What’s the Best Time of Year to Prune Trees in Alamo?

alamo tree service

In this article, our Alamo Tree Service team recommends our best pruning and trimming techniques for excellent tree health and aesthetic beauty. 

 

A beautiful landscape adds a personalized touch to your property, and regular maintenance is essential to keep it that way. As a part of caring for a landscape, pruning your trees is vital for a healthy, even configuration of branches with robust structural integrity. Regularly pruned trees tend to live longer, resist disease better, and grow larger and more beautiful than their left-alone counterparts. 

Wait – don’t reach for the loppers just yet! There are certain times of year when pruning might do your tree more harm than good. 

When Not To Prune

Avoid pruning in the fall prior to the dormant season. In the cooling weather, trees don’t heal as well from cuts, so pruning in autumn exposes your tree to all kinds of vulnerabilities. Also, fall weather allows fungi spores to proliferate and spread disease in otherwise healthy trees. 

Alamo tree care experts also recommend avoiding the urge to trim certain trees in spring. For many tree varieties, trimming during a growing season causes unnecessary stress to the tree, potentially putting a damper on its growth. 

The Goldilocks Zone: Late Winter or Early Spring

Most plants go dormant during the winter months of temperate regions. This “hibernation” involves the sleeping plants halting active growth, losing their stems and leaves, and otherwise appearing quite dead. (They are not dead – just dormant!) Choose a mild, warm day to prune because it will be more pleasant for both you and the trees or shrubs

Why Winter?

After winter dormancy, plants are primed for new growth. When you remove diseased limbs and dead branches during a winter pruning, the tree can focus on healthy new growth during spring. Since trimming does cause minor injury to the tree, it will need to heal. The most compelling evidence that winter provides the optimal conditions is the season’s decrease in bugs, pests, and diseases that might otherwise harm a tree. 

What to Prune in Winter? 

  • Evergreen shrubs and trees
  • Shade trees including oak, maple, and sweetgum
  • Azalea 
  • Apple 
  • Roses
  • Peach trees
  • Plum trees
  • Butterfly bush 
  • Dogwood 
  • Abelia

Basic Pruning Techniques 

First, remove dead and diseased limbs or branches. All stems, branches, and limbs that are unhealthy should be your first priority – not only are they a strain on the tree, they can actually be quite dangerous. Dead branches cause a lot of trouble when they fall. 

Next, move on to overgrown, tangled, or simply unwanted branches. You can coax branches to grow in a certain direction, but always follow the natural growth of the plant type. 

Tip: Always cut branches at the node, the intersection at which one branch or twig attaches to another. 

Let Us Prune Your Trees for You! 

Contact Alamo Tree Service

If you are looking for the top Alamo tree service, look no further. At Sexy Trees, our wide range of services and care will keep your trees healthy and beautiful for decades to come. We believe in supporting our communities of trees through evidence-based techniques that you can depend on. Give us a call at 925-233-6877 for a free estimate, or email us at [email protected] anytime with questions! 

 

Your Checklist for Smart Summer Tree Care

tree pruning

Are you wondering if it’s time for tree pruning or some other important Berkeley tree service? Summer means hotter temperatures and less rain, which can often be a death sentence for plants that aren’t well established. If you’ve ever watched a plant shrivel up, leaves turning yellow, then brown, then crunchy, you’ve certainly seen the effects of dehydration in plant life. Changing up your gardening routine for the summer, particularly paying attention to younger plants and trees, can allow them to thrive, even through the hottest months. Check out what our Berkeley tree service experts recommend for your summer tree care plan.

1) Tree Pruning

Summer tree pruning helps keep your tree healthy and well-shaped. We recommend removing damaged, diseased, or dead tree limbs, as these can cause unnecessary stress to a tree. Stone fruit trees in particular benefit from summer pruning to encourage bigger and higher-quality fruit. Pruning in summer can promote robust branch growth, healthier canopy development, and overall shoot growth.

2) Give Your Tree a Deep Watering

California summers can reach high temperatures in certain geographical regions, and the resulting drought can cause extreme stress on trees. To counteract the lack of water in summer, give your trees a deep watering every one to four weeks. Deep watering encourages deeper root development, which increases the tree’s access to nutrients and water in the soil. This can bolster a tree’s resistance to uprooting and protect it from disease.

3) Watch for Signs of Distress

Changes in a tree’s leaves are usually the first indicator that a tree is stressed in some capacity. In the summer, a tree’s leaves may droop, wilt, turn yellow, appear scorched, stop growing, or even fall from the tree. Keep a close eye on trees that are exhibiting any problems and practice consistent tree care.

4) Refresh the Soil

Hard, dry soil can impede a tree’s ability to absorb nutrients and water. Proper soil aeration can soften the soil surrounding a tree, which allows a better environment for helpful microorganisms to thrive.

5) Add a Layer of Mulch

Properly mulching a tree will regulate the soil temperature, slow down moisture evaporation, and help reduce weeds that would otherwise compete with the tree’s resources. Two inches of mulch is enough – any more can suffocate the base of the tree, which needs carbon and air!

6) Keep an Eye on Insects

In the summer heat, some species of insects like to cling to the shade underneath your tree’s canopy. By standing under your tree and looking up, you can check to see if too many insects of a particular type have infested your tree. Not all insects are harmful, so you may want to consider an arborist’s opinion before purchasing an insecticide.

7) Fertilize When Summer is Over

After a harsh summer, trees require a replenishing dose of nutrients. In early fall, make sure to fertilize your trees and check the pH of the soil to ensure that your trees are receiving the nutrients they require.

Tree Pruning & Other Services

If you are looking for excellent Berkeley tree service, look no further. At Sexy Trees, our wide range of services and care will keep your trees healthy and beautiful for decades to come. We believe in supporting our communities of trees through evidence-based techniques that you can depend on.

Give us a call at 925-233-6877 for a free estimate, or email us at [email protected] anytime with questions!

4 Reasons to Hire a Certified Arborist

certified arborist

Is your landscaping looking a little rough around the edges? You’re in luck, a certified arborist can help you with a variety of essential tree care services to beautify your yard. These specialists can expertly handle jobs like tree removal and tree pruning, as well as fertilizing, stump grinding and mistletoe removal. They can also safely clear away fallen branches, or diagnose ailing trees and what to do for them. A certified arborist is like the tree whisperer of landscaping professionals.

Read on to learn more about why this profession is so essential. Here are 4 reasons to hire an arborist…

1) The Threat of Injury

Tree pruning for large branches and tree removal are too dangerous for the untrained homeowner to try to manage on their own. While it may not seem that way, trees are denser and heavier than they look, and their branches can cause injuries. On average, over a hundred people die each year due to tree-related fatalities. According to OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the tree care industry is among the top most dangerous industries in America. Your safety is the main reason to call in a specialist who has the proper tools and equipment for the job.

2) Investing in Your Home

Proper tree care is a long-term investment. Beautiful, healthy trees increase the value of your property in the long run. Although, the converse is true as well. Neglected trees can weigh down the value of your home. This is something to consider if you ever plan to list your house on the market. A certified arborist can also help you prevent plumbing issues that are related to overgrown tree roots, which is never a cheap fix.

3) Avoiding Liability Issues

Without proper tree pruning services, your landscaping can become a liability. Trees can drop brittle, dead, or diseased branches at  any time, especially during stormy weather. We already discussed how heavy falling limbs can be. To figure out the exact weight of your trees would require a bit of math, but hardwood trees are always heavier. A lack of expert tree care can result in down limbs that cause injuries or property damage. It’s just not worth the risk. Hiring a certified arborist is the best way to ensure that your trees aren’t a hidden safety hazard.

4) Professional Tree Care

It’s also important to hire a pro to make sure that your trees get everything they need to thrive. A certified arborist has specialized training and the right tools. Most professionals also work with a team of skilled experts.

Anyone can offer tree pruning services, but only a licensed arborist has the necessary depth of knowledge to provide tree care. Unfortunately, someone with less experience may unintentionally harm your trees. This is another reason why it’s so important to consult with a local arborist when you need tree services for your property.

Criteria for Hiring a Certified Arborist

And finally, be sure to hire an arborist who is also insured, otherwise you’re liable for damages if any accidents occur during the tree service.

To speak with an  ISA Certified Arborist, please contact us at Sexy Trees. Give us a call at 925-233-6877 to schedule an appointment. If you aren’t quite sure which tree services you need, we’re always happy to answer questions.

A Quick Guide to Spring Tree Pruning

Certified Arborist

Despite what Punxsutawney Phil declared, spring is right around the corner. Soon the flowers will be in bloom, but before you get caught up in the earthy magic of this season, make sure that your plants are ready for the changing weather. Any certified arborist will tell you that pruning is essential tree care for your landscaping, and we are certified arborists, so…

Here’s a quick spring guide to tree pruning to help prepare your yard for the warmer months ahead.

When to Prune

A certified arborist considers several factors when it comes to providing the best tree care. When you prune your tree will depend on a couple of things, like the kinds of trees on your property.

Flowering Trees

First and foremost, if your tree is a flowering tree, such as a ornamental cherry or crabapple, you want to prune after the tree blooms. This is generally in late May or early June, depending on where you live. Waiting a little longer prevents excessive flower bud removal, as flower buds were formed during the previous Autumn.

Tree  pruning can vary among flowering, ornamental trees, as some are more sensitive to branch removal. For example, redbud and flowering dogwood are better pruned in late winter or early spring, around February or March, to prevent excessive bleeding, and to speed wound recovery.

Fruit Trees

On the other hand,  if you’re dealing with a fruit tree, the best time to prune is also late winter or early spring. This will allow enough time for wound healing while helping the tree divert more energy to flower buds, and the formation of fruit, rather than vegetative growth.

Tree Pruning for Other Varieties

For all other trees, late fall to early spring are fine times to prune. It’s easier to see the structure of a tree once it’s lost its leaves for the year. Although, not all  trees shed their foliage. A certified arborist can help you determine the best time for tree pruning in your yard.

How to Prune

While tree pruning may seem like a simple process, certified arborists use certain tools and techniques to ensure proper tree care. First, when cutting the branch, a cut that is slightly sloping down and out from the top to the bottom of the branch ensures that moisture drips off of the cut.

This helps prevent dampness that can lead to fungal or bacterial infections. Likewise, it’s best to prune as close to another branch or the trunk as possible, depending on the size of your cut, so that excessive dead material will not remain. When pruning, it’s also best to remove dead or injured material first, as this can lead to further damage.

A certified arborist may remove branches that rub together, particularly ones that cross through the middle of the tree. This helps prevent damage while improving air flow.

What Tools to Use

The basic tools are a hand pruner, a lopper and a pole saw. Hand pruners are best used for soft wood or small branches less than a 1/2 inch in diameter. Loppers come in various sizes, but are generally sized to cut limbs that are 1.5″ or thinner. For anything bigger, a manual or engine-powered pole saw will get the job done.

Regardless of the tool, a certified arborist will make sure that the blade is sharp to make the cleanest possible cut. They will also wear gloves and protective eye wear, since branches can have a mind of their own.

When cutting infected material, certified arborists will also use alcohol to sanitize the blade after tree pruning in order to prevent infecting other plants.

Talk to a Certified Arborist

At Sexy Trees, we pride ourselves on offering the best tree care possible. We hope the above guide answers some of your questions about spring tree pruning. I you have other questions or feel like this is a messy job you don’t want to tackle on your own, please reach out by calling us at 925-233-6877. You can also read client testimonials by clicking this link.

Tree Pruning for Topiary Designs

tree pruning

Topiary is a shrub and tree pruning art form that involves crafting shapes or likenesses out of foliage. Some of the most popular designs range from animals to living fences.

Shaping trees and shrubs can be a fun hobby to explore, even if you’re still a novice. If this unique landscaping art interests you, you’ll need to learn more about tree pruning. Now, not all trees and shrubs are suitable for shaping, but there are a few favorites that people often turn to in landscaping. Let’s review some of the most common species used in topiary design.

Classic Boxwood Shrubs

While not technically a tree, the average boxwood is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to six feet tall. Although, there are some varieties that can grow even taller than this once they reach full maturity, so be sure to read labels at the nursery or you might be in for a surprise.

Boxwood shrubs have been used in topiary design for a long time. They tend to be very popular with landscapers. This is likely because they provide year-round color and can be shaped into crisp lines, making boxwoods easy to work with. There are also dwarf varieties if you’re limited on space for your topiary. If you’re going small, consider the Baby Gem Boxwood, and the North Star Boxwood.

To Evergreen, or Not to Evergreen?

Most people select evergreens when designing their topiary, but deciduous topiaries that shed their leaves in the autumn are trending. Tree pruning can be easier during this time as well. A professional arborist is able to more clearly see the structure of bare trees. If you want to try something a little different, consider the colorful beech tree. The hornbeam is another popular species of deciduous tree that’s seen in garden topiaries.

If you want a classic year-round structure, though, stick to evergreen varieties for your tree pruning art. They won’t shed their leaves. Yew trees are often seen in topiary gardens as well as the flowering burkwood viburnum.

Herbal Topiaries

Lavender and rosemary are both fragrant options when it comes to creating an herbal topiary. This is an inexpensive way to dip your toes in the waters of topiary design. You can use the clippings indoors for potpourri, dried flowers, and floral arrangements. Rosemary is also prized in the kitchen, which is an added bonus if you enjoy cooking. If you’re interested in creating an herbal topiary, you may also enjoy adding moss to your garden.

Tree Pruning and Topiary Design

To learn more about the best species to grow in your region, talk to a professional arborist today. At Sexy Trees, we’re happy to help you make the best decisions for your trees. If it’s time to schedule tree pruning or other important tree care services, we’re here to help. Give us a call at 925.233.6877 to schedule a consultation. You can also view our client testimonials by clicking this link.

5 Trees that Butterflies Love

Butterfly gardens are a growing trend in the Bay Area, but what about trees that birds and butterflies love?

Many types of trees that do well in California are sure to attract beautiful wildlife visitors that are fun to watch. Planting a variety of flowering trees is one of the best ways to entice them to your yard. But you don’t have to be a pro at tree care or tree pruning to lure in brightly colored birds and butterflies.

Here are the 5 best trees for attracting wildlife, and boosting your home’s curb appeal…

1) Oak Trees

The humble oak tree can host a wide variety of butterfly species, and this tree does well in many different regions. Various species of hairstreak butterfly are particularly drawn to oaks, as well as duskywings. Another bonus is that there are about 450 different types of oak tree, 20 of which are native to California. We are even seeing hybrid species. Although, valley oak, interior live oak, and the blue oak are most common in the Bay Area.

2) Sweetbay Magnolias

The lightly lemon-scented white flowers of the sweetbay magnolia attract a variety of species, including the tiger and zebra swallowtail. Those who enjoy tree pruning a few blossoms will love having this tree near a patio for shade. Watch the beautiful butterflies that flock to it, while sipping on a summer beverage. These trees instantly remind most people of the southern states, but they can actually do quite well in California.

3) Elm Trees

The elm is another popular tree that can provide a banquet for hungry butterfly species. These butterflies include (but are not limited to) the question mark butterfly, eastern comma, tawny emperor, and many more.

When properly taken care of with regular tree pruning, elm trees also offer a beautiful lush green setting. Later in the year, elm leaves turn a lovely shade of yellow and gold, a sight that’s common in some of the most visually striking regions of our country—like New England. This is another tree that does surprisingly well in the Bay Area.

Related Content: Common Questions About Tree Pruning

4) Dogwoods

Dogwood trees, especially the pink dogwood has been known to lure in American snouts, white admirals, and banded hairstreaks. It yields delicate pink blooms in the spring, and shiny red berries that ripen by fall. These berries aren’t considered toxic, but it’s not a good idea to eat them, as people have reported rashes. This is also a great tree for beginning arborists.

5) Cherry Trees

Cherry trees have more to offer than their stunning beauty. Their fruit is wildly popular, and they also attract many species of butterflies that love to spend time in their fragrant flowers.

Cherry trees can do well across much of North America. They tend to entice American snouts, red spotted purples, viceroys, hummingbird clearwings, spring azures, and white admirals, along with many others. It’s easy to see why butterfly lovers often find the cherry tree to be a classical favorite.

Related Content: Tree Care for Sexy Trees in 2021

Tree Pruning & Other Tree Care

Try one or several of these trees in your yard to begin attracting more butterflies this season. Again, you don’t need to have a background in tree pruning or professional tree care to successfully grow these beauties, but it does help to schedule regular appointments with an arborist. You can also buy trees at any stage of growth to suit your needs.

For help with tree pruning, or general tree care in the Bay Area, contact us today. Our team is here to answer all of your questions. Just call 925-233-6877 to speak with a professional arborist.

 

Pruning Mistakes That Can Kill Your Trees

tree pruning

A common question homeowners often ask is does pruning hurt trees? The answer to this question is that improper pruning can create lasting damage, or even shorten a tree’s lifespan. That’s why it’s so important to hire a local arborist to care for your trees. This article is a review of three pruning mistakes that can damage, or even kill, an otherwise healthy tree.

1) Over-Pruning

So, how much pruning is too much? Essentially, over-pruning is a problem because it reduces the leafy canopy that produces food for the tree via photosynthesis. Remember, plants turn sunlight into food. Pretty neat, huh? If we could do this, we’d save a fortune on groceries. Over-pruning also makes the tree more vulnerable to pests and diseases, especially if the cuts aren’t done correctly. So, although pruning in and of itself is necessary to keep a tree healthy, sometimes less is more. Over-pruned trees can also die as result of associated stressors caused by pathogens or insects that invade these wounded branches.

2) Not Pruning At All

Perhaps one of the most common pruning mistakes that busy homeowners make is forgetting to prune at all. Nature goes through seasons, or cycles, and trees are no different. Without proper pruning, branches may cause damage to your home, or even grow too close to power lines or windows. Further, if dead branches aren’t removed, they can become brittle and prone to breaking, or infested with insects that could spread to the rest of the tree. A trained specialist can spot these issues before they become a real problem.

3) Pruning at the Wrong Time

For homeowners, it’s important to ask questions like: Does pruning hurt trees? Here’s something else you should know. Another pruning mistake is deciding to prune your trees at the wrong time. For instance, if you forgot to water your trees during a dry season, it wouldn’t be a good idea to prune them because they would probably already be stressed out.

In general, the best time to prune your trees is between November and March, but before spring blooms begin to bud. Trees are less susceptible to insects during these colder months, and your trees will have time to heal before all that spring and summer growth.

Alamo Tree Pruning

Schedule your winter tree pruning by calling Sexy Trees at 925-438-0805. You can also request a free estimate through this quick contact form. Tell us a little about your trees, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

 

Why Do Trees Need Pruning?

tree pruning

Is pruning trees necessary? Periodic pruning helps trees look better, yes, but it also keeps them healthy. Some trees can live for thousands of years, so we often don’t think of them as being vulnerable. In fact, in California and Nevada, the bristlecone pine is one of these remarkable species. But lack of care can actually lead to a tree’s death. Let’s take a look at why tree pruning is so important.

Fruit Growth

If you have a fruit tree in your yard, proper pruning can make it more productive. Over time, some branches may become unhealthy or die. Getting rid of these limbs promotes the growth of healthy branches because the tree is no longer wasting energy on them. And, as a result, the tree is able to produce more fruit.

Healthier Branches

But even when it comes to trees that don’t bear fruit, proper pruning is necessary in order to keep branches as healthy as possible. This is because unkempt branches can make a tree less structurally sound, and even prone to falling limbs that can damage property, or injure people. Additionally, pruning can be used to give trees different shapes to increase their aesthetic appeal.

Better Visibility

Overgrown trees can also block your view of the landscape or other blooming plants. Plus, they may overshadow smaller plants that are trying to grow but can’t get enough light.

Disease Treatment

Pruning services can effectively spot disease or fungi on trees before they get worse. This is especially important in order to avoid the spread of the disease towards healthy portions of the tree. Besides, tree pruning allows inner branches to receive more sunlight, which is a natural way to combat diseases that cause rot.

Accident Prevention

As mentioned above, it’s not uncommon for weak, diseased branches to break off and fall. For instance, this can happen during strong winds, such as a winter storm. These branches are a great risk for anyone who lives on the property, or even your neighbors, depending on how large the tree is. Fortunately, regular pruning by a trained arborist allows you to avoid accidents and property damage.

Is Tree Pruning Necessary?

As you can see, yes, tree pruning really is necessary for the health and safety of your landscaping. For a free estimate, or other questions, please contact Sexy Trees at 925-438-0634. Or, you can learn more about our team by clicking here.

Must-Try Tree Pruning Techniques in Late Fall

Many people agree that late fall is the best time to prune trees. Some trees shed their leaves in the autumn, making it easier to see their branches and overall structure. But, it’s still not an easy job. That’s why it helps to know the right tree pruning techniques. Of course, you also need the proper tools to prune your trees. So, read on to learn more about tree pruning techniques for this fall.

1) Use the Right Tools

If your trees have thin branches, then you can probably use shears or loppers to get the job done. But to cut through thick, heavy branches, you may need something tougher, like a pole pruning saw.

You may also need a sturdy step stool or a ladder to reach any high-level branches. It’s important to be careful, though, because you can injure yourself if you slip. Also, if you decide to use a ladder, it can be a good idea to have someone help you stabilize it at the base.

2) Be Careful With Heavy Branches

Pruning heavy branches involves more risk, so they’re best left to a professional. In fact, branches are often heavier than they actually look, so they can cause some serious damage on their way down. In late fall, trees become dry, making them more brittle and prone to breaking. It’s best to cut large branches in smaller pieces whenever possible.

3) Don’t Cut Too Many Branches

Cutting too many branches can make a tree weak and give it an unappealing structure. Proper tree pruning techniques involve cutting a tree’s branches with the whole tree in mind. Usually, pruning away 25 to 30% of tree is considered ideal. So, try to prune your trees in a balanced way.

4) Use the Right Angle

It’s ideal to prune tree branches at an angle between 45 degrees to 60 degrees. This will make your tree pruning job easier, and helps to prevent water damage and illness in your trees.

5) Apply the Right Method

Some portions of a tree are vital and shouldn’t be cut, such as its roots. It’s also essential to prune any dead tree branches very carefully. This is because a dead tree branch can break from anywhere. If you have large trees, then it may be more difficult for you to prune them on your own. In that case, it’s best to seek the help of skilled professionals.

Professional Tree Pruning Techniques

Sometimes tree pruning can involve risks. If you need help or advice, contact us at Sexy Trees by calling our Alamo office at 925-438-0898. We can also be reached through this quick online form, just click here to get started.

3 Tools for Tree Pruning

Did you know that tree pruning is important for the health of your trees? Although it may appear to be quite simple, pruning trees and bushes is almost like an art form. And, like all artists need tools, homeowners need the right tree pruning tools. Below is a list of three things to make the process easier.

Loppers

Varying in size, though typically ranging from 24″ to 48″ in length (including the handle), loppers are great for working with nut and fruit trees. Loppers can cut into small and medium-size (2.5-3 inches) branches and are really handy when working with roots or bushes. They’re also useful at helping you avoid thorns due to their long reach. There are several “styles” of lopper. Some are more popular than others.

Pruning Shears

The name kind of says it all with this one! Pruning shears are part of an essential tree pruning tool kit. They very versatile and have the ability to fit into small spaces. Pruning shears are many gardener’s favorite tool. Pruning shears can be used for flowers, shrubs, and even trees with a high level of precision and detail. Similar to loppers, pruning shears tend to come in a few main styles. The most common style looks like a large pair of scissors.

Tree Pruner

For taller trees and their branches, a specifically designed tree pruning tool can be very useful. In fact, it may be one of the tree pruning tools you’re the most familiar with. A tree pruner is a saw-like, curved blade with a long pole for a handle. The handle may or may not be extendable, but it’s generally considered to give owners at least 6 ft. in reach, and tends to negate the use of a ladder. If you need to cut a bigger branch (upwards of 2 inches), than you may need to get a specific blade designed for thick branches, or switch to using a handheld pruning saw which is capable of tackling branches up to 5 inches in diameter.

Tree Pruning

Tree pruning tools can be expensive, and it can be dangerous to tri larger branches without professional experience.  For tree pruning services near you, give Sexy Trees a call at 925-233-6877, or email us here [email protected]. We have all the best tree pruning tools!