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/

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

How To Identify and Manage 7 Deadly Tree Defects

Cracked branches or tree trunks are defects that can lead to sudden toppling destruction and injury

If you don’t know what to look for, a tree defect can cause a significant hazard for you. By knowing how to identify and manage severe tree defects, you can prevent catastrophic and life-threatening damages from branch and tree falls.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information on 7 tree defects, how to identify them, and how to manage them before they become deadly.

Deadly Tree Defects

The following tree defects are structural in nature and can result from disease, poor tree architecture, or injury. When such defects cause a tree or branch to fail, the damages or injuries to structures and people can be utterly catastrophic.

Here’s how to identify and manage these deadly defects:

Cracks in Branches or Tree Trunks

Cracks in your tree can represent weakness in the tree’s structure or internal decay rotting away at the inner wood of the tree.

How To Identify Cracks – When you can see past the bark of the tree into the lighter colored inner wood, you have identified a crack. Cracks can follow the grain of the tree (as if the tree was splitting) or intersect it (as if the tree was breaking), both types of breaks require your immediate attention.

How To Manage Cracks – If the crack is located on a branch away from the branch collar, it can be pruned off the tree at the root collar. However, if the crack is located on the tree trunk, you may have to have the tree removed to eliminate the danger it poses.

When it comes to cracks on a tree, it is highly recommended to call a professional tree service to perform a hazard assessment and offer a reasonable course of action. Read more about tree hazard assessments at toddsmariettatreeservices.com/why-do-i-need-tree-hazard-assessment/

Weak Branch Unions

Some branches on trees may grow in a way that makes them a severe hazard as the tree grows larger and heavier.

How To Identify Weak Branch Unions – Look at the area where the branch meets the tree trunk. There “should” be what is known as a branch collar or branch bark ridge (strong attachment). If this branch collar is absent, this is known as included bark in the branch attachment (weak attachment).

A weak branch union is tree defect that can lead to sudden falling

How To Manage Weak Branch Unions – Prune out branches with weak connections to the tree trunk. As the tree and branches grow, so shall their weight. When these branches spontaneously detach from the tree, they can wreak havoc on lower branches, and whatever else is below.

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

Poor Tree or Crown Architecture

Poorly-maintained or unmaintained trees can present several worrisome defects. Perhaps the most troubling of those defects is the growth of multiple leaders. Multiple leaders are the vertical branches of a tree from which the horizontal branches form the crown.

How To Identify Poor Tree Architecture – Stand far enough away from the tree in question, so that you can see the majority of the crown and the branches that lead into it from the trunk. If the tree looks lopsided (more branches and foliage on one side of the crown), or there are multiple leaders, the tree’s architecture should be addressed.

The lower on the trunk that multiple leaders begin, the more unstable the tree will be as it grows.

Multiple leaders are a tree defect that can lead to weak stems and collapse

How To Manage Poor Tree Architecture – For trees with a disproportionate crown, a professional tree service should be hired to thin the crown and restore a sense of balance to the tree.

For trees growing multiple leaders, especially those trees growing them low to the ground, one leader should be chosen to remain while the others are pruned from the tree. This type of management is most effective when the tree is younger.

Leaning Trees

Trees that lean can have an ominous appearance. If that lean is greater than 15 degrees, removal of the tree should be considered for damage and injury prevention. When it comes to the direction of a fall, avoid basing your assumption on the direction of the lean, wind and holding wood can cause it to fall in any direction, including opposite the direction of the lean.

How To Identify A Corrected Lean – A corrected lean happens when a tree has been leaning for a very long time. The base of the tree will lean, but the trunk corrects itself as the tree grows. This may appear as a curvature or a hard angle (crook) where the tree corrected itself.

As the tree ages, a natural lean may slowly increase due to the increasing weight of the trunk and crown.

How To Manage A Corrected Lean – Corrected leans are relatively common in nature and don’t require immediate attention. However, if it becomes an uncorrected lean, the tree may have to be removed.

How To Identify An Uncorrected Lean – These leans can occur when the root plate destabilizes, cracks on the trunk increase in size, or decay at the top or bottom of the trunk cause the crown or entire tree to lean.

An uncorrected lean is a tree defect that can lead to toppling injury and damage

How To Manage An Uncorrected Lean – Trees with an uncorrected lean are extremely hazardous and have already begun to fall. These trees should be addressed and removed by a professional tree service immediately.

Tree Decay

Tree decay is one of the most common contributors to tree failure during severe weather events, and in advanced cases, sudden tree failure.

How To Identify Tree Decay – When fungal fruiting structures or mushroom conks begin to bloom out of the trunk or root flare, there is decay at work deep within the tree. This is an incredibly dangerous situation that should never be overlooked or ignored.

Fungal infection ia a tree defect that can lead to severe decay poor health and eventual death

How To Manage Tree Decay – Once you have identified the signs of decay, have a tree risk assessment performed as quickly as possible to determine when the tree should be removed.

Tree Root Problems

While tree roots may be buried, their effect on trees becomes very evident, making identification fairly easy.

How To Identify Tree Root Problems – Two common root problems can lead to the failure and falling of a tree. One problem is stem girdling roots (SGRs), these roots encircle the tree trunk just under the ground. As the tree grows, the encircled roots also grow and thicken. The SGRs eventually cause the complete hydraulic failure of the tree.

Look at the root flare, if you see one of the flares making a hard turn “hugging” the curvature of the trunk, it is likely encircling the trunk. Another sign is the sudden wilting and death of the entire crown of an otherwise healthy tree.

Stem girdling roots are a tree defect that can lead to poor health and death

Root rot can be caused by any one of several disease pathogens. It can also occur in soaked soil with poor drainage. When root rot is present, you may see an entire section of the tree’s crown wilt and die. In severe cases, where the entire root plate is affected, the whole crown may suddenly wilt and die.

How To Manage Tree Root Problems – For SGRs, these roots must be cut away from the tree before killing it. For root rot, upon detection, a professional tree service should be called to assess the severity of the damage and whether or not the tree can be salvaged.

Tree Trunk Cankers

Cankers can appear on and affect tree trunks and branches. They are areas of tissue that have been killed by fire, sunscald, disease, insects, animal, and/or human activity.

How To Identify Cankers – Cankers appear as a darkened or sunken area of bark. This affliction causes an area of previously living bark to die and is usually associated with decay. Some cankers will ooze sap or fluids produced from the decaying of sapwood.

Cankers are a tree defect that can lead to infection rot and death of the host

How To Manage Cankers – Cankers on branches should be pruned off the tree when discovered. This prevents any disease or pathogen from spreading further within the tree. Cankers on the trunk are more problematic and should be treated the same as a crack.

Cankers on tree trunks weaken the structure of the tree and are highly susceptible to insect infestation and disease. It is highly recommended that a professional tree service be called to perform a tree hazard assessment and recommend preventative measures.

Managing Tree Defects

In this article, you discovered 7 deadly tree defects, how to identify them, and what actions to take before they cause catastrophic loss and/or injury.

By taking immediate action to reverse or eliminate tree defects, you are ensuring the safety of your property and eliminating a potentially deadly tree failure.

Ignoring the signs of tree defects can result in costly damages to your property, structures, and vehicles. If the defect is coupled with a disease or infestation, your failure to respond may spread such problems to other trees and plant life on your property.

Sources:
forestpathology.org/hazard-trees/hazard-tree-defects/
in.gov/dnr/forestry/files/04_Identify_and_Manage.pdf
archive.lib.msu.edu/tic/holen/article/2013mar16.pdf
forestryimages.org/browse/Bareas.cfm?domain=23

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-identify-manage-tree-defects/

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Why Is Half of My Tree Dead?

Half of a tree dying from disease

Your half-dead tree can cause a significant accident or infect the rest of your yard if you are unaware of its cause. By first knowing why your tree is dying, you can take action that may save it from falling and causing significant damage to your property.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information about the causes and treatments for a tree that is half dead.

My Tree Is Dead on One Side

You may be asking, “How can a tree die on one side?” Several possibilities can lead to this condition, and all of them require immediate action. For deciduous and evergreens alike, consider the following causes and their treatments:

Tree Diseases

Verticillium Wilt – Verticillium wilt is caused by a fungus called Verticillium dahliae or another less common species, Verticillium albo-atrum. This soil-borne fungus germinates when plant or tree roots grow near it, infecting them through wounds or natural openings. The fungus spreads through the host’s vascular system and causes the plant cells to clog themselves. Once the xylem is infected, water can no longer reach the leaves because of the clogging.

Treatment: This disease is challenging to manage because it persists in the soil indefinitely. Infected trees that are not yet dead can sometimes survive the fungus. Dead or affected branches should be removed to help the tree regain its vigor. However, this disease can be transmitted on unsterilized pruning tools.

In cases where an entire side of a tree has succumbed to the disease, the tree should be removed before falling during a storm or unexpectedly.

Fusarium Wilt – Commonly found worldwide, Fusarium wilt is a soil-borne pathogen Fusarium oxysporum that enters its host through the roots and interferes with its water-conducting vessels. As the disease spreads into the stems and leaves, it restricts water and nutrient flow, causing the foliage to wilt and turn yellow.

Half of a tree dying from fusarium wilt disease

Treatment: Similar to Verticillium wilt, affected stems and branches should be removed. Fusarium wilt can also be treated with biological fungicides.

Phytophthora Root Rot – Many tree and shrub species are susceptible to Phytophthora root rot, developing root and/or crown rot, mainly if the soil around the base of the plant stays wet for long periods. The leaves of an infected tree will appear drought-stressed and may die quickly in late spring or early summer.

Treatment: You can combat Phytophthora root rot by increasing soil drainage, pruning out affected branches and stems, and by maintaining the root flare of the tree free from soil, mulch, and debris.

These diseases are easily transmitted from one host to the next by overhead watering or splashing, pruning activities with unsterile equipment, and improper disposal of infected clippings.

Environmental Causes of Tree Decline

Soil Compaction – Soil compaction occurs when heavy equipment, machinery, vehicles, or other factors lead to the compression of the soil surrounding a tree. Soil compaction reduces the amount of air, water, and nutrients available to tree and plant roots.

When tree roots on one side of a tree are impacted by soil compaction, an entire side or portion of the tree can wilt and die.

Treatment: Avoid parking, driving, or storing any vehicles or heavy equipment near or under any tree. Once the soil is compacted, a professional tree service should be hired to aerate the soil and monitor the health of the impacted tree.

Lightning – If it doesn’t blow it up, a lightning strike can severely compromise a tree’s vascular system by vaporizing the liquid within it. Depending on the location of the strike and how it travels through the tree, only a portion of it may be impacted.

Half of a tree dying from a lightning strike

Treatment: If you suspect that your tree has been struck by lightning, have a tree hazard assessment performed immediately to assess the need for treatment or removal. Read more about tree hazard assessments at toddsmariettatreeservices.com/why-do-i-need-tree-hazard-assessment/

Surface Root Damage – Due to erosion, poor soil quality, or improper watering, tree roots may surface over time. When these roots are damaged or pruned, they are highly vulnerable to infection by opportunistic diseases like Fusarium, Verticillium, and Phytophthora.

Half of a tree dying from damaged and diseased surface roots

If surface roots on only one side of the root plate become infected, only a portion of the tree will likely display symptoms of infection, decline, or death.

Treatment: If the roots cannot be buried, they should be protected from damage by people or machinery. Once surface roots are damaged, a professional tree service should be called to evaluate the situation and recommend a course of action.

Stem Girdling Roots – Stem girdling roots are dysfunctional roots that circle the stem (trunk), choking off the flow of nutrients and water between the roots and the rest of the tree. They can also compress and weaken the trunk of a tree at the root collar, causing it to lean and lose stability. Trees with stem girdling roots are at a significant risk of declining health, premature death, n and falling suddenly.

Treatment: Stem girdling roots can be removed by using saws or pruners if they have not caused extensive stem compression. If one has caused severe damage, removal treatment must include measures to avoid damaging the stem. These roots are frequently left in place when their removal cannot be performed safely. It may be necessary to consult with a professional tree service to determine what coarse of action to take.

Boring Insect Infestations

Boring insects like beetles can quickly cause the decline of a portion of a tree. As they burrow through the tree’s bark, they will sometimes begin channeling through the xylem and phloem. In other cases, they may burrow into the heartwood of the tree, carrying fungi with them that infect the tree and disturb the flow of water and nutrients from the roots to the rest of the tree.

Half of a tree dying from boring insect infestation

While initial symptoms may only appear on one side of the tree, the tree will eventually succumb and die, as more beetles successfully attack the tree as it weakens.

Treatment: Once a tree has been successfully attacked by beetles, treatment is challenging and will likely result in the removal and destruction of the infected tree. Most treatments for beetles are preventative and include:

• Setting traps
• Treating the bark of un-infested trees
• Removal and disposal of infested trees

However, the most exceptional line of defense for a tree is its health. In the case of insects or diseases, healthy trees can resist infestations and infections. Help your tree by:

• Watering it regularly
• Proper seasonal pruning
• Mulching with organic material
• Fertilizing when necessary
• Having it inspected annually

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

Half of My Tree is Dead

In this article, you discovered what can cause half of a tree to die and what actions to take to either treat the tree or have it removed.

By taking immediate action when you notice the decline of your tree or a portion of it, you increase the possibility of saving the tree and returning it to a healthy state.

When you ignore the symptoms of disease or infestation, your tree can rapidly decline and die. Trees left untreated are more likely to fall during storms, causing catastrophic damages when landing on property, vehicles, and people.

Sources:
mortonarb.org/trees-plants/tree-and-plant-advice/help-diseases/verticillium-wilt
missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/your-garden/help-for-the-home-gardener/advice-tips-resources/pests-and-problems/environmental/girdling.aspx
extension.psu.edu/phytophthora-root-rot-on-woody-ornamentals
extension.umn.edu/soil-management-and-health/soil-compaction
ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/r280100811.html

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

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

Originally published on: http://www.toddsmariettatreeservices.com/why-is-half-of-my-tree-dead/

Monday, December 23, 2019

How To Protect Your Trees in Winter

Winter protection for snow and ice covered trees

Your young trees can suffer injuries and die during winter without proper protection. With some simple protective measures, you can ensure your trees come into their growing season healthy and thriving.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information about winter tree injury, its causes, and methods you can use to treat and prevent it.

Winter Tree Injury And Protection

Winter tree injury is the damage done to trees, shrubs, and plants (evergreen and deciduous alike) during the winter months. The more severe a winter season is, the more substantial the damage can be to your trees, shrubs, and plants. The following are some of the injuries that can occur and how they can be avoided or treated:

Dried Out Evergreen Foliage – Sun, wind, and cold temperatures can cause the bleaching and drying out of evergreen foliage. The following steps can lessen the effects:

• Make sure all of your evergreen trees and shrubs are frequently watered (two times per week – one being a deep watering), right up to the time the ground begins to freeze.
• Lay a three-inch-thick layer of organic mulch over the root plate of your trees and shrubs.
• Wrap your younger trees and shrubs with burlap. Especially those exposed to southwest sun or are unsheltered from the wind.

The Weight of Snow and Ice – Even for the hardiest of trees, when storm systems drop days of sleet and snow with temperatures rising above and falling below freezing, the results can be catastrophic. Under these conditions, snow and ice accumulate on evergreen foliage and deciduous tree limbs and branches.

The weight can break branches, damage foliage, and topple a tree. This problem is tricky to handle because it is NEVER recommended to “knock off” built-up ice or snow on a tree. You could cause a severe weight imbalance, destabilizing the tree, or cause a frozen limb to snap off and come crashing down on you.

Tree injury from ice and snow weight

One way to combat this issue is to promote the health of your trees by:

• Practicing aggressive pruning techniques in the fall to reduce surface space
• Watering your trees frequently throughout the year and increase the frequency during times of drought
• Mulching the root plate of your trees year-round
• Having your trees inspected annually for signs of disease and insect infestation.
• Promptly treating or removing diseased or infested trees and vegetation.

When you reduce or eliminate factors that could stress your trees, you give them a better chance to survive the winter months.

Tip: Rather than risking your life to try deicing a tree, call a professional tree care service to evaluate the situation, and recommend a safe course of action.

Southwest Injury or Sunscald – Similar to how evergreen foliage is damaged in the wintertime, southwest injury occurs on young unprotected trees in the following way:

• Temperatures fall below freezing at night and freeze the outer layers of a tree’s trunk
• The trunk remains frozen or near-frozen until sunlight coming from the southwest hits it
• This light warms and thaws the exposed part of the tree trunk
• The sun sets
• The temperature falls below freezing again and refreezes the trunk

Winter tree bark injury from sunscald

This freeze-thaw-freeze cycle ends up severely damaging the bark and inner tissues (xylem and phloem) of the tree. This damage appears as large sections of discolored, sunken, or cracked bark in the spring as the tree awakens and begins its growing season. Tree species that are highly susceptible to sunscald include:

• Birch
• Beech
• Maples
• Hickory
• Crape Myrtles
• Elms

Most trees in their youth are highly susceptible to sunscald, as they have yet to grow sufficient cork cells in their bark. Considered dead, cork cells contribute significantly to the protective qualities of a tree’s bark.

You can prevent sunscald by wrapping, painting, or covering your tree trunks in late fall or early winter. Young trees should be wrapped for the first three to four winter seasons after being planted or until they have surpassed four inches diameter at breast height.

You can find more information about southwest injury and splitting bark by reading toddsmariettatreeservices.com/tree-bark-splitting-can-i-fix-it/

Soil Heaving – Soil heaving is a severe threat to all trees, shrubs, and plants growing in your yard or landscape. More common in frigid climates, soil heaving occurs when:

• Soil freezes overnight and compresses
• Soil thaws during the day, decompressing and leaving openings in the ground
• Soil freezes and thaws over and over again, allowing more freezing air into the soil each time.

During these freezing and thawing cycles, there are two highly damaging effects taking place:

1. Freezing air is being allowed to penetrate the soil, freezing and/or killing roots
2. The expansion and contraction of the soil dislodges and “pushes up” roots.

Winter tree injury from soil heaving pushing roots to ground surface

Soil heaving can be prevented by applying a three-inch layer of organic mulch over the root plate of your trees and shrubs. The mulch will help regulate the soil temperature and moisture level.

You can find more information about mulching techniques by reading toddsmariettatreeservices.com/proper-mulching-techniques-around-trees/

Winter Drought – Winter drought occurs when little to no precipitation falls throughout the winter season. Simultaneously, soil desiccation occurs from intense sunlight, cold temperatures, and wind.

Through winter, tree roots are already working much more slowly than in other seasons. When you factor in the absence of moisture, you are left with a recipe that can kill or significantly damage the healthiest of trees.

You can fight winter drought by watering your trees and shrubs frequently throughout fall and mulching them with a three-inch layer of fresh organic mulch before winter sets in.

Tip: As long as the ground has not frozen, you can water your trees in winter.

Animal Damage – During the winter months, food becomes scarce for wildlife. Thus, some animals will resort to gnawing at the tender bark of young tree trunks, the lower limbs of trees, and in the case of deer, use their antlers to attack the trunk.

Winter tree protection from wildlife grazing

To prevent animal damage or attacks, you can erect a protective barrier around the tree, or use repellant sprays, applied to the bark, that irritate their sense of smell.

Learn more about preventing tree threats by reading toddsmariettatreeservices.com/3-tree-threat-prevention-tips/

Note: If you have volcano mulched your tree, squirrels, and other rodents may use the base of the tree as a nest, gnaw at the root flare, and potentially girdle your tree.

Winter Injury to Evergreen and Deciduous Trees

In this article, you discovered what winter tree injury is, the many ways in which it can occur, and how you can take steps to treat and prevent it.

By taking proactive measures to prevent winter injury, you are providing your trees with a better opportunity to grow and thrive during their growing seasons.

Leaving your trees exposed to the elements, you run a real risk of them developing conditions that attract disease and insect infestations that may lead to their decline and eventual death.

Sources:
extension.umn.edu/planting-and-growing-guides/protecting-trees-and-shrubs-winter
americanforests.org/magazine/article/the-language-of-bark/
tcia.org/TCIA/Blog_Items/2016/Common_Winter_Tree_Care_Issues.aspx
blogs.oregonstate.edu/treetopics/2019/01/04/drought-in-winter-what-and-ways-to-adapt-to-drier-times/
purduelandscapereport.org/article/preparations-to-prevent-southwest-injury/

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-your-trees-winter/

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

My Tree Bark is Splitting – Can I Fix it?

Southwest winter injury causing splitting and peeling bark

Don’t let your tree die from disease and insect infestations when its bark splits. Treating your tree quickly after its bark splits is essential to its health and vigor.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information on why tree bark splits or cracks and what you can do to prevent it or treat it.

What Causes Tree Bark Splitting

Tree bark can split or crack for many reasons, and you cannot fix it. You can protect your tree while it compartmentalizes the damage and protect others by taking preventative measures.

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

Sunscald (Southwest Winter Injury) – In the winter months, the south and southwest sides of young trees are prone to sunscald. This condition occurs on warm winter days when the bark exposed to the sun heats up substantially and is then exposed to freezing temperatures. This super-heating, followed by super-cooling, frequently causes the death of the inner-bark.

Splitting tree bark from winter injury

Such injuries only become visible during the spring growing season and appear as sunken or discolored bark, which splits and may fall off in patches. This damage presents an avenue for pests and diseases to attack the tree successfully.

This condition may also occur on the trunk and branches of mature trees if they were heavily pruned in the fall.

Sunscald Treatment:

When you detect that your tree is suffering from sunscald, treatment involves letting the tree work to heal itself. Damaged areas of the bark or limbs should not be filled with a sealer or painted.

Splitting tree bark from southwest winter injury and sunscald

Lightly trimming the wound (tracing the injury with a sharp knife) to help the tree compartmentalize the exposed area and wrapping the damaged area with a light-colored tree wrap can help accelerate the healing process.

Sunscald Prevention:

Protecting trees from sunscald is incredibly easy and inexpensive. All available measures include keeping the trunk and lower limbs either insulated or shaded in winter. The following are some of those measures:

• Plant the tree in an area shaded by structures in the late afternoon
• Use white-colored tree wraps (white reflects sunlight and prevents bark overheating)
• Plant evergreen trees or shrubs to shade the southwest side of your trees

Frost Cracks – The conditions that cause frost cracks are similar to those that cause sunscald. This condition occurs in late winter and early spring as water contained in the phloem, xylem, wood, and inner bark expands and contracts while repeatedly freezing and thawing with fluctuating temperatures.

The resulting injury to the tree appears as a crack in the bark, potentially reaching several feet in length.

Frost Crack Treatment:

Similar to sunscald, no sealant should be used to dress the resulting wound, and a light-colored tree wrap can be used to protect the wound while the tree heals itself.

Frost Crack Prevention:

Frost cracks are often the result of previous damage to the tree or off-season growth. Use the following measures to reduce the risk of frost crack injuries:

• Protect your tree trunks and branches from injury at all times
• Fertilize in late fall or early spring (do not fertilize during summer and early fall months)
• Conduct pruning activities in late fall and winter months

Like fertilizing, pruning entices a tree to grow. Spring and summer pruning may result in growth that will not have time to properly harden for winter months and become highly susceptible to frost cracks.

Environmental Conditions (Drought) – Bark splitting can also be caused by long periods of drought, followed by exceptionally wet periods of growth.

Splitting tree bark from long periods of drought

The longer trees suffer scarce water conditions, the thirstier they will get, and the less flexible they will become. When that dry period is followed by excessively wet conditions, trees (especially young trees) will over-satiate their hydraulic systems, often resulting in “bloating.” As the tree bloats, pressure builds against the hardened inner bark and may split the bark if that pressure becomes too high.

Bark Splitting Treatment:

As this condition typically occurs during the growth cycle of a tree, protecting the resulting wounds from insect infestation and disease is essential. Recommended treatment measures are identical to those for sunscald.

Bark Splitting Prevention:

During periods of drought, the following measures will help your trees maintain their elasticity and remain hydrated:

• Apply a three to six-inch layer of organic mulch from the tree’s root flare to the edge of the canopy (this covers and regulates the moisture for the root plate)
• Provide two to three deep waterings per week (deep waterings allow water to soak ten to fifteen-inches into the soil)
• Do not prune your tree after periods of drought. Allow time for them to recover fully
• Fertilize sparingly and only in late fall to prevent untimely growth

Herbicides (Glyphosate Products) – Weed killers may be doing more than killing your weeds. Bark splitting on the south and southwest face of trees from freezing and thawing patterns may be caused by the glyphosate herbicides that you are using to combat pesky weeds.

When these herbicides are applied directly to tree bark (accidentally or purposefully), applied too frequently in the vicinity of trees, or used in overly high doses on the surrounding landscape, the glyphosate in the products deteriorates the inner bark structure while eliminating the winter hardiness of the trees (especially young trees).

How to Prevent Glyphosate Damage:

• Use a herbicide containing no adjuvant (wetting agent)
• Use correct dosages (do not overspray)
• Maintain a thirty to forty-foot no-spray zone between the weeds you spray and your trees
• Do not use herbicides to treat tree suckers (the roots will carry the herbicide to the tree)
• Reduce the use of glyphosate by integrating other methods of weed removal

Splitting tree bark from over application of glyphosate herbicides

All herbicides are accompanied by benefits and risks. By following the instructions on the label, you can maximize the benefits while reducing the risks.

Preventing Bark Splitting

In this article, you discovered what causes tree bark to split, what you can do to treat it, and ways to prevent the condition.

By taking preventative measures to protect your trees through winter months and from harmful chemicals, your trees can mature with higher resistance to insect infestation and disease.

When you ignore signs of bark splitting or cracking, you are leaving your tree highly vulnerable to a rapid decline in its health and potential death.

Sources:
cals.arizona.edu/yavapai/anr/hort/byg/archive/sunscald2017.html
extension.usu.edu/archive/bark-splitting-caused-by-common-herbicide
plantclinic.cornell.edu/factsheets/barksplitting.pdf
extension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/SP630.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/tree-bark-splitting-can-i-fix-it/

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Why Do I Need a Tree Hazard Assessment

Hazard assessment to prevent tree damage or failure during severe weather

Don’t let your trees threaten your property or life as they destabilize during severe weather. Regular tree assessments and preventative measures can help your trees survive severe storm conditions intact.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information on why trees need regular hazard assessments, what is examined during an evaluation, the types of damages trees suffer in different storms, and preventative measures you can take.

Tree Hazard Assessments – Emergency and Storm Safety

Tree hazard (or tree risk) assessments provide crucial information to the surveyor and the homeowner about the health and stability of the trees being surveyed. These assessments are used in determining:

• The overall health and stability of a tree
• Whether a tree will remain stable during severe weather events
• If the tree poses an infestation or disease threat to surrounding trees
• If the tree is a threat to surrounding structures or people
• A course of action including pruning or removal

The older your trees become, the more they require hazard assessments. As trees age, they become more massive, less flexible, and in many cases, more susceptible to disease and infestations.

Just as necessary is the assessment of the soil where the tree is rooted, soil erosion can become a significant problem for a tree’s stability. This erosion can cause the root plate to lift during the slightest of winds resulting in an emergency, and the toppling of an otherwise healthy tree.

Without these assessments, your trees can develop irreversible damages from diseases, infestations, girdling, compacted soil, and many other conditions (detected in an assessment) that weaken the tree. All it takes is one severe storm to bring down a weakened tree and cause catastrophic damages.

Follow the link for signs and symptoms of a troubled tree toddsmariettatreeservices.com/troubled-tree-signs-symptoms/

Hazard assessment for diseased or dying trees

What is a Tree Hazard Assessment?

Tree hazard assessments happen when a tree professional or certified arborist physically survey the overall health and stability of a tree. A typical assessment looks for the following:

• Signs of disease
• Signs of infestation
• Abnormal growth habits
• Leaning
• Dead, missing, or damaged bark
• Cracks
• Lightning damage
• Balance and density of the crown
• Dead twigs or branches
• Mushroom conks
• Cankers

These examinations are comprehensive and include assessments of:

• Cut or damaged surface roots
• Lifting of the root plate
• Soil conditions and/or erosion
• Soil compaction
• Pavement over roots
• Topography
• Surrounding structures (targets)
• Typical weather for the location
• Wind exposure
• Vines and other potentially harmful plant species

When a tree professional or arborist performs a tree hazard assessment, he is looking for anything about the tree, its root plate, or environment that could be alarming. Read toddsmariettatreeservices.com/how-to-identify-tree-emergency/ for some warning signs and things to look for that indicate a potential tree emergency, and call an arborist or professional tree service if you suspect something is wrong.

Disaster Tree Damage Caused by Storms

Tree hazard assessments take into account the weather patterns common to the tree’s location. Different elements of weather impact trees differently and may require specific actions to prevent irreversible damages to the tree. The following are some of the weather conditions that can cause a weakened tree to topple and preventative measures:

Tree hazard assessment to prevent property damage during storms

Wind – When wind speeds are high, they can impose tremendous force on a tree. During hurricanes or tornadoes, trees may be stripped of their leaves and branches. These winds are capable of twisting, breaking, and uprooting trees. Also, during major storms, debris may debark the tree requiring its removal after the storm.

Course of action: Promote the health of the tree by fertilizing, mulching, and pruning. Provide deep watering to promote deep root growth, and hire a professional tree service to thin out the crown, reducing the tree’s wind-resistance.

You can also create wind diversions by planting shrubs upwind from your trees or by installing fences along your property line.

Flooding – Erosion caused by flooding can be devastating to all plant life. Floods typically result in the complete saturation of the ground and can quickly destabilize the roots of the oldest and strongest of trees.

Course of action: Plant trees on elevated land and reconfigure your landscaping to facilitate water runoff from your property.

Promote the health of your trees by fertilizing, mulching, and pruning. When floods are caused by storm surge, it is the health of your tree and the depth of its roots that will help determine whether it topples or not.

Lightning – By their height, trees are a common target for lightning. Your tree’s bark may be blown off or scars left on the trunk when the electricity is conducted along the outside of the tree. When the electrical charge penetrates the tree trunk, the moisture within the trunk may be converted to vapor and cause the tree to explode.

The most susceptible trees to lightning strikes are poplars, pines, oaks, and elms.

Course of action: Install lightning rods on your property and to the top of your home to divert lightning from your trees.

Ice – Winter snow or ice storms may deposit ice on the foliage and branches of your tree. The weight of accumulated ice on a tree together with wind can break branches or cause the tree to fall.

Hazard assessment to prevent tree damage or collapse under snow and ice weight

Trees resistant to ice damage include oaks, beech, birch, and American hornbeam.

Course of action: As always, maintain the health of your tree throughout its growing season. In the fall, have your trees pruned, and crowns thinned to reduce the potential of ice accumulation.

In some cases, storms can unleash tremendous amounts of rain, wind, flooding, etc. that can bring down weakened and healthy trees alike. However, annual hazard assessments allow you to take actions that minimize damages to your trees and property when they fall.

Tree Health and Hazard Assessments

In this article, you discovered the importance of tree hazard assessments, what tree professionals look for during an assessment, what damages are caused by storms, and what you can do to help your trees through storms.

By scheduling annual tree hazard assessments, you create the possibility to catch and reverse potential threats to your tree’s health. These assessments also enable you to remove trees that can cause catastrophic damages when toppling in storms.

If you neglect to have hazard assessments performed, infestations, soil compaction, or disease may weaken your tree to the point where it falls during a weather event. Thus, endangering your property, home, and life.

Sources:
http://gatrees.org/community-forests/management/trees-storm-safety/storm-preparation/index.cfm
https://www.southernforests.org/urban/trees-and-storm-safety

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

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

Originally published on: http://www.toddsmariettatreeservices.com/why-do-i-need-tree-hazard-assessment/

Monday, September 23, 2019

How to Stake a Leaning Tree

Staking young trees to avoid weather damage

Your leaning tree can fall, causing catastrophic and life-threatening damages. By staking your tree, you can help it re-establish itself, prevent its death, and eliminate the danger of it falling.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information on why trees lean, how to properly stake them, and when tree removal may be necessary.

Why Trees Lean

Before taking action to stake or brace a tree, it’s helpful to understand the reasons why trees may lean in different stages of their growth.

The following require staking, bracing, or cabling and can be halted or reversed:

• The tree was planted off-center.
• The tree may be leaning towards the sun.
• The root ball has shifted in unsteady soil.
• Constant wind has shaped the tree to curve or has moved its center of gravity.
• The tree was struck by a vehicle or heavy machinery.
• Neighboring support trees were removed.
• The crown is off-center from poor pruning practices.

The following are irreversible and may require the immediate removal of the tree:

• An earthquake, floodwater, rockslide, or landslide has caused the root plate to destabilize and fail.
• Roots are failing due to rot from disease or poorly-drained soil.
• The tree trunk cracked.

As trees reach maturity, they can weigh from 2,000 to 20,000 pounds. When that weight becomes off-centered, and the tree begins to lean, quick action is required to prevent a fall with potentially deadly results.

Tree bracing and support for uneven crown or leaning tree

Read How to Identify a Tree Emergency, and if you have a mature tree threatening to fall, call a tree professional to evaluate the immediate risk and lay out a course of action.

Tree Support Systems to Prevent or Stop Their Leaning

Support systems for young and leaning trees change as trees mature. The following are different systems used at various stages of tree development:

Planted as a Seedling – For the first 6 months to one year, the tree should be protected from the elements and wildlife by a chickenwire encircling enclosure, lined with burlap on the upwind side.

Transplanted Trees – Bare root and rootball transplants are highly susceptible to the elements until their root system extends and forms a firm root plate. These trees should be staked for 1 to 2 years while this process takes place.

Young trees planted as seedlings should be staked once they outgrow their protective enclosures to prevent leaning or severe weather damage.

To accomplish this:

1. Drive two 8 foot stakes 2 feet into the ground on either side of the tree trunk (about 1 1/2 feet from the trunk on each side).
2. Tie or attach a piece of burlap or other soft material – looped around the trunk – to each of the stakes. There should be enough slack for the tree to sway 3 to 6 inches in all directions before the material tightens around the trunk.
3. If wildlife is an issue, surround the tree with chicken wire using the stakes as a harness.
4. While a tree is staked, check the bark where any contact is made frequently. If damage or wear is detected, move the material up or down on the stakes.

Tree stake tether with slack for natural trunk movement

Never tie or attach anything to trees being staked. Besides bark damage, the tree could end up girdled or sawed through if there is constant friction.

This staking method is highly effective until the trunk reaches a diameter at breast height (DBH) of 4.5 to 6 inches, at which point stronger measures are required.

Trees with a DBH >6 inches – When trees reach this size, they are heavy enough to cause severe to catastrophic damage if brought down during a storm or fall from their own weight. If they begin to lean, take the following actions immediately:

Leaning tree crown thinning to establish center of gravity

• Prune the tree to reset its balance or center of gravity.
• Cabling the tree can relieve pressure from branches, causing a redistribution of weight and stress within the crown.
• Anchor the tree to stop or reverse the lean by:

1. Driving a 5-foot heavy-duty iron stake into the ground 8 to 10 feet opposite the direction of the lean (this stake will be supporting tremendous weight).
2. Attach a cable rated for 1,400 to 1,960 pounds to the stake equipped with a turnbuckle or winching device, and loop the other end around the tree trunk above the first branches.
3. Use foam or rubber as a cushion to prevent the cable from directly contacting the tree’s bark.
4. Tighten the turnbuckle until the cable is firm. Then further tighten the cable every other day.
5. This process can last weeks and be successful provided there are no underlying issues with root rot or disease.
6. Call a professional to evaluate the state of the tree and offer guidance.

In all of the above situations, a tree professional should be called to evaluate the tree, determine why it is leaning, and what actions to take.

Staking Leaning Trees

Trees lean for different reasons, but there are various support systems to be used at different stages of the development of a tree.

In this article, you discovered why trees lean, how to stake or secure them properly, and when tree removal becomes necessary.

When your tree begins to lean, it is telling you something is wrong. Don’t procrastinate and allow a leaning tree to fall on your home or loved ones.

Sources:
gatrees.org/community-forests/ask-the-arborist/LeaningTrees-Whatsupwiththat.pdf
hort.ifas.ufl.edu/woody/cabling.shtml

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-stake-leaning-tree/