19Sep 2017

With the year already well into September, the days are getting shorter, the weather is changing and fall is quickly approaching — which can leave some homeowners wondering “should I prune my yard in preparation for fall, and if so, which plants and how much?” This guide will help you understand what and when to prune, so that you can have the healthiest plants possible throughout the upcoming fall and winter.

A Beginner’s Essential Guide to Fall Pruning

The Essential Guide to Fall Pruning for Beginners

What Tools You Will Need

Start by gathering the equipment that you’ll need for fall pruning. Begin with pruning shears, an incredibly versatile tool that most gardeners use for basic pruning jobs. They are handheld and can cut branches up to ¾ inch thick, which means they can be used in most situations involving shrubs. Loppers are great for thicker branches while hedge shears can be particularly helpful for large hedges, and pruning saws are reserved for incredibly thick stems and branches. You can also use a pole pruner to get to those hard-to-reach pieces of dead wood in trees.

Identifying Your Plants

When it comes to pruning in the fall, a simple cursory glance can help you determine which plants need to be pruned and which don’t. Any dead branches — not leaves, since those are a natural part of autumn — should be removed to allow the plant to grow new shoots and expand outward. Autumn is actually a great time to do so because it’s easier to see the dead parts before the entire limb becomes bare, at which point everything about the plant looks dead.

Spring-Flowering Plants

You should wait to prune most spring-flowering plants until after they have flowered later in the next year, mainly because they might already have buds for winter or spring flowers. Flowering shrubs such as camellias shouldn’t be pruned in the fall for this reason, as these plants will need their full growth to survive the winter and then produce flowers in the spring.

Summer-Blooming Plants

In the fall, it’s not yet time to prune summer-blooming plants – that task should be left to late winter or early spring. Most plants that flower in the summer do so on the growth they’ve made that year, so the more time you give your plants to grow after pruning, the more flowers they’re likely to have for a bigger and brighter display the next year.

Clipped Hedges

Pruning hedges is a bad idea in autumn, generally because shrubs with lots of foliage (like barberry and burning bush) won’t be able to harden off their new growth in time to survive the winter. To give post-pruning growth the best chance, wait to cut back shrubs until the winter when the plant will be dormant, so that the branches can start growing again when spring sets in.

Evergreens

Evergreens generally should not be pruned in the fall, since you’ll want to prune them just before new growth starts in the spring. Another option is to prune in mid-summer while the plants are semi-dormant. The one exception is pine, which should be pruned as new growth appears in the spring.

Roses

Roses can be pruned in the spring or fall, which ensures that you’ll have the best plants possible for summer blooms. When pruning in the fall, you’ll want to start by shearing the dead canes, which will appear brown, at their bases; then, once they’re all removed, move on to the green canes. In the fall, you should prune them to about knee-high (they would be cut shorter for the spring).

Fall Pruning

Exceptions

There are a few exceptions to the general pruning rules described above. Though most summer-blooming plants would be pruned in late winter or early spring, this doesn’t apply to hydrangeas, because they can either bloom on “old wood” and have buds ready for next spring by the fall (which means you won’t want to prune until after the spring bloom), or they bloom on “new wood” like the summer-blooming plants described above. Depending on what type of hydrangea you have, you’ll know whether to bloom in late winter or late spring.

Pruning Technique

As a general rule, you should try to follow the branching pattern of the plant to keep its natural shape as much as possible. Move one branch at a time rather than shearing whenever possible, because shearing tends to make the plants look out of place and unnatural (unless you’re shearing hedges).

 

Conclusion

Fall pruning is discouraged for a lot of plants, but can also be essential in some cases — which means that you’ll want to make sure you approach the process extremely carefully, or risk missing out on blooms the next year. Consider hiring professionals to take care of your pruning for you, so you can sit back and enjoy your garden — even in the fall.

For more information on pruning, check out our article “A Complete Guide to Pruning Roses, Trees and Shrubs”.

29Aug 2017

The Pacific Northwest area typically gets around 27-30 wind storms per year. These storms can cause light damage to trees and buildings, but can also often cause severe wind damage due to short bursts of high-speed winds or long, strong sustained winds. Windstorms can last an hour to multiple days, and because these windstorms often happen during the winter season, it’s best to be prepared for any wind storms that may be approaching the PNW.

severe wind damage what to do

Wind Damage Prevention

If you live in an area with frequent windstorms, take the following precautions to reduce damage to your property as much as possible.

First, make sure your roof is properly equipped to handle a windstorm. If your roof has shingles, this often means getting your roof inspected for any necessary shingle repair and checking that the shingles won’t blow away and are securely fastened down.

Also make sure that your exterior walls, doors, and windows are well sealed, to keep air from getting inside and causing interior damage. Make sure the siding is securely attached and your doors are triple-hinged; it is also recommended to have a deadbolt for maximum protection.

If you have any objects outdoors, like dumpsters or fencing, make sure they are tightly secured to the ground. It is also wise to keep trees and shrubs well-trimmed to avoid branches from flying off into your home.

If you can, it is wise to store your vehicle in an inside garage to avoid any damage from the windstorm. Keep all cars away from trees and make sure all windows are raised beforehand.

 

Wind Damage Repairs

When wind damage happens to your home and/or property, the first thing you should do is call your insurance company. Have your insurance policy number ready and provide them with a phone number or email where you can be easily reached.

When it is safe to do so, take pictures of the damage on your property and record any damaged items, including information such as how long you have had the damaged item, price, etc. Include pictures of your home before the damage, and send it in with your insurance claim.

An example of a damage covered under homeowner’s insurance would be if a tree falls on your house. However, if a tree from your yard falls on your neighbor’s house, the neighbor is responsible for the damage – and vice versa. If your car was damaged in a windstorm, your auto policy should also take care of the damage. Just be sure you did not opt out of comprehensive coverage, or else your car won’t be covered.

When trying to figure out what kind of professional to call to fix windstorm damage, consider different options. Call around for businesses that specialize in home and business repair or tree repair because will be able to do the job right the first time.

 

Wind Damage Checklist

Tree Damage

  • Did any of the trees in your yard get knocked down or damaged?
  • Did any trees from another yard end up in yours?
  • Did any trees cause damage to your property?

Roof Damage

  • Is your roof open and exposed to the elements?
  • Are there shingles missing?
  • Is your house leaking or experiencing a draft?

Check Sheds and Outdoor Space

  • Are the doors to the shed still intact?
  • Make sure that garbage has not been blown into your yard or off of your property.

Front and Backyard Inspection

  • Has any damage been done to the ground, such as flooding or holes?
  • Are power lines down on your lawn? Call the electric company to report any outages and power lines down.

 

Keeping Your Trees Healthy and Safe

Taking steps to keep your trees healthy and safe will reduce damage done by trees during windstorms at a significant rate.

If you plan on planting trees, try to plant them in groups of five to create a stronger base so that it’s harder to uproot the trees during a storm. It is also recommended that you plant trees of various species, ages and layers to improve diversity. Look for trees that are more apt to surviving windstorms such as some dicots and conifers. Remove any dead trees that may prohibit new trees from growing.

Taking these precautions to ensuring your property is safe before and after a windstorm is crucial in the PNW. Damages will occur, but it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to natural disasters. If you are recovering from or preparing for a severe windstorm, Precision Tree Service provides tree removal and pruning services that will take care of the hard work for you. Contact them at (888) 520-2085.

15Aug 2017

We all know trees can be affected by disease. But, did you know that if left untreated disease can spread throughout an entire tree and even to nearby trees? In severe cases, disease can kill off a tree. However, identifying diseased trees is not always easy. Diseased trees should always be treated by professionals, as it is not easy to tell to what extent the tree is damaged. Early detection can also get control of a situation before it spreads and has a wider impact on nearby trees.

identify diseased trees

Different Types of Tree Diseases

Fungi is the main culprit when it comes to most tree diseases. This microorganism comes in many forms and is typically involved in the decomposition of organic matter. When exposed to a tree’s vascular system, either at the roots or if the bark is damaged allowing the fungi access to the interior, disease can set in.

How to Identify Common Diseases

The easiest way to identify common diseases is to look for changes in the appearance of a tree. Changes to the foliage are a good indicator that something is wrong. The types of changes to look out for include foliage that does not fill in, leaves that change color or drop out of season, and any damage to leaves, such as holes or spots. Changes to the color, consistency and even presence of bark are also an indication that there is a problem. Let’s look at some of the fungal diseases common to trees:

Armillaria Root Rot

Armillaria root rot is caused by a variety of different fungi. This disease is named such because all of the different strains of fungi belonging to the genus Armillaria. Trees with Armillaria root rot may feature light or bleached wood, stunted leaves, branch dieback and even chlorosis, which is caused when not enough chlorophyll is produced and leaves and needles lack pigmentation. Conifers may produce excess resin. When Armillaria root rot is present, it is important to contain it and prevent the spread of the fungi. All infected material must be removed.

Verticillium Wilt

Another fungal disease is Verticillium wilt. This fungus lives in the soil and it enters plants through the roots and spreads throughout the entire tree. The leaves of trees affected by Verticillium will turn red or yellow and eventually brown, and wilt, curl and drop off. Twigs and branches will also experience dieback. Verticillium wilt can be controlled by maintaining a rigorous fertilization and water schedule. It is also necessary to remove sick areas.

Thousand Cankers Disease

Walnut twig beetles can become carriers of Geosmithia morbida fungus and imbed the fungus in specific types of walnut trees. As the fungus germinates and grows, it causes Thousand Cankers disease. This disease is marked by a rapid spread of dark colored, oval-shaped cankers. Tree cankers are areas of dead bark. In later stages of Thousand Cankers disease an amber discoloration forms on sections of dead bark.

Dogwood Anthracnose

Another fungus based disease is Dogwood Anthracnose. The early stages of Dogwood Anthracnose can be observed when leaves in the lower crown develop tan spots with purple rims. Necrotic, or dead spots eventually form on the leaves. These symptoms will spread throughout the tree. Cankers will develop on twigs and branches, which will eventually lead to dieback. If left untreated cankers will form at the base of dead branches, while bark will swell and split.

Mildew

There are a variety of fungi that cause mildew, and often they are host specific. For instance, a mildew that forms on an oak tree may not impact other tree species. Mildew is found when the humidity is high, and can be identified by white patches or spots that form on leaves. To prevent the spread of mildew it is necessary to remove infected leaves. Dense canopies are more susceptible to mildew, so increasing airflow by pruning a tree will help prevent recurrences.

 

Hazards of Having Sick Trees

Diseased trees may lose limbs, or the entire tree could fall. Falling trees obviously pose a safety risk to people and pets, but may also damage homes, vehicles, and property. Oftentimes, if left untreated one sick tree can infect others. In severe cases, an entire grove or yard full of trees can become infected and be at risk.

 

How to Treat Diseased Trees

In most instances, diseased trees can be treated by removing damaged branches or sections. In extreme cases, it may be necessary to take a diseased tree down. When a fungus or insect is to blame it can be more challenging to eradicate the disease, which makes early detection all the more important.

 

Conclusion

Consulting a professional is the best course of action if you think you may have diseased trees on your property. A trained arborist can evaluate the trees and determine what the problem is and how best to resolve the issue. At Precision Tree Service our team is highly trained in how to identify and treat diseased trees. Contact us today and we can help you and your trees be more healthy!

03Aug 2017

When people envision hiring a local tree removal service, they often think they only need one when disaster strikes. Maybe there were high winds that ruined a tree, or a diseased tree needs to be removed. While tree removal services are important at these times, they can and should also be used at other times.

Maybe you have a tree that’s in an inconvenient location or have a tree stump that is an eye sore. When that is the case, a professional tree removal company can provide you with fast tree removal services. Hiring a professional tree removal company to handle your tree removal will save you the time and effort of removing heavy stumps and trees by yourself.

everything to know about tree removal

Why Should I Hire A Tree Removal Service?

One of the most important reasons to have a professional tree removal company handle the removal of a tree or stump has to do with safety. Tree and stump removal often requires power tools and heavy machinery. People working for high-quality tree removal services have training and experience, and understand how to do the job properly and safely. Attempting to remove a tree or a stump on your own could result in injury.

Not knowing proper tree stump removal procedures can also lead to damage to other parts of your property. Even tree removal professionals could get injured or killed if they get distracted or otherwise do not take proper safety precautions. There is no reason you should take a risk when a professional can safely and correctly remove a tree or stump from your property.

 

When Should I Contact a Tree Removal Company?

There are a variety of reasons, including those mentioned earlier, why people use tree removal services. One important thing to remember when using a local tree removal service after a disaster is that you should contact the company as soon as possible. Excessive winds or other extreme weather may damage or bring down trees. If you wait to contact a tree removal company, you could have to wait for quite a while for your tree issue to be resolved.

Often, tree removal is more of an aesthetic issue than a safety issue. If this is the case, you can contact the company while you are still trying to make a decision about removing the tree to gather information and help you make a decision, or you can wait and contact them when you know it is something that you know you are ready to do.

 

How Do I Find the Right Company for the Job?

One of the best ways to find the right company for any tree removal project is to find other people who have used the company’s services. Online reviews from customers can be highly helpful. Be sure to look for both the good and bad things customers have to say about the company. No company is going to please every customer every time. If the bad reviews tend to be petty things or seem to be more of an issue with the customer and not the company, you have likely found a good company to handle your tree removal needs.

If you have any friends, neighbors or family members who have recently had trees or stumps removed, ask them about their experience. Would they recommend a company? What do they wish would have gone differently, and what did they like best about the company’s services?

Be Wary of Scams

When picking a tree removal company, it is important to be careful of scams. Last year, a 22-year-old man in Georgia scammed people out of about $9,000 worth of tree cutting services. Customers would pay the man upfront for the services, sometimes paying in full for the services. Then he would either only do a portion of the job or not do it at all. Along with testimonials of previous customers, information about how long the company has been in business may help you to determine the legitimacy of the company’s tree removal services.

One thing to remember when picking a tree removal service is that the lowest cost is not always the best option. While you likely do not want to hire a company whose prices are significantly higher than their competitors, companies with the lowest prices may also be offering lower quality services.

 

Local Tree Removal Services

If you need tree removal services now or you anticipate needing them in the near future, be sure to remember the name Precision Tree Service. We will provide you with a professional tree removal experience at a reasonable price. Contact us today to begin removing unwanted trees or stumps!

25Jul 2017

Evergreens are incredible and popular outdoor plants because they don’t lose their plump, lush, liveliness, even with the change of seasons. Though they are versatile and durable, they do still require care and maintenance in order to continue to be healthy, thriving plants. If they’re planted correctly, they don’t require too much maintenance.

Caring For Your Evergreen Shrubs

But because evergreens can seem like the universal super-shrub that can endure anything, it is easy to let them go neglected. Uncared for evergreens can end up unhealthy, or even dead. Let’s go over some tips to make sure that you take care of your evergreen shrubs so they can thrive throughout the year and beyond.

Plant Your Evergreen Shrubs In An Appropriate Place

The first step to cultivating a lasting evergreen shrub is to find the proper place to plant it. Evergreens are durable, but can suffer from the drying winds of winter or the burning sun of summer.

Place your evergreen shrubs where they won’t be exposed to the sun and the cold on a constant, daily basis; placing your evergreen plant behind a tall structure that can block out the wind and sun for a good portion of the day is a wise location for your beautiful shrubs. This way they’ll get a good amount of exposure while maintaining their lively equilibrium.

Make Sure Your Shrub Is Watered

When you first decide to plant a new evergreen shrub, you must remember that they absolutely need water. A hydrated, happy evergreen shrub will be more resistant to the freezing cold of winter and the burning heat of summer.

An evergreen shrub that isn’t thirsty is going to thrive and grow beautifully, so when you water your evergreens make sure you water them deeply. Don’t be afraid to give them a good soak! Do this every other day so that your plants are getting at least an inch of water a week. Don’t even neglect to water your evergreens in the winter – it might be cold, but the winter is a dry season and the lack of water could mean death for your plants if you neglect to water them.

Keep Your Evergreen Shrubs Fed and Fertilized

When it comes to fertilizing your evergreen, make sure that you take it easy and gradually give your shrub its nutrients. Evergreens grow slowly and steadily, and will absorb the nutrients they need from the soil. If you are able, test to see if your soil is acidic or basic: a basic soil will make it harder for an evergreen shrub to absorb the nutrients it needs from the earth.

If you do need to add fertilizer – especially in the case of a depleted soil source – never add your fertilizer directly into the hole where you planted your evergreen. You don’t want to over acidify the ground that you are trying to cultivate. Instead, you should either lightly fertilize the soil and monitor the growth of your evergreen, or use a well balanced slow release fertilizer. This strategy will gently feed your plants over time.

Do some research and look up fertilizers that benefit your outdoor evergreen, or find a fertilizer that is specific to evergreens. It’s a very popular shrub, so there will be products dedicated to its growth and development.

Watch The Shrubs Development

Always observe your evergreen shrubs after you plant them. If they start to grow out of hand, give your shrub a trim. If you think that they are getting pale or seem sickly, get them green and lively again. Touch the needles and see if they’re drying out. There is nothing a plant loves more than to be cared for and have attention paid to it.  

Need Another Green Thumb?

If you feel like you are not able to dedicate some time to your evergreens, there are people who would love to help you. Sometimes its best to get lawn and shrub help from people who have made a career out of taking care of your plants. If you live in Northwest Washington, the professionals at Precision Tree Service will take care of all your evergreen shrub needs. They are talented, patient and skilled experts in the care of your shrubbery.

Contact us today for more information on our services or to schedule some evergreen maintenance.

05Jul 2017

Trees are beautiful, tall, majestic, mysterious and they add a lot of character to your yard and your home. But there are times when having a beautiful tree can become an inconvenience, and even a life-threatening problem.

 

Time For Emergency Tree Removal

It might have come out of nowhere, or you might have realized that maybe the branches were getting too long, reaching out like arms, creepy wooden fingers hanging down and just ready to drop. Perhaps your tree was hit by a storm and you have branches hanging off in splinters. Maybe you’ve experienced a tornado or a hurricane and your beautiful tree that once stood tall and broad has been ripped up by the roots. These are some clear signs that you need emergency tree removal.

emergency tree services

Dealing With Overgrowth

You have to admit: a tree is as beautiful as its branches. But when they start to grow out and grow over, spilling into your neighbor’s yard, hanging down close enough to touch the ground, it’s time to consider emergency tree removal services. A tree will grow as long as it has the space to expand itself, and if you let it go too long and too unruly, it can take advantage of your property.

It can seem easy to get a chainsaw and attempt to tackle the wildness of the foliage by yourself. But without proper training and supplies, trying to trim overgrown branches can be dangerous and frustrating. The thick arms of the tree might be impossible for you to remove with your own hand. They might be too high up. Or, you could be in danger of having the branches fall on you the minute that you snap them off.

 

Lightning Strikes…Often

Reaching up to the sky, a tree can also be reaching up to disaster. They are magnets for lightning strikes, and even if your tree has been there for 200 years, one bolt can tear, splinter and rip your tree apart. Not only does that make it unattractive to look at, but it can also be a danger to yourself, your friends and your family. Don’t put yourself at risk of having a wayward branch crack and fall on you! One zap of lightning can kill a healthy tree in an instant. Lightning strikes might not hit you, but commonly target tall trees.

 

When Nature Attacks

Hurricanes, tornadoes, and bad rain storms are notorious culprits for damaging trees, property, and putting people in danger. Have you ever seen a tree ripped up from the roots by a hurricane or strong winds? It’s not pretty and could cause extreme damage to your home and your family. Plus, the aftercare is a nightmare. It’s not an easy task to take a chainsaw and chop up a gigantic tree, piece by piece from the trunk to the tips of its branches by yourself. Also, you would have to figure out where to take all that wood after you were finished. A good emergency tree removal service will take care of all that for you.

Even if it wasn’t torn from the ground, natural disasters can turn beautiful trees into serious hazards. Maybe the tree hasn’t been knocked over completely, but it’s hanging at a precarious angle. The branches are gently brushing your roof, warning you that it could fall through at any moment. Consider an emergency tree removal service before any harm is done.

 

Keep It Neat

Have you ever seen a big old tree that was a part of your life, and then one day it just seems like the flowers no longer grow on it in the spring? Sometimes the unforeseen can happen and a tree can die without explanation or expectation. The trunk and the branches become dry and brittle and what was once a lush addition to your yard has become a depressing eyesore.

If this is the case for you, then you need to get it out of there! Holding onto something that has lived past its prime is unnecessary and can be potentially dangerous. Plus, if you use an emergency tree service to get rid of that old, dead tree, it gives you the space to cultivate something new, lively and beautiful in your yard and in your home.

 

Emergency Tree Removal For You

When it comes to trees, if you are experiencing any of these common scenarios or any others, then consider an emergency tree removal service. Here at Precision Tree Services, we are happy to help you ease this frustration and keep your family and property safe. Contact us today for more information!