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Is That Tree Too Close to Your House?

In the tree removal business, we sometimes deal with trees that have fallen on a customer’s house. But we would rather hear from you before that tree ever falls, so that we can remove the danger before anything serious happens. Preventing a catastrophe with tree removal is a lot safer and more affordable than dealing with one after it happens.

When a tree is growing too close to your home, a lot of negative consequences can occur, such as…

  • The tree dies or is damaged by a storm, and comes down on your roof. The damage can be extensive, people can get hurt, and you might face days or weeks of repairs.
  • Limbs that overhang your home come down onto the roof. Even though it’s not a whole tree, your roof can be damaged and leaks (water damage) might even occur.
  • The tree’s roots grow into the foundation of your home, causing serious damage over time.
  • The tree is simply in the way, blocking sunlight to your home. This might not sound like a big deal, but it can lead to rotting wood on your home’s trim or roof.

These events can occur because a previous homeowner didn’t think ahead to the future. Maybe they planted a cute little sapling without much consideration for how large it would grow. And now, 40 years later, you have a massive tree placed way too close to your house.

On the other hand, many trees planted at a safe distance from your home can still become a problem. The roots are far away and there’s no danger of overhanging limbs… But the tree is now weakened by damage or disease, and leaning precariously toward the house. If it’s tall enough, it can still land on your roof when it falls. And the timing of that fall can be unpredictable.

In any of these situations, taking preventive action is the way to go. Give us a call if you think a tree is too close to your home. We’ll assess the situation and help you decide whether tree removal is necessary.

How to Properly Maintain Your Citrus Tree

If you’re lucky enough to have a citrus tree in your yard, you probably feel motivated to take good care of it. After all, who wouldn’t love to enjoy an abundance of free, delicious fruit right outside their door?

But you might make the mistake of thinking that a citrus tree won’t need much care, because they do grow so easily here in Southern California. Yes, our climate is ideal for this type of fruit tree, but they still need some attention and maintenance in order to stay perfectly healthy. When you take good care of your tree, you’ll enjoy a prettier landscaping feature as well as more fruit each season.

Prune away dead branches. Even a healthy tree will have some dead twigs and branches. When you see these, remove them right away. Dead branches can attract certain pests that will take a deep toll on fruit trees.

Remove suckers if they appear. Does it look like your tree is sending up new shoots at the base of the trunk? While it might seem like a harmless attempt at procreation, suckers can actually damage the tree by sapping too much of its energy. Remove these as they appear.

Thin your citrus tree as needed. Like any other type of tree, citrus trees might need occasional thinning. Each year before it begins to produce flowers, look at your tree’s branches. If the canopy is so overgrown that branches are touching, they could suffer lack of light and air circulation. Properly thinning them can ensure that the tree stays healthier, resists fungal infection, and produces better quality fruit.

Consider keeping your tree shorter. Pruning your citrus tree won’t increase fruit production, as is often the case with many types of fruit trees. But if you keep it on the shorter side, you’ll still enjoy plenty of fruit and you’ll be able to gather it all!

If you need help with pruning your citrus tree, or have any other questions, give us a call. We can help you keep your tree healthy and productive for many years to come.

Why Crown Reduction is Important for Your Trees

If you have an established yard with mature trees, you might think of your yard as “low maintenance”. At least, it could seem that way by comparison with new landscaping that requires intensive care and support. But even older trees do need occasional trimming and other maintenance work.

In particular, mature trees can eventually look overgrown or messy. Their shape might become less pleasing over time, as many smaller branches began to crowd one another. If that is the case, crown reduction can restore your tree’s former splendor.

What is crown reduction? Crown reduction is a specialized horticultural technique in which primary branches and foliage around the top of the tree (the crown) are trimmed or removed. The correct branches must be identified by an expert so that the end result is a pleasing shape at the top of the tree. The result can shock you at first! But this very carefully planned type of pruning is necessary for both aesthetic and health reasons.

Why is crown reduction important? The primary reason you might consider crown reduction is to achieve a more “clean” appearance for your tree. But this technique will also serve to keep your tree healthy. When we remove cluttered branches, more sunlight can penetrate through the branches. Crown reduction also improves air flow, lowering the risk of some diseases. And because old and dead wood is removed, we can often reduce the risk of falling branches that can be messy or even create a hazard.

Crown reduction is not something the amateur should consider! It requires knowledge of the technique along with special climbing equipment, and the job can be dangerous. Give us a call to discuss crown reduction for your tree, and we’ll help you restore its beauty and health in a safe, professional manner. And we’ll even clean up before we leave!

Should You Consider Stump Grinding?

We all love our trees, and hate to see one go. But that sometimes has to happen for a variety of reasons. The tree might get sick and die, or it might become too damaged to save. It could partially fall during a storm, or it might simply grow too large and encroach upon your home. Whatever happens, there will be a stump left over. There might even be a few stumps in your yard already, from trees removed in the past.

Some homeowners simply leave the stump there, but that’s not always a good idea for several reasons. For one, the stump can actually begin regrowing a new tree. So if the tree needed to be removed for aesthetic reasons or because the roots were growing into your foundation, you’ll simply regrow a new problem.

And unfortunately, a decomposing stump will invite termites into your yard, because they love rotting wood. From the stump they are very likely to move on into your home, where they can do thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.

Stumps can also get in the way of new projects you want to install, like a garden or a walkway. And of course, stumps just aren’t very appealing from an aesthetic point of view.

When we remove a tree, we can truly remove the entire thing – stump and all. And we will often do that with stump grinding. But if a tree was removed in the past and you have a leftover stump, you might just need a stump grinding service.

Stump grinding is one way to deal with these stumps that are so unsightly and inconvenient. We simply grind it down level with the ground, and you can’t tell there was ever a tree there! If that sounds like the solution you’re looking for, just give us a call. We will come out and assess your situation, and advise you on whether stump grinding can solve your problem.

 

How Frequently Should Palm Trees Be Trimmed?

Most of us mow our laws and trim our shrubs regularly. But what about palm trees? You might be wondering how frequently palm trees should be trimmed, and we have the answer!

First, it depends upon your reasons for wanting to trim the palm. Primarily, we trim palms for a few very important reasons:

  • It’s overgrown, many fronds have died, and the tree has become unattractive
  • The dead fronds and clutter create a concern about fire hazards
  • The overgrowth has become too large and encroaches upon the house, porch, or other structures
  • The overgrowth is blocking your view
  • Numerous dead fronds and just general overgrowth have created the perfect nesting spot for scorpions and other pests – Yuck!

On the other hand, we’ve heard a few bad reasons for trimming palm trees. Unlike other trees and shrubs, trimming a palm won’t stimulate new growth! So rejuvenation pruning is not necessary with palms. In fact, you could damage the tree if you trim it unnecessarily. So only trim palm trees when needed, for one of the above reasons.

Having said that, the frequency of trimming a palm will depend upon whether it has become unattractive, a nuisance, or dangerous. That might mean you need to trim it every few years, but the situation varies depending upon whether the above factors are present.

And of course, you want to be safe when trimming a palm or any other tree. Wear the correct protective equipment, and don’t use sharp implements or any other tools if you don’t feel completely confident about your ability to handle them.

In many cases, professional consultation is the way to go with palms. Give us a call, and we’ll assess the health and appearance of your palm tree. If trimming is necessary, we can do the job for you without risking the health of the tree. And all you have to do is make a phone call!

 

Is Your Tree Sick? What to Do Next

You would probably notice if a child or another family member looked ill. There are signs of sickness that we can all recognize. But when it comes to your trees, would you notice if one of them were suffering from a disease? And would you know what to do?

Is your tree sick? Trees provide us with shade and natural beauty, and can increase both the curb appeal and monetary value of real estate. Plus, many of us are simply emotionally attached to our trees! And so it makes sense that we want to take care of them. The following signs can point toward a disease, pests, or something else going wrong with your tree:

  • Leave are discolored, spotty, or have holes
  • Limbs are dropping off
  • Shedding of brown or red needles (in evergreens)
  • Bark is flaking or falling off
  • You actually notice bark beetles on the tree
  • Fungus is present on the trunk or limbs of the tree
  • Leaves become brittle in the summer months
  • Insects are nesting in the tree’s roots
  • Sightings of carpenter ants

If you see any of these signs, it’s a good indication that your tree is sick and needs help.

What to do for a sick tree. As with human illnesses, a correct diagnosis will help you decide what to do next. Early treatment can possibly save your tree from death, so you don’t want to delay by ignoring the problem or treating the tree for the wrong illness. So if you notice the above signs, consulting with a tree expert should be your next action.

Call us for assistance right away, and we can help you determine what is going wrong with your tree. In many cases a sick tree can be cured and saved. But if it turns out that your tree is too far gone and needs to be removed, we can do that safely.

 

Why Do You Trim Palm Trees, and When Is It Necessary?

When it comes to trimming, palm trees are not much different than any other tree or shrub in your yard. There will come a time that you look at your palm tree and think that it looks much to messy, saggy, unkempt, unhealthy, or something else in the realm of unattractive. In some cases, the palm can die and then become a fire hazard. And, like something out of a low-budget horror flick, dead palms can even become havens for scorpions or other unappealing pests.

So yes, if you notice some of the above problems, it is probably time for pruning (or even removal, in the case of a dead palm).

On the other hand, there are times that you should not prune your palm tree. The key is to check your expectations. Does it need to be done, for the sake of the appearance or health of the tree? Then by all means, it’s time to trim your palm. But don’t trim it if your expectation is rejuvenation. Palm trees don’t respond to rejuvenation pruning the way some other trees and shrubs do. So if your goal is to spur new growth, put down the pruning shears!

If you do decide it’s time to prune your palm, follow these steps:

Protect yourself. You needsafety glasses, gloves, pants, and a long-sleeved shirt. Make sure your pruning shears are nice and sharp. And never use any pruning equipment if you don’t feel comfortable with it.

Remove only dead, wilting, or diseased fronds. Never remove healthy green fronds, especially if they’re growing upwards. Removal of healthy fronds will only stress the tree.

Don’t focus too much on shape. You might not achieve a perfect shape. Focusing too much on that will tempt you to remove too many fronds, and you will probably end up with a temporarily attractive, but stressed and unhealthy palm tree.

Call us for help. It’s easy to stress a palm tree or even injure yourself, if you aren’t experienced at pruning palms. Give us a call and let us handle the job for you, and the result will be a healthy, beautiful palm tree that you can enjoy for years to come.

Keeping Your Trees Healthy This Summer

The weather is heating up, and your trees are providing you some much-needed and appreciated shade. Why not show them a little appreciation in return? Follow these tips to check on your trees’ health, and make sure you keep them as healthy as possible this summer.

Inspect your trees. Check your trees’ leaves for signs of discoloration or damage. At this time of year, leaves should be a healthy green color. Yellowing leaves can be a sign that your tree is not getting enough water (or even getting too much). Checking the moisture in your soil should provide you with answers.

Spots, dying leaves, chewed leaves, or bleeding sap can be signs of various tree diseases. If you discover anything unusual, call an arborist for an evaluation and diagnosis. Tree diseases can spread swiftly and kill your trees, so you always want to address any potential problems right away.

Check the soil. If the soil under your trees is overly dry, you might wish to install a drip irrigation system. This is especially true of young trees, in the first few years, because their roots are not yet deep enough to access water far underground. ‘

Fertilize. You can continue to fertilize your trees throughout the summer, as appropriate for the species. Fertilization is particularly important for younger trees.

Prune your trees. Check for dead branches and remove them, so that you can avoid the potential hazard of limbs falling onto your house or car. This is also a good time to thin overly crowded branches, for both health and aesthetic reasons. And if your tree seems top-heavy or otherwise might need bracing, an expert can advise you on the best way to protect it.

Give us a call to discuss professional tree trimming services, and we can help you understand what your trees need to stay healthy. We can also discuss any potential hazards in your yard, help you remove those, and deal with leftover stumps and debris.

Foliar Disease: What’s Wrong With My Tree’s Leaves?

If you have a deciduous tree in your yard, you’re accustomed to the leaves turning brown and falling off in autumn. It’s probably part of what you enjoy about your tree so much! But when those leaves turn brown during spring and summer, you might wonder if something is wrong with your tree. As a matter of fact, yes, discolored leaves can be a sign of several types of foliar disease.

Foliar disease in trees can range from a merely cosmetic issue to a deadly problem that can destroy every tree in your yard. And these diseases can be triggered by numerous underlying causes, from mites and other insects, to drought conditions, to root diseases and even fungal conditions. In fact, fungus is the most common culprit in foliar disease.

As with human diseases, the first thing you need to do is accurately identify the cause of your tree’s foliar disease. This will help you determine how to correctly tackle the problem. You want to take care to identify it correctly, because treating the problem incorrectly won’t solve it (or might even make it worse).

Many foliar diseases appear similar, but have drastically different outcomes. For example, dogwood anthracnose can kill your flowering dogwood trees. But dogwood spot anthracnose merely causes cosmetic issues with the leaves, but usually does not kill trees. And yet they appear very similar, and have nearly identical names! This example illustrates the point that consulting with a tree expert is generally recommended so that you correctly identify the cause of discoloration or spots on your tree’s leaves.

When a disease is diagnosed, removal of all diseased tissue is often the prescribed course of treatment. We can do this with tree trimming and then removal of all diseased material from your property. You don’t want to leave behind fungal spores or other contagious material.

On the other hand, foliar disease caused by environmental conditions must be treated by remedying those conditions. If drought is affecting your tree, the obvious course of action is to adjust your watering schedule. When soil conditions are suspect, certain amendments can help restore health to your tree.

Give us a call if you’ve noticed a problem with your tree’s leaves, and we will help you to correctly identify the problem. Then we will recommend tree trimming or other services as needed, to get your tree healthy again.

 

What We Can Learn from the Laguna Niguel Fire

As you probably already know, the Coastal Fire recently destroyed 20 homes in the upscale community of Laguna Niguel.  Dry weather conditions and winds caused this fire to spread rapidly and forced evacuations of 900 homes in the area. While those of us in Temecula may not have been directly impacted, here’s what we can all learn from this calamity…

As extreme drought conditions persist in California, authorities are gearing up to combat another potentially disastrous wildfire season. Last year, we suffered through 8,835 wildfires in the state that destroyed 3,629 structures. And according to experts at the First Street Foundation, about 80 million properties around the US are at risk of destruction via wildfire.

With California being one of the top states for wildfire risk, 27,905 properties in Temecula were identified in the RiskFactor.com report as being vulnerable to wildfire. You don’t need reports and experts to tell you that, though. We’ve all seen what happened nearby in Laguna, and we all know that our region is regularly affected by fast-moving wildfires.

In areas like ours, with dry conditions and frequent winds, fires can spread quickly and without warning.  As a homeowner, prevention begins with keeping your trees, shrubs, and lawn properly trimmed and reducing the amount of flammable materials in your yard and around your home.  Dry, overgrown trees can be rapidly consumed by flames that start blocks or even miles away from your home.

This year, 1,734 wildfires have already burned 7,464 acres of land in Southern California. And with summer temperatures arriving and the drought persisting, there’s no sign of the problem going away any time soon. All of our properties here in Temecula are at risk, and the risk is higher for those with overgrown vegetation and other fire risks around their homes. We must all take measures similar to those utilized by the forest service, to reduce the amount of “fuel” available to wildfires around our home. Slowing the spread of a fire means that the fire department has more time to respond, and a better chance of containing the fire.

Don’t let this devastating event happen to you. These conditions have represented the driest climate and the most severe drought in the history of California. Let us help you protect your property by keeping your trees properly manicured and trimmed, reducing the ability of fires to spread.

We’re experts when it comes to trimming and removing overgrown trees and palms. Give us a call today, and ask about our Day Rate special.

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