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14 Oct 2017
tree maintenance

Tree Maintenance – Why Should Anyone Worry About It?

Discovering the Benefits of Proper Tree Care and Maintenance

Want to know a secret? Trees develop well and will look better with proper care and maintenance. Compared to trees that you find in the wild, trees that are well-maintained and properly cared for appear fuller and more vibrant. That alone should be reason enough for property owners to start caring about tree maintenance and seasonal tree care.

What is it about tree care and maintenance that’s so important?

Any property owner knows that landscaping is a crucial factor when it comes to maximizing property value. And nothing makes any landscape more beautiful and elegant than the presence of trees.

Trees are no doubt majestic objects of nature that clean the air we breathe and provide an ecosystem for small animals and birds. But they are also living ornaments that can make any place look more pristine and phenomenal. Maintaining and caring for them will help keep them stronger, more fruitful, and vibrant.

The Benefits of Proper Tree Maintenance and Care

The benefits that can be had from proper preventive care and maintenance for trees play a huge role in its importance and why property owners should never overlook the process when it comes to the trees in their properties.

Pruning, trimming, cutting dead branches—all of these are part of a maintenance process that is vital to the health and well-being of trees. The following are some of the basic benefits of proper tree care and maintenance:

1. It helps keep the trees in your property healthy and vibrant.

Removing dead branches, pruning, and trimming are all crucial to maintaining the overall health of a tree. The process also helps ensure a dynamic and cohesive landscape. A full and vibrant tree is always a welcome sight in any property, be it commercial or residential.

Pruning, in particular, helps remove branches that are either dying or are already dead, and helps stimulate new growth. The most crucial aspect to this process, however, is implementing proper pruning techniques in order to get the best possible results.

2. It helps eliminate or minimize potential safety hazards.

Trees that aren’t regularly maintained can quickly turn into safety hazards, especially when they are located in an area near structures or pedestrians. For instance, a tree that is situated near a footpath where a lot of pedestrians pass by has to be regularly pruned to keep dead branches from falling on passersby.

Trees that are near power lines, have branches that cover street signs, or are near any structures should be looked after carefully. If removing the tree is not possible, then having it regularly trimmed or pruned is the most logical solution.

3. It helps improve property value.

Everyone in the real estate business knows that an aesthetically pleasing property landscape, with lots of beautifully maintained trees, can add to the value of the property quite substantially. Adding value to your home doesn’t just involve renovating or redecorating the interior. You also have to mind the overall condition of your landscaping, which will dramatically improve once you have your trees regularly maintained.

4. It helps fruit-bearing trees produce top quality crop.

If you so happen to have a fruit-bearing tree in your property, with proper and regular maintenance, you can actually improve the quality and quantity of the fruits that the tree will produce. There are proper techniques and methods that should be practiced when maintaining fruit-bearing trees. You should consult a certified arborist to figure out the best way to maintain and care for your fruit-bearing plants.

5. It helps newly planted trees to become healthier and more robust as they grow.

Newly planted trees need a lot of care as they develop. Through proper tree care and maintenance techniques, a newly planted tree will be easier to train as far as shape is concerned, and will grow to be stronger and more vibrant. Keeping a tree strong and healthy is very important, especially in places where temperature extremes are often experienced.

6. It helps rehabilitate damaged trees.

Trees can get damaged in extremely hot summers, as well as during extra cold winters. This is where seasonal tree care and maintenance proves its importance. The process can help rehabilitate and repair damaged trees due to extreme weather temperatures. Storm-damaged trees can also benefit from proper maintenance practices and techniques.

More info:

Tree Health Care

Seasonal Tree Care photo by Skitterphoto


04 Apr 2017
Problems with DIY Tree Care

3 of the Biggest Mistakes People Make When Trying DIY Tree Care

Are Your Tree Care and Maintenance Practices Doing More Harm Than Good?


The time has come once again for homeowners to do some maintenance work on their lawns, gardens, and most importantly, their trees.

The previous winter season has undoubtedly delivered quite a beating to your trees and shrubberies, especially if you live in an area prone to heavy snow and strong cold winds. Most homeowners are in DIY tree care mode by now, eagerly inspecting the damage sustained by the trees and trying to figure out the best solution to rehabilitate them and restore their lushness and beauty.


But how much do you really know about tree care and maintenance?


If you’re on this page, reading this post, then it’s safe to assume that your knowledge about the subject is fairly limited and you want to learn more about it, right?

Practicing do-it-yourself tree care and maintenance is never a bad idea. In fact, it is highly recommended by many experts. It’s good to spend some time taking care of your trees. Unfortunately, a lot of people are employing the wrong tree care practices.

Instead of providing the tree with the proper care it deserves so that it can recover from its injuries and restore its health, they’re actually doing more harm to it by using the wrong tree care techniques and methods. And this doesn’t just apply to homeowners; a number of tree professionals also make a few mistakes when it comes to tree care and maintenance.

That’s right.

It’s not just homeowners and amateur tree care enthusiasts that often make mistakes when caring for their trees; even tree pros sometimes commit the same mistakes as well. So what are these tree care mistakes that you should avoid? Keep on reading.


Common DIY Tree Care Mistakes to Avoid

1. Pruning and trimming at the wrong time of year.

You may not be aware of this, but there’s actually an appropriate time to prune your trees. Some people think that it’s okay to trim or prune a tree any time, since they can pretty much grow back the cut branches.

Wrong, in most cases. You can always remove dead, broken and diseased limbs. In fact it will keep your tree more healthy.  Trees can use excess energy in repair rather than new growth, removing these issues will send that energy to more useful areas.

For most of the year, trees constantly grow and develop except during the winter months. During winter, trees go through a dormant stage where they lose the majority of their foliage. It is during this time that pruning is often performed, especially on mature trees.

When a tree is dormant, it is not actively growing. And since most of its leaves are gone, it’s easier to see all the branches and figure out which ones to cut. When done the right way, pruning can be healthy for trees. It also helps ensure strong growth of new branches and foliage as soon as spring arrives.


2. Using a pruning technique known as “topping”.

Topping is a form of pruning that removes the entire top of a tree, hence the term. It is highly discouraged by Certified Arborists and reputable tree professionals, and even outlawed in some states.

Topping may result in the subsequent death of a tree. Since it not only disfigures the plant, it also leaves it susceptible to infestation and decay. This poor pruning method may cause irreversible damage and premature death to your tree, so please don’t do it.

And if you see a neighbor or a friend topping his/her tree, politely stop them and explain why it’s not a good idea to denude a tree completely of its foliage.


3. Stub cuts and flush cuts (improper pruning method).

Tree branches have collars, in case you’re not aware of it. This collar is located on the base of a branch where it meets the trunk or the lead branch of a tree. Now, when it comes to pruning, there is a correct method and a wrong one.

When you’re pruning, you need to cut all the way to the branch collar. Not doing so is what is known as a stub cut. Stub cuts won’t heal properly and will leave the wound susceptible to decay and infestation.

The opposite of a stub cut is known as a flush cut. This is when you cut a branch or a limb too far beyond the collar. This method is even worse than a stub cut, because it leaves the tree essentially unable to heal and protect its wound.


More info: photo by Anders Jildén

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: photo by Roman Averin


04 Jan 2017
Winter Tree Pruning

5 Winter Tree Pruning Tips You Need to Know

Yes, we know. The weather outside is just too cold for an early morning gardening work. But in case you aren’t aware, winter season is actually the best time of the year to prune deciduous trees and shrubs. Let the tree pruning commence!

As stated by one of the plant health care supervisors at the Chicago Botanic Garden, the majority of tree pruning among deciduous trees should be done during the winter. Right after the shrubs and trees go into dormancy, you can instantly proceed to pruning.

So, why do you need to prune during winter?

Pruning is easy to do when the plants have no leaves because you can instantly see the trees’ structure. You don’t even need to do tree topping. Another thing: during the winter, there is actually a lesser chance of disease transmission. Moreover, as the weather is too cold, insects won’t go out into the cold just to feast on the fresh pruning wounds of your plants.

In this article, we want to share with you five essential tips that will help you with your winter pruning. Here they are:

1. Learn Everything That You Can about Tree Pruning

First things first.

When pruning a plant, make sure that you have a clear purpose in mind. Plan first what you want to do with the shrub or tree that you are going to prune. In case you don’t know, there is a bevy of pruning methods and for each plant type there is a proper way of pruning it. Let’s take for example, deciduous plants. The natural style is the more suitable method of pruning them. This style preserves the natural outline of the tree or shrub, highlighting the natural features of the plant.

2. Remove All Undesirable Branches

After outlining the pruning process that you will do, make sure to remove all diseased and/or dead parts of the plant. Once you’re done with that, you can remove the water sprouts and the suckers—these two will not make the tree or shrub natural-looking nor will they give the plant well-branched limbs.

But that’s not it. See to it that you are also doing these:

  • Remove the rubbing branches in the tree; you can start with the largest down to the smallest branch.
  • Thin the canopy of the plant. You can start at the center and proceed outward. The purpose of thinning of the canopy is to be able to increase the air circulation through the branches. (Take note: Do not remove more than 25% of the plant’s branches as this will encourage the proliferation of sucker growth.)  

3. Never Leave a Stub

When working on a plant, see to it that you don’t leave a stub as this can also promote the growth of suckers and ruin the plant’s natural outline. Moreover, open ends leave the plant vulnerable to diseases.

Ideally, you should shear off a branch above a bud and that bud should face outwards. This way, the new branch will not grow inwards to the center of the plant.

4. Look for Signs of Infestation

Be sure to examine plant closely and look for potential problems before you proceed with the pruning. In the winter, tussock and gypsy months, including caterpillars, are usually visible on the branches of a tree. Aside from looking for pests, be sure to check the plant for signs of diseases such as open lesions and abnormal lumps.

5. Wear the Right Safety Gear

What’s next?

Well, apart from being concerned with your plants, you should also be concerned with yourself.

So, whenever working on a plant, you need to remember your safety too. Always employ eye protection for obvious reasons. It is also essential that you familiarize yourself with the right tools that you will be using to prune different kinds of plants.

When pruning huge trees, you might want to seek professional service from an Arborist.

It is no secret that pruning is usually among the most common gardening job that often gets neglected. With plenty of gardeners getting confused about when to do pruning, how to do it, or why it is even done, trees and shrubs usually grow without going through the pruning process.

However, you need to understand that pruning is something that should be done regularly among plants. Thinning a tree’s canopy improves sunlight absorption and air flow through the plant, minimizing its chances of getting infested by pests and diseases.

More info: photo by

Have any questions or tips you’d like to share? Comment below!