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Worried About Pests? Look For These

Whether you are just a regular homeowner with a beautiful little garden or you are trying your hand at gardening for sustainability, pests can be your biggest threat. Pests are more dangerous than drought, more devastating than certain fungi, and can seriously harm your trees and greenery to the point that they will kill them.

So what can you do? The first thing is to just stay observant. You want to inspect your greenery and trees on a regular basis so that you know when there are more pets than normal. You can also know about the common tree pests around the Redwood City area – and there are plenty of them. However, knowing even a handful can help you to avoid and painful goodbyes.

Here are a few to look for:

4. Gold Spotted Oak Borer

  • Targets Oak Trees
  • Somewhat limited to California
  • Growing problem

The Gold Spotted Oak Borer is an invasive pest that hits many oak trees in California. In fact, this pest has led to the death of so many oak trees that the local government in San Diego has taken to launching an awareness campaign to make everyone aware of the problem.

So far, the diseases has been spotted in Riverside, Orange and Los Angeles Counties in Southern California as well as a few isolated areas all over the state, according to the University of California.

This is a growing problem and many people aren’t aware of it – so make sure to look around your trees.

2. Kuroshio Shot Hole Borers

  • Native species but still troublesome
  • Hits avocado trees extremely hard
  • Higher numbers mean more problems

Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer or Kuroshio Shot Hole Borers are invasive wood-boring beetles that are particularly prevalent in Southern California but are extremely prevalent all over the state as well. They have been extremely vicious to our avocados, but they have a habit of hitting trees in landscaped areas as well. They are a native species, so they shouldn’t be pests, but the larger numbers that have emerged over the last few years have been dangerous.

According to Don’t Move The Firewood, “Studies at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Huntington Library, Arts Collections, and Botanical Gardens have identified more than 200 species of tree, shrub, or vine that are attacked by the PSHB; these plants are in 58 plant families from every continent except Antarctica (Eskalen et al. 2013).  (More recent studies have found the beetle in more than 300 species (Coleman, 2016.) The Fusarium fungus was detected in 54% of these trees – 113 species.  Among the trees attacked by the PSHB are 11 species native to the southern California; 13 agriculturally important trees; and 53 species widely used in urban plantings. “

2. Walnut Twig Beetles

  • Spread thousand canker disease
  • Kill thousands of trees
  • Even if the tree has died, infestation must be stopped

The Walnut Twig Beetle is a problematic pest not because it is a pest in and of itself, but because of what it spreads: thousand cankers disease. If you live in California, this is a phrase that should send chills down your spine. Thousand cankers disease has killed thousands of trees in California – both commercial and landscaping trees in suburban neighborhoods.

The walnut twig beetle enters into the trees and then eats or reproducing, spreading the disease. The activity of these beetles kills the phloem and cambium of the branches and main stem of the tree. They continue to wander around the tree and small cankers form all over the tree – hence the name.

According to the US Forest Service, the beetle is native to Arizona, California, New Mexico, and northern Mexico, but it has shown itself in other states as well.

1. Asian Citrus Psyllid

  • Newest pest problem in California
  • Devastates citrus fruits
  • Needs to be eradicated ASAP

The newest problem facing California and those of us who love orange juice, lemonade, or other citrus fruits is the Asian Citrus Psyllid. This pest by itself isn’t invasive, but the bacteria that it carries on its tiny feet is extremely dangerous. If you think that you have this pest in your yard, make sure that you contact local authorities so that they are able to take steps to ensure your yard is an isolated event.

Because the bugs are so small, you sometimes have to look for the signs of the infestation, including browning of the leaves and yellow spots on the foliage.

According to the San Diego Tribune, “The psyllid travels from leaf to leaf, tree to tree, stopping to suck the sweet sugars from the leaves. As it sucks up sugars, the psyllid inadvertently injects HLB bacteria into the leaf, which begins the tree’s infection. The psyllid then moves on to the next tree and it does it all again.”

The end result? A very slow death where water and sugars can’t get into the tree so that it starves and dehydrates until it eventually dies.

Tree pests are a huge problem and something that everyone needs to work together to eradicate. Pests don’t only stay on your trees, they can move out and harm the trees of your neighbors. Too often, people don’t pay attention and a situation gets extremely dangerous when it didn’t have to be that way.

If you are looking for a tree care professional in Redwood City, give Econo Tree Service a call today at (650) 200-2495. We will help you to better understand your trees and how to handle any watering, planting, pruning, or other tree issues that you may find – of course, we can also help you with other issues as well, including any pests that you might have. We will provide you with the best possible tree service in the area, and provide you with real solutions that work.

Header image thanks to U.S. Department of Agriculture on Flickr!
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What are the Responsbilities of a Homeowner When It Comes to Tree Care?

Whether you are a new homeowner or you have lived in the same home for fifty years, many people have questions when it comes to tree care responsibilities. Do you have a right to trim the trees of your neighbor if they are hanging over your property? If a tree has fallen in a neighbor’s yard, do they have to take care of it? Who handles the bills if there is an infestation?

These are questions that we don’t really ask ourselves until we need the answers immediately – which leads to confusion and sometimes people acting in ways that do not foster a positive relationship between neighbors.

So just what are homeowner responsibilities when it comes to tree ownership? Here are the most basic responsibilities:

4. You Have To Take Care Of Your Trees

  • You are responsible for all health-care related items
  • You may be at fault if the tree falls
  • Keep tree’s health up to date

We often tell you that inspecting your trees is so important and that you need to know when something looks off – why? If something does go wrong and a tree falls, you may be liable for it. If the tree’s branch was diseased and falls on your neighbor’s car, you could still be at fault.

According to The Washington Post, this is a murky part of the law but can be key in many cases. If you knew that your tree was unhealthy or diseased OR if you should have known that the tree was unhealthy and dangerous, you are liable for any and all damages. Even if your neighbor’s children were climbing your tree and something happened, you are still liable.

The best way to avoid problems is to take monthly walks around your yard to investigate your trees. If you see something that just doesn’t look right, make sure that you reach out to a professional to handle it properly.

3. You Have to Contact Your Insurance If A Tree Falls On Your Property

  • Contact your insurance as soon as possible
  • Make sure you take photos and do not move anything
  • Do not allow your  neighbors to intervene

If a tree falls on your property and the stump is on your neighbor’s property, you need to contact your home insurance company. This might seem backward, but it is the process you need to do, though your neighbor may want to call his or her insurance company to alert them of the situation as well.

According to ErieSense, “If a tree falls on your house, make sure to take some photos. Then call your claims adjuster, who will evaluate the damage and explain how your homeowners coverage comes into play. It’s recommended that you call your claims adjuster before you contract to have the tree removed.”

Often enough, if nothing has been damaged, you should be able to work out tree care and any clean up quite easily. However, if you do not have a good relationship with your neighbors or they aren’t home at the time it falls, things can get complicated quite quickly.

2. You Need To Make Sure Your Tree Isn’t a Nuisance

  • Roots and branches can be nuisances
  • Trim and keep them neat by yourself for the best results
  • Neighbors can do cutting once something crosses the property line

As a homeowner, you have a responsibility to your trees and your neighbors to ensure that your tree isn’t becoming a nuisance. This means that you make sure that any roots or branches that grow over the property line aren’t ruining sights, hardscaping, structures, or other greenery. If they are, you should handle everything quickly and properly, if only to ensure that everything gets handled correctly. If you do not, your neighbor may take into his or her own hands.

According to the Educational Community for Homeowners in California, you do want to look up local laws before you do any cutting of your own. However, it is just common sense and common courtesy to ensure that your own trees aren’t ruining all of the work that someone else put into their yards.

1. You Are Responsible For Quality Work

  • Ensure you work with professionals
  • They can help to ensure work is completed properly
  • Can catch other problems

One thing many people do not know is that they are responsible for the help that they bring onto their property. If you hire a tree care company that isn’t high quality or isn’t insured, any issues that arise can be your problem.

Even worse, however, is trying to take your tree’s health and care into your own hands. Anything that happens because of your actions can be your fault and you are liable.

According to George Johnson Insurance, “If the tree fell on the neighbor’s home when the homeowner was trying to cut down the tree without professional help, the damage would be the homeowner’s responsibility. Also, if the tree was dying, unstable or diseased and the homeowner knew about it, he or she could be liable if it falls over on its own. He or she could also be liable if it falls over during a very light storm that would not normally knock over a tree. When homeowners know they have dying, diseased or unstable trees, it is their responsibility to take steps to prevent them from causing severe damage.”

If your tree falls onto someone else’s property while you are cutting it down, this can cost you thousands of dollars in damages AND can result in a home insurance rate that skyrockets.

If you are looking for a tree care professional in Redwood City, give Econo Tree Service a call today at (650) 200-2495. We will help you to better understand your trees and how to handle any watering, planting, pruning, or other tree issues that you may find – of course, we can also help you with other issues as well. We will provide you with the best possible tree service.

Header image thanks to Teemu008 on Flickr!
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What To Do After The Death of a Tree

It sounds like something right out of a horror movie, but there is a chance it will happen in your life: one day you are looking out your window or mowing your lawn and you observe it: your exquisite tree has passed away. Just like in many horror movies, there were signs and symptoms that you saw long before it happened, but you just disregarded them as “normal” or something that “nature will take care of.”

However, once the tree has died, there is a chance that the horror movie has just started. How you handle the situation going forward will decide whether the other trees and greenery in your garden will be far behind it. Dead trees need to be addressed properly so that you can continue to have a wholesome ecosystem in your yard.

So, what should you do?

Here are some places to start becoming the hero that saves the day:

4. Check for Invasive Species

  • Beetles are the most common killers
  • Can diffuse to other trees or plant life in your yard
  • Might require experienced, competent help of some kind

If you have trees, there is a chance that you have bugs as well. We can’t really control insects as they move around the planet- we can spray, put up traps, and use DIY methods, but sometimes they just get through no matter what you do.  Often, since nature does remedy itself, it isn’t a huge problem. However, some infestations can create big problems that you can’t overcome. This is because the pests (most often they are bugs) are feeding off of the tree, taking in the water and nutrition that it needs to remain alive. Your tree has been starved and is now extremely week. Often, the bugs aren’t even the cause of the death – it is something else that was able to quickly take over in its weakened state.

According to Gardener’s Path, infestations can kill trees really quickly as well. There are certain species that can kill a tree in a matter of weeks. It really depends on the ecosystem around your home and the overall health of your yard.

If your tree is dying or just looks to be extremely unhealthy, look to see if there are insects or the fragments of insects or pests (spaces, fecal matter, nests, or shells). This means you have a massive problem and you should probably reach out to an expert of some sort– either a tree care professional or a pest management service provider.

3. Root Rot Causes Death Symptoms – But Maybe Not Death

  • Common complication during springtimes
  • If the tree is healthful, leave it be for a while
  • Talk to an expert if you have questions

One of the bright spots for people who think their trees are dead might come if something else is at play. Tree can “play dead” in some situations where they show symptoms of death without being too close to it.

This might be because it has too much water around the roots. This can come from irrigation or too much rain.

According to Gardenerdy, “If there is a water-logging at the foot of the tree, make sure to devise a proper drainage system for the same. You may opt for removing soil from water-logged area and exposing the roots to fresh air for a few days.” If you aren’t sure how to do this safely by yourself, you may want to reach out to a professional who has the tools and knowledge of how to do this without causing even more damage to the tree.

2. Consider What You Will Plant Next

  • Be careful when purchasing new trees or greens
  • Make sure the dirt is prepared for a new tree
  • Consider new types of trees– or the same varieties in some cases

After a tree has died and has been removed properly (meaning the stump has been removed) many people don’t waste any time in putting something new into the ground – which can create a cycle of problems.

According to the Royal Horticulture Society, “Plants that have been killed by a disease, in particular a soil borne disease (e.g. honey fungus, Phytophthora root rot or Verticillium wilt) or difficult to control foliage/stem disease (e.g. box blight) are best replaced with something that shows resistance. Lists of resistant plants or those not affected can be found on our advice pages of common garden plant diseases. Plants that suffer from replant disease (e.g. roses) should not be replaced with the same type of plant.”

Once again, knowing why the tree died and how to move forward can save you quite a bit of heartache and pain into the future.

1. Get In Touch With a Tree Care Professional

  • There is an opportunity to save your trees in many, many cases
  • Only professionals can manage some removals safely – especially those caused by diseases
  • Can help you to move forward and plant new trees or greenery

According to the Tree Care Industry Association, no matter when your tree passes, a professional assessment is always best. This will help to clear up any lingering questions that you may have and to start fixing your garden so that you can get a new tree planted.  Many tree care professionals can also help with landscaping, hardscaping, or gardening concerns after the death of a tree.

Whatever you do, don’t try to take trees down by yourself as it can be extremely unsafe and you will most likely hurt yourself, another structure in your yard, or even your other trees. Most people do not have the capabilities to take trees down themselves, nor do they have the skills to move forward successfully.

Simply put, it isn’t worth it to put yourself and your trees through a sequel to the horror movie that you are facing – the sequels are never as good as the original.

If you are looking for a tree care professional in Redwood City, give Econo Tree Service a call today at (650) 200-2495. We will help you to better understand your trees and how to handle any watering, planting, pruning, or other tree issues that you may find – of course, we can also help you with other issues as well. We will provide you with the best possible tree service.

Header image thanks to Chris on Flickr!
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“Hover Parenting” Techniques You Are Using With Your Tree

Your trees are somewhat like your children – you have to constantly pay attention, but you cannot let them know that you are paying attention. The truth is that trees in the wild grow tall and strong without any human interference, so why shouldn’t a tree grow in your yard the same way? There are many different ways to answer that question and there are reasons why your trees will need more support than a regular tree in a forest.

Still, too often we see people who are over loving their trees – they are doing too much and taking care of them too well. The results? The tree doesn’t really like it at all. They rebel (like your children might do as well), they don’t flourish as well as they should, and sometimes they even die.

This is difficult – as all parenting is – so how can you know that you are being a hover parent to your tree? Here are some key signs:

4. You Gave Your Tree Too Much Water

  • Happens frequently during rainy seasons
  • Can be the results of an irrigation system
  • You may need some professional intervention

When your child is playing a sport or goes for a run, what is the first thing you do? You hand him or her a water bottle and insist that they drink up so that they don’t get dehydrated. Sometimes, we give too much water and they get sick. The same thing can happen to your trees – you can give your trees too much water and they can get sick.

If this is the case for your yard, according to Home Guides, you can expect to see the following symptoms: “a loss of vigor, yellowing leaves, leaf scorch and water-soaked blisters on the stems and leaves. Dig down several inches into the tree’s root zone, in the area between the trunk and the edge of the tree’s canopy. The tree’s root zone typically extends out anywhere from 1.5 to 4 times the width of the canopy. Very moist soil at that depth suggests too much water. A sour smell indicates that the soil is oxygen-deprived. Also, any signs of mushrooms or algae around tree’s root zone can indicate a water-logged tree.”

If you see any of these signs, you need to scale back on the watering. This might mean not using an automated system or simply watering less until you can see what the appropriate amount of water really is.

3. You Aren’t Paying Attention to pH

  • Make sure your soil gets tested professionally
  • Work to balance out soil
  • Remember to get it tested regularly

Getting a check-up is one of the most basic requirements of raising a child. You ensure that your children have testing done to ensure that they are growing properly. You need to do the same thing with your trees. Take your soil to get professionally tested so that you know what is going on with your tree. There are certain elements that need to be in the ground so that your tree grows.

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the pH level of your soil around your trees is one of the most important indicators of your tree’s health – you want the pH to be about 6.5. It can be a bit lower or higher, but this is the number that you want to aim for when it comes to your tree.

2. You Took Pruning Into Your Own Hands

  • Causes lifelong damage
  • Hurts the chance of fruit and/or flowers in the spring
  • You must use best practices

We all have the memory of having a haircut from our mom – and most of us have that elementary school picture where our bangs are crooked, or she took it way too short. The same thing can happen with your trees – without proper techniques or the proper tools, your trees will end up looking even worse than your third-grade picture. Trees that are crooked can tip over, especially in the winter. If you aren’t using the best techniques, the tree will continue to grow wrong for the rest of its life or it will just be off for a long time.

Remember that every cut you make is a wound, and, according to Tree Care Tips, you have to be careful about cutting more than 25% of your tree at a time. However, that tip is aimed at professional. You shouldn’t prune your tree at all unless it is one small branch. It just isn’t worth it to take things into your own hands – while a bad haircut will go away in a few months, it can take years to fix this problem.

1. You Were Too Tough on Pests

  • Never use insecticides
  • Some “pests” aren’t obvious
  • Sit back and see what happens for a while

According to ThoughtCo, “Insects that attack trees come in many sizes and shapes. The beetles consume leaf parts and inner bark; the aphids, leafminers, and moths defoliate; the borers consume wood; the gall-making wasps deform limbs and leaves. Not all insects will kill a tree, but the “killers” listed can be certain death when insect populations explode.”

However, what you don’t want to do is take action too quickly, as this can result in using methods that aren’t productive and can actually do more damage to your trees. The best things to do are either to sit and watch to see how your trees are impacted by the pests or to talk to a professional.

If you are looking for a tree care professional in Redwood City, give Econo Tree Service a call today at (650) 200-2495. We will help you to better understand your trees and how to handle any watering, planting, pruning, or other tree issues that you may find – of course, we can also help you with other issues as well. We will provide you with the best possible tree service.

Header photo courtesy of Ellie Nakazawa on Flickr!


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Interesting Ways Trees Will Spruce Up Your Yard

When you think about your yard, the main thing most people want to add is a tree or two. Why? Trees are such an important part of our landscaping design. They add character, sweetness, beauty, fresh air, and a certain amount of playfulness to your yard that might not have been there before.  We believe that trees are such an important part of your yard and we do truly believe that everyone should have at least one tree in their yards to help keep the air clean and the landscaping beautiful.

But before you do a ton of work to put that tree in, there are some things you want to think about. You want to consider how that tree will be used, what kind of tree that you want, how much work you are willing to do, and even the span of that entire tree once it has grown. While the tree might be small now, you have to know that it will grow.

Apart from those questions, you should consider the following ways to use trees in your yard:

4. Make an outdoor living space.

  • Gives you privacy.
  • Expands your living space.
  • Makes you want to hang out outdoors.

If you typically aren’t the sort of person that likes to spend all your time indoors, but you don’t have an area to go outside, you may want to think about utilizing trees to help develop an added area outside. This will certainly offer you privacy when you are outdoors and give you some time to yourself if your neighbors are always coming over. There are so many opportunities in a yard large or small, you just have to be creative.

According to Better Homes and Gardens: “If you don’t want to work on making your entire yard a private paradise, take one corner and transform it into a secluded getaway. A simple way to do this is to carefully place a couple of trees to form a pocket. Here, for example, two pines make a hammock feel tucked away. A redbud just behind the hammock enhances the effect.”

3. Think about the flow of your yard.

  • There are professionals who can help you if you have trouble.
  • Think of plants, walkways, water features, and your trees.
  • Remember you need to maintain your lawn and gardens.

How will your tree work with the rest of your yard? There are so many different features your yard can have, which is why you have to plan for your yard. Many people plant trees in a yard – but some yards don’t need more than one. Lifehacker suggests looking at your space from above to see what the layout should be. You can find an easy map on Google that has taken an aerial view of your home. From there, you can figure out the scale, print out the picture, and start with the layout.

If you don’t want to do it this way, you can start laying out the design in your actual yard using tape or representative items.

2. Think about the impact on home value

  • Trees take a long time to get big and they grow in many ways – so think ahead.
  • Think of getting unusual trees that your neighbors don’t have.
  • Do not go overboard with too many trees.

A completely grown tree that has been planted and taken care of by specialists has the ability to add between $1,000 and $10,000 to the value of your home, according to Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers. If you want to boost the curb appeal to your home by adding a tree, you want to plant it early so that it can grow.

When planting a tree raise the value of your home, you will have to think about the types of trees that individuals truly want in their lawns. Meaning, what type of family will live in your house once you sell? The best kind of tree for your lawn will certainly depend on your house – trees that are tall and solid (and ripe for climbing) might be fantastic if your home has a lot of rooms and will have a family in it. On the other hand, a ranch home with one bedroom will probably go to an older family that doesn’t want the yard work.

1. Think about the view

  • Think about safety as well as security.
  • You possibly invest even more time inside compared to outdoors.
  • Determines kind of tree that you desire.

HGTV says that one of the biggest mistakes people do when planting a tree is that they don’t think about what it will look like from the inside of your home. This is vitally important because we tend to spend a lot more time inside of our homes than we do outside of it. When picking out the type of tree that you want, you will have to think about how it will impact your view from the inside of your home.

To do this, stand inside your and look out to where you will plant the tree. Try to visualize it as it grows – what will the tree hide? What will you still be able to see? If you can do this, you will start to realize whether or not you want to put a tree there or whether you should consider moving it around.

If you are looking for a tree care professional in Redwood City, give Econo Tree Service a call today at (650) 200-2495. We will help you to better understand your trees and how to handle any watering, planting, pruning, or other tree issues that you may find – of course, we can also help you with other issues as well. We will provide you with the best possible tree service.

Header image thanks to Tim Green on Flickr!
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4 Things Your Soil NEEDS This Summer

All dirt is created equally and there is no way to get good dirt or bad dirt, right? Wrong. Dirt – or soil as we prefer to call it – is among one of the most complex features that you have in your backyard. Soil is the most important feature in your yard as well – everything comes from the soil and is sustained by the soil.

When the dirt in your yard is missing out on one important element or product, you will certainly see that nothing is growing as tall or as strong as it should be growing. This could show up in different ways on your trees – they may not generate as much fruit, your leaves don’t look as healthy, or maybe you are having trouble getting flowers that are colorful.

When you are growing trees specifically, it is very important to recognize the genetic makeup of your soil, exactly what the pH of your soil is, and even what sort of soil you have.

So just what should be in your soil? Here are the most essential elements:

4. Air Space

  • Enables far better watering and water movement
  • Stops any type of compaction
  • Aerate your dirt for better air space

According to Deep Root, “Soil pore space is important for aeration, infiltration, and healthy root growth. An ideal soil has 50% pore space. The larger pores are filled with air, and the smaller ones with water. The remaining 50% of soil is 45% mineral materials and 5% organic matter. When a soil is compacted, soil particles are squeezed together, which reduces total soil pore space. Natural soils have pore spaces between individual soil particles and between clumps of soil particles. These clumps are called soil aggregates. Soil aggregates in natural soils are called peds. Activities which decrease pore spaces between soil particles, and activities which destroy soil ped structure and ped pore space, generally negatively impact trees. Activities that can cause compaction include, for example, loads from foot and vehicular traffic and equipment, other heavy loads, moving soil, stockpiling soil, and even tilling.”

So exactly how can you prohibit dirt compaction? You have to have air in your soil. The more air that your soil has, the better it will be for your plants. Water will move quickly and easily into that space to make sure that it permeates deep into the roots, however, space additionally permits your plants to dry so that there isn’t really any type of mold  or mildew development. Obviously, space also means that raw material, nutrients, and other valuable natural elements can move throughout the soil without delay.

Of course, you want to have air naturally, but that isn’t always possible depending on where you live and how water drains from your yard. You can buy dirt that has even more air in it or you can freshen your soil with aeration. One more technique is to obtain mulch because that practically guarantees a layer with a great deal of air – just make sure it is healthy mulch.

3. Nitrogen

  • Needed for root advancement
  • Helps with cell growth
  • Constructs strong, healthy proteins for growth

One of one of the most necessary components of your dirt is nitrogen. This is so important that if you do not have enough nitrogen in your soil, you might wind up with browned tips on your fallen leaves, poor fruit manufacturing, or even weak roots that will eventually stall the growth of your trees. Nitrogen, according to Hunker, aids your tree throughout the photosynthesis procedure – something that it needs a lot of help with in order to survive. Photosynthesis is the greatest single exporter of your tree’s power, so you want to provide it ample resources for that during the warmer months when your tree is generating the most power.

Trees that grow flowers (as well as fruits and nuts) require more nitrogen in the dirt than any other trees, yet it is required for all of them. From the root system of your trees on up, nitrogen aids with development.

Think you require more nitrogen in your dirt? You could include animal manure, especially chicken manure, to your gardening. Note that this can be a bit stinky, so you might want to plan it for a cooler day.

2. Phosphorous

  • Produces power for the tree throughout growth
  • Aids nutrient absorption
  • Maintains a healthy and balanced tree throughout the year

The University of Minnesota sustains the assertion that phosphorous is among one of the most essential components of your soil for many reasons, but the key one is that the roots will certainly be more powerful, thicker, and much deeper if your soil has phosphorous. You have to have soil that is rich in phosphorous throughout all phases of the tree’s growth, but it is specifically important during the primary development years for your trees– around the first decade or so.

If you have low levels of phosphorous, you can anticipate seeing a reduced fruit yield, dying leaves and branches, or even purple splotches on the fruits, leaves, and growths of the tree.

Phosphorous is a difficult element to add to your soil, however, it can be done utilizing high-quality additives that have not been treated with prescription antibiotics.

1. Potassium

  • Helps with liquid absorption
  • Triggers enzymes to work
  • Easy to include in your garden

According to the Northeast Farmer’s Association, “Potassium is the Great Regulator. It is active in numerous enzyme systems which control metabolic reactions, particularly in the synthesis of proteins and starches. Micronutrients, which have similar functions, are required only in minute amounts. In contrast, potassium must be present in large quantities, although it seems to be completely unsuited for its role. As tables show, some plants require more potassium than any other soil nutrient, even nitrogen.”

A great quantity of potassium in your dirt will certainly cause much better dampness retention, which can most definitely assist to stop damages from warm. Also much better, your more youthful trees will certainly have the ability to grow stronger roots.

If you do not have enough potassium in your dirt, you will see the signs almost immediately.  To add some potassium, you can begin composing your soil, paying special focus on include fruit and vegetable scraps. If you do not compost, you can include wood ash, but this will influence the pH levels of your soil.

Whatever in your lawn begins within the dirt, so you need to take note of just how it impacts development and also life in your yard – so make sure that you are taking care of it properly.

If you are looking for a tree care professional in Redwood City, give Econo Tree Service a call today at (650) 200-2495. We will help you to better understand your trees and how to handle any watering, planting, pruning, or other tree issues that you may find – of course, we can also help you with other issues as well. We will provide you with the best possible tree service.

Header photo courtesy of Nick Ares on Flickr!
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Tree Tools All Homeowners Need

As a homeowner, you know that there are some tree care related projects that you might have to do – things that you don’t really need to call a tree care company for, but you do need to do for the health of your trees. We understand this and know that there are some tasks you want to handle on your own – but we also know that you can only do that if you have the right tools in your hands. That is why we compiled this list, to allow you to see what you should have in your garage or tool shed.

You do have to make sure of a few things: you know how to use the tools, they are high quality, and you only handle what you can handle. If you have any questions, it is better to err on the side of caution.

So what do you need? Let’s take a look:

5. Irrigation Systems

  • Helps with routine watering
  • Useful in all seasons
  • Invest in a timed system for better results

Dry summers are the biggest threat to healthy, happy trees. You want to have a yard that is nourished and hydrated all over, not just around your trees. When your yard looks a little crispy or crunchy, you might have to invest in an irrigation system, sprinkler, or at least a hose. While you do have to be conscious of the amount of water that you use, you should have something help our your trees – even if it is recycled water.

The Home Depot has a fantastic guide for buying a garden hose that will work with your yard and all legal regulations on using water. Make sure to put it to good use – this doesn’t have to be a huge investment.


4. Short Pruners

  • Be judicious when using
  • Do not cut into blisters
  • Always clean properly

This one is a more difficult tool to recommend because you do have to be extremely careful when you use them. Still, it is a necessary part of any yard maintenance plan. However, we recommend hand pruners because they cannot do any of the big cutting that can be really detrimental to your trees. You should still take care not to cut too much and never cut with dirty or rusty pruners.

You won’t be able to dramatically change your trees, but you can make some maintenance trims that will help with some of the bushiness or extra pieces.

Per Garden Products Review, “Pruners (also called clippers, pruning shears, or secateurs) are used to trim and shape plants, deadhead, prune out dead or damaged foliage and small branches, and cut back perennials. They’re one of the most-used gardening tools so it’s important to get a pair that works best for you.”

Once again – do not go overboard with this or you will do more harm than good.

3. Rakes

  • Helps in all seasons
  • Spread mulch or new soil
  • Expose roots

One of the most useful tools for all parts of your yard is the common yard rake. Many people have traded in the manual labor of the rake for a leaf blower, but that doesn’t have to be the case at all. Other than being great exercise, a manual rake can do so much more.

According to The Seattle Times, “Among landscaping rakes, metal bow rakes are used for moving soil around the garden, mounding dirt to create raised beds, picking up garden debris and tamping the soil. The sharp steel points can dig too deeply into a lawn, however, and, when used to rake leaves, those same points spear the leaves and get clogged easily.”

You can use a rake at any point of the year to clean your gardens, which will certainly keep your tree healthy. Of course, you want to be careful that you aren’t too rough or do too much damage. For this reason, you want to use a quality rake that won’t cause bruises to the roots.

2. Wheelbarrow

  • Lasts a lifetime
  • Always useful
  • Helps with all projects

Another tool that people have forsaken too soon is the wheelbarrow. It is something that we all need, even if we don’t’ want to admit it. They will help you to do a job that you might not want to do because it seems like too much work. While there is still work with a wheelbarrow, you are able to do just a little bit less.

Whether you are cleaning up after a storm or moving some landscaping items, it makes your job just a little easier. Even though they aren’t high tech or cutting edge, wheelbarrows are a good investment because they are always going to be useful and we can’t really see a way to improve upon them too much. In fact, according to research by the University of Houston, the first wheelbarrows may have had sails, and they have been around for a very, very long time.

Invest in a higher quality wheelbarrow and it will last you a long time.

1. Flashlights

  • Useful indoors and outdoors
  • Scare away pests
  • Check deep into trees

This might seem like a strange addition to the list, but it really isn’t. Flashlights are extremely useful for tree care. They help you to spot any problem areas where the tree isn’t accessible to your eyes.

The stronger the flashlight, the better for you. You will easily be able to spot damage from a distance.

According to The Flashlight Guide, you want to get a flashlight with an LED bulb instead of an older one so that you can see the true colors on your tree – which can help you with identifying problem areas.

If you are looking for a tree care professional in Redwood City, give Econo Tree Service a call today at (650) 200-2495. We will help you to better understand your trees and how to handle any tree care issues that you might have, whether your tree is older or young. It is important that you don’t try to handle any tree-related care on your own that really should be left to a professional. We are always here to help, so don’t be afraid to reach out.

Header photo courtesy of Piotr on Flickr!
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4 Things to Know About Deep Watering Trees

When should you water your trees and when should you allow nature to do what it wants to do? It can be very difficult to learn about the needs of your trees because they don’t talk like humans do and they don’t run around your feet in circles like a pet might do. Instead, a lot of the work you have to do is estimation, which can be troublesome for people who haven’t worked with trees before.

“Deep watering” isn’t really a new concept, but it is something that people are starting to learn about for the first time. Deep watering, or deep root watering as it may be known, is a tactic that quenches a deeper thirst of trees – usually when it is dry in the summer months. Still, there are many things people do not know about deep watering that might help you better understand why it is important in some cases, and why you might not always want to do it.

4. It Really Does Go Deep

  • You are watering the roots
  • 12-18″ deep in some cases
  • Some plants even need it deeper

When you water your plants on a regular basis, you are probably watering the leaves and dampening the soil around them. This is enough, you may think. The truth is that, according to Slate, most plants aren’t able to absorb water through their leaves. Instead, they get whatever tricks down into the roots of the plant over time. In the hot summer, this means that they might not get a third of what you used because most of it will evaporate.

Deep watering requires more water and more time because it is going to go really deep into the ground where it will meet the root systems. When the ground is wet already, that water will stick around. However, the water tends to dry up quickly in dry ground.

3. It Won’t Work for All Plants

  • Vegetables don’t need deep watering
  • Some grasses and ferns don’t either
  • Flowers are a case-by-case scenario

Many people think that deep watering will be the answer to all of their problems, and this couldn’t be further from the truth. The idea of deep watering isn’t useful for perennials, including ferns, grasses, and many flowers, because they tend to have shorter root systems that stay nearer to the surface. You do have to water these plants, and you should always look for signs that you are over watering or under watering, according to Gardeners.

You should water these plants and deep watering won’t really harm them unless you do it too often, but it is likely that this will be a waste of water anyway. Hand watering might seem laborious, but it really is the best approach for perennials and vegetables.

2. Soakers Are a Good Choice As Well

  • Help you to water regularly
  • Can be used in a system so everything gets what they need
  • Be careful about over watering, however

If you aren’t the type of person who really wants to be in the garden all that much, investing in an inexpensive soaker hose or system may work well. This is simple a black rubber hose that has small holes where the water comes out instead of at the end. You can put this onto your traditional garden hose and snake it through your garden. Then, you can simply turn it on every few days so that you can slowly, but deeply, water your gardens. Many people believe in this method more than others because it is easy, though once again you do have to keep water usage in mind. Still, they are better than the traditional sprinklers that many people use (and are even banned in some places) because they direct the water right where it needs to go. You can even DIY these for your own garden so that the water goes perfectly where it needs to go.

According to the DIY Network, you can even buy or make a system that has a computer control with it so that you do not need to be at your home – this is great for people with rental properties or those that go on vacation for long periods of time.

1. Trees and Shrubs Should Be Watered Deeply

  • Roots tend to go very deep into the ground
  • Also spread out like a fan
  • In a drought, trees are the most vulnerable

If there is one thing that you do deep water, it should be your shrubs and trees. These are the things in your yard that have to fight the hardest for the water, and they are probably the ones that have roots that sometimes don’t get water in the hottest time of the year.

According to the Morton Arboretum, “There is no reason to water the leaves of a plant. Water the soil, where the roots are. The Arboretum recommends watering within the drip line of a tree, from the trunk out to the end of the branches, to reach the roots most effectively. The water-absorbing roots are within the top two feet of soil; you want to keep these roots moist but not wet.”

This means you don’t want to completely saturate the ground, but you do want to put some water in there. Once again, it will help you are able to read the signs of over watering and under watering.

It might seem simplistic, but everything about watering really comes down to paying attention to your trees and trying to understand what they need. The same goes for almost all of the other living things inside and outside of your home. Tree care is important, and if you want your trees to be beautiful and provide you with shade, you want to do all you can to keep them healthy.

If you are looking for a tree care professional in Redwood City, give Econo Tree Service a call today at (650) 200-2495. We will help you to better understand your trees and how to handle any watering issues that you may find – of course, we can also help you at other times of the year as well.

Header photo courtesy of Dirkus on Flickr!


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Is Your Yard Ready for Spring? 4 Can’t Miss Tips

Spring is a great time for you to get out of your house and do something to your yard. Why? Well, you have probably spent the last few months trapped inside throughout the elements, and as the weather gets warmer and nicer, you want to ensure that you are doing all that you can to keep your yard beautiful throughout the rest of the year. It can even help you to spot something that might go wrong throughout the most important growth time of the year.

Here are four can’t miss tips for your tree and yard  care this spring:

4. Tidy Up Around the Trunk

  • Remove winter wraps
  • Ensure that your tree can get water to the roots
  • Use best practices when cleaning up

According to This Old House, of the best things that you can do for your trees and yard in the spring months is to remove any debris that has accumulated over the winter months. This starts by removing the Christmas lights and winter tree wraps that you may have put up and didn’t take down. Those lights, in particular, can be extremely destructive if you keep them up year round. If you want to keep them up, you should at least move them somewhere else on the tree.

When that has finished, you want to clean up any of the twigs, leaves, fruit, nuts, or other debris that might have accumulated on the ground. These items, even if they are dead, can soak up the water that is meant for the roots of the tree. When you clean these up, you are giving them the best chance for survival.

3. Be Sure to Inspect Your Trees

  • Check from the trunks upwards to spot any problems
  • Know the signs of common tree diseases in California
  • Call a tree care professional if you think there are any problems that you can’t handle

Spring is a great time to take a walk around your yard and try to find any problem areas in anything – your gardens, your lawn, and yes, in your trees. Take some time to just inspect your trees. Look at the root systems, the trunk, the branches, the foliage, and everything around your tree to spot any issues. Doing this will enable you to contact a professional and get anything taken care of immediately – which can often save you effort and can save your tree’s life.

Spring also makes it easy to spot any issues that might pop up.

According to the University of California, you want to check for dead branches, multiple trunks, trees that won’t flower, cavities and decay, cracks, and any weak spots. These will make themselves apparent in the springtime, though it is important to watch the rest of the year as well.

If you notice any issues with your tree, you want to call a professional to handle the issues as soon as possible – waiting too long will certainly make any issues worse.

2. Mulch It Up

  • Use high quality mulch
  • Be careful not to put it too close to the trunk
  • Remove any old mulch first

Something else you can do to help your trees throughout the rest of the year? Better Homes and Gardens suggests mulching during the spring months. This will help your trees to fend off weeds that fight for nutrients and water as well as keep the soil wet through dry periods.

You want to be careful not to put mulch right up against your tree because it can invite sores and molds to form on the trunk. Instead, you want to put a 3″ layer around your tree. You should do this with younger trees (trees under 10 years of age) but it will also help trees that are a bit older.

Mulching is far more complicated than it might seem – make sure you do some research on the proper ways to choose mulch and how to lay it.

1. Water Water Water

  • No matter what the weather is
  • Water as deeply as you can
  • Ensure irrigation system is complete

Trees need water the grow strong and healthy, especially in the spring. One of the most important things that you can do for your trees is to water your cars deeply. If the spring is cold, ensure that you break up the soil so that it isn’t frozen together. If the spring is particularly warm, you might want to water even more to account for the heat. According to Colorado State University, this is a great time to test your soil for any problems – especially if you are planting any new trees.

If you don’t want to manually water all the time, you should set up your sprinkler system. If you already have one, make sure to double check it for any issues or clogs. Ensure that the sprinklers are aimed at the trunk of the tree – aiming it at the foliage can cause problems.

If you are looking for a tree care professional in Redwood City, give Econo Tree Service a call today at (650) 200-2495. We will help you to better understand your trees and how to handle any springtime issues that you may find – of course, we can also help you at other times of the ear.

Header photo courtesy of Susanne Nilsson on Flickr!
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Transplanting a Tree: How to Do It

Regardless if you have paid for a tree or you want to move a tree from somewhere else in your grounds, resettling a tree is a difficult task that calls for concern. If you don’t do specifically the appropriate thing, you might end up losing the tree and wasting your time, money, and energy. In truth, moving a tree is too hazardous unless you absolutely need to do if for safety reasons or if the tree really means something to you.

The most effective opportunity to move a tree depends on the tree, where the tree is moving to, and the various tools that you have. Nevertheless, there are a few distinct guidelines that you may want to think about:

4. Prior to It Becoming Too Substantial

  • Needs to be sturdy
  • May need to eliminate some roots
  • Can take a long time

Certainly, you want to move the tree before it gets too great. Planting trees for the first time gives you more time, you can plant trees that are more considerable that way. However, it is exceptionally precarious to remove a tree from the ground and then move it to another place once the tree has established itself. You will need to snip away at the roots, which can absolutely do a number on the tree– parts of it may die, it might not be able to get nutrition and might reject everything that you do.

If your tree is quite substantial and you feel like you have to move it, reaching out to a specialist is the best thing you can do. Trying to work on the task by yourself will just result in you harming yourself.

According to Gardening Know How, you will be waiting quite some time to move your tree after you make a choice to do it. You have to go through quite a few different steps to get where you want to be– actions that can take up to six months.

3. Evergreens– Don’t Wait For the Warmth

  • Evergreens are durable and can stand up virtually anything
  • Make sure to observe the tree
  • Do not over water

Transplanting evergreen trees isn’t all that difficult, but there are a number of things you do want to consider. According to The Spruce, “While they do not grow as vigorously in winter as in other seasons, they do not undergo the kind of dormancy that deciduous plants do. Thankfully, though, evergreens tend to be tough customers, and this toughness gives you more leeway with them. You can generally undertake the operation earlier in the fall and later in the spring with evergreens than you can with their deciduous counterparts.”

More notably, you don’t want to do is transfer evergreens when it is too hot. This means you want to avoid all of the summer months. You also may want to keep away from months where we don’t get a lot of precipitation because evergreens tend to suck up water quite quickly.

2. When In Doubt, Fall

  • Tree will establish itself better
  • Land isn’t too hard
  • Source of nourishment are plentiful

Most professionals encourage planting in the fall because of the mild temperatures and that is when the land is still soft enough that you can finagle the tree if need be. Fall is a pretty wet period as well, so the tree will get enough moisture. You can also do it in the springtime, though that isn’t optimal.

According to the Clemson Cooperative Extension, “Fall planting allows the carbohydrates produced during the previous growing season to be directed to root growth since there is little demand from the top. This additional growth may lessen the dependency of the plant on supplemental irrigation the following summers.”

1. When The Tree Is Dormant

  • Each tree has a different dormancy period
  • Make sure tree is completely dormant
  • Helps tree establish itself

The absolute best time to plant a tree or a shrub is when it has gone inactive. During this time, the vitality of the tree is completely focused on root growth, which of course will serve to help it establish itself.

Talk to a specialist to find out when your trees will be dormant. Though they tend to go dormant around the similar time, remember that trees are shipped out from all over the world so that can really influence the dormancy period.

Another thing you may want to take into consideration when transplanting? The USDA hardiness zone where you’re located will change the dormancy period as well, so talk to contractors at your local nursery when calculating a planting date.

It is important to remember that trees are different and each yard is unique as well. The growth of a tree transplant depends on many different things. First, your tree has to be fully healthy. Then, you have to use well-maintained tools and the best methods to move the tree. If it gets injured in transport, that could be the end of it. Ultimately, you have to take care of your tree for a long time afterward. Aftercare is so important, and you need to be able to act as soon as you see any problems with the tree.

It is exceedingly difficult to grow trees in California, especially within the last few years. It is your best bet to keep the trees that you already have alive and thriving, even if you want to move them. You have to be careful when transplanting any of your trees because one wrong cut can spell the end of a tree – or at least the start of some pretty severe problems that will require quite a bit of work.

If you are worried, have questions, or want professionals to handle your tree concerns or transplanting a tree, give Econo Tree Service a call at (650) 200-2495. Our team is filled with experienced arborists and tree care professionals who can work with your trees to have your yard looking beautiful and healthy.

Header photo courtesy of Deborah Mason on Flickr!
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