Month: August 2021

Everything You Need to Know About Tree Trimming

Have you looked out your window and realized that your trees are looking a little… well, shaggy? If so, you’re not alone, as millions of Americans hire professionals every year for tree trimming and pruning. Trees can make the outside of your home beautiful, and having trees in your yard may create opportunities for a shaded lounge area, a place to hang a tire swing and somewhere to build a treehouse, but maintaining them is an important part of protecting and maintaining your property. It may seem easy enough to grab your ladder and some shears and get to work, but there are a lot of concerns to consider before you begin your tree-trimming career! These details will help you make an informed decision about properly trimming your trees, so read on to learn everything you need to know about tree trimming. 

Why should I care about trimming my trees?

Whether your home is surrounded by hundred-year-old trees or you have just a few smaller trees that you need to service, you may be wondering about the benefits of regular tree trimming. Trees need to be trimmed or pruned regularly, and sometimes branches must be entirely cut off to help ensure the health of the tree and your family’s safety. 

There are many reasons tree trimming can be a vital part of yard maintenance. According to the US Department of Agriculture, trees should be pruned first for safety, next for health, and finally for aesthetics. Let’s look at each of these benefits:


The safety of your family and the security of your property and that of your neighbors is a key reason why people choose to trim their trees. If you notice that a tree has a decayed or dying limb, there is always a possibility that the limb could fall during a storm and cause damage to your home or property—or that of your neighbors. 

A quick trim may cost a bit, but it will be much less than the liability that you would face if a tree limb fell into your neighbor’s home! 

Tree (and yard) health

Cutting dead or diseased branches may help benefit the overall health of the tree. In addition, pruning may also encourage your trees to develop stronger core structures to help withstand the elements.

Pruning or trimming a tree also allows you to reduce the possibility that dead or decayed material in the branches could be shifted to other trees that are healthy. Another reason many people trim the trees on their property is to allow more sunlight to filter through to the ground. This helps to reduce the overall possibility of mold and mildew by drying up the ground and allowing the plants underneath the tree to receive the sunlight and nutrients that they need to grow successfully.


Trimming a tree may help accentuate its physical appearance and improve flower or fruit production. You may even find that cutting back some extra tree growth will add to your home’s curb appeal and really showcase your home and yard. 

Everything You Need to Know About Tree Trimming

How often should I trim my trees?

Generally, you should prune or trim trees about once a year during their dormant season, which can vary depending on the species of your tree. However, circumstances such as these may prompt an immediate trimming:

  • The tree’s growth obstructs visibility for pedestrians or vehicles, especially at intersections.
  • The tree’s limbs interfere with power lines. Make sure to contact your local utility company to handle the job, as it’s dangerous to even get close to power lines.
  • The tree’s growth may threaten your home or property. If you feel a tree needs to be pruned because it may cause damage to your home, or causes safety concerns, it’s important to contact an arborist to help with the trimming.

How can I safely trim my trees?

Your first priority when trimming, pruning, or cutting a tree should be personal safety. The best way to help ensure safety is to hire a qualified arborist service like Red’s Tree Service to clip back your trees. Trimming may often require a ladder and sometimes puts the trimmer in close proximity to power lines, and the safest course of action is to leave tree-trimming to the professionals.

However, if you do decide to trim your own trees, here are our safety recommendations to help you determine if it’s safe or not to cut the branches:

  • Branches smaller than 2 inches (or 5 centimeters) in diameter: Proceed.
  • Branches between 2 and 4 inches (or 5 and 10 centimeters) in diameter: Think it over.
  • Branches larger than 4 inches (or 10 centimeters): Contact an arborist.

In circumstances of extreme weather, like rain, snow, or even wind, do not trim any tree, as it can place excess stress on the tree and poses an extreme safety hazard to you and your property.

If you do decide to try trimming your trees yourself, here is a 3-step program you can follow:

  1. Make the very first cut about 1-2 feet from the trunk of the tree. This cut starts underneath the limb and goes into it, but only about a third of the way. This is a critical step in the process.
  2. Make the second cut just outside of the first cut, about another foot or two. This cut will be all the way through the branch. The branch is highly likely to break away as you saw through the limb, which is ok. Since you have made the first cut on the underside and closer in from the previous step, the bark will not continue to tear down into the tree trunk.
  1. The final cut is right at the branch collar where the branch meets the tree’s trunk. You will be looking for a flared area here. Make the final cut so that the flair is still noticeable afterward. 

If cut properly, this “flair” will heal over, eventually filling in with new bark and scar tissue. You’ll know the tree is healing correctly when you see a “doughnut” forming where you made the cut. And that is all there is to it!

Once again, if you have any doubt in your ability to properly assess the situation and conduct the pruning, call Red’s Tree Service. Our team has experience and expertise, and can complete the job in a safe and fast manner.

Everything You Need to Know About Tree Trimming

Keep your trees trim and happy with Red’s Tree Service!

The friendly, expert team at Red’s Tree Service understands exactly what techniques to employ and what branches to remove so that you are left with the healthiest, best-looking tree possible.

We also understand tree trimming can be a nerve-racking and intimidating experience, especially if you have a tall tree that needs trimming. Don’t risk getting hurt. Reach out to us today to request an estimate or schedule service.

This post first appeared on

What Should Be Pruned in the Fall?

Fall pruning to remove storm damage and dangerous growth

Prevent your shrubs and trees from becoming diseased and dying due to untimely fall pruning. Knowing when to prune your plants, shrubs, and trees in the fall will help you keep them thriving. gathered the following information about the heightened risks of pruning activities performed during fall months.

The Risk of Early Fall Pruning

It is not advised to conduct ANY pruning activities in early fall. All pruning activities encourage new plant growth. When these activities occur in early fall (when the tree or plant is starting to go dormant), any new growth won’t have enough time to harden before the first frost and freezing temperatures set in. This tender new growth, damaged by freezing weather, can become a vector for infestations and disease.

Why Fall Pruning Is Discouraged

The dangers of early fall pruning include:

Disease – As the seasons change from summer to fall, rainfall is typically increased, creating a moist or wet environment that promotes the growth and spreading of disease-causing bacteria and fungi.

Infestation – Like disease infections, insect infestations are supported by a moist or wet environment. These conditions delay a tree or plant’s ability to heal pruning wounds.

Off-Season Growth – As mentioned, pruning encourages growth. Pruning a tree or plant before dormancy can result in tender growth that becomes a vector for disease and infestation (when damaged by freezing weather).

Tip: Put your pruning shears away for another couple of months and allow your trees and plants to go completely dormant. Once dormancy has settled in (after all the leaves have dropped), you can safely prune trees and shrubs.

Note: If you must perform fall pruning, wait for your tree, shrub, or plant to go completely dormant. This “fall” window of opportunity is generally between the Thanksgiving and New Year holidays. However, if you can wait, late winter (late February) pruning is far less risky.

Fall Pruning Exceptions

There are exceptions when pruning should occur in the fall like storm damage and dangerous growth

Some situations arise, demanding immediate pruning activities. While most of these apply to trees, large or overgrown shrubs may require similar attention. Be on the lookout for the following:

Overhanging or Dangerous Growth – When trees or large shrubs grow over a structure or lean in that direction, they can cause great concern. This is true, especially in regions prone to severe weather.

The solution to this predicament is to prune back the limbs or branches causing the concern or to remove the tree or shrub, eliminating the threat altogether.

Dead Limbs or Branches – For all plant life, dead wood represents an easy entryway for disease and insect infestation. In fact, dead limbs or branches may result from a disease or infestation and should be investigated.

This dead wood should be removed upon discovery, regardless of the season or circumstance.

Storm Damage – Severe weather events seemingly occurring more frequently and consequently causing sometimes catastrophic damages to trees, shrubs, and plants.

When you detect storm damage in your trees, shrubs, and plants, you should take immediate action to remove the damaged wood and prune back limbs that have snapped or broken off (eliminating rough or uneven surfaces). Handling storm-damaged trees is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. Minor damages can be resolved, but for more extensive damages, hire a professional tree service to help you sort out what can be salvaged and what is a threat and needs removing.

Plants and Shrubs That Should Be Pruned in the Fall

While the overall intent of this publication is to discourage fall/autumn pruning, the following species of plants and shrubs benefit from fall pruning:

  • Bearded Iris (Iris germanica)
  • Bee Balm (Monarda)
  • Bellflowers (Campanula)
  • Catmint (Nepeta)
  • Coneflowers (Rudbeckia)
  • Columbine (Aquilegia)
  • Daylily (Hemerocallis)
  • Phlox (Phlox paniculata)
  • Salvia (Salvia spp.)
Fall pruning should be done to specific plant species including daylilies

Counter to the standard, these above plant species do require fall pruning. However, to be more informed, read when should I prune trees and discover best practices of tree pruning?

Generally speaking, plants hardy in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 9 will need fall pruning.

No shrub species require fall pruning:

Shrub pruning should be treated the same as tree pruning. Early fall pruning can severely damage your shrubs and should be avoided until the shrub has gone dormant for the season.

Tip: You can and should prune shrubs any time it becomes necessary (broken branches, dead or diseased wood, or removing growth that is obstructing a sidewalk or road).

Alternatives to Fall Pruning

Fortunately, there is no shortage of activities you can perform in place of pruning. Your landscape will benefit from the following:

Rake Leaves and Debris – Most fungi and bacteria overwinter (lie in wait) in fallen leaves and debris. Rake this material up regularly and dispose of it from your property. Avoid composting these leaves and material as you may be cultivating harmful plant/tree pathogens.

Mulch – Offer a protective layer of mulch to trees, shrubs, and gardens for the winter months. A new or refreshed three to four-inch layer of organic mulch will help regulate soil moisture and temperature.

Fall activities can include mulching

Amend Your Soil – The fall season is also a good time to amend your landscape and garden soil with compost or fertilizer. A simple soil test can reveal which nutrients your soil is lacking.

Mark Your Trees – Instead of pruning, take a can of red or pink spray paint and mark the branches you’d like to remove at a more appropriate time. Branches to be marked may include:

Fall pruning can be avoided by marking the trees to be removed in winter or early spring
  • Branches obstructing free-flowing light and air through the canopy
  • Crossover branches that rub and cause open wounds to form in the canopy (remove the smaller of the two)
  • Low hanging branches that may interfere with foot traffic
  • Branches or limbs growing vertically (water sprouts)

Tip: The more prep work you can get accomplished in the fall, the less work you’ll need to do, and the better your landscape’s conditions will be in the spring.

Pruning in the Fall

In this article, you discovered what to prune in the fall and when your trees, shrubs, and plants respond best to pruning activities.

Knowing when and what to prune in the fall season will help you maintain the health and vigor of your plants, shrubs, and trees.

Haphazardly pruning in fall months can lead to diseased or infested plants, shrubs, and trees, sometimes resulting in catastrophic damages when they die or are destroyed in severe weather events.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

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

Black Walnut Tree Toxicity

Nearly every part of the black walnut tree contains juglone

Prevent the frustration and embarrassment of planting a beautiful garden, only to have it wilt and die within weeks. Knowing how black walnut trees are toxic will help you plant vulnerable species out of their reach. gathered the following information about black walnut tree toxicity, how to prevent it from killing your yard and garden, what plant species are tolerant to them, and how removing the tree may not eliminate its toxicity.

What Is Black Walnut Tree Toxicity?

Black walnut (Juglans nigra L.) is a highly sought-after US native hardwood lumber tree. Black walnut is typically grown as a landscape shade tree and, often, for its edible nuts. While some plants and trees grow well near black walnut, there are many plant and tree species whose growth is adversely affected by this tree.

Black walnut fruit looks similar to the more common walnut but with some toxicity

Black walnut trees produce a chemical called juglone (5 hydroxy-1,4- napthoquinone), which naturally occurs in all parts of the tree. Higher concentrations of this chemical are found in the tree’s buds, nut hulls, and roots. Leaves and stems contain smaller amounts of juglone, which is leached into the soil after they fall. High concentrations of juglone occur in the soil under the tree’s canopy. However, highly sensitive plants can exhibit toxicity symptoms far beyond the canopy drip line. This occurs because decaying roots tend to release juglone.

Other closely related trees also produce juglone but at considerably lower concentrations than black walnut. Rarely will these trees produce or concentrate enough juglone to adversely affect sensitive plants. These trees include:

• English Walnut
• Pecan
• Butternut
• Shagbark Hickory

Juglone is produced by several other tree species including pecan

Note: The relationship between plants in which one produces a substance adversely affecting the growth or health of another is known as “allelopathy.”

Tip: If you consider removing your black walnut to curb the toxic effects of juglone, consider that soil toxicity may persist for several years after removal (while the tree’s roots decay). Complete tree removal (tree, stump, and roots) is recommended for faster soil recovery.

Juglone Toxicity Symptoms

Juglone toxicity symptoms begin to appear either when a black walnut is maturing and its root zone increases in size, encroaching on other sensitive plant or tree roots, or juglone-sensitive plants are placed within the black walnut’s root zone (60 feet or more from a mature black walnut’s trunk). These symptoms manifest as:

• Wilting
• Yellow Leaves (chlorosis)
• Stunted or Slow Growth
• Rapid Decline and Death

As of the publication of this article, there is no known remedy, treatment, or cure for juglone toxicity once a sensitive plant or tree has been affected.

Many plant species are sensitive to juglone

Note: Some highly sensitive plant species that cannot tolerate even the slightest concentrations of juglone can die in a matter of months or even weeks.

Tip: Because juglone toxicity symptoms may be easily confused with other diseases, infestation, or nutrient deficiency problems, it is recommended to hire an arborist to evaluate the landscape and recommend a course of action.

Plant Species Sensitive to Juglone

The following plant species should not be planted in a garden situated within 60 feet of a mature black walnut tree:


• Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)
• Cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata)
• Eggplant (Solanum melongena)
• pepper (Capsicum)
• potatoes (Solanum tuberosum)
• Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum)
• Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum)

Tomatoes are a juglone sensitive crop


• Apple (Malus domestica)
• Blackberry (Rubus)
• Blueberry (Cyanococcus)
• Pear (Pyrus)

Popular Landscape Plants

• Azalea (Rhododendron)
• White Birch (Betula papyrifera)
• Ornamental Cherries (Prunus avium)
• Crabapple (Malus)
• Honeysuckle (Lonicera)(some species)
• Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)
• Lilac (Syringa)
• Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)
• Rhododendron (Rhododendron)
• Yew (Taxus baccata)

Popular Garden Flowers

• Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum)(some species)
• Columbine (Aquilegia)
• Lily (Lilium)
• Peony (Paeonia)(some species)
• Petunia (Petunia)

Petunias are sensitive to juglone

Note: If proximity to a black walnut tree is unavoidable, raised garden beds offer a creative solution. However, the bed must be constructed in a way that minimizes or eliminates tree root penetration. These beds must also be kept free of black walnut leaf litter or nuts.

Juglone Tolerant Plant Species

The following plant species have exhibited tolerance to juglone:


• Lima Bean (Phaseolus lunatus)
• Beets (Beta vulgaris)
• Carrots (Daucus carota)
• Melon (Cucumis melo)
• Onion (Allium cepa)
• Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)
• Squash (Cucurbita)


• Black Raspberry (Rubus occidentalis)
• Cherry (Prunus avium)

Popular Landscape Plants

• Arborvitae (Thuja)
• Daphne (Daphne)
• Forsythia (Forsythia)
• Hemlock (Tsuga)
• Junipers (Juniperus)
• Persimmons (Diospyros virginiana)
• Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)
• Wild Rose (Rosa)
• Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

Persimmon species are tolerant to juglone

Popular Garden Flowers

• Begonia (Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum)
• Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
• Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum)(some species)
• Cranesbill (Geranium)
• Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum × superbum)
• Daylily (Hemerocallis)
• Ferns (Tracheophyta)
• Glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa siehei)
• Hyacinth (Hyacinthus)
• Lamb’s-ear (Stachys byzantina)
• Morning Glory (Ipomoea)
• Tulip (Tulipa)
• Violet (Viola)

Tip: When in doubt about a plant’s tolerance to juglone, ask the garden center or nursery attendant for help.

Violet flower species are tolerant to juglone

Are Black Walnut Trees Toxic to Dogs?

Yes. They can be, when moldy (Penicillium spp.), fallen walnuts containing the mycotoxin (Penitrem A) that is poisonous to dogs and other animals that eat the moldy walnuts. Dogs, in particular, can develop convulsions a few hours after eating these moldy walnuts. Hyperthermia, rapid breathing, urination, and dilated pupils may also be seen in affected animals.

Tip: If you suspect that your dog has consumed these nuts, seek immediate veterinary assistance (take a sample of what was consumed with you to the vet’s office).

Killer Black Walnut Trees

In this article, you discovered essential information on black walnut toxicity, protecting your yard and garden space, and how removing the tree may not eliminate the problem.

Planting juglone tolerant plant species and keeping more vulnerable species far from the black walnut tree, you can still create a harmonious ecosystem for your landscape.

Ignoring the juglone toxicity symptoms of your plants, shrubs, and trees can leave you running in circles looking for reasons why your landscape is dying, and nothing you plant will grow.


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How to Determine If a Tree Can Be Saved After a Storm

TreesPeople often love and appreciate trees in their yard the way they love their pets. If and when something goes wrong, like a storm comes through and tries to knock a beloved tree down, the property owner feels bad. After all, we get used to the trees in our yard and ideally we don’t want to see them injured. We certainly don’t want to see them die.

After a storm, what should you do to determine if a tree (or trees) on your property can be saved?

First, look around to assess the damage. Do not touch any downed wires on or near the tree(s). If there’s a large branch that has cracked and looks like it could fall at any minute, that’s when you need to call a professional from Big Foot Tree Service to come over and deal with it.

After you’ve dealt with downed wires and large cracked branches, you’ll have to ask some questions to determine if it’s healthy enough to recover just fine, or if it needs to come down. For instance, did the storm take away a majority of the tree’s branches? If so, it might not be easy to save. Trees that lose more than half their branches probably won’t be able to make enough food to last another season. Also, look for “the leader,” which is the main upward-facing branch of the tree. Has it been lost? If so, the tree might still survive, but it’ll look awkward. Therefore, it might be a candidate for coming down. Finally, ask yourself, “How big are the tree wounds?” Larger wounds don’t heal as easily (or as fast) as smaller wounds. When you have big wounds in a tree, they’re likely to fall prey to disease.

Storms may try to damage trees. If you can safely prune broken branches and the tree doesn’t pose a threat to people or property, give it some time to heal and recover. However, if the trunk is split, more than half the branches are missing, and/or you feel like parts of it could fall on your car, house or people at anytime, it might be best to have Big Foot Tree Service come and chop it down.

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