Big Trees

Big Trees

No offence sapling
your potential does abound
but big trees? They rule!

Home for a Momma Raccoon and her cubs

Home for a Mama Raccoon and her cubs

Yes, big trees do rule. They;

  • provide shade
  • provide nesting sites and perches for birds
  • provide homes for squirrels, insects and other small animals
  • are a source of food for deer, raccoons, chipmunks and birds


Felled tree

How much was lost when this tree was cut down?

When a big tree is lost, the effects are wide-spread. We lose;

  • the peace and serenity that comes with them
  • the reduction in air pollution
  • protection from wind, rain and sun
  • a measure of our property value in economic terms

So what can you do about that? If you have lost a big tree or just don’t happen to have one on your property, why not think about planting one. Not just any tree though. How about planting a BIG tree.

Obviously you can’t go about digging a 1,500 year-old Californian redwood into your backyard, but there are still plenty of options to look into. CLC Tree Services can help. This year at the London Spring Home and Garden Show we are going to be discussing the benefits of planting bigger trees; ie. 8′ tall trees. They offer instant shade and a measure of privacy, as well as a fast-track to some of the other many benefits of having a tree on your property. You can look forward to reduced soil erosion and potential water pollutants. Your new tree will reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, while producing oxygen for us to breathe. It will block unsightly views, add beauty to your landscape, and bring wildlife to your neighbourhood.

Are you ready to plant a tree yet? Come to the London Spring Home and Garden Show this weekend from April 11-13, 2014 at the Western Fair Agriplex. CLC Tree Services will be at booths #712-713 and we’ll be talking trees – Big trees. Join the conversation!

Tree Planting CLC will go!

Tree Planting CLC will go!

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Sign of Spring

Image Source; RGB Stock, Berenika

“April showers bring May flowers… “

Well, the first hope is that April showers will melt some of the stubborn snow that still lingers in London, Ontario. What a winter we’ve had! April is a very welcome guest and the folks at CLC Tree Services welcome it with open arms. Much as it would be nice if there was a little more heat in the sun’s rays, we will take the + temperatures anyway.

CLC will be there!

With the calendar flipping over to April this week, Spring feels a little more in grasp. Especially as CLC Tree Services gears up for an exciting event that we have taken part in since 2009 – the London Spring Home & Garden Show. This year’s show runs April 11 – 13, 2014 and will be held at the Western Fair District Agriplex building (845 Florence St). Tickets cost $12 for general admission, $9 for seniors, and children under 12 are free. Plus, if you find you don’t have the time to see everything in one day, you can return for Free!

Friday      12:00pm – 9:00pm
Saturday  10:00am – 8:00pm
Sunday    11:00am – 5:00pm

So what can you expect from the 38th Annual Spring Home and Garden Show? Well, there will be plenty of exhibitors, celebrity sightings galore, seminars at the Idea Stage and Gardening Stage, the Spring Flower Show and Competition, the popular Green Thumb Marketplace, plus lots of prizes for you to win. Pick up coupons from some of the many vendors on site. Stop by Porky’s Grilling school to sample tasty barbecued treats. Admire the Design Centre, where you can pick up ideas for today’s hottest trends in home decor and design.

And make a point to stop by booths #712 and #713. That is where you will find CLC Tree Services of course! Watch the video taken at last year’s Home and Garden show for a sneak peek of what you can expect from this year, but make a point in stopping by again this year regardless. The guys like to talk trees and this year will be no different. In fact, this year they are planning to talk about really big trees; 8′ and taller! Planting that is. When you plant a tree that large, you get instant privacy and shading for your home. For anyone who has lost a valued tree due to London’s battle with the Emerald Ash Borer, you definitely want to talk to us. Just saying.

So mark your calendar; April 11-13, 2014! We personally think it is the best sign of spring yet. See you then!

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“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
― Dr. SeussThe Lorax

Anyone who has ever read the book “The Lorax” (written way back in 1971 if you can believe it), or seen the movie (released in 2012 by Universal Studios) knows that what Dr. Seuss is getting at is that it is everyone’s responsibility to make the world a better place. We can keep on living our lives, using up the natural resources around us, and being blind to the effects of those abuses, but that doesn’t stop what our actions create. In the land of the Lorax, it is a world without truffula trees. In our world, it looks like major environmental issues, such as climate change, air pollution, water pollution, increased natural disasters, and more.

It can be pretty depressing to think about, so it is no wonder that so many stick their heads in the sand when talk of “fracking”, “drought”, “global warming” and other environmental topics hit the news. As Dr. Seuss said though, if people don’t stand up and do something about these things “nothing going to get better”.

It’s Not.

So what am I suggesting? How about we all start caring even a little bit. A whole awful lot would be better, but we need to start somewhere before we don’t have anything left to save. And this weekend is the perfect time to start.

Earth Hour Logo

Use Your Power

Saturday, March 29th, 2014, from 8:30 – 9:30 PM is Earth Hour. Turn out the lights. Better yet, power down your computers (go ahead and unplug it even!), turn off your TVs, and flick off any non-essential power sources for an hour. It is only 60 minutes, but the statement you are making is that you care about the Earth. And the Earth needs us right now.

What do you do while the lights are out? Why not spend time with family or friends and discuss what else can be done for our planet. Make a pledge of things You can do to make our world a better place. You can visit WWF Earth Hour to watch some of the many videos uploaded by people who pledge to make a difference, and while you are at it, upload your own! Listen to what people are planning on doing and come up with your own ideas. Why not back a project on the Earth Hour site? Plant a tree this spring with ReForest London and count it towards London’s Million Tree Challenge. Or maybe you could switch out your old fluorescent light bulbs for more energy-efficient ones? There are so many ways that you can make a difference to the planet. It starts with a #MomentofDarkness. And remember;

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

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Countdown to Spring

The 2014 Spring Equinox falls on Thursday, March 20th. On that day, day and night are of equal length and in the Northern Hemisphere, days will continue to get longer until the Summer Solstice in June.

Three cheers for spring after such a harsh winter!

Birds are on their way back!

The first day of Spring is an exciting time with the promise of rebirth and renewal around us. Birds are already beginning to return from their winter hiatus and the sap is finally flowing in area maple trees. Snow banks are gradually decreasing in height, and fingers crossed, might be gone with the rain expected this week.

Who am I kidding? Have you seen the mountains at Westmount Shopping Mall? We’ll be lucky if they melt before next winter! Especially as the weather is forecast to be a mix of rain, snow, wind, and temperatures bobbing above and below zero for the next two weeks at least.

But spring arrives Thursday regardless.

Pine tree sapling

Pine tree sapling

And that has got many in mind of the upcoming gardening and tree planting season. Did you know that the best time to plant a tree is in the spring when it is dormant? The Ministry of Natural Resources suggests this;

The Best Time to Plant

Planting trees when they are dormant is the best way to insure good survival and initial growth. Most trees can be planted in the spring as soon as the frost is out of the ground and before buds break open for the season. Otherwise, plant in autumn, after the leaves fall off and the buds are set before freeze-up.
Source – MNR website,

Image Courtesy Katherine Krige

Have you seen any signs of spring in your yard yet?

So once some of this dirty snow disappears and you can whack a shovel into the ground, tree planting season begins! In the meantime, you could always start some seeds of your own to plant, force your forsythia to bloom indoors, read up on summer bulbs to grow, and maybe grab a bouquet of fresh flowers from the florist to enjoy until you can find some outside.

Don’t forget to research which native saplings work best in your area. For London, Ontario, check ReForest London’s guide to Choosing the Right Tree. The MNR’s Ontario Tree Atlas also suggests native trees to plant, based on your region. A little groundwork goes a long way to ensure a healthy tree in your yard this year. In the meantime, think warm spring-like thoughts and CLC Tree Services will see you soon!

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Tiptoe Through the Tulips

Tiptoe through the window
By the window, that is where I’ll be
Come tiptoe through the tulips with me ~ Lyrics by Al Dubin

You might not believe it, but spring is almost here. I know we got walloped by another heck of a lot of snow yesterday, but only the day before the ground had finally peaked through old snow drifts in spots to reveal dirt. People shed winter coats, sported t-shirts, and desperately sought out patios to sun themselves on. That is exactly what all those patiently waiting bulbs are gearing up for too; an end to snow and sunshine to flourish in.

And while crocuses and snowdrops might be first to bloom in your garden, there are other blossoms (like tulips) that aren’t far behind.

Liriodendron tulipifera (fleur) - Laeken

Tulip Tree – By Jean-Pol GRANDMONT (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

There is another kind of flower that blooms in the spring, similar to a tulip, but happens to grow on a completely different kind of plant. The petals are yellowish-green and have orange hues at their centre. These beautiful 4-5 cm blossoms grow on large, deciduous trees native to the Carolinian forest and perfect to grow here in London, Ontario. Of course it takes 15 years before the 6-petalled blooms arrive though, but I am talking about the Liriodendron tulipifera, or as it is commonly known by, the tulip tree.

Liriodendron tulipifera (arbre) - Laeken

Image By Jean-Pol GRANDMONT (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Tulip trees are large, fast-growing trees (up to 35 metres tall) which require full sun. Despite their name, they are most closely related to magnolia trees. Like them, they need plenty of moisture and prefer well-drained soil (sand or sandy loam). When young, the bark is relatively smooth and dark grey-green, turning brown and ridged as the tree matures. Make sure to leave it lots of space when you plant one, as its trunk can grow up to 100 cm in diameter and it has wide-spread roots once mature.

Liriodendron tulipifera1mscaprikell

Image mscaprikell ( [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the more distinctive features of this majestic tree is its leaves. The light green leaves have 4-6 lobes that sit underneath a fairly straight top and turn yellow in fall. They have an alternate arrangement on branches. If you are trying to recognize one by its buds in winter, the buds are dark red and have flattened scales that resemble a duck-bill, just behind a large 12-14 mm terminal bud.

Other features of note you might want to take into consideration before planting your own tulip tree are its fruit. It has green or yellow 5-7 cm long conical clusters at the tips of its branches. The individual samara (fruit surrounded by a papery tissue that helps fruit fly away) are 4.5-8 cm long. Once they fly off the receptacle remains on the tree, serving as another recognition point for the tulip tree in winter. Just as the preceding flowers are a big draw for bees, the later seeds are an excellent food source for deer, squirrels, birds and rabbits.

So if you would like to tiptoe by this tulip, the season is now to do it. They prefer to be planted in the spring and will provide you with plenty of shade before you know it. Keep it away from your driveway, unless you want its honeydew dripping on your car when it is flowering. Prune it to a strong central leader and then let it grow to its heart’s content. You won’t regret planting this sturdy native tree, but if you want to know more, contact CLC Tree Services for details. We will happily answer any questions you may have, or even help you plant a tulip tree of your own this spring!

In the meantime, here’s an interesting video with a few more tidbits about tulip trees. Enjoy!


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