FAQs

Topping is the practice of cutting large limbs back severely, without regard to form or habit of the tree. Cuts are usually made between lateral branch nodes. This practice is extremely injurious to trees, and promotes decay in the canopy. Instead of making the tree safer it removes too much wood at one time, causes significant internal decay, poorly attached new branches, and is an ugly, dangerous practice.

Pruning can be done year round, although there are things to consider when deciding when to prune your trees. Our consulting arborists can discuss your options depending on the tree species and the preferred results.

Not all fungus organisms are harmful to plants and trees. Beneficial fungi help create healthy soil. This is why organic matter is so important; among other benefits, it provides food for the good fungi.

Are the little varmints chewing the bark off your precious trees? Don’t reach for the shotgun. Try attaching some bone or antler to your fence posts or hanging some in the trees. We believe that squirrels often will prefer to chew on a piece of antler or bone instead of your trees. Careful though, bone or antler installations must be done with aluminum nails such that wires, nails or screws are not left permanently in the tree to harm future tree workers or the tree. Even nylon cord can harm the tree.

It is best to have your trees professionally inspected regularly. Our ISA Certified Arborists can spot potential hazards, such as weak branches, stress cracks and other hidden indicators of potential problems. Windstorms, ice & snow, lightning, excess fruit and humans all can cause damage to trees. Cabling, bracing, as well as pruning techniques we use to help prepare and protect trees from storm damage. We can evaluate your trees and offer options to fit your needs and budget.

Tree roots love to be mulched with a few inches of wood chips or composted leaves. Spread the mulch in an area a few to several feet around the trunk, depending on the size of the tree. If you have grass growing in the area you want to mulch, laying cardboard down first will help to prevent the grass from growing through the mulch. Some types of grass are particularly vigorous and may work their way back to the surface. Removing the grass as soon as possible is critical to controlling the grass.

Mulching is also a great way to conserve water during summer. Apply mulch while the soil is still well saturated with water to prevent it from drying out as rapidly. Please note howeve, it is possible for the mulch to prevent overhead watering from reaching the roots during summer if irrigation is infrequent and shallow.

There is a whole ecosystem thriving under our feet in healthy soil. There are animals, beneficial fungi, insects, arthropods, bacteria, and others living their mystery lives out of our sight. Earthworms are a part of healthy soil, which support a healthy root system, which in turn supports a healthy tree. These guys thrive on organic material (see mulch above) and die in the presence of toxic pesticides and rototilling. We have seen these critters pulling leaves and other organic tidbits down, down, down, under the ground. If you see a small clump of dirt with a hole in it that is the soil the worm has pushed out of the way coming through its tunnel. Take a moment and look around in your lawn and under your leaf debris and see all the mounds. This is one reason why it is best to use a mulching mower that leaves very small grass clippings. Avoid pesticide use in general and rototilling in the root-zones of your trees.

Imagine a wine glass on a plate and you can envision what a typical tree and its root system look like. Most tree roots are in the top 3 feet of soil, spreading out up to three times the height.

What happens if you put a structure on a poor foundation? There is an increased risk that the structure will fail in one way or another, right? It helps to know what your soils are like, what trees will tolerate those conditions and plan accordingly. What is the drainage like? Do you need to do some soil amending, or plant some cover crops? Do you have subsoil with a skim of nice chocolate loam imported from afar?

Tree roots need air and water in just the right amounts; this can vary by species and varieties of trees. Some trees thrive in soils that other trees would perish in. The key is to have the right plant in the right place and to minimize the radical changes in that location.

Your native plants want little to no summer irrigation; the health of many native plants declines with consistent watering. Deep, infrequent watering can be helpful, especially during drought conditions

Occasional deep watering is best for most trees.