Summer Tree Planting Keys to Success

Lafayette Tree Service

Early autumn and spring are generally considered the best times to plant new trees, but there are some reasons summer tree planting is preferable. Trees are typically in a dormant stage during the fall, which means their growth is significantly slowed, almost like they’re sleeping. If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and plant, here are some tips to ensure your summer trees flourish.

Not so Fast

If you plant small trees in the summer, consider leaving them in containers for a while. Trees that are containerized develop a healthy root system, which means they have a better chance to thrive. By keeping very young trees in a pot, it’s less likely they’ll experience transplant shock, a condition that can kill trees in all seasons, not just summer.

Provide Enough Water

There’s less rainfall in summer months, so you’ll need to manually water any trees planted at this time of year. Scheduling sufficient watering ensures that your trees don’t dry out and wither. If you help your new trees through the dry months, you can probably let nature take its course from autumn onwards. It just depends on your local climate.

Heeling In

Before summer tree planting, dig a large trench filled with fresh soil. Ground that has already been cultivated is ideal, but if not, use fresh compost and ensure there’s plenty of moisture to help roots get established.

The trench should be dug with a sloping back, and deep enough for the roots of the tree to be entirely covered. Once you finish your summer tree planting, cover the roots then help the tree remain upright by treading on the fresh soil.

The Best Trees for Summer Tree Planting

While summer tree planting isn’t considered ideal if you live in a hot climate, following these simple steps can ensure that your new trees make it through the dry season. If you’d like more information on the best trees for summer planting, call us at (925) 233-6877. We’re happy to answer any questions you have.

Tree Planting Myths

Tree Care Blackhawk

Earlier this month, we discussed the benefits of adding new trees.  From improving breathability to increasing coolness and energy efficiency, trees have a big impact on your life.  However, how do you go about adding trees?  There are a lot of myths out there about planting trees.  Are they true?  We explore a few tree planting myths in this article.

Pruning in Advance

There is a belief that you should prune a tree before planting it, especially when an area appears dead.  The dilemma with this technique is that you maybe pruning too early.  Trees regain a dead areas nutrients.  Thus, it’s critical to allow the tree to go through its normal process before pruning.  If you do not, you maybe causing the tree to lose valuable nutrients.  Leave the tree alone and do not prune before you plant it.

Deep Planting

A common tree planting myth is that planting needs to be really deep to allow for the tree to take root but this is inaccurate.  In fact, if you plant a tree too deep then you run the risk of keeping nutrients and water away.  These vital vitamins tend to be nearer the surface so planting it deeply will restrict access to them.

Use Tight Bracing

Many individuals think that bracing new trees to make them sturdy is crucial.  This is partially true.  While bracing your new tree is important, you shouldn’t make it too tight.   The tree must be allowed to still sway. This movement allows trees to get much needed calcium so it can be healthy.

More Mulch

Mulch is good for keeping moisture and nutrients but there are limits.  More in not always better.  Keep the depth at no more than 3 inches of mulch to ensure that you aren’t suffocating the tree with mulch.

If you have questions or unsure of the tree planting myths or how to plant a tree, contact the certified arborist at Sexy Trees.

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.

Identifying Tree Hazards

Tree Service Walnut Creek

Going to a park or a natural park brings serenity and peace.  The trees in these areas provide an area of comfort and relaxation.  However, these trees can also pose a danger.  A fallen branch or even an incubator for pests could pose problems for you or your surrounding area.  So how does one go about identifying tree hazards?  Here are some ways to recognize them:

Separation

When you are looking at trees, it’s important to identify points where there maybe cracks or splits.  If these cracks or splits go into the branch or seem to be covering the entire part of a limb, then this would be a method for identifying tree hazards.  Should the separation be going down the middle of a trunk, this is a critical scenario that needs your attention.  A certified arborist would be the right person to help you identifying the tree hazards.

Dying

Over time, parts of a tree may start dying.  To protect from hazards, knowing areas that maybe failing and removing them promptly will help protect you and your surroundings.  If you do not address them, then they could cause a limb to fall or break off.

Disease

Trees that get diseased can be a huge problem.  Some diseases cannot be cured but others are solvable.  A common sign of disease is the loss of bark without any bark growing in its place.  Another indication of disease is the existence of fungus.  If parts of a tree have a mushroom, this could be indications that the tree is sick.  Should you see these signals, contact a certified arborist.

Leaning

When a tree starts leaning in a dramatic fashion, this is another sign of problems.  It showcases that the tree maybe structurally failing  This is another situation where a certified arborist should be called in to evaluate the situation.

If you have questions or need to speak with a Certified arborist, contact Sexy Trees.

Heat Impact on Trees

Tree Service Alamo

When we were younger, we learned about photosynthesis.  This is the mechanism by which trees “breath”.  It is the process to convert carbon dioxide to oxygen.  But, how does heat impact trees and this process.  It has a dramatic effect.

Heat Impact

During warmer weather, photosynthesis rates slow down and put more pressure on the trees.  In fact, the heat impact on trees is even more substantial as trees are losing water through their leaves while having lower photosynthesis rates thereby causing a dramatic impact on a trees ability to maintain itself.

Sun Rays

The heat impact from sun rays do result in some tree protections.  Trees as with humans have HSPs.  These are special proteins within them to help protect your body’s proteins from the higher temperatures.  They work to allow for continued cell functioning.  Beyond HSPs, there are other nutrients that help during the heat.  For instance, calcium can provide further stabilization assistance for the body.

Solutions

Beyond the natural protections, you can do a lot to protect your plants and trees.  Here is a short list of recommendations:

  • Modify watering to higher amounts to give your trees and plants more nutrients over the summer months.  Many times, this involves doubling or tripling the watering times during the warmer months.  We recommend spreading this out over the course of a 24 hours rather than merely extending the run time for each iteration.
  • Utilize mulch to keep moisture in and keep the trees cool.  A healthy layer of about 1-2 inches is recommended.
  • Use fertilizer and high quality soil to give your plants the right nutrients.  If you’re unsure, get your soil tested and then mix it with the right combination of nutrients.
  • Do not be afraid to use continued soil sampling to maintain the right balance.

If you have questions about how to maintain the right balance and protect your landscaping, contact Sexy Trees certified arborist.

Natural Solutions to Avocado Tree Pests

Berkeley Tree Service

The avocado also known as Persea Americanus beautifies servings of mixed greens and ties guacamole. The rich green organic product gives a lot of nourishment but avocado tree pests pose a danger. Avocados planted indoors do not grow well however, you can plant your very own trees. A couple of traps will help keep the few bugs that trouble them away, which we’ll collectively call the avocado tree pests.

Types of Avocado Tree Pests

Mites:

Such pests aren’t simple to spot outwardly, however the harm they do to leaves is evident. For the individuals who are asking why the falling leaves are viewed as such a major ordeal, this is on bases that the leaves are imperative to shielding the organic product from the harming sun beams. Whenever permitted to go unchecked, bug populaces are fit for developing quickly. The predator vermin has one eradication solution that is accessible to tree proprietors, yet the best treatment for bugs is particular horticulture oil.

Caterpillars:

For reasons unknown, the famous picture of caterpillars biting through apples has a solid premise in actuality. These pests follow blooms, leaves, and natural products. In the event that they’re sans given rule, they’re fit for crushing a whole avocado harvest in basically no time by any stretch of the imagination. The speed at which they work is a major piece of what makes a caterpillar invasion especially risky to your tree. Caterpillars can be treated with a bacterial splash called Bacillus thuringiensis. By taking consideration to shower the leaves and the inner parts of any buds, you can stop a caterpillar invasion dead in its tracks.

Thrips:

This is a condition that outcomes in scarred avocados and hindered development relying upon how genuine the condition moves toward becoming. You will ordinarily observe these bugs come during a particular season since they like to benefit from developments and shoots while they’re as yet youthful and delicate. Thrips attempt to look for dampness so ceasing an invasion at last comes down to a blend of repulsing the populace on the avocado tree and expelling elective hosts. To battle Thrips, it’s optimal for tree proprietors to haul out any grass or different plants close to the avocado tree and to likewise apply a pesticide or oil and fat-based cleansers intended to slaughter hurtful creepy crawlies.

Mealybugs:

In the event that you see honeydew on your leaves, particularly in blend with a dirty shape, mealybugs might be the reason. Mealybugs are horribly damaging. They suck out the juices of a plant through the leaves, hindering its development colossally and notwithstanding causing the possible demise of the tree in extreme cases. Ants are typically present with mealybugs, yet once the ants are controlled, regular adversaries like winged creatures and ladybird scarabs will generally deal with the invasion rapidly. Minor invasions can be overseen by hand picking or touching with scouring liquor. Greater pervasions can be made do with a solid splash of water and the utilization of an insecticidal cleanser or neem oil.

Subterranean Insects:

The most well-known bug you’ll see on an avocado tree is the subterranean insect, which is fascinating in light of the fact that ants don’t benefit from the avocado tree straightforwardly. The subterranean insect benefits from honeydew which is discharged by a few creepy crawlies, which makes them both a gift and a revile. They’re a gift since seeing ants is a pointer that there is another vermin issue. A revile in light of the fact that the ants can regularly intrude on the organic controls that may somehow upset the culpable creepy crawly. Dispose of ants by first pruning all lower appendages up to a tallness of no lower than 2 feet starting from the earliest stage. At that point apply a wide band of sticky material encircling the base of the tree trunk. This will interfere with the subterranean insect’s capacity to get into the tree enabling you to deal with different bugs determined.

You now know about bugs that can do genuine harm to an avocado tree. Fortunately, a significant number of the conditions referenced here can be overseen and effectively secured against with a solid routine of pruning, cautious regulation of issue zones, and compost.  Avoid Avocado Tree Pests and contact the Certified Arborist with Sexy Trees.

 

Tree Pruning Tips in Time for Spring

Alamo Tree Service

In preparation for the spring growing season, there are a few things you can do to help your trees stay healthy and strong for years to come. These aren’t large tasks, in the scheme of things. As you know, trees don’t ask much of you in general. With a few days of attention a year, you can have hearty, lush trees for years or decades.

Start Before Spring Growth Begins

While your deciduous trees are still bare, visually check them for signs of disease or damage that might be masked by full leaf cover later. This is also the best time to prune, while pruning is least likely to spread pests or diseases that are inactive in winter. Target dead, unhealthy, or dangerous branches for pruning, and follow safe tree pruning tips.

If you have any doubts about proper tree pruning, educate yourself on tree pruning. Hire a professional if you aren’t sure you can do it in a way that’s safe for the tree, and safe for all people and property involved.

Readying for Blooms

Before your trees bloom, they’ll need to be in good health to get through the energy expenditure of blooming! Ensure they’re prepared by using a long-lasting fertilizer at the very start of Spring. There are multiple fertilizing and nutrient-delivering options available, talk to your local arborist if you’re not sure what option is best for your tree and goals.

Spring in Full Swing

When spring has fully arrived, it’s time to renew mulch under your trees, making sure you’re using an appropriate mulch for your landscape and applying it properly. This’ll prevent weeds and grass from leaching nutrients away from your trees, and preserve moisture for your tree’s roots.

If you need help with pruning, fertilizing, or other tree care, call Sexy Trees (925) 233-6877

The Magic of Mulch

Danville Tree Removal

You’ve probably heard that mulch is important to your landscape. Have you ever thought about why that is? Apparently lots of people have thought about it, and so much that the phrase “the magic of mulch” has gained popular use. Don’t believe me? Google it.

Why did “the magic of mulch” become a thing, instead of “the utility of mulch” or ”the practicality of mulch”? Probably because what mulch does is pretty whimsical and impressive, really. But before we go into that, what do people use as mulch?

 

Basic Mulch Types

 

When you’re looking for mulch, you’ll find that you have three basic category types: organic, mineral, or synthetic. Organic mulch can be shredded hardwood, bark based, coconut coir, wood chips, corn husks, leaf litter, and other natural plant materials. Mineral mulch includes pea gravel, crushed brick, volcanic rocks, marble chips, and shale. Synthetic mulch can be shredded rubber, black plastic sheeting, and landscape fabric. Sometimes synthetic mulches are layered under organic or mineral mulches.

 

Mulch and the Microbiome

Mineral and synthetic mulches do something good for the miniscule life in your soil: they keep it cool and moist. But organic mulches offer more than that: they contribute new nutrients and living microbes to the rich and bustling microscopic life in the soil. Within soil there are fungus, bacteria, nematodes, algae, earthworms, ants, centipedes, millipedes, beetles, snails, and slugs, all sharing a balanced ecosystem. Organic mulch supports and contributes to that. If your soil were not vibrant with life, your trees, shrubs, and grass wouldn’t be either.

 

Mulch and Water

All types of mulch reduce evaporation of water from the soil. Water is crucial to your healthy garden and trees. Not only do the plants themselves need water, but so do soil-dwelling microbes and tiny animals like ants and worms. This water retention becomes especially important during hot or dry spells or in hot or dry climates. There is no danger that using mulch will keep your soil too wet, mulch brings water management benefits and no drawbacks.

 

Mulch and temperature

Part of the magic of mulch is that it keeps soil and roots warmer in cold weather and cooler in hot weather. It has an insulating property that brings the soil below it closer to middle ground temperatures by reflecting away heat and retaining the warmer ground temperatures when cold hits. Almost all areas experience either hot summers or cold winters, if not both. This makes mulch’s insulatory magic useful everywhere.

 

Mulch and Your Trees

Mulching your trees is pretty easy, and yields great benefit for the tree. What you don’t want is to under-mulch or over-mulch. No sparse see-through layers and no grand mulch volcanoes with your tree trunk erupting out.

Keys to mulching your tree well:

  • Remove grass and weeds within the “drip line”, area under the thickest parts of the tree canopy
  • If there’s old mulch, rake it to make sure it’s not compacted
  • Add about 3 inches depth of fresh mulch covering the “drip line”
  • Make sure the flare of the trunk (where it widens above meeting the ground) is fully above the mulch-line. No mulch should be against the trunk or within the first few inches.

If you have questions or need suggestions about mulch, contact Sexy Trees.

 

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. 

Sycamore Tree Care and Illness

Tree Care Concord

An American Sycamore tree is most notable for its exfoliating bark. People love the peeling patches on sycamore trunks.

Healthy Sycamore Trees

The bark of the trunk and its larger limbs tend to flake off in large, irregular masses, giving the surface a mottled look. The bark can be of many colors due to this, from grey to brown to greenish white. The smaller limbs often look whitewashed.

The leaves of these trees are pale green in color. When fully grown they become a bright yellow color on top and a paler yellow underneath. They become a brown color in autumn and wither just before falling away.

A sycamore tree can grow to quite massive proportions. American sycamore trees tend to be divided nearer to the ground into many secondary trunks that are free from branches. The limbs spread out at the top to make an irregular, open crown. The roots are fibrous and it’s noteworthy that trunks of the larger sycamore trees tend to be hollow.

Threats to Your Sycamore

Sycamores are vulnerable to diseases and also insect parasites, similar to almost every category of trees you could plant. As first line of protection, you should keep your tree healthy with good prevention and maintenance care. If your tree is very healthy, it’s much less likely to struggle with health issues. Of course, well irrigated and fertilized sycamore trees can be affected by diseases and pests, too.

Lace Bug

Lace bug is one of the most common and harmful sycamore tree parasites. The lacy pattern on the adult’s chest, wings, and head earn it’s name. The insects eat the under sides of the tree’s leaves.

While the sycamore lace bug’s damage is not always serious, a heavy infestation will slow the tree’s growth. You should wash off bugs with a hose. Insecticides are also readily available for this. 

Sycamore Anthracnose

Sycamore Anthracnose is a fungus that winters on twig tissue and causes leaf spots. It’s also called leaf and twig blight, and can kill American Sycamore trees while doing only minor damage to other types. A frequent clue is crinkling and browning of the leaves. Symptoms include tan to red-brown lesions extending along the veins and edges of the leaf.

Considerable defoliation, sometimes with complete leaf loss, occurs on many trees by late spring in cool, wet years. This sycamore tree disease is more likely to strike in wet weather. Rainfall and wind spread the fungi’s spores.

For Sycamore Anthracnose, we use an Arborjet treatment called PHOSPHO-jet applied in the fall following leaf coloration or early spring prior to twig infection. Propizol applied in the fall will slow the spread of infection the following spring and help the tree to grow leaves more normally.