Month: December 2019

5 Benefits of Growing Trees in Your Landscape

When designing your home’s landscape, you should consider adding trees.

Some homeowners assume trees should be excluded from their landscape, believing they consume valuable space while offering little or no benefits in the process.

While trees certainly require space to grow, however, it’s a small price to pay. With trees growing in your landscape, you’ll experience the five following benefits.

#1) Lower Cooling Costs During Summer

You might be surprised to learn that trees can lower your home’s cooling costs during the summer.

Depending on the placement of the trees, as well as their length and canopy size, they may lower your home’s cooling costs by as much as 20%.

They’ll cast shade on your home, reducing the amount of solar heat it absorbs.

#2) Sound Dampening

One benefit of trees that is often overlooked by homeowners is their ability to dampen sound.

If you live in or near a busy city, growing trees in your landscape may create a quieter environment for you and your family. They’ll absorb sound waves, resulting in less noise.

#3) Increased Property Value

Research shows that adding trees to a landscape increases its property value by an average of 20%.

When searching for a home, many buyers will survey the landscape. If the landscape is barren and consists entirely of grass, buyers may perceive the property as being less valuable.

If the landscape is attractive and filled with trees, on the other hand, buyers may perceive the property as being more valuable.

Regardless, growing trees in your home’s landscape can have a positive impact on its property value.

#4) Cleaner Environment

Growing trees in your landscape will also create a cleaner environment.

Trees filter water as well as the air. At the same time, trees release oxygen after converting sunlight into energy.

If you’re an environmentally conscious person, you can do your part to promote a cleaner environment by growing trees in your landscape.

#5) Promotes Outdoor Living

You’ll probably spend more time outdoors if your landscape has trees in it.

It’s difficult to enjoy your landscape when the sun is glaring down on you. With trees, you’ll have natural protection from the sun, allowing you and your family to fully enjoy your home’s landscape.

Whether they are hardwood or softwood, trees offer a variety of benefits.

Trees offer lower cooling costs during the summer, dampen noise, increased property value, a cleaner environment, and they promote outdoor living.

The Woodsman Company offers tree planting, tree pruning and shrub trimming, tree removal and stump grinding as well as a tree wellness program.

If we can help with any of your tree care needs give us a call at 512-846-2535 or 512-940-0799 or

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The Risks Of DIY Tree Removals

Man Cutting Down a TreeWhy don’t people remove trees on their own? Most people don’t want to die! Seriously, one wrong move and a tree could kill someone, including the amateur trying to cut it down. Even with good intentions, tree removal shouldn’t be attempted by amateurs. It’s truly a job best left to professionals who remove trees for a living–  they’re the ones with the right tools and knowledge to get the job done safely.

What are some common tree removal risks people have to deal with?

Damages to Power Lines

How about power lines? Working near them can be dangerous. If a tree interferes with a power line, what could happen? The person working on this project could get electrocuted. Power to the neighborhood could go “out” for an extended period of time– not good.

Improper Use of Equipment

How about the use of improper equipment? Amateurs usually have no idea what they’re doing, whereas professionals know that they need to wear protective gear from head to toe. Removing a tree typically involves several pieces of equipment, including chainsaws, ropes, cranes and wood chippers. Most homeowners don’t have all these pieces of equipment in their garage or tool shed– hence, that’s why it’s better to call a professional to remove a tree than to attempt to “do it yourself.”

Unstable Wood

How about trees that are dying or decaying? If and when a tree is decaying from the inside out, you’ve got a very unstable piece of wood you’re working with– it could collapse at any moment and hurt someone. Amateurs don’t know much about dealing with decaying or dead trees, whereas professionals do.

Finally, there’s good ol’ gravity. When a tree falls, you want gravity to place it where you want it to fall, right? But amateurs might not know how to successfully accomplish this feat. Have you heard horror stories of people attempting to cut down their own trees only to have them fall on family members, their house or power lines? Yikes!

It’s best to have trees removed by professionals. Big Foot Tree Service of Wayne, NJ, is equipped with the right tools and knowledge to get the job done– call 973-885-8000 for more info today.

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How to Use Pine Needles as Garden Mulch

To say pine trees shed a lot of needles would be an understatement. Even if you only have a single pine tree growing in your landscape, it will likely drop a thick layer of needles.

Rather than trying to rake and dispose of them, however, you should consider using them as garden mulch.

As the pine needles decompose, they’ll enrich the surrounding soil with nutrients.

Cover Exposed Soil

If you’re struggling to keep your garden weed-free, try covering the exposed soil with pine needles.

As you may know, weeds typically emerge in areas with exposed soil. If there’s nothing growing in or covering a patch of soil, a weed may emerge.

You can keep weeds out of your garden by covering the exposed soil with pine needles.

Just sprinkle a thin, but complete, layer over the soil to prevent the growth of weeds. The pine needles will block out sunlight, preventing any underlying weeds from growing.

Insulate Plants

You can also use pine needles to insulate plants in your garden.

During the winter, sprinkle some pine needles around the base of your plants. Assuming you add enough, the pine needles will create an insulative barrier that protects your plants from the cold weather.

Plant Food

Pine needles make excellent plant food.

They contain essential nutrients that, when released into the soil, will stimulate the growth and health of your plants.

The pine needles will slowly degrade, at which point their nutrients will be released into the soil.

To use pine needles as plant food, simply sprinkle a small amount around your garden.

Mix in Compost

Another way to use pine needles as garden mulch is to mix them in compost.

Compost, of course, is organic fertilizer consisting of decomposed ingredients. The ingredients used in compost are often referred to as either “browns” or “greens.”

Brown ingredients, such as pine straw, have higher levels of carbon, whereas green ingredients, such as grass clipping and vegetable scraps, have higher levels of nitrogen and protein.

You’ll still need to add green ingredients to create nutrient-rich compost. An easy and readily available brown ingredient, though, is pine straw.

Although they are evergreen trees, pine trees still shed needles.

Depending on the species, a pine tree may hold its needles for two or three years. Eventually, though, all pine trees will shed their needles.

While you can always rake the fallen needles, another idea is to use them as garden mulch.

Pine needles can be used to protect against weeds, insulate plants, fertilize the soil and even create compost.

The Woodsman Company offers tree planting, tree pruning and shrub trimming, tree removal and stump grinding as well as a tree wellness program.

If we can help with any of your tree care needs give us a call at 512-846-2535 or 512-940-0799 or

The post How to Use Pine Needles as Garden Mulch appeared first on Woodsman Tree Service.

How To Protect Your Trees in Winter

Winter protection for snow and ice covered trees

Your young trees can suffer injuries and die during winter without proper protection. With some simple protective measures, you can ensure your trees come into their growing season healthy and thriving. gathered information about winter tree injury, its causes, and methods you can use to treat and prevent it.

Winter Tree Injury And Protection

Winter tree injury is the damage done to trees, shrubs, and plants (evergreen and deciduous alike) during the winter months. The more severe a winter season is, the more substantial the damage can be to your trees, shrubs, and plants. The following are some of the injuries that can occur and how they can be avoided or treated:

Dried Out Evergreen Foliage – Sun, wind, and cold temperatures can cause the bleaching and drying out of evergreen foliage. The following steps can lessen the effects:

• Make sure all of your evergreen trees and shrubs are frequently watered (two times per week – one being a deep watering), right up to the time the ground begins to freeze.
• Lay a three-inch-thick layer of organic mulch over the root plate of your trees and shrubs.
• Wrap your younger trees and shrubs with burlap. Especially those exposed to southwest sun or are unsheltered from the wind.

The Weight of Snow and Ice – Even for the hardiest of trees, when storm systems drop days of sleet and snow with temperatures rising above and falling below freezing, the results can be catastrophic. Under these conditions, snow and ice accumulate on evergreen foliage and deciduous tree limbs and branches.

The weight can break branches, damage foliage, and topple a tree. This problem is tricky to handle because it is NEVER recommended to “knock off” built-up ice or snow on a tree. You could cause a severe weight imbalance, destabilizing the tree, or cause a frozen limb to snap off and come crashing down on you.

Tree injury from ice and snow weight

One way to combat this issue is to promote the health of your trees by:

• Practicing aggressive pruning techniques in the fall to reduce surface space
• Watering your trees frequently throughout the year and increase the frequency during times of drought
• Mulching the root plate of your trees year-round
• Having your trees inspected annually for signs of disease and insect infestation.
• Promptly treating or removing diseased or infested trees and vegetation.

When you reduce or eliminate factors that could stress your trees, you give them a better chance to survive the winter months.

Tip: Rather than risking your life to try deicing a tree, call a professional tree care service to evaluate the situation, and recommend a safe course of action.

Southwest Injury or Sunscald – Similar to how evergreen foliage is damaged in the wintertime, southwest injury occurs on young unprotected trees in the following way:

• Temperatures fall below freezing at night and freeze the outer layers of a tree’s trunk
• The trunk remains frozen or near-frozen until sunlight coming from the southwest hits it
• This light warms and thaws the exposed part of the tree trunk
• The sun sets
• The temperature falls below freezing again and refreezes the trunk

Winter tree bark injury from sunscald

This freeze-thaw-freeze cycle ends up severely damaging the bark and inner tissues (xylem and phloem) of the tree. This damage appears as large sections of discolored, sunken, or cracked bark in the spring as the tree awakens and begins its growing season. Tree species that are highly susceptible to sunscald include:

• Birch
• Beech
• Maples
• Hickory
• Crape Myrtles
• Elms

Most trees in their youth are highly susceptible to sunscald, as they have yet to grow sufficient cork cells in their bark. Considered dead, cork cells contribute significantly to the protective qualities of a tree’s bark.

You can prevent sunscald by wrapping, painting, or covering your tree trunks in late fall or early winter. Young trees should be wrapped for the first three to four winter seasons after being planted or until they have surpassed four inches diameter at breast height.

You can find more information about southwest injury and splitting bark by reading

Soil Heaving – Soil heaving is a severe threat to all trees, shrubs, and plants growing in your yard or landscape. More common in frigid climates, soil heaving occurs when:

• Soil freezes overnight and compresses
• Soil thaws during the day, decompressing and leaving openings in the ground
• Soil freezes and thaws over and over again, allowing more freezing air into the soil each time.

During these freezing and thawing cycles, there are two highly damaging effects taking place:

1. Freezing air is being allowed to penetrate the soil, freezing and/or killing roots
2. The expansion and contraction of the soil dislodges and “pushes up” roots.

Winter tree injury from soil heaving pushing roots to ground surface

Soil heaving can be prevented by applying a three-inch layer of organic mulch over the root plate of your trees and shrubs. The mulch will help regulate the soil temperature and moisture level.

You can find more information about mulching techniques by reading

Winter Drought – Winter drought occurs when little to no precipitation falls throughout the winter season. Simultaneously, soil desiccation occurs from intense sunlight, cold temperatures, and wind.

Through winter, tree roots are already working much more slowly than in other seasons. When you factor in the absence of moisture, you are left with a recipe that can kill or significantly damage the healthiest of trees.

You can fight winter drought by watering your trees and shrubs frequently throughout fall and mulching them with a three-inch layer of fresh organic mulch before winter sets in.

Tip: As long as the ground has not frozen, you can water your trees in winter.

Animal Damage – During the winter months, food becomes scarce for wildlife. Thus, some animals will resort to gnawing at the tender bark of young tree trunks, the lower limbs of trees, and in the case of deer, use their antlers to attack the trunk.

Winter tree protection from wildlife grazing

To prevent animal damage or attacks, you can erect a protective barrier around the tree, or use repellant sprays, applied to the bark, that irritate their sense of smell.

Learn more about preventing tree threats by reading

Note: If you have volcano mulched your tree, squirrels, and other rodents may use the base of the tree as a nest, gnaw at the root flare, and potentially girdle your tree.

Winter Injury to Evergreen and Deciduous Trees

In this article, you discovered what winter tree injury is, the many ways in which it can occur, and how you can take steps to treat and prevent it.

By taking proactive measures to prevent winter injury, you are providing your trees with a better opportunity to grow and thrive during their growing seasons.

Leaving your trees exposed to the elements, you run a real risk of them developing conditions that attract disease and insect infestations that may lead to their decline and eventual death.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

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5 Tips on How to Harvest Firewood From a Fallen Tree

Has a tree fallen in your landscape? If so, you should consider harvesting it for firewood.

It’s not uncommon for a single tree to yield anywhere from one-quarter cord to one full cord of firewood. Furthermore, harvesting the fallen tree for firewood means you won’t have to worry about hauling off and disposing of the tree.

With that said, you should follow these five tips to get the highest-quality firewood from the fallen tree.

#1) Choose Hardwood, Not Softwood

It’s recommended that you harvest firewood from hardwood trees and not softwood trees.

Hardwood trees, such as oak, contain less sap than softwood trees, such as pine. Therefore, they offer better firewood that produces more heat and less resin-filled smoke when burned.

#2) Split Into Halves or Quarters

After cutting the tree into equally sized logs, you should split those logs into halves or quarters.

Why is splitting necessary exactly?

Splitting does two things: First, it facilitates the drying process by allowing moisture to evaporate out of the wood more quickly. Second, it creates smaller pieces of firewood that are easier to light.

#3) Store Off the Ground

You shouldn’t burn firewood harvested from a fallen tree immediately after splitting it.

Rather, you’ll need to store it outside so that it can dry – a process known as seasoning.

Don’t just store your firewood directly on the ground outside your home, however. Instead, store it off the ground, such as on a wood deck or concrete pad, where it won’t be able to absorb moisture from the soil.

#4) Cover It

You’ll also need to cover your firewood when seasoning it.

Without any form of cover, your firewood won’t dry out. Each time it rains, the wood will absorb some of the water. A simple and effective way to protect your firewood from the elements is to cover it with a tarp.

#5) Let It Dry for at Least 6 Months

Depending on the particular tree species, as well as the moisture content, it can take fresh wood up to six months to dry.

Neglecting to wait at least six months will result in damp firewood that’s difficult to light. All the moisture inside the firewood will restrict its ability to ignite as well as burn.

So, mark your calendar to ensure that your firewood seasons outside for at least six months.

The Woodsman Company offers tree planting, tree pruning and shrub trimming, tree removal and stump grinding as well as a tree wellness program.

The post 5 Tips on How to Harvest Firewood From a Fallen Tree appeared first on Woodsman Tree Service.

Caring for and Planting a Potted Christmas Tree

Decorated indoor potted christmas tree

With some simple steps, you can avoid significantly damaging your potted Christmas tree while it’s in your home. Likewise, by taking a few essential measures into consideration, your potted Christmas tree will thrive outside for years to come. assembled the following list of care and planting tips for your potted Christmas tree.

Potted Christmas Tree Selection

Responsible tree care begins with your tree selection. The following will help you get the right tree for your holiday enjoyment and avoid transporting a potential infestation or tree disease to your landscape:

• Some highly sought after species for potted Christmas trees include Fraser fir, white pine, and Norway, white and Colorado blue spruces.
• The species should be adapted to your USDA hardiness zone
• The root ball or soil in the pot should be moist
• The tree should appear sturdy with even growth
• There should be no signs of disease or infestation
• Little to no needles should fall off the tree when shaken
• Branches and needles should be pliable when run through your hand
• Look for potted trees that are kept outside (these trees should be in a state of dormancy)

Selecting a potted christmas tree to plant after the holidays

If the tree is purchased from a climate-controlled nursery, avoid trees with new growth at the end of its stems. This new growth (triggered by the warmth indoors) will appear bright green. It will not have time to harden before being planted outside and exposed to winter temperatures after the holiday.

Visit to learn more about the hardiness zones and how to determine your precise zone.

Tip: Look for trees in the 4 to 5-foot range. Since these trees still have their roots and surrounding soil, they will be much heavier than live cut trees. The taller the tree, the more roots and soil are required. Thus, the shorter the tree, the more manageable it will be during transport and planting.

How To Bring Your Potted Christmas Tree Indoors

Now that you have the perfect tree for your holiday celebration, use the following steps to acclimate the tree to come indoors:

Garage Your Tree – When you arrive home, leave your tree in the garage for two to three days. This will allow the tree to get used to warmer temperatures and avoid stressing it.

Stressed trees are highly susceptible to successful insect and disease attacks.

Digging A Hole for the Tree – While the tree is acclimating to go indoors, take some time to prepare its planting location outdoors. Take the following into consideration:

Digging a hole for a potted christmas tree

Know the species height and width at maturity. Your tree is likely capable of reaching heights of 80 to 100-feet and width of 20-feet or more. Choose a location away from power lines and at least 30-feet from any structures or paved areas in your landscape.

Now that you have a location, dig a hole 3-feet across and as deep as the root ball or pot. Keep the dug up soil in the garage (protected from freezing), fill the hole with straw, and cover it with wooden planks. This will help you avoid significant delays in case the ground freezes.

Inspect Your Tree – Once acclimated, thoroughly inspect your tree once more for signs of insect infestation before bringing it indoors.

Some of the potential insect passengers you may find include:

• Aphids
• Bark Beetles
• Scale
• Lanternflies
• Stink Bugs

Visit to read more about Christmas tree bug control and prevention.

Timing and Duration – Potted Christmas trees should be brought indoors as close to your holiday celebration as possible. Unlike cut Christmas trees, potted trees will react to the warmer temperature indoors and begin to exit dormancy.

From the time your tree is brought indoors, you have about ten days before you will need to get it back outside. While your tree is indoors, observe the following to promote its health:

• Place the tree in a location far from heat sources, including fireplaces, vents, portable heaters, stoves, etc.
• Use led lights on the tree to avoid drying it out. If conventional light strings are used, be sure to limit the time they are turned on.
• Water the tree daily with 30 to 40 ice cubes placed on the root ball or the soil in the pot.
• Help the tree remain in dormancy by putting it in a cooler room with an abundance of natural light.

Tip: If you detect any new growth or signs of sprouting at any time, remove all of the decorations and lighting. It’s time to get it outside.

Potted Christmas tree with new bright green growth

How To Take Your Potted Christmas Tree Outdoors

The same way you acclimated your tree to come indoors, you will need to acclimate it to go outdoors. You can accomplish this by removing all decorations and lighting, then moving it back to the garage for two to three days.

Planting Your Christmas Tree

The following steps will help you successfully plant your acclimated tree:

• Uncover the hole you previously dug and remove the straw
• Move the saved soil back to the side of the hole
• Fill the hole with water, let the water soak into the ground, and repeat
• Move the tree to the edge of the hole and gently lay it on its side (with the top of the tree pointing away from the hole)
• Carefully remove the pot (keep the soil intact)
• If the root ball is wrapped in burlap, leave the burlap on for now
• Slide the tree towards the center of the hole, so the root ball is at the center of the hole
• Raise the tree into its position (remove the burlap now)
• Loosen the soil in the root ball and free any circling roots
• Fill in the hole making sure the root flare does not get buried
• For stability, it may be necessary to stake the tree for the first 6 months
• Water the tree and add a 3-inch layer of organic mulch around the entire base without covering any part of the trunk

Potted christmas tree for indoor holiday celebration

For more tips and guidance on successfully planting a tree, read

Note: If the ground has frozen, there is snow accumulation, or if your tree sprouted new growth and began to bud, don’t plant it just yet. Keep it and continue caring for it in the garage until the threat of freezing temperatures has passed.

Potted Christmas Tree Care And Planting

In this article, you discovered what it takes to care for a potted Christmas tree and plant it when your holiday celebrations are over.

By properly acclimating and caring for your potted tree, you can keep it from harm’s way and enjoy its beauty for years to come.

By neglecting the needs of your potted Christmas tree, it will likely end up stressed and suffering permanent damage.


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How to Prevent Tree Roots From Growing Above Ground

Whether it’s a hardwood or softwood, all trees have roots. Roots are designed to collect nutrients and water from the surrounding soil while also stabilizing trees.

As a result, most trees have a subterranean root system that grows underground. There are times, however, when a tree’s roots may grow above ground.

Why Roots Grow Above Ground

A tree’s roots can grow above ground for several reasons.

Uneven terrain with a steep incline, for instance, may result in above-ground roots. If a tree is located on a steep incline, its roots may grow outwards rather than downwards.

Older trees are also more likely to grow above-ground roots than younger counterparts. As a tree ages, its feeder roots will dig into the soil, potentially pushing up its other roots.

This typically isn’t a concern with young trees. Once a tree reaches maturity, though, its old roots must push up and through the soil.

Cover the Above-Ground Roots

If you discover a tree with above-ground roots in your landscape, you should consider covering them.

Exposed roots aren’t just an eyesore; they can prove hazardous. You or a family member, for example, could trip and fall while walking in your landscape, or you could accidentally strike the above-ground roots with your lawnmower.

Regardless, a simple and effective way to prevent roots from growing above ground is to cover them.

You can cover the above-ground roots with either soil or mulch.

Of those two options, mulch is recommended because of its high level of nutrients. Mulch contains a plethora of beneficial nutrients that trees need to grow.

Using mulch, you can cover the above-ground roots in your landscape while replenishing your trees with vital nutrients in the process.

Trim the Above-Ground Roots

Alternatively, you can trim the above-ground roots.

Some people assume that trimming a tree’s roots will kill it. Assuming you don’t overdo it, though, you can safely trim above-ground roots without fear of it killing or otherwise harming the tree.

When pruning above-ground roots, follow the rule of three.

What is the rule of three exactly? Basically, it states that a tree’s roots should consume at least three times the tree’s diameter.

If a tree’s diameter is 5 feet, you shouldn’t prune its above-ground roots more than 15 feet away.

For above-ground roots that extend farther than three times the tree’s diameter, you may want to simply cover them with soil or mulch.

The Woodsman Company offers tree planting, tree pruning and shrub trimming, tree removal and stump grinding as well as a tree wellness program.

The post How to Prevent Tree Roots From Growing Above Ground appeared first on Woodsman Tree Service.

5 Common Types of Weeds That Grow in Texas

It’s frustrating when you spend long hours mowing and grooming your Texas lawn, only for weeds to emerge.

As the weeds spread across your landscape, they’ll steal moisture and nutrients from other plants. Different weeds, however, prefer different regions in which to grow.

As a Texas homeowner, you should familiarize yourself with the five following types of weeds, all of which grow in Texas.

#1) Thistle

Onopordum acanthium, or what’s more commonly known as thistle, is a flowering plant featuring spiny leaves and multi-winged stems that grows throughout Texas.

While other weeds are often kept in check by herbivores, thistle is naturally protected against animals. The weed’s spiny leaves deter herbivores, allowing thistle to rapidly spread.

#2) Chickweed

In addition to thistle, chickweed is a common weed found throughout the Lone Star State.

Also known as chickenwort and maruns, it’s an annual weed that reaches heights of just 40 cm when fully grown.

In Texas, chickweed is commonly found in residential lawns, meadows, fields and other open areas of land.

#3) Dandelion

Whether you’ve lived in Texas for one year or 50 years, you’ve probably seen dandelions growing.

Dandelions are a genus of flowering plant characterized by their distinct flowerheads and seedheads.

Dandelion flowerheads consist of bright-yellow-colored pedals that bloom outward. Dandelion seedheads, on the other hand, consist of many thin and fluffy seeds.

Regardless, dandelions in either of the two life cycle stages can quickly consume your landscape.

#4) Crabgrass

Of course, Texas isn’t without its fair share of crabgrass. Also known as finger grass and fonio, it grows in large clusters of uneven grass leaves.

One of the reasons why crabgrass is so common is because of the number of seeds it produces. Just a single crabgrass plant can produce up to 150,000 seeds each year.

With that said, you can keep crabgrass in check by properly watering and fertilizing your lawn. Although it can grow in a variety of environments, crabgrass prefers dry, poorly fertilized soil.

#5) Yellow Foxtail

Featuring long fuzz-covered stems resembling a fox’s tail, yellow foxtail is another common Texas weed.

Like thistle, it features a natural defense mechanism to protect against herbivores. The fuzz encompassing the top of foxtail is often razor-sharp, thereby deterring animals from consuming the weed as a source of food.

Yellow foxtail is frequently found in woods and areas of thick brush.

The post 5 Common Types of Weeds That Grow in Texas appeared first on Woodsman Tree Service.

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