Month: March 2020

How to Spot an Aphid Infestation in Large Trees

Aphids are an all-too-common pest in gardens and landscapes. Also known as greenflies and blackflies, they feast on sap.

Because of their small size, however, aphids often go unnoticed. When fully grown, aphids are only about one-eighth of an inch long.

While you can’t easily spot them from afar, there are other ways to tell if large trees are infected with aphids.

Sticky Leaves

If you believe aphids have infested a large tree in your landscape, look at the leaves to see if they are sticky.

As previously mentioned, these otherwise small pests feast on sap. They’ll suck the sap the sap out of leaves while leaving behind a sticky residue in their wake.

Black Fungi

Another possible sign of an aphid infestation in large trees is the presence of black fungi.

As the sap sits on the tree’s leaves, it encourages the growth of black fungi. Fungal spores in the air will fall on the sap, at which point the fungi will begin to spread.

Sap Below the Tree

You should check around the base of the tree – particularly the area of the ground directly below the canopy – to see if there’s sap present.

When aphids feast on a tree’s sap, some of the sap will inevitably fall to the ground below. Therefore, the presence of sap below a tree may suggest that it’s infested with aphids.

Yellow Spots

The presence of yellow spots on a tree’s leaves may also indicate an aphid infestation.

Most aphids are yellow, so when they infest a tree, they look like yellow spots. When viewed up closed, you may even notice them moving. Regardless, if you see groups of yellow spots on a tree’s leaves, there’s a good chance that it’s suffering from an aphid infestation.

Curled Leaves

Perhaps one of the most common signs of an aphid infestation in large trees is curled leaves.

As aphids feast on a tree’s sap, they’ll chew through its leaves. Over time, this may cause the leaves to curl upward or downward.


Finally, you should inspect large trees in your landscape to see if they contain galls.

Like many other garden pests, aphids lay eggs to reproduce. When aphids lay eggs inside or on a tree, the tree may respond by producing large growths known as galls. The galls themselves are typically harmless, but they are indicative of an infestation.

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 Spot an Aphid Infestation in Large Trees appeared first on Woodsman Tree Service.

How to Keep Your Lawn Healthy During a Drought

Is your hometown currently experiencing a drought?

While some regions in the United States generate more rain than others, droughts can occur anywhere. Characterized by a prolonged period of little or no rain, droughts can wreak havoc on your lawn.

Unfortunately, you can’t control the weather, but there are ways to keep your lawn healthy during a drought.

Keep Mowing, But Raise the Blade

Contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t stop mowing your lawn during a drought.

If you don’t mow it, invasive weeds will grow unchecked. Like grass, weeds require water. Many invasive weeds, however, consume less water than grass. Therefore, failure to mow your lawn during a drought will pave the way for weeds.

For a healthy lawn during a drought, you should continue to mow the grass but at a slightly higher blade setting.

Mulch the Grass Clippings

Rather than bagging the grass clippings when mowing your lawn, consider mulching them.

Most lawnmowers have two settings for the grass clippings: bag or mulch. Using the bag allows you to create a cleaner lawn by removing the cut grass clippings. During a drought, though, grass clippings can help to hydrate your lawn.

If you mulch the grass clippings back onto your lawn, they’ll absorb and hold moisture, some of which will be absorbed by the living grass.

Don’t Walk on Your Lawn

Try to avoid walking on your lawn as much as possible.

Lack of water will stress your lawn, and when stressed, your lawn will be more vulnerable to harm. Something as otherwise harmless as walking across your lawn during a drought could result in brown patches of dead or dying grass.

Furthermore, walking on your lawn during a drought will make the soil more compact, which restricts the amount of moisture it can hold.

Water During the Mornings and Evenings

As long as there’s not a water ban or restriction in your area, you can water your lawn to protect it from the effects of a drought.

Most experts recommend watering to a depth of about a half-inch every other week during a drought. The key thing to remember is that you should water during the mornings and evenings rather than in the middle of the day. If you water your lawn during the middle of the day, you’ll lose a substantial amount of water from evaporation.

Watering your lawn during the mornings and evenings, on the other hand, will result in less evaporation because there’s less sunlight.

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 Keep Your Lawn Healthy During a Drought appeared first on Woodsman Tree Service.

Should I Remove That Dead Tree in My Yard?

Diseased dying and dead tree removal from my yard

Your dead tree may pose a harmful threat to your property and human life in the event of a disaster. Knowing the possibilities and consequences of keeping a dead tree in your yard can lead you to an informed decision about its fate. gathered information on how to determine whether to keep or remove a dead in your yard and how it can be repurposed either way.

My Tree Is Dead

A tree, like every other living thing, will eventually die. What to do with it when it dies depends on the following factors:

Diseased Tree – If your tree met its demise due to disease, remove it from your yard. Diseases that infect and kill trees are highly transmissible to plants, shrubs, and other trees.

Dead tree removal with signs of disease

Insect Infested Tree – If your tree died from insect infestation problems, or became infested after it died, have that tree removed immediately. Insects, especially boring insects, can multiply quickly and spread even faster.

Root Rot – Many tree diseases attack the root system and typically occur in poorly-drained soil, causing root rot. Trees dying or dead from root rot can fall at any time, even in the mildest of weather conditions. Trees with this condition should be removed as quickly as possible.

Leaning Tree – If your dying or dead tree starts to lean, take immediate action to have it removed before it loses its center of gravity and falls. For example, a poplar tree that grew to over 100 feet high and weighed well over 10,000 pounds would obliterate whatever it landed on.

Overstory Trees – These are trees that reach or exceed 60 feet in height. Dead overstory trees should be removed to prevent catastrophic damages if they were to fall.

Understory Trees – These are trees that reach heights below 50 feet. In fact, these trees are generally between 12 and 20 feet tall. A dead understory tree can be left in place if:

• After a tree hazard assessment, it is found that the tree poses little to no threat to its surroundings.
• The tree remains disease free and free from infestation.
• Your municipality’s tree ordinance does not require its removal.

For more information about tree hazard assessments, visit

Realistically, there are very few circumstances that support leaving a dead tree standing. However, if these circumstances permit, there is much you can do with the tree.

What To Do With My Dead Tree

Have the tree wholly removed by a professional tree service, unless a certified arborist declares your tree safe. There are many repurposing options for your tree in the following scenarios.

If your tree must be taken down and is free from infestation and disease, consider the following:

• Have the tree cut up for firewood.
• Have the tree turned into wood chips for use as organic mulch.
• Turn the tree into a part of your landscape. As it decomposes, it will provide shelter for wildlife, natural fertilizer for the earth below it, and bark eating animals will have a long-lasting food source.

Dead tree removal cut for firewood

If your tree poses no immediate threat and remains in place, it can be used for the following:

• A standing dead tree, known as a stag, can serve your local wildlife as a sanctuary.
• Paint and decorate your tree to become a conversation piece in your yard.
• Turn the tree into a bird and squirrel feeder (stick seeds and nuts to it using honey and/or peanut butter.
• Apply seasonal decorations to liven up your yard during holidays and events.

Dead tree in my yard festively decorated for the holidays

Tip: If you add lights to your tree, use an LED type light which generates minimal heat and make sure the lights are rated for outdoor use. As your dead tree dries out, it will naturally become more flammable.

Note: Some tree species like aspen or eucalyptus are self-pruning when living (they drop branches suddenly) and should not be left standing after dying. Once dead, self-pruning trees can pose a higher risk of personal injury or property damage as they lose their limbs.

For more ideas about recycling or repurposing a fallen tree, visit

Dead Tree Removal

In this article, you discovered what factors determine the necessity to remove or the ability to keep a dead tree in your yard and what purpose it can serve.

By having your dead tree evaluated by an arborist, you can make an informed decision about the next part of the tree’s journey and purpose.

Your failure to address a dead tree in your yard may result in fines imposed by your municipality, the spread of an infestation or disease, and if the tree should fall, catastrophic damages to your property and/or wellbeing.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

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

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How To Avoid Invasive Tree Roots Destroying Your Landscape

Invasive tree roots damage landscapes and hardscapes resulting in expensive repairs

Invasive tree roots can destroy your turf, buckle concrete, and quickly become a very costly nuisance. Knowing which tree species to avoid planting and how to deal with aggressive trees already on your property will save you time, money, and stress. gathered information on invasive tree roots, the damages they cause, how to stop them, and which species you should not plant.

What Are Invasive Tree Roots

Invasive tree roots quickly grow in search of water and nutrients, finding their way under walkways, driveways, building foundations, sidewalks, water lines, sewer pipes, etc. As these roots thicken, they can cause these structures to fracture and buckle.

A common trait of invasive plants and tree roots is that they are fast-growing. Once these roots find a water source, they take hold and continue spreading to find more water sources.

Invasive Tree Root Damage

Once invasive tree roots spread across your yard or landscape, all they need is a water source. When that water source is tapped into, the roots thicken and tear up your turf, while breaking through nearly everything they have grown beneath.

Among the most expensive damages, invasive tree roots can cause: when they grow under the foundation of your home.

Note: These roots don’t just break through concrete or asphalt, they can cause the earth surrounding them to heave upward.

Invasive tree roots damaging hardscapes walkways and sidewalks

Read to uncover the devastation these roots can cause and ways to repair the damage they cause.

How To Stop Invasive Tree Roots

Don’t plant tree species with invasive roots. If you inherited these trees with your property or were ill-advised when you purchased and planted a tree, here are some of the measures you can take to slow these roots down:

1. Install root barriers to a depth of 18 to 24 inches (the majority of tree roots are found within the top 18 inches of soil). You can install these barriers around young trees or around structures to stop or divert the direction of the roots. When installing barriers, allow enough space for tree roots to form a stable root plate. The root plate generally surrounds the trunk and extends to the tree’s drip line.

2. Root pruning is an option that should be done by an arborist. Pruning tree roots can leave the tree vulnerable to disease and infestation.

3. After planting a tree, provide it with frequent deep waterings to encourage its roots to grow deeper.

4. Plant trees in locations where they can achieve their full growth potential without interfering with structures and landscape features.

5. Make sure the tree you are planting is appropriate for your hardiness zone. Planting outside the tree’s zone may trigger its roots to become aggressive to supply it with enough moisture.

6. Often times, the only solution for invasive root problems is to have the tree removed and the stump ground.

Overgrown invasive tree roots damage landscaping

Invasive Tree Root Species

The following is a brief list of tree species that have displayed invasive root tendencies, are high-maintenance, and short-lived (when compared to similar non-invasive species):

• Aspen (Populus)
• Eastern Cottonwood (Populus deltoides)
• Empress or Princess Tree (Paulownia tomentosa)
• English Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)
• English Holly (Ilex aquifolium)
• English Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus)
• Golden Chain Tree (Laburnum)
• Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)
• Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin)
• Norway Maple (Acer platanoides)
• Saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima)
• Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila)
• Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)
• Sweet Cherry (Prunus avium)
• Sweet Gum (Liquidambar styraciflua)
• Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)
• Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)
• Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)
• Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica)
• White Mulberry (Morus alba)
• White Poplar (Populus alba)

Many of the trees listed above can grow to enormous proportions (in height and width) and likely are not appropriate for small to medium-sized yards and landscapes.

Regardless of the species, you would like to plant, do your homework on how it grows, where it grows, and problems others have had with it. You can also hire an arborist to assess your yard or landscape before planting the tree. This will help you give the tree a healthy beginning.

Read more about planting trees by visiting

Invasive Tree Roots

In this article, you discovered what invasive tree roots are, the damage they are capable of, what you can do to stop them, and several of the species to avoid.

By addressing invasive tree roots as early as possible, you can avoid significant damages to your property, water supply, sewage line, and your home’s foundation.

When you allow invasive tree roots to grow unchecked, you are inviting them to tear up your turf, destroy structures, and upheave the earth they grow in.


This article was first published on:

What Can You Do to Prepare Your Trees for Spring?

Tree PruningWhat are some things you can do to prepare the trees in your yard for spring?

Why not start with some spring cleaning of your yard? It’s that time of the year to walk around and pick up sticks and branches and dispose of them. After the winter months, the yard can get a little messy looking, so why not rake up messes? Do some weeding, too. Ideally, you’ll want to clear out the area within four feet of your tree trunks.

Look for Damage

Spring is also a good time to inspect your trees for damage from the winter. Look for broken or dead branches, as well as water/flood damage around your trees. It’s also important to check for signs of disease. If you don’t know what to look for, hire Big Foot Tree Service to come inspect your trees. If you have any rotting trees in your yard that might cause further damage to people or property, consider having Big Foot Tree Service remove them.

A Time to Lay Down Mulch

Do you mulch around your trees? Spring is a good time to mulch because mulch acts as a barrier on top of soil, and it protects the organic matter underneath– this makes it harder for things like weeds to grow there! If you haven’t added mulch in a while, spring’s a good time to add an extra layer of it for additional protection.

Trees Need a Haircut Too!

As winter ends and spring starts, it’s an ideal time to prune trees. Think of this as a haircut for a tree who hasn’t had one in many months. Prune away dead branches. If you’re not sure how to properly prune trees, Big Foot Tree Service can do the job for you.

Finally, it’s time for fertilizer– apply it at the base of trees in the springtime if you want to optimize growth during the upcoming months.

For more info, call Big Foot Tree Service of New Jersey at 973-885-8000.

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5 Simple Tips to Grow Bigger Tomatoes

Can’t seem to grow plump and juicy tomatoes to matter how much time you spend gardening?

The berries of the Solanum lycopersicum plant, tomatoes are a versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of culinary dishes.

Of course, large tomatoes are preferable over small tomatoes.

If you’re tired of harvesting cherry-sized tomatoes, you should check out the five following tips to grow bigger tomatoes in your garden.

#1) Space at Least 2 Feet Apart

Don’t make the mistake of overcrowding your tomato plants.

Without an adequate amount of space, they won’t be able to develop plump and juicy tomatoes.

So, how far apart should you space your tomato plants?

While some varieties need more space than others, a good rule of thumb is to space tomato plants at least 2 feet apart from each other.

#2) Increase Sun Exposure

The amount of sunlight to which your tomato plants are exposed will affect their size.

As you may have guessed, tomato plants that are exposed to more sunlight produce bigger tomatoes than those exposed to less sunlight.

Sunlight triggers photosynthesis, thereby fueling the plants with more energy to produce bigger tomatoes.

By planting your tomatoes in an area or your garden or landscape that receives a substantial amount of sunlight, you’ll be rewarded with bigger tomatoes.

#3) Use a Trellis

Another simple tip to grow bigger tomatoes is to use a trellis.

Featuring interwoven boards, trellises are designed to accommodate “climbing” plants, including tomatoes.

As a tomato plant grows, it will develop vines that spider outwards. With a trellis nearby, the tomato plant will latch onto the structure, allowing it to grow vertically rather than horizontally.

#4) Add Mulch

Consider adding mulch around the base of your tomato plants.

Mulch is beneficial for all plants – and tomatoes are no exception. It helps to retain moisture, protects the soil from erosion and discourages the intrusion of weeds.

Just remember to use a sufficient amount of mulch so that it covers all the soil surrounding your tomato plants.

#5) Prune the Bottom

Pruning the bottom of your tomato plants can have a positive impact on their harvest size.

When you prune the bottom leaves of a tomato plant, you’ll encourage it to grow new leaves at the top.

This is important because the bottom leaves are susceptible to decay and disease. If you don’t remove a decaying or diseased leaf, it may spread to other parts of the plant.

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 5 Simple Tips to Grow Bigger Tomatoes appeared first on Woodsman Tree Service.

Aeration or Verticutting Which Is Best for Your Lawn?

When researching techniques to improve the appearance of your lawn, you may come across aeration and verticutting.

When used correctly, they can both promote a cleaner, as well as greener, lawn. However, aeration and verticutting aren’t the same. They each work in a different way, and they are each designed for a different purpose.

So, what’s the difference between aeration and verticutting?

What Is Aeration?

Also known as aerification, aeration is a landscaping technique that involves punching holes into the soil.

It’s typically performed using a walk-behind aerator tool. As you push the aerator tool across your lawn, blades will pierce the soil to create holes. Depending on the type of aerator tool used, the holes may measure just 0.5 to 1 inches in diameter and 2 to 4 inches deep.

What Is Verticutting?

Verticutting, on the other hand, is a landscaping technique that involves the removal of thatch (seen in the image above).

It’s not uncommon for organic matter to accumulate around the base of grass. When living and dead organic matter accumulate, it creates thatch.

Verticutting is a landscaping technique in which thatch is removed from a lawn using a tool or machine.

Advantages of Aeration

Aeration offers several advantages, one of which is increased water intake.

Regardless of what type of grass your lawn has, it needs water to thrive. If your lawn consists of hard and compact soil, however, your grass may become dehydrated and die.

Aeration helps by allowing the soil to absorb more water, which in turn protects the grass from dehydration.

If you’re planning to seed or reseed your lawn, you may want to aerate it before. Failure to aerate your lawn means seeds will essentially sit on the top of the soil where they are exposed to the elements. If it rains, the seeds will likely be washed away.

Aeration, however, creates small pockets in the soil that hold seeds and fertilizer.

Advantages of Verticutting

Removing thatch from your lawn with verticutting offers several advantages as well.

When left unchecked, thatch can contribute to infectious disease. As bacteria and fungi feast on the dead organic matter, they may spread to other parts of your lawn.

You can keep your grass safe by performing verticutting to remove the thatch.

Verticutting also allows grass to access more water and nutrients. As it removes thatch, it mixes up the top layer of soil.

The end result is softer soil that fuels grass with water and essential nutrients.

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 Aeration or Verticutting Which Is Best for Your Lawn? appeared first on Woodsman Tree Service.

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Mowing Your Lawn

Regardless of your lawn’s size, you’ll need to mow it regularly to keep the grass, as well as weeds, in check.

Neglecting to mow your lawn for just a few weeks can result in a messy landscape that harms your home’s curb appeal.

With that said, you should avoid the five following mistakes when mowing your lawn.

#1) Mowing Wet Grass

Never mow your lawn when the grass is wet.

Moisture will weigh down the grass, causing them to bend rather than stand up straight. When you run your lawnmower over wet grass, the heavy and bent grass will clump out.

You can avoid this problem, however, by waiting until your lawn has dried before mowing it.

#2) Using a Dull Blade

Before mowing your lawn, inspect your lawnmower’s blade to ensure it’s sharp.

What’s wrong with mowing your lawn with a dull blade? As explained by the University of Maryland, using a dull blade can cause grass to turn brown while also making it more susceptible to disease.

If your lawnmower’s blade is dull, either sharpen or replace it.

#3) Mowing Too Low

Another common mistake to avoid is mowing too low to the ground.

For a healthy lawn, you must avoid cutting the crowns of the grass. The crowns, of course, are close to the ground, so they are susceptible to damage when mowing too low.

If you’re worried about striking the crowns, consider raising your lawnmower’s blade by 1 or 2 inches.

#4) Mowing Too Quickly

In addition to mowing your lawn too low, you shouldn’t mow it too quickly.

It takes time for a lawnmower’s blade to complete a full rotation. If you push your lawnmower too quickly – or otherwise go too fast – the blade may not be able to reach all the grass. As a result, some areas of your lawn will be taller than others.

By mowing your lawn at a medium, steady pace, you’ll promote a consistent grass height.

#5) Not Mowing Frequently Enough

You’ll need to mow your lawn frequently to keep it healthy.

We’ve all been guilty of allowing our lawns to outgrow at some point or another. When neglected for an extended period, though, your lawn will likely attract invasive weeds.

And the next time you mow it, you’ll have to deal with both the weeds and the overgrown 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 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Mowing Your Lawn appeared first on Woodsman Tree Service.

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