Easy Guide to Killing Your Trees Year-Round

berkeley tree service

If you look out your window and feel rage at the lush, green foliage staring back at you, this article is for you. 

Are you tired of the mature, healthy trees taking up precious space in your yard? Do you despise the shade that your trees’ canopies provide? Or do you, for one reason or another, have a personal grudge against trees? Well, there are a number of things you can do as a tree owner to encourage the death of your trees. Read on for the following most pleasant ways to indirectly or directly commit arboricide. 

How to Kill A Tree in Every Season

[Disclaimer: The following tips are not recommended by Sexy Trees Berkeley Tree Services unless you want to kill your trees.]

HOW TO KILL A TREE IN FALL

  • Don’t rake – leave the leaves to rot. By allowing fallen leaves to sit and accumulate moisture, you will encourage your tree to contract disease-causing fungi
  • Don’t fertilize – Fertilizing the soil will only bolster your tree’s strength for winter. Keep your tree stressed and nutrient-deprived to kill it faster. 

HOW TO KILL A TREE IN WINTER

  • Don’t prune – Of course, to keep a healthy tree, you’d prune the dying or diseased branches in preparation for winter dormancy. But since you want your trees dead, leave those old branches! They contribute to limb failure and poor structure in young trees. 
  • Don’t mulch (or pile it on) – Without mulch, the tree won’t retain soil moisture and organic matter. Plus, the tree won’t have insulation to protect it from the winter cold. Alternatively, you can pile the mulch directly on top of the tree’s root flare to slowly suffocate it and make it susceptible to root rot. 

HOW TO KILL A TREE IN SPRING

  • Don’t pull weeds – Weeds steal water and nutrients from your tree, so let them take over! The moist soil has the perfect conditions for weeds to thrive and grow deep, impossible-to-remove roots. 

HOW TO KILL A TREE IN SUMMER

  • Ignore deep watering advice – Arborists suggest deep watering trees for good health, disease prevention, and strong root formation. By ignoring this advice, you will encourage your trees to develop weak shallow roots and die faster. 
  • Don’t hire Berkeley Tree Services – These expert arborists will make your trees radiate with inner health. Their comprehensive Berkeley tree services keep the city’s trees robust and wide-canopied. Obviously you want your trees atrophied and sickly, so avoid arborists at all costs. 

Of course, you can kill trees in any season by planting them too close together, wounding them with mowers, leaving insect and disease problems untreated, planting it in terrible soil or bad terrain, and incorrect pruning known as “topping” a tree. 

Talk to Us 

Skip the murder plotting and opt for Berkeley Tree Removal. At Sexy Trees, our tree removal services can rid you of the vegetation you so despise. We can even grind the stump and erase any trace that the tree was ever there. Give us a call at 925-233-6877 for a free estimate, or email us at [email protected] anytime with questions! 

Alamo Stump Grinding and Removal Services

Alamo tree services stump grinding

Tree stumps can be either a nuisance or an asset to a yard, depending on the homeowner’s priorities or aesthetic preferences. It can be tough making the decision to remove a tree stump, because to really excavate a yard, every single deep underground root will need to be removed from the soil – that takes a lot of time and special equipment. If you are looking for reputable stump grinding and removal services in the Bay Area, look no further than Sexy Trees, the best Alamo tree service. We dig the extra mile to fully and safely remove tree stumps. 

WHY REMOVE A TREE STUMP? 

Aesthetics. Stumps are often in odd locations that yard planners dread working around. After all, there’s a reason that somebody removed a tree from that particular spot – the stump is just as much of an eyesore! Decaying, rotting, or moldy tree stumps are particularly unsightly and make a yard feel untended. 

Safety. A stump in the middle of a lawn or frequently tread-upon ground is an accident waiting to happen. Stumps low to the ground and their extending roots can go unnoticed and cause injuries, especially if children or older adults stumble over them. Furthermore, say goodbye to your lawnmower should you accidentally mow over a tree stump. 

Pests and diseases. If you have a pest problem, it might be your decaying tree stump. Old stumps attract insects like termites, beetles, and ants. Diseases and fungi may also sprout up in a decaying stump, which could pose a risk to your other plants. 

There are some serious risks to keeping around a rotting stump, but tree removal by Sexy Trees, the best Alamo tree service, can help.

Unexpected Benefits of Grinding and Removing a Tree Stump 

Lots of leftover wood chips. A tree stump can yield way, way more wood chips than you think, but they can be useful! Wood chips can be used as an organic mulch, to cushion a children’s play area, on an informal garden path, added to a compost pile, and as a part of so many other creative landscaping options. If you have no use for them, offer them to a neighbor or put them in your green bin!

Total landscaping freedom. A tree stump can be obtrusive, out of place, or just plain old bothersome. When it comes to landscaping ventures, you don’t want to have to work around a tree stump that doesn’t fit into your envisioned design. When you get a tree stump ground and removed, you ensure that new plants will be able to flourish in that spot.  

Removing a tree stump is a tough decision because it’s costly and permanent. If you can’t seem to part with a sentimental old tree stump, try using it as a base for potted plants or sculptures, decorating it, painting it, or including it somehow in an eclectic garden design. If you do want your tree removed for whatever reason, you know who to call – Sexy Trees, the best certified arborists for Alamo tree services.

Talk to Us

If you are looking for the best Alamo tree service, look no further. At Sexy Trees, our wide range of services and care expertise 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! 

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.