How to Know When it’s Time to Take a Tree Down

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Our Berkeley tree service pledges to stand by your trees in sickness and in health. We think there’s nothing more breathtaking than an ancient, magnificently robust and skyscrapingly tall tree—except being told you have to make the decision to cut it down. Even well-established trees can get sick and experience a weakened structure as a result. This puts the tree at risk of falling, and it’s not safe to leave it waiting to collapse. Now, you have to make a decision: can the tree be healed, or does it need to be cut down?  

Here’s a handy article to help you decide whether to ask your local Berkeley tree service for tree care advice or a saw. 

Trees Showing These Symptoms Must Be Cut Down

A Dying Trunk.

A healthy tree trunk is essential to the structural integrity of the tree. If the trunk shows signs of vertical cracks, sounds hollow when you knock on it, or has lost large amounts of bark, these are all indicators that the tree is dying. Dead trees can suddenly drop limbs or fall. Another danger of leaving a dead tree standing is the risk of spreading disease or pests to other trees or shrubs. 

Root Rot

Root rot attacks the roots of a tree planted in wet soil. Unfortunately there is no solution to root rot except to avoid it in the first place. Your infected tree is looking at a future of poor growth, wilted leaves, early leaf drop, branch dieback, and eventual death.

Loss of Branches.

When large branches suddenly crack off of your tree, it is pretty clear that everything underneath and surrounding the tree is in danger. Sometimes, dropping large, dead branches is a tree’s way of trying to concentrate energy in areas that are still healthy – and you might experience serious property damage or personal harm in the meantime. Otherwise, it might be totally harmless Sudden Branch Drop Syndrome – an arborist will be able to tell the difference. 

Sudden Oak Death 

It’s not just oak trees – rhododendrons, ferns, lilacs, fir trees and dogwoods can also succumb to this fatal fungal infection. If a tree has sudden oak death, it may exhibit leaf spots, shoot dieback, and discolored, sappy cankers. Unfortunately, as the name implies, most trees infected with this fungus will die. 

Trees Showing These Symptoms Need Care 

  • Wilted leaves
  • Spotty, blotchy, or discolored leaves/needles
  • Cankers 
  • Covered with a white, dusty fungus 
  • Leaves with holes 
  • Pest infestation 
  • Girdling roots 
  • Weak branch unions
  • Winter injuries
  • Scab disease
  • Pale green leaves within the canopy

Our Berkeley Tree Service Has Your Back

Whether you require tree removal or a diagnosis and tree care advice for a sick tree, our Berkeley tree service can help. At Sexy Trees, our wide range of services and care will keep your trees healthy and beautiful for decades to come. We believe in supporting our communities of trees through evidence-based techniques that you can depend on. 

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

How do I know when a tree is sick?

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Trees are just like us. They need nutrients, water and sun to grow strong and robust, and if they don’t get the proper care or get infected by pathogens, they will get sick. Unfortunately, if your tree gets too sick, you might have to opt for tree removal services instead. Our Alamo tree service is here to help you figure out if your tree is sick and exactly what you can do about it.

How Do Trees Get Sick?

Trees are alive, and like any living creature, they are susceptible to injuries and illnesses. Usually, these factors are the culprits making your tree sick:

  • Insects and pests
  • Bacteria
  • Fungi
  • Environmental stress
  • Viruses
  • Human activity

Look Out For These Symptoms 

A sick tree can be nursed back to health, but a dead tree is at risk of falling. As soon as you notice unusual symptoms in a tree, it’s time to take action. A few telltale signs of injury or infection in a tree are:

Wilting Leaves 

A tree’s leaves are it’s way of collecting critical sunlight, so when they wilt, your tree isn’t getting as much nutrition as it should. There are many reasons why a tree’s leaves might wilt, so if you’re not sure, it’s best to consult an arborist. 

Cankers 

Cankers are spots of dead bark on your tree. Similar to a human canker sore, a canker occurs when bacteria and fungi infect an open wound in a tree. These aggressive plant pathogens quickly colonize the wounded tissue. Remove cankers by pruning the infected area off of the tree. 

Powdery Substance On Leaves

Unfortunately that white stuff on your tree’s leaves isn’t powdered sugar: it’s powdery mildew, a common airborne fungus that attacks all sorts of landscape plants. The dusty-looking spores will eventually cause the tree’s leaves to turn yellow and drop early. On the leaves that survive, tiny round orangey-black balls will form within white fungal mats. 

Poor Structure

Trees are healthiest when they grow straight up. Severe storms, high winds, or just uneven pruning are usually the cause of a leaning tree. To prevent the tree from falling, correct the lean by attaching the tree to upright stakes and give it a good symmetrical pruning.

Spotty, Brown Leaves

Leaf spot diseases weaken trees by interrupting photosynthesis – this puts undue stress on the tree and makes it susceptible to other pests and illnesses. These brown or black blotchy spots are usually due to fungi or bacteria, and the best way to prevent them is to prevent overwatering and excessive moisture. 

Decay

Sometimes when a tree wound gets infected, it becomes so overcome by pathogens that it cannot close the wound. In cases like these, the disease can begin to eat away at the tree and compromise its internal structure, putting at risk of falling or dropping branches. 

Prevent Tree Illness: Hire an Experienced Arborist! 

If you are looking for the top Alamo tree service, look no further. At Sexy Trees, our wide range of services and care will keep your trees healthy and beautiful for decades to come. We believe in supporting our communities of trees through evidence-based techniques that you can depend on. Give us a call at 925-233-6877 for a free estimate, or email us at [email protected] anytime with questions! 

What’s the Best Time of Year to Prune Trees in Alamo?

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In this article, our Alamo Tree Service team recommends our best pruning and trimming techniques for excellent tree health and aesthetic beauty. 

 

A beautiful landscape adds a personalized touch to your property, and regular maintenance is essential to keep it that way. As a part of caring for a landscape, pruning your trees is vital for a healthy, even configuration of branches with robust structural integrity. Regularly pruned trees tend to live longer, resist disease better, and grow larger and more beautiful than their left-alone counterparts. 

Wait – don’t reach for the loppers just yet! There are certain times of year when pruning might do your tree more harm than good. 

When Not To Prune

Avoid pruning in the fall prior to the dormant season. In the cooling weather, trees don’t heal as well from cuts, so pruning in autumn exposes your tree to all kinds of vulnerabilities. Also, fall weather allows fungi spores to proliferate and spread disease in otherwise healthy trees. 

Alamo tree care experts also recommend avoiding the urge to trim certain trees in spring. For many tree varieties, trimming during a growing season causes unnecessary stress to the tree, potentially putting a damper on its growth. 

The Goldilocks Zone: Late Winter or Early Spring

Most plants go dormant during the winter months of temperate regions. This “hibernation” involves the sleeping plants halting active growth, losing their stems and leaves, and otherwise appearing quite dead. (They are not dead – just dormant!) Choose a mild, warm day to prune because it will be more pleasant for both you and the trees or shrubs

Why Winter?

After winter dormancy, plants are primed for new growth. When you remove diseased limbs and dead branches during a winter pruning, the tree can focus on healthy new growth during spring. Since trimming does cause minor injury to the tree, it will need to heal. The most compelling evidence that winter provides the optimal conditions is the season’s decrease in bugs, pests, and diseases that might otherwise harm a tree. 

What to Prune in Winter? 

  • Evergreen shrubs and trees
  • Shade trees including oak, maple, and sweetgum
  • Azalea 
  • Apple 
  • Roses
  • Peach trees
  • Plum trees
  • Butterfly bush 
  • Dogwood 
  • Abelia

Basic Pruning Techniques 

First, remove dead and diseased limbs or branches. All stems, branches, and limbs that are unhealthy should be your first priority – not only are they a strain on the tree, they can actually be quite dangerous. Dead branches cause a lot of trouble when they fall. 

Next, move on to overgrown, tangled, or simply unwanted branches. You can coax branches to grow in a certain direction, but always follow the natural growth of the plant type. 

Tip: Always cut branches at the node, the intersection at which one branch or twig attaches to another. 

Let Us Prune Your Trees for You! 

Contact Alamo Tree Service

If you are looking for the top Alamo tree service, look no further. At Sexy Trees, our wide range of services and care will keep your trees healthy and beautiful for decades to come. We believe in supporting our communities of trees through evidence-based techniques that you can depend on. Give us a call at 925-233-6877 for a free estimate, or email us at [email protected] anytime with questions! 

 

How Root Flare Exposure Affects Tree Health

Tree root exposure berkeley tree services.

One of the biggest overlooked tree care mistakes is a relatively simple one: your tree was planted too deep. If a tree seems to be declining despite efforts to regularly prune it, trim its branches, and give it adequate water, it might be time to take a look at the root cause of the issue (pun intended). In addition to regularly scheduling maintenance with your local Berkeley tree service experts, get acquainted with how a buried root flare could be suffocating your tree – and how to fix it.  

What is root flare and how can Berkeley tree services help?

The root flare of a tree is the area around the base of the trunk, where the trunk meets the roots and creates a sloping outward flare into the soil. A tree’s root flare is a powerful indicator of its health, and a damaged or improperly developed root flare can cause a number of detrimental effects for fledgling and established trees. A certified arborist will be able to identify an underexposed root flare and provide recommendations or services to fix it. 

Signs that your tree’s root flare is suffocating:

If you can’t see a tree’s root flare, soil or mulch is likely covering it (which it should not be). Indicators that the tree is suffering due to its improperly exposed root flare are: 

  • Prematurely dropping leaves in the fall or delayed leaf growth in spring 
  • New shoots have a narrow reach, which gives the appearance that the foliage is hugging close to the branches
  • The tree appears like a telephone pole sticking out of the ground: completely cylindrical with no visible flare. Though this is natural for some varieties of tree, most should slope outwards as the trunk meets the roots and enters the soil. 

Health Consequences of a Buried Root Flare 

Soil or mulch covering a tree’s root flare comes with immediate and long-term consequences. Immediately, the tree experiences reduced oxygen availability to its roots, reduced water infiltration, and reduced access to shallow nutrient pools. If chronically underexposed, buried root flare could cause: 

  • Fungal wood decay. When mulch or soil is mounded over the base of the tree, moisture can accumulate over the tree’s root flare and deprive it of crucial oxygen. Over time, this can cause fungal wood decay at the root flare, which weakens the structural integrity of the tree while compromising the vascular system.
  • Girdling roots. The excess moisture at the root flare causes dormant buds to emerge from the base of the tree. Although these girdling roots start out small, they quickly grow into a restrictive tangle that abrades the buttress roots and suffocates the vascular system. These unnatural roots are a direct result of covering the tree’s root flare. 

Talk to Us

If you are looking for the best Berkeley tree service, look no further. At Sexy Trees, our wide range of services and care will keep your trees healthy and beautiful for decades to come. We believe in supporting our communities of trees through evidence-based techniques that you can depend on. Give us a call at 925-233-6877 for a free estimate, or email us at [email protected] anytime with questions! 

Your Checklist for Smart Summer Tree Care

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

1) Tree Pruning

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

2) Give Your Tree a Deep Watering

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

3) Watch for Signs of Distress

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

4) Refresh the Soil

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

5) Add a Layer of Mulch

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

6) Keep an Eye on Insects

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

7) Fertilize When Summer is Over

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

Tree Pruning & Other Services

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

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

What is Eating My Trees?- Common Pests

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

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

Common Tree Invaders

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

California Fivespined Ips

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

Asian Citrus Psyllid

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

The California Oakworm and Tussock Moths

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

Checking for Pests

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

Alamo Tree Care

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

Tree Care for Sexy Trees in 2021

tree care

Trees provide many benefits, but only when properly taken care of. You need to regularly tend to your trees if you want to enjoy the beauty and shade they add to your property. Although you can always call a certified arborist for professional tree care, knowing the basics is helpful. Do you want sexy trees in 2021? Keep reading…

Proper Planting

Choose an appropriate place for your trees and consider possible future changes. Have you always wanted to build a room addition? That’s not a good place for your new tree. Also, keep in mind how large the tree will get, and whether or not it will have enough sunlight. Make sure there won’t be a structure that blocks the light. Your tree shouldn’t be close to power lines, sewer lines, or other underground systems. Some types of trees can even  disturb pipes with their roots if they’re planted too close to the house.

Protecting the Roots

When selecting which trees to plant, it’s important to consider the best weather conditions for a species to thrive. You also need to understand how seasonal changes could affect the tree, depending on where you live. A layer of mulch helps protect the tree’s roots by locking in moisture and evening out the soil temperature. This is easy tree care for both summer and winter fluctuations.

Pruning

Pruning should always be done right to avoid damaging your trees. Bear in mind, too much pruning can be just as harmful as none at all. The goal is to help the tree grow strong and healthy. But incorrect practices can leave your tree vulnerable to insect infestations and other issues. Cuts should be clean, not jagged, so they heal properly.

Watering

Like other living things, trees need water to survive. Rain is usually not enough to keep your trees in good health. A little extra tree care is in order. Your watering routine will depend on the season, as well as the species of trees in your yard. For instance, you’ll likely need to increase the frequency during summer, and maybe even soak the roots once in a while. You probably won’t have to water your trees during the winter, especially if they’ve already matured.

Related Content: Your Tree Watering Guide

Mulching

Another great tree care method is mulching. Some of the benefits were already mentioned above. It can keep weeds and grass from growing around the base of the tree, too. Start mulching at least five inches from the base and go out as far as you like. Never cover the base of the tree with mulch. You can build up to four inches deep, using natural wood chips or bark. You’ll prevent the tree from drying out and may even avoid accidental snips when you’re mowing the lawn.

Related Content: The Magic of Mulch

Professional Tree Care

Rely on our experienced Berkeley tree service to help you maintain your tree care. At Sexy Trees, we do all the work so you won’t have to. Call our skilled arborists today at (925) 233-6877 for a free estimate, or email by clicking here.

Top Benefits of Preventive Tree Maintenance

One of the best ways to keep your yard looking great is to have your trees maintained throughout the year. Reaching out to a local tree service company is an excellent way to save yourself a lot of time, and ensure the job is done right. These professionals use the latest tools in the landscaping industry, so your trees look fantastic, while also minimizing the impact of potential damages due to a storm.

Interested in learning more? Here are a few of the top benefits of using preventative tree maintenance services.

1. Increased Property Value

One of the many advantages of preventative tree maintenance is that it helps to boost your property value. Keeping your trees looking great maximizes the curb appeal of your home, creating a much more pleasing and relaxing environment for you and your family.

2. Professional Expertise

Trimming trees on your own is a major safety risk, especially if you lack the proper tools and training. Scheduling professional tree maintenance services saves you a lot of hassle and ensures the job is done without any mistakes.

3. Healthy Trees

Pruning your trees is a great way to stimulate new growth and eliminate any weak spots that can cause damage to your trees. For example, it’s best to remove unhealthy branches before they break. Scheduling pruning services on a yearly basis is a proactive step that keeps your trees healthy over time.

Sexy Trees was established in 2012. We take pride in always providing top-quality tree services for our clients in the Alamo area. We offer a variety of tree services, such as tree pruning, stump grinding and removal, tree care, mistletoe removal, and much more. Feel free to contact our experienced team at (925) 481-3933 to learn more about the many landscaping services we offer. We look forward to hearing from you.

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 [email protected]