Month: February 2020

How To Identify and Manage 7 Deadly Tree Defects

Cracked branches or tree trunks are defects that can lead to sudden toppling destruction and injury

If you don’t know what to look for, a tree defect can cause a significant hazard for you. By knowing how to identify and manage severe tree defects, you can prevent catastrophic and life-threatening damages from branch and tree falls. gathered information on 7 tree defects, how to identify them, and how to manage them before they become deadly.

Deadly Tree Defects

The following tree defects are structural in nature and can result from disease, poor tree architecture, or injury. When such defects cause a tree or branch to fail, the damages or injuries to structures and people can be utterly catastrophic.

Here’s how to identify and manage these deadly defects:

Cracks in Branches or Tree Trunks

Cracks in your tree can represent weakness in the tree’s structure or internal decay rotting away at the inner wood of the tree.

How To Identify Cracks – When you can see past the bark of the tree into the lighter colored inner wood, you have identified a crack. Cracks can follow the grain of the tree (as if the tree was splitting) or intersect it (as if the tree was breaking), both types of breaks require your immediate attention.

How To Manage Cracks – If the crack is located on a branch away from the branch collar, it can be pruned off the tree at the root collar. However, if the crack is located on the tree trunk, you may have to have the tree removed to eliminate the danger it poses.

When it comes to cracks on a tree, it is highly recommended to call a professional tree service to perform a hazard assessment and offer a reasonable course of action. Read more about tree hazard assessments at

Weak Branch Unions

Some branches on trees may grow in a way that makes them a severe hazard as the tree grows larger and heavier.

How To Identify Weak Branch Unions – Look at the area where the branch meets the tree trunk. There “should” be what is known as a branch collar or branch bark ridge (strong attachment). If this branch collar is absent, this is known as included bark in the branch attachment (weak attachment).

A weak branch union is tree defect that can lead to sudden falling

How To Manage Weak Branch Unions – Prune out branches with weak connections to the tree trunk. As the tree and branches grow, so shall their weight. When these branches spontaneously detach from the tree, they can wreak havoc on lower branches, and whatever else is below.

Read more about tree pruning and cutting at

Poor Tree or Crown Architecture

Poorly-maintained or unmaintained trees can present several worrisome defects. Perhaps the most troubling of those defects is the growth of multiple leaders. Multiple leaders are the vertical branches of a tree from which the horizontal branches form the crown.

How To Identify Poor Tree Architecture – Stand far enough away from the tree in question, so that you can see the majority of the crown and the branches that lead into it from the trunk. If the tree looks lopsided (more branches and foliage on one side of the crown), or there are multiple leaders, the tree’s architecture should be addressed.

The lower on the trunk that multiple leaders begin, the more unstable the tree will be as it grows.

Multiple leaders are a tree defect that can lead to weak stems and collapse

How To Manage Poor Tree Architecture – For trees with a disproportionate crown, a professional tree service should be hired to thin the crown and restore a sense of balance to the tree.

For trees growing multiple leaders, especially those trees growing them low to the ground, one leader should be chosen to remain while the others are pruned from the tree. This type of management is most effective when the tree is younger.

Leaning Trees

Trees that lean can have an ominous appearance. If that lean is greater than 15 degrees, removal of the tree should be considered for damage and injury prevention. When it comes to the direction of a fall, avoid basing your assumption on the direction of the lean, wind and holding wood can cause it to fall in any direction, including opposite the direction of the lean.

How To Identify A Corrected Lean – A corrected lean happens when a tree has been leaning for a very long time. The base of the tree will lean, but the trunk corrects itself as the tree grows. This may appear as a curvature or a hard angle (crook) where the tree corrected itself.

As the tree ages, a natural lean may slowly increase due to the increasing weight of the trunk and crown.

How To Manage A Corrected Lean – Corrected leans are relatively common in nature and don’t require immediate attention. However, if it becomes an uncorrected lean, the tree may have to be removed.

How To Identify An Uncorrected Lean – These leans can occur when the root plate destabilizes, cracks on the trunk increase in size, or decay at the top or bottom of the trunk cause the crown or entire tree to lean.

An uncorrected lean is a tree defect that can lead to toppling injury and damage

How To Manage An Uncorrected Lean – Trees with an uncorrected lean are extremely hazardous and have already begun to fall. These trees should be addressed and removed by a professional tree service immediately.

Tree Decay

Tree decay is one of the most common contributors to tree failure during severe weather events, and in advanced cases, sudden tree failure.

How To Identify Tree Decay – When fungal fruiting structures or mushroom conks begin to bloom out of the trunk or root flare, there is decay at work deep within the tree. This is an incredibly dangerous situation that should never be overlooked or ignored.

Fungal infection ia a tree defect that can lead to severe decay poor health and eventual death

How To Manage Tree Decay – Once you have identified the signs of decay, have a tree risk assessment performed as quickly as possible to determine when the tree should be removed.

Tree Root Problems

While tree roots may be buried, their effect on trees becomes very evident, making identification fairly easy.

How To Identify Tree Root Problems – Two common root problems can lead to the failure and falling of a tree. One problem is stem girdling roots (SGRs), these roots encircle the tree trunk just under the ground. As the tree grows, the encircled roots also grow and thicken. The SGRs eventually cause the complete hydraulic failure of the tree.

Look at the root flare, if you see one of the flares making a hard turn “hugging” the curvature of the trunk, it is likely encircling the trunk. Another sign is the sudden wilting and death of the entire crown of an otherwise healthy tree.

Stem girdling roots are a tree defect that can lead to poor health and death

Root rot can be caused by any one of several disease pathogens. It can also occur in soaked soil with poor drainage. When root rot is present, you may see an entire section of the tree’s crown wilt and die. In severe cases, where the entire root plate is affected, the whole crown may suddenly wilt and die.

How To Manage Tree Root Problems – For SGRs, these roots must be cut away from the tree before killing it. For root rot, upon detection, a professional tree service should be called to assess the severity of the damage and whether or not the tree can be salvaged.

Tree Trunk Cankers

Cankers can appear on and affect tree trunks and branches. They are areas of tissue that have been killed by fire, sunscald, disease, insects, animal, and/or human activity.

How To Identify Cankers – Cankers appear as a darkened or sunken area of bark. This affliction causes an area of previously living bark to die and is usually associated with decay. Some cankers will ooze sap or fluids produced from the decaying of sapwood.

Cankers are a tree defect that can lead to infection rot and death of the host

How To Manage Cankers – Cankers on branches should be pruned off the tree when discovered. This prevents any disease or pathogen from spreading further within the tree. Cankers on the trunk are more problematic and should be treated the same as a crack.

Cankers on tree trunks weaken the structure of the tree and are highly susceptible to insect infestation and disease. It is highly recommended that a professional tree service be called to perform a tree hazard assessment and recommend preventative measures.

Managing Tree Defects

In this article, you discovered 7 deadly tree defects, how to identify them, and what actions to take before they cause catastrophic loss and/or injury.

By taking immediate action to reverse or eliminate tree defects, you are ensuring the safety of your property and eliminating a potentially deadly tree failure.

Ignoring the signs of tree defects can result in costly damages to your property, structures, and vehicles. If the defect is coupled with a disease or infestation, your failure to respond may spread such problems to other trees and plant life on your property.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

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

The post How To Identify and Manage 7 Deadly Tree Defects appeared first on

Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Lawn Go to Seed

If you’ve discovered one or more bare patches of grass in your lawn, you might assume that letting your lawn go to seed will fill the bare patch or patches.

Grass is a plant, and like most plants, they reproduce by developing and releasing seeds. By intentionally neglecting your lawn, your grass will develop new seeds to fill bare patches – a process known as “going to seed.”

While letting your lawn go to seed may sound harmless, it’s typically a bad idea for several reasons.


You can expect more weeds in your lawn if you let it go to seed.

Mowing your lawn doesn’t just cut the grass; it cuts the weeds. When you let your lawn go to seed, though, you won’t be able to mow it, resulting in more weeds.

During the spring and summer months, weeds can quickly take over your lawn if you rarely or never mow it.

A good rule of thumb is to mow your lawn weekly during the spring and summer. But it can take over a month for grass to produce new seeds.

Therefore, allowing your lawn to go to seed will pave the way for weeds.


Your lawn may become thinner if you let it go to seed. Grass consumes more energy when it’s producing seeds.

Rather than using nutrients from the soil to fill bare patches, it will use nutrients to produce new seeds.

As a result, allowing your lawn to go to seed won’t fill bare patches. It actually has the opposite effect by promoting a thinner lawn with a greater number of bare patches.


Native grass typically produces seeds that, when germinated, will grow into new blades of grass.

The problem with residential lawn grasses, however, is that many consist of hybrid varieties that don’t germinate.

Your grass may still produce new seeds – assuming you don’t mow it regularly – but the seeds won’t sprout into new grass blades.


Another reason you shouldn’t let your lawn go to seed is the potential for pests.

Many insects feast on the seeds produced by grass. And because many residential grasses produce non-germinating seeds, these seeds will blanket your lawn while providing insects with a readily available source of food.

If you’re struggling to control insects around your home, you should mow your lawn regularly rather than allowing it to go to seed.

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 Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Lawn Go to Seed appeared first on Woodsman Tree Service.

When Should I Cut Down A Tree on My Property?

Cut down a dying or dead tree on my property

Does your tree look sick or like it’s going to fall? By knowing the signs of a hazardous tree on your property, you can take action to prevent catastrophic damages and losses. gathered information on the signs of a dead, dying, or dangerous tree, and whether or not it should be removed.

When Is Tree Removal Necessary?

You may need to remove your tree if it:

• Is dead or dying
• Is Rotting or hollow
• Has invasive or destructive roots
• Has been infested and poses a threat to surrounding trees
• Is diseased and could infect other trees or plants
• Poses an imminent threat to people, structures, or vehicles

Trees go through many phases as they mature. When any irregularities are detected, you should contact a professional tree service immediately. Have the tree professionally evaluated and make an informed decision on whether or not to remove the tree.

Is My Tree Dead or Dying?

The answer to that question is: Possibly. A deciduous tree may look dead, when in fact, it may only be dormant. Consider the following when evaluating your tree:

Deciduous Trees – A deciduous tree is one that loses its leaves in the fall and goes into a state of dormancy until the end of the winter season. These trees may look dead while in dormancy but are likely very much alive.

Cut down a deciduous tree on my property when it is dying diseased or dead

You can confirm this by performing a “scratch test” on a smaller branch or twig. If the twig is dead, it will be dry and brittle underneath the bark. A live one will have a shade of green and be moist under the bark.

Evergreen Trees – An evergreen tree maintains its foliage throughout the year. If you notice an excessive loss of foliage or the discoloration of a large portion of the tree, there may be root, sun, or wind damage.

Cut down a diseased evergreen tree on my property

The following are signs of trouble for any tree and should be evaluated by a certified arborist immediately:

• The unusual or untimely loss of foliage
• Sections of the tree failing to leaf out in the spring
• Discoloration or wilting of a section of the tree crown
• New foliage is stunted, wilted, or discolored
• Mushroom conks are growing on the trunk or on surface roots
• Sprouts or suckers growing from the roots of the tree
• Entry or exit holes from boring insects
• Dead branches in the crown
• Sudden shedding of branches
• Your tree has begun to lean
• Neighboring trees are dying suddenly
• Mold or mildew has grown on a significant portion of the foliage
• There is significant damage to foliage from an insect infestation
• Your tree was struck by lightning
• Large portions of bark have been damaged or fallen off the trunk
• A severe storm has stripped your tree of foliage and damaged multiple branches

Cut down a storm damaged tree on my property

Through the life of a tree, it will face many health threats. In most cases, it can overcome those threats and continue thriving. However, when the tree is confronted by multiple threats, its health may decline, allowing some of those threats to damage it severely enough to kill it.

Many of the above signs can be mitigated or completely avoided when detected in their earliest stages. You can accomplish this by having an annual inspection performed on your tree(s) in late winter or early spring.

Read more about identifying tree diseases and trouble at

Removing Nuisance Trees from Your Property

Some tree species can become a tremendous nuisance as they mature and thrive. Some of the problems they may cause include:

• Interfering with power lines
• Branches overhanging your house, garage, or neighbor’s property
• Invasive roots breaking foundations, invading septic tanks, or buckling concrete
• Large roots growing along the ground surface
• The tree is self-pruning and begins to shed large limbs (eucalyptus trees do this frequently)

Invasive root systems like those of the aspen species can cause massive amounts of damage in a short amount of time. Read more about invasive root problems at

In cases where a tree is near or on your property line, arguments and disputes may occur between neighbors. Before taking any action, you will need to determine ownership and/or responsibility of that tree. Read to learn how this is determined.

Do I Need A Tree Removal Permit

Cities and municipalities across the country have tree ordinances in place to protect or preserve their trees. That said, there are cases in which dead trees or trees that pose an imminent threat of falling can be removed immediately and without a permit. However, you will likely be required to document the hazard and the need for removal fully. A certified arborist’s report, in some municipalities, may also be required.

Cut down a dead dying diseased or infested tree on my property with a removal permit

You can hire our arborist, or search for an arborist or verify one’s credentials by visiting

Special Trees – Some tree species are vigorously protected in some municipalities, and their removal, for any reason without permission, may result in steep fines, recompense, and even planting new trees of the same or predetermined species, as defined by the tree ordinance. These reasons may include:

• Historical significance
• Age
• Size
• Rare or protected species
• Wildlife refuge
• Trees with a specific diameter at breast height (DBH)

Whenever you have a tree that needs to be removed (for any reason), consult your city’s codes and ordinances to determine whether you need a permit or not. The following may help as well:

• Visit your city’s website and search for tree removal permit information
• Call your city’s arborist or Forestry department
• Hire a professional tree service that can acquire the appropriate permits and do the job.

When it comes to trees, medium and large trees should always be handled by professionals. If you try to cut such a tree down without the proper knowledge and equipment, you may be placing your property and your life in jeopardy.

Removing Trees from Your Property

In this article, you discovered how to determine when a tree is dead, dying, has become a hazard, and if it should be removed.

By taking action when you detect a tree illness, infestation, or damage, you are preserving the safety of your property.

When you delay taking care of sick or wounded trees, you are leaving an open invitation for catastrophic events that can destroy your property and threaten the well-being of you and your loved ones.


This article was first published on:

Here’s What You Should Know About Stump Grinding Services

Stump Grinding Services Do you live near mountains or forest in northern New Jersey? Most people think of New Jersey as “all city,” but there are actually a lot of tree-filled rural/suburban communities in the state.

Stump Removal vs Stump Grinding Services

When people have trees cut down, sometimes they leave the stump… but most times they take advantage of stump grinding services from companies like Big Foot Tree Service. Stump grinding involves cutting the tree stump down to the surface of the ground. It’s different than stump removal, which removes roots and then the hole gets covered with soil or dirt. With stump grinding, a little bit of the tree still remains in a yard– the generally flat, grounded stump.

Stump Grinding

Stump grinding is faster than stump removal as it’s not as labor intensive. It doesn’t leave a gaping hole in the ground and is considered to be environmentally-friendly. Meanwhile, the stump can be used for mulching. A tree service company like Big Foot Tree Service uses a stump grinder machine which mechanically grinds out the stump, leaving fine sawdust as a residue. As a customer, you can decide how “tall” or “short” you want the stump ground down to your desired height. Typically, most people want stumps ground to just one inch below the soil level, or even as low as 12 inches underground. Eventually a ground stump mixes with the soil; It levels the ground and can eliminate the need for any filling.

If you do decide to have stump grinding done, be aware that there could be a chance of sprouts and/or regrowth, though it’s highly unlikely.

In New Jersey, if you’d like to get stump grinding done for trees on your property, Big Foot Tree Service of Wayne, NJ, has a special offer… In fact, stump grinding starts at $95. Present the coupon found here when having an estimate done. Note: You can print the coupon or show it using your smart device. The offer can’t be combined with other offers.

This post first appeared on

How to Eliminate and Control Henbit Weeds

Is your lawn overrun with henbit weeds?

While Texas is home to dozens of weeds, few are as common as henbit. And with its ability to grow over 1 foot tall, it’s a major nuisance for homeowners in The Lone Star State.

The good news is that there are ways to eliminate and control henbit weeds.

What Is Henbit?

Lamium amplexicaule, or what’s more commonly known as henbit, is a type of annual weed that emerges from the soil during the fall season and begins flowering in the spring season.

When flowering, henbit produce colorful flowers with fuzz-covered leaves.

Because of its ability to grow over 1 foot tall, henbit consumes a substantial amount of moisture and nutrients from the soil.

As a result, your grass – as well as flowers, trees and other good plants – may suffer from lack of moisture or lack of nutrition.

Fill in Your Lawn

You can discourage henbit from growing in your lawn by filling open spaces containing little or no grass.

Henbit typically grows in open areas such as this. If there’s little or no grass, henbit won’t have to compete for moisture and nutrients, thereby allowing it to quickly grow.

To prevent this from happening in your lawn, you need to reseed open areas. Apply a mixture of fertilizer and seed to fill open areas so that they aren’t susceptible to henbit or other weeds.

Raise Your Lawnmower Blade

Another way to keep henbit out of your lawn is to raise your lawnmower blade.

Many homeowners assume that it’s best to use the lowest blade setting, believing it will save them time and energy. While it’s true that using the lowest blade setting will reduce the frequency at which you need to mow your lawn, it also paves the way for weeds, including henbit.

If your grass isn’t tall enough, henbit may emerge through the soil. Therefore, you should consider raising your lawnmower blade to at least 2 inches if you’re worried about henbit.

Apply Herbicide

Of course, you can use herbicide to spot treat areas of your lawn in which henbit is growing.

2,4-D Amine is a popular herbicide used in the treatment of henbit. Alternatively, you can make your own herbicide using vinegar, water and dish soap.

Whether you use store-bought or homemade herbicide, use caution when applying it to ensure it doesn’t get on your grass.

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 Eliminate and Control Henbit Weeds appeared first on Woodsman Tree Service.

6 Tips to Stop Birds From Eating Grass Seed

Birds are typically a welcome addition to a landscape – but not if you’re planting grass seed.

Whether it’s fescue, St. Augustine, Kentucky bluegrass or Bermuda, birds love to feast on nutrient-rich grass seed. Unfortunately, sowing your lawn won’t do any good if birds devour the seed.

There are several precautions you can take, however, to stop birds from eating your grass seed.

#1) Plant Deeper in Soil

Planting your grass seed deeper in the soil will lower the risk of it being devoured by birds.

Most birds spend their time scavenging food on the ground. They generally won’t dig very deep into the soil. By placing your grass seed at least a half-inch deep, birds won’t be able to easily access it.

#2) Cover With Straw or Pine Needles

Another way to stop birds from eating your grass seed is to cover it with straw or pine needles.

After sowing your lawn with new grass seed, cover it with a thin but complete layer of straw or pine needles. The presence of the straw or pine needles will conceal your grass seed so that birds are less likely to spot it.

#3) Install a Net

While it’s a bit more laborious than using straw or pine needles, installing a net over your newly planted grass seed can protect it from birds.

Most gardening stores and plant nurseries sell netting material that’s designed specifically for this purpose. Consisting of a plastic mesh material, you can install the netting over your newly sowed lawn to protect it from birds.

#4) Mix With Fertilizer

Birds are less likely to eat your grass seed if you mix it with fertilizer beforehand.

Fertilizer often contains chemicals that are safe – or even beneficial – for plants but toxic to birds and other animals. Birds can sense fertilizer, and if it’s mixed with grass seed, they’ll tend to avoid it.

#5) Scare Them Away

You can always try to scare birds away from your lawn.

Hanging a wind chime from a nearby tree branch, for example, may scare away birds. The metal-on-metal sound produced by the wind chimes will deter birds so that they are less likely to eat your grass seed.

#6) Install a Bird Feeder

Something as simple as installing a bird feeder may stop birds from eating your grass seed.

If you discover birds gathering in a particular area of your lawn, install a bird feeder in that area. With a readily available source of food, the birds should stay away from your grass seed.

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 6 Tips to Stop Birds From Eating Grass Seed appeared first on Woodsman Tree Service.

A Beginner’s Guide to Using Landscape Timbers

If you’re looking to improve the appearance of your landscape, you should consider using landscape timbers.

Offering both aesthetic and functional benefits, they can improve your landscape in several ways.

In case this is your first time hearing about them, though, you might be wondering how to use landscape timbers.

What Are Landscape Timbers?

Available for sale at most home improvement stores, as well as plant nurseries and gardening stores, landscape timbers are long pieces of solid wood.

They typically measure between 3 and 6 inches wide, and they can have either sharp or rounded ends. They are called “landscape timbers” because they are designed primarily for use in landscaping projects.

Other types of timber are used for construction projects, but landscape timbers are used for landscaping projects.

Build a Raised Flowerbed

You can build a raised flowerbed with landscape timbers.

This otherwise common landscaping project involves laying timbers around the perimeter of your flowerbed to create a frame, after which you can fill the interior space with soil. Once filled with soil, you can then plant flowers inside the frame.

Some homeowners assume that raised flowerbeds are difficult and time-consuming to build, but this isn’t necessarily true.

With landscape timbers, you can build a fully functional, as well as attractive, raised flowerbed with minimal effort.

Build Containers for Trees

In addition to raised flowerbeds, you can use landscape timbers to build containers for trees.

If you have one or more trees that play an important role in your landscape’s aesthetics, try building a container around them. With landscape timbers, you can easily build tree containers to achieve a cleaner and better-looking landscape.

To build a tree container, create a square- or rectangular-shaped frame around the perimeter of the tree.

The container won’t prevent the tree’s roots from spreading into and throughout the soil. It will, however, keep weeds and other invasive plants from encroaching into the tree’s territory.

Define Edges

You can use landscape timbers pretty much anywhere in your landscape to define the edges.

Whether it’s a flowerbed, sidewalk or even an outdoor living area, landscape timbers are the perfect solution for defining the edges.

Keep in mind that you should choose Eco-friendly landscape timbers, especially if you’re planning to use them around flowers or trees.

Pressure-treated landscape timbers are typically a poor choice because they contain harsh chemicals that will leak into the surrounding soil.

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 A Beginner’s Guide to Using Landscape Timbers appeared first on Woodsman Tree Service.

This website nor its owners are an actual service provider, this website is a referral service. When you place a phone call from this website, it will route you to a licensed, professional service provider that serves your area. For more information refer to our terms of service.


(877) 959-3534