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.

How Does Mistletoe Harm Your Trees

Mistletoe Removal

Do you have mistletoe on your property? If you have mystyldene, all-heal, bird lime, golden bough, or devil’s fuge, then yes. You have mistletoe.

It’s leaves are part of a fun Christmas tradition that encourages you to a kiss while standing under it. But it’s actually very harmful to your trees. Although the evergreen plant is quite beautiful with the fragrant flowers it produces in winter, this poisonous berry does more harm than good.

Mistletoe is native to Nevada, California, Arizona, Baja California, as well as Sonora and Sinaloa, Mexico. Mistletoe is a semi-parasitic pest that grows on branches of deciduous trees, which his why you’ll want to have it removed by a professional.

How Does Mistletoe Harm Trees?

Mistletoe is a semi-parasitic plant that sends out its root-like structure into tree branches. This small evergreen shrub then steals necessary water and nutrients from its tree host. The mistletoe then continues to grow larger as it continues to damage the tree.

Although mistletoe spreads slowly, when not stopped it can be harmful to trees. When a tree is infested with the plant, it can become stunted, less vigorous and even be killed if additional stressed from other environmental factors are present. Things like root damage, drought, insect infestation, extreme temperatures, disease and mistletoe infestation can all kill an otherwise healthy tree.

If you see that mistletoe is growing on your trees, you can prune out the infested branches. But just cutting it with the branch won’t kill mistletoe; it’ll only slow down its growth. You can’t get rid of mistletoe unless you remove all the infected limbs of the tree. Special care must been taken to avoid over pruning, which is why you want to hire a professional arborist to walk this fine line for you. 

A professional arborist prune in a way that balances your need to eliminate mistletoe with your trees need to retain branches. At the same time they can also aid the tree in it’s recovery. Removing other stressors from your trees can help ensure their recovery and resistance to future infections.

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. 

Apple Trees in the Bay Area: Good or Bad Idea?

Tree Service Concord

If you already have apples trees in the SF Bay Area, then you already know: Apple trees are great here. Not effortless, but not hard.

 

Which Apple Trees are Good in the Bay Area?

Apple varieties that are “Low Chill” can be found at most Bay Area nurseries, and these are the ones you want. Among these are ‘Baldwin,’ ‘Braeburn,’ ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin,’ ‘Fuji,’ ‘Gala,’ ‘Golden Delicious,’ ‘Red Gravenstein,’ ‘Spitzenburg,’ ‘White Pearmain’ and ‘Yellow Bellflower.’

Of course your property may already have an apple tree or many of them. To find out what kind of tree you have, whether it’s in good health, and what its needs are, you can set an appointment with Sexy Trees to come out, examine it, and schedule any maintenance it needs.

 

What Kind of Care Do They Need?

If you have a newly planted apple tree, now is the time to have it pruned.  As your tree grows, prune for the four “D’s”: Dead, Diseased, Damaged or Disoriented Branches. Fruit trees, including apples, benefit from pruning in winter and summer.

Your tree also needs sunlight to fruit, not in general, but specifically: each branch with perform in alignment with how much sunlight it receives. Apple trees don’t do well in shade, and pruning should reflect that, being mostly at the top of the tree so that maximum surface area gets strong light exposure.

Top-dress your apple trees with compost each fall. Also, lay down mulch about 3 inches deep and  about 4 inches from the trunk, which keeps back weeds and retains moisture.

Unless they’re self-fertile, apple trees need pollination to produce fruit. Neighboring or nearby apple trees are needed for pollination to bear fruit, after honeybees and other insects pollinate the trees. Once fertilized, their flowering can be followed by good fruit set.

 

For help with your apple trees or any tree on your property, contact Sexy Trees today to get top quality services from a Diamond-Certified professional arborist.

Spring Mulching

Concord Tree Service

 

Spring is starting in two weeks and besides spring cleaning, many of us start focusing on our yards. Mulching is the key thing to do for your landscaping. It can help with your trees and plant health if applied properly. However, if you do too much, then it could negatively impact things. Spring is the best time to start mulching. So what is the proper way to mulch?

1. Choose your Mulch Carefully

Mulch is not as simple as throwing some wood chips in an area. It also is not a matter of picking the one that looks best. You want it to bring the proper minerals to your soil while also retaining moisture, protecting your landscaping, and keeping those nasty weeds away.

Organic mulch is generally best for most trees and bushes. The living matter in them can provide valuable ingredients to your soil as it decomposes. Several varieties exist and you can usually find some at your local gardening place or through online stores like Diablo Mulch.

There are some other, more common mulch varieties may save you some money but you need to make sure you keep some things in mind. For instance, you could use cut grass but you need to let it dry out before placing it or you’ll end up damaging your soil.

2. Quantity

While in many things in life, more is better, this isn’t the case with wood chips. The best quantity for trees is about 2-3 inches deep with between 3-10 feet around the base of a tree. As the wood chips decompose, you may need to add an inch each year to keep the aesthetics.

3. Proper Mulching Technique

Think about when you’ve gone hiking and how the ground looks around trees. If you recall, it is covered with leaves, wood particles, and other organic items. This is the same fashion in which mulch should be placed.

4. Preparation

Prior to mulching in the Spring, you want to get the area around trees prepared to apply the wood chips. A good rule of thumb is to remove the grass and other items from within the 3 to 10 feet around the tree in which you’ll apply the mulch. This will ensure that the mulch will keep the right amount of moisture in while providing proper drainage.

Upon clearing the area, the next step we recommend is getting some compost and placing some in the impacted area. You should then water this area and then apply the wood chips. This will provide your tree with adequate water with the wood chip keeping it in.

A quick word of caution, do not use mulch within about a foot of any structural foundation. This is to limit the likelihood of creating an environment for termites to crop up.

Mulch provides an essential element for your trees. Should you have questions about mulching or other tree care for your East Bay home, contact Sexy Trees certified arborist at 925.233.6877.

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.