Monday, May 7, 2007

MN Landscaping: Composting & Tree Planting Tips

It is that time of year again…Most Minnesota home owners are itching to get out into their yards and get started on that big landscaping project. And, it is finally warm enough to jump right into it! Landscaping can add thousands of dollars to the value of your home.

As a Realtor in the northeast metro, I know how important it is for home owners to keep their property looking nice inside and out! Homes that have a wonderful curb appeal entice a potential buyer into the home.

If you plan to make a move this year or if the landscaping project is just to add to your own personal enjoyment of your home, think through your landscaping plan. Whether your project is a huge endeavor with a total redesign of your landscape or just trimming the bushes and grass, there are a few things you should consider before you get started.

Yard Waste

In Minnesota, it is against the law to place yard waste in your garbage. This includes leaves, lawn cuttings, weeds, shrubs and tree trimmings, and plant prunings. Using a mulching mower provides a natural fertilizer and strengthens the lawn. Residents of Anoka County can contract to have yard waste picked up or bring leaves and clippings to one of two county compost sites.

Composting is a great option for many homeowners. Compost bins are available from Anoka County or
you can build your own. Compost turns into humus which enhances the soil when used as mulch so flowers, shrubs and trees can grow stronger. No need to buy and haul expensive mulches home anymore!

Yard waste that can be composted:

  • Leaves
  • Grass Clippings
  • Dead flowers
  • Pine needles
  • Acorns
  • Shrub trimmings (minus the branches)
  • Straw
  • Garden Waste
Household waste that can be composted:
  • Vegetable scraps
  • Fruit scraps
  • Tea bags
  • Coffee grounds
  • Rinsed Eggshells
  • Saw dust
Planting Trees

Trees add to a homes value. Leafy deciduous trees can provide shade to save energy as well as add beauty to the landscape. But planting a tree in the right location is essential. If you have above ground power lines anywhere in your yard or on the perimeter of your property, you need to consider the type of tree and how large it will grow before planting the tree.

According to Xcel Energy, trees are a common cause of electric service interruptions in Minnesota as well as throughout the nation. Use the "zone" approach, illustrated below, when planning the location of your new tree to avoid many of these problems.
Anyone who has ever driven by a home or property where the trees have been butchered by a utility company in the winter knows how bad it can look. Branches hanging over the power lines can cause power outages if they fall on the lines during a spring or summer storm. Utility companies have to be proactive in the winter and trim away any potentially hazardous branches, leaving some very ugly trees behind.
Xcel Energy offers a free guide on how to correctly plant trees near power lines to help homeowners protect their landscape investment.
Before planting any trees or digging, Call Gopher State One Call 1-800-252-1166 to have all underground utilities located. This is a free service in Minnesota to prevent damage to underground utilities. It usually takes 24-48 hours so plan ahead for that weekend project.
If you are relocating to Minnesota, are looking for Homes for Sale in the north and east Twin Cities metro area and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage properties! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.
Copyright 2007