Fall Tree Care: DIY Autumn Maintenance Tips

fall tree careThe blazing hot weather has come and gone. Now, the tree has to prepare itself for the impending winter cole. While trees are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves, you can help to minimize the stress. These DIY fall tree care tips will ensure a seamless transition as the tree transitions through the changing seasons.

1. Don’t Be Conservative with the Mulch

While we provide mulch as part of our tree care service, homeowners can do this themselves. Mulch helps the roots retain water; it also shields it from temperature extremes. Think of mulch as insulation or a blanket for added protection.

See our post on tree mulching for the “how” and “what” of mulching.

2. Wrap the Tree

For younger and recently-planted trees, wrap the base of the trunk with burlap or paper wrap. While fall is known for mild weather, it’s still subject to temperature extremes. Wrapping the tree protects it from sunscald and frost cracking. Keep the wrap on until the beginning of spring. Continue Reading →

Can You Pressure Wash a Tree?

pressure wash a treeA pressure washer is an excellent garden tool. A few sprays here and there do wonders for removing age-old grime off the deck or fence. Some homeowners, though, have enquired whether it would be good to pressure wash a tree.

Pressure Washing a Tree Is Not a Good Idea

We don’t ever recommend using a pressure washer on a tree. They’re called pressure washers for a reason. Depending on the model, pressure washers deliver anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000-pounds of pressure per square inch. By comparison, the average garden hose produces 50 PSI, at most.

How Pressure Washers Harm a Tree

Just as a power washer spray strips away grime, it can just as easily strip bark away from a tree. Our tree removal crew can attest that bark loss is a huge cause of premature tree death. Even a small amount of bark loss leaves the tree vulnerable to disease and burrowing insects. In addition, the force of the spray can also shred leaves and snap off weaker branches. Continue Reading →

What Do Tree Burls Say About Your Tree?

tree burlsDo you notice unsightly bulges on your tree? What’s the deal with these tumor-like protrusions? These are called tree burls. Arborists know about the biology of burls. We will share with you what we know and whether their presence calls for emergency tree service.

Tree Burls at a Glance

Bark cover the burls just like the rest of the trunk. This may be a sign of disease; the tree produces the burl to isolate the infection. It may also produce the burls in response to physical stressors, such as trauma or frost damage.

The tree’s ability to produce a burl is a good sign that it has the defensive mechanisms to protect itself.

Are Burls a Cause for Concern?

For the most part, a burl or two isn’t a cause for alarm. However, some burls may start at the trunk and extend to the branches. This may cause undue stress, causing branches to break apart. When we remove a tree, we often spot signs of enlarged burls that encapsulate part of the branches.

Should You Remove a Burl?

If a burl appears on a prune-able part of the branch, then you can remove it by pruning the branch. Otherwise, we do not recommend any attempts at removing the burl. Doing so may create an open wound prone to infections. Continue Reading →

How to Minimize Tree Soil Compaction

tree soil compactionEven if a tree appears healthy, all may not be well with the roots and surrounding soil. Tree soil compaction is actually commonplace in the summer and can adversely affect tree growth. How do you prevent the soil from becoming compressed? Is soil aeration necessary?

How Tree Soil Compaction Occurs

Various factors are in play, though heavy traffic is a primary cause of soil compaction. With summer here, the kids are playing in the yard and stepping on  the soil around the tree. Too much weight crushes the soil.

How Soil Compaction Affects Trees

Our tree removal crew often reports abnormal compaction around a dead tree. While this alone doesn’t instantly lead to tree death, it does cause complications for a tree already in ill health. High winds can also uproot trees in this poor condition. When our emergency tree service removes uprooted trees, they often notice decayed roots.

Water can’t easily penetrate compacted soil and reach the roots. Trees that don’t receive sufficient water are also at greater risk of nutritional deficiency. In addition, the high soil density also leads to pockets of heat that can harm the base of the trunk. Continue Reading →

Is Your Tree Causing Sidewalk Damage?

sidewalk tree damageThe tree on your property makes for some good curb appeal. However, the roots underneath may be causing some visible destruction. Is the sidewalk outside your property cracked or bulging? Sidewalk damage caused by trees is actually quite commonplace in the Lake Stevens area.

The Implications of Sidewalk Tree Damage

Tree roots can break through sidewalks much the same way they can rupture house pipes. This can be especially problematic if the damage occurs just beyond your property and on the public sidewalk. You may receive a notice from the city requiring you to foot the cost for sidewalk repair.

If you just fix the sidewalk, the tree roots will continue to grow and cause similar damage down the road. For a permanent solution, you need to remove the tree. Yes, we know the tree is a nice aesthetic element. However, is the tree worth the cost of repairing the sidewalk every few years?

Just cutting down the tree is not enough. The roots of a cut tree may continue to grow. Our tree service includes uprooting of the entire stump. Continue Reading →

Why Is My Tree Shedding Leaves in Spring?

spring shedding leavesTrees typically shed in the fall. Spring is supposed to be when they grow vibrant new leaves. Should you be concerned if your tree is shedding leaves in the spring? We’ll explain the possible causes, and whether you might have reason to call for emergency tree service.

The Reason for Tree Leaf Shedding in Spring

Leavf shedding in spring is actually normal for some trees. This includes species, such as:

  • Live oak
  • Hickory
  • Southern magnolia
  • Hackberry
  • Holly

These trees shed in spring because they retain a portion of their leaves over the winter. Those leaves must drop sooner or later, and spring is usually the time when they do so. Rest assured that this is normal behavior. As long as the new sprouting leaves look bright and green, you do not have cause for alarm. Continue Reading →

How to Protect Your Trees from Deer

protect trees from deerSnohomish County has a fairly significant deer population. If you live more along the rural areas, expect to run into a buck or doe every now and then. Spotting one is a delightful experience. Unfortunately, if they wander into your property, they can cause significant damage to your trees. We’ll explain how you can protect your trees from deer.

Why Protect Your Trees from Deer?

Male deer rub their horns against the tree bark. They do this to remove the velvet on their antlers. Males may also do this to mark their territory, especially during mating season. This can damage the bark and low-hanging tree branches. Trees without their bark are prone to disease and damage from the elements. When we remove dead trees, we often find that much of its bark is gone. Continue Reading →

Trimming and Pruning: What’s the Difference?

trimming and pruningMost homeowners use the terms tree trimming and tree pruning interchangeably. Tree service professionals, though, treat the terms differently. Yes, both involve removing branches and leaves, but you trim the tree for a different reason than you prune, and vice versa.

What Is Tree Pruning?

Tree pruning is the removal of dead, dying, or diseased branches. This is done to ensure healthy growth, and to prevent dead branches from abruptly giving way and causing injury or property damage.

Tree removal often includes large fallen branches. As a precaution, we always urge homeowners to have professionals prune these decaying branches before they collapse under their own weight. Our emergency tree service also frequently removes branches that detached due to neglected pruning. Continue Reading →

Should You Plant a Tree on a Slope?

plant a tree on a slopeThe addition of a tree is always a beautiful addition to your natural outdoor decor. However, what if your home is located on a hill? Should you plant a tree on a slope? What are the benefits? What are the complications, if any?

The Challenges

Slopes inherently present some difficulties for trees. One challenge is that a slope creates a microclimate where the root fails to adequately absorb moisture. In short, water may run off the slope before the root and soil has a chance to soak it in.

In addition, trees already stressed from being on a slope have a more difficult time competing for nutrients with nearby vegetation. This includes shrubs, groundcovers, and forbs, all of which have shallower root systems and tend to absorb nutrients before deeper-rooted trees. Continue Reading →

Why Is Bark Falling Off My Tree?

falling barkThick bark is one of the many hallmarks of a healthy tree. Should you be worried, though, when you see falling bark? Is the tree dying? Is it molting the way reptiles shed their skin? We’ll explain the many potential implications when trees shed their bark.

Why Does a Tree Experience Falling Bark?

Some tree species, such as oak, maple, ash, and pine, grow from the inside out. As new bark develops, it pushes the old bark out.

As long as you see new bark in place of the old, then rest assured that the tree is progressing normally. However, a tree may not be healthy if the falling bark is accompanied by these additional symptoms: Continue Reading →