It might be surprising, but Atlanta is covered nearly 50 percent with trees. Its tree coverage is so extensive that the National Forest Service calls it the "most heavily forested" of all urban areas in the country. Today, there are more than 100,000 shade trees of all kinds living in the city. And when you're thinking that you need help removing leaves from your yard, consider how many leaves fall annually on the city's lawns and public spaces. Along with this fact, there are other interesting plant-related and tree-related facts about Atlanta, too.
Georgia's official nickname is "The Peach State." This is due to the sheer volume of peach trees growing across the state. Peach trees thrive in the relatively warm and mild climate in Atlanta. In addition to adding to the city's natural beauty and producing delicious fruits, Georgia's famous peach trees have inspired the city's infrastructure and identity. Atlanta itself has over 70 streets with some form of the word "peach" in their name. If you don't have a peach tree growing in your yard, you may at least live on a peach-themed street. The name "peach tree" originally came from "pitch tree," which refers to a native type of pine tree. These trees were so-named because of their sticky sap.
Along with inspiring street names, Georgia's peach trees also appear in musical references. Specifically, you'll hear about them in Frank Sinatra's song "Peachtree Street" and Sir Elton John's album called "Peachtree Road." June is about the time when peach trees start bearing fruit. Picking the fruit as it ripens inspires the tree to produce larger, juicier fruits. Come autumn, you'll have delicious peaches. And you'll only have to deal with raking leaves, not rotting fruit on the ground.
In the fall, there's nothing more delicious than homemade apple pie or applesauce. Depending on the species, you might be fortunate to plant, and successfully raise an apple tree in your own yard. Note that unlike peach trees, which are some of the lowest-maintenance fruit trees around, not all species of apple trees do well in the Atlanta area. Only select species, such as heirloom apples and crab apples, do well in the local climate. As fall arrives, apple tree leaves turn beautiful, distinct red and yellow colors. Since they produce fruit later than most trees, you'll still be able to collect apples from your yard into the late fall season.
Compared to apples, pear trees are tough. They are resilient and adaptable to many different climates, which makes them easy to grow throughout the state. Like other hardy species, pear trees can live a long time. Some reach 50 years old or more. Even more miraculously, they can still produce delicious fruits at that age. At one time, pear trees rivaled peach trees in their success. Their fruit production was so great that Georgia was a leading exporter. Like apple trees, there are some restrictions on species based on the local climate. Bartlett pears, which are one of the most popular varieties, do not grow well in the Southeastern climate. Although European pear trees can survive in the local environment, they are a fire hazard and should be avoided.
If you want to see nature's equivalent of a fireworks show, look at maple trees in the fall. Maples, which are among the most common trees in Georgia, have leaves that are green most of the year. But as the weather gets cooler, they turn brilliant hues. Depending on the species, Maples can grow to be very large. Some exceed 120 feet in height! With proper care, they can live to be 100 years old or more.
Surprisingly, many trees that you see today in Georgia are not native species. Instead, they survive because of the warm climate that is conducive to growth. One species that is native, however, is river birch. River birch is found throughout the Southeastern United States. It thrives primarily along lake shores and in riverbeds. This birch species can reach a height of 50 to 90 feet. Along with its beautiful white trunk, you'll be able to distinguish this species by its yellow leaves that appear in the fall.
One common Atlanta tree that is both picturesque and rooted in history is the Eastern redbud. This tree produces flowers in the springtime. It has a yellow or green leaves most of the year, which turn a red-purple color in the fall. This hardy and adaptable species is found throughout North America. It is a common transplant to many forests, which is a trend started by George Washington.
Leaf Removal and the Local Climate
Georgia has a humid subtropical climate. While temperatures are generally moderate throughout the year, summers can get very hot, and winters can get cold. If you have fruit trees in your yard, it's best to harvest the fruit before the winter season. Most fruit trees go dormant in the wintertime, and collecting their fruits helps them stay healthy.
In addition to getting the fruit off your trees (and yard), it's a good idea to remove the leaves from your property after they have fallen from the trees. In addition to being an eyesore, rotting leaves on a yard can hamper the growth of the grass beneath. A wet, moist leaf cover on the ground can prevent air from reaching the grass below. This, in turn, can kill the grass. It also invites the growth of bacteria and fungus, which can quickly take over your yard. Come spring, you want to look forward to a healthy, happy lawn, not battling a disease.
Georgia is a state that is full of history. It's also a place of natural beauty, and it is home to many trees. From fruit trees to stately maples, your property alone might showcase some of the region's best species. To keep your lawn and trees in top health, it's vital to remove dead leaves in the fall before winter strikes. Lawn Love can happily assist.