The Magic of Mulch

Danville Tree Removal

You’ve probably heard that mulch is important to your landscape. Have you ever thought about why that is? Apparently lots of people have thought about it, and so much that the phrase “the magic of mulch” has gained popular use. Don’t believe me? Google it.

Why did “the magic of mulch” become a thing, instead of “the utility of mulch” or ”the practicality of mulch”? Probably because what mulch does is pretty whimsical and impressive, really. But before we go into that, what do people use as mulch?

 

Basic Mulch Types

 

When you’re looking for mulch, you’ll find that you have three basic category types: organic, mineral, or synthetic. Organic mulch can be shredded hardwood, bark based, coconut coir, wood chips, corn husks, leaf litter, and other natural plant materials. Mineral mulch includes pea gravel, crushed brick, volcanic rocks, marble chips, and shale. Synthetic mulch can be shredded rubber, black plastic sheeting, and landscape fabric. Sometimes synthetic mulches are layered under organic or mineral mulches.

 

Mulch and the Microbiome

Mineral and synthetic mulches do something good for the miniscule life in your soil: they keep it cool and moist. But organic mulches offer more than that: they contribute new nutrients and living microbes to the rich and bustling microscopic life in the soil. Within soil there are fungus, bacteria, nematodes, algae, earthworms, ants, centipedes, millipedes, beetles, snails, and slugs, all sharing a balanced ecosystem. Organic mulch supports and contributes to that. If your soil were not vibrant with life, your trees, shrubs, and grass wouldn’t be either.

 

Mulch and Water

All types of mulch reduce evaporation of water from the soil. Water is crucial to your healthy garden and trees. Not only do the plants themselves need water, but so do soil-dwelling microbes and tiny animals like ants and worms. This water retention becomes especially important during hot or dry spells or in hot or dry climates. There is no danger that using mulch will keep your soil too wet, mulch brings water management benefits and no drawbacks.

 

Mulch and temperature

Part of the magic of mulch is that it keeps soil and roots warmer in cold weather and cooler in hot weather. It has an insulating property that brings the soil below it closer to middle ground temperatures by reflecting away heat and retaining the warmer ground temperatures when cold hits. Almost all areas experience either hot summers or cold winters, if not both. This makes mulch’s insulatory magic useful everywhere.

 

Mulch and Your Trees

Mulching your trees is pretty easy, and yields great benefit for the tree. What you don’t want is to under-mulch or over-mulch. No sparse see-through layers and no grand mulch volcanoes with your tree trunk erupting out.

Keys to mulching your tree well:

  • Remove grass and weeds within the “drip line”, area under the thickest parts of the tree canopy
  • If there’s old mulch, rake it to make sure it’s not compacted
  • Add about 3 inches depth of fresh mulch covering the “drip line”
  • Make sure the flare of the trunk (where it widens above meeting the ground) is fully above the mulch-line. No mulch should be against the trunk or within the first few inches.

If you have questions or need suggestions about mulch, contact Sexy Trees.

 

Is It Time To Get That Stump Removed?

Alamo Tree Removal

Tree stumps bring with them no benefits and plenty of risks. For many reasons, you should consider getting the tree stump removed from your yard.

When To Remove A Stump

Tree stumps can be physically removed at any time. Having an arborist remove the stump when felling the tree is the most convenient way to remove a stump. But they can still be removed at any time, if you’ve missed that opportunity. So why do it now?

5 Reasons Getting Your Tree Stump Removed is Important

Tree Stumps Are Hazardous

Stumps left on your property are far below eye level, and often blend into the landscape quite well. They can be a danger to children, neighbors, or visitors as a tripping hazard. They’ll also cost you money if you or your mowing service accidentally hits the stump when mowing your lawn, requiring a trip to the repair shop. Tree stumps create a liability on your property.

Curb Appeal

Whatever else tree stumps are, they’re certainly not pretty. They look the opposite of alive and healthy, which is how you want your landscape to look. Removing your stump means getting rid of an eyesore- your property will look better, and your neighbors will thank you.

Fresh Tree Stumps Cause Unsightly Re-Growth

When some species of trees are cut down close to or just above grade, they continue to generate sucker growth from the stump. If this happens you could spend time and money cutting down the suckers or spraying them with herbicides.

These suckers also take precious nutrients from the soil, and other parts of your landscape may suffer. If left to grow, these re-growing trees turn into ugly bushes. They won’t look like their former, proper form. These suckers are also poorly connected to their rotating trunk and can even become a safety hazard later if left be.

Stumps Attract Bugs

An old stump sitting in your backyard is like a readymade home for all sorts of insects. And they often attract white ants or termites, which could mean risking the safety of your home. The most worrying of these is probably termites. They’re drawn to exposed wood and will set up a colony in your stump. From there, it’s an easy trip to your house, and you do not want that. Even if your old stump doesn’t attract termites, it could attract other lawn pests, so you’re better off bidding it goodbye.

Space

In a garden bed, a tree stump takes up valuable planting space. The stump can take up space preventing you from planting new trees, enlarging your vegetable or flower garden, building a play area for your kids, setting up a picnic table, or adding a pool. If you have a project planned, the stump may obstruct driveways you need access to or slow construction. Tree stump removal will allow you to make the best use of your space.

Certainly, if you need stump removal, contact Sexy Trees today. Hiring a professional is more affordable than you may realize and will be money well spent.

Cambistat: A Tree Care Solution

Concord Tree Pruning

As a property owner, you want to keep your trees healthy. In hard California droughts trees are susceptible to falling ill, and even dying. So it’s imperative that you protect your trees against stressors, and keep them healthy for their longevity.

This is where Cambistat can come in. Below, we’ll discuss some of the incredible health benefits Cambistat can give your trees and the protection they can give them in the harshest of times.

 

 

Why Cambistat?

Cambistat is a powerful tool to fortify your trees against some of the harsh Californian summers. With these nutrient treatments on your side, it’s easy to ensure that your trees will be healthy throughout any climate. There are a wide array of ways that in keeps your trees in tip top shape.

Here are our top 3:

 

1. Drought Tolerance

According to drought.gov, California is experiencing one of its longest droughts in state history. Having started in 2011 and extending up to present day, California has sustained 357 weeks of drought, at one point affecting 58.41% of Californian land. With over half of the state affected, chances are that your trees fall into one of these drought affected areas.

When it comes to Californian summers, nothing is better that Cambistat at preparing your trees to do well in drought. We know that being able to protect your trees from water shortage is a high priority. Thankfully, Cambistat is able to help protect against drought, by equipping your trees for record breaking dry spells.

 

2. Improved Root Systems

A strong, capable root system is key for any healthy tree. Without a stable support network to draw nutrients and water from the soil, any tree, even in the best of conditions, is doomed. When Cambistat is applied to your trees, there is a significant growth and production of fibrous roots.

Furthermore, Cambistat can be applied in any Californian weather (assuming there isn’t a torrential flood or that the state freezes over). Because Cambistat is so active, retreatment is only needed every three years, and will be able to keep your trees growing strong.

 

3. Growth Control

A final useful purpose of Cambistat is growth control. While every green thumb loves to see some vegetation, the unfortunate reality is that trees and their limbs often get in the way of urban growth.

Cambistat is able to help you and your trees by providing growth control. As your trees mature, with grooming, the treatment can help maintain a reasonable size for your tree, and ensure that the “leggy-ness” of your tree doesn’t get out of hand. This means your tree wouldn’t collide with sightlines, encroach over roads, or be a danger to power lines in a bad storm. Using Cambistat can ensure that both you and your neighbors are satisfied with your tree.

Cambistat is a logical and easy solution for any Californian land owner looking to ensure their trees stay healthy. Schedule an application, and watch your trees thrive.

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.

Prepare Your Trees for Fall

Alamo Tree Pruning

Fаll іѕ the hardest tіmе оf уеаr tо be a tree. Stоrmѕ mаkе branches more lіkеlу tо ѕnар and the dry air fоr very thirsty rооtѕ. Simple maintenance can help your trees to have a better fall.

Whу іѕ fаll trее саrе іmроrtаnt?

Extended periods оf extreme hеаt саn wеаkеn trees, making them more susceptible to infestations. Helping your trees bеgіn to rесоvеr from the hot conditions as they head into winter іѕ important to protect their long-term health, which also mаkеѕ them less susceptible tо ѕtоrmѕ.

Hоw to prepare your trees fоr fall:

Water

Watering іѕ the numbеr оnе kеу to good fаll tree саrе. Whеn your dесіduоuѕ trees start tо lоѕе their lеаvеѕ, make ѕurе they аrе ѕtіll getting plenty оf water. It’s important that nutrients continue tо bе dеlіvеrеd to the roots until the ground frееzеѕ. Unlike dесіduоuѕ trees, conifers don’t drop their leaves. Thеу nееd tо maintain their fоlіаgе throughout the winter. Extra water nоw wіll hеlр оffѕеt moisture lоѕt tо winter winds and hеlр them fend оff “winter burn.”

Mulch

Nо matter hоw wеll you water your trees bеfоrе the ground frееzеѕ, early spring dry-out саn ѕtіll bе a problem. Thе wаrm ѕun hitting уоur tree causes іt tо lose moisture, but the frozen ground makes іt difficult for the tree tо rеgаіn that moisture. Putting down a cushion of mulch аrоund the rооt system can hеlр уоur tree tо keep mоrе available ground moisture and саn асt аѕ a buffеr аgаіnѕt hаrѕh temperatures. Bе sure tо nоt рlасе mulch directly аgаіnѕt the trunk; this can саuѕе уоur tree tо rot. Inѕtеаd, make a ring аrоund the tree with the mulch, leaving ѕрасе like a dоnut hоlе fоr the tree tо lіvе іn. Aѕ with all оf these tірѕ, do this in autumn bеfоrе the ground frееzеѕ for bеѕt results.

Fertilizer

Thе end part оf the fаll ѕеаѕоn is the perfect time tо fertilize уоur trees. Fertilizer іѕ nесеѕѕаrу to strengthen the tree, ensuring іt іѕ capable of surviving the harsh change оf weather during the fаll and winter. In аddіtіоn, fertilizer wіll strengthen the soil and tree rооtѕ, which wіll stimulate nеw, healthy growth іn the spring ѕеаѕоn. 

A ѕlоw-rеlеаѕе fertilizer should be ѕрrеаd evenly on the ѕоіl аrоund each tree in your landscape design. For best results, a fertilizer that contains a combination оf nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium should be аррlіеd.

Pruning

Onе оf the lаѕt parts оf the сlеаnuр process іѕ pruning. Pruning a tree соnѕіѕtѕ оf removing dеаd оr dying branches, which fortifies the overall strength оf a tree. Thіѕ рrосеѕѕ іѕ vіtаl tо sustaining the life оf уоur trees throughout the winter, not to mention іt рrоtесtѕ уоur property. When hеаvу falls and ѕіtѕ оn dying branches іt саn саuѕе them tо fаll, іn turn possibly damaging уоur property оr your family. Gеt pruning bеfоrе іt falls!

Tree Support

Lаѕt but certainly not lеаѕt. Lеt’ѕ talk about support. During the fаll, the wind begins tо get a lоt stronger. Support any healthy branches or trunks that are angled in ways that put them at risk for wind damage or being weighed down with snow to the point of breaking.

Tаkе advantage оf this сооlеr weather and gеt outside and tаkе саrе оf уоur trees. Yоu саn perform these five асtіvіtіеѕ yourself, оr саll in the professionals.

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.

Using Biochar Amendment for Better Soil

Lafayette Tree Service

When used broadly, the term biochar simply refers to charcoal made from any organic matter. Biochar is a type of charcoal that can improve soil quality, not all charcoal is good for this.

Raw biochar can be processed further prior to being added to the garden. Adding it to compost, or soaking it with nutrient rich compost tea, urine, or fish emulsion are commonly used to introduce beneficial organisms and nutrients to the porous biochar.

 

What are the benefits of using biochar in the garden?

 

Optimum Soil Properties

Biochar makes better soil, because it changes soil composition in multiple positive ways. With the charcoal amendment, your soil will have better water handling characteristics. It’s porous structure both drains and retains water better, keeping a more consistent water balance.

Biochar reduces soil acidity, and the raise in soil pH also reduces aluminum toxicity. Your soil will have a higher cation exchange capacity after biochar is added. Cation exchange capacity is a bit of a fancy way of saying that on a molecular level, it can hold onto nutrients better.

 

The Soil Ecosystem

Amended soil enjoys an increased web of fungal life deep inside the soil. Healthy microbes thrive, including arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, which is a needed soil feature that has a symbiotic relationship with the vascular roots in plants.

In fact, your soil should be teaming with life that interacts with the plants you see above ground. Biochar keeps that web of life healthy for you. The presence of biochar increases the microbial respiration and biomass, meaning you have more microbes and they breathe better. This increase in biomass also means that eroded soil is replaced faster than it would be otherwise.

 

Better Fertilization

The amount of fertilizer required for your trees and plants will decrease because of the biochar content. Most estimates say you’ll need 10% less fertilizer for soil areas that have biochar components.

Because of the chemical and porous nature of biochar, your soil will be able to hold higher levels of available Carbon, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Potassium. This will reduce leaching of nutrients so your soil stays rich.

 

A Long Lasting Investment

The benefits that come from using biochar are not temporary, in fact your grandchildren will be witness to the benefits to the soil that you amend with biochar today. Your trees and plants will grow healthier for years to come as a result of lasting changes that take place in the soil’s inert properties and its ecosystem.

 

To set the foundation for lush trees and healthy lawns, contact Sexy Trees today and arrange for biochar amendment.

Fertilizer Root Injections to Support Tree Health

Tree Care Blackhawk

If you have a tree that needs a little help to get or stay healthy, there are options for you. Liquid fertilizer treatments can be injected to the root area to fortify your tree.

 

What is Deep Root Fertilization?

When a specialized liquid fertilizer treatment is injected to the root area of your tree, that is Deep Root Fertilization. The liquid solution injected into the root zone is under pressure and mixed with oxygen. The injection method aerates the root system and distribute nutrients evenly. The fertilizer is injected to about 1 foot to 1.5 feet below ground, in sites 2 to 3 feet apart. The sites form a grid pattern in the canopy area soil and beyond the drip line.

 

Why Not Just Apply Fertilizer on The Ground Surface?

When applying them directly to the surface, only a limited part of the root system is exposed to them. Plus if grass is present, grass root systems absorb most of your fertilizer. Wind and rain erode the rest of your surface fertilizer. None of it generally makes it to the depth of more than a foot underground where tree roots need it most. It can be a real waste of effort.

 

How Often Should You Have Your Trees “Fed” Liquid Fertilizer Root Injections?

Fertilization performs best when repeated once or twice a year for healthy trees. Sometimes there is severe root damage, soil is compacted, or your tree has other health problems. When that happens, the arborists at Sexy Trees will examine your tree and may recommend increasing frequency or amending nutrients. The custom treatment plan will optimally improve conditions in and around the root zone to restore your tree to health.

Roots are opportunistic by nature and will grow wherever oxygen, nutrients, and moisture are present. Ongoing deep root fertilizer injections improve the oxygen content, microbial activity, and nutrient levels within the soil. The injections create better environmental conditions in the root zone. Your trees will get progressively healthier and more robust as they keep receiving root injections.

To provide your tree with these health-boosting nutrients, you’ll need to work with an arborist that has the proper equipment and training, like Sexy Trees. Contact us today to find out more or schedule your first root injection.

Signs of a Dying Tree

Tree Service Danville

We rely on trees for our livelihood as they provide the oxygen that we breath to survive. This is why many of us feel a kindred connection to trees and the outdoors. However, trees are not indestructible or immortal. They can get sick and do die over time. As with humans, there are signs that you should be aware of so you can quickly identify a sick or dying tree.

 

Loss of Leaves

During the autumn and winter months, it is quite common for trees to lose the foliage. This is very normal. Should a loss of leaves occur in the spring and summer months, this is a clear indicator of a problem. Similarly, if the leaves turn brown and brittle during said months. Sometimes, a sick tree may get reddish/brown leaves in these same months.

 

Inspect the Branches

Beyond the leaves, take a look at the branches of a tree. If no bark exists, this is a sign of an issue. It is called deadwood. Such branches are often prone to falling and be a great area for fungus growth. Should you see such signs, you should contact a certified arborist right away. Even if your tree is not dead, this could be an indication of an infestation and you want to prevent it from attacking the healthier parts of your tree.

 

Absence of Bark

Related to the above, the peeling or loss of bark is a strong indicator of disease. The presence of missing bark can also be caused by things like weed eaters or environmental conditions that make a tree highly vulnerable to bacteria, disease or fungus. While such situations may not be enough to remove the tree, a tree inspection by a certified arborist would allow you to ensure your tree is kept healthy.

 

Trunk Firmness

If the tree’s trunk becomes hollow or soft, it is usually a sign of a dying tree. It is similar to a potato that goes bad. It becomes squishy and if you leave it out long enough it starts decomposing from the inside out. Some signs of such decay are mushrooms, cavities, insect damage, or any of the other conditions discussed above.

 

Roots

Although you are unlikely to see this most of the time, damage to the roots is another indicator of a problem with your tree. Some indications of this issue are soil rising around the base of a tree or visible roots that show decay. Another sign could be a reduction in the tree coverage or a lean in the tree.

Regardless of what the factors maybe that lead you to believe there may be a sickness or death to the tree, a certified arborist can both be a great resource to do a proper inspection and/or do routine preventive care. Contact the certified arborist at Sexy Trees at 925.233.6877.