Athens, NY’s 8 Most Common Trees and How to Maintain Them

Since 1936, we at Expert Tree Service have gotten around the Hudson Valley and Catskills region quite a bit in our work as a tree removal, trimming and maintenance company. One of our favorite places to visit is Athens, NY, a village and town located in Greene County. It’s known as Greene County’s first incorporated village.

In 2020, it was announced in the Daily Gazette that the village of Athens was designated a “Tree City USA,” affirming its commitment to planting and maintaining trees for the good of the community. One of the requirements for being a Tree City USA is to maintain a tree inventory. In this blog post, we’re going to go over the eight most common trees in Athens.

1. Sugar Maple (51)

Sugar maples thrive in Athens’ Plant Hardiness Zone 6a, where they can benefit from the cool winters and moderate summer temperatures. To ensure your sugar maple stays healthy, water it deeply during dry spells, as consistent moisture supports its extensive root system and vibrant fall foliage. Regularly mulch around the base to conserve soil moisture and protect roots from temperature extremes, and avoid planting near roads where salt can damage the tree.

2. Norway Maple (39)

These deciduous trees grow up to 30 meters tall and feature a broad, rounded crown. To care for your Norway maple, ensure it receives adequate water, particularly during dry spells, as young trees establish their root systems. Mulching around the base helps retain moisture and keeps weeds at bay, but avoid direct contact with the trunk to prevent rot. Regular pruning is crucial for removing dead or overcrowded branches, which improves air circulation and reduces disease risk. Keep an eye out for the tree’s invasive tendencies and manage any unwanted spreading.

3. Callery Pear (35)

Callery pear is also known as flowering pear, and is a popular ornamental tree in Athens, NY, renowned for its stunning spring displays of snow-white flowers. To keep this one healthy, plant it in well-drained soil and ensure it receives full sun. Water young trees regularly to establish a strong root system, but be cautious not to overwater as they prefer slightly dry conditions. Prune in late winter or early spring to maintain its conical shape and remove any dead or crossing branches. Watch out for fire blight, a common disease affecting Callery pears, and promptly remove any infected branches to prevent the spread.

4. Red Maple (22)

Red maple is a common and adaptable tree, making it a great choice for homeowners in Athens, NY. Known for its stunning scarlet autumn foliage, this tree thrives in a wide range of conditions, from swamps to dry soils. To care for your red maple, plant it in a location with full sun to partial shade and water it regularly, especially during dry spells, to ensure healthy growth. Prune in late winter to remove dead or weak branches and shape the tree. Watch out for pests such as aphids and scale insects, and consider mulching around the base to retain moisture and reduce competition from weeds.

5. Crabapple (20)

Crabapple trees (Malus spp.) are a beautiful addition to any yard in Athens, NY, with their stunning spring blossoms and attractive fruit. These trees can live 80-100 years, growing up to 30 feet tall. Crabapples thrive in full sun and well-drained soil, making them ideal for the edges of forests or open areas. To care for your crabapple, prune in late winter to maintain shape and remove any diseased branches. Regularly check for common pests like aphids and apple scab, and ensure adequate watering during dry periods to keep your tree healthy and vibrant.

6. Honey Locust (12)

Honey locusts (Gleditsia triacanthos) are a popular choice for landscaping in Athens, NY, due to their rapid growth and attractive foliage. These trees can reach heights of 20-30 meters and typically live around 120 years. The bright green, pinnately compound leaves turn a striking yellow in the fall. Honey locusts produce fragrant cream-colored flowers in late spring and flat legume pods that mature in early autumn. Regular pruning helps maintain their shape and removes any thorny branches, which can grow up to 20 cm long. Ensure proper watering, especially during dry spells, and watch for pests like the honey locust plant bug to keep your tree healthy.

7. Silver Maple (12)

To maintain the health and beauty of a silver maple tree, ensure it receives ample sunlight, as it has higher sunlight requirements compared to other maple species. Regularly check for proper drainage, as silver maples thrive in moist environments but may suffer from waterlogged soil. Prune dead or damaged branches to promote strong growth and prevent disease. Additionally, be mindful of its expansive root system, especially when planting near structures or pathways, to avoid potential damage as it matures. With proper care, your silver maple will continue to flourish and provide its signature elegance to your landscape.

8. Black Walnut (11)

For maintaining the health and vigor of your Black Walnut tree (Juglans nigra), consider the following tips. Ensure your tree has sufficient space to reach its full height of 98-131 feet and that it receives proper sunlight, as it thrives in sunny locations. Regularly inspect the tree for signs of pests or diseases, as Black Walnut trees can be susceptible to various pathogens. Prune dead or damaged branches to encourage healthy growth and shape the tree as desired. Additionally, be aware that Black Walnut trees have a unique root system that produces juglone, a compound toxic to certain plants, so take care when planting other vegetation nearby. With diligent care and attention, your Black Walnut tree will provide shade, beauty, and perhaps even a bountiful harvest of nuts in alternate years.

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