Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Handling Storm-Damaged Trees

Storm damage can create extreme tree danger

Prevent your trees from dying after severe weather leaves them in tatters. By knowing what to do after weather events damage your trees, you can take swift action to save them and protect your property.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information on what to do and how to assess the condition of your trees, deciding what to do with them after sustaining catastrophic storm damage, and how to prevent it.

Damaged Tree Assessment

Once a severe storm has passed, take a look at your trees. The faster you can identify damages, the faster you can take action to secure their safety and start their recovery. Some emergency situations include:

Leaning Tree – This usually indicates that the root plate has destabilized, leaving the tree unanchored to the ground.

Hanging Branch(es) – Sometimes, branches break but remain attached to the tree or get caught in lower branches.

Cracked Trunk – The weight of the tree swaying in the wind can cause vertical cracks (splits) in the tree trunk.

Damaged Bark – When large sections of bark are damaged or lost during a storm, the tree can end up girdled and dying.

Defoliation – In storms with sustained high winds, a tree may lose a great portion or all of its foliage.

Windthrow – This condition occurs when a tree is blown over, pulling up the roots as it comes down.

Storm damaged tree killed by windthrow

Windsnap – This condition occurs when a tree crown breaks off the trunk due to high winds.

Soil Erosion – Another potentially dangerous situation is when the soil is stripped away from a tree’s root plate by floodwater, leaving large areas of roots exposed. The tree could suddenly destabilize and fall.

These and many other scenarios should be addressed by a certified arborist or professional tree service. In emergency situations, they are better equipped to prune, cut, or remove affected trees.

Arborists and Professional Tree Services

Unfortunately, severe or catastrophic weather seems to bring some bad characters along with it. If you are approached by people with a chainsaw offering to remove or repair your tree, politely decline and reach out to a professional. You can find or verify an arborist’s credentials in your area by visiting one of the following:

  • ISA – International Society of Arboriculture – treesaregood.org/findanarborist
  • ASCA – American Society of Consulting Arborists – asca-consultants.org
  • TCIA – Tree Care Industry Association – tcia.org

When seeking a professional tree service, answer the following questions before making your decision:

  • Is the company licensed to work in your city or state?
  • Is the company recognized by national, state, or local organizations?
  • Is the company insured and/or bonded?
  • Does the company have local references?

While vetting a tree service in an emergency situation may seem ludicrous, it is necessary. If you allow an uninsured or unlicensed company to perform any services on your property or on your behalf, you can be held liable for damages and/or injuries resulting from that work.

Tree Risk Assessment

Can your tree be saved? Storms can leave your trees looking like there’s no hope. Major limbs snapped, foliage stripped away, or damaged bark may leave you with the impression that your tree is doomed. However, trees have an amazing capacity to recover from storm damage. Before deciding to remove your tree, ask the following:

Tree inspection and storm damage assessment

Before the storm, was the tree healthy and thriving?

If your tree is healthy, did not suffer any major structural damage, and poses no immediate threat, it will likely recover over time. Prune out damaged areas, consult a tree professional with any doubts, and allow the tree to recuperate on its own.

Has the tree lost major limbs or its leader?

When a tree suddenly loses major limbs or its leader, it will be significantly more difficult for the tree to recover. When the tree does recover from such injuries, it may end up as a stunted or deformed version of the original.

Has the tree lost more than 50% of its crown(branches and leaves)?

When a tree loses more than half of its branches, it may be unable to produce enough foliage to sufficiently photosynthesize enough nutrients to nourish the tree.

Are the wounds left on your tree recoverable?

A tree can compartmentalize and close over wounds. However, this process takes time, and the more extensive the damages, the more likely the tree is to be successfully attacked by insects and diseases.

After pruning away damaged limbs and branches, have your tree assessed by a tree professional to help you determine its survivability.

Is this your opportunity to replace a nuisance tree?

If you consider your tree as the wrong species for its location (too tall, too messy, invasive roots, etc.), this may be the best time to remove the tree.

Time to Make a Decision

Using the above information, questions, and professional evaluation, you can make a well-informed decision about the fate of your tree(s). Most of those decisions will fall into one of the following three categories:

My Tree is a Keeper

  • Damage is minor
  • Light pruning required
  • The tree is young enough to quickly recover

Wait for My Tree to Recover

  • Damage is extensive but not apparently fatal
  • Prune broken branches and give the tree time to recover
  • Avoid removing healthy limbs and branches
  • Consult a tree professional to assess the tree
Storm damage prevention includes tree pruning cutting and removal

Remove My Tree

  • If the tree was already infested or diseased
  • The trunk has vertically split
  • Windsnap has severed the upper portion of the crown
  • Most of the branches have been lost
  • Too much bark was stripped away in the storm
  • After allowing time to recover, the tree has only declined

Tip: When pruning your tree after a storm, never cut the main (upward) branches back to stubs or to the trunk. This practice is known as topping, and the branches that replace them will grow weakly attached and more likely to sustain damage during a future storm.

Trees and Storms

While trees are incredibly resilient, severe weather events can create some incredibly dangerous scenarios, exposing weaknesses in tree crowns, trunks, and roots.

Your awareness and understanding are of the most crucial factors regarding your trees after severe weather. Consider the following:

Power Line Safety – Along with tree damage, downed or damaged power lines can pose a severe threat of electrocution. When power lines and trees interfere with one another, it can leave the tree energized. Keep your distance from such situations and contact your utility company or 911 emergency services.

Property Damage – When a storm-damaged tree falls on your property, damaging your home or other structures, the following will help you sort out the situation:

  1. Move everyone to safety
  2. If anyone was injured, call emergency services
  3. Contact your insurance company
  4. Photograph or video all damaged areas from multiple angles
  5. Contact an emergency tree removal company
  6. Contact a plumber to evaluate your home for potential leaks and hidden damages
  7. Contact a roofing company to evaluate and repair any damages to your roofing system

Other trees on your property should be evaluated for structural damages.

Be Patient – After a severe storm passes through your area, city officials and response teams need time to organize and properly respond to the destruction left behind.

City crews, utility crews, and tree care companies will first focus on eliminating hazards to life and property. Afterward, the often daunting task of debris removal, including fallen branches and entire trees, will take place.

Storm damage may require cutting pruning or emergency removal

Responsibility – The responsibility of storm-damaged street-side trees varies from city to city. To determine whether you are responsible for street-side trees bordering your property, contact your city’s arborist or forester.

Tree Preparation for Storms

One of the greatest ways to help your trees survive a storm is to prepare them for one. While a storm’s impact is unpredictable, there are ways to give your tree a fighting chance. Consider the following:

  • Keep your tree sufficiently watered
  • Fertilize when needed
  • Mulch the root plate
  • Prevent or eliminate insect infestations or diseases
  • Annual tree inspections
  • Crown thinning and seasonal pruning

Tip: Remove trees in rapid decline or that have already died. When these trees fall in severe storms, they can cause catastrophic damage to structures and other healthy trees.

Storm damage can leave trees unable to recover and dying

Read more about preparing trees for storms at toddsmariettatreeservices.com/tree-preparation-storms-hazardous-weather/

Trees Surviving Storms

In this article, you discovered how to assess the condition of your trees after severe weather events, how to determine a course of action for your damaged trees, and preventative measures to take before a storm.

Knowing how to assess your trees after severe weather events, you can help them recover or make informed decisions about their removal.

When you ignore storm-damaged trees, you create the possibility for catastrophic damages when your tree suddenly falls on your home or car.

Sources:
texashelp.tamu.edu/browse/by-type/naturally-occurring/severe-weather/trees/
extension2.missouri.edu/g6867
agrilife.org/treecarekit/after-the-storm/repairing-storm-damaged-trees/
static.colostate.edu/client-files/csfs/pdfs/FINAL_Storm_Damage_Quick_Guide.pdf

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on: http://www.toddsmariettatreeservices.com/storm-damaged-trees/

Monday, August 24, 2020

When Should I Prune Trees

Tree pruning cut with a handsaw

Prevent disease, infestation, and poor health from debilitating and killing your trees. By knowing some simple pruning information and techniques, you can help your trees stay healthy and thriving for years to come.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information on reasons to prune, the best time for pruning trees, the value of pruning, how to prune branches, and when you should seek a professional tree service.

Why Are You Pruning Your Trees?

Before picking up any equipment or making any pruning cuts, you should be crystal clear about the reason for your pruning. The following are some of the reasons trees should be pruned:

  • Encourage growth in a specific direction
  • Eliminate potentially dangerous branches
  • Remove interfering branches
  • Shape your tree
  • Encourage or reduce flowering or fruiting
  • Remove suckers or water sprouts
  • Crown cleaning (removes dead, diseased, or infested wood)
  • Crown thinning (allows more light to reach inner branches)
  • Crown raising (removes lower beaches)
  • Crown reduction (for mature trees, leaves old growth while encouraging new growth)

Once you have accomplished your pruning goal, stop. Every cut you make is an open wound and potential for infection and infestation.

Note: Never make physical contact with a tree that touches live power lines. The tree may be energized and cause your electrocution. In these cases, contact your power company to either prune the tree or cut the power while pruning or have the tree pruned.

Tip: Avoid pruning activities in late summer and early fall, this is the time diseases are most active and infectious.

Pruning Deciduous Trees

Deciduous tree species are those that shed their foliage in the fall, preparing for winter dormancy. During this period of dormancy, the tree conserves energy and slows all of its functions to a slow crawl.

Pruning deciduous tree species during dormancy in late fall or early winter

Once the tree is dormant, and until bud break in early spring, it can be safely pruned for structure, shaping, safety, and encouraging vigorous, healthy new growth. Deciduous tree species include:

  • Maple
  • Oak
  • Elm
  • Beech
  • Aspen
  • Birch
  • Poplar
  • Willow

Pruning a deciduous tree during its dormancy period lowers the multiple risks of disease and pest infestations in open pruning wounds.

Pruning Evergreen Trees

Evergreen species are those that retain their foliage throughout the year. In the case of evergreens, they will shed old foliage as new foliage grows in regardless of the season. Evergreen tree species include:

  • Pine
  • Fir
  • Spruce
  • Hemlock
  • Redcedar
  • Arborvitae
  • Cypress
  • Eucalyptus
  • Yew

Except for pine tree species, evergreens should be pruned:

  • Before the emergence of new growth in early spring
  • During the period of semi dormancy in mid-summer

Use caution when pruning evergreens, some species like cypress have dead spaces behind their foliage. This is the area between the trunk and the foliage, consisting of only branches and twigs. Aggressive pruning for these species is discouraged, as it will likely leave large holes behind that will not fill in.

Pruning evergreen tree species after new growth or in mid summer

Note: Pine trees should be pruned in spring (damaged, dead, diseased, or infested branches can be pruned at any time). However, try to avoid pruning activities on pine trees in late summer and fall.

Pruning Flowering Trees

Flowering trees can be separated into two categories; One would be those that flower in the spring. The other would be those that flower in mid to late summer. Consider the following:

Trees and shrubs flowering in spring are doing so on last year’s growth. These trees and shrubs should be pruned when their flowers fade. These species include:

  • Azaleas (Rhododendron)
  • Forsythia (Forsythia x intermedia)
  • Hawthorn (Crataegus)
  • Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)
  • Magnolia (Magnolia)
Pruning flowering tree species when flowers fade or in winter

Trees and shrubs flowering in mid to late summer are doing so on the current year’s growth. These trees and shrubs should be pruned in winter or early spring. These species include:

  • Bradford Pear (Pyrus calleryana)
  • Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)
  • Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)
  • Honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissiam)
  • Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
  • Wisteria (Wisteria species)

Pruning these species outside the timeframes described above can lead to a year without their flowering. Unseasonal pruning also exposes your tree to opportunistic diseases and insect infestation.

Pruning Fruit Trees

Your fruit trees should be pruned during dormancy, winter to early spring when foliage has fallen, and you can see the tree’s growing points (dormant buds). Think of your fruit tree as having vertical and horizontal branches.

Pruning fruit tree species in front of dormant growth buds

Pruning a vertical branch will encourage vegetative growth, creating a bushing effect. Pruning horizontal branches renews fruiting wood and thins excessive fruiting.

Pruning vertical branches opens the tree canopy to more light while pruning horizontal branches removes fruit. Horizontal branches left unpruned will bear fruit earlier with more massive crops than those that were pruned.

When preparing to prune, be aware of the following fruiting principals of your tree:

These trees fruit on last year’s shoot growth and produce abundant crops. You can safely remove half of the previous year’s growth:

  • Kiwi
  • Peach
  • Nectarine

These trees bear on spurs. You can remove up to 20% of the previous year’s growth:

  • Olive
  • Walnut
  • Fig
  • Pecan
  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Plumb
  • Apricot

Perhaps the easiest to maintain are trees bearing citrus fruit. Keep the tree skirts pruned off the ground:

  • Grapefruit
  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Clementine
  • Pomelo

Pruning fruit-bearing trees in the summer will slow fruit ripening and expose it to sunburn. However, early summer pruning can slow the growth of overly vigorous trees that have become too large to manage.

Tip: Sun exposed branches are fruitful and will produce larger fruit. Shaded branches will eventually stop producing fruit until drastic topping occurs. If you do most of your pruning in the top portion of the tree, the lower branches will continue exposed to sunlight.

Pruning Diseased and Infested Trees

Dead, diseased, and insect-infested branches (of any tree species) can be removed at any time of the year. In fact, the harm of leaving these branches, until the right pruning season, far outweighs the potential risks of pruning them off, out of season.

If the infestation or disease symptoms are present near the branch collar or on the tree trunk, hire a professional tree service to evaluate the tree’s condition and recommend a course of treatment or preventive actions, including emergency removal.

Diseased tree with mushroom conks growing on its trunk

Note: In cases of severe infestation or infection, it is common practice to remove and destroy the tree. Thus preserving the health of your landscape and neighboring trees.

Pruning To Prevent Self-Pruning

Light deprived branches do not photosynthesize at the capacity they were intended. Over time, the tree may isolate that branch and let it go. In such scenarios, the sudden falling of a branch may occur, as the tree has self-pruned. Also known as cladoptosis, the following trees are notorious for spontaneously dropping their branches:

  • Eucalyptus
  • Aspen
  • Elm
  • Maple
  • Pecan
  • Pine
  • Poplar
  • Willow

Even providing the best care and attention possible to your trees, you may not be successful at preventing them from self-pruning. However, the following will help you slow this natural process:

  • Water your tree frequently with occasional deep waterings
  • Check the soil annually for nutrient deficiencies and its pH level
  • Prune to encourage healthy growth and remove unwanted/unneeded growth, consider crown thinning to allow more light to reach lower branches
  • Have your trees inspected annually for signs of infection and disease

Note: Even trees not known to self-prune may do so when under severe duress. Read more about cladoptosis at toddsmariettatreeservices.com/self-pruning-trees-cladoptosis/

Pruning Tools

The pruning process begins with the right tools for the job. Before starting, verify that your tools are sharp (to make clean cuts) and that they have been sanitized (to prevent transmitting disease pathogens) since their last use. The following is a list of tools to help you get your pruning job done correctly:

Pruning shears to cut stems and twigs up to three quarters of an inch
  • Hand-Held Pruning Shears (safely cuts branches up to 3/4 of an inch)
  • Loppers (safely cuts branches up to 2-1/2 inches thick)
  • Pruning Saw (capable of cutting branches up to 5 inches in diameter)
  • Pole Pruner (used to cut branches up to 1-1/4 inch thick up to 8 feet into the canopy)
  • Hedge Shears (these work well to trim evergreens)

Due to weight and the potential hazard more massive branches may pose, it is highly recommended that a professional tree service be hired to remove them.

Tip: Pruning shears and loppers come with anvil (has a straight blade using a splitting action), bypass (similar to scissors), and ratchet (like anvil, but with a locking mechanism allowing you to cut in stages) style blades.

How To Prune Tree Branches

The following will help you determine where and how to make pruning cuts:

Small Twigs and Branches – Use hand-held shears for anything up to 3/4 of an inch. You can cut these back to the main branch, or just in front of (1/4 of an inch) a dormant bud to encourage growth in the bud’s direction. All cuts should be clean and made at 45-degree angles.

Stems and Branches – Use loppers or a pole pruner to cut anything up to 2-1/2 inches. These can also be cut back to the main branch or trunk (just in front of the branch collar). If pruning out disease, make your cut 10 to 12 inches ahead of the affected area.

Large Branches – Use a saw to cut branches up to 5 inches in diameter. Due to the weight of these branches and potential for severe bark damage, make your cuts as follows:

  • Cut #1 is made under the branch about six inches ahead of the branch collar. This cut should be 1/4 of the branch’s diameter.
  • Cut #2 is made about 6 inches in front of the first cut to sever the branch from the tree.
  • Cut #3 is made just ahead of the branch collar to remove the rest of the branch.

Watch this video to see how pruning cuts are made.

Tip: When pruning any size branch back to the main branch or trunk, do not injure the branch collar. This is the tree’s mechanism used to compartmentalize the wounds left behind by pruning activities.

Note: When pruning out diseased wood, dispose of it carefully. Do not compost diseased wood or foliage, and sanitize your pruning equipment and gloves after contact with infected wood.

Tree Pruning

In this article, you discovered the best times and reasons for pruning various tree species, the value of properly pruning your trees, how to make pruning cuts, and when to call for professional help.

By pruning your trees, you can encourage vigorous growth, remove disease and infestation, and improve their health.

When you neglect to prune your trees, you encourage disease and infestation to debilitate your tree’s health, eventually leading to its death.

Sources:
mortonarb.org/trees-plants/tree-and-plant-advice/horticulture-care/pruning-evergreens
pubs.ext.vt.edu/430/430-456/430-456.html
hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/pruning-trees/
arborday.org/trees/tips/
cesonoma.ucanr.edu/files/27164.pdf

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on: http://www.toddsmariettatreeservices.com/when-should-i-prune-trees/

Monday, July 27, 2020

How To Save a Dying Maple Tree

Maple tree in autumn with foliage changing color

Prevent your dying maple tree from becoming an extreme hazard to your property and wellbeing. By knowing what to do when your maple is in decline, you can save it from an otherwise early death.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information on how to identify when a maple tree is in decline, what is causing it to decline, and how you can nurse it back to health.

Maple Tree Diseases, Problems, and Solutions

To save a dying maple tree, it helps if you know why the tree is dying. When inspecting a dying maple tree, consider the following symptoms, their meaning, and what to do:

Chlorosis of Maple Tree Foliage

Leaf spot and chlorosis caused by disease

Your tree’s leaves should remain vibrant green (or red depending on the species) until the beginning of the fall season (when cooler weather sets in). If they are losing their color prematurely, this may be a symptom of:

  • Poor soil drainage
  • Compacted soil
  • Poor root growth
  • Damaged roots
  • High soil alkalinity
  • Nutrient deficiencies in the tree

Treatment for chlorosis varies depending on the cause. Consider the following measures to reverse this condition in the next growing season:

  • Poor soil drainage requires the introduction of mixed layers of soil, the Installation of subsurface tile drains (sections of perforated pipe buried 12 to 18 inches below the soil surface), or working large quantities of organic material into the soil surrounding your tree.

Note: Take extra precautions to preserve tree roots when tilling or aerating soil within your tree’s root plate.

  • Compacted soil and poor root growth generally occur hand-in-hand. You can reverse soil compaction by working large quantities of organic material into the soil surrounding your tree. Once the organic material has been worked into the soil, keep the entire root plate covered with a 3 to 6-inch layer of organic mulch.

Tip: The addition of earthworms will significantly speed up this process. They will draw organic material into the soil as they tunnel through it.

  • Damaged roots can present a challenge as they are a gateway for a disease to quickly infect and severely compromise the health of your maple tree. Damaged roots from digging or lawnmower activity should be cleaned and treated with tree paint or pruning sealer.
  • High soil alkalinity and nutrient deficiencies in the tree can be corrected by adjusting the soil pH and soil enrichment with organic material. The ideal soil pH range for maple trees is between 5.5 and 7.3. It can be lowered by using organic mulch, which coincidentally, will provide nutrients to your tree.

Water Sprouts and Tree Suckers

Water sprouts growing from maple tree trunk

Water sprouts are a tree’s attempt to grow more branches, often after injury. If the tree is in decline or roots have been damaged, suckers may grow from the roots or base of the trunk. When suckers grow higher on the trunk, they’re referred to as water sprouts and usually appear at the site of a pruning wound, a crack, or some other damage.

Water sprouts and tree suckers deprive a tree of essential nutrients and energy. Even though this is typically an emergency response by the tree to heal or survive, they do more harm than good.

After removing water sprouts and tree suckers, address the injuries or deficiencies that prompted their growth.

Mushrooms on Your Maple Tree

Mushrooms growing on maple tree trunk

If mushrooms are growing on your maple tree’s trunk or roots, you may have a severe problem. The presence of mushrooms and mushroom conks is a sign that the pulp of your tree is rotting. The fungi that produce mushrooms (the fruiting body of the fungus) flourish when fed by decaying organic material.

  • Prune and dispose of branches with mushrooms growing on them.
  • Have the tree treated or removed by a professional tree service when mushroom growth is located anywhere on the trunk or roots.
  • Sanitize all equipment used on infected trees with a 1cup of bleach to 1gallon of water solution to prevent the spread of disease to other trees and plants.

Tip: As millions of spores can be produced and released by a single fruiting body, it is recommended to call a professional tree service to remove and dispose of them.

Read more about the significance of mushrooms growing on a tree at toddsmariettatreeservices.com/mushrooms-on-trunk-means-your-tree-dying/

Splitting Tree Bark

Tree bark splits or cracks for several reasons, and you cannot simply fix it. However, you can protect your tree while it compartmentalizes the damage and protect it from further damage by taking preventative measures.

While bark splitting is a common occurrence on younger trees, all trees are susceptible to bark splitting when exposed to the following conditions:

  • Sunscald (Southwest Winter Injury)
  • Frost Cracks
  • Environmental Conditions (Drought)
  • Herbicides (Glyphosate Products)
Maple tree bark can split when herbicides are used on surrounding vegetation

Bark splitting may also be caused by the swelling of the trunk or branch when infected by a rapidly reproducing pathogen.

As split bark presents an opportunity for successful attacks by disease or insects, call on the expertise of a professional tree service to assist you in protecting your maple tree as it compartmentalizes the damage.

Read more about the causes and treatment of splitting bark at toddsmariettatreeservices.com/tree-bark-splitting-can-i-fix-it/

My Tree Is Leaning

When your mature tree can no longer hold itself to the land or has broken away from its roots, it may lean before suddenly falling. This is a tree emergency and should be immediately removed by a professional tree service.

Younger, lighter trees can be cabled or staked in an attempt to stabilize them. This process may require several growing seasons before the tree’s root plate can successfully re-establish itself.

During this recovery time, the reason(s) for the tree’s destabilization should be diagnosed and corrected to avoid future occurrences.

Dieback

A sure sign that your tree is in distress is when branches begin to lose foliage, become brittle, and die. This often occurs when the branches in question are diseased or infested (these branches should be pruned from the tree).

Maple tree dieback from disease and boring insect infestation

However, when this condition is widespread throughout the canopy, it is referred to as dieback. Dieback occurs when:

  • A pathogen is disrupting the tree’s hydraulic system
  • Boring insects have consumed sufficient xylem or phloem to impede the back and forth flow of water and nutrients from the tree’s foliage to its roots
  • The tree is suffering from severe drought conditions
  • The tree is partially or entirely girdled

Unfortunately, by the time a tree shows signs of dieback, it may be too late to save it. However, the following may help it partially or wholly recover over several growing seasons:

  • Promote the tree’s health by watering, fertilizing, pruning, and mulching it.
  • Have the tree inspected and treated for boring insects and/or disease by a professional tree service
  • Increase watering frequency during drought conditions
  • Remove any roots, ropes, fencing, or vines that are circling the tree, restricting its water and nutrient flow

When treating a tree, keep in mind that as a tree’s health declines, it becomes vulnerable to secondary attacks by insects, pathogens, and even weather conditions. Always be on the lookout for multiple symptoms when diagnosing your maple tree’s problems.

My Tree Is Self-Pruning (Cladoptosis)

While maple trees are among those species that have a tendency to self-prune, consider the following causes when diagnosing your tree:

  • A branch has become too shaded and can no longer sufficiently photosynthesize
  • Poor pruning practices have left the canopy too dense, obstructing light from reaching inner branches
  • Disease has debilitated the branch leading to its decline or hydraulic failure
  • The branch is infested, triggering self-pruning as the tree’s defensive measure
  • Climbing vines are blocking enough sunlight in the canopy to trigger cladoptosis

Cladoptosis occurs when there is a problem with your tree. If you are unable to detect the primary cause, get a professional tree service to help you before a falling branch causes catastrophic damage.

Maple tree self pruning causing branches to suddenly fall

Saving a Dying Maple Tree

In this article, you discovered several of the conditions your maple tree may be dying from, and how to resolve them to save your tree.

By knowing what to look for, how to quickly treat your tree problems, and when to seek help, you can add countless years to its lifespan.

When you ignore or neglect to treat the often subtle signs of distress your tree displays, you may be sentencing it to certain death.

Sources:
web.extension.illinois.edu/focus/index.cfm?problem=chlorosis
ipm.illinois.edu/diseases/series600/rpd641/
canr.msu.edu/news/what_to_do_about_compacted_soil
extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/water-sprouts
plantclinic.tamu.edu/2013/11/15/cladoptosis-an-interesting-phenomenon/

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on: http://www.toddsmariettatreeservices.com/how-to-save-a-dying-maple-tree/

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Self-Pruning Trees (Cladoptosis)

Cladoptosis or self pruning trees can cause the sudden drop of limbs on structures and vehicles

Avoid catastrophic property damage or serious injury when your tree sporadically drops a branch. By knowing why and how this happens, you can take the preemptive steps to stop it from disrupting your life and property.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com defines what self-pruning is, how it happens, why it happens, and which tree species are more likely to do it.

What is Self-Pruning

Self-pruning or cladoptosis is a compartmentalization process involving the shedding of shaded, diseased, or infested branches that have become a drain or a burden on a tree’s resources.

Further defined, this is nature’s way of letting a tree determine which branches need to go, rather than an arborist or a property owner making the decision for it.

Note: On wooded land, self-pruning is a common occurrence, especially in densely populated stands where there is not sufficient sunlight for trees to keep all of their branches. Branches low on tree trunks will likely die from shading and competition, occurring over several growing seasons.

How Self-Pruning Happens

Self-pruning occurs the same way fall foliage, shoots, and twigs are shed from a deciduous tree. As it does with leaves, ripe fruit, flowers, and seeds, a tree will form an abscission layer where the branch connects to the trunk (at the branch collar) and shed the branch cleanly.

Why Self-Pruning Happens

Several reasons can cause a tree to self-prune. Consider the following possibilities:

  • A branch is too shaded and cannot sufficiently photosynthesize
  • Poor pruning has left the canopy too dense, obstructing light from its reaching inner branches
  • Disease has infected the branch causing its decline or hydraulic failure
  • The branch has become infested, triggering self-pruning as the tree’s defensive measure
  • Climbing vines have blocked sufficient sunlight in the canopy to trigger cladoptosis
Cladoptosis or self pruning trees can suffer stress from climbing vines that create conditions for a tree to shed limbs

Self-pruning is more prevalent in dense forests, orchards, more mature trees, and landscape areas that have been over-planted.

Basically, when a tree branch cannot sufficiently photosynthesize (due to a lack of sunlight) or has triggered an infection or infestation response, the tree can spring into action and self-prune the branch.

Regarding shaded branches, how long one survives will vary among tree species and its degree of shade tolerance. Shade tolerance relates to the capacity of a tree species to compete and thrive under shaded conditions. Shade-tolerant species like American beech and eastern hemlock are More proficient at balancing photosynthesis and respiration when growing with severely limited light.

Cladoptosis or self pruning beech trees shed branches when they no longer provide photosynthesis or nutrients to support the limb

Sometimes, the death of a branch does not necessarily ensure its shedding. Although the tree shuts the branch off from water and nutrients, depending on the species, it won’t sever it. In these cases, the tree enlists outside help. These dead branches persist until further weakened by fungi, insects, animals, wind, snow, ice, or gradual decay. At some point, the branch will weaken and fall from its own weight.

Note: In well-kept yards and landscapes, dead, dying, and diseased branches are usually pruned away before cladoptosis can take place.

Trees That Self-Prune

Self-pruning is more prevalent in the fall, and as your trees age, they are more likely to shed more limbs. The following species are known to self-prune, and can do it without warning:

  • Ashes
  • Aspen
  • Birch
  • Cherries
  • Cypress
  • Elms
  • Eucalyptus
  • Larches
  • Maples
  • Oaks
  • Pecans
  • Pines
  • Poplars
  • Walnut
  • Willow
Cladoptosis or self pruning trees aspens shed branches leaving black spots resembling eyes

While it is good practice to remove limbs that grow over your home or other structures, it is necessary to remove them if you have a tree species known to self-prune.

How To Prevent Trees from Self-Pruning

Even with the best care and attention to the needs of your tree, you may not be entirely successful at preventing it from self-pruning. However, the following will help you slow this natural process:

Tree Health – From the time your tree is planted, you should provide it with:

  • Water (two to three waterings per week and more often during drought conditions)
  • Soil (test frequently to adjust nutrient levels and soil pH)
  • Mulch (to protect the root plate and regulate soil temperature); click here to learn more about mulching
  • Prune (to encourage healthy growth and remove unwanted/unneeded growth)
  • Inspect (annual inspections by a professional tree service can help detect issues before they develop)

Tip: When selecting a tree species for your yard or landscape, choose a species that is appropriate for your region’s climate and not prone to self-pruning.

Cladoptosis

In this article, you discovered the definition of self-pruning trees, how the process happens, what causes it, and the species most likely to do it.

By taking steps to increase the health of your tree and the sunlight it receives, you can avoid being taken by surprise when your tree suddenly drops a branch.

Allowing your tree to grow without proper care and attention can lead to it self-pruning unannounced, suddenly dropping branches, causing catastrophic damages to anything or anyone below.

Sources:
northernwoodlands.org/articles/article/woods-whys-self-pruning-branches
cals.arizona.edu/yavapai/anr/hort/byg/archive/pruningshadetrees.html
plantclinic.tamu.edu/2013/11/15/cladoptosis-an-interesting-phenomenon/
warnell.uga.edu/sites/default/files/publications/Tree%20Anatomy%20Defining%20Twigs_14-21.pdf

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on: http://www.toddsmariettatreeservices.com/self-pruning-trees-cladoptosis/

Thursday, May 28, 2020

How To Protect Trees

How to protect trees with mulch proper planting location and wind protection

Allowing a tree to fall ill and die can impact other plants in your yard, or result in catastrophic damage to your property and wellbeing. By knowing how to protect trees from planting to maturity, you are giving them the best chance to thrive.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information about the steps you can take to protect your trees from multiple threats and hazards.

Right Tree Right Place

Before even planting a tree, your first measure of protection for it is to select an appropriate species along with choosing the best location to plant it. When choosing a tree species, consider the following:

• Do you prefer an evergreen or a deciduous tree
• Is it a flowering species
• Is the species cold hardy for your location on the USDA plant hardiness zone map
• Is the species an overstory or understory tree
• Is the species known to have invasive roots
• Has the species developed resistance to any local pathogens or pests
• What problems are the species known to develop as it matures

Right tree in the right place means the tree is suitable for the light wind rain soil and height of the tree

Once you have determined the species of the tree you would like to plant, it’s time to find the right location. When selecting the location of your new tree, take the following into consideration:

• Is the location sheltered from the wind
• Does the location receive full sun
• Is the soil well-drained
• Is the location far enough from structures and other trees to avoid root damage
• Are underground utility lines far from the location
• Look up. Is there anything overhead that could obstruct or interfere with the tree’s growth

When considering the location for your new tree, keep in mind that a growing tree cannot simply move a few feet to the left. As you select a planting location, remember that your tree will be in that spot for many decades.

Building and Structure Placement

As your landscape evolves, the protection of your trees must be at the forefront of your plans and designs. The following will help you make informed decisions about changes to your landscape and hardscape.

• Buildings, sheds, and fences can serve as wind blocks
• Keep new underground water, sewer, cable, and electrical lines far from your tree’s root system
• Keep patios, walkways, driveways, and other features from encroaching on the root plate (within the drip line) of your tree.

Fences structures and landscape features can protect trees from soil compaction and other dangers

Roots exist to absorb oxygen, water, and nutrients for the livelihood of the tree. Much of this process occurs in the top 6 to 8 inches of soil within the tree’s drip line (edge of the canopy). Trees can be best protected by having trenching, construction, and feature installation done outside the drip line, away from the tree.

Read more about tree protection during construction projects at toddsmariettatreeservices.com/protection-instructions-construction-landscaping-hardscaping/

Protect Your Tree from Soil Compaction

Soil compaction occurs when foot traffic, vehicle movement, equipment storage, or natural conditions cause the soil to compact and harden. This condition is particularly deadly when it occurs in areas surrounding trees. Tree roots are unable to absorb oxygen, nutrients, and water from compacted soil, and under these conditions will cause hydraulic failure and death of the tree.

The following are ways to protect your tree from soil compaction:

• Mulch the entire root plate
• Divert all foot traffic away from your trees
• Avoid storing parts and equipment of any kind under your trees
• Keep soil moist (not wet)
• Fence off trees during construction projects

Tree roots can be protected from temperature swings and from compaction when they are mulched with organic material

Read more about the benefits of mulching and how it helps prevent soil compaction at toddsmariettatreeservices.com/proper-mulching-techniques-around-trees/

Protect Your Trees From Freeze

Whether your tree is evergreen or deciduous, there are some risks to leaving it exposed to sustained freezing temperatures (below 32 degrees) as it matures. Winter tree injury can appear as the following:

• Dried out evergreen foliage
• Broken limbs and branches from snow/ice weight
• Southwest injury or sunscald

Winter injury can be avoided by more efficient watering, tree wrapping, and bark wrapping. Taking steps to protect your trees in the first three to five years of growth will help it defend itself from injury as it reaches maturity.

Protect trees from winter injury including dried out foliage broken limbs and branches or sunscald

Read more about winter protection for trees at toddsmariettatreeservices.com/how-to-protect-your-trees-winter/

Pruning, Cutting, and Emergency Tree Removal

One of the most critical measures of tree protection is pruning. As your tree matures, it can develop abnormal growth, become infested, suffer from a disease, and be damaged during severe weather events.

Pruning or cutting dead or diseased branches helps your tree direct its energy to new, healthy growth. When disease and infestations occur on the tree trunk, the only remaining option may be to remove the affected tree. This, at times, is the only way to save other healthy trees from suffering the same fate.

Tree protection includes periodic trimming cutting pruning and sometimes removal when a threatening disease or infestation is present

Read more about tree pruning, cutting, and emergency removal at toddsmariettatreeservices.com/right-time-cutting-pruning-emergency-tree-removal/

Tree Protection

Besides maintaining the tree(s) on your property, there are many other ways you can help protect trees in your community and around the globe. The following are ways you can participate in the reduction of demand for timber and help preserve our forests:

• Encourage stewardship
• Reduce the amount of paper you use
• Exchange paper products for those made of alternative material
• Recycle used paper
• Reuse gift bags
• Buy used wooden furniture
• Borrow, share, and donate books
• Switch to digital books and reading material
• Educate others
• Support reforestation efforts
• Plant a tree

Tree protection includes using less paper products and recycling the ones that we use

Any steps you take in the direction of tree protection and conservation add to a global movement to preserve our national and urban forests. Read more about encouraging stewardship and how tree ordinances are drafted and enacted at mortonarb.org/trees-plants/community-trees-program/protecting-trees

Preserving And Protecting Trees

In this article, you discovered information about how you can protect your trees from hazards and how to participate in the protection of trees in our urban and national forests.

By taking steps to protect your tree from its planting to its maturity, you can avoid the dangers of a sick or dying tree, causing significant damages when it falls.

Ignoring steps to protect trees can result in expensive damages and the abrupt loss of invested time and effort.

Sources:
canopy.org/tree-info/caring-for-trees/protecting-trees-from-freeze/
treessc.org/how-to-protect-a-tree/
extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/yard-garden/protecting-trees-during-construction-7-420/
selectree.calpoly.edu/right-tree-right-place/
extension.umn.edu/soil-management-and-health/soil-compaction

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on: http://www.toddsmariettatreeservices.com/how-to-protect-trees/

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Hypoxylon Canker Disease on Oak and Shade Trees (Biscogniauxia Canker)

Hypoxylon canker disease on tree trunk

Keep your tree from becoming an extreme threat to your property and landscape when it is infected by Hypoxylon canker. When you know how to identify and treat this disease, you might save your tree.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information about the definition, identification, treatment, and prevention of Hypoxylon canker.

Hypoxylon Atropunctatum Disease Definition

Hypoxylon atropunctatum is the former, more widely-known name of Biscogniauxia canker or dieback. This disease is a frequent contributor to the decline, decay, and death in a wide range of tree species.

Biscogniauxia fungi are an opportunistic species that do not affect healthy, thriving trees. When a tree is under hydraulic (water), root disease, physical damage, or soil compaction induced stress, these fungi can quickly colonize the host tree.

Once the disease has colonized a tree and produces fruiting structures, it is a signal that the tree is in rapid decline, if not already dead. This is especially true when the infection is located in the trunk.

Hypoxylon canker disease with fruiting structures

Identification of Hypoxylon Canker Disease

The following symptoms are indicative of a tree in declining health that may signal the presence of Hypoxylon atropunctatum (Biscogniauxia canker):

• Chlorosis of the tree’s foliage
• Reduced twig growth and smaller leaf growth
• Dead or browned leaves remain attached
• Dead branches or limbs
• Thinning canopy
• Water sprouts growing from the trunk, large limbs, or roots
• White, decayed sapwood in cankered areas of the tree
• Patches of outer bark sloughing off of the branches or trunk

The following are signs to positively identify the fungus:

Early Growth Stages – Looking at cankered areas on a tree, you will see a dark red to brown or olive-green fungal tissue (stroma) over those areas.

Later Growth Stages – Flaking grey surface that reveals a brown to black crusty material with the impression that the area had burned.

Advanced Growth Stages – Small infected patches that eventually merge together to form strips of infected material along the trunk and limbs of the tree.

Hypoxylon canker disease damaging tree bark

As the fungus moves through the growth stages, sections of the infected tree’s bark will pop or fall off, revealing a fungal mat where the tree’s cambium should be.

The following tree species can serve as host to Hypoxylon canker disease:

• Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)
• Bigtooth aspen (Populus grandidentata)
• Black poplar hybrids (Populus nigra)
• Balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera)
• European aspen (Populus tremula)
• Violet Willow (Salix daphnoides)
• Eastern Cottonwood (Populus deltoides)
• White poplar (Populus alba)
• Southern Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)
• Red Oak (Quercus rubra)
• Blackjack Oak (Quercus marilandica)
• Post Oak (Quercus stellata)
• American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)

Note: Hypoxylon canker has three primary species that can infect a variety of shade trees. Hypoxylon atropunctatum is commonly found on oak species, Hypoxylon mammatum attacks mostly aspen trees and Hypoxylon tinctor primarily infects sycamore trees. If none of the above trees and species are yours, these are other tree diseases and treatment instructions toddsmariettatreeservices.com/5-marietta-ga-tree-diseases-identification-treatment/

Treatment of Hypoxylon Canker Disease

There are no known fungicides that can prevent or cure Hypoxylon canker. It is important to remember the opportunistic trait of this fungus. When it can thrive on its host, that tree’s health is compromised or in decline. The following will help you chose an appropriate course of action:

Hypoxylon Canker on Limbs and Branches – When this disease has infected the limbs and branches (not the trunk) of a tree:

• Those limbs and branches should be carefully pruned from the tree.
• Prune infected limbs and branches in sections if needed to minimize disturbing infected areas.
• Wood infected by any species of fungi should be handled as highly transmissible to surrounding trees.
• Do not run these limbs and branches through a wood chipper.
• This wood can be burned.

Hypoxylon Canker on Tree Trunks – When this disease has infected the tree trunk, there is nothing you can do to prevent the decline and eventual death of the tree:

• Hire a professional tree service to carefully remove the tree.
• Do not run a Hypoxylon canker infected tree through a wood chipper.
• This wood can be burned.

Hypoxylon canker disease damaging tree trunk bark

Hypoxylon canker thriving on a tree is a clear indication that the tree was already in distress.

Prevention of Hypoxylon Canker Disease

Hypoxylon canker may already be present on your tree, waiting for the tree’s defenses to weaken. Some ways to prevent this disease from developing include:

• Remove any trees that have developed cankers on their trunks. As these trees die, they become an extreme hazard to property, people, and surrounding trees.
• Prune branches and limbs with cankers before they reach the trunk.
• If 25% of the tree’s crown will be lost from pruning, consult a professional tree service to evaluate the condition of the tree and recommend a course of action.
• Avoid planting poplar, willow, oak, and aspen near trees with Hypoxylon infections until those trees have been removed.
• Mulch your trees.
• Water your trees and provide frequent deep waterings during periods of extreme heat and drought.
• Perform annual soil tests and adjust your use of fertilizer to provide the appropriate nutrients for the tree.
• Seasonally prune your trees to promote new and healthy growth.
• Immediately treat any signs of insect infestations.

Prevention of Hypoxylon or Biscogniauxia canker can only be achieved by promoting the health of the tree. This approach allows the tree to employ its natural defenses to suppress the growth/development of this opportunistic fungus.

Hypoxylon Canker Disease

In this article, you discovered the definition of Hypoxylon canker disease, how to identify it, treat it, and prevent it from developing on your tree.

By taking immediate action to halt the progression of Hypoxylon canker, you can potentially save your tree from certain death.

When you fail to take measures against this disease, you are condemning your tree to certain death and promoting the spread of this fungal assassin.

Sources:
missouribotanicalgarden.org
extension.umn.edu/plant-diseases/hypoxylon-canker
agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/library/landscaping/hypoxylon-canker-of-oaks/
edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/FR/FR40700.pdf

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on: http://www.toddsmariettatreeservices.com/hypoxylon-canker-disease-biscogniauxia/

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Should I Remove That Dead Tree in My Yard?

Diseased dying and dead tree removal from my yard

Your dead tree may pose a harmful threat to your property and human life in the event of a disaster. Knowing the possibilities and consequences of keeping a dead tree in your yard can lead you to an informed decision about its fate.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information on how to determine whether to keep or remove a dead in your yard and how it can be repurposed either way.

My Tree Is Dead

A tree, like every other living thing, will eventually die. What to do with it when it dies depends on the following factors:

Diseased Tree – If your tree met its demise due to disease, remove it from your yard. Diseases that infect and kill trees are highly transmissible to plants, shrubs, and other trees.

Dead tree removal with signs of disease

Insect Infested Tree – If your tree died from insect infestation problems, or became infested after it died, have that tree removed immediately. Insects, especially boring insects, can multiply quickly and spread even faster.

Root Rot – Many tree diseases attack the root system and typically occur in poorly-drained soil, causing root rot. Trees dying or dead from root rot can fall at any time, even in the mildest of weather conditions. Trees with this condition should be removed as quickly as possible.

Leaning Tree – If your dying or dead tree starts to lean, take immediate action to have it removed before it loses its center of gravity and falls. For example, a poplar tree that grew to over 100 feet high and weighed well over 10,000 pounds would obliterate whatever it landed on.

Overstory Trees – These are trees that reach or exceed 60 feet in height. Dead overstory trees should be removed to prevent catastrophic damages if they were to fall.

Understory Trees – These are trees that reach heights below 50 feet. In fact, these trees are generally between 12 and 20 feet tall. A dead understory tree can be left in place if:

• After a tree hazard assessment, it is found that the tree poses little to no threat to its surroundings.
• The tree remains disease free and free from infestation.
• Your municipality’s tree ordinance does not require its removal.

For more information about tree hazard assessments, visit toddsmariettatreeservices.com/why-do-i-need-tree-hazard-assessment/

Realistically, there are very few circumstances that support leaving a dead tree standing. However, if these circumstances permit, there is much you can do with the tree.

What To Do With My Dead Tree

Have the tree wholly removed by a professional tree service, unless a certified arborist declares your tree safe. There are many repurposing options for your tree in the following scenarios.

If your tree must be taken down and is free from infestation and disease, consider the following:

• Have the tree cut up for firewood.
• Have the tree turned into wood chips for use as organic mulch.
• Turn the tree into a part of your landscape. As it decomposes, it will provide shelter for wildlife, natural fertilizer for the earth below it, and bark eating animals will have a long-lasting food source.

Dead tree removal cut for firewood

If your tree poses no immediate threat and remains in place, it can be used for the following:

• A standing dead tree, known as a stag, can serve your local wildlife as a sanctuary.
• Paint and decorate your tree to become a conversation piece in your yard.
• Turn the tree into a bird and squirrel feeder (stick seeds and nuts to it using honey and/or peanut butter.
• Apply seasonal decorations to liven up your yard during holidays and events.

Dead tree in my yard festively decorated for the holidays

Tip: If you add lights to your tree, use an LED type light which generates minimal heat and make sure the lights are rated for outdoor use. As your dead tree dries out, it will naturally become more flammable.

Note: Some tree species like aspen or eucalyptus are self-pruning when living (they drop branches suddenly) and should not be left standing after dying. Once dead, self-pruning trees can pose a higher risk of personal injury or property damage as they lose their limbs.

For more ideas about recycling or repurposing a fallen tree, visit toddsmariettatreeservices.com/repurpose-recycle-leave-fallen-tree/

Dead Tree Removal

In this article, you discovered what factors determine the necessity to remove or the ability to keep a dead tree in your yard and what purpose it can serve.

By having your dead tree evaluated by an arborist, you can make an informed decision about the next part of the tree’s journey and purpose.

Your failure to address a dead tree in your yard may result in fines imposed by your municipality, the spread of an infestation or disease, and if the tree should fall, catastrophic damages to your property and/or wellbeing.

Sources:
gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/plants/trees-and-shrubs/trees/removing-trees.html
blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/pinellasco/2020/01/29/the-living-dead-trees/
wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/living/backyard

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on: http://www.toddsmariettatreeservices.com/dead-tree-removal/