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 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 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


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).



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”.

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.

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.


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.



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!

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!

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.

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!

Summer is here, and your large trees are in full growth. As aesthetic as these trees may be though, they do come with their share of cautions. Of course, any kind of green-scaping takes a lot of maintenance and work, especially when huge gusts of wind, rains, storms, or changing seasons are involved.

tree removal

What about worst case circumstances though? What about those lumbering, massive trees in your yard that could cause some serious damage?

Have you noticed that any trees on your property are starting to look dead, decaying or worn out? The greatest threat to your home and your property at this point may be some of the trees surrounding your home. They may look great and add a nice visual touch to your property, but these same trees could be a major threat to your home, vehicles, or property.


10 Signs You Need Dangerous Tree Removal Service

Let’s look at some of the key factors that may indicate whether or not you need to call a dangerous tree removal service as soon as possible.


1. The Tree Is Clearly Dead

If you have large trees on your property that are clearly dead, it’s time to call a professional tree removal service. Whether the tree has been dead for a few weeks, a few months, or several years now, the longer the tree sits, the more dangerous it is going to become to you and your home. If your trees aren’t blooming but are starting to look decayed, it’s time to call someone.


2. Branches Intertwine or Rub Together

Branches that intertwine or rub together are another major indicator that it is time to call a tree service. The entire tree may not need to be removed, but the constant rubbing of branches together can open up the tree to diseases, infections, and insects, causing it to decay.


3. Hanging Dead Branches

Hanging, dead tree branches can spell disaster for you, your home, vehicles, or property. Have you noticed any hanging dead branches around your home? If you have, it’s time to get them removed before they cause serious damage.


4. Branches Over the Roof

Another tell-tale sign that you may need to call a dangerous tree removal specialist is if you have some branches hanging over your roof. Tree removal service companies regularly receive calls about massive branches that have fallen on houses and need to be removed immediately. Don’t be the next victim of a tree branch falling on your house. A fallen tree branch can easily cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home.


5. Heavy Soil at the Base of the Trunk

Heavy soil around the base of the tree trunk can actually be a sign that the tree is not deeply and totally rooted in the ground. If that’s the case, it won’t take a lot of force to uproot the tree and cause it to fall. A strong gust of wind or a powerful storm will yank the tree out of the ground and onto your house or car.


6. Fungi Growing at the Base of the Tree

Any fungi or mushrooms growing on your trees is a good sign that your tree may have a disease or is in decay. If you aren’t sure if a tree with fungus could be a risk to your home, call a specialist for a home visit to see if they can properly diagnose the situation.


7. Cavities or Openings Forming in the Tree

Large cavities or holes in a tree should be within the falling distance of that tree. Holes and openings can be a sign of decay, insect, or critter infestation, and may make the tree extremely prone to crumbling or falling.


8. Small Twigs that Don’t Have Buds in Season

If you once had beautiful blooms and buds on your trees, but they don’t seem to bloom anymore, you may want to call a dangerous tree removal specialist. Trees that don’t bloom can be a sign that they are dead or dying, so it’s best to get a specialist to look at it to see if you need to have it removed.


9. Proximity to Your Home and Vehicles

Even if you have a tree in your yard or on your property that is apparently healthy, it stay may be in a location that can cause problems. Analyze the location of trees in proximity to your home, patio, deck, pool, and where you park your vehicles. If the tree is within falling range, you may want to consider it a dangerous tree that needs removing.


10. Weather and Proximity to Power Lines

Weather and proximity that trees are to power lines is another major factor in considering if trees should be removed or not. Power lines that are downed by fallen trees can be a major hazard for you, your family, and your entire neighborhood. Weather is another major threat to your home and the trees around it. If you are living in an area that is prone to hurricanes, strong winds, or tornadic activity, you may want to minimize the number of trees around your home.


Identifying The Threat

If you have any doubts about the trees on your property, contact a professional dangerous tree removal service immediately. For more information, call Precision Trees Service here.


Summer is just around the corner! As you look out at the plants that adorn your home, you may be concerned that they are in need of a good pruning. 

5 ips pruning plants for summer

Summer Pruning: 5 Tips for Pruning Your Plants

Wondering if you have the time, knowledge, experience and energy to do the job yourself? Pruning in summer may not be practical for your schedule with summer vacation, work, and activities with the kids occupying your time.

What do you do? Do you invest the time necessary to gain the required knowledge to know which plants to prune during summer? When do you prune and how do you do it properly? Should you just entrust the job of summer pruning to a reliable professional? Here are some pruning basics to help you decide.


1. Know Your Deciduous Plant and Shrubs

A deciduous shrub sheds its leaves annually. Pruning deciduous plants when there are leaves present is not harmful to the plant, and can in fact make it easier to determine what branches are dead and need to go. Here are some common varieties found in the Pacific Northwest:

  • Ocean Spray: A large shrub or small tree that does well in full sun and part shade. It blooms during summer.
  • Sword Fern: This evergreen fern is best planted in groups. It is the only Pacific Northwest fern that can handle a lot of sun and dry conditions.
  • Saskatoon: Considered a large shrub or a small tree, it does well in full sun and partial shade. It has lovely flowers and the colors peak in fall. Be careful not to accidentally clip them if pruning.
  • Mock Orange: A large shrub or small tree, it has a fragrant early summer bloom and makes a good informal hedge.


2. Recognize Coniferous Evergreen Shrubs and Trees

Coniferous shrubs and trees bear cones and evergreen leaves that can be pruned without detrimental consequences any time of the year. Coniferous plants are numerous in our area; here are a few of the varieties you might find in the Pacific Northwest:

  • Red Flowering Currant: A large shrub tolerant of dry conditions, it does well in both full sun and partial shade.
  • Salmonberry: This medium-sized shrub is sparsely thorned and is tolerant of seasonal wet weather. Does well in either full sun or full shade.
  • Western Trillium: One of the most widespread varieties of conifers, this small shrub is a herbaceous perennial that tolerates wet conditions along with partial shade and full sun.
  • Vine Maple: This large shrub/small tree attracts birds for nesting. Tolerant of wet conditions, it needs part sun and shade to flourish.
  • Stream Violet: This herbaceous perennial is the largest native violet to our area. It likes moist soil, partial sun, and full shade.
  • Dull Oregon Grape: An evergreen shrub that tolerates wet weather, it makes for good ground cover. The fruits of this shrub are edible if you invest the time required to harvest them.


3. Beautify Summer Flowering Shrubs

Flowering shrubs begin to develop buds during spring, and blossom throughout the summer months. They can be safely pruned after they bloom. Here are a few of the varieties that do well in the Pacific Northwest:

  • Bluebeard:  With their sky blue colors, these short and aromatic woody shrubs look great during summer. Does well in full sun or partial shade. Prune back 50 percent in fall.
  • Pacific Ninebark: This native Pacific Northwest shrub can grow to be rather large if not pruned back. Its white flowers stand out in woodland gardens.
  • Rockrose: Though this species is not related to roses, the flowers – ranging in color from white and yellow to purple, pink and red – bloom during the entire summer.
  • Butterfly Bush: Butterflies are partial to this purple, flowered shrub that likes full sun. Prune off the dead flower heads to facilitate repeat blooming. Prune back to 30 percent to keep it just right year after year.


4. Fruit Trees

Lest we forget, Pacific Northwest fruit trees can benefit from summer pruning, although experts typically prune them during winter months. Apples, cherries, plums, peaches and pears do well when pruned in the summer, especially if you want to restrict the size of the tree. Pruning is relatively easy as well – if a branch is too long, cut it back.


5. Professional Pruning

If your busy lifestyle leaves no time for you to undertake a summer pruning project, then consider contacting a professional pruning service.

Our professional pruning services at Precision Tree include a free onsite consultation at your home to discuss the shrubs and trees you wish for us to prune. We use sharp and well-maintained hand-clippers, handheld trimmers, and pole saws to give your landscape the well-groomed and aesthetically pleasing look you desire.


Contact Us

Precision Tree Service provides professional tree services to the Snohomish and Skagit County areas along with places surrounding Seattle. Give us a call at (888) 741-5020, or fill out our online contact form today.

Keeping trees and their surroundings healthy and appealing needs both brainpower and muscle in terms of planning and procedures. Trees need occasional specialized attention from professionals to allow them to reach their full potential. In order to maintain the appeal of your trees and the safety of what surrounds them, it’s important to have only professionals who are careful and knowledgeable care for your trees.

best tree service company

Finding A Local Tree Service Company

When considering which tree professionals to hire, go local and work with a business that is familiar with the local trees. Here are four things to look for so that you can feel more confident about which tree company to choose.


1. Passionately Local

Some tree service companies are focused exclusively on the bottom line. These companies are only concerned with doing the minimum necessary work at the maximum possible profit.

If they’re successful at doing that, it quickly translates into expansion, economies of scale and other business worries. However, this expansion draws their attention away from what is most important.

There’s a better way.

A good local tree service focuses on the quality of its work and specializes in doing a great job in a more limited area, building a company’s reputation with loyal customers. The employees and managers at local companies have to put food on their tables, too. But for them, it’s actually about something literally more grounded than greenbacks – it’s about the trees and shrubs.

A great tree service isn’t about just cutting through trunks as fast as possible. It’s about keeping the whole tree healthy so that you don’t have to cut it down. A great tree service isn’t just about pulling up a stump. Your tree is about how that stump removal service affects the surrounding landscape. It’s about planning to leave things looking better than they were before. Local focus means better quality.


2. Deeply Involved in the Community

Serious tree service professionals don’t just cut down or move trees. They remember that they are still part of a community that helps them at every turn.

Whether they grew up here or out of town, tree care pros live, work, learn, and shop with the rest of the community. Just like the trees themselves, they depend on a healthy ecosystem to be happy and whole.

Tree service professionals give back to the community in times of distress, and often sponsor youth sports teams in the calmer days of summer. Everyone in the company has an interest in being a part of a strong community, and they live for it.


3. Comprehensive and Professional Workers

Right along with that passion and community spirit, trustworthy local tree service companies never skip important details. They do their work efficiently but refuse to take shortcuts or only do half a job.

Once they agree to take on a job, they correctly see it through to the end. They consider every aspect of a tree or stump removal situation, but aren’t slow and don’t overcharge. A company you can trust goes above and beyond when it comes to caring for its customers. A great tree service treats you well, and the people there answer your questions.


4. Transparent, Straightforward and Responsible Work

A local tree service company that you can trust unhesitatingly demonstrates that it deserves your business. They provide a work contract that absolves you, the customer, of any liability for work accidents or property damage that may occur.

A good local tree service company presents its qualifications. The team working on your trees should include certified professional arborists, and everyone on the team should have the skills to perform their particular role.

A local tree service company presents a thorough estimate of all anticipated costs for the entire project and possible additional expenses. Project managers let you know immediately if problems come up that could increase costs, and will even do what they can to save you money.


Contact a Local Tree Service Company

Here at Precision Tree Service, we know what it means to be a truly local tree removal service. Call on us, and we’ll show you that we mean what we say. Contact us today!

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.