3 Tree Pruning Mistakes That Cause More Harm Than Good

tree pruning mistakesYou may be tempted to trim the tree in your yard. This seems like a fairly straightforward DIY task. It doesn’t seem overly complex as long as you have a sturdy saw, sheers, and decent upper body strength. However, tree trimming isn’t as simple as you may think. If you trim your own tree, you may be making these three tree pruning mistakes without even realizing it.

1. Incorrect Timing

You shouldn’t prune most tree species in the fall since this is when fungi spread their spores. Improper pruning can leave “wounds” that create an opening for fungus to enter and cause decay and disease.

There are other factors that dictate the timing, such as tree species and reason for pruning. If you want the tree to grow new branches for spring, for instance, then it wouldn’t be advisable to prune in the summer or in the middle of spring. Continue Reading →

Is Tree Mulching On Your Schedule?

Tree MulchingHomeowners often take great care of their garden beds and small plants. However, they neglect their trees for some reason. There seems to be this belief that because a tree is so large by comparison that it’s perfectly capable of sustaining itself. While there is a kernel of truth to this, a tree can be so much healthier when the homeowner takes a pro-active role. Tree mulching is a good place to start.

Why Mulch Your Tree?

Mulching is an integral part of tree maintenance. It greatly enhances tree vitality by:

  • Preventing soil compaction
  • Keeping out weeds, which in turn prevents root competition
  • Keeping the root moist through water retention
  • Insulating the soil to provide a buffer from extreme temperatures

Continue Reading →

Why Do Trees Have Leaves?

why trees have leavesWhole Tree Care in Lake Stevens

Have you ever wondered why trees have leaves at all? Are they just there to make the tree look pretty? Leaves actually have a life-sustaining purpose and are a tree’s very lifeblood; without it, trees would starve to death.

Why Trees Have Leaves: It Keeps Them Alive

The leaves serve a life-giving function. It all comes down to that one term you learned about in your 5th-grade science class: photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis is the process of leaves absorbing sunlight and using that energy to produce sugar and sap from which it feeds. Leaves contain tiny organelles in some of their cells called chloroplasts. These plastids handle the energy conversion process. Chloroplasts contain a pigment molecule that you have also likely heard of: Chlorophyll. This molecule is responsible for the leaves’ greenish to yellowish color.

Unbeknownst to the average person, trees also sweat much the same way people do. This process is called transpiration, and the leaves make this process possible. Water evaporates from the leaves, allowing the tree to cool down. Continue Reading →

Prevent Soil Erosion with a Tree

prevent soil erosion, soil erosion Soil erosion is a serious problem for many homeowners, especially in regions with heavy rainfall. A tree, though, may be able to minimize this to a significant degree. Here’s why soil erosion prevention is so important and the role trees play in preserving the soil.

Soil Erosion Explained

Soil erosion occurs when the soil wears away due to the forces of rain and wind. This is bad for your home in multiple ways. Erosion creates gaps in the ground that allow water to pool. If this occurs next to your home, it can damage the concrete foundation. Excess water can also drown plants and create a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

How do Trees Prevent Soil Erosion?

Trees have extensive root systems that branch out into a network of smaller roots. These roots hold the soil in place and also improve the soil’s ability to drain.

Keep in mind, though, that not all trees have extensive root systems. Some have shallow roots that only grow a few feet. Also, a newly planted tree will need several years of growth before its roots are capable of holding the soil. We suggest a consultation with a tree service if you plan to plant a tree for this purpose.

Other Ways to Prevent Soil Erosion

Retaining walls are one effective means of preventing erosion. Mulch is yet another method; this provides a barrier that reduces the impact of pelting raindrops. Gravel has the same effect, as do fiber logs. Plus, these also add to the beauty of your landscape.

We Assess Residential Trees

Our service includes tree removal and emergency tree servicing after a storm. Call Pro-Cut Tree service for an assessment of your tree. A diseased tree lacks the root strength needed to prevent soil erosion.

Residential Tree Protection

Serving customers in Lake Stevens, Edmonds, Marysville, Mukilteo, Lynnwood, Everett, Snohomish and the surrounding area

The Best Poolside Trees for Your Residential Pool

poolside tree, tree maintenance

Being smack in the middle of January, you are probably not going to be using your pool anytime soon. However, enhancing your home is a common New Year’s Resolution. One way to boost function and curb appeal is with a poolside tree.

Should You Plant a Poolside Tree?

Beyond the visual aesthetics, a tree adjacent to a pool can be quite beneficial. It provides natural shade on a cloudless sunny day. However, with the benefit also comes some concerns. First, there is the risk of falling debris that may include individual leaves, twigs, and even whole branches. An even bigger concern are the roots. Tree species with an extensive root system can extend far below the soil and damage the pool liner or concrete. Tree removal may be necessary if you have a tree known for growing deep roots.

Best Poolside Trees

  1. Spruce: these trees grow fairly quickly and produce thick foliage that nicely blocks out the view of prying eyes. Despite producing a lot of needles, they remain effectively intact, so no need to worry that one might shed needles into the pool.
  2. Acacias: This species require little water. The roots, therefore, won’t gravitate towards a water source and damage the pool lining and surrounding concrete. Plus, they seldom shed their leaves.
  3. Windmill Palms: Windmill palms can grow in containers, making them easily transportable. They are a favorite for poolside landscaping and can be moved indoors come winter. Like spruces and acacias, they seldom shed their leaves. 

We Care for Poolside Trees

Our tree service includes maintenance of trees located near residential pools. Furthermore, our emergency tree service can respond to incidences, such as the tree collapsing into the pool. Call Pro-Cut Tree Service for routine maintenance of your poolside tree.

Poolside Tree Maintenance

Serving customers in Lake Stevens, Edmonds, Marysville, Mukilteo, Lynnwood, Everett, Snohomish and the surrounding area

Winter Tree Pruning: Why Cold Weather Is Ideal

winter pruning, tree pruning

Proper tree pruning is integral for long-term tree health. Most homeowners schedule tree maintenance in spring or summer as part of their general lawn care efforts. However, winter tree pruning is actually recommended. Here’s why this season is best.

Tree Dormancy

Most tree species go dormant during winter. During this time there is no new growth. This is beneficial because growth is hampered by cold temperatures. With winter pruning, the tree will have ample time to heal and be ready for vibrant growth by spring. 

Prevent Diseases

Most insect species are inactive during winter, thus reducing the risk of damage from pests and diseases. The area where the tree was cut is especially prone to bug and mold intrusion. The primary cause of tree removal is often due to premature death from pest and disease. 

Common tree diseases active during the previous summer and following spring include oak wilt, Dutch elm, and cedar hawthorn rust. The bacteria and parasites that spread these diseases are dead or dormant during winter.

More Efficient Assessment

Most tree species haver fewer leaves during when they’re dormant. This makes it easier for an arborist to identify the tree’s existing structure and diseased branches. Dying branches are prone to giving way especially if weighed down by accumulating frost and snow.

A tree full of twigs and leaves is more difficult to assess even for a trained tree care provider.

More Efficient Pruning

The soil freezes in winter, providing a solid surface for heavy equipment, which may be necessary when handling heavier branches. Heavy equipment resting on soft soil during the warmer seasons can cause compaction and damage your landscape.

We Perform Winter Pruning

Winter pruning may offset situations that may warrant emergency tree service. Contact Pro-Cut Tree Service while winter is still young. Winter pruning readies the tree for new growth while offsetting infection and disease.

Wintertime Tree Pruning

Serving customers in Lake Stevens, Edmonds, Marysville, Mukilteo, Lynnwood, Everett, Snohomish and the surrounding area

What’s the Optimal Tree Spacing Distance When Planting Multiple Trees?

tree spacing, tree planting

Are you planting more than one tree or shrub on your property? They will require more than an arm’s length of space in between. Employing proper tree spacing is incredibly important yet frequently overlook by homeowners. Here are some important factors to help determine the optimal spacing.

Spacing Considerations

Some homeowners may be tempted to plant a sapling or shrub mere inches or feet from the home. While this might create nice curb appeal, the roots will grow and extend under the home. This is problematic as the roots can disrupt the concrete foundation. If you insist on planting adjacent to your house, then consider a tree with non-invasive roots. The same applies if planting near a septic system.

Spacing Between Trees: The Specific Requirements

The spacing requirements depend on the species of tree. A dogwood tree, for instance, grows to about 15-feet when it reaches maturity. This means you should leave a minimum 15-feet of space between trees. If a species grows to 30-feet, use 30-feet of spacing.

For shrubs, the formula differs a bit. Leave a minimum space equal to half the shrub’s full growth size. If the species grows up to five feet, then leave at least 2.5-feet of space. 

The Consequences of Planting too Closely Together 

If trees are planted in very close proximity, they compete for the water, sunlight, and soil nutrients. Eventually, one will prevail while the other ends up stunted or dies before reaching maturity. When we remove a dead tree, it’s not unusual for us to find a healthy one right next to it.

We Assist in Tree Planting

Our tree service includes the planting of young saplings. Our emergency tree care can also relocate trees that were planted too closely together. Call Pro-Cut Tree Service to ensure proper tree spacing.

Residential Tree Planting

Serving customers in Lake Stevens, Edmonds, Marysville, Mukilteo, Lynnwood, Everett, Snohomish and the surrounding area

Preventing Soil Erosion: How Your Tree Can Help

soil erosion, preventing soil erosion

Constant rain and wind can erode the soil, leading to all sorts of problems. Unbeknownst to most homeowners, a tree on the property can actually minimize the effects. Find out how a tree is a valuable asset for preventing soil erosion.

The Effects of Soil Erosion

Soil absorbs water. When soil erodes, less of it is available, allowing the yard to flood. This means more puddling water, which creates a breeding ground for invasive insects like mosquitoes. It also drowns the plants, causing them to die prematurely.

Water accumulation can also harm the home’s foundation. Water is especially bad if the concrete has existing cracks. Concrete is porous and water seepage can cause extensive damage.

How Does a Tree Help?

Trees have roots that form robust structures that extend deep into the soil. This holds the soil in place and staves off erosion in the event of heavy rainfall. It also prevents soil compaction. Compaction stiffens the soil, reducing its ability to absorb water. 

In addition, the tree’s foliage helps spread out the rain water and diminishes its impact in any given spot. When rain droplets land on the tree, they drip off the leaves and land on the soil much more softly. When rain lands directly on the soil, the more forceful impact creates erosion.

Keep in mind that for a tree to minimize soil erosion, it must be healthy. A sick tree has weak roots that cannot hold the soil firmly in place. This makes tree care imperative for preventing soil erosion.

Trees Help Pervent Soil Erosion

As tree specialists, Pro-Cut Tree Service performs tree removal and emergency tree maintenance among other services. Soil erosion can cause a domino effect that leads to a variety of other problems, from pest infestations to foundation damage. Trees are part of the equation for soil erosion prevention.

Tree Care and Maintenance

Serving customers in Lake Stevens, Edmonds, Marysville, Mukilteo, Lynnwood, Everett, Snohomish and the surrounding area

Does Your Tree Suffer from Iron Chlorosis?

iron chlorosis, iron deficiency

Iron deficiency is not uncommon among people. Likewise, trees and plants can also be deficient of this vital mineral. Iron chlorosis is a common tree condition and can lead to premature health issues. Here’s how to recognize the symptoms so you can ensure that your tree gets enough iron.

Why Trees Require Iron

All plant life requires iron to survive and thrive. The mineral is essential for everyday life functions, such as metabolism, chlorophyll production, and nitrogen fixing. Without iron, tree health quickly deteriorates, leading to disease and eventually death. In fact, when we remove dead trees, we often find symptoms of iron deficiency.

What Causes Iron Chlorosis?

A tree gets most of its iron from the soil. Soil conditions dictate how well tree roots can absorb the mineral. Conditions that may hamper iron absorption include:

  • High soil pH
  • Too much clay in the soil
  • Soil compaction
  • Too much phosphorus in the soil

Symptoms of Iron Chlorosis

The most common symptom is a condition called leaf chlorosis. When this occurs, the leaves turn yellowish. However, the leaves’ veins remain greenish. The yellowing begins at the tips and eventually extends towards the stem. Other symptoms include leaf loss and poor growth. 

How to Prevent Iron Chlorosis

First, test the soil using a soil test kit. Alternatively, you can collect about one cup of soil and add a half cup of vinegar to it. If it fizzles, then the soil pH is too high. You will need to contact a company that provides tree care services for remediation. You can also add chelated iron to the soil in the form of a foliar spray.

We Prevent Iron Chlorosis

We perform emergency tree service in and around Lake Stevens. Give Pro-Cut Tree Service a call if you notice symptoms of iron deficiency. Iron chlorosis is a serious condition but can be reversed with the right treatment.

Residential Tree Care and Maintenance

Serving customers in Lake Stevens, Edmonds, Marysville, Mukilteo, Lynnwood, Everett, Snohomish and the surrounding area

Powdery Mildew: What You Need to Know About this Pervasive Tree Disease

Powdery Mildew: What You Need to Know

Trees are susceptible to disease just like people. One prevalent disease is powdery mildew. Here’s some important information about this fungal infection and how it can ravage trees and shrubs. Prevention is possible with proper tree care.

What Is Powdery Mildew?

Powdery mildew is a disease that causes white splotches to appear on leaf and stem surfaces. The splotches resemble white powder, hence the name. The disease thrives in high-humidity climates. While rarely fatal, powdery mildew can cause nutrients to leech from the surface of plant, leading to withering and discoloration. Tree removal due to powdery mildew is uncommon. However, the white powdery-like substance is a sign of ill health.

Fruit trees are especially vulnerable, as are flowers like roses, begonias, and chrysanthemums. 

Signs of Powdery Mildew

As mentioned, the most obvious sign is a powder-like substance. However, other signs may also manifest, such as:

  • Yellowish and brownish leaves
  • Shriveled leaves or leaf lesions
  • Leaves curling at the edges
  • Blistering on leaves and flowers or chlorotic spots
  • Fruits and flowers that appear malformed

How to Prevent Powdery Mildew

Use a fungicide spray. We suggest a solution consisting of sulfur, potassium bicarbonate, and neem oil. You should also remove all infected parts of the plant. Dispose of infected leaves accordingly and do not compost them.

Regular pruning is also necessary to prevent overcrowding. When portions of the plant/tree begin bunching up, it reduces air circulation and increases humidity. Another little-known solution is milk. most people aren’t aware that milk has anti-fungal properties. Spray milk on the infected areas to kill the fungi and spores.

We Cure and Prevent Powdery Mildew

Signs of powdery mildew do not require immediate emergency service. However, we do recommend professional attention. Call Pro-Cut Tree Service if you spot signs of this fungal disease. Powdery mildew is a common disease that can gradually decrease tree health.

Tree Disease Prevention

Serving customers in Lake Stevens, Edmonds, Marysville, Mukilteo, Lynnwood, Everett, Snohomish and the surrounding area