Overwatering: When Your Tree’s Had One Too Many Drinks

Trees are adapted to a wide range of situations, but it can be easy to assume that what works for one species will work for another. This is especially true when it comes to watering trees and other plants that are placed very close to one another in your yard. If you’re worried that your trees are being overwatered, here’s what you need to know:

Why Overwatering Harms Plants

When you overwater a plant, you saturate its roots and crowd out the oxygen it needs to breathe. Of course, different plants have different watering needs, and while one plant may love wet soil, another may sicken in such conditions. Knowing what each species prefers is necessary.

Overwatering occurs for many reasons:

  • Poorly draining or compacted soils
  • Sloped sites that accumulate water at the bottom
  • Placement under eaves or gutters
  • Overenthusiastic gardeners

How to Determine If Your Tree Is Overwatered

If your tree is getting sick, wilting or mushrooms are growing around the base of your tree; this is generally a sign of overwatering. Other signs include leaves that are light green, yellow, or brittle.

Damage Control

The most important first step, as indicated above, is to take your cue from the tree itself. Having a set schedule for watering the trees in your yard is a bad idea, because you’ll likely be overwatering some or under-watering others. When you water trees, the soil around the tree should generally be moist rather than soggy. This is especially true of seedlings.

As a long-term solution, try to place trees with similar watering requirements in the same areas, or “hydrozones.” For instance, you might plant willows, river birch and other plants with a high tolerance in wet, streamside areas. Move trees that can’t handle moisture to dryer spots.

If you lose a tree or two on your way to landscape heaven, don’t sweat it. It’s hard to see to the needs of every species, especially when they’re different. If you’d like a second opinion or you need a dead tree removed, feel free to contact Premier Tree Solutions today through this form: http://chopmytree.com/contact-form/.

What’s Bugging My Tree? How to Tell If Your Tree Has a Disease

Your trees are the backbone of your yard: large, elegant, overarching, providing shade and lovely dappled light. When something begins to ail a tree, however, it can be troubling, especially when you don’t know what’s wrong. If you think your tree might be suffering from pesky pests or deleterious diseases, it’s important to seek treatment for the tree as soon as possible to avoid long-term damage.

Below you’ll get a crash course on the various types of pests and diseases, signs your tree might be infected, and what to do about it.

Types of Tree Pests and Diseases

There are too many types of pests to mention in one blog, but they fall into two main categories: microorganisms and insects. Insects (such as caterpillars, aphids, flies, and thrips) eat parts of trees. Diseases are pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi that invade your tree’s systems externally or internally and cause it to become sick.

Signs of Disease or Pest Predation

If you see any of the following diseases, you should seek the advice of a professional as soon as possible:

  • Limp or wilted leaves and shoots
  • Light green, yellow, or brown leaves
  • Leaves falling off the tree out of season
  • Patches of bark falling off
  • Scales, scores, or tunnels along the outside of the bark
  • Nests or webs on leaves and branches
  • Small bugs or insects crawling along the tree
  • Twisted, misshapen, closed, or dead blossoms

Save My Tree!

The good news is that just because you’ve identified a pest, that doesn’t mean you can’t save your tree. There are several steps you can take, including:

  • Treating the pest with soaps, sprays, oils, or other treatments
  • Pruning the tree to get rid of diseased leaves, branches, and limbs
  • Hand removal of pests
  • Use of predator insects to eat pest insects

And often, while one tree will need to be removed because it is too far-gone, you can still save other trees in the area by acting fast. If you don’t feel equipped to handle pruning or tree removal jobs on your own (especially large, established trees), don’t hesitate to contact Premier Tree Solutions through this form: http://chopmytree.com/contact-form/.



From the Ground Up: How to Take Care of Your Summer Soil

Keeping your trees looking great is hard work. It seems like pruning, fertilizing and taking care of all the details can be almost a full-time job. However, there is one other aspect of tree health you may not have considered — soil care. Discover three ways that you can take care of your soil in the summer months. This will help your trees look their best this summer and in the years to come!

  • Improve Soil Nutrients. Poor soil nutrition occurs when the soil is too acidic or too alkaline. This is something you will have to work with an expert to determine. You could have a professional tree care company test the soil, or you could prepare a soil sample yourself and send it to the local extension service to find out more about the soil’s current nutrition levels. Once you know more about the existing soil nutrition levels, you can determine the best products to purchase at your garden center to treat the soil and improve its overall health.
  • Repair Drainage Issues. If water cannot drain properly, your trees will suffer. Watch what happens when it rains or you water your trees. Does the water drain within 30 minutes? If not, you may have waterlogged roots. Check the soil condition after rain or watering. Does it retain moisture? If it does not, your trees may not get the amount of water they need. Adjusting the landscaping may be all it takes to improve drainage.
  • Add Organic Matter. Trees grow best when they have other organic matter in the soil. Leaves, small plants and grass can all improve the growth of your trees. Luckily, this is something you can do yourself. Consider adding other plants near your trees for a boost to their growth.

You do not have to take care of your trees alone — “leaf” it to us! Contact Premier Tree Solutions by clicking here for help with any of your tree-related questions, or call us out to take a look at your trees in person. We would love to help your trees look their best and live their healthiest lives.

Branching Out: How to Detect If a Branch Needs Cutting

A dropped branch can cause serious property damage, harm to a tree, or even loss of life. To the untrained eye, a tree might look totally sturdy which is why it’s important to spot branches in danger of falling. Learn to recognize the three warning signs below so that you can cut them before anything gets damaged … including your wallet.

If You See a Split or Break

If a tree limb or branch breaks in a storm, due to weight from ice and snow or just because, there’s a good chance the next strong wind will finish the job. Breaks, splits, or cracks along the length of the limb are dangerous, as are injuries at the crotch, where the branch attaches to the trunk. Sometimes these breaks are less obvious, so especially after a storm, inspect your trees carefully for signs.

If the Branch Is Diseased

If you catch disease or a pest infestation in the initial stages, you may be able to treat the branch and save it. However, homeowners often miss problems, putting the limb and eventually the entire tree at risk. Some diseases enter from small wounds or tears in the bark and eat away at the tree from the inside, which is especially dangerous; the outside may look normal, while the inside is rotten. Look for flaking bits or sawdust-like particles. Discoloration, swelling, bark peeling, dead or dropped leaves, insects, or eggs are also signs of disease or infestation.

If the Limb Is Dead

This one’s easy. If the rest of your tree is in leaf and a single branch is not, it’s dead and needs to come down. Dead branches are just waiting to drop, so don’t hesitate to remove them.

Of course, sometimes a branch looks like it might need to be cut down, but you can’t tell. It’s normal to be conservative, especially with a tree you love, which is why professional help can be a lifesaver. An arborist will not only help you determine whether to cut, they will get the job done quickly and safely while minimizing the risk of infection to the tree.

Think you might need help? Get in touch with Premier Tree Solutions online by clicking here. We’re happy to help you set up an appointment.

Why Stumps Grind Our Gears

Stumps can be a nuisance for a beautiful lawn. They’re unsightly and just downright in the way. Not convinced? Here are some of the downsides of having these tree leftovers on your property.

  1. Stumps Regrow!

Stumps aren’t “dead” just because you cut the top of the tree. Many tree stumps will send up sucker sprouts year after year at their base, some will re-sprout from the top of the stump, and some can even send underground runners to pop up other places in your yard.

  1. Stumps Can Be Dangerous

Stumps are hard and sometimes jagged, and a tumble on top of one can leave someone banged up or seriously injured. Especially when the stump wasn’t cut cleanly, you’ve got to get it out of there.

  1. Stumps Draw Pests

If you don’t want carpenter ants, wood-boring beetles, or termites in your home, don’t leave stumps in your yard. While originally they might only be drawn to a decaying stump, it’s only a short jaunt to your house.

  1. Stumps Are Kind of Ugly!

Okay, in certain circumstances, an old stump can serve as an awesome fort for kids, pedestal for a pretty planter, or a cool all-natural lawn chair. But most of the time, they’re not attractive, they’re misshapen, they prevent other flowers and plants from growing there, and they disrupt the natural flow of your yard’s design.

Lots of tree removal companies will chop down your tree and then just leave the stump there for you to deal with, but Premier Tree Solutions doesn’t. Learn more about our stump removal process here. If you’re interested in getting a stump removed from your property, fill out this form for a quote and a fast reply!

Summer Pruning 101

In our last blog we told you all about pruning and how it can affect the trees on your property.

This week, we discuss summer pruning; a process that can prevent slow growth, the spread of disease, and even boost flowering potential. Thinking that summer pruning could be beneficial to your trees? Learn more about the process below.

1. Remove Dead or Diseased Wood

The number one reason to prune in summer is to remove dead wood that might fall and diseased branches that might, if left unchecked, infect the entire tree. When pruning, branches with larger limbs are removed at the intersection or at the trunk of the tree to stop the infection in its tracks. When working with diseased wood, tools must also be disinfected after pruning, a step we’ll cover below.

2. Shape the Tree According to Its Natural Structure

Most trees look best when pruned to their innate structure. In order to achieve this natural look, pruners observe the tree’s natural formation and try to enhance it. During pruning, branches that cross over one another as well as branches that grow back toward the trunk are often removed.

3. Disinfect Your Tools

Trees are not immune to disease in summer, even if they may be slightly less prone than during the fall and spring (due to reduced moisture). This is why pruners always make sure to disinfect their tools before starting a project. Disinfecting tools helps to make sure that potential diseases do not spread from one part of a tree to another or from tree to tree. Many products, from household bleach to rubbing alcohol and pine oil cleaner, can be used as disinfectants, ensuring an easy and safe pruning process for both you and your trees.

Not sure you can handle the pruning job yourself? No problem. We here at Premier Tree Solutions are pros, so you’re guaranteed an excellent job. Get in touch with us here.

Don’t Sweat the Technique: Trimming vs. Pruning

It’s happened to most gardeners. You walk into the yard, and you mean business. It’s time to prune. Or maybe trim. Wait, which is it? You realize you don’t know, and suddenly the clippers and shears in your hands seem like a big joke.

But fortunately for you, that’s where the experts at Premier Tree Solutions come in! Even though many people can’t tell you what it is, the difference between trimming and pruning is really quite simple, so don’t sweat it! Instead, read on for a quick tutorial, and then breathe a sigh of relief.

What Is Trimming?

Trimming involves shaping a plant evenly to meet the requirements of a certain design. Topiary, or the art of clipping trees into ornamental designs, involves trimming, because you trim the plant according to the desired shape rather than according to the pre-existing plant structure. Examples of where you would use trimming include hedges, where you trim to form boxes or mounds, or the aforementioned topiary. Generally you shouldn’t trim trees, although utility companies sometimes do.

What Is Pruning?

Pruning is a much more selective process. When pruning a plant, you take its structure into account, pruning branches, twigs, buds and roots to enhance that shape further. Generally speaking, plants you prune have a much more open branch structure than plants you trim. You might also prune to remove diseased or dead branches from a plant or tree, to avoid spreading and to protect plants.

Which Is Better for the Plant?

In short, neither is “better” for the tree or shrub in question. Both trimming and pruning have their time and place, and the best approach to a healthy yard and garden is using each where it is called for. Trimming a tree with a beautiful, airy branch structure will result in an ugly specimen with cuts that heal slowly, because they weren’t made at the correct points. On the other hand, trying to prune super bushy plants bred for topiary or hedges is a waste of time and energy.

So do you know what to do now, or are you hesitant? It’s OK to get some help from the professionals, so if you’d like someone with pro know-how to get the trimming and the pruning done for you, contact Premier Tree Solutions here!

Going Green for Good

If you enjoy gardening, you probably already know that it is a valuable form of exercise and that it improves mood and bolsters emotional health. However, you may not know that it has several environmental and financial boons that make it an even better idea. Whether you’re a gardening pro or a newbie just digging your first patch, keep these benefits in mind.

Protect Your Assets

When you garden, you turn soil, reducing compaction and helping it absorb water and nutrients. This lessens the chances of water running across yard surfaces, which can pool and erode foundations, leak into basements and cause buckling or lifting of patios and other hardscaping features. Plus, improving soil health makes for healthier trees and other large landscape plants, which add to the value of your home.

Host Wildlife

You know who loves a good garden? Animals. Flowering plants attract bees, which are in desperate need of habitat, as well as butterflies, hummingbirds and larger bird types. If you’re into native fauna, plant native plants to have the best chance of attracting local salamander, frog, bird, bee and other insect species. You might even get some deer, although not everyone thinks that’s a bonus!

Save Money on Groceries

Yes, really. If you put in a summer garden, you can save significantly on fresh produce during the height of production. Whereas others might have to pay for tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini, potatoes, berries and herbs, which are somehow still pricey even in summer, you can head right out back and skip the lines — and the bill. If you maintain year-round gardens using cold frames or hothouses, you can add fall and spring vegetables to the list; think broccoli, spinach, cabbage, kale, beets, carrots and much more.

Help the Environment

The more green stuff growing in our world, the better protected it is against pollutants and greenhouse gases. Plants, which need carbon dioxide to breathe, filter it and other damaging chemicals out of the air, helping to combat global climate change. Plants also anchor soil, keeping it in place when wind and rain would otherwise cause erosion.

What’s not to like about a hobby that’s good for you, protects your home, pads out your bank account and throws Mother Earth a bone at the same time? Dare we say it might be the perfect hobby? So go on and get out there!

Stumped: Debunking Myths of Trees and Tree Care

You probably treasure the trees on your property and appreciate that they offer shade, beauty, and a natural element that cannot be matched by anything else. However, caring for those trees can feel like a daunting task. This is especially the case if you have misinformation regarding proper tree care. Before you stress about how to proceed or make a mistake you cannot repair, let us debunk a few common tree care myths.

  • Myth 1 – Staking newly planted trees helps them develop a better root system. – The practice of staking a young tree (attaching it to a stiff piece of wood or pole when planting it) may offer both benefits and drawbacks. Trees planted without staking will often develop a deeper and more widespread root system. However, the staking can help the tree grow straighter and keep it from washing away in a rainstorm.
  • Myth 2 – Tree wraps can prevent insect problems and prevent temperature fluctuations. Tree wraps are a type of artificial sleeve developed to protect a young or growing tree. However, in many cases, covering a tree trunk can make pest problems worse (certain insects will burrow underneath the wrap and become stuck) and the improvement in temperature control is minimal at best.
  • Myth 3 – When pruning, cut flush with the trunk to encourage healing. Pruning trees, or cutting them back regularly, is important to help them grow. However, it is important to note that trees do not heal. In reality, the spread of decay is more likely with flush cuts (cuts that are flat against the trunk) than in a non-flush cut.
  • Myth 4 – The root system is burrowed deep, deep into the ground. The truth is, while root systems vary, most of a tree’s roots will grow within the first few inches underground.
  • Myth 5 – It is easy to kill fungus or insect problems using a chemical product. While the sheer number of these products available at your nearby home improvement store may make it seem to be the case, it is not so. Many fungal and insect problems have no known chemical treatment. Working with an expert is often best.
  • Myth 6 – Regular and vigorous pruning is necessary for all trees and will make a tree grow larger and stronger. There are so many different types of trees that this statement is simply not true in all cases. Doing your research or talking to an arborist is important to find out what type of pruning is necessary.

Don’t go barking up the wrong tree! If you need more information on tree care or want to work with the best, contact us at Premier Tree Solutions today at 404-252-6448 or online at www.chopmytree.com/contact-form/.




When It Rains, It Firs: Storm Damage Prevention

Whether it’s hailstones flying from the heavens or winds blowing like nobody’s business, weather can wreak some serious havoc on trees. From fragile willow saplings to hardy oaks, if your trees are hit by a storm, you should always try your best to make sure you and your home are ready for the worst. Use the valuable information we’ve assembled below to learn how you can stay prepared for whatever woes the weather may bring.

Six Types of Tree Damage

Although storms can be unpredictable, knowing the types of storm damage beforehand can help you be better prepared for any incident.

According to the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forest Resources, there are six types of tree damage:

  • Lightning
  • Branch failure
  • Root failure
  • Blow-over
  • Crown twist
  • Stem failure

Out of the 6 listed above, lightning is the most dangerous type of tree damage. If a tree is struck by lightning, the resulting current travels through the entire tree system, ending at the roots and destroying the tree’s tissues with a mixture of electricity, steam and heat. Trees that have been damaged by lightning will often experience water loss, further escalating the downfall of the plant. Furthermore, pests are drawn to a lightning-damaged tree like sap collectors to seeping maples. Unfortunately, because most of this takes place internally, it’s often difficult to identify the extent of the damage by just looking externally. Sometimes trees can begin to die without significant damage having occurred aboveground.

Branch, root and stem failure resulting from storm damage can create irreversible devastation throughout the entire structure of a tree. Additionally, without sturdy roots, life-providing branches or a sturdy stem, a tree cannot thrive. As for blow-overs and crown twists, these types of damage often stem from failures in another part of the tree. For example, a tree with a weakened root system will be more apt to toppling during a blow-over.

Nipping Tree Damage in the Bud

Proper pruning, the careful and selective removal of certain parts of the tree, can help resolve tree damage problems. Knowing whether you have spruce, sycamore, pear or pines, is also an essential part of determining how to reverse tree damage and prevent it. You can install preventative measures, such as lightning protection systems, if you are particularly keen to keeping your trees upright and healthy. Finally, subscribing to a regular routine of watering, fertilizing and pest control can help keep your trees in tiptop condition by. If you would like professional assistance in maintaining the specific types of trees in your outdoor space, contact Premier Tree Solutions at 404-252-6448 or online.