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So far FriendlyTree has created 28 blog entries.

Why Your Tree Company Should Have Insurance

When it comes to hiring a tree company, there are many things to look for. 

For starters, you should consider their experience and reviews of former customers. You’ll also want to learn about their specific services, like tree pruning or tree planting. And then, of course, you’ll want to consider the actual cost of their professional services.

But before you can move forward, there’s one more box that needs to be checked: insurance. 

After all, if you hire a tree company without full insurance coverage, you’ll simply create a recipe for disaster.

In this article, we’ll break down the reasons why your tree company should always have insurance.

The Nature of Working with Mother Nature

First, it helps to understand the liability that comes with tree service work.

The tree care field is one of the most dangerous industries in the country. From extreme heights to electrical lines, workers are regularly exposed to high-risk situations. Tree care employees are also required to operate sharp and heavy equipment.

The job is even more dangerous after storms, when conditions are more slippery than usual.

Most importantly, Mother Nature is unpredictable. A dying tree branch, for example, can fall without warning. This is why it’s crucial to work with an experienced and knowledgeable tree service company like Friendly Tree.

Insurance Protects Both You and the Tree Company 

Due to the dangerous nature of tree care, it’s critical to hire a company that has insurance. Specifically, they should have general liability insurance and workers’ compensation.

If a tree worker is injured on your property, workers’ compensation will cover their medical bills. But if they get hurt on your property and don’t have insurance, the company or worker can potentially sue you.

Plus, if you knowingly hire a company without insurance, your home insurance probably won’t pay the claim.

Insurance also protects against structural damages. For instance, if a tree worker prunes a tree and a heavy branch falls on your roof or car, their insurance will cover it.

Of course, no one wants accidents or injuries to happen. However, anything is possible, and it’s always best to be prepared.

Your Tree Company Should Also Have Certified Arborists and Tree Experts

In addition to insurance, your tree company should also have certified and licensed tree experts.

These experts have completed a high standard of training, licensing, and certifications. This ensures that they’ll get the job done — and do it right.

It also means that they have received proper safety training, thus reducing the risk of injuries and accidents.

Keep this in mind if another business, like a landscaping company, attempts to offer you tree services. While they might have insurance, their workers aren’t professional trained to handle the job.

Moreover, their insurance likely won’t cover the same scenarios tree workers encounter each day.

Call the Friendly Experts at Friendly Tree

As you can see, there are many reasons why your tree company should have insurance. It protects everyone involved, from the client to the business.

With Friendly Tree, you won’t have to wonder. We’re a fully insured tree company with years of professional experience. Since 1989, our team of certified arborists has proudly provided tree service in northern New Jersey.

We can’t wait to serve you, too. To learn more about our expert tree services, contact us at (973) 678-8888.

Tree Stump Grinding: What It Is and Why You Might Need It

As a homeowner, you’ve likely heard all about tree planting, pruning, and removal. Planting new trees, after all, is one of the best ways to enhance the natural beauty of your property. Pruning is an essential part of tree care, while removal is crucial for getting rid of old or dead trees.

But what about tree stump grinding? Some homeowners aren’t aware that it’s even necessary. 

Let’s look at what tree stump grinding is and why you might need it.

Tree Stump Grinding 101

Tree stump grinding is a stump removal technique.

It involves a machine that grates the stump until it’s just below the soil. In some cases, the stump can be grinded as deep as 12 inches (or more) below the surface. This creates a discrete hole in the ground, letting you re-purpose the area.

The process of tree stump grinding takes just a few minutes. It also produces wood chip mulch, which is placed in the hole for 2 to 3 months. These wood chips steal nitrogen and other nutrients from the area before they start to decompose.

From there, you can spread the wood chips in areas like your garden, planting beds, and walkways. How’s that for resourcefulness?

While stump grinding leaves behind the roots, you won’t have to handle them. They’ll naturally break down in about 10 years.

 

Tree Stump Grinding Improves Aesthetics and Safety

Tree removal naturally leaves behind a stump. This leftover base can be visually unattractive, especially if your lawn is perfectly landscaped.

Mold, weeds, and insects could also grow on a tree stump and diminish your property’s curb appeal. Plus, if pests and diseases aren’t controlled, they can spread to other plants.

Most importantly, a tree stump is a safety hazard. Since most stumps are just a couple inches high, it’s easy to trip over one. This is dangerous for both kids and adults alike.

Tree stumps also make it difficult to properly mow the lawn. And even if a lawn mower makes it over the stump, there’s a major risk of machine damage.

Tree Stump Grinding vs. Tree Stump Removal

Tree stump grinding is just one technique for removing a tree stump. The other method is tree stump removal, which involves digging up the stump and its roots.

Compared to grinding, tree stump removal is more invasive. It takes more time, money, and powerful machines. Complete removal of a tree stump also leaves a bigger hole in the ground.

On the flipside, this hole offers more of a blank slate than stump grinding. It’s easier to “start over” if you totally remove the stump.

Call the Expert Tree Technicians at Friendly Tree

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach for dealing with a tree stump. The best choice depends on your property and what you plan to do with the area.

Luckily, with Friendly Tree, you’ll have personalized guidance every step of the way. Our professional tree technicians in New Jersey are ready to learn about your needs. We’ll also explain what tree stump grinding is and why you might need it.

When the time comes, we can also provide other tree services like tree trimming and tree planting.

For a friendly consultation with Friendly Tree, contact us at (973) 678-8888.

How Trees Help Retain (and Reduce) Stormwater Runoff

Trees offer countless environmental benefits. For example, they cleanse the air by producing oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide. They also provide homes and food for animals like birds and squirrels. Needless to say, trees can bring immense value and advantages to a natural landscape.

But the benefits of trees don’t stop there. Trees also retain and reduce stormwater runoff, one of the biggest issues of urban and suburban areas. This means they can play a significant role in protecting the local environment.

Why Is Stormwater Runoff an Issue?

We all know rain is important. It replenishes our water sources, “feeds” rivers and lakes, and keeps our grass green and healthy. Rain also provides essential nutrients for agricultural crops and beautiful trees.

The problem is when rain becomes stormwater runoff. This happens when rainfall or melting snow flows over paved surfaces like roads, parking lots, and driveways. Since these surfaces are impermeable, they don’t soak up water. The result is a large volume of water flowing over ground surfaces.

Here’s why this can be bad news:

Flooding and Erosion

If rapid runoff flows into bodies of water, it can disrupt the natural flow and damage local animal habitats. It can also worsen the severity of flooding in urban and suburban neighborhoods.

Sewage Problems

Stormwater runoff can overwhelm local sewage systems, which are full of harmful pathogens and heavy metals. This presents serious public health concerns.

Pollution

When stormwater passes over paved surfaces, it picks up pollutants like pesticides, pet waste, lawn fertilizer, and byproducts from construction sites. The water then pushes these pollutants into local streams and rivers.

Excess Sediment

Similarly, fast-moving runoff forces sediment and residue into bodies of water. This can destroy natural habitats and block sunlight from underwater plant life.

Trees and Stormwater Runoff

While paved surfaces don’t mix well with rainfall, they’re essential components of developed neighborhoods. It’d be difficult to travel around town without surfaces like roads and sidewalks.

The solution? Plant new trees and take care of existing ones. Aside from beautifying our properties and streets, trees can manage stormwater runoff.

They can:

Retain Water

A tree provides a surface for rain to land on. Specifically, its leaves and bark can “intercept” and retain rainfall. This water will then evaporate or end up in the soil.

Decrease Erosion

Likewise, tree canopies intercept rainfall and reduce the risk of erosion.

Absorb Moisture

Water can also collect on fallen leaves. Eventually, the moisture will permeate the soil instead of flowing over paved surfaces.

Roots also absorb the water and aerate the soil, which soaks up moisture. This reduces the accumulation of runoff after a storm.

Plant New Trees and Reduce Stormwater Runoff

You can’t control the weather, but you can control how your property handles heavy rainfall. That’s why it’s important to plant trees to retain and reduce stormwater runoff.

However, managing runoff doesn’t stop at planting new trees. It also involves taking care of the trees you already have. By keeping your existing trees healthy, you can do your part in reducing stormwater runoff.

Friendly Tree is here to help. As a team of certified arborists, we offer professional tree planting services in New Jersey. We also know what it takes to help trees thrive and flourish.

To get a quote or schedule a consultation, contact Friendly Tree at (973) 678-8888.

How to Avoid Damaging Your Tree’s Roots

When you look at a tree, it’s easy to find something to admire: the robust trunk, the rustling leaves, and maybe even some dainty flowers. In the fall, the leaves morph into a spectacle of warm colors. In the winter, the branches become home to freshly fallen snow.

Needless to say, there’s a lot to appreciate when you look at a majestic tree.

But what about the roots?

While you can’t always see them, the roots are as admirable as the rest of the tree. The root system, which anchors the tree to the ground, supplies the tree with nutrients and water. It also helps drain and aerate the surrounding soil.

So, take the time to learn how to avoid damaging your tree’s roots. By following these safety precautions, you can help your beloved tree thrive for years to come.

Don’t Overwater

When it comes to watering, it can be tempting to literally “shower” a tree with love. After all, as a crucial component of tree care, water is essential for healthy roots.

Yet, it’s possible to overdo it. If a tree is overwatered, the roots will suffocate and fail to take up nutrients. The excess water can also promote the growth of dangerous microorganisms and cause root rot.

Overwatering is especially detrimental within the first two years of planting a tree. During this time, the root system is still establishing itself in the soil, so it’s important to go easy on the water.

If you’re not sure how often you should water your trees, talk to a certified arborist at Friendly Tree.

Add Mulch Properly

Mulch can do so much more than “prettify” your landscape. When used properly, mulch can insulate the soil and lock in root moisture. It also prevents soil compaction, ensuring that roots can efficiently absorb nutrients and water.

But like watering, there’s a wrong and right way to mulch. For example, piling a “mulch volcano” against the trunk will rob the bark and roots of oxygen. It also encourages the growth of disease-causing fungi and bacteria.

Instead, you should apply mulch from the tree’s root flare. Apply the mulch in a 3 to 10-foot circle around the base and use a rake to spread it out. Additionally, the layer of mulch should be no more than 2 to 4 inches deep.

Never Cut Roots Yourself

Whether you’re adding more plants or building near trees, you might consider snipping roots to make more space. However, much like pruning leaves, trimming roots should be left to the professionals.

Some roots are necessary for the tree’s water flow, nutrient delivery, and stability. If these roots are cut away, the tree can die or fall over.

A certified arborist can determine which roots are safe to trim. They can also consider other important factors, such as the best time of the year to cut roots. (Yes, it matters!)

Avoid Pouring Concrete

If you’re building a new structure or sprucing up your landscape, you might want to add concrete or stone near a tree. Unfortunately, this can severely damage your tree’s root system, even if it’s already established.

Concrete and stone will suffocate the roots, making it impossible to absorb oxygen, water, and nutrients.

If you must add concrete or stone, talk to a professional concrete company. They can work with an arborist to figure out the best way to add concrete without harming the roots.

Treat Your Roots Well with Friendly Tree

While every tree and property are different, these tips will help you avoid damaging your tree’s roots. If you have questions — or if you want personalized guidance — don’t hesitate to contact Friendly Tree.

Our New Jersey certified arborists can provide root safety tips based on the specific trees you own. We also offer a range of professional tree services, including tree pruning and tree planting.

To schedule a consultation or get a quote, contact Friendly Tree at (973) 678-8888.

Building Near Trees: Do’s and Don’ts

If you already have trees on your property, you might wonder about the best practices for adding new buildings. Perhaps you just bought land and you’d like to build a home. Or, maybe you’d like to renovate and expand an existing structure. Regardless of the situation, it’s important to know the do’s and don’ts of building near trees.

This will ensure the structure is built in a way that protects and preserves the structure of each tree. Besides, the last thing you want to do is damage the precious plants during construction!

Before starting your new project, consider these guidelines for building near trees.

DO…

Properly Prune Trees

When it’s time to bring in the construction equipment, you might want to prune your trees to make more space. But if you’re not 100% sure how to trim the branches, this simple move may cause significant harm.

That’s why it’s crucial to practice proper tree pruning techniques. Incorrect pruning can create “wounds” that increase the tree’s vulnerability to harmful insects. Plus, if sap leaks out the wounds, the tree will be robbed of nutrients.A certified arborist can make sure your trees are properly pruned before construction.

 

Control Nearby Traffic

Prior to building a new structure, make a plan to protect the tree and its roots.

It’s generally recommended to build a fence around the dripline, or the outermost circumference of the canopy’s edge. (This measurement is called the “dripline” because this is where water drips from the canopy to the ground). An even better move is to place the fence further out from the dripline.

By adding a fence around your tree, you can limit physical damage and keep construction machinery away.

 

Consider Designing Around the Tree

More and more architects are incorporating existing trees into homes, decks, and commercial buildings. This means the trees can stay practically untouched! For example, a deck can be built with a circular opening around a tree.

Of course, this depends on the type of tree and what you are planning to build. Your arborist, builder, and architect can work together to create a design that works for your needs.

 

DON’T…

Trim the Roots

You might be tempted to trim the tree’s roots in order to make more space. After all, the roots will simply re-grow around the building… right?

Well, not quite. An established root system is extremely complex. If certain roots are removed, the tree may lose its stability, resulting in damage or failure later on. Incorrect root cutting can also deprive the tree of nutrients and water.

Before snipping the roots, consult a professional tree service like Friendly Tree. A certified arborist will be able to determine which roots are safe to cut.

 

Add Concrete on Roots

It’s not recommended to add concrete (or stones) on an established root system. This can rob the roots of oxygen, nutrients, and water, which will ultimately lead to failure.

For best results, work with a professional concrete company. They’ll know how to handle the roots in a way that allows the tree to thrive.

 

Dig Trenches Too Close

When building a new structure, you’ll likely need an irrigation system. However, digging trenches within the dripline — or near the tree trunk — can interfere with almost half of the tree’s roots.

Fortunately, it’s possible to dig trenches without harming the roots. The best option is to dig them outside of the drip line, but you can also trench toward the trunk and tunnel underneath. A third option is to trench a third into the dripline and connect the trenches by tunnelling.

There are many do’s and don’ts of building near trees. But with a professional tree service like Friendly Tree, you can take proper precautions before starting construction.

 

Our certified arborists in New Jersey can make sure the process leaves your trees unharmed. With over 27 years of experience, our team knows precisely what to look for! We’re also happy to provide professional tree services, including tree removal, tree planting, and more.

Have questions? Contact Friendly Tree at (973) 678-8888 to get a quote or schedule a consultation.

What Kind of Tree Should I Plant?

So, you decided to plant a new tree. Congratulations! This is the start of a beautiful landscape that will increase the aesthetics and value of your property.

But before you start mapping your dream garden, it’s important to know what kind of tree you should plant. This depends on the environment you’re planting in. Remember, every tree has different requirements, so it should be planted in an area that meets those needs.

Your climate isn’t the only factor, though. The characteristics of your property matter as well. From existing greenery to nearby pipes, there are many environmental aspects to consider.

 

Before buying a tree or digging a hole, take the time to do some research. By learning how to choose the best tree for your area, you can ensure it will thrive for years to come. Here are several factors to consider.

 

Temperature

As you know, North America is a continent of extremely different climates. Therefore, in order to help folks choose the appropriate trees for their area, the USDA created The Plant Hardiness Zones.

 

Each zone represents an area in the United States or Canada. The zones are divided based on an area’s lowers annual average temperature. In each zone, there are specific trees that can endure the winters in that area.

 

Before buying and planting a new tree, find your plant hardiness zone. There are 11 zones in total. All you need to do is visit a hardiness zone map and enter your zip code.

 

Rainfall

When it comes to moisture, every type of tree has different needs. Some trees require constantly wet soil, while others prefer a dry environment. As a result, it’s vital to consider your area’s natural rain patterns throughout the year.

 

Be sure to acknowledge nearby bodies of water, too. Ponds, for example, will affect the level of moisture in the surrounding soil.

 

Soil

From clay to sand, soil isn’t a one-size-fits-all component. Every soil has different biological, chemical, and physical characteristics, so you must choose the appropriate trees for your soil type.

Granted, things like pH and draining can be altered with various substances. For instance, you can improve soil drainage by adding organic matter like compost. But for optimal results, it’s wise to pick the most appropriate plants for your property’s soil.

 

Available Space

Every property is unique, regardless of climate or state. So, be sure to acknowledge the different aspects of your land.

Think about your available space and nearby trees, shrubs, or plants. Over time, the tree’s root system will attempt to establish itself, so it’s essential to provide enough space for both new and existing plants. This will ensure that they don’t have to compete for water and nutrients.

 

Existing Constraints

Before choosing a tree, consider any existing underground pipes and power lines. Don’t forget about your driveway, sidewalk, and neighbors. Lastly, check any local ordinances and rules as to how far a tree must be planted from the street.

With these environmental aspects in mind, you can determine if you should get a small, medium, or large tree. You’ll also be able to figure out what kind of canopy and foliage will work well with the area.

 

We’re Here to Help You Choose the Best Trees for Your Property

If you’re not sure what kind of tree you should plant, consult the professionals at Friendly Tree. Since 1989, we’ve offered tree planting services throughout northern New Jersey. We’ll take the time to choose the best species for your property and needs.

 

This way, you don’t have to worry about all the details on this list. Leave it up to us! Our team of professional arborists knows exactly what to look for.

For a free quote, contact Friendly Tree at (973) 678-8888.

I Just Planted a New Tree — Now What?

It’s no secret that planting trees has many benefits. For starters, trees are beautiful; they can improve the appearance and value of your property. Trees also produce oxygen, clean the air, control noise, and enhance mental wellness. And with strategic planning, trees can even reduce energy bills by offering shade in the summer and blocking wind in the winter. (Oh, and did we mention they’re beautiful?)

You can’t go wrong with tree planting in New Jersey. In fact, you might have already added several trees to your property. But have you thought about proper care and maintenance?

Compared to older trees, newly planted trees have different needs. So, if you just planted a new tree, keep the following tips in mind. By doing so, you can help it flourish for years to come.

 

Mind the Mulch

When done properly, mulching prevents soil compaction, maintains root moisture, and insulates soil. Mulch also benefits the appearance of your landscape.

Yet, mulching isn’t as simple as making a pile and calling it a day. Piling mulch around the trunk will suffocate the bark and roots. This “mulch volcano” can also promote fungal and bacterial growth, and eventually, kill your new tree.

That’s why it’s vital to mulch your trees correctly. First, the mulch should be applied away from the trunk and spread to a diameter of at least the three feet. You can use a rake to evenly spread it out. Additionally, the mulch should be no more than 3 to 4 inches deep.

 

Avoid Over Fertilizing

Unlike soil in the wild, soil in landscaped settings don’t contain enough essential nutrients and minerals. Therefore, fertilizing your trees is one of the best things you can do. Fertilizer contains vital nutrients that can support the growth and vitality of your tree.

However, it’s possible to over fertilize a tree. Doing so can strain a tree and disrupt its ability to absorb water.

Plus, if a new tree was properly planted, it won’t require much during the first two years. A newly planted tree requires nothing more than organic matter, water, sun, and mulch.

It’s advised to wait two years before using fertilizer. This will allow enough time for the root system to establish itself. Otherwise, if you add too much fertilizer too soon, the new tree will overproduce and become stressed.

 

Watch the Water

We all know trees need water to survive. And when you plant a new tree, you may be tempted to overdo it. But like mulch and fertilizer, using too much water can cause health issues.

Overwatering deprives the roots of oxygen. In turn, the roots won’t be able to supply enough nutrients to the tree. Overwatering also encourages the growth of harmful organisms, which can eventually lead to root rot.

To care for a newly planted tree, you need to keep the soil moist — not wet. All it takes is 30 seconds of a steady stream of water for each tree. For best results, use a garden hose with a diffuser nozzle attachment.

The root system will establish itself within the first two years. At this point, it will be able to handle more water.

 

Know the Tree’s Needs

New tree care isn’t limited to regular food and water. It’s crucial to think about your future plans, too.

Be mindful of the quantity and types of plants in each bed. Remember, every plant needs water, nutrients, and space to grow. But when there are multiple trees and shrubs in one bed, they will all compete with each other.

Do your research or consult an expert. By choosing a thoughtful combination of plants, you can ensure that every member of the bed will survive and thrive.

 

Call Friendly Tree for Professional Help

If you planted a tree and need assistance, contact Friendly Tree. We’re happy to take care of mulching and answer all your questions about trees.

Friendly Tree also offers tree planting services in New Jersey. We’ll choose the best specimens for your property, style, and preference. Most importantly, our team will plant your trees in a way that sets them up for long-term success.

To schedule a consultation or get a quote, contact Friendly Tree at (973) 678-8888.

Do I Really Need to Prune My Trees?

As a home or property owner, you’ve probably heard that you should prune your trees. It’s a common practice that’s part of tree care. But when you’ve got a lawn to mow and seeds to plant, tree pruning might seem like an unnecessary task.

This is far from the truth. Unlike wild trees, which are pruned by Mother Nature, landscaped trees need a higher level of maintenance. And without regular and proper tree pruning, the structure and health of a tree can greatly diminish.

 

In short: Yes, you need to prune your trees. Here’s why.

 

Why Is Tree Pruning Important?

Tree pruning is often associated with visual aesthetics. When done properly, it can bring out the natural beauty of a tree. This can help your property appear more welcoming and attractive.

 

It’s so much more than that, though. Regular tree pruning will keep your tree healthy and happy. After all, when dead and dying branches are removed, insects and disease can’t take over the tree.

 

Pruning also promotes air circulation. Additionally, when the canopy is thinned out, the tree can easily soak up the sun. With enough air and sunshine, your tree can achieve optimal structure and health.

Routine pruning also keeps your family safe. Dead, damaged, and broken branches can easily fall during a storm, but pruning minimizes the risk.

 

When Should I Prune My Trees?

Generally, a tree needs to be pruned when it has dead, dying, diseased, or broken branches. Other signs your tree needs pruning includes a dense canopy, a split or weak crotch, or growth near power lines or structures.

 

However, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. Every tree has different requirements and needs.

Some trees should only be pruned during certain times of the year, while others can be pruned at any time. Some might also need more frequent pruning than others.

Older, mature trees may require a different pruning schedule than younger trees.

The best way to know is to work with a certified arborist. This will ensure that your tree is pruned in a correct and timely manner.

 

Who Should Prune My Trees?

If you’re the DIY type, it might be tempting to remove dead branches yourself. This approach, however, can actually do more harm than good.

When done improperly, pruning may damage the tree and create open “wounds.” These wounds can allow insects to enter (and attack) the tree. In other cases, sap might leak out and deprive the tree of nutrients.

 

You might mean well, but DIY pruning isn’t a smart idea. Leave it to the experts instead. A certified arborist will know how and when to properly prune each tree.

 

Let Friendly Tree Take Care of Your Tree Pruning Needs

Since 1989, Friendly Tree has offered tree pruning services for northern New Jersey residents. And now that you’re aware that you should prune your tree, we’re ready to help you, too.

Our team of New Jersey tree experts have the experience and knowledge to care for your trees. As certified arborists, we can determine exactly what your trees need to stay healthy, strong, and beautiful.

Friendly Tree is available in Essex, Morris, Union, Bergen, Passaic, Hudson, Middlesex, and Somerset counties. To schedule a consultation, contact Friendly Tree today. You can also call us at (973) 678-8888.

How to Prep Your Trees for Winter

 

The leaves are falling, the temperature is dropping, the days are already getting shorter and that means it’s time to prepare your yard for winter.

 

Freezing temperatures and winter storms can really do a number on your landscape, if it is not properly put to bed. So, while the trees are doing their part – shedding their leaves to conserve energy for the months ahead – take some time to do yours.

 

First, Clean Up the Yard

It can be tempting to stay inside where it’s warm, and just hope the leaves will all blow away. But allowing debris to build up on your yard can attract pests and fungal diseases, and prevent proper water absorption and drainage. Similarly, fallen fruit that is allowed to rot over the winter is asking for trouble.

 

Rake leaves, harvest fruit, pick up fallen branches and remove dead annuals from your yard. Mowing your yard one last time – with the blades on the lowest setting – is also a good idea. A clean, open landscape is less attractive to insects and diseases than one that is full of decaying debris.

 

Tidy Trees and Shrubs

Winter storms and weak or dying branches is a bad combination. Now is the time to take care of limbs that are hanging, look weak, are infested or dying, as well as give your trees and shrubs an all-over cleanup. A healthy tree is less likely to be damaged in a winter storm.

 

Remember to wait until after trees have gone dormant to prune them, and always consult a professional if you see anything worrisome, or don’t know how to properly prune.

 

Don’t Forget to Water

Just because the hoses are detached doesn’t mean your watering days are over until the summer. Trees and plants still need to be watered during dry spells throughout the fall and winter, and your lawn does, too. Even dormant plants need water to survive. Now is also the perfect time to add compost or fertilizer to feed your trees throughout the winter.

 

Protect Them With Mulch

Think of mulch like a blanket for your trees. A layer of organic mulch about two to three inches deep helps insulate trees from harsh temperatures and retain moisture in the soil. Just be sure not to mulch too deep, and always keep it away from the tree’s trunk.

 

Discourage Pests

While the bugs are winding down for the season, once spring hits the larvae will be back in full swing. Applying horticultural oils now will help prevent the larvae of common pests like aphids, mites and scale insects from hatching when temperatures rise.

 

Horticultural oils can usually be found at your local garden center and are relatively inexpensive and easy to apply. Properly removing leaves, dead branches and fallen fruit is also critical to preventing pests from taking over.

 

When to Winterize

Winterizing your yard should happen around the same time you would winterize your house or vehicle; in New Jersey, that’s usually in October or early November.

 

Fall Planting

Fall is the perfect time to plant new trees and shrubs. Planting now gives them time to develop a strong root system before the heat of summer hits. So before you put your yard to bed for the season, add some new life, and be rewarded in the spring.

 

Investing the time now to winterize your yard will mean less troubleshooting in the warmer months. Trees that are properly cared for react better to stress and generally have fewer problems the following season.

When Your Trees Need Some TLC

Are your trees looking not quite right? They may be crying out for help. The urban environment can take its toll on tree health, causing early tree decline and death.

Lucky for us, trees express themselves in different ways, giving us clues to what’s troubling them. It helps to know how your tree is communicating by recognizing some of the common signs of tree stress.

Take a few minutes to observe the trees on your property for red flags, starting at the top:

Canopy

Take a look at the tree’s canopy. Does it look sparse compared to nearby trees, or compared to previous years? Are there dangling branches? These are signs your tree needs some help.

Leaves

You can tell a lot about the health of a tree by looking at its leaves. Wilting, yellowing, brown, misshapen, curling, spotted or dropping leaves mean your tree is struggling.

Trunk

Large, open wounds, splits, and cracks can all point to something going on internally with your tree. Also be on the lookout for exit holes from bark beetles and borers.

Base

Mushrooms that repeatedly appear at the base of a tree point to a problem underground, usually root rot.

The best way to prevent stress from taking its toll on your trees is to give them what they need throughout the year. Here’s how to keep your trees healthy and resistant to many of the above problems.

Water Consistently and Deeply

One of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to caring for their trees is overwatering. It sounds hard to do, but it happens often. Too much water can lead to root rot and fungal issues; too little water causes dehydration and makes trees more susceptible to pests and diseases. Trees like their water slow and deep. Watering deeply at the drip line whenever the soil is dry is the best way to keep your trees happy.

Mulch

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – mulch is a tree’s best friend! Mulch provides numerous benefits and is a simple way to help prevent many stressors.

Prune the Right Way

Although pruning is usually done with the best of intentions, it is often done incorrectly. Pruning the wrong way can do more damage than good. In fact, incorrect pruning is one of the major causes of insect and pest problems in trees. When in doubt, contact your local tree service professionals for advice on where and how much to prune.

Know How to Plant

It may seem simple, but the way you plant a young tree can really be a deal-breaker. Never dig the planting hole deeper than the height of the tree’s root ball, and always dig the hole two to three times wider than the root ball. These simple steps will help prevent your tree from getting unnecessarily stressed down the road.

Consult a Professional

What happens if your tree is already showing signs of stress? Is it too late? If you’re noticing warning signs, now is the time to give us a call.

Many problems can be corrected with proper treatment and care. At Friendly Tree, our inspections and assessments are always free. We pride ourselves on providing expert, reliable service, taking the utmost care of our customers and their trees.