The Science of How Trees Talk to Each Other

berkeley tree service

Our Berkeley tree service experts can fully appreciate the amazing science behind how trees talk to each other. In fact, excellent tree care depends on it! The natural world is full of secrets. From the deepest gorges to the peaks of the highest mountaintops, our world is full of plants, animals, and fungi that coexist in millions of different ecosystems. If a person stands on the beach and looks out at the ocean, they may have no idea that underneath the surface lies 94% of the animal species on this planet. Similarly, when a person stands in a forest, they may have no idea of the invisible messages that are being sent via underground fungal networks or through pheromones attached to spores in the wind.

Read on to learn more about the mystery of how trees communicate with each other.

Through the Air

Trees can communicate with each other using pheromones and scent signals they release into the air. One remarkable tree that utilizes this method of communication to protect its neighboring companions is the umbrella horned acacia, found in the grasslands of the African savanna.

When giraffes chew on this tree’s juicy, sickle-shaped leaves, the umbrella horned acacia notices the injury and emits a distress signal in the form of ethylene gas. The gas signals the surrounding trees to begin pumping tannins into their leaves. When a giraffe or other herbivore munches on these tannin-enriched leaves, they can become deathly sick. Other animals subsequently avoid the tree’s leaves.

Through the Soil

Trees are often thought of as singular entities, but most of the time they are connected to a larger, mutually beneficial community of trees through underground fungal networks. This system allows a collective of trees to share resources and make decisions about nutrient flow, which direction to grow branches, and how to deter predators.

The fungal networks, called mycorrhizal networks, consist of very thin threads of mycelium, or mushrooms, that help trees communicate with each other underneath the soil. By linking to this network, trees can spread information to their neighbors. For example, if an older established tree becomes aware of a struggling sapling through the network, it can draw water towards the surface through its root system to help the sapling. Trees can also agree to sabotage unwelcome plants by directing toxic chemicals through the network.

A Supportive Network

Trees can distinguish their “family” from other neighboring trees. Using seedlings, ecologists at the University of Reading were able to determine that trees can recognize the root tips of their kin and distinguish them from unrelated seedlings. Related trees show kinship by sending extra carbon through the underground mycorrhizal networks. When threatened with drought or disease, predators or insect attacks, trees will warn and prioritize family.

Berkeley Tree Service

If you are looking for excellent Berkeley tree service, look no further. At Sexy Trees, our wide range of services and care will keep your trees healthy and beautiful for decades to come. We believe in supporting our communities of trees through evidence-based techniques that you can depend on.

Give us a call at 925-233-6877 for a free estimate, or email us at [email protected] anytime with questions!

Your Checklist for Smart Summer Tree Care

tree pruning

Are you wondering if it’s time for tree pruning or some other important Berkeley tree service? Summer means hotter temperatures and less rain, which can often be a death sentence for plants that aren’t well established. If you’ve ever watched a plant shrivel up, leaves turning yellow, then brown, then crunchy, you’ve certainly seen the effects of dehydration in plant life. Changing up your gardening routine for the summer, particularly paying attention to younger plants and trees, can allow them to thrive, even through the hottest months. Check out what our Berkeley tree service experts recommend for your summer tree care plan.

1) Tree Pruning

Summer tree pruning helps keep your tree healthy and well-shaped. We recommend removing damaged, diseased, or dead tree limbs, as these can cause unnecessary stress to a tree. Stone fruit trees in particular benefit from summer pruning to encourage bigger and higher-quality fruit. Pruning in summer can promote robust branch growth, healthier canopy development, and overall shoot growth.

2) Give Your Tree a Deep Watering

California summers can reach high temperatures in certain geographical regions, and the resulting drought can cause extreme stress on trees. To counteract the lack of water in summer, give your trees a deep watering every one to four weeks. Deep watering encourages deeper root development, which increases the tree’s access to nutrients and water in the soil. This can bolster a tree’s resistance to uprooting and protect it from disease.

3) Watch for Signs of Distress

Changes in a tree’s leaves are usually the first indicator that a tree is stressed in some capacity. In the summer, a tree’s leaves may droop, wilt, turn yellow, appear scorched, stop growing, or even fall from the tree. Keep a close eye on trees that are exhibiting any problems and practice consistent tree care.

4) Refresh the Soil

Hard, dry soil can impede a tree’s ability to absorb nutrients and water. Proper soil aeration can soften the soil surrounding a tree, which allows a better environment for helpful microorganisms to thrive.

5) Add a Layer of Mulch

Properly mulching a tree will regulate the soil temperature, slow down moisture evaporation, and help reduce weeds that would otherwise compete with the tree’s resources. Two inches of mulch is enough – any more can suffocate the base of the tree, which needs carbon and air!

6) Keep an Eye on Insects

In the summer heat, some species of insects like to cling to the shade underneath your tree’s canopy. By standing under your tree and looking up, you can check to see if too many insects of a particular type have infested your tree. Not all insects are harmful, so you may want to consider an arborist’s opinion before purchasing an insecticide.

7) Fertilize When Summer is Over

After a harsh summer, trees require a replenishing dose of nutrients. In early fall, make sure to fertilize your trees and check the pH of the soil to ensure that your trees are receiving the nutrients they require.

Tree Pruning & Other Services

If you are looking for excellent Berkeley tree service, look no further. At Sexy Trees, our wide range of services and care will keep your trees healthy and beautiful for decades to come. We believe in supporting our communities of trees through evidence-based techniques that you can depend on.

Give us a call at 925-233-6877 for a free estimate, or email us at [email protected] anytime with questions!

What is Eating My Trees?- Common Pests

Alamo Tree Care

We spend more time worrying about pests getting inside our homes, but the reality is that they can make trouble outdoors too. If your trees are looking a little down lately, you might need pest control as part of your Alamo tree care services.

Of course, it’s best to catch these tiny invaders sooner rather than later, so here are some common California insects that infest trees as well as how to spot them in your yard.

Common Tree Invaders

In California, we need to watch out for the following creepy crawlers in our trees:

California Fivespined Ips

The California fivespined ips is a species of bark beetle with a fancy name. Increased logging in the 40s exposed wide ranges of fresh slash that allowed the beetle to breed under favorable conditions. It is mainly a threat to all species of pine, including hybrid varieties. Unfortunately, this beetle can kill trees, especially those that are already stressed by drought, making Alamo tree care services all the more essential. Look for boring dust, as the beetles dig tunnels through the tree, as well as fading foliage.

Asian Citrus Psyllid

This little sap-sucker is a real problem for citrus tree owners. It loves to snack on the leaves and stems of citrus trees, and can even pass along a bacteria that results in a serious tree illness that’s known as Huanglongbing, or citrus greening disease. It’s best to prevent infestations with proper Alamo tree care services because once your citrus trees are invaded, not much can be done to save them. In fact, tree removal is best to help stop the spread to other citrus trees in the area.

The California Oakworm and Tussock Moths

Oak trees are common in California and so are the species of caterpillars that feed on their leaves. Tussock moth larvae are fuzzy, making them easy to spot. But the California oakworm is smooth with a yellow-green coloring. They feed on oak leaves, reducing the amount of sunlight these tree can harvest for photosynthesis.

Checking for Pests

Different insects will leave behind their own clues of destruction, but a certified arborist will usually start by checking over the leaves. Look for any signs of discoloration, holes, or thinning of the foliage. Next, you can move on to the bark. Take note of how well your trees are growing this year. If they seem to have slowed down from the previous season, you’ll probably want to talk to a certified arborist to rule out pests. Carefully inspect the bark for holes, tunnels, sawdust, and insect frass (bug pellets).

Alamo Tree Care

It’s best to discover pests as soon as possible, so set aside some time each week for regular tree care, or just call a pro. If you need professional Alamo tree care services, contact us today by clicking this link. As professional arborists, we recommend regular inspections to make sure your trees stay healthy and don’t pose any risk to your property. Our friendly team at Sexy Trees is here to answer your questions. Let’s talk!

How to Tell When You Need Tree Removal Services

Alamo tree removal

At Sexy Trees, we offer Alamo tree removal services and one of the questions we’re often asked is: How can I be sure if my tree needs to be removed? We know that tree removal is usually a last resort for homeowners, so the following are some common signs that you need to call a certified arborist.

A Hollow Trunk

A hollow trunk can be an indication that your tree is unwell or has suffered some stressor that exposed its heartwood, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s dead. In some cases, it can be a clear sign that the trunk is breaking down on the inside, though.

This hollowing out is referred to as “piping,” and it can result from things like microbes, insects, or animals consuming the interior wood. If your tree is damaged in this way, it’s very likely that you’ll need Alamo tree removal services. The problem is that piping can cause a tree to become an unstable hazard on your property. And, of course, it may only get worse over time as the tree becomes weaker. Schedule an appointment with a certified arborist who can tell if your tree is structurally sound.

Where are the Leaves?

It takes some trees longer than others for their leaves to grow back after the winter. However, if it’s already mid-summer and your tree is still leafless, you have a problem on your hands. Trees need leaves to take in sunlight for photosynthesis. So if your tree is bare, this is a clue that it’s dead or dying and it might be too late for tree care.

Evergreens are a little different, of course, and you can expect them to have foliage all year long. They do go through cycles of their own, but leaves or needles that are brown in the summer can signal that the tree is unwell.

Brittle Branches

It’s common for large trees to have a dead branch or two, but if this die-off covers part of the canopy, your tree is under stress. It may be possible to save it with proper tree pruning and some extra TLC, but take note of brittle branches before it’s too late. If you decide that you do need Alamo tree removal services, don’t put it off. An ailing tree can drop its branches at any time, resulting in injury or property damage.

Tell-Tale Roots

Excessive mushroom growth at the base of the tree can be a big clue that the roots are in a sorry state of rot. Another thing to watch out for is if you notice the roots are rising above the ground. This isn’t the same thing as shallow roots that grow along the surface, though. Check for tree roots that have actually become separated from the soil altogether. Since roots function as a tree’s anchor, this is definitely cause for concern.

Alamo Tree Removal

If you need Alamo tree removal services, contact us today by calling 925-233-6877. As professional arborists, we recommend regular tree care to make sure your trees stay healthy and don’t pose a risk. Our friendly team at Sexy Trees is here to answer your questions, so let’s talk!

5 Signs it’s Time to Call a Certified Arborist

Alamo tree service

Are you wondering if it’s time to schedule an Alamo tree service for your yard? Tree care is one of the most important tasks on your home maintenance list when you’re a property owner, and we’re here to help. Keep reading to learn 5 signs that you need to call a certified arborist.

1) Overhanging Branches

If a tree on your property is beginning to hang over a neighboring home or fence, it’s a potential liability. Trees can shed their branches, especially during winter weather. And, because they can become quite heavy, they pose a danger to people and property. Your neighbor would certainly not be happy to have a tree limb come down on their roof. If your trees have gotten a little overgrown, this is a good time to schedule an Alamo tree service to assess what needs to be done. In most cases, some tree pruning can take care of the issue.

2) Sickly Trees

An experienced arborist will likely notice that your trees need care long before you do. For this reason, it pays to schedule an annual Alamo tree service. It’s best to intervene with expert tree care before it’s too late. Look for changes to the leaves, as well as peeling bark. You may also be able to spot burrowing insects. Tree pruning is essential to help your tree keep a healthy shape, and remove ailing branches.

3) Before Seasonal Storms

A certified arborist can also make sure that your trees are ready to withstand spring and winter weather conditions. Heavy winds can be hazardous, especially if your trees have brittle branches that are easier to pull down. A mature tree can have limbs that weigh hundreds of pounds, so be sure to schedule an Alamo tree service before the rainy seasons.

4) Tree Removal

Removing an established tree on your own isn’t safe. A certified arborist will have the right tools and experience to offer safe tree removal services. If there was ever a time to schedule an Alamo tree service, this is it. The risk of injury or property damage is just too high to take a chance on tackling tree removal on your own. Not to mention that it’s a time-consuming process.

5) A Leaning Tree

Leaning trees are another indication that you may have a property hazard on your hands, although, this isn’t always true. It really just depends on the situation. If roots are exposed this is another sign that you need to have the tree assessed by a professional as soon as possible.

Schedule an Alamo Tree Service

Do you need an Alamo tree service? At Sexy Trees, we pride ourselves on offering the best tree services possible. We hope the above guide answers some of your questions about when to call a certified arborist. I you have other questions or feel like tree care is a messy job you don’t want to tackle on your own, please reach out by calling us at 925-233-6877. You can also read client testimonials by clicking this link.

How to Choose the Best Berkeley Tree Service

Berkeley tree service

You probably already know to hire a certified arborist when you need to schedule a Berkeley tree service for your property. But how to hire the right company? If you’re wondering, follow these simple tips to help you avoid tree care scams.

Choose Certified

Sometimes homeowners opt to do things themselves that should really be left to a professional. Part of the reason for this is because they’re just not sure who to trust and they’re afraid of being taken advantage of. Almost anyone who owns a vehicle has had this experience when it comes to finding a reliable and honest mechanic.

When it’s time to schedule your Berkeley tree service, a certified arborist is your best option. Anyone can pick up some pruning shears, but only a certified arborist can offer the depth of knowledge and experience you need when it comes to professional tree care. Their education, experience, and equipment will ensure that the job gets done right, and they will also be a reliable resource if you have any questions.

Verify Insurance

Liability insurance is a top priority when you need to schedule a Berkeley tree service. If it’s a company, also verify that they carry workers compensation insurance for their employees. It’s preferable if proof of insurance certificates are sent from the provider to you. This eliminates the possibility of fraudulent documents.

Why is this such a top priority? Well, if you hire a Berkeley tree service company that doesn’t have insurance, that means you get stuck paying for any injuries or property damage that occur on your land. It may seem unlikely, but it’s just not worth the risk. Take a little extra time to verify that an arborist is insured.

Review Ratings

Testimonials and complaints really count when you’re looking for the best Berkeley tree service. It shouldn’t be hard to find out what kind of reputation a local tree service company has, either. You’ll just need to do a little online sleuthing. In fact, you can learn a lot about a company with a quick web search. Pay close attention to things like how long they’ve been in business, and what kind of comments previous clients have left. Of course, you can always ask for references as well.

Pass on Door-to-Door Tree Services

If someone knocks on your door offering a Berkeley tree service, it’s best to pass on these types of offers. They’re usually scams, especially when it comes to selling unnecessary tree care services to the elderly. Someone knocks on your door and says they were just in the area, working in your neighbor’s yard, and noticed you need an expensive tree removal, etc.

Berkeley Tree Service

To learn more about tree care, talk to a certified arborist today. At Sexy Trees, we’re happy to help you make the best decisions for your trees. If it’s time to schedule tree pruning or another important Berkeley tree service, we’re here to help. Give us a call at 925.233.6877 to schedule a consultation for a free estimate. You can also view our client testimonials by clicking this link.

Meet the Team at Sexy Trees

Alamo tree service

Who are you going to call when you need emergency tree services? A certified arborist, that’s who. Sexy Trees has been providing your essential Alamo tree service since 2012. We love serving Alamo residents and surrounding Bay Area communities. We also offer free estimates with zero consultation fees. Do you have questions about tree care? Let us introduce ourselves. You can learn more about Sexy Trees and meet the team below.

How it All Began

Sexy Trees was founded by Alex Llamas. During college at Chico State, Alex took up rock climbing as a hobby. Most people stop there, but his love of rock climbing eventually led to tree climbing and a deep appreciation for everything trees give us. To make some extra money during  those college years, Alex took on tree pruning work at a local ranch until he graduated with a Bachelor of Science. He really enjoyed working with trees, though, so he decided to become a certified arborist and learn as much as he could about tree care. In fact, he continues to take classes to further educate himself and offer the best Alamo tree service in town.

Taking on a Partner

As the demand for tree care services grew, Alex decided to take on a partner to help him expand the business and meet the tree service needs of more clients. His business partner, Sergio Lopez, moved to the United States from Mexico in search of a better life at the age of twenty. Later, a love of the outdoors drew him to the tree care industry. He joined Alex with a diverse background in management and sales. He values taking the time to build authentic relationships, and hopes to help Sexy Trees become the premier tree service company in the US.

Alamo Tree Service

Our team offers a range of tree care services. If you’re a property owner, it’s important to schedule preventive maintenance for a number of reasons. For starters, keeping your trees in good health greatly reduces the risk of injury or property damage from falling branches. A certified arborist can also assess the trees on your property to determine if they need any special treatment, such as fertilizer or tree pruning.

Here’s a list of the main services that we offer at Sexy Trees:

  • Tree removal
  • Emergency tree services
  • Mistletoe removal
  • Tree pruning
  • Wood chips
  • Fertilizer
  • Stump removal
  • Fallen trees

Get a Free Estimate

For a free estimate, contact us at Sexy Trees. We offer Alamo tree service, as well as to the surrounding areas. Our team is standing by to help with all of your tree care needs. You can check out our testimonials by clicking here, or talk to a certified arborist today by calling 925-233-6877. Let’s chat!

4 Reasons to Hire a Certified Arborist

certified arborist

Is your landscaping looking a little rough around the edges? You’re in luck, a certified arborist can help you with a variety of essential tree care services to beautify your yard. These specialists can expertly handle jobs like tree removal and tree pruning, as well as fertilizing, stump grinding and mistletoe removal. They can also safely clear away fallen branches, or diagnose ailing trees and what to do for them. A certified arborist is like the tree whisperer of landscaping professionals.

Read on to learn more about why this profession is so essential. Here are 4 reasons to hire an arborist…

1) The Threat of Injury

Tree pruning for large branches and tree removal are too dangerous for the untrained homeowner to try to manage on their own. While it may not seem that way, trees are denser and heavier than they look, and their branches can cause injuries. On average, over a hundred people die each year due to tree-related fatalities. According to OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the tree care industry is among the top most dangerous industries in America. Your safety is the main reason to call in a specialist who has the proper tools and equipment for the job.

2) Investing in Your Home

Proper tree care is a long-term investment. Beautiful, healthy trees increase the value of your property in the long run. Although, the converse is true as well. Neglected trees can weigh down the value of your home. This is something to consider if you ever plan to list your house on the market. A certified arborist can also help you prevent plumbing issues that are related to overgrown tree roots, which is never a cheap fix.

3) Avoiding Liability Issues

Without proper tree pruning services, your landscaping can become a liability. Trees can drop brittle, dead, or diseased branches at  any time, especially during stormy weather. We already discussed how heavy falling limbs can be. To figure out the exact weight of your trees would require a bit of math, but hardwood trees are always heavier. A lack of expert tree care can result in down limbs that cause injuries or property damage. It’s just not worth the risk. Hiring a certified arborist is the best way to ensure that your trees aren’t a hidden safety hazard.

4) Professional Tree Care

It’s also important to hire a pro to make sure that your trees get everything they need to thrive. A certified arborist has specialized training and the right tools. Most professionals also work with a team of skilled experts.

Anyone can offer tree pruning services, but only a licensed arborist has the necessary depth of knowledge to provide tree care. Unfortunately, someone with less experience may unintentionally harm your trees. This is another reason why it’s so important to consult with a local arborist when you need tree services for your property.

Criteria for Hiring a Certified Arborist

And finally, be sure to hire an arborist who is also insured, otherwise you’re liable for damages if any accidents occur during the tree service.

To speak with an  ISA Certified Arborist, please contact us at Sexy Trees. Give us a call at 925-233-6877 to schedule an appointment. If you aren’t quite sure which tree services you need, we’re always happy to answer questions.

A Quick Guide to Spring Tree Pruning

Certified Arborist

Despite what Punxsutawney Phil declared, spring is right around the corner. Soon the flowers will be in bloom, but before you get caught up in the earthy magic of this season, make sure that your plants are ready for the changing weather. Any certified arborist will tell you that pruning is essential tree care for your landscaping, and we are certified arborists, so…

Here’s a quick spring guide to tree pruning to help prepare your yard for the warmer months ahead.

When to Prune

A certified arborist considers several factors when it comes to providing the best tree care. When you prune your tree will depend on a couple of things, like the kinds of trees on your property.

Flowering Trees

First and foremost, if your tree is a flowering tree, such as a ornamental cherry or crabapple, you want to prune after the tree blooms. This is generally in late May or early June, depending on where you live. Waiting a little longer prevents excessive flower bud removal, as flower buds were formed during the previous Autumn.

Tree  pruning can vary among flowering, ornamental trees, as some are more sensitive to branch removal. For example, redbud and flowering dogwood are better pruned in late winter or early spring, around February or March, to prevent excessive bleeding, and to speed wound recovery.

Fruit Trees

On the other hand,  if you’re dealing with a fruit tree, the best time to prune is also late winter or early spring. This will allow enough time for wound healing while helping the tree divert more energy to flower buds, and the formation of fruit, rather than vegetative growth.

Tree Pruning for Other Varieties

For all other trees, late fall to early spring are fine times to prune. It’s easier to see the structure of a tree once it’s lost its leaves for the year. Although, not all  trees shed their foliage. A certified arborist can help you determine the best time for tree pruning in your yard.

How to Prune

While tree pruning may seem like a simple process, certified arborists use certain tools and techniques to ensure proper tree care. First, when cutting the branch, a cut that is slightly sloping down and out from the top to the bottom of the branch ensures that moisture drips off of the cut.

This helps prevent dampness that can lead to fungal or bacterial infections. Likewise, it’s best to prune as close to another branch or the trunk as possible, depending on the size of your cut, so that excessive dead material will not remain. When pruning, it’s also best to remove dead or injured material first, as this can lead to further damage.

A certified arborist may remove branches that rub together, particularly ones that cross through the middle of the tree. This helps prevent damage while improving air flow.

What Tools to Use

The basic tools are a hand pruner, a lopper and a pole saw. Hand pruners are best used for soft wood or small branches less than a 1/2 inch in diameter. Loppers come in various sizes, but are generally sized to cut limbs that are 1.5″ or thinner. For anything bigger, a manual or engine-powered pole saw will get the job done.

Regardless of the tool, a certified arborist will make sure that the blade is sharp to make the cleanest possible cut. They will also wear gloves and protective eye wear, since branches can have a mind of their own.

When cutting infected material, certified arborists will also use alcohol to sanitize the blade after tree pruning in order to prevent infecting other plants.

Talk to a Certified Arborist

At Sexy Trees, we pride ourselves on offering the best tree care possible. We hope the above guide answers some of your questions about spring tree pruning. I you have other questions or feel like this is a messy job you don’t want to tackle on your own, please reach out by calling us at 925-233-6877. You can also read client testimonials by clicking this link.

Tree Pruning for Topiary Designs

tree pruning

Topiary is a shrub and tree pruning art form that involves crafting shapes or likenesses out of foliage. Some of the most popular designs range from animals to living fences.

Shaping trees and shrubs can be a fun hobby to explore, even if you’re still a novice. If this unique landscaping art interests you, you’ll need to learn more about tree pruning. Now, not all trees and shrubs are suitable for shaping, but there are a few favorites that people often turn to in landscaping. Let’s review some of the most common species used in topiary design.

Classic Boxwood Shrubs

While not technically a tree, the average boxwood is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to six feet tall. Although, there are some varieties that can grow even taller than this once they reach full maturity, so be sure to read labels at the nursery or you might be in for a surprise.

Boxwood shrubs have been used in topiary design for a long time. They tend to be very popular with landscapers. This is likely because they provide year-round color and can be shaped into crisp lines, making boxwoods easy to work with. There are also dwarf varieties if you’re limited on space for your topiary. If you’re going small, consider the Baby Gem Boxwood, and the North Star Boxwood.

To Evergreen, or Not to Evergreen?

Most people select evergreens when designing their topiary, but deciduous topiaries that shed their leaves in the autumn are trending. Tree pruning can be easier during this time as well. A professional arborist is able to more clearly see the structure of bare trees. If you want to try something a little different, consider the colorful beech tree. The hornbeam is another popular species of deciduous tree that’s seen in garden topiaries.

If you want a classic year-round structure, though, stick to evergreen varieties for your tree pruning art. They won’t shed their leaves. Yew trees are often seen in topiary gardens as well as the flowering burkwood viburnum.

Herbal Topiaries

Lavender and rosemary are both fragrant options when it comes to creating an herbal topiary. This is an inexpensive way to dip your toes in the waters of topiary design. You can use the clippings indoors for potpourri, dried flowers, and floral arrangements. Rosemary is also prized in the kitchen, which is an added bonus if you enjoy cooking. If you’re interested in creating an herbal topiary, you may also enjoy adding moss to your garden.

Tree Pruning and Topiary Design

To learn more about the best species to grow in your region, talk to a professional arborist today. At Sexy Trees, we’re happy to help you make the best decisions for your trees. If it’s time to schedule tree pruning or other important tree care services, we’re here to help. Give us a call at 925.233.6877 to schedule a consultation. You can also view our client testimonials by clicking this link.