Common Tree Diseases in the East Bay

Fog, humidity, and wetness can adversely impact the way trees grow, and the Bay Area has all of those elements. Trees are not only prone to weather patterns, but damage can also be caused by pollution and human activity. One of the best things to do to help protect your trees is to regularly look them over.  If you know how to spot the symptoms of tree diseases, you’ll be able to do something about it early on. This article reviews some common tree diseases and East Bay tree care.

 #1: Sooty Mold

This condition is characterized by a black coating on bark and leaves, the presence of aphids, and yellow, curling leaves. Trees are usually affected by this disease during the summer and spring seasons.

The main problem in having trees with sooty mold is that they attract pests, specifically aphids. If the infestation is not quickly taken care of, it will spread to your other trees in a short amount of time.

While this disease probably won’t kill your trees,  it does change their appearance. Mold growth and yellow, curling leaves is definitely a cosmetic issue, but it’s more dangerous for younger trees because it blocks light from reaching their leaves.  So, it’s best to seek East Bay tree care services if you find this mold in your yard.

#2: Coryneum Blight

You can tell a tree is affected by this disease if you see small holes on the leaves, yellowing stems, and browning around the holes. This particular disease targets trees belonging to the family Prunus, which includes almond and stone fruit trees.

Coryneum blight is a fungal disease caused primarily by warm, wet weather. The adverse effects of the disease are worsened by pollutants. It’s dangerous to your trees because it damages leaf tissue. It’s a major problem in the fruit industry.

#3: Fire Blight

If you notice blossoms turning brown, or leaves and stems with a scorched look to them, your trees are probably experiencing fire blight.

The fire blight is a contagious bacterial disease that usually attacks trees during the early spring. Affected trees look burnt, taking 1 to 2 weeks for the full effect to happen.

Even worse, the spreading of the disease is hastened by birds, bees, insects, wind, and rain. Fortunately, fire blight doesn’t affect many types of trees, commonly targeting pear and apple trees.

East Bay Tree Care for Your Home

While some tree diseases are generally harmless, it’s still best to have them inspected and cared for by a professional. If you need East Bay tree care services, our team of certified arborists is here to help. Contact Sexy Trees at (925) 233-6877. We love to hear from you.

Why Cash Paid Contractors Are a Threat to Your Property

Concord Tree Service

Does it seem like a hassle to locate licensed, insured contractors for your jobs? Do you know that even when you hire what appears to be a quality contractor, they may be using staff that they hire and pay cash the same day?

It can seem appealing to hire day laborers, or companies that do hire them. Or maybe you want to hire a friend or neighbor? You may even know a cash worker to have completed projects like yours before. But there are also overwhelming unknowns when you work with cash paid contractors.

And all these problems are avoidable simply by hiring a reputable company with a full staff on payroll.

How Could It Go Wrong?

Off Payroll Staff Aren’t Traceable.

No paperwork means a worker can’t be held accountable for their mistakes, and has no incentive to perform their job at top quality. All they have to do is get through the day with the appearance of competence. The long-term quality of their work has no relevance to them.

Also, without documentation of exactly who the workers are, there’s no documentation that proves the staff has any safety or skills training, and no way to prove or disprove anyone working the project are qualified to do the work. When it can’t be demonstrated that the workers are qualified or unqualified, there’s very little incentive to be picky about who’s on a work crew.

 

Only Real Staff Get Quality Training

Employers have multiple incentives to train their staff well. The financial investment of on-the-job training, safety certifications, and ongoing skill training makes perfect sense when an employer is fostering a long-term relationship with their team.

But cash workers have no formal relationship to their company, foreman or crew leader. Why care if someone gets better at their job, knowing you may never see them again? As a result, the workers that take cash jobs rarely have anything more than the basic knowledge they need to complete a job. A job where nothing unusual happens, and nothing goes wrong.

 

You Have Liability

The liability for workplace injuries, damage to water, power, or sewage lines, or work that’s not up to code would normally fall on your licensed, insured contractors. When you’re working with whoever showed up that day to earn cash, then the liability is yours. Both the financial liability and the legal liability.

If you’re hoping your homeowners insurance will save you from paying medical bills and lost wages to an uninsured worker that gets hurt on your project, we’ve got bad news. Standard homeowners insurance or landlord liability insurance exempt damage caused by the knowing use of illegal or unlicensed contractors.

Landlords need to be aware of what their property managers are doing. When a property manager brings in an unlicensed or uninsured contractor, they are in danger. Courts have generally held both the property owner and property manager liable for anything that goes wrong.

 

Uncertainty that Licensed Insured Contractors Solve

If everything goes perfectly to plan, then insurance doesn’t matter, theoretically. If you’re willing to gamble your home or property on that unlikely event, then don’t worry I guess. But if you want to be sure you won’t suffer unnecessarily for mistakes or unforeseen challenges, you NEED to work with licensed, insured professionals.

Licensed and responsible contractors carry a lot of insurance, from contractors’ liability insurance to workers compensation insurance. All these different forms of insurance coverage ultimately protect the customer if things don’t go according to plan. It’s a requirement that to have a contractor’s license the applicant must carry a minimum level of insurance.

Sexy Trees is a licensed, bonded and insured Diamond Certified Arborist with a full staff of trained tree care specialists. For more information on finding a quality contractor, visit the Contractors State License Board.

How Often Should I Prune My Trees?

Tree Service Alamo

 

Most people in the East Bay should be pruning their trees between November and March. But how often should I prune my trees? Is it an annual tradition? What is best for my tree to ensure it grows and isn’t damaged? While it’s always best to speak to our certified arborist, the following are some basic guidelines that individuals should follow when determining pruning schedules:

Type of Tree

One of the key factors is the type of tree involved. Each tree type will react differently. For instance, fruit trees are generally pruned annually. On the other hand, oak trees should be trimmed every 2-3 years. Additionally, the tree type can also determine the ideal time to prune your tree. Thus, knowing your tree type is essential in determining the pruning schedule.

Age of the Tree

In addition to the tree type, the age of the tree also impacts how often you should prune it. Younger trees are usually pruned more often than older trees. If you had to find an average, most younger trees should be pruned every 2-3 years while older trees are trimmed every 3-5 years. This allows younger trees to flourish while helping to maintain established structures.

Tree Condition

The condition of a tree can dramatically affect the pruning timeframe as well. If a tree has a broken branch or loose/unstable areas, the tree may require trimming, even if it’s not “time”. Alternatively, if a younger tree is having trouble establishing its roots, it maybe recommended that the tree not be pruned as frequently for now.

Thus, if you are wanting to get your trees pruned or evaluated for trimming in the Bay Area, contact us. Sexy Trees has a certified arborist with years of experience.

Joplin Dead Tree Removal

What’s the Difference Between Wood Chips, Mulch and Fertilizer?

Stump Removal

 

Helping your garden grow and flourish involves nourishing and supporting the soil ecosystem and the plants that grow in it. Wood chips, mulch and fertilizer offer three different ways to nourish and protect your plants. But what are the differences between these 3 garden additives or are they the same?

Wood Chips

Wood chips are small chips made of any type of wood, from hard woods like redwood or cedar to soft woods like pine. They are sourced when trees are cut down or branches removed, and the actual wood is “chipped”or chopped into small pieces. Wood chips can also include chipped or shredded bark from the outer layer of trees. Wood chips can be used for a variety of purposes in landscaping and gardening. They may be used to mulch garden beds and soil, or to lay down garden paths. Some hardwood chips can be hard and take a long time to break down, and some softwood chips can break down and need replacement quickly.

Mulch

When wood chips are used to protect and nourish garden beds and soil, we call it mulch. However, while wood chips can be mulch, not all mulch is wood chips. Mulch is simply a protective layer of material that’s usually added as a top layer over soil around plants for moisture retention, temperature regulation and weed control. Mulch can be composed of a range of materials, including wood chips, bark, leaves, pebbles, straw or clippings. Some of these are designed to break down and add nutrients to the soil (organic matter) while others are simply for protection and water retention (stones and pebbles). Mulch is essential for most gardens, particularly those is very hot or very cold climates. Mulch can be added to your garden at any time to support plant growth and protection.

Fertilizer

Plants need certain chemical elements to grow and thrive, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These elements are frequently measured in packaged fertilizers. While these are also in most soil, fertilizer is designed to directly increase the level of nutrients to support plant growth in soils that may be deficient. Plants that need to grow fast and require a lot of energy, such as crop plants, tend to need fertilizer.

However, because fertilizers increase plant growth, they need to be used with care. Fertilizer may make trees in your yard grow too fast or too big. Over-fertilized plants can also die or be ‘burnt’ by excess fertilizer around them. If you think your soil may be deficient and require fertilization, it’s best to consult with a qualified arborist about the best way to nourish your soil and whether you should apply fertilizer or use mulch for a gentler effect.

Understanding the difference between wood chips, mulch and fertilizer is essential to creating a healthy garden. Talk to an experienced local arborist for more advice about how to choose the right addition to support and nourish your garden.