Preparing your Trees for Autumn

Autumn is a magical season for nature lovers, especially for those who are lucky enough to have a garden full of trees that will soon begin to change the color of their foliage. But how much do you know about autumn tree care? The following article will help you keep your trees beautiful all year round. Preparing your trees for autumn protects them from too much stress brought on by the changing season. Ready? Let’s review.

Dormancy

Most deciduous trees survive colder months by entering a period of dormancy that’s similar to hibernation. Obviously, they can’t migrate like birds, so they developed a different strategy. During this time, certain trees spend less energy on growth and may even stop producing food.

Typically, evergreens don’t go completely dormant, and they don’t shed their foliage like deciduous species, but they also undergo changes.

Winter Drought

Summer is not the only time of year when a tree can get thirsty. Extreme winter temperatures and freezing winds cause trees to dry out. Remember, droughts can occur in winter, too. Occasional watering can make a difference, especially for younger trees.

Add Mulch

Composted organic mulch acts as a blanket of extra insulation for a tree’s roots during cold months. Place a layer of mulch under the tree during the fall to protect it from freezing temperatures. Another benefit of mulch is that it helps your tree retain water.

Avoid Broken Branches

Most of us don’t need to worry about snow in California, but extreme weather can cause branches to break. This is important to prevent, both for the health of your trees, as well as the safety of your home. Branches are heavier than they look and they can cause injury or property damage, particularly in high winds.

One option is to wrap young trees in metal hardware cloth, or a plastic guard. This helps to both secure and warm them.

Pruning

Pruning is an important part of autumn tree care. In fact, pruning promotes healthy growth in trees, and autumn is the perfect time for a little trim. Although, remember that each tree is different, so pruning should be adapted to the needs and specific structure of each tree. A professional arborist can prune your trees without injuring them.

The Best Time to Plant

Many people believe that autumn is a bad time to plant new trees because it’s the season when leaves fall and growth stagnates, but it’s just the opposite. Your new tree’s roots will have time to get established before the spring rains. It’s especially ideal for balled-and-burlapped trees.

Professional Autumn Tree Care

If you’re located in the Alamo area and need professional autumn tree care services, contact Sexy Trees at (925) 233-6877, or visit us online at getjobber.com to fill out a request form. Tell us about your availability and we will do our absolute best to accommodate. 

Top Tree Nutrients Over the Summer

Children need nutrients and vitamins to grow into healthy adults. This is common knowledge, but did you realize that trees also have nutritional needs that extend beyond water, air, and light? In fact, trees depend on a combination of macronutrients and micronutrients to thrive. Here’s a look at the tree nutrients your landscaping requires to flourish.

Macronutrients

As the name suggests, macronutrients are substances trees need in higher amounts to survive, grow, and develop. Macro-nutrients include oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sulfur, and magnesium.

Micronutrients

Trees require 6 other nutrients in trace amounts to fulfill their biological needs. These 6 nutrients are manganese, boron, zinc, copper, molybdenum, and iron.

Top Summertime Nutrients

Just as flowers and fruiting garden plants like tomatoes, trees need a little helping hand when it comes to nutrition. The harsh heat of summer, along with soil deficiencies, can be burdensome to trees. Providing additional nutrients can help them flourish through the warmer months. A general soil test identifies what your soil may be lacking, and what your tree needs most. Let’s take a peek at a few of the most important tree nutrients in the summertime.

Nitrogen

Nitrogen is the most commonly applied tree nutrient. It is essential for healthy cell growth. Actually, it’s an essential nutrient for every biological function of all plants. A tree suffering from low nitrogen levels will have stunted root growth and pale, yellowing leaves.

Phosphorus

Phosphorus is also essential for the healthy growth and development of trees. It’s essential for energy transfer, flowering and fruiting, root development, and healthy seeds.

Potassium

Potassium is one of the crucial tree nutrients. It helps with the regulation of the tree’s carbon dioxide supply. It also greatly improves the tree’s sugar and water use, which is vital for its growth cycles and regular maintenance. Common signs of a potassium deficiency include brown, yellow, scorched, or curled leaves, as well as an impaired fruit or seed production.

Tree Nutrients for Your Yard

Before you decide to fertilize your trees, bear in mind that toxicity is also an issue you want to avoid. We don’t want too much or too little tree nutrients. If you need help finding the right balance, contact us at Sexy Trees. We can be reached at (925) 233-6877, or by email at Office@sexytrees.com.

Common Tree Diseases in the East Bay

Fog, humidity, and wetness can adversely impact the way trees grow, and the Bay Area has all of those elements. Trees are not only prone to weather patterns, but damage can also be caused by pollution and human activity. One of the best things to do to help protect your trees is to regularly look them over.  If you know how to spot the symptoms of tree diseases, you’ll be able to do something about it early on. This article reviews some common tree diseases and East Bay tree care.

 #1: Sooty Mold

This condition is characterized by a black coating on bark and leaves, the presence of aphids, and yellow, curling leaves. Trees are usually affected by this disease during the summer and spring seasons.

The main problem in having trees with sooty mold is that they attract pests, specifically aphids. If the infestation is not quickly taken care of, it will spread to your other trees in a short amount of time.

While this disease probably won’t kill your trees,  it does change their appearance. Mold growth and yellow, curling leaves is definitely a cosmetic issue, but it’s more dangerous for younger trees because it blocks light from reaching their leaves.  So, it’s best to seek East Bay tree care services if you find this mold in your yard.

#2: Coryneum Blight

You can tell a tree is affected by this disease if you see small holes on the leaves, yellowing stems, and browning around the holes. This particular disease targets trees belonging to the family Prunus, which includes almond and stone fruit trees.

Coryneum blight is a fungal disease caused primarily by warm, wet weather. The adverse effects of the disease are worsened by pollutants. It’s dangerous to your trees because it damages leaf tissue. It’s a major problem in the fruit industry.

#3: Fire Blight

If you notice blossoms turning brown, or leaves and stems with a scorched look to them, your trees are probably experiencing fire blight.

The fire blight is a contagious bacterial disease that usually attacks trees during the early spring. Affected trees look burnt, taking 1 to 2 weeks for the full effect to happen.

Even worse, the spreading of the disease is hastened by birds, bees, insects, wind, and rain. Fortunately, fire blight doesn’t affect many types of trees, commonly targeting pear and apple trees.

East Bay Tree Care for Your Home

While some tree diseases are generally harmless, it’s still best to have them inspected and cared for by a professional. If you need East Bay tree care services, our team of certified arborists is here to help. Contact Sexy Trees at (925) 233-6877. We love to hear from you.

Summer Tree Planting Keys to Success

Lafayette Tree Service

Early autumn and spring are generally considered the best times to plant new trees, but there are some reasons summer tree planting is preferable. Trees are typically in a dormant stage during the fall, which means their growth is significantly slowed, almost like they’re sleeping. If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and plant, here are some tips to ensure your summer trees flourish.

Not so Fast

If you plant small trees in the summer, consider leaving them in containers for a while. Trees that are containerized develop a healthy root system, which means they have a better chance to thrive. By keeping very young trees in a pot, it’s less likely they’ll experience transplant shock, a condition that can kill trees in all seasons, not just summer.

Provide Enough Water

There’s less rainfall in summer months, so you’ll need to manually water any trees planted at this time of year. Scheduling sufficient watering ensures that your trees don’t dry out and wither. If you help your new trees through the dry months, you can probably let nature take its course from autumn onwards. It just depends on your local climate.

Heeling In

Before summer tree planting, dig a large trench filled with fresh soil. Ground that has already been cultivated is ideal, but if not, use fresh compost and ensure there’s plenty of moisture to help roots get established.

The trench should be dug with a sloping back, and deep enough for the roots of the tree to be entirely covered. Once you finish your summer tree planting, cover the roots then help the tree remain upright by treading on the fresh soil.

The Best Trees for Summer Tree Planting

While summer tree planting isn’t considered ideal if you live in a hot climate, following these simple steps can ensure that your new trees make it through the dry season. If you’d like more information on the best trees for summer planting, call us at (925) 233-6877. We’re happy to answer any questions you have.

How to Prevent a Tree From Falling

Lafayette Tree Pruning

Trees fall for several reasons, including root rot, extreme weather temperatures, and incorrect pruning. But, no matter what the cause is for your tree falling, it poses a danger to you and your loved ones, not to mention the potential for expensive property damage.

A falling tree can land on a house, or block the road, affecting transportation. Sometimes trees even fall on cars! Of course, prevention is best, so here are some ways you can prevent your trees from falling.

Remove Trees in Unsuitable Locations

All trees need the right environment to thrive, and this includes enough space. For example, if your tree doesn’t have enough room for its roots to develop, its chances of toppling over are higher because it has a weak root system. Trees with shallow roots can raise and crack sidewalks, or interfere with your home’s plumbing. If this is the case, you may want to call in a tree removal service.

Care For Your Trees

Proper pruning ensures that trees remain healthy and grow stronger over time. Remember, even broken branches can cause significant harm. They’re heavier than they look! Here are some of the easiest ways to prevent your trees from falling:

• Prune correctly to maintain their strength and structural integrity
• Water and fertilize properly
• Avoid using heavy equipment that damages your tree roots
• Trim trees to remove dead branches

Tree Falling? Stake It

For young trees, staking them to the ground is the best way to prevent them from toppling over. This can be an important step when new trees are just getting established.

Professional Tree Maintenance Services

While you can’t prevent things like storms from contributing to your tree falling, some issues like rot, disease, and pest infestations can be controlled. A specialist will determine if any of your trees are a hazard. So, planning for regular maintenance and inspection with an arborist can identify any problems before they get out of hand.

Tree Falling and Removal Services

Regular maintenance minimizes the risk of a tree falling, maintains its health, and protects your home. Do you have a fallen tree, or are you worried about a tree on your property? Tree removal is an involved and delicate process. At Sexy Trees, we can conduct the appropriate risk assessments, and give you a free estimate. Contact us at (925) 233-6877.

The Dangers of Improper Tree Pruning

Concord Tree Service

Trees offer homeowners so much, while requiring little in return. They provide shade and add beauty to any landscape. But did you know your mature trees can become a safety hazard if they aren’t pruned correctly? When trees become diseased or die, we offer Concord tree removal, but hopefully your trees just need a regular pruning schedule to keep them healthy. Read on to learn more about the dangers that can result from improper tree care.

A Botched Job

The most obvious downside of improper pruning, from an aesthetic standpoint, is that it’s the equivalent of a bad haircut. There’s really nothing you can do but let it grow out. In the meantime, your trees will look a bit awkward.

Weakening Trees

Poor technique can also weaken trees, making them more vulnerable to a number of things, like storms. It’s possible for the inner wood to become less dense, even though the tree looks healthy from the outside. When this happens, it increases the likelihood of broken branches.

The Risk of Injury

Inexperienced pruners run the risk of accidental injury to themselves, as well as property. Trees are heavy. Even branches often weigh a considerable amount, so they can cause significant damage when falling from what may seem like even a minor height.

Cutting through wood requires sharp, heavy-duty equipment. And a novice won’t have the experience needed to properly secure branches, or know where it’s best to cut. These kinds of mistakes can be fatal.

Branch Decay

Trees are alive, which means that while necessary for the structural integrity of the tree, pruning creates wounds that take time to heal. Improper pruning can compromise the health of a tree, creating needless cuts. Over time, this can lead to decaying branches.

Concord Tree Removal

We hope you now have a better understanding of the importance of proper tree pruning. If you’d like to schedule an appointment or speak with us about our Concord tree removal service, please call our office at 925-233-6877 or email us at alex@sexytrees.com with any questions! We offer free estimates.

The Most Popular Indoor Trees

We offer our Berkeley tree service to residents with backyards, but this week we want to talk about how special indoor trees are too. They can add a living structural element to your home, and even boost your mood. Plus, they help improve air quality. Here are a few of the most popular homebound trees.

Parlor Palm

Parlor palms can help brighten up rooms that don’t receive a lot of natural light. They’re independent and don’t need much love, light, or water to thrive. So if you tend to forget about your leafy friends, or have north-facing windows, the forgiving parlor palm might be right for your home.

Malabar Chestnut

But the giant chestnut craves a bright, indirect light source, and extra water because it comes from swampy wetlands. Make sure your tree is in a pot with good drainage, though. The giant chestnut has a braided trunk and is sometimes called a “money tree.”

Fiddle Leaf Fig

The flowering fiddle leaf fig would be happy in a bright bathroom, where it’s shielded from drafts, but gets some extra humidity. After all, it originated from a lowland tropical jungle in Africa.

Jade Tree

Jade trees are for beginners or people with a black thumb. They have succulent leaves and don’t mind sporadic watering. They just need a sunny window, making them one of the easiest trees to care for.

Norfolk Island Pine

The Norfolk Island pine is an adorable, long-lived variety of tree that you could eventually transfer to your yard. They’re those little holiday trees you see in December, but they can grow quite large, so keep that in mind. If you live in an apartment, this pine will eventually outgrow your space.

Citrus

Citrus trees are a sweet-smelling option, and although they might be a little fussier than some of the other indoor trees, they’re worth it. They have dazzling blooms, plus, just think of the fresh lemonade and citrus pound cake recipes.

Berkeley Tree Service

At Sexy Trees, our team is passionate about the work we do. We believe beautiful trees make the world a better place, and we offer free estimates on our Berkeley tree services. If you have any questions about your indoor or outdoor trees, please call us at 925-233-6877 or email me at alex@sexytrees.com.

Your Tree Watering Guide

Walnut Creek Tree Removal

Extended periods of dry weather leave backyard trees dependent on homeowners for survival. Surprisingly, lack of rainfall kills millions of trees across the country. In fact, according to KPCC’s environment and science coverage, 27 million trees died just in California during the 2017 drought. In an average year, the Golden State loses roughly a million trees. But excessive watering can make a tree overly reliant on irrigation, so we’ve put together this handy tree water guide to clear up any confusion.

How Much Water Do Trees Need?

The goal is to supplement enough water to support the growth and health of your trees. But you still want them to be resilient. It’s important not to water so much that it encourages more canopy growth than would occur (on a good year) with natural rainfall.

For mature trees, aim to moisten the soil up to 10” or more. A weekly deep soaking is better than a frequent shallow watering guide. Even if your lawn receives direct irrigation, it’s probably not sufficient for your trees. Shallow waterings cause tree roots to stay near the upper layers of soil. They’re more likely to dry out on the surface, and also more vulnerable to drought.

Watering Guide to New Trees

When you plant a new tree, most of its roots will remain within a root ball for a few months. You can help the tree anchor itself by keeping the surrounding soil moist. This encourages healthy roots to grow. After several months, extend the watering zone to include the area under the tree’s canopy. If nature doesn’t provide soaking rains, water your new tree as many as three times per week, or the root ball can dry out. It takes a couple growing seasons for your new tree to establish itself.

Should I Mulch Under My Trees?

Mulch prevents weeds and grass from taking over and bullying your tree for water. A layer of organic mulch also conserves moisture. Use two to three inches of shredded bark or pine straw, but avoid piling it against the trunk because it could cause rot.

The amount of water a tree needs is decided by multiple factors, such as its species and age, as well as the soil quality and local climate. For a more personalized tree watering guide, please contact our team of trained arborists at (925) 233-6877.

Do All Trees Need Fertilizer?

Alamo Tree Removal

If you haven’t fed your trees lately, they might be hungry. Fertilizing your trees is important to replace lost minerals and nutrients. Unfortunately, our soils don’t always provide everything trees require. Even if a tree is getting enough nutrients from the soil, it still might benefit from occasional fertilizing to help it look and grow its best. After all, healthy trees are less likely to succumb to pests or illness. Yes, even trees can become sick from bacteria or viruses. Read on to learn more about when trees need fertilizer.

Why Should We Fertilize Domestic Trees?

Trees are resilient, but they still need care, or they can be more susceptible to stressors. Biodiversity is more prolific in nature. Think of the rich soil in a redwood forest. Logs rot, animals come to the end of their lives and break down, becoming a part of the nutrient cycle. But in our own yards, we rake up leaves. Our lawns are tame and manicured. And while this looks beautiful, it means the soil has less nutrient density. To compensate, our domestic trees need fertilizer to mimic a wilder world.

When to Fertilize Trees

October is a good month to fertilize trees, as well as April, once the frost leaves the ground. As a general rule, remember drought-stressed trees shouldn’t be fertilized. Trees slow their growth when there’s a lack of water, and the salts in many commercial fertilizers may harm stressed roots.

How to Tell When Trees Need Fertilizer

There are some signs that your trees need fertilizer. For example, if its leaves are discolored or fall off out of season. Or, if the tree grows very little, even with plenty of watering or rainfall. Another concerning indicator would be dead and brittle branches.

Our Services

If your trees are experiencing any of the above symptoms, or you’re just not sure, give us a call at Sexy Trees. Our skilled team of arborists can inspect your trees and the quality of your soil. Contact our office at (925) 233-6877.

Nontoxic Mistletoe Removal

Danville Tree Pruning

Staying on top of mistletoe removal is especially important in Northern California where it’s a common annoyance for homeowners. Wild mistletoe can be found in many parts of North America, but it won’t grow on all tree species. It’s a parasitic evergreen shrub that draws water and mineral nutrients from a host tree, despite the fact that it does create some of its own energy through converting sunlight. Here’s a more in-depth look at this festive weed.

It’s For the Birds

Healthy bird populations mean more mistletoe plants. This is because birds spread mistletoe seeds when they ingest its white berries, which ripen in the winter. While poisonous to humans, mistletoe berries are an important food source for wildlife during the lean months when calories are scarce.

Seeds pass through the bird’s digestive system and stick to a tree branch. Additionally, some bird species even prefer to nest in mistletoe.

How Does Mistletoe Work?

Mistletoe can only survive on living trees. If the host tree dies, it won’t be able to feed any longer. Mistletoe doesn’t root in the earth. Rather, it has root-like structures that thread into tree branches, stealing resources. These organs are called haustoria.

Is Mistletoe Harmful to Trees?

Mistletoe grows slowly, so it’s not an immediate threat to the health of a tree. The greatest risk to a host tree is the water loss that incurs, especially while the weed is flowering or producing berries. Trees that are heavily infested with mistletoe can be killed if there are additional stressors, such as root damage, drought, or insects.

Do You Need Mistletoe Removal Services?

It’s easiest to spot mistletoe in the wintertime. It looks like a tangled green mass, usually connected to a bare tree branch.

Mistletoe Decorations

If you decide to use mistletoe in holiday decorations, be aware that its white berries are toxic and should be kept out of reach of curious children and pets.

Nontoxic Mistletoe Removal

While it’s easy to prune back mistletoe leaves and twigs, this won’t kill the entire plant because it’s also necessary to kill the roots. If the host tree is strong enough, one option is to simply remove infested branches. However, this can be harmful to trees so it’s best to consult with a certified arborist.

We hope you found this article helpful. To schedule a consultation, please contact our office at (925) 233-6877.