5 Tips For Caring For Mature Trees

Berkeley Tree Pruning

 

Mature trees are an asset to your landscape. Fully developed trees have required years of nurturing growth and responsible Alamo tree care. This investment should not be taken lightly. When caring for mature trees, you want to protect this investment, and ensure that your mature trees continue to provide shade and beauty to your landscapes. Older trees require specific care and nurturing to continue to flourish and remain protected from disease and pests. Here we look at five tips to help you best care for and look after your mature trees.

Water Your Trees Correctly

Mature trees need an appropriate amount of water, just like young trees. Using the correct technique to water your mature trees is essential to ensure your trees get the right amount of water in the right way. In the absence of soaking rain, you should deeply water your mature trees at least once a month. It can be helpful to consult with an experienced arborist regarding the specific water needs for your unique tree type.

Prune Mature Trees Properly

Regular pruning is important for mature trees to remove dead or diseased branches, and to manage excess growth to reduce weight. Heavy branches can break and fall, causing damage to the tree or your property. However, incorrect pruning can severely damage your mature tree, eventually causing tree death. Tree topping is a particularly harmful practice that can eventually destroy your tree by removing it’s most important food producing branches. When pruning a mature tree, it’s best to call a Alamo tree care certified arborist to prune with the correct technique that is safest for both you and your tree.

Protect Tree Roots

Mature tree roots can continue growing to help support the tree. However, the large roots of mature trees can sometimes create issues for surrounding structures. If tree roots are disrupting your yard, it’s important to call a certified arborist for expert advice and management. Covering exposed tree roots with mulch is a useful way to protect both the roots and visitors to your garden, however it’s important not to apply mulch too close to the tree trunk.

Inspect Mature Trees For Pests And Diseases

Mature trees that have undergone some stress, been damaged, or incorrectly pruned can be left more prone to tree diseases and pest infestation. Inspect your trees periodically for signs of problems, such as weak branches, discolored leaves, or visible pests.

Nourish the Soil

Mature trees get all their nutrients from the surrounding soil so it’s important to keep the soil healthy as your trees develop and mature. Applying wood mulch can help to both protect the soil and supply nutrients and microbes that support healthy tree growth. Your local arborist can deliver a healthy supply of mulch direct to your yard to keep your mature trees thriving.

Offering shade, beauty, and structure to your yard, your mature trees are an investment that you will want to protect. Look after your mature trees with these five essential tips to best nurture their continued growth.

Contact Llamas Tree Service for any location in the bay area, including Albany, Danville, Berkeley, Oakland, Walnut Creek, Concord, San Pablo, San Leandro, Fairfield, Hercules, Kensington, Port Costa, Piedmont, Orinda, Lafayette, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, or Alamo tree care.

3 Causes for Dry and Brittle Trees

Berkeley Tree Removal

Dry trees can often drop branches and break leave tips easily, becoming a hazard during storms and strong winds. Most homeowners would prefer to have lush green trees in their yards to provide shade, however it’s not uncommon to find dry and brittle trees in your yard. But what are the main causes of dryness in trees? While sufficient water is an important factor it’s not the only cause contributing to dry and brittle trees.

Drought Stress

One of the most obvious and common causes for dry trees in California is drought stress. Drought stress can cause tree branches to become weak and fall easily, and also causes leaves to go brown and drop from the tree. Signs of drought stress also include slowed growth, a thinning canopy, and dying twigs high in the branches. The signs of drought stress are not necessarily obvious, and once the characteristic signs begin to show themselves it maybe too late to rescue the tree. Drought stress can eventually destroy your trees, leading to the need for tree removal.

Drought stress can be avoided by limiting pruning during drought times, avoiding using fertilizer, and applying organic mulch around the root system instead. When watering trees during dry or hot seasons, soak the roots less often rather than watering shallowly more often. If you need to prune trees call a qualified arborist to provide expert service to protect your trees and keep them healthy.

Over-Fertilization

Trees that grow rapidly are not as strong as those with slow, steady growth. Avoiding fast growing tree types can help to avoid dry and brittle trees, especially if your garden is going through difficult conditions such as a drought. Trees can also grow too fast if they’re supplied with too much fertilizer.

Fertilizer can ‘fast track’ growth without the tree being able to support the new growth with adequate nutrients or water. While fertilizer seems like a great way to ‘feed’ trees, it’s better to take a slower, more natural approach, and have an arborist apply mulch. Avoid fertilizing trees that are already dry or brittle, under drought stress or suffering from insect infestations or disease.

Pest Infestations and Diseases

Various pest infestations and tree diseases can cause trees to become weak, leaves and branch tips to become brown, and bark to go dry and fall off. The symptoms vary depending on the particular disease or infestation affecting the tree. If you notice your tree undergoing any unusual changes or you see visible signs of disease or pests on your tree, it’s important to call your local arborist as soon as possible. They can diagnose the specific condition affecting your tree and treat it in order to save the tree and prevent the condition spreading.

Dry and brittle trees could signify an underlying condition affecting your trees. If you notice dry and brittle trees, it’s important to act fast to prevent tree death or damage to your garden or property. Call a professional arborist as soon as possible to help get your trees back to full health.

4 Signs Your Tree Needs Cabling And Bracing

Walnut Creek Tree Removal

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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

5 Essential Steps for Spring Tree Care

Danville Tree Care

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.

When Do Trees Grow Their New Leaves?

Concord Tree Care

 

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.

Lafayette Tree Removal – Cedar Tree

Walnut Creek Tree Care

Who’s Responsible For Trimming That Tree?

Alamo Tree Care

 

If you have trees in your garden, it is your responsibility to provide tree care and tree trimming. But what about trees from other properties that over hang onto yours? What about trees that are starting to infringe on public property or power lines that no one else seems to trim? Could it be that you’re also responsible for trimming those trees? Here we look at the responsibilities of tree ownership, and when you can (and should) trim trees.

Trees Growing On Your Property

Trees growing on a property remain the responsibility of the owner of that property. This means that no matter where the tree branches hang, if the tree trunk is growing is growing on your property, it is your responsibility. Taking care of a tree on your property means checking that it’s free of pests and diseases. This is important as an infected tree can begin to infect the trees around it as well causing widespread problems in an area.

It’s also important to have the branches of the tree you own trimmed regularly. Overgrown branches can infringe onto neighbors properties and public property, and can create a hazard if they grow too large and fall. Taking responsibility for the trees and plants on your property is an essential component of tree care and health.

Trees Overhanging On Your Property

One of the most common complaints that councils receive is that a tree branch is hanging over a fence and into a neighbor’s property. Neglecting to prune and care for a tree means that it’s branches can quickly start growing into other’s properties. These branches pose a problem by taking up extra space, dropping leaves, fruits or seeds, and creating a potential hazard with falling branches.

Fortunately, if you find your neighbor’s branches have overgrown, and they have now grown over the property line, you are entitled to trim them. However you may only trim these branches up to the property line. It is also interesting to note that you are not legally allowed to eat the fruit on branches of a tree that hang on your property. You also must be careful not to affect the tree in any way that could kill or severely damage it. If you cut too many branches or roots and it ends up destroying a tree on a neighbor’s property, you may need to provide compensation for that tree.

Trees And Plants On The Boundary Line

For trees and plants (such as hedges) that sit directly on top of the property boundary lines between you and your neighbor’s home, the question of ownership and responsibility is a bit more complicated. It may be that for trees and plants directly on the boundary line, both owners retain an interest and responsibility for the tree. For any decision involving trees and plants on the property line it’s good to discuss with your neighbor how to best approach their care and how to trim the trees.

Trees Growing Onto Public Property And Power Lines

It’s always best to avoid planting trees in a position that could infringe upon power lines. You may not be able to trim the trees on your property that a growing close to powerlines, as this can be dangerous.  Call a local arborist to trim the trees near your powerline or otherwise you can contact the local electrical company for safe and effective tree trimming.

Ultimately, it’s best to gain as much information as possible, and to talk to your neighbor or local authority before trimming a tree if there is any uncertainty.

4 Steps To Reviving A Topped Tree

Tree Care Pleasant Hill

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.

Trim Sprouts

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 – Lafayette Tree Care – Pleasant Hill Tree Pruning

Tree Removal Lafayette

Berkeley Tree Pruning company, Llamas Tree Service, showcases this Cedar tree that looks sexy even two years after the last pruning.

5 Tips for Preparing Your Trees and Shrubs for Winter

Concord Tree Removal

Now is the ideal time to prepare for winter by tidying your yard and protecting your trees and shrubs in advance of the cooler weather. Tree care undertaken before the mercury starts to drop can protect trees from dry conditions and damage, as well as help prepare you for the next year’s season. Here we look at 5 tips to help you care for your trees and shrubs and prepare your garden for winter.

Light Tree Pruning

Tree pruning and thinning of branches before winter can help to reduce canopy weight and the stress on your tree for when temperatures drop and sunlight is reduced. Trees often can’t sustain the rapid growth they put forth in summer, so light tree trimming before winter can help to maintain tree health and vitality and prevent dropped branches. Pruning and thinning foliage in trees and shrubs helps to make best use of diminished sunlight in winter.

Mulching

Mulch has a multitude of benefits for trees and shrubs, and mulching in winter can produce some of the greatest advantages. Mulching protects trees and plants from drastic temperature changes, insulates roots, and provides vital nutrition to the soil. Mulch also helps your soil to retain moisture and controls weed growth around your trees. Your local arborist can deliver mulch to your door for easy use in your yard, or you can keep your own mulch after removing a tree.

Cable and Brace Weak Spots

Colder winter temperatures, less sunshine and reduced soil nutrition can be hard on trees, and these conditions place more pressure on weak branches. Cabling and bracing can help to support weak branches through difficult conditions, so call your local arborist for an inspection. A professional arborist can swiftly and accurately ascertain the stability of your branches, identify weak spots, and apply expert cabling and bracing where necessary.

Nourish the Soil

Winter is a time where nutrients in the soil can be more difficult for tree and plant roots to access, and the soil nutrient levels can be depleted. Nourish the soil in fall by applying mulch and fertilizer while the weather is not yet cold, in order to build up nutrient stores deep in the soil. Before the cold weather sets in, it’s also the ideal time to water deeply to prepare the soil and your trees for winter.

Remove Problem Trees

Dead or dying trees can often cause issues in winter, as storms and bad weather can knock them down causing damage to people or property. Be sure to have the trees in your yard and around your house inspected by a professional arborist to check for disease and pests, and have any dead or dying trees professionally removed. Undertake stump grinding to remove all traces of dead trees and prevent tree diseases being spread through your yard.

Winter can be a hard time on your trees and shrubs, but good preparation for the cooler months can help your yard stay beautiful and healthy until spring.