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28 Feb 2017
Spruce Tree Removal Reno NV

Project Spotlight: Windstorm Leads To Removal Of Spruce Tree

We’ve seen some big wind storms come thru the area recently, and as you know, they can do some significant damage and sometimes lead to tree removal.

Spruce Tree Removal Reno NVThat’s exactly what happened in this month’s Project Spotlight.  Let’s begin with a note we received from our happy customer, Buffie:

Today, February 16, 2017, we had four gentlemen come and take care of a Spruce; the spruce met his demise due to last night’s wind storm. This tree has seen many, many first-day-of-school pictures, Military Ball pics, all the good sappy (HA! Tree funny) pics that you bring out when your kid brings home a date :).

Long story short, I asked one of the gentlemen to save me a small piece. We sat from a safe distance and watched the magic unfold. Thirty-two minutes (approximately) it took them. That was including the following. They took a log and cut it for me. They totally went way above and beyond! All 4 of them were polite, had great manners, and very hard workers! Excellent job for sure! They sure hugged my heart, today :). This was at Terracina Apartments on the corner of Sierra Highlands and Vila Verda, at approximately, 10:30 this morning.

I have to make one more comment. We have seen over a year’s worth of construction people coming in and out of our apartment due to renovations. Over a YEAR! I have seen all kinds of folks. Painter, carpenters, plumbers and some I cannot pronounce. The four gents you have working for you are so far superior from any team I have seen to date! If I could afford it, I would have tipped them $100 each! But a HUGE THANK YOU will just have to do :)!


Wow, thank you Buffie! That completely made our day. We’re so glad we could be there for you, and we appreciate you giving us a call so we could help you out.

27 Feb 2017

3 Hidden Benefits of Hiring a Certified Tree Service Pro

The Advantages of Having a Certified Arborist Work on Your Tree Care Needs


There is no question that trees add more than just visual appeal to your property. They also increase its value, so long as the trees are healthy and well-maintained. Spending time, money, and effort on the well-being of your trees can actually be considered as an investment that presents considerable returns for you, the property owner, and for the community as a whole, not to mention all the ecological benefits that trees can provide.


But there’s a hitch.


A tree that is not well-taken care of, if it’s left unpruned or is ridden with diseases, is a potential liability and an accident that’s waiting to happen. Tree care services and maintenance that are done inconsistently and incorrectly pose serious risks not just to the tree itself, but to everyone who comes near it as well.

Can you imagine having your kids and their friends playing under a tree that has sustained significant winter damage? For all you know its limbs and branches are already so weak that the gentlest gust of wind could cause it to break and fall off. This is why having a well-maintained tree is very important.

If you’re going to hire a professional to work on your trees, you might as well go with the best. And there’s no one better in tree care services than a Certified Arborist.


What is an Arborist?

An Arborist is a tree care specialist who can provide for the specific needs of individual trees. These professionals, also known as tree doctors, are masters of the art and science of tree care. Certified Arborists are well-versed and highly-trained in identifying the individual needs of trees, as well as providing care and maintenance to ensure health and well-being for these silent gentle giants.


The Benefits of Hiring an Arborist and the Different Services They Can Provide

The benefits of hiring an Arborist may not be as obvious or clear-cut as most people think. The services they provide are not that much different from those offered by most tree care services. However, there are a few notable exceptions, such as the level of knowledge, care, and scientific approach in dealing with tree health care and maintenance.


1. Planting Services

This is probably one of the biggest advantages Certified Arborists can provide you. If you want to add value to your property by planting some trees, there is no better expert to approach than an Arborist. He can recommend the right trees to plant, where to plant them, and how to plant the trees safely and properly.

  • Arborists can provide preventive maintenance against infestation and disease, which is crucial to young and newly planted trees.
  • Arborists can lend their expertise on the proper soil aeration techniques to make sure that air, water, and nutrients are efficiently absorbed by the tree’s root system.
  • Arborists can advise proper nutrients for specific tree species.  Soil pH, available organic matter and water make a difference is how provide fertilization programs to ensure the best growth and development.
  • Arborists can help find the appropriate trees best suited to your specific location, as well as provide tips on the proper planting depth and the overall care and maintenance required for the newly planted tree.


2. Pruning Services

Any tree company or tree professional can provide pruning services with the proper tools. However, a Certified Arborist can provide you with much more than your basic pruning service. Arborists can . . .

  • Help guide young trees to develop stronger limbs and overall structure.
  • Help remove damaged limbs and branches in a safe and efficient manner.
  • Help find the disease-ridden parts that may compromise the integrity of the tree.
  • Help shape the tree so that it doesn’t interfere with structures.
  • Help prepare the tree for the harsh winter season and help it recover through a tactical pruning approach.


3. Tree Health Care and Emergency Services

Preventive care and maintenance are most notably the biggest advantages that a good arborist can provide to tree owners. Despite what you might think, trees require constant care and maintenance, especially during difficult seasons like summer and winter.

Sometimes, a tree may have a compromised structure due to neglect and you won’t even notice it until it’s too late and the tree has fallen over from its roots or cleft into two. Certified Arborists are great at detecting potential problems and providing the appropriate solution before things become worse.


Share your thoughts and experiences below by leaving a comment. 


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Wikimedia Commons photo by Environmenttrees

26 Feb 2017

Proper Tree Selection

Marnie Brennan with American Arborists discusses the key concepts of proper plant selection including: hardiness, species characteristics, site conditions, early watering needs and much much more!   

23 Feb 2017

Proper Planting In The High Desert

Marnie Brennan discusses the unique complications of tree planting and establishment and tips for ensuring your tree establishes properly and grows to maturity improving our urban forest and the value of your property.   

23 Feb 2017

Intro To TreeTalk and American Arborists

First TreeTalk Podcast,  Introducing Marnie Brennan the host of TreeTalk.  Marnie discusses her experience and the content the podcast will cover.  

23 Feb 2017

4 Secrets on How (and When) To Prune Your Fruit Tree

Useful Tips for a Successful Fruit Tree Pruning Process


Whether you’re dealing with a newly planted fruit tree or merely doing some regular maintenance, one of the most important tree care processes you have to learn is pruning.


What is pruning?

Pruning is a process of trimming or cutting away dead or overgrown branches and stems. It can revitalize tree growth and increase its fruitfulness. When trees are left unpruned, particularly fruit trees, growth and development can be hindered, especially when weather factors come into play. Fruit trees will take longer to bear fruit or simply won’t bear any at all.


Why Take Pruning Seriously: Key Factors to Consider


  • The survivability factor

Trees may look sturdy and robust to most common folks, but they’re actually quite sensitive to temperature changes, the weather, and other external factors. Through the process of pruning, you effectively increase a tree’s survivability, ensuring their growth and development. And by pruning a fruit tree, you practically increase its chances of bearing great quality fruit.


  • The stimulation factor

When you prune trees you are effectively stimulating more growth, fruit and flowering trees are most sensitive to over pruning. Removing too much live growth can and will stimulate negative growth in suckers and water sprouts. Suckers grow from the roots, water sprouts are the fast growing straight limbs that are weakly attached adventitious growth that rob nutrients and water from the healthy growth. All suckers should be removed when spotted, some water sprouts can be left it not left in direct composition of proper growing  limbs. Keep to a 20% live material removal, this does not include suckers, dead, broken or diseased branches.


  • The proper shaping factor

Most people think that the natural shape of a fruit tree is the most optimum for fruit bearing. The truth is it’s not always the case. If you look at fruit trees in the wild and compare them with those in well-maintained locations, there’s actually a significant difference in fruit production. Well-maintained fruit trees produce more trees than those in the wild. And that’s because of proper and timely pruning.


The Basics of Proper Fruit Tree Pruning: Tips on the How and the When

  1. Wait for the tree to become dormant before you start the pruning process.

All trees go into a dormant stage, typically during the fall season and well into winter. One of the most obvious signs that a tree is going into dormancy is when its leaves start falling. Once the leaves are off, and we have had multi cold days and nights it’s the appropriate time to start the pruning process.

Summer pruning can also be performed, but it should only be done in the early part of summer, and limited to suckers,  broken, diseased and crossing branches, especially when dealing with fruit trees.


  1. Upright branches produce the most vegetation while horizontal branches bear most of the fruits.

If you don’t know much about fruit trees, there is one important factor you need to understand as far as figuring out which parts of the tree bears the most fruit. The vertical or upright branches typically have the most vegetation and are more vigorous than other branches. However, it’s the horizontal branches that are more fruitful.

The key to a healthy and fruitful tree is a good balance between the positioning of the branches. This is one aspect that can really benefit from a good pruning. Branches growing at a 45° to 60° angle provide the right balance for maximum fruiting.


  1. Low vigor and recently planted trees benefit from regular pruning.

Corrective and regular pruning on recently planted fruit trees or trees that are fairly young and have low vigor is highly advisable to encourage strong and rapid growth. Ideally, recently planted trees should be encouraged to grow and develop in the first three years of its life.

Proper methods and techniques should always be observed when planting a new tree. Best tree planting practices will help equalize the development of the top and the root system of the tree.


  1. Consult a reputable Arborist to help with the various aspects of fruit tree pruning and maintenance.

When it comes to fruit trees, or any tree for that matter, it’s important to have a tree expert present to help guide you in the right direction as far as taking care of your trees is concerned. And there is no individual more knowledgeable when it comes to trees than a Certified Arborist.

Of all the tips about how or when to prune trees, what the right maintenance techniques are, this is probably the most important secret that’s actually not so secret (when you think about it). Obviously, if you want to maintain a healthy, fruit-bearing tree, you need to hire a professional to help you out.


Have any tips to share? Comment below with what’s worked well for you!


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Wikimedia Commons photo by SeppVei

20 Feb 2017
tree and landscaping tips for homeowners

Tree and Landscaping Tips for Home Buyers and Home Sellers

Increasing the Value and Improving the Overall Appeal of Your Real Estate Property


Whether you’re a home buyer or seller, one of the most crucial aspects in owning real estate property is to ensure its value doesn’t depreciate. You want to do everything you can to make sure that the value of the property either remains the same or increases over time.


But how do you increase property value?

The key to making sure that property value doesn’t depreciate is to focus on the exterior aspects of your home. No, it’s not about repainting walls or adding lawn furniture. Affixing fancy sconce lights, installing doorknockers, or placing garden gnomes; these are cosmetics solutions that are easy to implement and take no time at all.

What you need to be focusing on are aesthetics that take significant time and effort to accomplish, such as your front lawn and your backyard. Trees, shrubberies, garden plants, and even lawn grass take time to completely manifest their beauty and complement the exterior of your property.

These components, when realized and done correctly, will effectively add value to your property and make it more appealing, whether you’re moving in as a new homeowner or trying to show off the property as a seller.


Useful Tips for Trees and Landscaping after Buying a House

Whether you’re buying or constructing a new home, it’s easy to dive right into the basic components of the house. What type of flooring should I use for the living room? What paint color do I use for the exterior paneling? These are important factors, indeed. But don’t forget about your lawn and your landscape.


What do you do with your lawn?

Obviously, the first thing you should consider when it comes to lawns is grass type. If you bought the home, consider the type of grass growing on the lawn. Does it fit the type of ambience you’re trying to achieve for your property? Does it require a lot of maintenance? Does the lawn grass look healthy or does it require some revitalization?

If your property is new and still has no grass on it, or if you decide to replace the existing grass, you need to realize that when it comes to grass and grass seeds, you get what you pay for. It is important to find the right kind of lawn grass that not only suits the visual approach you’re trying to achieve for your home but survivability as well. Is the grass species appropriate for your climate?


What should you do with existing trees in your property?

If there are mature trees in your new property, the best approach is to hire a Certified Arborist or tree service company. Have the tree professional assess the condition of the trees to figure out the best thing to do next.

Trees that are severely damaged and beyond saving need to be cut down as they can be potential hazards, especially when it stands too close to your house. If the trees are healthy, they may need some trimming and pruning, or some other tree care service to ensure their integrity.


Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when hiring a tree professional:

  • Make sure that he or she is a Certified Arborist.
  • Look for proper credentials.
  • Ask for references.
  • Talk to them about their tree maintenance methods and techniques.
  • Inquire about liability insurance.


What should you do with your landscape?

After buying a house, one of the first crucial aspects you need to be focusing on is the landscape. Now, there may be existing plants and shrubberies in the property after you bought it, but are they enough? Are the plants healthy and well-maintained? Does the overall landscaping design fit the look you’re trying to achieve for your property?

If you’ve no experience in landscaping and you want to make sure that it is done right, your best option is to hire a professional landscape designer. Meet with the designer so you can come up with the best and most practical plan for your property.

Whether you’re buying a home and want to increase its value or trying to sell the property and want to make it more appealing to potential buyers, there are specific things you can do to make it happen. Much of it, however, relies on how much attention you put into your trees and landscaping.


Share your thoughts and comment below!


More info:


Wikimedia Commons photo by A. McCarron

19 Feb 2017
why spring is great time to call your arborist

Why Spring Is a Great Time to Call Your Arborist

The Four Main Reasons Why You Should Hire an Arborist in Spring


Before we figure out why spring is an excellent time to contact your local Arborist, perhaps we should first provide the reason it is imperative that you hire an Arborist.

If you have trees in your property, whether it’s residential or commercial, you will need someone to maintain, trim, prune, and look after the plants’ health and well-being on a regular basis. That someone is a professional known as an Arborist.

Arborists are trained professionals who specialize in the care and maintenance of individual trees. They have the appropriate training and knowledge with regards to the proper handling of various types of trees. In layman’s terms, Arborists are tree experts who are certified to apply their expertise.


So why is spring a good time to contact an Arborist?

Well, if you want to do annual spring cleaning on your home, office, or business establishment, there is no reason why you shouldn’t invest the same time and effort taking care of your tree’s needs during this time of year.

All the other seasons can be challenging to most trees because of the extreme temperatures, storms, and winds they have to endure. Droughts, heavy rains, thunderstorms, ice, and snow—all of these can take a toll on the trees in your property, especially if you live in an area that experiences these types of conditions each and every year.

Springtime is the only time when trees can grow new life, recover, and then relax, making is a good time for maintenance and light pruning if necessary.  Removing dead, diseased and broken branches should be removed when noticed, especially after an active winter. Look for water sprouts and suckers for removal as well. These advantageous limbs and sprouts which are weakly attached and drain needed nutrients to healthy limbs.


4 Key Reasons Why Spring Is the Ideal Time to Call an Arborist

1. To Do Maintenance Checks on Your Trees

Much like your car, your home’s air conditioning system, or your own body, trees also require routine inspections and maintenance. And these checks are best conducted during spring. Tree maintenance is necessary to ensure optimal health, diagnose potential diseases, catch mold and pest infestation before they spread, and to check the soil condition.


2. To Do Some Trimming

The subfreezing temperatures during the winter months and the fluctuating temperatures in late winter and early spring can cause serious problems to your trees. These harsh conditions can leave their limbs and branches weak. If left alone, those weakened branches can become a serious hazard, especially when faced with strong winds and storms. The warm spring weather provides an opportune time to remove these potential hazards and allow the tree to recover and grow.

Through a proper trimming process, you can remove some of the winter damage sustained by the trees and help restore their vibrant beauty as spring progresses.


3. To Do Some Pruning

Pruning is one of the processes employed by Arborists to restore the shape and structure of snow-damaged trees. Removing dead, broken and diseased branches should be removed when noticed, this can be done any time of the year. As spring progresses, your trees will start to become thicker as they get covered with green leaves. During this period, pruning becomes essential to help give the tree proper shape and structure.

Pruning will also help ensure the right balance of new growth, especially when new growth is heavier or thicker on one side. The right pruning process will not only help restore beauty and shape to your trees, it also helps with the integrity of their limbs and branches.

Note: You should avoid hiring Arborists or tree companies that practice tree topping as a technique to control tree shape and structure. Tree topping, the practice of removing whole tops of trees, is not only detrimental to the health and integrity of the tree; it’s downright illegal in some states.


4. To Provide Tree Removal Services

Let’s get one thing straight: tree removal should only be considered as a last resort and not a primary solution to dealing with snow-damaged trees. Often times, trees that sustained damage from the previous winter can still recover when handled correctly.

However, there are times where the damage sustained by a tree is so severe that restoring it is virtually impossible. At times like these, when the structural integrity of the tree is so compromised that it now poses a potential hazard, tree removal may be your only option. Springtime is the best time to do it.


What do you think? Comment below.


More info: photo by Arno Smit

13 Feb 2017

Types of Trees Found in the Western United States

Each and every one of us knows what a tree is and what it looks like. At a young age, most of us have probably enjoyed many an afternoon playing in one of the trees in our neighborhoods. Trees are majestic. They provide beauty to any landscape, provide a nice cool shade on hot afternoons, and they even provide a rich ecosystem for birds, lizards, and other animals.

Although most trees share many different things in common, such as a trunk, limbs, and branches, there are specific aspects that make each species unique to one another.  In the United States alone, there are quite a number of varieties that are naturalized and indigenous to this part of the world. And the western region of the US is home to a large chunk of those different species.

The following are a few of the different types of trees found in western U.S., from the northwestern down to the southwestern regions.


Trees in the Western United States


Blue Spruce (Picea pungens)

Blue spruce is one of the many species of spruce trees that include the green spruce, white spruce, Colorado spruce, and the Colorado blue spruce. This type of tree is indigenous to the Rocky Mountains, but their natural range covers some parts of northern New Mexico all the way to the state of Wyoming.

The blue spruce, however, has been widely introduced to just about everywhere in the United States, because this tree is often used as an ornamental tree in many regions far beyond New Mexico and Wyoming.

The blue spruce tree belongs to the coniferous tree family, and some of its distinctive features include the blue-colored needles, scaly gray bark on the trunk, and yellowish-brown branches. This tree is cultivated for the Christmas tree industry and the ornamental tree industry for gardens and parks. It is the State Tree of Colorado.


Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta)

The lodgepole pine, otherwise known as the twisted pine or the shore pine, is most commonly found in western North America, near ocean shores, hence the name shore pine. However, the lodgepole pine can also be found in dry montane forests and subalpine zones.

This particular tree species supports a myriad of wildlife habitat and is a significant resource for local communities throughout the western United States. The timber of the lodgepole tree is often used for various woodcrafts such as framing, utility poles, paneling, railroad ties, posts, and pulpwood.


Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides)

The quaking aspen is a type of deciduous tree indigenous to the cooler regions of western North America. The quaking aspen tree has many different names, including the trembling aspen, quakies, mountain aspen, golden aspen, trembling poplar, popple, white poplar, and many more.

If you’ve noticed, many of the names like quakies, quaking, or trembling is often used. This is because of the fluttering sounds the leaves make when hit by a breeze or a gust of wind.

Like many aspen trees, the quaking aspen is perhaps one of the most visible of western North American hardwoods, providing biodiversity, specialty forest products, wildlife habitat, livestock forage, and of course a very majestic scenery.


White Fir (Abies concolor)

Also known as the Colorado white fir, this particular tree is indigenous to the mountains of western North America, growing in elevations of 3,000 to 11,000 feet above sea level. The white fir is classified as a medium to large evergreen coniferous tree, growing up to 80 to 195 feet tall. The trunk of an adult white fir can have a diameter of up to 6 feet.

The white fir, which is also sometimes called the concolor fir, is quite popular as an ornamental landscaping tree despite its significant size, and is often time used as a Christmas tree in parks and large gardens. This tree, if well maintained and healthy, is quite a sight to look at.


Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)

Sometimes spelled as Douglas-fir, this particular tree belongs to the evergreen conifer species that is indigenous to western North America. It is one of the most dominant types of trees found in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, although they are also found in the upper slopes at medium altitudes.

The Douglas fir, named after the Scottish botanist David Douglas, has been successfully transplanted throughout most of North America, specifically in the more temperate zones. Its wood is commonly used for structural lumber, decking, and paneling.


More info:


Wikimedia Commons photo by DXR

11 Feb 2017

What Kind of Equipment Do Tree Pros Use?

With the wide range of tree cutting and climbing equipment available in the market, just about anyone can climb, cut, trim, or prune a tree. But just because a person has all the necessary tools to do such tasks, it doesn’t necessarily make him or her a tree professional. And it certainly doesn’t qualify that person to be called an Arborist.

Arborists are educated in the science of tree care. They undergo training and proper certification before they are qualified to provide tree services. A Certified Arborist is actually considered as a doctor of trees, because they have the knowledge and know-how to diagnose, treat, and prevent diseases and other problems commonly associated with trees.


So what are the tools that are commonly found inside an Arborist’s toolbox?

The tree care business is a potentially dangerous endeavor. It requires skill and understanding of the biology and physics of trees. An Arborist must have the expertise and the knowledge to safely climb a tree, which rigging to use, which type of saw should be employed when cutting limbs and branches, and make sure that the cut limbs and branches fall in the target location. A branch that is being sawed off in a haphazard manner poses a serious danger to other people.


The Fundamental Equipment Used by Tree Service Professionals


Rigging Equipment

Rigging equipment is necessary for climbing large trees, bringing down huge cut limbs safely to the ground, as well as transporting power tools and heavy equipment up and down, to and from the operator high up in the canopy. A few of these rigging tools include the following:

  • Blocks and pulleys
  • Light and heavy duty slings
  • Friction brakes
  • Rigging plates
  • Carabiners
  • Winches
  • Power pullers
  • Ring slings
  • Cable hoists
  • Swivels
  • Rigging thimbles
  • And lots and lots of rope


Cutting Equipment

Obviously, any tree professional will require a slew of cutting tools. And Arborists are no exception, although the primary tool of any good Arborist is his knowledge. Cutting is usually a last resort, a form of treatment or repair, or a prevention and maintenance method. Some of the cutting equipment in an Arborist’s toolkit includes:

  • Hand saws
  • Pruners
  • Polesaws
  • Hand pruners
  • Tree loppers
  • A variety of axes
  • Hedge trimmers
  • Hatchets
  • And the most typical, the chainsaw


Climbing Equipment

Believe it or not, it’s not the cutting tools or the cutting process that is most dangerous in this kind of profession. Climbing is actually a lot more treacherous when you look at the statistics. You seldom hear in the news about a tree professional cutting himself in the leg with a power saw. You do, however, hear about people falling off tall trees due to faulty rigging.

A good Arborist will emphasize on safety and the importance of proper, well-maintained climbing equipment. This is why the majority of equipment you’ll find in an Arborist’s bag of tools is dedicated to climbing and safety.

Most of the climbing equipment used by tree professionals is comprised mainly of the same tools used for rigging, with the exception of the following:

  • Helmets/hardhats
  • Saddles
  • Protective goggles/glasses
  • Work gloves to help with grip
  • Protective clothing
  • Straps
  • Spurs
  • Radios for communication
  • Ascenders and descenders
  • Eye slings
  • Tails
  • First-aid kit
  • More pulleys, carabiners, and rope


Certified Arborists and tree professionals use all of these tools on a variety of jobs. To safely use some of them, one has to have proper training and experience. When used properly, tree professionals can safely and efficiently remove large tree limbs and branches, prune and trim trees, as well as cut down dead or disease-ridden trees.

When you’re in the process of hiring a tree service company or a Certified Arborist, make sure that they have all the necessary equipment used by Arborists to safely and effectively do the job you want them to do. If the service can provide a written itemization of every tool and equipment they are using, the better. This is why it is always advisable to ask for certification before hiring professionals.

If the company can’t provide the proper credentials, or doesn’t have the right tools for the job, you might want to reconsider your options.


Any questions? Comment below!


More info: photo by Ariana Prestes