5 Biggest Spring Tree Care Mistakes: Plan Ahead This Winter

spring tree care

Spring is around the corner, and before we know it, the trees in our yards will be waking up. But how often do we stop to consider their well-being during winter? Tree care should happen all year round – not just in spring when leaves are budding or summer when they bloom. To keep your trees healthy and happy this coming season (and every season thereafter), make sure you’re paying attention to some common spring tree care mistakes that too many of us unintentionally make; there’s no better time than right now to plan ahead, so let’s dive into the biggest spring tree care mistakes and how you can avoid them!

1. Improper Planting

This tip is a preventative measure and makes all the difference in establishing a strong and healthy tree. When planting a new tree, follow the directions on the label of the specific type of tree you have purchased; each species has unique needs for sunlight, soil, water, and nutrients.

A few major planting mistakes we often see are:

  • Planting too close to buildings or power lines. Trees need room to grow and spread their branches.
  • Planting in an area that receives too much or not enough sunlight, water, and/or nutrients.
  • Failing to consider the future size of the tree when planting. It’s important to know that mature trees can grow to very large sizes and may need more space than what is available right now.
  • Suffocating the trunk flare with soil. This happens when too much soil is placed around the tree’s base.

2. Neglecting Pruning

Pruning is essential for maintaining an attractive and healthy tree. It’s important to remember that trees need to be pruned differently at different stages of their lives; for instance, young trees will require more frequent and lighter pruning than mature trees.

Pruning mistakes we often see include:

  • Using the wrong tools for the job and making improper cuts on branches. This can lead to the death of a branch or even the entire tree.
  • Pruning at the wrong time of year. Many trees should be pruned in late winter or early spring, but certain species may require a different timing for optimal results.
  • Failing to follow up with proper wound treatment. Pruning can leave wounds on trees that are vulnerable to infection and decay. Make sure you seal the wound correctly with a dressing or paint to protect your tree from further damage.

3. Poor Fertilization Practices

Fertilization is vital for providing trees with nutrients that may be missing from their soil, but too much of a good thing can quickly become a bad thing! Fertilizing mistakes we often see include:

  • Applying too much fertilizer, which can burn the tree’s roots and cause poor growth.
  • Using a fertilizer that is not suited for your tree type. Different species require different nutrients at different rates and cycles.
  • Failing to water the tree after fertilizing. Fertilizer should be applied with enough water to ensure that the nutrients make it down to the roots.

4. Improper Watering

Most trees require deep watering regularly, especially during the summer months when there is less rainfall. Common mistakes include:

  • Failing to water deeply enough for an extended period of time. In general, trees should be watered slowly and deeply for at least 30 minutes in order to ensure that the roots are receiving enough water.
  • Watering too much or too little. Too little water can cause stress or death to a tree, while too much can lead to problems such as root rot.
  • Failing to monitor soil moisture. If a tree is in an area that receives regular rainfall, it may not need to be watered at all; the best way to know for sure is to check the soil for signs of dryness before watering your tree.

5. Ignoring Pests and Diseases

Be proactive about checking your trees for pests and diseases. Various diseases and pests can affect trees, so it’s important to take the necessary steps to diagnose and treat any issue properly. Common mistakes include:

  • Failing to identify the pest or disease correctly. Different pests and diseases require different treatments, so it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis before taking action.
  • Misusing pesticides or other treatments. Pesticides and other treatments should be used in accordance with the label, as misusing them can lead to more harm than good.
  • Failing to monitor trees for signs of further damage after treatment. You may need to take additional steps if the problem persists or worsens despite your efforts.

Taking proper care of trees requires knowledge, vigilance, and effort. While these five common spring tree care mistakes are some of the most frequent issues we see, they’re certainly not the only ones. It’s essential to be aware of all potential spring tree care hazards in order to ensure your trees stay healthy and beautiful for years to come!

To schedule a consultation with an experienced arborist for spring tree care (or anything tree-related), you can reach us at 925-233-6877 or send an email by clicking here.

Crash Course in Tree Fertilizers: How to Choose the Best One

tree fertilizer

There are many misconceptions about tree fertilizers. Most people don’t realize that not all tree fertilizers are created equal – different trees and soil types will yield different results – and tree fertilizer isn’t the miracle-in-a-bag that will save your trees. This article will serve as a crash course in tree fertilizers – we’ll discuss how to choose the best one for your needs, as well as some of the benefits and drawbacks of different types!

Does it NEED Fertilizer?

Many established trees will never need fertilizer, while others will benefit from periodic applications. The best way to determine if your tree needs fertilizer is to have a soil test done. Most tree roots are relatively shallow, so even if the topsoil looks healthy, the tree may not be getting all of the nutrients it needs from just that layer. A simple soil test will tell you what nutrients are already present in the dirt and which ones may be lacking.

Other Signs Your Tree Might Benefit from Fertilizer

  • If your tree is newly planted or young
  • If your tree is showing signs of poor growth such as poorly colored, pale leaves, unusually small leaf size, earlier than normal fall coloring and leaf drop, little annual twig growth, or twig or branch dieback (Note: Heavily compacted soil or poor weather conditions can also cause these symptoms)
  • If your tree is planted in sandy soil with little organic matter
tree fertilizers

Types of Fertilizer

There are two main types of tree fertilizer: organic and inorganic.

Inorganic tree fertilizers are made with synthetic chemicals and can offer a quick-fix solution for nutrient deficiencies. However, they can also harm the environment if not used correctly, as they can easily leach into groundwater. Additionally, inorganic tree fertilizers can burn tree roots if misapplied.

On the other hand, organic tree fertilizers are made from natural materials such as manure, compost, and bone meal. They release nutrients slowly over time and are much less likely to cause root burn. However, they may not be as immediately effective as inorganic tree fertilizers.

The best tree fertilizer for you will ultimately depend on your specific tree and soil type, as well as your budget and goals. If you’re unsure where to start, we recommend talking to a local tree expert. They can help you determine which product will work best for your needs!

Choosing the Best Fertilizer for Your Trees

1. Do Your Research

Before you start shopping for tree fertilizer, it’s essential to do your research. Only some products are created equal, and the best tree fertilizer for your needs may not be the most popular or well-known brand. Start by reading the label carefully. The three numbers on a fertilizer bag (known as the N-P-K ratio) will tell you the product’s percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These are the three most important nutrients for tree growth.

Tree and shrub growth is more often limited by a nitrogen deficiency than by a lack of other elements. As a result, trees usually respond best to fertilizer with a 2-1-1 or a 3-1-1 ratio (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium).

2. Fertilize Correctly

Once you’ve selected a fertilizer, following the application instructions carefully is important. Overfertilizing can be just as harmful as not fertilizing at all! Tree roots are sensitive to high concentrations of fertilizer, and, as we mentioned earlier, too much can cause root burn.

When applying tree fertilizer, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Talk to a tree care specialist if you need clarification on how much or how often to apply the product. They can help you create a fertilization schedule that meets your tree’s needs.

3. Consider Timing

The timing of your fertilizer application is also essential. Generally, it’s best to fertilize trees in the early spring before new growth begins. This gives the tree a chance to absorb the nutrients before it puts out fresh leaves and branches. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. If your tree shows signs of nutrient deficiency, you may need to fertilize it more than once a year.

And that’s it! With some research and careful planning, you can ensure that your trees get the nutrients they need to thrive. Just remember: more is not always better when it comes to tree fertilizer. A little goes a long way!

Related Reading: Fertilizer Root Injections to Support Tree Health

Contact a Bay Area Tree Care Specialist Today

4 Reasons to Hire a Certified Arborist

Hiring a Certified Arborist

Is your landscaping looking a little rough around the edges? You’re in luck, a Hiring 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.

Tree Removal: What Happens to a Tree After You Remove It?

Lafayette Tree Pruning

Cutting down a loved tree is a hard decision, but sometimes an essential one. When a tree becomes a trouble or a safety hazard, whether due to its falling fruit, fragile wood, or disease, the best choice may be to cut it down. After a tree removal job, you may be speculating what happens to the tree’s roots after the tree is cut down. What about the stump?

Always consult a proficiently trained arborist to inspect your trees for damage and to help you decide the best solution for your landscape.

 

What happens to a tree’s roots after it’s cut down?

Once a tree is cut down, the trunk is broken off into mulch and hauled away or cut into smaller logs or blocks for extra purposes, but the roots stay in the ground. Without leaves, the cut tree cannot make food for the growth of its roots. However, the roots might have sufficient nutrients left to allow the development of sprouts from the roots or the leftover stump. If a sprout grows enough leaves, it can eventually grow back into a tree. If a tree doesn’t create root sprouts, then it’s doubtful it’ll re-grow. Instead, the roots will ultimately decompose.

Once your tree is cut down, you are left with the tree base. Now you have to make one more important decision—let it settle or get it removed.

 

Does a tree stump and its roots need to be removed?

It’s up to you whether to remove a tree stump from your yard or not. There are many reasons why it could benefit your landscape and property.  Here are three things to think about when you make this decision:

 

1. Tree stumps can be hazardous

Stumps sticking out of the ground can spree children running around in your backyard, causing injury. Furthermore, yard work becomes harder, as you have to maintain the area around the stump, and avoid tree stumps and root areas while mowing your grass. If you don’t, you run the danger of ruining your lawnmower by running them over.

 

2. Tree stumps can ruin your aesthetic

Tree stumps scattered around a well-manicured lawn stand out like sore thumbs, ruining the aesthetic of your scenery. The aesthetic of your land, in turn, has a result on its real-estate value. A large number of tree stumps could force your property value down. Besides that, tree stumps take up a lot of valuable space in your yard. This space could be re-purposed into an outdoor porch or a space to entertain guests and hold family picnics.

 

3. Tree stumps can give access to pests and insects

Tree stumps are breathing systems that can be host to several pests and insects. During the long decomposition procedure stumps go through, they encourage insects like ants, termites, and beetles. These pests can increase to other plants in your lawn, or even your house, if not restricted properly.

 

If you have questions about tree removal in your yard, contact Sexy Trees, certified arborist.

Why Hire a Professional Tree Service?

Lafayette Tree Service

When is it time to hire a professional tree service? For most of us, trees are a necessary part of our landscapes, and it’s essential for your property that you take care of them and keep them well. Tree removal is a proactive way to protect your house when storms come through and keep the wreckage a little more controlled. And when you need storm clean up, you should call in the pros to ensure that the work is done with complete awareness to detail.

Full Tree Service

What precisely does a tree service company do? Beyond just trees, they offer stump removal or grinding, tree trimming, firewood services, limb trimming, pruning and maintenance of trees and bushes. They can also recommend you on how to keep pests and diseases away from valuable landscaping. Some companies will also offer fertilization, soil ventilation, tree planting, removal of dust, tree cabling and bracing, and evaluations.

Tree Trimming Adds Beauty and Value to Your Landscape

Tree care is a brilliant way to tighten and improve the look of your landscape. An arborist service adds pleasant aesthetics, as well as improves your curb appeal. If you’re trying to sell your house, you’ll discover that your property makes an impression within the first few seconds, and you want that to be a positive one. If you plan on living in your house somewhat permanently, then guests and neighbors will love the gorgeous look of your trees, and you’ll appreciate being in your outside space even more. The professionals will also offer roof cleaning services to improve the look so that you don’t have to worry about leaves and branches cluttering your space when the work is done.

Time Saving

When you hire experts to do the job, you are hiring people who know what they are doing. They make a complex task look easy and do the work within half the time of what you might perform. This will save you a lot of time, and money, as they may complete the whole project in one day. Tree services take time and effort, and unless you have the gear, time, and means to get it done professionally, it is not worth the effort to do it yourself. Leave this to the experts.

It’s More Affordable than You Realize

When you understand it’s time to trim a tree, many people end up spending a considerable amount of money getting new equipment. However, when you bring in the pros, you’ll discover that it’s more reasonable than you realize and the best companies will work within your budget. Further than trimming trees, you’ll have access to base grinding services. A full-service company will offer everything from stump elimination to cleaning your roof to planned trimming techniques. Once you hire a professional tree service, you’ll wonder why you didn’t begin sooner!

Sexy Trees offers a wide range of services, including tree trimming, pruning, stump grinding, tree removal, and much more. To learn more, please contact us at (925) 233-6877.

How Does Mistletoe Harm Your Trees

Mistletoe Removal

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

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

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

How Does Mistletoe Harm Trees?

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

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

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

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

Tree Pruning Tips in Time for Spring | Alamo Tree Care

Alamo Tree Service

In preparation for the spring growing season, there are a few things you can do to help your trees stay healthy and strong for years to come. These aren’t large tasks, in the scheme of things. As you know, trees don’t ask much of you in general. With a few days of attention a year, you can have hearty, lush trees for years or decades.

Start Before Spring Growth Begins

While your deciduous trees are still bare, visually check them for signs of disease or damage that might be masked by full leaf cover later. This is also the best time to prune, while pruning is least likely to spread pests or diseases that are inactive in winter. Target dead, unhealthy, or dangerous branches for pruning, and follow safe tree pruning tips.

If you have any doubts about proper tree pruning, educate yourself on tree pruning. Hire a professional if you aren’t sure you can do it in a way that’s safe for the tree, and safe for all people and property involved.

Readying for Blooms

Before your trees bloom, they’ll need to be in good health to get through the energy expenditure of blooming! Ensure they’re prepared by using a long-lasting fertilizer at the very start of Spring. There are multiple fertilizing and nutrient-delivering options available, talk to your local arborist if you’re not sure what option is best for your tree and goals.

Spring in Full Swing

When spring has fully arrived, it’s time to renew mulch under your trees, making sure you’re using an appropriate mulch for your landscape and applying it properly. This’ll prevent weeds and grass from leaching nutrients away from your trees, and preserve moisture for your tree’s roots.

If you need help with pruning, fertilizing, or other tree care, call Sexy Trees (925) 233-6877

The Hidden Dangers Lurking In Your Garden

Danville Tree Removal

A beautiful garden can enhance your home and property values, but it can also present some unexpected risks to your house and family.  Read on about some of the hidden dangers you may find lurking in your garden:

Dead Trees and Loose Branches

One garden danger can come from dead or dying trees.  A dead or dying tree presents a danger when it gets unstable, falls down, or drops branches, perhaps hitting and damaging your home.  You might be able to spot a dangerous tree by simply inspecting it closely.  Consider whether it is leaning, whether the leaves look healthy, and whether the branches are drooping.  If you notice any of these symptoms, your tree may be in bad shape.  You should consider having it cut down or removed before it falls.

Normal, healthy trees do drop branches and limbs from time-to-time.  However, these too can present some danger.  Those branches and limbs could damage property or hit a person, on their way to the ground.  They can also hit electrical lines.  Once on the ground, they could become trip hazards.  It is important to have your tree branches and limbs pruned or trimmed back skillfully by a professional arborist to prevent these hazards.

Tree Stumps and Roots

If you have a tree cut down, there may be a stump left behind.  These too can present a hazard as a person or animal may trip over an old stump.  Wood-boring insects such as beetles, termites, and ants may be attracted to an old, decaying tree stump.  This could give them a shortcut to your home.  Some tree stumps can also sprout new growth, which will be costly to remove.

When you consider your trees, you also need to think about the parts you cannot typically see.  Extensive tree roots can cause problems to plumbing, sidewalks, and property foundations.  When tree roots arch up above ground, they can become trip hazards.  They are also difficult to work around when maintaining your yard with equipment.  If you have tree stumps or troublesome roots, you may want to bring in a professional arborist to safely and thoroughly remove them.

Poisonous Plants

Another hidden danger that could exist in your landscape is poisonous plants.  Many of us are familiar with Poison Ivy and Poison Oak.  Some plants look nice, but they can be dangerous to pets that might eat them.  Examples include Hydrangea, Buttercups, and Mistletoe.  If you have a Red Maple tree, be aware that the leaves can be toxic to horses.  Certain mushrooms can also be dangerous to both pets and adults.  It is helpful to screen your yard or have a professional arborist screen for, and remove these plants.

Spiders, Insects, and Pests

Your garden may play host to some uninvited guests in the form of spiders and insects.  Some of these could pose dangers to your garden or home, such as Japanese Beetles.  Others can pose a danger to humans and animals, such as wasps or bees.  You may want to use pesticides to keep these pests away; however, those chemicals can also create risks to animals and small children.  If you see these pests around your garden, you may want to consult with professionals, who can help eliminate them.

Having a garden is an appealing and inviting feature for a home, but it does require some work to maintain and keep it safe.  Consulting with a professional tree service company is one step towards maintaining healthy trees and safe garden.

When Do Trees Grow Their New Leaves?

Concord Tree Care

 

While bare branches and naked landscapes are the telltale signs of winter, we expectantly await fresh, new growth in the spring. Warmer weather is the trees’ cue to leaf out and present their new springtime growth. But how do trees know when to grow their new leaves? And is there any way for us to predict this phenomenon?

While we can’t pinpoint with accuracy the date that trees will begin to sprout their new growth, there are various ways we can estimate the approximate timing by observing the environmental patterns trees respond to. This can help us to establish when to expect new growth by and how to best care for our trees to ensure they put forth new growth on time.

The Cue for Trees to Leaf Out

Trees sprout their new leaves according to temperature changes that are usually associated with going from winter to spring. During cold weather, it doesn’t make sense for trees to sprout new growth, with less water availability and sunlight. But once the weather starts warming up again, it’s time to capitalize on the increased sunlight and water availability.

Trees respond to two different aspects of our changing seasons. First, there must be a period of prolonged cold weather, at chilling temperatures between 25 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This helps to juxtapose the incoming warmer weather. These cooler temperatures trigger the balance of hormones and enzymes needed to break out new growth when warmer temperatures come.

While new growth won’t break through on the first warm day, once the days are more consistently warm, it signals to the tree that spring is here and it’s time for new growth.

Secondly trees respond to the longer days and shorter nights that come with changing seasons, syncing their new growth with the signals of spring.

What If Your Trees Don’t Sprout New Growth

There are several factors that can affect or inhibit new tree growth. Whereas trees have been shown to adapt to changing climate conditions, sudden changes can mean that trees don’t receive enough chilling to break dormancy once warmer weather comes.

If your tree seems to be barren but other trees in your area are sprouting new leaves and branches, don’t panic. It may be that your particular species of tree breaks out a little later than others. This is a normal phenomenon.

If you do become concerned that your tree is remaining leafless for longer than seems normal, contact your local arborist. An arborist will not only be able to diagnose any specific issues with your particular tree, but can also help you understand any local environmental trends that may be affecting new growth this year. If a tree is green inside, it’s still alive and waiting for its time to sprout forth.

However, if your tree doesn’t sprout or the new growth is shriveled or black you may need an arborist’s expert assistance to correct the issue.

While all trees sprout their new springtime growth on their own timing, if you’re concerned about your trees new growth, contact your local arborist for professional advice.