Monday, November 20, 2017
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    Texas Autumn - Time to Prepare for Winter

     

    Don’t Be Fooled by Pleasant Fall Weather. Winter is Coming

    Fall is a favorite time of the year for a good number of us here in Texas. Cooler weather, changing colors, football season, and the holidays just around the corner are just a few of the things that come to mind as reasons why that might be. But before you get to excited about Pumpkin Spice lattes and leaf piles, consider the reason your trees are dropping all their leaves. Nasty weather is headed our way!

    As the days get shorter, trees sense the fading light and cooler temperatures. This triggers a natural process in most deciduous trees. Production of auxin, a plant hormone, is halted. Leaves stop creating chlorophyll, which besides being the photosensitive molecule all plants use to turn light in to energy it can use, it is also what makes most leaves green. As the chlorophyll breaks down without being replaced, the color of the leaf changes revealing its true stripes. Eventually the leaf dies and falls to the ground.

    But this is natures wisdom at its finest! Deciduous trees are simply avoiding the struggle of surviving the dark and cold winter months by retreating into a dormant state. While dormant, it is better protected against freezing temperatures, high winds, and heavy ice. That said, there are always casualties in nature.

    Trees still need water throughout the Fall and Winter months. A Winter drought can damage or kill your trees while they sleep.

    Often trees still carry literally too much dead weight. Dropping all the leaves is sometimes not enough canopy reduction to escape destructive ice accumulation during a winter storm.

    It is common to see healthy trees threatened by unhealthy or weakened neighboring trees. If a nearby tree succumbs to ice or wind, it’s up to chance whether it takes out other trees with its sudden collapse.

    Poor drainage can also pose a risk to many tree species. A winter with heavy rains can threaten trees that find themselves in low laying areas or in walled off yards where standing water is a problem. Trees stuck in completely saturated soils during the winter months have an increased vulnerability to frost crack, a circumstance where significant temperature fluctuation can freeze the water within the inner layers of the tree and seriously damage or destroy it.

    Prepare For Spring Too!

    Spring may seem too far off to concern yourself with, but trees will be preparing themselves all winter for the first sign warm weather! See how the latest research can help you help your trees.

    Looking Up

    One of the great things about all those leaves falling out of your trees is now you can fully inspect the upper canopy. As you rake up those leaves this fall, take a break and look up.

    As you do you might see dead branches that were not visible all summer. That’s okay, summer leaves can hide problems from even expert eyes. Now that you spot them, note the location and size of these castoffs. If you see any large limbs that appear to have died, it might be a good time to have it removed, and if possible, discover why it did die back.

    If you see a good bit of smaller twigs and dead sticks crowding the canopy, it may be helpful to have much of it removed to lighten the arms of your tree. During an ice storm, every twig and branch gets weighed down with ice. The dead ones do as well, adding not only their own unnecessary weight but the heaviness of all the extra ice now clinging to them.

    Check For Cracks

    Summer storms can damage trees as well. Sometimes splitting and separation of major leads can remain unnoticed while the tree is enveloped by its own canopy. A thorough inspection is far easier after the leaves have fallen. If you discover a separation crack soon enough, it may only need cabling to restore its vitality and ultimately the tree may fully recover!

    Mulching Retains Moisture

    It’s not news to anyone, but it really can make the difference during a dry spell. Trees can benefit from 2”-3” of mulch covering the ground all the way out to the canopy dripline.

    TREES IN A FOREST HAVE A CARPET OF LEAVES AS THEIR “MULCH”!

    Decision Time

    Dead trees make for great Halloween decorations, but they might be a little too scary for your yard.

    You know the tree I’m talking about. The tree that has been struggling for years and finally looks done. Perhaps it has been done for years and you’ve just been ignoring it hoping it doesn’t become a problem. Give it enough time and it will though, the right gust of wind and it will come  crashing down for sure. Hopefully it won’t damage other trees or your belongings when it does, but you shouldn’t wait and leave it to chance. Time to safely take it down.

    The sooner you do, the sooner you can replace it.

    Late Fall is the IDEAL time to plant trees. With young trees dormant, transplanting is much less taxing on your new tree. Roots have the highest reserves of stored nutrients ready for spring growth, and without a canopy flushed with foliage, water consumption is reduced, lowering the stress on the root system.

      Tree Cabling Austin

      While the city of Austin was lucky to avoid the worst of the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, the effects were still felt. One of the most notable examples of this is tree damage. With powerful winds and rains, many of the wonderful trees throughout Austin fell victim to Hurricane Harvey.

      From countless broken branches scattered across the ground to entire trees being uprooted, many healthy trees suffered huge amounts of damage throughout Austin.

      Thankfully, many trees did survive the storms, many of which benefited from tree cabling and bracing. This process ensures that trees are much more likely to survive adverse weather conditions such as those caused by Harvey, highlighting just how beneficial tree cabling and bracing is.

      Let’s take a closer look at this process, and how it may be worth investing in to ensure your tree survives any future storms.

      Call Today! (512) 743-3909

      How Tree Bracing and Cabling works

      Tree bracing and cabling is a process used by arborists to add structural support to a tree. It involves adding strong braces and/or cables to a tree to help prevent possible damage or failure, typically in the event of adverse weather.

      For instance, cabling and bracing involves adding flexible steel cables between branches or trunks of a tree, connecting them between bracing rods or bolts attached to the tree. Dead branches are also removed during the process, further minimizing the risk as they are the most likely to break off during a storm.

      This helps to reduce the movement of any healthy branches and trunks, while also offering additional support to any weak spots, limiting how much stress they face in times of high winds and heavy rains.

      Bracing and cabling is typically used to support and brace multiple tree limbs or trunks, whether it’s a cluster of branches in the canopy or a split trunk at the base of the tree.

      The Benefits of Tree Bracing and Cabling

      By providing added structural support to various parts of a tree, bracing and cabling makes the tree much less susceptible to damage from the elements. For instance, branches cannot move as freely as they once did, reducing the stresses and fractures caused by high winds, meaning they’re less likely to snap off.

      This provides obvious safety benefits in times of storms, while also greatly reducing the risks of property damage and possible death to the tree from excessive damage. Many of the trees in Austin that were braced or cabled survived the storms caused by Hurricane Harvey.

      Certain species of trees are more susceptible to damage from high winds, such as those with open canopies and trees prone to multiple trunks. There are many species like this native to Austin, such as the Shumard Red Oak, Texas Red Oak, and Arizona Ash.

      Will Tree Cabling and Bracing Help My Tree Survive Storms?

      Simply put, yes!

      However, always ensure the service is provided by a certified arborist. This will guarantee that the process is done using the best (and safest) standards, and your tree should be able to pass a tree inspection upon completion.

      As tree inspections are about determining any structural weaknesses that could be a risk, it’s a great way to find out how safe your tree now is after the bracing and cabling process

        Deep Root Fertilization for your Trees and or Shrubs

        We here at Good Guys Tree Service thrive on honesty and quality customer service. The health of your trees and shrubs are a highly valuable element to your home landscape. Proper trimming and pruning boosts new bud formation and promotes durable upward growth patterns.

        What many homeowners don’t realize is how beneficial fertilizing is to add vibrancy and curb appeal. By setting an appointment with our certified Arborist, we can help with assessing the specific needs of your plant life.

        Call Today! (512) 743-3909

        Why Fertilize Your Trees & Shrubs?

        Natural debris like leaf litter, grass clippings, and branches would normally create organic matter that Mother Nature uses to give nutrients to the soil. Since it is common practice to remove the debris from our yards, the need for fertilizer grows.

        Some other factors that call for use include: Pre and Post construction or new pool construction which can take away or alter the root system of established trees. Soil compaction, like continually driving over an area, denies the ability for much needed gas exchange. Intense summer heat and drought can further stress your trees over the years. With multiple stressors compounding on your trees and shrubs, they can become vulnerable to other diseases.

        Using a slow-release fertilizer high in nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium is the proper deep root fertilization treatment that will feed your trees for a complete year. It also can help Mycorrhizae flourish underground. Mycorrhizae is a good fungus that has a symbiotic relationship with plant roots (like how probiotics improve our gut health). Multiple benefits of mycorrhiza health can include:

        • Overall plant health & vigor
        • Increased resistance of pathogens
        • Strength after transplantation
        • Efficiency in absorbing water and nutrients from the soil, especially in smaller root vessels
        • Improving tolerance to drought conditions

        Application will be by our technician, directly injecting into the soil under your tree’s canopy with a grid pattern every 2-3 feet. Depending on your soil composition, it will be administered at a depth of 4-6 inches below ground level.

        Deep Root Fertilization Austin TX

        Certified & Licensed

        Oak Wilt certified and licensed by the Texas Department of Agriculture, our certified Arborist will ensure we safely maximize your property’s potential, without overselling you anything it doesn’t need.

        Fertilizing before or during summer months can prepare your trees and shrubs to overcome the trauma that the Texas heat brings.

        Please call today and set an appointment with our certified arborist for your tree and shrub health evaluation.

          Christmas Tree Services

          Have Them Pruned Up First

          If you plan to wrap your trees with Christmas lights this year, be sure to have them pruned prior to wrapping them with lights. It will save time wrapping the lights and your trees will look much cleaner when lit up at night.

          With the Holidays comes the task of putting up Christmas lights and preparing for holiday parties and guests.

          Make sure your trees look their best to showcase your yard and home.

          Prepping Your Trees Ahead of Time

          As a general rule, most Central Texas Oaks, as well as other trees, are wrapped the full length of the main trunk and approximately 3-4′ high in the extending branches. Branches should be selected to allow for an even, balanced distribution of light. Wrapping trees is much easier when they are given a class 1 prune to remove unnecessary sucker branches and water sprouts, thereby allowing the wrapping of lights to be easier and more efficient.

          Good Guys Tree Service specializes in Central Texas trees and are experts with pruning Live oaks in particular. Give us a call to schedule a free no obligation estimate.

          Christmas Lights Austin

          Guide for selecting Christmas lights to wrap your trees

          Here are some basic measurements you need to take into consideration.

          Measure the circumference of the tree trunk, as well as the circumference and count of any branches you wish to wrap with lights. Determine how much spacing you want both between each light bulb on the string, as well as how far apart you plan to wrap the light strings.

          A 6″ bulb spacing is popular for wrapping trunks and branches, with an average spacing of 2-3″ between strings. Divide height by desired string spacing, multiply total by circumference to calculate total string length needed.

          Example:

          • 4’H trunk / 3″ spacing = 16 x 2′ circumference = 32′ of lighting
          • 3’L branch / 3″ spacing = 12 x 6″ circumference = 6′ of lighting per branch
          • Total lighted feet will be approximately 56′ for the trunk and four branches

          Below is a chart to help with choosing the proper number of lights to wrap outdoor trees. 

          christmas_trees3

            Winter Tree Trimming

            Don’t let this happen to you this year… be prepared instead.

            Being proactive ahead of damaging winter storms by removing weak tree limbs can help prevent potentially dangerous and damaging results.

            Ice Storms Can Have Devastating Effects on Trees

            Winter in Central Texas can be hard on your trees. Especially when ice storms weigh down and stress out already weak tree limbs.

            Let Good Guys come out and assess, lighten, or remove potentially weak limbs prior to having them end up on your roof or your car.

              Austin Tree Mulching

              Spring is in the air. The sun is beaming down on us, the days are longer and the nights shorter, we get to enjoy much brighter and warmer weather, and we can finally get to work on our gardens and landscapes.

              With winter now in the rear view mirror, it is time to get back outdoors and make sure our gardens are well prepared for spring and the upcoming summer. Anyone with trees and shrubs in the outdoor areas of their home will want to take the time to ensure that they are taking all the right measures to ensure they are looking good and healthy!

              Here’s an easy check list to work through this spring to ensure your trees and shrubs are well prepared!

              Begin With an Inspection

              This is one of the easiest tasks to complete and is the perfect way to start of your check list. It gives an idea of what type of maintenance and care might be required for your trees, as you get the opportunity to look and inspect their condition before taking any further action.

              Depending on where you live, the winter weather can provide a lot of risks towards the health of your trees and shrubs. Frost, snow, excessive rain, and strong winds can wreak havoc, so you will want to look out for signs of damage from the winter, as well as any signs of aging or pests that may developed over the past few months.

              Not sure what to look out for or whether or not there may be a problem? Why not get a local arborist in for a professional inspection?

              Perform any Necessary Pruning

              If you have notice any sort of damaged branches or such, be sure to take action in the shape of pruning. Healthy and living branches shouldn’t be pruned during spring as this is best served in the winter due the tree being dormant, however any areas that have sustained damaged or have aged can be cut away.

              It can be quite easy to determine the living sections of any tree or shrub during spring, as there will be little to no signs of leaves developing. Removing old growth will help to stimulate new growth to help ensure your trees and shrubs remain in quality shape throughout the year.

              Get Your Mulch On

              Good quality mulch is very beneficial for the overall care and health of your trees by mimicking the type of nutrients gained out in the wild from foliage and other organic substances. Mulch may need to be reapplied in spring for many trees, and those that don’t have any should always look to add it for the various benefits gained.

              Helping to suppress weeds, retain moisture, regulate the soil temperature and ensure that your trees receive adequate water and nutrition from the soil, there are plenty of good reasons to get your mulch on this spring.

              There are various places to source organic mulch, and the amount required varies depending on the size of the mulch ring – but the more space for mulch the better!

              Finish with Fertilizer

              The final item to check of your list is fertilizing!

              Winter has been rough on your trees, shrubs and most other plants outside!  You will want to give them a nice additional boost of nutrition as we head into the prime growing season for your trees and shrubs.

              Slow-realizing fertilizers are great for providing your trees with ample nutrition to help them flourish during growing season, and they can also help to combat various damage risks that could occur as a result of disease, bugs and pests, and any adverse weather conditions.

                Tree Pruning Austin

                The presence of trees in your outdoor living space can add an unrivaled sense of natural beauty. To ensure that trees remain both safe and attractive, it is important that you take a lot of care to maintain them throughout each season. This helps to keep the trees under control as they grow, as well as guaranteeing that the will continue to look their best.

                With winter almost at its end, early spring is almost upon us, and with that comes the opportunity to get outside and see to your trees. Planning ahead in your preparations allows for the trees to look their best and remain safe and secure come springtime, allowing you to enjoy them in all their beauty once the good weather finally arrives.

                While you can do a lot of the planning ahead, it is also worth remembering that you may require some professional help in certain situations, so hiring tree services from an experienced company is always worth it for the long-term maintenance of any trees.

                Light Pruning

                A spot of light pruning is certainly a task you can perform without the need of tree services. Inspect each tree thoroughly, looking for old dying foliage that you can cut back, providing you have the correct tools for the job.

                Spring trees will require pruning during early spring as opposed to winter, as it can lead to damaging the tree. Fruit trees can be pruned in late winter or early spring, and you should aim to prune them before any of the buds can break into a bloom.

                Be mindful of your own capabilities when it comes to light pruning. It may seem easy enough, but without the correct tools it can still present certain risks. Tree services can provide pruning and thinning for thicker foliage on larger trees if needed.

                Inspect for Winter Damage

                The entire tree should also be thoroughly inspected to ensure it is safe. Damage caused by winter weather such as snow and ice can increase already damaged areas of a tree, as well as potential causing new damage too.

                Cracks and holes in the bark of the tree are notable signs of damage to the tree, as is dead foliage. Also be on the lookout for any diseases, as this can be a death sentence for a tree, and may require tree-removal from a tree service company.

                Extensive damage that could be a hazard to your home our outdoor living space may also require professional help. Tree services can provide comprehensive pruning, trimming and reduction of damaged trees.

                  Austin Tree Service

                  Now that we’re well into 2016, here’s a question for you: Have you made any New Year’s resolutions? Most people do – and generally speaking, those resolutions tend to be about staying healthier and making better lifestyle choices. So if you’re looking to make some positive changes this year, consider your trees! Believe it or not, the very same resolutions you make for yourself can have some great benefits for your trees. Check it out:

                  How about losing a few extra pounds?

                  Take a good look at your trees; they might need a little slimming down. Weak or dead limbs aren’t just a drain on your tree’s energy, they can be a real danger as well. Get rid of those extra pounds by having your trees and shrubbery properly pruned.

                  A well-pruned tree is more resistant to insect infestation and diseases. Pruned by an expert, your trees will enjoy greater air circulation, better light penetration and an all-around healthier structure. And trimming away the dead weight keeps your family and your property safe from fallen branches.

                  Consider a healthier diet

                  In the natural setting of a forest, fallen leaves provide nutrients and create a vibrant system of microorganisms that support growth. But in our urban setting, we remove fallen leaves to show off our beautiful lawns – to the detriment of the entire ecosystem.

                  This year, resolve to replace those lost nutrients with a good fertilizer. Your tree professional may recommend adding some microbes to the mix, which will maximize the nutrients already present in the soil and build a stronger root system for both trees and grasses.

                  Stay grounded when things get rough

                  Who knows what kind of craziness this year has in store for us? It’s important to stay grounded and not let a few bumps in the road throw us off track – and it’s the same for your trees. From hurricane winds to severe drought to sudden flooding, your trees need a good solid root structure to keep them well grounded in all kinds of weather.

                  To promote deep root growth that keeps your trees firmly set in the ground, add a nice layer of mulch around each tree’s base. Mulching holds in the moisture during droughts, insulates from sudden floods and encourages the kind of root growth that sustains your tree when the winds start to blow.

                  Make better use of preventative health care

                  They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That’s true for you, and for your trees. To avoid serious problems in the future, be sure to schedule an annual inspection by your local tree professional. It’s a simple, low-cost way to evaluate the health and structural integrity of your trees while keeping your property safe and attractive.

                  Support your family, your home and the environment

                  Healthy, vibrant trees are far more than just pretty. Your trees create a comfy spot for kids and pets to enjoy. They boost your home’s curb appeal and add substantially to its value. Large shade trees cool your home and cut down on energy costs. They keep soil from eroding, protect your property from excess water runoff, and clean the air.

                  If your New Year’s resolutions include doing something positive for the environment, consider planting more trees. You can add to the beauty and health of your own back yard or contribute to a larger restoration project in the area. Either way, you’re providing a meaningful and lasting benefit to the planet.

                  A healthy weight, a healthy diet, a firm foundation, a proactive health care plan and a better environment – these are the kinds of New Year’s resolutions we can all get behind. And they’re resolutions your trees will love!

                  If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, give us a call. We’re ready to help make those optimistic plans a reality, and guide your trees into a safe, healthy and productive New Year.

                    Winter Tree Maintenance

                    Our weather patterns are cyclical and therefore somewhat foreseeable. Weather stations and almanacs rely on these foreseeable aspects and build models based on past events….this is where our forecast comes from, the knowledge gained from past experiences from this area.

                    We’ve been blessed to have milder winters than we all know we could have, but that just closes the gap on some of the more aggressive weather patterns we know are possible to happen here. Of course I’m talking about ICE. A hard freeze can do more damage than just killing off our beautiful shrubs and ground cover. Depending on the species, many trees already carry large amounts of weight with just its natural foliage, and a few hundred pounds, and the results can be devastating!

                    As a part of a regular maintenance program, we can limit the adverse factors associated with tree/limb failure; manage any risk BEFORE it occurs. We do this by de-weighting overstressed limbs and removing larger deadwood that is susceptible to failure in high traffic areas and throughout the tree. In higher risk situations we would employ cabling and/or rods strategically set within fissures and throughout the canopy to reduce any excess pressure related to the high risk quadrant of the tree. This process is matched only by the time taken to fully explain the procedure to the client with advice given to further reduce any further risk. Hardware is also checked on over the course of the year to insure continued stability.

                      Most homeowners think spring when thinking about planting trees and other woody shrubs and plants. Trees planted now get a head start on establishing roots before our brutal summers return.   Tree roots (as well as other larger plants) grow above 40 degrees.

                      In mild winters, roots gain strength they need to deal with our particularly rough summers. And,because their roots have been growing all fall and winter, trees planted now burst with growth when spring arrives.                        Many homeowners worry that a hard freeze or extended subfreezing weather will kill or damage trees planted in fall. It is a good idea to protect above ground portions of recently planted trees and shrubs. Because our ground rarely freezes, the roots should be just fine.

                      Planting Guide

                      You can plant trees that are sold in pots or balled-and-burrlapped specimens in fall. However experts tell us that we should wait until winter to plant bare root specimens,including fruit and pecan trees. They should be dormant for best results.

                      Proper Planting Techniques

                      When choosing a site. Make sure you have picked the right tree for the right place. Placing a naturally growing under story tree in an area where it will gain full sun will only cause stress and eventual death for that tree.

                      1. When digging the hole, use the 10:1 ratio. Meaning the hole should be 10 inches for every caliper inch of truck diameter.
                      2. Place tree on solid soil. Do not disturb the soil below if possible. There is no need to add compost or any other amendment at this phase.
                      3. Back fill only with soil that has been removed from hole.
                      4. Tamp down soil around root ball.
                      5. Water thoroughly to eliminate any air pockets, allowing roots to settle.
                      6. Use soil to build a 4”-6” berm around the edge of the hole. Add a 4”-6” layer of mulch inside ring, being careful not to cover root flare. A visible root flare is paramount when planting a new tree. Never should we see a straight truck coming from the ground.

                      Post Planting Tips

                      Deep water 2-4 times weekly and remove any guy lines if used. Remember…most trees need to move in the wind early in life to establish reactionary wood for future strength and stability. Guy lines should only be used on larger installments to help stable root-balls and establish security. Staking a tree is absolutely last resort.

                      Many companies use this practice but fail to educate the client on its uses and dangers. If the lines are not removed promptly they can damage they can damage the bark and make entrance for many harmful insects as well as weaken the tree natural ability to thrive on its own.

                      Finally, never fertilize the tree at the planting phase. Tree roots are highly vulnerable to the burns that most fertilizers cause. Spring is always best for fertilization.

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