Friday, July 20, 2018

How Do Trees Grow?

Tree meristem tissue new growth Marietta Georgia

Simply put, trees grow up, trees grow out, and trees grow down. In one form or another, trees are always growing throughout their lifecycle, and do so until their death.

Knowing how they grow can improve your landscaping and gardening practices. Our team at Todd’s Marietta Tree Services constructed practical information below about tree growth and will dispel some common myths.

Do Trees Grow from the Bottom Up?

Yes. Trees do grow from the bottom up in the sense that the roots are transporting the “growth” building blocks up the trunk, through the limbs, and to the extremities of the tree.

However, the answer is NO when considering that tree growth occurs from its extremities. Consider the following:

Root Growth – Roots grow outward and down from their tips (similar to how limbs and branches grow longer). As roots grow and age, they thicken (much like the trunk does).

Tree root growth fall and winter

The roots of a tree are able to spread out and grow far beyond the tree’s dripline (the outer edges of the canopy).

Root activities almost exclusively support the growth of a tree. Four primary functions of tree roots are:

  • To seek out sources of water and nutrients.
  • To store glucose in the colder months (when growth is all but halted).
  • To participate in the underground ecosystem through mycorrhizal associations or root grafting.
  • To anchor the tree to the ground.

Trunk Growth – The trunk doesn’t stretch or grow upward. It does thicken though, and it adds two rings as each year passes. One light ring during the growth period and one dark ring as it slows down for winter or dormancy.

When looking at a cross-section of a cut down tree, you can tell how old the tree was when it died by counting one light and one dark ring for each year from the outside inward.

Tree trunk cross section age rings

A common misconception is that tree trunks stretch upward as they get taller, when in fact they do not. If you were to pin a medal on the trunk at exactly five feet up from the root flare, it would still be exactly five feet up from the root flare fifty years or one hundred years later.

Branch and Limb – Growth in length happens within meristem tissues located at the tips of branches, stems, and twigs. These specialized tissues facilitate the upward growth of the tree, as well as the expansion of the tree’s canopy.

Tree growth new limb with meristem tissue

Branches and limbs grow in diameter through the vascular cambium within the bark. Very similar to how a trunk grows in diameter.

Do Trees Grow All Year?

While different species of trees will follow slightly different growth patterns, the answer is yes. Trees are continuously growing throughout the year.

Springtime – Foliage, limbs, and branches grow at high speeds in the spring.

Spring tree growth in Marietta Ga

Summertime – This is when trunk and limb diameter growth takes place.

Fall and Wintertime – As the trunk, branches, limbs, and foliage stop growing, the roots continue to expand outward and down throughout the coldest months of the year.

How Do Trees Get Their Mass?

It’s principally carbon. Without carbon, trees could not exist. Every time you exhale, you are providing the building blocks for a tree’s mass. Carbon dioxide (captured from the air) and water (sent to the leaves by the roots) bond together within the leaves of a tree to form carbon molecules.

During photosynthesis, energy from sunlight is transformed into chemical energy and captured within the bonds of those carbon molecules.

Photosynthesis in leaves for tree growth

Those carbon molecules along with hydrogen and oxygen comprise the tree’s food source known as glucose. Each glucose molecule contains six oxygen atoms, six carbon atoms, and twelve hydrogen atoms.

Once a tree has satisfied the activities which keep it alive (cellular respiration), whatever carbon molecules (glucose) are left over are used in the growth process, adding to its mass.

Carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphorus together comprise nearly all of a tree’s mass.

Tree Growth, Sunlight, Balance, and Longevity

While there are many facets that comprise a tree’s mechanisms, it is sunlight that is the driving force behind it all. Throughout the entire lifespan of a tree, it will depend on the sun for energy to grow and thrive.

Tree growth requires sunlight Marietta Ga

Tree growth is symmetrical by nature. Throughout the life of a tree, its growth is consistently seeking balance. Trees will not grow beyond their capacity to support themselves. When stressed they will shed leaves, flowers, fruit and even drop entire branches.

Speaking of thriving, the lifespan of a tree depends primarily on its species and the environment it is growing in. While some palms live to about sixty years old, some pine species make it to well over five thousand years old. And there is increasing evidence that an ancient clonal grove of aspen trees called “Pando” is upwards of eighty thousand years old.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

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

Originally published on:

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tree Protection Instructions During Construction, Landscaping, and Hardscaping Projects

Construction and landscaping equipment parked by tree

Construction, landscaping, and hardscaping projects all involve some level of planning and in many cases, the acquisition of land disturbance permits. Part of the planning for such projects should include the protection of existing trees on the site.

Nearly every municipality and county (nationwide) has created, adopted, or adapted a set of ordinances or codes which regulate how existing trees should be protected during land disturbance activities.

These ordinances serve to protect the health and vitality of trees, which is optimal when a tree’s roots and trunk are kept from being damaged and soil compaction is avoided.

The team at Todd’s Marietta Tree Services has compiled the following information to help you better understand the need to protect your trees, the ordinances that require it, and how to go about it during a construction or landscaping project.

Tree Ordinances Mandate Protection

Embedded within the municipal ordinances of nearly every city and county, you will find verbiage addressing tree protection, preservation, and removal. You will also find ordinances which address land disturbance activities, typically including the same concerns.

A great example can be found in the Marietta, Georgia Code of Ordinances under Zoning Ordinance in Division 712 section 8. The following are relevant tree protection excerpts from the section:

712.08 – Tree protection and landscaping.

… “D. Tree Preservation and Replacement.
A tree protection and landscaping plan shall be submitted with all other permit drawings as part of the building permit process on any non-exempt parcel of land.”…

… “All tree protection measures shall be installed prior to land disturbance and no land disturbance permit shall be issued for full site development without it being determined that the proposed development is in compliance with the provisions of these regulations.”…

… “E. Methods of Tree Protection.
1. The protective zone for designated tree save areas shall include no less than the total area beneath the canopy drip line of the tree(s).
2. Construction site activities such as material storage, concrete washout, burnhole placement, etc., may not encroach into designated tree protective zones.”…

… “F. Protective Barriers.
1. Prior to any land disturbance, active tree protective fencing shall be installed so that it surrounds the critical root zones of all protected tree zones, which is defined as the area beneath the canopy drip line”…

For a land disturbance summary and Marietta, Ga ordinance see:

Tree Root and Trunk Damage

Depending on soil conditions and the species of the tree, some roots will grow very close to the ground surface. Over time, they may protrude or be partially exposed.

Damage to these roots by vehicles, lawn mowers, or improper root cutting exposes the tree to fungal infection and pest infestation.

Likewise, damage to the trunk of a tree that cuts through or removes its bark may result in the same type of infections or infestations. Furthermore, if enough of the bark is removed from around the tree, girdling is likely to occur leading to the death of the tree. No equipment should ever be parked or stacked against a tree.

Tree trunk used to stack construction equipment

Girdling occurs when enough of the phloem (thin layer of sugars and nutrients beneath tree bark) is either removed or compressed to the point that it can no longer transport its sugars and nutrients throughout the tree.

Soil Compaction and Root Death

Tree roots depend on 3 components being present in the soil; nutrients, water, and air. When deprived of any of these components for long enough, the roots will die. The death of roots in this manner seriously compromises the health and stability of a tree.

Soil compaction occurs when heavy equipment, vehicles, or containers are stored, parked, or driven over the dirt. Compacted soil does not allow air or water to penetrate it, thus rendering the soil a sort of “death trap” for the existing roots within it.

Protective Barriers around Trees

Before the beginning of any construction, landscaping, or hardscaping project, protective tree fences or barriers should be properly erected around existing trees on the site.

All specifications within your local ordinances and permit should be adhered to at all times. Failure to properly protect trees may lead to the cancellation of your permit, fines, and/or the need to reapply for a permit.

The process of acquiring a tree permit from your local municipality is outlined in detail here:

Barrier Placement – Barriers should be placed just outside the drip line (outside of the extremity of the canopy) all the way around the tree. While feeder roots extend far beyond the drip line, it is the roots from the drip line to the trunk which must be protected from soil compaction and physical damage.

Tree canopy and drip line Marietta Ga

Types of Barriers – While specifications may vary from ordinance to ordinance, some of the common barrier attributes are as follows:

  • Barrier fencing must be at least 4 feet in height, entirely encompassing the tree.
  • Barrier material should be either wood and post, polyethylene fencing, chainlink, traffic barriers, or interlocking temporary fencing.
  • Fencing should be labeled “Tree Protection Zone” or “Tree Protective Zone”.
  • Tree barriers should be erected before any activity begins and removed only after all site work has been completed.

In addition to erecting the barriers, all contractors and sub-contractors should be notified of tree protection zones on the work site. Their blatant or inadvertent encroachment on these zones may constitute an ordinance violation which could potentially void your permit.

Watch this video to learn more about soil compaction at construction sites and how to protect tree roots.

Tree Health and Safety Is Everyone’s Responsibility

The trees within a city help to reduce air pollution, slow soil erosion, provide shade, filter impurities from ground water, promote a heathy ecosystem, and provide shelter for wildlife.

Tree ordinances and codes are written to offer guidelines for the proper care, preservation, or removal of trees when necessary. Ultimately, these codes are in place to preserve the overall canopy of a city.

Whether it be pruning, watering, mulching, fertilizing, or building a barrier around trees on a construction site, taking steps to keep trees healthy and safe is a responsibility that all residents share.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

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

Originally published on:

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Tree Root Killing, Removal, and Cutting

Killing tree roots, removing them, and cutting them are three ways to control the growth of roots, and the damage they can cause to driveways, retainer walls, and home foundations.

Invasive tree roots growing on ground surface

Each of these actions has the potential to solve your principle problem, while creating another one. In this article, we will discuss each option and how it affects your tree and landscape. We will also provide several alternatives which could potentially solve your root problems.

Identifying Your Root Problem

In their constant quest for moisture and nutrients, roots will grow in some inconvenient places. Depending on soil compaction and quality, they will adapt and change growth behavior. The following are common scenarios of root damage and undesired growth:

Roots Growing on Ground Surface – As tree roots mature and as natural soil erosion or compaction occurs, the roots may become exposed along the ground.

Roots Growing Under Foundation – When roots grow under a home’s foundation, they will thicken as they age and continue to grow. This growth exerts an upward force on the foundation, partially raising it, bending, or warping it until it cracks.

In the event you are dealing with a mature tree planted too close to your home, this page offers further insight into resolving your problem.

Roots Buckling and Cracking Sidewalks and Driveways – The way roots grow under and damage a structure’s foundation, they can efficiently do the same to a concrete driveway or sidewalk.

Tree root buckled and cracked driveway

The Tree Root System

Whether surface roots or underground destructive roots are the issue, take a moment to learn the importance of the roots in relation to the tree’s health before killing, removing, or cutting them.

  • More than 25% of a mature trees’ mass is found in its root system.
  • The majority of those roots remain from 6 to 18in below ground surface.
  • Injured roots are susceptible to disease or infestation. This directly impacts the health of the tree, potentially leading to its decline and eventual death.

The two types of roots found below ground are:

  • Feeder Roots – which transfer and store moisture and nutrients from the soil.
  • Structural Roots – which stabilize or anchor the tree to the ground (these are the larger of the roots)

Killing Tree Roots

Option 1: Cut Down the Tree

Kill tree roots by cutting tree down

“Once a tree has been cut down, roots can no longer grow.” The idea here is that they are dependent on the leaves photosynthesizing the fuel that drives their growth. Two potential exceptions to this are:

Tree Sprouts (Suckers) – These look like seedlings or offspring but are “clones” of the tree growing from the roots. With enough foliage, the roots may survive.

Neighboring Tree Association – There is evidence that shows the possibility of neighboring tree roots making associations with each other. This occurs through root grafting as they run into one another. This association has the potential to sustain the felled tree’s roots for continued growth.

Option 2: Use Herbicides

A very effective way to kill more of the root system (than simply cutting down the tree) is through the use of herbicides. The following video demonstrates an effective herbicide delivery method.

In the summer or early fall, when the tree still has leaves producing food, cut notches around the lower portion of the tree trunk. You only need to cut deep enough to reach the phloem (phloem is the tissue responsible for transporting food to the roots).

Apply the herbicide to the notches and allow two to three weeks before having the tree removed.

This type of herbicide can be found at your local gardening store and will come labeled specifically for this purpose. As with any chemical, be sure to read and follow all use and safety instructions.

Killing roots through the use of herbicides may cause serious collateral damage to neighboring trees. If their root systems have made associations with each other. The herbicide could potentially travel from one tree to another resulting in the decline or death of the other (otherwise healthy) tree.

Live and cut tree with grafted root systems

If there are several trees in your yard or landscape, have them evaluated by a tree service professional before using herbicides in this manner.

Tree Root Removal – How to Safely Do It

There are two principle lines of thought for root removal:

Tree Has Been Removed – In this scenario, after the stump has been removed or ground down, simply follow the path of the roots. Dig them out and cut into sections (for larger roots).

Tree stump grinding for root removal

Removing Disruptive or Damaging Roots – In this scenario, you do not want to lose the tree. Only the roots that are either growing on the ground surface or interfering with a foundation, retainer wall, or other structure.

This video shows how tree roots interact with a barrier like a retaining wall.

Once you have selected the roots to be removed, the following steps will help you safely and efficiently get the job done. See also “Cutting Tree Roots – Planning” below for further tips and advice.

Tools – The tools you will need to safely do this job include but are not limited to:

  • Spray Paint
  • Shovel
  • Spade
  • Sharp Hand Saw
  • Cloth
  • Alcohol
  • Soil
  • Mulch
  • Seed

Mark Your Cuts – Using spray paint, mark protruding roots to be cut or spray the ground where you intend to dig to the roots.

Clear The Surface – Using the shovel, carefully dig around the area of the root where it will be cut. You will need enough space to safely work with a saw.

Tree root removal dig to expose roots

Remove Soil Around Root – Using your spade, remove the soil from the sides and from underneath the root. Again, leaving enough space to safely use your saw.

Sterilize the Saw – (for live roots) As open or wounded roots are highly susceptible to disease, you can minimize exposure by sterilizing the saw with an alcohol drenched cloth.

Make the Cut – Saw through the root just below a secondary or side root growing downward.

Finish the Job – Once the root is cut, pull up the remainder of the cut root. (for live roots) Quickly replace the soil around the remaining root. Fill in any holes with soil and reseed the area if needed. Water the tree well within the dripline (under the canopy).

Mulch – When all is done, spread a loose 2-3 inch layer of mulch over all of the root area in the dripline.

Cutting Tree Roots – Planning and Execution

Properly cutting tree roots can help achieve a deeper, stronger, and healthier root system.

Also known as Root Pruning, this process should never be approached without a plan. We advise hiring a professional tree service, but the following will educate and help you to understand the process and goal:

Leaning Trees – Stop here. Do not cut the roots of a leaning tree. In this case, you will need to call a tree professional to assess the safety of the tree and which roots (if any) may be cut.

Season – Unless the situation is absolutely necessary, tree root pruning should only be done in late winter or early spring when the tree’s functions are still slow. This is the time of year that the risk of dehydration is at a minimum, thus less risk of damaging your tree.

Distance – When dealing with a mature tree, measure the DBH (Diameter at Breast Height). You will want to avoid cutting any roots within a distance of 5 times the DBH from the tree trunk.

For example, if the DBH is 12 inches, you will only want to make cuts to roots that are outside of a 60 inch radius from the tree’s trunk.

Younger Trees – Young trees have a better chance of recovering from root pruning and can be pruned closer to the trunk (3 times the DBH). However, in any situation, the farther away from the trunk you can get, the better and safer it will be.

Cut In Quadrants – Never remove more than 25% of a tree’s roots at one time. Divide the area around the tree into four quadrants and carefully cut roots in 2 quadrants opposite each other. After 2 years, it should be safe to cut the roots in the remaining 2 quadrants.

Avoid the Largest Roots – The larger roots are structural roots, they are the ones that begin at the base of the tree and flare out. These are the ones keeping the tree anchored in its place. If one of these roots is to be removed, make sure the cut is made as far from the trunk as possible.

When a cut to one of these roots needs to be made closer to the trunk, a tree professional should be called to assess the potential effect on the stability of the tree.

Mark Your Cuts – Using spray paint, mark protruding roots to be cut or spray the ground where you intend to dig to the roots.

Cut Below Secondary Roots – Your cuts should be made below a secondary (or side) root growing downward. This will not only improve the chances that it will continue nourishing the tree, it will likely guide root growth into deeper soil.

Finish the Job – Once the root is cut, pull up the remainder of the cut root. Then quickly replace the soil around the remaining root. Fill in any holes with soil and reseed the area if needed. Water the tree well within the dripline (under the canopy).

Mulch – Once finished, spread a loose 2-3 inch layer of mulch over all of the root area in the dripline.

Root Cutting and Removal Without Killing Your Tree

Root cutting and removal can indeed be accomplished without crippling or killing your tree. It is a process that must be precise and taken slowly to preserve the integrity of the tree. Keep the following in mind:

Poor Pruning – A bad prune job in the crown or in the roots can severely compromise the health of a tree, eventually leading to its death.

Trunk Proximity – The closer to the trunk that roots are cut, the more significant and severe the damage will be to your tree.

25% Rule – Never remove more than 25% of a tree’s roots. The tree will likely die or fall, or both.

2 Years – A tree should be given two years to recover between root pruning.

Spring Time – After bud break, tree roots should not be pruned. This is the time your tree is most reliant on them.

Alternatives to Root Cutting, Killing, and Removal

The idea of cutting your tree roots may seem less appealing now. If you find that the risk of losing your tree is too great, here are some potential alternatives:

  • Add soil over the roots that have surfaced and reseed.
  • Design your landscape around the tree root spread.
  • In hardscapes, use reinforced cement.
  • Install root barricades.
  • Replace a broken or buckled cement walkway or driveway with a gravel one.
  • When planting new trees, make sure the soil is appropriate for the species and water it well for deep root growth. Click here for more on watering and soil.

The following video demonstrates how root barricades are installed.

Regardless of the solution, Look after the health of your tree! And when in doubt, call a professional to evaluate and assess what actions should or should not be taken.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

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

Originally published on:

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Ways to Repurpose, Recycle, or Leave a Fallen Tree

Trees live, they grow, and they eventually die. Throughout their life cycle, from seedling through their decay, trees play an important role for wildlife and plant life.

Dead fallen tree decaying in water

Once a tree has died, fallen, or been professionally removed, its journey is far from over. If the tree is free from disease and infestation, there are several ways it can be upcycled or used in your landscaping.

The following will offer a look into the life cycle of a tree and present ways to maximize their benefits, even after they have died.

My Tree Was Cut or Fell Over, How Can I Upcycle It?

Depending on the size of the tree and its branches, a fallen tree can offer several innovative ways to decorate your landscape, serve as pieces of furniture, or be made into decorative wall pieces:

  • Stumps, smaller branches, and pieces of the trunk can be used or woven into seating fixtures along a path or in front of a garden.
  • Trunks and larger branches can be cut into thick discs and in the place of stones or bricks to create pathways.
  • Slabs can be cut from trunks and combined with ecopoxy to create stunning tables or wall art.
  • Carved out sections of the trunk can be used as planters.
Fallen dead tree repurposed for planters
  • Branches and stems can be used to create trellises and fencing.
  • Cut and painted logs can become end-tables or coffee tables.
Fallen tree repurposed into table and log seats
  • Smaller branches and twigs can be woven into frames for wall pieces.

There are countless uses, and the more creative you are, the more you will be able to upcycle a fallen tree. In this video, see how resin is combined with wood.

Tree Logs for Landscaping

Tree logs and larger limbs may serve a greater purpose in your landscaping by slowing the effects of erosion by enabling you to create tiers along sloped areas. They also make incredibly effective garden barriers, or when stacked can make a raised flower bed for the garden.

When placed along cemented, paved, or block pathways, not only are they visually appealing, but they impede erosion and protect the pathway’s physical integrity.

Turning Trees Into Mulch and Fertilizer

Another use for a fallen tree in your landscaping is to have the tree chipped and turn it into mulch. Mulch is extremely valuable and beneficial when properly used around the base of trees. It will not only help the soil by retaining moisture, but also by delivering nutrients as the wood chips slowly decay.

However, note that this option is not viable when a tree falls as a result of or is removed due to disease or infestation. Otherwise, the pathogens and diseased matter get exposed to and infect your healthy trees and plants. Learn the signs and symptoms of a troubled tree here

Leave a Fallen Tree Where It Lies

When a tree falls or it’s time to be cut down, consider preserving the ecosystem and leaving it as a part of the landscape. It has the potential to serve a greater purpose than if it’s removed. Here are some benefits of allowing a fallen tree to remain:

Light – When a tree comes down, its canopy comes with it. Introducing direct sunlight to the ground that was previously shaded will spark the growth of dormant seeds and other plant life.

Leaving the tree in the area its canopy once covered will help the soil to retain moisture and provide a sort of shelter for the new budding life.

Dead fallen decaying tree in landscape

Food and Shelter – Deer and other bark eating animals will have a lasting food source, while smaller animals like rabbits and squirrels can take advantage of the shelter the tree provides.

Natural Fertilizer – Perhaps the greatest benefit of all is that as the tree decays and breaks down, it is adding natural nutrients to the soil. This benefits all of the surrounding plant life, and is “nature’s” perfect ending to the life cycle of a tree.

Nothing is wasted when left to nature. Thus, learn the life cycle and benefits of allowing Mother nature to care for her trees.

A Tree’s Life Cycle Stages and Benefits

The life cycle of a tree begins as a seedling and ends after its last remnants have decayed or been eaten. Below are a few of the benefits a tree offers during each stage of its life cycle:

Living Trees – While living, trees are able to offer support to large wildlife. Providing shelter, food, nesting sites, and locations to hunt from.

The benefits to your landscape are as follows: they shade and keep property cool, they can serve as landmarks or property line markers, they help soil remain fertile, they filter water and air to reduce soil erosion, and provide a barrier from cold winter winds.

Dying and Dead Trees – It’s common that a tree sporadically falls when not cut or removed in time (learn what to look for and when is the right time here

Often referred to as “snags”, these trees draw the attention of birds and smaller animals during their nesting periods; likewise, they provide a haven for food storage, and as nurseries for the animal’s young.

In forests and larger landscapes, “snags” will often fall into waterways. When this occurs, they help to purify the water, regulate water temperatures, delay floodwater, and even control erosion.

Dead trees fallen and decomposing in river

Decaying Trees – The moisture and nutrients retained by a decaying tree provides food for plant growth and greatly benefits the soil.

Sometimes referred to as a nurse log, a fallen tree or limb may have young trees growing from or through it. This is a result of the dead tree providing ground cover which slows erosion and keeps wildlife away from the seedlings.

The wood eventually softens, breaks down, and decomposes as wood-boring insects eat through it. Once ripe for invasion, bacteria or fungi further advance the trees’ decomposition, and it returns to the soil as part of natures perfect plan.

This video shows how fungal decomposition benefits an ecosystem.

Before Tree Removal and Hauling Away, Consider Your Alternatives

So, your tree fell or was cut down. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have it removed. Have the tree professionally evaluated, and if it poses no threat to people or structures, consider leaving it. Birds and smaller animals will thrive from the shelter and storage it provides.

If the tree has fallen or is threatening to fall, the prudent choice is to have it brought down. In this case, consider repurposing the tree or finding a location for it to quietly decompose while enriching the soil, plant life, and wildlife.

In the case of infestations or disease, the tree should indeed be removed and professionally disposed of. Repurposing these trees will only serve to further propagate the infestation or disease.

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

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

Originally published on:

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tree Preparation for Storms and Hazardous Weather

Tree fall through home during severe weather

Major late winter storms have wreaked havoc on the Northeast, while bringing more rain to the Southeast. From coastal storm surge and flooding to record setting snowfall and downed trees that have caused power outages, catastrophic property damage and loss of life.

With trees, preparation and preventative measures are key to their survival of severe weather. However, even the most well prepared landscape can suffer tree damage or loss in a major weather event.

Before the next storm strikes, the Todd’s Marietta Tree Services team outlined measures to help prevent your trees from causing catastrophic property damage (or worse) during major storms.

Tree Health, Inspection, and Diagnosis

Tree health and disease prevention begins with proper seasonal maintenance, watering, and pruning. Inspecting your trees needs to be a part of the seasonal routine. Through regular inspections, you will be able to detect problems before they have a chance to develop and compromise your tree’s health.

Whether it be dieback, holes from burrowing insects, mushrooms growing on the trunk or suckers randomly popping up, when you spot trouble, immediate action should be taken to halt the issue. Immediate action is necessary to preserve the health and integrity of your tree(s).

In situations where you are uncertain of what to look for or which actions to take, call in a professional tree service to inspect, evaluate, and explain the different courses of action that can be taken to resolve the issue(s).

Trees Too Close to Power Lines

We’ve all been through it. The rain starts, the wind blows, the storm strengthens, and the power goes out. Generally, the power goes out during a storm when a tree falls and severs a power line connection or disrupts a transformer.

If a tree is growing close enough to power lines that it is in constant contact, touches them when the wind blows, or is an overstory tree that is threatening to fall, here are some suggestions for the handling of that tree.

Tree on Your Property – If the tree is on your property and is interfering with power lines, be very cautious. Trees can become energized when in contact with power lines and cause severe injury or electrocution.

Pruning or cutting back the tree on your own is highly discouraged. Call in a reputable tree service to evaluate the situation and recommend a safe course of action.

In the event that action must be taken, in some cases the power company will be called out to cut the power supply until the tree pruning, cutting, or removal has been completed.

Your Neighbor’s Trees – If you see a neighbor’s tree that is or could interfere with power lines, notify and communicate with them on the issue. Educate your neighbor about the risks and danger that the tree(s) poses, and encourage them to contact the power company.

You are not required to get approval, so if the neighbor does not take immediate action, or the property is abandoned, contact the power company and inform them of the threatening tree(s).

Both you and the power company have an interest in preventing a tree from falling on the lines, so do not hesitate, as a broken line means an inconvenience and loss of power for your neighborhood.

Trees In an HOA Community – If you live in a community with a Home Owner’s Association, they may already have a contract with a local tree service. When you spot an interfering tree within the community, inform the HOA of the location. They will then serve notice to the property owner or take action themselves.

Public Trees – If you spot a tree that is interfering with power lines along the street or on public property, notify the power company of the location. They will dispatch a crew to resolve the issue through their right-of-way and vegetation management division.

Georgia Power’s right-of-way and vegetation management can be reached here, or by phone toll free at 1-888-660-5890 (dial option 1 for dangerous conditions)

Trees Too Close to Your House

When trees overhang a portion of your roof or have grown big enough to cause significant property damage, the following will help prevent a catastrophic tree emergency event during severe weather.

Routine Pruning and Care – The closer a tree is to your home, the more attention it should get. Make sure it is properly pruned according to the right time for its species. Inspect the tree often for signs of trouble and take action when you see something wrong.

Landscaping and Land Disturbance – If you have landscaping that requires heavy machinery, it is important to protect the roots of the tree from compacted soil.

TIP: Heavy machinery and equipment should not be allowed on the land surrounding a tree – from the trunk to the outer edge of the canopy.

Also, be aware that removing concrete slabs like those in walkways or driveways may result in your tree falling. As the roots grow beneath, the structure becomes a part of the tree’s support system. Always seek the advice of an experienced and reputable tree service when planning to cut trees, plant or redo your landscape.

Trees and the Weather

While trees are very capable of adapting to their location and responsive to the climate they grow in, severe weather will often challenge the strength and health of your trees.

Palm trees in strong wind and severe weather

Inclement weather and intense storms are primarily dangerous due to lightning, high-speed winds, and their ability to topple trees into power lines and on to structures.

It is up to property owners to ensure continuous vigilance and tree care to prevent catastrophic emergency tree events that result in severe property damage, power outages, or loss of life.

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

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

Originally published on:

Monday, February 26, 2018

Cobb and Marietta GA Tree Removal Permit Process

City of Marietta and Cobb county Ga tree removal permit process

For property owners in the City of Marietta or Cobb County Ga, the following tree removal permit information will help you better understand the city and county requirements you must meet for a tree removal permit.

City of Marietta Georgia Tree Permit

The information above is an excerpt from

PRIVATE PROPERTY – (single family dwelling) within Marietta City limits, notification of tree removal or a tree removal permits IS NOT required for the removal of trees on that property. However, here are a few things to be mindful of:

Troubled, diseased, dead or dying trees must be addressed. Failing to address these trees is considered negligence and in the event they fall, the property owner may be held fully responsible for all resulting and subsequent damage and repairs.

Should a tree (on City property) fall onto private property. The City of Marietta will only remove the section of the tree up to the property line. The remaining portion of the tree is the responsibility of the property owner, unless the tree had been previously reported as a hazard to the City’s Streets Department.

Should a tree (on private property) fall onto City property. The property owner is responsible for the portion of the tree up to the property line. The Streets Department (for public right of way) or the City’s Parks and Open Space Manager (for parks and City owned land) should be immediately notified of the fallen tree and its location.

Should a tree (on private property) fall onto adjacent private property. Each property owner is responsible for the portion of the tree on his/her property.

COMMERCIAL & MULTI-FAMILY – Within the City of Marietta, notification of tree removal and acquiring a tree removal permits IS required for commercial property, multi-family dwelling, and/or apartment building properties.

All non-emergency tree removals on commercial property and multi-family dwelling properties require authorization from the Department of Development Services.

If you wish to improve your landscape, or have a dead or dying tree needing removal, you must complete and submit a Tree Removal Permit Application form.

City staff will verify the condition of your tree and issue a decision no later than 10 days from receipt of all required documents.

Issuance of the Removal Permit

Major land work requires the completion of a Land Disturbance Activity Application. Tree removal permits are not issued until the plans have been reviewed and approved by the Department of Development Services. Find contact info for the relevant offices are listed below:

Rusty Roth
Department of Development Services
Planning & Zoning

Phone: 770-794-5670

The Cobb County Tree Removal Permit Process

The following is an excerpt from

Tree removal permit Marietta Ga Cobb county

The Cobb County Community Development Agency has and enforces its tree protection ordinance. Land disturbance activities such as residential subdivisions, commercial development, and fill/site grading (other than “minor landscaping”) require a land use site-plan review

The Community Development Agency will then evaluate the scope of a project, and advise whether a land disturbance permit is required.

*Some cases may not require a permit, but we suggest contacting the Cobb Development Agency (770) 528-2147 when unsure, or to ensure you are acting lawfully.

Site Plan Review for Your Permit – Permits are issued once site-plans have been submitted, reviewed, and approved by Cobb County.

Site Plan Review
(770) 528-2147

Your Marietta Tree Removal Service

Our Marietta tree removal service can guide you through the permitting process. We also provide emergency tree removal in the event and aftermath of a severe weather event.

In the event of a tree emergency, no permit is required, so give us a call. Our emergency tree removal team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week to all homeowners and businesses in Marietta, Georgia and throughout Cobb County.

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

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

Originally published on:

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A Tree is Growing Too Close to My House – Trim or Remove It

Large trees growing in landscape too close to house

Whether the roots are growing protruding the foundation, or the canopy is large enough to graze the house, that tree has grown too close to your home.

Depending on the species and maturity of the tree in question, there are a few distinctions and options to explore before considering tree removal as a definitive solution.

Tree Roots Grow Far from the Trunk

Understanding how tree roots grow is important to protect your home and foundation. The reach of the tree roots is usually determined by the size of the trunk. For each inch at DBH (Diameter at Breast Height – diameter measured 4.5 feet above ground), the roots extend up to a foot and a half away from the trunk. With that calculation, a six inch trunk at DBH means the roots can extend up to nine feet away from the trunk in any direction.

Tree Roots Seek Water

The life of any tree depends on its root’s ability to find a water source. The ferocity at which tree roots accomplish this depends as much on the species as it does the availability of water. A great example is an aspen tree. It’s roots are extremely invasive, and will grow out and under structures very quickly, buckling concrete and foundation walls in the process.

Trimming Tree Roots

Not so fast. Before you go slicing into a tree’s roots, call on a tree service to evaluate the situation and provide the best solution. Otherwise, cutting into large roots will leave the tree susceptible to infestation and disease, while cutting the smaller ones only delays their inevitable nature of growing back.

Invasive tree roots buckle driveway

Also note that if the roots have grown beneath your driveway or home’s foundation, that itself has become part of the tree’s structural integrity. Cutting and removing those roots may allow the tree in a future storm to topple into your home.

Trimming and Pruning Your Tree Canopy

Properly pruning and trimming your tree will help to avoid damages caused by limbs repeatedly striking or falling onto your home. Knowing your species mature size – how large your tree will become – will help you determine other steps to take – if necessary.

When determining how far away from the home to plant a tree, take the following into consideration:

For Small Trees – Trees reaching 30 feet tall or less should be planted at least 10 feet from the home and other structures.

For Medium-Sized Trees – A medium-sized tree is one that reaches a maximum height of 70 feet. These trees should never be planted closer than 15 feet to a fixed structure or home.

For Large Trees – Trees that surpass 70 feet in height should be planted at a minimum of 20 feet from a home or property.

Canopy Size Matters Too – Knowing the tree’s average canopy size at full maturity of the tree is another way to determine a safe planting distance from a home. If the canopy has an average diameter of 20 feet, it should be planted at least 10 feet (half of the canopy size) from the home to allow the tree to reach its full spread.

Tree and Tree Root Removal

Innocent missteps when attempting to cut roots or over prune a tree may lead to the decline of your tree’s health and ultimate death. This scenario often results in the tree toppling during a storm, and potentially causing severe structural damage or fatalities.

Large tree toppled onto home after root failure

INSURANCE TIP: If your tree was damaged, diseased, dying, or dead, and you knew but did nothing about it, when that tree falls and damages your property, don’t look to your insurer for help. Your neglect or disregard violates your policy, thus the tree damage is not covered, and the claim may likely be denied.

Do yourself and your tree the favor of seeking the advice of a tree service that is trained to identify tree problems and offer tree care, trimming, or removal solutions.

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

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

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