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Large mature trees provide much-needed shade in the summer and enhance the beauty of your property. It took them many years to reach this majestic size, which is why it can be heart breaking to cut one down when their roots threaten driveways, sidewalks, outside walls, plumbing, sewer pipes, or your home's foundation.
If you've walked on sidewalks adjacent to large trees, you may have seen first hand what their roots can do. If you haven't, an Internet image search on "tree root damage to sidewalks" will bring up some dramatic photos. What these photos reveal is the tremendous force a tree root can exert over time.
Similar damage can happen to important structures on your property such as your foundation, which may require costly repair work. Aggressive roots can also wreak havoc on your sewer pipe and other plumbing. Roots grow toward water and/or nutrient sources such as a pipe with a small leak. They can infiltrate the crack, grow inside the pipe, block water flow, and possibly break the pipe wall open.
This is why you shouldn't wait until damage occurs before taking preventative action. How can you spot a problem tree before it causes a problem? Two indications are its species and its height. Species that have problem roots include oak, birch, and magnolia trees.
A rule of thumb regarding these trees is that their roots can grow outward of up to three times the height of the tree. If such a tree appears to be within range of an important structure, then it's time to do some planning. Preemptively cutting a tree down before it causes a problem is too drastic. Instead, you might consider installing a tree root barrier.
Installation involves digging a trench down to the root depth common for the type of tree and placing the barrier (often a plastic material) in the trench. You then refill the trench with the same soil removed earlier. If you're protecting a driveway, for example, the barrier should extend along its length on the side facing the tree. You can also install a trench after the root damage has occurred. However, this will require root pruning at the trench. The sooner you detect the damage, the less root pruning required.
For important structures such as your foundation and sewer pipe, its best not to wait until the damage happens. The same is true of underground plumbing next to your house. If a root causes a large water leak, it could erode away the supporting soil from beneath your foundation.
If a tree root is causing problems or if a tree seems uncomfortably close to a structure, don't hesitate to get advice from a Newmarket tree care specialist. For answers to your questions, please contact us.
Trees usually grow suckers (or water sprouts) out of a need for increased photosynthesis. This happens when a tree is stressed in some way. These stresses include disease, damage, and excessive pruning. For example, the practice of tree topping, in which the top section of a tree is cut off, is often accompanied later on by accelerated sucker growth. This is the tree's attempt to make up for the lost foliage. Trees need leaves for photosynthesis, which is their way of producing "food" in the form of starches. These starches provide energy for cellular activity and growth.
When an animal or your lawn mower damages a tree, it requires energy (from stored starches) to seal off the damaged area. Therefore, the tree will increase starch production through increased photosynthesis. It does this by growing suckers.
The best way of dealing with suckers is through prevention. Because trees usually develop suckers in response to stress, proper tree care will make them less likely to sprout. This means avoiding over pruning, lawn mower damage, string trimmer damage, and protecting the tree from hungry animals.
Watch for signs of disease and insect infestation. You can do this through close up examination and by looking for areas with thinned foliage or yellow or brown leaves during a time of year when the tree should have thick green foliage.
Lack of water, nutrients and oxygen also stress trees. All three of these things are absorbed by the tree's roots. This won't happen in compacted soil. You can avoid this by keeping foot traffic under the tree to a minimum. If you see worn pathways through the grass under a tree, then you have a problem. Root health is also impacted by limited space. Make sure you plant your trees in areas with plenty of space for root growth.
During droughts, start a watering routine, and mulch and fertilize your tree when it lacks nutrients. Nutrient deficiency is a common problem because efforts at making your yard tidy, such as removing dead leaves and twigs, deprive the soil of its natural fertilizer.
Be Careful of How You Remove Suckers
When dealing with excessive sucker growth, cutting them off after they develop bark stresses the tree into growing more suckers. Instead, cut them while they're still soft shoots. Remove them as close as possible to the tree without damaging the trunk or branch from which they sprout. Finally, don't hesitate to get professional tree care when in doubt. If you need advice or help with a problem tree, contact us.
Stump removal, when done incorrectly, can damage equipment and possibly cause personal injury. If you don't have stump removal experience or can't get help from someone who does, it's best to let the professionals handle it. Here are two DIY mistakes you should avoid:
Letting Mother Nature Take Its Course
While natural decay works well enough in the forest, a stump can cause a number of problems on your property. In a last-ditch survival effort, tree stumps will often grow shoots with leaves that photosynthesize the sugars necessary for continued growth of the shoots and of the roots. If you do not keep up with shoot removal, the stump will become even more unsightly and the root system can damage nearby sidewalks or underground pipes. If you removed the tree because its roots were causing problems, then these problems will continue.
Because the stump will take years to completely decay, it will be hazardous to people running in your yard and can potentially damage your lawn mower. It may attract insects and pests that can spread to your home or sting people, in the case of bee nests. If you removed the tree because of disease, then the disease may persist within the stump and could spread to other trees on your property.
Buying a Chainsaw and Cutting the Stump Out
For the inexperienced person, stump removal is a dangerous way to get chainsaw practice. Cutting out a stump can propel pieces of wood and rock at high speeds, while improper cutting technique can cause the chainsaw to bind or kick. Working close to the ground is an added complexity that the beginner should avoid. When attempting this, always wear eye protection, hearing protection, and gloves.
Save yourself the trouble, time, and risk of tree stump removal by hiring the experienced and certified professional arborists at Advanced Tree Care. For more information and answers to your questions, don't hesitate to contact us.
The cost and the process of removing a tree will vary based on quite a few things, such as the size and the type of tree that you're dealing with. This is the kind of job that you're better off leaving up to the professionals who have experience removing all different types of trees. It's up to you to check the trees on your property to see if any of them are dying, diseased, or in danger of falling.
In most cases, the smaller the tree the more inexpensive it is to remove. Trees in the range of 20-30 feet or less are the least expensive to remove, while larger trees that are upwards of 60-80 feet or more will cost a lot more. There are also extra costs that you might have involved if you want the roots and the stump removed and/or grinded up as well. Other complications can raise the price, too, such as if the tree is close to power lines, your home, or another building. If you want the tree turned into firewood you may also incur extra charges.
If you're not sure if you should have a tree removed, your best bet is to have an experienced arborist take a look at it. They can tell you if it's necessary to cut down, or if it's worth trying to save. Then from there the tree will either require just a saw, or even guide ropes and heavy mechanical equipment, depending on its size and location.
Contact us today at Advanced Tree Care if you have a tree in question. We can tell you how to properly handle the situation.
People who take good care of their trees prune them, water them during dry weather, and watch for insect, disease, and storm damage. However, a common oversight is preventing soil compaction. Of the different environmental stresses on trees, soil compaction tops the list. This problem is prevalent in urban areas but can affect a tree in any area when its surrounding soil is compressed by motor vehicles, construction equipment, construction vibration, or excessive foot traffic.
How Soil Compaction Affects Your Trees
Soil compaction compresses the soil and reduces the size and quantity of its voids or pores. Without these pores, air and rain water don't penetrate the soil very well. This deprives the tree of water and oxygen, which it extracts out of the soil through its roots.
As the compaction worsens, the soil becomes more dense. This retards root growth because root penetration of the hardened soil is too difficult. Trees deprived of sufficient oxygen and water become stunted. Their limited root growth makes them more vulnerable to getting blown down by strong winds.
The Signs of Soil Compaction
If your tree seems stressed in that it has stopped growing, or its top, branch tips, or entire branches are dying, soil compaction could be the culprit. If it's hard to penetrate the soil with a shovel, or pushing a screw driver into the soil seems difficult, the soil is compacted. You may notice water pooling that remains for a long time. Another sign is excessive water runoff.
Soil Compaction Prevention
Don't park cars under trees and limit foot traffic. When planting trees, place them as far away from roads and driveways as possible. You can prevent foot traffic by fencing off the area around trees or you can apply mulch to the ground around the tree base. Add between two to four inches. The mulch shouldn't touch the trunk. Avoid walking under the tree when the ground is wet from rain. Wet soil is more easily compacted.
Extensive soil compaction is difficult to reverse but isn't impossible. For advice and help with your soil compaction problem or with any tree related issues, get in touch with an experienced and reputable Newmarket arborist. Contact us today.
Trees not only provide greenery and shade, they are a landscaping investment. If you have a problem with a tree on your property, an arborist can efficiently diagnose and treat the issue. Hiring an arborist is money well spent because these professionals have the knowledge and training to spot problems and resolve them before they destroy your tree.
Our arborists are certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). The ISA exam covers such topics as pruning, biology, tree protection, soil issues, and safe work practices. Applicants need to have several years of experience working in the field or related education combined with work. Certified arborists are not only prepared to work with trees but to also ensure public safety and pass along knowledge.
A local arborist will have special knowledge of tree-related problems affecting your area. They also keep up on the latest news and developments that affect these trees, such as the destructive emerald ash borer. According to CBC News, this insect is causing severe damage to trees in several Canadian cities. An arborist can spot problems like this early and treat it before it gets out of control.
Arborists also have the knowledge to make quick decisions based on experience. For example, seasonal storms can cause broken limbs and other damage. An arborist, sometimes called a tree surgeon, decides which limbs should come off and how the tree can be saved. While it is tempting to try and prune a broken limb yourself, an arborist has special safety training and equipment, so leave the dangerous work to them.
For more information about how our arborists diagnose and treat tree problems in the Newmarket and York regions, please contact us.
With a chainsaw, you can cut wood much faster than with an ax or hand saw. Unfortunately, some people believe that the raw power of a chainsaw alone is enough to handle any wood cutting job, including tree removals. But without tree cutting skill and know-how, that raw power risks property damage and injury.
Depending on their height, trunk diameter, and species, large trees can weigh more than 20,000 pounds (9,000 kilograms). Clearly, safe removal of a large tree involves more than cutting through the trunk until it falls. Here are three DIY tree removal mistakes to think about:
Not Using the Proper Equipment
In addition to chainsaws, large tree removal requires wood chippers, ropes, ladders, a hard hat, work boots, eye protection, work gloves, and ear protection. Sometimes, the job requires a crane. Removing a large tree without damaging property or getting hurt will require the right gear and equipment.
Incorrect Assessment of Falling Direction
This mistake can damage your car or house, or your neighbor's car or house. Such a mistake also endangers yourself as well as others nearby. Assessing the fall direction of a large tree isn't always easy. If the tree has a very pronounced lean or offset, its fall direction is obvious. However, if that direction is toward your house, a power line, or other structure, it won't matter how you make your cuts at the base, you won't likely change its fall direction. This situation will require professionals.
With some trees, assessing its center of gravity (and therefore its natural fall direction) is very difficult. Other complicating factors are wind and surrounding trees, which may deflect it from where you want it to fall.
A Weak Hinge
The hinge is the left-over wood in the cut area that holds the base of the falling tree to the stump during most of the tree's fall. This guides the tree's fall. A hinge that's weak because it's too thin or the wood is rotten, will allow the tree to fall in the wrong direction. Its width should be 10% of the trunk's diameter.
The above is by no means a comprehensive list of the pitfalls of DIY tree removal. Unless you have plenty of experience with this kind of work, it's far safer to leave the job to a professional. If you have a tree that needs removal, contact us for more information.
Trees are amazing things, and you may think that cutting them down is just plain cruel. In many cases you are correct, but sometimes tree cutting really is just necessary. There are quite a few reasons why removing a tree is sometimes just the best decision for you and your property. Let's take a look at some of the most common reasons.
There are some tree species that are just no longer desirable or good for your property. Some of the characteristics of undesirable trees include weak wood, large amounts of dropping debris, shallow roots, and species that are prone to insects and disease. Other species are invasive and will re-seed all over your landscaping. In all of these cases, cutting is probably the best decision.
In some instances you can save an unhealthy tree and bring it back to life, but if more than 50% of the tree is in poor health your best bet is to just eliminate it. An unhealthy tree will grow abnormally and start to look just plain ugly.
Some trees that have undergone damage can recover, and others will not have as good of luck. It really all depends on how bad the damage is. Trees that suffer damage from herbicides are likely to recover, but trees with more severe types of damage will probably not. Trunk damage is usually pretty serious and is sometimes a sign of internal decay. Look for vertical cracks, seams, and dead branch stubs. Damage that covers more than 25% of the trunk usually warrants removal. Less than that should gradually heal on its own.
Contact us today at Advanced Tree Care to learn more about tree cutting and when it's just necessary.
While there are many DIY tree care tasks that a safety conscious person with experience can do, there are some that present too great a risk to someone lacking the training and proper equipment. One of these is removing large trees, especially when they're near a house or some other valuable structure. However, there are a number of smaller tasks that the DIY person should also cross off their to-do list. Here are two of them:
Branches Near Power Lines
If you have a tree with limbs growing near power lines, it seems like a simple matter to get a ladder and saw, and remove the limb. This is a strong temptation, especially if branch removal is routine work for you. However, that risks electric shock or possibly electrocution. Perhaps you might feel the lines are probably the same voltage as that of the power outlets in your home. But only the power service people know that for sure. Power lines along roads may carry thousands of volts. There's a huge qualitative difference between the voltage that powers your television set and the thousands of volts that may flow through a power line.
For example, ordinary rubber gloves and the rubber soles of your shoes won't protect you. Their insulative properties are insufficient. In fact, the rubber soles of your shoes probably aren't pure rubber, and may contain other additives that act like electrical conductors. Even a wood ladder isn't necessarily sufficient for high voltages. Few things act as perfect insulators. Electricity will pass through almost anything if the voltage is high enough. Even air conducts electricity at high voltages. That's why lightning is such a danger. When tree work requires getting close to power lines, it's time to contact an arborist.
Pruning Large Branches High off the Ground
If your tree has a large branch that's diseased or damaged, it needs removal. However, if its access requires a ladder and its size requires a chainsaw, you should leave the job to professionals. Safe chain saw use requires that you not position yourself below the limb when cutting. In addition, it requires a stable platform. Cutting above your head risks the chainsaw falling on you, while using a ladder risks falling to the ground with the chainsaw in your hands. A professional arborist has access to the right equipment to do the job safely.
If you require the services of an arborist to do tree work safely, contact us today at Advanced Tree Care.
Caring for the trees of a large estate is no easy task, but with the right skills and experience it is absolutely feasible. The reasoning behind the difficulty in caring for estate landscaping is that it likely has many different type of trees present that all probably require their own specific pruning, thinning, and shaping practices. Trees are the backbone of estate landscaping, so make sure that yours are properly cared for.
Your main goal is to increase and maintain the beauty of your property. You'll need a tree care specialist that will work with you to ensure that every single one of your trees are safe and healthy. The best way to maintain the highest possible value of your estate landscaping is to proactively approach tree care and maintenance to reduce the risk of any liabilities or future problems.
Successful tree care includes pruning, mulching, and watering, as well as quickly and correctly identifying any problems with diseases or pests. Not only should you follow these steps, but knowing when to do this is of the utmost importance. Certain times of the year are crucial in getting the most out of your tree care so that your trees continue to thrive and stay at their highest possible value.
Being triumphant at maintaining your trees can seem like a daunting task, but with the right trained professionals your estate will surely look its best. Contact us today at Advanced Tree Care to further discuss how important good estate management tree care really is.