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Signs Of a Sick Tree

Signs Of a Sick Tree

When You Have a Sick Tree, It’s Important To Call a Certified and Professional Arborist for Help.

Our trees are some of the most beneficial things in our yard. Not only do they provide great shade and are aesthetically pleasing, but they can help the environment by creating more oxygen. While trees are pretty resilient, there are times when they can become sick. This is usually due to disease and insect infestation, which can happen when a tree becomes stress and weakened. A tree can become stressed and weakened for a multitude of reasons, such as too much sunlight, not enough sunlight, lack of nutrients, soil compaction, injuries to inadequate pruning, and weather conditions. Knowing when a tree is sick can help you get professional help fast and save your tree.

  • Premature leaf defoliation
  • Discolored leaves before the fall season.
  • Shriveled leaves before the fall season.
  • Branches that don’t have leaves or bark on them.
  • Branches that have fallen off a tree for no apparent reason.
  • Fungal growth on the bark and roots.
  • Holes, cracks, and dents on the tree trunk.
  • Soft feeling roots.

If you think you have a sick tree in Fort Worth, TX, call Fort Worth Arborist Co. today at 817-975-0180 for diagnosis and treatment service!

What Causes a Tree To Die Suddenly?

The lifespan of a tree is going to vary depending on the species of the tree. However, trees can die quite suddenly for a number of reasons. When the word suddenly is used, it doesn’t mean sudden like overnight but sudden as in a few weeks. If a tree does die overnight, its because there is a drought or because of Armillaria root rot. Sick trees will always show symptoms before they die, but sometimes it’s too late before anything can be done. There are many factors that can cause a tree to die early. Humans who accidentally cause damage to a tree from pruning can make the tree susceptible to disease and insect infestation. The same thing can be said for overwatering, not watering it enough, too much mulch, or there isn’t enough soil. This is why it’s so important to get help for your sick tree whenever you see the symptoms of a sick tree that were listed above.

How To Save a Dying Tree

The things that you can do to ensure your tree is in great shape is to use the right amount of fertilizer, don’t overwater it, don’t use too much mulch, and make sure that if you prune your tree, you don’t injure it. However, when you call Fort Worth Arborist Co. at 817-975-0180 you are able to get a wide variety of services from certified, licensed, and insured arborists who can offer yearly tree maintenance, as well as treatments for sick trees. If you have a sick tree in Fort Worth, TX, call us today!

Christmas Tree Preservation Tips

When buying a tree, make sure it is fresh and the stems are pliable by bending the stems. Fresh tree stems will not break; they should spring back to shape. It is best to buy your tree at night, or on a wet and rainy day. This helps the tree not dry out on the drive home. When you get it home, cut about an inch off the bottom of the trunk. This helps to expose fresh water conducting tissue in the tree trunk. Put it in a bucket of water right after you make the cut, and store it either outside in the shade or in a cool garage. Trees tend to drop needles during these first few days and having them outside or in the garage helps with the mess.

Water down the trunk several times while it is outside. It is not necessary to water the needles; doing so may help rinse dust and pollen that cause allergies for some. Wetting the trunk helps to invigorate the tree’s ability to take up water from the bottom of the stem. Just under the thin bark tissue is the vascular system of the tree. This is a layer of vein like channels that trees use to move water and nutrients throughout the tree.

Before bringing the tree inside, take a blower and blow off and shake off loose needles. If you don’t have a blower, you can lift the tree about a foot off the ground and drop it on the trunk to encourage loose needles to fall. Before placing the tree in a good tree stand (one with a deep reservoir), cut another inch-or-so off the bottom.

The vascular system will only remain viable for a short period of time after it is severed from the root system. By making another fresh cut, you can gain more time for enjoying the tree indoors.

The tree’s placement inside should be somewhere that doesn’t have direct sun exposure or hot overhead lamps. Also, if there is an air duct vent near the tree, close it. Don’t allow the air conditioning or heating to blow on the tree.

 

If available, place a humidifier behind the tree and set it to run at the lowest setting.

Frequently check your water reservoir and refill it as needed. Be very vigilant and do not let the tree go dry. Drying will seal the vascular system and the tree will quickly begin to dry out. If the water went dry accidentally, you may be able to encourage uptake by wetting down the trunk along the base of the tree with a spray bottle. Commercial additives aren’t effective. Just use clear cool water.

 

 

Matthew Clemons, RCA #623

Certified Arborist, TX1340 (ISA)
CLP #507 (TNLA)
Oak Wilt Certified #100
Registered Consulting Arborist (ASCA)
Professional Soil Scientist Association of Texas

Fort Worth Arborist Co.

Watering Your New Tree

Mark Peterson, formerly of the Texas Forest Service and now with the San Antonio Water Department, was tasked with creating watering guidelines that would provide enough water for young trees to survive and grow, but not use any more water than necessary. Mark’s approach is what Fort Worth Arborist Co is sharing here.

Simple, But Not Easy

No matter how drought tolerant, native, or local a tree species is, almost all young to trees (typically 1 to 3 years old, or up to 5 years in Type I, Type II and especially arid regions) in man-made landscapes must be watered by people during the summer to survive and become established.  The complete extent of young tree roots in the first few years after planting is limited to the soil volume that the tree was last grown in (for example, a pot or container). Mature, established trees generally require less consistent care, but during droughts every tree must be monitored and watered adjusted accordingly.

If you are caring for young, recently planted trees, here are some good rules of thumb to follow (your mileage may vary depending on climate and tree species). Here is Mark’s watering regimen for newly planted trees.

Watering as a Science

Year

Amount

Frequency

YEAR 1

First month of planting

Trunks smaller than 2” (5 cm):  1 gallon per inch of trunk diameter.

Trunks larger than 2” (5cm): 2 gallons per inch of trunk diameter.

Water three (3) times a week over the root ball.

 

Second month of planting

Trunks smaller than 2” (5 cm):  1 gallon per inch of trunk diameter.

Trunks larger than 2” (5cm): 2 gallons per inch of trunk diameter.

Water two (2) times a week over the root ball.

Third month of planting

Trunks smaller than 2” (5 cm):  1 gallon per inch of trunk diameter.

Trunks larger than 2” (5cm): 2 gallons per inch of trunk diameter.

Water once (1) per week over the root ball.

 

Fourth to ninth month of planting

Trunks smaller than 2” (5 cm):  1 gallon per inch of trunk diameter.

Trunks larger than 2” (5cm): 2 gallons per inch of trunk diameter.

Water twice per month over the root ball.

 

YEAR 2

Hottest months

Trunks smaller than 2” (5 cm):  1 gallon per inch of trunk diameter.

Trunks larger than 2” (5cm): 2 gallons per inch of trunk diameter.

Water twice per month over the root ball only. During a drought, water once weekly.

Cooler months

 

Monitor and respond

YEAR 3

Hottest months

Trunks smaller than 2” (5 cm):  1 gallon per inch of trunk diameter.

Trunks larger than 2” (5cm): 2 gallons per inch of trunk diameter.

Water twice per month, twice the width of the root ball. During a drought, water once weekly.

Cooler months

 

Monitor and respond

YEAR 4

Hottest months

Trunks smaller than 2” (5 cm):  1 gallon per inch of trunk diameter.

Trunks larger than 2” (5cm): 2 gallons per inch of trunk diameter.

Water twice per month, twice the width of the root ball. During a drought, water once weekly.

Cooler months

 

Monitor and respond

YEAR 5

Hottest months

Trunks smaller than 2” (5 cm):  1 gallon per inch of trunk diameter.

Trunks larger than 2” (5cm): 2 gallons per inch of trunk diameter.

Water twice per month, twice the width of the root ball. During a drought, water once weekly.

Cooler months

 

Monitor and respond

For young trees, water the roots around the trunk (not the trunk itself, and not the area outside the root ball). I also recommend creating and maintaining a 3-foot wide, 1” to 3” (2.5 cm to 7.5 cm) deep organic (wood chip) mulch ring around the trunk for its entire life, to help maintain soil moisture.

For mature trees (>25 years), or those with a trunk more than 12″ (30 cm) in diameter, water deep and occasionally. About 10 gallons per 1 inch (2.5 cm) of trunk diameter per week (ex., a tree with 12″ DBH would receive 120 gallons) during drought. If there is unlimited water, there are records of trees absorbing 150 gallons of water in a single day.

Watering as an Art

In addition to the (human-driven) watering recommendations described above, there are environmental and design decisions that can set trees in the built environment on a more secure course for getting their irrigation needs met.

Select tree species that, over the long term in typical summer weather (not droughts), won’t require supplemental watering.

The urban landscape is full of small humps, bumps, and pimples that don’t serve to gather and contain water runoff. By thoughtfully altering these forms via slopes, pipes, and berms, we can turn the entire pervious landscape into a tool for draining water to tree planting areas.  This would be a paradigm change for watering trees and managing storm water worth billions of dollars, and billions of gallons of water, nationwide.

All trees need water during droughts. Trees that have access to larger volumes of loamy soil will be able to withstand dry periods better because of the water reserves the soil can contain (remember that sandy soils will drain quickly and require more frequent irrigation).  Evergreens need heavy watering going into the winter, and need watering during winter droughts.

Sometimes annuals or bulbs can look nice planted under a tree. But the tree is paying a price in root damage (caused by planting and removing flowers) and water competition for that temporary beauty. After tree establishment, do not plant anything under trees within 10 feet of the trunk.

Watering Tools

There are a great number of available tools for watering trees depending on your needs, budget, and other site considerations.

Passive

  • Slow release watering bags (e.g. Gator Bags).
  • Rain leaders, or scuppers, can be directed towards tree trunks or below ground into the tree soil mass.
  • Flexible downspout extender can be directed towards tree trunks.
  • Clean 5 gallon bucket. Fill with hose and time speed of fill – this will tell you how many gallons per minute are being applied. A typical municipal fill = 5 gallons un 2-5 minutes
  • Rain barrels with flexible hoses attached.

 

 

Active

  • Automatic irrigation can be great for watering hard-to-get-to trees and can be set to run occasionally for long periods of time using drip, bubbler or soaker hose.
  • Harvest cisterns – sump pump.

It’s important, particularly with mature, established trees, to water the entirety of the soil volume, even the part under paving. If there is no automatic tree watering system (bubblers, drip), I suggest using a soil watering needle with a watering hose connected.

Timing

Effective tree watering always takes place relatively slowly. (For this reason, pop-up rotary sprinkler head systems for lawns, that only turn on for a few minutes a few to several  times a week, are not the best type of watering for trees). If you use automatic irrigation to water your trees, set them to run for much longer periods of time using drip, bubbler, or soaker hose.

Still not sure?

The above are just guidelines; you should use your own experience, common sense, and (if appropriate) input from a professional when applying these to your site. Some simple questions can help you assess how much and how frequently to water your trees. Think about the following as a place to get started:

  • Are the trees young and newly planted, or mature and established?
  • How much precipitation does the area receive? How intense and frequent are the storms?
  • How warm is the average daily high temperature in the hot season?
  • How much soil are the trees planted in?
  • What type of soil are the trees planted in?
  • Are the trees growing in a street, median, parking lot, lawn?
  • What moisture conditions does the tree prefer?
  • How does water get into the tree opening?

If you’re wondering what trees do with all that water, on hot or windy days in the summer, a whopping 95 percent of the water that the tree consumes, when available, is turned into mist by the leaves (a process called evapotranspiration). The remaining 5 percent is used to photosynthesize to manufacture sugars for food.

Thanks to Mark Peterson at San Antonio Water System, Dr.  Edward (Ed) Gilman at the University of Florida, Dr. Gary Watson with the Morton Arboretum, Jim Urban with Urban Trees + Soils, and Colorado State University Extension and Deeproot Inc.

TCIA Chain Saw And Chipper Operator Specialist

Presented by:

Kristoffer Rasmussen

Certified Arborist TX-3853ACTSP #01198
kristoffer.rasmussen@aol.com

TCIA’s Tree Care Academy Chain Saw Specialist course is designed to train tree care employees in hazards, as well as accepted practices for chain saw operation and other associated tasks.

TCIA’s Tree Care Academy Chipper Operator Specialist course is designed to train tree care employees in hazards, as well as accepted practices for brush chipper operation and other associated tasks.  The course, which is built for crew members who often do not receive formal training opportunities, will increase employee involvement with overall safety compliance and self-policing.

Continuing education and certification for our Tree Services Crew:  Randall Weeks, Jose Garcia, and Manuel Perez

Credentials and Affiliations

All Fort Worth Arborist Co.  team members maintain membership in the International Society of Arboriculture. ISA Certified Arborists© are on staff. We also are one of the few companies in the state to have a Certified Tree Safety Professional (CTSP, TCIA) on staff.

Team Members are also affiliated with the following organizations:

Degrees Held by Team Members:

  • A.A.S Horticulture (TCC)
  • B.A.  INTS: Environmental Studies and Sustainability (UTA)

Certificates and Coursework held by team members:

  • Horticulture (TCC)
  • ISA Certified Arborist
  • Cornell Soil Health Assessment (USDA NRCS)
  • Earth-kind Landscape Management (Texas A&M)
  • Licensed Applicator (TDA-624296)
  • ASCA Consulting Academy (ASCA, Boston MASS)
  • Certified Oak Wilt Specialist #100 (Texas A&M)
  • Certified Landscape Professional #507 (TNLA)
  • Aerial Climbing Rescue and Rigging (ISA)
  • Arboriculture 101 (ISA-Texas)

The Emperor Has No Clothes: the time to act is now!

For many of us fortunate enough to have large towering trees in our yards, it is clear why these giants can be thought of as towering emperors lording over our property. Mature trees are magnificent creatures. They offer unparalleled beauty in our landscape, they improve our air quality, cool and insulate our homes, and richly increase our home’s value. But overly mature trees can be menacing accidents waiting to happen. Limbs that are over-reaching can fail under load. Old cavities can be inconveniently developed at critical areas along the trunk. Imbalanced canopies from years of growing in tight places or from canopy disfigurement from storm damage can threaten failure of serious scaffolding limbs. Most of us gain interest in our outdoor property assets when the weather is nice. Strolling ones grounds is normally more enjoyable with green grass and fresh leaf growth; this is just reality.

For Arborists who specialize in tree health evaluations, the spring can be just as enjoyable, albeit, distracting. Foliage quality tends to drive the subject of many evaluations due to the nature of client’s inquiries. Thorough arboricultural consultations concentrate on much more important matters, however. Foliage is important, but it only tells half of the story.

Trees have a dual nature. The biological nature is one of cell division and vegetative growth. Proper vascular movement, active photosynthesis, and timely seasonal cycles are all a part of this first nature of the tree. The second nature of the tree is the structure of the tree. Many trees in nature split and fall over, they break, they tumble. I have consulted on many trees where this is the case but the reality is that these trees aren’t necessarily “unhealthy”. Biological activity will continue and the tree, while fallen will continue to live. This is the fact of Arboreal Geriatrics, a great term for a grand old tree (John Stuart Martin, 1962). In the winter, deciduous trees (those that lose their leaves) provide the Arborist and the tree owner with a great opportunity. Without the cloud of foliage a look at the naked structure of the tree can be “A Great Revelation” as aptly coined by Sir. John Davey in 1908, the father of modern Tree Surgery.

Certain species benefit from winter season inspection, especially. Our state tree, the Pecan, Carya illenoinsis, is susceptible to Arboreal Geriatric failure (falling limbs, flaws, etc) and a great candidate for winter evaluation. It is when the tree is naked that many flaws and structural problems are revealed. It is time to take advantage of such exposure. Pruning plans can be deliberately written, flaws can be observed with clarity, and cable and support systems can be optimally designed.