BE A GEORGIA TREE KNOW-IT-ALL: LEYLAND CYPRESS

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. For December, we are showcasing the Leyland cypress (Cupressus × leylandii). Learn all about the Leyland cypress below!
Premier Tree Be a Georgia Tree Know-It-All_ Leyland cypress (Cupressus × leylandii)

Boo to Brine: The Effects of Road Salt on Trees and Landscaping

As the winter season rolls around, salt starts piling up on the road. Of course, it melts right into the snow and ice it’s meant to protect against, but that doesn’t mean it goes nowhere. That melted salt turns into what is essentially brine, then seeps into roadside soils, damages tree roots and sprays up on shrubs. Not good.

Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent salt from taking your trees down with it this year. Here are five of our favorite steps to put into place right now.

  1. Keep Trees as Healthy as Possible

One of the most important steps to take is to keep your trees healthy the rest of the year. Prune them properly, water them regularly to combat dryness (yes, even during the winter!) and fertilize when necessary. It’s also a good idea to mulch them to protect their roots from temperature shifts and keep salt from soaking through.

  1. Put Up Barriers for Susceptible Plants

If you have super-delicate shrubs such as daphne or other evergreen leaf plants, the simplest way to protect them from spray is simply to erect a barrier. Pieces of plywood will do the trick, or you can hang plastic between stakes.

  1. Wash Leaves and Needles

As soon as it’s above freezing, wash your plants off. Drag a hose over or bring cans of water and give your trees and plants a light rinse. If you can’t reach to the top of them, that’s okay; do the bottom, which is the area most affected by spray anyway. Do NOT try this when temps are below 32, as that will cause far more harm than good.

  1. Keep Salty Sites Clear

Perhaps the easiest way to avoid salt damage is to … wait for it … have no plants there. Genius, we know. If you can, just find other areas to put your trees and you’ll be happier.

  1. Remove Unhealthy or Diseased Trees

When salt is in season, you can’t afford anything that might compromise your trees and shrubs further. That means it’s super important to reduce the chances of disease as much as possible. Contact a professional such as Premier Tree Solutions to prune out diseased limbs and remove dead or dying specimens as soon as possible if you want to avoid the spread of pests, fungus, or bacteria.

To get in touch, contact us at 404.252.6448 for routine maintenance, or for an emergency, ring 404.569.8897. We’re here to ensure tree health all year long, so don’t be shy!

Christmas Tree Trends: Real or Fake?

Today, we’re here to talk about The Great Holiday Tree Debate. If you haven’t lived under a rock the last 20 years, you’ve likely heard the green enthusiasts offer their arguments in favor of real trees over fake trees and vice versa.

While no one answer is the “right” answer, it’s important you have all the facts before making your choice. Here are the pros and cons of real vs. fake.

Real Trees: Beautiful and Not Eco-Deadly

You’ve likely heard people make claims that real trees are environmentally unfriendly and a no-go for greenies. That, however, is untrue. As The New York Times points out, trees are like any other crop. You can get them grown sustainably and organically, and they provide valuable air-cleaning services while they grow. If you love the real tree look and smell, don’t fret.

Make sure when disposing of your tree that you follow your city’s regulations. If your city doesn’t pick up trees or you live in an unincorporated area, you’ll have to find another method. Consider sinking your tree in a pond to provide nutrients and protection to fish, or putting the tree in a chipper to become mulch for the garden.

Fake Trees: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

For obvious reasons, the materials that make up fake trees are not nearly as environmentally friendly. However, your purchase can last much longer, reducing the inputs used on real trees. The NYT reports that it takes 5 years for your fake tree’s environmental impact to dip below a real tree’s, so make sure it’s a long-term investment.

Before you go assuming that fake trees only come in the weird, shiny, white variety à la the 60s, think again. There are many great options today that look just like the real thing, and some have lights pre-wired into them to save you the hassle.

Live Trees: A Great Short-Term Option

Live trees are another option that many people don’t consider, mostly people they won’t stay healthy indoors for long. Evergreens go dormant during the winter, but bringing them inside can “wake them up,” overheat them and damage their metabolisms. Then when you put them back outdoors, they don’t have the protection needed to survive the winter.

If you’re going the live route, keep your tree indoors for a few days only, then plant it outside immediately after. You can even harvest a live tree from your own property, assuming you take good care of your landscape specimens. That’s where Premier Tree Solutions comes in, so contact us today to help you keep those trees healthy all year long!

A Long Winter’s Nap: How Deciduous and Evergreen Trees Survive the Winter

Winter brings major changes to the landscape, as you already know. Many trees lose their leaves – these are the deciduous bunch, who won’t grow new photosynthesizers until springtime.

Evergreens, on the other hand, keep their green all winter long. They don’t grow new needles until spring or summer either, however. Most of these are conifers, meaning they have and reproduce with cones, although a few evergreens – such as larches – are not.

The main question today is: How do trees survive the winter, and what is the difference between deciduous trees and evergreens?

Deciduous Dreaming

Trees that lose their leaves lose their ability to photosynthesize, and therefore to produce energy of any kind. Because of this, they must go completely dormant – in other words, they sleep hard. This is the only way to protect themselves from cold weather, making them much more resistant to the loss of sunlight, lack of food and plummeting temperatures.

To accomplish this, trees use a chemical known as abscisic acid, or ABA. This gathers at the tips of twigs, telling leaves to fall off and also telling cells not to divide – in other words, to stop growing. While the chemical is present during the cold period, the tree will do almost anything to avoid growth or other metabolic functions.

Needly Naps

Our evergreen friends take a slightly different approach. Instead of shutting down completely, they enter a super-cooled state in which their metabolic functions slow to almost nothing – but don’t actually shut down.

Evergreen trees, for instance, may still grow roots in the wintertime, so long as they’re underground where it’s warm enough. While there’s not enough light for significant photosynthesis, so they can’t feed themselves effectively, they can still make some energy from their needles.

Be aware that evergreens have more “sail” than deciduous trees, meaning that their needles give wind more to push against. That puts them in more danger during high winds and storms than their leafless counterparts. Watch out for damage from weather, even when trees are sleepy.

Continuous Care

While you should leave trees alone in the winter, for the most part, there is an exception: If your tree is damaged or sick, you should take care of it right away. Prolonged stress from a broken limb or significant lean can cause even more damage to a tree. Therefore, if yours has suffered damage from a storm or another catastrophe, it’s critical you get the help you need.

That’s where Premier Tree Solutions comes in. We provide storm cleanup and damage control, as well as branch and brush clearing to prevent spring infestations of mold, mildew, fungus and pests. If your trees need care, even in winter, we invite you to get in touch today.

Merry Mulching: When Is the Best Time of Year to Cover Your Grounds?

Many people have strong opinions on mulching. How much to use, what type is best, when to do it. The truth is, most mulch types will do well in most yards, so long as they’re made from natural materials. Layers between 3 to 4 inches thick are perfect, but the amount is typically forgiving, too.

However, when to mulch is a question of more specificity, so let’s take a look at that today. Once you’ve read this article, you’ll know exactly when to mulch and be merry every year. As a result, your trees are bound to raise a toast to you!

Mulch to Protect from Heat AND Cold

Some people insist mulching is to insulate the ground against cold snaps, protecting tree and plant roots from frost and ice. Others insist mulching is more important in hot weather, when the air sucks moisture out of the ground and away from roots, or overheats them with oppressive humidity.

The truth is, both are the truth. Mulching provides a thick cover of organic matter that buffers the soil – and the roots within it – from the air temperatures, hot or cold. The answer is to ensure your yard has a thick enough layer of mulch all year round, and replace it whenever necessary.

Spring and Fall Are Best, Though

Since you want to protect your plants’ delicate roots from heat and cold, it’s best to do your mulching before either sets in for real. That means May or June is the latest to wait before summer. Ditto October or November, before Jack Frost arrives in full force.

Mulch When It’s Dry Out

One caveat when it comes to mulching is to ensure weather is reasonably dry and will be for a bit, while the mulch settles. When you first put down bark chips, leaf litter or compost, it is very susceptible to washing away. Choose a non-rainy time in fall or spring to lay down your mulch, so that it can settle before rain and floods.

Premier Tree Solutions is a growing tree removal business based in Atlanta, Georgia. We specialize in a number of areas, including tree removal and pruning, branch clearing, debris removal, storm damage response and cleanup, stump grinding and more. If it has to do with keeping your trees healthy and safe, we offer it. Give us a call at 404.252.6448 to schedule a service or 404.569.8897 for an emergency. We can’t wait to help you protect your trees and garden!

BE A GEORGIA TREE KNOW-IT-ALL: EASTERN COTTONWOOD

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. For November, we are showcasing the Eastern Cottonwood. Learn all about the Eastern Cottonwood below!

BE A GEORGIA TREE KNOW-IT-ALL: SHAGBARK HICKORY

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. For October, we are showcasing the Shagbark Hickory. Learn all about the Shagbark Hickory below!

 

Fall Foliage Festival: The 6 Most Colorful Autumn Trees in Georgia

Tree ownership is a lot of work. You have to keep them safe from flooding, check for disease, and so on and so forth. They’re a touch needy sometimes.

But others, trees are a wonderful gift, and a treat for the eyes – such as in fall.

So what are some of the most colorful fall trees here in Atlanta? And how long do they hold on to that brilliant display? Let’s find out.

Leaf Season

Typically, leaf season in Georgia extends for about a month and a half, from late September to early November. Peak season is typically mid- to late October, with trees bursting into a brilliant display of gold, orange, red and deep brown. The length depends on the species, weather that year, and exact climate, but overall trees follow this pattern annually.

Best Fall Trees in Georgia

That said, let’s check out some of the best specimens this time of year:

  1. Red Oak: As the name suggests, Quercus rubra turns a stunning shade in fall, from dark brick to fiery scarlet.
  2. Eastern Redbud: This lovely tree, Cercis canadensis, turns a pale yellow to greenish-gold in fall, offering a pretty backdrop for all those flaming colors.
  3. Black cherry: The deep green leaves of Prunus serotina turn pretty shades of rose and yellow come fall, developing early and clinging to trees long.
  4. Sassafrass: This lower-growing tree, Sassafrass albidum, which tops out at about 60 feet, turns gorgeous shades of yellow, red and purple in fall.
  5. Sweetgum: The native Liquidamber styraciflua puts on an incredible show come fall, with colors ranging across the spectrum, including yellows, oranges, purples and reds.
  6. Sourwood: Oxydendrum arboretum has excellent fall color in shades of deep crimson, with silver flower capsules that cling to the tree and provide contrast all through the season.

Wondering about the health of your trees? Hoping to keep them hale and hearty for years of fall color to come? Here at Premier Tree Solutions, we want to help. In addition to trimming, pruning, branch removal, storm cleanup and stump grinding, our certified arborists will keep your stunning specimens fighting fit all year round.

All you have to do is give us a call at 404.252.6448 for regular maintenance or 404.569.8897 for an emergency, or you can reach out to us on our website. Either way, don’t wait.

And in the meantime, happy fall!

Hardwood Haircuts: Pruning Dos and Don’ts

It’s fall, and that has your fingers itching to prune. With all the chrysanthemum-planting and leaf-raking and ornamental grass-waving, you can’t resist that extra mile of pruning as well.

Before you get started, though, make sure you’re Doing the Thing Correctly. Otherwise, you might be sorry later. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep your trees healthy year-round.

DO: Prune in Winter or Early Spring

While it’s true that some arborists advise fall pruning, it’s not the best approach. Instead, wait until winter when sap isn’t running, and trim up then. There’s much less chance of infection this way.

Plus, pruning stimulates new growth, which isn’t good in fall when trees are trying to go dormant, explains Good Housekeeping. This is confusing for plants, and we’re guessing you don’t have the money to get all of them a good therapist.

DON’T: Top Trees!

If there’s nothing else you take away from this article, it’s do not top trees.

This means cutting off the leader, the vertical stem that juts up from the ground. Even if you think the tree would look better that way, don’t. It stresses the tree, leads to decay, removes food-producing crown foliage, and can even lead to a lawsuit if a weakened tree causes property damage and you’re found responsible. No, no, no!

If a tree has lost its leader through a storm, help it recover using these tips.

DO: Disinfect Tools

When you prune, you want to avoid transmitting disease between trees and shrubs. That means disinfecting your tools between each cut. Get a bucket of rubbing alcohol or Listerine ready, then dip your tool after each trim. Avoid bleach, as this degrades tools significantly.

DON’T: Cut Off the Branch Collar

It’s tempting to prune flush against the tree to preserve a smooth, straight trunk. Don’t do it, though. Cutting off the branch collar makes it harder for the tree to scab over the wound, increasing the risk of infection and potentially compromising your whole tree. Accept that this knobby little beauty is part of your tree forever, and move on.

DO: Get Help!

If you doubt your pruning prowess, let us help! Premier Tree Solutions is a rapidly growing tree removal business based in Atlanta, Georgia. We specialize in all things arboreal, including tree trimming, pruning, storm cleanup, stump grinding, branch clearing, debris removal and more.

Call 404.252.6448 to schedule some softwood or hardwood haircuts, or in an emergency, dial 404.569.8897. Reach out and we’ll come save you and your trees as quickly as we can!

Premier Tree Solutions Provides Service for President Jimmy Carter

President Jimmy Carter

While doing work in Andersonville, Georgia for the Secret Service and the National Park Service, Jeff and his Premier Tree Solutions team were called to serve President Jimmy Carter at his compound in Plains, Georgia.

Premier Tree Solutions removed a number of trees that fell on his house and property in the wake of Hurricane Michael, and were honored to provide services for such a president.

Looking for tree help? Contact Premier Tree Solutions today. We specialize in helping tree owners feel secure and help keep their landscapes safe. In addition to protecting trees from wind and floods and other natural disasters, we also do branch thinning and pruning, storm cleanup, tree removal, stump grinding, and more. Call 404.252.6448 for a consultation today, or in an emergency, 404.569.8897.