If you’ve ever had a tree felled on your property, you may be left with a stump and a decision to make. Should you put in the effort or spend the money to have the stump removed? Couldn’t you just leave it where it is? If you ask us, we’ll nearly always say remove it—and with good reason! Here are a few of the many benefits of removing that stump:
Restore Curb Appeal You probably don’t need us to tell you that a tree stump can be a major eyesore. It’s missing the spreading branches and bright foliage that once made it beautiful, so all you’re left with is a bare, brown patch on your lawn. Removing the stump will return your property to a clean and well-maintained state.
Prevent Injury or Damage A tree stump in your yard can become a safety hazard when you or one of your loved ones trip over it. A stump can also pose a risk to your lawn equipment, as running over it with a lawn mower is sure to cause extensive damage to the blades. The safe and economical choice is to remove the stump before it can cause any damage or injury.
Protect Your Other Plants A forgotten stump on your lawn is sure to attract fungi, rot, and pests, including carpenter ants and other insects, all of which can spread to other areas of your property. If you want to protect your landscaping and house from these kinds of pests, then stump removal is the way to go.
Avoid More Difficult Removal You might think you can just leave the stump where it is and get around to removing it later, but the stump has other ideas. While it waits to be removed, its roots may continue to grow and dig deeper into the earth, and you may even see new growth in the form of shoots sprouting up around the base of the stump. These don’t just make an ugly tree stump even more of a blemish on your property; they also begin their own root systems that will make later stump removal much more difficult.
Southeastern Tree Removal doesn't only remove trees from your property. We can help you with your tree stump removal also. Call us today!
We've touched on the topic of mulching before and with spring wanting to show itself early, we thought we should share some DIY tips for mulching around those newly planted trees and even the established ones!
Mulching is popular among arborists because it provides many benefits to your yard and trees. Beyond lending a polished look to your landscaping, proper mulching can also contribute to healthy tree growth. Once applied, it offers extra protection from extreme temperatures and helps to retain moisture, so you don’t have to water as often. Then, as it breaks down, the mulch releases nutrients into the soil that help to feed the tree. Mulching also creates a sort of safe zone around your tree, preventing other plants and weeds from growing too close and competing for nourishment, as well as preventing damage from lawn maintenance tools like lawn mowers and weed whackers.
Even with these incredible benefits, if mulching isn’t done right, it can do more harm than good. Most people go wrong by “volcano mulching,” meaning that they pile their mulch high around the base of the tree, letting it come right up against the trunk and cover the root flare. This literally suffocates the tree, which gets much of its oxygen through its roots. The lack of oxygen can eventually damage the tree beyond repair.
So what is the proper method for applying mulch? There are a few steps:
Clear the area – Before applying mulch, clear away anything growing immediately around the tree trunk. This space can have a radius of several feet, depending on the size of the tree and its root system. A good rule of thumb is to spread the mulch out as far as the tree’s branches reach.
Select a type of mulch – There’s a variety of materials used for mulching, and each offers a different set of advantages and drawbacks. You can talk to a certified arborist for help deciding what kind of mulch is right for you and your tree. Remember that you don’t want mulch to be too fine (it can get compacted and keep water and oxygen out) or too coarse (it can let too much air and water through, failing to insulate or hold moisture for the tree).
Apply mulch – Don’t build a mulch volcano around your tree! Instead, apply an even layer about 2-4 inches deep, leaving space around the trunk so that the root flare is exposed to the open air. Replenish the mulch each year as it breaks down into the soil, always being careful not to let it get too deep or too close to the trunk.
Call your tree service experts today at Southeastern Tree Removal for any questions about the needs of your trees.
Why Hire an Arborist? Ever wondered why you should bother hiring a certified arborist instead of the guy with a chainsaw who knocks on your door and offers to trim your tree? Then did you wonder, what is an arborist, anyway? We have the answers!
What Is an Arborist? A certified arborist is more than just your average tree trimmer. They have years of training and experience in tree care, from proper planting and maintenance to removal of trees. In order to become certified, arborists must work in tree care for at least three years before passing a comprehensive exam, and to stay certified, they are required to continue their education in new tree care practices.
What Can an Arborist Offer You?
Passion – With all that is required to maintain their certification, you can be sure that your arborist truly cares about proper tree care. They have dedicated years to learning how to nurture a tree through all stages of its growth and development.
Knowledge and Experience – A certified arborist knows more than just how to trim a tree. There are many factors that contribute to a tree’s health; the depth at which it is planted, the type of soil it’s planted in, its location on your property, the way it is pruned . . . the list goes on and on. An arborist has studied many different species of trees and shrubs and knows what each one needs to be healthy and strong.
Value – As is true with so many things in life, you get what you pay for with tree care. Although it may seem cheaper up front to let that door-knocker trim your tree, it could cost you in the long run if your tree is not cared for properly. On the other hand, correct tree care can help to prevent expensive problems—like rot and disease in your tree or damage to property caused by falling limbs—which will save you money over time. Your tree, and your investment in it, are better off in the hands of a certified arborist.
You may look at trees in nature and wonder, “Why do the trees on my property need regular care? Can’t I just let them grow as if they were in the forest?” The answer is that trees in the forest often fall or lose branches due to their unchecked growth. Plant a tree next to a home or business, and it becomes much more important to make sure its roots, trunk, and branches are healthy and strong.
In our last blog post we told you the importance of planting trees, but there is more you need to know. Here are a few routine tree care practices that will help your tree grow properly:
Water Your tree needs plenty of water—but not too much. Get online and do some research to find out just how much and how often your species of tree needs to be watered. With just the right amount of hydration, your tree will be able to focus on healthy growth.
Mulch A layer of mulch around your tree can help to insulate it against extreme temperatures, hold water in to help it stay hydrated longer, and keep grass and weeds from getting too close and competing for nutrients. With so many benefits, it’s a good idea not to skip this easy tree care step.
Prune Pruning is the strategic removal of limbs from a tree or shrub. It can make your tree look better, but even more importantly, it can help your tree to grow sturdier, healthier branches. For example, when two limbs branch off from each other in a sort of “V” shape, they create a weak point on the tree that is prone to breaking. Pruning away one of those branches allows the other to receive more nutrients and strengthens it over time. Pruning is as important to your tree as watering, but just like over-watering, over-pruning can be dangerous. Removing too many limbs means removing the leaves that your tree uses to absorb sunlight and create the nourishment that it needs to grow. There are plenty of internet tutorials out there to help you do it yourself, but make sure you take care to prune as little as you can to still get the job done. Figuring out exactly how to care for your specific trees can be intimidating. What if you over-water, or prune too much? Consider a certified arborist like Southeastern Tree Removal to take the guesswork out of it and give your trees exactly the care they need.
Stay tuned for more golden nuggets of tree knowledge!
Trees grow in countless varieties all over the world, and their beauty is undeniable. But if you need more reasons to plant a tree on your property, here are just a few of the benefits they offer.
They’re Good for Your Home Planting your trees in the right places can make a world of difference in the comfort of your home. Trees planted on the west side of the house can protect it from the hot afternoon sun, keeping each room pleasantly cool through the summer. They’ll also soothe your winter woes by blocking icy winds and keeping your home considerably warmer. According to The Arbor Day Foundation, people tend to stay longer in homes with trees, which just goes to show how much happier trees can make a home!
They’re Good for Your Wallet Keeping your house at a naturally more comfortable temperature also means keeping your heat and cooling on a more affordable setting year-round. The Center for Urban Forest Research determined that a properly placed, mature tree could save you as much as 12% on your energy bills! Property values also rise when landscaping includes trees, so when you’re ready to sell and move on, you’ll discover that your trees were a worthwhile investment.
They’re Good for the Environment There’s a reason people plant trees on Earth Day—they’re just good for the environment! In addition to helping you use less energy in your home, they also absorb pollution and release tons of oxygen into the environment each year. Trees are also vital to the quality of our water. They create a natural barrier for runoff and erosion of soil, keeping groundwater and streams clear of pollutants. No matter who you are, trees are sure to have an impact on your life. So if you’re still on the fence about whether to plant, here’s our advice: the world can always use more trees!
See the statistics for yourself and go plant a tree!
We all know trees need water to survive, but when floods or overwatering occur, water can become surprisingly dangerous to a tree’s health. If this season’s heavy rainfall has left your soil soggy, your trees and shrubs should be checked for these serious health concerns.
pH Imbalance Excess water on the ground can dilute the soil’s natural mineral content, which can make the soil either too alkaline or too acidic. While some trees are able to survive changes in pH levels, others are more sensitive and could start to experience stunted growth or yellow spots on their leaves, among other symptoms.
Root Damage Flood waters can harm your tree’s root system in many ways. Too much water among the roots can basically drown the tree by impairing its ability to absorb oxygen, while foreign sediment that floods wash into the area can compact the soil and make it difficult for roots to grow. The extra wet soil also creates an ideal growing environment for fungus and disease that could contribute to root rot. And of course, if the soil is really saturated, it may no longer be able to provide the stability needed to keep your tree’s roots anchored to the ground.
Once the flood waters have abated, you might think your tree is safe, but the ground beneath your tree can hold onto excess water for a long time after the surface starts to look dry. Applying a thin layer of mulch around your tree can help to absorb some of the excess water and pull it to the surface where it can dry, and an application of potassium phosphite can help to fight off disease and rot.
But when the ground is really wet, this may not be enough! To save and protect your tree, it’s important to contact an experienced arborist that can:
evaluate and correct your tree’s drainage
aerate the soil to help it dry
determine pH levels and soil conditions, then make corrections based on findings
Did you find that some of the trees on your property were damaged when the last storm rolled through? It’s important to take care of any cracked and broken limbs quickly so that you don’t risk the damaged branches falling and causing harm to other property, vehicles, and people. We have a few tips for figuring out whether your tree needs to be removed or can be nursed back to health.
Assess the Damage You’ll need to take a look at your tree’s condition after the storm passes, but be very cautious around storm-damaged trees as broken branches could fall at any moment. Look for major limbs that are cracked, dead, or broken. These will likely need to be removed to avoid future disasters. Is there extensive damage to the tree’s crown, or did it lose most of its limbs? Without enough branches and foliage to collect sunlight, the tree will not be able to get enough nourishment to thrive and may eventually die. If you’re uncertain, a professional arborist will be able to tell you if your tree can be saved. Check the roots of your tree too. If the roots were pulled up even a little bit, the tree’s foundation could be weakened enough to put it at risk of falling over.
Remove Broken Branches Damaged or dead parts of your tree should be removed as soon as possible. This will reduce the risk of accidents occurring as well as give your tree room to recover from the abuse of a heavy storm. Make sure you remove the limbs properly. Even if a branch is barely hanging on, it should be cut rather than simply yanked off the tree in order to avoid stripping the tree’s bark.
Avoid Over-pruning Once the damaged branches have been removed, your tree may appear uneven or misshapen. Resist the urge to keep cutting branches to achieve a more pleasing shape. Your tree has suffered some serious injuries and needs all the help it can get to recover. Every healthy branch that remains will help to provide your tree with the nourishment it needs to return to its former health and beauty.
Use a Trusted Arborist Service After a storm, the affected area will often be visited with “door-knockers” offering their services to clean up your damaged trees. There is usually no way to tell if these workers are qualified, and the convenience of door-to-door tree service could end up really costing you when a tree that should have been removed later falls, or you end up losing a tree that could have been saved. If you feel uncertain about caring for your trees yourself, then a certified, insured arborist will be best suited to care for the trees on your property while giving you peace of mind.
Many of us have childhood memories associated with trees—climbing in them, swinging from their branches, or diving into piles of their leaves. With these activities in mind, it should be easy to imagine how the death of a tree could not only be a sad event, but also a dangerous situation!
We see it all too often. When decay spreads within a tree, it causes the tree to drop heavy branches or even lean precariously to one side as it pulls up its roots and eventually falls to the ground. Suddenly, the same limbs that once offered shade and protection come crashing through windows, walls, and rooftops, endangering not only your property, but also anyone who happens to be there!
Fortunately, trees have a few ways of telling us that they’re in poor health, which means you can stop these kinds of disasters before they happen. We came up with five easy-to- spot symptoms that may mean your tree is dead or dying:
Tilted or Leaning Trunk Some trees grow at a natural slant, and that’s OK. But if your once tall and straight tree is suddenly leaning hard to one side, there is a chance that its trunk and/or root system has been damaged. Disease, infestation, and inclement weather are all possible causes, but whatever’s behind your tree’s new angle, it could mean the tree needs to be propped back up or even removed.
Fallen Branches Been picking up a lot of dead branches under your tree lately? Falling limbs are pretty strong evidence that a tree is dying—and a warning that bigger branches might start falling soon.
Patches, Cracks, and Holes The bark of a tree can tell you a lot about what’s going on underneath. Take a walk around the trunk of your tree, looking it up and down. Do you see patches of bare wood with no bark? Deep cracks in the bark, or holes left where branches have broken off? These symptoms might indicate that your tree is no longer thriving.
Not Enough Leaves—Or Too Many If some or all of your tree’s limbs are missing their new, green leaves come spring and summer, it’s safe to assume that those limbs are dead. If it hasn’t already, the rest of the tree will soon follow. However, dying can actually make a tree fail to drop its leaves in the fall, so your tree’s habit of holding on to dead, brown leaves well into the winter is also cause to consider having it evaluated for treatment or removal.
Rotting Roots and Trunk It can be hard to tell from the outside, but any type of fungi on your tree is a sure sign that your tree is rotting from within. Check for any mushrooms or other types of fungi growing on the trunk, roots, or soil immediately surrounding the tree. Their presence means that they are feeding on the rot that has taken over beneath the bark.
So, check out your tree. Do you see any of these symptoms? Don’t despair! There’s a chance that proper treatment could still return your tree to its former health.
Your run-of-the-mill yard service is unlikely to know how to recognize and treat disease in trees, but Southeastern Tree Removal is trained and experienced in tree care. In the event that your tree is beyond saving, we can remove it with the greatest care, leaving your property clean and safe from falling branches. But, if you spotted these symptoms early enough, we will develop a care plan to rescue your tree, so you can swing from its branches for many years to come!
This is what can happen to a tree given some winter conditions and neglect. This tree had never been pruned and had an extremely full canopy. This storm also hit when our area's trees hadn't dropped their leaves yet so this tree was even heavier than it would have been post fall. However, it is very important that your larger trees remain pruned and ready for any strong storms no matter what time of year.
Light pruning and removal of dead branches can be done anytime of year but heavy pruning is best during dormancy. Pruning in the winter can result in a huge growth spurt during spring. If this is your wish, then prune this winter. Pruning is also easiest in the winter months because the foliage is gone, making it easier to see the tree's shape. It is usually best to wait until the worst of winter has past to do the major pruning, but here in South Carolina winter is usually pretty mild so just about anytime will do. You'll notice that some trees will "bleed" when the sap begins to flow but don't worry, this isn't harmful to the tree. When blooming begins, the sap bleeding will cease.
If you want to prune smaller trees and shrubs yourself, there are many places to get how-to guides online that will walk you through it. However, for the larger trees, it's best that you call a professional tree service company. Winter months bring discounts on tree services as they are the slower months in the industry. If you're thinking of hiring a tree service company in the midlands, call Southeastern Tree Removal. We love what we do and it shows!