Month: October 2021

Identify and Manage Invasive Plants

Invasive plants are not native to an ecosystem. Further, their introduction results in harm to that ecosystem. Their presence can negatively impact the environment as they spread aggressively and outperform native plants. They can also hurt the local economy, affecting agriculture, outdoor recreation or operation of utilities, to name a few. In some cases, invasive species can even introduce threats to human health like toxins and allergens not previously common in a geographic region. For many property owners, invasive plants can also be a major nuisance. They are often difficult to remove and control, and quickly take over prized landscape plantings and native woodlands.

invasive plants
Invasive plants easily overtake and outperform native species.

Depending on your location, there are likely a number of invasive species that have already become established. Each region seems to have a plant that locals know and hate. For example, Japanese knotweed, burning bush and tree of heaven are all well-known, and unloved, invaders.

Some invasive plants were introduced accidentally. Others were first planted intentionally, owing to some endearing quality they possess. Once established, however, these species have overtaken ecosystems by outcompeting native flora and have negatively impacted wildlife populations.

Be sure to know what plants are considered invasive in your area. The USDA provides a number of resources and invasive species lists at the National Invasive Species Information Center.

What do do about invasive plants

Some places have instituted programs to control the spread of invasive plants. In fact, many areas now restrict the sale of certain species known to be invasive.

Removing invasive plants on your property is largely dependent on the species. Methods include:

  • pulling plants out at the roots manually;
  • mowing or trimming to prevent plant growth;
  • judicious use of selective herbicides;
  • using grazing animals to control plant populations.

It is important to tailor strategies for managing invasive plants to the species, situation and local ecosystem. A multi-faceted approach may be necessary because these plants have an amazing capability to persist and regrow. Local experts, such as a Certified Arborist, can provide good advice.

When an appropriate program is implemented, the results can be astounding. Just know that even when you see short-term results, management of invasive plants often requires a long-term commitment.

The post Identify and Manage Invasive Plants first appeared on Tree Topics.

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How To Get Your Yard Ready For Winter

Winter is coming! With winter on the horizon, many homeowners (and home gardeners) are hurriedly raking, trimming branches, and taking what measures they can to prepare their plants for the cold, wet, and other extremes that winter brings. Though it will vary from yard to yard, there are some general guidelines to follow that will help you understand how you can get your yard ready for winter to ensure that your plants stay happy and healthy! If you want a lush, green lawn and a healthy garden come spring, read on for everything you need to do before it gets too cold out there.

Leave Your Leaves and Other Lawn Care Tips

Though raking leaves is one of the most quintessential homeowner activities, we actually recommend that you leave fallen leaves on your yard through the winter. Fallen leaves help insulate your plants’ roots, keeping them warm and protecting against erosion. Think of the leaves like an all-natural blanket that’ll shield your grass from the harshest of winter’s extremes to keep it healthy through the cold and wet. 

Another bonus of crossing raking off your fall to-do list (in addition to time and energy saved) is that you’ll provide food and shelter for wildlife throughout the winter, and you’ll help preserve the delicate ecosystems endemic to your yard and your garden.  

We do recommend that you quickly run your lawnmower over the fallen leaves prior to the first snowfall of the season. In doing so, you’ll create a natural mulch that will provide more efficient nutrients to your plants and your soil. Since it’ll be in smaller pieces, this mulch will also decompose better, so you won’t have an intensive leaf cleanup looming over you.

If you want your grass to be as lush and healthy as possible by first thaw, we suggest you aerate your lawn before temperatures drop too low. You’ll want to start by raking out the thatch, or a layer of material that naturally builds up between grass and soil that helps direct nutrients and water to grass’ roots. Then, use an aeration tool to make it easier for oxygen, moisture, and vital nutrients to get to the roots at which they are most needed.

Though it may seem excessive, if you really want to keep your yard in the best shape possible, you should try to avoid walking on it when the cold hits. Frost, much less snow or ice, can make grass (and other greenery) extremely brittle, and thereby at risk of snapping or breaking. Even a quick stroll across a frozen lawn could leave patches of grass damaged and unable to grow back as strongly as before.

Adjust Your Yard Care Schedule

Many animals hibernate during colder temperatures, but did you know that plants do the same? They slow their growth to save their energy for warmer, sunnier days, meaning that they require less water than usual. In fact, watering your plants when temperatures dip is more likely to kill them! Plants require much less water during the winter months, and they’re actually more likely to get the water they need from snow, ice, or rain. If you know that they’ll still need water during the winter, go ahead and water them—we simply recommend that you evaluate your watering practices to adjust for the colder weather. 

In a similar vein, you should hold off on the fertilizer until the cold wears off. By doing so, you’ll help your plants hibernate and enjoy bigger blooms next season.

Prep Your Plants

If you want to see your perennials grow healthy by early next year, then there’s no time like early fall to start plantning. Plants installed in fall will be rooted and ready to go come spring, but planting too late can spell doom for your plants. Not only the cold, but brutal winter winds can hurt your plants, so tie them up or stake bushier, taller perennials to ensure that an icy gust doesn’t bring about their untimely demise.

Tender bulbs don’t play well with frost, so dig them up and keep them safe indoors until spring. Wait until their leaves turn black to dig them up, then let them dry out inside for a couple of days before packing them and keeping them in a dark, slightly damp location through winter. When spring hits, discard any rotted bulbs and replant the ones that are still in good shape.

Many people think that winter will kill off pests in your garden, but that’s not altogether true. In fact, leaving rotting or bug-laden vegetation in your garden could mean big trouble in the spring. Dead plants breed insects and disease by the bunch, so it’s important to eliminate rotting vegetation as much as possible—ideally, by the root to avoid putting your garden at risk. You can reduce waste by mixing them into your compost or soil for future use.

Expect, and Prepare for, the Unexpected 

The most important part of winterizing your yard is evaluating your yard and planning ahead so you can understand how your yard will change in the winter as well as what you can do to help it. A big part of this is considering unexpected external factors that could come into play, like deer or road salt.

For example, if you have winter vegetables you should cover them with a cold frame or hoop house to protect them. Even if they’re cold-tolerant vegetables like kale or carrots, it’s still important to protect them from frost and roving animals. You could consider deer-proofing your fence to achieve that latter point, since deer often forage in urban gardens during the winter months. They’ll even go after “deer-proof” plants if they’re hungry enough, so if you don’t want to be giving out free lunches, you can use deer spray or deer-proof your fence.

If you live near a road that gets salted, try adding salt-tolerant plants to the perimeter of your yard to help protect your salt-averse vegetation. We recommend specimens like paper birch, black cherry, Eastern red cedar, white oak, pitch pine, and Eastern cottonwood trees, or herbs like evening primrose, marsh-mallow, Canada Mayflower, or seaside goldenrod.

How To Get Your Yard Ready For Winter

When in Doubt, Trust the Experts 

Each of the steps outlined above is useful for preparing your yard for an easier transition into and out of winter, but be sure to research the appropriate winterization for your specific plants to ensure best results. In recent years, there’s no such thing as predictable weather in Memphis, but we can help you establish or execute a winterization plan for your Mid-south landscape. 

Winterizing your yard is worth the extra effort, and since winter is just around the corner, now is the time to ensure a healthy yard in the spring! For expert advice, tips, and service, contact Red’s Tree Service to start implementing these Mid-South yard winterization tips.

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Tree Roots Vs Your Sidewalks: What You Can Do to Win the War

Urban Trees

Any homeowner who has gotten a notice from the City of Portland to repair their sidewalks, or else, knows how contentious of a battle it can be for trees and sidewalks to co-exist in the city. Tree roots lifting the concrete slabs can be a major headache. Not only are the quotes from concrete contractors enough to make you sick the thought that due to your tree’s roots you may have to do this again in a few years is just about enough to drive you over the edge. I wish I had some miracle cure-all solution to ease the pain, but unfortunately, when it comes to controlling tree roots and repairing sidewalks that have been raised by tree roots there is only so much that can be done.

What Not To Do When Dealing With Tree Roots Lifting A Sidewalk

  • Do Not cut a tree root yourself or let your concrete contractor cut one. Tree roots that are causing damage to a sidewalk and need to be cut must be marked by the city arborist prior to cutting. Cutting them without this approval is a surefire way to cause permanent damage or death to your street trees and to buy yourself a hefty fine from the city. This includes the method of carving an “X” on the top of the tree root (which does not work, by the way). Studies show that despite tree root pruning, sidewalks will, on average, lift again within five years without the use of other root control methods.
  • Do Not heavily prune your tree or use tree growth inhibitors. Heavy pruning is expensive and most of the time does not work to keep tree roots from damaging sidewalks. When tree growth inhibitors are used energy that would normally go to the development of the crown of the tree is often redirected to the root system, actually further aggravating the problem.
  • Do Not assume you need to replace your concrete. Concrete contractors have other options and if you are going to end up repairing your sidewalk due to root growth again in a few years you may want to hold off if there are other options available to you such as concrete grinding and/or patching. Contact our office about sidewalk repair options that we offer at Urban Forest Professionals.
  • Do Not wait! If you get a notice from the city it usually gives you an extended amount of time to correct the problem. They do that for a reason because it takes an extended amount of time to arrange all the permitting and the work to get done.

How To Prevent Tree Roots From Lifting The Concrete Slabs of A Sidewalk

As with many things the solution starts with prevention. The type of tree planted is a big determiner if you are going to have root problems with your sidewalk in the future. As is if the tree is planted correctly. You can review our blogs posts under tree planting for advice on choosing and installing a tree correctly to avoid damaging your sidewalk in the future. Additional options such as root barriers can be installed when trees are young to direct the growth of roots. Sometimes it is better to remove existing trees, start over, and get it right the second time. Of course, you will need the city arborist’s blessing to do this.

How To Repair Sidewalks Damaged By Tree Roots

Nothing will determine your success in dealing with the invasion of growing roots in your sidewalk more than choosing the right concrete contractor when repairing or replacing your concrete. You need a contractor who is willing to use a complete arsenal of tactics to repair the current problem and prevent a re-occurrence. These methods include but are not limited to the use of pea gravel which allows tree root to expand, reinforcing concrete with rebar so that the tree root must lift several slabs at once in order to cause damage to the sidewalk, creating a meandering sidewalk or a sidewalk with cutouts to create more space for roots, and create slightly sloping sidewalks to allow elevation change due to root growth. Homeowners should also explore the option of having the sidewalk repaired or ground down instead of removed and replaced to limit their investment. A knowledgeable concrete contractor will explore all of these options with you including repair.

Contact Urban Forest Professionals When You Need Your Sidewalk Repaired Due To Tree Root Growth

If your tree roots are lifting the concrete slabs of the sidewalk outside of your home and causing damage feel free to contact us for a consultation. We offer concrete repair options and tree root pruning services, and because we are experienced arborists we can determine the best course of action to not only repair the sidewalk but deal with the tree and roots that are causing the issue, hopefully keeping you from having to deal with tree root sidewalk repairs for years to come. Call our office today for your free estimate. 503-912-8092

And See What Our Clients Have To Say About Us:

“This was the nicest experience. They removed a tree from our front yard and had to return for a second overgrown root that was huge, which they did with no question. They left the place looking great. They were professional and pleasant from the beginning to the end, and even sent a thank you card which I thought was very cool. They are five stars all the way.”

Robin W.
Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
And read more of our 188+ reviews on Google.

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Tips on How to Properly Prune Hydrangea

This time of year many people want to know the best way to prune hydrangeas. How and when to prune strongly depends on the hydrangea species. Therefore, you should first understand the type of hydrangea you have to ensure health and maximum blooms.

blue hydrangea

Bigleaf (Hydrangea macrophylla) is one of the most common. This group is often known as mophead, lacecaps or French hydrangeas. Bigleaf hydrangea bloom on one-year-old wood. With that in mind, prune these plants within four to six weeks after blooming. To rejuvenate these plants, prune by selectively thinning out old stems. You should remove no more than one quarter to one third of the older stems each year. In addition, you can reduce long stems and branches to shape the plant. Further, oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) also blooms on old wood. Therefore, you should prune it in the same manner.

pruning hydrangea
Before pruning hydrangea, be sure to know what species you have.

Do not prune bigleaf and oakleaf hydrangea heavily during late summer or in early spring. Pruning during this time period will reduce blooms as it removes the flower buds for the next cycle.

In comparison, panicle hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata), which include pee gee hydrangea, and smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) bloom on new wood in mid to late summer. Prune these species in winter or early spring. They can tolerate severe reduction.

For smooth hydrangea, including the common cultivar ‘Annabelle,’ some prefer to prune the plant nearly to the ground in winter or early spring. Panicle hydrangeas can also withstand this type of pruning. The exception is when you have trained the plant into a tree form. To maintain as a tree form, thin the plant to remove crossing and conflicting branches and selectively reduce to maintain desired size and shape.

The post Tips on How to Properly Prune Hydrangea first appeared on Tree Topics.

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The Importance of Trimming Your Trees

Making sure that your property is taken care of appropriately is more than just mowing the lawn and watering the flowerbeds. The trees under your care more than likely require regular trimming, and it’s for more important reasons than merely aesthetic ones (although that’s certainly a bonus). Simply put, the proper trimming of your trees is an issue of safety for your home, yourself, and your loved ones.When to trim a tree

To start, certain branches need to be singled out and cut back. Branches that are dying or are starting to show signs of weakness should be trimmed. If they die completely and are broken off by a high wind or other in climate weather, the falling branch could hit someone underneath. If the branch is hanging over a utility cable connected to the home, it could pull the line down. The branch could also break through a window, damage a roof, an automobile parked underneath, or any other number of expensive occurrences.

Aside from the safety issues, removing the dead or dying branches can actually make the tree healthier. If the branch has contracted a disease, severing the limb can end up saving the tree itself and stop the spreading problem.

Trees should be trimmed annually, as recommended by the Department of Agriculture. However, it is important to note that trimming some trees can be dangerous. Consult with a professional in case a tree on your property requires trimming for one of the following reasons:

  • The tree blocks visibility
  • Branches have already broken off or partially dropped onto utility cables
  • The tree presents an obvious danger to you, your home, or your property

If you are in Passaic County in New Jersey, please feel free to contact Big Foot Tree Service if you feel that one of your trees meets the criteria above.

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How To Prune an Apple Tree in Winter

Tree pruning preservation cut

Prevent your apple trees from growing unshapely and severely weakened by an overcrowded crop. Knowing how winter pruning can benefit your apple tree will help you keep it growing healthy for generations. gathered the following information about winter pruning for your apple trees, some crucial tips about apple tree pruning, and the outcome this pruning may have on your apple tree.

How To Prune Your Apple Tree

Any time you set out to prune any tree, there are some guidelines to follow that help you protect the tree’s health while encouraging its shapely and vigorous growth.

Sterilize Pruning Equipment – Every time you bring out the loppers, pruning shears, hand saws, and anything else that will make contact with your tree should be sterilized with a 1:10 solution of bleach and water. If you are pruning between multiple trees, your equipment should be cleaned and sterilized between each tree.

Tip: When pruning multiple trees, fill a spray bottle with the bleach and water mixture and sterilize your equipment as needed.

Always Prune with a Plan – Before you start pruning, ask yourself if you need to prune and if you can prune at a more appropriate time.

Tip: When a tree (of any species) has been neglected and not pruned for multiple growing seasons, do not remove more than 1/3 of the tree. Spread the pruning out over several growing seasons to get it fully pruned back and into good shape. If more than 1/3 of the tree must be removed, hire a professional tree service to supervise or conduct this pruning activity.

Pruning Cuts – Using sharp, sanitized tools, you’ll want to make the cleanest cuts possible. Here are how some of these cuts are made:

Removing a full branch will require you to make a calculated “three-cut” removal.
Cut 1, known as the undercut,

Tree pruning the undercut keeps bark from tearing if th branch slips out of your control

it happens approximately 6 inches from the trunk from the bottom up, severing 1/3 of the branch. This cut prevents the bark from stripping if the branch falls before finishing the removal.

Tree pruning preservation cut number 2

Cut 2, is a top, down cut approximately 6 to 8 inches further out from the undercut and removes the bulk of the branch.

Cut 3, is a top, down cut flush with the branch collar, taking care to avoid damaging the branch collar.

Tree pruning preservation cut number 3 fixing any mishaps from previous cuts

When tipping a branch or cutting away a diseased portion but not the entire branch, find an outward-facing bud before making your pruning cut. Cut at a 45-degree angle about ¼ inch away from the bud. New growth will emerge from the bud in the next growing season.

Why Prune in Winter?

There are several reasons one may prefer to prune apple trees in the winter. Here are some of those reasons:

You can see a tree’s defects and poor growth
Cutting/Pruning is safer since most diseases and insects are dormant as well
Remove crossing/rubbing branches which can become vectors for insect infestations and disease, or both
Competing branches are more easily detected and removed

Tip: If your apple tree is lacking the lower branches that are good on an apple tree, you can entice them to grow out. Find a bud, and use a knife to make nicks about a millimeter above and below the bud. Then cut the notch between the nicks completely out, cutting through the bark and the green layer beneath it. This will force the tree to grow a new branch at that location.

Note: Your fruit trees should be pruned every year, during the dormant or winter period. If you don’t begin proper pruning early in the tree’s life, the result will likely be “alternate bearing,” or that one year’s harvest will be bountiful while the following year’s will be small. Pruning is necessary to open up the tree canopy to sunlight and air circulation and promote fruit production and a healthy plant. Follow these tips to pruning your apple tree so you can reap a bountiful harvest consistently.

Pruning or Thinning Fruit

During growing seasons with exceptional weather conditions, apple trees may produce a bumper crop or overabundance of fruit. This may cause fruit “crowding” on the branches and result in smaller-sized apples.

You can grow uncrowded, tasty, and normal-sized apples. It may be necessary to thin out the fruit. Fruit should be spaced about 6 inches apart along the branches; thin out closely grown apples remove the smaller-sized ones in favor of the larger fruits.

Winter Apple Tree Pruning

In this article, you discovered helpful information about pruning your apple trees during the winter season and how these pruning activities can influence your apple tree’s growth and fruit production.

Pruning and caring for your apple trees from an early age will create a consistently repeating annual harvest, help keep your trees healthy, and reduce your tree’s susceptibility to insect infestation.

Without proper winter pruning activities, your apple trees could wind up riddled with insects, diseased, and dying.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

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

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