide and produce the oxygen we breathe, the process of photosynthesis. The U.S. Forest Service has hundreds of reports on trees and their purposes, one that caught my eye was the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, categorizes ecosystem services; provisioning services (food, clean water, fuel, timber), regulating services (climate, water,

disease regulation, and pollination), supporting services (soil formation and nutrient cycling), and cultural services (educational, aesthetic, and cultural heritage values, recreation, and tourism). Also, the U.S. Forest Service has material to educate children and adults throughout the United States to learn more about what plants do and the danger they are in, materials updated yearly, if not more frequent, include their mascots; Smokey Bear, Woodsy Owl’s ABCs. Trees are a huge help in education, recreation, and culture background.

anatomy of a tree

The anatomy of a tree is made up of five different layers; the outer bark, inner bark, cambium cell layer, sapwood, heartwood. The outer layer which is the first layer is the protection for the tree, also isolation against too much cold and excessive heat. The second layer is the inner bark, also the phloem which is like a pipeline to the rest of the tree. The third layer is the

cambium cell layer which yearly produces new bark and wood in response to the hormones (auxins: stimulate growth, produced by leaf buds at the ends of branches that pass down through the phloem) to the leaves. The fourth layer is the sapwood; moving water throughout the tree to the leaves, the inner cells turn into heartwood after losing their vitality. The fifth layer is the heartwood (central, supporting the pillar of the tree), also called the growth rings, this layer will not be damaged if the outer layers are present and intact. The heartwood layer is a composite of hollow, cellulose fibers that chemically glue(lignin) this layer together, with this kind of support, it can support a weight of twenty tons if it was set vertically. Leaves make food for a tree.

Fall Colors Progression:

Color Leaves

Description

Green

Green, 1 Summer green to beginning to turn.

Orange

Orange, 2 Majority of leaves are changing to peak colors.

Brown

Brown, 3 Past peak but some colors may remain

Bark beetles, invasive species “catastrophic wildfire in slow motion.”, warmer winters, wildfires, unmanaged recreation land, extreme drought, loss of open space, are part of what is harming our trees today. Invasive species are categorized; “It is non-native to the ecosystem under consideration, and its introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health”. Problems that could occur with the Red Dragon Japanese Maple tree; stem canker, leaf spots, Fusarium, wilt, botrytis, root rots, aphids, scale, borers, root weevils and possibly mites. If the pH is off in the soil, chlorosis (abnormal reduction or loss) could

occur. You would never guess that a dead tree is also essential to the world, but it is, when it decomposes, the tree returns nutrients to the ecosystem. A dead tree while decomposing does help new plant life form and help wildlife.

The U.S. Forest Service has a disaster assistance program, called Tree Assistance Program (TAP), that helps nursery tree growers and orchardists financially if they lose fifteen percent or more of their crops due to a natural disaster. This money is to be used to replant and

regrow their losses after a natural disaster such as trees, bushes, and vines. The ecosystem is a dilemma for every human being if they realize it or not, the only way to help fix this problem is to replant and not just by the farmers or growers to sell their inventory, it is a local, regional, global issue.