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How To Maintain Trees During A Drought

Dry soil can reduce the lifespans of your trees and plants, especially if there is a drought and it is a prolonged dry period. It can be difficult and expensive to replace your trees, which is why they should be your primary focus – of course, they can also be dangerous if they dry out and die.

Droughts are common throughout the year, not just in the summer like some people think. So how can you help your trees to survive and thrive in times of drought? Here’s a primer:

4. Know the Symptoms

  • Helps you to spot a tree in trouble
  • Trees will often suffer at different speeds
  • You should inspect your trees a few times a week in times of drought

By knowing the symptoms of trees that are impacted by drought, you will better be able to hone in the trees that actually need your support. In general, you want to look for wilted foliage, leaf scorch, yellowing, leaf dropping, or a sparse canopy, according to EDEN. You may also notice that there has been limited growth and poorly formed buds. This can be impacted for several seasons.

However, the most common symptom of a drought problem is that there is an invasion by pests. They will cause the trees to lose water and nutrients even quicker – and they are thirsty because they are impacted by the drought as well.

3. Water Trees Appropriately

  • Active roots tend to be near the top of the soil
  • Collect water or recycle it where you can
  • Water the entire root zone

Of course, the biggest problem with a drought is that there just isn’t enough water to go around. The best thing you can do is collect any rainwater that we do get and use that to water your trees and planets. You can also use water from your hose or sprinkler, but try not to use any excess water. Another option is to collect water when you shower, just make sure that there aren’t any contaminants in the water.

When you do water, you want to do it in the morning and you want to ensure that the entire root zone gets watered.

According to Sunset Magazineyou want to “Make sure moisture reaches 12 to 18 inches deep. Approximately 90% of tree roots are in the top 12 inches of soil. Use a soil probe each time you water to ensure that the moisture has reached 12–18 inches.”

The best approach is slow, deep watering once a week or so for mature trees. If it is hotter (which is common when there is a drought) you may have to do it twice a week. If you have a new tree, you want to deeply water it every other day.

2. Keep Measuring the Soil Moisture

  • Sometimes the soil holds water longer than it looks
  • Other times, it can be dry and look wet
  • You have to check deep down

During a drought, you want to ensure that the soil is dry before you actually water the tree. Since conservation is so important, you want to be vigilant. Some soil might be dryer than other soil. For example, trees planted on a hill might be drier because the water runs out of that soil faster than water on a level surface, according to the University of Massachusetts.

Sandy soils also tend to dry faster than a clay soil, so knowing the type of soil that you have can be extremely helpful. Another problem is that even if you do get a soaking rain, clay soils tend to be harder to penetrate than sandy soils.

After you do water the tree, make sure to come back a few hours later to ensure that the water was absorbed. Measure deep to ensure that there was penetration to the roots. You can also physically dig a 1-foot hole (be careful to avoid the roots) and check.

1. Prioritize Trees Over Grass

  • Trees can be dangerous if they dry out
  • Grass tends to recover more quickly
  • Always be careful when using water

When there is a drought, of course, the best thing to do is conserve water as much as possible. However, you should not do so at the expense of your safety. Trees that are dry are more likely to fall over or lose limbs that can hit your home. Still, in the name of conservation, you have to be judicious about what you water and what you don’t. Grass is an extremely hardy thing and will come back to life quite quickly. Trees, on the other hand, can suffer years and years of damage from one dry spell.

According to the Morton Arboretum, “Water trees and shrubs during extremely dry soil conditions. If you have to choose, water your trees and not the grass since grass will turn green again when water is available. For water conservation, it is best to not water your lawn at all. Trees, on the other hand, will show subtle signs of drought, wilting or dropping leaves. However, they can be seriously injured or die without water.”

Try to water your trees first before you water anything else – and if you can, avoid using water on your grass. It might not look great, but it will help with conservation and allow you to ensure you have enough for what really matters. Remember that no one can predict when a drought will end.

If you are looking for a tree care professional in Redwood City, give Econo Tree Service a call today at (650) 200-2495. We will help you to better understand your trees and how to handle any watering, planting, pruning, or other tree issues that you may find – of course, we can also help you with other issues as well, including any seasonal tree care needs that you may have. We will provide you with the best possible tree service in the area, and provide you with real solutions that work.

Header image thanks to Torquay Palms. on Flickr!
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What To Do About Palm Trees

Palm trees are a staple for many homes – they are absolutely gorgeous and not something that you can see everywhere. That is why so many people want to grow them. What they don’t realize, however, is that palm trees aren’t exactly easy to take care of in all situations. In fact, sometimes they can be downright difficult.

Whether you are interested in purchasing a palm tree sapling, you’ve moved into a home with a fully grown palm tree, or you are somewhere in between, you may have some questions about the care and maintenance of such amazing trees. Never fear, we are here to help.

Are Palms Really Trees?

  • Heavily debated by professionals
  • They are what you believe them to be
  • You may need some added care, however

One of the biggest debates that you can find yourself in with a botanist is whether or not a palm tree is actually a tree. They lack the characteristics of secondary growth, which is the center of the arguments against them being a tree, according to Owlcation.

This means that there is not outward growth of the tree trunk, which is what gives the tree the rings that so many people love to count – especially in our area. Now, whether or not this is enough to disqualify them to the normal person is up for debate.

Most gardeners and tree care professionals will call a palm a tree, but some people will not at all. Some see it as its own category, others see it as a shrub, some even see it as a plant. Most people will say that it depends on the species – each one behaves quite differently.

What Do I Do If It Gets Too Cold?

  • Palm trees are hardier than you’d expect
  • Be careful about over nurturing your trees
  • You do need to worry about elongated periods of cold

As the weather gets a bit colder, people almost immediately start to worry about their palm trees and whether or not the cold can impact them. It can, in extreme cases.

According to Garden Palms, one of the best approaches is to: “First wrap the leaf crown with garden fleece, if necessary twice, then wrap the trunk with bamboo mats. Tape the fleece overhang to the bamboo mats. Finally, cover the ground to about 50cm around the trunk with a generous mulch. Don’t over protect!”

As soon as the weather gets warm enough, you do want to remove that wrapping and allow the roots and trunk to breathe and dry out a bit if they were over saturated. While this isn’t usually a problem in or around Redwood City, we are experiencing more rainy and colder temperatures than we are used to, so it might be something you will have to consider moving forward.

How Much Should Palm Trees Be Watered?

  • Depends on the variety
  • Newer palms should be watered quite often
  • Make sure that moisture penetrates the ground

If you are planting a palm tree sapling, you will need to water it at least twice a week for the first few months of life, according to BGI Fertilizers. You want to ensure that the water does get down into the ground about a foot and a half. You can use monitors to help you check the water levels. If the soil in your yard is sandy, you might have to water more frequently.

For palms that have been established, water will really depend on the climate, the season, and the weather. Make sure to monitor your soil and see how it feels. You may only need to water once or twice a month.

As always, you want to use your best judgment in planting palm trees and watering them. If you need help, it is best to seek out a professional.

How to Plant A Palm Tree

  • Take your time to make the right selection
  • Your soil matters
  • Replace soil

If you have decided to take the leap and plant a palm tree, you might be nervous and unsure of what to do next. Certainly, you can have a professional help you with your tree care and planting, or you may elect to do it yourself. The one thing that you need to know is that how you plant your tree will determine how you take care of it into the future and how much work you will have to put into it all.

According to Gardening Know How, “Once you have your selection site, preparation is crucial to a healthy plant. Excessively alkaline soil should be amended with sulfur. The area should have organic nutrients over a large area since palm tree roots will spread and should have access to these nutrients many feet from the trunk. Take care not to bury the trunk in soil when planting a palm tree, as this could cause rot. Water the root ball before back filling the hole. Spread mulch several feet from the trunk out around the root zone to provide supplemental nourishment over time as it composts. Replace the mulch annually.”

Palm trees can be difficult, but they can also be great additions to your landscaping. They are absolutely beautiful and can really liven up your space. No matter where you have them, they will remind you of brighter days and better times. You do have to make sure that you put their care in the forefront of your mind, however.

If you are looking for a tree care professional in Redwood City, give Econo Tree Service a call today at (650) 200-2495. We will help you to better understand your trees and how to handle any watering, planting, pruning, or other tree issues that you may find – of course, we can also help you with other issues as well, including any seasonal tree care needs that you may have. We will provide you with the best possible tree service in the area, and provide you with real solutions that work.

Header image thanks to Travis Wise. on Flickr!
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Little Ways To Show Your Trees You Love Them

Your trees are an extension of your family, and you need to show them the love that you would show anything else that you care about – even if it isn’t easy. As a homeowner, your trees need to take up at least a small space in your brain. The steps that you take to show your trees that you love them don’t have to be huge – they can be small, subtle things that you do just a few times a year.

Ready to show your trees that you love them? Here are a few ways you can do just that:

5. Regularly Water Your Trees

  • Make sure to use clean, fresh water
  • Don’t overwater, especially in the spring
  • Pay attention to soil moisture

Watering your trees is a great way to make them feel appreciated. They will be able to bloom easier, spread nutrients, and even withstand some terrible weather. While it is important to conserve water wherever possible, you can use rain collecting tubs or other recycling methods to get the water you need to keep your trees watered.

According to the Arbor Day Blog, “During the first couple growing seasons, your newly planted tree is expending a lot of energy trying to get its roots established in the soil. Especially during the first few summers of your new trees life, it will have a difficult time dealing with heat and drought. You can make this easier by providing water and covering the soil with wood-chip mulch. Deep watering can help speed the root establishment. Deep water consists of keeping the soil moist to a depth that includes all the roots.”

4. Try Not To Stake Your Tree

  • Improper staking can do much damage
  • Only professionals should stake trees
  • Younger trees are better to stake

Most people won’t stake their trees in order to harm them. In fact, people don’t realize that staking a tree can harm it at all. We do it to help promote root growth or trunk stability in younger trees. However, some people will use them too late and they will impede growth.

Most tree planters don’t understand, according to ThoughtCo, that improper staking can do quite a bit of damage. It will replace the support that the tree naturally has and give it an artificial support that will cause the tree to grow in the wrong way.

3. Prune Away Dead Parts Of The Tree

  • Makes the tree look better
  • Can prevent the spread of infestations or diseases
  • Works with many different trees

One of the simplest things you can do to your trees to show them that you appreciate them is to get them trimmed on a regular basis. This means that you have professionals come and look for problematic places and cut the tree back using proper techniques.

Pruning can be a lifesaver for a tree – there are many problems that can be thwarted with just a simple prune in the exact right place. Not only will it make your trees feel better, it will make your wallet feel better as well. Regular pruning has been shown to eliminate costly problems later in your tree’s life. According to The Tree Care Guide, pruning back your trees can be helpful with so many different situations and infestations.

2. Mulch It In The Right Way

  • Mulch can help or hurt a tree
  • Make sure to use proper mulching techniques
  • Use high-quality mulch

One of the best things you can do to show your trees that you love them is to mulch around the base of the tree. This will help your tree in so many ways. It will encourage water and nutrient absorption, fend off pests, help with stability, keep it safe from the elements, and even prevent decay. When you use high-quality mulch, it can quickly become your tree’s best friend.

However, using improper mulching techniques or low-quality mulch can actually do quite a bit of damage, according to House Logic. Make sure you are picking a mulch that has high levels of the things that you want and low levels of the things that you definitely want to avoid.

1. Connect To Your Tree’s Deeper Well Being

  • Think about your tree’s environment
  • Try to reduce hazardous chemical usage
  • Reduce your own carbon footprint

One of the best things that you can do to show your trees that you love them is to simply think about what you put them through on a daily basis. Do you use hazardous chemicals? Do you pick up the litter that flies onto your property? Are you weeding around the base? The little steps that you take to show your trees that you care will go a long way in making them feel healthy.

While it might seem a bit strange to assign human feelings onto trees at all, consider the Tree Sisters’ approach to tree care: “Offer thanks to trees as you walk by or receive gifts from them. Support our tree friends by planting and tending them, reducing wood and paper use, choosing recycled or greener options, scaling back consumption and energy use, and donating to groups that protect our precious planet. Linking small, personal actions with love for trees or broader values makes them more meaningful and rewarding.”

If you are looking for a tree care professional in Redwood City, give Econo Tree Service a call today at (650) 200-2495. We will help you to better understand your trees and how to handle any watering, planting, pruning, or other tree issues that you may find – of course, we can also help you with other issues as well, including any seasonal tree care needs that you may have. We will provide you with the best possible tree service in the area, and provide you with real solutions that work.

Header image thanks to Jennifer C. on Flickr!
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The Hidden Dangers Of Trees

Trees are beautiful and they make the world run (quite literally, try breathing without a tree) but they can also be dangerous. Nature is filled with things that we love to look at, but we probably don’t want to face their wrath. They have to be dangerous and hardy – they are always standing in the wrath of mother nature and human nature.

Trees don’t mean to be dangerous and they don’t necessarily need to be dangerous. However, in the world we live in, a world where many people don’t get the tree care that they need, it is filled with danger.

Whether you are just moving into a home or you haven’t given your trees enough care in the past and want to look for the warning signs, here are some hidden dangers of trees:

4. Trees Falling On Structures (Or People)

  • Happens in bad weather more commonly
  • Dead trees are most common to fall
  • A branch is enough to do harm

M Live has a treacherous tale of a tree that fell on a house – and it should serve as a warning for anyone who lives in a home that has trees near it. We tend to think that our homes will protect us from any trees that fall, but that isn’t necessarily the case. This is especially true if you have a newer house – they aren’t built to stand up to thousands of pounds falling.

You need to look at your trees and know them quite well. At any moment, a strong gust of wind, a small amount of ice, or a larger amount of snow can bring down a tree branch, or even worse. Know when your trees are in danger and have them inspected regularly. If you think a branch is susceptible to winds or precipitation, consider having them cabled until you can treat the problem.

3. They Can Lead To Legal Problems

  • You are legally responsible for your trees and any problems
  • Neighbors will pay attention
  • Local ordinances may apply

Don’t have a great relationship with your neighbors? Aren’t paying attention to the health of your trees? You could pay for that if something goes wrong. More and more often, lawyers are marketing to those who want to sue or at least get monetary damages from their neighbors for tree-related incidents. This can be as simple as a branch breaking a car or home window or as complicated as an infestation that killed a rare, expensive tree.

If you do not pay attention to your greenery, your neighbor will take notice, and that could pose a risk to you. According to Farmer’s Weekly, this is even a problem for those who rent. Make sure you know what you are responsible for and what your landlord has to do.

2. Stonework, Hardscaping Dangers

  • Can uproot public and private property
  • Has a potential to ruin pools, driveways, walkways, and more
  • Best to work around roots

If you are planning to put in hardscaping, you need to plot out your root system so that you can better understand what you are dealing with and what you need to work around. Roots have a huge potential to ruin any and all hardscaping, so you have to be careful. Working with a professional hardscaping team should help you here. However, your local township might not consult with one.

Of course, you have to be careful about cutting roots or eliminating them. It is a catch 22 system in which you don’t want to cut too much back, but you might have to, depending on your situation. Once again, it is best to work with a professional tree care company and a professional hardscaping company to figure out what will work best for you.

According to Deb Nelson at Stoughton Tree Commission, “There are many kinds of root problems to consider such as severing or paving over roots, raising or lowering the soil grade around the tree, parking or driving vehicles over the roots, or soil-borne pathogens that attack roots causing decay. Loss of roots can lead to an entire tree uprooting and falling over.”

Of course, you should also be careful about tree roots sticking out of the ground. They can hinder you when you are cutting the lawn, playing football with your kids, or even just walking.

1. Tree Care

  • Many people aren’t trained to use tools
  • Using the wrong techniques can do more damage
  • People rent equipment they do not know how to use

We have seen it all – people who have been hit in the eyes with chips when they tried to remove their own trees, people cutting off fingers from trimming their own trees, and even people getting concussions when they fall from trying to climb a tree. Simply put, one of the greatest hidden dangers in owning a tree is just doing the maintenance. A tree is a huge structure and it is tough, which means you need to use tools that are a premium grade, according to WLLP.

Unless you have trained under a master, you absolutely cannot handle many tree care missions. General thought is that you should only trim something that you can use a hand pruner for, and even then, if you have to make more than a few cuts, it is best left to a professional.

Tree care is deadly and even professionals get hurt – don’t risk yourself, your safety, and the safety of anyone around the tree when you are in it.

If you are looking for a tree care professional in Redwood City, give Econo Tree Service a call today at (650) 200-2495. We will help you to better understand your trees and how to handle any watering, planting, pruning, or other tree issues that you may find – of course, we can also help you with other issues as well, including any seasonal tree care needs that you may have. We will provide you with the best possible tree service in the area, and provide you with real solutions that work.

Header image thanks to Marie Sahlén on Flickr!
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Last Minute Winterizing Tips For Your Trees

Winterizing your trees might not seem like something that someone living in or around Redwood City needs to do, but it really is. Instead of making sure that our trees are protected from snow or salt from plowing companies, there are some other steps that we need to take.

Winterizing your trees might not seem like it is the most important thing to do, but it can really make a difference in your tree’s lives. Not only will they be healthier and more likely to stand up against the weather that winters throw at it (and with some of the weird weather we’ve gotten, we might get more than anticipated), they will be healthier for the rest of the year as well. While you might not notice it, winter is the time when trees do most of their work, preparing for the next season’s growth, fixing any wounds that occurred during the summer months, and even shifting internally so that they can continue to be healthy and grow.

So what should you do to ensure that your trees survive the winter months? Follow these four steps:

4. Cut Off Any Dead Branches

  • Do not prune your trees the first few years they are alive if possible
  • All trees have different times to prune – make sure now is best for you
  • Sterilize tools so that you do not spread any diseases

Cutting trees is an important way to keep them safe and healthy, especially in the winter. If you are looking to prune trees, make sure that you aren’t making many cuts at all on your own. A good rule of thumb is that you need to make more than five cuts, or those cuts will require more than a hand clipper, you need a professional.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, prune only to “remove suckers, crossed branches that may injure others and to maintain a rounded shape on a mature tree.” This is about what a homeowner can handle without doing damage to your trees.

Of course, you absolutely need to use proper technique and tools when you are trimming or pruning your trees. You can really harm your trees, and now is not the time when you want to add to the burden the tree has to carry – one more wound to repair can be deadly.

Still, you really need to ensure that dead branches are removed. These can fall in some of the storms that we get, causing home and property damage.

3. Check For Pests

  • Check for dead bark areas, holes in the park, or swarms of pests
  • Eliminate using gentle tools and substances
  • May require professional intervention

Pests typically show themselves during the summer months, but you might have missed them. During the winter months, their leftovers are easy to spot – you can see holes, homes, and debris leftover from their reign on your tree. For the most part, you can treat pests the same way in the winter that you do in the summer, but some techniques work better depending on the weather.

It is important to heal the tree from any problems that the pests may have posed, according to Arbor Day. Any openings or wounds may present an opportunity for other pests to move in during the spring or summer season the next year, so take care of them now when you can see everything.

2. Don’t Clear Away Leaves

  • Clear leaves from hardscaping and lawns
  • Around tree roots, however, it makes compost
  • Make sure to check roots

One common mistake that some tree owners make is that they clean all of the leaves out of their gardens in the winter months. If you have tree leaves or other lawn debris in your gardens, keep it. This makes for great insulation for the trees in the colder months. It also acts as a mulch of sorts, keeping pests and foragers away from the roots and base of the tree.

According to the Chicago Tribune, ” You can use whole leaves as a healthy layer over garden soil, or shred them into smaller pieces by going over a pile in the grass with the lawnmower. They also won’t blow around as much when spread on perennial beds. In less conspicuous corners, there’s no need to shred the leaves; just spread them over the roots of the trees and shrubs, like in the woods.”

If in doubt, you should remove the debris – make sure you don’t add extra chemicals to your gardens.

1. Deep Water Trees

  • Make sure to water down toward the roots
  • Use a monitor and ensure water goes at least 12-18″ deep
  • Check on your individual plants – some need deeper watering than others

For most of us, we try to use water sparingly and therefore we only dampen the soil around our trees. However, in the winter you really want to go deeper and ensure that the soil gets a thorough soaking. To do this, you can collect rain over the summer season so that you aren’t using too much.

To make the most of what you have, according to Slate, make sure that you aim for the roots. The leaves cannot absorb water, nor can the branches. In the colder winter months, water may hang around a bit on the soil, but don’t make it a puddle.

Deep watering should start earlier in the season, but it is better to do it once or twice before the coldest weather really hits.

If you are looking for a tree care professional in Redwood City, give Econo Tree Service a call today at (650) 200-2495. We will help you to better understand your trees and how to handle any watering, planting, pruning, or other tree issues that you may find – of course, we can also help you with other issues as well, including any seasonal tree care needs that you may have. We will provide you with the best possible tree service in the area, and provide you with real solutions that work.

Header image thanks to Karen Roe on Flickr!
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Worried About Pests? Look For These

Whether you are just a regular homeowner with a beautiful little garden or you are trying your hand at gardening for sustainability, pests can be your biggest threat. Pests are more dangerous than drought, more devastating than certain fungi, and can seriously harm your trees and greenery to the point that they will kill them.

So what can you do? The first thing is to just stay observant. You want to inspect your greenery and trees on a regular basis so that you know when there are more pets than normal. You can also know about the common tree pests around the Redwood City area – and there are plenty of them. However, knowing even a handful can help you to avoid and painful goodbyes.

Here are a few to look for:

4. Gold Spotted Oak Borer

  • Targets Oak Trees
  • Somewhat limited to California
  • Growing problem

The Gold Spotted Oak Borer is an invasive pest that hits many oak trees in California. In fact, this pest has led to the death of so many oak trees that the local government in San Diego has taken to launching an awareness campaign to make everyone aware of the problem.

So far, the diseases has been spotted in Riverside, Orange and Los Angeles Counties in Southern California as well as a few isolated areas all over the state, according to the University of California.

This is a growing problem and many people aren’t aware of it – so make sure to look around your trees.

2. Kuroshio Shot Hole Borers

  • Native species but still troublesome
  • Hits avocado trees extremely hard
  • Higher numbers mean more problems

Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer or Kuroshio Shot Hole Borers are invasive wood-boring beetles that are particularly prevalent in Southern California but are extremely prevalent all over the state as well. They have been extremely vicious to our avocados, but they have a habit of hitting trees in landscaped areas as well. They are a native species, so they shouldn’t be pests, but the larger numbers that have emerged over the last few years have been dangerous.

According to Don’t Move The Firewood, “Studies at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Huntington Library, Arts Collections, and Botanical Gardens have identified more than 200 species of tree, shrub, or vine that are attacked by the PSHB; these plants are in 58 plant families from every continent except Antarctica (Eskalen et al. 2013).  (More recent studies have found the beetle in more than 300 species (Coleman, 2016.) The Fusarium fungus was detected in 54% of these trees – 113 species.  Among the trees attacked by the PSHB are 11 species native to the southern California; 13 agriculturally important trees; and 53 species widely used in urban plantings. “

2. Walnut Twig Beetles

  • Spread thousand canker disease
  • Kill thousands of trees
  • Even if the tree has died, infestation must be stopped

The Walnut Twig Beetle is a problematic pest not because it is a pest in and of itself, but because of what it spreads: thousand cankers disease. If you live in California, this is a phrase that should send chills down your spine. Thousand cankers disease has killed thousands of trees in California – both commercial and landscaping trees in suburban neighborhoods.

The walnut twig beetle enters into the trees and then eats or reproducing, spreading the disease. The activity of these beetles kills the phloem and cambium of the branches and main stem of the tree. They continue to wander around the tree and small cankers form all over the tree – hence the name.

According to the US Forest Service, the beetle is native to Arizona, California, New Mexico, and northern Mexico, but it has shown itself in other states as well.

1. Asian Citrus Psyllid

  • Newest pest problem in California
  • Devastates citrus fruits
  • Needs to be eradicated ASAP

The newest problem facing California and those of us who love orange juice, lemonade, or other citrus fruits is the Asian Citrus Psyllid. This pest by itself isn’t invasive, but the bacteria that it carries on its tiny feet is extremely dangerous. If you think that you have this pest in your yard, make sure that you contact local authorities so that they are able to take steps to ensure your yard is an isolated event.

Because the bugs are so small, you sometimes have to look for the signs of the infestation, including browning of the leaves and yellow spots on the foliage.

According to the San Diego Tribune, “The psyllid travels from leaf to leaf, tree to tree, stopping to suck the sweet sugars from the leaves. As it sucks up sugars, the psyllid inadvertently injects HLB bacteria into the leaf, which begins the tree’s infection. The psyllid then moves on to the next tree and it does it all again.”

The end result? A very slow death where water and sugars can’t get into the tree so that it starves and dehydrates until it eventually dies.

Tree pests are a huge problem and something that everyone needs to work together to eradicate. Pests don’t only stay on your trees, they can move out and harm the trees of your neighbors. Too often, people don’t pay attention and a situation gets extremely dangerous when it didn’t have to be that way.

If you are looking for a tree care professional in Redwood City, give Econo Tree Service a call today at (650) 200-2495. We will help you to better understand your trees and how to handle any watering, planting, pruning, or other tree issues that you may find – of course, we can also help you with other issues as well, including any pests that you might have. We will provide you with the best possible tree service in the area, and provide you with real solutions that work.

Header image thanks to U.S. Department of Agriculture on Flickr!
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What are the Responsbilities of a Homeowner When It Comes to Tree Care?

Whether you are a new homeowner or you have lived in the same home for fifty years, many people have questions when it comes to tree care responsibilities. Do you have a right to trim the trees of your neighbor if they are hanging over your property? If a tree has fallen in a neighbor’s yard, do they have to take care of it? Who handles the bills if there is an infestation?

These are questions that we don’t really ask ourselves until we need the answers immediately – which leads to confusion and sometimes people acting in ways that do not foster a positive relationship between neighbors.

So just what are homeowner responsibilities when it comes to tree ownership? Here are the most basic responsibilities:

4. You Have To Take Care Of Your Trees

  • You are responsible for all health-care related items
  • You may be at fault if the tree falls
  • Keep tree’s health up to date

We often tell you that inspecting your trees is so important and that you need to know when something looks off – why? If something does go wrong and a tree falls, you may be liable for it. If the tree’s branch was diseased and falls on your neighbor’s car, you could still be at fault.

According to The Washington Post, this is a murky part of the law but can be key in many cases. If you knew that your tree was unhealthy or diseased OR if you should have known that the tree was unhealthy and dangerous, you are liable for any and all damages. Even if your neighbor’s children were climbing your tree and something happened, you are still liable.

The best way to avoid problems is to take monthly walks around your yard to investigate your trees. If you see something that just doesn’t look right, make sure that you reach out to a professional to handle it properly.

3. You Have to Contact Your Insurance If A Tree Falls On Your Property

  • Contact your insurance as soon as possible
  • Make sure you take photos and do not move anything
  • Do not allow your  neighbors to intervene

If a tree falls on your property and the stump is on your neighbor’s property, you need to contact your home insurance company. This might seem backward, but it is the process you need to do, though your neighbor may want to call his or her insurance company to alert them of the situation as well.

According to ErieSense, “If a tree falls on your house, make sure to take some photos. Then call your claims adjuster, who will evaluate the damage and explain how your homeowners coverage comes into play. It’s recommended that you call your claims adjuster before you contract to have the tree removed.”

Often enough, if nothing has been damaged, you should be able to work out tree care and any clean up quite easily. However, if you do not have a good relationship with your neighbors or they aren’t home at the time it falls, things can get complicated quite quickly.

2. You Need To Make Sure Your Tree Isn’t a Nuisance

  • Roots and branches can be nuisances
  • Trim and keep them neat by yourself for the best results
  • Neighbors can do cutting once something crosses the property line

As a homeowner, you have a responsibility to your trees and your neighbors to ensure that your tree isn’t becoming a nuisance. This means that you make sure that any roots or branches that grow over the property line aren’t ruining sights, hardscaping, structures, or other greenery. If they are, you should handle everything quickly and properly, if only to ensure that everything gets handled correctly. If you do not, your neighbor may take into his or her own hands.

According to the Educational Community for Homeowners in California, you do want to look up local laws before you do any cutting of your own. However, it is just common sense and common courtesy to ensure that your own trees aren’t ruining all of the work that someone else put into their yards.

1. You Are Responsible For Quality Work

  • Ensure you work with professionals
  • They can help to ensure work is completed properly
  • Can catch other problems

One thing many people do not know is that they are responsible for the help that they bring onto their property. If you hire a tree care company that isn’t high quality or isn’t insured, any issues that arise can be your problem.

Even worse, however, is trying to take your tree’s health and care into your own hands. Anything that happens because of your actions can be your fault and you are liable.

According to George Johnson Insurance, “If the tree fell on the neighbor’s home when the homeowner was trying to cut down the tree without professional help, the damage would be the homeowner’s responsibility. Also, if the tree was dying, unstable or diseased and the homeowner knew about it, he or she could be liable if it falls over on its own. He or she could also be liable if it falls over during a very light storm that would not normally knock over a tree. When homeowners know they have dying, diseased or unstable trees, it is their responsibility to take steps to prevent them from causing severe damage.”

If your tree falls onto someone else’s property while you are cutting it down, this can cost you thousands of dollars in damages AND can result in a home insurance rate that skyrockets.

If you are looking for a tree care professional in Redwood City, give Econo Tree Service a call today at (650) 200-2495. We will help you to better understand your trees and how to handle any watering, planting, pruning, or other tree issues that you may find – of course, we can also help you with other issues as well. We will provide you with the best possible tree service.

Header image thanks to Teemu008 on Flickr!
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What To Do After The Death of a Tree

It sounds like something right out of a horror movie, but there is a chance it will happen in your life: one day you are looking out your window or mowing your lawn and you observe it: your exquisite tree has passed away. Just like in many horror movies, there were signs and symptoms that you saw long before it happened, but you just disregarded them as “normal” or something that “nature will take care of.”

However, once the tree has died, there is a chance that the horror movie has just started. How you handle the situation going forward will decide whether the other trees and greenery in your garden will be far behind it. Dead trees need to be addressed properly so that you can continue to have a wholesome ecosystem in your yard.

So, what should you do?

Here are some places to start becoming the hero that saves the day:

4. Check for Invasive Species

  • Beetles are the most common killers
  • Can diffuse to other trees or plant life in your yard
  • Might require experienced, competent help of some kind

If you have trees, there is a chance that you have bugs as well. We can’t really control insects as they move around the planet- we can spray, put up traps, and use DIY methods, but sometimes they just get through no matter what you do.  Often, since nature does remedy itself, it isn’t a huge problem. However, some infestations can create big problems that you can’t overcome. This is because the pests (most often they are bugs) are feeding off of the tree, taking in the water and nutrition that it needs to remain alive. Your tree has been starved and is now extremely week. Often, the bugs aren’t even the cause of the death – it is something else that was able to quickly take over in its weakened state.

According to Gardener’s Path, infestations can kill trees really quickly as well. There are certain species that can kill a tree in a matter of weeks. It really depends on the ecosystem around your home and the overall health of your yard.

If your tree is dying or just looks to be extremely unhealthy, look to see if there are insects or the fragments of insects or pests (spaces, fecal matter, nests, or shells). This means you have a massive problem and you should probably reach out to an expert of some sort– either a tree care professional or a pest management service provider.

3. Root Rot Causes Death Symptoms – But Maybe Not Death

  • Common complication during springtimes
  • If the tree is healthful, leave it be for a while
  • Talk to an expert if you have questions

One of the bright spots for people who think their trees are dead might come if something else is at play. Tree can “play dead” in some situations where they show symptoms of death without being too close to it.

This might be because it has too much water around the roots. This can come from irrigation or too much rain.

According to Gardenerdy, “If there is a water-logging at the foot of the tree, make sure to devise a proper drainage system for the same. You may opt for removing soil from water-logged area and exposing the roots to fresh air for a few days.” If you aren’t sure how to do this safely by yourself, you may want to reach out to a professional who has the tools and knowledge of how to do this without causing even more damage to the tree.

2. Consider What You Will Plant Next

  • Be careful when purchasing new trees or greens
  • Make sure the dirt is prepared for a new tree
  • Consider new types of trees– or the same varieties in some cases

After a tree has died and has been removed properly (meaning the stump has been removed) many people don’t waste any time in putting something new into the ground – which can create a cycle of problems.

According to the Royal Horticulture Society, “Plants that have been killed by a disease, in particular a soil borne disease (e.g. honey fungus, Phytophthora root rot or Verticillium wilt) or difficult to control foliage/stem disease (e.g. box blight) are best replaced with something that shows resistance. Lists of resistant plants or those not affected can be found on our advice pages of common garden plant diseases. Plants that suffer from replant disease (e.g. roses) should not be replaced with the same type of plant.”

Once again, knowing why the tree died and how to move forward can save you quite a bit of heartache and pain into the future.

1. Get In Touch With a Tree Care Professional

  • There is an opportunity to save your trees in many, many cases
  • Only professionals can manage some removals safely – especially those caused by diseases
  • Can help you to move forward and plant new trees or greenery

According to the Tree Care Industry Association, no matter when your tree passes, a professional assessment is always best. This will help to clear up any lingering questions that you may have and to start fixing your garden so that you can get a new tree planted.  Many tree care professionals can also help with landscaping, hardscaping, or gardening concerns after the death of a tree.

Whatever you do, don’t try to take trees down by yourself as it can be extremely unsafe and you will most likely hurt yourself, another structure in your yard, or even your other trees. Most people do not have the capabilities to take trees down themselves, nor do they have the skills to move forward successfully.

Simply put, it isn’t worth it to put yourself and your trees through a sequel to the horror movie that you are facing – the sequels are never as good as the original.

If you are looking for a tree care professional in Redwood City, give Econo Tree Service a call today at (650) 200-2495. We will help you to better understand your trees and how to handle any watering, planting, pruning, or other tree issues that you may find – of course, we can also help you with other issues as well. We will provide you with the best possible tree service.

Header image thanks to Chris on Flickr!
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“Hover Parenting” Techniques You Are Using With Your Tree

Your trees are somewhat like your children – you have to constantly pay attention, but you cannot let them know that you are paying attention. The truth is that trees in the wild grow tall and strong without any human interference, so why shouldn’t a tree grow in your yard the same way? There are many different ways to answer that question and there are reasons why your trees will need more support than a regular tree in a forest.

Still, too often we see people who are over loving their trees – they are doing too much and taking care of them too well. The results? The tree doesn’t really like it at all. They rebel (like your children might do as well), they don’t flourish as well as they should, and sometimes they even die.

This is difficult – as all parenting is – so how can you know that you are being a hover parent to your tree? Here are some key signs:

4. You Gave Your Tree Too Much Water

  • Happens frequently during rainy seasons
  • Can be the results of an irrigation system
  • You may need some professional intervention

When your child is playing a sport or goes for a run, what is the first thing you do? You hand him or her a water bottle and insist that they drink up so that they don’t get dehydrated. Sometimes, we give too much water and they get sick. The same thing can happen to your trees – you can give your trees too much water and they can get sick.

If this is the case for your yard, according to Home Guides, you can expect to see the following symptoms: “a loss of vigor, yellowing leaves, leaf scorch and water-soaked blisters on the stems and leaves. Dig down several inches into the tree’s root zone, in the area between the trunk and the edge of the tree’s canopy. The tree’s root zone typically extends out anywhere from 1.5 to 4 times the width of the canopy. Very moist soil at that depth suggests too much water. A sour smell indicates that the soil is oxygen-deprived. Also, any signs of mushrooms or algae around tree’s root zone can indicate a water-logged tree.”

If you see any of these signs, you need to scale back on the watering. This might mean not using an automated system or simply watering less until you can see what the appropriate amount of water really is.

3. You Aren’t Paying Attention to pH

  • Make sure your soil gets tested professionally
  • Work to balance out soil
  • Remember to get it tested regularly

Getting a check-up is one of the most basic requirements of raising a child. You ensure that your children have testing done to ensure that they are growing properly. You need to do the same thing with your trees. Take your soil to get professionally tested so that you know what is going on with your tree. There are certain elements that need to be in the ground so that your tree grows.

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the pH level of your soil around your trees is one of the most important indicators of your tree’s health – you want the pH to be about 6.5. It can be a bit lower or higher, but this is the number that you want to aim for when it comes to your tree.

2. You Took Pruning Into Your Own Hands

  • Causes lifelong damage
  • Hurts the chance of fruit and/or flowers in the spring
  • You must use best practices

We all have the memory of having a haircut from our mom – and most of us have that elementary school picture where our bangs are crooked, or she took it way too short. The same thing can happen with your trees – without proper techniques or the proper tools, your trees will end up looking even worse than your third-grade picture. Trees that are crooked can tip over, especially in the winter. If you aren’t using the best techniques, the tree will continue to grow wrong for the rest of its life or it will just be off for a long time.

Remember that every cut you make is a wound, and, according to Tree Care Tips, you have to be careful about cutting more than 25% of your tree at a time. However, that tip is aimed at professional. You shouldn’t prune your tree at all unless it is one small branch. It just isn’t worth it to take things into your own hands – while a bad haircut will go away in a few months, it can take years to fix this problem.

1. You Were Too Tough on Pests

  • Never use insecticides
  • Some “pests” aren’t obvious
  • Sit back and see what happens for a while

According to ThoughtCo, “Insects that attack trees come in many sizes and shapes. The beetles consume leaf parts and inner bark; the aphids, leafminers, and moths defoliate; the borers consume wood; the gall-making wasps deform limbs and leaves. Not all insects will kill a tree, but the “killers” listed can be certain death when insect populations explode.”

However, what you don’t want to do is take action too quickly, as this can result in using methods that aren’t productive and can actually do more damage to your trees. The best things to do are either to sit and watch to see how your trees are impacted by the pests or to talk to a professional.

If you are looking for a tree care professional in Redwood City, give Econo Tree Service a call today at (650) 200-2495. We will help you to better understand your trees and how to handle any watering, planting, pruning, or other tree issues that you may find – of course, we can also help you with other issues as well. We will provide you with the best possible tree service.

Header photo courtesy of Ellie Nakazawa on Flickr!


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Interesting Ways Trees Will Spruce Up Your Yard

When you think about your yard, the main thing most people want to add is a tree or two. Why? Trees are such an important part of our landscaping design. They add character, sweetness, beauty, fresh air, and a certain amount of playfulness to your yard that might not have been there before.  We believe that trees are such an important part of your yard and we do truly believe that everyone should have at least one tree in their yards to help keep the air clean and the landscaping beautiful.

But before you do a ton of work to put that tree in, there are some things you want to think about. You want to consider how that tree will be used, what kind of tree that you want, how much work you are willing to do, and even the span of that entire tree once it has grown. While the tree might be small now, you have to know that it will grow.

Apart from those questions, you should consider the following ways to use trees in your yard:

4. Make an outdoor living space.

  • Gives you privacy.
  • Expands your living space.
  • Makes you want to hang out outdoors.

If you typically aren’t the sort of person that likes to spend all your time indoors, but you don’t have an area to go outside, you may want to think about utilizing trees to help develop an added area outside. This will certainly offer you privacy when you are outdoors and give you some time to yourself if your neighbors are always coming over. There are so many opportunities in a yard large or small, you just have to be creative.

According to Better Homes and Gardens: “If you don’t want to work on making your entire yard a private paradise, take one corner and transform it into a secluded getaway. A simple way to do this is to carefully place a couple of trees to form a pocket. Here, for example, two pines make a hammock feel tucked away. A redbud just behind the hammock enhances the effect.”

3. Think about the flow of your yard.

  • There are professionals who can help you if you have trouble.
  • Think of plants, walkways, water features, and your trees.
  • Remember you need to maintain your lawn and gardens.

How will your tree work with the rest of your yard? There are so many different features your yard can have, which is why you have to plan for your yard. Many people plant trees in a yard – but some yards don’t need more than one. Lifehacker suggests looking at your space from above to see what the layout should be. You can find an easy map on Google that has taken an aerial view of your home. From there, you can figure out the scale, print out the picture, and start with the layout.

If you don’t want to do it this way, you can start laying out the design in your actual yard using tape or representative items.

2. Think about the impact on home value

  • Trees take a long time to get big and they grow in many ways – so think ahead.
  • Think of getting unusual trees that your neighbors don’t have.
  • Do not go overboard with too many trees.

A completely grown tree that has been planted and taken care of by specialists has the ability to add between $1,000 and $10,000 to the value of your home, according to Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers. If you want to boost the curb appeal to your home by adding a tree, you want to plant it early so that it can grow.

When planting a tree raise the value of your home, you will have to think about the types of trees that individuals truly want in their lawns. Meaning, what type of family will live in your house once you sell? The best kind of tree for your lawn will certainly depend on your house – trees that are tall and solid (and ripe for climbing) might be fantastic if your home has a lot of rooms and will have a family in it. On the other hand, a ranch home with one bedroom will probably go to an older family that doesn’t want the yard work.

1. Think about the view

  • Think about safety as well as security.
  • You possibly invest even more time inside compared to outdoors.
  • Determines kind of tree that you desire.

HGTV says that one of the biggest mistakes people do when planting a tree is that they don’t think about what it will look like from the inside of your home. This is vitally important because we tend to spend a lot more time inside of our homes than we do outside of it. When picking out the type of tree that you want, you will have to think about how it will impact your view from the inside of your home.

To do this, stand inside your and look out to where you will plant the tree. Try to visualize it as it grows – what will the tree hide? What will you still be able to see? If you can do this, you will start to realize whether or not you want to put a tree there or whether you should consider moving it around.

If you are looking for a tree care professional in Redwood City, give Econo Tree Service a call today at (650) 200-2495. We will help you to better understand your trees and how to handle any watering, planting, pruning, or other tree issues that you may find – of course, we can also help you with other issues as well. We will provide you with the best possible tree service.

Header image thanks to Tim Green on Flickr!
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