Thursday, November 28, 2013

80' Pine Saved From Falling Into House - Signature Tree Service

Owner/Operator Curtis Fosnaugh of Signature Tree Service loading a top of pine tree into load line and pulley with use of a "port-a-wrap". Port-a-wrap is a lowering device that enables one person to control heavy weighted items to the ground. This job took place in Benicia,CA

Monday, November 25, 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

Friday, November 22, 2013

Importance Of Tree Service

Do you have some old branch hanging around your house? Do you have some trees that need some trimming? Why would you need this kind of things to be done? Simply because, an old tree branch can come falling down on the roof of your house or any person below it. It is also very hard to clean a lawn that is full of dried leaves because of the tree in your backyard. Here are some other things you need to know why having a regular tree service could be important
First, some trees tend to have old branches that can fall off any moment. This can cause an accident when someone might be standing under the tree and a branch falls off. It can also damage a part of your house if the branch is hanging just above your house. Having a regular tree service to cut down old branches lessens the risk of accidents caused by falling branches. It can also help the tree grow a new branch which will be much sturdier than the one that has been cut.
Another reason why it is important to have this kind of service is that it adds aesthetic value to your garden or tree. Those offering the services are also well skilled when it comes to designing your garden or trees. Having your trees trimmed in your desired shaped like a heart, a horse or even a cube shape really amazes people who see it.
The most important thing about having a tree service is that it helps your trees become livelier and even makes it healthy. Some trees are like dying due to certain conditions like the weather, pollution and the likes. One way to keep them as healthy looking as they were, you need some tree services which will take care of your trees. Some service providers even use fertilizers that can help the tree grow as healthy as it can.
There are other things why people hire tree services. Some of them might do it just for the sake of having a safe environment while others tend to keep their trees and garden as beautiful as they want. It might cost a lot more than doing the service yourself, but you can be assured that the services will be done in a professional way. Just make sure you find someone reliable and who can really produce high quality results instead of having the service to be done again by someone else.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Some Do's and Don't For Tree Owners

Some advice for long-term tree health for homeowners. The following article is an excerpt from the information section of our website.
Don't top your trees
The buds at the tips of shoots in trees are hormonally controlled. Those on lateral branches are controlled to grow outward, toward light (phototropic). Those on tree tops are controlled to grow upwards against gravity(geotropic). When topping cuts are made and the geotropic buds are removed, the tree switches the hormonal signals to the buds at the tips of the upper lateral branches to start growing against gravity. Some species of trees will also trigger dormant buds that lay under the bark (epicormic) of the tree to release and grow geotropically, known as watersprouts.
Either type of newly recruited geotropic buds will grow many times faster than those of the original top, often quickly reattaining the height of the original top. The result is a new top far larger and much more dense than the original. At this point, any benefit of the topping cut is undone and the original issue is more of a problem than before.... but it gets worse:
Trees are rarely able to close off wounds from topping cuts fast enough to stop decay fungi from entering the open area. As the newly recruited tops curve upward and put on rapid growth, the area around their point of attachment to the trunk becomes progressively more decayed inside, thus weakening the new tops' attachment, already weak because of the two 90-degree turns from the stem.
The obvious result of many large new tops with weak attachment points is a tree that can become very hazardous.
Accordingly, many of our municipalities prohibit topping in their tree bylaws, unless it is for hazard reduction in previously topped trees.
Don't pile soil or other debris over your tree's root system
Tree roots require air to survive. On the other hand, too much air will desiccate roots and kill them. As roots grow outward, they achieve a delicate balance of air, moisture, and nutrient supply in the soil, with the fine absorbing roots usually being found in the top few inches. When extra soil is piled over a tree's rooting area, it decreases the amount of oxygen that can get to these roots, often killing them. This also renders the lower soil environment more favourable to root decay fungi which, in serious infections, can cause the entire tree to fall over. Adding as little as two inches of soil to the rooting area can be enough to kill a mature tree.
Don't over prune your trees
While some orchardists rely on heavy pruning to maintain a heavy fruit yield, this is not a suitable practice for most homeowners. Orchard trees are grown specifically for fruit production and not for aesthetic value. Such pruning practices severely reduce a tree's life expectancy, compromise structural form, and come at heavy maintenance cost due to excessive sprouting. Heavy fruit crops are a symptom of stress, and such trees are pruned so as to stress them.
Trees grown for ornamental value, as is the case in most yards should normally not have more than 25% of the leafy area removed in a year. Keeping within such limits, while making proper cuts, can keep a tree healthy and maintain an attractive form. This can be done while, at the same time, maintaining a decent yield of fruit, if so desired. Pruning is all about balance.
Don't fertilize unless you know your tree needs it
Any nutrient becomes toxic when there is too much of it in the soil. Because trees are much longer-lived than most other garden plants, they keep a delicate equilibrium between growth rates and other physiological functions and moisture and nutrient levels in their environment. Upsetting this balance by adding concentrated nutrients can have unintended and unwanted growth reactions in trees. If a tree shows symptoms of nutrient deficiency, it is best to have the soil tested before trying to amend the soil. If fertilizer is required, it is best to use an organic form, in which nutrients are released at a slower rate and are therefore less likely to cause fertilizer burn than a synthetic variety. The easiest way to gently amend your soil, is to allow a tree to take back its own nutrients, by allowing leaves to compost themselves on-site.
Don't over water your trees
While trees do need water to survive, too much water can kill them. Roots need access to air through soil pores, which can be cut off by oversaturated soil. Roots in oversaturated soil will eventually die. Wet conditions are also very favourable to many of the fungi responsible for tree decay, especially for root rot fungi, which can result in the entire tree falling over.
Don't get in over your head
If you are considering working on your trees and something seems unsafe, it probably is. There is a lot of weight involved and a lot of forces at play even in fairly small trees, and many homeowners are seriously injured or worse yearly when trying to do work they are improperly equipped for. If unsure, call an expert.
If you are considering working on your trees and aren't familiar with proper pruning techniques, trees' growth responses to pruning or damage, or the needs and limitations of the particular species of tree in question, it is wise to call an expert. Short-term savings on doing work one's self are often dwarfed by the long-tem cost of attempting to repair a tree from improper pruning.
Do know the species of your trees, and the personalities of those species
Each species of tree has its own specific needs and habits. Knowing these ahead of time can help you avoid actions that will harm your tree, or prevent you from planting the right tree in the wrong spot in the first place. Western redcedar (Thuja plicata) has a shallow, spreading root system that allows its roots to survive the wet environments it grows in naturally. This species would be inappropriate for a fast-draining hilltop, or a site where heavy traffic is expected over the rooting area. Most birches (Betula spp.) are likewise adapted to wetter growing sites, often naturally growing along creeks or in gullies. This is one reason we see a lot of otherwise beautiful birch trees in Vancouver planted in fast-draining lawns with dead tops. Pacific dogwood (Cornus nuttallii), the bearer of our provincial flower, is very sensitive to damp conditions and stagnant airflow, and will often quickly die in such conditions from dogwood anthracnose.
Knowing the average mature size and spread of a tree is of utmost importance in choosing its planting location. Every year, we are called to remove otherwise beautiful, healthy trees, that have been planted in the wrong spot and are damaging buildings.
Do plant trees in appropriate spots
This goes along with knowing your species... We are surrounded by temperate rainforest full of beautiful trees. Where there is room for them to grow, large native species such as Douglas-fir, western redcedar, western hemlock, grand fir, and bigleaf maple can be marvelous assets to a yard. The same goes with stately exotic trees such as black walnut, beech, or elm. However, property owners frequently don't take mature form into consideration when planting seedlings, or allowing naturally seeded trees to grow in place.
A bit of planning while a tree is small can reduce the need for expensive removals down the road, along with the loss of an otherwise beautiful tree. Trees that grow large also tend to grow surprisingly rapidly.
Do water your trees if they need it
Trees growing in our region have acclimatized to our rainy environment. Established trees should have no problem dealing with a week or two of drought when we do get dry breaks. However, prolonged droughts can unnecessarily stress your trees, reducing their vigour and thereby reducing their resistance to pathogens. Trees benefit most from infrequent (no more than twice a week) deep watering than from regular short bursts with a sprinkler. They do not like their trunks being sprayed directly by a sprinkler, rather a gentle soaking of the soil around the root area, ideally with a soaker hose. Watering is most effective in the evenings, as during the day much of the water is effectively lost to evaporation before roots can absorb it.
Do have limbs pruned back from your house
It is beneficial to prune tree limbs growing towards walls and roofs early on to establish a form that will require little maintenance in the future, and provide adequate clearance from buildings. Branches coming within 3 ft. of roofs or eves invite squirrels and rats onto rooftops, where they can gain access inside through roof vents, often nesting in attic space. This is a common problem in the Greater Vancouver area.
Dense branches over roofs and walls also limit airflow and promote a moist environment for moss and lichen to grow. Judicious pruning can promote increased airflow to keep walls and roofs clean, while maintaining the healthy form of trees.

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Home Owners Insurance and Trees - You Love Them Your Insurance Company Hates Them

Coverage for damage caused by trees and for the trees themselves is one of many confusing areas of a Homeowners insurance policy.
Your neighbors' tree falls and damages your garage, shed and fence.
Will insurance pay for the damage?
Whose insurance should pay?
What will they pay for?
A tree falls in your yard.
Will your insurance policy pay for it to be removed?
Will it pay for a new tree?
A tree limb breaks from wind or a lightning storm and is dangling over your house.
Will your insurance policy pay for it to be removed?
What if it's hanging over a neighbor's house?
A tree falls on your car. What policy will cover the damage to my car?
Is there coverage for the tree removal?
First, the basics; it does not matter whose tree it was. If there is damage to your property (from anyone's tree) your insurance policy is the one to respond. If there is damage from your tree to a neighbor's property, their insurance policy is involved. If there is damage to both properties (from anyone's tree) both policies will be involved and each will deal with its own property only.
The only time a Homeowners insurance policy should be involved with damage to someone else's property is if there is liability involved. That is if the tree was rotten or leaning and should have been removed or trimmed prior to the damage occurring. Even then the damaged properties insurance policy will generally pay for their customer's damage and then try to recover their money from the tree owners' insurance company.
Second, the important consideration for coverage is; what is physically damaged. If a tree, or portion of a tree, falls and does not damage any real property there is no coverage. Real property is any building, structure or contents item it does not include land, landscaping or plants of any kind. A fence, shed, patio, driveway, swing set or bicycle would count as real property.
If a tree falls into your yard and does not cause any damage to the home or any other real property then there is no coverage to remove the tree or for any cleanup. Sorry!
If there is damage to anything such as a fence then the policy should cover repairs or replacement of the damaged item(s) and also limited coverage for removal of the tree. To make this even more confusing; the tree removal coverage is divided in 2 phases.
Phase 1: Getting the tree removed off of the real property is covered with no sub-limit. That is if a tree is on a storage shed then the first stage of tree removal is to remove it off the shed so repairs can be made. The only limit for this part of the removal is the coverage limit on this section of your policy; in this case the Other Structures coverage.
If the repairs to the shed and the tree removal combined are greater than the coverage available then there is an additional coverage available for debris removal. This is 5% in most cases, so if you have $10,000 coverage on Other Structures you can have up to $10,500 for the repairs and tree removal cost.
Phase 2: The second stage of tree removal is removing the tree debris off the premises. This portion is limited to $500 or $1,000, this limit can vary by insurance company, policy type and state involved.

Third, the tree itself is covered in certain limited circumstances and for a limited amount only. The tree is not covered for wind or hail damage but is covered for damage from fire, lightning, explosion, vandalism and vehicle damage (as long as it was not a vehicle driven by members of your family). The limit is typically $500 per tree but can be more on some policies and in some states.
Fourth, If a damaged tree is leaning toward your home or dangling precipitously over your home what is covered? Assuming that portion of the tree has not damaged real property then there is NO coverage. Even if another tree or portion of the same tree has caused damage.
It is your responsibility to protect your property. The insurance policy only covers damage, NOT potential damage. The same is true if one of your trees is dangling over someone else's property, no coverage for potential damage.
If you ignore the situation and the tree later falls and causes damage to the neighbor's home their insurance will cover their damage. They will then want to recover their money from your insurance company, or you. This is called subrogation.
If the later damage occurs to your home your insurance company could try to deny coverage because you did not protect the property.
The Homeowners insurance policy covers sudden and accidental damage it is not a maintenance policy.
Finally, damage to any automobile will only be covered on the auto policy (then only if you have Comprehensive coverage). The tree removal will not be covered by your Homeowners policy unless other real property was damaged.

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

When Trees Turn Dangerous

What Can Happen?
While healthy trees are an excellent source of oxygen and shade, when malnourished they turn into threats. Broken branches and falling trees can destroy homes, vehicles, and lives.
Damaged trees or branches can also fall on power lines, causing tremendous danger. Electricity can travel through the tree to whatever is touching it. This situation presents a serious risk of electrocution or fire, so get help immediately.
Poor Maintenance
Trees, like all living things, require nutrients and water to survive. With a deficiency or excess of either or both, the sturdiness of the tree falters, and it becomes hazardous to all that is around it. A deficiency can cause the branches to break and the roots to become short and shallow. Too much can cause excess weight on the limbs and can cause the surrounding soil to become loose and provide little support in a wind storm.
Severe Weather
Extreme weather, either in the summer or winter, can cause a breakdown of sustenance throughout the tree. Ice and hail can add weight to limbs and damage to the trunk. Only when the ice begins to melt is there any moisture for the roots to absorb.
High temperatures can deplete the moisture both in the air and in the ground, causing the tree to dehydrate. Roots need water to grow deep and wide. When they are denied this necessity, the roots become shallow and short, providing very little grasp to the ground around the tree.
Hard, heavy, long rains can cause weaknesses in the root system as well. Either by reducing the amount of oxygen available to the roots or causing the soil around the tree to become loose, once again the tree has very little hold to the earth around it.
Heavy winds add stress to trees, so feeble ones are more vulnerable to destruction. With weak branches and no ground support, breaking and toppling are inevitable.
With a weakened system, trees become more susceptible to disease and insect problems. When a tree is diseased or riddled with insects, the strength integrity becomes compromised. Falling branches and feeble trunks become devastating and the ground and other plants around the tree can become contaminated as well.
A professional tree care specialist should be consulted regularly to examine trees and their support systems. With proper care and attention, tree dangers can be reduced, and property and lives can be saved.

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Friday, November 1, 2013

Tree Lopping And Removal Are Not Synonyms

In the tree removal industry there is a great misconception that tree lopping and tree removal are synonyms of each other. This is simply untrue. Their difference in meaning might surprise you.

Tree lopping, lopping, or hat-racking are terms that describe the process of removing the entire top half of a tree, or the removal of the main stem of the tree. Lopping was a common practice in the tree industry prior to 1983 due to a lack of standards, training, and certification. The now dated process involves cross-cutting the main stem(s) or leaders and leaving behind the rest of the tree. The problem with lopping is that it will leave large malformed stubs where the cross-cutting occurred and leaves the tree vulnerable to a whole spectrum of problems. They then become susceptible to pest penetration, pathogen intrusion, internal decay, and persistent but weakly jointed re-growth.
On the other hand, tree removal is the process of removing an entire tree.

Tree felling is the only correct synonym for tree removal. The process of removal varies based on the size of the tree, the amount of space required the 'drop' the tree, if there are nearby power lines, and of course the arborist's preference. The easiest way to remove a tree is to cut it at the base, and then cut it into pieces after is has fallen to the ground, and then dispose of it. However, in residential and commercial areas a piece by piece approach if often adopted to reduce risks of damage to nearby buildings and infrastructure.

These two terms clearly describe completely different work, so why do people tend to use them interchangeably? The obvious reasons are from a lack of understanding on this topic and that the term tree lopping has been ingrained into people's vocabularies through tradition. But it could also come from people being unable to find the right words to describe the arbor work they are after. The right terms to describe removing part of a tree selectively would be tree pruning, tree trimming, or tree surgery. The term for the person who carries out the work (assuming they are qualified) is an arborist, but they are often known colloquially as a "tree doctor" or "tree surgeon".

So next time you are thinking of having a tree removed or pruned, you should make sure you don't accidentally ask for it to be lopped. You might end up with a disfigured tree that dies due to disease, pests or decay.

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