Nontoxic Mistletoe Removal

Danville Tree Pruning

Staying on top of mistletoe removal is especially important in Northern California where it’s a common annoyance for homeowners. Wild mistletoe can be found in many parts of North America, but it won’t grow on all tree species. It’s a parasitic evergreen shrub that draws water and mineral nutrients from a host tree, despite the fact that it does create some of its own energy through converting sunlight. Here’s a more in-depth look at this festive weed.

It’s For the Birds

Healthy bird populations mean more mistletoe plants. This is because birds spread mistletoe seeds when they ingest its white berries, which ripen in the winter. While poisonous to humans, mistletoe berries are an important food source for wildlife during the lean months when calories are scarce.

Seeds pass through the bird’s digestive system and stick to a tree branch. Additionally, some bird species even prefer to nest in mistletoe.

How Does Mistletoe Work?

Mistletoe can only survive on living trees. If the host tree dies, it won’t be able to feed any longer. Mistletoe doesn’t root in the earth. Rather, it has root-like structures that thread into tree branches, stealing resources. These organs are called haustoria.

Is Mistletoe Harmful to Trees?

Mistletoe grows slowly, so it’s not an immediate threat to the health of a tree. The greatest risk to a host tree is the water loss that incurs, especially while the weed is flowering or producing berries. Trees that are heavily infested with mistletoe can be killed if there are additional stressors, such as root damage, drought, or insects.

Do You Need Mistletoe Removal Services?

It’s easiest to spot mistletoe in the wintertime. It looks like a tangled green mass, usually connected to a bare tree branch.

Mistletoe Decorations

If you decide to use mistletoe in holiday decorations, be aware that its white berries are toxic and should be kept out of reach of curious children and pets.

Nontoxic Mistletoe Removal

While it’s easy to prune back mistletoe leaves and twigs, this won’t kill the entire plant because it’s also necessary to kill the roots. If the host tree is strong enough, one option is to simply remove infested branches. However, this can be harmful to trees so it’s best to consult with a certified arborist.

We hope you found this article helpful. To schedule a consultation, please contact our office at (925) 233-6877.

Danville Tree Removal

Berkeley Tree Removal

The following is a video of a redwood being removed in Danville, California.

What Are The Most Drought Resistant Plants and Trees?

Walnut Creek Tree Pruning

With drought spreading across most of California, and now affecting many other states across the U.S. as well, many more homeowners are looking for alternatives to keeping their homes and gardens beautiful while minimizing water usage. One of the best ways to do this is to switch out your lawn and water hungry plants for drought tolerant plants, trees, and landscapes. A drought tolerant landscape designed by a skilled arborist will be resistant to water shortages and look beautiful all year round. Here we look at how the drought situation might affect you and your garden, and how you can maintain a beautiful landscape with drought resistant trees and plants.

Drought Affected Areas

If you’re living in California, you may be all too familiar with the effects of drought, however drought conditions are also prevalent in over 30 states across the U.S. More than half of California is currently in a state of drought, with 59% of the state affected. Nearby Nevada is also affected in 22% of the state, while 28% of Georgia, 40% of Massachusetts, and 27% of New York is also affected by drought. Regardless of the dry conditions in these states, the right knowledge of tree care and low water plants and trees can help to maintain a beautiful outdoor environment, even in drought conditions.

Drought Resistant Trees

Tree trimming and tree pruning can help to reduce water consumption by trees, however it can also result in tree death and the need for tree removal. A better solution is to plant drought resistant trees which have leaves that use water efficiently, waxy coatings that protect from water loss, and extensive root systems to maximize water absorption. While a tree company or certified arborist can provide expert advice on which kind of trees would best suit your environment and aesthetic taste, some of the drought resistant trees suitable for California and the Bay Area include Western sycamore, California oak, Southern magnolia, Eldarica pine, Kentucky coffee tree, White oak, Northern red oak, Eastern red cedar, and the Thornless honeylocust.

Furthermore, the California sycamore and Holly oak are drought resistant, but only once established. Choose drought resistant trees, or contact a tree cutting service to prune your trees safely and appropriately in order to keep your garden drought friendly. 

Drought Resistant Plants

Drought resistant plants can also feature in a drought resistant garden, and they make the perfect addition to homes with smaller available garden space. Drought resistant flowers such as hawthorns and crepe myrtle, drought tolerant succulents and dry climate grasses all contribute to added variety and color in a drought resistant garden.

Drought Resistant Landscaping

Lush, green lawns are great, but not during a drought. Why let your grass go brown and die when you can swap out your thirsty lawn for a drought resistant landscape? If you want to maintain the appearance of green grass without the water consumption, realistic artificial grass could be the ideal solution. Gravel or stone landscapes interspersed with succulents and other drought resistant plants also look stunning and add a modern landscape feature to the home. Ornamental grasses and perennial flowering plants add a touch of variety and color.

Although drought conditions look set to stay for a while, with the assistance of a professional arborist to build the perfect drought resistant garden for your home, you can enjoy a beautiful landscape year from season to season.

4 Important Reasons You Should Leave Tree Work to the Professionals

Tree Care Concord

Many homeowners like to do their own DIY work around the house, and many may see money spent on professional tree service and arborists as ‘wasted’. Many feel that when it comes to tree trimming and pruning in California – how hard can it be? But the reality is that tree care is hardly as simple as it looks and in fact involves a number of considerations and precautions many DIYers fail to take into account, and these could end up costing you in the long run. Here we look at 4 of the most important reasons you should always leave tree care to the professionals.

Arborists Have Essential Tree Knowledge

Do you know and understand how every tree and plant should be cared for in your garden to promote its optimal health? Are you familiar with when and how each type of tree variety should be pruned? Would you recognize critical tree damage such as weakened tree branches, tree and plant pests and tree diseases? A certified arborist is trained and experienced in these and other aspects of arboriculture and tree care in order to provide relevant and targeted tree care to ensure tree health.

Arborists often pick up underlying issues when working with your trees, such as tree diseases and pest you may not have noticed, or the need for cabling and bracing to support tree branches and protect your property. Having a qualified arborist work on your trees allows you to receive an expert opinion on tree care and health.

Improper Tool Use

Homeowners completing DIY jobs on their trees and plants are often at risk of injury and damage to property due to improper use of tools. Power tools such as chainsaws are incredibly dangerous and difficult to use, and improper use or use of a blunt or damaged blade can cause major issues. Ladders are another dangerous tool that are improperly used in DIY tree trimming, and they can often be too short, set on unstable ground, or supported by a faulty limb.

Professional arborists also have an collection of specialized tools such as stump grinders, wood chippers, and aerial lifts which provide the easiest way to remove tree stumps and allow some of the more complex and difficult jobs to be completed more quickly and efficiently.

Personal and Property Safety

Improper use of tools, a failure to accurately assess and understand environmental conditions and a lack of adequate support or other people to work with can all result in large risks to the DIY tree trimmer and their property when completing a DIY tree care job. Removing high or large limbs, using ladders and power tools and uprooting a tree are all tasks that present significant risk. DIYers often suffer serious injuries or fatalities from taking on difficult tree work, particularly alone, due to risks from electrical wires, falls and dropped branches.

Falling branches, removing trees and failure to recognize root damage can also result in damage to your home and neighboring properties. Using a professional Bay Area tree care company reduces these risks to personal safety and property.

Insurance

If you’re planning to be your own tree trimmer, you might want to think about what the consequences will be if something does go wrong and whether it’s worth it. If damage does occur during DIY work, the homeowner will be the one responsible. Reliable arborists complete work in your yard with personal and property damage insurance so you can have peace of mind.

For safe work and the most comprehensive and detailed tree care, always choose a professional, qualified arborist for completing work in your yard.

 

How To Conserve Water In Your Garden This Summer

Berkeley Tree Care

Summer is a time when a lot of plants and trees are putting forth new growth and even providing fruit. However, the hot summer weather and increased growth means that plants also have an increased need for water. As much of California is still experiencing drought, and the drought conditions are being felt in local areas such as Walnut Creek, Concord, Berkeley and Pleasant Hill, it’s important for homeowners and gardeners to be aware of how to prepare their trees and gardens for the drought, while also conserving water and using a more environmentally sustainable approach. Here we look at some tips for plant and tree care to conserve water and maximize your garden’s health in summer.

Water the Right Amount

If you are under-watering or over-watering your garden, you not only pose the risk of damaging your plants, you may also simply be wasting water and doing more work than you need to. With proper tree identification from an experienced tree specialist, you can establish exactly how frequently you should be watering your plants and trees for their optimal health. Once this schedule has been established, stick to a routine of watering your plants only when they need it.

Observe Your Plants and Trees

One of the ways you can establish how often your plants need watering is by observing your plants and trees for signs of water loss such as dryness and wilting. Plants with larger leaves lose water more quickly than plants with smaller leaves, so use large-leaved plants in your garden as an indicator for when you should water.

Trees that aren’t watered adequately can drop more leaves and branches than necessary, which in extreme cases can require cabling and bracing. If you’re not sure how often your tree should be watered, consult a tree doctor for specialized advice.

Water Deeply

If you’re wondering exactly how to water trees in order to conserve water, deep watering is the method for you. Deep watering is a technique that helps essential hydration for plants reach deep into the roots up to 8-12 inches below the ground, rather than just wetting the surface. This is particularly important in summer, as huge water losses due to evaporation can occur in hot weather. It’s better to water plants and trees more heavily on less days of the week than watering just a little bit every day.

Deep watering also helps tree and plant roots reach deeper into the soil for greater stability and strength, and avoids wetting the leaves of the trees and shrubs which can give rise to fungal disease.

Use Mulch

Once you have thoroughly watered your tree and plant roots it’s important to cover the root area in mulch in order to limit evaporative water losses and protect tree roots from the heat. Mulch can be provided by your local tree specialist to act as an insulating cover that conserves water in the soil and also helps to optimize soil health, which is essential in drought conditions.

Drought Resistant Plants

One of the best ways to conserve water in your garden is to plant drought resistant plants and shrubs which are tolerant of low water conditions and more suited to the native environment. Of course, pruning trees can reduce their water usage, but it can also lead to the tree dying or failing to grow.

If you want to make you garden more drought tolerant, consult with a qualified arborist to choose plants that both help to conserve precious water and fit into your landscape.

With these tips you can conserve water in the garden and create a beautiful landscape that flourishes even in drought conditions.

3 Essential Tips for Fruit Tree Care in Summer

Lafayette Tree Service

With summer here, your fruit trees are hopefully putting forth a lot of new growth and some of that delicious summer fruit is already starting to appear on your tree. Summer is when most fruit trees really flourish into their full beauty, but it’s also a time when special care needs to be taken to properly nurture your fruit trees and get the best results out of them. With careful attention and the skilled assistance of a qualified arborist where necessary, you can help your trees to produce the best summer fruit you’ve ever had while keeping your tree happy and healthy.

Pruning in Summer

If you’re wondering whether you can prune fruit trees in summer the answer is yes, although with some caveats. While conventionally, most fruit tree pruning is done in late winter, there is a place for pruning fruits trees at home in summer. This especially applies to dwarf fruit trees, where summer pruning helps to establish control, and most garden apple trees and pear trees are dwarf stock nowadays.

Pruning fruit trees in summer has many advantages. Firstly, it can help to correct what needs correcting, removing dead and damaged section of the tree and establishing structure. Pruning excess growth and thinning the fruit can help direct the trees energy towards developing the fruit on fast growing trees. Pruning can also increase light exposure which prevents disease and helps to mature the fruit.

However, over-pruning in summer, or pruning when your tree is tip bearing or weak can do more damage than good. If you’re unsure, call in your local tree specialist to inspect the tree and provide an expert tree trimming for the best results.

Protecting Your Fruit Trees

Summer can be a harsh time for trees and plants, especially in drought conditions such as we are experiencing now in Walnut Creek and across the Bay Area. Regularly watering your trees and applying mulch to protect the roots and prevent water loss is the most environmentally sustainable and tree friendly way to nurture your fruit trees through summer.

Tree services companies can provide mulch fresh to your door, so you can keep your fruit trees healthy all summer.

Inspecting Fruit Trees

When fruits begin to appear on the tree, it’s also likely that pests and diseases could appear as well. Inspect the bark, branches, leaves and developing fruits on your fruit trees often and check for signs of insects and diseases.

Catching a problem early can help to save a lot of time and damage rather than letting the problem get out of control before you take action. If you’re unsure about how to inspect fruit trees or you see the initial signs of a problem starting, contact a fruit tree specialist to come and inspect the tree and offer advice on how to remedy the problem while conserving the tree’s health and as much fruit as possible.

With these tips you can nurture your fruit trees through the summer and enjoy a delicious crop of rich, mature fruit, while keeping your tree healthy for the next season as well.

The Ultimate Guide To Summer Tree Care

Berkeley Tree Pruning

Summer is here and with the mercury rising and drought still persisting in California, tree care should be a top priority for anyone who wants to see their trees survive and flourish. By arranging expert tree inspection and giving special attention to tree care and yard management, you can provide your trees the best chance of being ready for the hottest days of summer. With the help of a professional arborist, you can keep your trees and your property safe this summer with necessary tree cutting, professional tree specialist care and expert garden advice, all from your local tree pruning company.

Have Trees Checked for Pests

While spring is a much more common time for pests to appear on your trees and plants, some pests such as bagworms and Japanese beetles are more likely to appear in summer, and any unresolved pest situation that may have arisen in the spring months could continue into summer too.

If you notice increased insect activity on your trees or shrubs, or you’re concerned about pest infestation, the best option is to contact a certified arborist to inspect your trees and provide the necessary treatment and care to resolve the pest problem and protect your trees.

Droughts Need Water

While trees may not need to be watered in cooler or damp climates, when drought conditions occur many trees and shrubs need extra water to survive. It’s important to water trees and shrubs correctly to avoid wasting water, or inadvertently under- or over-watering the plants.

Check the weather forecast as water may not be needed if rain is due to arrive. Water your gardens deeply and soak the soil with about 1 inch of water, doing this less often such as a few times a week, rather than small amounts more frequently, such as every day. Choose to water at times of the day when water is less likely to be lost to evaporation, such as early in the morning or late afternoon.

Just Add Mulch

Mulching is a great way to keep trees and shrubs protected in summer, and also helps to preserve water and maintain soil health and nutrition. Your local tree company can provide mulch delivered directly to your garden, that provides huge returns for the health of your trees and the quality of your soil.

You can apply a mulch ring around your trees that provides protection and nourishment to the roots while preserving water and keeping your trees hydrated. Ensure your mulch rings are at least 2 inches thick, and add more mulch if necessary.

Professional Care

Is your tree dead, dying, diseased or does it have weak branches? For trees that are already frail surviving a hot, dry summer can be just too much, and they often die or drop branches, destroying nearby property and ruining the look of your yard.

Have a professional tree surgeon or qualified arborist make a visit to your yard to inspect your trees, provide expert advice and apply cabling and bracing to weak tree branches if necessary. A tree specialist can also identify dead or dying trees and provide safe and efficient removal in order to protect your property and your garden.

With these tips for top tree care this summer, you can enjoy a flourishing garden, even during the hottest days of the year.

Is My Oak or Birch Tree Dying? How Can I Save My Tree?

Walnut Creek Tree Pruning

There’s nothing worse than realizing that one of the trees in your yard may be diseased or dying. Not only is there the loss of the tree to take into account and the effect that will have on your garden and landscape, there is also the difficulty of having a dying tree removed. There has recently been an increase in oak and birch trees dying the Bay Area, so if you have one of these trees in your yard, now is the time to perform a checkup and get some essential tree care for your beloved birch and oak trees.

Tree Identification

The oak tree and the birch tree are two of the most popular California trees, renowned for their beauty and stature. Birch trees are popular among homeowners for their beautiful and characteristic fine bark, moderate size and elegant branches. The oak tree is a classic American tree, with characteristic leaves and over 400 species. If you think you might have one of these beautiful trees in your garden but you aren’t sure, a skilled arborist can help you accurately identify which species of tree you have, and the best way to care for each tree as well.

Birch Tree Care

Birch trees are beautiful and elegant trees that help to provide structure and shade in moderate sized spaces. However, due to their shallow root systems, they are especially vulnerable to heat and drought. A position where the birch tree’s roots are shaded, yet where adequate sunlight can still reach the canopy, is ideal for these delicate ornamentals.

Trimming a birch tree can be most effectively done by a tree specialist, to shape and nurture your tree according to its unique needs for the best results. Regular tree maintenance including monitoring, pruning and watering helps to reduce the chance of pest infestation and maintains the health of the birch tree. Birch trees also respond well to having mulch placed around the root systems, to help maintain a more stable soil temperature.

Oak Tree Care

This noble American tree flourishes with regular watering, pruning and fertilizer, which will help to produce a large and beautiful tree that will be the centerpiece of your landscape. Because oak trees can be large and long lived, it’s critical to provide regular tree care and maintenance to your oak to correctly guide its growth and prevent disease and pests.

A skilled arborist can prune your young oak tree to produce a strong central leader branch, while removing dead and broken branches on older trees is essential for maintain structure and integrity. Oak tree should regularly be monitored for disease and pests as well, as they are susceptible to a range of diseases and pests, and left untreated affected trees could die.

Signs of Tree Pests or Disease

Spending some time in your garden taking care of your trees, or regularly enlisting the assistance of a professional arborist should keep tree diseases and pests at bay, or at least help you to recognize them as soon as possible.

Some common signs of problems include –

  • Visible bugs, beetles, worms, caterpillars or other insects in large numbers
  • Discolored or spotted foliage
  • Dead or dying foliage or branches
  • Thinning canopy
  • Shelf mushrooms
  • Wet patches on trunk
  • White coating

If you notice any of these symptoms on your oak or birch tree, call your local professional arborists immediately for accurate diagnosis and the appropriate care to heal or remove your tree.

How To Manage Overgrown Tree Roots

Alamo Tree Pruning

We’ve all seen the trees planted in gardens or the sidewalk whose roots are simply bursting from their planters. This can lead to cracked pathways, uneven walkways and overgrown gardens, creating undesirable effects both for safety and aesthetics.

The full effects of overgrown roots can go deep under the surface of the ground as well, with tree roots growing into drains and piping, causing plumbing issues and even cracking home foundations. But how do you deal with overgrown tree roots without allowing them to destroy your home or garden? Here are the vital steps you should take as soon as tree roots start to overwhelm your property.

Diagnose The Issues

Before taking action on exposed and overgrown tree roots on your yard, it’s important to fully diagnose the problem, and what the likely effects of different actions you might take could be. It’s difficult for the untrained eye to take all the possible scenarios into account, so you should consult a tree specialist, arborist or landscaper in order to correctly diagnose your tree root issues.

A qualified tree company can provide the right diagnostics for your roots and the best approach to tree care for every tree variety in your garden.

Prune Your Trees

Balancing the right amount of pruning can help to control the growth of your trees, and partially restrain root growth if you want to take a low impact approach to managing tree roots. With the assistance of a highly skilled arborist, you can maintain your trees by pruning the active pathway of tree growth, and in some cases limit root growth.

Work Around the Roots

If you value your trees, and the overgrown roots are merely an aesthetic issue, the best approach is to adjust your landscaping plans, and learn to accommodate the exposed tree roots. You can build a bed around the root system and cover with mulch to hide the roots if you like. Covering the roots with soil or trying to plant ‘cover’ plants around the roots is not advised, as these plants will fail to thrive, and the root system could be suffocated.

Tree Removal

In some cases, the tree roots may simply be causing too many issues, and the tree will need to be removed. If you decide to remove the tree, be sure to call in professional arborists or a tree company to remove the tree for you, as trees with advanced root systems are generally large, and not just difficult, but also dangerous to remove on your own.

Stump Grinding

A qualified tree surgeon has the right tools, experience and skills to properly remove any type of trees in California and can safely preserve your property while completely removing the tree and the roots. After the tree has been removed, the tree company can fully remove any remaining stump by grinding it down even below the surface of the ground.

While often just a cosmetic issue, exposed and overgrown roots can quickly turn into a major problem for your property when left unchecked. Caring for your trees, keeping them pruned and removing trees when needed allows you to keep your garden safe and beautiful.

6 Essential Reasons You Should Choose a Certified Arborist

Berkeley Tree Removal

Tree cutters, tree pruners, tree surgeons or tree services – the name really doesn’t matter that much in the end. But when it comes to choosing a professional tree pruning company, there are some important factors you want to consider, as not all tree companies are the same. Just as you would want a qualified and experienced doctor to perform your surgery, when looking for someone to prune trees, manage your tree’s health or remove a tree, you should always choose a certified arborist. Here we look at 6 reasons why choosing a certified arborist is better for you and your trees.

  1. Keeping Your Home Safe

Tree care can be a risky business. Sometimes entire trees need to be removed, the ground needs digging, or trees need to be climbed, so it’s absolutely crucial to be working with a professional when these jobs need to be done. Certified arborists know how to steer clear of property, houses, electricity wires and gas lines so you get the job done right with no fuss or damage.

  1. In Depth Pruning Knowledge

Arborists are tree experts, which means they know what type of care is best for each type of tree and plant. Pruning your trees incorrectly can actually result in more rapid growth and the need for more frequent pruning, or in some cases, can even result in the tree’s death. With an arborist working on your trees you can get the perfect look and trim you want while ensuring the best health for your trees.

  1. Tool Skills

A chainsaw in the hands of the unexperienced can spell disaster. Arborists are not only trained in proper tool use and first aid, they also know when to use each type of tool. Switching to a hand saw to trim and thin out the tree helps to prevent the bark damage that can occur trying to do this fine work with a chainsaw.

  1. Tree Health

Arborists not only know how to trim a tree perfectly, but also how to keep the tree in the best of health. You want a tree company that leaves your yard beautiful both inside and out, and your trees free from suckers, disease, insects, parasites and mistletoe.

  1. Cutting Edge Techniques

Because qualified arborists are certified with the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), they are passionate about their work and always strive to stay on the cutting edge of the latest techniques and expert knowledge for tree care.

  1. Better Long Term Results

Poor tree trimming not only makes your yard look unappealing in the short term, it can also cause damage, growth problems and the opportunity for disease in the long term. Prevention is always better than cure. Getting tree care done right the first time is critical for maintaining a healthy and beautiful yard.

If you want outstanding results for safety, tree health and tree beauty, make sure you choose a qualified and experienced I.S.A. arborist next time you need work done on the trees in your yard.