Friday, April 26, 2024

Battling Fire Blight

Are your apple or pear trees at risk of fire blight? This contagious disease can cause extensive damage, but early recognition and prompt action can prevent a full-blown outbreak. Learn the signs of fire blight and get ahead with proven management techniques to keep your fruit trees thriving.

fire blight erwinia amylovora

Key Takeaways

  • Fire blight is a highly destructive bacterial disease caused by Erwinia amylovora that affects apples, pears, and other members of the rose family. Symptoms include wilted blossoms, blackened shoots, oozing bacterial exudate, and cankers on branches and trunks.
  • Managing fire blight requires a multifaceted approach, including resistant cultivars, sanitation, pruning, and chemical and biological controls. It also relies on predictive models like Maryblyt and Cougarblight to optimize spray timing and forecast infections.
  • Regular monitoring for fire blight, understanding its disease cycle, and employing integrated disease management strategies are crucial for preventing outbreaks and ensuring the health of apple and pear trees.

Understanding Fire Blight

Fire blight, a scourge believed to be indigenous to North America, has traveled far and wide, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. It has been introduced into various locations, including:

  • Northern Europe in the 1950s through contaminated fruit containers imported from the USA
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Bermuda
  • Egypt in Africa

This infectious disease doesn’t just create unsightly apple and pear trees; it can substantially reduce their fruit production, devastating growers and consumers alike.

apple and pear trees affected by fire blight

Gaining insights into fire blight paves the way for its effective control. This disease is caused by a bacterium, Erwinia amylovora, that targets members of the rose family, primarily apple and pear trees. Under certain conditions, E. amylovora can colonize the surfaces of stigmas and nectary on flowers without immediately causing disease. Over time, this seemingly harmless colonization can develop into a full-blown infection, leading to the characteristic symptoms of fire blight, such as:

  • wilting and blackening of blossoms
  • blackening and curling of shoots
  • oozing of bacterial exudate from infected tissues
  • cankers on branches and trunks

Understanding these symptoms and the progression of the disease is crucial for effective control and prevention of fire blight.

Causes of Fire Blight

Erwinia amylovora bacterium holds a notorious reputation in plant pathology. This microscopic organism is the primary cause of fire blight, initiating its attack by colonizing the plant surfaces. Interestingly, E. amylovora is something of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It can inhabit the surfaces of stigmas and the nectary on flowers without immediately causing disease, allowing it to spread undetected.

As the environment becomes conducive, this bacterium becomes an intrusive trespasser, invading injured plant tissue to cause fire blight infections. This invasion marks the beginning of a cycle of damage that can leave apple and pear trees in a state of devastation. The challenge, therefore, lies not only in managing the infection but also in preventing its onset in the first place.

Affected Plant Species

Fire blight is no respecter of plant species. While it primarily targets apple and pear trees, it can also affect over 75 species in the rose family, including varieties of crabapple, hawthorn, and serviceberry. It’s like an unwelcome guest who doesn’t discriminate, causing havoc wherever it goes.

A thorough grasp of the species vulnerable to fire blight is indispensable for its efficient management. By knowing which trees are at risk, growers and gardeners can monitor them closely for signs of infection and take early action to prevent the spread of the disease. This proactive approach is a key part of fire blight control, helping to protect our cherished fruit trees from this destructive pathogen.

Identifying Fire Blight Symptoms

fire blight symptoms on a tree branch

Identifying fire blight symptoms can be compared to decoding a tree’s distress signal. It’s the tree’s way of telling us it’s under attack and needs help. Symptoms of fire blight include:

  • Dead branches
  • Wilted flowers
  • Discolored leaves and bark
  • Dried fruits that remain stubbornly attached to the tree
  • Symptoms on rootstocks may develop near the graft union with signs akin to stem cankers, which can quickly girdle and kill the tree.

Advanced symptoms include darkened, water-soaked bark, bark cracks, a sunken surface, bacterial ooze, and streaked discolorations in the wood. The disease can also lead to blossom and shoot dieback, the formation of branch cankers, and, in severe cases, may result in the tree’s death. By identifying these symptoms early, one can take immediate action to manage the disease and limit its spread. Call our tree service if you need assistance identifying fire blight.

Blossom Infections

Blossoms are the pride of any fruit tree, their vibrant colors and sweet scents signaling the promise of a bountiful harvest. However, they’re also a prime target for fire blight. Infected blossoms initially appear water-soaked, a subtle sign that can easily be overlooked. As the infection progresses, the blossoms wilt and eventually turn brown or black, often clinging to the tree throughout the growing season until the petal fall occurs.

sick and wilted apple blossoms

The bacteria in cankers produce an ooze that attracts insects. These unsuspecting pollinators can carry the infection to new flowers, further spreading the disease. Therefore, keeping a watchful eye on blossoms during spring can be key in early detection and monitoring of fire blight outbreaks.

Shoot and Branch Damage

Shoot blight is another telling symptom of fire blight. Infected shoots take on a water-soaked appearance, and their color changes to dark brown or black, bearing the characteristic shepherd’s crook shape. As the infection advances, these affected shoots tell a tale of the relentless attack waged by the fire-blight bacteria.

Fire blight canker on branches manifests as dark, slightly sunken areas with a narrow callus ridge, sometimes exuding a creamy bacterial ooze. These visual clues help identify fire blight, guide the necessary steps for controlling the disease, and prevent further spread.

Fruit Lesions

Fruit lesions caused by fire blight are like battle scars on immature fruits. They begin as water-soaked spots, subtle signs that can easily be missed. As the infection develops, these lesions darken, turning from brown to black. A keen observer may even notice bacterial ooze emanating from these lesions, a clear sign of the ongoing battle against the disease.

Eventually, the affected fruits succumb to the disease, shriveling as a result of the fire blight infection. These shriveled fruits are a stark reminder of the damage fire blight can cause. But with early detection and appropriate management strategies, we can help our fruit trees win the battle against this formidable foe.

Fire Blight Disease Cycle

Comprehending the enemy is tantamount to winning half the battle, and in our struggle against fire blight, familiarity with its disease cycle is indispensable. The fire blight disease cycle begins with the bacterium overwintering in cankers. As temperatures rise in spring, the bacteria awaken from their dormant state, ready to launch their attack.

In warm spring temperatures, the bacteria multiply and produce a bacterial ooze, a sweet, gummy exudate. Once the bacteria have established themselves in a tree, they stage their next attack, progressing from new growth into older plant tissues and setting the stage for secondary infections. The bacteria spread through the tree’s vascular system and are disseminated by insects and rain to blossoms and wounds, where they can initiate new infections.

This knowledge empowers us in our fight against fire blight, helping us predict and manage infections effectively.

Overwintering and Initial Infection

With its chilling temperatures, winter may seem like a time of rest for many organisms. However, the fire blight bacteria overwinters in cankers, merely biding their time. Erwinia amylovora survives the cold months in a dormant state within the living tissue at the edges of cankers on branches and trunks of trees.

With the arrival of spring, as the environment warms up to around 65°F (18°C) and conditions become moist, the bacteria awaken. They become active and multiply, producing a clear to amber ooze that emerges from the cankers. Wind, rain, and insects can scatter this ooze, leading to the spread of the bacteria and the initiation of new infections.

Spread Through Pollinating Insects and Rain

From the cankers where the bacteria have overwintered, the fire blight bacteria are ready to journey to new hosts. Their travel agents? Pollinating insects and rain. Pollinating insects, particularly honey bees, unwittingly carry the bacteria to new flowers during their activity. Wind-blown and splashed rain also act as carriers, facilitating the spread of fire blight bacteria from old cankers to uninfected flowers.

honey bee spreading fire blight disease

These unsuspecting agents play crucial roles in propagating fire blight, leading to new infections across apple and pear orchards. This is a reminder that even the most benign activities, such as the buzzing of bees or the patter of rain, can have unexpected consequences in the spread of fire blight.

Secondary Infections

Secondary infections are a grim reality in the life cycle of fire blight. After the initial infection, the bacteria can enter wounds caused by insects, environmental factors, or pruning, leading to a second wave of infection. These wounds can be inflicted by insect feeding, particularly from species with piercing mouthparts like aphids and leafhoppers, environmental factors such as strong winds and hail, and pruning activities.

The bacteria enter through these wounds and can lead directly to various forms of blight, including:

  • shoot blight where the pathogen infects one- and two-year-old plant tissues
  • blossom blight, where the pathogen infects flowers and causes them to turn brown and die
  • canker blight, where the pathogen infects branches and causes sunken, discolored lesions

Secondary infections serve as a stark reminder of the persistence of fire blight and the importance of swift and effective management strategies.

Managing Fire Blight

Having familiarized ourselves with the foe and its strategies, let’s now discuss our plan of action. Managing fire blight is a multifaceted approach involving the following strategies:

  • Resistant cultivars
  • Sanitation
  • Pruning
  • Chemical and biological control methods

These strategies can help us combat fire blight and ensure the health and productivity of our apple and pear trees.

During the dormant season, pruning out fire blight cankers and blighted twigs helps remove the bacteria from the orchard. Summer pruning should minimize handling of blighted shoots and ensure cuts are made 20-30 cm below visible cankers, using sanitized tools to prevent the spread of the pathogen. Chemicals such as streptomycin or copper are important for suppressing trauma blight and should be applied immediately after damage from events like hailstorms.

Undoubtedly, a holistic, comprehensive strategy is vital for effective fire blight management.

Resistant Cultivars

Sometimes, the best defense is a good offense, and in the case of fire blight, resistant cultivars are our offense. Selecting apple cultivars that are resistant to fire blight is a crucial strategy for minimizing damage from the disease. For instance, Red and Golden Delicious are two apple cultivars that offer moderate resistance to fire blight.

These resistant cultivars are like warriors, standing tall against the onslaught of fire blight. By including them in our orchards, we add a powerful weapon to our arsenal in the fight against this destructive disease. This goes to show that the right choice of cultivars can be a game-changer in managing fire blight and enhancing fire blight resistance.

Sanitation and Pruning

While resistant cultivars are our offense, sanitation, and pruning are our defense. Timely pruning during the summer can significantly lessen the rate of tree deaths caused by fire blight. Studies across various states have shown that all tested pruning strategies led to reduced tree mortality from fire blight. Pruning apple trees 12 to 18 inches below the visible signs of fire blight generally reduces the chances of canker re-formation and further symptom development. Aggressive cutting at 2.5 feet below the visible symptoms did not demonstrate a significant advantage over standard pruning practices.

farmer pruning his apple tree

In the battle against fire blight, sanitation, and pruning are like the shields that protect our trees from the disease’s onslaught. Removing infected branches with proper pruning tools and maintaining good orchard hygiene can prevent the spread of fire blight and keep our trees healthy and productive.

Chemical and Biological Control

Chemical treatments and biological control methods are additional tools in our fire blight management toolkit. Streptomycin is effective during bloom to protect flowers from fire blight infection but must be used properly to avoid bacterial resistance. The timing of streptomycin sprays is crucial since the antibiotic is only effective for three days post-application, making it a critical component in the management program for fire blight. Predictive models for fire blight, like Maryblyt and Cougarblight, utilize orchard weather data to forecast potential infection periods and optimize the timing of antibiotic sprays.

These chemical and biological control methods provide another layer of protection against fire blight. By integrating these methods into our management strategies, we can effectively control fire blight, ensuring the health and longevity of our beloved apple and pear trees.

Monitoring and Predicting Fire Blight Outbreaks

Armed with knowledge, we can stay a step ahead in our fight against fire blight by:

  • Monitoring and forecasting outbreaks
  • Keeping an eye on temperature and rainfall trends
  • Incorporating integrated disease management strategies
  • Anticipating potential outbreaks
  • Putting measures in place to mitigate their impact

Warm weather, rain, and blossom wetness are critical climatic conditions used to predict the likelihood of fire blight floral infection. Models like Maryblyt or Cougarblight are essential for predicting fire blight outbreaks by monitoring weather factors such as temperature and rainfall in the orchard. Temperature-based models are used to predict the time to symptom expression following an infection event. This information is crucial in planning our response, allowing us to act swiftly and decisively at the first sign of an outbreak.

Temperature and Rainfall Models

Temperature and rainfall models play a pivotal role in predicting fire blight outbreaks. Conditions that favor fire blight infection include:

  • Temperatures above 65°F
  • Rain
  • Heavy dews
  • High humidity

Even in regions like Minnesota, where cooler temperatures during the bloom period lead to less common blossom infections, temperature plays a critical role in the prevalence of the disease.

Weather monitoring models such as Maryblyt and Cougarblight use temperature and rainfall data to predict potential fire blight infection periods. These models serve as our crystal ball, helping us foresee potential outbreaks and take early action to prevent them. By leveraging modern technology, we can stay one step ahead of fire blight.

Integrated Disease Management

Integrated disease management is a comprehensive approach that combines multiple methods to tackle fire blight. This approach includes:

  • Resistant cultivars
  • Cultural practices
  • Chemical control
  • Biological control

By using a combination of these methods, you can reduce reliance on any single method and provide a robust defense against the disease. Additionally, sanitation measures, such as removing and destroying diseased plant material, are critical to prevent the spread of fire blight.

farmer in tractor sprays apple tree orchard with fire blight pesticides

Biological control agents, such as antagonistic bacteria, provide a natural way to combat fire blight. Other methods to minimize the risk of disease include:

  • Planting fire blight-resistant cultivars
  • Using chemical treatments, including antibiotics and copper compounds, as part of an integrated strategy
  • Implementing monitoring systems for timely application and disease prediction

By using a combination of all these methods, we can create a powerful defense against fire blight and ensure the health and productivity of our orchards.

Case Study and Success Story

Implementing integrated disease management programs and carefully selecting cultivars showcase the power of proactive and comprehensive approaches to disease management. Let’s delve into a story to gain insights into how one strategy has helped a farm plan, recover, and remain resilient.

Pear Farm Resilience

Resilience is key in pear farming. Recently, some pear farms have shown remarkable resilience in the face of fire blight. The common thread in how they achieve high resistance to the disease is the careful selection of less susceptible cultivars and robust, proactive monitoring.

For instance, the Asian pear variety Korean Giant has shown high resilience by recovering with new foliage after losing leaves due to a fungal disease exacerbated by excessive rain. Korean Giant pear trees have demonstrated resistance to fire blight, experiencing minimal infections even during conditions favorable for the disease. This story of resilience is a great example of how cultivar selection and diligent monitoring can help maintain high resistance to fire blight.

Summary of Fire Blight

Fire blight poses a significant threat to apple and pear trees, but armed with the proper knowledge and strategies, we can effectively manage this disease. From understanding the origins and causes of fire blight to recognizing its symptoms and learning about its disease cycle, we have delved into the intricacies of this bacterial disease. We’ve learned about various management strategies, including the use of resistant cultivars, sanitation and pruning, and chemical and biological control methods. We’ve explored how temperature and rainfall models can help predict fire blight outbreaks and how integrated disease management provides a comprehensive approach to disease control. Most importantly, we’ve seen real-world examples of successful fire blight management, reminding us that we can protect our cherished apple and pear trees from this destructive disease with determination and the right strategies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is fire blight?

Fire blight is a bacterial disease that primarily affects apple and pear trees, causing significant damage to fruit production and tree health.

How can I identify fire blight symptoms?

You can identify fire blight symptoms by looking for dead branches, wilted flowers, discolored leaves and bark, and dried fruits. The disease can also cause blossom and shoot dieback, branch cankers, and, in severe cases, the tree’s death.

What causes fire blight?

Fire blight is caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora, which colonizes flowers and plant surfaces before infecting wounded plant tissue.

How can I manage fire blight?

To manage fire blight, you should focus on selecting resistant cultivars, practicing sanitation and pruning, and utilizing chemical and biological control methods. These measures can help control the disease effectively.

Can I predict fire blight outbreaks?

Yes, you can predict fire blight outbreaks by using temperature and rainfall models, along with integrated disease management strategies.

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

Marietta, GA
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on:

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Tree Transplanting

Are you facing the task of tree transplanting? Our guide will get straight to what you need to know. We’ll cover every key aspect, from the best timing and methods to vital post-transplant care, to help your tree flourish in its new setting. Avoid common pitfalls and ensure your tree’s success with expert advice tailored for any species—be it a delicate sapling or a towering oak.

tree transplanting

Key Transplanting Takeaways

  • Tree transplantation is a complex process undertaken for reasons ranging from urban development pressures to landscape beautification and preservation of legacy trees, requiring careful planning and execution.
  • Successful tree relocation hinges on several critical steps: root pruning, selecting an appropriate new site with the right soil quality and drainage, and timing the move to coincide with the tree’s dormant period.
  • Post-transplant care is essential for tree survival, which includes implementing a deep, regular watering schedule, using mulch to regulate moisture and temperature, and monitoring the tree’s health while minimally pruning until fully established.

Understanding Tree Transplantation

Transplanting trees is an art form as much as it is a science, performed with the grace and precision of a ballet dancer. Whether it’s to save established trees from the relentless march of urban development or to instantly bestow a landscape with a mature tree, learning how to transplant a tree plays a pivotal role in preserving our leafy heritage.

Reasons for Transplanting

Imagine a venerable tree, a silent witness to centuries of history, now at risk of succumbing to the demands of urban expansion. Here, the imperative to transplant trees takes a profound turn from practicality to preservation. With their environmental and historical significance, legacy trees are often given a new lease on life in spaces where they can continue to flourish and inspire awe for generations to come.

Yet, even beyond preservation, the aesthetic enhancement and resolution of landscaping dilemmas, such as overcrowding or disease, can necessitate this arboreal voyage for most trees once a tree planted faces these challenges.

Factors to Consider

The decision to relocate a tree isn’t taken lightly. Several elements must align for the transplantation to be successful. The tree’s size, age, species, health, and root system all play starring roles in this grand production.

Smaller trees, with their more manageable stature, often fare better in the transplanting limelight, while their larger counterparts require a more nuanced approach. And just as an ailing dancer struggles to perform, a sick or damaged tree is less likely to endure the stress of this significant transition.

Pre-Transplant Preparation

tree root pruning process

Before tree planting ensues, a series of preparatory acts must be performed to set the stage for a successful transition. Root pruning, site selection, and timing are the three pillars of pre-transplant preparation, each a careful step to ensure the tree’s survival and adaptation to its new environment.

Root Pruning

Root pruning is akin to a strategic rehearsal, ensuring the tree is ready for the big move. This crucial step involves trimming the tree roots to stimulate the growth of new feeder roots, which is essential for re-establishing in a new locale. Determining the size of the root ball is a dance of precision, with a trench dug around the marked area to encourage new growth of plant roots.

Once the roots are pruned, they are swaddled in burlap, much like a prima ballerina in her costume, ready to be transported with care and grace.

Site Selection

The stage for the tree’s new act must be chosen with a director’s eye. Here are some factors to consider when selecting the tree’s new location:

  • Soil quality: The soil should be of good quality to ensure the tree can access water and nutrients.
  • Drainage: The area should have good drainage to prevent waterlogging.
  • Sunlight: The tree should be placed in an area that receives adequate sunlight for its growth.
  • Distance from structures and utilities: The tree should be planted at a safe distance from buildings, power lines, and other structures.

Soil texture, the presence of compacted soil, and poorly drained soil are critical elements to consider during the site selection process. These factors can affect the tree’s ability to access water and nutrients and impede root growth.

Additionally, the chosen site must accommodate the full expanse of the mature trees’ eventual growth, ensuring a long and healthy life.


As with any performance, timing is everything. Transplanting during a tree’s dormant period minimizes stress and maximizes chances for success. The specific timing within this period varies by species, with evergreens preferring the early fall and deciduous trees taking their places in early spring or late fall.

Root pruning should also be timed with the seasons, ensuring the tree is as prepared as possible for the impending relocation.

Transplantation Techniques

When the moment arrives to move the tree to its new home, techniques must be tailored to the tree’s size and species. Transplantation is a delicate operation, whether for the humblest of shrubs or the grandest of oaks.

Small Trees and Shrubs

Small trees and shrubs take center stage with a more intimate set of requirements. Keeping the soil ball moist is the equivalent of a final dress rehearsal before the show. The root ball, wrapped carefully in burlap, is then transported to the new planting hole, prepared with loose soil to welcome the tree with open arms. Maintaining the soil ball’s moisture level is essential to keep the roots moist.

Large Trees

large tree being transplanted with tree spade equipment

For the larger trees in the ensemble, specialized machinery and the expertise of certified arborists come into play. Tree spades and cranes may be called upon to ensure the tree’s roots and canopy are transported with the care they deserve. The root ball’s protection is paramount, often requiring burlap wraps or crates to secure its passage.

As with any grand performance, support in the form of cabling and bracing may be necessary to help the tree stand tall in its new role and ensure the tree trunk, with its trunk diameter, remains solid and stable.

Post-Transplant Care

The final act of the transplantation saga is post-transplant care. Attention to detail can mean the difference between a standing ovation and a tragic curtain fall in this crucial period.


Watering the newly transplanted tree is akin to ensuring the star of the show is well-hydrated before stepping onto the stage. Deep, regular watering schedules are the lifelines that sustain the tree as it acclimates to its new setting. Much like a moat around a castle, a water reservoir ensures that the tree’s root zone is well provided for and the amount of water is adjusted to meet the specific site’s needs.


Mulch serves as the protective cloak for the transplanted tree, conserving moisture, moderating temperature fluctuations, and keeping the weeds at bay. The application of mulch not only maximizes the tree’s ability to thrive but also ensures the stage is set for optimal growth and health.

Monitoring and Maintenance

Vigilant monitoring and maintenance are the encore performances that ensure the tree’s longevity. Pruning is reserved only for necessary touch-ups, while the broader strokes of structural pruning wait until the tree has had time to establish itself.

Adjusting watering to the tree’s needs and avoiding early fertilization allow it to focus on strengthening its roots in the new environment.

Special Considerations for Palm Trees

Palm trees, with their swaying fronds and tropical allure, have a unique set of requirements when it comes to transplantation. The consideration for their root ball size and the need for structural support set them apart from their deciduous and coniferous counterparts.

Root Ball Size

Unlike the sprawling root systems of other trees, palms maintain a more compact network of roots, allowing for a smaller root ball during transplantation. This distinctive characteristic stems from their root-initiation zone, a critical factor that must be assessed before a palm is chosen for relocation.

Bracing and Support

To prevent the elegant palm from becoming a casualty of strong winds, bracing and support are employed post-transplant. This precaution ensures that the palm remains upright and stable as it settles into its new home, with the supports removed only after the tree is fully established.

Hiring a Certified Arborist

When embarking on the journey of transplanting a tree, the guidance of a certified arborist can be the compass that leads to a successful relocation. Their expertise is invaluable in navigating the complexities of tree transplantation, ensuring that each step from preparation to post-care is carried out with precision and care.

arborist tree transplanting

Tree Transplanting Summary

In conclusion, tree transplantation is a complex but rewarding process that requires careful planning and execution. By following the expert advice in this guide, you can ensure the success of your tree’s relocation and help it thrive in its new environment. Remember to consider factors such as timing, root pruning, and post-transplant care to give your tree the best chance of flourishing. With proper care and attention, your transplanted tree can continue to grow and beautify its surroundings for years to come.

Transplanting Frequently Asked Questions

These are the most common tree transplanting questions our tree service in Marietta receives:

How are trees planted?

To plant a tree, dig a shallow, broad planting hole, remove any cover around the root ball, place the tree at the proper height, straighten it in the hole, and fill it gently but firmly. This helps to ensure healthy root growth and stability for the tree.

How long does it take a transplanted tree to recover?

Transplanted trees can take up to 3 years to fully recover from shock, so patience is key when caring for them. Treating the tree well during this period is important to help it establish itself.

How do you transplant a tree without killing it?

To transplant a tree without killing it, dig and move the tree with a ball of soil adhering to its roots, ensuring the soil is moist to improve its chances of survival.

How big of a tree can you transplant?

You can successfully transplant trees with a trunk diameter of 10 inches or less and a height of 20-25 feet. Transplanting larger trees can be more complex and risky.

What time of year should you transplant trees?

The best times to transplant deciduous trees are early spring before growth begins and fall after leaf drop. Evergreens are best transplanted in early spring and late summer.

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

Marietta, GA
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on:

Monday, December 4, 2023

Do Tree Removal Companies Need to Be Licensed?

If you need a tree removed from your property, before you pick up the phone to call the first tree removal service you find online, consider the risks involved in hiring an unlicensed company. In this blog post, we’ll discuss why hiring a licensed and insured tree removal service is crucial and answer the question: do tree removal companies need to be licensed? We’ll also cover the certifications and accreditations that demonstrate a company’s expertise and the potential dangers of hiring unlicensed services. Let’s ensure your tree removal experience is safe and hassle-free.

tree removal service with a contractor's license

Key Tree Company Licensing Takeaways

  • Tree removal companies must be business-licensed and insured in order to protect customers from potential legal liability issues.
  • Professional certifications and accreditations are indicators of a tree removal company’s commitment to safety standards.
  • Careful evaluation is essential when hiring a reputable tree removal company and verifying licenses, insurance coverage, certifications, and other qualifications for quality service.

Licensing Requirements for Tree Removal Services

Licensing requirements for tree removal services vary by state and local regulations but generally include obtaining an occupational license and registering with relevant state departments. Tree removal companies with proper licenses can confidently assure customers of their ability to perform tree service and removal tasks safely and efficiently. After all, you wouldn’t want an inexperienced or unqualified individual wielding a chainsaw near your home, would you?

Not only do licensing requirements ensure that tree removal companies have the necessary skills and knowledge, but they also protect customers from potential legal liability issues. Penalties can be imposed on tree services operating without a license, which may ultimately affect the homeowner. Hiring a service with the necessary licensing and registration is vital for a smooth tree removal process.

State and Local Regulations

State and local regulations mandate specific licenses and permits for reliable tree services to operate lawfully. For instance, in California, applicants must demonstrate at least four years of journeyman-level experience and pass the relevant examinations to obtain a tree service license. In New York City, a Tree Work Permit is required for tree removal companies performing work on or within 50 feet of a tree under City jurisdiction. These regulations ensure tree removal companies adhere to safety guidelines and provide quality service.

However, regulations can differ between rural and urban areas within the same state. In some urban areas, a permit may be necessary for tree removal on private property, especially if the tree is designated as a ‘heritage tree’ or meets specific criteria. Regulations may be more lenient in rural areas, and permits may not be needed for tree removal. It is advisable to consult with your local city or county government to understand the specific regulations in your area.

Occupational Licenses and Registrations

In addition to state and local regulations, tree removal services must obtain occupational licenses and registrations to comply with local laws and regulations. The requirements for tree removal services vary from state to state. For example, in New Jersey, all companies performing tree work must have at least one employee with a valid license. In Texas, individuals must pass the TDA general laws and regulations and ornamental and turf pest control exams, as well as submit an application along with a fee.

Obtaining these licenses and registrations demonstrates that tree removal companies are committed to providing quality service while adhering to proper tree removal guidelines. Verifying the contractor’s status with the state license board is a necessary step. This gives you confidence that the tree removal service you engage in operates within the law and is qualified to perform the job safely and efficiently.

Professional Certifications and Accreditations

certification of arborist that performs tree care services

In addition to licensing requirements, professional certifications and accreditations, such as ISA Certified Arborist and TCIA Accreditation, demonstrate a tree removal company’s expertise and commitment to industry standards. These certifications and accreditations validate the company’s knowledge and skills and signify their adherence to safety guidelines and best practices in the tree care industry.

Hiring a certified tree removal company with professional certifications and accreditations indicates their safety and quality service prioritization. After all, when it comes to tree removal, you want to trust that the professionals handling the job are well-equipped to perform the task.

ISA Certified Arborist

An ISA Certified Arborist is a highly trained professional who has acquired the necessary knowledge and training in tree safety, aerial rescue, and electrical hazards. To become an ISA Certified Arborist, individuals must:

  • Satisfy a minimum of three years of arboriculture experience
  • Complete the application process
  • Pass the certification examination
  • Abide by the ISA Code of Ethics

Continuing education units (CEUs) or retaking the exam are also necessary to sustain certification.

A tree removal company with ISA Certified Arborists on staff assures you of their skill set, knowledge, and capability to address your tree removal needs. Their expertise includes:

  • Tree biology
  • Identification and selection
  • Soil management
  • Pruning and trimming techniques
  • Disease and pest control

This ensures that they can provide the best possible care for your trees. Search this website to find an ISA certified arborist.

Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) Accreditation

TCIA Accreditation is another indicator that a tree removal company follows industry best practices and safety standards. To achieve TCIA Accreditation, companies must:

  • Comply with the TCIA code of ethics
  • Practice optimal business practices
  • Utilize qualified personnel
  • Abide by tree care industry standards

The Tree Care Industry Association accreditation requires renewal every three years to ensure ongoing compliance with industry standards.

Engaging tree care companies with TCIA Accreditation assures you of their commitment to stringent safety guidelines and dedication to delivering quality service. Their commitment to upholding industry standards ensures that your tree removal experience will be both safe and efficient.

Insurance Considerations for Tree Removal Companies

worker's compensation insurance policy protecting a tree removal company

Insurance considerations for tree removal companies play a crucial role in protecting both the company and the customer. Tree removal companies should consider obtaining liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance, as these types of coverage offer financial protection in the event of accidents, property damage, or injuries during the tree removal process.

Ensuring a tree removal company has adequate insurance coverage is a proactive measure to protect yourself from potential legal liabilities and financial losses. Furthermore, having adequate insurance demonstrates the company’s commitment to professionalism and responsibility, giving you peace of mind during the tree removal process.

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance is a crucial aspect of a tree removal company’s overall coverage. It covers property damage and injuries sustained during the tree removal process, thereby reducing the financial burden on the company. Moreover, having liability insurance can help build trust with clients and demonstrate the company’s commitment to professionalism and responsibility.

To verify the insurance coverage of a tree removal service, it is recommended to contact the insurance company directly and request a Certificate of Insurance (COI). This document provides proof of the company’s insurance coverage and ensures that you, as a customer, are protected in the event of any accidents or damages during the tree removal process.

Worker’s Compensation Insurance

Worker’s compensation insurance is another vital component of a tree removal company’s coverage. It provides coverage for job-related illnesses or injuries that arborists or tree-trimming workers may experience, including medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages for injured employees. This insurance protects the tree removal company from liability in case of accidents or damages and safeguards the customer by offering coverage for medical expenses and lost wages should an employee sustain an injury or illness in the workplace.

In the event of a work-related accident on your property, having workman’s compensation insurance ensures that you, as the property owner, are not held liable for any injuries and expenses. Engaging a tree removal company with worker’s compensation insurance ensures protection for workers and your interests.

Evaluating Reputable Tree Removal Companies

reputable tree removal company verifying license and insurance information

When evaluating reputable tree removal companies, there are several factors to consider. These include verifying license and insurance information and checking for certifications and accreditations. Ensuring that a tree removal service has the proper qualifications, certifications, and insurance coverage demonstrates their commitment to professionalism and safety and protects you as a customer from potential legal liability issues.

Investing time in evaluating tree removal companies before hiring allows you to make an informed choice, selecting a company committed to quality service, proper tree removal guidelines, and safety standards.

Verifying License and Insurance Information

In states that require licensing, before hiring a tree removal company, it’s crucial to verify their license and insurance information before hiring a tree removal company. A company’s license ensures that they are operating legally and possesses the necessary qualifications to perform tree removal safely and efficiently. You can verify the contractor’s status by contacting the tree care company’s state license board, ensuring they are properly licensed and registered.

In addition, it’s important to verify a company’s insurance coverage by calling the insurance company listed on their certificate of insurance and confirming its validity and coverage. Requesting a Certificate of Insurance (COI) from the company can provide proof of their insurance coverage and ensure that you are protected in the event of any accidents or damages during the tree removal process.

Checking for Certifications and Accreditations

Checking for certifications and accreditations can help you identify tree removal companies that adhere to industry best practices and safety standards. ISA Certification and TCIA Accreditation are the most recognized certifications and accreditations for tree removal services. These credentials demonstrate that a tree removal service has met specific standards and has the expertise required to carry out tree removal safely and efficiently.

To verify ISA Certified Arborist credentials, you can utilize the “Verify a Credential” tool available on the ISA website. For TCIA Accreditation, you can visit the TCIA website and explore their accreditation program. By hiring a tree removal company with professional certifications and accreditations, you can have confidence in their commitment to safety and adherence to industry standards.

The Dangers of Hiring Unlicensed Tree Removal Services

property damaged by an unlicensed tree removal service

Hiring unlicensed tree removal services can expose you to various risks and dangers. Unlicensed services may lack the necessary training and expertise to safely remove trees, which can result in potential property damage and legal liability issues. Hiring a licensed and insured tree removal company is essential to avoid these potential risks and ensure your tree removal experience is safe and hassle-free.

Understanding the risks associated with hiring unlicensed tree removal services aids you in making informed decisions, thus protecting yourself from potential property damage and legal liabilities.

Potential Property Damage

Unlicensed tree removal services may cause property damage due to their lack of training and adherence to safety standards. Such damages can include:

  • Physical damage to structures
  • Damage to landscaping
  • Utility line damage
  • Property devaluation
  • Liability for injuries

Additionally, unlicensed tree removal services are often found to be in breach of safety standards, which can result in further potential property damage.

Engaging licensed professionals with the necessary knowledge and expertise for tree removal is a prudent step to avoid the risk of property damage caused by unlicensed services.

Legal Liability Issues

Hiring unlicensed tree removal services can result in legal liability issues for customers, as they may be held responsible for damages or injuries that occur during the tree removal process. For example, if an unlicensed worker sustains an injury while carrying out tree removal on your property, you may be held responsible for their injuries. Furthermore, unlicensed tree care service providers may be subject to criminal prosecution for operating without a license.

To avoid potential legal liability, it is advised that property owners:

  • Hire licensed and insured tree removal companies
  • Ensure that the companies adhere to safety guidelines
  • Verify that the companies have the proper qualifications to safely remove trees.

The Tree Removal Process and Safety Standards

The tree removal process involves a thorough tree assessment and planning and adherence to safety guidelines. These steps ensure the tree removal process is carried out safely and efficiently, minimizing potential risks and damages. By understanding the importance of the tree removal process and safety standards, you can ensure that the tree removal company you hire prioritizes safety and adheres to industry best practices.

tree removal process following safety guidelines

Engaging a tree removal company that adheres to safety guidelines and employs certified professionals gives you peace of mind, as you can be confident of a safe and efficient job execution.

Tree Assessment and Planning

Tree assessment and planning are essential steps in the tree removal process to ensure safety and efficiency. A professional tree assessment for removal typically involves the following:

  • A visual inspection of the tree’s health and condition
  • A risk assessment to evaluate any potential hazards
  • Diagnostic testing, if necessary
  • Documentation of the findings
  • Recommendations for removal or alternative solutions

By conducting a thorough tree assessment and planning, tree removal professionals can identify potential hazards and develop appropriate strategies to remove the tree safely. This minimizes risks and ensures that the tree removal process is carried out effectively and responsibly.

Adherence to Safety Guidelines

Adherence to safety guidelines, such as those set forth by the ANSI, helps protect both tree removal workers and customers from potential hazards during the tree removal process. The ANSI Z133 Safety Standard outlines the safety standards for tree removal, providing guidelines for safe tree care operations.

Adherence to these safety guidelines by tree removal professionals helps minimize potential hazards during operations, ensuring the safety of both workers and customers. Hiring a tree removal company that follows these safety guidelines gives you peace of mind and confidence in their ability to perform the job.


In conclusion, when it comes to tree removal, it’s essential to hire a licensed, insured, and certified tree removal company that follows safety guidelines and industry best practices. Doing so can protect yourself from potential property damage and legal liability issues while ensuring the tree removal process is carried out safely and efficiently. Remember, when it comes to tree removal, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are tree trimmers required to be licensed in California?

In California, tree trimmers must obtain a C-61 Limited Specialty License to perform tree maintenance and removal services.

Do tree trimmers need to be licensed in Texas?

There is no state licensing board for arborists in Texas, so tree trimmers do not need to be licensed. Be aware of people claiming to be a “Texas licensed arborists” and verify their ISA credentials.

Does Florida require a license for tree removal?

Florida does not require a license for tree removal, meaning anyone can cut down a tree on their property as long as it is not regulated. However, it should be noted that tree removal is a very precise and dangerous process if not handled properly.

How to start a tree-cutting business?

To start a tree-cutting business, become a certified arborist, write a business plan, get financing, register your business, purchase insurance, choose a name & design a logo, and price your services for profit. Set up small business accounting to ensure success.

What are the benefits of hiring an ISA Certified Arborist?

Hiring an ISA Certified Arborist assures that they have received expert training and possess the skills and knowledge necessary to provide superior tree care.

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

Marietta, GA
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on:

Friday, September 29, 2023

How to Find and Hire a Good Tree Removal Service

Have you ever encountered a tree on your property that needs to be removed? Entrusting this task to an inexperienced or unqualified company can lead to disastrous results. Finding a reliable and professional tree removal service is crucial to ensure your property’s safety and your trees’ health. This blog post will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to find a good tree removal service for a safe and trustworthy experience.

tree service company removing a tree from a yard

By following these tips, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the tree removal industry and make an informed decision when hiring a tree service. From assessing your tree removal needs to reviewing contracts and payment terms, this guide will cover all essential aspects to guarantee a seamless process.

Tree Service Takeaways

  • Assess tree removal needs prior to calling and engaging a professional service.
  • Understand if your project calls for an arborist versus an experienced tree removal service.
  • Research local companies and gather recommendations from trusted sources and online reviews before making a selection.
  • Verify credentials, confirm insurance/licensing, evaluate equipment/safety measures & investigate company history for track record and successful project completion.

Assess Your Tree Removal Needs

Begin by assessing your tree removal needs before reaching out to potential services. Formulating a plan allows you to pinpoint any specific issues your tree may face, such as disease or storm damage. A clear understanding of your tree’s needs enables effective communication with prospective service providers, ensuring they comprehend the project’s scope and preventing misunderstandings.

Engaging a professional tree service decreases the risks of injury and property damage. By having a clear plan and understanding the tree’s issues, you can better communicate your objectives to the service provider when starting a removal or tree-trimming project. This will save you time and help you confidently choose the right tree service for your needs.

Research Local Tree Service Companies

With your tree removal needs defined, start exploring local tree service companies. Here are some steps to help you in your search:

  1. Read online reviews to gauge the company’s reputation and professionalism.
  2. Consult the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to check for complaints or negative reviews against the company.
  3. Investigate memberships in industry organizations like the Tree Care Industry Association to ensure the company meets industry standards.

These steps will help you narrow down your options and find a reliable tree service company.

researching local tree service companies

Address tree health issues promptly, as a dying tree and dead limbs pose a significant safety risk. By inquiring into various questions, including:

  • Do they have workers’ compensation insurance?
  • Are they licensed and insured?
  • How long have they been in business?
  • Can they provide references?
  • What equipment do they use?
  • What is their process for tree removal?

You can gather the necessary data to make an informed decision when hiring a tree removal service. Don’t underestimate the benefits of hiring a reputable arborist or tree service, as tree trimming and removal projects are typically too large and hazardous for DIY attempts.

Gather Recommendations from Trusted Sources

Garnering recommendations from trusted sources is another vital step in securing a reliable tree company, such as neighbors, friends, and even your insurance company. These individuals may have firsthand experience with tree removal services and can provide valuable insights into the companies they have used in the past.

neighbor telling how to find a good tree removal service

By obtaining recommendations from reliable sources, you increase your chances of finding dependable and experienced tree removal services. This will save you time and effort in the long run, ensuring your tree removal project is completed safely and efficiently.

Request Multiple Estimates

Having researched local companies and obtained recommendations, solicit multiple estimates from various tree services. This will allow you to compare prices, services offered, and overall professionalism among most tree removal companies. Be cautious when selecting a company based solely on cost, as this may not always guarantee the best results.

When obtaining estimates, look for companies willing to visit your home to assess your trees’ needs, respond promptly to your queries, and provide guidance on subsequent steps, if necessary. Ask them about their experience working with the company. Curious questions can include: was the yard clean after they finished their job? How long did the job take to complete, and any other relevant inquiries regarding your situation.

Verify Credentials and Certifications

Ensure the credentials and certifications of a tree removal service before hiring, such as the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certification or the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) accreditation. These certifications demonstrate the company’s commitment to industry best practices and a high level of professionalism.

Certified Arborists

Certified arborists are tree experts trained to provide proper tree care and adhere to a specific code of ethics. The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) is an organization that certifies arborists and provides educational resources and a code of ethics for them to follow. It is common for tree removal companies to employ at least one ISA Certified Arborist, ensuring that the service can provide the highest quality of tree care while adhering to a stringent code of ethics.

hiring tree service arborist

A certified arborist on the team indicates the company’s commitment to quality tree care, including tree biology, identification, and maintenance. This expertise can be invaluable in diagnosing and treating tree health issues, ultimately ensuring the safety of your property and the well-being of your trees.

Industry Organizations

Industry organizations, such as the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) and the American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA), play a vital role in ensuring that tree service companies stay up-to-date with best practices and safety standards. These organizations provide resources and training for tree service professionals, helping them maintain a high level of expertise and professionalism in their work.

By choosing a tree service company that is a member of industry organizations like TCIA and ASCA, you can be confident that the company is committed to maintaining the highest standards in tree care and safety. This not only provides peace of mind but also ensures that your tree removal project will be completed with minimal damage to your property and the environment.

Best Practices for Tree Services

Best practices for tree care include:

  • Proper techniques of pruning, fertilizing, and mulching
  • These practices help maintain the health and structure of the tree while reducing the risk of damage from storms and other potential hazards
  • Fertilizing can promote strong growth and may help prevent diseases
  • Mulching can help maintain soil moisture levels, suppress weed growth, and improve soil structure

In addition to proper tree care techniques, safety measures are essential when removing a tree. This includes:

  • Wearing protective gear like a hard hat, safety glasses, gloves, and steel-toed boots
  • Using appropriate equipment such as chainsaws, ladders, and cranes
  • Adhering to ethical business practices like providing accurate estimates and honoring warranties.

Confirm Insurance and Licensing

Confirm the insurance and licensing of a tree removal company before hiring tree services. This protects you from potential injury or property damage claims and ensures the company operates legally. A reputable tree removal company should possess general and professional liability insurance, worker’s compensation insurance, and, in some states, a bond.

To verify the company’s insurance and bonding, you can inquire directly with the company or check with your state or municipality’s website, if applicable. Holding a valid license and insurance demonstrates the company’s commitment to operating within legal guidelines and prioritizing the safety of its employees and clients.

Evaluate Equipment and Safety Measures

tree service company with proper safety equipment and measures

Evaluate the equipment and safety measures a tree removal service employs when choosing one. To ensure a safe and efficient job, a professional tree removal company should have the latest equipment, including chainsaws, chippers, lifts, cranes, and other specialized tools. They should also possess the necessary safety equipment, such as helmets, safety harnesses, and protective clothing.

Asking about the company’s safety plan, training, and protocols can provide further insight into their commitment to safety and efficiency. A company with a strong safety record and experience in similar tasks will be better equipped to complete your tree removal project securely and productively.

Investigate Company History and Reputation

Investigate the company’s history and reputation before finalizing your decision. This can provide a comprehensive overview of their client relations and operations. The tree service industry can be prone to fraudulent activity, transient operators, and inadequate services. This step alone is vital and a shortcut in how to hire a tree removal service.

Check for any red flags or negative reviews that may indicate potential issues with the company. Additionally, asking for references from past customers can validate the quality of their work and safety protocols. A company with a solid history and reputation will more likely provide a satisfactory tree removal experience.

Understand Cleanup & Disposal Options

Understand the cleanup and disposal options the tree removal service offers before signing a contract. This may include mulching or cutting and stacking wood. Ensuring these details are included in the quote and contract can help you avoid any surprises or additional costs after the job is complete.

tree service company equipment

Discussing your preferred cleanup and disposal options with the company can also help you gauge their commitment to customer satisfaction. A professional tree removal service should be willing to accommodate your requests and ensure your property is left clean and tidy after the work is completed.

Review Contracts and Payment Terms

Thoroughly review the contracts and payment terms before hiring a tree removal service. Hold off on making a payment until the work is complete to ensure your satisfaction with the job. Be aware that a deposit may be required for larger projects.

By carefully reviewing the contract and payment terms, you can protect yourself from potential tree service fraud and ensure that the company is committed to providing a satisfactory experience. This also allows you to hold the company accountable for the quality of their work and the cleanup of your property.

Finding a Tree Removal Service

In conclusion, finding a trustworthy and professional tree removal service requires careful research, planning, and consideration. By following these ten tips, you can confidently choose a tree removal service that will provide a safe and efficient experience. From assessing your tree removal needs to reviewing contracts and payment terms, this guide covers all the essential aspects to ensure a smooth process and a job well done.

Remember that your property and the health of your trees are too important to leave to chance. Invest the time and effort in finding the right tree removal service, and you’ll be rewarded with peace of mind and a beautifully maintained landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average cost of tree removal in my area?

The average cost for tree removal in your area is between $500 and $1,200.

How much can you remove from a tree?

Removing too many limbs or anchoring roots can destabilize a tree, so it’s best to only remove parts that are necessary and fewer than 1/3 of the anchoring roots; be sure to check for any root flares at the base of the tree trunk before doing so.

Should I remove a tree close to the House?

Given the benefits trees offer, removing a tree close to your house is not recommended unless it is leaning dangerously, has roots that are compromising your foundation, or is dead.

How to find a good arborist?

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) is an organization that certifies arborists and maintains a directory where you can find a good arborist.

What should I look for when assessing my tree removal needs?

When assessing tree removal needs, evaluate any tree problems, like disease or storm damage, and assess potential service providers for the job.

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

Marietta, GA
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on:

Friday, May 26, 2023

9 Fast Growing Shrubs for Marietta Georgia

Looking for the perfect fast-growing shrubs to plant on your property? Knowing which shrubs will thrive in your Marietta yard will help you plant and have a beautiful landscape.

fast growing shrub marietta ga yard gathered the following species, growing, and care information to help you determine which shrubs are ideal for your yard.

1. Forsythia (Forsythia x intermedia)

This deciduous shrub blooms bright yellow flowers in the spring. It grows to 6 to 10 feet with a similar spread and has a growth rate of about 2 to 3 feet annually. It is hardy in zones 5 through 8 and prefers a 6.0 to 7.5 soil pH. It requires moderate watering and prefers full sun to partial shade.

2. Glossy Abelia (Abelia x grandiflora)

This evergreen shrub features glossy green foliage that turns bronze in the fall. It grows 4 to 6 feet with a similar spread and has a growth rate of about 2 feet per year. It is hardy in zones 6 through 9 and prefers a 6.0 to 7.5 soil pH. It requires moderate watering and prefers full sun to partial shade.

3. Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

This deciduous shrub shows off bright purple berries in the fall, attracting birds. It grows 6 to 8 feet with a similar spread and has a growth rate of about 2 feet annually. It is hardy in zones 7 through 10 and prefers a 5.5 to 6.5 soil pH. It requires moderate watering and prefers full sun to partial shade.

4. Fastest Growing Privacy Shrub - Leyland Cypress (x Cupressocyparis leylandii)

leyland cypress shrub

This evergreen conifer is a stunning hybrid of two cypress species and has become a popular choice for privacy screens and hedges due to its fast growth and dense foliage. It can grow 3 to 4 feet annually and reach a mature height of 50 to 70 feet with a spread of 10 to 20 feet. It is hardy in zones 6 through 10 and can tolerate various soil pH levels, from acidic to alkaline. It requires regular watering and prefers full sun.

5. Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum)

This deciduous shrub blooms bright yellow flowers in the winter. It grows 6 to 10 feet with a similar spread and has a growth rate of about 2 to 3 feet per year. It is hardy in zones 6 through 10 and prefers a 6.0 to 7.5 soil pH. It requires moderate watering and prefers full sun to partial shade.

6. Purple Leaf Sand Cherry (Prunus x cistena)

This deciduous shrub features purple foliage and pink blooms in the spring. It grows 6 to 10 feet with a similar spread and has a growth rate of about 2 to 3 feet annually. It is hardy in zones 2 through 8 and prefers a 6.0 to 7.5 soil pH. It requires moderate watering and prefers full sun.

7. Bottlebrush Buckeye (Aesculus parviflora)

This deciduous shrub features white blooms in the summer, attracting butterflies. It grows 8 to 12 feet with a similar spread and has a growth rate of 2 to 3 feet annually. It is hardy in zones 4 through 8 and prefers a 5.5 to 6.5 soil pH. It requires moderate watering and prefers full sun to partial shade.

8. Dwarf Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus 'Compactus')

dwarf burning bush shrub

This fast-growing deciduous shrub features bright green foliage turning brilliant red in the fall. It grows 6 to 8 feet with a similar spread and has a growth rate of 2 feet per year. It is hardy in zones 4 through 9 and prefers a 6.0 to 7.5 soil pH. It requires moderate watering and prefers full sun to partial shade.

9. Fastest Growing Flowering Shrub - Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)

This deciduous shrub or small tree is well-known for its crepe-papery flowers blooming in the summer months in pink, white, lavender, and red shades. It can grow 3 to 5 feet per year and reach a mature height of 15 to 30 feet with a spread of 6 to 25 feet. It is hardy in zones 7 through 9 and prefers slightly acidic soil with a 5.5 to 6.5 pH. It requires regular watering and prefers full sun.

Crape Myrtles are popular for their rapid growth and stunning blooms, making them a perfect choice for homeowners wanting a splash of color in their landscape without waiting too long. Crape Myrtles prefer well-drained soil and should be planted in locations with good air circulation to prevent fungal disease growth.

Fast Growing Shrubs

In this article, you discovered fast-growing shrubs, their growth habits, hardiness zone, soil, water, and sun requirements.

Understanding which shrub species will grow best in your Marietta, Georgia, yard will help you plant and develop a stunning, well-kept landscape that could significantly increase your home’s curb appeal.

Without hardy shrubs, your soil will more easily erode, look unappealing, and leaving your trees and home more susceptible to wind and storm damage.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services
Marietta, GA (678) 505-0266

Originally published on:

Thursday, April 13, 2023

How to Tell if a Tree Is Dying

Signs of a dying tree include loss of foliage and dieback

Need help figuring out if your tree is dying and what to do about it? Recognizing the signs of a dying tree will help you get professional help to save or remove it before it falls, causing catastrophic damage or harm. gathered the following information and signs of a troubled or dying tree and what you can do to help or remove it.

What Causes a Tree to Die

While trees may appear impervious to severe weather and their surroundings, there are several factors that can cause a tree’s decline and death. These factors include death from the following:

  • Its environment
  • Drought
  • Harmful insects and diseases
  • A catastrophic event or impact
  • A lightning strike
  • Severe weather events (causing blowdown, windthrow, or windsnap)
  • Age-related collapse (starvation)
  • Timber harvesting
Signs of a dying tree include brittle branches and twigs

Note: Sudden tree death can occur from Armillaria root rot, fatal fungal diseases, or drought.

Signs of a Dying Tree

Property owners often see a concerning tree and wonder is my tree dying? Some fail to follow through when they disregard the warning signs. You can prevent catastrophic damages by learning the signs of a dying tree and how to respond to them. These are the most obvious warning signs that a tree is dying:

1. Leaning Tree – Leaning trees may signal damaged or dying roots, structural imbalance, or failure of soil structure. When a tree is leaning more than 15 degrees, this is typically a result of wind (storm) or root damage and is unlikely to recover.

Recommendation: Hire a professional tree service to evaluate the tree’s condition. Leaning trees can sometimes be preserved by cabling or bracing them. However, most leaning trees must be removed.

2. Root Damage – Construction, digging, trenching, and landscaping projects often disrupt or compact the soil around a tree, causing distress or root death. Severe damage can also occur from lawnmowers or weed eaters if you get too close to the trunk or roots.

Recommendation: Consider the following preventive measures:

  • Protect the soil (and roots) within the tree’s drip line by applying a 2 to 3-inch layer of organic mulch.
  • Prevent foot, vehicle, and equipment traffic beneath the tree.
  • Keep digging and trenching activities from disturbing or severing roots.
  • Never allow equipment or material storage under a tree.

Note: If roots have been damaged or severed, have the tree inspected to determine restorative measures or removal.

3. Bark is peeling or falling off – Diseases like hypoxylon canker and boring insects can cause sufficient damage in a tree’s cambium layer to cause its bark to fall off. These pests are opportunistic, typically attacking already distressed trees.

Recommendation: Have a professional tree service inspect the tree to determine what is happening to the tree, how to prevent nearby trees from being infected, and if the tree should be removed.

4. Mushrooms Growing on Trunk or Roots – When mushrooms grow from a tree trunk or roots there is typically extensive decay occurring in its heartwood. Mushrooms are the fruiting structure of most fungi and should be addressed soon as they are seen around a tree trunk or roots.

Signs of a dying tree include mushroom growth on the trunk and roots

Recommendation: When caught early, you can save the tree by pruning infected limbs. You can also apply fungicides if the disease hasn’t spread. However, prevention is the best solution. Proper watering, sunlight, mulching, fertilizing, and fungicide applications can help prevent fungal infections.

Note: When mushrooms appear on a tree, it is often too late to save the tree. Seek immediate professional help.

5. Brittle and Fallen Branches – Frequently seeing sticks or twigs on the ground and brittle or weak tree branches may be a sign of diseased or dead branches, which could signal the majority of the tree is already dead. This symptom may be caused by drought stress, over-fertilization, pest infestations, or disease.

Recommendation: Have your tree evaluated ASAP. With professional help, you might save your tree.

6. Oddly-Shaped or Chlorotic Foliage – Oddly-shaped or discolored tree leaves typically represents a soil or root problem. It may signal severe root rot or be an insect infestation.

Recommendation: Ensure your soil isn’t mismatched with your tree (nutrients, pH, etc.) by testing the soil (contact an arborist or local university extension). If it’s not a soil issue, consult a tree professional for a proper evaluation and diagnosis.

Learning to Identify Dying Trees

In this article, you discovered how to recognize the signs of a dying tree, when to remove it, and what actions to take to save it or prevent further decline.

Knowing how to identify a dying tree will help you take prompt action to either save or remove it.

Failure to recognize when a tree is troubled or dying will leave your property and well-being at risk if the tree starts shedding limbs, collapses, or falls.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

Marietta, GA
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on:

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Choosing a 7B Landscape Tree for Your Marietta Yard

Marietta ga landscape trees include zone 7b hardy species

Need help selecting the best tree for your Hardiness zone 7b yard? Understanding different tree species’ characteristics and growing habits will help you plant a tree that fits perfectly in your yard. gathered the following tree species and growing information for zone 7b landscape trees.

What is a Landscaping Tree?

Landscaping trees are planted to create diversity and serve one of many purposes on your property. These trees come in all shapes and sizes and can be among the most significant assets to your yard by providing shade, privacy screens, wind protection, wildlife refuge, visual interest (curb appeal), and other uses.

What are the Benefits of Landscape Trees?

Landscape trees reduce air pollution and noise pollution. They also filter water and absorb rainfall, lessening the impact of flood and stormwater and preventing soil erosion. Trees also attract a variety of birds and natural wildlife, providing food and shelter.

Note: A large, healthy tree can absorb approximately 40,000 gallons of groundwater annually, returning it to the atmosphere through evapotranspiration.

What are the Best Trees for Your Front Yard?

Marietta ga landscape trees include lagerstroemias

Flowers add pops of color, and mulch creates a clean, well-manicured look. With trees, you can balance height and width in your landscape. Trees are among the best ways to draw the eye, add height, and create a relaxing balance. Curb appeal helps sell a home (trees significantly contribute to curb appeal), and here are a few of the best front yard trees:

  • Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia) reaches 15 feet
  • Blue Spruce (Picea pungens) reaches 75 feet
  • Cherry (Prunus avium) reaches 25 to 30 feet
  • River Birch (Betula nigra) reaches 60 to 70 feet
  • Magnolia (Magnolia) reaches 70 to 80 feet

Tip: Avoid catastrophic structural damages by planting your trees at a safe distance from structures on your landscape.

What are the Most Low-Maintenance Landscape Trees?

Marietta ga landscape trees include japanese maples

Once you have determined your tree’s purpose in your landscape (flowers, evergreen shade, privacy, etc.), you should consider the tree’s maintenance. Some landscape plants drop fruit and nuts, while others grow with invasive or surface roots, disturbing your yard, driveway, and foundation. Consider the following low-maintenance landscape trees:

  • Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) reaches 25 to 35 feet with delicate branches and vibrant foliage
  • Jacaranda (Jacaranda) reaches 25 to 40 feet with striking blue and lavender flowers
  • Redbud (Cercis) reaches 10 to 20 feet with deep red, bright yellow, or two-colored foliage
  • Frangipani (Plumeria) reaches 20 to 25 feet with non-invasive roots and an abundance of beautiful flowers
  • Cherry Plum (Prunus cerasifera) reaches 25 feet with deep purple foliage and pink/white flowers

Tip: All tree species require seasonal pruning and thorough inspection after severe weather.

What are the Best Trees to Plant Near a House?

Marietta ga landscape trees include weeping willows

Smaller trees with shallow or non-invasive roots pose little or no risk to your home. Consider the following low-risk tree species:

  • Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica) reaches 30 to 40 feet
  • Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera) reaches 50 to 70 feet
  • Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum) reaches 50 to 80 feet
  • Sweetgum (Liquidambar) reaches 60 to 75 feet
  • Crabapple (Malus) reaches 15 to 20 feet

Tip: Towering tree species like southern pines and eucalyptus should be given extra space and not planted within 40 to 50 feet of landscape structures.

Why do Landscape Designers Prefer Male Trees?

Trees with male reproductive organs are preferred in landscapes because they don’t drop messy seed pods or fruit. However, they do produce and release pollen.

Note: When female trees, which capture pollen, are absent from significant landscape areas, the entire area can be blanketed by mass amounts of pollen.

What is the Best Pine Tree to Plant in Zone 7b?

Marietta ga landscape trees include lodgepole pines

Pine trees are often used in landscapes as privacy screens and specimen trees because they are fast-growing, shapely, and evergreen. Consider the following pine tree species for your landscape needs:

  • Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda) reaches 60 to 90 feet
  • Austrian or Black Pine (Pinus nigra) reaches 50 to 60 feet and requires ample space to flourish
  • Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) reaches 70 to 80 feet
  • Red Pine (Pinus resinosa) reaches 50 to 80 feet
  • Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) reaches 50 to 80 feet

Tip: Avoid planting pines near driveways and carports (overhanging branches can leave your vehicle or structure riddled with sap droppings). Pine trees produce and drip sap. The sap flow is heaviest in spring and early summer. During winter, sap slows down and picks up again as spring approaches.

Marietta Georgia Zone 7b Landscape Trees

In this article, you discovered species information and growing characteristics for several popular zone 7b landscape trees.

Knowing which trees to plant around your home and landscape will help you create a beautiful yard with purpose and elevated curb appeal.

Planting the wrong tree species in the wrong location can result in catastrophic root damage to your landscape, driveway, pathway, foundation, and home if it falls on your roof.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

Marietta, GA
(678) 505-0266

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