Archive for the ‘Tree Care’ Category

Stuart is Now an ISA Certified Arborist!

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Congratulations to Stuart! We are proud to announce that he has successfully passed the Certified Arborist exam administered through the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)! After years of experience in the industry, months of studying, and one grueling 3-hour exam, Stuart joins the small group of arboriculture professionals who have achieved this status.Stuart ISA Certified Arborist

The International Society of Arboriculture is a scientific and educational organization committed to spreading information regarding the care and preservation of trees. It is one of the largest organizations of tree care professionals in the world. Stuart Camu ISA Certified ArboristIn 1992 the ISA founded its certification program with the goal of improving the knowledge and standards of practice within the tree care industry. In addition, the program is designed to help the general public in identifying quality professionals who have a thorough knowledge of tree care practices, as demonstrated by passing the ISA education program and exam.

This program is voluntary. All individuals who choose to earn this certification must complete an education program and exam that covers all facets of arboriculture. This includes topics such as soil management, tree identification & selection, tree biology, safe working practices, pruning, diagnosis & treatment, tree risk management, and much more.

When you work with Leaf & Limb Tree Service, you can rest easy knowing that our ISA Certified Arborists have a working knowledge of how to properly tend to your trees. We are able to offer consultations, advice, and plans of action for all your tree care needs. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

New Service: Tree Root Care

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

For those who have been following our company – either via this blog, Facebook, or another source – you know that we are in the process of offering many new tree care services. We have spent the last two years reading, studying, earning certifications, and attending classes in order to learn the skills and information necessary to offer these services.

With 2012 under way, we are finally ready to begin offering each new service. Today we are featuring an exciting new segment: tree root care. Roots are vitally important to the health and longevity of a tree. While most tree services focus on the canopy of a tree, many overlook its underground component – the root system. Yet when a tree displays problems such as disease, pest infestation, dead branches, or overall decline, these can often be traced back to issues within the roots. Once the root system is damaged, the tree will begin declining in health, to the point where it could die.

To learn more, be sure to read our page about Tree Root Care

In the meantime, enjoy the below video the we recently created. It features aeration and de-compaction of the soil around an oak tree. Before you begin watching, here is the background:

In this video, the soil surrounding the oak tree was badly compacted. When compaction occurs above the key structural roots of a tree, it diminishes the available soil pores (air spaces) that hold oxygen. This limits the oxygen diffusion rate in the soil and results in root suffocation. But a tree’s roots must have oxygen in order to grow. As such, compaction can severely harm a tree. Aerating and de-compacting the soil in the critical root zone will fix the problem. As you will see in this video, we do so using an Air Spade. This tool blasts out air at over 1200 MPH. This is powerful enough to break up the soil, but does not harm the roots. Once the aeration is done, we cover the area with mulch. The mulch helps trap moisture, regulate temperature, and keep weeds and grass from growing.

Want to Increase Your Property Value and Save Money? Think Tree Care!

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Consider the following: Your trees are valuable assets. First, trees increase your property value by as much as 20%. Second, trees provide a number of important benefits such as:

  • Reducing energy bills by providing shade
  • Absorbing pollutants in the air, soil, and water
  • Cleaning carbon dioxide from the air
  • Lessening noise pollution
  • And more!

Whether you are looking to add value to your existing property, sell your property for a higher price, or command higher rent rates from tenants, your trees should be an important consideration.

Save Money and Increase Property Value Through Tree CareMany tree service companies are able to fell trees, trim trees, and remove stumps, but they do not have the expertise with which to identify, diagnose, and solve tree disorders. As such, they are unable to recommend solutions that heal and preserve trees.

To offer tree care services requires a great deal of knowledge about tree physiology, diseases, root systems, pests, abiotic factors, as well as the surrounding environment. But this expertise does not translate into offering services that are more expensive. As a matter of fact, tree care services are generally cheaper than tree removal services.

According to various surveys and cost analyses performed by USDA Forest Services, municipalities, and the private sector, it is estimated that the average cost to remove a tree is somewhere around $500-$700.  In contrast, tree care services (fertilization, pest control, etc.) generally range from $50 to $200 per tree. Not only that, but tree care involves less risk to workers and property. Best of all, by caring for your trees you have maintained and enhanced these assets rather than removing them.

The end result of tree care? You have saved money and increased your property value. Contact Leaf & Limb Tree Service today for all your tree care needs.

 

NOTE: This blog post is an excerpt from Leaf & Limb article entitled Tree Care: Save Money and Increase Your Property Value. You can read the full version of this article by clicking the link.

 

Stop the Press – Colin is an ISA Certified Arborist!

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

We are proud to announce that Colin has successfully completed the Certified Arborist exam administered through the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)! Congratulations Colin! By combining a great deal of hard work, many hours of studying, and over 10 years of experience in the tree service industry, Colin aced the three and a half hour exam. His certification number is SO-6603A.

Colin Camu ISA Certified ArboristYou may be wondering, what exactly is an ISA Certified Arborist? To answer, let me explain a bit about the ISA, as well as the program itself. The International Society of Arboriculture is a scientific and educational organization committed to spreading information regarding the care and preservation of trees. It is one of the largest, if not the largest, organization of tree care professionals in the world. In 1992 the ISA founded its certification program with the goal of improving the knowledge and standards of practice within the tree care industry. In addition, the program is designed to help the general public in identifying quality professionals who have a thorough knowledge of tree care practices, as demonstrated by passing the ISA education program and exam. Since 1992, over 25,000 professionals world-wide have earned one of ISA’s credentials.

This program is voluntary. All individuals who choose to earn this certification must complete an education program and exam that covers all facets of arboriculture. This includes topics such as soil management, tree identification & selection, tree biology, safe working practices, pruning, diagnosis & treatment, tree risk management, and much more. As an aside (in case you are wondering), arboriculture is defined as the cultivation, management, and study of trees and related perennial woody plants. But between you and I, the word “arboriculture” is mostly just a fancy term tree service professionals like to throw out for “oohs” and “ahhs” :)

All Certified Arborists have a minimum of three years worth of full-time experience working in the tree service industry. After passing the exam, individuals must adhere to ISA’s Code of Ethics. In addition, they must also undergo regular recertification and educational requirements. This ensures that Certified Arborists stay abreast of new industry developments and techniques, which maintains high standards for the Certified Arborist program overall.

For you the reader, having an ISA Certified Arborist on staff means that if you are interested in using Leaf & Limb you can rest easy knowing that we have a working knowledge how to properly tend to your trees. We are able to offer consultations, advice, and plans of action for all your tree care needs. So give us a call – we would love the opportunity to meet with you!

Tree Care for Crape Myrtles

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Originally from China, crape myrtles are truly beautiful trees. With their colorful flower blooms and delicate, exfoliating bark, it is no wonder that crape myrtles have become a favorite for homeowners and landscapers all across North Carolina and the rest of the South. Here at Leaf & Limb Tree Service we receive numerous inquiries from individuals asking what they should do to ensure the well-being of their crape myrtles. Here is some general information about caring for these trees:Crape Myrtles

  1. Pruning: Crape myrtles usually need little pruning in order to develop a strong structure. But there are some basic pruning techniques that can enhance the tree’s beauty and bloom capacity. First of all, remove dead branches, lower branches very near the ground, suckers growing from the base, and small twiggy branches inside the foliage. Second, you should select one to five strong shoots arising from (or near) ground level to be the tree’s main stems. Remove all others. The remaining shoots now form the tree’s central framework. These main stems will support the flowering branches (known as laterals and sublaterals). Third, prune one out of every three lateral and sublateral back to the main framework. This will stimulate new growth that matures to bear flowers through the summer. Last, for crape myrtles located in cooler areas, especially in northern regions where the growing season is short, the canopy should be further thinned out in order to let light and air into the center of the tree, thereby discouraging disease.
  2. Fertilizer: Crape myrtles generally grow best in soil with a pH of 4.5 to 7.5. But even if the soil conditions are not ideal, crape myrtles need very little fertilizer, since they are hardy trees. For older plants, sickly plants, or plants in especially bad soil, a light application of 5-10-5 fertilizer applied in the spring when growth begins should do the trick
  3. Sunlight: Crape myrtles thrive in full sunlight and full heat. If your crape myrtle is planted in the shade, look for ways to increase sunlight, such as trimming nearby trees. If you are getting ready to plant your crape myrtle, choose a spot that has plenty of sun.
  4. Water: Crape myrtles, particularly those that are well established, are drought resistant. Crape myrtles need a minimal amount of water and prefer well drained soil. Therefore you should avoid excessive watering.
  5. Flowers: Excessive watering, too much fertilizer, not enough sun, and too little heat can all cause a dearth of flowering. These actions promote more vegetative growth, which results in less flowers.Flower blooms on a Crape Myrtle
  6. Powdery Mildew: Though there are a handful of resistant varieties, most crape myrtles are susceptible to mildew. This is the most common disease on crape myrtles. If there is a white or grey powder film on the leaves and flower buds of your crape myrtle, it may have powdery mildew. This is a fungal disease that causes damage by halting photosynthesis and other basic life processes of the leaves and buds, which harms the tree. It can be eradicated by applying any fungicide that is labeled for mildew on a weekly basis until the flower buds open. In addition, thinning out branches in order to allow sun and air flow penetration into the canopy can help reduce susceptibility to mildew problems.
  7. Aphids: These are yellowish green insects that can cover the underside of the crape myrtle’s leaves and cause damage by sucking sap out of the tree. In addition, they produce sticky honeydew drops that get all over the tree itself as well as nearby decks, chairs, cars, and patios. These pests are controlled by predators, such as lady bugs. But if you are using pesticides, it may be killing the predators and not the aphids. Quit using pesticides and see what happens – it should allow the predator population to grow and they in turn will eat the aphids. If that does not work, try spraying your crape myrtles with insecticidal soap, such as Safer’s Soap, or with an oil product, such as Neem Oil Spray or a paraffinic oil.
  8. Japanese Beetles: Whole books can be (and have been) written about controlling Japanese Beetle infestations. Here are some of the basics. If you are able to start early before there are too many Japanese Beetles, hand removal is the most effective control method. Japanese BeetleThe best time to do this is early in the morning, when the beetles are still sluggish. The goal is to remove the beetles while they are emerging, before they have a chance to emit pheromones. Just pluck the beetles from the tree, reaching from above (so they cannot fly away) and drop them in a bucket of soapy water. A variation to this method, which can be used if a) there are many beetles or b) you do not want to touch these critters, is to simply place a bucket of water underneath a branch or cluster of flowers, then tap the branch. The beetles usually fall to the ground when disturbed and they will land in the water. Again, the early morning is the best time to do this since the beetles are generally still lethargic. Other methods include: 1) Use a shop vacuum to suck up the beetles. 2) blend dead beetles with some water, then spray this on the plant. Many farmers swear this method is most effective. 3) Blend garlic and hot peppers in water and spray this on the trees. 4) Shower the trees with a commercial garlic spray used to deter mosquitoes. This usually works with beetles as well. 5) Encourage birds to take up residence by placing birdbaths, feeders, and nesting boxes nearby. Birds, especially Starlings, love eating Japanese Beetles. There are many other methods for getting rid of these pests, but do keep two things in mind: First, Japanese Beetle traps are a bad idea. They generally attract more beetles than they kill, which leaves an excess of new bugs to prey on your trees and plants. Second, it is usually not worth spraying Japanese Beetles with pesticides since this will also kill aphid predators and likely lead to an explosion in the aphid population.

The good news is that crape myrtles are very tough trees. They do not need much care in order to survive. But if given a little extra TLC, your crape myrtles are sure to be especially healthy trees full of lovely flower blossoms.