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30 Aug 2017

Protecting Your Trees from Storm Damage

What with their girth, large trees may seem indestructible but though they may withstand most things, hurricane-force winds, lightning, and floods brought about by non-stop rain can wreak havoc on the plants. From their root system up to their trunks and branches, extreme weather can permanently damage your trees, or even—in the case of lightning strikes—kill them outright!

However, there are plenty of ways that you can do to avoid tree storm damage from happening. Today, let’s find out some of the most effective tips to successfully storm-proof your trees. Here they are:

Keep Trees Strong and Healthy

The first, and the most effective step to storm-proof trees is by keeping them strong and healthy long before a storm arrives and ruin everything in your yard. There is no question that healthy trees can withstand most extreme weather conditions compared to weaker ones. Branches are less likely to fall and cause damages on the plants’ immediate area when the trees are strong and completely healthy.

There are several things that you can do to ensure that trees grow healthy. Providing them with proper water, regular and corrective pruning and fertilizer depending on the species are the most important steps. Just make sure to start these routines when trees are still young. Don’t wait for your trees’ health to decline before you start taking good care of them.

Trim Trees Regularly

At first, you may think that tree pruning damages your tree what with all the sawing off of branches and thinning its foliage. However, when pruning is done in the proper way, it can help trees withstand storms. It is highly advised that you start pruning your trees while they are young in order for them to develop a strong central trunk.

Pruning has a lot of advantages. Besides removing dead and weak branches, it also boosts proper structure and growth of your trees. Regularly conducting tree pruning can shape your trees in becoming more resistant to weather damage. But, the result of tree pruning greatly depends on how it is done. When done improperly, the effects of tree pruning may be counterproductive.


Protect Tree’s Root System

Roots may be hidden underneath the ground but they are actually critical to the total stability and strength of any tree. They can be considered as the tree’s anchor, keeping them stable even when the winds are strong enough to uproot the whole tree.

In order to keep the roots of trees deeply grounded, you have to minimize activities that may impede its growth or compromise the nutrients of the soil where your trees were planted. Some activities to be avoided include construction work and excavation.

One of the best ways to help protect your tree’s root system is by mulching the ground. Putting an extensive mulch ring around the tree’s base has numerous benefits which include preserving the nutrients and water from the soil; it even prevents weed growth.  Be careful, however, not to place the mulch too high up the trunk – the critical gas and air exchange is at the base.


Protect Tree Trunks As Well

Aside from the root system, the trunk of the tree should also be protected. If you are expecting a strong storm in your area, you can provide a tree’s trunk added protection by wrapping it with protective material like row cover or even burlap. These materials can protect your tree against flying debris, but need to be removed after the worst weather.


Plant the Right Kind of Tree

If your area frequently has storms, then you should be extra careful with the trees you are planting in your yard. There are several tree species that can withstand the storm better than any other species. As revealed by Kansas State University horticulturist Bob Neier, the red maple, red oak, linden, bald cypress, autumn blaze maple, and the Austrian pine are some of the sturdier trees.

In general, trees that are healthy endure storms way better than the rest. If you don’t want your trees to end up deteriorating due to extreme weather conditions, then be a responsible tree owner—provide the plants with proper watering, regular and corrective pruning and nutrients.

And as what we always say, talking to an expert team or arborist can also make a huge difference in how you protect your trees. These professionals are the right experts to address your concerns and questions regarding your trees.  


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Pixabay photo by dimitrisvetsikas1969

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.


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Wikimedia Commons photo by Pete Chapman

02 Mar 2017
A Beginners Guide to Planting Trees

A Beginners Guide to Planting Trees

What to Do and What Not to Do When Planting a Tree.


Planting trees, the right way at least, is more than just digging a hole in the ground and simply dropping the tree in it. It’s not as easy as most people think. Before you can learn how to plant a tree properly, you need to accept the fact that there is a right way and a wrong way of doing it. There are acceptable methods, advisable even, and there are those that are downright wrong and should be avoided.

How a tree is planted will greatly affect its growth and development, health, and appearance in the ensuing seasons. Trees are planted incorrectly can become weak, structurally unsound, and may even become a hazard as they mature.

The following are the do’s and don’ts of planting trees.


What to Do When Planting a Tree


Do choose the appropriate species of tree based on your region.

Before you begin planting trees, do some research about the different tree species that grow in your area. You may consult experts for some advice on which types of trees are best suited in your property.

You need to consider survivability and adaptability when choosing a tree to plant, especially if you live in an area where fluctuating temperatures and extreme weather are a concern.


There’s more.


Once you’ve picked the tree you want to plant, make sure to choose the appropriate plant site suited for the tree. For instance, if the tree, once mature, can grow quite huge, you may want to avoid planting it near structures where its size can become a problem in the future.


Do position your tree with energy conservation in mind.

This may surprise you, but trees play a role in energy conservation, especially when planted in the right area of your property. For example, trees with large crowns should be positioned in the south side of your property. The crown will provide shade for windows, as well as the roof, from the afternoon sun.

Similarly, small to medium-sized evergreen trees can act as windbreakers during the winter, when positioned on the west and north sides of the property.


Do choose the appropriate time to plant the tree.

Here’s something not a lot of people know about: There’s a good time and a bad time to plant trees. The rule of thumb is, plant the tree when there’s enough time for them to establish their roots, before certain stressors become a factor, such as low moisture levels in the soil, high heat, and extremely low temperatures.

In most parts of the country, the ideal time to plant a tree is between late summer and early fall. The idea is to let the tree acclimate its roots to your soil long enough that it can survive winter and grow rapidly as soon as spring hits.


What NOT to Do When Planting a Tree


Don’t plant large variety trees in small spaces or near structures.

It goes without saying that all young trees, when they’re planted, are relatively small; they don’t occupy much space. But you need to consider the variety or the species of the tree before planting it. If you plant it in a small area or near a structure such as power/telephone lines, you better make sure that it’s not of a large variety, because it will become a problem later on.


Don’t choose a tree to plant based on how fast it grows.

You shouldn’t allow personal preferences or convenience to dictate your choices when deciding on the type of tree to plant. Once you decide to plant a tree, you’re essentially putting in an investment. And although some species of trees do grow faster than others, they are more susceptible to storm or winter damage compared to the slow-growing variety.


Don’t overdo fertilization and watering.

Although newly planted trees need all the nutrients they can get to thrive, and they need constant watering to absorb moisture, there is such a thing as overdoing it. There is a limit to how much nutrients and moisture a young tree can absorb. So keep that in mind when planting trees.

Of course, the best course of action when planting trees is to ask for professional help. Hiring a Certified Arborist can help you choose the right tree to plant, prepare the area for planting, and provide health care and maintenance for your growing tree.


What advice to you have to share? Comment below!


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Wikimedia Commons photo by U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Northeast Region