Vintage Tree Care Inc. https://www.vintagetreecare.com Mon, 16 Apr 2018 18:48:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 Young Tree Care Checklist https://www.vintagetreecare.com/tree-care/young-tree-care-checklist Mon, 16 Apr 2018 18:48:51 +0000 https://www.vintagetreecare.com/?p=408 Trees may be low-maintenance but they’re not no-maintenance. As self-sufficient as they may appear, healthy trees don’t just happen and young trees could always use a helping hand. Tending to routine tree care can aid in protecting your plants and help them to thrive. Routine...

The post Young Tree Care Checklist appeared first on Vintage Tree Care Inc..

]]>
Trees may be low-maintenance but they’re not no-maintenance. As self-sufficient as they may appear, healthy trees don’t just happen and young trees could always use a helping hand. Tending to routine tree care can aid in protecting your plants and help them to thrive.

Routine Tree Cleaning

Just like we do inside of our homes, we must make the time to clean up around our trees. So begin your tree maintenance with a little tidying up.

  • Remove collected debris from around trees; this includes sticks, leaves, and fallen fruit.
  • Once the debris is cleared away, inspect trunk for signs of disease or pest activity. It is crucial to catch these problems early. A certified arborist can assist you.
  • Remove holiday lights or any decor that may still be wrapped around trunk and branches. Leaving foreign objects bound to your trees for too long runs the risk of girdling future growth.

Mulch

A good layer of mulch will help to retain soil moisture and suppress weed growth. This is especially useful for young trees up to 10 years old. It can also help trees absorb needed nutrients to stay healthy and beautiful.

  • Keep mulch at about 3-4 inches thick.
  • Pull mulch back from the tree trunk, mulch retains heat and moisture that could harm the tree through direct contact.
  • Remove competing grass and weeds.

Tree Pruning

Typically, the ideal time to prune is during the winter dormancy months when tree growth is slowed or halted. But any time of year is still a good time to prune trees for structural integrity or to remove limbs that may pose a hazard to people and property. Take the opportunity to identify and remove any damaged, dead, or sick branches. They should be easy to identify due to a lack of leaves on them or they can appear dry and brittle.

  • Inspect tree limbs for damage or disease.
  • Look for limbs that pose a threat to visibility or property.
  • If you are not certain, contact an arborist.

Watering

It is a good idea to take time to make adjustments to your sprinkler system if you’re finding that water is pooling near your trees. Young trees may require more water than their elder counterparts but sitting water or continual water spray onto the foliage can contribute to the growth of fungal diseases and trunk or root rot.

  • Adjust sprinklers to avoid direct spraying.
  • Remedy soil drainage for pooling water.
  • Young trees may require more water.

Connect With a Professional

Get your yard in shape with the help of a skilled and certified arborist. Whether you need tree pruning, maintenance, or complete removal, the specialists at Vintage Tree Care can help you with every step of the way. Call or contact us online today with any questions you may have regarding tree care services. Together we can discuss your landscape needs, identify problem areas, and keep your trees healthy and beautiful. Like the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That definitely applies to young trees and their care.

The post Young Tree Care Checklist appeared first on Vintage Tree Care Inc..

]]>
Tree Pruning for Fire Prevention & Defensible Space https://www.vintagetreecare.com/tree-care/fire-prevention-tree-pruning Fri, 26 Jan 2018 00:05:32 +0000 https://www.vintagetreecare.com/?p=390 Ordinarily, you may think of tree pruning as commonplace maintenance intended to ensure the health and safety of your trees and property, and you’d be right. Regular pruning yields many benefits that can prolong the life of a tree by enabling strong tree structure and...

The post Tree Pruning for Fire Prevention & Defensible Space appeared first on Vintage Tree Care Inc..

]]>
Ordinarily, you may think of tree pruning as commonplace maintenance intended to ensure the health and safety of your trees and property, and you’d be right. Regular pruning yields many benefits that can prolong the life of a tree by enabling strong tree structure and growth while minimizing risk due to dead or weak branches.

But did you know that tree pruning can be closely associated with fire safety? It’s true, denying your trees regular pruning or care increases the potential for the spread of fire due to low lying branches and excess yard waste (leaves/bark/sticks).

Why delay when you could start today.

Know the Risks

A great start will begin with identifying problem areas and tree health to determine which trees may be most susceptible to fire.

Signs of a distressed tree:

  • Excessive leaf loss or leafless branches
  • Frail bark falling off tree
  • Falling limbs that are dry or brittle
  • Noticeable rot or fungus growth

A dying tree can be a fire hazard and if so should be removed immediately. An experienced arborist will help you to identify and address potential hazards.

Proper Tree Spacing

Vertical Spacing: Is the removal of “ladder fuels” – branches and vegetation that create a link between the ground and the treetops. It is recommended to remove all tree branches at least 6 feet off the ground for lone trees and if there are nearby shrubs or bushes to allow even more space by trimming branches to provide clearance that is 3 times the height of the shrub or bush.

Horizontal Spacing: If multiple trees are near one another, there should ideally be at least 10 feet of horizontal clearance between the branches of other trees or structures (house/garage/deck).

This distance is increased when dealing with trees on a slope as follows:

  • Flat or Mild Slope: 10 feet
  • Mild or Moderate Slope: 20 feet
  • Moderate or Steep Slope: 30 feet

The general idea of tree spacing is to create adequate and clear space between trees/shrubs to slow or even prevent the spread of wildfire on your property.

Defensible Space: The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) have in place recommended guidelines for safeguarding property against wildfire. The primary goal is to create what is known as “Defensible Space” or a buffer zone surrounding your property that is clear of overgrown or thick vegetation that may accelerate the spread of wildfire.

Cal Fire advocates that this space extends 100 feet from your home and other structures on your property and is divided into two zones.

Zone 1 – 30 feet from structures

  • Regularly trim trees keeping branches 10 feet away from other trees/structures
  • Remove all dead or dry vegetation
  • Provide clear space between trees, bushes, and other flammable items (patio furniture, sheds, swing sets)

Zone 2 – 30 to 100 feet from structures

  • Create horizontal spacing between trees and bushes
  • Create vertical spacing between trees and ground
  • Cut grass to a maximum height of 4 inches

Plain and simple, a fire needs fuel to continue burning. Dead and dry vegetation will allow a fire to sustain itself and travel from one location to the next. For more information about Cal Fire and defensible space, click here.

We Are A Full-Service Tree Care Company

With over 20 years of experience, the experts at Vintage Tree Care specialize in tree pruning and other arboricultural services. Please call or contact us online and request a free quote. Together we can answer any questions you may have and get your property prepared for wildfire.

The post Tree Pruning for Fire Prevention & Defensible Space appeared first on Vintage Tree Care Inc..

]]>
The Best Trees to Plant in Sonoma County https://www.vintagetreecare.com/tree-care/best-trees-plant-sonoma-county Thu, 11 Jan 2018 23:57:32 +0000 https://www.vintagetreecare.com/?p=380 It’s probably no secret that the team at Vintage Tree Care love trees.  We truly believe that they are beautiful investments in your property that will reap benefits for generations to come. It’s not hard to find a reason to justify planting a tree, but...

The post The Best Trees to Plant in Sonoma County appeared first on Vintage Tree Care Inc..

]]>
It’s probably no secret that the team at Vintage Tree Care love trees.  We truly believe that they are beautiful investments in your property that will reap benefits for generations to come.

It’s not hard to find a reason to justify planting a tree, but knowing which type or species of tree to plant can be difficult. That’s why we’ve put together things to consider when planting and a list of the best trees to plant in Sonoma County.

It’s All About the Environment

You absolutely need to take growing conditions into account when deciding on your tree. The amount of light your property offers, soil type, and USDA hardiness zone will help determine which options are available to you.

What Do You Want Out of Your Tree?

Some plant trees for their simple beauty, others decide to plant a specific tree because they would like more shaded areas in their yard, or because they would like to grow fruit.  Taking your wants and needs into account will help you start your journey to selecting your tree.

Be Strategic and Examine From All Angles

It is crucial to carefully look at your property and ensure you’re planting your tree in an area that will not cause damage to any existing structures. Take stock of the proximity to your house, sidewalks, utility lines, and underground structures like septic systems. Failing to do so could mean some expensive repairs and property damage down the line.

In addition, it’s important to think about the potential litter your tree could produce. If you don’t want to be cleaning up nuts, fruits, or needles from your yard, ensure you’re choosing the tree that won’t cause unwanted side-effects.

Northern California Climate and Your Tree

The trees of Northern California and Sonoma County are varied and alluring. The one thing all plants in Sonoma County have in common is the ability to survive wet winters and dry summers. Our coastal microclimate requires trees to require a lot of sunlight and little to no water once established.

Some of our favorite trees to plant in Northern California:

 

Autumn Purple Ash

-Needs a lot of sun exposure and good-draining soil

Full Size: 45 – 60 ft tall, 35 – 50 ft wide

-No fruit or seeds (which means no debris in your yard)

-Must watch out for the emerald ash borer

Chinese Pistache Tree

The Chinese Pistache is very common in Sonoma County

Full Size; 30- 60 ft tall

-Great for shade

-Does not produce nuts

-Males do not produce fruit but females do

-Sun hardy, drought tolerant, and adaptable to many soil types

It is important to remember that this is not a process to be taken lightly- Take time to properly select and plan your planting.  Taking the time now to do the process properly could potentially save you from serious issues or complications later on.

Vintage Tree Care Knows Trees

If you have any questions about your current or prospective trees, don’t hesitate to contact the tree care professionals at Vintage Tree Care. We are fully certified, licensed and insured, and fully committed to providing quality without compromise in all services. So whether your job is big or small, residential or commercial, simple or complex, count on us to complete the job on time, within budget and to your complete satisfaction. Call or contact us online today.

The post The Best Trees to Plant in Sonoma County appeared first on Vintage Tree Care Inc..

]]>
Hollyhill Hummingbird Sustainable Farm Wood Chip Donation https://www.vintagetreecare.com/tree-care/hollyhill-hummingbird-sustainable-farm-wood-chip-donation Thu, 28 Sep 2017 21:41:46 +0000 https://www.vintagetreecare.com/?p=371 We recently supplied Hollyhill Hummingbird Sustainable Farm with a speedy donation of wood chips! Just in time for their visiting guests to learn, hands-on, the importance of mulch around fruit trees. Hollyhill Hummingbird Farm is dedicated to educating the Sonoma County community on sustainable food...

The post Hollyhill Hummingbird Sustainable Farm Wood Chip Donation appeared first on Vintage Tree Care Inc..

]]>
We recently supplied Hollyhill Hummingbird Sustainable Farm with a speedy donation of wood chips!

Just in time for their visiting guests to learn, hands-on, the importance of mulch around fruit trees.

Hollyhill Hummingbird Farm is dedicated to educating the Sonoma County community on sustainable food production and the method of growing food at home. We are happy to support their passionate work in helping teach and inform the importance of mulch in the process of growing and maintaining healthy fruit trees.

Learn more about the Hollyhill Hummingbird Farm here

The post Hollyhill Hummingbird Sustainable Farm Wood Chip Donation appeared first on Vintage Tree Care Inc..

]]>
Most Common Tree Issues in Sonoma County https://www.vintagetreecare.com/tree-care/most-common-tree-issues-in-sonoma-county Fri, 28 Apr 2017 18:31:04 +0000 https://www.vintagetreecare.com/?p=352 With the abundance of trees that we have in Sonoma County, we are sure to get a wide variety of problems that come with them. Since we see trees almost everywhere we go, it is good to learn about the different things that hurt them...

The post Most Common Tree Issues in Sonoma County appeared first on Vintage Tree Care Inc..

]]>
With the abundance of trees that we have in Sonoma County, we are sure to get a wide variety of problems that come with them. Since we see trees almost everywhere we go, it is good to learn about the different things that hurt them and how you can cope with them. In Sonoma County, there are many tree diseases along with issues that trees can create for the general public. In this blog, we will go through the most common issues that our team at Vintage Tree Care see on a day to day basis.

1. Sudden Oak DeathSudden oak tree death in Sonoma County

The Sudden Oak Death has had a major impact across California, especially in Sonoma County since we have so many Oak Trees. The Sudden Oak Death is a pathogen that is a water mold which tears through forests killing some trees while letting others still stand. In some trees, it will cause the trunk to ‘canker’ and basically bleed out sap. Unfortunately, there is no way to stop this disease because it has developed too far, leaving removal of the affected trees as the only solution. By removing these trees, it helps reduce the chances of the disease spreading even further. The Sudden Oak Death has certainly had a major impact on Oak Trees throughout Sonoma County.

2. Bark Beetles

Bark beetles have become an increasing problem in the last couple of years due to the drought. Trees that are water starved are impacted the most by these bark beetles because they don’t have the nutritional resources to fight them off. The beetles find their way into the cambium layer that carries the trees’ nutrients and inject a fungus that thwarts sap production. If a tree is not water-starved it can produce a pitch and push the bark beetles out of their holes. There are some chemical applications that can be used for this; however, they are not that common/effective and most of the time an arborist will just recommend removing the infected tree. Like The Sudden Oak Death, Bark Beetles have had a large impact on Sonoma County Trees, and in particular, pine trees and fir trees.

3. Fungus Growing on Trees

Fungus growing on trees in Sonoma County

A fungus can be found on a wide variety of trees and most of the time it is not good for the tree. Fungus can cause portions of the tree to decay and thus minimize the strength of the tree. The fungi kills sapwood storage and conductive tissues thus eliminating much of the interior strength of the tree. With this reduced strength, tree branches become more likely to fall during windy conditions, possibly creating a larger problem. The first thing that should be done is proper tree care such as yearly pruning. This keeps the tree in a healthy state and therefore reduces the chance of the tree developing fungus. Additionally, parts of the tree that have fungus should be cut out so that it does not spread or possibly cause a portion of the tree to fall. Overall, combating fungus can be done in a few simple ways.

Yellowing needles on redwood tree in Sonoma County4. Yellowing Needles on Redwood Trees

The yellowing of the needles on Redwood Trees can be caused by a number of reasons. First, cankers can cause this, but thankfully you can simply cut out the section of the tree with the canker to get rid of it. Second, Armillaria Root Rot can cause this but unfortunately, there is not a way to take care of this. Third, a lack of Iron can cause the needles to become this color. This can be reversed by simply applying an iron spray to the tree and making sure that you do not overwater the trees. Overwatering can cause the nutrients in the soil to be washed out and then make the tree less healthy. Redwood Trees are very common around Sonoma County and we see this yellowing of the needles quite often.

5. Fallen Branches and Fallen Trees

Fallen branches and fallen trees are two things that simply come along with having trees on your property. Although there is no complete solution to keeping branches from falling, tree maintenance can do a lot to prevent it. Getting your trees trimmed and removing dead and unhealthy branches improves the health of your tree and it also gets rid of any branches that may likely fall. This may seem like an obvious problem, but it is a problem that can be reduced with something as simple as proper tree care.

6. Roots Pushing up SidewalksTree roots pushing up sidewalk tree care issues

The last common issue that we see with trees throughout Sonoma County does not have to do with tree health and rather an issue that trees can cause. This problem is roots pushing up sidewalks and forcing them to be uneven. A lot of people do not realize how far the root structure of a tree can expand and they plant the trees too close to the sidewalk. One solution that some people use is cutting the roots. Now, this is not the ideal solution and a tree specialist should be contacted before this. Cutting the roots can cause the structure of a tree to deteriorate dramatically if not done correctly. Another solution is to excavate below the roots, allowing them to grow further down into the soil and away from the sidewalk. Once again, a tree professional should advise you before doing this. The last solution simply comes down to either shaving the concrete or raising it so that there is no longer a ledge between the two pieces. At the end of the day always think about how far the roots will go when you plant a tree.

Overall, these are just some of the common issues that we see in trees throughout Sonoma County. If your tree is doing something that you cannot diagnose, feel free to contact our Tree Care professionals at Vintage Tree Care and we will be sure to help you out!

The post Most Common Tree Issues in Sonoma County appeared first on Vintage Tree Care Inc..

]]>
What is a Certified Arborist and Why Should I Use Them for Tree Care? https://www.vintagetreecare.com/tree-care/what-is-a-certified-arborist Mon, 06 Feb 2017 19:58:03 +0000 https://www.vintagetreecare.com/?p=341 What is an Arborist? An arborist is a highly trained tree professional. They are thoroughly experienced in the science of planting, caring for, and maintaining trees. What is a Certified Arborist? A certified arborist is a highly seasoned professional that has been certified by the...

The post What is a Certified Arborist and Why Should I Use Them for Tree Care? appeared first on Vintage Tree Care Inc..

]]>
What is an Arborist?

An arborist is a highly trained tree professional. They are thoroughly experienced in the science of planting, caring for, and maintaining trees.

What is a Certified Arborist?

A certified arborist is a highly seasoned professional that has been certified by the International Society of Arboriculture. You can only become ISA-certified by passing rigorous certification exams that test your knowledge about all aspects of arboriculture (the study of how trees grow and respond to cultural practices and to their environment).

An arborist can help you with the following tree care services:

  • Tree Removal: A service to remove a tree that has died, become infested with insects or pests, in some way poses a threat to the property, or is simply no longer needed.
  • Tree Pruning: removing branches or stems to benefit the health, growth, and natural form of a tree.
  • Emergency Tree Care: 24-hour service to respond to trees that have become hazardous due to storms or other hazardous situations.
  • Tree Planting: Knowing where, when, and how to plant a tree is imperative to its success. A certified arborist can help you determine which tree is best for your property and help you plant it. This will help ensure a long, healthy life for the tree.
  • Tree Health: A certified arborist can diagnose tree disease or pest problems and make appropriate recommendations for its treatment.

Why Use an Arborist for Tree Care?

Becoming a certified arborist is no easy feat- Not only are these arborists required to have at minimum 3-years field experience, they are also required to stay up-to-date on the latest techniques in arboriculture. This means you’re getting a professional with the experience, skill, and know-how to properly take care of the trees on your property.

There is so much more to tree care than what meets the eye. The trees on your property are an investment that directly correlates to your property value. Trees that are not properly pruned, trimmed, or maintained could cause future property damage. Your overall tree health is imperative to maintaining your property value and minimizing the risk of future property damage as a result of improper tree care.

Choosing a certified arborist means you can rest easy knowing that your tree professional knows how to perform any tree trimming, pruning, removal or other tree care that you need in a way that is environmentally conscious, preserves the natural health and beauty of your tree, and improves the safety of your property. Safety should always be your first priority, and choosing a tree care servicer that has not been professionally trained can put you, your trees, and your property at risk.

The professionals at Vintage Tree Care are proud to be certified arborists. We are fully certified, licensed, and insured- not to mention fully committed to providing quality without compromise in all of our tree care services. We have over 20 years of tree care experience in Sonoma County and are able to tackle any tree care need you may have.

The post What is a Certified Arborist and Why Should I Use Them for Tree Care? appeared first on Vintage Tree Care Inc..

]]>
How to Plant Successful Fruit Trees https://www.vintagetreecare.com/tree-care/plant-successful-fruit-trees Mon, 19 Dec 2016 18:03:13 +0000 http://www.vintagetreecare.com/?p=298 There can’t be enough stress put on planting your fruit trees correctly.  The treatment you give to the planting process and subsequent first year of growth will help to establish a healthy root system and healthy tree. Vintage Tree Care will walk you through some of...

The post How to Plant Successful Fruit Trees appeared first on Vintage Tree Care Inc..

]]>
There can’t be enough stress put on planting your fruit trees correctly.  The treatment you give to the planting process and subsequent first year of growth will help to establish a healthy root system and healthy tree.

Vintage Tree Care will walk you through some of the basic questions you need to answer before planting your fruit tree.

Which type of fruit tree do you want to grow?

Do your research! There are many factors to take into account: Taste, winter hardiness, chill hours, size, does it need a pollinator, what types of tree are best suited to your climate.  Ask for help from a nursery or supplier that can help you determine the best time to plant your fruit tree.

Vintage Tree Cares Suggests:

WhenWinter (dormancy). Typically mid-November through late February.

While container stock can be purchased and planted at any time of the year, unlike bare root stock that is only sold during dormancy, the least stressful time of year for the trees is during the dormancy period.

How much space will you need?

In order to narrow down the type of fruit tree you would like to plant, it might help to think about the type of space you have to work with.  Depending on the size of your yard or orchard, you’ll want to think about planting either an orchard tree or a smaller dwarf tree.

Orchard trees such as apple, cherries, peaches, plums or pears, will require on average about 10 to 12-foot spacing in your backyard or orchard.  Fruit trees can be spaced as closer if you have limited space in a backyard and are not attempting to grow commercial type yields from your orchard. If you are going to grow fruit trees in a small space, you’ll need to implement close-planting and likely summer pruning techniques to keep your trees a manageable size.

Dwarf trees can be grown in a smaller, approximately 6 to 8ft diameter space in comparison to the larger space required for non-dwarf trees.

What kind of Foundation are you working with?

Soil, light exposure, and water drainage will be key factors in the success of your orchard.  A slope can be a good location, should you have one, as it will be optimal for light, water drainage, and air flow. Just be sure you’re not planting in any area where there is frequently standing water.

You’ll want to assess the type of soil you’re working with – Whether your site has soil of good enough quality to use as is or if you’ll need to build up your soil.  If your soil is sandy or hard clay, you will need to build it up for each individual tree.  Although different trees have specific soil types they prefer, generally speaking, fruit trees will thrive in a well-drained soil with a medium loam texture and some sand.

How to Plant

Bare Root Trees

If you receive a fruit tree with the bare roots wrapped in plastic and paper to keep moist, you can keep them wrapped for a short period of time if caution is given to keep them in a cool place away from large amounts of light (this will minimize the likelihood of inducing growth early). However, opinions vary on this and many suggest planting the day you receive your fruit tree, if possible.

Using a shovel, you can start to dig. Your hole needs to be dug deep enough to accommodate the length of the roots and no longer. Trim any broken roots and if needed, prune roots that are too long to be placed within the hole you have dug. It is a good practice to remove the grass or similar competing weeds, etc. from around your hole to reduce competition with your tree. A 3-foot diameter circle of removed grass around your hole should be plenty space. Leave a small mound of dirt at the bottom of the hole to place the roots on.  Typically, you do not need to apply fertilizer to the soil you are planting in.  Place the tree into the planting hole, taking caution not to damage or break any of the roots.  Be sure to place the highest originating root at or slightly above grade to minimize the future likelihood of root rots.  Do not bury the graft union on grafted trees and also orient the graft union away from the South Western exposure. The trunk tissue closest to the graft is highly susceptible to sunburn.

Now, shovel your soil onto the roots while holding the tree sturdily in place.  Ensure that your roots are going out to a straight point and are not wrapping around the hole.  It helps to wiggle your tree a bit as you’re applying the soil so that the soil can properly settle around your bare roots.  Water the soil to allow for settling and add soil as needed to fill the hole properly.

Potted root trees

With your hands, move soil away from the trunk of the tree to identify the root collar (area where trunk tissue swells and becomes root tissue).  Dig a hole slightly less in depth than the distance from the root collar to the bottom of the soil ball.  This will allow for the root collar and graft union to remain above grade.

Once you have your hole dug, carefully remove the tree from the pot and keep the compacted soil around the root system.  Check for any signs of roots circling around the edge of the root ball, as these can become damaging to the tree as it grows – prune any circling roots you notice.  To ensure you have the proper depth, you’ll want to make sure the highest root on the trunk is right at or slightly above soil level.  Place the tree into the hole. Then build up the soil around your roots and give the tree a nice good soaking once you have covered the roots with soil.  After watering, cover the soaked base with either more of the soil or a mulch mixture to allow for proper filling of the planting hole.

Planting fruit trees in a backyard orchard can be a wonderfully rewarding experience but will take time and dedication to ensure they begin to bear fruit in the years to come. By implementing proper planting techniques for your trees, you’re taking the first step forward towards a successful orchard.

Sources:
http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/starting-an-orchard-zmaz7301zhol?pageid=1#PageContent1

http://www.davewilson.com/home-gardens/backyard-orchard-culture

 

The post How to Plant Successful Fruit Trees appeared first on Vintage Tree Care Inc..

]]>
Protect Your Trees From Sunscald https://www.vintagetreecare.com/tree-care/sunscald Fri, 19 Aug 2016 22:07:07 +0000 http://www.vintagetreecare.com/?p=290 Protecting Trees from the Sun It may seem counterintuitive, but sunlight can actually harm trees. Just as you can get a sunburn, a tree can get Sunscald. However, where serious sunburn for us is usually a temporary issue, Sunscald for a tree can lead to...

The post Protect Your Trees From Sunscald appeared first on Vintage Tree Care Inc..

]]>
Protecting Trees from the Sun

It may seem counterintuitive, but sunlight can actually harm trees.

Just as you can get a sunburn, a tree can get Sunscald. However, where serious sunburn for us is usually a temporary issue, Sunscald for a tree can lead to permanent damage and even premature decline.

What is Sunscald?

Sunscald is what happens when a tree receives too much exposure to sunlight. Sunscald can affect any part of the tree, including bark, leaves, and even fruit. The worst situation is when a tree’s bark becomes scalded.

Depending on the severity of the scald, the bark can develop purely aesthetic defects or may become damaged to the point of exposing the inner tissue of the tree. At this point, a scald is obvious to the observer, usually appearing as a fissure with dead bark surrounding it.

If the fissure opens all the way to the cambium layer of the tree—the outermost layer of the tree’s tissue, responsible for bark production—it may be impossible for the tree to heal.
Sunscald mostly affects trees with thinner bark (which includes young trees)

What does Sunscald do to a Tree?

What’s far worse than the aesthetic damage caused to the tree is the threat to the tree’s wellbeing.

A Sunscald in and of itself isn’t that detrimental to the tree—it’s what can happen to the tree once the scald is bad enough.

At the point that a sunscald fissure has reached the inner tissue, the tree has lost most of its protection against organisms that can cause infection and decay. Insects, bacteria, and fungi all have easy access to the tree and can begin to cause irreversible damage or even death.

How Can You Prevent Sunscald?

There are two very effective things to do to protect your tree from sunscald: block or reflect sunlight and avoid over-pruning.

Assuming the tree is the correct species for the climate and it’s been planted correctly, these two things can be a huge help toward preventing sunscald.

Blocking sunlight can be accomplished in a few ways, including cloth wraps (or other materials) or white paint. The paint is permanent, so isn’t usually used unless you’re planting an orchard. Depending on the species, protection may be seasonal or until the tree reaches a certain age.

Over-pruning can be a serious issue that exposes too much of a tree to sunlight for too much of the day. A certified arborist can correctly prune a tree for the season, the climate, and its positioning on your property. If you’re unsure how to prune your tree, please call a certified arborist—it isn’t worth risking the life of your tree!

The post Protect Your Trees From Sunscald appeared first on Vintage Tree Care Inc..

]]>
Summer Limb Drop https://www.vintagetreecare.com/tree-care/summer-limb-drop Tue, 07 Jun 2016 23:41:16 +0000 http://www.vintagetreecare.com/?p=272 A Mysterious and Dangerous Phenomenon Vintage Tree Care has been taking care of trees in Sonoma County for a long time. One phenomenon that we’ve found to be particularly dangerous due to its (seemingly) random nature is summer limb drop. Summer limb drop (also called...

The post Summer Limb Drop appeared first on Vintage Tree Care Inc..

]]>
A Mysterious and Dangerous Phenomenon

Vintage Tree Care has been taking care of trees in Sonoma County for a long time.

One phenomenon that we’ve found to be particularly dangerous due to its (seemingly) random nature is summer limb drop.

Summer limb drop (also called sudden limb drop) is the quick, unexpected loss of a limb, usually by mature trees with large limbs.

People have documented summer limb drop for a very long time. However, the true cause is still not fully understood. The cause of summer limb drop may actually lie in a few different factors (which may or may not occur in tandem).

Evapotranspiration

First, we have evapotranspiration (or just transpiration). This is a fancy term to describe the process of trees sweating.

On a really hot day, a large tree can draw up an enormous amount of water from its roots and trunk into its limbs. This water is intended to cool the tree as the moisture is released through the leaves. You can very easily observe this process by placing a plastic bag around a plant—condensation appears on the surface of the bag as the plant sweats.

With a very large limb on a hot enough day, a surprising amount of water can be drawn up by the tree. All of this water weighs a lot, increasing stresses on the limb and potentially breaking it outright.

This stress can be increased by other factors, including an existing defect or flaw, wind, or even infection. Any combination of these factors may be too much for the limb to handle, causing it to drop.

Limb Defects

Preexisting limb defects are not usually what arborists associate with sudden limb drop. However, if the defect is minor enough (or even undetectable), an arborist may not recognize it as an immediate threat.

Even minor limb defects can worsen slowly over the years, increasing in severity until eventually becoming dangerous. Something as small as a woodpecker or squirrel may have created a defect that eventually leads to the death of the limb, whether via gradual worsening of a crack or via decay.

Infection

A decaying limb might also be a good ingress for infection.

It’s been posited that an infection in the limb may be another factor that leads to summer limb drop. If the infection causes excess gases to be released in the limb, it may eventually lead to an increased internal pressure, weakening the limb’s structure and, in turn, causing its failure.

Drought & Weakened Cellular Structure

A generally weakened cell structure in a limb can also lead to sudden failure.

During summer, the drastic increase in heat combined with the increased load of new leaves and fruit combined with the reduced evapotranspiration can cause the cellular structure of a limb to become compromised.

Reduced evapotranspiration can come as the result of a drought (like the one California is still experiencing), or just the normal summer rain decrease, cutting off the limb’s normal access to water. In this weakened state, a slight breeze (or even no breeze at all) might cause the limb to drop.

On the other hand, increased evapotranspiration after a period where it was missing can have the same catastrophic effect. A rainy day after a drought may be exactly what a tree needs, but might spell the end for one of its limbs. The increased load from newly gathered water on already weakened cells may cause the limb to drop.

Avoiding Summer Limb Drop

If there’s a mature tree on your property, you might want to consider the possibility of summer limb drop.

Though it can be difficult to predict, there are steps to take to both spot warning signs and reduce the chance it will happen to your tree.

The first thing to consider is that, generally, summer limb drop occurs in mature trees with large limbs. This doesn’t mean it won’t happen to other trees, though. The situation is most dangerous with larger trees, which can seriously injure people or damage property.

A great preemptive measure to take is to have a certified arborist inspect your tree. For many dangerous flaws, most people wouldn’t even notice something wrong. An arborist can identify flaws that may be dangerous anywhere from 1-10 years into the future. You should always watch out for discoloration and visible cracking, as these can cause serious issues down the line.

Properly pruning the tree can also help. Excess foliage, a compromised limb, and a hot day might mean a big problem. Incorrect pruning (or complete lack of pruning) is also something that an arborist can quickly identify and then correct.

Call Vintage Tree Care!

If you’re unsure how your trees are holding up or you’re concerned that something might be seriously wrong, give Vintage Tree Care a call. We’ve been helping the residents of Sonoma County keep their trees happy, healthy, and safe for years.

Fill out the form below to get in touch with a certified arborist in Sonoma County!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

The post Summer Limb Drop appeared first on Vintage Tree Care Inc..

]]>
Rough Winds from a Stormy California El Niño https://www.vintagetreecare.com/tree-care/rough-winds-from-a-stormy-california-el-nino Sun, 15 Nov 2015 00:00:03 +0000 http://www.vintagetreecare.com/?p=254 The stormy season is right around the corner and this year it could be a rough one. Keeping yourself, your family, and your home safe from harm during a storm is paramount. Unfortunately, the trees on your property can be a major safety hazard. Trees...

The post Rough Winds from a Stormy California El Niño appeared first on Vintage Tree Care Inc..

]]>
The stormy season is right around the corner and this year it could be a rough one.

Keeping yourself, your family, and your home safe from harm during a storm is paramount. Unfortunately, the trees on your property can be a major safety hazard.

Trees can be severely damaged and even killed during a storm, depending on a number of factors. Rain, lightning, and heavy wind can all be huge risk factors for tree damage.

El Niño Preventative Measures

Having the trees on your property assessed by a certified arborist in advance of bad weather is the most effective way of preventing unnecessary damage. It’s possible to both save the tree and protect your property by having an inspection performed.

Preventative pruning can be especially effective at mitigating potential damage to and from a tree. Unsafe (rotting, imbalanced, and too heavy) limbs can be identified and then removed prior to storms. At-risk limbs are the main source of danger from a tree, and any tree specialist can easily identify and remove them.

Pruning of the canopy helps to reduce the overall wind resistance of the tree, significantly reducing the wind’s negative effects and increasing the safety of the tree. Canopy damage is one of the most common types of damage to a tree during heavy winds.

Contact a Tree Specialist Before it’s too Late!

Remember, nearly all potential threats from a tree are predictable. Tree specialists can determine your tree’s overall health and its risks for catastrophic failure. Only a certified arborist can help you make your tree as safe as possible for the coming stormy months.

The exceedingly dangerous combination of prolonged drought and a stormy El Niño season means that it’s more important than ever to get your tree inspected. Your tree could already be under drought stress, weakening its structure significantly. Make sure to get your trees inspected before the season starts!

The post Rough Winds from a Stormy California El Niño appeared first on Vintage Tree Care Inc..

]]>