Category Archives: Trees

Caring Properly for your Fruit Tree

If you have just recently planted a new fruit tree, I think it is safe to assume you are not yet an expert on the subject. More fruit trees die in their beginning years due to poor care habits than any disease or pestilence. Therefore it is vital that you understand how to care for trees in a way that will ensure their immediate success as well as future good health.

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Tree Pruning Tips

Tree Pruning Tips
Tree Pruning Tips

There are two kinds of winter gardening. The first method usually starts in January as the gardening catalogs begin to arrive in the mail. This type of gardening is as easy as sitting in your favorite chair, browsing the catalogs, and either dreaming about what you’re going to do this spring, or actually drawing designs for the gardens you intend to work on.

The second type of winter gardening is to actually get out in the yard and do a little work. Of course if it’s bitter cold, you’d be better off waiting for a good day. Winter is a good time to do some pruning if the temperatures are around 30 degrees or so. I don’t recommend pruning if it’s considerably below freezing because the wood is brittle and will shatter when you make a cut.

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Why Every Tree Benefits from a Deep Root Feeding in the Fall

What is a Deep Root Feeding?

Specially formulated fertilizer is injected directly into the ground around the base of the tree and filters down through the soil to reach the tree’s roots. This Deep Root Feeding will:

Replenish the tree’s vitamins and nutrients
Strengthen the root system
Stimulate healthy and vibrant new growth
Why Fall is a Great Time to Fertilize a Tree

Giroud’s Deep Root Feeding is a time release fertilizer, so it will provide steady doses of nutrients through the winter and into the growing season. While the tree is dormant during the long, cold winter months, it will feed on the abundance of vitamins from the fertilizer rather than tapping into its own nutrient reserves!

Why Should Homeowners get a Deep Root Feeding for Trees?

Every tree benefits from a Deep Root Feeding! Giroud’s Vice President and ISA Certified Arborist, Drew Slousky, shares an amazing comparison of two Sycamore Trees in Giroud’s Youtube video. One has been fertilized each year and the other has not. Slousky shows the stark differences between the fertilized tree that is healthy and in full leaf and another tree down the street that is clearly in poor health. Fertilizer works! Like a vitamin for humans, trees need to be fertilized annually to maintain good health and fight off disease and insects.

There are also special cases where Deep Root Feedings are not just encouraged, but vital to a tree’s vitality. Here are a few added reasons why a tree may need a fertilizer treatment:

A year of heavy rain can wash vital nutrients from the soil and make trees with weak root systems more likely to uproot
The tree’s leaves are turning color too early in the fall
The tree has a limited root system because of barriers such as sidewalks, driveways and houses
The tree has been cabled, bolted or staked
The tree has suffered some sort of stress, such as storm damage, insect infestation, or disease
The tree is a valuable part of the homeowner’s landscape, and the homeowner wants to ensure that the tree continues to grow vibrant, healthy and strong!
Why should homeowners hire an ISA Certified Arborist to treat trees?

There is a science to fertilizing trees. An ISA Certified Arborist will have the know how to understand exactly what formula is best to feed each species of tree.

Things to ask before choosing a tree service company to give a tree a Deep Root Feeding:

Is the Arborist ISA Certified?
Has the Arborist performed a deep root feeding on this particular type of tree?
Does the Arborist have recommendations from other satisfied customers?
What are the professional credentials of the tech who will be performing the Deep Root Feeding?

How to Grow Flowering Dogwood Trees from Seed

How to Grow Flowering Dogwood Trees from Seed
How to Grow Flowering Dogwood Trees from Seed

Flowering Dogwood trees can be easily grown from seed, however 99.9999% of the seedlings that sprout will be Cornus Florida, which is White Flowering Dogwood. It doesn’t matter if you collect the seeds from a White Dogwood or a Pink Dogwood, the seedlings are likely to be white.

The only predictable way to grow a Pink Dogwood, Red Dogwood, or one of the beautiful Dogwoods with variegated leaves, is to bud or graft the desired variety onto a White Dogwood seedling.

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How to Safely Remove tree sap from cars

tree sap
tree sap

Tree Sap is a sticky nuisance! This tacky, syrupy substance can end up in some of the most unwanted of places, especially on cars. Sap can be difficult to remove, and although there are lots of cleaners on the market that can tackle the job, some of them can be abrasive on surfaces. Giroud Tree and Lawn went on a quest for a safe and effective method to remove tree sap from the surface of a car, and the results were surprising!

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Removing Old Trees

Removing Old Trees
Removing Old Trees

Sometimes a tree gets to the point where it is necessary to say goodbye to it. It can be a painful choice to make, but sometimes the tree gets too close to the house, gets too diseased, gets an incurable infestation of some pest, or grows too tall and gets close to a power line. If any of these things occur, its best to do the right thing and get rid of the tree. Although you might have spent hours and hours getting the tree to where it is today, it is almost dishonorable to the tree to allow it to suffer in bad conditions.

Once you have made the choice to remove the tree, you need to plan its removal. I can’t begin to count how many windows I’ve seen knocked out or cars I’ve seen crushed because of poor planning in the tree removal process. Decide what direction you want it to fall, and accurately measure to make sure it will fall completely clear of anything else that it could possibly cause damage to.

Once you have the falling direction planned out, you should climb up the tree and tie two long ropes near the top. Anchor them on the opposite side of the one that you want it to fall towards. This will allow you to adjust the direction the tree is being lowered in, just in case it starts leaning towards anything it could destroy.

Now that you’ve taken all the necessary precautions, you are ready to begin chopping. If you plan on using a manually operated saw or axe, please step back and consider how insane that is. Chopping down a tree by hand will take you forever, and will not even begin to be as accurate as using a chainsaw. If you donít have a chainsaw, you shouldn’t even consider doing it without one. Ask around with your neighbors and see if anyone has one that you could borrow. If that doesn’t work, rent or buy one from your local home improvement store.

Before you start chopping away at the tree, you should wear proper eye and face protection in case any wood chips fly towards your eyes. I had a friend who blinded his right eye while cutting down a tree, so I hope all of my readers do not make the same mistake as he did. Whenever you operate a power tool, always be sure to wear proper protection for any exposed parts of your body.

When making the cut, you do not want to just cut a straight line into the tree. It is best to cut a sideways V into the tree. This is because if you cut the straight line, the tree will end up rolling to one side or the other. If you cut in a V, the tree will be able to fall in the exact direction that you want it to fall. Occasionally it might be a few feet off due to human error during the cutting process, but if you have some strong friends pull on the ropes you tied, you can line it back up with the path you wanted it to take. The entire process shouldn’t take more than an hour.

Removal of the stump can be slightly more difficult. You have several choices; you can rent out a stump chipper that will completely destroy the visible section of the stump. Or you can spend countless hours digging it out. Digging out the stump is much more thorough, but takes forever. If you have kids this shouldn’t be a problem. Kids often find the thought of digging fun, and are excited to go outside and dig all day long with their friends. This was the method I used, and I had the entire stump out within a week. Keep in mind that my stump was about 1 foot in diameter, and digging probably won’t work for stumps much larger than that.