Stumped By That Stump? Tips To Assist With Utilizing It Or Eliminating It

If there is a large tree stump on your property that you consider to be an eyesore, the following tips will assist with utilizing it or eliminating it altogether.

Create A Planter

Create a planter to hold some of your favorite varieties of flowering plants. Use a permanent marker to mark the outline of the desired planter on the top of the tree trunk. Cut into the outline with a pick axe. Once there is a groove running through the marked portion of the wood, use the wider end of the tool to cut into the central portion of the stump. Continue removing wood from the trunk until you have created a shallow basin that will be deep enough to hold the roots of the plant varieties that you will be adding to the homemade planter.

Create small drain holes through the sides of the planter with a power drill. Fill the base of the planter with soil. Add the roots of each plant that you have selected before covering them with soil. Water the plants regularly.

Paint The Stump’s Surface

Secure a piece of sandpaper to a power sander. Move the sander back and forth over the top of the stump’s surface until the wood is smooth. Use a damp cloth to remove sanding dust from the top of the stump. Secure stencils that depict an appealing design across the sanded surface with strips of two-sided tape.

Use a paintbrush to fill in each stencil with exterior paint. Once the paint dries, remove the stencils from the top of the trunk. Apply a clear coat of glossy paint over the painted design. The glossy paint will add gloss to the stump’s surface and will prevent the design from peeling or fading.

Remove The Stump And Plant Grass Seed

Create shallow holes in the top and sides of the stump with a power drill. Insert a funnel in each hole and pour stump decomposing granules through the funnel until all of the holes are full. Cover the stump with a drop cloth or tarp to prevent the granules from spilling out from the holes. After several weeks have passed, the stump will be soft and spongy. Use an ax to cut the decomposed wood into pieces.

Grind the wood into small chips with a stump grinder. Level the land with a rake and use topsoil to fill in any depressions. Plant grass seed in the newly-cleared property. Water the grass seed regularly. After grass blades emerge from the ground and grow to be the same height as the rest of the grass growing on your property, your lawn will have a uniform appearance.

For more information, contact local professionals like T-Rox Stump Grinding.

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Treat A Beetle Infestation On A Young Maple Tree

If you have a young maple tree growing on your property that has wilted, browning leaves due to a beetle infestation, eliminate the pests and prune the tree’s branches by completing the steps below. As the tree continues to flourish, maintain its appearance by pruning its branches as needed.


  • ​rubber gloves
  • protective eyewear
  • power drill 
  • drill bit
  • pesticide injection kit
  • funnel
  • ladder
  • pruning shears
  • wheelbarrow
  • rake
  • water hose

​Eliminate And Prevent Pests

Put on a pair of rubber gloves and protective eyewear. Use a power drill to create shallow holes around the base of the maple tree. In order to determine how deep the holes need to be, read the instructions that were enclosed with the pesticide injection kit that you have purchased. The depth of each hole and the amount of pesticide that needs to be administered will be dependent upon how large the tree is.

Use a funnel to assist with filling each hole with pesticide. Many pesticide injection kits are environmentally friendly and pesticide that is included with them will kill and prevent a variety of pests from making their home on the tree on your property. Pesticide will remain effective for months, as well.

Prune Branches And Monitor The Tree’s Appearance

Inspect the tree’s branches and determine how many you would like to trim. Look for leaves that have holes in them or that are dying in order to decide which sections to eliminate and plan on cutting about the same length from each branch that you have selected so that the tree has a symmetrical appearance once you have finished pruning it.

Use a pair of pruning shears to make a cut that is at an an angle in the top portion of each branch. If the pruning shears won’t cut through the entire branch, make a cut in the bottom of the branch that meets the top cut that was made. Gently tug portions that were clipped and avoid yanking or twisting any of the branches, because doing so could cause permanent damage to the tree. Rake up the clippings and place them in a wheelbarrow so that they can conveniently be transported to another part of your yard.

Water the base of the tree if the soil is dry and monitor the tree’s appearance regularly. As long as the tree receives plenty of water and sunlight, it will remain healthy and continue to provide your property with beneficial shade. 

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Need to Trim Your Own Tree? There Are Benefits to Using a Hand Saw

When you have a tree in your yard that requires trimming, the first thing you’ll need to decide is whether to hire a tree service for the job or tackle it yourself. If you feel that the job is within your comfort level, you’ll need to think about the type of saw you wish to use. The idea of buying a chainsaw and making the necessary cuts quickly can certainly be appealing, but there are benefits to using a hand saw — a bow saw is especially ideal for trimming your trees. Here are some things to think about as you make your saw choice for the job.


There’s little doubt that you can still cut yourself with a hand saw, but this tool is generally safer to use — especially in the hands of an amateur — than a chainsaw. If you don’t have much sawing experience, you’ll find that you can comfortably control the hand saw to make your desired cuts without putting yourself in harm’s way.

Easier for Elevated Cuts

If you’re trimming some branches high up the tree and have decided to climb the trunk, a hand saw is typically a better choice. It’s ideal because it only needs a single hand to operate. This means that you can hang onto a sturdy branch with your spare hand while you operate the saw. Conversely, you need both hands to operate a chainsaw, making it a poor choice when you’re up in the tree — unless you have a professional-style harness.

Courteous to Your Neighbors

If you live in a residential area with lots of neighbors, a chainsaw can be annoying to those around you. This alone might make you feel self-conscious about running this tool. Even if you’re not self-conscious, it’s proper etiquette to only run a chainsaw during standard daytime hours. This means that if you’re anxious to get the project underway early — 6:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning, for example — the hand saw will allow you to work with minimal noise.

Easier on Your Body

Although you’ll certainly get a shoulder workout when you use a hand saw, this type of saw can be easier on your body. A chainsaw is much heavier than a hand saw, which can quickly lead to muscle fatigue. Additionally, the vibration caused by a chainsaw can make your hands and forearms tired and sore, while the noise can be bothersome to your ears. You might dismiss a hand saw as taking too long, but, as long as it has been properly sharpened, you might be surprised to see how quickly you can cut through thick branches.

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How Chemical Stump Removal Works

Stumps can be very unsightly. But the good news is that there are many ways that stumps can be removed from your property. One affordable approach is to attack the stump using chemicals to dissolve it away.

When To Use Chemicals

Chemical stump removal is a slow way to destroy a stump. It is ideal for those who do not need to remove their stumps immediately and do not want to put a lot of effort into removing a stump.

How The Chemicals Remove The Stump

Most stump removal chemicals use potassium nitrate as the active chemical, often referred to as saltpeter. While there are other chemicals that can also destroy tree stumps, potassium nitrate is considered to be the best approach. Other chemicals include alkalis or sulfiting agents. These are designed to decompose the lignin found in wood. They also dissolve the enzymes found in the cell walls of the wood. Because the chemicals soaked into the stump are potentially dangerous, keep children and pets away.

How To Apply The Chemicals To The Stump

The chemical is used by first drilling holes into the stump. Then, the granules are applied to the hole of the stump. Finally, water is applied to the treated stump. Wait a few weeks and the stump will be very spongy. It can simply be left to decompose naturally or you could use an ax to chop up the stump and remove it.

How To Safely Torch The Remains

Another approach for eliminating the stump, after you have soaked it with saltpeter, is to douse the stump in kerosene and light it. The problem with stumps is that part of them are underground, so there is a lack of oxygen and not all of the stump will burn. However, after the stump has been dissolved using saltpeter, it will be in a state where it will be much easier to completely burn with kerosene.

When To Call A Stump Removal Service

The speed at which the wood decays can be very slow. Therefore, if you need to have the stump removed much sooner, it may make more sense to have your stump removed by a stump removal service. The fastest way to remove a stump is with a stump grinder and it is a pain to rent one. However, stump removal services will handle the most annoying aspects of the stump removal and you will be left with a nice, stump-free landscape.

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Answering A Few Tree Care Questions

Caring for the trees on your property is a major task that comes with owning real estate. Yet, it can be possible for you to be fairly inexperienced with caring for your trees. To help you be better prepared to keep your beautiful trees as healthy as possible, you will want to keep the following couple of tips in mind.

What Can Be Done To Protect Your Tree Against Insect Damage?

Insects can be a major threat to your trees. However, it can be easy to overlook some of the steps that you can take to help protect your trees from this source of damage. In particular, it is possible to have the tree treated with insect repellents. These repellents will make the tree a far less attractive target to insects. However, you will need to have the insect repellent reapplied every year to ensure that the tree stays as protected as possible.

Can You Prevent Soil Erosion Around The Base Of Your Trees?

Soil erosion can be another common issue for your trees. As rain runoff flows around the trees, it can wash away the soil that helps to anchor the roots. Over time, this issue is likely to continue to worsen, which can eventually cause the tree to become unstable.

Fortunately, it is possible to prevent erosion from causing these issues for your tree by opting to have gravel or erosion-control tarps. While you may be concerned about the aesthetic implications of these upgrades, they can be the most effective options for preventing your trees from becoming unstable and falling over due to erosion.

Is It Necessary For You To Water Your Tree?

Watering the trees during periods of little rainfall can be an excellent way of helping the plant to stay healthy when water is scarce. When watering your trees, you will want to make sure to thoroughly soak the soil. If you only get the top layers of soil wet, the roots will start to grow towards the surface, which can destabilize the tree. In order to prevent this problem, you will want to make sure to leave the water running for several minutes when you water the tree to allow it to soak deep into the ground.

Caring for the trees on your property does not have to be a difficult task for you to do. By making sure that you understand the importance of protecting your trees against insect damages, soil erosion and keeping them watered, you can help your trees to avoid some potentially serious problems. Contact a company like Show Me Tree Service to learn more.

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Tips For Proper Palm Tree Care For New Florida Residents

Palm trees are a popular adornment for yards throughout Florida, and they have become synonymous with beachfront living and tropical environments. If you’re looking to put a few palm trees in your yard, understanding how to care for them is important. Here are a few things you should be careful to avoid.

Inadequate Soil

If the soil you’re planting in is not healthy and balanced, the tree won’t have any opportunity to thrive. In order for the roots to grow effectively, the soil must be properly balanced with nutrients, drainage and other filler. Opt for peat moss or something similar over potting soil so that you don’t over-treat the roots.

Improper Watering

When you first plant a palm tree, you need to water the soil enough to keep it damp, but not so much that it is soggy and drowning the roots. If you overwater the palm tree, it can lead to yellowing and brownish tints on the palm leaves. You’ll be less likely to encounter this type of problem if you amend the soil with sand to improve drainage before you add the tree to the planting hole. Water the new tree once a day for the first several days after you plant it, but don’t saturate the soil. Just make sure it’s damp.

It’s equally damaging to the trees to not water them enough. If you see the tips of the palm tree leaves turning dark brown and drying out, that means you’re not watering the tree enough and it’s starting to suffer from drought. The best way to ensure that the tree is getting enough water is to check the soil condition each morning. If the tree is getting enough water, the soil will remain damp down to the roots on the morning after the last watering.

Imbalanced Nutrient Treatments

Palm trees also require a careful balance of nutrients in the soil. While you might think that adding fertilizer to the soil right away is important, doing so can actually burn the tree’s roots. Palm tree roots are fragile on young trees, so it’s best to give them a few months to grow before you apply any fertilizer. Only apply palm tree fertilizer a few steps out away from the trunk. That way, you don’t burn the tree inadvertently.

If you’ve recently relocated to the Florida coast, palm trees can be enticing. Before you buy a palm tree to plant in your yard, consider these tips and talk with a local arborist to be sure you have a good environment for the tree to thrive. Companies like 770 Tree Guy can help you with other details of tree care.

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Four Reasons To Hire Professionals To Maintain Your Trees

Many new homeowners decide that they are going to do the majority of their landscape maintenance themselves. However, this can sometimes have negative consequences, especially for activities beyond simply mowing lawns and caring for simple flower, vegetable, and herb plots. Following are four great reasons why you should strongly consider leaving certain outdoor jobs such as tree maintenance to the professionals.

Curb Appeal

Even if you don’t have plans to put your home on the market in the foreseeable future, maintaining optimal curb appeal is a good long-term strategy. Well-maintained mature landscaping appeals to potential buyers way more than an outdoor living space that’s been cobbled together in a hurry in an attempt to drum up some curb appeal. Besides, you’ll enjoy your home more if the exterior presents a pleasing appearance.


Trimming trees that have dead, diseased, or otherwise weakened wood can have dire consequences for those who have not been professionally trained in the art of tree maintenance. Weak wood breaks off easily, and this can result in significant injuries for those who are not familiar with proper tree trimming techniques and safety procedures. Professionals will also be trained to safely work with trees that are located near power lines, and municipal and county codes throughout the country require that all work performed within 10 feet of a power line be done by those with experience in line-clearing tree trimming.


Although it may seem that doing your own landscape maintenance work is a good way to keep household costs down, leaving the job to professionals is a good strategy for budget-conscious homeowners — especially when it comes to the larger, potentially dangerous jobs such as tree maintenance. For instance, a skilled professional can spot a developing disease or other prospective problem before it evolves into an expensive fix or spreads to other trees on your property. Also, unskilled tree trimmers can sometimes damage the trees that they are working on to the extent that they have to be replaced. If you have fruit trees in your yard, proper cultivation ensures a bountiful yield of fruit.


Face it, spending weekends wrestling trees around in your yard probably isn’t high on your list of pleasant leisure activities. Well-chosen professional services allow you time to spend with family and friends; pursue hobbies; enjoy art, cultural, and community events; and simply recharge and relax after a tedious week at work while sitting on your backyard deck enjoying your lovely landscaping.

For more information, contact a company like R. L. Elliott Enterprises, Inc.

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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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February 2017
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