How to Prevent a Tree From Falling

Lafayette Tree Pruning

Trees fall for several reasons, including root rot, extreme weather temperatures, and incorrect pruning. But, no matter what the cause is for your tree falling, it poses a danger to you and your loved ones, not to mention the potential for expensive property damage.

A falling tree can land on a house, or block the road, affecting transportation. Sometimes trees even fall on cars! Of course, prevention is best, so here are some ways you can prevent your trees from falling.

Remove Trees in Unsuitable Locations

All trees need the right environment to thrive, and this includes enough space. For example, if your tree doesn’t have enough room for its roots to develop, its chances of toppling over are higher because it has a weak root system. Trees with shallow roots can raise and crack sidewalks, or interfere with your home’s plumbing. If this is the case, you may want to call in a tree removal service.

Care For Your Trees

Proper pruning ensures that trees remain healthy and grow stronger over time. Remember, even broken branches can cause significant harm. They’re heavier than they look! Here are some of the easiest ways to prevent your trees from falling:

• Prune correctly to maintain their strength and structural integrity
• Water and fertilize properly
• Avoid using heavy equipment that damages your tree roots
• Trim trees to remove dead branches

Tree Falling? Stake It

For young trees, staking them to the ground is the best way to prevent them from toppling over. This can be an important step when new trees are just getting established.

Professional Tree Maintenance Services

While you can’t prevent things like storms from contributing to your tree falling, some issues like rot, disease, and pest infestations can be controlled. A specialist will determine if any of your trees are a hazard. So, planning for regular maintenance and inspection with an arborist can identify any problems before they get out of hand.

Tree Falling and Removal Services

Regular maintenance minimizes the risk of a tree falling, maintains its health, and protects your home. Do you have a fallen tree, or are you worried about a tree on your property? Tree removal is an involved and delicate process. At Sexy Trees, we can conduct the appropriate risk assessments, and give you a free estimate. Contact us at (925) 233-6877.

The Dangers of Improper Tree Pruning

Concord Tree Service

Trees offer homeowners so much, while requiring little in return. They provide shade and add beauty to any landscape. But did you know your mature trees can become a safety hazard if they aren’t pruned correctly? When trees become diseased or die, we offer Concord tree removal, but hopefully your trees just need a regular pruning schedule to keep them healthy. Read on to learn more about the dangers that can result from improper tree care.

A Botched Job

The most obvious downside of improper pruning, from an aesthetic standpoint, is that it’s the equivalent of a bad haircut. There’s really nothing you can do but let it grow out. In the meantime, your trees will look a bit awkward.

Weakening Trees

Poor technique can also weaken trees, making them more vulnerable to a number of things, like storms. It’s possible for the inner wood to become less dense, even though the tree looks healthy from the outside. When this happens, it increases the likelihood of broken branches.

The Risk of Injury

Inexperienced pruners run the risk of accidental injury to themselves, as well as property. Trees are heavy. Even branches often weigh a considerable amount, so they can cause significant damage when falling from what may seem like even a minor height.

Cutting through wood requires sharp, heavy-duty equipment. And a novice won’t have the experience needed to properly secure branches, or know where it’s best to cut. These kinds of mistakes can be fatal.

Branch Decay

Trees are alive, which means that while necessary for the structural integrity of the tree, pruning creates wounds that take time to heal. Improper pruning can compromise the health of a tree, creating needless cuts. Over time, this can lead to decaying branches.

Concord Tree Removal

We hope you now have a better understanding of the importance of proper tree pruning. If you’d like to schedule an appointment or speak with us about our Concord tree removal service, please call our office at 925-233-6877 or email us at alex@sexytrees.com with any questions! We offer free estimates.

The Most Popular Indoor Trees

We offer our Berkeley tree service to residents with backyards, but this week we want to talk about how special indoor trees are too. They can add a living structural element to your home, and even boost your mood. Plus, they help improve air quality. Here are a few of the most popular homebound trees.

Parlor Palm

Parlor palms can help brighten up rooms that don’t receive a lot of natural light. They’re independent and don’t need much love, light, or water to thrive. So if you tend to forget about your leafy friends, or have north-facing windows, the forgiving parlor palm might be right for your home.

Malabar Chestnut

But the giant chestnut craves a bright, indirect light source, and extra water because it comes from swampy wetlands. Make sure your tree is in a pot with good drainage, though. The giant chestnut has a braided trunk and is sometimes called a “money tree.”

Fiddle Leaf Fig

The flowering fiddle leaf fig would be happy in a bright bathroom, where it’s shielded from drafts, but gets some extra humidity. After all, it originated from a lowland tropical jungle in Africa.

Jade Tree

Jade trees are for beginners or people with a black thumb. They have succulent leaves and don’t mind sporadic watering. They just need a sunny window, making them one of the easiest trees to care for.

Norfolk Island Pine

The Norfolk Island pine is an adorable, long-lived variety of tree that you could eventually transfer to your yard. They’re those little holiday trees you see in December, but they can grow quite large, so keep that in mind. If you live in an apartment, this pine will eventually outgrow your space.

Citrus

Citrus trees are a sweet-smelling option, and although they might be a little fussier than some of the other indoor trees, they’re worth it. They have dazzling blooms, plus, just think of the fresh lemonade and citrus pound cake recipes.

Berkeley Tree Service

At Sexy Trees, our team is passionate about the work we do. We believe beautiful trees make the world a better place, and we offer free estimates on our Berkeley tree services. If you have any questions about your indoor or outdoor trees, please call us at 925-233-6877 or email me at alex@sexytrees.com.

Tree Removal: What Happens to a Tree After You Remove It?

Lafayette Tree Pruning

Cutting down a loved tree is a hard decision, but sometimes an essential one. When a tree becomes a trouble or a safety hazard, whether due to its falling fruit, fragile wood, or disease, the best choice may be to cut it down. After a tree removal job, you may be speculating what happens to the tree’s roots after the tree is cut down. What about the stump?

Always consult a proficiently trained arborist to inspect your trees for damage and to help you decide the best solution for your landscape.

 

What happens to a tree’s roots after it’s cut down?

Once a tree is cut down, the trunk is broken off into mulch and hauled away or cut into smaller logs or blocks for extra purposes, but the roots stay in the ground. Without leaves, the cut tree cannot make food for the growth of its roots. However, the roots might have sufficient nutrients left to allow the development of sprouts from the roots or the leftover stump. If a sprout grows enough leaves, it can eventually grow back into a tree. If a tree doesn’t create root sprouts, then it’s doubtful it’ll re-grow. Instead, the roots will ultimately decompose.

Once your tree is cut down, you are left with the tree base. Now you have to make one more important decision—let it settle or get it removed.

 

Does a tree stump and its roots need to be removed?

It’s up to you whether to remove a tree stump from your yard or not. There are many reasons why it could benefit your landscape and property.  Here are three things to think about when you make this decision:

 

1. Tree stumps can be hazardous

Stumps sticking out of the ground can spree children running around in your backyard, causing injury. Furthermore, yard work becomes harder, as you have to maintain the area around the stump, and avoid tree stumps and root areas while mowing your grass. If you don’t, you run the danger of ruining your lawnmower by running them over.

 

2. Tree stumps can ruin your aesthetic

Tree stumps scattered around a well-manicured lawn stand out like sore thumbs, ruining the aesthetic of your scenery. The aesthetic of your land, in turn, has a result on its real-estate value. A large number of tree stumps could force your property value down. Besides that, tree stumps take up a lot of valuable space in your yard. This space could be re-purposed into an outdoor porch or a space to entertain guests and hold family picnics.

 

3. Tree stumps can give access to pests and insects

Tree stumps are breathing systems that can be host to several pests and insects. During the long decomposition procedure stumps go through, they encourage insects like ants, termites, and beetles. These pests can increase to other plants in your lawn, or even your house, if not restricted properly.

 

If you have questions about tree removal in your yard, contact Sexy Trees, certified arborist.

Why Hire a Professional Tree Service?

Lafayette Tree Service

When is it time to hire a professional tree service? For most of us, trees are a necessary part of our landscapes, and it’s essential for your property that you take care of them and keep them well. Tree removal is a proactive way to protect your house when storms come through and keep the wreckage a little more controlled. And when you need storm clean up, you should call in the pros to ensure that the work is done with complete awareness to detail.

 

Full-Service

What precisely does a tree service company do? Beyond just trees, they offer stump removal or grinding, tree trimming, firewood services, limb trimming, pruning and maintenance of trees and bushes. They can also recommend you on how to keep pests and diseases away from valuable landscaping. Some companies will also offer fertilization, soil ventilation, tree planting, removal of dust, tree cabling and bracing, and evaluations.

 

Tree Trimming Adds Beauty and Value to Your Landscape

Tree care is a brilliant way to tighten and improve the look of your landscape. An arborist service adds pleasant aesthetics, as well as improves your curb appeal. If you’re trying to sell your house, you’ll discover that your property makes an impression within the first few seconds, and you want that to be a positive one. If you plan on living in your house somewhat permanently, then guests and neighbors will love the gorgeous look of your trees, and you’ll appreciate being in your outside space even more. The professionals will also offer roof cleaning services to improve the look so that you don’t have to worry about leaves and branches cluttering your space when the work is done.

 

Time Saving

When you hire experts to do the job, you are hiring people who know what they are doing. They make a complex task look easy and do the work within half the time of what you might perform. This will save you a lot of time, and money, as they may complete the whole project in one day. Tree services take time and effort, and unless you have the gear, time, and means to get it done professionally, it is not worth the effort to do it yourself. Leave this to the experts.

 

It’s More Affordable than You Realize

When you understand it’s time to trim a tree, many people end up spending a considerable amount of money getting new equipment. However, when you bring in the pros, you’ll discover that it’s more reasonable than you realize and the best companies will work within your budget. Further than trimming trees, you’ll have access to base grinding services. A full-service company will offer everything from stump elimination to cleaning your roof to planned trimming techniques. Once you hire a professional tree service, you’ll wonder why you didn’t begin sooner!

 

Sexy Trees offers a wide range of services, including tree trimming, pruning, stump grinding, tree removal, and much more. To learn more, please contact us at (925) 233-6877.

Adding New Trees

Tree Care Pleasant Hill

Can you imagine a community without trees?  There is a reason why cities invest so much in parks.  The effect that trees have is unbelievable.  So what are the benefits of adding new trees even when your city has some?

Breathability

Trees provide the air we breath while filtering many of the toxins in the air.  A single tree can provide the air for at least a dozen individuals.  At the same time, the trees will get rid of carbon dioxide and pollution in the air.  This is all done through the tree’s process of photosynthesis.

Cool

In the heat of the day, don’t you always wish to be under the shade of a tree.  More trees mean greater shade and cool sections around town to thwart the summer heat.  Similarly, this helps keep your home cooler so you save on energy costs.  In addition, the shade also reduces the need for water in your yard.  As a result, you can save on the amount of water for your landscaping when you have more shaded areas.

Water Runoff

A great way to prevent flooding and erosion of your yard is to add trees to your landscaping.  They act as a barrier and canopy to rain water.  Thus, the water runoff is prevented and/or slowed down.  At the same time, the impact on the runoff also slows down the rate of pollution in our water supplies.

Tree Care and Maintenance

As you are growing them, it’s important to take proper care and maintenance of them.  You should understand the soil and water needs for each type of tree.  Also, identify the best location to plant them to maximize the impact they have around your home and neighborhood.  We strongly recommend that you contact the certified arborist at Sexy Trees if you have questions or need help with your tree planting needs.

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

 

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.

 

Are You Harming Your Soil Ecosystem?

Danville Tree Pruning

The trees on your property are dependent on your soil to be a healthy, safe place for them to grow or just stay alive. If your soil suffers, the trees suffer. If your soil thrives, the trees thrive. You need to be sure you aren’t harming your soil, which would threaten your trees.

However, to do that, you need to know about some of the most common practices which lead to soil damage.

Using Biocides

One of the most common ways people harm soil is by using biocides, which destroy life inside the soil. Healthy soil is full of microorganisms that promote tree growth and nutrition. Unfortunately, when plants are sprayed with pesticides to kill insects, they also end up being absorbed by the soil, which becomes damaged as a consequence. Biocides include everything from pesticides, weed killers, and fungicides, etc.

Moreover, even if the biocides don’t have an immediate measurable effect on your trees or soil, the can remain for decades and damage life in the longer run as they build up.

Removing Vegetation

Another common practice that leads to the damage of soil is through the removal of vegetation. While some people remove ground covering plants to create some landscaping goals, you also need to understand that complete removal leads to the soil being exposed. It also loses the connectivity created by root systems. This, as a result, makes it vulnerable to forces of erosion like wind and rain.

When the soil is exposed to these threats, healthy topsoil is lost, which is a primary layer for plants to grow because it has the most organic matter. Moreover, when the soil is bare, it receives more sunlight, and this causes moisture to evaporate. Finally, it becomes compacted as it dries, which make it harder for the soil to absorb rain.

If you don’t want to destroy the soil, you need to understand the soil’s needs. You need to know the soil needs to be covered, and plants provide this shelter. 

Allowing Soil to Dry Out

When soil is allowed to dry, the rich environment or microorganism that call it home suffer. Organic matter thrives in soil, from living fungi, to earthworms and healthy bacteria, and they all need water to survive.

Remember that your trees can’t make these decisions for you, but it matter to them when you make choices soil management. Swear off biocides, grow ground covering plants, and keep your soil from drying, and your trees will thank you. Silently, by living a long healthy life. 

Protecting Trees During Construction

Berkeley Tree Pruning

When building new structures, existing trees are often the main features in your landscape design, and need to be carefully preserved. But how do we go about protecting trees during construction?

Unfortunately, many times pre-existing trees have difficulty surviving construction. This can lead to unsafe or hazardous conditions and expensive post construction removal costs. With planning, communication and cooperation, existing healthy trees can be preserved with minimal effort and expense. Trees need their roots protected during the construction process.

 

Plan With an Arborist

Always have a professional arborist involved in the planning (and maybe execution) of the project. Small changes in the placement or design of buildings, driveways or utilities can make a difference in protecting trees during construction. Alternative construction methods are generally easier than growing a new 20 year old tree. If utilities can’t be routed away from trees, tunneling or hand dug trenches are worth considering, to place the utilities directly below the trunk, where they do the least damage.

 

Inventory Your Trees

Map the location, species, size, and health of each tree on the development site. This can help you decide which trees to keep, which to remove and which to put limited effort into keeping. Your arborist can tell you which trees probably shouldn’t be selected for preserving. These should be removed prior to construction. Be sure to prune trees that need additional clearance to make room for future structures and construction equipment.

 

Tree Protection Zones

You’ll want to erect sturdy fencing around each tree that is to be preserved before construction starts. For each inch of trunk diameter, the fence should be about one foot from the trunk. So a ten inch diameter trunk gets fencing 10 feet from it. A three inch layer of mulch should be applied to the area within the TPZ. This provides your tree with both above and below ground protection.

Mount Tree Protection Zone (TPZ) signs to the fences and ask all construction personnel to keep fencing intact. No trenching, digging or soil disturbance of any kind should happen in the TPZ. No building materials, waste materials, excess soil, paints or supplies should be within the TPZ. The area should be considered off-limits.

 

Before Construction Starts

A healthy tree is more likely to survive the construction process than one that’s stressed. Be sure trees are receiving proper irrigation in addition to rainfall if needed. Prune dead, diseased, or hazardous branches. Also remove branches that will interfere with construction equipment and machinery.

 

Stay Engaged: Protecting Trees During Construction

Visit the construction site and inspect your trees on a regular basis. An arborist’s presence alerts workers that trees are important and their careful treatment is important. Should damage occur, begin repairs as soon as possible. Immediately inform the builder/contractor of any violations in the tree preservation plan and photograph any damage. All protective fences should remain in place until all construction workers have left the site.

 

Minimize Soil Compaction

Construction equipment and vehicles are a common cause of soil compaction. Have your project manager limit access points and designate routes on and off of the property. The fewer, the better. They should also designate areas for parking, storage of equipment, construction materials, excess soil, etc.

 

Grade Changes

Grade changes directly affect the roots of a tree. This happens either by removing roots when lowering the grade, or suffocating the roots when raising the grade. It can also change drainage, creating excess water in some areas and not enough in others. Except where absolutely necessary, do not change grade within the Tree Protection Zone. If raising the grade is necessary, we recommend not adding more than two inches of fill each year. Lowering the grade removes important roots and your rich topsoil. If a lowering of the grade is necessary, have your arborist root prune at least four to six months before construction starts and use a regular irrigation schedule before during and after root pruning.

 

Post Construction

It can take several years for trees to overcome and adjust to the injury that occurs during construction. These changes can be stressful, and trees that are suffering from stress are naturally more prone to insect and disease infestations than healthy trees. It is important to establish a long term maintenance program with your arborist to monitor and maintain the trees.