Spring is here, and as the rain falls on the Pacific Northwest, flowers and trees start to blossom. Maybe you’ve looked around your yard recently and found too much blossoming!

tree pruning

Trees, shrubs, and roses experience a major growth spurt each spring. Should you prune them to be healthy, or does pruning roses in spring cause damage? Pruning is hard enough to fit into your busy schedule and even harder if you’re not sure what to cut and what to leave alone. If you’re looking to do some pruning this spring, consider these tips.


Rose Pruning

Pruning roses in spring every year is a must. Pruning rose bushes removes dead and diseased branches and shapes the plant properly. Shrub roses are very susceptible to fungus and other diseases, so clean your shears first in a bleach-water solution of equal parts. Pruning roses in spring can happen as early as late winter or as late as when the first buds start to show.

First, cut away dead or dying branches. Then cut away all branches smaller than a half-inch diameter, clipping as close to the main cane as you can. Finally, cut back at least one-third, and as much as one-half, of the top new growth to shape the plants. Don’t cut into the woodier, thicker canes when you are pruning the top.

Climbing roses need more gentle pruning in fall or winter when the plant is dormant. You only want to prune the side shoots of a climbing rose to gradually build up a strong plant framework. Pruning roses in spring only happens with regards to rose bushes.


Flowering Plants, Trees and Shrubs

Spring is definitely not the time to prune a spring-flowering tree or shrub that hasn’t bloomed yet. Overzealous snipping may drastically reduce your springtime display. Only start snipping after the flowering cycle has finished. If you have a shrub, like a forsythia, that bloomed out of last season’s growth (e.g. you didn’t cut the plant back in winter), you can cut these plants back immediately after flowering.

Less hardy plants for our region, like lavender and rosemary, need the top growth for winter protection. Once spring arrives, you can cut that off for new spring growth.

Flowering patterns vary according to the species. In general, you should prune these types of trees and shrubs in the late summer or fall, ensuring you don’t damage or remove any flowering buds. Use the same rule for a summer-flowering tree as these trees develop their buds in the spring. There are a few exceptions, like fuchsia, that you can cut back considerably in spring to encourage explosive flowers in summer.

Prune woody plants, like hydrangeas, before the wake up in the spring. Only prune new growth, as pruning old growth reduces summertime flowers.


Fruit-Bearing Trees

Fruit trees are a unique type of flowering tree with special considerations. Prune fruit trees when they are dormant, i.e. not flowering and not bearing fruit. In our area, that means pruning them from November to March. Fruit trees yield the best fruit production if you prune them annually.

If your fruit trees have sucker branches or upright water sprouts, those interfere with a tree’s ability to produce large fruits. Remove these types of branches before they grow longer than 12 inches. If you have sap trees like a sugar maple, these trees have a very strong spring sap flow, so don’t prune until later in the year.



When considering pruning evergreen trees or shrubs in spring, use its hardiness indicator as a guide. Plants that are marginally hardy for our area, such as broadleaf evergreens, magnolias and certain oaks, might face damage due too cold if pruned in the spring. These trees might suffer from too much exposure to spring dips in temperature, so it’s best to wait until warmer months for pruning. Feel free to prune coniferous evergreens, like pines and spruce, at any time of the year.


Deciduous Plants

The best time to prune deciduous plants, or plants that lie dormant in winter after losing leaves, is when they are without leaves or buds. Don’t worry if you missed the pruning window. If the plants contain new growth and leaves, you can prune once again in the June-July timeframe.


Professional Pruning

Pruning can be perplexing and time consuming, so consider leaving it to the professionals at Precision Tree Service. Our employees are very knowledgeable about successful pruning for every shrub and tree in Washington. We can make your property burst forth with curb appeal with perfect spring tree maintenance and pruning.

Don’t worry if you’ve gone crazy cutting your plants unnecessarily. We can correct any improper pruning that may have been done on your plants. We’ll have them back to healthy living in no time!  Contact us to get a free estimate or submit a contact form.

30Apr 2014

Hey everyone, this is an announcement that we are now serving the Snohomish County for tree removal services. I’m Dan, the owner, and I’m excited to be offering the following services to you:

  • Tree Removals — any size, any location, safely and efficiently
  • Tree Pruning — per ISA recommendations and training; three ISA Certified Arborists ensure a proper job
  • Shrub and Bush Pruning — per Plant Amnesty training, we meld plants’ and homeowners’ needs
  • Hedge Trimming — creating a neat, effective hedge to improve appearance and utility
  • Stump Grinding — quick and efficient with our Vermeer 252 stump grinder
  • Crown Reduction — reducing the height of trees with proper cuts, rather than topping indiscriminately
  • Crown Raising — removing lower branches safely to improve appearance and access
  • Tree Cabling — helping to stabilize co-dominant stems by installing the Cobra Dynamic Cabling System
  • Tree Evaluations — by ISA Tree Risk Assessor approved by all local cities for tree assessment
  • Clean Site — we leave your site clean with our thorough three-step cleaning system.

You can find more about me here.


22Sep 2014

Why are our tree removal services so important? Well, if you’ve ever had a tree threaten to fall on your home, or damage your property, you’ll understand why excellent tree removal services are important for your home and property.

Our tree removal experts have experience with every type of tree removal. Whether your tree is cracked, aged, dead, broken, or simply in the way, we can provide the removal services you need to quickly and safely remove it from your property.

tree removal services

Step 1: We examine the area

The first thing to do is to assess the stability of the tree and the surrounding area. Usually, homeowners’ trees are close to buildings, fences, or other structures that they (understandably) don’t want damaged. First things first—we will clear an area beneath the tree to which we will direct all falling branches.

Step 2: We examine the tree

We will begin by assessing the current health of your tree. Cracked trees can be difficult to handle, and they will need one of our tree experts to know what areas will be handling the pressure of the tree. Trees that have been snapped or broken in a storm are also unpredictable, and will need careful examination before we begin to remove it. Once we’ve thoroughly assessed the tree, we will lay out a plan of removal.

Step 3: Begin removing branches

One of our trained tree experts will climb right up your tree using ropes and a safety harness. Our usual approach, especially in urban areas where there are plenty of structures around, is to trim your tree branch by branch. These branches will be directed to fall within a cleared area. As we work, from the top down, we will trim off first the smaller branches, then the larger pieces. The ground crew will gather and stack those limbs in a ‘safe area’ or put them directly into a truck.

At times, we will use a crane or bucket truck to leverage ourselves into a position better suited for trimming and to reduce unnecessary risk.

tree removal from road

Step 4: Removing the tree base

Once enough or all of the branches have been removed from the tree base, we will use our crane to remove the tree base. This will be done carefully to ensure that no surrounding structures are impacted by the removal.

Step 5: Stump Removal

We have a state of the art stump grinding tool, which we can use to remove the unwanted stump from your lawn area. The machine is nimble enough to get into almost any space for stump removal and it is incredibly effective. It chews away the remaining stump material down to lawn level or below to ensure that your lawn or garden area is open for planting.

Step 6: Wood chipping or logging

As part of our services, we will remove all of the tree debris. Brush and smaller logs will be chipped, which the owner can choose to keep as mulch, or it can be hauled away. We also cut up larger pieces of wood in 16” rounds as firewood. Again, the property owner can choose to retain this for personal use or we can remove it from the site. Either way, we make sure that the tree removal site is neat and tidy when we’re done.

All of our services are geared toward the goal of increasing the safety and aesthetic beauty of your property. At times that may require pruning, crown reduction, or crown raising—and sometimes it will require entire removal of the tree. Whatever the case may be for your property, at Precision Tree Services, our experts are ready to provide efficient, safe, and quick services. Our emergency tree removal team is always available for same-day tree removal.

Give our office a call to schedule your tree services. Whatever your tree problem, we can handle it for you.

16Mar 2015

Spring weather has come early to Skagit County and the Pacific Northwest. Flowers have sprung up, cherry blossoms are blooming, and the warm sun is shining down on trees and shrubs that have suddenly roused themselves to soak it in. This means that there is quite a flurry of gardeners and homeowners desperately trying to begin pruning before spring is in full tilt.

So, what is safe to prune and what should you leave alone?

Here’s an outline of how to prune flowering trees, deciduous trees, and evergreens around Mt. Vernon. Of course, if you’re not an experienced gardener, it is always wise to leave the pruning of your favorite or featured plants to the tree care professionals.


Spring Pruning in Skagit and Snohomish Counties:

If your trees are already well on their way to full bloom or leaf growth, don’t fret. Pruning for most plants can be done year round. But there are definitely some you should avoid and some that you should tend to—

Do NOT prune in Spring:

Do not prune spring flowering trees or shrubs. If they haven’t bloomed yet, you will likely snip off many of the flowers and drastically reduce the beauty of your tree. After the tree has finished flowering, which varies according to species and varietal, the tree may be pruned. As a general rule, flowering shrubs and trees should be pruned late summer or fall, so that no buds are damaged or removed.

The same rule applies for summer flowering trees. These buds develop in spring and, if pruned, will be removed and your tree will not flower. Fruit bearing trees should be pruned while dormant, which usually occurs November-March in the Skagit County area. Optimally, they should be pruned every year for best fruit production. Upright growing water sprouts or suckers diminish the trees ability to produce healthy, large fruits and should be removed while less than 12 inches long.

Keep in mind as well, some plants have strong sap flow in spring, and should not be pruned until later in the year. The sugar maple tree is an example.

DO prune in Spring:

Pruning plants that are marginally hardy can sometimes make them susceptible to winter or cold weather damage. Because of this, plants like broadleaf evergreens will do best when pruned in the warmer months of the year. Pruning stimulates new growth, which cold weather will kill off.

Woody plants like hydrangeas can be pruned before waking up in spring — but only prune the new growth, as pruning old growth will reduce the flower bearing in summer.

Deciduous plants are easier to prune while they are dormant (without leaves or buds) as there is increased visibility while pruning. However, if you’ve missed your window for these plants, no need to worry. You can still safely prune while leaves are present. In general, however, you should call us in before the upright growing water sprouts and suckers get longer than 12 inches, which is usually June-July.

Coniferous evergreen trees and shrubs can also be pruned in spring, or at any other time of the year.

Pruning From Tree Care Professionals

At Precision Tree Service, we care about the trees we work with in Skagit County. Our tree care professionals make sure that our pruning service work is always sharp, and produces healthy and beautiful tree, shrubs, and hedges that increase the curb appeal of your property and leaves your lawn looking lovely.

Our team knows all the secrets to successful pruning for every shrub and tree variety, including evergreens and roses. Because improper pruning damages plants, it is important to contact professionals to help you. Shrubs and trees that are overpruned or improperly pruned will not grow correctly and will have diminished health and beauty. When we prune we always;

  • Correct any previous poor pruning to the shrub or tree
  • Remove deadwood
  • Selectively remove crossing branches and upright water sprouts and suckers
  • Raise the crown to provide more space under the plant (if applicable)
  • Thin the plant carefully to create more light and air flow

Need some professional pruning? Contact Precision Tree Service Today for a Free Estimate in the Snohomish County or Skagit County Area. Our team will be happy to meet with you.

20Apr 2015

Here in the Pacific Northwest, wind and rain is a common appearance. Preparing your trees to last through these unpredictable storms is critical to ensuring their health and long life. Here are 3 specific ways strong storms can damage or cause disease in your trees.



1. Stem failure

Stem, or trunk failure, occurs when the tree has experienced too much damage over time. Damage can occur in the form of decay, pest invasion, or deep cuts into the tree’s living tissue. Instead of healing these wounds, trees grow over them and seal them off, leaving a weak spot in the stem. These weak spots cause the stem to fail when severe wind and rain occurs in storm conditions.


2. Root Failure

Root failure occurs mainly in the roots that extend from center or middle of the tree. If these roots are damaged, diseased, or constrained during the tree’s growth, they will not be able to sufficiently support the tree. Root failure can also occur if the rest of the tree is not properly maintained, causing the tree to grow to a size that the roots cannot support. Roots that are damaged or weak will ultimately allow the tree to lean or fall.


3. Branch Failure

Branch failure occurs when a branch is poorly attached to the main stem, or trunk. The branch collar is the part of the branch that supports the weight of the limb extending from the tree. In severe weather conditions like heavy rain or wind, the added and unexpected stress on the branch collar can cause it to snap. These exposed areas can then lead to further decay and pest infestation within the tree.

In order to prevent serious storm damage, it is important that your trees be properly cared for to maintain their inherent strength and natural beauty. Here are 3 specific ways you can care for your trees to protect them from wind damage in Skagit County.


1. Monitor Conditions

One of the best ways to protect your trees from storm damage is to monitor the tree’s health. This will help to catch tree wounds or decay before it can become a serious problem. Regular check ups on your trees can help you to see where damage could occur afford you the opportunity to arrange for proper pruning and restoration from a tree care provider in Skagit County.


2. Maintain Health

Proper watering and fertilization can help keep your tree healthy and strong. If pests or growth problems are not addressed, structural damage and severe decay can occur due to local diseases and insects.

Regular pruning can help to correct damaged areas and remove extensive damage. Proper pruning techniques and safety are always important, and improper pruning can actually cause further problems. It is highly recommended that a skilled arborist be located who can expertly and efficiently care for your trees.


3. Skilled Assistance

Repairing the damage and addressing your tree’s needs can be a complicated process. With the assistance of a tree service agency, a thorough analysis of the tree can be performed and solutions identified. At Precision Tree Services, our skilled and professional team can help to identify the condition and needs of your tree, and perform the necessary pruning and repair to ensure its strength and health through many future storms.


The team at Precision Tree Services is skilled in dealing with a myriad of tree issues. We offer tree removal, trimming, pruning, stump grinding, and lot clearing throughout Everett, Marysville, and Seattle. If you would like your tree and property needs addressed, give us a call to schedule an appointment.


27Apr 2015

When a tree dies or becomes weakened with age, or damage from a storm has made a tree hazardous, tree removal may be the only option. Hazardous trees can cause many problems including falling limbs, cracking during wind or storms, and they can ultimately cause damage to property if the limbs or tree were to fall.


Tree removal is also useful to create light and space to properties. In some cases trees may need to be removed to make room for new construction or home additions.

Whatever the reason for the tree removal, it can be a hazardous undertaking, especially when the removal is in confined spaces near houses, utility lines, or sensitive property. This makes it extremely important to have expert assistance when removing trees from your property. At Precision Tree Service, our highly trained tree removal experts are here to make sure your trees are removed properly and safely.

Tree removal is not “one size fits all” as there are multiple ways to remove a tree depending on the tree and circumstances. Here is an outline of the different tree removal services offered by Precision Tree Service:

Take Down Only – As our most inexpensive type of tree removal, this is a simple removal. The tree is removed safely and quickly with no clean up. Cutting the tree for firewood is NOT included unless agreed upon in the proposal.

Basic Removal – This is removal of a tree that has no hazardous obstacles such as utility lines or buildings.This service DOES include clean up and firewood cutting.

Technical Removal – This is removal that includes obstacles such as utility lines or buildings. This removal includes rope work and light rigging. This service also includes firewood cutting and clean up.

Close Quarters Removal – This is our most difficult removal as the tree is in close quarters with buildings or other obstacles. It includes rope work and rigging to avoid these obstacles. As with our other services, this too includes clean up and firewood cutting.


Tree Removal from the Tree Care Experts

The tree removal experts at Precision Tree Service are here to remove your unwanted or hazardous tree using the most efficient and safest methods available. Whether this is a planned removal or an emergency tree service after a storm or accident, we are here to work with you to make sure your tree is removed correctly by one of our certified arborists.

Although we made it through a fairly mild winter, spring and summer in the Pacific Northwest often brings lots of wind and rain. If a major storm causes severe damage to a tree, removal may be necessary. Throughout Snohomish and Skagit County, Precision Tree Service is available for all your tree removal needs. We provide thorough clean up and do whatever we can to minimize the impact on your yard and surrounding areas.

Need tree removal services? Contact Precision Tree Service Today for a Free Estimate in the Snohomish County or Skagit County Area. Our team will be happy to meet with you.

21May 2015

The heat and dry weather of the summer months can have very negative effects on trees and plants. Preparing your trees for the summer weather is extremely important in order to keep them strong, healthy, and looking beautiful throughout the year.

Whether you need tree trimming, limb removal, pruning, or full tree clearing, summer is the best time to focus on tree maintenance and care so that you have healthy trees year-round. Here is a list of the best ways to prepare your trees for the summer:


Inspect your trees and shrubs.

Keeping an eye on your grass and flower beds probably happens regularly, but remembering to look up and check the health of your trees can be easy to forget. Especially after the winters months, it is important to check your trees for damage or any warning signs. Be sure to check for insect infestations and diseases, as well as cracks, wounds, and decay. See a concern? Consult a Snohomish County Tree Service Professional.

Prune dead, diseased and unsafe branches.

With strong summer storms on their way, it is time to prepare your trees for the coming wind. Ridding the tree of unsafe, dead, damaged, or diseased branches will help ensure the structure is strong and will also encourage healthy canopy growth.

To promote tree growth it is recommended that dead or dying branches injured by disease, insect infestation, animals or storms be removed. Branches that rub together and branch stubs should also be removed.

Be sure that you or your tree care service provider doesn’t get carried away and top the tree. Tree topping is a poor practice which leaves stubs that can cause several different health problems. This can also destroy the tree’s natural shape, promotes suckering and the development of weak branch structures.

Prune large established trees.

When it comes time to prune large trees, it may be best to hire a qualified tree care professional who has the proper skill and equipment needed. When pruning your trees try to consider the natural form of the tree whenever possible.


Types of Tree Pruning

Below are the 4 most common types of tree pruning:

Crown Thinning: Selective removal of branches throughout the crown of young trees. This promotes better form and health by increasing light penetration and air movement. This method has a strong emphasis on removing weak branches, but be sure not to overdo the trimming on mature trees.

Crown Raising: This is the removal of lower branches on both young and mature trees and allows for clearance above lawns, sidewalks, roads, etc.

Crown Reduction: The removal of larger branches from the top of the tree to reduce height. Crown reduction pruning, when done properly, is different from topping because branches are removed immediately above lateral branches, leaving no stubs. Crown reduction is the proper form of ‘tree topping’ that keeps your tree healthy and strong, while reducing its height.

Crown Cleaning: The selective removal of dead, dying, and diseased wood from the crown.

Along with pruning, trees also need regular summer care and maintenance. In the summer months, watering regularly to support health and growth of the tree is important. Unless there is significant rainfall, watering one or two times a week is important especially for young and not yet established trees. Mulching and fertilizing your trees and plants is also recommended.

Having strong and healthy trees is important to avoid damage to property. The cost of repairing damage is often significantly more than the cost of preventive care.

Need a professional tree service in Snohomish County or Skagit County area? Contact Precision Tree Service Today for a Free Estimate.