Many people look at the barren parts of their garden and wonder when they can plant that fruit tree they’ve always wanted to have. They know it is winter so they don’t want to waste time planting something that will die due to the weather. The good news is that you can plant many things during the winter, especially in the warmer temperatures of the Bay Area. However, even without these weather conditions, the best time of year to plant most trees actually occurs in late winter.
In order to understand the basics of planting trees, let’s discuss a key stage in a tree’s life, dormancy. A person recognizes this as the stage in which their leaves usually fall off and it appears that the tree is dead. In reality, the tree is in a “sleep” mode whereby it is using less energy and not growing at the same rate. During this portion of life, a tree can withstand changes and thereby be moved, planted, and nurtured a lot easier. As a result, many people start planting their trees in the middle to late winter while they are in dormancy. Thus, when they enter the spring and key stage of growth, their roots are fully established in their new environment.
What about those trees that do not lose their leaves, the evergreens? The short answer is that the same time period does apply with a bit more leniency. Evergreens tend to withstand changes a lot better and aren’t as prone to dramatic shifts. If anything, their ideal period for transferring can go longer due to their genetics.
Now is the time (if it’s late winter)
If you are wanting to get some trees planted, you should start selecting that ideal tree and begin planting it in the next thirty days or so. Sexy Trees has a certified arborist with years of experience. If you have questions about planting trees, feel free to reach out at Sexytrees.com.
Fall tree care is crucial to year round healthy trees. Yes, fall is a time to enjoy the changing colors of the leaves and spend brisk days outdoors raking them into piles. But as fall turns to winter, your trees become vulnerable to the elements. Here are some essential steps you should take each fall to care for your trees and prepare them for the winter:
- Inspect and Prune Away Dead Wood
As you head into the winter months, any dead or dying branches could pose a risk to your property. Fall tree care is the perfect opportunity to make a good inspection of your trees, checking their health and stability. It is much easier to inspect your trees once they have lost their leaves.
To inspect your trees, first stand back to assess stability and structure. Then, take a closer look for any concerns like diseased branches or boring insect activity. Prune away any branches that look unhealthy or loose. For bigger limbs, you may need to utilize a qualified arborist.
- Nourish and Insulate Your Trees
In fall you want to fertilize your trees to keep them healthy during winter months. This gives the trees nutrients to nourish them, which makes them stronger and less susceptible to winter damage. Laying mulch will also help protect trees during winter, because mulch insulates the roots against cold weather. Mulch also helps to retain moisture in the soil. You typically want to lay 2-4 inches of mulch in a 2 foot radius around a tree or plant.
- Treat Against Disease and Insects
Raking not only keeps your yard attractive, it also helps to prevent disease in your trees and plants. Fungi spores can hide out and develop in fallen leaves. If left on the ground, during spring rain, those spores awaken and infect your trees. As you prepare for winter, you’ll also want to guard your tree against boring insects that might be looking for a winter home by raking up dead leaves.
- Hydrate and Protect Trees from Dry Air
It may seem strange, when snow is on the ground, that trees could become dehydrated, but winter brings less rainfall and less moisture seeping into the ground (until the spring thaw). Additionally, trees in arid climates that don’t get much rain or snow in winter may still need some extra moisture.
Hydrate your trees by watering them during the fall to prepare them for the winter months. As you water your trees in the fall, remember on the deeper root system, not just the area near the trunk. You can also treat your tree with anti-desiccants, which help protect the leaves by locking in moisture.
- Consider Cabling Your Trees
You may notice in parks and public spaces, cables being used to stabilize trees. You can also have cables installed to support the physical structure of trees in your yard. This technique is for healthy trees that just need extra help to support their weight. This is especially useful fall tree care anticipating heavy winds and winter storms.
Tree specialists can help protect your trees against the effects of winter weather. Keeping healthy trees is a sound investment, because prevention and maintenance reduces other costs related to lost trees, property damage, and future tree replacement. Plus you can have peace of mind when professionals tend to your trees while you enjoy the beginning of the fall season.
The trees in your garden are living entities and need attention and care in order to flourish. In some cases, trees need first aid and even ‘surgery’ to help maintain their health and structure. Cabling and bracing is a technique that can be applied by a skilled arborist to help support your trees branches and trunks. This can extend a tree’s life if done correctly, allowing your trees to flourish for longer. Here we look at 4 signs that your tree needs expert attention from a qualified arborist with professional cabling and bracing.
- Leaning Trees
Trees that are dead or dying tend to lean, however a leaning tree doesn’t always signify a problem. Cabling and bracing can’t be used to save diseased or dying trees, but it can help to provide structure and support to trees that are weak, but healthy. Trees may normally have a slight lean to them. A skilled arborist can inspect your trees and assess whether they are leaning normally, or whether there are adverse underlying causes. A tree’s root system can grow to accommodate and calibrate a lean, but in some cases cabling and bracing may be needed to support the tree to prevent cracking and hazardous tree falls.
- Cracks in the Trunk or Branches
Cracks in the tree trunks and branches can be a sign that your tree is becoming unbalanced and overburdened. Cracking or splitting in the trunk of your tree can represent a particularly serious structural issue, and you should enlist the assistance of a professional arborist as soon as possible. In some cases, cabling and bracing can be applied to help strengthen and reinforce your tree when the problem is caught early to prevent cracks deepening and causing split trunks. Cracked branches may not be worth trying to recover, but it’s important to remove them to avoid potentially dangerous falling branches.
- Multiple Trunks
It’s not uncommon for trees to split at the trunk, with the two trunks diverging in a V shape. This can be called co-dominant stems or V-crotch trunks. As the tree grows, these multiple trunks can form a weak spot, as one trunk becomes larger than the other and threatens to topple the tree. Cabling and bracing can help to strengthen divergent trunks so they don’t split too far apart and cause breakage. However, in some cases one of the trunks may need to be removed by your arborist to preserve the tree.
- You’re Due For Adverse Weather
Storms, rain and strong winds can really put on a strain on your trees and worsen any structural issues you may already be experiencing. If you’re expecting adverse weather, have your trees inspected and fitted with cables and bracing if necessary to protect against the harsh conditions. Professional cabling and bracing from a skilled arborist can help to keep your trees and branches safe during harsh weather, adding extra strength and reinforcement while also allowing flexibility, to keep your branches intact.
Cabling and bracing can be a useful tool to protect and preserve your trees when implemented safely by a professional arborist. Talk to us about your tree’s needs and whether cabling and bracing is right for your trees.
Our tree experts service the following areas: Walnut Creek, Concord, Pleasant Hill, Lafayette, Orinda, Oakland, Albany, Alhambra Valley, Alamo, Berkeley, Danville, Diablo, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Hercules, Kensington, Sunol, Saranap, San Pablo, Reliez Valley, Piedmont, Port Costa, San Leandro, Vine Hill, Martinez, Benicia, Fairfield
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.
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.
While bare branches and naked landscapes are the telltale signs of winter, we expectantly await fresh, new growth in the spring. Warmer weather is the trees’ cue to leaf out and present their new springtime growth. But how do trees know when to grow their new leaves? And is there any way for us to predict this phenomenon?
While we can’t pinpoint with accuracy the date that trees will begin to sprout their new growth, there are various ways we can estimate the approximate timing by observing the environmental patterns trees respond to. This can help us to establish when to expect new growth by and how to best care for our trees to ensure they put forth new growth on time.
The Cue for Trees to Leaf Out
Trees sprout their new leaves according to temperature changes that are usually associated with going from winter to spring. During cold weather, it doesn’t make sense for trees to sprout new growth, with less water availability and sunlight. But once the weather starts warming up again, it’s time to capitalize on the increased sunlight and water availability.
Trees respond to two different aspects of our changing seasons. First, there must be a period of prolonged cold weather, at chilling temperatures between 25 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This helps to juxtapose the incoming warmer weather. These cooler temperatures trigger the balance of hormones and enzymes needed to break out new growth when warmer temperatures come.
While new growth won’t break through on the first warm day, once the days are more consistently warm, it signals to the tree that spring is here and it’s time for new growth.
Secondly trees respond to the longer days and shorter nights that come with changing seasons, syncing their new growth with the signals of spring.
What If Your Trees Don’t Sprout New Growth
There are several factors that can affect or inhibit new tree growth. Whereas trees have been shown to adapt to changing climate conditions, sudden changes can mean that trees don’t receive enough chilling to break dormancy once warmer weather comes.
If your tree seems to be barren but other trees in your area are sprouting new leaves and branches, don’t panic. It may be that your particular species of tree breaks out a little later than others. This is a normal phenomenon.
If you do become concerned that your tree is remaining leafless for longer than seems normal, contact your local arborist. An arborist will not only be able to diagnose any specific issues with your particular tree, but can also help you understand any local environmental trends that may be affecting new growth this year. If a tree is green inside, it’s still alive and waiting for its time to sprout forth.
However, if your tree doesn’t sprout or the new growth is shriveled or black you may need an arborist’s expert assistance to correct the issue.
While all trees sprout their new springtime growth on their own timing, if you’re concerned about your trees new growth, contact your local arborist for professional advice.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Berkeley Tree Pruning company, Llamas Tree Service, showcases this Cedar tree that looks sexy even two years after the last pruning.