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Arborist Service

Fall is a favorite season for many people. The cool dry air is a welcome relief from summer's heat and mugginess. At some point, nature seems to show off with a brilliant display of brightly colored foliage that only the blossoms of spring can match in beauty. Then sadly, the color fades and the leaves drop from the trees. However, this process seems like an extravagant waste. Why not keep the leaves throughout the winter so that they don't have to be regrown again in the spring? Why do deciduous (broad-leafed) trees do this?

One reason is that the freezing cold of winter would damage the broad leaves and prevent them from producing "food" for the tree from sunlight and carbon dioxide (via photosynthesis). Another reason is that the days are shorter and the sun is lower in the sky during the winter. This means the leaves get little sunlight and can't produce much food for the tree in any case.

Rather than hang on to dying and dead leaves during a time of year when there isn't much food-producing sunlight, trees cut off their leaves by growing abscission cells at the point where the leaf stem meets the branch. As these cells grow, they separate the leaf stem from the branch. At some point, a bit of wind does the rest of the job of getting rid of the leaf. By the time the leaf falls off, a protective layer of cells has grown over the exposed area.

This entire process starts when the shorter days and colder temperatures of fall trigger a hormone that causes the abscission cell growth.

Note that the tree doesn't wait until the leaf dies because this dead tissue would provide an avenue for disease to take hold. It's a kind of preemptive self amputation. During this process, chlorophyll production stops. The absence of green colored chlorophyll leaves the other brightly colored pigments behind, which is the reason for the foliage colors of fall. The tree then hibernates during the winter until the spring.

If you require pruning or tree removal or have tree health problems, an arborist from Advanced Tree Care can help. Contact us today.

Richmond Hill Tree Care

Trees are amazing things that are so flexible yet so strong at the same time. When you think of a tree, you probably immediately think of something that is solid, strong, and maybe even indestructible. While this is true in many cases, there are things that can move them and compromise their strength. This is when structural reinforcement might be needed. Our Richmond Hill Tree Care experts are here to tell you when structural reinforcement is necessary. 

Severe Weather 

You can't control the weather, and sometimes it can get pretty severe. Trees are constantly bending with the wind and the weight of the rain and the snow. While in most cases trees can withstand these forces of nature, sometimes fierce winds and storms are just too much for them to handle. This can cause a tree to splinter, crack, and bend in ways that it shouldn't, weakening the entire overall structure of the tree. And when this happens, there is a good chance that the tree will then pose a safety hazard to your home and your family. 

Structural Reinforcement

This is when structural reinforcement may become necessary. Structural reinforcement is the process of using reinforcements such as braces or cables to allow a tree to properly heal while still bending and moving naturally. This also prevents the tree from doing any damage or compromising the safety of your family, your home, and your landscaping. You should look into structural reinforcement as soon as possible if you think you have a tree that needs it before you end up suffering any damage or losing the tree altogether. 

Contact us at Advanced Tree Care for additional information on structural reinforcement and to find out if it is necessary for any of your trees. 

Aurora Tree Care

As long as trees are green, leafy, and producing flowers and fruits, there is really no reason to worry about them. But sometimes trees will fail to do this, and instead do just the opposite. The big question is, why? There are many things that can cause a tree to fail to thrive, and it is usually due to human error. Our Aurora tree care experts are here to help. 

Pruning Mistakes 

Improper pruning can upset a tree's stability and coax the spread of disease. This can actually cause the tree to fall over. You will know that a tree has had bad pruning when it's leaning more than usual, it looks heavier on the top or the bottom, the prune cuts are jagged, it's blocking other trees from getting sun, or it's too big for the space that it's in. A properly pruned tree will look beautiful and balanced all around. 

Mulching Mistakes 

Mulch is great for protecting trees and making your yard look fabulous, but too much or too little of it is not a good thing. You can usually tell that mulching was done wrong when you see exposed roots or a volcano of mulch against the trunk. It's really all about balance and proper placement. 

Fertilizer Mistakes 

The amount of fertilizer you need depends on a few things, such as the tree's location and the type of soil that it's planted in. Too much fertilizer can reduce the growth of the tree and ruin the branches and the foliage. You may want to test your soil and be sure to only add the amount that's needed, and during the right times of the year as well. 

Planting Mistakes 

You can't just plant a tree anywhere you feel like it. Location is huge. You definitely have to consider the surroundings, how big the tree will get, and how much sun it will get, just to name a few things. 

Contact us today at Advanced Tree Care for more information on how we can help your trees thrive and live the life that they deserve. 

Tree Pruning Tips

If you are working up to selling your home, you might be planning on upping your curb appeal as well. One thing you should add to your fix-it list is to have your trees pruned. Here are three pruning tips if you are hoping to get you home ready to sell in the near future.

1. Neighboring Trees Growing into Your Yard

When you start assessing your own pruning needs, you might realize that not all overgrown trees are coming from your yard. If your neighbor’s trees could use a trim and are hanging into your space or are nearby, ask if you can add their trees to your pruning service. They might offer to split costs, but if not, it could be worth the extra cost if it will make your home more appealing from the street.

2. Avoiding Over-Pruning

While your tree might be due for major pruning, be sure to point out your overall goals to your tree trimming service. It might not be the best time to cut back too much growth if this might take away from the appearance of your yard. As long as your trees are neatly trimmed and safe before selling, this can still achieve the curb appeal you are after.

3. Discovering Bigger Issues

A hidden plus of trimming your trees is you might uncover safety issues that would have come up when getting your home inspected to sell. If tree trimmers find dying or diseased trees, this can be dealt with before selling. If your trees are growing into power lines or causing plumbing issues, you can bring in the right professionals to fix problems before selling as well. 

Tree trimming is less painful if you can have a professional come and do regular upkeep at least once a year. If you haven't had your trees trimmed in years, contact us to assess your situation and help get your home looking its best.

Tree Pruning and Arborist Services

The transition from fall to winter is a time when trees go into a dormancy period. Trees slip into this period of "sleep" in order to survive the cold harshness and reduced sunlight of winter. While it may be a good idea to let sleeping dogs lie, this doesn't apply to your trees. Their dormancy period is a perfect opportunity for pruning. Here are four benefits of dormant tree pruning:

Improves Growth in the Spring

Failing to prune in the winter means that the tree divides its energy among all its branches during the spring and summer. This includes problem branches that will require removal at some point. Energy used by problem branches is wasted because it could have been channeled to the healthy branches had the tree been pruned while it was dormant. Dormant pruning therefore, makes more energy available to the healthy branches, which increases their growth. This gives you a healthier and faster growing tree.

Reduces the Danger of Falling Branches

Pruning during the early dormancy period frees the tree from dead or weakened branches before the onset of winter storms later in the season. Without these problem branches, there is less risk of falling branches from wind, ice, or heavy snow.

Pruning at this time also allows for better visibility because of the lack of foliage. This makes it easier to spot problem branches including weak branch joins where they merge with the trunk. Branches joining at a sharp angle with the trunk are weak and at risk of breaking off. These branches can be removed or cabled to increase their strength.

Reduces the Risk of Disease Infestation

Most insects and disease-causing pathogens are dormant in the winter. Therefore fewer of these disease-causing agents are around to infect the wounds caused by pruning. The benefit of dormant pruning is similar to that of doctors operating on a patient in a sterile room free of pathogens.

Reduces Customer Impact

Large trees requiring professional pruning involve the use of equipment such as chainsaws and chippers. Many people find the noise bothersome, especially in the spring and summer when they're outdoors in their yards. This is less of an issue in the winter when people mostly stay indoors. Damage to flower beds at the base of trees isn't an issue in the winter. Soil compaction at the tree base from pruning activity also isn't a problem because the ground is frozen solid.

If you have questions about tree pruning, or require our tree pruning services, please contact us.

Tree Care Richmond Hill

Like other life forms, trees have no shortage of threats to their health and longevity. They are threatened by plants, animals, and disease. While the first two of these threats can be effectively dealt with, disease that has spread and weakened a tree is difficult to reverse. Often, the only option is tree removal before the disease can spread to other trees on your property. Therefore, the best measure you can take is preventative. Here are seven suggestions for making your trees more resistant to disease:

  • Avoid inflicting tree bark wounds. Many diseases gain entry through wounds in the bark. While you wouldn't deliberately cause this, accidents will happen. Avoid accidentally hitting the trunk of your tree with your lawn mower by making a mulch bed around the tree. Make the bed's diameter large enough so that there's no chance of striking the tree with your mower. While you could place a fence around the tree, a mulch bed improves the tree's health. There shouldn't be any reason why you would ride or push your mower on top of the mulch. Take care not to mulch over the tree's base.
  • Avoid damaging tree roots. Be careful when digging holes or trenches near your trees. Cutting a root close to the trunk weakens the tree and makes it more vulnerable to disease-causing pathogens. Driving heavy earth moving equipment or your car next to a tree may cause root damage.
  • Avoid soil compaction next to a tree. Soil compaction above the roots of a tree deprives them of oxygen and reduces water intake. Roots mostly grow outward rather than straight down. Driving machinery or cars, or excessive foot traffic close to a tree will compact the soil. One telltale sign is the lack of grass cover. Soil compaction weakens and makes the tree vulnerable to disease.
  • Protect your trees from vines, insects, and animals that cause damage. Remove vines, consult with an arborist about insect removal, and place the appropriate barriers to guard against deer, rabbits, and woodpeckers. Some squirrel species strip tree bark from branches.
  • Avoid excessive pruning. Excessive in this case means leaving large areas of exposed wood. This kind of pruning is essentially inflicting wounds on your tree.
  • Consistently water your trees. This means keeping the soil moist without over watering. Again, preventing disease is about keeping your trees in good health.
  • Promptly remove diseased or dying trees. As mentioned previously, disease can spread between trees, and prompt removal is often the only option. Disease may also spread from roots left in the ground. This is why hiring a Richmond Hill tree care specialist is advisable. If there are alternative options, she or he will suggest them. Otherwise the specialist will properly remove the tree.

If you have any questions or tree care issues, don't hesitate to contact us.

Arborist Services and Tree Care Consulting

When you have trees on your property, there are many things that you need to know. But if you are like most people, you don't know all the ins and outs of having trees and how to properly take care of them. And when you don't know all the answers, you should turn to tree care consulting

Healthy Versus Dead

If you think you have a tree on your property that doesn't good, you should get it looked at. Much like people need to go to the doctor, trees can exhibit problems that are either symptoms of an ailment or even death. 

When you spot those symptoms, it's important to know whether you can take any steps to help your tree recover, or if it simply needs to be removed. Especially if you have older trees that add a great deal of beauty and history to your property, you should consider taking care of them before cutting them down.

Getting Valuable Advice

Not only will you learn about the overall health of your trees but you can get advice on the best steps to keep your trees looking good and being healthy. Whether it's pruning them on a regular basis or making sure that the overall structure is still supporting the tree, you know which treatment is right through a simple, professional assessment.

By having your trees analyzed by professionals, you'll gain a deeper understanding of your trees. You may learn about any problems they have, or if they are in great condition; any information you get will be useful. Trees don't just exist to look good, but serve a greater purpose to the environment for their capabilities to provide oxygen and a home to animals. 

When you have trees on your property, it's vital to understand them. To learn more about how we can help you, please contact us.

York Region Arborist

Animals have evolved immune systems that fight off disease. When they are infected by microorganisms, their immune system responds by destroying the invading organisms. Afterwards, new tissue replaces the damaged tissue. Trees also have a kind of immune system that protects them from invading microorganisms and fungi.

However, their immune strategy is one of containment rather than the "attack and destroy" response of animals. They wall off and permanently quarantine the pathogens. The isolated pathogens can do no further harm. Rather than rebuild the damaged tissue, the tree grows around the walled-off area and continues with "business as usual." The barrier consists of cells that the pathogens can't consume. Some of the cells are also toxic to some microorganisms.

This concept, called compartmentalization of decay in trees (CODIT) was introduced in the 1970s by Dr. Alex Shigo. This immune response is triggered when the tree is wounded either by an inanimate object or by an insect or animal. Once the wound occurs, a race between invading pathogens and the tree's immune response begins.

The tree tries to seal off the wounded area as rapidly as possible, while the pathogens try to occupy and consume as much tree tissue as possible. If the tree wins the race, the pathogens are contained and have no place to spread. If the pathogens spread faster than the tree's ability to contain them, the disease continues to spread with the result of weakening and eventually killing the tree.

A fast immune response requires energy and is why a stressed tree is more vulnerable to disease-causing pathogens and fungal attack. Trees are stressed in a number of ways including improper care. For example, the practice of topping severely stresses a tree by inflicting several wounds and depriving the tree of energy producing foliage. This means less energy is available for the tree's immune response of containment. Damaged tree roots, too little or too much water, and defoliation from insect pests also stress and make a tree more prone to disease.

If any of your trees are stressed, have areas of rotting wood, or have fungal growth, get the expert advice and help of a York Region arboristContact us today at Advanced Tree Care.

Protecting Your Trees From Disease

Fungal diseases can wreak havoc on a tree population. As a property manager, the last thing you want to deal with is having to remove 20 or 30 infected trees from your properties. Protecting the trees from disease is a lot easier, and you can achieve that by adopting these three habits.

Have the trees pruned regularly.

Don't wait until branches are falling left and right to make an appointment with a tree care service. Have your trees pruned each spring before the buds appear. Dead or dying branches are the most susceptible to infection, so having them removed helps keep your tree healthy. If your tree care professional notices any signs of infection, they can hopefully remove the affected branches before the infection has a chance to spread and threaten the tree's life.

Clean leaves up promptly.

Especially if you manage a large community, staying on top of leaf cleanup can be a challenge. But it's essential to make this a priority in the fall, even if that means giving your landscaping team some overtime hours. Many species of fungi that infect trees release spores that spend the winter in fallen leaves. If those leaves are left in place too long, your tree may become infected. Never let leaves sit beneath the tree all winter. Rake them up weekly as they fall.

Mulch around your trees.

The healthier your trees are, the better they'll be able to fight off infections. Applying wood mulch around the base of your trees helps boost their health in two ways. First, the mulch traps water in the soil, reducing the drought-related stress your trees experience. Second, the mulch slowly breaks down to provide the trees with an ongoing source of nutrients. Remember not to push the mulch too close to the tree's trunk, as this can trap moisture against the trunk and lead to rotting.

With proper pruning, mulching, and leaf cleanup, you can reduce your trees' risk of fungal infections. Contact Advanced Tree Care for all of your tree care needs.

Tree Care Services

Although winter doesn't officially start for a while yet, it won't be too long before the ground freezes. By this time, your trees should be prepped for the winter. Although it's clear how winter can harm animal life, it's less clear to many people whether winter can harm trees. However, even without the destructive effects of ice storms, winter can harm trees in a number of ways. These tips will prevent this:

Apply a Mulch Layer

Freezing water expands. This property of water can damage tree roots when the temperature undergoes multiple freezing and thawing cycles. A layer of mulch acts as insulation that stabilizes the temperature of the roots and prevents freeze/thaw damage. It also retains moisture in the ground near the tree. You can use mulch supplied by a garden center or wood chips, leaf compost, peat moss, or sawdust.

Apply a layer between 5 to 8 centimeters thick and extend it out a meter away from the trunk. However, extending it out to the tree's drip line should protect all roots near the surface. Make sure that you don't cover the trunk's base where it enters the ground. Keep this area clear. Mulch piled up against the trunk can cause wood rot and other problems.

Apply a Tree Wrap to Sun Exposed Tree Trunks

The low angle of the winter sun combined with the reflectivity of snow can cause sun scald. Rapid warming and thawing of frozen bark by this sunlight followed by refreezing at night, causes the bark to split and leads to strips of bark that peel away. Trees that lose their leaves (deciduous trees) in the winter are vulnerable to this problem. Apply tree wrap to the trunk up to the first branches. A light-colored wrap works best because it reflects sunlight and therefore stays cool. Tree wrap also protects the bark from hungry animals.

Finally, if the weather has been dry, water your evergreen trees before the ground freezes. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. This gives them a supply of water over the winter. If you require professional tree care or have any questions, contact us at Advanced Tree Care.