Signs You Have Sick Trees

Alamo Tree Pruning

Trees are living things, and like us, they can become diseased and die. This is why it’s important to examine your trees on a regular basis. Fortunately, it’s actually pretty easy to determine if you have sick trees by performing a simple visual test. Knowing what to watch out for will help you avoid damage to your home and property.

Here are some telltale signs you have sick trees:

Poor Structure

Leaning limbs or branches that cause abnormal growth patterns are worrisome. Healthy trees have strong trunks that hold up the weight of branches, so be on the lookout for weak branch unions.

Peeling Bark

Depending on the species, peeling bark is one possible sign you have sick trees. Bark protects a tree from water loss, disease, and extreme temperature fluctuations, among other things. If it’s shedding bark, the tree may not be able to preserve enough essential nutrients.

Dead Branches

Naked branches can indicate a sick tree during seasons when they should be covered with foliage. If you look closely, you may discover insect damage, or tree rot.

Abnormally Colored Leaves

Leaf problems? Trees that aren’t thriving probably won’t have leaves that appear healthy, either. Look out for deformed leaves, spots, or unusual coloration.

Noticeable Pest Movement

Pest infestations can do a lot of damage to your trees. Have you noticed small holes bored into the wood? This is a clear indication of insects. Bark beetles and moths are common offenders. At least this is one sign of a sick tree that’s easier to spot.

Abnormal Fungi and Mushroom Growth

Examining a tree from the ground up can reveal a lot about its health. Search the base of your trees for signs of decay, fungi and mushrooms, or severed roots. Not all mushrooms are harmful to trees, but unfortunately, they can indicate a sick tree may be infected with a rot-inducing pathogen.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to call in an expert. Sick trees should be treated quickly, or they can infect other trees, and even die. But sometimes it’s tricky to identify just what the problem is. Our experienced professionals are ready to help with any further questions. Please contact our office today.

Identifying Tree Hazards

Tree Service Walnut Creek

Going to a park or a natural park brings serenity and peace.  The trees in these areas provide an area of comfort and relaxation.  However, these trees can also pose a danger.  A fallen branch or even an incubator for pests could pose problems for you or your surrounding area.  So how does one go about identifying tree hazards?  Here are some ways to recognize them:

Separation

When you are looking at trees, it’s important to identify points where there maybe cracks or splits.  If these cracks or splits go into the branch or seem to be covering the entire part of a limb, then this would be a method for identifying tree hazards.  Should the separation be going down the middle of a trunk, this is a critical scenario that needs your attention.  A certified arborist would be the right person to help you identifying the tree hazards.

Dying

Over time, parts of a tree may start dying.  To protect from hazards, knowing areas that maybe failing and removing them promptly will help protect you and your surroundings.  If you do not address them, then they could cause a limb to fall or break off.

Disease

Trees that get diseased can be a huge problem.  Some diseases cannot be cured but others are solvable.  A common sign of disease is the loss of bark without any bark growing in its place.  Another indication of disease is the existence of fungus.  If parts of a tree have a mushroom, this could be indications that the tree is sick.  Should you see these signals, contact a certified arborist.

Leaning

When a tree starts leaning in a dramatic fashion, this is another sign of problems.  It showcases that the tree maybe structurally failing  This is another situation where a certified arborist should be called in to evaluate the situation.

If you have questions or need to speak with a Certified arborist, contact Sexy Trees.

How Does Mistletoe Harm Your Trees

Mistletoe Removal

Do you have mistletoe on your property? If you have mystyldene, all-heal, bird lime, golden bough, or devil’s fuge, then yes. You have mistletoe.

It’s leaves are part of a fun Christmas tradition that encourages you to a kiss while standing under it. But it’s actually very harmful to your trees. Although the evergreen plant is quite beautiful with the fragrant flowers it produces in winter, this poisonous berry does more harm than good.

Mistletoe is native to Nevada, California, Arizona, Baja California, as well as Sonora and Sinaloa, Mexico. Mistletoe is a semi-parasitic pest that grows on branches of deciduous trees, which his why you’ll want to have it removed by a professional.

How Does Mistletoe Harm Trees?

Mistletoe is a semi-parasitic plant that sends out its root-like structure into tree branches. This small evergreen shrub then steals necessary water and nutrients from its tree host. The mistletoe then continues to grow larger as it continues to damage the tree.

Although mistletoe spreads slowly, when not stopped it can be harmful to trees. When a tree is infested with the plant, it can become stunted, less vigorous and even be killed if additional stressed from other environmental factors are present. Things like root damage, drought, insect infestation, extreme temperatures, disease and mistletoe infestation can all kill an otherwise healthy tree.

If you see that mistletoe is growing on your trees, you can prune out the infested branches. But just cutting it with the branch won’t kill mistletoe; it’ll only slow down its growth. You can’t get rid of mistletoe unless you remove all the infected limbs of the tree. Special care must been taken to avoid over pruning, which is why you want to hire a professional arborist to walk this fine line for you. 

A professional arborist prune in a way that balances your need to eliminate mistletoe with your trees need to retain branches. At the same time they can also aid the tree in it’s recovery. Removing other stressors from your trees can help ensure their recovery and resistance to future infections.

The Ideal Time to Remove a Tree

Berkeley Tree Removal

The best time to remove a tree is in their dormant season, which generally includes February and March. This is the time when tree service companies are least busy, so it can be convenient and save you money too. You can remove a tree at any time of the year in an emergency, of course. When planning ahead, the dormant season and your arborist’s least busy season is the best strategic choice.

What Else Should I Consider Before Scheduling to Remove a Tree?

Many people assume that tree removal, when the future health of your tree is of no importance, is a job that anyone can do, so the cheapest bid is the best choice. There are many reasons this isn’t true. The best choice for tree removal is always the company with the best trained staff and the highest standards of cleanliness. Here’s why:

Have Your Tree Removed by the Best Trained Staff

Knowledge and skill level actually does matter when removing trees. Not because of the future of your ex-tree, but because of the future of your property. An experienced crew overseen by a Diamond Certified Arborist is ideal to ensure your underground cables, sewage, drainage, and other important features of your property below ground are safe. In experienced crews also pose a threat to above-ground property that can be hurt by falling tree parts or careless use of equipment.

Why a Cleanly Arborist Matters

A high-quality tree care team will regularly sanitize equipment to prevent transfer of dangerous infections. These can came from other people’s sick trees to your property. They also limit the spread of invasive species to your property through seeds, fruit or cuttings on their vehicles or equipment. Because tree care companies regularly interact with so many healthy and unhealthy trees, you need to know that the company you work with takes steps to stop the transfer or harmful diseases and invasive plants.

When you know your tree has to go, or need a second opinion on whether you should remove a tree, call Sexy Trees at (925) 233-6877

Are You Harming Your Soil Ecosystem?

Danville Tree Pruning

The trees on your property are dependent on your soil to be a healthy, safe place for them to grow or just stay alive. If your soil suffers, the trees suffer. If your soil thrives, the trees thrive. You need to be sure you aren’t harming your soil, which would threaten your trees.

However, to do that, you need to know about some of the most common practices which lead to soil damage.

Using Biocides

One of the most common ways people harm soil is by using biocides, which destroy life inside the soil. Healthy soil is full of microorganisms that promote tree growth and nutrition. Unfortunately, when plants are sprayed with pesticides to kill insects, they also end up being absorbed by the soil, which becomes damaged as a consequence. Biocides include everything from pesticides, weed killers, and fungicides, etc.

Moreover, even if the biocides don’t have an immediate measurable effect on your trees or soil, the can remain for decades and damage life in the longer run as they build up.

Removing Vegetation

Another common practice that leads to the damage of soil is through the removal of vegetation. While some people remove ground covering plants to create some landscaping goals, you also need to understand that complete removal leads to the soil being exposed. It also loses the connectivity created by root systems. This, as a result, makes it vulnerable to forces of erosion like wind and rain.

When the soil is exposed to these threats, healthy topsoil is lost, which is a primary layer for plants to grow because it has the most organic matter. Moreover, when the soil is bare, it receives more sunlight, and this causes moisture to evaporate. Finally, it becomes compacted as it dries, which make it harder for the soil to absorb rain.

If you don’t want to destroy the soil, you need to understand the soil’s needs. You need to know the soil needs to be covered, and plants provide this shelter. 

Allowing Soil to Dry Out

When soil is allowed to dry, the rich environment or microorganism that call it home suffer. Organic matter thrives in soil, from living fungi, to earthworms and healthy bacteria, and they all need water to survive.

Remember that your trees can’t make these decisions for you, but it matter to them when you make choices soil management. Swear off biocides, grow ground covering plants, and keep your soil from drying, and your trees will thank you. Silently, by living a long healthy life. 

Why Remove a Tree Stump – Stump Removal

Walnut Creek Tree Pruning

Tree stumps are bad news. Generally unsightly on any property, they’re also trip dangers and can attract white ants and termites.  They obstruct driveways, construction, and landscape design. They, unlike most things, actually have nothing good to offer. 

 

Why Remove It

Tree stumps aren’t just ugly and inconvenient. If you let a stump remain in your yard, the tree can actually regrow, and roots and continue to spread. This can complicate your life in many ways, including damaging sewage and other underground lines, and above ground fences and structures. Depending on the type of tree, the roots may begin growing another above ground tree in a different location that the original stump. Basically, keeping the stump means keeping a lot of guessing and worry too.

Stump Removal is Hard to Do Yourself

Deciding to do it on your own requires a lot of time, muscle, patience, and some tools you may not have. There are tool rental businesses where you can rent some of the things you may be missing, but you won’t find a stump grinder there. It’s too specialized to be useful for most people. 

If you do successfully extract all the root material needed to ensure the tree stays gone, there’s a really high chance that you’ll also destroy all the surrounding property, especially if you’re trying to remove an entire tree instead of a stump. Removing a tree stump is certainly not impossible to do yourself. The hardest part may be knowing if you’ve done the job fully. 

 

Having it Professionally Removed is Worth the Trouble

Professional arborists and tree removers can remove a stump (or whole tree) and ensure the tree doesn’t return. Using specifically designed grinders, the work goes quickly. Aside from having the right skills and tools, professionals also take the burden of clean up off your plate.

We can make the work of stump removal no harder than a phone call for you. Call Sexy Trees today about having your stump or sick tree removed.

Do Treehouses Hurt Trees?

Alamo Tree Care

Although building a treehouse іѕ nоt something ѕmаll, іt саn bе a fun thing to do іf you uѕе the right рlаnѕ for the job. It’ѕ a great way tо involve the whole family and there аrе lоаdѕ оf different designs tо сhооѕе frоm. Building уоur сhіld a treehouse not only рrоvіdеѕ them with a fun рlасе to play, іt can fоѕtеr an appreciation fоr trees and the natural world. But ѕоmе homeowners worry that a treehouse will harm their trees.

While ѕоmе treehouses do damage their hоѕt trees, it іѕ possible to design, construct and install оnе іn ways that will do minimal harm. Below, we’ll dіѕсuѕѕ some оf the wауѕ treehouses can саuѕе damage and some оf the bеѕt wауѕ to аvоіd stressing уоur trees when building one.

Dо Treehоuѕеѕ Harm Trееѕ?

It’s difficult to make sweeping generalizations, and many treehоuѕеѕ dо hаrm their hоѕtѕ. If property conceived, designed, рlасеd and constructed, tree hоuѕеѕ саn uѕuаllу bе іnѕtаllеd without damaging the tree.

Every situation, tree and treehouse іѕ different. It’ѕ impossible tо mаkе guarantees about the future оf any tree. However, аѕ long as уоu account fоr and minimize the stress and burden уоu place оn the tree, you can uѕuаllу іnѕtаll a tree hоuѕе without dooming your bеlоvеd tree.

It’s easy to саuѕе damage to the tree when building a treehouse. Following ѕоmе ѕіmрlе guidelines уоu саn rеduсе dаmаgе аѕ muсh аѕ possible. It is impossible to саuѕе no damage at all, but trees have evolved several techniques tо tolerate dаmаgе and rеmаіn healthy. As trees аrе living organisms, they dіffеr frоm fаmіlіаr building materials in the following four ways.

  • Thеу can be infected bу bасtеrіа and viruses, causing loss of branches оr death to the whole tree
  • They slowly grow larger оvеr tіmе, increasing the diameter of their trunk every уеаr
  • Thеу uѕе a рrосеѕѕ саllеd compartimentilization tо іѕоlаtе damaged оr infected areas
  • They will compensate for a changed weight distribution

Limiting the Dаmаgе Cаuѕеd: Lоw-Imрасt Treehouses

Now that уоu see some wауѕ іn which treehouses саn harm trees, you can embrace a few strategies and techniques to limit the potential for damage. To start, this mеаnѕ adopting the following рrасtісеѕ:

Uѕе Tree-Friendly Connectors and Hardware:

Aѕ much as is possible, аvоіd driving nails or screws directly into the trunk оr branches. Instead, uѕе adjustable straps оr u-bolts tо connect the structure tо the tree. Bе sure to іnѕресt these connectors regularly and adjust them to allow the tree tо grow properly.

Avoid Creating Moisture Pосkеtѕ:

Provide рlасеѕ that allow wаtеr tо drain and air tо flоw between the structure and the tree’s bark. If уоu muѕt create a potential moisture pocket, try to position it ѕо that it receives plenty оf sun exposure, which wіll help it dry out mоrе effectively.

Kеер the Trееhоuѕе Near the Trunk:

Always рlасе the treehouse nеаr the trunk, rather than fаr out on the tree’s branches. This will hеlр you аvоіd altering the tree’s balance and rеduсе the сhаnсеѕ that the structure wіll function like a ѕаіl, catching wind and bending branches.

Buіld a Lаddеr; Dоn’t Nаіl Steps to the Trunk:

Aѕ much аѕ іѕ possible, уоu want to lіmіt уоur kіdѕ’ contact with the tree. They should primarily be standing оn the structure, rather than the tree itself. Yоu’ll want tо сrеаtе a standalone lаddеr оr set оf ѕtаіrѕ tо provide access to the treehouse, rather than by attaching ѕtерѕ directly on the trunk.

When considering a tree hоuѕе аѕ a hоmе improvement рrоjесt, be ѕurе tо consider ѕаfеtу. Whіlе these buildings саn оffеr a great place to spend a ѕummеr dау for kіdѕ of all ages, precautions muѕt be including in the construction рhаѕе tо еnѕurе that the structure rеmаіnѕ ѕаfе for many уеаrѕ. A well-constructed tree hоuѕе can provide a рlасе for the kids tо рlау оr a great рlасе for a party.

While we are arborists, we do not build treehouses. What Sexy Trees can do for you is tell you if your tree is healthy and strong, either before building or a few years down the road so you know whether your treehouse is still safe. We can also get your tree the care it needs to keep it in tip-top condition. For all your arborist and tree care needs, call Sexy Trees.

How to Identify a Dying Tree

Concord Tree Removal

 

Sexy Trees always wants to preserve and beautify the world with healthy trees. However, tree care sometimes means tree removal.  A dying tree, depending on the reason, can become a cancer to surrounding areas along with being a big eye sore.  Most of us are unable to know how to identify a dying tree, especially during the winter.

Signs of a Dying Tree

Since deciduous trees lose their leaves in the winter, it is hard to be sure whether the tree is dying or just going through its healthy annual cycle.  It’s important to know whether the leaf loss has been on-going or started in the fall. Pay attention to the tree’s behavior over a period of time to be certain of the full scope of the problem.  You’ll need to take this into consideration with other possible signs of a deteriorating tree.

 

Other hallmarks of a dying tree are discoloration, bark becoming brittle, and/or limbs falling off.  Most of us walk by our trees regularly but may not notice changes right away. Sometimes people see that a tree just doesn’t look right, but can’t pinpoint why.  It can be similar to approaching a person who has a cold.  You’ll notice that their color is off, they maybe clammy, and are just sluggish.  A dying tree will have subtle signs of distress showing that something is just not right.

 

Once you have a concern about a tree being in trouble, what should you do?  Just like you call a doctor to check on a sick person, you should contact a local certified arborist or a specialist in tree care to properly evaluate the tree.  Sometimes a dying tree can be saved by changing a few small things.  Other times, nothing can be done and it’s best to remove the tree.

 

We’ve seen many trees die over the past year as a direct result of the drought conditions.  In fact, local city councils like in Danville, San Ramon, Lafayette, and Walnut Creek have had to spend monies to either repair or replace numerous trees.

 

Sexy Trees has a certified arborist with years of experience.  If you are concerned about a particular tree or have questions, feel free to contact us at Sexytrees.com.

 

 

What Should You Do With A Fallen Tree?

 

Trees can fall due to adverse weather, damage or underlying disease or pest infestation. A fallen tree needs to be dealt with and removed to prevent wood rotting, spreading of tree diseases and pests as well as the negative aesthetic and safety effects. So what is the right thing to do with a fallen tree?

Analyze The Causes And Responsibility

If a tree has fallen in or near your property, it’s important to ascertain the cause of the fallen tree, as well as who is responsible for its removal. Municipalities can offer aid in removal of trees that fall due to widespread cause or natural disasters. If a tree from the street or a park on public property falls in your yard, it will likely be the responsibility of local authorities to remove it.

However, if a tree rots or becomes diseased on your own property, it will be your responsibility to remove it or pay for it to be removed. If the cause of the fallen tree is disease or pest infestation, it’s advisable to remove the tree rapidly to prevent cross-infection with other trees.

fallen tree, tree removal, dead tree

Can You Use The Tree?

When a tree falls, the wood is often able to be recycled and used for some purpose, including firewood, mulch, landscaping or lumber. It’s important for you or an arborist to analyze the type of tree and wood as this can inform you as to its potential purpose. If the wood is damaged, it can still be used or sold as firewood or mulch (as long as it isn’t diseased). Quality wood can be turned into furniture or outdoor furniture, and valuable wood like mature walnut, cherry, redwood can be taken to a mill and cut into lumber.

Plan The Removal

Once you know what you want to do with your fallen tree, you can plan the removal. The type and size of tree and the hardness of wood will influence how difficult this is. Most tree removals require chainsaw work and other heavy machinery, so it’s important that the operator has the knowledge and experience to use these tools, and proper insurance and coverage is in place. Otherwise, call an arborist for professional removal.

Keep Safety In Mind

Because the process of analyzing, sawing and removing a fallen tree can be so difficult, bringing in a skilled arborist for the job is recommended. This ensures that the work done on your fallen tree is safe and insured, and you can get the best use out of the fallen tree’s wood. A professional arborist can guide you through the process of identifying the tree’s type and condition as well as inspect it for disease or pests. Then they can safely cut and remove your fallen tree, recycling the wood for its best purpose.

While a fallen tree in or around your property can be a nuisance or a hazard, finding the right way to deal with a fallen tree can turn it into a positive. For expert advice to help you make the right decision, contact your local arborist for professional tree removal.

3 Causes for Dry and Brittle Trees

Berkeley Tree Removal

Dry trees can often drop branches and break leave tips easily, becoming a hazard during storms and strong winds. Most homeowners would prefer to have lush green trees in their yards to provide shade, however it’s not uncommon to find dry and brittle trees in your yard. But what are the main causes of dryness in trees? While sufficient water is an important factor it’s not the only cause contributing to dry and brittle trees.

Drought Stress

One of the most obvious and common causes for dry trees in California is drought stress. Drought stress can cause tree branches to become weak and fall easily, and also causes leaves to go brown and drop from the tree. Signs of drought stress also include slowed growth, a thinning canopy, and dying twigs high in the branches. The signs of drought stress are not necessarily obvious, and once the characteristic signs begin to show themselves it maybe too late to rescue the tree. Drought stress can eventually destroy your trees, leading to the need for tree removal.

Drought stress can be avoided by limiting pruning during drought times, avoiding using fertilizer, and applying organic mulch around the root system instead. When watering trees during dry or hot seasons, soak the roots less often rather than watering shallowly more often. If you need to prune trees call a qualified arborist to provide expert service to protect your trees and keep them healthy.

Over-Fertilization

Trees that grow rapidly are not as strong as those with slow, steady growth. Avoiding fast growing tree types can help to avoid dry and brittle trees, especially if your garden is going through difficult conditions such as a drought. Trees can also grow too fast if they’re supplied with too much fertilizer.

Fertilizer can ‘fast track’ growth without the tree being able to support the new growth with adequate nutrients or water. While fertilizer seems like a great way to ‘feed’ trees, it’s better to take a slower, more natural approach, and have an arborist apply mulch. Avoid fertilizing trees that are already dry or brittle, under drought stress or suffering from insect infestations or disease.

Pest Infestations and Diseases

Various pest infestations and tree diseases can cause trees to become weak, leaves and branch tips to become brown, and bark to go dry and fall off. The symptoms vary depending on the particular disease or infestation affecting the tree. If you notice your tree undergoing any unusual changes or you see visible signs of disease or pests on your tree, it’s important to call your local arborist as soon as possible. They can diagnose the specific condition affecting your tree and treat it in order to save the tree and prevent the condition spreading.

Dry and brittle trees could signify an underlying condition affecting your trees. If you notice dry and brittle trees, it’s important to act fast to prevent tree death or damage to your garden or property. Call a professional arborist as soon as possible to help get your trees back to full health.