Categories
Tree Trimming

Urban tree care

Trees are dying

The drought has compromised the life expectancy of all trees.

Urban and forest trees are dying at a record rate in Southern California

The problem is related to drought or heat. When trees are under drought stress or any other stress, this reduces their defense mechanism in resisting insect damage or disease-causing organisms. Since most trees are so large, it may take several years for the tree to die due to insect, disease, or drought injury.

Contact us to protect and save your trees

Contact us to remove a dead or dying tree

Contact Us

What we can do to save your trees

  • Inspection
    • Start by having one of our highly trained arborists come out and assess your trees
      • Our trees are part of the value of our property and neighborhoods
      • We are able to recognize the early signs of weakness in your trees
    • Recognizing signs of drought stress is important because it can become irreversible, knowing how to mitigate the stress is invaluable
    • Most all of our competitors do not have the education and experience that our team has developed over the past 50 years.
  • A Drought Plan needs to be developed
    • Loss of water around an established feeder root system can kill off a tree fast and watering needs to be done properly. A plan to supply water to these areas needs to be established
    • Less rain and less watering will kill your trees, we need to supplement this process right away before the damage is irreversible
    • Grass and shrubs on the surface have died off and less watering is going to the trees and we still need to get water to the trees
    • Zero scape landscaping and synthetic turf can be killing your trees, this can be reversed with a professionally developed plan
    • Every tree needs to be assessed and may have deeds that are species specific
  • Trimming
    • necessary and unnecessary pruning needs to be assessed by a trained professional
      • thinning out a tree too much can shock your trees. During our drought trees are already stressed and may not endure the added stress of over trimming.
    • Deadwood
      • Trees spend extra energy on deadwood and on trunk suckers and they should be removed
    • Low hanging limbs need to be removed to so we can move around under urban trees
    • Insects are attracted to dead wood
      • Termites only devourer dead wood and they can swarm from your trees to your home in a day, even right after you have tented your home
    • Bacteria and or fungus
      • Drought compacted soil cuts off oxygen to the soil and roots and bacteria can grow  
      • Too much water can cause root fungus
      • A supplemental watering system needs to be well thought out
  • Watering
    • Watering in an urban environment can be a challenge
      • The root zones of our trees are usually shared with our neighbors
      • Roots establish themselves where there is a water source and when that source is interrupted the tree becomes stressed
    • Around hard scape
    • Drip irrigation
      • This is the most common way to maintain a consistent water source to our trees
      • Drip irrigation can be unsightly and not practical around hardscape
      • Drip irrigation can be a tripping hazard
    • Watering tubes!
      • Direct root watering
      • Conserves water by watering directly to root system, eliminates runoff
      • Collects natural rain/surface water directing it to the root system
      • Can be connected to low volume automated irrigation supply.
      • Eliminates tree stress caused by soil compaction.
      • Root Aeration supplies oxygen rich air directly to the root zone.
      • Permanent solution for drought conditions.
      • Establishes tree root zones quicker.
      • Promotes deep root growth.
      • Can be used on new plantings or existing trees.
      • Fertilize directly to root zone with less fertilizer and no run-off.
      • Installed in a day by one of our team.
  • Mulch
    • Holds the moisture so water is utilized and doesn’t evaporate
    • Decomposition adds much needed organic nutrients to the soil
    • We produce organic mulch everyday all day
    • Can be added over drip irrigation and watering tubes
  • Weeding
    • Weeds compete for water needed for our landscaping
    • Weeds use up valuable nutrients from the soil
  • Fertilizing
    • Fertilizing a weak tree can add additional stress if done in the wrong manor.
    • We use time released tablets to avoid shocking your trees
    • Ideally, we add fertilizer into the watering tubes to ensure direct delivery
  • Removal
    • When all else has failed we can remover dead or dying trees and turn them into mulch that will be used around another tree to save it.
    • Unnecessary planting and shrubs that take too much water
    • Dead or dying trees all fall, remove them before it’s too late!

During this historic drought, there are several things that you can do to help preserve our urban forest. As we continue to prioritize our water use, it is important to remember that trees are one of our greatest community assets. They improve air quality, provide shade, and beautify our communities. During this drought, they need a little extra care. One of our trained arborists are available to assess your needs.

Contact Us

Categories
Tree Trimming

It’s Trimming time for your Oak Trees

Tree Trimming Time for Oaks is between July thru October for best results

Most native oak trees are dormant in the summer.

Evergreen oaks are dormant JULY thru OCTOBER. Tree Trimming time for Deciduous oaks that lose their leaves is in the winter.

For deciduous oaks like Engelmann oak, valley oak, and blue oaks winter is the best time for tree trimming.
Coast live oaks are evergreen and therefore dormant thru July and October.
COAST LIVE OAKS ARE COMMON IN THE FOOTHILLS, OF SAN GABRIEL VALLEY AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES, SUCH AS LA CANADA – FLINTRIDGE, LA CRESCENTA, GLENDALE, ALTADENA, PASADENA, SOUTH PASADENA, SAN MARINO, SIERRA MADRE, AND ARCADIA.
OAKS BENEFIT FROM CARE NOW, ACCORDING TO THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES.

http://file.lacounty.gov/SDSInter/acwm/215959_SUDDENOAKDEATHbrochure.pdf.

Now is tree trimming time for your oak trees and many city 
municipalities agree July thru October is the best time
to trim coast live oak trees.
Consequently cities such as South Pasadena and
La Canada-Flintridge strictly mandate these
tree trimming times. A fine can be administered if
pruned outside of times allocated by the city.

California law protects native trees, including oak trees.
The state of California bans the tree removal of native
oak trees and pruning more than
10% without a permit and complete evaluation.
Flintridge Tree Care's
arborists can help you with the evaluation and permit process.  
Pruning your oak tree up to 10% is necessary for healthy
growth and preventative damage.

Oak trees are historical. They existed in the state
during ancient times, according to the city of Los Angeles,
and were used by Native Americans and Spaniards living
in the area.

Healthy prune, when trees are dormant, benefits
your oaks, and sets them up to create new growth
in the spring.  When oaks are kept maintained the
chances of getting sick and dying are reduced. In
addition, they have a better chance of withstanding
heavy winds.
According to the farmer’s almanac, Santa Ana
winds typically happen from October to March.
The windier part of the year lasts for 7.1 months,
from October 4 to May 7, with high wind speeds.
The windiest month of the year in California
in February. The calmer time of year lasts from
May to October. Stay ahead and schedule your tree trimming now.
Get peace of mind from Flintridge Tree Care 
and get your free estimate today. Have your
oak trees and other tree pruning done now and
pruned regularly. Regular maintenance of your trees
will save you money, time, and energy.

Set up a regular maintenance plan for your tree trimming and you will not have
to worry any longer. We will take care of your trees and
landscape regularly. Ask about our plans.
Categories
Tree Trimming

It’s Tree Trimming time for your Oak Trees

Tree Trimming Time for Oaks is between July thru October for best results

Most native oak trees are dormant in the summer.

Evergreen oaks are dormant JULY thru OCTOBER. Tree Trimming time for Deciduous oaks that lose their leaves is in the winter.

For deciduous oaks like Engelmann oak, valley oak, and blue oaks winter is the best time for tree trimming.
Coast live oaks are evergreen and therefore dormant thru July and October.
Coast live oaks are common in the Foothills, of San Gabriel Valley and local communities, such as La Canada – Flintridge, La Crescenta, Glendale, Altadena, Pasadena, South Pasadena, San Marino, Sierra Madre, and Arcadia.
Oaks benefit from care NOW, according to the County of Los Angeles.

http://file.lacounty.gov/SDSInter/acwm/215959_SUDDENOAKDEATHbrochure.pdf.

Now is tree trimming time for your oak trees and many city 
municipalities agree July thru October is the best time
to trim coast live oak trees.
Consequently cities such as South Pasadena and
La Canada-Flintridge strictly mandate these
tree trimming times. A fine can be administered if
pruned outside of times allocated by the city.

California law protects native trees, including oak trees.
The state of California bans the tree removal of native
oak trees and pruning more than
10% without a permit and complete evaluation.
Flintridge Tree Care's
arborists can help you with the evaluation and permit process.  
Pruning your oak tree up to 10% is necessary for healthy
growth and preventative damage.

Oak trees are historical. They existed in the state
during ancient times, according to the city of Los Angeles,
and were used by Native Americans and Spaniards living
in the area.

Healthy prune, when trees are dormant, benefits
your oaks, and sets them up to create new growth
in the spring.  When oaks are kept maintained the
chances of getting sick and dying are reduced. In
addition, they have a better chance of withstanding
heavy winds.

According to the farmer’s almanac, Santa Ana
winds typically happen from October to March.
The windier part of the year lasts for 7.1 months,
from October 4 to May 7, with high wind speeds.
The windiest month of the year in California
in February. The calmer time of year lasts from
May to October. Stay ahead and schedule your tree trimming now.

Get peace of mind from Flintridge Tree Care 
and get your free estimate today. Have your
oak trees and other tree pruning done now and
pruned regularly. Regular maintenance of your trees
will save you money, time, and energy.

Set up a regular maintenance plan for your tree trimming and you will not have
to worry any longer. We will take care of your trees and
landscape regularly. Ask about our plans.

Contact Us

 

Categories
Tree Trimming

Tree trimming in La Canada, Glendale and Pasadena

Flintridge Tree Care has been successfully trimming trees in Glendale, La Canada, San Marino, South Pasadena, and Pasadena.

45 years in the tree business. We are certified tree workers, with knowledgeable project managers, and arborists. flintridgetreecare.com

Tree trimming is essential for the drought

It’s easy to be reluctant about tree trimming/tree pruning especially if you have several trees on your property. However, the benefits outweigh the risks.

Glendale residents benefit from trimming trees regularly.  Today, Flintridge Tree Care is in Glendale, CA, trimming trees to improve the overall appearance and structure of the tree, which prevents the development of broad or weak branches. It also keeps limbs from growing with weak crotches or even crossing each other and competing for space in the crown.

While in Glendale, California, Tree Trimming helps counterbalance root loss.

Trimming your trees regularly allows you to accommodate any root loss. It also helps shape the trees as you wish and end up having the tree look as you envisioned it.

Tree trimming in Glendale allows you to detect any diseases before they advance.

You can easily detect any diseases affecting your trees when performing the trimming exercise. Early detection will enable you to prevent the disease from spreading and report the problem to your local specialist. Flintridge

Knowledgeable Arborists for tree trimming

Flintridge Tree Care has very knowledgeable Arborists on staff ready to assist in keeping your trees healthy.

Tree trimming increases the productivity of your fruit trees. Minimizing the number of branches that each tree has increases the number of nutrients that the tree gets from the soil. As a result, you end up getting bigger and tastier fruits.

Glendale residents improve the overall appearance of your trees. Call Flintridge tree care for your free tree trimming estimate. Our expert tree trimmers know how to shape a tree such that it looks as exquisite as you want it to be. You have to trim and clip your tree regularly to achieve the desired look.

Your local arborist, Flintridge Tree Care will minimize damage by tree trimming in Glendale, California. Trees close to the house, pool, or garage need to be pruned regularly to get rid of branches that could fall and damage your property or neighbors’ property. 

Tree trimming will add value to Your Property’s Environment. Untrimmed trees make your property look unkempt, causing your environment to lose its appearance value. You can easily change that by pruning your trees regularly. Tree trimming- Tree pruning is essential.

Ask about our low-cost maintenance plans.  Monthly payments will reduce the large lump annually.  Spread your payments over time with our maintenance plans.  Flintridge Tree Care qualified arborist will discuss a tree trimming – tree pruning plan to fit your budget and keep your trees healthy and happy.

If dead branches fall from untrimmed trees, they can cause damage to property. Keeping the trees trimmed minimizes these risks and, cuts any possible cost spent on repair.

Flintridge Tree Care will turn your property into a beautiful scenery.

Types of Tree Trimming – Tree pruning

Deadwood pruning

This involves trimming the branches that are dead, diseased, or dying. It’s also known as crown cleaning, and it helps in improving the overall appearance of the tree. Many homeowners have conflicting thoughts about this type of tree trimming, and tree pruning service despite it being the most basic.

With dead branches, it’s not about whether they’ll fall but rather when. Removing those branches at an early stage minimizes the risk of injury or any possible damage to property. You also prevent sick branches from spreading the disease and enhance the aesthetic appearance of the tree.

At times, you can focus on minimizing the size of the deadwood instead of removing the entire branch. This type of tree trimming makes the tree less dangerous and makes it look cleaner.

Dead Wood Tree Trimming

Crown Thinning

Also known as crown thinning, this type of tree trimming involves removing weak branches to open the canopy. Crown thinning enhances air and light penetration into the tree. It also lightens the load of the larger branches by removing defective branches.

When crown thinning, ensure you remove unwanted branches throughout the crown without forgetting the edges. Avoid removing too many branches from the center as this may affect the overall structure of the tree.

Crown Lifting

This is cutting off the lower branches of the tree crown to lessen the mass of the larger limbs. It is done with the aim of clearing sidewalks, and roads, and removing branches that may be conflicting with your house structure.

This type of tree pruning has adverse effects on fully grown trees since larger branches leave bigger wounds on the tree. Crown lifting is, therefore, recommended for younger plants. It is also advisable to avoid over pruning as this may affect the lower limb of the tree negatively.

This type of tree pruning allows your tree to match the surrounding landscape.

Crown Reduction

This involves lessening the overall height of the tree or the mass of the larger branches. This type of tree pruning service is highly recommendable on younger trees than it is for more mature ones. In older trees, it’s better to remove an entire limb instead of reducing it.

In this type of tree trimming, the focus is to remove terminal branches to preserve the main limb. Crown reduction should be done with great care by someone who understands the tree growth pattern. If done the right way, crown reduction allows your tree to continue growing healthy and also minimizes the risk of decaying after pruning.

Pollarding

This tree trimming technique involves removing all branches and remaining with a framework of the secondary branches of the main stem. Pollarding begins when the tree is still young and is done at regular intervals during the tree’s lifespan. This trimming is done to provide a constant supply of small-diameter poles.

Tree trimming is essential for the drought.

Visit our Fire Wood site: https://glattsfirewood.com/

Contact us at flintridgetreecare.com

Categories
Tree Trimming

Fall Tree Trimming

  • Post author By Tim Thornton
  • Post date 10-12-2021

Deciduous trees or trees that shed their leaves annually enter a dormant state during fall or winter to help them survive the lower temperatures and the lack of water. This is a very good time for pruning, also called dormant tree pruning and 90% of the pruning can be done during this time.

The deciduous trees are still alive during fall dormancy. However, except for some root growth when soil temperatures are favorable, the rest of the tree conserves energy by stopping growth and generally waiting out for the cold season to pass.

To put things in contrast, evergreen can conserve water a lot better and never fully enter dormancy. For that reason, evergreens should be pruned during growth season and not during fall.

What Is Fall Pruning

Fall pruning or Fall Tree Trimming is the process of removing branches, parts of a branch or stems of a deciduous tree during the cold season when the plant is dormant. Properly done dormant tree pruning encourages growth, can shape the plants at the beginning of their lifecycle and can also improve the overall health of the tree.

When is the Dormant Season?

Trees enter dormancy after they drop their leaves to conserve water and stop growth during the cold season. Generally, in the trees drop their leaves in mid-October, with some tree species such as oaks and beeches keeping their leaves for a little bit longer.

Other factors that trigger dormancy are shorter days/longer nights, the amount of rainfall and a drop in soil temperature.

Long, warm autumns are not necessarily good for the plants, since they can grow new leaves and stems that will be killed by a sudden freeze.

When Does the Dormant Season End?

There is no exact date when trees stop being dormant. To complicate things, weather is very unpredictable and might put plants back in eco-dormancy, or dormancy during the time when a plant is ready for growth, but the temperature is still not high enough. In California this occurs mainly in our higher altitudes.

The trees keep track of chilling units, or the number of hours when the temperature is above freezing, with temperatures between 40 to 50 F encouraging the plant to exit dormancy the most.

How Tree Dormancy Works

One of the most important reasons for a tree entering dormancy is water management during freezing temperatures.

There are 2 main ways trees manage water during winter and each one comes with advantages and disadvantages.

The tree keeps water inside their cells, but lowers the freezing point of the water by mixing it with various minerals or hormones. This process, also called supercooling, has the disadvantage of not being to able to withstand very cold temperatures. Even if the freezing point has been lowered, it is sometimes not low enough.

Some trees push water and liquids to the space in-between cells, allowing the water to freeze without damaging those cells. This process also has its own disadvantages, mainly because the tree may become dehydrated.

Fall Pruning Advantages

There are quite a few advantages to winter pruning, and that is why experts recommend the vast majority of pruning to be done during this time.

Sap Activity Changes During Low Temperatures

Because of the way how the trees manage water during the fall new cuts will not ‘bleed’ as much.

The Tree Is More Likely to Increase Its Health

Because of the low temperatures, certain tree diseases and insects that act as pests are less active. Fresh cuts are more likely to attract tree diseases and insects, but not when it is cold outside.

There Is Less Shock to The Tree

Because the tree is dormant, it is not exposed to as much stress as pruning outside dormancy.

You Can Easily Inspect the Tree

With the foliage out of the way, it is easier to see a lot of details such as:

  • If the tree has any structural issues
  • Identifying dead or diseased areas of the tree and removing them to improve health
  • Pruning outside of growth season can prevent the sprouting of weaker shoots and promote stronger growth during spring
  • Winter pruning helps to easily identify potentially competing parts of the tree or branches that might represent a safety risk. These parts can be strategically removed by a trained arborist.

You Can Fertilize the Tree At The Same Time

Fertilizing the tree during dormant season benefits the roots as opposed to growing weak shoots.

Dormant Tree Pruning Techniques

There are a few pruning techniques. Some are good and some are bad for the tree (such as tree topping).

Any pruning work should be done with a purpose in mind:

  • Safety
  • Tree health
  • Space management (such as trees that are too close to power lines)
  • Disease management
  • Pest control
  • Air flow
  • Getting more sunlight
  • Making sure the tree does not compete with other plants
  • Shaping and balancing the tree

During winter, there are two main strategies you can use to prune dormant trees.

Thinning

It is the process of cutting of a whole branch all the way to the main trunk or to its parent branch. It is used for disease and pest control, or to direct light and improve air flow.

Heading Back

It is the process of removing just part of a branch. There can be no stub left after heading back a branch, because it might rot and attract a host of diseases and insects. To ensure there is no stub left, the branch has to be cut all the way to the next extending side branch or to the next bud.

Fall Pruning Services

So, should you prune your trees exclusively during fall? Not exactly. There are a lot of good reasons to prune trees during spring and summer:

  • Some species should be pruned in spring, after they are done blooming
  • To increase safety – some pruning cannot wait such as when the tree poses a safety risk to you and your property
  • Some minimal pruning to increase the beauty of the tree
  • To remove overhanging branches or to make room for something else

As you can see, there are a lot of factors that you have to take into consideration during a winter tree pruning project. The decisions you make will affect the overall health of the tree, it’s structural integrity and the way it will grow in the future. Trees increase your property’s value and healthy trees pose a much lower risk to its safety. That is why it is always a good idea to contact Flintridge Tree Care and our arborist for dormant tree pruning services.

Categories
Tree Trimming

Fall Landscaping

Fall is a Good Time to Plant Your Garden or Re-Landscape

  • Post author By Tim Thornton
  • Postdate 10-15-2021

In recent years, you may have heard the saying “Fall is for Planting.” We assure you this is not a plea from your local nursery to gain more customers during a slow time of year for business. While most people think of spring as planting time – avid landscapers know fall is the best season to plant many trees, shrubs and hardy perennials. When we take a closer look at the relationships between plant growth and weather, we realize that we want the plants to be established/rooted in and ready for optimum growth in the spring.

Plants Focus on Root Growth in the Fall

O'Donovan & Son, Inc. • Take Care When Planting a New Tree Over Old Roots

As the fall starts, many of the plants in our landscapes rebound from the toils of summer. Fall is a time of rejuvenation in the garden – our roses begin blooming again and our tomatoes abundantly set fruit. New blossoms make their mark on the landscape as the fall palette takes hold. Plants rejoice in the cooler nights, damper soils and returned rains. This shift in weather allows plants to get back to the business of growing.

The cooler temperatures reduce plant stress and are ideal for root growth, allowing newly planted trees, shrubs and perennials to quickly establish their root structures. It is an interesting fact that plants can develop roots if soil temperature is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This includes much of the fall and winter months throughout Southern California, which means plants installed in autumn have several months of active root growth during the dormant season. When warmer temperatures arrive in the spring, plants put their energy into growth – rather than setting root – and get a good hold before the heat of summer returns.

What to Plant in Fall?

Not all plants benefit from fall planting. Research shows early fall planting is best for container-grown and ball-and-burlap shade and ornamental trees and pines. But, spring is best for planting bare-root plants and broadleaf evergreens, such as holly and boxwood. However, many containerized plants may be planted any time if handled properly. These are the majority of the plants found at our local nurseries. One of the main reasons fall-planted broadleaf evergreens fail is due to water stress – the green leaves are exposed to dry winds all winter long and continue to lose water, yet many landscapers forget to irrigate plants during the winter months. For success with fall plantings of any type, be sure to water regularly throughout the winter to keep roots and soil moist.

While we often fertilize plants or amend soil during spring planting, we should also fertilize in the fall to encourage root stimulation. The same is true for fertilizing woody trees and shrubs during the fall to encourage root growth. Fertilization and pruning encourage new growth and new growth encourages new root structure to develop before cold temperatures arrive. New succulent growth can be damaged as temperatures drop below freezing due to their high-water content, so often it is better to wait until springtime to plant succulents. Replete the process in spring – fertilizing plants again in the spring, and prune as needed during winter dormancy will give you the optimum looking garden.

Choosing Plants with Fall Foliage Color

Not only is fall a great time to establish plants, it is also ideal for selecting trees and shrubs for fall color. If you are looking for a shade tree or shrub known for fall foliage or if you are not sure exactly what plant you want, wait until plants reveal their fall colors. This will assist you in selecting the most vibrant specimen. Visiting the garden center in the fall will also allow fall-blooming shrubs and perennials you may have passed over in the springtime to shine. This is a great way to identify plants of seasonal interest to showcase in your garden.

Row Of Liquid Amber Trees With Stunning Fall Colours Stock Photo - Download  Image Now - iStock

Trees that you should plant in the fall

Fruit trees:

Apple, Citrus, Fig, Avocado, Pomegranate, Plum, Pear, Apricot, Etc.

Evergreen trees:

Pines, Cedars, Spruce, Podocarpus, Ficus, Oaks, Ash, Palms, Melaleuca, Pepper, Etc.

Deciduous trees:

Maple, Liquid Amber, Oaks, Elms, Beech, Aspens, Birch, Sycamores, Gingko, Etc.

Plant that Hedge now:

Ficus, Podocarpus, Eugenia, Ligustrum, Carolina Cherries, Etc.

Why you want to Relandscape in the fall  

Soil is moist

Water is plentiful

Temperature is cool or mild

Categories
Tree Trimming

Care for California Oaks

Care of California Oaks

Native oaks, when young trees, are very tolerant of their environment and make excellent and

adaptable landscape assets. The mature native oak is an invaluable part of our environment but does

not tolerate many changes once established.

Architects, builders, homeowners, and others should be very careful in fitting their plans with these

magnificent giants. Any substantial change in the mature oak’s environment can weaken or kill an

oak, even a healthy specimen.

A good rule of thumb is to leave the tree’s root protection zone (RPZ) undisturbed. This area,

which is half again as large as the area from the trunk to the dripline, is the most critical to the oak.

Many problems for oaks are initiated by disturbing the roots within this zone.

A Word About Roots

Our native oaks have developed survival adaptations to the long, dry summers of most of California.

Primary to this survival is the development and characteristics of its root system. When an acorn

first sprouts, there is rapid root development and very little growth above ground.

This initial root is a tap root extending deep underground for dependable moisture. In fact, the

tree’s first few years are focused on establishing a deep sustaining root system. Once this has

happened, greater foliage and above-ground growth takes place.

As the oak grows, the tap root is outgrown by an extensive lateral root system that spreads

horizontally out from the trunk to and well beyond the dripline, sometimes as much as 90 feet. For

a mature oak, this horizontal root system is the primary supporter of the tree for the rest of its life.

It includes the important fine roots, which absorb moisture and nutrients. Most of the root system

occurs within the top three feet of soil. In shallower soil the root system is concentrated in an even

shallower zone, typically one to two feet below the surface.

As the oak matures, particularly in areas naturally dry in summer, deep-growing vertical roots form

off the laterals, usually within ten feet of the trunk. These sinker roots exploit deeper soil moisture

and add stability to an increasingly massive tree.

By the time a mature oak has established its elaborate root system – so well designed for its

environment and particular site conditions – it has lost the vigor of youth. It is less tolerant of

change and can less easily recover to support a fully developed living structure.

To protect a mature oak, pay particular attention to drainage, and avoid filling, trenching, or paving

near its root zone.

Fill Around Oaks

Soil and other materials placed on top of the natural soil level, called fill, are usually compacted.

They make the soil less permeable, thereby restricting or prohibiting the exchange of gases and

movement of water. Excessive moisture trapped by fill can also cause root and crown rot. Because

there is no guarantee that fill can be safely added around an oak tree, it is best to avoid tampering

with the natural grade, or to leave the natural grade within the root zone alone and use retaining

walls.

Drainage

Poor drainage is a common cause of oak tree deaths, since adequate drainage is critical to ensure a

proper balance of moisture, air, and nutrient to grow and survive. Too much moisture, particularly

in the warm months when natural conditions are dry, can smother the roots and encourage the

proliferation of crown and root rot fungi.

Another moisture threat to oak roots is presented by barriers such as concrete foundations and

footings, streets, and swimming pools downhill of oaks. These structures can dam underground

water, causing water to back up into a tree’s root zone and drown it.

Trenching

Trenching is an often-overlooked cause of tree death. Trenching usually occurs when underground

utilities are installed. Digging a trench for utilities within the RPZ of an oak can sever a significant

portion of a tree’s roots. Often, several trenches are opened by separate utilities. This multi-trenching is particularly destructive since it impacts a greater portion of the root system.

If utilities must impinge on the root protection zone of a native oak, the trench should be dug by

hand, avoiding roots, or utilities bored through the ground at least three feet below the surface.

Paving

Paving can cause the same problems associated with soil compaction. Paving, such as asphalt and

concrete, prevents water from soaking into the soil and impedes the exchange of gases between

roots, soil, and the atmosphere. In addition, paving usually requires excavation to create a stable

base and to allow for depth of paving material. This process compacts the soil and damages roots.

Decking placed on piers is much more compatible with mature oaks than paving.

Care of Established Oaks on Home Grounds

Oaks on home grounds require certain conditions to survive and prosper. Activities of concern to

the homeowner are planting near oaks, irrigation and feeding, pruning, installation of home

improvements, and disease and insect infestations.

Most native oaks in California evolved and prospered in an environment typified by a cool, moist

winter and a hot, dry summer. Under natural conditions, surface soils are wet during the cooler

months and become dry by summer. Natural vegetation growing beneath oaks flourishes during the

winter and spring and dies by early summer, creating the well-known golden-brown landscape of

California’s valleys and foothills.

Native oaks, however, remain green because their thick, leathery leaves and other adaptive features

reduce their water use. The homeowner should attempt to approximate the natural environment in

which these magnificent trees are originally found.

Planting Near Oaks

Only drought-tolerant plants that require no summer water should be planted around old established

oaks, and they should be planted no closer than six feet from the base of the tree. Do not plant

exotic grasses, ivy, azaleas, rhododendrons, or any other vegetation that needs summer irrigation.

Such plants develop thick mats of roots and thus inhibit the exchange of air and water the

established oak has grown used to.

There are a number of plants, some of which are native to California, that can be grown beneath

oaks. For an extensive listing of compatible plants useful for landscaping around oaks, contact the

California Oak Foundation.

In place of plants, other types of ground cover can be used to landscape beneath oaks. When

installed properly, cobbles, gravel, and wood chips are good examples of ground covers that do not

interfere with the roots’ ability to obtain oxygen and appropriate moisture.

Irrigating and Fertilizing

Native oaks usually do not require irrigation as they are well adapted to dry summer conditions.

Healthy oaks are even able to survive the excessively dry summers sometimes brought on by

California’s variable climate. But if an oak has been compromised, as when impervious surfaces

have been placed in the RPZ, occasional water may be helpful if done properly.

Oaks should be irrigated only outside of the RPZ. Under no circumstances should the ground near

the base of a native oak be allowed to become moist during warm weather periods. Moist, warm

soil near the base of a mature oak promotes crown and root rot.

Irrigation, if done, should be by the “deep watering method,” which consists of a slow, all-day

soaking only once or twice during the summer dry period. Frequent, shallow watering not only

encourages crown and root rot, it also results in the growth of ineffective shallow roots near the

surface, a needless waste of the tree’s energy.

If oaks need supplemental watering, it is best to apply the water at times that lengthen the normal

rainy season, so the normal dry period in the middle to the end of summer is preserved. For

example, additional irrigation would be appropriate in May and September, while leaving the area

under the tree dry in July and August.

Mature oaks usually need little or no supplemental fertilization. Light fertilization may be

appropriate in landscaped situations to replace nutrients supplied by leaves and other litter that

normally accumulates under an oak in its native environment. If leaves are allowed to remain under

trees, they eventually break down and supply nutrients.

Fertilization should only be done if growth is poor. Fertilizers should be applied to the entire RPZ,

ideally in late winter or early spring. Trees that have recently undergone severe pruning or root

damage should not be fertilized for at least six months.

Often, when an oak tree shows yellowing leaves, one thinks it lacks nutrients. Generally, this is not

the case. More likely, the tree is suffering from root or crown rot. When an oak appears unhealthy,

consult a certified arborist to determine the cause.

Pruning

Excessive pruning or thinning of limbs may expose interior branches to sun damage, may simulate the tree to produce succulent new growth that is subject to mildew, and, in some cases, may cause a decline in vigor or may kill a tree. Only dead, weakened, diseased, or dangerous branches should be removed.

Necessary pruning should be done during June, July, August and September for evergreen species. Recent research has shown that tree paint, wound dressings, and sealing compounds do more harm than good.

Pruning should be performed by a certified arborist according to the pruning standards of the

Home Improvement

The installation of home improvements should be done with caution when oaks are located nearby.

Trenching severs roots, and impervious surfaces placed over roots may result in the death of the

oak. A swimming pool placed downhill of oaks can act as a dam and cause an oak to drown in

saturated soil.

Great caution should be taken and a certified arborist consulted before proceeding with

improvements that impact on the root protection zone of any valued native oak.

Diseases

When growing under natural conditions, native California oaks are relatively tolerant of most

diseases. However, they are subject to several problems when disturbed or hampered by frequent

summer watering.

The two oak diseases most often encountered in irrigating settings are crown rot and oak root

fungus. Both attack trees weakened by disturbance or improper care.

Crown Rot

This is one of the most common and serious diseases of oaks in home plantings. Infected trees

decline slowly over a period of years. The disease, caused by a microscopic fungus, is made worse

by saturated soil and poor soil aeration.

Symptoms of this disease are a general decrease in tree vigor, twig die-back and wilting, abnormally

yellow leaves, and formation of lesions on the bark accompanied by oozing of dark-colored fluid.

In most cases people notice crown rot too late for successful treatment. However, if the disease is

caught in the early stages a tree can be saved. Comprehensive treatment is best left to a qualified

expert. The following measures usually benefit the tree:

1) Remove lawn and other plants that require summer irrigation from within the RPZ.

2) Remove soil and all other debris that has accumulated against the trunk.

3) Do not water within the RPZ during the summer except under unusual conditions

when advised by a certified arborist.

4) Improve drainage around the tree, and make sure all water drains away from the

trunk.

Oak Root Fungus

This oak fungus, also known as Armillaria root rot, is found in the root systems of most oaks in

California. Our oaks experience little damage from this fungus under natural, dry summer

conditions. However, when oaks are watered in the summer or weakened by other impacts, the tree

can suffer damage from the fungus.

Symptoms shown by an infected oak include die-back of branches and yellowing and thinning of

foliage. The fungus itself may appear as a white, fan-like growth with rhizomorphs and mushrooms.

Prevention of damaging conditions is the only sure action that can be taken against this disease.

Avoid summer irrigation near oaks. Prevent mechanical damage to major roots or root crown. As

with crown rot and other tree diseases, it is recommended that a certified arborist be consulted.

Mistletoe

This parasitic plant grows on the branches of many oaks and can cause structural weaknesses that

make branches more vulnerable to breakage. Its sticky seeds are spread from one tree to another by

birds. The seeds germinate under favorable conditions, and rootlike structures find their way

through the bark, ultimately becoming attached to the oak and tapping into the water-and-mineral conducting tissues of the tree.

Small infestations can be controlled by removing the mistletoe and cutting back the oak’s bark

around the spot where the mistletoe stem entered the oak branch. Major infestations are difficult to

control, however, and an arborist specializing in oaks should be consulted.

Other diseases

The health and vigor of oaks can also be compromised by a number of other afflictions that are not

discussed here. Since 1980, for example, die-back and decline, particularly among the coast live oak

(Quercus agrifolia), has been observed in widespread areas of California. Several fungi may be

involved in this condition, and treatments are still experimental. Seek professional advice whenever

you notice serious, unexplained decline in your oaks.

INSECTS

Innumerable insects find their livelihoods in the branches and leaves of oaks, usually without much

consequence to the healthy tree. The oak gall, for example, is a harmless swelling of leaves and

twigs in reaction to enzymes released where a wasp lays its eggs. Some galls are large and round,

others resemble small wads of fuzz, stars, or tops; one, which looks like a tiny seed, falls from leaves

in the late summer and occasionally jumps into the air like a Mexican jumping bean.

Some infestations, however, can cause serious damage. Insects such as pit scales (which appear as

pinhead-sized scales on the bark of twigs), oak moth and other leaf-eaters can weaken oaks, making

them susceptible to disease.

Whenever an insect infestation causes substantial leaf loss, changes in leaf color, twig die-back,

sticky or sooty foliage and branches, or other significant changes in appearance, intervention may be

required. Consult a certified arborist for assistance.

Categories
Tree Trimming

If My Tree Falls on My Neighbor’s House, Who is Responsible?

Who has to pay?

The insurer of the tree-damaged house will usually take responsibility.

If a tree on your property falls and damages your neighbor’s house, your neighbor’s insurer is the most likely party to take responsibility. But this isn’t always so. Exactly whose insurance is responsible will vary depending on whether it’s an act of nature alone or if it was caused by your negligence.

Who Is Responsible

In general, a fallen tree is considered an act of nature that the neighbor’s insurer covers. The negligence issue comes into play if the tree was dying, and your neighbor raised concerns about the possibility of it falling over and you ignored those concerns. In this case, the repair burden falls on your liability coverage. Insurance Company, says a neighbor can prove that she raised concerns by sending you an official letter, prior to the tree falling, warning that you may be held liable for potential damage and sending a copy to her insurer. Without such evidence, it may be difficult for her to prove any negligence.

Make an Appointment with one of our Arborists

Knowing in advance the health and safety of your trees and having them properly taken care of on a regular basis will help prevent future liability issues.

You may need an Investigator

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Categories
Tree Trimming

Winter Tree Trimming

Deciduous trees or trees that shed their leaves annually enter a dormant state during fall or winter to help them survive the lower temperatures and the lack of water. This is a very good time for winter pruning, also called dormant tree pruning and 90% of the pruning can be done during this time.

The deciduous trees are still alive during winter dormancy. However, with the exception of some root growth when soil temperatures are favorable, the rest of the tree conserves energy by stopping growth  and generally waiting out for the cold season to pass.

To put things in contrast, evergreen can conserve water a lot better and never fully enter dormancy. For that reason, evergreens should be pruned during growth season and not during winter.

What Is Winter Pruning

Winter pruning is the process of removing branches, parts of a branch or stems of a deciduous tree during the cold season when the plan is dormant. Properly done dormant tree pruning encourages growth, can shape the plants at the beginning of their lifecycle and can also improve the overall health of the tree.

When is the Dormant Season?

Trees enter dormancy after they drop their leaves to conserve water and stop growth during the cold season. Generally, in the trees drop their leaves in mid-October, with some tree species such as oaks and beeches keeping their leaves for a little bit longer.

Chicago Trees During Fall

Other factors that trigger dormancy are shorter days/longer nights, the amount of rainfall and a drop in soil temperature.

Long, warm autumns are not necessarily good for the plants, since they can grow new leaves and stems that will be killed by a sudden freeze.

When Does The Dormant Season End

There is no exact date when trees stop being dormant. To complicate things, weather is very unpredictable and might put plants back in eco-dormancy, or dormancy during the time when a plant is ready for growth, but the temperature is still not high enough. In California this occurs mainly in our higher altitudes.

The trees keep track of chilling units, or the number of hours when the temperature is above freezing, with temperatures between 40 to 50 F encouraging the plant to exit dormancy the most.

How Tree Dormancy Works

One of the most important reasons for a tree entering dormancy is water management during freezing temperatures.

There are 2 main ways trees manage water during winter and each one comes with advantages and disadvantages.

The tree keeps water inside their cells, but lowers the freezing point of the water by mixing it with various minerals or hormones. This process, also called supercooling, has the disadvantage of not being to able to withstand very cold temperatures. Even if the freezing point has been lowered, it is sometimes not low enough.

Some trees push water and liquids to the space in-between cells, allowing the water to freeze without damaging those cells. This process also has its own disadvantages, mainly because the tree may become dehydrated.

Winter Pruning Advantages

There are quite a few advantages to winter pruning, and that is why experts recommend the vast majority of pruning to be done during this time.

Sap Activity Changes During Freezing Temperatures

Because of the way how the trees manage water during the winter, new cuts will not ‘bleed’ as much.

The Tree Is More Likely To Increase Its Health

Because of the low temperatures, certain tree diseases and insects that act as pests are less active. Fresh cuts are more likely to attract tree diseases and insects, but not when it is cold outside.

There Is Less Shock To The Tree

Because the tree is dormant, it is not exposed to as much stress as pruning outside dormancy.

You Can Easily Inspect The Tree

With the foliage out of the way, it is easier to see a lot of details such as:

  • If the tree has any structural issues
  • Identifying dead or diseased areas of the tree and removing them to improve health
  • Pruning outside of growth season can prevent the sprouting of weaker shoots and promote stronger growth during spring
  • Winter pruning helps to easily identify potentially competing parts of the tree or branches that might represent a safety risk. These parts can be strategically removed by a trained arborist.

You Can Fertilize The Tree At The Same Time

Fertilizing the tree during dormant season benefits the roots as opposed to growing weak shoots.

Dormant Tree Pruning Techniques

There are a few pruning techniques. Some are good and some are bad for the tree (such as tree topping).

Any pruning work should be done with a purpose in mind:

  • Safety
  • Tree health
  • Space management (such as trees that are too close to power lines)
  • Disease management
  • Pest control
  • Air flow
  • Getting more sunlight
  • Making sure the tree does not compete with other plants
  • Shaping the tree

During winter, there are two main strategies you can use to prune dormant trees.

Thinning

It is the process of cutting of a whole branch all the way to the main trunk or to its parent branch. It is used for disease and pest control, or to direct light and improve air flow.

Heading Back

It is the process of removing just part of a branch. There can be no stub left after heading back a branch, because it might rot and attract a host of diseases and insects. To ensure there is no stub left, the branch has to be cut all the way to the next extending side branch or to the next bud.

Winter Pruning Services

So, should you prune your trees exclusively during winter? Not exactly. There are a lot of good reasons to prune trees during spring and summer:

  • Some species should be pruned in spring, after they are done blooming
  • To increase safety – some pruning cannot wait such as when the tree poses a safety risk to you and your property
  • Some minimal pruning to increase the beauty of the tree
  • To remove overhanging branches or to make room for something else

As you can see, there are a lot of factors that you have to take into consideration during a winter tree pruning project. The decisions you make will affect the overall health of the tree, it’s structural integrity and the way it will grow in the future. Trees increase your property’s value and healthy trees pose a much lower risk to its safety. That is why it is always a good idea to contact Flintridge Tree Care and our arborist for dormant tree pruning services.

Categories
Tree Trimming

If My Tree Falls on My Neighbor’s House, Who is Responsible?

The insurer of the tree-damaged house will usually take responsibility.

If a tree on your property falls and damages your neighbor’s house, your neighbor’s insurer is the most likely party to take responsibility. But this isn’t always so. Exactly whose insurance is responsible will vary depending on whether it’s an act of nature alone or if it was caused by your negligence.

Who Is Responsible

In general, a fallen tree is considered an act of nature that the neighbor’s insurer covers. The negligence issue comes into play if the tree was dying, and your neighbor raised concerns about the possibility of it falling over and you ignored those concerns. In this case, the repair burden falls on your liability coverage. Insurance Company, says a neighbor can prove that she raised concerns by sending you an official letter, prior to the tree falling, warning that you may be held liable for potential damage and sending a copy to her insurer. Without such evidence, it may be difficult for her to prove any negligence.

Make an Appointment with one of our Arborists

Knowing in advance the health and safety of your trees and having them properly taken care of on a regular basis will help prevent future liability issues.

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Send us you email below and we can schedule a time to come see you!

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