Watering Christmas Tree Displays: Tips from an Arborist

Walnut Creek Tree Removal

If you’ve brought a living Christmas tree into your home, you’ll need to take proper care of it. Otherwise you may have to witness it’s death and decay right in your home! Luckily, keeping a cut tree alive indoors is not extremely complicated. At the same time, there’s some bad information out there about what your tree needs, so let’s clear a few things up:

 

Cutting Your Tree

When the tree’s going to be stored more than a couple days, put the trunk in water and store it in a cool, shaded and protected area like an unheated shed or garage.

If the tree was harvested within the last 12 hours, it’s not necessary to recut the trunk before putting it in water. After longer than 12 hours, the trunk needs recut for maximum water uptake.

Cutting off a disk of wood about ¼” thick from the base of the trunk is all you need. Make the cut perpendicular to the trunk. Not at an angle or in a v-shape. Those fancy cuts make it far harder to steady the tree in the stand and reduce the amount of trunk submerged in the water.

Don’t drill a hole in the trunk to try to help it hydrate, this only hurts the tree.

 

Using Tree Stands

A tree stand needs to provide at least 1 quart of water per inch of stem diameter. For most Christmas trees, the treestand should hold at least 1 gallon of water.

Make sure your tree stand is big enough, not that your tree trunk is small enough. Don’t whittle down the sides of the trunk to fit a stand. The outer layers of wood are the most efficient in taking up water and should be retained.

Check the stand daily to make sure that the level of water is above the bottom of the trunk. Many stands will still be holding water even when the base of the tree is no longer submerged.

 

Hydration and Watering Christmas Tree Care

A cut tree will absorb a surprising amount of water, particularly during the first week, so replenish the water daily.

Displayed trees suffer when they’re near sources of heat like fireplaces, heaters, heating vents, and direct sunlight. Lowering the room’s temperature will slow the drying process, reducing the amount of water the tree needs.

Cold, cool, lukewarm or even very warm water are all fine and won’t affect the tree’s ability to hydrate.

Check your tree daily for dryness. It’s easy to run your fingers across the needles to see if they’re dry or brittle. If they break or fall off easily, the tree is dangerously dry and should be taken outdoors away from the house.

A well-cared-for tree will reliably remain fresh at least three to four weeks before becoming too dry.

 

Don’t Get Too Creative

Anti-transpirants for Christmas trees won’t help you much at all, even though they may technically reduce some evaporation, it’s not enough to make your tree last longer indoors.

Adding water-holding gel products to the stand reduces the amount of water available to the tree, making it a pretty bad idea.

Don’t use additives in the water. No floral preservatives, commercial tree preservatives, molasses, sugar, bleach, soft drinks, aspirin, honey, or anything else. Clean water is what trees want to drink, and how you’ll get the best results.

Flame retardant products can give flame retardance while reducing your tree’s ability to stay hydrated, losing the advantage they gained.

 

Dо All Trееѕ Need To Be Pruned?

Walnut Creek Tree Care

In ѕhоrt answer, yes. But ѕоmе require more attention thаn оthеrѕ.

Pruning іѕ the most common tree maintenance рrосеdurе. Although fоrеѕt trееѕ grow quіtе well with оnlу nature’s рrunіng, landscape trееѕ require a hіghеr levеl of care to maintain their ѕtruсturаl іntеgrіtу аnd аеѕthеtісѕ. Prunіng muѕt bе dоnе wіth an understanding оf tree bіоlоgу. Improper pruning can сrеаtе lаѕtіng damage or еvеn ѕhоrtеn the tree’s lіfе.

Thеrе аrе mаnу rеаѕоnѕ to prune a tree. It is best to remove dіѕеаѕеd branches to ѕtор spread of the disease аnd to rеmоvе thе nоt-tоо-аttrасtіvе раrtѕ оf thе tree. If a damaging ѕtоrm has left brаnсhеѕ partly brоkеn аnd dаnglіng thе trее will be much hарріеr with thеѕе branches taken оff. Some trees nееd their crown trimmed реrmіttіng better air circulation ѕо that healthy new grоwth wіll start to appear. A can need рrunіng whеn lоwеr branches are оbѕtruсtіng passage, a view оr thе grоwth of lower ѕhrubѕ. Mауbе уоu would lіkе to train thе trее tо grow in a сеrtаіn direction fоr dеѕіgn рurроѕеѕ, thеn pruning could be a consideration.  

It is bеѕt to prune during the dormant ѕеаѕоn in lаtе fall оr winter. However, dеаd branches can and ѕhоuld be removed at аnу tіmе. Pruning during the dormant реrіоd minimizes ѕар lоѕѕ аnd ѕtrеѕѕ tо thе trее. Bесаuѕе fungus іnfесtіоns and/or іnѕесt infestation аrе аlѕо dormant during thіѕ tіmе, рrunіng a tree thеn minimizes the risk оf their further іnvаdіng thе tree. Alѕо, in the case of dесіduоuѕ trees, pruning whеn thе leaves аrе off will allow уоu tо dеѕіgn your cutting with thе overall structural ѕhаре of thе trее.

Which Trееѕ Nееd Pruned the Most?

All trееѕ rеԛuіrе maintenance to ensure орtіmаl health and well-being, but ѕоmе require more attention thаn оthеrѕ.

Willow Trееѕ , Aррlе Trееѕ , Euсаlурtuѕ , Mарlе Trees , Swееt Gum , and Lіndеn Trees are all pruning-intensive types of tree.

6 Reasons Whу Prunіng іѕ Beneficial:

  1. Dеаd branches hinder the growth of hеаlthу brаnсhеѕ.
  2. Prеvеntіоn аnd trеаtmеnt оf disease.
  3. Pruning еnсоurаgеѕ fruit production.
  4. Dead brаnсhеѕ аnd оvеrgrоwth роѕе a huge rіѕk.
  5. Pruning аllоwѕ you tо better see your surroundings.

Tуреѕ of Tree Prunіng

Deadwooding:

This is rеmоvіng dеаd brаnсhеѕ from a tree. It can bе dоnе at any time оf thе уеаr.

Gоаl: Thе removal оf dead аnd dесауеd branches that could саuѕе injury, damage property, spread dіѕеаѕе, or іmрrоvе thе general аеѕthеtіс of thе trее.

Be careful: Normally not all deadwood іѕ rеmоvеd.  Dесіdе uроn a minimum ѕіzе оf dеаd branch bеfоrеhаnd.

Result: A lеѕѕ-dаngеrоuѕ trее, thаt lооkѕ сlеаnеr.

Thіnnіng:

Thining is pruning brаnсhеѕ from a tree for aesthetic рurроѕеѕ. Sоmе thinning іѕ done to reduce wind resistance. Thіnnіng should bе dоnе іn the wіntеr, аlthough lіmіtеd thinning саn bе done іn thе spring. Nо mоrе thаn 20-25% of the canopy should be removed during one рrunіng сусlе.

Gоаl: Imрrоvе air and light реnеtrаtіоn, оr tо lеѕѕеn lоаdѕ оn lаrgеr limbs wіth dеfесtѕ.

Be careful: Mature trееѕ dо nоt tоlеrаtе thіnnіng as well as young trees.

Rеѕult: An open tree cаnору, with оthеr ѕun-lоvіng рlаntѕ еnjоуіng thе аddіtіоnаl sunlight undеrnеаth.

Rеduсtіоn:

Reduction seeks tо lеѕѕеn thе mass оf lаrgе limbs or еvеn the height and ѕіzе of the еntіrе trее.

Goal: Reduce thе length оr hеіght оf a limb, оr tо rеduce thе оvеrаll ѕіzе оf thе tree canopy.

Be careful:  Rеduсtіоn is a ѕсіеnсе and art.  Grеаt саrе аnd knowledge of trее grоwth patterns must be еxеrсіѕеd.

Rеѕult: A tree that іѕ constrained in іtѕ proportions, wіthоut drastic alteration of the cаnору ѕhаре.

Raising:

Whеn rаіѕіng the canopy оf a trее, limbs, аnd brаnсhеѕ in thе lоwеr роrtіоn of thе саnору аrе removed.  Lіmbѕ соnflісtіng wіth houses, traffic, sidewalks, or еvеn other рlаntѕ аrе targeted. ‘Crown Rаіѕіng’ іѕ the industry term.

Gоаl: Sеlесtіvе рrunіng or removal of lіmbѕ to рrоvіdе сlеаrаnсе fоr traffic, реdеѕtrіаnѕ, and landscape fеаturеѕ.

Be careful: Over-pruning low limbs mау nеgаtіvеlу аffесt thе іntеgrіtу оf thе trunk.  Conversely, neglecting thе rеmоvаl оf low lіmbѕ аt a уоung аgе саn hurt thе trее if роѕtроnеd until the limb becomes tоо lаrgе.

Rеѕult: A tree that grоwѕ in hаrmоnу with the ѕurrоundіng lаndѕсаре, and allows other features of the space to function properly.

Newly-planted trееѕ ѕhоuld not bе рrunеd untіl thеу are ѕеttlеd in thеіr nеw growing ѕроt. Prunе оnlу іf thеrе happens to be аnу damaged or brоkеn branches. Dо not prune the top оf the trее аѕ thіѕ could alter the structure оf thе tree excessively, ассоrdіng to whісh tree species it is.

For pruning or help understanding what your tree needs, contact Sexy Trees today.

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.

3 Tips for Winter Tree Care

Alamo Tree Service

 

As winter weather approaches, many of us look at trees as being “dead” without any work needed. Since the trees around the Bay Area have lost much of their foliage, it may feel like a sign to leave them alone. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Proper winter tree care is what helps the tree grow and become stronger for its spring growth.

Here are a few key tips for winter tree care this time of year:

Saving Rain Water

Whether we have a rainy season or drought conditions, it’s very important to try to maximize the amount of water that is preserved in the tree’s surrounding soil. There are a couple techniques that we recommend for Bay Area trees. First, get fresh mulch. This can help keep the water contained, captured, and embedded in the soil. Even an inch of mulch helps retain moisture.  If you would like to also use the mulch for weed control, use about three inches of mulch.

Keeping the Bugs Away

While many pests stay away during this time of year, if you’ve had attacks from mites, scale, or aphids, then you should spray for them now. Use dormant oil to kill the eggs after the leaves drop. Another layer of protection is to spray for peach leaf curl or lime sulfur.

Winter Tree Care Pruning

Growth has to be monitored and may need controlled to prevent problems. It’s critical to cut back some trees in order to allow light to enter and hit the inner branches. Along with lightening heavily congested areas, you should also prune away diseased or dead areas of the tree so the nutrients will focus on the remaining portions of the tree. Sometimes you will also have to trim to maintain the balance of a tree, to prevent it from breaking.

By following the above winter tree care tips, you will find that you’ll have healthier, fuller trees in the spring and summer.  If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our Certified Arborists at Sexytrees.com

 

 

What’s The Right Way To Prune: Pollarding, Reducing or Topping?

Mistletoe Removal

 

If you have large trees in your yard, you might be concerned about their size and growth. Large trees look beautiful, but they can reach overhead lines, become unstable, and be dangerous in a storm. Typically, trees need to be pruned and maintained for their health and your safety. While there are many methods of pruning, here we look at three common methods.

Pollarding

This type of pruning is used to reduce the overall size of a tree to fit a defined area and offers a longer-term solution. It involves removing the upper branches or top of the tree in a way that creates denser foliage within a smaller canopy. At first, pollarding may not typically create a very attractive appearance, however, as new growth appears, foliage becomes denser and much more appealing. One advantage of this approach is that it maintains the tree in a juvenile state, which can help the tree to live longer. The tree also has less height, which makes it less susceptible to wind damage.

Reducing

Reducing typically involves cutting back limbs to their point of origin on the tree. Unlike pollarding, it does not create a long-term solution. The tree branches will grow back and will require reduction or other methods of pruning again in the future. Reducing mostly just shortens the length of branches and stems. Reducing may be needed to keep trees away from overhead lines. It can also help protect very large trees that are otherwise at risk of being blown over in bad storms or dropping branches in a dangerous way.

Topping

Tree topping involves removing large branches, whole tree tops, and even the top of the tree trunk. It may be done to reduce the tree from view or limit its shade. This approach can be deadly for some tree types because it removes the parts of the tree that are necessary for it to sustain itself. The new lack of shade on bark can lead to too much sun exposure and tree decay, while also removing the leaves that are the tree’s energy source. This approach is sometimes used to promote new growth, but it is a risky approach, as the tree is more susceptible to insects and fungi.

The Right Type Of Pruning

Pollarding, reducing, and topping are just three methods for tree pruning. Choosing the right technique depends on the type of tree and the demands of the space, which is where the assessment of a skilled arborist can help you make the right choice. Where possible, milder and less invasive methods of pruning, applied regularly to control growth and tree shape, usually create the best outcome for trees.

If you need pruning for the trees in your yard, it’s best to connect with a professional arborist or tree service. They can survey the area, assess the trees, and make recommendations for your best pruning options, then carry out the job correctly. This helps preserve the appearance and health of your trees, while protecting the safety of your yard and home.

Summer Stressed Out Your Trees? Regenerate Your Trees in Fall

Walnut Creek Tree Service

Hot weather and ongoing drought has left California trees drained, dehydrated and in need of a little TLC. Thankfully, with fall here and winter around the corner, now is the perfect time to regenerate and reinvigorate your trees and bring them back to full health. If some of your trees didn’t survive the summer, or you’re looking for a change, fall is also the perfect time to plant new trees and get your garden back in shape before winter.

Prune Leaves and Branches of Existing Trees

A harsh summer may have left dead and dying branches on your trees that should be trimmed during fall and certainly before winter. If your tree added a lot of growth during summer but is still relatively healthy, tree trimming may still be necessary to remove some of the excess leaves and foliage that the tree may not be able to support during winter. Fall is the best time for tree trimming, as you can correct summer growth while also prepare for winter.

Of course, any overgrown trees or trees growing over property or power lines require advanced tree care and should be trimmed by a local arborist. Because winter can mean storms and strong winds that cause branches to drop, make sure a professional tree company inspects your trees for weak branches and applies cabling and bracing as necessary.

Plant New Trees

If you want to plant new saplings, fall is the ideal time, with milder temperatures and moderate rainfall to help encourage new tree growth. If you want to increase the number of outdoor trees in your yard, adding new saplings in fall provides them the ideal conditions to create strong, healthy root systems before the chill of winter.

Regenerate Soil

Dry, hot conditions can deplete the nutrients and moisture content of soil, causing soil to become dry, hard and compacted. Aerating your soil helps to break up compacted ground, and mulching is the ideal way to add essential nutrients and moisture back to your soil. Mulch also helps to protect your soil from the heat of the sun and the chill of cooler weather as winter comes closer. Your local tree care company can deliver mulch to your garden to protect your tree roots and reinvigorate your soil.

Water Deeply

As you regenerate your trees and replace lost water in the soil, it’s a good idea to use deep watering techniques to ensure water reaches the deep root systems and soaks into the soil for longer lasting hydration. It’s better to water deeply just once or twice a week, rather than watering superficially more often. Be sure to pay close attention to watering saplings and decaying trees, as these will need the most TLC.

While hot dry summers can take a toll on your trees and leave your garden looking worse for wear, some expert help with arboriculture from your local tree company and some focused attention on planting, pruning and regenerating the soil, can bring life back to your garden during fall.

6 Things You Need To Know About Tree Removal

Alamo Tree Service

While tree removal should be avoided whenever possible, and trees should be saved and conserved through appropriate tree pruning or tree trimming, in some cases, tree removal is unavoidable. Dead or dying trees that are beyond saving, or trees that are growing in a way that threatens people or property usually need to be completely removed. Tree removal is usually much more difficult than it seems, and the steps and processes involved with tree removal should be properly understood before you decide to remove a tree. Above all, it is essential to consult with a professional tree services company when you are thinking about removing a tree, as trying to remove a tree on your own can result in damage to you or your neighbor’s property, or injury and even death for those who try to remove a tree without the proper training. Here we look at 6 things you need to know about tree removal before you decide to get rid of your tree.

Local Laws

In some cases, you need permission from the local council before you remove a tree, even if it is on your private property. Be sure to make your intentions known and receive the appropriate tree removal permits, which are necessary in some cities in California for particular types of trees, known as ‘heritage’ trees.

Danger to Property and People

Tree removal, particularly for large and overgrown trees, is a dangerous process that can pose significant risks to both property and people. Many people have been injured or even died as a result of trying to remove a tree without the proper tools or training. Tree removal should always be left to the care of professional arborists wherever possible.

Underground and Above Ground Hazards

Tree removal can sometime involve close proximity to power lines, which means extremely careful and delicate work is required for safe removal. Likewise, digging to remove tree stumps and tree roots poses the risk of damaging underground cables, sewer lines or gas lines, so a proper understanding of underground structures should be obtained before any digging begins.

Trees Hanging Over Neighbor’s Properties

When parts of a tree or tree branches hang over into neighboring properties, confusion can arise when one neighbor wishes to remove the tree. Local laws or bylaws may govern this situation, but even if not, it’s always best to communicate and ask your neighbor before removing a tree that hangs into their property.

Stump Grinding & Removal

Once your tree has been cut down and taken away, in most cases a stump will be left behind. Old stumps can create a hazard, be unsightly, and spread tree diseases, so wherever possible, have your tree care professional provide tree stump grinding and removal to eliminate all traces of your tree.

Importance Of Professional Help

Due to the complex process and significant risks and dangers involved in removing a tree from your yard, it is essential to work with a tree services professional for safe and effective tree removal. A tree care professional can not only prepare by evaluating risks and getting necessary permits, as well as successfully remove your tree and the stump, they can also help advise you how to correct the issue that led to the need for tree removal and recommend an appropriate tree replacement.

By keeping in mind these 6 points before you remove your tree, you can ensure that your tree removal is safer, more effective and more successful, benefiting both you and the surrounding environment.

Berkeley Tree Removal

Walnut Creek Tree Removal

North Berkeley removal of oak canopy leaving main trunk from wildlife habitat.

5 Ways To Save Time And Money on Lawn Care

Alamo Tree Removal

If you have a grass lawn at your home in California, chances are it’s looking a little worse for wear after the hot, dry summer we’ve had. With winter around the corner, you may need to give your lawn a little TLC to bring it back to life. But lawn care can be a time consuming and money wasting affair, particularly when environmental conditions are no longer supporting healthy lawn growth. So what can you do to reduce the time and money you spend on lawn care while still keeping your garden looking beautiful? Here we look at 5 ways to save money and time on lawn care, so you can spend more time enjoying your garden, and less time fixing it.

  1. Use Smart Watering Techniques

Knowing how to water your garden properly can not only help maintain the health of your lawn and trees, it can also help to save time and precious water sources. Water your lawn less frequently, but water deeply, allowing water to soak deep into the soil and directly feed the roots.

Tree death and tree removal during hot, dry weather can leave lawns exposed and disposed to more rapid damage. As the lawn is often an open and exposed patch of ground, it’s highly prone to evaporation. That’s why it’s important to water at a time when there isn’t much sun, such as very early in the morning or late in the afternoon, to prevent evaporative water loss.

  1. Mulch Your Lawn

Mulching your lawn, flower beds and tree roots is essential for maintaining moisture and nutrient levels in the soil, and also helps you save time feeding and watering your garden. Tree stump removal and tree stump grinding often leaves behind quality mulch that can be used in your garden. Mulch can be delivered by your local arborist, or you can use the clippings from tree trimmings or grass cuttings.

  1. Choose Low Maintenance Grass Varieties

95% of American lawns have bluegrass for their lawn, which is a particularly thirsty variety that requires a lot of water and care. Slow growth, drought resistant grasses are lower maintenance and make lawn car easier, and these include varieties such as Zoysia, Buffalo, Bermuda, St Augustine and Bahia grass.

  1. Try A Grass Free ‘Lawn’

If you really want to reduce the cost and maintenance time for your lawn, perhaps the best option is to forego the grass altogether and opt for a grass free landscaping solution. Placing some drought resistant trees and plants in your garden and replacing grass ground cover with stones, pebbles, succulents, ‘hardscapes’ or artificial grass can help to foster a lower maintenance garden that is just as beautiful and easy to enjoy.

  1. Check Regularly For Pests and Damage

Lawns can quickly suffer under the effects of pests, and so should be checked regularly for signs of damage. Professional lawn services can help you quickly identify lawn issues and provide a solution if you need it. Quick treatment can save lawns, trees and plants in your garden and save you expense and trouble in the long run.

If excessive time and money investments for lawn care are getting you down, think about utilizing these 5 ways to reduce cost and time spent on lawn care in your home garden.