The Importance of Taking Care of Your Trees

The Importance of Taking Care of Your Trees

Three Reasons To Have Tree Stumps Removed By Professionals

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Most people don’t realize that tree removal is actually a two-step process; obviously the tree must be cut down, but many people fail to realize that this process leaves a large, unsightly (and potentially hazardous) stump in the middle of their yard. Most reputable tree service companies will offer to remove the stump for an additional fee, or refer their client to a stump removal service with whom the tree service has a relationship. But unfortunately, too many homeowners mistakenly believe that stump removal is an easy process. In truth, tree stump removal is usually outside the skill set of the average person, and wise homeowners leave the job to the professionals. There are a variety of reasons that stump removal is a complex process, but three primary reasons that it should be left to the pros include the following: Without Access to the Proper Tools, Stump Removal is a Laborious and Time-Consuming Process Most people in the business of removing tree stumps use high-powered grinding tools that essentially disassemble the stump, turning it into wood chips and dust. While it is possible to rent consumer-level stump-grinding tools from home improvement stores, few homeowners feel comfortable using these potentially dangerous tools. Accordingly, the only option is to remove the stump manually with hand tools (trying to hoist a tree stump from the ground with a vehicle or tractor is exceedingly dangerous, and should never be attempted), such as shovels, spades, axes and chainsaws. Stump removal usually takes weeks’ worth of effort – it makes better economic sense to pay for an hour of labor than to invest dozens of hours of your own labor. Some Tree Stump Removal Processes Represent a Fire Risk A commonly suggested method for removing stumps involves saturating the stump with an oxidizing agent, and then lighting the stump on fire. Tree stumps take a very long time to burn, and they do so incredibly slowly. Throughout this extended process, burning stumps occasionally produce hot embers, which can cause the fire to grow out of control. Professionals Often Obtain Better Results Than Amateurs Do Stump grinding specialists and tree service professionals remove tree stumps all the time and become quite skilled at the task. By contrast, many amateurs struggle to dig, cut, grind or burn a tree stump completely, and portions of the stump often persist longer than the homeowner’s motivation does. These types of partially removed stumps are just as unattractive as they were at the outset, and just as hazardous too.  For more information, contact a company like Brown’s Tree...

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3 Cosmetic Tree Diseases That Strike The Paperbark Maple

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The paperbark maple tree is a stunning ornamental tree well suited to even smaller yards. The modest sized tree has cinnamon colored peeling bark and rich green leaves that turn vibrant orange in fall. Other than the tree’s beauty, a major selling point of the paperbark is its relative resilience against tree diseases. Resilience, however, doesn’t mean immunity. There are still diseases you need to watch for in your paperbark maple and many ways that a landscaping service can help you contain the symptoms or disease itself. Here are a few of the common tree diseases that can strike a paperbark maple. Verticillium Wilt The fungus-borne verticillium wilt disease causes the paperbark maple’s leaves to prematurely wither, brown, and fall from the tree. In other trees, the wilt can continue to kill off leaves until there is no way to save the tree. But paperbark maple’s usually aren’t severely affected and the wilt mostly presents as a cosmetic issue. If your leaves begin to die and you suspect wilt, call in a tree trimming and services company, such as Greatland Tree Service, as soon as possible. The tree service can trim away the already affected leaves, sanitize the soil surrounding the tree for any remaining fungus, and, with regular appointments, keep an eye out for signs that the wilt is returning.  Crown Gall Crown galls are scabby, sore-like markings on the bark that appear due to a bacterial infection. The galls will only form near areas of damage and can be harder to notice initially on a paperbark maple due to its naturally shedding outermost bark. But that shedding bark also means that the galls are often fairly easy to remove on this type of tree. Your tree service can either remove the bark with the galls, if they are on the outer layers, or treat the deep galls with a chemical solution that prevents the problem from worsening. Surrounding soil can be treated with heat, sanitization, and increased fertilization. Anthracnose Does your paperbark maple show signs of dieback that don’t match either wilt or gall? Your tree might have anthracnose, which is a blanket term for several types of fungal infections that cause general symptoms of dieback. The symptoms can cross over the symptoms of gall and wilt but tend to be more varied in nature. Your tree service can determine if the problem is really anthracnose. Pruning off dead leaves and twigs, cleaning up shed material from the ground, and frequent tree health care such as watering and fertilization are simple ways that a tree service can help eradicate symptoms of anthracnose faster and prevent them from coming...

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Tree Diseases And Insects Of The Basswood – And How A Tree Service Can Help

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Basswood trees are large, shade-giving trees with dark gray, furrowed branches and distinctive heart-shaped leaves that hang in clusters and turn from bright green to a vivid yellow in the fall. The basswood, which is also called the American linden, also has fragrant yellow flowers that make the tree a beautiful and aromatic addition to a larger yard. If you are considering planting a basswood tree, discuss with a nursery whether the tree is a good fit for your soil type and planting location. Once the decision is made, you need to learn about some of the common tree diseases and insects that can strike basswood trees and how calling in a tree care service early can often spare the tree from further damage. Anthracnose Leaf Blight Anthracnose leaf blight is a leaf-destroying disease that comes from a fungal infection. Early warning signs are leaves that grow with black or brown spots during the spring growing cycle. The affected leaves can continue to grow and pink pustules can form on the surfaces. Affected leaves won’t reach full size and will likely fall from the tree prematurely. Call in a tree care service as soon as you suspect anthracnose for prompt treatment. Pruning off affected leaves and clearing away the ones that have already fallen to the ground can help stop the disease’s spread while also improving the appearance of the tree. Once all the leaves have shed in the fall, the tree care service can dig up the soil around the tree and apply new fertilizer that can detract the leaf blight from returning for the next growing season. Verticillium Wilt Verticillium wilt is a fungal tree disease that targets and weakens the basswood tree’s root system. The wilt then travels through the tree’s vascular system causing damage and potentially blocking the path for important nutrients. Early symptoms are found on the leaves, which will grow overly small, brown around the edges, and then prematurely drop off the tree. Wilt can cause the death of young trees or older trees that are in poor health and there’s not a lot that a tree service can do to stop that process. Once the tree is dead, ask the tree service to completely remove the tree and fertilize the soil so that the disease doesn’t try to spread to any other trees. If your tree is older and in good health, or particularly resilient, the tree can fight off wilt on its own. A tree service can still remove the affected and dropping leaves for cosmetic help and an off-season application of fertilizer to the soil can lessen the chances of wilt returning. Linden Borer Adult linden borer insects are dark green beetles with black spots, but it is the larvae that you need to watch as they cause the damage to your basswood tree. The small, white larvae bore or tunnel through the bark to eat the tissues inside. The damage can range from minor to severe enough that the branches will fall off, though the latter usually only happens in severe infestations where no action was taken. Your tree care service can apply insecticide and prune away any infected branches to help prevent the borers from thriving. The actions might not fully remove the existing borers but can dwindle...

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Tree Diseases And Insects That Strike Black Locust Trees – And How A Tree Service Can Help

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Black locusts are a mid-size tree with a distinctive rough, ash-gray bark and clusters of small oval leaves arranged in an alternating pattern on the supporting twig. The trees have brown seedpods that appear in the fall and fall off in the winter. Black locust trees can provide an added touch of visual interest to your yard without taking all the attention. If you’re considering planting a black locust, you need to understand the potential threats ahead of time. Monitoring your tree for disease and insect damage and calling in a tree services company for help can help keep your tree healthy and your yard beautiful. Heart Rot Heart rot is a bark withering disease caused by fungi that enter the tree via existing damage to the bark. Knot or mushroom-shaped bulges will grow in the areas of the damage, which is the clearest sign your tree has a case of heart rot. If the knots are only on a few branches, call in a tree trimming service like Northwest Residential Arborist And Excavating to prune off those branches and any remaining branches that might have suffered previous damage – regardless of whether knots have already formed. Removing all existing damage robs the disease of a chance to spread further in the tree. Pruning should be sufficient for treating the disease. Have the knots become prominent around damaged parts of the trunk? The trunk might have already become too weak to safely support the rest of your tree. Call in a tree removal service to see if removal is the wisest and safest course of action. Witches’ Broom Witches’ broom, which is most often caused by fungi, gets the name from the spindly collections of twigs that form on the end of the branches. The twig bunches resemble the end of a broom. The disease isn’t attractive, but the damage is also mostly cosmetic. Calling in a tree pruning company to remove the brooms is often enough to prevent recurrence of the disease in the future. Locust Borer The locust borer is a long, narrow insect with yellow rings and red legs. The borer only infests black locust trees. During the larvae stage, the borers dig into the bark of the tree, which weakens the branches and creates knots similar to those caused by heart rot. The bark’s exterior will turn from dark and white to ashy and then yellow as the infestation worsens. Older trees with thicker bark are less susceptible to borer damage. Light to moderate infestations can be treated with a combination of insecticide and pruning away affected branches. Severe cases may involve so much dead bark that a tree removal service will need to completely remove the tree – especially if you have another black locust tree that hasn’t yet become...

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Tips For Maintaining Your Plum Tree

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When it comes to fruit trees, plum trees are a great choice for most any yard. Unfortunately, they can also quickly overtake the yard if not pruned appropriately. In fact, plum trees will gain both height and width if they aren’t managed, and that wild growth can actually cause fruit production and quality to suffer. By trimming your plum trees each year, you’ll encourage new growth and fresh buds, which will help preserve the quality of the fruit. Here are a few tips to help you with proper trimming practices for your plum trees. Safety Suggestions Before you trim your plum tree, you need to ensure your safety. Don’t ever rely on an extension ladder or folding step stool to safely support you while you’re trimming the tree. They aren’t stable enough on uneven ground. Instead, you’ll want a tripod ladder, sometimes called an orchard ladder. The tripod-style creates three anchor points to help keep you stable while you’re trimming the tree. Trimming Tips Start With Clean Shears – Keeping your pruning shears clean protects against the spread of diseases from one tree to another. Deal With Dead and Broken Limbs – Cut any dead branches away so that they don’t damage the overall health of the tree. Make the cuts so that they are flush with the trunk of the tree. Don’t leave any branch stubs behind, because they’ll take a long time to heal over if the branch is dying. The longer it takes to heal, the more vulnerable the tree is to infection. Get Rid of Water Sprouts – Water sprouts are the branches that grow vertically from the trunk of the tree or from a primary branch. Cut them flush with the trunk or branch to eliminate them. Don’t Seal the Cuts – Avoid painting over the cuts when you trim the branches. You might think that sealing them will protect the tree from infection, but leaving the cuts exposed to air will encourage them to heal more naturally. Focus On the Core Branches – Evaluate the overall condition of the tree to identify the strongest branches. You’ll want to preserve those three or four of the strongest branches as the ones for the new season’s growth. Cut away all of the other branches so that the tree can focus its growth efforts on those core branches. If you’re not confident in your pruning skills, you may want to talk with a tree trimming specialist about doing the job for you. He or she can ensure that the cuts are made correctly and your tree is...

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How Can You Tell If A Tree Is In Danger Of Falling?

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Winter snow storms and ice storms can impact sick trees in a variety of negative ways. Cold temperatures and heavy ice can worsen a tree’s condition, leading to broken branches. In the worst-case scenario, diseased trees may get knocked over by the wind or ice. Falling trees can damage homes, cars and even injure people. Now that winter is here, homeowners who have one or more sick trees on their property may find themselves wondering if their trees are in danger of falling. Knowing how to spot the warning signs of a weak, sick tree can help you protect your property and even your family members. How can you tell if a tree is in danger of falling? Trees that are in danger of falling due to severe winter weather will often show signs of advanced disease and structural instability. These signs include: A significant lean in one direction. Basically, all trees have a slight lean, but trees that are noticeably leaning to one side may be doing so because their roots are no longer able to hold them in the soil. As the tree and roots become weaker, the lean will become more severe. Heaving of soil around the trunk. Heaving soil in the area around the trunk is a sign of movement in the roots. This is an indication that the tree is slowly falling over. Fungus and mold. Mushrooms and fungus are a sign that the tree is slowly rotting from the inside out. Over time, the fungus and mold will take over the tree and contribute to its death. Lack of foliage during the growing season. Many trees naturally lack foliage in the winter, but a lack of foliage in the summer is a sign of a problem. Cankers. A canker is a section of dead bark on a tree. Cankers are often the result of a wound on a tree that hasn’t healed properly. Cankers can harbor fungus and other tree diseases. While some cankers are not lethal, others are a sign of lethal infection. What should you do if your tree is showing signs of distress? If your tree is showing signs of distress and may be in danger of falling, have it evaluated by a qualified tree removal company (such as http://www.prtree.com). It’s never too late: tree removal can happen at all times of the year, including winter. Contact a tree removal company to find out whether or not your tree needs to be removed from your...

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Three Different Approaches To Correcting The Bent Appearance Of A Tree In Your Yard

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Every once in a while, you have a tree that grows out of your yard that you did not plant there yourself. Usually, it is a product of squirrels burying nuts and seeds, or a wayward wind depositing seed pods in your yard. While you may not be opposed to free and natural landscaping, you may be opposed to a tree that appears to be growing crooked. If you consult a tree trimming service, you may be advised of the following approaches to treating the crooked tree’s appearance. Making the Tree Appear Symmetrical Sometimes the tree’s crooked appearance has more to do with asymmetry of the branches than it does with the straightness of the trunk. To correct this visual deception, the tree service representative cuts back some of the branches on the side of the tree that appears to be taking a nose-dive toward the ground. After the branches on this side are trimmed back, the tree automatically appears more symmetrical and it no longer looks like it is growing crooked out of the ground. Pulling and Bracing the Tree Trunk in the Opposite Direction With this method, the tree trimming experts will use chains, winches and a few other tools to pull the trunk of the tree in the direction opposite the leaning side. This approach works best when the tree is still younger than a decade because it is still willowy and easy to bend and shape. If need be, some of the exposed roots on the leaning side of this tree will be cut free, giving the tree more ability to stand upright. Then the tree is corded off to keep it upright, and braced in this position for several months or more to help the tree right itself and grow upward instead of sideways or down and over. Digging the Tree up and Replanting It If you are certain you want to keep this odd tree, then the last approach is the most extreme, but perhaps the most effective. Your tree service crew carefully extracts the tree from the ground, preserving all of the roots. Then they dig a fresh hole, anywhere you want on your property. Next, they adjust the level of soil in the hole so that when the tree is replanted it sits at an angle in the hole, but the tree itself is perfectly upright. Dirt fills in the hole, and the tree is braced as is so that it cannot attempt to tilt over in the modified hole. This approach works best for older crooked trees or trees that refuse to respond to other approaches.  ...

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3 Tree Diseases That Strike Texas Cottonwoods – And How To Prevent Further Damage

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The Texas cottonwood is a short, wide tree that grows best along ponds or rivers. Texas cottonwoods have greenish-tan bark, green leaves that turn bright yellow in the fall, and a cotton-like substance that grows off the leaves. These trees are a beautiful addition to a yard along the water. Texas cottonwoods are also a great “for now” landscaping choice while you try to decide on more permanent, higher maintenance trees as the cottonwoods don’t have a terribly long lifespan. Despite the Texas cottonwood’s shorter lifespan, there are still steps you can take to keep the tree healthy and hearty for as long as possible. One of those steps is to watch for the common tree diseases that can strike this type of tree. Learn the symptoms of these diseases so that you can call in a tree service for help. Canker Disease Fungus-caused canker disease creates open wounds on the bark of the tree. The interior of the wounds will darken or blacken and can start to emit a smelly sap. The interior rim of the wound can turn reddish in color. Leaves on the affected branches can become prematurely yellow, shrivel, and then fall off the tree. Canker disease only strikes bark and branches that have received prior damage due to a pruning shear slip or wind damage. You can eliminate the canker disease by calling in a tree service to carefully trim away any affected branches. Leave the trimming to the professionals so that you don’t slip with the equipment and damage another branch, which would then be vulnerable to canker. Heart Rot Heart rot is another type of fungal disease that can strike a Texas cottonwood. The disease will create knobs or knots on the surface of the bark. The bark can become softer to the touch in the affected areas and will likely become discolored. Your tree service can keep the symptoms of heart rot at bay by trimming away the knobs and any branches that have become dangerously soft. The heart rot can eventually kill a tree but with the shorter lifespans of Texas cottonwoods your tree service can likely keep the tree mostly healthy through its natural lifespan. If significant heart rot has already occurred, call a tree removal service to extract the tree to prevent the disease from spreading elsewhere. Powdery Mildew Powdery mildew is yet another fungal disease that can strike a cottonwood, but this time the damage is purely cosmetic. The fungus can cause a white fuzz to form on the leaves of the tree. This fuzz can sometimes grow thick enough to block photosynthesis and cause the leaves to prematurely wither and fall off the tree. You can keep powdery mildew at bay by having your tree service trim affected leaves and then apply a fungicide. The problem will often disappear on its own between growing seasons so fungicide might not be required. For more information about tree diseases, contact a business such as Chudy Tree Care....

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Tips For Pruning Ornamental Cherries, Plums, And Crabapples

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Not all fruit trees are planted for fruit, nor do they even bear fruit. Ornamental cherry trees, for example, include true cherry trees and those that don’t produce fruit. Ornamental plums and crabapples produce fruit, but not always of edible quality. Instead, these landscape trees are prized for their attractive spring flowers. Proper pruning ensures they bloom fully each year, and the following tips can help. Tip #1: Timing Is Everything Flower buds are generally produced on trees in late fall or winter. This means that a tree has already set its amount of flowers long before first bud break in spring. While other deciduous trees are often pruned in late winter, it is best to hold off on pruning these ornamental specimens until after they finish flowering in late spring or early summer. Midsummer is the absolute latest you should prune, otherwise you may end up cutting off next year’s flowers. Tip #2: It’s Better to Start Young Trying to gain control of the shape of a adolescent or mature flowering tree can result in poor growth or even tree death. Instead, begin shaping the tree the first ear after transplanting. The central leader branch, which is the main upright branch off the trunk, on a sapling can be headed back soon after planting so there are at least three buds on the branch or trunk below. Each of these buds will become a new branch, and you don’t want too many at first. The following year, pruning is done to keep the side branches trimmed back to a similar length. Also, prune back the leader so it is about a foot above the topmost tier of these branches, since you don’t want a large bare area between the tip of the leader and the canopy of leaves below. Only side branches that are growing at a good lateral angle are kept. Those trying to grow upright like a leader or rubbing on neighboring branches are removed completely. This severe pruning can be carried over into a third year, if necessary. At this point, the tree should have a good, strong framework and it won’t require any major pruning going forward. Tip #3: Maintenance Is a Continued Need Although the main pruning is done within a few years, summer maintenance is still a must. After flowering you can go through and trim out any water spouts. These are quick growing branches that grow straight up from a lateral branch, ruining the main framework of the tree. You can also trim back dead or damaged branches, cutting them off near a leaf bud or where they join to a branch or trunk. Avoid any severe pruning. Topping off a flowering plum or cherry, for example, can kill the tree. If you need further help, contact a local tree trimming service, such as All Around Landscape & Tree...

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Removing Hundred-Year-Old Trees From Your Yard: What To Expect

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Some trees that reach the century or century-plus mark may not make it one more year. Their age, height, weight and dryness inside makes them dangerous; they can attract lightning during a storm, strong winds can crack and bend off heavy limbs, and insects can destroy every part of the tree. Disease usually begins to settle in, slowly killing off your ancient trees. If a tree of this age were to break, snap and/or crash down on you, you may not survive to see your hundredth year. It may be time to remove really old trees from your property. Here is what you can expect when you hire a tree removal service to remove trees this large and this old. “Topping” the Tree The guys and gals who you hire will begin by either climbing up the tree to get near the top or using a cherry picker bucket to get up high. Here, they will begin to cut off limbs and to let the limbs drop to the ground below. Once the very top of the tree is laid naked and bare of its  limbs, the tree is “topped,” which means that the very top portion of the tree is cut off and allowed to fall to the ground. Removing the Fallen Limbs and Tree Top Before the rest of the tree can be cut down and removed, the tree top and lopped limbs have to be moved out of the way. The tree removal service will either send these fallen pieces through a chipper or log cutter to make them easier to dispose of and/or transport. If you want to keep the chipped remains for your landscaping and flower beds, then other members of the tree removal crew can spread it around for you. Cutting down the Remaining Trunk If the remaining section of tree trunk is really tall or enormously wide, the tree removal service will cut it down in chunks or slices. These chunks and slices are then cut down some more to make them manageable and light enough for the crew to lift and carry into a truck or dumpster. The final six to eight feet or so is cut down with a chainsaw, usually near the base of the tree, unless the ancient tree’s girth does not permit it. (Then a two-person lumberjack saw may have to cut the rest of the trunk free.) Grinding or Blowing the Stump The last part of the antiquated tree in your yard is removed either by grinding it into sawdust into the ground or using some explosives to blow it up and out of the ground. If the tree is too close to your house or other building structures, the tree removal crew will attempt to grind it first. If the tree is far enough away, carefully placed explosives will help break the stump up into loose chunks that can then be pulled out of the ground and disposed of. Finally, when the stump is ground or gone entirely, the ground where this tree once stood is leveled with a front loader and you are free to plant grass, flowers or shrubbery in its place. For more information on tree removal, contact a company like Northern Virginia Tree Experts,...

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