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. 

Signs of a Dying Tree

Tree Service Danville

We rely on trees for our livelihood as they provide the oxygen that we breath to survive. This is why many of us feel a kindred connection to trees and the outdoors. However, trees are not indestructible or immortal. They can get sick and do die over time. As with humans, there are signs that you should be aware of so you can quickly identify a sick or dying tree.

 

Loss of Leaves

During the autumn and winter months, it is quite common for trees to lose the foliage. This is very normal. Should a loss of leaves occur in the spring and summer months, this is a clear indicator of a problem. Similarly, if the leaves turn brown and brittle during said months. Sometimes, a sick tree may get reddish/brown leaves in these same months.

 

Inspect the Branches

Beyond the leaves, take a look at the branches of a tree. If no bark exists, this is a sign of an issue. It is called deadwood. Such branches are often prone to falling and be a great area for fungus growth. Should you see such signs, you should contact a certified arborist right away. Even if your tree is not dead, this could be an indication of an infestation and you want to prevent it from attacking the healthier parts of your tree.

 

Absence of Bark

Related to the above, the peeling or loss of bark is a strong indicator of disease. The presence of missing bark can also be caused by things like weed eaters or environmental conditions that make a tree highly vulnerable to bacteria, disease or fungus. While such situations may not be enough to remove the tree, a tree inspection by a certified arborist would allow you to ensure your tree is kept healthy.

 

Trunk Firmness

If the tree’s trunk becomes hollow or soft, it is usually a sign of a dying tree. It is similar to a potato that goes bad. It becomes squishy and if you leave it out long enough it starts decomposing from the inside out. Some signs of such decay are mushrooms, cavities, insect damage, or any of the other conditions discussed above.

 

Roots

Although you are unlikely to see this most of the time, damage to the roots is another indicator of a problem with your tree. Some indications of this issue are soil rising around the base of a tree or visible roots that show decay. Another sign could be a reduction in the tree coverage or a lean in the tree.

Regardless of what the factors maybe that lead you to believe there may be a sickness or death to the tree, a certified arborist can both be a great resource to do a proper inspection and/or do routine preventive care. Contact the certified arborist at Sexy Trees at 925.233.6877.

Which Tree Types Have Non-Invasive Roots?

Concord Tree Pruning

Trees can be a beautiful feature of your garden, offering ornamentation, structure to your yard, and shelter for birds or animals. However, many homeowners avoid planting trees in their yard because the roots can invade plumbing pipes  or home foundations causing costly issues. One solution to this issue is choosing tree varieties with less invasive root systems. A qualified arborist can help you choose the right trees for your garden structure and varieties that won’t invade your pipes.

Ornamental Trees

Ornamental trees are a great solution for yards where you want the decorativeness of a beautiful tree without the risk of invasive roots. Ornamental trees grow to a manageable height and are designed to fit into smaller spaces and be easy to maintain. Many ornamental trees can even be grow in planters so that their roots have no chance of getting out of hand.

Popular ornamental tree varieties in California include –

 

  • Japanese Maple
  • Crape Myrtle
  • Eastern Redbud
  • Cornus Mas
  • Serviceberry
  • Kousa Dogwood
  • Japanese Tree Lilac
  • Dwarf Korean Lilac
  • Star Magnolia
  • Crabapples: Red Jewel, Royal Raindrops, Prairiefire

 

 

Fruit Trees

Fruit trees not only look beautiful, they can also provide a source of fruit for your family to enjoy when the right season comes around. Some fruit trees, like figs, can have voracious root systems that can quickly grow out of control. A greater variety of fruit trees can be made suitable for smaller gardens when pruned regularly and given routine care from a skilled arborist. If the tree is not allowed to grow too large the root system will not extend as far either. If in doubt, choose a beautiful decorative fruit tree variety that is known not to have invasive root systems.

The following fruit trees can be both ornamental for your garden and productive when it comes to providing fruit.

 

  • Citrus
  • Adams crabapple
  • Cornelian cherry dogwood
  • Pawpaw
  • Dwarf Apple Tree
  • Dwarf Cherry Tree
  • Dwarf Pear Tree
  • Dwarf Apricot Tree
  • Dwarf Orange Tree
  • Dwarf Plum Tree

 

Shade Trees

Want the protection and coolness of shade from your tree without the extensive and invasive root system? There are tree varieties that can provide you with thick foliage and fuller shade while still having smaller root systems. These trees can be a stunning focal point of your landscape without taking up too much space, or overwhelming your garden with their root systems. Some with colored leaves and some with flowers, these shade trees can liven up small gardens while maintaining small root systems.

Here are some shade tree varieties with less invasive roots –

 

  • Amur maple
  • Chinese pistache
  • Southern sugar maple
  • Red tip photinia
  • American hornbeam
  • Trident maple

 

Shrubs

Shrubs can provide good coverage, privacy and protection for your garden. While some shrubs may look small, their root systems can grow quickly, so it’s important to choose the right variety for your garden. Shrubs create the perfect addition for smaller gardens where low lying yet full plants are preferred.

Some of the most popular shrubs with non-invasive roots include –

 

  • Hollywood juniper
  • Fraser photinia
  • Glossy abellia
  • Hydrangeas
  • Viburnums
  • Boxwoods
  • Gardenia
  • Barberries
  • Camellias
  • Hollies

 

To keep your plumbing and home foundations safe, choose trees and shrubs with non-invasive root systems, and receive the professional advice of your arborist before planting.

 

Sunol Tree Pruning

Danville Tree Pruning

Sunol CA large sycamore tree reducing weight from target areas and pruning away from home.