4 Signs Your Tree Needs Cabling And Bracing

Walnut Creek Tree Removal

The trees in your garden are living entities and need attention and care in order to flourish. In some cases, trees need first aid and even ‘surgery’ to help maintain their health and structure. Cabling and bracing is a technique that can be applied by a skilled arborist to help support your trees branches and trunks. This can extend a tree’s life if done correctly, allowing your trees to flourish for longer. Here we look at 4 signs that your tree needs expert attention from a qualified arborist with professional cabling and bracing.

  1. Leaning Trees

Trees that are dead or dying tend to lean, however a leaning tree doesn’t always signify a problem. Cabling and bracing can’t be used to save diseased or dying trees, but it can help to provide structure and support to trees that are weak, but healthy. Trees may normally have a slight lean to them. A skilled arborist can inspect your trees and assess whether they are leaning normally, or whether there are adverse underlying causes. A tree’s root system can grow to accommodate and calibrate a lean, but in some cases cabling and bracing may be needed to support the tree to prevent cracking and hazardous tree falls.

  1. Cracks in the Trunk or Branches

Cracks in the tree trunks and branches can be a sign that your tree is becoming unbalanced and overburdened. Cracking or splitting in the trunk of your tree can represent a particularly serious structural issue, and you should enlist the assistance of a professional arborist as soon as possible. In some cases, cabling and bracing can be applied to help strengthen and reinforce your tree when the problem is caught early to prevent cracks deepening and causing split trunks. Cracked branches may not be worth trying to recover, but it’s important to remove them to avoid potentially dangerous falling branches.

  1. Multiple Trunks

It’s not uncommon for trees to split at the trunk, with the two trunks diverging in a V shape. This can be called co-dominant stems or V-crotch trunks. As the tree grows, these multiple trunks can form a weak spot, as one trunk becomes larger than the other and threatens to topple the tree. Cabling and bracing can help to strengthen divergent trunks so they don’t split too far apart and cause breakage. However, in some cases one of the trunks may need to be removed by your arborist to preserve the tree.

  1. You’re Due For Adverse Weather

Storms, rain and strong winds can really put on a strain on your trees and worsen any structural issues you may already be experiencing. If you’re expecting adverse weather, have your trees inspected and fitted with cables and bracing if necessary to protect against the harsh conditions. Professional cabling and bracing from a skilled arborist can help to keep your trees and branches safe during harsh weather, adding extra strength and reinforcement while also allowing flexibility, to keep your branches intact.

Cabling and bracing can be a useful tool to protect and preserve your trees when implemented safely by a professional arborist. Talk to us about your tree’s needs and whether cabling and bracing is right for your trees.

Our tree experts service the following areas:  Walnut Creek, Concord, Pleasant Hill, Lafayette, Orinda, Oakland, Albany, Alhambra Valley, Alamo, Berkeley, Danville, Diablo, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Hercules, Kensington, Sunol, Saranap, San Pablo, Reliez Valley, Piedmont, Port Costa, San Leandro, Vine Hill, Martinez, Benicia, Fairfield

Can Pruning A Tree Help To Slow Its Growth?

Alamo Tree Removal

Keeping trees and shrubs in good condition involves regular tree care and pruning to maintain their health, and to keep them under control. Tree pruning helps to conserve a tree’s energy, manage its size and change its shape. But can pruning a tree actually change a tree’s growth?

Benefits of Tree Pruning

Tree pruning can help to keep your trees neat and tidy and is an essential service that can be offered by a qualified arborist. Pruning can remove dead or diseased branches, thin canopies, change the shape of tree canopies and improve fruit crop. Having your trees trimmed regularly is essential for optimum tree health.

Pruning Effect on Canopy Growth

Pruning both immediately changes the characteristics of the canopy and impacts growth within the canopy. Because the leaves are the energy and food producing centers of a tree, pruning live tissues will always have an impact on growth. However, pruning dead tissues and branches simply clears them away, without impacting growth.

Skillful pruning by an experienced arborist can help to control the size and shape of your canopy. The more that outer growth and primary branches are pruned back, the more growth will be concentrated on smaller branches close to the tree. This can produce tight dense canopies. For optimal tree health, canopies that allow sunlight and air to filter through can be more beneficial. By pruning marginal branches and leaving active leader branches, your arborist can help you promote trees with healthy growth along the strongest branches, resulting in a large and dispersed canopy.

Pruning Effect on Root Growth

Any pruning of living tissue will affect root growth to some extent. Pruning back active branches diminishes a tree’s ability to produce food, so there will be less root growth. Care should be taken not to ‘top’ trees when pruning to reduce root growth, as this can eliminate any opportunity for the tree to produce food, resulting in tree death.

While pruning may help to slow root growth, it shouldn’t be counted on as a way to control root growth. If you require the trees in your garden to have non-invasive root systems, it’s better to choose tree and shrub varieties that have non-invasive roots naturally.

Pruning Effect on Fruit Growth

Pruning trees skillfully can actually help to produce larger fruit in a greater quantity. Pruning trees in late winter, removing small secondary branches, can help to focus resources and energy on the major branches that will bear fruit. Fruit can grow larger, and in greater amounts, when energy is being diverted directly into fruit production rather than generating new leaves or branches in spring or summer. However, pruning trees to promote fruit growth is a careful process that requires skill to execute correctly. Talk to your local arborist about pruning your fruit tree to yield a bumper crop.

Skillful pruning can change the way your tree grows in many ways, but unskillful pruning can damage or even kill your tree. Call a professional arborist for efficient, safe and beneficial pruning, for your trees best health and optimal growth.

This is Why You Need To Remove Old Tree Stumps From Your Garden

Danville Tree Pruning

You might think that there’s no harm in keeping that old tree stump in your yard. Old tree stumps can be ignored, and you think it’s not worth the trouble of having it ground down or removed. But there are several reasons why you should consider removing tree stumps as soon as possible, for the sake of your garden’s appearance, safety and health. Here are 5 reasons why you need to remove old tree stumps from your garden now.

  • Stumps Can Be Dangerous

Tree stumps in your garden are obstructions that can be difficult to see. Leaving tree stumps on your lawn can create a trip hazard for your family members, friends and visitors. If someone injures themselves on your property, you may be liable for damage and injuries. Stumps can also be a hazard when you are mowing your lawn, causing damage or accidents with your lawnmower.

  • Tree Stumps Can Resprout

Tree stumps are left behind when you cut down trees that need to be removed. But if you leave the tree stump in your garden, you may end up with the same problem you started with. Tree stumps can re-sprout with many small trees, leaving you with unsightly, uncontrolled growth. Tree sprouts can be hard to stop as they will continue to grow back while the root system remains. Tre stumps can also be reservoirs for tree disease or pests. Professional stump removal helps to prevent trees re-sprouting or infecting other trees in your garden.

  • Tree Stumps Attract Pests

Old tree stumps sitting in your yard can be a haven for vermin, termites and other pests. Rotting wood attracts wood boring insects, and can provide a nesting spot for other pests as well. Once these pests have gained a foothold in your garden they can infect other plants and trees, and surrounding structures, including your home. Removing tree stumps promptly avoids attracting these pests and keeps your home and garden safe.

  • Stumps Can Be Unsightly

With no fruits, foliage or any kind of redeeming feature, most tree stumps are unattractive and unsightly. Unkempt tree stumps can detract from the appearance of your garden, and make your outdoor environments unattractive and unappealing.

  • Tree Stumps Interfere With Your Garden

Unwanted old tree stumps and their roots take up space in your garden that could be put to better use. If your tree stumps start to re-sprout, they could draw precious nutrients and water from your soil, taking these away from your other plants. Generally, old tree stumps don’t add anything to a landscape, so wherever possible, have your tree stumps professionally removed so you can enjoy more space in your garden.

Keep your garden safe, healthy and pest-free by having tree stumps promptly ground and removed after you have a tree cut down. A professional arborist can provide safe and economical tree stump removal to provide more space for your garden to flourish and thrive.

Which Tree Types Have Non-Invasive Roots?

Concord Tree Pruning

Trees can be a beautiful feature of your garden, offering ornamentation, structure to your yard, and shelter for birds or animals. However, many homeowners avoid planting trees in their yard because the roots can invade plumbing pipes  or home foundations causing costly issues. One solution to this issue is choosing tree varieties with less invasive root systems. A qualified arborist can help you choose the right trees for your garden structure and varieties that won’t invade your pipes.

Ornamental Trees

Ornamental trees are a great solution for yards where you want the decorativeness of a beautiful tree without the risk of invasive roots. Ornamental trees grow to a manageable height and are designed to fit into smaller spaces and be easy to maintain. Many ornamental trees can even be grow in planters so that their roots have no chance of getting out of hand.

Popular ornamental tree varieties in California include –

 

  • Japanese Maple
  • Crape Myrtle
  • Eastern Redbud
  • Cornus Mas
  • Serviceberry
  • Kousa Dogwood
  • Japanese Tree Lilac
  • Dwarf Korean Lilac
  • Star Magnolia
  • Crabapples: Red Jewel, Royal Raindrops, Prairiefire

 

 

Fruit Trees

Fruit trees not only look beautiful, they can also provide a source of fruit for your family to enjoy when the right season comes around. Some fruit trees, like figs, can have voracious root systems that can quickly grow out of control. A greater variety of fruit trees can be made suitable for smaller gardens when pruned regularly and given routine care from a skilled arborist. If the tree is not allowed to grow too large the root system will not extend as far either. If in doubt, choose a beautiful decorative fruit tree variety that is known not to have invasive root systems.

The following fruit trees can be both ornamental for your garden and productive when it comes to providing fruit.

 

  • Citrus
  • Adams crabapple
  • Cornelian cherry dogwood
  • Pawpaw
  • Dwarf Apple Tree
  • Dwarf Cherry Tree
  • Dwarf Pear Tree
  • Dwarf Apricot Tree
  • Dwarf Orange Tree
  • Dwarf Plum Tree

 

Shade Trees

Want the protection and coolness of shade from your tree without the extensive and invasive root system? There are tree varieties that can provide you with thick foliage and fuller shade while still having smaller root systems. These trees can be a stunning focal point of your landscape without taking up too much space, or overwhelming your garden with their root systems. Some with colored leaves and some with flowers, these shade trees can liven up small gardens while maintaining small root systems.

Here are some shade tree varieties with less invasive roots –

 

  • Amur maple
  • Chinese pistache
  • Southern sugar maple
  • Red tip photinia
  • American hornbeam
  • Trident maple

 

Shrubs

Shrubs can provide good coverage, privacy and protection for your garden. While some shrubs may look small, their root systems can grow quickly, so it’s important to choose the right variety for your garden. Shrubs create the perfect addition for smaller gardens where low lying yet full plants are preferred.

Some of the most popular shrubs with non-invasive roots include –

 

  • Hollywood juniper
  • Fraser photinia
  • Glossy abellia
  • Hydrangeas
  • Viburnums
  • Boxwoods
  • Gardenia
  • Barberries
  • Camellias
  • Hollies

 

To keep your plumbing and home foundations safe, choose trees and shrubs with non-invasive root systems, and receive the professional advice of your arborist before planting.

 

Bark Mulch or Rock Mulch: Which is Better for Garden Beds?

Alamo Tree Pruning

Mulch is great for gardens, helping to retain moisture, protect plants and adding a decorative finish to your beds. Mulch can greatly improve the condition of your garden, replenish the soil and keep your garden neat and maintained. But when it comes to mulching your garden, wood mulch is not the only option. There are many choices of material for mulch, but two of the most common and popular are bark or wood mulch and rock mulch. Both of these mulch types perform the essential functions of retaining moisture in soil and keeping the soil insulated. Here we look at the difference between these two mulch types and which is better for your garden beds.

Bark or Wood Mulch

Bark and wood mulch are organic mulch types that are made from shredded bark or wood. Wood and bark mulch are naturally brown or black, however they can be dyed a variety of colors to match your tastes. Bark and wood mulches are available from professional arborists, who obtain the mulch from healthy trees. Natural wood or bark mulch has an appearance like wood chips or small pieces of bark. It also releases a natural earthy smell when placed on your garden.

One of the most significant and distinctive benefits of wood and bark mulch is that it decomposes and adds nutrients and nitrogen to your soil. Wood and bark mulch is also inexpensive, has a more natural appearance, and looks great in every garden bed. Wood and bark mulch effectively form a preventative barrier against weed growth and help avoid the need for edging material. Wood and bark mulch are also relatively soft and make it easy to garden even with the mulch covering.

However, there are also some disadvantages of wood and bark mulch. One of the most significant disadvantages is that wood and bark mulch needs to be replaced every 1 to 2 years as the mulch breaks down or is washed away. The vibrant color of wood and bark mulch can also fade in sunlight. Wood and bark mulch can potentially draw in pests and insects attracted to the small, broken pieces of wood.

Rock Mulch

Rock mulch offers a polished and flawless coverage for your garden beds. Rock mulch consists of any type of stones or gravel used to provide cover and protection for garden beds. The size of the rocks can range from very small to as large as a fist, and rock mulch is available in a variety of colors.

One of the greatest benefits of rock mulch is that it does not need to be replaced as often as wood and bark mulch. Rock mulch is hardy and won’t wash away or decompose.  Rock mulch can also be ideal for sloped gardens as it holds its position well.

Rock mulch is much more expensive than wood and bark mulch, but it also lasts longer. While rock mulch doesn’t decompose, it may wear thin overtime, and you will need to find the same rock type and color to replace your coverage. One of the disadvantages of rock mulch is that weeds can grow through the gaps in the rock especially if organic matter and debris is allowed to collect on the surface of the rock mulch. Rock mulch is also heavy and difficult to remove if you change your mind or decide to add or take away plants from your garden.

Which Is The Best Choice For You?

Choosing the right mulch type for your garden beds depends on the type of plants you have and the look you’re going for. For plants that need extra nourishment, stable soil temperatures, and potentially moving or replanting, wood or bark mulch is best. if your plants can withstand higher soil temperatures and require less nutrients and nitrogen in the soil, rock mulch may be the best choice for you.

Having a local arborist inspect and analyze your garden bed and plants can help you identify the right mulch choice for you .

Moving a Tree: How Easy Is It To Transplant A Tree

Berkeley Tree Care

While the perfect landscape can last for years, there may be times where you need to make changes. You may need to extend or remodel your home, move to a new house, or deal with an overgrown tree or shrub. But this doesn’t always have to mean tree removal or leaving your favorite tree and shrubs behind. Moving or transplanting a tree allows you to keep your beloved trees by moving them to a more suitable location. While this gives you more options when deciding what to do with an out of place tree, it’s not always easy to move a tree. Here we look at how to evaluate when you can move a tree, and how moving a tree can help you maintain the garden you want.

Plan Your Tree Transplant

A tree transplant can’t be done in a hurry, and adequate planning and preparation needs to go into your tree transplant process. You need to ensure you have sufficient time and budget to put in to moving a tree properly so that it survives the transplant process. Times of year when the ground is dormant and the temperature not too hot or cold, such as spring or fall, are ideal for moving trees.

You need to ensure you take into account time to prune tree roots in the season before you plan to move the tree. You also need to have ability to remove what could be a large tree along with the root ball to a new location. Keep in mind that for every inch of tree trunk diameter you should include 10-12 inches of root ball attached. This can mean that for a more mature tree, you will need a large truck or piece of machinery to move it. If this is the case, it can be helpful to call on your local arborist for professional assistance in moving your tree.

Think About Location

Moving a tree successfully is all about finding an appropriate location to move it to. It’s important to consider the species and characteristics of your tree, because different tree types require different conditions to flourish. It’s important to evaluate sunlight levels and the soil type and drainage. It can also be helpful to inspect the final tree destination to ensure its also free of pests and diseases. Because transplanting a tree is difficult, you don’t want to do it often. Ensure that your new location is suitable and provides plenty of room for your tree to grow and flourish.

Transplant With Care

The transplanting process should be done with great care, and by a professional arborist if possible. Tree roots need to be adequately watered beforehand to soften the soil and ensure the soil also sticks to the roots. During tree transport, the tree should be adequately supported, with the root ball kept moist. If the tree needs to be transported uncovered or left for some time before replanting, the roots should be kept moist with wet burlap or fabric and kept in the shade. Soil at the new location should also be kept soft and moist to aid planting and prevent damage to the root ball.

Be Prepared To Look After Your Tree

Transplanting a tree can be a source of stress and shock from which it can take the tree sometime to recover. It’s important you leave time to water and care for the tree appropriately for at least 1-2 years after transplanting, depending on the size of the tree.

When it’s time to give your favored trees a new home, transplanting a tree is the ideal way to move them. Keep them healthy and safe with adequate preparation and after-care, and work with a professional arborist to move large, bulky and difficult trees.

5 Essential Steps for Spring Tree Care

Danville Tree Care

Spring is the time for new life, new growth and regeneration. And nowhere is that truer than in your garden. Spring is the perfect time to get to work on creating a better outdoor environment, cleaning up after winter and planning for the summer ahead. Tree care and garden maintenance during Spring is essential to prepare your trees for healthy new growth and resistance to pests and diseases. Here we look at 5 steps for essential tree care during spring.

Boost New Growth

Spring is the time that your trees and plants want to burst forth with fresh new growth, and proper tree care can help to encourage this new growth. Facilitating new growth means working on an inclusive approach to garden care, as well as mulching and watering your garden to nourish the roots. Mulch helps the soil warm up and begins to regenerate nutrients and minerals after the long cold of winter. Watering the soil also helps to encourage new growth so that your trees have enough nutrition and water to reach their full potential.

Garden Clean Up

Spring is the perfect opportunity to clean up your garden and refresh your outdoor space. Your garden ‘spring clean’ should involve clearing up any fallen fruit, branches, leaves, or debris to help your garden stay clean and thrive. A messy garden can contribute to the spread of disease, pests and fungus infections, so cleaning up your garden for Spring is essential.

Check For Disease and Pests

Because Spring is the season for new growth, it is also the time to check for latent disease and pest infestations. Check for any abnormalities on the trunk or branches of your tree and check the tops and undersides of any leaves on the tree. It can also be useful to check around the base of the tree for holes or any evidence of pest damage.

Plant New Trees

As the season for regeneration, Spring is the perfect time to plant new trees and shrubs. It might be helpful to talk with a qualified arborist regarding the right timing for planting, and the ideal placement of your new trees. This should take into account the projected growth pattern of your trees to ensure your space can accommodate and nurture your new trees.

Prepare For Spring Weather

Spring can also bring rain and storms that can challenge or damage your garden. Spring tree care should involve strengthening and reinforcing your trees by removing weak limbs. You can also get the assistance of a professional arborist to cable and brace any risky branches. You can also have your trees professionally pruned by an arborist if they are untidy or overgrown to prevent issues during storms.

A Spring garden clean is the perfect opportunity to provide your trees and shrubs with some much-needed care and maintenance, and to prepare them for the warmer weather. Contact your local arborist for professional assistance or advice to create a flourishing, healthy garden for spring.

When Do Trees Grow Their New Leaves?

Concord Tree Care

 

While bare branches and naked landscapes are the telltale signs of winter, we expectantly await fresh, new growth in the spring. Warmer weather is the trees’ cue to leaf out and present their new springtime growth. But how do trees know when to grow their new leaves? And is there any way for us to predict this phenomenon?

While we can’t pinpoint with accuracy the date that trees will begin to sprout their new growth, there are various ways we can estimate the approximate timing by observing the environmental patterns trees respond to. This can help us to establish when to expect new growth by and how to best care for our trees to ensure they put forth new growth on time.

The Cue for Trees to Leaf Out

Trees sprout their new leaves according to temperature changes that are usually associated with going from winter to spring. During cold weather, it doesn’t make sense for trees to sprout new growth, with less water availability and sunlight. But once the weather starts warming up again, it’s time to capitalize on the increased sunlight and water availability.

Trees respond to two different aspects of our changing seasons. First, there must be a period of prolonged cold weather, at chilling temperatures between 25 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This helps to juxtapose the incoming warmer weather. These cooler temperatures trigger the balance of hormones and enzymes needed to break out new growth when warmer temperatures come.

While new growth won’t break through on the first warm day, once the days are more consistently warm, it signals to the tree that spring is here and it’s time for new growth.

Secondly trees respond to the longer days and shorter nights that come with changing seasons, syncing their new growth with the signals of spring.

What If Your Trees Don’t Sprout New Growth

There are several factors that can affect or inhibit new tree growth. Whereas trees have been shown to adapt to changing climate conditions, sudden changes can mean that trees don’t receive enough chilling to break dormancy once warmer weather comes.

If your tree seems to be barren but other trees in your area are sprouting new leaves and branches, don’t panic. It may be that your particular species of tree breaks out a little later than others. This is a normal phenomenon.

If you do become concerned that your tree is remaining leafless for longer than seems normal, contact your local arborist. An arborist will not only be able to diagnose any specific issues with your particular tree, but can also help you understand any local environmental trends that may be affecting new growth this year. If a tree is green inside, it’s still alive and waiting for its time to sprout forth.

However, if your tree doesn’t sprout or the new growth is shriveled or black you may need an arborist’s expert assistance to correct the issue.

While all trees sprout their new springtime growth on their own timing, if you’re concerned about your trees new growth, contact your local arborist for professional advice.

Lafayette Tree Removal – Cedar Tree

Walnut Creek Tree Care

Who’s Responsible For Trimming That Tree?

Alamo Tree Care

 

If you have trees in your garden, it is your responsibility to provide tree care and tree trimming. But what about trees from other properties that over hang onto yours? What about trees that are starting to infringe on public property or power lines that no one else seems to trim? Could it be that you’re also responsible for trimming those trees? Here we look at the responsibilities of tree ownership, and when you can (and should) trim trees.

Trees Growing On Your Property

Trees growing on a property remain the responsibility of the owner of that property. This means that no matter where the tree branches hang, if the tree trunk is growing is growing on your property, it is your responsibility. Taking care of a tree on your property means checking that it’s free of pests and diseases. This is important as an infected tree can begin to infect the trees around it as well causing widespread problems in an area.

It’s also important to have the branches of the tree you own trimmed regularly. Overgrown branches can infringe onto neighbors properties and public property, and can create a hazard if they grow too large and fall. Taking responsibility for the trees and plants on your property is an essential component of tree care and health.

Trees Overhanging On Your Property

One of the most common complaints that councils receive is that a tree branch is hanging over a fence and into a neighbor’s property. Neglecting to prune and care for a tree means that it’s branches can quickly start growing into other’s properties. These branches pose a problem by taking up extra space, dropping leaves, fruits or seeds, and creating a potential hazard with falling branches.

Fortunately, if you find your neighbor’s branches have overgrown, and they have now grown over the property line, you are entitled to trim them. However you may only trim these branches up to the property line. It is also interesting to note that you are not legally allowed to eat the fruit on branches of a tree that hang on your property. You also must be careful not to affect the tree in any way that could kill or severely damage it. If you cut too many branches or roots and it ends up destroying a tree on a neighbor’s property, you may need to provide compensation for that tree.

Trees And Plants On The Boundary Line

For trees and plants (such as hedges) that sit directly on top of the property boundary lines between you and your neighbor’s home, the question of ownership and responsibility is a bit more complicated. It may be that for trees and plants directly on the boundary line, both owners retain an interest and responsibility for the tree. For any decision involving trees and plants on the property line it’s good to discuss with your neighbor how to best approach their care and how to trim the trees.

Trees Growing Onto Public Property And Power Lines

It’s always best to avoid planting trees in a position that could infringe upon power lines. You may not be able to trim the trees on your property that a growing close to powerlines, as this can be dangerous.  Call a local arborist to trim the trees near your powerline or otherwise you can contact the local electrical company for safe and effective tree trimming.

Ultimately, it’s best to gain as much information as possible, and to talk to your neighbor or local authority before trimming a tree if there is any uncertainty.