How to Plant a Tree

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Joanne Kamm

Subject: Leaves of a pin oak tree

Several years ago a former neighbor planted a pin oak tree in his back yard which is on one side of my yard. It was small for a few years, then took off and grew to be a giant. The leaves don't fall off in the fall when maples etc. do. They sometimes fall after there is snow on the ground and they do not rot away during the winter. You can't mulch them with the lawnmower and are difficult to rake. As a result I do not have any grass left there. The leaves stack on top of each other and smother the grass during the winter. I just have a large dirt/mud area there where beautiful grass was before. That tree should never have been planted there. The current owner even trimmed it once when I complained that I couldn't cut my grass because the branches were so low. If he hadn't trimmed it I believe the branches would be touching my house by now. I don't know what to do. What can I put there that will not die from those leaves. I can't go out in the snow and rake leaves.

Maryellen Stoker

Subject: Planting trees

Noticed "sucker trees" around the base of a Russian Olive tree. Could these be successful flowering transplants?


Subject: Mulch Volcano Picture

The Teacher's rule of thumb is to always demonstrate the right way to do something, never the wrong way. Replace the picture with what the correct way to mulch a tree.

martha eskridge

Subject: tree

A tiny tree happened to start growing in my outdoor pot about a year ago, and now about three feet high. I wasn't sure how to replant it until I stumbled onto Angies list and found the artical," How to plant a tree". Thank you.


Subject: Stop Mulch Volcanos!

Please put a big, red "X" across the image of the tree with the mulch volcano. Otherwise, if folks don't read the print, it will be easy to misinterpret the image are promoting mulch volcanos.

Sue Meulemeester

Subject: Mulch Volcanos

Yes, when I saw that picture (I always look at the pictures first), I thought that was showing the proper way to mulch a tree... then I read that it is definitely NOT!

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.