Nurse, Scalpel: A Five-Point Guide to Transplanting Trees and Saplings

Trees are adaptable, but they’re still prone to illness and ailment under stressful conditions. Transplanting, unfortunately, definitely numbers among the most stressful conditions in life. After all, think about how you feel when you have to move, and your roots aren’t even getting ripped out of the ground. So, yeah … trees don’t like it.

That doesn’t mean they won’t come through a transplant just fine, as long as you know what you’re doing.

So what are the best practices to ensure the tree remains safe and happy? Let’s take a look.

1. Know Your Tree’s Preferences

A sycamore is different from a live oak, which is different from a cypress, and so on. Each of these trees exhibits different leaf types, growth patterns, and site preferences. If you don’t know what they are, there’s a good chance you’ll move your tree to the wrong place.

Accordingly, never move a tree before thoroughly researching its needs. That means taking into account water, light, nutrients, and more. You should also know its common pests (for instance, do deer like its bark, and will they have access to it?) to avoid leaving it vulnerable.

2. Ready the New Site

Dig the hole for the tree’s new home before you remove it from its current location. Make the tree wide enough to fit the entire root ball (see Step 4), and leave the excavated earth nearby to fill in immediately after planting.

3. Water the Day Before

Transplanting involves trauma, but you can reduce it by making the exit process gentler. To that end, water the tree thoroughly the day before. This will soften the ground and loosen the soil around the roots, which lessens the chance that the tree’s smaller capillary roots will get ripped off in the move.

4. Prune the Roots

You can’t move a tree’s entire root system, so you’ll have to prune it. Mark off a zone around the tree, giving 10-12 inches of root ball diameter for every inch of trunk. Then chop through the roots with a sharp spade or loppers when needed. Remove the tree, bury it in its new site, and water thoroughly again.

5. Get Help If You Need It

If your tree is bigger, or if you just don’t feel equipped to move it on your own, it’s time to call in the pros. Experienced arborists such as those here at Premier Tree Solutions can help you find the best site for your new or relocating tree. Whether it’s an emergency or a simple gardening goal, contact us today. We’re here for you!

Bye Bye Bugs: What You Can Do Now to Prep for Summer

Raise your hand if you’ve heard the phrase “beneficial insect” bandied about in recent years? Us too, and it’s definitely true that some creepy-crawlies are our friends. Ladybugs, mantises, spiders, ground beetles, midges, and wasps all do their part to keep the environment free of pests – and that’s before we even talk pollinators, which are crucial to a thriving world.

Don’t let that fool you, though: There are plenty of nasty bugs out there yet. If you don’t take care to protect your trees from them, you’ll be sorry.

Here’s the quick rundown on how to prep for summer and keep your trees shipshape all season long.


Say No to Pruning

Most trees want to be pruned in winter or early spring. It’s true that some fruit trees benefit from a light summer pruning, but for the most part, you should avoid whipping out the shears this time of year. Pruning essentially means making a wound in the tree’s protective layer, making it easier for pests to get in and infect it. Unless you have to prune to get rid of a weakened branch or pest problem, avoid it.

Use Natural Sprays

Protecting trees from pests isn’t a “new” idea. Since ancient times, people have sprayed their landscape and orchard specimens to control bugs, using a variety of natural substances. These include salt and essential oils that kill pests, mineral oils that protect bark, diatomaceous earth that desiccates pests, and more.

Enlist Friendly Species!

Hey, remember when we talked about beneficial insects? Well, they can help! So can birds and bats. Put up homes for flying friends, including birdhouses, bat boxes, beetle banks, and flower gardens. This will attract lots of natural pest-eaters, keeping your trees safe and your garden buzzing all summer long.

Get Help from an Expert

If you’re facing a pest problem and just don’t know what to do, it might be time to call in the experts. Don’t just pick a name out of the proverbial phonebook at random, though … no one wants to be that homeowner.

Instead, choose a licensed, insured and experienced arborist like the ones here at Premier Tree Solutions, and we’ll help you decide on the best decision for your trees. All you have to do is pick up the phone and call 404.252.6448 (or 404.569.8897 for an emergency), and we’ll “bee” right there.


Get to know Georgia’s beautiful array of trees and how you can take care of your own! Each month, we feature some of the most popular trees in the state. This month, we are showcasing the laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia). Learn all about the laurel oak below!




















































Premier Tree is your local source for professional tree services in the metro Atlanta area. We provide tree removal, trimming, pruning, stump grinding, and more. Check out all of the services we offer, and contact us today for a free consultation!


Get to know Georgia’s beautiful array of trees and how you can take care of your own! Each month, we feature some of the most popular trees in the state. This month, we are showcasing the eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis). Learn all about the eastern redbud below!

Infographic of the characteristics, growing conditions, tree care, and signs of distress of the eastern redbud tree.




















































Premier Tree is your local source for professional tree services in the metro Atlanta area. We provide tree removal, trimming, pruning, stump grinding, and more. Check out all of the services we offer, and contact us today for a free consultation!

Don’t Be That Homeowner: Top 5 Mistakes When Choosing a Tree Company

When researching which company to rely on for tree problems on your property, it’s easier than you think to turn to the wrong company. Rather than choosing the cheapest, closest option, it’s important to ensure you’re choosing a professional, high-quality group that does everything they can to take care of you and your property.

See below for five important considerations you may be overlooking when choosing a tree company:

  1. Insurance: Make sure the tree company you’re considering is insured to perform tree work. Verify via phone with the insurance company that the tree company has the needed full coverage (WC, GL, Auto, Umbrella) and that it’s current. The three most important areas of coverage are general liability (covers your home and property), workers compensation (covers employees), and automotive coverage (vehicles are insured). Also ensure they have appropriate limits.
  2. Skilled workers: It’s important to make sure that the company focuses on and has tree work expertise and does not combine other services (ex: landscaping, hardscaping, fence installation, etc).
  3. Proper tools and equipment: Cranes, chippers, proper rigging gear, trucks and loaders to remove heavy wood – some companies don’t invest in the latest equipment to ensure the job can be done properly, efficiently, and with minimal damage to property. Hence, this can end up costing a homeowner more money in the long run if a job doesn’t get completed efficiently.
  4. Certified arborists: Having a professional talk to you about the best options for your trees is preferred over someone who just wants to cut down your trees without question. In many instances, the arborist may be able to save or prune the tree versus cutting it down.
  5. Internet reviews: Take the time to check out the company’s website and reviews – does their website reflect professionalism? Do they have 4+ stars? Everyone can get a bad review from time to time, but was there a response to the negative review? Responding and handling negative reviews can say a lot about the company and how they value customer satisfaction.

Premier Tree Solutions guarantees they have you covered on the points mentioned above. No matter how big or small your tree problem is, contact the pros at Premier Tree Solutions today to get a free estimate. We’re looking forward to serving you!

Pollen Season Is in Full Bloom

No doubt you recognize dusty yellow pollen when you see it, and your nose is certainly familiar with it. But what exactly is it? Why does it cause the trouble it does? And what steps can you take in the yard and home to minimize your issues with it? Never fear; Premier Tree Solutions is here to answer these questions and more.

Just what is pollen, anyway?

The short answer: “Pollen is the male fertilizing agent of flowering plants, trees, grasses, and weeds,” explains the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, adding that “Pollen from plants with bright flowers, such as roses, usually do not trigger allergies.” However, the AAAAI continues, “many trees, grasses, and low-growing weeds have small, light, dry pollen that are well-suited for dissemination by wind currents. These are the pollens that trigger allergy symptoms.”

The first step in managing pollen, therefore, is to try and avoid the trees that produce the most of it.

Planting wisely

Some trees are much more allergenic than others. If you’re headed to the nursery this spring or summer to select new landscape specimens, TruGreen advises considering dogwood, Bradford pear, crepe myrtle, apple, and cherry. Each of these is quite allergy-friendly and will leave you feeling more peaceful all pollen season long.

On the other hand, steer clear of ash, elm, pine, and maple, all of which produce heaps of pollen.

Managing allergies to trees

You can also tend your indoor and outdoor environment in ways that minimize pollen in your space and therefore reduce your allergic reactions. Steps include:

  • Taking off your shoes at the front door
  • Sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, and dusting regularly
  • Cleaning out (and off) your car regularly
  • Washing clothes that have been in pollen-rich environments right away
  • Keeping an allergy kit on hand at all times, including inhaler, allergy meds, Kleenex, and eye drops

Proper tree care

Lastly, it’s possible that with the right tree care, you can manage your allergies a bit better. For instance, regular pruning can reduce the number of pollen-producing parts on a tree and therefore significantly reduce your reactions.

Make sure you don’t take shears to your trees and shrubs unless you really know what you’re doing, though. However tempting it might be to just chop the tops off your trees or hack away at limbs to deal with your allergies, don’t. You can ruin the look and health of trees and end up with a much more expensive tree removal job on your hands.

That’s where a certified arborist comes in. Call Premier Tree Solutions to set up a consultation and start making headway against the sniffles today!

Prudent Pruning: Smart Strategies to Prune Right All Year Long

Pruning: You know it’s important, but you’re not quite sure how to get the job done.

Oh sure, there are a few common rules. For trees that flower in spring, prune after they’re done putting on the show. For those that flower in summer, prune them in late winter or early spring, before bud break.

It’s not always so clear which approach to take, though, especially when trees don’t have showy flowers, or when their blooms crop up at that gray area between spring and summer. That’s why we’re here with a specific tutorial for five of Georgia’s most popular trees. Ready? Go.

Red Maple

This tree produces a lot of sap, and you don’t want to prune when it’s running quickly, because that exposes the tree to disease. Instead, wait until late spring or early summer, when sap calms down. Then prune the tree for shape, removing branches that clog the inner structures and following the natural lines of the tree.

American Sycamore

Sycamore likes to be pruned when it is dormant, so shoot for late fall after all the trees drop or winter before budbreak. Prune to remove dead branches, then to thin the tree and improve its natural shape. Avoid topping or cutting off limbs if you can help it.

Black Tupelo

Also known as the black gum, this tree tends to develop low-growing branches that can impede cars or people. Start by pruning those off in November, after the tree has gone dormant. Then prune for shape, remove dead branches and clutter, and create openness for light among the branches.

American Holly

Holly likes to be pruned in late winter. This encourages new growth in spring, and gives your holly that cheerful bright-green on dark-green appeal. Make sure you don’t cut off any brown wood unless you really mean to; it won’t regrow. Feel free to cut back as far as you like into the green branches, however, to achieve the shape you want.

Southern Magnolia

Magnolia is slow to heal from pruning, so ideally, don’t do it. When you have to, do it after bloom in spring or summer so they have time to rest up and heal before winter.

Note that once these trees are full-grown, you only need to prune when a limb is diseased or dying, or when a limb develops a weak crotch (one that grows too close to or too perpendicular from the trunk). Otherwise, you can let these trees take care of themselves and focus on the young ones you’re still training.

One parting piece of advice? If it’s a big tree and you can’t reach all its branches effectively, or if you simply don’t have the required expertise to prune properly, get some here. The pros here at Premier Tree Solutions are happy to help, so please feel free to get in touch today.

Top Tips: Why You Should NEVER Top Your Trees

Walk down many a residential street in Georgia, and a sad sight will meet your eyes: rows upon rows of topped trees marching down the street. When the tree is in leaf, this manifests as a weird, flat crown with leaves and shoots pointing straight upward. In winter, the result is knobby limbs that end in large, unhealthy-looking bulges.

That’s because those trees are unhealthy. While topping is still promoted by some arborists, most now know that it’s a mistake. It destroys fall displays, makes trees more susceptible to damage in winter, and ruins their look. Here’s why you should avoid this move at all costs, and what to do instead.

What is Topping?

Topping, explains the North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension, “is where trees are trimmed back to a few large diameter, older structural limbs.” The person topping the tree uses loppers or a chainsaw to cut off limbs regardless of their health, the position on the branch or the needs of the tree.

Why Do People Top Trees?

As the NC Cooperative Extension says, “Maybe you’re worried about limbs or the entire tree falling on your house during an ice storm, blocking your mountain view, or just creating too much shade in the yard.” In an effort to get those “nuisance” branches out of the way, they simply mow the tops off.

Why Should You Avoid Topping at All Costs?

Unfortunately, topping is a terrible idea. It:

  • Forces the tree to compensate by producing unsightly vertical shoots that block the view anyway
  • Produces quick-growing new limbs that are structurally weak and pose a danger
  • Stresses trees and makes them more prone to disease
  • Removes too much of the leafy part of the tree, which reduces photosynthesis and can effectively starve the tree

This isn’t the right way to treat a tree, folks. Instead, you need to look for other solutions, such as thinning the tree or, if possible, moving it to a more desirable location. But whatever you do, don’t go it alone.

Why Should You Speak to a Professional?

The simple answer is: so you don’t permanently maim or kill your tree. A professional such as Premier Tree Solutions will help you assess the health of your tree and find a different path to arboreal perfection, so don’t wait: Give us a call today.


Get to know Georgia’s beautiful array of trees and how you can take care of your own! Each month, we feature some of the most popular trees in the state. This month, we are showcasing the American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis). Learn all about the American sycamore below!

American Sycamore tree infographic




















































Premier Tree is your local source for professional tree services in the metro Atlanta area. We provide tree removal, trimming, pruning, stump grinding, and more. Check out all of the services we offer, and contact us today for a free consultation!

Sweater Weather: Should You Be Covering Your Plants and Trees?

Walk through any botanical garden, nursery, or serious home gardener’s yard in the winter, and you’ll likely notice at least a few snug sweaters adorning trees and shrubs. Which may lead you to wonder: Should you do the same thing?

The answer is a qualified yes. “Qualified” because most well-established native trees don’t need your help weathering the winter months, even during tough storms or cold spells. That isn’t necessarily the case, however, for exotic species and young trees – both of which would very much appreciate a warm jacket, thankyouverymuch.

So now the question becomes, if you have sensitive trees, how can you protect them? First, it’s important to understand why they need protection in the first place.

Chilly Challenges

Winter brings a lot of new challenges to trees that they don’t face the rest of the year, including:

  • Trees are sensitive to salt and brine, which occasionally affect us here even in warm and sunny Georgia
  • Cold snaps can cause tender new growth to shrivel and die off
  • Freeze and thaw cycles endanger plant roots, cause bark cracking and prevent proper water uptake

Covering trees, however, can prevent this. Covers regulate temperature, warm roots, protect from salt spray and biting winds, and prevent predation from hungry herbivores. All that’s left is to get the job done.

Flora Frocking

When it’s time to dress your trees, here’s what to do:

  1. Start with protecting roots by mulching in a circle around trees at a depth of 2-4 inches
  2. Cover smaller trees and shrubs with coats of burlap or flannel that extend all the way to the ground
  3. Try to avoid contact between plant and fabric, using string or stakes to minimize it
  4. Use premade covers for baby trees or shrubs, upending them over the top
  5. Make sure to provide airflow

Proper Protection

In addition to sweaters where necessary, it’s important not to set your trees and shrubs up for failure. That means keeping them dormant during winter at all costs. According to Gardener’s Supply Company, you can do this by:

  • Avoiding fertilizer throughout the entirety of winter and for 6 weeks before the first fall frost
  • Never pruning between midsummer and the following late winter, right before budbreak
  • Watering routinely throughout the fall to prevent winter dehydration

Of course, you may still need help. If you have questions about winter tree care, feel free to contact us here at Premier Tree Solutions, your one-stop-shop for all things tree care. We can help you with tree protection, proper pruning techniques, yard cleanup and much more, so don’t wait to get in touch!