How to Choose the Right Tree Removal Service for Your Landscape

Even the most skilled landscaping “do-it-yourselfers” know when to call in the professionals. Consider this scenario: The morning after a particularly rough storm you are sitting in your kitchen with a hot cup of coffee. Your gaze floats to your perfectly manicured flower garden, and as soon as your eyes hit the buds, you scream. A massive tree branch has fallen right on top of your beautiful roses.

Infuriating, yes, but it does happen. Anything from storms to simple overgrowth can turn this hypothetical scenario into a grim reality. To prevent such an occurrence, inspect your trees routinely for ominous-looking branches. If you find any, calling a tree removal service is the safest way to remove the offending limbs.

Unfortunately, many people have trouble knowing what to look for when hiring a tree removal company. If you follow a few simple tips, however, you will find technicians you can trust to get the problem under control.

Do Your Homework before You Hire

It’s important to shop around before settling on a tree removal service. Ask people you trust for recommendations. In the case of a bad storm, chat with neighbors who also had tree limb damage to find out which company they are using to clean up the mess.

If you need a different route, the Internet is your one-stop resource. We live in an age of endless information, which means that service providers have much greater accountability due to public customer reviews. Create a short list of tree removal companies in your area and search for each one by name. Look for any public Better Business Bureau reports or negative reviews on websites. When you find a couple of trustworthy companies, dig a little deeper into the research.

Cover Your Bases by Checking Credentials

Never hire a tree service that demands you pay in advance. Choose a service with references you can independently verify, and opt for a company that offers free estimates before they begin their work. If the estimate sounds ridiculously high, get a second estimate from a competing company to verify that the quoted amount is legitimate.

A written contract, licensure, and proper insurance coverage are “must-haves” for the tree removal service you choose to hire. Check for licensure and request to sign a written contract with a clear description of the job to be performed along with the quote for the work. In addition, tree removal work is very risky, so ensure the company carries good liability insurance to protect yourself, the workers, and your property.

Finally, ask the tree removal service about the method used to ascend the tree. Stay away from companies that employ climbing spikes. These can dig into the cambium of your tree and damage it severely – sometimes beyond repair. The company you choose should ascend trees using an aerial lift or ropes to protect the trees from damage.

Selecting the right company for your tree limb removal job will ensure you have a good experience and that your tree is removed quickly, efficiently, and most importantly – safely.

A Primer on Fall Tree Maintenance

Your trees successfully take care of themselves all summer long, but once the autumn air begins cooling down and winter threatens a soon-coming frost, it’s time to give them some proper attention—attention that goes much further than simply raking the leaves.

Fall tree maintenance should be an important part of your fall landscaping regimen. Read on to find out how to care for your trees when the weather starts to cool down.

Pre-Winter Maintenance for Your Trees

Rake up leaves, fallen fruit, twigs, and other debris from around the base of your trees. Leaving this organic matter to decay around the base of the tree can draw insects and possibly promote fungal or bacterial growths on the bark.

Prune your trees during the fall. Remove all dead, damaged, and diseased branches with pruning shears or a saw, depending on the size of the branches. This will also help keep pests and disease from overrunning or infecting the tree. Since dead or dying branches can be hazardous if they fall, you should do this for safety reasons.

You can also prune a tree in the fall to help shape it. Be careful how much you cut away, as this can affect flowering the following spring.

Watering and Fertilization

Wait to fertilize your trees until just before or directly after the first frost. Fertilizing trees too early in the fall can cause a burst of growth. The freezing temperatures can then damage the fledging growth and kill it before it matures.

Stop watering your trees in the fall until the majority of their leaves have fallen off. As with fertilizing, this can cause new growth to form on the tree, which cold winter weather can severely damage. You can resume watering your trees once the leaves have all dropped until the ground freezes. Since evergreen trees never lose their leaves or needles, take your cue from the surrounding deciduous trees regarding when to stop and resume watering.

Keep your trees toasty warm and protected from the elements by wrapping the trunks with burlap or special tree wrapping. By doing so, you can help protect the tree from extreme temperatures and winter sun scorch. This holds especially true for younger trees, which are still very delicate.

Only wrap the trunk of the tree from the ground to the lowest branch. If you live in a cold climate and you have trees with shallow root systems, cover the ground around the tree with roughly six inches of mulch to help protect the roots. Make sure that the mulch is at least six inches away from the base of the tree. Otherwise, the mulch could retain too much moisture and promote rot and pest infestation.

Plant a tree! That’s right – fall is an excellent time to plant most trees. Strive to plant trees roughly six weeks before the first hard frost. Getting your new tree in the ground at this time will help ensure that its roots establish themselves before the next growing season. Caring for your trees during the fall is an important way to keep them thriving, so ensure you take the proper steps each season to keep yours standing tall.

Do-It-Yourself Tips for a Beautiful Landscape

DIY landscapes are the pride and joy of hardworking homeowners. Because so much care goes into the landscape design, homeowners are intent on creating the perfect yard that delights their senses and impresses anyone who graces its presence.

Some DIY landscape designers are complete novices while others have a “green thumb” and are ready to go with bells on. Regardless of the experience, homeowners who use their own blood, sweat, and tears are dedicated to beautifying their landscapes and applying the effort required to fulfill their dream of a landscape design.

Here are some DIY tips to help you turn your landscaping dreams into a reality:

Seasonal Interest

Novice landscape designers easily forget about catering to the four seasons with their foliage. If you want to create a year-round masterpiece, use plants that will last in the cold months of the fall. The spring and summer will do well with flowering plants, while structural elements are perfect for the winter.

Don’t forget about Annuals

Perennial flowers are often the material of choice because they come in so many beautiful shapes, styles and sizes. Unfortunately, perennials only bloom for specified periods of times. If you don’t fill your garden with annuals that bloom all year round you will have empty spaces in your garden. Consider annuals to fill in the spaces when your perennials are not blooming.

More than Flowers

DIY landscapers are so enthusiastic about flowers and plants, they forget about the additional elements that pull a landscape together. Hardscape features provide the majority of the beauty of the winter landscape and offer a stunning backdrop for your spring and summer blooms. Consider fences, patios and decks along with arbors and other hardscape features that can connect your indoor environment with your outdoor space and frame your yard beautifully.

Maintenance

DIY landscapers are concerned with the maintenance of their yard. They do not want to hire a professional but sometimes the maintenance is more than they bargained for. Before you break out the hefty equipment, research low-maintenance flowers, plants and features that will still beautify your yard, but not require countless hours to maintain.

Water Features

Along with hardscapes, water features add intrigue and interest to every landscape. Water features serve as focal points and offer a “zen-like” aura, creating a relaxing vibe and overall calm feeling. Water features are not difficult to install. If you are a novice, start with a small fountain and work up to a waterfall when you feel confident. Consult a professional if you need the assistance.

Flower Planning

Prepare for the scorching summer sun by using drought-tolerant plants. The worse experience for a DIY landscaper is to plant beautiful flowers in the spring only to see them sun-scorched in the summer.

Also, take notice of the space where you plant the flowers. Each area will have its own soil and light requirements. Pay close attention to the external elements of your yard and which areas receive the most light. Choose your flowers accordingly.

Ready to take on your beautifying yard project? The completed landscape is a DIY landscaper’s dream come true. All the hard work and effort will be worth it every time you step outside into your backyard oasis.