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

alamo tree service

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! 

 

What is Eating My Trees?- Common Pests

Alamo Tree Care

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!

Signs You Need Tree Removal Services

tree removal

Do you have a problem tree on your property that’s too big for you to tackle by yourself? If you need Alamo tree care, our team can evaluate a sick, damaged, or dead tree and help you decide if tree removal is the best course of action. There are a few different scenarios where a certified arborist can assist you in deciding how to handle an ailing tree.

Dangerous Location

If you have a tree that’s growing near power lines, leaning into your neighbor’s property, or beginning to grow a little too close to your roof, an Alamo tree care specialist can help you assess the situation and decide if tree removal is the best option.

A large tree that grows too close to your house can cause serious damage during a storm. One of the best ways to protect your property from substantial storm damage is to make sure that all of your trees are healthy and located a safe distance from your home. Scheduling professional tree care with an arborist is the best way to assess the well-being of your trees.

Sick or Dead Trees

If you have a tree that you suspect may be sick or dead, it’s important to call a certified arborist who can evaluate it. In some instances, proper tree care can rehabilitate an ailing tree. But if the damage is severe, removing a weakened tree is often the best option.

Bark abnormalities, dead branches, or spots of decay signal that a tree is sick. It’s very important to treat or remove these trees from your property because they tend to be highly unstable, and more likely to cause injury or property damage if they fall. Alamo tree removal services can quickly and safely remove even the largest trees.

Related Content: How Long Does Tree Removal Take?

Pesky Branches

If your tree’s branches appear brittle, or they’re expanding into a problematic area, Alamo tree care can help determine if tree pruning would fix the problem. Or, if tree removal is the best option. Large branches that break loose on a windy day can cause serious property damage, and even injury or death.

Calling an Alamo tree removal service is a lot cheaper than getting caught up in a costly court battle due to property damage in your neighbor’s yard. Large trees that aren’t properly maintained pose a real hazard for homeowners, yet tree care is often overlooked.

Related Content: What You Should Know About Tree Removal

Alamo Tree Care

If you need Alamo tree care, contact us today by calling 925-233-6877. As professional arborists, we recommend regular tree pruning 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 Planting Myths

Tree Care Blackhawk

Earlier this month, we discussed the benefits of adding new trees.  From improving breathability to increasing coolness and energy efficiency, trees have a big impact on your life.  However, how do you go about adding trees?  There are a lot of myths out there about planting trees.  Are they true?  We explore a few tree planting myths in this article.

Pruning in Advance

There is a belief that you should prune a tree before planting it, especially when an area appears dead.  The dilemma with this technique is that you maybe pruning too early.  Trees regain a dead areas nutrients.  Thus, it’s critical to allow the tree to go through its normal process before pruning.  If you do not, you maybe causing the tree to lose valuable nutrients.  Leave the tree alone and do not prune before you plant it.

Deep Planting

A common tree planting myth is that planting needs to be really deep to allow for the tree to take root but this is inaccurate.  In fact, if you plant a tree too deep then you run the risk of keeping nutrients and water away.  These vital vitamins tend to be nearer the surface so planting it deeply will restrict access to them.

Use Tight Bracing

Many individuals think that bracing new trees to make them sturdy is crucial.  This is partially true.  While bracing your new tree is important, you shouldn’t make it too tight.   The tree must be allowed to still sway. This movement allows trees to get much needed calcium so it can be healthy.

More Mulch

Mulch is good for keeping moisture and nutrients but there are limits.  More in not always better.  Keep the depth at no more than 3 inches of mulch to ensure that you aren’t suffocating the tree with mulch.

If you have questions or unsure of the tree planting myths or how to plant a tree, contact the certified arborist at Sexy Trees.

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.

Tree Pruning Tips in Time for Spring | Alamo Tree Care

Alamo Tree Service

In preparation for the spring growing season, there are a few things you can do to help your trees stay healthy and strong for years to come. These aren’t large tasks, in the scheme of things. As you know, trees don’t ask much of you in general. With a few days of attention a year, you can have hearty, lush trees for years or decades.

Start Before Spring Growth Begins

While your deciduous trees are still bare, visually check them for signs of disease or damage that might be masked by full leaf cover later. This is also the best time to prune, while pruning is least likely to spread pests or diseases that are inactive in winter. Target dead, unhealthy, or dangerous branches for pruning, and follow safe tree pruning tips.

If you have any doubts about proper tree pruning, educate yourself on tree pruning. Hire a professional if you aren’t sure you can do it in a way that’s safe for the tree, and safe for all people and property involved.

Readying for Blooms

Before your trees bloom, they’ll need to be in good health to get through the energy expenditure of blooming! Ensure they’re prepared by using a long-lasting fertilizer at the very start of Spring. There are multiple fertilizing and nutrient-delivering options available, talk to your local arborist if you’re not sure what option is best for your tree and goals.

Spring in Full Swing

When spring has fully arrived, it’s time to renew mulch under your trees, making sure you’re using an appropriate mulch for your landscape and applying it properly. This’ll prevent weeds and grass from leaching nutrients away from your trees, and preserve moisture for your tree’s roots.

If you need help with pruning, fertilizing, or other tree care, call Sexy Trees (925) 233-6877

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.

 

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. 

Apple Trees in the Bay Area: Good or Bad Idea?

Tree Service Concord

If you already have apples trees in the SF Bay Area, then you already know: Apple trees are great here. Not effortless, but not hard.

 

Which Apple Trees are Good in the Bay Area?

Apple varieties that are “Low Chill” can be found at most Bay Area nurseries, and these are the ones you want. Among these are ‘Baldwin,’ ‘Braeburn,’ ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin,’ ‘Fuji,’ ‘Gala,’ ‘Golden Delicious,’ ‘Red Gravenstein,’ ‘Spitzenburg,’ ‘White Pearmain’ and ‘Yellow Bellflower.’

Of course your property may already have an apple tree or many of them. To find out what kind of tree you have, whether it’s in good health, and what its needs are, you can set an appointment with Sexy Trees to come out, examine it, and schedule any maintenance it needs.

 

What Kind of Care Do They Need?

If you have a newly planted apple tree, now is the time to have it pruned.  As your tree grows, prune for the four “D’s”: Dead, Diseased, Damaged or Disoriented Branches. Fruit trees, including apples, benefit from pruning in winter and summer.

Your tree also needs sunlight to fruit, not in general, but specifically: each branch with perform in alignment with how much sunlight it receives. Apple trees don’t do well in shade, and pruning should reflect that, being mostly at the top of the tree so that maximum surface area gets strong light exposure.

Top-dress your apple trees with compost each fall. Also, lay down mulch about 3 inches deep and  about 4 inches from the trunk, which keeps back weeds and retains moisture.

Unless they’re self-fertile, apple trees need pollination to produce fruit. Neighboring or nearby apple trees are needed for pollination to bear fruit, after honeybees and other insects pollinate the trees. Once fertilized, their flowering can be followed by good fruit set.

 

For help with your apple trees or any tree on your property, contact Sexy Trees today to get top quality services from a Diamond-Certified professional arborist.

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.