How To Help Your Evergreens Recover From Winter Damage

Evergreen trees and large shrubs are sometimes prone to snow and winter damage. Much of this occurs because the trees aren’t fully dormant in the winter, so snow and ice can build up on leaves or needles. The following tips can help you repair your evergreens in the spring so they are healthy and attractive again.

Stopgap Measures

Sometimes you begin to see the damage in winter after it has occurred but before it becomes extensive. When this happens, be proactive to prevent any further damage. If plant is splitting, which sometimes happens when heavy snow builds up on top of an evergreen tree or shrub, wind a rope loosely around the plant to help it hold its shape. You can also brush the snow off by sweeping upward gently with a broom – avoid downward sweeping, which can cause branch breakage.

Wrapping burlap loosely around the evergreen can also protect the plant if winter burn is browning the leaves or needles. Burn is typically caused by cold winter winds. Just make sure you remove the burlap as soon as the temperatures begin to warm.

Timely Pruning

A proper tree pruning can remove most winter-damaged parts of the tree. Wait until mid- to late-spring to prune so that lightly damaged foliage and branches can recover slightly. Otherwise, you may cut off branches that could easily return to health with just a little bit of time.

Begin by trimming out any completely dead branches. These will usually be brittle, not green and supple, and all the foliage or leaves will be dead and dry.

You can also trim back damaged branches to the nearest non-damaged branch section. Just keep in mind that leaves won’t grow on the interior bare section of most evergreen branches, so it’s better to just remove the entire branch if all the foliage has died.

For severe damage, you may want to hold off on pruning until later in the spring.

Keep In Shape

The right shape will help prevent future damage. Avoid pruning evergreens with a flat top, since snow can collect on this and cause splitting. Instead, opt for a point or a rounded top. It’s also a good idea to make the bottom wider than the top, to ensure the entire plant can receive sunlight and water.

A Good Feeding

After you finish pruning, your evergreens will benefit from a dose of general purpose evergreen tree fertilizer. Sprinkle the fertilizer on the ground beneath the canopy of the tree, keeping it 6 inches away from the trunk to avoid burning. Use the amount of fertilizer recommended on the bag for the size of your tree. Follow with a thorough water to force the fertilizer down to the roots. These nutrients will encourage healthy growth and healing from the winter damage.

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So You Want To Plant A Northern Catalpa Tree

Known for their lacy white flowers and almost shiny green leaves, northern catalpa trees add interest to landscapes across the mid-western and eastern United States. If you’re thinking of adding one of these stunning trees to your yard, here’s what you need to know about planting and caring for a young northern catalpa.

Choosing a Site For Your Catalpa Tree

When choosing a site for your catalpa tree, keep in mind that when the tree is mature, it will likely measure between 40 and 60 feet in height, and between 20 and 40 feet in width. Do not plant it too close your home or another structure, or you may find that you need to have it removed later when its branches start invading your building.

Catalpa trees thrive in full sunlight, so make sure the site you select gets at least 4 hours of sunlight daily. Thankfully, the trees are quite tolerant of most soil types, so you don’t have to be too discerning of soil quality or run any soil tests before selecting a site for your catalpa.

Planting Your Catalpa Tree

It is easiest to plant a catalpa from a sapling that you purchase at a home and garden store, rather than trying to plant it from seed. When you visit a store that sells trees, make sure you select a tree that has a thick main stem and very plentiful leaves. Trees with thinner stems and sparse foliage will have a harder time surviving transplantation.

Dig a generously sized hole, and place the root ball inside. Bury the tree just up to the bulge where the trunk meets the roots; burying it further may promote rot. Water the tree in well. If rain is scarce, you may want to apply a layer of wood mulch in a circle around the tree to keep moisture in the soil.

Caring For Your Young Catalpa Tree

Unless rain is plentiful, you’ll want to water your young catalpa every few days for its first few months in the ground. After a couple of months, its root system will be more established, and it will be able to glean water from further beneath the ground, so you won’t need to water it anymore.

If you want to have your catalpa trimmed to ensure it maintains an attractive shape, be sure to start this when the tree is young and more easily molded. Catalpas don’t necessarily need regular tree trimming, but doing so during the first few years can ensure that they grow more upright.

Your catalpa tree won’t start blooming until it is about 7 years old. However, its beauty when it does bloom will be well worth the wait.

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3 Steps For Dealing With A Downed Tree On Your Property

Large trees are a beautiful addition to any yard, but when you have trees on your property, you have to be prepared for the risk of them falling down. Downed trees are not extremely common, but disease, strong winds, powerful thunderstorms, or ice storms can cause damage to trees and cause them to topple over. If a tree in your yard falls over, take the following steps:

Ensure the Safety of Your Property and Family

A large tree can cause extensive damage to structures, and if any power lines are involved the situation can become very dangerous. If a large tree falls on your house or roof, it is in your best interest to evacuate the premises until you can have the situation checked out by a professional to ensure that your home or roof are not in danger of caving in. When power lines are involved, do not attempt to approach the tree to examine the damage. Any time live power lines are involved in a downed tree situation, call emergency services immediately and let them resolve the problem.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Removing a downed tree from your property can be expensive, so before hiring a company contact your insurance company to see if your homeowners policy covers the cost of tree removal. Some policies cover the expenses, other policies only cover the costs if the downed tree causes structural damage to your house, and some policies do not include any coverage for the cost of removing downed trees from a property. If you have several large trees on your property, it may be worth your time to look over your homeowners insurance policy or contact your agent to add a rider to your policy to cover expenses associated with downed trees, if it is not included in your current policy.

Call Several Tree Service Companies for Quotes

While you may be tempted to try to remove the downed tree yourself with a chain saw, in many cases it is a better idea to hire a professional tree service company to take care of the task for you. If you’re dealing with an exceptionally tall tree with many limbs and branches, trying to remove it yourself can potentially be very dangerous, especially if you have no experience in tree removal. Your best bet is to call several tree service companies in your area for quotes; choose a reputable company that is licensed, insured, and offers their services at a fair price. Contact a company like Carlos Tree Service Inc for more information.

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Destroy Stumps, Not Yourself! Safety Tips To Keep In Mind When Using A Powerful Stump Grinder

Grinding is one of the best ways to remove tree stumps from your yard, especially if you price wood chips for compost or mulch. However, stump grinding machines have some serious power, so it’s important to keep your safety in mind before you get started annihilating those dead trees.

Getting Everything Ready

Be sure to wear a long-sleeved shirt or jacket and long pants, along with a pair of safety glasses and earplugs. These will help protect you from flying wood chips as the stump grinder spits them out. You may also want to add a mask to keep sawdust out of your mouth and nose, especially if you have a weak respiratory system.

To prepare the stump, you need to first take away any rocks or unattached pieces of wood that could be thrown by the grinder. Rocks are especially important to remove, since a large enough rock could damage the blade and cost you a pretty penny. If you want to be thorough, you can dig up the dirt surrounding the stump and topmost roots, which will help you find and remove rocks.

If the stump is tall, consider cutting off the topmost wood with a saw. While this is not necessary from a safety standpoint, it will make the grinding process much faster.

Grinding The Stump Down

First, make sure any pets, children, or people without protective clothing are clear of the area to minimize the risk of an accident. Position your grinder above the stump before turning it on, and move to the control panel at the back. You should be able to adjust its position and operate it from behind. Do no approach the blade while it is running at any time.

If something goes wrong and the grinder stops, strains, or makes sounds like it’s struggling, immediately turn it off. Stay clear of the grinding blade until it has completely stopped moving, then investigate the problem. If something appears to be stuck in the machine, never reach in to remove it. Instead contact the owner of the grinder to have a look at it.

As long as nothing is going wrong, you’ll want to periodically turn off the grinder and take a look at its progress. Be sure to inspect for rocks every time you move it to a new part of the stump or roots.

Once the grinding is complete and you’ve worn the stump down to around 4-6 inches below the grass, you can turn off your grinder for good. Be sure to wait until the blade has stopped spinning entirely before moving the machine. Now all you have to do is fill in the hole and wait for new grass to spring up. In time, you won’t be able to tell there was ever a tree in the first place. If you don’t feel comfortable grinding the stump yourself, contact a company, like Tree Landers, to get rid of the tree stump for you. 

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Sometimes They Come Back: Dealing With Regenerating Tree Stumps

Tree stumps often generate new growth. This depends largely on the type of tree and whether the stump is still viable or not. If you don’t appreciate new growth creeping in after you just took the time out to have a tree removed, there are only two options available to you. Either remove the stump or kill it.

What Did the Tree Stump Ever Do To You?

In truth, when there’s growth above, there’s also the possibility of growth below. Tree roots and other plants have some savvy survival mechanisms. In some cases, the growth can sprout right out of the roots. Your tree stump can effectively turn into some new trees whether you like it or not.

The roots themselves can continue to grow as they support these new sprouts. And tree roots are vicious. Were you going to plant a garden in the space that was once under the shadow of the recently deceased? Those living roots can suck away all the nutrients from the things you actually want to grow.

Killing the Tree Stump

“Kill” sounds harsh, but that’s precisely what you’ll have to do. If you don’t want to get rid of the tree stump for whatever reason, and you don’t want the growth regeneration occurring, then you’ll have to stop the stump from “living.”

There are a few methods at your disposal for committing the deed.

Chemicals – There’s a wide assortment of herbicides and other branded chemicals out there. You can find many that exist specifically for the killing of tree stumps and roots. They work in a variety of ways, so no matter what, you should always follow the instructions that come with them, to the letter.

Using chemicals usually, but not always, involves drilling holes into the stump and pouring in the chemical. No, the stump isn’t going to die immediately. The process can take weeks or months, sometimes longer depending on the chemical and methods of administering it. It will control growth in the meantime though.

Minerals – Combinations of Epsom salt and water, or rock salt and water, can kill a tree stump. This method also involves drilling holes into the stump and then putting in the minerals. This method falls under the category of “home remedy,” along with a few others. That’s because it doesn’t require liquid chemicals to do the job.

Accelerated decay – Actually, you may have noticed that all of these methods are just forms of accelerated decay. While chemicals do help stop growth while the decay occurs, they are all just different methods of helping the stump to rot. There are more ways to help a stump decay besides. However, all of these methods of slow arboricide are only leading up to the same thing…

Removing the Tree Stump

If you flat out don’t want to deal with a zombie tree stump, your best bet is removal. Did you think herbicides and rock salt were going to make the physical stump go away? Whether you kill the stump or not, the result will still be that you have to remove it.

Physical removal is both the best and quickest option available to you. Decaying the stump helps make removal easier, but hiring a professional stump removal service eliminates the need for that anyway. 

For more information, contact Buskirk Tree Service or a similar company.

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Options For Removing A Tree Stump

After cutting down a tree, the stump that remains can be both an eyesore and an issue with planting other desired shrubbery. There are a few different ways you can have the stump removed, either professionally or on your own.

Consider the Cost of DIY

Many people think that the best option to remove the stump would be to do it yourself, to save money. While this could be a good option, the time and effort involved could be of some issue. Be sure to compare the cost of having professionals remove the stump with renting or buying the materials you will need to do it on your own.

Factors that Determine Professional Cost

The most common method that companies use for stump removal is to grind it down, producing mulch. This mulch can be left and used by the customer or cleaned up by the company, at an additional cost.

Most stump removal companies will charge by diameter of the stump, around $2-$3 per inch. A standard minimum charge is around $100. The other factors that are considered in your final cost will include:

  • The age of the stump
  • The condition of the soil
  • The type of tree
  • The root system
  • Any desired cleanup

Options for DIY Stump Removal

Depending on the size and root system of your stump, there are a few options for removing it yourself. You can dig around the stump and haul it away.  This option is best if the roots of your stump are short and easily exposed with some digging. 

Another option is to grind the stump yourself, using a rental stump grinder. Stump grinders can be rented by the day for around $100 – $250.

For smaller stumps, you can burn it down by adding more wood around the stump and keeping a fire going for as long as it takes to disintegrate the stump.  Keep adding wood to keep the stump at the center of the fire burning the whole time.

Chemical stump remover can be purchased for $4-$20 at most home improvement stores. This is a good option to use if you don’t need the stump removed right away. You’ll need to drill holes into the stump and pour the chemical into the holes.  This prompts the stump to rot within a few weeks. Once it has softened, you can chop up the rest of the stump with an axe, or burn it.  Be sure that pets and children have no access to the stump with this option, as the chemical compound is toxic.

For more information on removing stumps, contact a company like Brandywine Tree & Shrub.

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3 Ways To Turn The Dead Tree In Your Yard Into Cash

If your property has a large dead tree that you have been meaning to deal with, then you have come to the right place. You may be surprised to learn that all of that wood in your yard very well may have some market value. Rather than having to pay a tree removal service to rid you of the problem, you might be able to sell it to someone who wants the wood badly enough to come haul it off of your property – and pay you for the privilege!

Below are three ways that you may be able to turn your dead tree into cash today:

Sell a Wood Burl

A tree burl is an area where a tree was damaged and did not grow properly. This deformed growth area results in a wood grain with a lot of swirls and variation in colors. Wood burls are prized by carvers and woodworkers for their designs. Also, high-end car and furniture manufacturers use veneers made from burl wood on their products.

Some trees are more likely to have valuable burls:

  • oaks
  • walnut
  • almond

In addition, juniper trees have burls that are bright red in color and are highly sought after for making furniture.

Sell for Hobby Lumber

Commercial lumber mills will not typically accept wood from individuals. This is due to safety concerns. Residential trees often contain old nails in them from people using them as anchor points or for yard decorations. However, many individuals and small companies who work with wood are willing to pay good money for quality wood. The most common uses for this type of wood are building custom furniture and woodworking crafts.

Sell for Firewood

If your property’s tree is not suitable for woodworking or does not have any burl wood, then you can always cut it into rounds and sell it for firewood. You can contact local firewood providers in your local area to see if they are willing to come cut and remove your tree if you do not want to deal with it yourself. Some services will pay you for the wood if it is a hardwood species while other services will simply remove the tree in exchange for the wood.


Now that you can see the ways the dead tree on your property can be turned into cash, you should call a local tree service like Destiny’s Tree Service LLC today for advice on which option will work the best for your location and type of tree.

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Understanding The Reasons For Tree Trimming And Removal

There are various reasons to have a tree removed from your property. But sometimes when people think they need a tree removed, they really just need it trimmed. Sometimes it’s a purely personal choice. Occasionally it’s a town mandate. In any case, here’s what you need to know.

Reasons to Trim and Prune Rather than Remove

One of the most common reasons to have a tree trimmed is because its branches are growing too close to the house or other building. These branches can cause damage to the structure. They can also become an injury risk.

You’ve likely seen how snow on a branch can cause it to break and fall. That can happen over a part of your building, or over someone passing under the branch.

If branches are growing out over public space, it presents another hazard.  If a storm causes a branch to break and injure someone on the sidewalk, you may find yourself in court. The same issue can occur with branches growing too close to power lines. They can do a lot of damage and cause electrical outages and fires as well.

There’s also aesthetics. You may simply not like the look of the tree. Maybe its branches have started to grow out of control or they’re blocking the view. Another reason to trim is to protect the health of the tree. Trees do catch disease and sometimes it’s possible to save the tree by cutting off infected branches before the disease spreads.

Reasons to Remove a Tree from a Property

There are many obvious reasons to remove a tree entirely. If the tree is dead or dying, then it has to go. Dying trees are dangerous. They’re weak and may fall over. This can do all kinds of damage.

It’s similar to the damage that branches can cause but on a larger scale. There are several ways to tell if a tree is dead or dying, but they’re not always obvious.

Actually, many of the reasons to remove a tree are the same as the reasons for trimming its branches and foliage. It’s just that when it’s the whole tree, it represents a larger potential problem.

Leaning trees are also a reason for removal. Even if a healthy tree is leaning at a precarious angle, it represents a similar danger to a dying tree. Of course, you may just want to remove a tree to clear a space on your property. It’s possible to have a tree removal service relocate a tree rather than completely get rid of it.

But before you make a decision, educate yourself on your trees. You may find that you want to keep your trees or learn to care for them yourself. If you think a tree removal is necessary, or if you’re not sure, then contact a professional tree removal service (such as Chudy Tree Care) and ask. 

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Want to Add Some Shade to Your Yard? Plant a Few Sycamore Trees

Oaks, maples, elms – they all make great shade trees, but so many people have them in their yards. If you want a shady yard that stands out from the crowd, consider planting some sycamore trees instead. They have a unique appearance, and they’re rather easy to grow if you start with a sapling from a local nursery.

Characteristics of Sycamore Trees

The American sycamore is a large tree, reaching up to 100 feet in height when mature. Of course, your sycamore won’t be that large for several decades.  Sycamore trees are great choices for landscaping since their notably straight trunks have a clean-cut, groomed appearance. Their branches are long and sprawling, giving the tree a wide-topped shape that’s great for shade.

The leaves of the American sycamore are medium-green in color with a network of veins running across them. They have multiple lobes and are often said to be shaped like hands. In the fall, sycamore leaves turn brown before tumbling to the ground.

Planting and Growing Sycamore Trees

Choosing a Healthy Tree

Visit your local nursery, and look at all of the sycamores before choosing one. It’s easiest to plant sycamore trees that are several feet tall, rather than purchasing a young seedling. The bark should be bright and in-tact, and the branches evenly distributed around the trunk. The wider a trunk of a young tree, the stronger and healthier it is.

Choosing the Right Site

American sycamores prefer moist soil, so plant them in a lower area in your yard, if possible. Do not plant too close to a sidewalk or paved area, or you may find that the tree’s roots ruin these structures within a few years. Once you’ve found the right site, dig a hole that is about a foot wider than the root ball. This gives the roots space to grow. Don’t dig the hole too deep—the top of the root ball should be just above the surface of the ground. Pack the soil back in around the tree, but not too tightly, and then water the tree generously.

Caring for the Young Tree

When your sycamore is young, you may wish to have it pruned several times by a tree care professional. This is not necessary, but it will ensure that your tree develops a balanced, symmetrical shape. During its first few years of life, place mulch around the base of the tree each spring. This will help seal moisture into the ground, and the mulch will also break down, adding nutrients to the soil.

If the idea of planting sycamore trees sounds too involved and time-consuming, consider hiring a tree service (such as Troyer Tree Service Inc) or landscaping company to do so for you. In a few years, you’ll have stunning shade trees that the neighbors will envy.

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How To Care For The Trees On Your Property

Caring for the trees on your property is extremely important. This is because trees that are not properly cared for can pose serious threats such as causing property damage to your home or a neighbor’s, fostering pest infestations, and more. Here’s how to begin caring for the trees on your property to ensure that these threats are avoided:

  • Water and Mulch Weekly: Watering the trees on your property is important and they cannot continue to stay healthy without it. The amount of water that your tree needs depends on its age and the time of year. The older the tree, the more water it needs, for example. Also, more water is needed in the summer than other times of the year. You also need to be sure that you provide the tree with mulch in order to control weeds and to keep the soil surrounding the tree moist. 
  • Prune Regularly: Pruning the trees on your property is another important step to take regularly. Be sure that you are using sharp tools to do this to ensure that branches are cut evenly and without having to saw them off. Also, only remove branches that seem to be wilting or are already falling off. By pruning the tree regularly, you are not only increasing curb appeal, but you are keeping your tree healthy and preventing the tree from becoming overgrown. Overgrown trees attract many pests that will eventually make their way into your home.
  • Know When to Prune: Knowing when to prune is important because you want to be sure that you are doing it when it is easiest and best for the tree. For most trees, this would be between December and March when their leaves have fallen off and you can see the structure of the tree better. However, for flowering trees, it is better to prune after the flowers have bloomed and fallen off, which can be at different times of the year depending on what kind of flowering tree you have. 
  • Hire Professionals: Hiring professional arborists, such as MML Tree Service, to care for the trees on your property is best if you aren’t sure how to prune them properly, or if the job is too dangerous and poses a safety risk to you or your neighbors. 

By knowing how to properly care for the trees on your property, you can avoid a number of problems, such as pests, property damage, and much more. 

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When I was young, my father purchased a beautiful large tract of land in a rural area. The small pecan orchard residing on the property was one of the things that attracted my dad to this particular plot of earth. Sadly, most of my parents’ pecan orchard was destroyed during a storm a few years ago. After the devastating storm passed, only two of my parents’ fourteen pecan trees still stood. And, one of these two trees was badly damaged. If you currently have compromised trees on your family estate, don’t assume you immediately need to cut them down. A professional tree service can diagnose the problem and may be able to offer a solution that will allow you to keep your trees. On this blog, you will discover how a tree service can help you preserve a legacy.


October 2015
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