16Nov 2017

As a homeowner, you’re well aware of how much time it takes to keep your home and property in good shape. A large part of property care is the health of your trees. Taking care of your trees is absolutely critical when it comes to maintaining a healthy, aesthetically pleasing lawn and home. Using the right kind of pruning tools to care for the trees on your property is important, as they can either help or hurt your pruning efforts.

 

What Tree Pruning Tools Should You Use?

You may think that all you need to effectively prune your trees are a pair of hedge clippers, hand trimmers or a hand saw. However, there are dozens of different kinds of tree pruning tools that can be used on your trees. How are you supposed to know which tools are the best for your trees? Let’s take a look at a quick introduction to some of the most versatile and effective tree pruning tools.

tree pruning tool hand clipper

1. Hand Pruners

Hand pruners are one of the most common pruning tools you will see when people are trimming their trees and cleaning up their landscaping and garden. You can find hand pruners just about anywhere, and they come in all kinds of different styles for a variety of different trimming and pruning situations.

Ideally, you should use hand pruners when you need to prune tree limbs that are one inch or less in diameter. Sharp hand pruners will make the task of trimming and pruning those smaller branches and limbs seem like a breeze. A good set of hand pruners are sturdy and built to last for years of use.

pruning tools loppers

2. Loppers

Have you ever seen someone using a pair of tree loppers to prune their tree? When you need a tool a little bigger and heavy duty than a pair of hand pruners for trimming back your trees, you can take the next step up and use loppers.

Tree loppers are larger than hand pruners, so you’ll need two hands to use this tool and a bit more space in your garage or shed to store them.

Loppers provide a design that gives you more power and leverage. With the smaller design of the hand pruner, you can only get so much leverage on an unwanted branch. Loppers are larger and have a wider opening between the blades, and the longer handles give you enough leverage to trim branches that are up to two inches in diameter. Having a reliable pair of lopper in storage is a great tree pruning tool to have in your toolshed.

3. Pole Pruner

There are times during pruning when you aren’t able to reach the branches that need trimming. Instead of buying an industrial length ladder that can be used to climb up to those high-hanging branches, you can always get yourself a pole pruner,.

Pole pruning tools have a variety of benefits when it comes to pruning trees, and the primary benefit they provide is in their extensive reach. Pole pruners vary in length but are made long enough to allow you to reach and prune those high branches. This makes pruning much safer, so that you don’t have to climb high into trees with a shorter pruning tool.

If you have tall trees on your property that need pruning regularly, getting a pole pruner is a no-brainer. It will save you time and keep your feet on the ground for a safer pruning experience.

pruning saw tool

4. Pruning Saw

What about the heavier, thicker branches on trees that need pruning? Are there other tree pruning tools that are up to the challenge?

If you have any branches or limbs that are thicker or wider than three inches, you’re going to need a pruning tool that is up to the task. This is where pruning saws come into play. Pruning saws will give you the sharpness and leverage you need to cut into thick branches and sturdy pieces of bark on your trees.

 

Tree Pruning Experts

Have more questions about pruning tools and taking care of your trees? Precision Tree provides professional tree services in Snohomish County, click here to learn more about how their pruning services can save you time and energy.

09Nov 2017

Lawn care is something that is important to us all, and one of the biggest parts of having quality lawn care is making sure that you are taking care of your trees. Shopping for a reliable tree care service is like shopping for anything else – it takes some time and diligence in doing research to make sure you get the quality service you need.

hiring a reliable tree service

Hiring A Reliable Tree Care Service

Since finding a great tree service company isn’t always the easiest task, here is your step-by-step guide to hiring a reliable tree care service for your home and lawn.

1. Make Sure They Have Insurance

One of the most important things that you can do when going through the hiring process with a tree service company is making sure that they have insurance. Double checking to see that they have a good insurance policy will protect you from being liable should the company face any danger while on the job.

2. Make Sure They Have Credentials

The second most important thing that you need to be looking for when you are hiring a professional tree service company is making sure that they have the proper credentials for servicing your trees. The TCIA (Tree Care Industry Association) and the ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) are two of the most reputable associations for giving credentials to these companies. If they are going to be working around any electrical lines, make sure that they are Approved Line-Clearance Arborists.

3. Check to See if They Have References

The next step that you need to take when you are hiring a tree service company is making sure that they have a list of references. One of the first things that you can do is get online to see what kind of reviews their company has. Make sure that you aren’t just reading the best and the worst reviews. Reading all kinds of reviews will give you a clearer picture of the tree service company and their quality of service.

If you’d like to go the extra mile, get a list of references from the company. You can get in touch with previous customers and find out what kind of job the company did and if the customer was happy with their service.

4. Get a Detailed Written Estimate

Tree service companies are like any other industry – you have some good companies and some bad ones. Some tree service companies have been known to give bad estimates, or don’t provide enough detail when they are giving an estimate for their work on your home. They may even cite that there were some unforeseen expenses and work they needed to do that were not immediately evident when they initially took a look at your trees.

Make sure that you get a detailed, written estimate of all of the work that your tree company is going to perform. They should also let you know immediately if other expenses crop up along the way with things that they find with your trees.

5. Find out What Kind of Equipment They Are Using

Another important aspect that you will want to find out when you are hiring a reliable tree service is what kind of equipment they are using. Some companies may be using massive power equipment that can cause damage to your lawn. Make sure that the company that you decide to go with knows exactly where your sprinkler heads are on your lawn, and that they have the locations of anything else that might be damaged by large equipment. Find out what the company’s policy is if they damage anything that you own and if they will pay to replace it.

6. Get an Estimate on Time

Another aspect of your tree care service that you will want to take note of is how long the job will take. Most of the time tree service companies will let you know, but if they don’t, make sure to ask them. Some services can take a few hours and others may take several days of work and treatment.

7. Find out What Kind of Safety Gear They Use

This goes hand in hand with knowing that the company has insurance. Make sure that you know what kind of safety gear that the company is going to be wearing. OSHA mandates that protective headgear must be worn for anyone who is working in a tree care career field. Make sure that the service members are wearing headgear and safety gear when working on your trees.

 

Learn More

Precision Tree Service has been a leader in professional tree care for over 10 years, and provides a variety of tree care services in Whatcom, Snohomish, and Skagit County.

 

17Oct 2017

Do you have trees that need to be removed from your home?

It is not uncommon for powerful storms and winds to topple over trees onto your home. Disasters like these can cost you and your family a lot of money. The good news is that most or all of that damage can be easily prevented by finding a reliable tree removal services company to remove troublesome trees from your property. Having a professional tree removal service clear trees from around your home will not only make your property look great, but may also save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in the future.

How to Find A Reliable Tree Removal Service

The Benefits of Hiring a Reliable Tree Removal Service

There are many benefits that come with hiring a tree removal service that you won’t get if you are trying to do the job on your own.

1. It’s Safer to Hire Professionals

First and foremost, it is much safer to hire professionals than to do it yourself. If you have no experience and knowledge of how to remove a tree from your home, you could be running into some serious safety risks from deceptive limbs and rotten trunks.

Most tree removal companies have safely and successfully removed hundreds or thousands of trees since they’ve been in business. When hiring professionals, you’ll keep yourself and your home safe by putting the work in the hands of experience.

2. They’ll get the Job Done As Quickly As Possible

Another great reason to go with a tree removal services company is that they will get the job done as quickly as possible. Whether you are in a desperate situation where a tree has already fallen on your home, or you are preemptively making a call to prevent that from happening, these experts will get the job done on time.

3. Getting it Done the Right Way

When hiring experts to remove your trees, you know you’re trees will be removed safely and with the interest of the rest of your property in mind. In most cases, you won’t have to worry if the company did a good job or not because it is what they are trained to do. They will have the necessary team and the equipment that they need to remove your trees safely and effectively.

The question is, how do you find a reliable company that can help you remove trees from your yard? Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can find key indicators of great and not so great tree removal companies.

 

How to Choose a Reliable Tree Removal Surface Company

Here are some of the most important tasks to accomplish when searching for the right tree removal company.

1. Shop Around and Get Quotes

Like shopping for anything else, make sure to explore all of your options before settling on one company. Many tree removal service companies will drive to your home to give you a consultation and quote on how much the project will cost you.

If the tree removal job you have planned isn’t urgent, make sure to get quotes from at least two or three companies in your area. Then, compare services and prices that different companies offer, and find the options that make the most sense for the tree removal you need done.

2. Ask Friends and Coworkers

Besides shopping around, one of the best ways to find a reliable tree removal service is by asking friends and others in your personal network. Ask your friends, family, and coworkers in your area questions about:

  • If they have had trees removed by a company in the past
  • How long ago did they hire that company
  • Were they happy with the results
  • What the company accomplished
  • What their prices were

One of the best ways to find a reliable company of any kind is to ask the people that you trust first. If you don’t know anyone who has hired tree removal services in the past, there are still plenty of options for exploring reliable tree removal companies.

3. Compare Ratings Online

One of the best means of comparing tree removal service companies is by looking at ratings and reviews online. There are plenty of websites (such as Angie’s List and The Better Business Bureau) that you can use to compare ratings and read customer reviews to get a better idea of which tree removal company to hire. We highly recommend reading deeply into reviews to find out what customers like and don’t like about the tree removal companies in your area.

4. Make Sure they Have Insurance

Making sure that your tree removal company has insurance is a must. Before you decide to hire any company for help, make sure that you see that they have proof of insurance. Then in the worst case scenario, you won’t be liable for medical their expenses.

 

Conclusion

Are you in Everett or surrounding area and have questions about tree removal services? Precision Tree Service provides fast and experienced tree removal services at a competitive price. Make your property magnificent; contact us today!

12Oct 2017

If you enjoy taking care of your yard and want to make sure that it looks great year round, you know how valuable it is to keep your trees healthy. Many of us tend to take great care of our lawns during the warmer months of the year, and then neglect our lawns, shrubs, and trees when late fall and winter time comes around. That can often lead to huge losses in the health of our trees throughout the colder months of the year.

Tree Maintenance Tips

Tree Maintenance Tips For Year-Round Beauty

Thankfully, with proper tree maintenance, there are some ways that you can keep your trees healthy through the winter so that they will look amazing on the first day of spring. All you really need are a few helpful tree maintenance tips that you can use to keep your outdoors looking great, all year long.

1. Tree Trimming

One of the first and most important ways that you can make sure that your trees stay healthy year round is to trim tree limbs regularly. Maintaining your tree with trimming serves several important health purposes for your tree. Trimming off dead branches from your tree leaves room for healthy branches to grow. Secondly, overgrown branches can be a danger to your home. Finally, leaving dead branches on your tree leaves it vulnerable to insects and diseases.

2. Tree Maintenance

While trimming is a part of maintaining your tree, hiring professionals to perform regular maintenance on your trees is another great way to keep them healthy. It’s always great to keep your trees trimmed and maintain water levels, but hiring a team of experts to come to your home once or twice a year is a great way to keep your trees healthy and looking great.

3. Soil Testing

If you are finding that your trees are looking a little droopy and sickly, the soil could be the problem. In order to keep in good health your tree needs healthy soil with the proper pH levels and mineral concentration. Make sure that you are maintaining your tree by testing the soil near it to make sure that it’s rich enough for the life and longevity of your tree.

4. Watering Your Trees

Making sure that your trees have plenty of water is another great way to make sure that your tree is healthy and growing strong. The general rule of thumb is that for every inch of a tree’s diameter, your tree will need ten gallons of water. The most critical time to make sure that your tree gets enough water is in the initial growth stages when the tree is young, and you will find that older trees need less water to stay healthy.

5. Mulching

Many people think that mulch is just something decorative that we throw on our lawn to make it look pretty. However, mulch is incredibly valuable to the health of our trees. Mulch not only helps retain water for your trees to utilize, it also helps regulate temperature change during the transition from cool seasons to warm seasons and warmer days to cooler nights. Mulch provides needed shelter and water for your tree to stay healthy.

6. Watching Out for Pests

There are few things more detrimental to the life of your tree than the accumulation of pests or the development of diseases. If you weren’t already aware, your trees can get sick with the infestation of pests or the growth of fungus. Keep an eye on your trees to see if they start to develop any kind of spots or abnormal growth – if so, your tree could be in danger. The good news is that there are some good fungicides that you can use to get rid of growths on your tree.

If you notice that you have an insect infestation, you can also use pest control formulas that are safe for your tree. If you are worried that the insect infestation or the fungal growth may be beyond your expertise, make sure that you call an expert as soon as possible so that they can come out and treat your tree.

7. Getting Your Lawn Prepped for Winter

If you want to properly maintain your trees, you need to make sure to have them prepped for winter. Harsh winters can be brutal on trees and cause damage, inhibit growth, and even destroy the health of your trees. One way that you can protect your trees from cold weather and frost is by making sure you cover your tree with a tarp before a frost. You can also add a layer of fertilizer to your trees to make sure that they don’t lose their seeds or nutrients.

 

Ensuring Your Trees Look Great

Consulting a professional is the best course of action if you are not sure how to maintain the trees on your property. An expert in tree maintenance can examine your trees and do what needs to be done to keep your trees attractive and healthy. Our team here at Precision Tree Serice is highly trained in proper tree maintenance and is happy to serve the greater Skagit County.

Have a question about tree health or need help with your tree care? Feel free to contact us today.

 

26Sep 2017

Wind storms are known to cause extensive damage to trees and shrubs and can be very dangerous. Downed branches and trees can damage property and pose additional risks to people and even pets. Hidden damages can go unnoticed until it is too late, making wind storms even more harmful.

5 Things You Need to Do After a Windstorm

5 Things You Need to Do After A Windstorm

Windstorms can be particularly dangerous because the damage may not be immediate. A storm can damage a tree limb, but that limb may stay in place only to fall at a later time. This can be particularly devastating because if the problem had been identified earlier, the damaged branch could have been safely removed. To avoid such a scenario, there are certain steps you should take after a windstorm.

1.Assess the Situation

Take the time to look over damage after a windstorm. Take notes and document every issue, including things you think are minor. Maintain a safe distance: even if everything looks stable and the situation does not appear dangerous, be careful. Do not climb on any limbs or get too close to inspect the damage.

Be Aware of Hanging Branches

Hanging branches pose a serious danger. If the tree limb is stuck in something that is holding it up – like a power line or even a roof – there is the potential that the item supporting the branch will give way. In this case, both the branch and the item will fall and potentially cause more damage.

Tree branches that do not completely break are risky, too. If the branch is hanging because it is still partially connected to the main tree this connection can break at any time. Be mindful to not walk underneath any hanging branches. Keep children and pets away from the area, and do not park a vehicle in that vicinity.

2. Identify An Urgent Situation

If a branch is caught in power lines or leaning precariously against a home or structure, maintain a wide berth. Any time power lines are directly involved or close to the damage, the situation has the potential to be very dangerous. In an instance like this it is important to notify your local power company immediately, so they can send a crew to safely remove any branches that are on or near power lines.

3. Look for Damage to Trees

If you notice dead leaves on branches that are still up in the canopy, this is a sign that the branch is damaged. The branch is likely no longer attached to the tree, or it is just barely attached. This can be dange us, because the branch could fall at any time. Call a tree service professional right away to have the dead branch removed.

4. Get to Work

If the damage is minor you can start cleaning up right away. In cases of property damage you will need to get in touch with your insurance company and start the claim process. In cases of serious damage or an extensive mess it is best to call in a professional, so the situation can safely and effectively be resolved.

5. Consult a Professional

A professional will be able to determine the best solution to each situation. In extreme cases, a tree will need to be taken down and removed. When a main branch is damaged, or if the trunk is damaged, a tree will typically need to be brought down. If the structure of the tree is safe and secure it can stay and will need to be trimmed.

Be Proactive

You do not have to wait until a damaging windstorm blows through to clean up the mess. If tree branches extend over your home, garage or other buildings on your property, have a professional come in to remove these branches before they become a problem.

If you suspect a tree or specific branches on a tree are compromised, either due to previous damage or disease, make an appointment to have a professional assess the situation. Proactively trimming trees and shrubs ahead of inclement weather can prevent harm to your family, yourself, and your home, while also saving time and money.

 

Know the Signs

Windstorms can leave a lot of damage in their wake. When trees or limbs come down, they can bring power lines and even structures down with them. Downed trees or branches can cause damage to homes, vehicles and even people and pets. Safety is very important when dealing with the aftermath of a windstorm, and it is important to quickly and safely asses any damage.

If a windstorm has recently caused havoc on your property, contact us today and let us help you remove branches and dangerous trees from your yard.

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”.