Arbor Day is a nationally-celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and care. Founded by J. Sterling Morton in 1872, it's celebrated on the last Friday in April…..TODAY!
Trees give us the air we need to breath, provide shade, and are fundamental for our existence. We recently observed the 40th anniversary of Earth Day and for most Americans, going green has definitely become the way to go. Eco-conscious consumers are gearing their efforts towards an environmentally positive way to live. We can offset our carbon footprint and enjoy one of Mother Nature’s finest works of art at the same time by nurturing or planting a tree.
Trees around the pool - some love 'em, some hate 'em. Every Plant, tree, shrub, or vine has its own distinct qualities. Before planting a seed or putting in a young sapling around your swimming pool, learn about the plant characteristics. Always consider the landscaping and surrounding area because planting a tree is a big commitment. Pool owners should take extra caution when designing a backyard or planting additional foliage, roots of certain trees can compromise underlying foundation and can be a nuisance when pollinating or wilting. Leaves, acorns, and pinecones can clog up the works and leave organic stains on white plaster or a white diving board. Some trees have an abundant amount of seeds that can quickly fill up a cleaner and clog up your skimmer baskets. Even worse some pedals and pine needles are known to get through baskets and make it to the pump impeller.
So which trees work well around a swimming pool? Hollys, Junipers and Palms work great in a pool environment. The key here is to keep things like flower buds and petals, leaves and other plant debris away from the pool water. Trees like Cherry, Poplar, Gum and Oak are beautiful in the spring, if not year round, but they will increase your workload and some of their debris can clog pump impellers. Evergreen trees, Palms or Cactus add dramatic landscape with much less "shedding". I would avoid most conifers and pine trees because of the needles and the pollen. Avoid fruit bearing trees, which are a mess to clean up, and can attract bees and wasps. Larger deciduous trees have larger debris and vicious root systems. Large roots can even gravitate towards underground plumbing and cause pipes to crack.
Which tree to plant around your pool? Different trees adapt differently to our varying climactic zones around the country. The map on the left is called the Hardiness Zone map. Numbers are hard to read, but they rank 1-10. The colors are based on a 10 degree Fahrenheit difference in the average annual temperature of the zone. Trees marked as being hardy in zones 4-9, for example, will do well with the average temps in those zones.
So, you can't place a palm tree around your pool in Ohio, unless it's inflatable ~ and maybe a birch tree won't fare well in Florida. For more info (and a larger map) on which trees work well in the different hardiness zones, pay a visit here.
All shrubbery also creates a wind barrier which reduces cross winds that can steal the heat away from your pool. A Lattice can be used to help aid ivy to create privacy barriers. Plant life can also be used to hide and muffle the sound of the pool equipment. Always make sure the equipment pad does not get over run by greenery. Motors need proper ventilation and fire hazards can occur when proper maintenance is not done. Pruning overhanging limbs will also limit unwanted debris in the pool.
Fertilizers used to aid growth and give nutrients to plant growth can have an adverse affect on the pool water. Iron and manganese can cause staining and aid in the unwanted growth of algae in the pool. Try not to over-feed grass and surrounding nature. Make sure rain water runoff routes and drains are unclogged and clear of debris. The main byproduct of fertilizer is phosphates. If fertilizer dust has been blown into pool and shocking water is having little affect you can test for phosphates then treat with a Phosphate remover like Orb-3.
Planting a small tree around your pool is an easy way to celebrate Arbor Day and a step in going greener. There are several ways to convert to having less of an impact on your environment. Low emission pool heaters, energy efficient pool pumps, pool heat pumps, solar panels are all examples of ways to utilize natural resources and save you money. Manufacturers are meeting the demands of the environmentally friendly pool owner. Check out our Green Pool Products section. Going green will give you a return on your investment in more than one way.
Tree Planting Guide from our friends at AmericanForest.org
American Tree Database from our friends at Arborday.org