3 Signs Your Tree May Need Expert Pruning or Trimming

Do you own a home with one or more trees on the property? When is the last time that you had the trees trimmed or pruned? While some trees need to be pruned back or trimmed yearly, other trees may only need to be trimmed once every few years. However, all trees should be cut back at some point. Some of the biggest signs that it’s been too long since the last trimming or pruning are as follows: 

Creaking or groaning: Some varieties of trees will creak or groan with almost any wind. But creaking and groaning are often signs of dead wood moving with the tree. For example, a limb may have died off last autumn but is still attached to the tree. If your tree was previously quiet in most winds, except for rustling of leaves and branches, but has now started to creak or groan, you should have a tree service professional take a look at the tree. It’s better to have the tree trimmed back now than for it to abruptly shed a dead or dying limb right onto your roof during the next big wind storm.

Insect damage: In general, insects will often ignore a healthy tree to prey on one that is weak or damaged. Termites, in particular, are only interested in the dead wood that a tree contains and not the living bark area. Signs of heavy insect damage may mean that your tree is dying. On the other hand, a qualified tree service professional may be able to save the tree with some careful pruning and the application of various chemical formulas to repel pests and to help the tree to heal. The less of the tree that has been damaged by the insects, the better the potential outcome.

Woodpeckers: Insect infestation isn’t always externally obvious to humans. But if your tree is frequented by woodpeckers, then it’s possible that you have a problem anyway. Although woodpeckers do sometimes use the hammering sounds to communicate, something you’ve discovered on your own if you ever had a woodpecker hammer away at your drainpipe early in the morning, they’re usually on the lookout for insects. While you might not notice anything suspicious with your tree, a woodpecker might actually be able to hear the insects moving within the tree or they may be able to smell them. If you’re getting annoyed with the woodpeckers attacking your tree, it’s probably not their fault. The tree likely contains something that is delicious to a woodpecker and a tree service professional like those at Yarnell Tree Co Inc will be able to give you advice on how to get rid of the problem.

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Three Reasons To Wait Before Replanting When A Tree Stump Is Removed

A tree service arrives, removes a tree, and grinds away the stump and the uppermost part of the root system. The homeowner must then decide what to do with the often large and unattractive hole in their yard. Many people are anxious to plant grass, flowers or another tree in the exact spot where the stump was removed. However, there are some reasons why it is better to wait for a period of time before completing this project. 

The decaying wood may rob nitrogen from the soil.

After grinding the stump there will often be sawdust that ends up tilled into the soil. As this sawdust and the roots decay, they typically lower the nitrogen level in the soil. Nitrogen is a major component of chlorophyll and amino acids. Without amino acids the plants will lack protein and without chlorophyll be unable to process the energy from the sun. It is important to keep this in mind when adding soil to the hole that remains after the stump is removed. Adding a high quality plant soil, organic waste like used coffee grounds and composted manure will help to improve the soil quality. Most people will have greater success if they wait a season or two to allow the soil to recover before they plant anything new. 

Sprouts may grow from the remaining root.

After a tree is removed the remaining roots in the ground may sprout and lead to new tree growth. If the area is left clear for a while the sprouts are easy to spot and remove. If the yard has been seeded the sprouts may interfere with the lawn growth. Using translocated herbicides will help to kill off the sprouts and destroy the root because this type of herbicide travels through the sprout into the root system. Since the roots are already in the process of decaying, this type of treatment will speed up the process.

Depressions in the yard appear as roots decay. 

Filling in the gap left after the stump is removed will prevent people and pets from falling in the hole. Over time the area will sink as the remaining wood decays. This means a new depression will form and more soil is needed to level the ground sufficiently. The amount of soil and the extent of the depression will depend on the size of the tree and its underground root system. With a small tree, it is sometimes unnoticeable and no additional fill is needed. Large, mature trees will have deeper and more extensive root systems that could lead to very noticeable depressions. 

While giving Mother Nature a little time to recover, it is common to see mushroom growth over the ground where a tree was removed. Mushrooms thrive in soil where there is plenty of organic waste to nourish them and the decaying tree roots are a good source of that organic material. Rather than remove the mushrooms or spray a fungicide, it is better for homeowners to allow them to grow. Mushrooms are a sign of healthy soil and are beneficial to many types of plants. Their growth can encourage healthier soil when it comes time to replant. 

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Guide To Protecting Your Trees When Remodeling Your Home

Not only are trees beautiful, but property values are also 5% to 20% higher with mature trees on the lot. It is up to you as a homeowner to protect your trees and their roots while you are remodeling your home. The question is – how do you do that?

Which Trees Should Be Moved and/or Protected?

If you are not sure whether a tree can be safely moved, you could inquire with a certified arborist at the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). A team of professionals can provide you with valuable information on any hazards the tree could sustain during the construction process.

The experts can tell you how old the tree is and whether or not it is healthy enough to be moved. The experts would also be able to tell you how large the tree will get if it is not yet fully grown. This information can be especially helpful if the tree is close to the home you are renovating. You want to make sure it isn’t going to become a problem for your home as it grows.

Protect The Root System

Approximately 80% of the root system is contained within 18 inches of topsoil. If you need to ‘break ground’ you will need to mark or move the tree. If trenching or heavy equipment is involved, the fragile roots will need additional protection, because they can’t receive proper nutrients if the roots become damaged. It might not be noticeable for some time, but the tree could die. It is also possible for pests to invade the roots and kill the tree.

The roots can be protected with a minimum of twelve inches of wood chips. Add plywood or sheet metal sheets to the area to reduce the chances of the soil becoming compacted.

Place A Fence Around The Trees

Use a construction fence and clearly mark the area with some bright tape or streamers. Chain link or chicken fencing could also work for the job. You should allow a minimum of one foot outward from the tree for every inch of the tree’s diameter. The fence should be left in place until the renovations are completed. If you have any low hanging branches, they should be trimmed back before the construction begins.

Pavements and Your Trees

If you are adding a sidewalk, you should not have it any closer than three feet from the tree’s trunk. If you still want a walkway, you could consider a flagstone or brick option. Sand is used as the base instead of concrete, which will also protect the pH of the soil.

Trees are beneficial and help reduce noise. They can also provide shade for wildlife as well as for the enjoyment of your family. For more help, contact a service like St Pete & Pinellas Tree Service.

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Two Simple Ways To Remove A Tree Stump

Tree removal companies often charge an additional fee to remove the stump of the tree. If you don’t want to pay an additional fee to have the stump removed, it’s left in your yard for you to remove. Fortunately, removing the tree stump doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, there are a couple of ways that you can remove the stump on your own.

Dig the Stump Out

If you had a large tree removed, it may not be possible for you to dig the stump out. However, if the tree that was removed is on the smaller side, digging out the stump isn’t too hard.

  1. Using a shovel, dig out the dirt sitting around the circumference of the tree stump. You want to make sure you expose as much of the roots as possible.
  2. Cut the roots off of the tree stump using a root saw or an ax. 
  3. Cut the roots that you’ve removed into smaller portions and put them in a pile to dispose of later.
  4. Using a grub hoe, pull the roots that are remaining out of the ground. You may need to cut the remaining roots into smaller pieces as you go so they are easier to manage. Make sure you remove the roots of the tree all the way to the tip.
  5. Use your shovel to pry the tree stump from the ground. As you work your way around the stump, cut away any roots that remain as they become exposed, and pull the roots from the ground.
  6. Continue the process until the tree stump is completely removed.
  7. Dispose of the tree stump and roots.
  8. Fill the hole with topsoil, and if you want, plant grass seed in the topsoil.

Remove the Stump with Chemicals

It’s a lot less work to use a chemical stump remover to remove the tree stump than it is to dig the stump out of the ground. However, the process does take a lot longer because you need to wait for the stump to absorb all of the chemicals. Keep in mind, using a chemical stump remover to remove your tree stump isn’t ideal if you have pets or small children that could accidentally ingest the chemicals.

  1. Put a long drill bit on your drill. 
  2. Drill holes in the top of the tree stump. Make sure the holes cover the entire top of the stump and are spaced evenly so that it’s easier for the chemicals to be absorbed.
  3. Prepare the chemical stump remover and apply it as directed on the package.
  4. Wait for the stump to begin rotting.
  5. Chop up the softened stump using an ax.
  6. Continue to chop away the stump until it is almost level with the ground.
  7. Dig out the remainder of the stump using a shovel.
  8. Fill the hole with topsoil and plant grass seed, if desired.

The fact is, the easiest way to remove a tree stump is to pay the tree service company to remove the stump when they cut down the tree. However, if you want to avoid the fee, you can remove the stump by digging it out or using chemicals to rot the stump.

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Trying To Create An Attractive And Long-Lasting Garden? Remove The Invasive Trees

Owning a home gives you an entire landscape to work with for creating an attractive space. However, when you move into a home, you have to deal with the trees, shrubs, and other features that are already there. It is possible to move into a place with plenty of potential, but it could have problems such as invasive trees. Before creating plans to improve the landscape, you should remove these trees.

Find Out Which Trees Are Invasive

It is not that easy to determine which trees are invasive and which ones are not, especially when you have over 300 possibilities. The easiest way to determine which trees are invasive is to point out the ones that you know are not native and then go through a process of elimination. It is sometimes easier to use the characteristics of a tree to find out what it is, and then see if it is on the invasive list. If this is too hard or time-consuming, you can always get professional help to get reliable answers.

Get Rid of the Tree Stumps

Once you have found out which trees are invasive and need to go, you should have them removed. Although it is cheaper to keep the stumps, you should remove them as they are more problematic than beneficial. Tree stumps will consume yard space that you could use for growing, but they also have other problems in that they are a safety hazard and can attract harmful insects to the property.

Replace with Native Plants

After you get rid of a tree stump, you can begin working on incorporating the space into the landscape. If a top priority of yours is to enjoy a long-lasting and easy-to-maintain landscape, you should focus on growing native plants as they are likely to survive without much care and possibly even on their own. The fastest way to learn about your options for native plants is to look up your plant hardiness zone. To enjoy the easiest growth, you should pinpoint whether you fall into the A or B category of a given zone. With this information, you can find your exact temperatures and find plants that perfectly fit the bill.

Removing invasive trees on your property is one of the first steps in creating a landscape that you can enjoy for years to come. Educating yourself on what to do after removing these trees will help you transform your landscape into something that you can easily maintain. Contact a business, such as Souliere & Son Tree SpeclSts, for more information. 

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Tree Trimming – Four Instances You Should Avoid DIY Trimming

If you like to take care of your own yard work, there might be an errant tree limb here and there that you can manage trimming on your own. It is important to know that there might be tree trimming needs that are outside of your scope. Here are four instances where you should probably put down the trimmers and call in a professional.

1. Trimming that will Involve Climbing or Ladders

Even if you think you can reach branches with the aid of a ladder, this might be more dangerous than you think. Trimmers will have additional safety equipment that will protect them if something goes wrong. Rather than taking the risk of hurting yourself, it is a good idea to bring in a professional tree trimmer to handle any climbing or trimming from a ladder.

2. If Trees Look Sick or Dying

It can be hard to know what’s going on if a tree has changed rapidly or seems to have something wrong with it. This might be seen with the presence mold or mildew, or other parasitic plants or pests taking over. Sometimes trees can rot and die from the inside out and might be unsafe to trim on your own. It is a good idea to call in a tree specialist or trimmer to take a look and ultimately decide if a tree should be felled rather than just trimmed, which can be the case if a tree is diseased or dying.

3. Trees Close to Houses

If trees that need trimming are near your home or a neighbor’s home, you might accidentally cause damages to structures with errant limbs. You might think you can guide limbs to fall where you need them, but sometimes it can be harder than you think to control cut limbs at the same time as you are trimming, especially without additional assistance. It is a good idea to call in a tree trimmer that will have the tools and equipment to ensure that limbs fall safely without damaging surrounding buildings.

4. Trees Near Power Lines

If your tree is near power lines, it isn’t worth the risk of trying to deal with this problem yourself. It can be hard to tell if a tree is entangled and if there might be electrical dangers while trimming.  Make sure to bring in a professional that can assess any damages a tree has done to power lines. They can either successfully remove limbs that are touching power lines or can recommend calling in the power company to assist with shutting down power or cutting away trees.

While there are smaller tree maintenance projects that might be in your scope, it is important to know your own limitations. If your tree trimming might be risky, it isn’t worth having an accident over. Call in a professional such as Johnson’s Tree Service & Stump Grinding when your tree trimming needs have surpassed recommended DIY techniques.

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3 Tree Diseases That Can Infect A Chanticleer Pear Tree

The chanticleer pear is a tall, narrow ornamental tree that flourishes with white flowers in the summer. The tree has a lot of visual interest since it never goes completely bare. The white flowers lead to red, purple, or orange leaves in the fall, which give way to naked branches that showcase the remaining hard, round, reddish fruits.

Chanticleer trees are great for yards with little space or that need edging trees along a road or median. Owning a chanticleer requires some maintenance such as tree trimming to keep the width in check and keeping an eye out for tree diseases.

Chanticleers in general are fairly disease resistant but crossbreeding with other types of trees still leaves some chanticleers vulnerable. Here are a few of the tree diseases you need to monitor.

Fire Blight

Fire blight is a bacterial tree disease with symptoms that start to present as the white flowers start to show up in the spring. Cankers or sore-like notches will show up on the bark. A watery discharge can run out of the cankers and cause streaks on the surrounding bark. The new flowers and leaves will then prematurely turn darker, wilt, and fall from the tree.

You can manage a blight infection by calling in a tree care service to cut away affected branches, leaves, and flowers as soon as they appear. The tree will need to ride out this growing season with the infection in place. Before the next growing season, your tree care service can apply a blossom spray to minimize the risk of the disease coming back the following year.

Leaf Scorch

Another bacterial disease that can strike the chanticleer is leaf scorch. The disease gets the name from the fact that the leaves will start to darken around the edges as if a match were held under the leaf until the rim started to burn. Affected leaves will then fall off the tree.

Leaf scorch tends to affect leaves near bark injuries, which the chanticleer is prone to do to the relative thinness of its bark. Hire a tree care service to regularly and safely prune your tree to reduce the risk of scorch forming in the first place. If scorch has already taken hold, keeping the tree healthy and chemical treatment can prevent the problem from worsening.

Cotton Root Rot

Cotton root rot is a fungal disease with symptoms that start to appear in the early summer to early fall. Initially, the symptoms can resemble those of fire blight or leaf scorch. The leaves and flowers will start to look damaged, darken, and then fall off. The key differences are that the root rot will cause the leaves and flowers to deteriorate from the top of the tree downward and the disease is simultaneously causing damage to the roots under the ground.

It’s important to catch root rot early and call in a tree service immediately before the roots have died. If the roots have already died, the tree can’t be saved and will need to be removed completely. If the roots are still in decent health, the use of fungicides and fertilization can spring the chanticleer back to health.

For more information on trees, contact a company like R. L. Elliott Enterprises, Inc.

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3 Fun DIY Projects To Make Use Of Tree And Garden Waste

If you have waste from yard clippings, trimming trees or other garden chores, it can be difficult to decide what to do with the materials. If you put them on the street, they go directly to the landfill where they consume space and contribute to pollution. To deal with your tree and garden waste in a green way, you may want to consider some DIY projects to reuse the material, such as using a wood chipper to make mulch, ground cover and compost. If you want to deal with your garden waste in greener ways, here are some DIY projects you may want to try:

1. Hewing Trees Into Useable Timbers With Removals

When you have a tree removed or one falls, the large branches and trunks can be an obstacle that you have to deal with. You may want to consider putting these materials to use as timbers for landscaping or woodworking project. A simple way to do this is by hewing them with an ax. To make the job easier, you can use a chainsaw to cut the grooves in the trunks to quickly turn them into useable timbers. To make the hewed timbers straight, mark them with a chalk line to even out any uneven cuts in the logs.

2. Use A Wood Chipper To Make Mulch, Ground Cover And Compost

Some of the smaller scraps that you may have in your lawn can be more difficult to deal with. A wood chipper can be a great tool to deal with all sorts of yard waste. It can be used to turn tree branches and clippings into mulch and ground cover. You can also use it to turn any garden waste into a mulch that can be used in a compost pile for good garden soil that is nutrient rich.

3. Turn Clippings And Waste Into Nutrient Rich Garden Soils

There are also a lot of clippings that may be too small for the chipper. There are composting leaf blow/vacuums that can help with breaking down these materials or a lawnmower with a bag can help. You can put these materials in a compost bin and add other organic materials from the kitchen to help make nutrient rich garden soil. To improve composting, you can add a bag of manure to the pile and keep it wet, as well as turn the pile regularly.

These are some DIY Projects that you may want to try doing with your tree and garden waste. If you need equipment to deal with the waste materials, contact a tree trimming service to help with keeping your trees healthy and more ideas for some of these garden waste projects.

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Three Growth Issues With Landscape Trees

Overgrown trees can pose a danger to both themselves and to others. This is because a tree that is producing bad growth patterns is more likely to split or drop branches, which can result in injury to a person or damage to property. The poor growth and subsequent damage can also result in fatal injuries or leave the tree open to later disease or pest issues. The following can help you avoid three of the most common types of dangerous growth patterns.

#1: Suckers

Suckers occur when new shoots emerge from the root system of the tree. These are common on certain species, such as lilacs, as well as on trees that have been grafted onto a different root stock. Suckers can appear as scrubby growth near the base of the tree. These suckers are easy to identify so you can simply cut them off flush to the trunk where they emerge. Suckers may also emerge further out along the root system, sometimes several feet from the main trunk. Cut these suckers off just beneath the soil surface with shears or a sharp pruning saw. Allowing suckers to grow can weaken the tree, since the suckers divert nutrients and water from the primary trunk.

#2: Water Spouts

Water spouts are branches that grow in quickly along the main lateral branches on your tree. These new branches are typically nearly vertical. They can weaken the lateral branches, causing them to break due to weight of the new vertical branch. These branches also cause the main canopy of the tree to become unbalanced, which can also lead to breakage in heavy winds. Cut off water spouts as soon as you notice them, removing them flush to the lateral branch from which they emerge.

#3: Crossed Branches

Not all branches are healthy branches. One hidden danger in mature trees is the the crossed branch. These consist of at least two lateral branches following a similar growth trajectory, which has led to them crossing together. The crossed branches rub together, which will eventually lead to damage to the outer bark. This damage will then make the tree more susceptible to insect or disease infection, which could weaken the damaged branches or even affect the entire tree. Annual pruning to remove crossed branches before damage to this extent occurs is the best defense.

Schedule annual pruning with a local tree service—like Carlos Tree Service Inc or a similar location—to ensure your landscape trees don’t fall prey to these growth issues.

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Dangers You Run Into When Trimming Trees (And How To Avoid Them)

Trimming your own trees gives you control over the look and style of your backyard. It also helps you feel like a tough homeowner who can handle their own problems. However, there are a variety of dangers you need to consider whenever you trim your trees and many of these dangers are serious enough to be deadly. Thankfully, it’s easy to avoid them if you take a few simple precautions.

Injuries That Plague Tree Trimming

If you aren’t careful when you are cutting your trees, you run the risk of falling victim to a wide range of injuries. They can happen any time while you are cutting a tree and range in seriousness. The following are some of the most common tree cutting accidents:

  • Getting hit by a falling limb
  • Falling from the tree when safety equipment fails
  • Touching electrical wires
  • Getting cut by power tools
  • Serious eye injuries
  • Stings and bites from insects
  • Infected by a poisonous plant

The worst injuries in this list (such as getting cut by power tools or falling from the tree) can be severe enough to cause permanent injure and even death. And even the minor ones (such as getting stung or poked in the eye) may distract you during the trimming process or cause more serious problems, such as allergic reactions to stings.

Avoiding These Dangers

The litany of dangers that can impact tree trimming can make it feel like a hectic activity. However, it’s still possible for you to trim your own trees safely by following a few simple protocols. The following steps will help you safely trim your tree:

  • Tie a rope around each limb you are cutting and have a friend stabilize it on the ground
  • Inspect your climbing equipment to ensure it is in good shape, especially any climbing items, such as ropes or straps
  • Use hand tools, instead of power tools, to avoid accidental cuts
  • Wear goggles whenever you’re up in a tree to avoid getting poked in the eye
  • Inspect trees for stinging insects (ants, centipedes, clover mites, bees, wasps, hornets, etc) and exterminate them first
  • Learn how to spot the poisonous plants (like poison ivy, oak, and sumac)

As for dangers like electrocution, it’s best to simply avoid trimming your tree if it is anywhere near electrical wires. While you may only be stunned or injured from touching an electric wire, the potential for death is too strong to risk.

Following these safety tips can help keep you safe when you are trimming your trees. However, if you still feel like this procedure is too dangerous to perform on your own, call a professional like Northern Virginia Tree Experts, Inc.. They can do the hard work for you and may be worth the extra money to ensure your safety.

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About Me

I have always been one of those people who isn't afraid to get their hands dirty, which is why I started trimming my own trees. However, after doing it by myself for a few years, I realized that my yard was starting to look a little DIY, which wasn't the look that I was going for. To make things right, I decided to invest in a professional tree service who could come out and fix up my yard. They were amazing to work with, and they even came with all of their own equipment. This blog is all about the benefits of professional tree care, versus doing things on your own.

February 2017
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