Tree Branch Removal: Why, When, and How to Do It Safely

Tree Branch Removal: Why, When, and How to Do It Safely

There’s an old saying: “In nature, nothing is perfect, and everything is perfect.” While the imperfections of nature often add character to our environment, there are times when these imperfections, like overhanging or dead tree branches, can pose serious dangers. Whether you’re an ardent gardener or someone who simply enjoys their backyard, understanding the ins and outs of tree branch removal is essential to ensure the safety and beauty of your haven.

As the seasons change, trees undergo a natural transformation. Leaves fall, new buds emerge, and sometimes branches wither away. It’s a beautiful cycle of life and death, growth and decay. However, while nature has its way of managing these transitions, in our urban and suburban landscapes, a dying or precarious tree branch can be a ticking time bomb. Not only can it ruin the aesthetics of a well-maintained garden, but it can also become a hazard waiting to wreak havoc. 

The solution? Timely and safe tree branch removal.

Why Remove Tree Branches?

Tree branches aren’t just a minor inconvenience; they can pose serious risks.

  1. Safety: Dead or damaged branches can fall unpredictably. This can cause injuries, especially if kids or pets frequent the yard.
  2. Health of the Tree: Removing dead or diseased branches can often help prevent the spread of diseases or pests, ensuring that the tree remains healthy and vibrant.
  3. Aesthetics and Property Value: A well-maintained tree can boost the curb appeal of your property. On the other hand, an unkempt tree can detract from its beauty.
  4. Protection of Property: Falling branches can damage rooftops, vehicles, and power lines. This not only results in hefty repair bills but can be a fire hazard in proximity to electrical lines.

When Should You Remove Tree Branches?

Understanding the timing for branch removal is crucial.

After a Storm

Storms can break branches or make them unstable. After a storm, inspect your trees for any visible damages.

Seasonal Pruning

Some trees benefit from seasonal pruning, usually during late winter or early spring when they’re dormant. For example, oak trees are best pruned in winter to prevent the spread of oak wilt disease.

Spotting Disease or Pests

If you notice branches with signs of disease, such as fungi or unnatural discoloration, or branches that are infested with pests, it might be time for removal.

Overgrowth

If branches are obstructing pathways, views, or even growing too close to the house, they should be considered for removal.

How to Safely Remove Tree Branches

Branch removal isn’t as simple as grabbing a saw and hacking away. There’s an art and a science behind it, and most of the time it’s best to leave it to the professionals.

Tools for the Task

If you opt to DIY, you’ll need the right tools for the job. This includes:

  • Hand pruners for small branches
  • Loppers for branches up to 2 inches in diameter
  • Pruning saws for larger branches
  • Safety gear: gloves, safety goggles, and a hard hat

Proper Cutting Technique

Locate the Branch Collar: This is the swollen area where the branch meets the tree trunk. Always cut just outside this area.

Use the Three-Cut Technique for Large Branches: First, make a small cut on the underside of the branch a few inches away from the trunk. This prevents the bark from tearing.

Next, move a few inches away from the first cut, and cut all the way through the branch from top to bottom.

Lastly, remove the small stub that remains, cutting just outside the branch collar.

Never Top a Tree: This means cutting the main branches off the top of trees. It can lead to decay and unstable new growth.

Safety First!

Always work with a partner. They can help spot any issues and assist if an emergency arises.

Avoid working near power lines. If branches are close to these lines, always call in professionals.

Be cautious with ladders. Make sure they’re on stable ground, and always have someone holding them steady.

The Facts Speak for Themselves

📊During 1992 through 2007, a total of 1,285 workers died while performing tree care and maintenance; 44% were trimming or pruning a tree when fatally injured. 

📊 While trimming might not prolong a tree’s natural life, consistent and correct pruning can address problems that may reduce its lifespan. Enhancing a tree’s structure can lessen the chances of branch damage or tree collapse, which can influence its longevity.

📊 A well-maintained landscape can add up to 20% to a property’s value.

Professionals Do It Best

The DIY spirit is commendable. However, when it comes to tasks like tree pruning and removal, it’s crucial to remember that professionals truly do it best.

Here’s why:

  • Expertise and Knowledge: Professional arborists and tree service providers have undergone extensive training. They can identify different tree species, know the best time to prune each one, and can spot diseases or pest infestations that an untrained eye might miss.
  • Safety: Tree removal or pruning, especially for tall or expansive trees, can be hazardous. Professionals come equipped with the necessary safety gear and tools, ensuring not only their safety but also that of your property.
  • Efficiency: With years of experience under their belt, a professional can complete a tree-related job in a fraction of the time it might take someone inexperienced. This efficiency saves you time and potential frustration.
  • Tools and Equipment: The right tools make all the difference. Professionals have access to high-quality, specialized equipment that can handle any tree job, big or small.
  • Liability: Most professional tree service companies are insured. This means if there’s any accidental damage to your property, you won’t be left footing the bill.
  • Holistic Care: Beyond just cutting branches, professionals offer a holistic approach to tree care. They can advise on fertilization, pest control, and other tree maintenance aspects to ensure your trees remain healthy and vibrant.

Tree branch removal is essential for the safety of your loved ones and the health of your trees. When done correctly, it protects your property and ensures that your trees remain a lasting and beautiful presence in your yard.

If the idea of tree branch removal seems daunting, or you believe you have a particularly challenging branch situation, why not let the experts handle it?

Sexy Trees is passionate about maintaining the beauty and health of your trees. We offer expert services with trained professionals, ensuring that your trees get the care they deserve. Don’t risk it; let us bring out the best in your trees. Contact Sexy Trees today and let your trees shine in safety and splendor! 💚🌳✨

Spider Mites on Trees: Identifying and Understanding the Enemy

spider mites

The world of trees is vast, rich, and vital to our existence. But just as every story has an antagonist, so do our towering guardians face foes, some of which are microscopically tiny yet formidably destructive. Fine, silvery webs on your trees often give away the presence of an adversary, discreetly lurking – the spider mite.

The Unassuming Threat

Spider mites may sound somewhat mystical, almost charming. But don’t let the name fool you. Far from the friendly spiders that help control garden pests, these minuscule critters pose a significant risk to our leafy friends. Spider mites are not actually spiders. While they do belong to the arachnid family, they diverge from their spider cousins in their behaviors and feeding habits.

A Closer Look at The Enemy

Most spider mites are barely visible to the naked eye, often measuring less than a millimeter. Their minuscule size is a boon for them as they often remain undetected until significant damage is evident.

The Two-Spotted Spider Mite is one of the most common species and is a particularly stealthy foe. You might recognize them by the two distinguishing dark spots on their pale body. This tiny pest feeds on the cell contents of plants, literally sucking the life out of the leaves, which can cause immense harm before they’re ever spotted.

The Tell-Tale Signs of a Spider Mite Invasion 

Knowledge is power. Recognizing a spider mite infestation early can save a lot of heartache. Here’s how to identify their destructive presence:

  • Webbing: Beyond the gossamer threads of beneficial spiders, a fine, silky web enveloping the undersides of leaves often spells trouble. This webbing protects mites from predators and environmental conditions while they feast on your tree.
  • Speckled Leaves: When leaves start showing tiny yellow or white spots, they’re signaling distress. These spots are feeding marks, where mites have drawn out the sap and nutrients.
  • Dull or Drooping Foliage: Healthy trees exhibit vibrant, green foliage. If your tree’s leaves are wilting, drooping, or turning brown prematurely, it’s a sign that spider mites might be draining their vitality.

Why Should You Be Worried? The Consequences of a Spider Mite Infestation 

Spider mites, despite their diminutive size, can wreak havoc on your trees. Their impacts are not only aesthetic but also have deeper implications:

  • A weakened tree: Continuous feeding by spider mites stresses the tree, reducing its ability to photosynthesize and grow.
  • Foliage loss: As mites feed, leaves become damaged, leading them to fall off prematurely. This defoliation can further weaken the tree and expose it to other threats.
  • Economic repercussions: For individuals or businesses growing trees for commercial purposes, a spider mite infestation can mean reduced yield and quality, translating to financial losses.

Fighting Back: Solutions for Spider Mites 

A well-informed strategy is your best defense. Here’s how you can counteract these miniature marauders:

Neem Oil

A gift from nature, neem oil is a safe and effective mite deterrent. When sprayed, it forms a protective layer on leaves, deterring mites from laying eggs and disrupting their life cycle.

Beneficial Insects

Nature often provides its own checks and balances. Releasing natural predators like ladybugs and predatory mites can help control spider mite populations. These beneficial insects feed on spider mites, reducing their numbers naturally.

Regular Inspections

By frequently examining your trees, especially during the warmer months when mites are most active, you can catch an infestation early and take action before significant damage occurs.

Embracing Prevention Over Cure 

Reactive measures, though helpful, often mean the damage is already done. Emphasizing prevention can save time, money, and heartache:

  • Soil Health: Ensure that your tree’s soil is well-aerated and retains moisture. Spider mites thrive in dusty conditions, so a well-maintained ground can discourage them.
  • Avoid Broad-Spectrum Pesticides: Such pesticides might kill beneficial insects that naturally control spider mite populations. By preserving these natural predators, you’re using nature’s own defense mechanisms.
  • Stay Vigilant During Dry Spells: Spider mites are more active in dry, hot conditions. Increase your inspection frequency during such periods.

Every Tree Deserves the Best 

Trees, with their towering presence and years of silent wisdom, are invaluable. Whether providing shade on a sunny day, producing oxygen, or simply adding aesthetic beauty, they play vital roles in our environment and lives.

While spider mites might be minute, their potential for harm is monumental. By equipping ourselves with knowledge and taking proactive steps, we can ensure our trees continue to flourish.

If you’re keen on ensuring your trees receive the best care, consider professional assistance. Sexy Trees is a company with a profound passion for tree welfare. They offer specialized services tailored to each tree’s unique needs, ensuring optimal health and growth.

Give your trees the premium care they deserve. Connect with Sexy Trees today. Let’s join hands for a greener, thriving tomorrow! 🍃🌍

Fighting Back: Effective Control Methods for Elm Leaf Beetles

elm leaf beetles

In the battle against nature’s pests, the mighty elm leaf beetle may seem a formidable opponent. From their distinctive yellow bodies to their voracious appetites, these pests pose a significant threat to the health of your beloved elm trees. But don’t fret just yet. Even when faced with a tough adversary, there’s always a way to fight back. And that’s what we are here to explore—how to effectively control and protect your trees from the infamous elm leaf beetle.

The Siege of the Elm Leaf Beetle 🐞

Let’s paint a picture. It’s a glorious spring day, and you notice your elm tree’s leaves are riddled with small, round holes and yellowing prematurely. To the untrained eye, it might seem as if fall has come too soon. But you know better. These are classic signs of an elm leaf beetle invasion.

Born from clusters of orange or yellow eggs laid on the underside of leaves, the beetle larvae feed voraciously on leaf tissue, leaving a skeletonized pattern. In large numbers, their feeding can cause severe defoliation and, over time, weaken the tree, leaving it vulnerable to diseases and other pests.

Don’t let your trees succumb to this onslaught!

Know Your Foe: Identifying the Elm Leaf Beetle and Differentiating It from Similar Pests in California 🔍

Accurate pest identification is paramount in the battle against infestations. Here, we’ll focus on distinguishing the elm leaf beetle from similar pests found in California. This identification is vital for applying effective control methods. Let’s start with the basics.

Identifying the Elm Leaf Beetle 

The adult elm leaf beetle is approximately 1/4 inch long, possessing a narrow, somewhat oval body. The beetles are typically olive-green to yellow, sporting a black stripe along each side of their wing covers.

Their larvae, which are more destructive than the adults, present a stark contrast. Approximately 1/2 inch long, they range in color from yellow to black, and feature two black stripes along each side of their bodies.

Now, let’s see how to distinguish them from other beetles commonly found in the Golden State.

The Western Sculptured Pine Borer: Metallic Marauder 

The Western Sculptured Pine Borer might be confused with the elm leaf beetle due to its similar size. However, this borer is metallic brown and has a fluted, sculptured appearance on its wing covers. Unlike the elm leaf beetle, this pest targets pine trees, specifically the bark and wood.

The Fuller Rose Beetle: An Unassuming Pests 

The Fuller Rose Beetle could be another beetle mistaken for the elm leaf beetle, particularly in its larval stage. However, the adult Fuller Rose Beetle is a grey-brown weevil and does its damage primarily at night. They are known to chew the edges of leaves of a variety of plants, not just roses.

The Spotted Cucumber Beetle: A Garden’s Nightmare 

The Spotted Cucumber Beetle is another pest that could be confused with the elm leaf beetle. Adults are yellowish-green with black spots, and they are known to affect a wide variety of plants, including cucumbers and other squashes, corn, and roses.

Recognizing the elm leaf beetle among these similar pests is crucial for implementing the most effective control methods. If you’re unsure of the specific pest your trees are facing, it’s always a good idea to seek advice from a pest control expert. They can accurately identify the problem and suggest the most appropriate treatment to safeguard your trees.

Defensive Tactics: Non-Chemical Controls 

Many might be tempted to reach for the strongest, quickest-acting chemical pesticide. But there’s more than one way to fight this battle. Let’s consider non-chemical controls first.

1. Predator Allies 🦉

Nature often provides its own checks and balances. Predators such as birds and parasitic wasps can help to control the elm leaf beetle population. Encouraging these natural predators to reside in your garden or property could be a long-term, sustainable solution.

2. Tree Banding 🌳

Tree banding involves placing a sticky band around the tree’s trunk to prevent adult beetles from climbing to lay eggs. It’s simple, cost-effective, and safe for the environment.

3. Regular Pruning ✂️

Pruning dead branches and removing dead leaves in autumn can minimize the number of sites available for the beetle to overwinter, disrupting their lifecycle.

Fighting Fire with Fire: Chemical Controls 

If non-chemical controls aren’t enough, don’t lose hope. Chemical control options can serve as an effective last line of defense against severe infestations.

  1. Insecticidal Soaps and Oils 🧼

Insecticidal soaps and oils are less harmful to the environment and can effectively control elm leaf beetles, especially in their larval stage.

  1. Systemic Insecticides 💉

In cases of severe infestations, you can drench the soil with systemic insecticides for the tree to absorb. These are taken up by the tree and transported throughout the plant tissues, providing protection from the inside out.

Before applying any chemicals, it’s always essential to consult with a professional to ensure you’re making the most informed and safe decisions for your trees and the surrounding environment.

Stand Your Ground: Elm Leaf Beetle Resistance

Here’s a compelling piece of data: Studies have shown that certain elm tree varieties demonstrate resistance to the elm leaf beetle. According to the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, Chinese elm, ‘Drake’ elm, and ‘Pioneer’ elm exhibited lower rates of beetle infestation.

While this method might be a more long-term plan, selecting elm leaf beetle-resistant tree varieties could provide an enduring solution for future generations of elm trees in your landscape.

Victory is Possible: Recap 

The elm leaf beetle might seem like a formidable adversary, but don’t forget—you’re not defenseless in this battle. With a combination of defensive tactics such as predator allies, tree banding, and regular pruning, along with judicious use of chemical controls, victory is possible. And for the long haul, planting elm leaf beetle-resistant varieties can help fortify your landscape for the future.

Always remember, your first line of defense is vigilance. Regularly inspect your trees for signs of infestation. In doing so, you will be better equipped to respond swiftly and decisively, giving your trees the best chance of staying healthy and robust.

It’s Time to Arm Your Elms 🛡️🌳

Your elm trees are under siege, and they need your help. Are you ready to take up arms against the elm leaf beetle? At Sexy Trees, we’re passionate about equipping you with the knowledge, tools, and services needed to protect and preserve your precious greenery. From professional advice on pest control to expert pruning services, we’ve got you covered.

So what are you waiting for? Don’t just stand by as the elm leaf beetle wreaks havoc on your trees. Be the hero your garden needs. Contact us today and let’s give those beetles a battle they’ll never forget!

Your trees are sexy; let’s keep them that way!

What Happens to Trees during a Heatwave?

The phenomenon, called summer limb drop or sudden limb drop, often occurs on hot and windless summer days. Oak, Liquidambar, Pear and Ash trees are most prone to dropping large limbs on windless days. The immediate danger is to people, animals and cars parked under these trees.

Dr. Richard Harris, Professor of Landscape Horticulture at UC Davis, published an article on the topic in the Journal of Arboriculture in April 1983 describing this condition and its possible causes, and suggested steps that tree owners can take to reduce the hazard of summer branch drop.

Summer branch drop is not related to wind and often occurs in the afternoon on hot, calm days.  Unlike most breaks due to wind, which occur where a branch attaches to the trunk, a break due to summer branch drop usually occurs 3 to 12 feet away from the trunk, along the length of the branch. The branches that break are usually long and horizontal, as opposed to upright, frequently extending to or beyond the average tree canopy.  Once a tree has lost a limb due to summer branch drop, it is more likely to lose another.

Drought stress may somehow contribute to summer branch drop, but at this time, there is no generally accepted hypothesis that explains this occurrence.  In California this type of limb failure occurs on both native and planted trees as well as in irrigated and un-irrigated landscapes.  One possibility is that drought stress during a hot calm afternoon reduces the flow of water in the branch, causing the branch temperature and the concentration of ethylene to increase.  Old wounds and decay hidden inside a limb (possibly resulting from improper pruning) occasionally contribute to branch drop, but this does not account for the majority of summer branch drop failures.  Pruning that encourages uneven growth at the end of a limb can put tremendous stress on the limb due to the added weight of the new growth.

Although there is no guaranteed way to prevent summer branch drop, several things can be done to mitigate this hazard in oaks and other commonly affected tree species such as eucalyptus, elm, and ash.  On mature trees, shorten and lighten long horizontal branches and open up the tree by thinning to healthy lateral branches to reduce branch weight.  Inspect the tree for externally visible defects and prune out damaged or sickly low-vigor limbs that have decay or cavities.  Although watering is required to keep most ornamental trees healthy in our hot summer climate, don’t forget that summer moisture can encourage oak root fungus and other oak pathogens that can kill oaks when the summer-watered area is within 10 feet of the trunk.  Finally, do not park cars or place play structures, benches, or picnic tables beneath older, susceptible trees.  Falling limbs can’t harm people (or property) if they aren’t under the tree. 

Let’s Talk Trees

If you want and a Tree Risk Assessment from a certified arborist please call for more information.

Top Tree Care Mistakes to Avoid for a Thriving Landscape

tree care mistakes

Trees are the lifeblood of any landscape, adding beauty, shade, and even increasing property value. But trees – especially young ones – need proper TLC to ensure they remain healthy and vibrant. Many homeowners unknowingly make mistakes that can harm their trees and lead to an unsightly or even dangerous landscape. In this blog post, we will discuss the top tree care mistakes to avoid, so you can maintain a thriving landscape for years to come.

1. Improper Watering Techniques

Overwatering

One of the most common tree care mistakes is overwatering. While it’s essential to keep your trees hydrated, too much water can lead to root rot, bug proliferation, and other diseases. To avoid overwatering, make sure you understand the specific watering needs of each tree species on your property. Generally, trees need about 1 inch of water per week, either from rainfall or supplemental watering. Be sure to water deeply and infrequently, rather than shallow and often, to encourage deep root growth.

🌱Did You Know? A strong, deep root system anchors the tree securely and allows it to access water and nutrients from deeper soil layers, enhancing its ability to withstand environmental stresses such as drought and strong winds.

Underwatering

Just as overwatering can cause problems, so can underwatering. Trees that don’t receive enough water are more susceptible to pests and diseases, and can even die from drought stress. Check your trees’ soil regularly to ensure it’s moist but not waterlogged. If your area is experiencing a dry spell, be sure to provide extra water to your trees, especially during the hot summer months. Using mulch around the base of your trees can help retain moisture and reduce the need for frequent watering.

2. Incorrect Pruning Practices

Over-pruning

Over-pruning is another common tree care mistake. Removing too many branches at once can stress the tree and make it more vulnerable to disease and pests. As a rule of thumb, never remove more than 25% of a tree’s foliage in a single pruning session. Additionally, avoid “topping” or cutting back a tree’s main branches, as this can lead to weak, unstable growth.

Improper Pruning Cuts

Making improper pruning cuts can also harm your trees. When pruning, always cut just outside the branch collar – the slightly swollen area where the branch connects to the trunk. Cutting too close to the trunk can damage the tree’s bark and expose it to infection. Conversely, leaving a large stub can also lead to decay and disease. Remember to use sharp, clean tools when pruning to prevent the spread of disease and to make clean cuts that heal more quickly.

Pruning at the Wrong Time

Timing is important when it comes to tree pruning. Pruning at the wrong time of year can put your trees at risk for disease or hinder their growth. Generally, the best time to prune most trees is during their dormant season, typically late winter or early spring. However, some species may have specific pruning requirements, so be sure to research the best time to prune the trees in your landscape.

3. Neglecting Pest and Disease Control

Ignoring Signs of Pests or Disease

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is ignoring signs of pests or disease in their trees. Early detection and intervention are crucial to preventing these issues from becoming severe. Look out for signs like discolored or damaged leaves, oozing sap, and holes or tunnels in the bark. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult a professional arborist for advice on treatment options.

🦟 Did You Know? Pests are harmful to trees as they can damage their leaves, bark, and roots, weakening the tree’s overall health and ability to grow. Furthermore, some pests can transmit diseases or create entry points for pathogens, which can lead to severe infections or even tree death.

Overusing Chemical Treatments

While it’s important to address pest and disease issues, overusing chemical treatments can cause more harm than good. Some chemicals can be harmful to beneficial insects and even the trees themselves. Always follow the recommended dosage and application instructions for any chemical treatment, and consider using organic or natural alternatives when possible. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies, which combine cultural, biological, and chemical methods, can be a more sustainable and effective approach to maintaining tree health.

Not Monitoring for Invasive Species

Invasive pests and diseases significantly damage your trees and the surrounding ecosystem. Stay informed about any invasive species that may be present in your area, and take steps to prevent their introduction and spread. If you suspect an invasive pest or disease is affecting your trees, contact your local extension office or a professional arborist for guidance on appropriate management strategies.

4. Damaging Tree Roots

Compacting Soil Around Trees

Compacted soil around trees can hinder root growth and prevent water and nutrients from reaching the roots. Avoid driving or parking vehicles near your trees, and minimize foot traffic around the root zone. If you suspect your soil is compacted, consider aerating the area to improve air and water penetration. Adding organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, can also help improve soil structure and promote healthy root growth.

Cutting Roots During Construction

Construction projects near trees can inadvertently damage their root systems, leading to tree decline or even death. Before beginning any construction, consult an arborist to determine the best way to protect your trees and their roots during the project. Establishing a tree protection zone around the tree’s critical root zone can help minimize damage during construction.

5. Planting Trees Incorrectly

Planting Too Deep

Planting a tree too deep can lead to a variety of problems, including root girdling, poor nutrient uptake, and increased susceptibility to pests and diseases. When planting a tree, ensure that the root flare – the point where the trunk begins to widen at the base – is visible above the soil line. This will allow for proper root development and promote overall tree health.

Choosing the Wrong Tree for Your Site

Selecting the right tree for your landscape is crucial to its long-term health and success. Consider factors such as the tree’s mature size, growth rate, and environmental requirements when choosing a species to plant. Planting a tree that is not well-suited to your site can lead to a host of problems, including stunted growth, increased susceptibility to pests and diseases, and potential damage to nearby structures as the tree grows.

6. Failing to Protect Your Trees from Wildlife

Damage from Deer and Rodents

Deer and rodents can cause significant damage to your trees, especially during the winter months when food sources are scarce. Protect young trees by installing tree guards or fencing to deter browsing and gnawing. Repellents can also be effective, but may need to be reapplied frequently, especially after rain or snow.

Bird Damage

While birds are generally beneficial to your landscape, some species can cause damage to trees by pecking at the bark or nesting in tree cavities. If bird damage is a concern, try using visual or auditory deterrents to scare them away. Be sure to monitor their effectiveness and adjust your strategy as needed.

By avoiding these common tree care mistakes, you can help ensure that your trees remain healthy, beautiful, and structurally sound for years to come. Remember that proper tree care starts with understanding the specific needs of the trees in your landscape and being proactive in addressing potential problems. 


If you’re unsure about how to care for your trees, consult the professional arborists at Sexy Trees for guidance and assistance. With the right care and attention, your trees can thrive and become an invaluable asset to your property and the environment.

Drippy Nut Disease in Trees: Separating Fact from Fiction

drippy nut disease

Drippy nut disease has garnered its share of attention in recent years, leading to a host of misconceptions and confusion. This peculiarly-named disease can seriously impact the health of your trees, but what’s the real story behind it? Today, we’re setting the record straight by separating fact from fiction. Get ready to learn how to protect your trees! 🌲🛡️

What is Drippy Nut Disease? 

First things first, let’s uncover the basics of this mysterious ailment. Drippy nut disease, also known as phytophthora, is a fungal infection that targets nut-producing trees like pecans, walnuts, and almonds. This disease is caused by the Phytophthora fungus, which invades the roots and bark of trees, leading to symptoms like rotting, oozing sap, and ultimately, the decline of the tree’s health.

The Truth About Transmission 

📣 FACT: Drippy nut disease can spread in multiple ways.

Several factors contribute to the transmission of this disease. Phytophthora fungus thrives in wet and poorly drained soil, so waterlogged areas are the perfect breeding ground for the infection. It can also spread through contaminated tools, plant materials, and even footwear!

🔍 FICTION: Drippy nut disease only affects trees that produce nuts.

While the name might suggest otherwise, drippy nut disease doesn’t just impact nut-producing trees. It can also target fruit-bearing trees like apple, cherry, and peach trees. So, staying vigilant and protecting your entire orchard from this harmful fungus is essential.

Symptoms and Diagnosis 🌡️

Detecting drippy nut disease early can be the key to saving your trees. Keep an eye out for these common symptoms:

  1. Swollen and discolored roots
  2. Oozing sap from the trunk
  3. Yellowing or wilting of leaves
  4. Dieback of branches
  5. Premature nut drop

To diagnose the disease, a professional arborist will usually take samples of the infected tree tissue and conduct lab tests to confirm the presence of Phytophthora fungus.

H3: The Damage Done: A Closer Look at the Impact 🌪️

📣 FACT: Drippy nut disease can have a significant economic impact on the agriculture industry.

When left untreated, this disease can cause tree decline and eventual death. This not only results in a loss of valuable nut and fruit crops but also increases tree removal and replacement costs.

Let’s take a look at some statistics to understand the scale of the problem better:

😱 30-50%: The potential yield loss for infected almond trees

😰 20-40%: Estimated yield loss for infected walnut trees

😨 10-20%: Estimated yield loss for infected pecan trees

🔍 FICTION: Drippy nut disease is untreatable and invariably fatal.

While drippy nut disease can be devastating, it’s not a death sentence for your trees. Early detection and proper management can help control the infection and prevent its spread. In some cases, trees can recover and continue producing healthy crops.

H2: Prevention and Treatment Strategies 🚑

🌱 FACT: Multiple ways exist to manage and prevent drippy nut disease.

To keep your trees healthy and free from drippy nut disease, follow these best practices:

1️⃣ Improve drainage: Since the Phytophthora fungus thrives in wet conditions, improving soil drainage can help prevent the spread of the disease. Consider planting trees on raised beds or installing drainage systems to minimize waterlogging.

2️⃣ Practice good sanitation: Disinfect tools, footwear, and equipment to avoid spreading the disease from one tree to another. Remove and destroy any infected plant material to reduce the risk of contamination.

3️⃣ Apply fungicides: Fungicides can be an effective way to manage drippy nut disease when used correctly. Consult an arborist or agricultural extension agent for guidance on the best fungicides for your specific tree species and how to apply them safely.

4️⃣ Use resistant rootstocks: Planting trees grafted onto rootstocks resistant to Phytophthora can help reduce the risk of infection. Consult with a nursery or tree specialist to determine the best rootstock options for your area.

🔍 FICTION: Once a tree is infected, it must be removed immediately.

In some cases, infected trees can still recover and produce healthy crops with proper management. However, if the disease has progressed significantly, and the tree’s health continues to decline, removal may be the best option to prevent the spread of the infection.

The Takeaway 🎯

Drippy nut disease can pose a real threat to your trees and your wallet, but with a little knowledge and proactive measures, you can keep your trees healthy and productive. Remember to stay vigilant, monitor your trees for signs of infection, and seek professional advice for treatment and prevention strategies. By separating fact from fiction, you can take control and protect your trees from the damaging effects of drippy nut disease. 

Ready to Safeguard Your Trees? 🌳💚

Don’t wait for drippy nut disease or any other tree ailment to wreak havoc on your precious greenery. Get ahead of the game with the help of Sexy Trees, the Bay Area’s premier tree care specialists. Our team of certified arborists is passionate about keeping your trees healthy, vibrant, and downright alluring. 🌴😍

💡 Time for action! Contact Sexy Trees today for a free consultation, and let us show you how to transform your trees into the envy of the neighborhood. We’ve got you covered, from disease prevention and diagnosis to expert pruning and maintenance. 💯

📞 Give us a call at 925-217-7259 or visit our website to book your appointment. Let’s make the Bay Area greener and sexier, one tree at a time! 

Tree News: Scientists Revived a 2,000-Year-Old Extinct Tree From Seeds

date palm

Welcome to the latest edition of “Tree News,” where we bring you the most exciting updates and groundbreaking developments in the world of botany and dendrology. Today, we have a compelling story to share with you that has captured the attention of scientists and nature enthusiasts alike. In a remarkable achievement, a 2,000-year-old extinct tree species has been successfully revived from seeds, marking a significant breakthrough in the field of plant biology.

Join us as we explore the fascinating details of this extraordinary discovery and its potential implications for the future of plant conservation and agriculture.

Resurrecting An Extinct Tree Species

In 2021, scientists announced that they had successfully revived a 2,000-year-old Judean date palm tree from seeds found in the 1960s and 1970s in the ancient fortress of Masada, Israel.

How Did the Tree Go Extinct? 

The Judean date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is believed to have gone extinct in the 15th century CE due to a combination of factors, including the destruction of the forests in which it grew, changes in climate, and the introduction of new diseases that affected the plant’s ability to reproduce. Additionally, the Judean date palm was prized for its fruit, and overharvesting likely played a role in its decline. Despite its extinction, the tree’s fruit was still mentioned in ancient texts and depicted in artwork, which helped preserve its memory and importance in Jewish culture and history.

The tree’s seeds were thought to have lost their viability over time. However, after decades of efforts by scientists, they managed to germinate one of the ancient seeds and grow a healthy tree, which they named Methuselah, after the oldest person in the Bible.

How and Where Did Researchers Find Seeds? 

Archaeologists found the seeds of the Judean date palm in the 1960s and 1970s at the archaeological site of Masada, a fortress in the Judean Desert of Israel. Masada was built by King Herod the Great in the first century BCE and later became the site of a Jewish revolt against Roman rule in the first century CE. When the Romans captured the fortress in 73 CE, they destroyed much of the surrounding vegetation, including the Judean date palm trees.

The seeds were discovered in a storage room at the site, preserved in a dry and cool environment for nearly 2,000 years. In the 2000s, a team of scientists led by Dr. Sarah Sallon of the Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem obtained some of the seeds and attempted to germinate them, but without success. However, in 2021, a team of researchers from the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in Israel managed to germinate one of the ancient seeds, leading to the successful revival of the Judean date palm tree.

The Revival Process

The process of reviving the tree was not an easy one. The scientists used a combination of techniques, including radiocarbon dating to determine the age of the seeds, and careful nurturing of the seedlings in a specialized environment to ensure their survival.

The Methuselah tree is currently growing in a greenhouse at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in Israel, where researchers continue to study it. The tree is male and is incapable of producing fruit, but its successful revival is a significant achievement in plant biology. It has raised hopes that scientists could similarly revive other extinct or endangered plant species.

The Judean date palm was an important crop in ancient times, and its fruits were prized for their sweetness and nutritional value. They were used as a staple food by ancient civilizations and were also considered a luxury item, often given as gifts to royalty and other dignitaries.

The Judean date palm also has great symbolic significance in Jewish culture and history. In ancient times, it represented prosperity, beauty, and righteousness, and its leaves were used to create ceremonial decorations and other items. The tree is mentioned several times in the Bible, and its fruits are said to have been one of the seven species of the land of Israel, which were considered to be the fruits of the Promised Land.

The tree’s revival has sparked interest in reintroducing the species to modern agriculture, as it may be able to grow in harsh desert conditions and provide a valuable food source for people living in arid regions.

Other Extinct Trees that We May See Again

Yes, scientists are working on reviving several other extinct or endangered tree species using a variety of techniques including seed banks, tissue culture, and genetic engineering. One notable example is the American chestnut tree (Castanea dentata), which was once a dominant species in the eastern forests of North America, but was decimated by a fungal disease termed “ink disease” in the early 20th century. Scientists are now working to develop a blight-resistant variety of the tree using genetic engineering.

Another example is the Hawaiian hibiscus (Hibiscus brackenridgei), which is native to the Hawaiian islands and is considered to be critically endangered. Scientists are working to conserve the species through seed banking and other techniques, and there have been successful efforts to reintroduce the plant to certain parts of its native range.

In addition to these examples, many other plant species are currently threatened by habitat loss, climate change, and other factors. Scientists are working to conserve and protect these species through various methods.

Climate Change’s Impact on Tree Species 

Climate change has already profoundly impacted tree species worldwide, with many facing increased threats from rising temperatures, altered rainfall patterns, and more frequent extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, and wildfires.

One of the most visible effects of climate change on trees is the shift in their geographic ranges. As temperatures warm, many tree species are moving northward or to higher elevations in search of suitable habitats. This can result in changes to the composition and structure of forest ecosystems as different species interact and compete for resources in new ways.

In addition to range shifts, climate change can affect tree growth, reproduction, and survival. Warmer temperatures can cause trees to flower earlier in the year, disrupting the timing of pollination and affecting fruit and seed production. Droughts and water stress can also cause tree mortality, particularly in regions that are already arid or experiencing water scarcity.

Climate change can also exacerbate existing threats to tree species, such as habitat loss and invasive species. For example, warming temperatures and altered precipitation patterns can make forests more vulnerable to insect outbreaks and diseases, which can have devastating impacts on tree populations.

Despite these challenges, there are also opportunities for trees to play a role in mitigating the effects of climate change. Forests are important carbon sinks, sequestering and storing large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Efforts to restore degraded forests, reduce deforestation, and promote sustainable forest management can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect important tree species.

Is It Dangerous To Revive Old Tree Species? 

The revival of old tree species is not necessarily dangerous, but it raises important ethical and ecological questions that must be carefully considered.

One concern is the potential impact of reintroducing extinct or rare species to modern ecosystems. Revived trees may be vulnerable to the same threats that caused their extinction in the first place, such as habitat loss, climate change, and invasive species. Additionally, reintroducing a previously extinct species may have unintended consequences for existing species, potentially disrupting ecosystem dynamics and altering the balance of native plant communities.

Another concern is the potential for revived trees to be exploited for commercial or agricultural purposes, which could further threaten their survival and potentially harm local communities and ecosystems. It is essential to carefully consider the potential benefits and risks of introducing revived species into modern agriculture or industry.

Finally, there are also ethical considerations around the use of resources and funding for the revival of extinct tree species, particularly when pressing environmental and social challenges require immediate attention and resources.

Overall, the revival of old tree species is a complex and nuanced issue that requires careful consideration of ecological, social, and ethical factors. While risks and challenges are associated with this work, there is also potential for it to contribute to the conservation and protection of valuable plant species and ecosystems.

Together, we can work to protect and preserve our planet’s trees for future generations and ensure a sustainable future for both humans and the natural world. Let’s make our trees sexy again! For all your Bay Area tree care needs, contact our professional arborists at Sexy Trees.

How to Deal With Foamy Bark Cankers

foamy bark cankers

Foamy bark cankers are a common problem that affects various tree species, including maple, oak, and dogwood. These cankers are caused by a fungal infection that leads to the formation of foam on the bark of the affected trees. If left untreated, foamy bark cankers can significantly damage the tree, leading to stunted growth, dieback, and even death.

However, with the right approach, dealing with foamy bark cankers effectively and saving your trees is possible. In this blog post, we’ll explore the causes and symptoms of foamy bark cankers, as well as provide tips and strategies for managing and preventing this issue from occurring. Whether you’re a homeowner or a professional arborist, the information provided in this article can help you keep your trees healthy and thriving.

How to Identify Various Canker Types

Identifying the type of canker affecting your trees is crucial in developing an effective treatment plan. Different kinds of cankers have unique characteristics that can help you distinguish between them. Here are some common canker types to look out for:

Sunken Cankers

One of the most common types of cankers is the sunken canker. This canker appears as a depression on the tree’s bark and is caused by a fungal infection. Over time, it can lead to dead wood and wood rot.

Blister Cankers

Another type of canker is the blister canker, which appears as a raised, blister-like lesion on the bark. Bacteria cause this type of canker and can lead to the formation of sunken cankers over time.

Target Cankers

A third type of canker is the target canker, which appears as a series of concentric circles on the tree’s bark. Fungal infection also causes this type of canker and can significantly damage the tree’s vascular system.

Foamy Bark Canker

A foamy bark canker is a fungal infection that affects the bark of various tree species, including maple, oak, and dogwood. The condition leads to foam production on the bark, which can be a telltale sign of this type of canker. The foam is caused by the activity of the fungus, which produces gas as it consumes the bark tissue. Foamy bark cankers can cause significant damage to the tree if left untreated, leading to stunted growth, dieback, and even death. It’s essential to promptly identify and address foamy bark cankers to prevent the spread of the fungus and preserve the health of the affected tree.

How and Why Do Foamy Bark Cankers Form? 

The fungus responsible for foamy bark cankers belongs to the genus Geosmithia, and it commonly enters the tree through wounds or cracks in the bark. Once inside the tree, the fungus begins to consume the bark tissue, producing gas as a byproduct of its metabolism. The gas production leads to the formation of foam on the bark, a distinctive symptom of this type of canker.

Foamy bark cankers can form on various tree species, but they are most commonly found on maple, oak, and dogwood trees. The fungus is particularly active during warm and humid weather conditions, which can promote the growth and spread of the infection.

The presence of foamy bark cankers can weaken the tree’s immune system, making it more susceptible to other diseases and pests. As the infection spreads, it can lead to the formation of cankers, dead wood, and wood rot, which can ultimately cause the tree’s decline or death. Therefore, it’s essential to identify and address foamy bark cankers as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the tree.

What to Do If You Identify a Foamy Canker on Your Tree

If you spot a foamy canker on your tree, it’s essential to take prompt action to address the issue and prevent further damage. Here are some steps to follow:

1. Prune the Affected Area

The first step is to prune the affected area of the tree to remove the infected bark and wood. It’s crucial to make the cut at least 4-6 inches below the visible signs of the infection to ensure that you remove all the infected tissue.

2. Sanitize Your Tools

After pruning, it’s important to sanitize your tools to prevent the spread of the fungus to other parts of the tree or other trees in the area. You can use a solution of 10% bleach or 70% alcohol to sanitize your tools.

3. Apply Fungicide

After pruning and sanitizing your tools, you can apply a fungicide to the affected area of the tree. Fungicides containing copper are effective in treating foamy bark cankers. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying the fungicide.

4. Monitor the Tree

Monitor the tree for any signs of further infection or decline. If you notice any new symptoms, such as cankers, dead wood, or stunted growth, you may need to take further action to address the issue.

5. Consult a Professional

If you’re not comfortable addressing the issue yourself, it’s best to consult with a professional arborist. They can accurately diagnose the problem and provide you with a treatment plan that is tailored to your tree’s specific needs. Remember, early detection and intervention are key to preventing the spread of foamy bark cankers and preserving the health of your trees.

Preventing Cankers

Preventing cankers is an essential part of maintaining the health of your trees. Here are some steps you can take to prevent cankers from forming:

1. Proper Tree Maintenance

Proper tree maintenance is crucial in preventing cankers. Regular pruning can help remove dead or diseased wood and promote healthy growth. Be sure to prune during the dormant season to reduce stress on the tree.

2. Avoid Wounding the Tree

Avoid wounding the tree as much as possible. Cankers often form on trees that have been injured or wounded. Be careful when mowing or using other equipment near the tree to avoid damaging the bark.

3. Practice Good Hygiene

Good hygiene can help prevent the spread of fungal infections that can lead to cankers. Be sure to sanitize your tools between uses to prevent cross-contamination.

4. Manage Stressors

Managing stressors, such as drought or nutrient deficiencies, can help keep your tree healthy and less susceptible to cankers. Proper watering and fertilization can go a long way in preventing stress.

5. Apply Fungicides

Applying fungicides preventively can also help prevent the formation of cankers. Fungicides containing copper are effective in preventing fungal infections. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying fungicides.

By following these preventive measures, you can help reduce the risk of canker formation and maintain the health and vitality of your trees.

Don’t let cankers and other tree issues cause irreversible damage to your beautiful trees. Contact Sexy Trees today for a consultation, and let us help you keep your trees healthy and thriving. With our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, you can trust that you’re getting the best possible service. 

If you’re a Bay Area resident looking for expert tree care services, then Sexy Trees is the company for you! Our team of certified arborists has the knowledge and experience to help you with all your tree care needs. Whether you need pruning, tree removal, or help with a canker infestation, we’ve got you covered.

Meet Sherri

Sherri

Meet Sherri, the newest arborist at Sexy Trees. With eight years of experience as an arborist technician apprentice, Journeyman and certified arborist for the City and County of San Francisco, Sherri brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her new role. Working for the city, she was the only female in her program and operated under the guidance of her instructor, Alex, who happens to be one of our very own ISA Certified Arborists. Sherri became an arborist technician for the first program to be state-certified. As part of her new role, she climbed trees to prune them and emphasized tree diagnosis. 

Sherri

Sherri’s interest in arboriculture stems from her background in emergency medical services. During her arboriculture studies, she became fascinated by the similarities between the vascular systems of trees and humans. Trees have complex circulatory systems that transport nutrients, water, and other vital substances throughout their structure. They also have specialized cells that perform functions similar to those of human blood cells. This connection between trees and the human body piqued Sherri’s interest – she recognized the importance of understanding how trees function in order to properly care for them and ensure their health and longevity. As she learned more about arboriculture, she became increasingly interested in the science of diagnosis and the art of pruning.

Sherri’s background in emergency services also prepared her well for the fast-paced and sometimes hazardous work of arboriculture. She deeply emphasizes the importance of safety and the need to be prepared for unexpected events. Her experience taught her to be calm and focused in high-pressure situations and to take a systematic approach to problem-solving.

Sherri’s goal is to gain board-certified Master arborist status through the ISA, and she is always seeking new ways to expand her education. As a lead arborist with Sexy Trees, Sherri meets with clients and asks questions regarding their trees, from aesthetic pruning to health issues. She determines which issues are urgent or emergent, such as split limbs, and creates a plan of action. Sherri also specializes in tree risk assessments and thrives in the “emergency side” of the field, enjoying the science, adrenaline, and desire to be there for her clients.

Sexy Trees is a family-oriented company, and Sherri felt welcomed with open arms when she joined the team. She loves working here and the ever-changing titles that she holds. With her passion for trees and desire to learn, Sherri takes on every task with the same level of respect and attention. She is also passionate about continued education and knowledge, ensuring that she is always up-to-date with the latest research in arboriculture. She takes pride in being able to find answers to any questions that she may not have the answer to.

Sherri is a mother of three wonderful sons, one of whom is a certified gardener. She is a second-generation San Francisco native who spent summers climbing trees with her dad in Nevada City. As a kid, her dad called her the “goat” after her love of climbing.

Sherri currently resides in Novato with her Husband. When she first moved to Novato, there was a suffering magnolia tree in front of her house that hadn’t been adequately cared for. As she studied arboriculture in school, she started to learn more about tree care, including dehydration, pruning times, and root care. She applied her knowledge to the magnolia tree, and five years later, the tree is gorgeous and thriving. Seeing the results of her work firsthand only reinforces her passion for the field and her desire to help others care for their trees.

Sherri is a knowledgeable arborist who is dedicated to her craft. Her passion for trees and desire to learn continually make her an asset to the Sexy Trees family.

Do You Have Damage From the Storms?

Do You Have Damage From the Storms

Storms Causing Damage?

Homeowners and renters who had damage or losses as a direct result of the storms are encouraged to apply for FEMA assistance by the March 16, 2023, deadline. Disaster assistance may include grants to help pay for temporary housing and essential home repairs as well as other serious disaster-related needs such as medical and dental expenses, transportation, childcare, and moving and storage expenses.

If you have insurance, first file a claim with your insurance provider. FEMA provides assistance to applicants for your uninsured or underinsured disaster-caused expenses and serious needs.

There are several ways you can apply for FEMA assistance under the Individual Assistance program:

Alameda, Contra Costa, Mendocino, Ventura Counties Can Now Request FEMA Assistance | FEMA.gov

We just wanted to keep you all informed! As always, if you need anything, please reach out! You can get in touch with us at (925) 477-2769 or Contact Us.