Weekly Home Help with items on caring for trees planted in the spring, California's new law that aims at carpet recycling, the Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program and more.

When a tree is planted in the spring, there are high expectations that it will become an integral part of the landscape.


"How well and how soon that happens starts with the tree's first several seasons in its new location in the landscape," said Richard Hentschel, a University of Illinois Extension horticulture specialist. "A general rule for transplant recovery of a shade or ornamental tree is that it takes at least one year of recovery for every inch of trunk caliper.”


That can mean a two- or three-year recovery for a typical tree planted by a homeowner, and longer if you have a professionally planted tree of a larger trunk caliper.


"Homeowners will need to take care of that transplanted tree until the tree completely recovers and resumes a normal annual rate of growth," he said.


Examples of a normal rate of growth can be measured by the amount of annual growth compared with the growth rate the first year after transplanting, the leaf size returning to normal and a return of flowers, if it is a flowering tree. The tree will spend much of the energy produced by the leaves to re-grow and establish a root system for those first years.


"Providing plenty of water during those first years is very important," Hentschel said. "With a limited root system, watering is one of the most important things a homeowner can do.


"In the spring, when we are having cooler temperatures, the demand for water is reduced and there is usually adequate moisture in the soil from the spring rains. As the weather gets warmer, homeowners need to check the tree about once a week for water, and then only water when needed," Hentschel said.


-- University of Illinois Extension


Decorating Tip: Create a yoga studio or gym


Do you have an extra room in the house? Consider making it your personal yoga studio or gym to which you can retreat, relax and workout in your own space. Start with a soothing paint color like sage green. Also consider swapping out carpet for hardwood floors. Finally, move in workout equipment or yoga mats. Music, artwork and candles are additional features that can contribute to a soothing environment.


-- HGTV.com 


Home-Selling Tip: Checking windows and doors


Check all windows and doors in a house before listing it on the marketplace. If they do not open and close easily or quietly, WD-40 applied to the hinges may help. Polish all doorknobs, and make sure they are on securely and are working properly. If there are any cracked or broken windowpanes or doorframes, fix them before showing the house.


-- RealEstateABC.com


Going Green: California targets carpet recycling


A new law in California aims to keep carpet out of landfills by charging residents an extra nickel for every square yard of carpet they buy. The extra money will be collected by the Carpet America Recovery Effort –– founded in 2002 as a partnership between the carpet industry and government agencies to develop market-based solutions to carpet recycling –– which will then issue funding to carpet recyclers.


-- Earth911.com


Did You Know …


Those facing foreclosure in 27 states can apply to the Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program, announced on July 5 by HUD, until July 27.


Garden Guide: Transplanting vegetable plants


The size of the plant determines how much soil it will need when it is time to transplant. A gallon container will grow about five leafy lettuce plants but only one plant of Swiss chard collards or kale. A gallon or two of soil is needed for most pepper transplants. Tomatoes require 3 to 5 gallons of soil per plant. Consider varieties like Jetstar, Celebrity or Super Bush.


-- University of Illinois Extension


New Product: AT&T offers iPhone insurance plan


AT&T announced an an Apple iPhone insurance plan provided by Asurion starting on July 17, which will cover any new iPhone purchase or upgrade for a $5 monthly fee per line. It will cover out-of-warranty phones that are lost, stolen or damaged, including accidental water damage. However, according to Consumer Reports, there is a $50 or $125 non-refundable deductible, depending on the model and the incident; only two claims can be filed within 12 consecutive months; and the replacements may be refurbished models.


GateHouse News Service