Sycamore Tree Care and Illness

Tree Care Concord

An American Sycamore tree is most notable for its exfoliating bark. People love the peeling patches on sycamore trunks.

Healthy Sycamore Trees

The bark of the trunk and its larger limbs tend to flake off in large, irregular masses, giving the surface a mottled look. The bark can be of many colors due to this, from grey to brown to greenish white. The smaller limbs often look whitewashed.

The leaves of these trees are pale green in color. When fully grown they become a bright yellow color on top and a paler yellow underneath. They become a brown color in autumn and wither just before falling away.

A sycamore tree can grow to quite massive proportions. American sycamore trees tend to be divided nearer to the ground into many secondary trunks that are free from branches. The limbs spread out at the top to make an irregular, open crown. The roots are fibrous and it’s noteworthy that trunks of the larger sycamore trees tend to be hollow.

Threats to Your Sycamore

Sycamores are vulnerable to diseases and also insect parasites, similar to almost every category of trees you could plant. As first line of protection, you should keep your tree healthy with good prevention and maintenance care. If your tree is very healthy, it’s much less likely to struggle with health issues. Of course, well irrigated and fertilized sycamore trees can be affected by diseases and pests, too.

Lace Bug

Lace bug is one of the most common and harmful sycamore tree parasites. The lacy pattern on the adult’s chest, wings, and head earn it’s name. The insects eat the under sides of the tree’s leaves.

While the sycamore lace bug’s damage is not always serious, a heavy infestation will slow the tree’s growth. You should wash off bugs with a hose. Insecticides are also readily available for this. 

Sycamore Anthracnose

Sycamore Anthracnose is a fungus that winters on twig tissue and causes leaf spots. It’s also called leaf and twig blight, and can kill American Sycamore trees while doing only minor damage to other types. A frequent clue is crinkling and browning of the leaves. Symptoms include tan to red-brown lesions extending along the veins and edges of the leaf.

Considerable defoliation, sometimes with complete leaf loss, occurs on many trees by late spring in cool, wet years. This sycamore tree disease is more likely to strike in wet weather. Rainfall and wind spread the fungi’s spores.

For Sycamore Anthracnose, we use an Arborjet treatment called PHOSPHO-jet applied in the fall following leaf coloration or early spring prior to twig infection. Propizol applied in the fall will slow the spread of infection the following spring and help the tree to grow leaves more normally.

What Are Mycorrhizae And Why Should You Care?

Berkeley Tree Care

Fungi are an incredibly important part of soil health. You may hear the term Mycorrhiza Fungi used referring to beneficial fungi. So, what exactly is this stuff? Basically, “myco” means fungus and “rhiza” means root. These special fungi establish a beneficial connection with plant roots and aid them with the uptake of water and nutrients. Mycorrhizae fungi have been in existence for more than 460 -million years since the first plant life appeared on dry land.

How Do Mycorrhizae Work With Roots?

After the mycorrhizae colonize and begin to multiply, they effectively increase the root area and volume by acting as extensions of the roots. The symbiotic cycle between roots and mycorrhizae results in improvements to not only the root system but also the color, foliage and overall health of the tree. Mycorrhizal fungal filaments in the soil are truly extensions of root systems and are more effective in nutrient and water absorption than the roots themselves.

More than 95 percent of terrestrial plant species form a symbiotic relationship with  mycorrhizal fungi and have evolved this symbiotic relationship over the past several hundred million years. These fungi predate the evolution of terrestrial plants, and it was the partnership with mycorrhizal fungi that allowed plants to begin to colonize dry land and create life on Earth as we know it.

Types of Mycorrhizae

There are two major groups of mycorrhizal fungi: ectomycorrhizal and endomycorrhizal fungi.

Endomycorrhizae

Endomycorrhizal fungi penetrate the plant cells where direct metabolic exchanges can occur. Endomycorrhizal fungi colonize trees as well as shrubs and most herbaceous plants and do not form visible structures.

Among the types of endomycorrhizal fungi, arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are the most prevalent in soils. Their name is derived from arbuscule structures they form within the plant root cell.

Ectomycorrhizae

Ectomycorrhizal fungi are also found in natural environments, mainly in forests ecosystems. Ectomycorrhizal fungi develop exclusively on the outside of root cells. Ectomycorrhizae are found on trees and form visible structures.

These fungi can form visible reproductive structures (mushrooms) at the feet of trees they colonize. Ectomycorrhizal fungi grow between root cells without penetrating them. Their hyphae grow externally, forming dense growth known as a fungal mantle. These fungi form symbiotic relationships with most pins, spruces and some hardwood trees including beech, birch, oak, and willow. 

How Mycorrhizal Fungi Help Soil Health

Trees can only take in nutrients from the soil within their rhizosphere (the area surrounding their roots). This area extends only about 1/10 of an inch from the roots.

Beyond that 1/10 inch, all the fertilizer, compost, water and whatever else you add to the soil would be wasted without this web of fungi, the tree is simply not able to reach it.

That’s where mycorrhizae comes in. They spread out from the tree roots in long, root-like stringy webs call hypha and bring any needed nutrients or water back to the rhizosphere for the tree. In exchange, the tree provides carbon and sugars to feed the fungi.

In effect, the fungus provides a secondary “root system” that is considerably more efficient and extensive than the tree’s own root system, allowing it to access more nutrients. One tablespoon of healthy soil can contain several thousand of mycorrhizal filaments!

Benefits Of Mycorrhizae-Rich Soil

• Increased yield from fruit trees

• Enhanced  plant and tree growth

• Healthier root development

• Increased disease resistance

• Improved transplant success

• Increased drought tolerance

Why We Should Care

So, why do we need to know about this? Many of the regular practices we use to augment our soil actually kill the organisms in healthy soil including Mycorrhizae. This is one of the best reasons low/no-till gardening has become more prevalent over the years.  Inoculating plants with multiple varieties of Mycorrhizae and providing food that will support plant health is a necessity. Be very careful with poisons and weed killers, they can destroy healthy symbiotic relationships.

If you have questions on how to create or foster healthier soil for your trees, contact Sexy Trees today.

Arborjet Therapy for Oak Tree Care

Concord Tree Care

People love oak trees. They’re majestically broad and protective feeling, with dense green foliage spans.

 

About Oaks

Oaks grow naturally across the Southeastern USA. They can be found on the east shore from southeastern Virginia to Florida and west to southern and central Texas. They grow naturally in the sandy soils of low coastal areas.

Oaks have male and female reproductive systems on the same plant. They flower every spring from March through May and acorns mature in September and fall off by December. Live oak acorns are long, dark brown to black.

They seldom grow over 50 feet tall, but the crown of the tree can have a span of 150 feet wide. That’s why it’s an incredibly popular shade tree! Oak tree wood is so sturdy that they were used for shipbuilding years ago, but today they’re mostly decorative trees.

 

Oak Wilt and Fungal Infections

Oaks tend to grow in huge groups with interconnected roots, which makes them extremely vulnerable to contracting oak wilt. The fungus travels from one oak to another through the linked roots and insect activity. Oak wilt destroys hundreds of trees just in Austin, Texas every year because of how rapidly they expand in groves.

Symptoms of oak wilt are otherwise healthy leaves developing yellow veins, turning brown and falling off the tree outside of autumn. The crown of the tree thins and weakens till it dies. Oak wilt can be costly to treat and regulate. An accurate medical diagnosis is critical. You’ll need to consult a certified arborist to guarantee proper medical diagnosis and treatment.

Unfortunately, oak wilt is quite infectious. Without the proper treatment, the death of the tree is inevitable.

 

Arborjet Therapy to the Rescue

Avoidance starts with expertise. To treat this fungus effectively, you need to seek the services of an expert.

Once diagnosed, we advise a trunk shot of the Arborjet Treatment, Propizol. It contains a systemic fungicide that reduces Bretiziella fagacearum, and specifically to combats oak wilt. Because oak wilt is spread through roots and insects, we advise Arborjet therapy of non-infected oaks near the contaminated trees. This can slow down and stop the spread of the condition.

After Care

Infected trees are highly susceptible to nitidulid beetles, which also carry oak wilt fungus. You’ll want to schedule tree trimmings at appropriate times to avoid nitidulid beetles, planning your trimming around the beetles’ off period. The active period for nitidulid beetles varies throughout the USA, so consult with your arborist.

A wound dressing that’s not toxic to plants is important on injured oaks, including those those that have been trimmed. Painting the wounds of an oak after cutting it will shut the wound off to prospective infection from nitidulid beetles. The county may penalize you for not repainting the wounds of a tree that’s just been trimmed.

When treating several trees, your arborist must sanitize drill bits and also injection devices between trees. Sexy Trees is an expert in controlling the spread of infection, with industry leading sterilization and sanitation. Don’t assume every arborist is as careful as is necessary when dealing with oak wilt and beetle infestations. Always ask.

Get in touch with Sexy Trees if you believe a stump or a tree on your property may be influenced by oak wilt.

Healthy Trees Increase Property Values

Lafayette Tree Pruning

All homeowners want their home to increase in value. In fact, no matter how long you plan to live in your home, you want it to increase in value as much as possible. You might be looking to make your home more appealing to a buyer, you want to make it the most valuable property you can for when you leave it to family. Maybe you want to use it as collateral for a loan. In any case, property value matters.

 

Healthy Trees

Perhaps everybody wants to have a shady spot. Children love to play in shade, adults love to lounge in it. This is one of the major offerings that healthy trees bring to the family, but not the only one. Trees can protect your outside areas from wind and provide shelter for more delicate plantings. They bring a harmony with nature to your property, allowing your home to “fit in” to the landscape more gracefully. And trees offer places for birds and other wildlife to live and raise their young.

 

Your shady space, your wind-protected cove, the benefits your trees bring to you: they need to be healthy to do this. Your family can’t enjoy the shade under a tree that’s threatening to drop branches. The look of your home is not improved by scraggly, sickly looking trees. Delicate plantings below a sick tree will suffer and be exposed to pathogens and parasites attracted by decay. No space is useful under damaged or dangerous trees.

 

It’s important to do everything in your power to keep existing trees healthy. A mature tree can have an appraised value of between $1,000 and $10,000, according to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers. With multiple healthy trees, this can be significant when selling.

 

“The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” -Unknown

 

Useful Space

The value of your property is increased with the presence of useful outdoor space. Trees are one of the most attractive, functional ways to increase the usability of your landscape. Using existing trees and even incorporating new trees can help you create distinct areas, manage the wind and sun in those areas, and can even host a tree house or swing. All of this raises the value of your property.

 

Curb Appeal

“Curb Appeal” is the first impression your home makes when a guest pulls up. You must give attention to both home presence and landscaping to make the best presentation. Stand in the street across from your home. Do your trees look well maintained? Welcoming? Do the plants look inviting? Overgrown? Crowded? Bare? Keep the trees at the front of your house looking strong, full, healthy and your home will look better for it.

 

Maximize Property Values

The trees are already there. The key now is to foster their healthy growth. This could mean getting nutrient injections, having sickly trees removed, pruning trees, mulching, or any number of things. Have our Diamond Certified Arborist guide you towards what your trees need to bring them to their best possible health and beauty.

Our Newest Service: Arborjet Tree Injections

https://youtu.be/RbKiYnqbcnw

 

Sexy Trees cares about the health of your trees, the ecosystem they need to thrive, and the larger ecology. We’re always looking for more effective ways to protect and benefit your trees and the larger ecosystem they rely on. Our values are why we’re now offering Arborjet tree injections.

 

What are Arborjet Tree Injections?

First and foremost, they are effective! Arborjet nutrient injections get what your tree needs to thrive directly into the tree’s circulatory system, and quickly distributed. The injection is delivered through the trunk, so none of it is wasted in the soil or drained away with water.

Maybe your tree is having any trouble absorbing nutrients through the roots, or your soil just doesn’t have the right balance. Arborjet trunk injections are a highly effective solution to delivering proper nutrition for a lush, strong tree. Injection is faster than any other method for immediate delivery of elements your tree works to extract from the ground.

 

What Trees are Good Candidates for Arborjet Injections?

Not all trees are good candidates for trunk injections. Your arborist will tell you if your tree can benefit from them. If your tree is actively fighting an infection or parasite, your arborist may recommend taking another course. This may be either combining the injection with another solution to the tree’s active problem or postponing injection until after the tree has completed treatment. And there will be some trees that simply are dead or in the process of dying.

 

If you ‘re in the San Francisco wider bay area and are wondering if your tree or trees can benefit from Arborjet trunk injections, contact Sexy Trees today. We love trees, and we’d love to help your trees thrive.

When is Best to Transplant Trees?

Tree Removal Lafayette

 

Maybe when you moved into your dream home, you noticed that beautiful tree in your backyard and thought, that would look so good if I could put it in my front yard. Or your tree has flourished to the point of outgrowing its current location. When is a good time to move/transplant your tree?

As with most things, it all depends on the type of tree. However, the biggest rule of thumb is to try to move it when it is dormant and not freezing. You want to move it before the colder weather hits or before the tree starts sprouting new foliage.

What is dormant?

During the winter months, trees go into their form of hibernation, called dormancy. While they may seem like they are sleeping or even dead, they’re doing quite a bit to keep going. They drop their leaves and fill their cells with water. Upon the arrival of winter, some of this water goes into the spaces between the cells. This water then becomes the barrier for the trees to protect against possible freezing.

Why transplant trees when they’re dormant?

During the non-dormancy period, trees are heavily reliant on the steady water flow coming to their roots. If this is cut off during the critical period, the tree maybe harmed and have a hard time adapting to its new environment. It would be similar to being in a nice warm shower and having someone dump ice cold water on you.

Dormant trees do not rely on water as much. They’ve lost their leaves and any fruits. They have time to establish their roots and get acclimated to their new environment before the new water supply becomes essential.

However, a critical warning. Do not move trees during extreme cold spells. This could dramatically damage the roots and prevent proper transplantation.

The following are some general rules of thumb for transplanting:

Pine/Evergreen: Fall

Oak: February/March

Maple: Late Fall

Fruit: Early

If you are wanting to transplant your tree, talk to our certified arborist at Sexy Trees. He can provide you key details to avoid damaging your tree.

What Should You Ask a Tree Care Specialist?

Berkeley Tree Service

 

Many of us either ignore our trees, do some self-tree care, or simply ask the gardener to do the tree service. Is this best way? Usually these are not the right approaches to ensuring your trees thrive. The following are some key things to ask you Tree Care Specialist:

  • Please give me your experience level

When speaking to tree care specialist, their experience level is critical. They may have seen many situations and been around various tree scenarios. Among their experiences should be becoming a certified arborist. Certified Arborists go through extensive testing to ensure they are familiar with the nuances of caring for trees. Sometimes the difference between a healthy tree and a sick one could be hard to identify differences in how it was pruned or cared for.

  • What things should I do regularly to care for my tree?

Whether it’s watering, pruning, or adding supplements, caring for a tree is very individualized. Each tree will be getting a set of nutrients from the soil, but it does have other needs. An oak tree will have different needs than a peach tree, and those will also vary according to terrain and climate. Each has to be cared for appropriately to ensure maximum health. Get specific recommendations about level of watering, sunlight, etc. A certified arborist has this knowledge to evaluate the tree and make quality recommendations.

  • What is your approach to pruning a tree and why?

As you are speaking with a tree care specialist, some will recommend some pruning or even tree removal. Always ask the essential question of “why?”. If they give you a very generic answer, it’s important to follow up and ask again for the basis of their recommendation. Hacking a tree shorter or removing it without a true need could permanently damage this living being.

Sexy Trees has a certified arborist with years of experience. We do offer tree evaluations. If you have questions about planting trees, feel free to reach out at Sexytrees.com.

3 Tips for Winter Tree Care

Alamo Tree Service

 

As winter weather approaches, many of us look at trees as being “dead” without any work needed. Since the trees around the Bay Area have lost much of their foliage, it may feel like a sign to leave them alone. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Proper winter tree care is what helps the tree grow and become stronger for its spring growth.

Here are a few key tips for winter tree care this time of year:

Saving Rain Water

Whether we have a rainy season or drought conditions, it’s very important to try to maximize the amount of water that is preserved in the tree’s surrounding soil. There are a couple techniques that we recommend for Bay Area trees. First, get fresh mulch. This can help keep the water contained, captured, and embedded in the soil. Even an inch of mulch helps retain moisture.  If you would like to also use the mulch for weed control, use about three inches of mulch.

Keeping the Bugs Away

While many pests stay away during this time of year, if you’ve had attacks from mites, scale, or aphids, then you should spray for them now. Use dormant oil to kill the eggs after the leaves drop. Another layer of protection is to spray for peach leaf curl or lime sulfur.

Winter Tree Care Pruning

Growth has to be monitored and may need controlled to prevent problems. It’s critical to cut back some trees in order to allow light to enter and hit the inner branches. Along with lightening heavily congested areas, you should also prune away diseased or dead areas of the tree so the nutrients will focus on the remaining portions of the tree. Sometimes you will also have to trim to maintain the balance of a tree, to prevent it from breaking.

By following the above winter tree care tips, you will find that you’ll have healthier, fuller trees in the spring and summer.  If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our Certified Arborists at Sexytrees.com

 

 

5 Tips For Caring For Mature Trees

Berkeley Tree Pruning

 

Mature trees are an asset to your landscape. Fully developed trees have required years of nurturing growth and responsible Alamo tree care. This investment should not be taken lightly. When caring for mature trees, you want to protect this investment, and ensure that your mature trees continue to provide shade and beauty to your landscapes. Older trees require specific care and nurturing to continue to flourish and remain protected from disease and pests. Here we look at five tips to help you best care for and look after your mature trees.

Water Your Trees Correctly

Mature trees need an appropriate amount of water, just like young trees. Using the correct technique to water your mature trees is essential to ensure your trees get the right amount of water in the right way. In the absence of soaking rain, you should deeply water your mature trees at least once a month. It can be helpful to consult with an experienced arborist regarding the specific water needs for your unique tree type.

Prune Mature Trees Properly

Regular pruning is important for mature trees to remove dead or diseased branches, and to manage excess growth to reduce weight. Heavy branches can break and fall, causing damage to the tree or your property. However, incorrect pruning can severely damage your mature tree, eventually causing tree death. Tree topping is a particularly harmful practice that can eventually destroy your tree by removing it’s most important food producing branches. When pruning a mature tree, it’s best to call a Alamo tree care certified arborist to prune with the correct technique that is safest for both you and your tree.

Protect Tree Roots

Mature tree roots can continue growing to help support the tree. However, the large roots of mature trees can sometimes create issues for surrounding structures. If tree roots are disrupting your yard, it’s important to call a certified arborist for expert advice and management. Covering exposed tree roots with mulch is a useful way to protect both the roots and visitors to your garden, however it’s important not to apply mulch too close to the tree trunk.

Inspect Mature Trees For Pests And Diseases

Mature trees that have undergone some stress, been damaged, or incorrectly pruned can be left more prone to tree diseases and pest infestation. Inspect your trees periodically for signs of problems, such as weak branches, discolored leaves, or visible pests.

Nourish the Soil

Mature trees get all their nutrients from the surrounding soil so it’s important to keep the soil healthy as your trees develop and mature. Applying wood mulch can help to both protect the soil and supply nutrients and microbes that support healthy tree growth. Your local arborist can deliver a healthy supply of mulch direct to your yard to keep your mature trees thriving.

Offering shade, beauty, and structure to your yard, your mature trees are an investment that you will want to protect. Look after your mature trees with these five essential tips to best nurture their continued growth.

Contact Llamas Tree Service for any location in the bay area, including Albany, Danville, Berkeley, Oakland, Walnut Creek, Concord, San Pablo, San Leandro, Fairfield, Hercules, Kensington, Port Costa, Piedmont, Orinda, Lafayette, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, or Alamo tree care.

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.