How to Know When it’s Time to Take a Tree Down

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Our Berkeley tree service pledges to stand by your trees in sickness and in health. We think there’s nothing more breathtaking than an ancient, magnificently robust and skyscrapingly tall tree—except being told you have to make the decision to cut it down. Even well-established trees can get sick and experience a weakened structure as a result. This puts the tree at risk of falling, and it’s not safe to leave it waiting to collapse. Now, you have to make a decision: can the tree be healed, or does it need to be cut down?  

Here’s a handy article to help you decide whether to ask your local Berkeley tree service for tree care advice or a saw. 

Trees Showing These Symptoms Must Be Cut Down

A Dying Trunk.

A healthy tree trunk is essential to the structural integrity of the tree. If the trunk shows signs of vertical cracks, sounds hollow when you knock on it, or has lost large amounts of bark, these are all indicators that the tree is dying. Dead trees can suddenly drop limbs or fall. Another danger of leaving a dead tree standing is the risk of spreading disease or pests to other trees or shrubs. 

Root Rot

Root rot attacks the roots of a tree planted in wet soil. Unfortunately there is no solution to root rot except to avoid it in the first place. Your infected tree is looking at a future of poor growth, wilted leaves, early leaf drop, branch dieback, and eventual death.

Loss of Branches.

When large branches suddenly crack off of your tree, it is pretty clear that everything underneath and surrounding the tree is in danger. Sometimes, dropping large, dead branches is a tree’s way of trying to concentrate energy in areas that are still healthy – and you might experience serious property damage or personal harm in the meantime. Otherwise, it might be totally harmless Sudden Branch Drop Syndrome – an arborist will be able to tell the difference. 

Sudden Oak Death 

It’s not just oak trees – rhododendrons, ferns, lilacs, fir trees and dogwoods can also succumb to this fatal fungal infection. If a tree has sudden oak death, it may exhibit leaf spots, shoot dieback, and discolored, sappy cankers. Unfortunately, as the name implies, most trees infected with this fungus will die. 

Trees Showing These Symptoms Need Care 

  • Wilted leaves
  • Spotty, blotchy, or discolored leaves/needles
  • Cankers 
  • Covered with a white, dusty fungus 
  • Leaves with holes 
  • Pest infestation 
  • Girdling roots 
  • Weak branch unions
  • Winter injuries
  • Scab disease
  • Pale green leaves within the canopy

Our Berkeley Tree Service Has Your Back

Whether you require tree removal or a diagnosis and tree care advice for a sick tree, our Berkeley tree service can help. 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! 

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! 

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! 

Maximize Shade with These Summer Tree Services

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Here in California where the summers are hot and dry, walking into a full-sun yard can feel like walking into an oven. Without areas of shade or protection from the sun, it can be nearly impossible to enjoy your yard the way it should be enjoyed in the summer: with big outdoor barbecues, hammocking, sitting poolside, playing volleyball, and harvesting summer fruits. Fortunately, protecting your yard from the sun is as simple as a bit of tree maintenance and strategic planting. If you’re looking for a Berkeley tree service to maximize shade in your yard this summer, read on for our professional advice.

The Science of Shade

Trees can reduce the temperature of the surrounding air by six degrees Farenheit. This occurs through the dual effects of shading and evapotranspiration, or the process by which the tree releases water vapor. The air is even cooler directly under the tree – cool air settles near the ground, so the temperature under the tree’s canopy can be twenty five degrees cooler than the temperature of nearby concrete.

Maximizing Shade

Planting Strategically

Depending on the variety of bushes or trees you plant in your yard, you can expect results right away, in a few years as the plant grows, or a decade or two in the future when the plant has matured. Before purchasing plants, be familiar with where and when the sun is hitting your yard at full strength.

To shade your home and reduce energy costs, plant tall trees with wide crowns to the south of your home. Shorter trees or trees with lower crowns can shade low afternoon sun angles from the west – plant these along the property line to increase the yard’s privacy. Hedging trees allow shade to stretch across the yard during the late morning and early afternoon. High-density foliage creates the best shade – a few popular northern California varieties are the Monterey Cypress, Indian Laurel, Waxleaf Privet, Wax Myrtle, and Olive.

Tree Pruning

Summer tree pruning services help keep your trees healthy and well-shaped, which can improve the growth and density of the foliage long-term. This necessary service allows your trees to grow a healthy canopy with robust branches and dense leaves, which means fuller shade protection.

When pruning, remove any damaged, diseased, or dead tree limbs. These waste the tree’s valuable resources and cause it unnecessary stress.

Tree Care

Unkempt and neglected trees won’t produce quality shade – plus, they’ll be messy visual eyesores. Simple summer tree care includes deep watering, pruning, inspecting for insects, refreshing the soil, adding mulch, and fertilizing when the summer is over. For recommendations based on a particular tree, consult an arborist or tree care professional.

Schedule a Berkeley Tree Service

If you are looking for an excellent 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!

The Science of How Trees Talk to Each Other

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Our Berkeley tree service experts can fully appreciate the amazing science behind how trees talk to each other. In fact, excellent tree care depends on it! The natural world is full of secrets. From the deepest gorges to the peaks of the highest mountaintops, our world is full of plants, animals, and fungi that coexist in millions of different ecosystems. If a person stands on the beach and looks out at the ocean, they may have no idea that underneath the surface lies 94% of the animal species on this planet. Similarly, when a person stands in a forest, they may have no idea of the invisible messages that are being sent via underground fungal networks or through pheromones attached to spores in the wind.

Read on to learn more about the mystery of how trees communicate with each other.

Through the Air

Trees can communicate with each other using pheromones and scent signals they release into the air. One remarkable tree that utilizes this method of communication to protect its neighboring companions is the umbrella horned acacia, found in the grasslands of the African savanna.

When giraffes chew on this tree’s juicy, sickle-shaped leaves, the umbrella horned acacia notices the injury and emits a distress signal in the form of ethylene gas. The gas signals the surrounding trees to begin pumping tannins into their leaves. When a giraffe or other herbivore munches on these tannin-enriched leaves, they can become deathly sick. Other animals subsequently avoid the tree’s leaves.

Through the Soil

Trees are often thought of as singular entities, but most of the time they are connected to a larger, mutually beneficial community of trees through underground fungal networks. This system allows a collective of trees to share resources and make decisions about nutrient flow, which direction to grow branches, and how to deter predators.

The fungal networks, called mycorrhizal networks, consist of very thin threads of mycelium, or mushrooms, that help trees communicate with each other underneath the soil. By linking to this network, trees can spread information to their neighbors. For example, if an older established tree becomes aware of a struggling sapling through the network, it can draw water towards the surface through its root system to help the sapling. Trees can also agree to sabotage unwelcome plants by directing toxic chemicals through the network.

A Supportive Network

Trees can distinguish their “family” from other neighboring trees. Using seedlings, ecologists at the University of Reading were able to determine that trees can recognize the root tips of their kin and distinguish them from unrelated seedlings. Related trees show kinship by sending extra carbon through the underground mycorrhizal networks. When threatened with drought or disease, predators or insect attacks, trees will warn and prioritize family.

Berkeley Tree Service

If you are looking for excellent 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!

Your Checklist for Smart Summer Tree Care

tree pruning

Are you wondering if it’s time for tree pruning or some other important Berkeley tree service? Summer means hotter temperatures and less rain, which can often be a death sentence for plants that aren’t well established. If you’ve ever watched a plant shrivel up, leaves turning yellow, then brown, then crunchy, you’ve certainly seen the effects of dehydration in plant life. Changing up your gardening routine for the summer, particularly paying attention to younger plants and trees, can allow them to thrive, even through the hottest months. Check out what our Berkeley tree service experts recommend for your summer tree care plan.

1) Tree Pruning

Summer tree pruning helps keep your tree healthy and well-shaped. We recommend removing damaged, diseased, or dead tree limbs, as these can cause unnecessary stress to a tree. Stone fruit trees in particular benefit from summer pruning to encourage bigger and higher-quality fruit. Pruning in summer can promote robust branch growth, healthier canopy development, and overall shoot growth.

2) Give Your Tree a Deep Watering

California summers can reach high temperatures in certain geographical regions, and the resulting drought can cause extreme stress on trees. To counteract the lack of water in summer, give your trees a deep watering every one to four weeks. Deep watering encourages deeper root development, which increases the tree’s access to nutrients and water in the soil. This can bolster a tree’s resistance to uprooting and protect it from disease.

3) Watch for Signs of Distress

Changes in a tree’s leaves are usually the first indicator that a tree is stressed in some capacity. In the summer, a tree’s leaves may droop, wilt, turn yellow, appear scorched, stop growing, or even fall from the tree. Keep a close eye on trees that are exhibiting any problems and practice consistent tree care.

4) Refresh the Soil

Hard, dry soil can impede a tree’s ability to absorb nutrients and water. Proper soil aeration can soften the soil surrounding a tree, which allows a better environment for helpful microorganisms to thrive.

5) Add a Layer of Mulch

Properly mulching a tree will regulate the soil temperature, slow down moisture evaporation, and help reduce weeds that would otherwise compete with the tree’s resources. Two inches of mulch is enough – any more can suffocate the base of the tree, which needs carbon and air!

6) Keep an Eye on Insects

In the summer heat, some species of insects like to cling to the shade underneath your tree’s canopy. By standing under your tree and looking up, you can check to see if too many insects of a particular type have infested your tree. Not all insects are harmful, so you may want to consider an arborist’s opinion before purchasing an insecticide.

7) Fertilize When Summer is Over

After a harsh summer, trees require a replenishing dose of nutrients. In early fall, make sure to fertilize your trees and check the pH of the soil to ensure that your trees are receiving the nutrients they require.

Tree Pruning & Other Services

If you are looking for excellent 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!

How to Choose the Best Berkeley Tree Service

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You probably already know to hire a certified arborist when you need to schedule a Berkeley tree service for your property. But how to hire the right company? If you’re wondering, follow these simple tips to help you avoid tree care scams.

Choose Certified

Sometimes homeowners opt to do things themselves that should really be left to a professional. Part of the reason for this is because they’re just not sure who to trust and they’re afraid of being taken advantage of. Almost anyone who owns a vehicle has had this experience when it comes to finding a reliable and honest mechanic.

When it’s time to schedule your Berkeley tree service, a certified arborist is your best option. Anyone can pick up some pruning shears, but only a certified arborist can offer the depth of knowledge and experience you need when it comes to professional tree care. Their education, experience, and equipment will ensure that the job gets done right, and they will also be a reliable resource if you have any questions.

Verify Insurance

Liability insurance is a top priority when you need to schedule a Berkeley tree service. If it’s a company, also verify that they carry workers compensation insurance for their employees. It’s preferable if proof of insurance certificates are sent from the provider to you. This eliminates the possibility of fraudulent documents.

Why is this such a top priority? Well, if you hire a Berkeley tree service company that doesn’t have insurance, that means you get stuck paying for any injuries or property damage that occur on your land. It may seem unlikely, but it’s just not worth the risk. Take a little extra time to verify that an arborist is insured.

Review Ratings

Testimonials and complaints really count when you’re looking for the best Berkeley tree service. It shouldn’t be hard to find out what kind of reputation a local tree service company has, either. You’ll just need to do a little online sleuthing. In fact, you can learn a lot about a company with a quick web search. Pay close attention to things like how long they’ve been in business, and what kind of comments previous clients have left. Of course, you can always ask for references as well.

Pass on Door-to-Door Tree Services

If someone knocks on your door offering a Berkeley tree service, it’s best to pass on these types of offers. They’re usually scams, especially when it comes to selling unnecessary tree care services to the elderly. Someone knocks on your door and says they were just in the area, working in your neighbor’s yard, and noticed you need an expensive tree removal, etc.

Berkeley Tree Service

To learn more about tree care, talk to a certified arborist today. At Sexy Trees, we’re happy to help you make the best decisions for your trees. If it’s time to schedule tree pruning or another important Berkeley tree service, we’re here to help. Give us a call at 925.233.6877 to schedule a consultation for a free estimate. You can also view our client testimonials by clicking this link.

Autumn Tree Care

Tree Service Concord

Autumn is not only a beautiful season but also a brilliant time to plant many trees, along with preparing your trees for the winter season. Extensive periods of intense heat can weaken trees, making them more vulnerable to infestations. Helping your trees start to recover from the hot circumstances as they head into winter is significant to care for their long-term health, which also makes them less at risk to storms. Autumn tree care is a must for your trees.

 

Here are special instructions for outside tree care as the season changes:

 

Watering

At the start of autumn, make sure your trees are getting enough water while the weather changes from hot to cold. Water your trees until the soil freezes. Avoid watering after this point so as not to over-water the ground.  This will assure your trees have enough water to live during the winter.

 

Fertilization

As the leaves begin to change color and fall, look for signs that might point out your trees have a nutrient problem and may require fertilization. Keep in mind, fertilization can encourage rapid new growth, which could be injured in the winter, therefore, fertilize in the spring instead if possible. To conclude if your trees need fertilization, some of the things you can look for:

  • Leaves varying colors and falling earlier than usual.
  • Reduced development in branches and leaves.

 

Pruning

Make certain to remove any dead, unhealthy or spoiled branches. They all serve as points where illness or pests could enter that can cause further damage. And also, removing the dead, diseased and spoiled branches will make your trees look better. You can also trim branches that aren’t growing the way you would like.

 

Planting

Numerous trees can be planted during the autumn. Check with your local nursery to see which ones are good for autumn planting. Trees have a better chance to get their roots established because of the cold temperatures. Another benefit to planting trees during the autumn season is that many nurseries discount their plant supply.

 

Prevent  injuries

Branch breakage can be caused by frost and snow gathering or chewing and rubbing by animals. You may stop problems with young trees by covering their base in a hard or plastic guard. Wrapping trees with burlap or plastic cloth also can avoid temperature harm. However, it is essential to remember to remove the wraps and guards in the spring to avoid damage when the tree begins to grow. Damage to branches and trunks from plow blades or a sharp shovel can be harmful to trees.

 

Care for Young Trees

Since the autumn season is a perfect time to plant new trees, it is essential to consider that young trees are typically not developed enough to survive the constant freezing and thawing that might occur and young trees are especially susceptible to extreme temperature changes that come with winter, especially in colder areas. One thing you can do as a preventive measure is to place a wide layer of mulch around the base of the tree.

If you have questions about managing autumn tree care, contact Sexy Trees today!

 

 

Japanese Maple Tree Care

Danville Tree Service

Japanese maples are generally hearty, healthy trees. Japanese maples are pretty easy to raise and care for. They tend not to succumb to disease or infection, but will perform poorly when their needs aren’t being met.

Your Japanese maple will appreciate it if you keep these things in mind:

Don’t Allow Japanese Maple Tree Roots to Sit in Water

If your Japanese maple doesn’t look healthy and well, there’s a good chance that the roots are overwatered. If the soil is too heavy, contains a lot of clay, or doesn’t drain well, that can be affecting the health of the tree. 

Before planting a Japanese maple, you can be sure that the ground is properly aerated with appropriate soil, and plant with the root ball only half burried. Once a tree is in its place, your best move is to monitor soil wetness. Be sure not to overwater, and your tree with thank you.

Don’t Spray Foliage

When you spray the leaves of a tree (any tree really) the water droplets act as little magnifying glasses, concentrating the sun’s power on a small spot until the water evaporates. Some leaves are bothered by this more than others. Although it certainly won’t kill your Japanese maple, this tree would prefer you spray the ground rather than the leaves. Or if you must spray the leaves, don’t do it on a sunny day, please. 

Don’t Over Fertilize 

These trees like soil rich in nutrients, but not rich in commercial fertilizers. In fact, they do better with no fertilization at all rather than many of the fertilizers available at the plant store. If you think your Japanese maple needs fertilizing, consult your trusted arborist.

Threats to Your Japanese maple tree

Of course, sometimes outside influences do attack your tree. Some of the problems that arise for this particular type of tree include: 

Pseudomonas Syringae

Pseudomonas syringae is opportunistic bacteria that usually attacks plants that are already damaged by other threats. It affects woody plants, including Japanese maples, which can display spotted leaves, and veins within the leaves can be blackened when infected. It can also cause dieback of small branches.

To learn more visit: Pseudomonas Syringae

Verticillium Wilt

Verticillium Wilt is caused by a soil borne fungi but usually attacks plants that are stressed by other things like drought, frost, or wet soil. This fungus lives in the soil as small, darkened structures called microsclerotia. These microsclerotia may lie dormant in the soil for years. 

One or more branches, usually on one side of the tree, wilt suddenly. Sometimes the leaves turn yellow before they wilt, or leaf margins turn brown and appear scorched. Branches that die will need to be removed.

The best prevention for this fungi is a strong, healthy tree. There is some evidence that unbalanced fertilization (too much or too little nitrogen, for example) exacerbates this disease, but there’s no specific prevention or treatment. 

To learn more visit: Verticillium Wilt

Japanese Maple Scale

Scale insects are sucking insects that extract plant sap from the host plant. These scale have an armored exoskeleton, usually white. Scale insects are predatory, generally attacking unhealthy plants. The healthier your plants, the less likely they are to be attacked by scale insects. 

In trees with heavy infestations scale can cause premature leaf drop, branch dieback, or death of the plant. On Japanese maples, scale insects usually only attach themselves to the stems of the tree and not the leaves, so scrubbing the tree with soapy water and a scrub brush may solve an infestation.

To learn more visit: Japanese Maple Scale

Tree Borers

Tree Borers are a group of insects that lay their eggs on or inside of trees, where the young larvae eat through living tissues. Anything that bores into tree stems is commonly called a tree borer, whether it be beetles or clearwing moths. The symptoms and treatments are the same.

You can avoid initial infestation by having a professional prune your tree, eliminating unnecessary tree damage. Also, adding mulch around your tree and providing it with appropriate water and fertilizer will help it fight off borers and heal any previous damage.

To learn more visit: Tree Borers

Anthracnose

Affected trees often show spots that may look like scorching on the leaves. This fungal disease is prevalent during rainy seasons and conditions of high humidity. Rainy weather can empower this fungus, and drought can slow it down or stop it. 

Anthracnose remains active on leaves and twigs that have fallen to the ground, which helps it spread. Eventually spores are released from dropped leaves and re-attach themselves to the tree or new leaves. The easiest method of control is to keep dead twigs and leaves raked up from under your trees, and keep leaf litter that you suspect out of your compost pile.

To learn more visit: Anthracnose

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew covers leaves and stems starting with the underside, but becomes most obvious when it shows on the top of leaves with a white or grey powdery film. It thrives in hot, or hot and humid conditions, especially where a lot of plants are grouped together and air circulation is poor.

Trees are weakened by this mildew, but rarely seriously injured. Rake up and dispose of any affected leaves. It’s best not to put the affected leaves in your compost bin. 

Cut off affected portions, restrict fertilizing, water only at the soil level and do what you can to increase air circulation to control a powdery mildew infection.

To learn more visit: Powdery Mildew

Aphids

Aphids feed by attaching themselves to the leaves of a plant and sucking nutrients out of the leaves. Resulting leaf damage can be unattractive, but your Japanese maple tree will likely not suffer more than some leaf loss. They have a number of natural predators including lady bugs, so they usually don’t last long once they appear. You can treat them with insecticidal soap or rinse them off with a blast of water.

To learn more visit: Aphids

Phytophthora Root Rot

This is a fancy way of saying that the root system is rotted because of excess moisture. Japanese maples are susceptible because they don’t tolerate wet heavy soils that drain poorly. Of course solutions include planting shallowly, and never overwatering. If you’re having a problem with root rot, consult a qualified arborist for advice.

To learn more visit: Phytophthora Root Rot

 

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 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.