Professional Tree Trimming or DIY: Which Is Best?

Tree Service Danville

Pruning and trimming trees may seem like the ideal DIY gardening job for the weekend, but is tree pruning really that easy to do yourself? Many homeowners fail to realize that tree pruning can actually be a very dangerous and risky job. Professional arborists are not only expertly trained in safely trimming trees, removing trees and grinding tree stumps, but they are also able to recognize tree disease and pests as well as dead or dying trees and branches. Here we look at whether DIY tree trimming is safe and worthwhile, and when it’s time to call your local arborist.

The Size and Shape of Your Trees

Determining whether DIY tree trimming is feasible depends upon the size and shape of the trees you want to prune. Maneuvering power tools at a height when inexperienced or alone can quickly become a recipe for disaster. Trimming large trees is always difficult, and may require the removal of large and heavy branches. Furthermore, it can be difficult to determine which branches to remove from a large tree to accomplish the goals of pruning, while also protecting the health and strength of the tree. While DIY pruning might be suitable for small trees and shrubs, large tree pruning should be left to professional arborists for the sake of tree health and personal safety.

Tools

Sharp edges, power tools and high ladders are all part of trimming trees effectively and efficiently. However, these tools can be dangerous unless handled by a skilled and experienced professional. Hand saws, chainsaws and tall ladders can cause injuries and even death with careless or unskilled operation. Professional arborists are trained in effective and safe operation of power tools and specialist tools for tree trimming. While pruning your trees yourself might seem easy, the tools involved can be dangerous and should only be used by trained professionals.

Tree Knowledge

Professional arborists are not only trained in using tools and pruning techniques, they also know to best promote your trees healthy and safe growth. Arborists are skilled at knowing how to recognize tree pests and diseases as well as knowing how to carefully prune trees to promote their growth while guiding their size and shape. While it might be simple enough to cut your trees yourself, only years of professional arborist training and experience can promote the best health and wellbeing for your trees.

Safety

Ultimately, the question of whether you should prune your trees yourself or hire a professional arborist comes down to safety. Both your personal safety and the safety of your trees is at stake with DIY tree trimming. Professional arborists are trained to handle the heights, the tools, and the pruning techniques required to both safely and effectively prune your trees and maintain the health and beauty of your yard.

While DIY tree trimming can be useful for shrubs or small trees, taller or larger trees should be trimmed by a professional arborist. If ladders, power tools, tree removal or specialized pruning techniques are involved, call your local arborist for expert advice and professional service.

4 Situations Where Trees Need Protection

Tree Service Concord

 

Throughout history, trees have been a source of shelter and protection for humans. Trees still provide protection by functioning as windbreaks, stabilizing soil, helping the land to store rainwater, and moderating soil and air temperatures. However nowadays, our trees are more likely to be treasured for their role as ornaments for our homes and gardens. While trees still provide protection for us, there are some situations where trees need our protection to grow and flourish.

Weather

Because we now plant trees outside of their natural habitat, we often need to protect trees from weather conditions that might negatively affect them. Most trees are wind resistant, bending and moving naturally with the wind. However, allowing your tree to become overgrown puts the tree at greater risk of succumbing to high winds. Professional tree pruning allows you to keep your tree’s branches in check and protects your trees from windy weather.

Cold weather can also affect trees. Paying attention to the outdoor temperatures and the forecast for the winter months can help you adequately protect vulnerable trees. If it is possible to move the trees or shrubs (because they are potted), move them to a more protected location. Other susceptible trees can be covered in a burlap, tarp or sheet frost cover to protect from cold weather. Talk to your local arborist about the specific needs of the trees in your garden, and how to best protect them during harsh weather.

Pests

Pests can be a normal part of every garden, but left to get out of control they can destroy your trees and plants. Protecting your trees from pests involves paying close attention to the state of your trees and your garden to monitor pest activity and stay prepared. Of course, you can always use spray pesticides to manage pests, but many homeowners prefer to avoid these. Instead, consulting with your local arborist about pest control and maintaining a clean and tidy area around trees helps protect trees from pests and limit pest attacks in the first place.

Home Construction

Building a new home or a new addition to a home is an exciting time, but the existing trees in your landscape need to be taken into account. Protecting trees during building construction should be a priority as trees offer so much to a property, including bolstering property values. Discussing your construction plans with a tree specialist or arborist can help you develop a plan that takes your existing trees into account and protects them from damage.

Exposed Tree Roots

Exposed tree roots can be an eyesore and a hazard, so what should homeowners do about them? Tree roots become exposed not because they grow above the ground, but because the soil that originally covered them has eroded away. The easy solution to protecting these roots from the lawn mower blade (and protecting the roots from being trip hazards) is to add a circle of mulch around the tree base. This offers a more stable solution to keeping the roots protected and minimizing trips.

While trees offer us the most protection, there are times when they need our protection as well. Developing a plan to protect your trees with your local arborist helps to keep your trees healthy, so they can continue to add beauty to your home for years to come.

4 Steps To Reviving A Topped Tree

Tree Care Pleasant Hill

A topped tree can be the result of unskillful or over zealous pruning. Topping a tree is when the topmost, healthy, leading branches are chopped off the tree to provide a quick and lazy pruning solution. While tree topping is best avoided in favor of careful and dedicated pruning by your local arborist, if you do have a topped tree, all is not lost. From this point it is critical to seek professional tree care and allow your tree time to heal and regrow if you want to see it thrive again.

Call A Local Arborist

A topped tree needs extra TLC, and your local arborist is the tree professional who can offer it. An arborist can help identify where your tree pruning went wrong, and identify a plan to nurse your topped tree back to health.

Topped trees are weak and unstable and prone to decline, but with the care of your local arborist you can identify the care and corrective pruning your tree needs to flourish again.

Give Your Tree Time

One of the most important things a topped tree needs is time. A topped tree has lost its prime energy and fuel producing leaf growth, and needs time and specialized care to regenerate this growth.

However, you may be happily surprised at how quickly your topped tree starts to put forth new growth. These fresh new branches are called water sprouts, and they need time to establish themselves. Avoid tampering with these sprouts until they have grown to the original height of the tree, as this is a sign the sprouts have established themselves.

Protect Strong Sprouts

The strongest of these initial sprouts are called the leaders. The leaders are the dominant branches that should be the tallest and free from any damage, cracks or pests. These leader branches will become the strong new branches of the tree, so it’s important to protect them and ensure their growth and health is promoted.

Trim Sprouts

In the initial stages of your topped trees healing, there is limited resources and energy to support the new growth, so the strongest and healthiest branches need to be prioritized. Contact an arborist to come and identify the strongest and weakest branches and appropriately prune the weakest branches in order to allow the strongest branches to flourish.

 

The short sprouts that are stronger and look like they could catch up to the new leader should be left to provide additional volume to the new growth. The new leader sprouts need to be monitored in order to support their healthy growth and to ensure the regeneration of the topped tree. This careful pruning process needs to be repeated over the next 4-6 years in order to facilitate the growth of the new branches. Contact a professional arborist to expertly trim the new branches in order to train them and cultivate new growth without limiting the regeneration of your topped tree.

 

A topped tree can be successfully repaired and returned to it’s former glory, but it does take some extra time, care and attention from you and your local arborist to bring your tree back to full health.

Walnut Creek Tree Removal

Danville Tree Service

How To Care For Your Christmas Tree (And Your Trees At Christmas!)

Tree Service Walnut Creek

Are you planning on bringing home a real Christmas tree this year for an exciting addition to your holiday celebrations? Providing proper care for your fresh cut Christmas tree ensures that it lasts throughout the holiday season and continues to bring joy to your friends, family and guests. When you cut and pick up your tree, more than half of it’s weight is water, so with special tree care and management you can promote the longevity and beauty of your tree. At the same time, as we come into winter, it’s important to also keep in mind the trees in your own backyard, and how they should be best cared for during the holiday season.

At The Tree Lot or Farm
If you want to ensure your tree lasts right through the holiday, it’s important to begin with careful selection when you are buying your tree. Give you tree a quick shake to check that the tree doesn’t drop too many needles, and inspect the tree for brown areas and dryness. Wrap your tree in plastic or a net for the drive home to preserve and protect the branches.

Setting Up Your Tree
Of course, everyone wants to decorate the tree as soon as you bring it home, but it’s important to prepare and set up your tree so it stays fresh and healthy. If your tree was freshly cut when you bought it, you can bring it home and place it immediately in a bucket of water. If your tree was bought pre-cut, it’s necessary to cut an additional inch off the bottom of the trunk before placing in water. Cutting your tree trunk flat is more effective for water absorption than drilling holes.

Water, Water, Water
Arborists and tree experts agree that the most important part of Christmas tree care is ensuring your tree has enough water. You should provide one quart of water for every inch of tree trunk diameter and check the water level everyday. It’s quite normal for a tree to absorb a large amount of water one day and just a little the next. Keeping your tree adequately watered is key to preventing it drying out and dropping needles by the end of December. The temperature of the water is not important and nothing needs to be added to the water either to maintain tree health.

Tree Care at Christmas
It’s also important to care for the other trees in your garden in the cooler holiday season. Call your local arborist for some expert help or advice for the trees and shrubs in your yard, to ensure they stay in perfect health throughout December. Having your local arbborist deliver fresh mulch can help to protect the roots and keep your trees healthy through winter. If there doesn’t seem to be a lot of rainfall during winter, make sure you water your trees and shrubs deeply a few times a week to prevent them drying out.

Taking good care of your Christmas tree during the holiday season helps to ensure the festive cheer this special addition brings can last even longer. It’s also ideal to use this opportunity to take care of the trees in your yard as well, and with professional advice from a qualified arborist you can support and nourish your garden to thrive in the new year.

Alamo Tree Pruning

Berkeley Tree Service


Berkeley Tree Pruning – Lafayette Tree Care

Tree Removal Lafayette

Berkeley Tree Pruning company, Llamas Tree Service, showcases this Cedar tree that looks sexy even two years after the last pruning.

When Is The Right Time To Plant A Tree?

Mistletoe Removal

 

Trees add beauty, shade and structure to your yard, being both functional and ornamental. But when is the best time to add new trees to your yard? Many professional arborists say that spring and offers the ideal, mild conditions for new tree planting, but others say fall is the better option for planting new trees. Here we look at what makes the right time to plant a tree and how you can get the best results for new trees in your yard.

Trees are an Investment

The trees in your yard are not just an investment in the appearance of your yard, they can also add to the value of your home. By some estimates, a healthy, mature tree can add up to $10,000 to the value of a property. So, it’s important to make the right choice about when to plant your tree and how to nurture it to optimum health. Your local arborist is an expert on which trees are best suited to your climate and environment, and which choices will add the most value to your home in terms of beauty and quality.

Spring or Fall?

In warmer climates like California where it doesn’t usually get cold enough for the ground to freeze in winter, the timing of planting a tree isn’t so critical as long as you can provide the tree with sufficient water. Usually the best time for planting a new tree is late summer and early fall, where the weather is starting to cool down and rainfall increasing, but while the temperatures are still not so cool as to discourage tree growth and development.

In the initial stages after a tree has been planted, the tree needs to immediately lay down new root systems to support itself. This tends to happen better in the cooler weather of fall and winter as root growth is increased in cooler soil. Trees planted in spring expend more energy putting forth new leaf and flower growth and often don’t have the resources to lay down a root structure as well, and this actually disadvantages trees in the long run.

However, some types of trees tend to survive better when planted in spring, including magnolia, dogwood, tuliptree, sweet gum, red maple, birch, hawthorn, poplars, cherries, plum and many of the oaks. If you are thinking of planting one of these trees, consult with your local professional arborist about when you should plant these trees in your specific location and climate.

Tips for New Tree Success

In order to give your new trees the best chance for survival, make sure they receive plenty of water in the months after they are first planted. It’s often helpful to water less often, but water deeper, so that moisture reaches the deepest roots. Avoid pruning the tree while it is still newly developing by Berkeley Tree Pruning professionals or anyone else. Don’t fertilize under the second growing system, but you can use mulch on the planting area, about 12 inches away from the young trunks.

If you’re thinking of planting new trees in your yard in California, consult with your local arborist for more specific guidance on determining the best time to plant trees for your yard and local conditions.

5 Tips for Preparing Your Trees and Shrubs for Winter

Concord Tree Removal

Now is the ideal time to prepare for winter by tidying your yard and protecting your trees and shrubs in advance of the cooler weather. Tree care undertaken before the mercury starts to drop can protect trees from dry conditions and damage, as well as help prepare you for the next year’s season. Here we look at 5 tips to help you care for your trees and shrubs and prepare your garden for winter.

Light Tree Pruning

Tree pruning and thinning of branches before winter can help to reduce canopy weight and the stress on your tree for when temperatures drop and sunlight is reduced. Trees often can’t sustain the rapid growth they put forth in summer, so light tree trimming before winter can help to maintain tree health and vitality and prevent dropped branches. Pruning and thinning foliage in trees and shrubs helps to make best use of diminished sunlight in winter.

Mulching

Mulch has a multitude of benefits for trees and shrubs, and mulching in winter can produce some of the greatest advantages. Mulching protects trees and plants from drastic temperature changes, insulates roots, and provides vital nutrition to the soil. Mulch also helps your soil to retain moisture and controls weed growth around your trees. Your local arborist can deliver mulch to your door for easy use in your yard, or you can keep your own mulch after removing a tree.

Cable and Brace Weak Spots

Colder winter temperatures, less sunshine and reduced soil nutrition can be hard on trees, and these conditions place more pressure on weak branches. Cabling and bracing can help to support weak branches through difficult conditions, so call your local arborist for an inspection. A professional arborist can swiftly and accurately ascertain the stability of your branches, identify weak spots, and apply expert cabling and bracing where necessary.

Nourish the Soil

Winter is a time where nutrients in the soil can be more difficult for tree and plant roots to access, and the soil nutrient levels can be depleted. Nourish the soil in fall by applying mulch and fertilizer while the weather is not yet cold, in order to build up nutrient stores deep in the soil. Before the cold weather sets in, it’s also the ideal time to water deeply to prepare the soil and your trees for winter.

Remove Problem Trees

Dead or dying trees can often cause issues in winter, as storms and bad weather can knock them down causing damage to people or property. Be sure to have the trees in your yard and around your house inspected by a professional arborist to check for disease and pests, and have any dead or dying trees professionally removed. Undertake stump grinding to remove all traces of dead trees and prevent tree diseases being spread through your yard.

Winter can be a hard time on your trees and shrubs, but good preparation for the cooler months can help your yard stay beautiful and healthy until spring.