This is Why You Need To Remove Old Tree Stumps From Your Garden

Danville Tree Pruning

You might think that there’s no harm in keeping that old tree stump in your yard. Old tree stumps can be ignored, and you think it’s not worth the trouble of having it ground down or removed. But there are several reasons why you should consider removing tree stumps as soon as possible, for the sake of your garden’s appearance, safety and health. Here are 5 reasons why you need to remove old tree stumps from your garden now.

  • Stumps Can Be Dangerous

Tree stumps in your garden are obstructions that can be difficult to see. Leaving tree stumps on your lawn can create a trip hazard for your family members, friends and visitors. If someone injures themselves on your property, you may be liable for damage and injuries. Stumps can also be a hazard when you are mowing your lawn, causing damage or accidents with your lawnmower.

  • Tree Stumps Can Resprout

Tree stumps are left behind when you cut down trees that need to be removed. But if you leave the tree stump in your garden, you may end up with the same problem you started with. Tree stumps can re-sprout with many small trees, leaving you with unsightly, uncontrolled growth. Tree sprouts can be hard to stop as they will continue to grow back while the root system remains. Tre stumps can also be reservoirs for tree disease or pests. Professional stump removal helps to prevent trees re-sprouting or infecting other trees in your garden.

  • Tree Stumps Attract Pests

Old tree stumps sitting in your yard can be a haven for vermin, termites and other pests. Rotting wood attracts wood boring insects, and can provide a nesting spot for other pests as well. Once these pests have gained a foothold in your garden they can infect other plants and trees, and surrounding structures, including your home. Removing tree stumps promptly avoids attracting these pests and keeps your home and garden safe.

  • Stumps Can Be Unsightly

With no fruits, foliage or any kind of redeeming feature, most tree stumps are unattractive and unsightly. Unkempt tree stumps can detract from the appearance of your garden, and make your outdoor environments unattractive and unappealing.

  • Tree Stumps Interfere With Your Garden

Unwanted old tree stumps and their roots take up space in your garden that could be put to better use. If your tree stumps start to re-sprout, they could draw precious nutrients and water from your soil, taking these away from your other plants. Generally, old tree stumps don’t add anything to a landscape, so wherever possible, have your tree stumps professionally removed so you can enjoy more space in your garden.

Keep your garden safe, healthy and pest-free by having tree stumps promptly ground and removed after you have a tree cut down. A professional arborist can provide safe and economical tree stump removal to provide more space for your garden to flourish and thrive.

Bark Mulch or Rock Mulch: Which is Better for Garden Beds?

Alamo Tree Pruning

Mulch is great for gardens, helping to retain moisture, protect plants and adding a decorative finish to your beds. Mulch can greatly improve the condition of your garden, replenish the soil and keep your garden neat and maintained. But when it comes to mulching your garden, wood mulch is not the only option. There are many choices of material for mulch, but two of the most common and popular are bark or wood mulch and rock mulch. Both of these mulch types perform the essential functions of retaining moisture in soil and keeping the soil insulated. Here we look at the difference between these two mulch types and which is better for your garden beds.

Bark or Wood Mulch

Bark and wood mulch are organic mulch types that are made from shredded bark or wood. Wood and bark mulch are naturally brown or black, however they can be dyed a variety of colors to match your tastes. Bark and wood mulches are available from professional arborists, who obtain the mulch from healthy trees. Natural wood or bark mulch has an appearance like wood chips or small pieces of bark. It also releases a natural earthy smell when placed on your garden.

One of the most significant and distinctive benefits of wood and bark mulch is that it decomposes and adds nutrients and nitrogen to your soil. Wood and bark mulch is also inexpensive, has a more natural appearance, and looks great in every garden bed. Wood and bark mulch effectively form a preventative barrier against weed growth and help avoid the need for edging material. Wood and bark mulch are also relatively soft and make it easy to garden even with the mulch covering.

However, there are also some disadvantages of wood and bark mulch. One of the most significant disadvantages is that wood and bark mulch needs to be replaced every 1 to 2 years as the mulch breaks down or is washed away. The vibrant color of wood and bark mulch can also fade in sunlight. Wood and bark mulch can potentially draw in pests and insects attracted to the small, broken pieces of wood.

Rock Mulch

Rock mulch offers a polished and flawless coverage for your garden beds. Rock mulch consists of any type of stones or gravel used to provide cover and protection for garden beds. The size of the rocks can range from very small to as large as a fist, and rock mulch is available in a variety of colors.

One of the greatest benefits of rock mulch is that it does not need to be replaced as often as wood and bark mulch. Rock mulch is hardy and won’t wash away or decompose.  Rock mulch can also be ideal for sloped gardens as it holds its position well.

Rock mulch is much more expensive than wood and bark mulch, but it also lasts longer. While rock mulch doesn’t decompose, it may wear thin overtime, and you will need to find the same rock type and color to replace your coverage. One of the disadvantages of rock mulch is that weeds can grow through the gaps in the rock especially if organic matter and debris is allowed to collect on the surface of the rock mulch. Rock mulch is also heavy and difficult to remove if you change your mind or decide to add or take away plants from your garden.

Which Is The Best Choice For You?

Choosing the right mulch type for your garden beds depends on the type of plants you have and the look you’re going for. For plants that need extra nourishment, stable soil temperatures, and potentially moving or replanting, wood or bark mulch is best. if your plants can withstand higher soil temperatures and require less nutrients and nitrogen in the soil, rock mulch may be the best choice for you.

Having a local arborist inspect and analyze your garden bed and plants can help you identify the right mulch choice for you .

5 Essential Steps for Spring Tree Care

Danville Tree Care

Spring is the time for new life, new growth and regeneration. And nowhere is that truer than in your garden. Spring is the perfect time to get to work on creating a better outdoor environment, cleaning up after winter and planning for the summer ahead. Tree care and garden maintenance during Spring is essential to prepare your trees for healthy new growth and resistance to pests and diseases. Here we look at 5 steps for essential tree care during spring.

Boost New Growth

Spring is the time that your trees and plants want to burst forth with fresh new growth, and proper tree care can help to encourage this new growth. Facilitating new growth means working on an inclusive approach to garden care, as well as mulching and watering your garden to nourish the roots. Mulch helps the soil warm up and begins to regenerate nutrients and minerals after the long cold of winter. Watering the soil also helps to encourage new growth so that your trees have enough nutrition and water to reach their full potential.

Garden Clean Up

Spring is the perfect opportunity to clean up your garden and refresh your outdoor space. Your garden ‘spring clean’ should involve clearing up any fallen fruit, branches, leaves, or debris to help your garden stay clean and thrive. A messy garden can contribute to the spread of disease, pests and fungus infections, so cleaning up your garden for Spring is essential.

Check For Disease and Pests

Because Spring is the season for new growth, it is also the time to check for latent disease and pest infestations. Check for any abnormalities on the trunk or branches of your tree and check the tops and undersides of any leaves on the tree. It can also be useful to check around the base of the tree for holes or any evidence of pest damage.

Plant New Trees

As the season for regeneration, Spring is the perfect time to plant new trees and shrubs. It might be helpful to talk with a qualified arborist regarding the right timing for planting, and the ideal placement of your new trees. This should take into account the projected growth pattern of your trees to ensure your space can accommodate and nurture your new trees.

Prepare For Spring Weather

Spring can also bring rain and storms that can challenge or damage your garden. Spring tree care should involve strengthening and reinforcing your trees by removing weak limbs. You can also get the assistance of a professional arborist to cable and brace any risky branches. You can also have your trees professionally pruned by an arborist if they are untidy or overgrown to prevent issues during storms.

A Spring garden clean is the perfect opportunity to provide your trees and shrubs with some much-needed care and maintenance, and to prepare them for the warmer weather. Contact your local arborist for professional assistance or advice to create a flourishing, healthy garden for spring.

4 Situations Where Trees Need Protection

Tree Service Concord

 

Throughout history, trees have been a source of shelter and protection for humans. Trees still provide protection by functioning as windbreaks, stabilizing soil, helping the land to store rainwater, and moderating soil and air temperatures. However nowadays, our trees are more likely to be treasured for their role as ornaments for our homes and gardens. While trees still provide protection for us, there are some situations where trees need our protection to grow and flourish.

Weather

Because we now plant trees outside of their natural habitat, we often need to protect trees from weather conditions that might negatively affect them. Most trees are wind resistant, bending and moving naturally with the wind. However, allowing your tree to become overgrown puts the tree at greater risk of succumbing to high winds. Professional tree pruning allows you to keep your tree’s branches in check and protects your trees from windy weather.

Cold weather can also affect trees. Paying attention to the outdoor temperatures and the forecast for the winter months can help you adequately protect vulnerable trees. If it is possible to move the trees or shrubs (because they are potted), move them to a more protected location. Other susceptible trees can be covered in a burlap, tarp or sheet frost cover to protect from cold weather. Talk to your local arborist about the specific needs of the trees in your garden, and how to best protect them during harsh weather.

Pests

Pests can be a normal part of every garden, but left to get out of control they can destroy your trees and plants. Protecting your trees from pests involves paying close attention to the state of your trees and your garden to monitor pest activity and stay prepared. Of course, you can always use spray pesticides to manage pests, but many homeowners prefer to avoid these. Instead, consulting with your local arborist about pest control and maintaining a clean and tidy area around trees helps protect trees from pests and limit pest attacks in the first place.

Home Construction

Building a new home or a new addition to a home is an exciting time, but the existing trees in your landscape need to be taken into account. Protecting trees during building construction should be a priority as trees offer so much to a property, including bolstering property values. Discussing your construction plans with a tree specialist or arborist can help you develop a plan that takes your existing trees into account and protects them from damage.

Exposed Tree Roots

Exposed tree roots can be an eyesore and a hazard, so what should homeowners do about them? Tree roots become exposed not because they grow above the ground, but because the soil that originally covered them has eroded away. The easy solution to protecting these roots from the lawn mower blade (and protecting the roots from being trip hazards) is to add a circle of mulch around the tree base. This offers a more stable solution to keeping the roots protected and minimizing trips.

While trees offer us the most protection, there are times when they need our protection as well. Developing a plan to protect your trees with your local arborist helps to keep your trees healthy, so they can continue to add beauty to your home for years to come.

4 Steps To Reviving A Topped Tree

Tree Care Pleasant Hill

A topped tree can be the result of unskillful or over zealous pruning. Topping a tree is when the topmost, healthy, leading branches are chopped off the tree to provide a quick and lazy pruning solution. While tree topping is best avoided in favor of careful and dedicated pruning by your local arborist, if you do have a topped tree, all is not lost. From this point it is critical to seek professional tree care and allow your tree time to heal and regrow if you want to see it thrive again.

Call A Local Arborist

A topped tree needs extra TLC, and your local arborist is the tree professional who can offer it. An arborist can help identify where your tree pruning went wrong, and identify a plan to nurse your topped tree back to health.

Topped trees are weak and unstable and prone to decline, but with the care of your local arborist you can identify the care and corrective pruning your tree needs to flourish again.

Give Your Tree Time

One of the most important things a topped tree needs is time. A topped tree has lost its prime energy and fuel producing leaf growth, and needs time and specialized care to regenerate this growth.

However, you may be happily surprised at how quickly your topped tree starts to put forth new growth. These fresh new branches are called water sprouts, and they need time to establish themselves. Avoid tampering with these sprouts until they have grown to the original height of the tree, as this is a sign the sprouts have established themselves.

Protect Strong Sprouts

The strongest of these initial sprouts are called the leaders. The leaders are the dominant branches that should be the tallest and free from any damage, cracks or pests. These leader branches will become the strong new branches of the tree, so it’s important to protect them and ensure their growth and health is promoted.

Trim Sprouts

In the initial stages of your topped trees healing, there is limited resources and energy to support the new growth, so the strongest and healthiest branches need to be prioritized. Contact an arborist to come and identify the strongest and weakest branches and appropriately prune the weakest branches in order to allow the strongest branches to flourish.

 

The short sprouts that are stronger and look like they could catch up to the new leader should be left to provide additional volume to the new growth. The new leader sprouts need to be monitored in order to support their healthy growth and to ensure the regeneration of the topped tree. This careful pruning process needs to be repeated over the next 4-6 years in order to facilitate the growth of the new branches. Contact a professional arborist to expertly trim the new branches in order to train them and cultivate new growth without limiting the regeneration of your topped tree.

 

A topped tree can be successfully repaired and returned to it’s former glory, but it does take some extra time, care and attention from you and your local arborist to bring your tree back to full health.

When Is The Right Time To Plant A Tree?

Mistletoe Removal

 

Trees add beauty, shade and structure to your yard, being both functional and ornamental. But when is the best time to add new trees to your yard? Many professional arborists say that spring and offers the ideal, mild conditions for new tree planting, but others say fall is the better option for planting new trees. Here we look at what makes the right time to plant a tree and how you can get the best results for new trees in your yard.

Trees are an Investment

The trees in your yard are not just an investment in the appearance of your yard, they can also add to the value of your home. By some estimates, a healthy, mature tree can add up to $10,000 to the value of a property. So, it’s important to make the right choice about when to plant your tree and how to nurture it to optimum health. Your local arborist is an expert on which trees are best suited to your climate and environment, and which choices will add the most value to your home in terms of beauty and quality.

Spring or Fall?

In warmer climates like California where it doesn’t usually get cold enough for the ground to freeze in winter, the timing of planting a tree isn’t so critical as long as you can provide the tree with sufficient water. Usually the best time for planting a new tree is late summer and early fall, where the weather is starting to cool down and rainfall increasing, but while the temperatures are still not so cool as to discourage tree growth and development.

In the initial stages after a tree has been planted, the tree needs to immediately lay down new root systems to support itself. This tends to happen better in the cooler weather of fall and winter as root growth is increased in cooler soil. Trees planted in spring expend more energy putting forth new leaf and flower growth and often don’t have the resources to lay down a root structure as well, and this actually disadvantages trees in the long run.

However, some types of trees tend to survive better when planted in spring, including magnolia, dogwood, tuliptree, sweet gum, red maple, birch, hawthorn, poplars, cherries, plum and many of the oaks. If you are thinking of planting one of these trees, consult with your local professional arborist about when you should plant these trees in your specific location and climate.

Tips for New Tree Success

In order to give your new trees the best chance for survival, make sure they receive plenty of water in the months after they are first planted. It’s often helpful to water less often, but water deeper, so that moisture reaches the deepest roots. Avoid pruning the tree while it is still newly developing by Berkeley Tree Pruning professionals or anyone else. Don’t fertilize under the second growing system, but you can use mulch on the planting area, about 12 inches away from the young trunks.

If you’re thinking of planting new trees in your yard in California, consult with your local arborist for more specific guidance on determining the best time to plant trees for your yard and local conditions.

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.

Berkeley Tree Removal

Walnut Creek Tree Removal

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

What’s The Difference Between a Landscaper and an Arborist?

Concord Tree Pruning

Many homeowners may not put much thought into the differences between landscapers and arborists. They both do work in the garden and make your yard look beautiful, so it’s the same job right? Actually landscaping and arboriculture are two very different and distinct fields of work. Hiring the wrong professional for the job could lead you to having issues with your yard or trees, or even worse, cause damage or injury to people, property, or your yard. By understanding the unique capabilities and expertise of both landscapers and arborists, you can choose the right professional for the work you need done in your yard.

Difference in Scope of Practice

The difference between in the expertise offered by both landscapers and arborists lies in their scope of practice. Landscapers are mostly involved in designing and installing landscapes, installing hardscapes, lawn care, installation and maintenance of lawn irrigation, mulching, garden bed care and maintenance and sometimes pruning shrubs and small plants.

On the other hand, arborists are primarily concerned with the details of tree and plant care, such as caring for mature trees, tree removal, pruning, cabling, stump grinding, checking for pests and diseases, along with other areas of practice.

Skills and Training

It’s important to distinguish between these different scopes of practice for both landscapers and arborists, because it indicates what skills and training they have each undergone, and their areas of specialty. The skills and background of landscapers makes them knowledgable in how to make your yard look its best, specializing in lawn care services, lawn treatment, and yard maintenance, to help keep your garden looking beautiful and in good shape.

On the other hand, if your trees and plants are looking dead, dying or sick, or you need help with tree pruning or tree removal, a certified arborist should be the first person you call every time. Arborists have an in-depth knowledge of tree care theory and techniques to help keep your trees healthy and your environment safe.

Use Of Specialized Tools

One of the many reasons why it is important to call a certified arborist for tree care is because of the need to use specialized tools in the correct manner to effectively prune or remove trees. Certified arborists are properly trained in tool use, and are accustomed to using equipment such as chippers or chainsaws. However, in inexperienced hands this equipment can be extremely dangerous.

Landscapers may not be accustomed to using this kind of specialized equipment, nor may they be experienced in working on difficult projects such as pruning or removing tall or large trees. This is where the skills and training of a qualified arborist are indispensable.

Benefits of Collaboration

For the best results in your yard or garden, there’s no doubt that both landscapers and arborists should work together to produce truly beautiful landscapes and outstanding results for your trees and plants.

If your garden needs a redesign or overhaul, contact a landscaper. If your trees or plants need work, call an arborist. But for truly beautiful, healthy and safe yards, get a landscaper and an arborist to work together to bring the best of both worlds to your garden.