Saturday, March 30, 2013

Trees Tolerant of Partial Shade

Deciduous trees are well-known for providing shade, while growing and thriving in the sun they serve to shield us from. Some varieties of deciduous trees fare much better growing in the shade provided by these monstrous hardwood shade trees. Shade-loving deciduous trees are ideal for north-facing sites that only get a few hours of morning or afternoon sun, or for planting as an understory tree in a woodland area.
River Birch
Native to temperate America, river birch, Betula nigra, grows almost exclusively along river banks in the wild, and is suitable for wet sites in cultivation. It can grow up to 80 feet tall and grows nearly 3 feet per year. It grows in either sun or shade and is tolerant of a variety of soil types. River birch has a pyramidal shape when young and grows into more of an oval as it ages. It is necessary to remove the lower branches to allow for foot or vehicle traffic beneath it.
American Hornbeam
A slow-growing deciduous tree, American hornbeam, Carpinus caroliniana, eventually reaches about 20 to 30 feet high and wide. In shady sites, it takes an open form, growing more dense in full sun. The orange or yellow spring-blooming flowers are small and inconspicuous. Fall leaf color is showy in shades of red, orange and yellow. American hornbeam's smooth, fluted, gray bark provides interest during winter.
Eastern Redbud
Found throughout the eastern Unites States, south of the Great Lakes Region, eastern redbud, Cercis canadensis, rapidly grows to about 20 to 30 feet high in a rounded vase shape. It is relatively short-lived, beginning to decline at about 30 years old. Purplish-pink to fuchsia flowers cover it in spring, opening before the leaves emerge. Eastern redbud is tolerant of partially shady sites. Although somewhat notable, yellow fall color is also somewhat unreliable.
Japanese Maple
With many varieties in mature heights ranging from 6 to 50 feet high, Japanese maple, Acer palmatum, is also slow-growing, putting on only 10 to 15 feet of new growth over 15 years. It is best planted in dappled shade, as too much shade can cause its highly desirable, purplish-red leaves to turn green. Although it is sensitive to drought conditions, it requires good drainage and will not tolerate water standing around its roots. Japanese maple is susceptible to breakage in high winds. The leaves emerge early in the season and may require protection from late spring frosts.
If you have a partial shady location in your urban yard or garden, try planting one of these shade-tolerant deciduous trees.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tree Survival For The Summer

One of the biggest worries of homeowners for their yards is "Are the trees in my yard going to survive this summer?" (We'll talk some more in a later article about the other big worry of homeowners: winter.)
You've just finished planting a new tree as the centerpiece to your yard. After all, early spring is the perfect time to plant for the optimum growth of your trees. And in late spring your hard work will have paid off. But now comes summer, and new needs for your trees.
Surviving that first summer is especially key for trees. Fortunately it's just a matter of proper maintenance and any tree can beat the heat. It's only a matter of understanding a few essentials and one can have healthy trees that last the year round.
First let's cover soil. You need to take a look to see what type of soil you have and then take steps to improve it on a gradient. If the soil you have is mostly clay then aeration will help provide oxygen needed for optimum plant health. In general trees do not need as much fertilizer as do lawns, but in our generally high pH soils, nutrients, such as nitrogen, iron, zinc and manganese, can be added. You can gain a clue to the soil quality if you note the color of leaves and needles. If they look sickly or light colored, that is a clue that additional nutrients may be in order. If you're concerned about soil health you might consider having your soil tested. Also, different soil types require different amounts of irrigation. Clay soils will typically need less water because they hold it, than say a sandy or loamy based soil.
Now, of course a big one is water. This is very evident with newly planted trees. They possess only a smaller percentage of their original roots and they have to be closely monitored and watered carefully. During extended periods of drought even large established trees need to be watered. A single, large tree can transpire (to give off vapor containing waste products through the stomata of plant tissue) more than 100 gallons of water on a typical summer day.
A few pointers: don't assume you are watering a tree when you are watering your lawn. Most of the water may go to the lawn, which has many roots competing with tree roots. Thatch in the lawn acts to repel water, and different soil types make water penetration very difficult in many cases. Soaker hoses and drip systems can be useful tools for applying water to dry soil. You should water an area at least as wide as the branch spread, but well established trees often have extensive root systems that extend far beyond the tips of the branches and will benefit from water applied to the soil outside the branch spread as well. Root feeding/watering probes are useful tools for irrigating trees as long as they are not inserted into the soil deeper than 12 inches and are moved frequently.
A few cautions: As a rule of thumb, soil needs to be moist to between 12 to 18 inches of depth for most trees and shrubs. Watering too frequently can also kill trees. Always check the moisture status of the soil around your tree before watering (use a hand trowel or soil probe). If possible, avoid applying chemically softened water to trees. Frequent use of softened water may harm soil structure and injure trees.
Next let's cover mulch. The purpose of mulch is to conserve moisture and suppress weeds around the tree. Ironically the opposite of these are its cons, as in certain mulches can bring about weed problems (if there are any weed seedlings in the mulch) or block moisture if it's put on too heavily. I always advise homeowners to apply mulch with caution, never allow the mulch to pile up on the trunk. Keep all mulch clear of the trunk flare at the base. 90% of the time it can do what's wanted, but you have to take care that you don't suffocate the tree. Organic mulch is generally better, inorganic mulches tend to sink in small traces into the soil. Organic mulches decompose naturally.
These are a few pointers to set you in the right direction. If your trees have more trouble than this surviving the summer then contact a tree care specialist to come out and take a look at it. The problem might not be the heat, there are tree diseases out there and there could be other factors plaguing city trees. But the above should cover a majority of cases. Then you can beat the heat yourself by sitting in the shade of your tree with a cool drink in hand.

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Types of Trees and What They're Good For

Trees are not only beautiful, but they are an important part of the environment. They absorb all of the Carbon Dioxide in the air and release Oxygen so that we as humans have clean air to breathe. Every tree has something that it is good for, whether that be climbing, tapping, or putting in our homes as decoration. Here's a list of some of the most loved trees and what it is that they're good for.
1. Maple Trees:
Maple trees grow mostly, in the North Temperate Zone. There are a variety of species of Maple tree, which is why they are seen in many different sizes. In addition to their beautiful wood, ability to self-pollinate, and charming clusters of green flowers, maple trees also have sap that can easily be made into sugar or maple syrup, which is one of the most delicious toppings for pancakes on Earth!
2. Willow Trees:
One can always spot a Weeping Willow tree because its branches hang down as if it were crying (hence the name). The hanging branches provide natural shade, which makes the trees ideal for resting under. It is not uncommon for people to hang hammocks under willow trees, where they can enjoy an afternoon nap.
3. Pine Trees:
Pine trees are most commonly known as Christmas trees. They are bushy and have strong needles which make them conducive to hang Christmas ornaments off of. Some species have large seeds called pine nuts which are often used for cooking and baking.
4. Oak Trees:
Oak trees are mostly used for their strong and attractive wood. Oak wood has a density of approximately 0.75g/cm squared. In addition to being hard and strong, oak also has a high tannin content which makes it very resistant to insect and fungal attack. As a result many alcohols are stored in oak barrels including brandy, whiskey, sherry, and wine.
5. Fruit Trees:
Most fruits grow on trees, including apples, avocadoes, pears, peaches, plums, bananas, guava, pineapples, pomegranates, mangoes, oranges, grapefruits, limes, lemons and more. When many fruit trees are grown and taken care of together, the space if referred to as an orchard. Picking fresh fruit directly from a tree is quite delicious and a fun activity.
In addition to picking fruit, taking a nap, or putting them up indoors to celebrate special occasions, trees are also great for climbing and for shading a home. There are millions of tree species on our planet each more beautiful than the last.

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Blowing The Top Off Pine Tree Over A Phone Line

Curtis Fosnaugh, owner of Signature Tree Service takes a high perch to fell the top of this tall pine tree and make sure and miss the valued phone line in the process.

Monday, March 18, 2013

History Of Oak Trees, Quercus Sp

Heroditus, the father of ancient history, recorded in the mid-400's B.C., that oak trees were reputed to have within their boughs, the gift of prophecy. The presence of oak tree galls in oak trees is caused by insect larvae that tunnel inside the twigs. The oak tree branches can become infested with numerous little galls that look like brown or tan balls, as the cells of the oak tree grow to surround the insects inside. Some cultures call these creations, 'Oak Apples,' and they are used commercially to produce tannins, ink and a wide assortment of medicinal remedies. The use of oak wood is well known as a hard wood with many uses reported in ancient times.
It is not an easy task to write about the history of oak trees, because there are so many species, all having different stories of their own in historical development of tree lines, having evolved in different climates in different nations of the World. William Bartram in 1773 wrote in his book, 'Travels', that he slept underneath the "protecting shade of the hospitable live oak, and reclined my head, and at Fort Frederica, Ga. "under the whole spreading boughs that opened a spacious avenue leading to the former seat of General Oglethorpe." One live oak tree called the Wesley Oak, named after the founder of the Methodist Church, John and Charles Wesley, was used to carve out a rugged, wooden cross, that is still used at the altar of the Christ's Episcopal Church on St. Simon's Island, Georgia, also the island site of Fort Frederica, Georgia.
Over the last several hundred years, all around the world, different varieties of Oak Trees have been discovered; six hundred plus. Oak trees are desired among the gardening world for many different reasons. Some gardeners like the old world appeal of swooping oak tree limbs, covered with hanging Spanish moss. Some may like to plant them for shade trees, but what is probably the most famous association of oak trees are on the old plantations of the south. Innumerable forests of oak trees, neatly trimmed and brimming with wildlife, nibbling away at the acorns.
There are several classifications of oak trees: Deciduous Varieties: Pin Oak Tree, Quercus palustris; Sawtooth Oak Tree, Quercus acutissima; Willow Oak Tree, Quercus phellos; White Oak Tree, Quercus alba; Water Oak Tree, Quercus nigra; Turkey Oak Tree, Quercus laevis; Swamp Chestnut Oak Tree, Quercus michauxii; Shummard Oak Tree, Quercus shummardii; Red Northern Oak Tree, Quercus rubra; Red Southern Oak Tree, Quercus falcata; and the Post Oak Tree, Quercus stellata. There are also Evergreen Oaks: Laurel Oak Tree, Quercus laurifolia; and the Darlington Laurel Oak Tree, Quercus hemisphaerica. The two most famous however, are Semi-Evergreen: Live Oak Tree, Quercus virginiana; and Sand Live Oak Tree, Quercus geminata. All of these varieties produce acorns that vary in size from ½ inch to 1 ¼ inches.
In locations where Oak trees are not commonly found, certain varieties can be planted to attract wildlife. Smaller nut varieties are fed on by squirrels, and birds, and larger acorn varieties like the White Oak, and Gobbler Oak and Sawtooth Oak are eaten by deer, turkey, and boar. The White Oak tree is a great wildlife cultivar to plant because of its ability to ripen acorns within one year, and its above average growth rate. The Live Oak is commonly found in woods of the Southeastern United States. Pine trees are also found in large numbers in the Southeast, so there will certainly be turkeys out in the morning and evenings looking for live oak tree delicacies, gobbling invitations for their turkey friends to come down and join them in Thanksgiving for the Fall feast.
When Oak trees are planted for shade trees one must consider the overall height of the tree. The Black Oak Tree, and White Oak Tree can grow as tall as a hundred feet, whereas, the Water Oak and Sand Live Oak, and Chinquapin Oak will only reach fifty feet or there about. Quercus rubra or Northern Red Oak, one of the fastest growing oak trees, can reach towering heights of eighty feet in just about half the time that a Sand Live Oak takes to grow fifty feet, and is often a choice shade tree among new home builders.
Along the Georgia Coast at Sea Island, Georgia, oak trees have been planted around the main hotel, and since their opening in 1928, famous former Presidents, and dignitaries from around the world have planted a Live Oak tree to commemorate their stay at Sea Island, Georgia, even Former President George Herbert Walker Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush honeymooned there. Lady Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister of Great Britain, planted a Live Oak at Sea Island in 1994. President G.H.W. Bush planted a Live Oak tree in 1991 while on vacation at the Cloister. On February 12, 1941, Howard Coffin, the founder of Sea Island, had planted a Live Oak tree grown from a seed brought from Surry England, to commemorate the founder and first Governor of Georgia, General James Oglethorpe, whose home was in England. Lastly, the most recent Live Oak trees planted on Sea Island, Georgia was in 2004 during the G-8 Summit, when President G.W. Bush, and British Prime Minister Tony Blair planted Live Oak trees at the inauguration of their meetings with the worlds economic leaders, at the G-8 Summit.
The chronological order in which Sea Island, Georgia memorial, and commemorative oaks were planted and are presently growing there.
1928: Calvin Coolidge planted the very first Live Oak tree at Sea Island when the Cloister Hotel opened for business.
1931: Howard Coffin, the founder of The Cloister at Sea Island planted a Live Oak tree to celebrate Georgia's founder and first Governor, James Oglethorpe.
1946: Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower honored his visit to Sea Island by planting the Eisenhower Oak Tree.
1952: The Queen's Live Oak was planted by H.M. Juliana Queen of the Netherlands.
1979: The President Ford Oak tree was planted by Gerald R. Ford on one of his many visits to Sea Island, Ga.
1981: President Carter Live Oak tree was planted by Jimmy Carter.
1991: G.H.W. Bush Live Oak was planted while the Bush's were on vacation at The Cloister on Sea Island Georgia.
1994: Lady Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of Great Britain planted a Live Oak while on vacation at Sea Island with her husband Sir Denis Thatcher.
2004: President George Walker Bush planted a Live Oak tree celebrating the hosting of the G-8 Summit.
2004: British Prime Minister Tony Blair planted a Live Oak to celebrate his presence at the Summit on Sea Island.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ignoring Tree Care Can Be Costly

Keep Your Property Beautiful
Tree trimming and landscaping maintenance is an issue every homeowner must face at some point. Many people choose their home partially based on the surrounding land and tree scape. With this comes the responsibility of caring for trees and vegetation on the property. Damaged, rotten or fallen limbs can occur quickly in the event of a storm, or over time based on tree care, environment conditions and age. To be prepared and ensure the beauty and health of one's property, homeowners need to understand why they may need the service of a professional arborist - and - what a responsible, licensed and expert tree service can do provide.
Ignorance is Bliss? Not!
Ignoring or putting-off tree care is never a good idea. For one, doing so can put your property and personal health in jeopardy. This isn't to scare homeowners into using a tree removal specialist, it simply a matter of fact and common-sense. If a tree or tree limb falls onto the home, a whole myriad of safety and financial problems can arise. Without proper attention, like services from a tree professional, limbs, branches and the tree itself will become weak, even to the point of falling and causing tremendous damage. Having a licensed, professional tree service expert estimate and service trees on your property is an important step to avoid such potentially damaging situations.
It's a Jungle Out There!
A second area of concern for most homeowners is overgrowth of existing trees and landscaping. Oftentimes, it is the beauty of a property that attracts us to buy. However, we learn quickly, maintaining this beauty is time-consuming, requires expensive equipment and itself can be dangerous. Add this to potential problems of a tree infringement on a neighbor's property, power line damage or root damage of water and sewer lines, even the home's foundation, and an owner's costs skyrocket. Hiring a licensed, bonded arborist to assess, advise and correct overgrowth problems will solve such financial dilemmas - or - alleviate uncomfortable situations with neighbors or neighborhood associations.
Understanding Your Homeowner's Policy
Nature, or what insurance companies call "acts of God" occur to damage or weaken trees and limbs, causing immediate concern. Lightning, wind, even heavy rains can make a perfectly healthy tree a liability. In some cases, clearing damaged trees and shrubs can take days or weeks, depending on the extent of damage. Check your homeowner's coverage in such cases, as hiring a tree damage specialist may be allowed or required by your insurance. To speed clean-up and ensure all remaining or hidden damage is known, hiring an arborist can also bring property owner's peace of mind.
DIY Doesn't Always Mean Saving Money!
Everyone is capable of performing basic tree, shrub and landscaping maintenance themselves. Taking down low unsightly limbs, pruning decorative bushes or picking up small to medium-sized tree branches is generally very safe and recommended for any homeowner for a property's upkeep. However, bigger jobs as described in this article are typically best performed by an expert in tree removal, landscaping and clean up.
Working with Tree Professionals
As with any skilled service, tree trimming companies are experienced and well-trained at cutting damaged or overgrown limbs, trees and vegetation. Their skill at ensuring a safe tree removal is most notably seen in directly the cut tree away from existing property, structure or other trees and landscaping. Also, when trimming trees, a skilled arborist brings years of knowledge of where to trim in order to enhance the health of the tree, and most important, to not "shock" the tree, causing even more unseen damage.
If you have more than basic tree, shrub or landscaping duties on your property and are ready to hire a professional tree service, it is critical to hire an individual or company that is fully insured. If your property is accidentally damaged during a tree, limb, stump or shrub removal, you and your property are fully covered for repairs. For do-it-yourselfers, such damage can result in homeowner's insurance issues, often requiring your to pay out-of-pocket for damages - or worse - a potential cancellation of your homeowner's policy. Hiring a licensed, bonded expert tree trimming service guarantees you don't have to worry.
A local tree service or highly trained arborist can help with any project. And, when you're faced with larger, potentially dangerous tree damage problems, a professional tree service is the smartest, safest decision for any homeowner. Furthermore, most reputable tree trimming and arborist services are fairly priced - and - always cheaper than the alternatives of property damage or personal injury.

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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Taking Proper Care of Your Trees

Trees are actually quite delicate and fragile underneath the solid, massive impression that they initially make. There are a lot of tiny details that are important in caring for a tree as it's growing, but sadly not everyone bothers to inform themselves of these things when they've been trusted with caring for a tree, or multiple trees. In the least, you should know who you can call in case any problems come up that you can't solve yourself. There are actually a lot of companies out there that offer exactly this type of service, and it doesn't even cost that much in most cases to have your tree examined by a team of professionals.
There's actually a whole field of work called tree surgery which is related to caring for trees and fixing their problems, and many people nowadays offer their expertise in this field. If you need someone to handle your problem professionally, then this is the type of service to be on the lookout for. Of course, not every company in this field is the same, and the level of professionalism can vary a lot between two different companies - so you have to know what the common features of quality service are in this line of work.
Timeliness is an important feature, of course. You shouldn't have to wait for prolonged periods of time for the company's people to arrive, especially if you have other business to attend to for the day. This can especially matter when you're representing a company and aren't just a regular domestic customer. On this note, make sure that the company you're using actually offers commercial services - sometimes they'll only be able to work with regular customers and may not be able to service you if you've got a larger-scale issue to take care of.
While they're working on your trees, the experts should also be careful with the surrounding environment. It's not rare to damage things around the trees that are being repaired, but this can all be avoided for the most part by following proper procedure and knowing what you're doing. Needless to say, ask in advance how they're going to prevent any possible damage to the surrounding area, and point out if you've got something specific that you want them to be careful with.
This goes for after the job has been completed as well. Usually, a lot of debris and dirt will be left after a job of this type, and you shouldn't have to clean that up yourself. A good tree surgery company will offer you complete assistance with cleaning up the site of their work, although if they're really good they'd do their job in a way that doesn't require so much clean-up afterwards in the first place.
And of course, you should get some form of guarantee for the quality of the work that they do on your trees. It can be quite the serious problem if they neglect some common safety guidelines, so they should be able to guarantee to you that the trees will not need additional procedures done due to their work.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Signature Tree Service Commercial

Curtis and his team show how Signature Tree Service are the right choice when if comes to taking care of your trees. See more at

Sunday, March 3, 2013

5 Different Tasks That A Tree Service Company Can Do For You

If you hire a tree service company, you can get 5 types of services from them. We're going to look at the definitions of each of those types of services so that you'll know what they are intended for.
Tree Planting
This sounds like an easy type of tree service but it's not, especially if it needs to be done on a large scale. Young trees need a lot of attention so that they can grow healthily. In fact, the act of planting a tree is technically demanding and how it's done affects how well a tree is going to be in its lifetime. So, instead of doing things on your own, it would be way better for you to let professionals do this for you.
Tree Irrigation
Even though this type of task is not technically demanding, it takes a lot of time to do. If you don't have the time needed to do this task, getting a professional tree service company to do this for you would be a better idea.
Tree Trimming
Trees sometimes over-grow and when they do, they turn into hazards. This necessitates tree trimming, which needs to be done in a certain way in order to prevent the trees from dying afterwards. Aside from being done for safety purposes, tree trimming can also be done in order to promote the healthy growth of trees. This type of tree trimming is known as tree pruning. These tasks require some special skills and equipment.
Tree Pest And Disease Control
Only a few species of trees are known to be immune from pests and no tree is known to be totally immune from all types of diseases. If you want to keep your trees healthy, it would be best for you to take proactive measures so that you can safeguard them from pests and diseases, which can possibly ravage them. Pest and disease control also involves the use of special equipment that you may not have at home. Moreover, these require a good amount of time and skills.
Tree Removal
Tree removal is done when trees die. In this type of service, trees are carefully cut down and removed from their location. This involves hard work. If this is done erroneously, accidents can happen leading to injuries to people and damage to property, which is something that you don't want to happen so it's vital that you let professionals do this for you.

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