The city Parks Department is under fire for awarding $40 million in tree pruning, stump removal and planting contracts to a firm convicted of insurance fraud. Homeowners like Sherral Cannon in DeKalb County told Channel 2 they called Don’s Tree Experts and got ripped off. They’re now fighting to get their money back.
Tree Care Tips
Trees provide shade, beauty, tranquility, and a host of other benefits. Whether you’re planting new ones or working with existing trees on your property, proper care is essential to their health and longevity. From the time they’re planted through their lifespan, implementing these tree maintenance tips will help them thrive.
The first three years of a young tree’s life are critical. They will determine its structure, strength, and ability to resist diseases and pests. Proper tree care at this stage will give them the best chance of surviving to maturity.
Regular inspections of your trees are crucial to maintaining their health. This is especially important during transitional seasons like fall and spring. This allows you to quickly identify problems such as pest infestations, disease, and dead limbs. Addressing these issues promptly will minimize the impact they may have on your property and well-being.
Watering is another key aspect of proper tree care. This is particularly true of newly planted trees and those experiencing drought conditions. Insufficient watering can cause them to become weak and vulnerable to disease and pests. Watering regularly with deep soakings will promote healthy root systems and keep them properly hydrated throughout the year.
Inspecting your trees for signs of pests and disease is also very important. Look for fungus and insect infestations on the leaves, stems, or bark of your trees. If you notice abnormal growth or unusual coloring, contact a qualified arborist right away.
Finally, make sure you are hiring an experienced, reputable landscaping professional to do any pruning or planting on your property. Look for certified arborists who are members of the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) and whose services are insured and bonded. Also beware of professionals who advertise “topping” as a service, as this practice is damaging to the health of your trees and can lead to their premature failure. A certified, professional arborist can advise you on the correct pruning techniques and how to maintain your trees in a safe manner.
Tree Removal Tips
Even the most dedicated DIYers should consult a tree service expert before taking down a tree. There are many variables that need to be taken into consideration, and it’s possible for a novice to make a mistake that could have devastating consequences.
If a tree is clearly unhealthy and shows no signs of recovery, it’s time to consider cutting it down. This goes for trees that are damaged by lightning or wind, and even those with minor issues such as rot or disease. The location of the tree also matters. If it’s too close to a house or power line, on a slope, in an open field, or in a rocky area where there isn’t enough soil, it’s worth considering removal.
The type of tree matters, too. A species that’s prone to breaking, dropping debris, or producing messy roots might be better off removed instead of being trimmed. It’s important to understand the needs of the variety in your yard and how it fits into your overall landscape plan.
Before a professional arrives, clear out any hazards from the area. Remove any outdoor furniture, fire pits, or vehicles that could be harmed by falling limbs or branches. Also, clear a secondary path in case the tree falls in a direction you didn’t intend.
It’s a good idea to tip tree services workers who are working on your property, but be sure not to tip the owner. The owner is a little bit removed from the work and it’s not really appropriate to give them tips. You can, however, offer a gratuity to the crew who’s doing the actual cutting and trimming of your trees.
One final tip is to never do business with door-to-door contractors. The BBB and district attorney offices across the country regularly warn against this practice as it’s often a sign of a scam.
Tree Trimming Tips
Keeping your trees properly pruned and trimmed can have major positive impacts on their health. When done incorrectly, however, pruning can create serious problems. The good news is that you can avoid these issues by following these simple tips:
Before you even start trimming or pruning, make sure to assess the environment and any hazards surrounding the work area. It’s especially important to do so if you’re working on a tall tree that requires a ladder or aerial access. Look for any potential issues that could affect your safety, like electrical lines or dangling branches that could fall and cause damage.
Once you’re ready to begin, be sure to use sharp tools. Dull blades will damage the tree and leave unsightly wounds that can lead to disease. Also, be sure to clean your tools after each use. This will help prevent the spread of disease to other parts of the tree through open cuts.
In general, you’ll want to avoid removing more than one-fourth of a living crown at any time. This helps promote proper branch growth and maintains adequate sunlight to the ground below. If you do need to remove more than this, you should do so over a period of several years instead of all at once.
Thinning is another common pruning technique, but it’s important to note that it’s best used on smaller trees rather than larger ones. This type of pruning reduces the overall size of a tree’s canopy, but it doesn’t change its shape or impact the structural integrity. It can improve air circulation, increase light penetration to interior leaves and the ground below, and help reduce the risk of storm damage and wind resistance.
When it comes to ornamental and fruit trees, you’ll typically thin them in late winter or early spring before they start growing again. However, be careful to not remove too much as this can impact your plant’s growth and flowering. It’s also important to trim branches at a downward angle. This will prevent water from settling in the wound and eventually causing rot.
Tree Health Tips
Trees provide many benefits to our environment, such as absorbing carbon dioxide, helping with stormwater runoff, and lowering utility bills. However, they require proper maintenance to support their health and longevity.
Planting the right trees for the correct purpose is one of the most important things you can do to keep your property beautiful and healthy. Choose a tree that will meet your needs, whether it be for aesthetics, privacy, windbreak, or shade/energy reduction. The type of tree you choose will also affect how much water and sunlight it receives, as well as its lifespan.
After planting, trees need regular watering to help them establish roots and thrive in their new soil. Young trees need a soaking every day, while mature trees can be watered once or twice per week. When watering, be sure to use deep, slow soaks so that the roots get a thorough soaking and not just a light sprinkle.
As your trees grow, pruning is an essential part of their care and maintenance. This can remove dead or problematic branches, and promote wound closure and new growth. It is also an effective way to control disease and insect infestations.
It’s important to inspect your trees for signs of disease or pests, especially as the seasons change. If you spot a problem, contact an ISA-Certified Arborist immediately to discuss your options.
Symptoms of a dying or unhealthy tree include brown or black bark, wilting leaves, and dead or dying limbs. Other issues to watch out for include canker, root rot, or fungus like leaf rust.
Oftentimes, these problems occur when the soil isn’t properly conditioned, or when there aren’t enough nutrients in the ground to support tree growth and health. To prevent root diseases, it’s best to fertilize at the beginning of spring before the weather warms up, when there is more rain to wash the nutrient into the roots. Green Drop’s specialized RootBoost service is an ideal way to keep your tree roots happy and healthy.