Watering Christmas Tree Displays: Tips from an Arborist

Walnut Creek Tree Removal

If you’ve brought a living Christmas tree into your home, you’ll need to take proper care of it. Otherwise you may have to witness it’s death and decay right in your home! Luckily, keeping a cut tree alive indoors is not extremely complicated. At the same time, there’s some bad information out there about what your tree needs, so let’s clear a few things up:

 

Cutting Your Tree

When the tree’s going to be stored more than a couple days, put the trunk in water and store it in a cool, shaded and protected area like an unheated shed or garage.

If the tree was harvested within the last 12 hours, it’s not necessary to recut the trunk before putting it in water. After longer than 12 hours, the trunk needs recut for maximum water uptake.

Cutting off a disk of wood about ¼” thick from the base of the trunk is all you need. Make the cut perpendicular to the trunk. Not at an angle or in a v-shape. Those fancy cuts make it far harder to steady the tree in the stand and reduce the amount of trunk submerged in the water.

Don’t drill a hole in the trunk to try to help it hydrate, this only hurts the tree.

 

Using Tree Stands

A tree stand needs to provide at least 1 quart of water per inch of stem diameter. For most Christmas trees, the treestand should hold at least 1 gallon of water.

Make sure your tree stand is big enough, not that your tree trunk is small enough. Don’t whittle down the sides of the trunk to fit a stand. The outer layers of wood are the most efficient in taking up water and should be retained.

Check the stand daily to make sure that the level of water is above the bottom of the trunk. Many stands will still be holding water even when the base of the tree is no longer submerged.

 

Hydration and Watering Christmas Tree Care

A cut tree will absorb a surprising amount of water, particularly during the first week, so replenish the water daily.

Displayed trees suffer when they’re near sources of heat like fireplaces, heaters, heating vents, and direct sunlight. Lowering the room’s temperature will slow the drying process, reducing the amount of water the tree needs.

Cold, cool, lukewarm or even very warm water are all fine and won’t affect the tree’s ability to hydrate.

Check your tree daily for dryness. It’s easy to run your fingers across the needles to see if they’re dry or brittle. If they break or fall off easily, the tree is dangerously dry and should be taken outdoors away from the house.

A well-cared-for tree will reliably remain fresh at least three to four weeks before becoming too dry.

 

Don’t Get Too Creative

Anti-transpirants for Christmas trees won’t help you much at all, even though they may technically reduce some evaporation, it’s not enough to make your tree last longer indoors.

Adding water-holding gel products to the stand reduces the amount of water available to the tree, making it a pretty bad idea.

Don’t use additives in the water. No floral preservatives, commercial tree preservatives, molasses, sugar, bleach, soft drinks, aspirin, honey, or anything else. Clean water is what trees want to drink, and how you’ll get the best results.

Flame retardant products can give flame retardance while reducing your tree’s ability to stay hydrated, losing the advantage they gained.

 

Cambistat: A Tree Care Solution

Concord Tree Pruning

As a property owner, you want to keep your trees healthy. In hard California droughts trees are susceptible to falling ill, and even dying. So it’s imperative that you protect your trees against stressors, and keep them healthy for their longevity.

This is where Cambistat can come in. Below, we’ll discuss some of the incredible health benefits Cambistat can give your trees and the protection they can give them in the harshest of times.

 

 

Why Cambistat?

Cambistat is a powerful tool to fortify your trees against some of the harsh Californian summers. With these nutrient treatments on your side, it’s easy to ensure that your trees will be healthy throughout any climate. There are a wide array of ways that in keeps your trees in tip top shape.

Here are our top 3:

 

1. Drought Tolerance

According to drought.gov, California is experiencing one of its longest droughts in state history. Having started in 2011 and extending up to present day, California has sustained 357 weeks of drought, at one point affecting 58.41% of Californian land. With over half of the state affected, chances are that your trees fall into one of these drought affected areas.

When it comes to Californian summers, nothing is better that Cambistat at preparing your trees to do well in drought. We know that being able to protect your trees from water shortage is a high priority. Thankfully, Cambistat is able to help protect against drought, by equipping your trees for record breaking dry spells.

 

2. Improved Root Systems

A strong, capable root system is key for any healthy tree. Without a stable support network to draw nutrients and water from the soil, any tree, even in the best of conditions, is doomed. When Cambistat is applied to your trees, there is a significant growth and production of fibrous roots.

Furthermore, Cambistat can be applied in any Californian weather (assuming there isn’t a torrential flood or that the state freezes over). Because Cambistat is so active, retreatment is only needed every three years, and will be able to keep your trees growing strong.

 

3. Growth Control

A final useful purpose of Cambistat is growth control. While every green thumb loves to see some vegetation, the unfortunate reality is that trees and their limbs often get in the way of urban growth.

Cambistat is able to help you and your trees by providing growth control. As your trees mature, with grooming, the treatment can help maintain a reasonable size for your tree, and ensure that the “leggy-ness” of your tree doesn’t get out of hand. This means your tree wouldn’t collide with sightlines, encroach over roads, or be a danger to power lines in a bad storm. Using Cambistat can ensure that both you and your neighbors are satisfied with your tree.

Cambistat is a logical and easy solution for any Californian land owner looking to ensure their trees stay healthy. Schedule an application, and watch your trees thrive.

Our Newest Service: Arborjet Tree Injections

https://youtu.be/RbKiYnqbcnw

 

Sexy Trees cares about the health of your trees, the ecosystem they need to thrive, and the larger ecology. We’re always looking for more effective ways to protect and benefit your trees and the larger ecosystem they rely on. Our values are why we’re now offering Arborjet tree injections.

 

What are Arborjet Tree Injections?

First and foremost, they are effective! Arborjet nutrient injections get what your tree needs to thrive directly into the tree’s circulatory system, and quickly distributed. The injection is delivered through the trunk, so none of it is wasted in the soil or drained away with water.

Maybe your tree is having any trouble absorbing nutrients through the roots, or your soil just doesn’t have the right balance. Arborjet trunk injections are a highly effective solution to delivering proper nutrition for a lush, strong tree. Injection is faster than any other method for immediate delivery of elements your tree works to extract from the ground.

 

What Trees are Good Candidates for Arborjet Injections?

Not all trees are good candidates for trunk injections. Your arborist will tell you if your tree can benefit from them. If your tree is actively fighting an infection or parasite, your arborist may recommend taking another course. This may be either combining the injection with another solution to the tree’s active problem or postponing injection until after the tree has completed treatment. And there will be some trees that simply are dead or in the process of dying.

 

If you ‘re in the San Francisco wider bay area and are wondering if your tree or trees can benefit from Arborjet trunk injections, contact Sexy Trees today. We love trees, and we’d love to help your trees thrive.

Using Biochar Amendment for Better Soil

Lafayette Tree Service

When used broadly, the term biochar simply refers to charcoal made from any organic matter. Biochar is a type of charcoal that can improve soil quality, not all charcoal is good for this.

Raw biochar can be processed further prior to being added to the garden. Adding it to compost, or soaking it with nutrient rich compost tea, urine, or fish emulsion are commonly used to introduce beneficial organisms and nutrients to the porous biochar.

 

What are the benefits of using biochar in the garden?

 

Optimum Soil Properties

Biochar makes better soil, because it changes soil composition in multiple positive ways. With the charcoal amendment, your soil will have better water handling characteristics. It’s porous structure both drains and retains water better, keeping a more consistent water balance.

Biochar reduces soil acidity, and the raise in soil pH also reduces aluminum toxicity. Your soil will have a higher cation exchange capacity after biochar is added. Cation exchange capacity is a bit of a fancy way of saying that on a molecular level, it can hold onto nutrients better.

 

The Soil Ecosystem

Amended soil enjoys an increased web of fungal life deep inside the soil. Healthy microbes thrive, including arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, which is a needed soil feature that has a symbiotic relationship with the vascular roots in plants.

In fact, your soil should be teaming with life that interacts with the plants you see above ground. Biochar keeps that web of life healthy for you. The presence of biochar increases the microbial respiration and biomass, meaning you have more microbes and they breathe better. This increase in biomass also means that eroded soil is replaced faster than it would be otherwise.

 

Better Fertilization

The amount of fertilizer required for your trees and plants will decrease because of the biochar content. Most estimates say you’ll need 10% less fertilizer for soil areas that have biochar components.

Because of the chemical and porous nature of biochar, your soil will be able to hold higher levels of available Carbon, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Potassium. This will reduce leaching of nutrients so your soil stays rich.

 

A Long Lasting Investment

The benefits that come from using biochar are not temporary, in fact your grandchildren will be witness to the benefits to the soil that you amend with biochar today. Your trees and plants will grow healthier for years to come as a result of lasting changes that take place in the soil’s inert properties and its ecosystem.

 

To set the foundation for lush trees and healthy lawns, contact Sexy Trees today and arrange for biochar amendment.

3 Tips for Winter Tree Care

Alamo Tree Service

 

As winter weather approaches, many of us look at trees as being “dead” without any work needed. Since the trees around the Bay Area have lost much of their foliage, it may feel like a sign to leave them alone. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Proper winter tree care is what helps the tree grow and become stronger for its spring growth.

Here are a few key tips for winter tree care this time of year:

Saving Rain Water

Whether we have a rainy season or drought conditions, it’s very important to try to maximize the amount of water that is preserved in the tree’s surrounding soil. There are a couple techniques that we recommend for Bay Area trees. First, get fresh mulch. This can help keep the water contained, captured, and embedded in the soil. Even an inch of mulch helps retain moisture.  If you would like to also use the mulch for weed control, use about three inches of mulch.

Keeping the Bugs Away

While many pests stay away during this time of year, if you’ve had attacks from mites, scale, or aphids, then you should spray for them now. Use dormant oil to kill the eggs after the leaves drop. Another layer of protection is to spray for peach leaf curl or lime sulfur.

Winter Tree Care Pruning

Growth has to be monitored and may need controlled to prevent problems. It’s critical to cut back some trees in order to allow light to enter and hit the inner branches. Along with lightening heavily congested areas, you should also prune away diseased or dead areas of the tree so the nutrients will focus on the remaining portions of the tree. Sometimes you will also have to trim to maintain the balance of a tree, to prevent it from breaking.

By following the above winter tree care tips, you will find that you’ll have healthier, fuller trees in the spring and summer.  If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our Certified Arborists at Sexytrees.com

 

 

What’s The Right Way To Prune: Pollarding, Reducing or Topping?

Mistletoe Removal

 

If you have large trees in your yard, you might be concerned about their size and growth. Large trees look beautiful, but they can reach overhead lines, become unstable, and be dangerous in a storm. Typically, trees need to be pruned and maintained for their health and your safety. While there are many methods of pruning, here we look at three common methods.

Pollarding

This type of pruning is used to reduce the overall size of a tree to fit a defined area and offers a longer-term solution. It involves removing the upper branches or top of the tree in a way that creates denser foliage within a smaller canopy. At first, pollarding may not typically create a very attractive appearance, however, as new growth appears, foliage becomes denser and much more appealing. One advantage of this approach is that it maintains the tree in a juvenile state, which can help the tree to live longer. The tree also has less height, which makes it less susceptible to wind damage.

Reducing

Reducing typically involves cutting back limbs to their point of origin on the tree. Unlike pollarding, it does not create a long-term solution. The tree branches will grow back and will require reduction or other methods of pruning again in the future. Reducing mostly just shortens the length of branches and stems. Reducing may be needed to keep trees away from overhead lines. It can also help protect very large trees that are otherwise at risk of being blown over in bad storms or dropping branches in a dangerous way.

Topping

Tree topping involves removing large branches, whole tree tops, and even the top of the tree trunk. It may be done to reduce the tree from view or limit its shade. This approach can be deadly for some tree types because it removes the parts of the tree that are necessary for it to sustain itself. The new lack of shade on bark can lead to too much sun exposure and tree decay, while also removing the leaves that are the tree’s energy source. This approach is sometimes used to promote new growth, but it is a risky approach, as the tree is more susceptible to insects and fungi.

The Right Type Of Pruning

Pollarding, reducing, and topping are just three methods for tree pruning. Choosing the right technique depends on the type of tree and the demands of the space, which is where the assessment of a skilled arborist can help you make the right choice. Where possible, milder and less invasive methods of pruning, applied regularly to control growth and tree shape, usually create the best outcome for trees.

If you need pruning for the trees in your yard, it’s best to connect with a professional arborist or tree service. They can survey the area, assess the trees, and make recommendations for your best pruning options, then carry out the job correctly. This helps preserve the appearance and health of your trees, while protecting the safety of your yard and home.

5 Essential Tips for Fall Tree Care

Walnut Creek Tree Service

 

Fall tree care is crucial to year round healthy trees. Yes, fall is a time to enjoy the changing colors of the leaves and spend brisk days outdoors raking them into piles. But as fall turns to winter, your trees become vulnerable to the elements. Here are some essential steps you should take each fall to care for your trees and prepare them for the winter:

  1. Inspect and Prune Away Dead Wood

As you head into the winter months, any dead or dying branches could pose a risk to your property. Fall tree care is the perfect opportunity to make a good inspection of your trees, checking their health and stability.  It is much easier to inspect your trees once they have lost their leaves.

To inspect your trees, first stand back to assess stability and structure. Then, take a closer look for any concerns like diseased branches or boring insect activity. Prune away any branches that look unhealthy or loose. For bigger limbs, you may need to utilize a qualified arborist.

  1. Nourish and Insulate Your Trees

In fall you want to fertilize your trees to keep them healthy during winter months. This gives the trees nutrients to nourish them, which makes them stronger and less susceptible to winter damage. Laying mulch will also help protect trees during winter, because mulch insulates the roots against cold weather. Mulch also helps to retain moisture in the soil. You typically want to lay 2-4 inches of mulch in a 2 foot radius around a tree or plant.

  1. Treat Against Disease and Insects

Raking not only keeps your yard attractive, it also helps to prevent disease in your trees and plants. Fungi spores can hide out and develop in fallen leaves. If left on the ground, during spring rain, those spores awaken and infect your trees. As you prepare for winter, you’ll also want to guard your tree against boring insects that might be looking for a winter home by raking up dead leaves.

  1. Hydrate and Protect Trees from Dry Air

It may seem strange, when snow is on the ground, that trees could become dehydrated, but winter brings less rainfall and less moisture seeping into the ground (until the spring thaw). Additionally, trees in arid climates that don’t get much rain or snow in winter may still need some extra moisture.

Hydrate your trees by watering them during the fall to prepare them for the winter months. As you water your trees in the fall, remember on the deeper root system, not just the area near the trunk. You can also treat your tree with anti-desiccants, which help protect the leaves by locking in moisture.

  1. Consider Cabling Your Trees

You may notice in parks and public spaces, cables being used to stabilize trees. You can also have cables installed to support the physical structure of trees in your yard. This technique is for healthy trees that just need extra help to support their weight. This is especially useful fall tree care anticipating heavy winds and winter storms.

Tree specialists can help protect your trees against the effects of winter weather. Keeping healthy trees is a sound investment, because prevention and maintenance reduces other costs related to lost trees, property damage, and future tree replacement. Plus you can have peace of mind when professionals tend to your trees while you enjoy the beginning of the fall season.

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 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.