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How to Care for a Young Tree

When it comes to properly caring for your trees, they aren’t a lot different from humans! Young humans need more intensive care in the first years of their lives, and once health is well established, most of us just need routine care. Then, once we get older, we might start to have more health problems.

So, as with humans, you might already know that your older trees are more prone disease or damage. Likewise, younger trees need a bit more care and attention to get them started on the right track. But if you follow these steps carefully, you will enjoy a healthy tree for many years to come, and only routine maintenance will be needed.

So, how do you get a young tree started?

The first step is to plant the tree in the right place. Most will appreciate a sunny spot in the yard, not too close to larger trees that will pose an obstacle to growth. And of course, you want to consider the tree’s predicted adult size, and avoid planting it where the roots will disturb foundations, sidewalks, patios or driveways. Consider, also, that you don’t want limbs touching your house or hanging over your roof one day.

Water. Once planted, remember to offer the tree individualized care based on its species. It will probably need frequent watering until its roots are well established. Watch for signs of pooling underneath the tree, which can indicate over-watering.

Keep it clean. Regularly clean up debris around your young tree, such as excess leaves, fallen limbs, or dropped fruit. As you clean around your tree, observe its trunk and limbs for signs of disease. When caught early in a young tree’s life, many tree diseases can be reversed.

Mulch. A good layer of mulch (about three to four inches thick) around the bottom of the tree will help to retain moisture from watering, and prevent competition from grass and weeds. However, you should pull the mulch away from the trunk of the tree, to prevent excess heat and moisture from harming it.

Pruning. Finally, remember to correctly prune your young tree on a regular basis. Removing dead or sickly limbs can keep your tree healthy, and help it grow into an aesthetically pleasing shape.

We can help with that last part. Give us a call, and we can advise you on the correct times of year to prune young trees, and help you tree stay healthy as it grows.



What to Do About a Rotting Tree

Most of us love our trees. They shade your home, add beauty to your yard, and command respect as old, towering life forms that seem to watch over us. Naturally, it’s normal to feel concern when you notice rot developing on a tree’s trunk. You might hope that you can save the tree somehow… But is that possible?

Keep in mind that a tree’s trunk is basically like the stem on a flower. You can imagine that a damaged stem would present a serious problem for the flower, and a tree is no different. While it is sometimes possible to cut damaged limbs, and save the tree as a whole, a rotting trunk indicates a more serious problem. The tree likely won’t be able to “heal”.

Typically, rot affects older specimens, and can extend deep into the inside of the trunk. Therefore, once you notice rot on the outside of the trunk, the problem has usually significantly damaged the tree by that point. This can present a serious structural problem as the base of the tree continues to weaken, and now you’re at risk of the whole thing falling… perhaps on your home, car, or even a family member.

Having said that, we have seen cases in which the problem is minor, and it is occasionally possible for a tree to heal. The best course of action at this point is to have your tree examined by a professional. We can help you determine whether water, fertilization, and pruning can boost your tree’s health and possibly save it. Or, we can give you an honest assessment of the likelihood that these measures will fail. If we find that your tree is significantly damaged and weakened, for safety’s sake it is usually better to take it down.

If you’ve noticed rot on a tree’s trunk, give us a call right away. We can give you an assessment and help you decide upon the safest course of action. If the tree held sentimental value for you, it is possible to utilize some parts of the trunk in various landscaping projects around the yard. Or, you might prefer to grind the stump and plant something new in its place.

Can You Save That Tree?

So, you have a sick or dying tree on your property, and you know that it might pose a potential hazard. One strong gust of wind, or simply time, can lead to the tree dropping limbs or the entire thing crashing to the ground (or onto your house). But you’re feeling a bit sentimental about that old tree, or you hate to let it go without a good fight. Can your tree be saved, and restored to its once healthy glory? That depends upon a few factors…

How close it is to the house? If the tree poses a true danger of falling on your house, trying to rehabilitate it might be a gamble. Sure, you might save the tree, but the odds of it falling on your house will grow over time as you make your attempts. You probably shouldn’t try to save it unless the problems are very minor. Also, if it’s very close to your home and might continue to grow larger, there is probably no point to saving it. It will have to come down eventually, anyway.

How much will it cost? If a tree is diseased, there is no guarantee that even the best treatment will save it. Some trees can be recovered with water and appropriate nutrients, while others require far more advanced care. Consult with a professional to discover exactly what your tree will need, and ask for an estimate. If you’re very attached to the tree, it can be difficult to put an acceptable price on saving it. But do remember that you’re taking a chance with your investment. You might spend money on treatments and lose the tree anyway.

If you decide to cut it down… Remember that you can replace the tree with a young, healthy one that you will likely enjoy for decades to come. This time, you can choose one that grows well in our area, and whose foliage, flowers, or fruit you particularly enjoy. It can be hard to part with a beloved tree, but the sooner you let go, the sooner you can move on.

What is Stump Grinding and Why is It Important?

There is a big difference between chopping down a tree and removing it. So, when we talk about performing tree removal, we really mean removal. We don’t just come out and chop down the tree; we remove every trace of the trunk, branches, and leaves. And we don’t stop there! We will also grind the stump for you, so that your yard is left looking like the tree never existed in that spot.

You might wonder why stump grinding is important. Can’t you just leave the stump there?

Yes, you could, and some homeowners choose to do exactly that. But there are a few drawbacks to leaving the stump, some of which you might not have considered.

First, removing the stump returns that part of your yard to a usable condition. You can plant a garden there, install a patio or some other feature, set up your kids’ swing set, or even add a new tree (assuming you’re not planting too close to the house). Without stump grinding, you’re left with an eyesore and a little bit of wasted space in your yard.

Second – and this is the more serious problem – a decomposing stump can be an invitation to termites. While you might not care if they feast on your old tree’s remains, they likely won’t be satisfied with that. Now that you have a large, active termite colony in your yard, it is very possible that they will move on to invade your home.

Finally, if you leave the stump, it might begin producing new suckers. Before long the stump looks a mess, and you have to keep removing the them. If you don’t, you end up with another tree, right in the spot where you didn’t want one!

As you can see, stump grinding is an important final step in the overall tree removal process. If you’re looking for an experienced and comprehensive tree removal service, give us a call. We’ll take care of the problem, start to finish, so that you don’t have any additional concerns left over.

5 Steps to Healthfully Pruning Your Temecula Trees

Most homeowners in Murrieta and Temecula know that pruning trees is a necessary part of keeping their overall landscape healthy and beautiful (not to mention, preventing certain dangers). But beyond that, many of you are… stumped. Why is pruning trees necessary, which ones need a trim, and what steps do you need to take? These are just some of the questions you might have. And while it would be impossible to cover everything in a single blog, this simple guide should get you started.

Why do we prune trees? In nature, trees will often drop dead or diseased limbs. But if you wait around for that to happen, they could create a hazard by falling at the wrong time or in the wrong place. Plus, a diseased tree doesn’t look so great, and you’re at risk of losing the whole tree if disease spreads. So, pruning trees can keep them healthier, keep you safer, and preserve the beauty of your yard.

When should you prune? There are many factors to consider, but first ask if your tree is evergreen or deciduous. Evergreen trees usually produce new growth in spring and fall, so trimming them in late spring is often ideal. Deciduous trees, on the other hand, grow all spring and summer. They should be pruned in late fall or winter.

Use the right tools. As with any other task, using the correct tools will make a big difference when you’re pruning trees. Keep your tools clean and sharp, so that you can prevent unnecessary damage to the tree. Make sure you disinfect the blades before moving from one tree to the next, or else you risk spreading fungus, parasites, and other problems from one tree to another.

Wound dressing is sometimes necessary. Depending upon the species of the tree and the size of the cut, it might be necessary to cover the cuts with pruning paint. Wound dressing can prevent insect borne disease which could invade the freshly cut area.

Don’t take unnecessary risks pruning your Temecula trees. Pruning trees can be dangerous, what with the sharp objects, power tools, and climbing involved. It’s always better to protect yourself and your property by calling a professional, who has the right tools and expertise for the job, than to attempt something that is, shall we say, over your head. So on that note, please give us a call before attempting a complicated pruning job. We can offer you a quote on the work, so that you know all of your options before attempting a task that could be dangerous.


How Close is Too Close?

In the tree trimming business, it’s not uncommon for us to receive this panicked call: Help! A tree fell on our house last night! We need help removing it pronto. 

While we’re always happy to help with those situations, we’d rather receive this call: Hey, there’s a tree that seems a bit too close to the house. We’re wondering if it needs to go. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that preventing a major catastrophe is a lot simpler (and more affordable) than dealing with one after it happens.

When a tree is too close to your house, a lot of unwanted things can happen, such as:

  • The entire tree can come down… onto your house. Obviously, you’re looking at possible serious damage and expense in this situation.
  • Just a few limbs can come down… But they still damage your roof and now you need repairs.
  • The tree blocks sunlight to your home, leading to a greater potential for rot on your roof and trim.
  • The tree’s roots damage the foundation of your home, causing thousands of dollars in damage.

Often, it’s easy to tell if a tree is too close to your home. Sometimes a previous homeowner just didn’t plan ahead, and that pretty little oak sapling that they planted 40 years ago is now a behemoth that threatens your safety and investment! You’d be surprised at the number of large trees we’ve found growing mere feet from houses.

On the other hand, a tree can appear a safe distance from your home, and it might be just fine in the sense that the root system is unlikely to bother your foundation. But if it’s a very tall tree, you should still assess its health occasionally. A diseased tree will become brittle, and even hollow inside. Now it poses a very real danger of dropping enormous limbs, or the entire thing can topple over. Even if it’s thirty feet from your home, a sixty-foot diseased tree is obviously a hazard if it falls the wrong way.

Do you have a tree that is dangerously close to your home?  If so, we can remove the tree along with its potential danger.  Whilee we’re visiting, we’ll also assess the health of other trees near your home to rule out any other sources of future problems.

When Is Tree Trimming Necessary?

Owning property is a lot of work, from the structure itself to the surrounding landscaping. You know that caring for your trees is part of the package, but beyond that, many homeowners (and business owners, for that matter) are stumped. When do you actually need to prune your trees, and why?

It’s important to remember that tree trimming can certainly be done for aesthetic reasons, making it somewhat of an art form. But it’s also a science. There are sound, biological reasons that we periodically need to prune trees in order to maintain their health. Beyond that, we sometimes have very practical safety reasons as well.

So, under what circumstances is tree trimming warranted? Some common reasons include:

  • The branches are growing too close to your home, or already touching the structure
  • The tree has grown too close to power lines
  • Dead or dying branches have become unsightly
  • You desire more curb appeal for your home, and are interested in shaping your trees for aesthetic reasons
  • The tree appears to be suffering ill health (although obviously prevention would have been even better)
  • The tree has not been pruned in three years or more

The aesthetic reasons are no big mystery. Maybe you just prefer the look of a artfully shaped tree, or you’re putting your home on the market. With real estate sales we know that curb appeal of the home, including the landscaping, can be a major selling point. We also know that regular pruning can prevent overgrowth that later breaks in an unattractive way.

When it comes to the health of your trees, this is where a professional’s background and extensive knowledge base come in handy. Trees can be subject to a variety of diseases and pests, but regular pruning can help to boost their defenses. Healthier trees also live longer, and regular pruning can lead to more lush and attractive undergrowth.

Then, of course are the practical benefits of tree trimming: Regular maintenance can prevent breaking and falling limbs, which can be a danger to you and your home. Trimming can also protect your power lines and prevent extended outages.

If any of the above situations applies to your trees, it’s probably time for a professional tree trimming. Give us a call, and we can discuss what needs to be done to protect the health and beauty of your trees.

6 Safety Tips for Pruning Trees

Many people prefer to do all of their outdoor work themselves, even including tree work. We feel it’s our duty to caution you with regard to pruning trees, since it’s what we do every day! Most people know that tree removal is a dangerous job, but are unaware that pruning can also be quite hazardous. The following are just some of the precautions we take, with each and every job. And if you’re determined to prune your trees yourself, you should be taking them too.

Assess the job before diving in. Weather is a risk factor that many people overlook before trimming their trees, so take a look at the forecast before you get started. Also, consider any equipment you need, and precautions that must be taken, before you even start working. Plan each step of the process, such as tying off ladders, so that you don’t forget a vital step.

Don’t forget about gravity! It sounds so simple, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t consider factors such as which way limbs are likely to fall when cutting them.

Wear the right protective gear. Tree pruning can be dangerous with regard to sharp power tools, but also for your eyes and vision. If you’re using loud equipment, you will need ear plugs. Safety goggles are a must to protect your eyes from dust, wood particle, insects, and more. Your shoes should have slip-resistant soles, and chaps and gauntlets are mandatory for any chainsaw work. Since falling limbs and debris pose a significant risk, make sure to wear a hard hat. Harnesses and other professional equipment is mandatory for jobs that require you to climb the tree. Finally, protect yourself with pants, gloves, and a close-fitting, long-sleeved shirt.

Don’t work alone. Ask a partner to work with you, so if an accident does happen, emergency services are only a phone call away.

Protect passersby or children who might be playing in the area. Don’t even attempt tree pruning while your kids are playing nearby; you will be too preoccupied to closely supervise them, and it only takes a moment for a child to wander into your work area. Also consider passersby when trimming trees close to the street or sidewalk; put up signs or rope off the area so that no one wanders underneath the tree that you’re pruning.

Inspect trees carefully before climbing. A diseased or weakened tree might not be apparent to the naked eye. The last thing you want is for a support limb to snap while you’re standing on it, using a power tool! Inspect trees carefully for signs of weakness before venturing up into them.

Avoid electrical lines. No matter how confident you’re feeling, never prune trees near or around power lines. Call a professional tree trimming company, or your electrical service provider.

These are just some of the safety guidelines that we practice every single day. As you can see, tree pruning can be risky, and you shouldn’t attempt it without the right gear and precautions. Please give us a call about any work you need performed, and we will be happy to give you an estimate on the job.

How to Take Care of Your Citrus Trees

If you’ve chosen to plant a citrus tree in your yard, you probably enjoy its glossy green foliage along with the free fruit. But you might also have chosen it because they’re easy to grow here in Southern California, and they usually don’t require intensive care. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prune it at all! Taking care of your tree can improve its appearance and provide a healthier harvest of fruit each season. Luckily, pruning citrus trees is not overly difficult.

Remove dead branches. Throughout the year, you might notice dead twigs and branches on your citrus tree. It’s important to remove these when you see them, because dead branches can attract certain insect pests. They also increase your risk of certain diseases that strike citrus trees.

Remove suckers. If you want to encourage a strong central trunk and a stable, erect form, look for emerging water sprouts (suckers) around the base of the tree. Remove these as needed.

When to thin your citrus tree. You won’t always need to thin your citrus tree every year, but it sometimes is necessary. Each spring, before your tree begins to produce flowers, take a look at the canopy. If the branches are so thick that they’re rubbing together, use pruning shears to thin them so that each branch has space to “breathe”. Improved air circulation between branches can reduce your odds of diseases such as fungal growth.

Should you prune your citrus trees to increase fruit production? With many types of fruit trees, pruning increases fruit production. This isn’t the case with citrus trees, as reducing their height or removing limbs doesn’t seem to have any effect on the size of your harvest. However, keeping your trees shorter can make it easier to gather fruit.

So, this issue becomes a personal choice. If you don’t mind climbing a ladder to collect your bounty, then there’s no need to worry about the height of your citrus tree. But if it grows so tall that it’s blocking your view or otherwise looks out of place, then you can certainly trim it back. Just make sure you do this in the spring, before the tree flowers, or in the autumn after all fruit has been harvested.

If you have questions about trimming your citrus tree, or any other tree in your yard, give us a call. We can help you decide upon the best time to prune, and get the job done safely and professionally.

How Often Do You Need to Trim Palm Trees?

As with all of the trees and shrubs in your yard, the time might arrive that you wonder, “Do I need to trim that palm tree?” Perhaps it’s sagging,  looking overgrown, or some of the fronds have broken. Or, maybe the tree has grown too large or close to the house. It’s a fire hazard, or it’s blocking your view. In some cases, dead fronds provide the perfect hiding space for scorpions and other pests, and you certainly don’t want that!

First, keep in mind that there are good reasons and bad reasons for trimming a palm tree. The above motivations could be considered reasonable ones. But if you think that trimming the tree will rejuvenate it or spur new growth, you should put down the pruning shears. Palm trees don’t rejuvenate like many other trees and shrubs; pruning won’t make them grow faster or healthier, and if not done correctly, it can ruin your tree.

Having said that, let’s assume you do need to trim your palm trees for one of the “good” reasons listed above. What now?

If you’re going to try and do it yourself, keep these things in mind…

First, remember to protect yourself. Wear safety glasses, gloves, pants, and a long-sleeved shirt. Don’t attempt to use any equipment if you don’t feel completely comfortable with it.  Tree trimming comes with a level of inherent danger.

Use sharp pruning shears or a saw to remove any dead, wilting, or diseased fronds from the tree. Make sure not to remove any green fronds, especially those that are growing horizontally or up, because loss of healthy fronds will stress the tree.

Leave plenty of healthy, green fronds on the tree. These produce food for the tree, so that it can stay healthy and grow. Resist the urge to skin the trunks or prune your palm trees into a particular shape. This might seem like a fun idea at the time, but over-pruning a palm tree can cause loss.

Of course, you can avoid all of the hassle and inconvenient of trimming your own trees but simply giving us a call.  Our team of experienced professionals will give your yard and trees the care they need at a price you can afford!  Give us a call or send us a message via our website.  We’ll gladly provide you with a free, no-obligation estimate for your trees.


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