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01 Apr 2017
Stump Removal Methods

4 Tree Stump Removal Methods (Plus 1 Foolish One)

Comparing Stump Removal Techniques – Examining Safety and Efficiency of the Most Common Methods

 

Okay, removing a tree stump isn’t exactly a simple task. To get right down to the point, the absolute worst thing you can do when trying to remove a tree stump is to do it on your own without the right tools or the expertise on how to go about the job in a safe and efficient manner.

 

So after all that, do you still want to learn more about the different tree stump removal methods, or are you going the amateur route and try to do it with guns blazing?

If you want to approach the stump removal process the right way, below are a few things you need to know.

You see, there are a number of ways to remove a tree stump, with varying difficulties and cost. Each method has its own positives and negatives you have to consider if you’re going to decide which stump removal technique to go with. So, let’s get to the nitty-gritty, shall we?

 

Stump Removal through Chemical Process

There are chemical products that can speed up the rotting process of a dead tree stump so that it can be easily removed. These products are available at any local hardware store that sells gardening materials.

A standard stump remover usually contains potassium nitrate to help accelerate the decomposition process. Others use chemical fertilizers rich in nitrogen to promote bacterial growth, which then facilitates the gradual decay of the stump.

Pros:

  • Easy to apply. All you need to do is drill deep holes in the stump, place the chemicals in the holes, and leave it to rot.
  • It’s an inexpensive stump removal method. Most stump removers cost less than $20.

Cons:

  • This method is potentially dangerous, especially when there are children and pets around. You’re using strong chemicals here.
  • The chemical process takes a long time to complete. It can take weeks up to a month, maybe even more.

 

Stump Removal through Mechanical Process

Stump grinders are the most popular mechanical tool designed to remove tree stumps. These machines have sharp rotating teeth that can easily grind through dead tree stumps like butter.

Pros:

  • You can go through the stump removal process rather quickly using the equipment.
  • It doesn’t require a high skill level to operate properly.

 

Cons:

  • Rental units are relatively smaller, and less powerful, compared to commercial versions. So it may take more time and effort than you expect to complete the task.
  • Rental versions are mainly designed to remove one or two tree stumps that are less than 10 inches in diameter. Anything more than that and you’re in trouble.

 

Stump Removal through Manual Process

If you feel like working up a sweat, then manually digging out the stump will surely give you a great workout. All you need is a shovel for digging, some type of saw for cutting up the roots, a pickaxe for wrenching and softening the soil, and protective gear.

Pros:

  • This is a cost-effective method for removing a tree stump.
  • It can give you a tough cardiovascular workout.

Cons:

  • It’s a physical and potentially dangerous job. You can easily injure yourself if you’re not careful.
  • This process is only effective if you’re dealing with a relatively small tree stump. Trees that have huge roots that go really deep into the ground will not be easy to remove manually.

 

Stump Removal through Natural Process

Here’s a nice alternative for removing tree stumps: just let it decompose naturally. If you find that the stump doesn’t really bother you that much, just leave it in the ground to rot. Covering it with fertilizer, soil, or even mulch should help speed up the decay as fungus and bacteria start to flourish. In several months, the stump can easily be removed with minimal effort.

Using fire to remove tree stumps is a popular method, but it’s not advisable. It’s potentially dangerous and the fire could easily get out of control. And using your pickup truck to pull the stump out is really an amateur move. It’s still best to contact a professional to help with the removal process.

Hey, if you can afford to hire a professional to have a tree removed from your property, certainly a few extra bucks to remove the stump shouldn’t be a problem, right?

 

More info:

 

Stocksnap.io photo by Oisin Conolly

28 Mar 2017
Can I Save My Tree?

Customer Question of the Month: Can I Save My Tree?

Understanding the Signs That Tell You If a Tree Is Worth Saving or If It’s Too Late

 

When a tree in your property sustains damage from a storm or if it develops some kind of disease, it’s often difficult to determine whether or not it can still be saved.

Trees are strong and robust when they’re healthy and well maintained. But if they’re suffering from a disease, have sustained significant storm damage and are dying, they can be dangerous when left unattended.

But here’s the thing.

Tree removal isn’t always the most practical solution when dealing with a dying tree. You see, if a dying tree is situated in a location where it’s not in danger of falling onto people or structures, it can be left alone to die in peace.

Keep in mind that even old dead trees still provide a habitat for different species of birds and other animals. So it’s really not necessary to have a dead tree removed, unless it poses a clear and present danger to its surroundings.

Obviously though, there’s still the question of whether to save a tree from dying, just leave it be, or have it removed by a tree professional. Here are a few things you should consider to help you determine whether you should save your tree or start calling tree removal services in your area.

 

Can You Still Save Tree from Dying or Is It Too Late? Here’s What You Need to Do:

 

1. Assess the damage and overall condition of the tree.

Before you decide to have a storm-damaged tree removed from your property, you might want to consider the following:

  • Does the tree still look healthy and strong, besides the obvious damage it sustained from the storm?
  • Did the tree sustain serious structural damage? Can you see major limbs broken? Large broken limbs pose a serious threat to the tree’s health and recovery.
  • After the storm, does the tree still have more than 50% of its crown? A tree needs its crown in order to survive and recover, especially after sustaining storm damage. The overall condition of the tree’s crown is a good indicator of health and survivability.
  • Check the remaining branches that are intact and see whether they are strong enough and structurally sound to form new branches. Broken branches are not necessarily a death sentence for the tree, as long as there are enough solid limbs for new foliage to grow.
  • Check the size of the wounds sustained by the tree, especially those where branches have been torn and broken. Larger wounds will leave the tree susceptible to disease and infestation.

 

2. Think long and hard before making a decision on what to do with a damaged tree.

Trees are important to the environment and to any property they grow on. So before you decide on the fate of a tree in your property, you better think long and hard and not make any rash decisions that you might regret later on.

In general, you need to consider a number of things before you pull the trigger on having the tree removed.

First and foremost, you need to think about safety. Does the tree, in its current weakened state, pose a threat to the surroundings, especially people and structures? If the tree is located near a sidewalk or a pathway, it could pose a danger to pedestrians. If it’s located right beside the garage or your house, falling limbs and branches could pose serious damage to your property.

On the other hand, if the tree is situated somewhere there’s no people walking or hanging around it, no structures it could fall on to in the event it collapses, you can hold off on the removal process and wait to see if there’s even the slightest chance the tree could recover.

Secondly, if the tree has sustained relatively minor damage, you should give it a chance to recover before you end its life. Trees are a lot more resilient than most people think when given the chance and provided with the best care possible.

Lastly, you should contact a Certified Arborist to help provide a more complete assessment of the condition of the tree. Compared to other tree professionals, the number one priority of an Arborist is to save the tree rather than just cutting it down and be done with it.

More info:

 

Stocksnap.io photo by Balungile Mbenyane

25 Mar 2017
What is Urban Forest Management?

What The Heck Is Urban Forest Management?

A Look into the Different Advantages of Urban Forestry

 

Ever noticed how towns and neighborhoods that have a lot of street trees, forested parks, and sidewalk gardens look so beautiful and refreshing?

This is the result of good urban forest management.

There’s no denying that trees, shrubberies, and flowery plants can enhance the appearance of any urban environment. However, a solid urban forest management plan goes beyond the aesthetics of an urbanized area.

Picture this for a moment:

You’re driving down a long stretch of highway in a convertible. The road’s center barrier is lined with shrubberies and tall beautiful trees. Doesn’t it feel refreshing? Does that kind of scenery not put you in a good mood and improve your driving experience? Traffic jam or not, lush greeneries are a way better sight than gray concrete and painted metal bars, don’t you agree?

Believe it or not, there are many advantages and benefits to a well-planned urban forest development.

But what are the keys to an effective plan?

  • A clear vision of the urban forest development.
  • An accurate assessment of the current condition of the urban forestry.
  • Clear goals and objectives for the urban forest development.
  • A proper course of action based on gathered information and established needs for the development of the urban forest.
  • A comprehensive implementation plan with assigned responsibilities, specific dates, and deadlines.
  • A good monitoring plan to evaluate progress, spot inefficiencies, and make revisions as needed.

These key factors can help maximize the benefits of the urban forest development, as well as make the management process much more efficient.

 

The Main Benefits of Urban Forestry and Urban Forest Management

There are environmental, economic, and health benefits of effective urban forest management. However, to better understand these benefits, we must first look at a few facts about trees and other plant life.

Trees clean the air around us through photosynthesis. Through this process, trees can effectively absorb greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and release pure oxygen as a byproduct, thus reducing global warming.

 

Trees help reduce flooding and water pollution in urbanized areas. In rural and mountainous regions, trees play a significant role in preventing landslides and soil erosion. This is because trees can absorb large amounts of rain water, minimizing runoff and improving g soil quality. The same principle also applies to urban areas.

This is especially crucial in densely populated urban centers, because the runoff in these areas often contain chemicals and harmful pollutants from the streets, landfills, and sewage.

 

Trees help promote biodiversity. Trees are not just outdoor ornaments for people to enjoy. They actually provide a natural habitat for various animals as well as other plant life.

 

Now that we’ve figured out some of the benefits that trees can offer to the environment, here are several advantages that good urban forest management can offer:

  • Well maintained trees can help increase the value of either residential or commercial property.
  • They help lower air temperature in urban environments, while concrete does the opposite.
  • Because air temperature is lowered, energy consumption is also reduced, particularly in homes, offices, and other facilities. .
  • During the winter, strategically planted trees serve as windbreakers. Again minimizing energy usage.
  • Air quality is significantly improved in urban centers, as trees absorb greenhouse gases and other air pollutants emitted by buildings, motor vehicles, and other potential sources.
  • Trees and soils play a crucial role in improving water flow and quality. With good urban forest management, the need for costly storm water treatment is significantly reduced since most of the pollutants and harmful substances from the runoff are absorbed by the soil and the trees.
  • With trees visible along roadsides and highways, traffic is less stressful and calmer heads will prevail.
  • Shopping districts that have a streetscape lined with trees and sidewalk gardens may experience an increase in revenue. Studies show that consumers are more likely to make a purchase in a greener and more relaxing environment.
  • Strategically placed dense trees, shrubberies, and gardens can help reduce traffic noise.
  • Urban forestry helps create an aesthetically pleasing and emotionally satisfying environment in which to live, work, and spend leisure time for city dwellers.

 

The bottom line:

The presence of an urban forest and pushing for urban greening helps promote individual well-being, public health, and economic vitality for any city, town, or suburb.

 

More info:

 

Stocksnap.io photo by Nathalia Segato

22 Mar 2017
Timber! Is my tree about to fall?

Timber! Is My Tree About to Fall?

Five Warning Signs of an Impending Tree Disaster

 

Ever noticed how a falling tree always seems to come as a surprise to most homeowners, and people in general?

Most of us seem to think that trees are so huge and sturdy that it would take an F2 tornado or Katrina-level hurricane winds to completely uproot them. It may not look like it, but trees are susceptible to a sundry of external factors that could cause them to get damaged and fall over.

Just like any other living organism on this planet, trees are susceptible to disease, decay, and aging. They grow old and become weak over time. Granted that some trees have double, or even triple, the lifespan of an average human, the fact is they do go through the same aging process as any living thing.

There are plenty of reasons why trees can sometimes fall over. Among them are improper planting conditions, advanced insect infestation, malnutrition, poor soil condition, flooding, construction damage, old age, and a host of other causes.

Accurately predicting when a tree is going to fall is impossible. However, we can learn to spot the warning signs and do something about them before it’s too late. So, is your tree about to fall? Below are the telltale signs you need to know.

 

Five Warning Signs That Your Tree Is About to Kick the Bucket

1.Visible dead branches that fall with minimal agitation.

Okay. Seeing dead branches on a tree doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to fall over entirely. It does, however, present a clue as to the current condition of the tree. When you start seeing falling dead branches, your tree is trying to tell you that there’s something wrong.

Shedding branches is the tree’s way of self-pruning. It’s trying to make itself smaller, which typically means it’s not getting enough nourishment, which could also mean it’s getting attacked by burrowing insects, among other things.

 

2. There’s a cavity/hole in the trunk of the tree.

One of the side effects of a tree trying to shed its branches by self-pruning is the formation of a cavity inside its trunk. The open wound from the broken branch could lead to decay inside the tree. However, this may not mean that the tree is going to collapse soon.

If the cavity is isolated and there’s enough solid wood around it, then your tree is probably not going to tip over or break into half. It may be best to consult a tree professional when assessing this kind of problem.

 

3. The presence of deep cracks or missing bark on the trunk of the tree.

Here’s another sign that your tree may be dead or dying. If you find patches of missing bark—otherwise known as cankers—on the trunk of your tree, you might want to have it examined by an Arborist. The presence of cankers is a sign that the tree is dying.

Deep cracks on the trunk should also be a concern. These make the trunk considerably weaker and therefore more likely to become a hazard. When you spot a crack on your tree, it’s best to have it taken care of sooner than later.

 

4. The tree has a tight V-shaped branch growth.

The branch growth on a tree should be at an ideal distance, so there’s enough room for the branches to develop. This strong union is evident by its U-shape. Branches that grow too close together, on the other hand, will often be in a V-shape. This could spell disaster for the tree and everyone or everything around it.

The best time to spot V-shaped branch growth is during late fall or during the winter, after all the leaves have fallen off and the tree is well into its hibernation period.

 

5. The roots of the tree are weak and rotten.

Now this can be a bit harder to spot, since the tree’s root system is covered in soil. There is, however, a reliable way to determine if the tree is rotting inside. Check for mushrooms and other fungi growing around the base of the tree or on the trunk. Fungus is often a good indicator of rotting wood.

If this is the case for your tree, then you need to consult with a Certified Arborist to figure out the best course of action.

 

More info:

Wikimedia Commons photo by ProjectManhattan

19 Mar 2017
Trees and Neighbors - what you need to know

Trees and Neighbors: What You Need to Know

Frequently Asked Questions about Neighbor Disputes Involving Trees

 

There’s no doubt that trees add beauty and value to any residential property. They improve air quality and provide shade from the afternoon sun. When planted in the right location, trees can even help reduce our home’s energy consumption.

Unfortunately, trees can also be a source of neighborhood conflicts. Untrimmed branches hanging over a neighbor’s fence blocking their view, fruits falling onto the neighbor’s yard, roots causing damage to your fence and your property, and heavy canopy disrupting satellite TV reception or blocking solar panels; these are just a few of the common issues that may arise between two neighbors, because of one innocuous tree.

 

What to Do When a Conflict Arises

There are laws put in place to address various disputes involving trees and neighbors, but the best practice when dealing with this kind of problem is to keep a cool head. Remember the saying “Cooler heads prevail”? That should be practiced in conflicts like this.

 

The following are some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) about neighbor conflicts involving trees:

 

What should I do if a tree that’s on my neighbor’s side of the fence looks like it’s going to fall over my property?

Despite having slight deviations in real estate laws among different states, there are a few that remain consistent. One of them is this: the property owner is responsible for the trees and any other plant life that grow on their land. So it is the duty of the property owner to ensure the safety of the tree.

If faced with this problem, your first move is to talk to your neighbor. If the tree requires professional service in order to ensure its safety, the property owner should shoulder the expenses. If it’s the other way around and you’re the owner of the property where the tree stands, you should make sure that your tree is healthy and well-maintained to avoid any potential accidents.

 

Does my neighbor have the right to trim my tree if the limbs and branches hang over his property?

Yes he does. As long as he cuts only the parts of the tree that go over to his own side of the fence, he can do so without having to ask for your permission.

But there’s a catch.

An individual is only allowed to trim a neighbor’s tree up to the property line. He may not enter the neighbor’s property to trim or destroy the tree.

If you want to trim overhanging branches of your neighbor’s tree, it is always best to ask for permission out of respect, even though you don’t really need it. Just to keep things civilized, don’t you agree?

 

So what about fruits that hang over my property or fruits that have fallen on my yard, can I eat them?

Here’s the deal, the fruit of a tree belongs to the owner of the property where the tree stands, regardless of which side of the fence the branch with the fruit is hanging over. So don’t pick any of the fruits that hang over your property.

As for the fallen fruits, the courts are still divided on that one. You may want to check your local laws before you start picking up your neighbor’s fruits that fall on your property.

 

What if a storm knocked down a huge limb from my neighbor’s tree, damaging my property? Would he be liable for the damages?

This will depend on whether or not your neighbor took reasonable care of his tree and regularly inspects and maintains it. The court will most probably apply a reasonable care standard to determine the case. If it is found that the neighbor observed reasonable care practices, he will not be liable for the damages as the accident will be deemed an Act of God.

On the other hand, if the neighbor is found negligent, he will be responsible for the damages on your property.

When it comes to neighborhood conflicts, it is best to talk things over to try and settle the matter. Involving lawyers and suing should only be a last resort.

Neighborhoods benefit greatly from beautiful and well-maintained trees. But it is the responsibility of the tree owner to keep his tree from becoming a liability for the neighborhood.

 

More info:

Stocksnap.io photo by Jakob Owens

16 Mar 2017
Bugs and Trees - what you need to know

Bugs and Trees – What You Need to Know

Does this sound familiar?

You do all you can to take good care of the trees in your property. You conduct comprehensive research on the various DIY techniques to make the trees look good and vibrant, and you even hire a tree service to do the pruning and seasonal maintenance. Then, you find out that your tree is suffering from a disease caused by insect infestation.

 

We’ve all been there.

 

If you love trees, and have invested quite a lot in planting and maintaining them just to add beauty and value to your property, bugs in trees is a scenario you never want to hear from your tree guy. Insect infestation on trees is something that you never want to take lightly. If left untreated, certain species of insects can potentially kill a tree in a frighteningly short amount of time.

Here are a few of the insects that live on, in, and around trees that you should watch out for if you’re concerned about tree health and want to protect your investment from some of the most devastating species around.

 

The Different Types of Tree Insects and How to Prevent Them from Spreading

Although there are countless species of insects out there, most of them are actually harmless to trees. There are, however, a few that can wreak havoc on the development and structural integrity of your beloved trees.

These damage-causing bugs are classified into three main types: the boring/tunneling insects, chewing insects, and sucking insects.

 

Boring or Tunneling Insects

These types of bugs are considered to be among the most harmful to trees. If left untreated, boring insects can cause irreparable damage to a tree, even death. Borer insects cause damage by boring into limbs, stems, and the root system of a tree.

These insects dig tunnels inside a tree for various reasons. Some do it for feeding purposes, while others burrow into the tree for reproduction purposes, to lay their eggs. When hatched, the larvae may burrow deeper into the tree, causing damage to its water-conducting tissues.

If the infestation gets serious enough, the leaves of the tree will suffer from nutritional and moisture starvation, resulting in irreparable damage and death to the tree.

Types of Boring Insects:

  • Asian Longhorned Beetle
  • Dogwood Borer
  • Emerald Ash Borer
  • Bronze Birch Borers
  • Elm Bark Beetles
  • Giant Palm Weevil

 

You should know that any burrowing or boring insect can cause serious harm to a tree, because they disrupt the physiology of the plant.

The key to keeping borer insects away from your tree is through preventive maintenance. This includes regular proper pruning, mulching, fertilization, and watering. Although some borer insects can be killed off by using insecticides, there are some, like the Emerald Ash Borer, that are much harder to combat once the infestation gets serious enough.

 

Chewing or Defoliating Insects

These types of insects generally attack the foliage of a tree, feeding on its leaves. There are chewing insects, however, that attack the fruit of a fruit-bearing tree. Caterpillars and beetles are the most common types of chewing insects.

For what it’s worth, most trees can be treated and bounce back from an infestation of these defoliating bugs. However, repeat infestation is not uncommon and could severely weaken the tree over time as it continues to starve the plant of chemical energy.

Types of Chewing Insects:

  • Bagworm
  • Eastern Tent Caterpillar
  • Fall Webworm
  • Gypsy Moth
  • Japanese Beetle
  • Mimosa Webworm
  • Apple Maggot
  • Cherry Fruit Worm
  • Leafminers
  • Spring and Fall Cankerworm

 

Well-maintained and healthy trees have less chances of getting an infestation of defoliating insects, so clearly the best way to keep them off your tree is through an effective prevention maintenance plan.

 

Sucking Insects

These types of insects can cause damage to a tree by sucking out nutrient-rich plant juices from leaves and twigs, essentially robbing the tree of the liquid it needs to stay healthy and survive. The presence of honeydew, which contains unprocessed plant material, is a telltale sign of a sucking insect infestation.

 

Types of Sucking Insects:

  • Aphids
  • Leafhoppers
  • Euonymus Scale and other Scale Insects
  • Spider Mites
  • Thrips

 

Just like any other insect infestation, the best way to avoid sucking insects is through prevention. Consult a local tree expert or a Certified Arborist to figure out the best preventive maintenance plan or the best course of action, if infestation is already apparent.

 

More info:

 

Stocksnap.io photo by Louis Blythe

13 Mar 2017
What is an Arborist anyway

What Is an Arborist, Anyway?

Everything You Need to Know about the Profession and the People behind It

 

Do you have an idea what an Arborist is, what they do, and why should you hire them?

An Arborist is a specially trained professional who deals with the art and science of planting, caring, maintaining, and diagnosing trees, shrubberies, and other woody plant life. These professionals have spent time and effort mastering their craft to properly and effectively manage the growth and development of trees.

Sometimes referred to as a tree doctor or a tree surgeon, Arborists are often called upon to help assess the condition of trees, provide diagnosis for potential diseases, and offer their recommendations on how to properly care and maintain the plants.

In addition, Arborists are also asked to provide specific services such as tree pruning and trimming, drought mitigation, fertilization, insect and disease control, as well as to help layout preventive care for trees prior to the arrival of the spring season, known as seasonal tree care.

 

That’s right. Arborists are the defenders of trees.

They recognize the value that these majestic plants add to the environment, as well as your personal property. Did you know that by merely planting a tree in your property you significantly add to its resale value? Yes, provided that it’s planted the right way, in the right location, and is well-maintained and cared for. And who better to do all those things than a well trained Certified Arborist?

 

What is a Certified Arborist?

A Certified Arborist is someone who has gained extensive training, experience, and a high level of knowledge in the art and science of arboriculture. These professionals must also go through a comprehensive examination that will enable them to become Certified Arborists, if they pass.

 

Now get this.

Certified Arborists must continue to master their craft long after they receive their certification. This is so they can be constantly up-to-date with the latest technologies and techniques in the field of arboriculture if they wish to remain certified professionals.

Therefore, if you’re thinking about hiring a tree pro to take care of and maintain your trees, a Certified Arborist is the way to go. Anyone with a chainsaw can chop up tree branches and limbs and call it pruning. It’s the knowledge and expertise in the proper way of pruning, trimming, and removing trees that really makes a difference.

 

Why Hire an Arborist and What Can They Do for You?

Here’s the thing:

If you don’t have trees in your property, then perhaps you won’t need to hire an Arborist. But then again, if you want to add beauty and value to your property, maybe hiring an Arborist to help you decide which trees to plant isn’t a bad idea.

On the other hand, if you already have fully grown trees and you want someone to check on their condition, then you definitely need to contact a Certified Arborist in your area.

Here are some of the services that Arborists can provide:

  • Tree Planting It takes a lot of knowledge and expertise to properly plant trees. You have to think about the right location to plant it (taking into account its size when fully grown), the right tree species to plant that’s appropriate for your region, as well as the care and maintenance it requires especially during the early stage of development.
  • Tree Pruning – There are specific techniques and methods that go into proper tree pruning. Additionally, there are a variety of reasons why pruning a tree is necessary, whether it’s disease, storm damage, safety, or esthetics. A Certified Arborist can help assess the tree’s condition and determine whether or not it needs pruning.
  • Tree Care and Maintenance – Trees require care and maintenance on a regular basis, especially for preventive purposes prior to winter and for assessment purposes after the cold harsh season, to check for potential damage and to help the tree recover quickly.
  • Tree Removal – Most people seem to think that there’s not much to tree removal. Any tree company or service can do it. Here’s the thing though: For most tree professionals, tree removal is usually the primary solution when dealing with trees that have sustained damage.

For an Arborist, however, tree removal is treated as a last resort. The first thing that goes through their mind is how to save the tree. Not how to remove it.

 

More info:

Wikimedia Commons photo by Pete Chapman

10 Mar 2017
When (and What) to Do It Yourself, and When to Hire a Tree Pro

When (and What) to Do It Yourself, and When to Hire a Tree Pro

An Easy DIY Tree Care Guide and Tips on How to Hire a Tree Professional

 

Every homeowner who has a few trees in their property should take the time to learn about the basics of DIY tree care and maintenance. Despite what you might think, trees need some tender loving care as well, especially during the harshest of seasons.

 

So why is this important?

Whether you planted the tree yourself or was already there when you bought your property, trees add beauty to the landscape and value to your property. They’re an investment worth looking after. With that said, proper tree care and maintenance is necessary to maintain the health, aesthetics, and the lushness of the trees in your property.

 

What can regular homeowners do to help care for the trees in their property?

You see, there are many different ways to care for a tree. There are certain tasks you can do that don’t require any sort of expertise or help from a tree professional. As simple as some of these tasks can be, they do a lot for the health and well-being of your trees.

 

Do-It-Yourself Tree Care Tips for the Average Homeowner

 

DIY Tip #1: The Basic Task of Weeding

The most basic task any homeowner can do when it comes to tree care is actually one that doesn’t require any expertise or skill: pulling weeds. Yes, you read it right. Pulling weeds can be a tedious task, to be honest. But, it’s a task that offers great benefits to young or newly planted trees.

 

If you can’t do any physical labor:

Here’s a solution for you; ask the kids to do it instead. They want some money so they could go to the mall? Well, here’s a chore they can do to earn some cash. It’s a win-win situation, right?

Periodically pulling weeds around the base of a tree is beneficial because weeds can impede the growth and development of a young tree. They take away most of the moisture and the nutrients the tree needs for nourishment. So as simple as this task may be, it is still quite important; a task that you can definitely do yourself without any professional help.

 

DIY Tip #2: The Art of Tree Pruning

There are different types of pruning, and not all of them are recommended as a DIY project. Certain pruning jobs require the help of a Certified Arborist or a tree professional. However, there are a few pruning tasks that you can do on your own, such as cutting away low hanging branches, removing small diseased limbs. And when I say small, I mean branches and limbs that you can easily reach and carry in one hand. Anything larger or higher can be dangerous without any professional help.

 

Here’s a bonus tip for you:

If you’re thinking about using a chainsaw to prune your tree, you better make sure that you know how to handle that beast. The last thing you want is an accident. And one more thing; never use a chainsaw while you’re on a ladder, you’re just flirting with danger. For bigger and more difficult pruning tasks, it is best to call the professionals.

 

DIY Tip #3: The Science of Mulching

Placing mulch on the soil around the tree is extremely beneficial for trees, especially when they’re about to face the difficult challenges of winter. If you live in an area that experiences extreme fluctuations in temperature during the winter months, it would be prudent to prepare your trees before the winter season hits.

 

So what’s the right way to apply mulch?

The rule of thumb is to place mulch at least six inches away from the trunk of the tree to avoid damaging the base of the tree. A thickness of two inches is enough to blanket the soil underneath and protect the shallow roots against extremely low temperatures.

You may contact your local Arborist for additional information about the proper application of mulch and for additional tips on how to prepare your tree for the winter.

 

When is the best time to hire a tree pro?

Basically, if the job becomes too difficult, or if the tree requires extensive care and maintenance, you should consider hiring a Certified Arborist or a professional tree service. Tree removal, seasonal tree care, and heavy pruning jobs are best left to the pros as well.

 

More info:

Stocksnap.io photo by Roman Averin

 

07 Mar 2017
Why-Is-Pruning-Your-Tree-Important

Why Is Pruning Your Tree Important?

A Closer Look into the Significance of Tree Pruning

 

Do you want to know why some of the trees in your neighborhood look so vibrant and beautiful? Have you ever found yourself wishing that the trees in your property can achieve that magnificent look?

Trees are among the most magnificent living objects found in nature. They can make any landscape look serene and brimming with life. But as beautiful and majestic as they are, they require a bit of care to maintain their appearance. And one of the maintenance processes that a tree requires is pruning.

 

What is pruning?

Pruning is a tree care and maintenance procedure that involves cutting and removing specific parts of a tree, such as dead or diseased branches, buds, and even roots. When done correctly, pruning has many different benefits, which will be discussed later on. What you need to know, however, is that pruning doesn’t just benefit the tree but the people around it as well.

 

Key Reasons for Pruning a Tree

There are plenty of reasons to prune a tree. Most tree professionals and Arborists often get asked, “Why is tree pruning important in the tree care and maintenance business?” These main reasons should address that particular question quite effectively.

 

1. Pruning for health reasons.

Caring for the health of a tree is important, obviously. Through the pruning process, dead and/or diseased branches can be removed safely, allowing the tree to develop stronger and healthier ones.

There are plenty of reasons why tree branches die or suffer from diseases, but the three most common are lack of sunlight exposure, insect infestation, and storm damage. Exposure to extreme fluctuations in temperature is also a common reason, especially in areas that experience heavy snow storms during winter or extreme heat during the summer.

 

2. Pruning for structural reasons.

Trees need structural integrity, especially the young and still developing ones. Proper pruning can help a young, newly planted tree develop a sturdier structure, stronger limbs, as well as a lush and beautiful form.

 

3. Pruning for safety reasons.

Trees that are planted in residential properties often sit close to man-made structures such as a house, garage, tool shed, as well as foot paths, driveways, and walkways. In some cases, homeowners even use tree limbs to hang a swing for the kids.

Picture this: what if one of the bigger limbs or branches of the tree is weakened by disease or is actually dead? That is a potential hazard that should be dealt with right away. It’s not advisable to tie a rope on a tree limb to use as a swing, but a lot of homeowners still do it.

Moreover, trees sometimes grow so tall or so wide that they can become a fire hazard when they come in contact with power lines. And if a tree limb is hanging over your home, or other structures, a heavy storm could cause it to break and crash into whatever is underneath it.

 

With these three reasons alone, you can see just how important tree pruning is and why it should never be put off.

 

Still not convinced?

 

Okay, here are some of the benefits that you can expect from a proper tree pruning by a certified professional:

 

The Benefits of Proper Tree Pruning

  • It can improve traffic and pedestrian flow. Trees that are located near sidewalks, foot paths, driveways, and bike trails require pruning to remove any runaway branches that may hinder the flow of traffic.
  • It helps ensure a clear view of road signs. Sometimes trees can grow very wide limbs and branches that they can cover street signs, making it difficult for motorists to read or even notice.
  • It helps reduce the occurrence of leaf disease. Proper pruning promotes better airflow through the tree’s canopy, allowing the leaves room to breathe and get rid of excess moisture.
  • It effectively addresses some of the safety risks caused by weakened or damaged limbs. Falling limbs and branches are serious hazards, especially when the tree is located near structures or paths with heavy foot traffic.
  • It reduces the presence of excess shade, which can impede the growth of other plant life around the tree, such as grass and/or shrubbery. It also helps make sure that the lower branches of the tree get enough sunlight and moisture.

 

More info:

Stocksnap.io photo by Steinar La Engeland

04 Mar 2017
Top 4 Myths and Misconceptions about Tree Care

Top 4 Myths and Misconceptions about Tree Care

Are You Certain That What You Know about Tree Care Is Legit?

 

Have you ever found yourself wondering if the trees in your property are healthy and safe for the kids to play under? It’s not uncommon to find different varieties of trees in many residential properties. Trees can add beauty to the landscape. They enhance the ambiance, provide shade from the afternoon sun, and most importantly, add value to your property.

But how much do you really know about maintaining and taking care of trees?

You may find this surprising, but a lot of homeowners who have trees in their property don’t actually know the first thing about tree care and maintenance. Some of them will say they know enough, but do they really? How do you know what is true and what’s merely a myth?

Here are some of the most common misconceptions about tree maintenance you should know about. Hopefully, you can use this information to avoid doing more harm than good to your trees.

Let’s jump right in, shall we?

 

Tree Care Myths and Misconceptions

1. Flush cutting is ideal when severing a branch in order to optimize the healing process.

Here’s the first thing you need to know about trees: they’re not like people. When trees sustain wounds, they don’t heal in the conventional sense. Trees don’t regenerate tissues to heal their wounds like humans do. Instead, trees go through a process of compartmentalization. They generate what is known as woundwood over and around the area of the wound.

Flush cutting is a pruning process that gets rid of the branch collar, resulting in a much larger wound in comparison to simply cutting off the branch outside the collar.

Fact: Flush cutting is not recommended as a pruning technique. It can increase the chance of pathogens worming their way into the tree, rather than optimize its healing.

2. Staking newly planted trees ensures the development of a strong trunk and root system.

In some cases, it is necessary to stake a newly planted tree so that it stays upright and its root system firmly establishes underground. However, you need to realize that this has several adverse effects.

If staking is necessary, the tree should be given enough room for roots and trunk development. Furthermore, the staking materials, such as the wires and ties, should be removed after about a year to avoid girdling.

Fact: A number of studies have shown that newly planted trees that weren’t staked tend to develop a more stable and extensive root system as well as better trunk taper. Trunk damage due to staking materials is a common side effect of improper staking.

 

3. Newly planted trees should be pruned back heavily to counteract root loss.

One of the most common reasons why some experts recommend heavy pruning on newly planted trees is to minimize the amount of water that dissipates from the leaves. Although there is some truth to this, it should be noted that trees require a full crown to quickly generate the much needed nutrients they need to induce root development.

Fact: Trees develop better and establish a more extensive root system when they have a fuller crown. It is best to limit pruning to structural training purposes, as well as to the removal of dead or damaged branches.

 

4. It is best to use tree wrap on newly planted trees to prevent sunscald and insect infestation.

Admittedly, there is some debate going on in the community about the validity of using tree wraps to protect the trunk of newly planted trees. Sunscald is a common occurrence on barks of trees that are exposed to extreme temperatures. It usually appears on the south or southwest side of young trees.

However, studies on the matter have shown that most commercial tree wraps are not that effective in preventing bark damage. In certain cases, the damage on the bark is even worse when tree wraps are used.

Also, using tree wraps to keep insects out has proven to be ineffective. As a matter of fact, some insect species even like to burrow under the wrapping material.

Fact: If you want to protect your trees from extreme fluctuations in temperature, consulting with a Certified Arborist is your best course of action.

 

More info:

Stocksnap.io photo by Sergei Soloviev