The Heat is still On. Advice on Tree Care & Self Care in the Summer

 

Abundant Tree Care is excited to assist you with all your Louisville tree care needs. Our team of specially trained arborists provides tree pruning, tree removal, and tree planting in the Louisville, Kentucky area. Contact us for an estimate! #LiveAbundantly

Louisville Tree Care - Summer Heat Tips

And just like that, it’s August. Vacations may be ending and school may be starting back up soon, but we know we are still nowhere near the end of the sweltering summer season here in the Ohio Valley.

Excessively hot weather is one of those threats with a danger that lies largely in its invisibility. The sun shines bright and it’s fun to don your favorite worn-out t-shirt and play in the dirt. But the overheated conditions have a big, potentially unhealthy, effect on you and your landscape. With the right awareness and prevention in mind, however, there’s really nothing to worry about.

FIRST, when it comes to plant and tree care …

Louisville Tree Care - Watering Trees in Heat
Watering
:  The specifics in proper hydration can depend on the type of the tree and soil as well as age, but in general it’s best to water your trees less frequently and more deeply rather than numerous, shallow soaks. Think about your roots having a chance to soak it all up rather than giving it an opportunity to evaporate in the heat.

Mulching: Give your trees the benefits of oxygen & nutrient-rich soil they might be missing. Added plus: mulching reduces weeds which means you don’t have to pull them; mowing gets easier as you there’s suddenly no need to trim around the trunk.

Pruning: Prune to prevent and protect. With heat and humidity comes some crazy storms here. Read up on how you can practice tree pruning for protection against the wilder forces of nature.

Call a professional: Sometimes it’s best just to call in the experts. Inclement weather is a great excuse to get a little help and that’s what we’re here for. If you’re in the Louisville area, Abundant Tree Care can come by and customize a plan that’s best for the survive & thrive of your lawn including special fertilizers, insect prevention, disease management and much more.

SECOND, and more importantly, when it comes to caring for yourself…

Do your best to save any of your work for the cooler parts of the day. When you must be out there in the heat, be sure to wear light, breathable clothing and drink MORE than plenty of water.

Heatstroke is the most severe of consequences from prolonged heat exposure, but there are other significant hazards such as dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat cramps that could lead to much bigger problems. Exposure to high temps can also increase the risk of major injuries due to sweaty palms, fogged-up safety glasses, and dizziness.

Stay aware of heat stress symptoms which are similar to those of the flu. They can include:

*Headache  *Fatigue  *Dizziness  *Nausea  *Profuse sweating  *Thirst  *Vomiting *Diarrhea  *Clammy or pale skin

*Rapid Pulse  *Elevated body temperature  *Muscle spasms (in the case of heat cramps)

Louisville Tree Care -Heat Safety

If you begin to feel any one of these symptoms in any measure, it is extremely important to act quickly so that the problem does not evolve into something worse.

  • Move to a shaded or air-conditioned area and sit or lie down
  • Drink water or a sports drink like Gatorade
  • Apply wet towels or take a cool shower
  • Stretch affected muscles
  • Seek medical attention if you do not feel better in an hour

Abundant Tree Care Delivers Free Mulch

Wood-chip mulch: nutrients for your trees and plants, decoration for your
landscape, great for the environment        ……..       Cost: $0.00

 

It sounds a little too good to be true but it’s not!

Effective immediately, Abundant Tree Care, is happy to deliver wood chip mulch directly to you for FREE!

All you need to do is fill out this form and you’ll receive a truckload of free chips to use as decorative nourishment for your landscape.

Why Wood Chips?

Of course, you can use pretty much any organic material for mulch, but wood chips are known as one of the best choices as they provide concentrated sources of carbon- one of the nutrients that is often deficient in soil. Chips also rank at the top for moisture retention, temperature moderation, and weed control.

Environmentally speaking this program is helpful in two big ways: First, the wood mulch you put to use stays out of over-crowded landfills. Secondly, you will be saving Abundant Tree Care on vehicle emissions. Normally, we have to drive 30 minutes to dump a load of mulch.

You might have to spend a bit of time and sweat in moving the chips where you need them, but once there, they can be left alone to do their magic, eliminating the need for any fertilizer or mineral supplements, reducing time spent watering, and making weeding a snap.

Let us know where we can deliver your FREE wood chip mulch!

Louisville Tree Care – Treat the Tree, Treat the Forest

You might not have thought much about your lawn being competitive, but trees, plants, and grass all rely on a common resource of soil. Underneath our feet, their roots intermingle and contend for water and nutrients (This is one of the reasons for staying on top of fertilization.).

This interdependency makes it important to care for each piece of your landscape so that all of your landscape thrives. Abundant Tree Care is your local Louisville arborist, carefully trained in diagnosing and treating both particular and broader issues that could be affecting your lawn.

Contact us if you suspect any of the following obstacles are affecting the health and growth of your trees, plants, and turf.

Diseases and Insects: Biotic vs. Abiotic

Biotic stresses include insects and infectious diseases such as fungi, viruses, and bacteria. Abiotic (or non-infectious) diseases are more common in urban areas and include compacted soil, pollutants, nutrient deficiencies, and drought. The moment you notice something abnormal in your tree’s appearance, you’ll want to carefully explore what – or who – might be behind it. Look for patterns, examine the landscape and the roots, and check the trunk and branches.

Tree and Turf Competition

When selecting trees that will play nice with your turf (and vice versa), look for a species that is small with an open canopy, allowing sunlight to come through. You’ll also want to avoid trees that root near the surface (dodging disastrous run-ins with the lawn mower). Put adequate space in between your plants to keep competition for water and light at a minimum. Some plants can even release chemicals in the soul that will restrict the growth of their neighbors. Regular pruning also helps provide extra light for turf establishment.

Misbehaving Mulch

Mulch is an effective application for trees in your landscape. The benefits include soil moisture retention, improve soil porosity, and nutrient cycling. However, it is important to use the proper materials and practices for positive impact. On wet soils, thick mulch can lead to excess moisture, causing root rot. Some mulches can affect soil pH and could lead to nutrient deficiencies or toxic buildups. Mulch piled high against trunks can create an attractive habitat for rodents that like to chew on bark.

We realize that sometimes the various potential problems can seem a little overwhelming, but there are tons of resources out there. Our dedicated team at Abundant Tree Care will continue to provide further education and would love to work with you in formulating a plan for care so that every one of your trees, plants, and turfs are thriving abundantly on your landscape!

Call Us Anytime to Request a Quote or Make an Appointment 502-297-1578

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FERTILIZE IN FEBRUARY FOR OPTIMAL TREE GROWTH

As we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, February is a great time to prep your trees for optimal growth through fertilization. At this time, your plants and trees are beginning – or will soon begin – to enter their growth phase  Providing them with important nutrients now will make sure they are used most effectively.  

There are definitely some important guidelines to consider, though, before you head out there and start digging in.

When and How Often to Fertilize

  • Freshly planted trees should be fertilized lightly if at all. In the first year after planting, these baby trees are still establishing their root system, and it’s best not to encourage excessive vegetative growth during this time.
  • Throughout the first five to ten years after planting, your trees growth can be stimulated a bit more with annual fertilization. You’ll still want to keep it moderate, though, as excessive fertilization can result in a weaker branch structure.
  • Mature trees generally do not need to be fertilized as frequently – probably no more often than once a year.
  • If your tree has been damaged by pruning, squirrels, lightning or lawn care equipment, fertilization can also help speed along its recovery.
  • Certain trees are naturally fast-growing and will need less fertilizer to achieve the desired rate. These include: tulip poplar, sycamore, swamp red maple, lacebark elm, and green ash.

More Information

If you missed it, backtrack to our first post of the month for more information on how you can tell if your tree needs a little boost in nutrients. If you find it does, give us a call. We can advise you on finding the right fertilizer to apply, or we are happily for hire to come over and do it for you.

The Ultimate Tree Pruning Guide

ultimate tree pruning tips advice from an arborist

Everyone can prune their own trees but the secret is to prune them correctly. If you don’t prune your trees properly the result may be more than poor curb appeal but a dying tree. Use these pruning tips to become more successful in your pruning techniques and sit back and enjoy the view.

General Tree Trimming Tips

  • Not sure if you need to prune your trees?  Read this article on why pruning your trees is important.
  • It’s almost always best to trim or prune a tree during its dormant season. Although you can technically prune a pine tree at any time, it is still better to do so when it is dormant. The only exception is when a hazard exists.
  • Be conscientious about the size of the branch that you are going to remove. If it is less than 2 inches in diameter, removing it is fine. If it is between 2 and 4 inches in diameter, you might not want to do it. If the branch is more than 4 inches in diameter, you should only do so if you have a really good reason and better call a certified arborist.
  • Only trim branches that have weak, V-shaped, narrow angles. Retain branches that have strong, U-shaped angles.
  • Use this article for the best tree pruning tools and be sure you keep them sharp.

Tree Pruning Techniques

There are several general approaches to pruning, each for a specific purpose. Learning the right methods to pruning is the 1st step in keeping your trees healthy and helping them live a long life.

  • Cleaning is removing dead, diseased or weak branches from the crown of a tree.
  • Thinning is removing branches to allow more light to penetrate, reducing stress on heavy limbs and encouraging retention of the tree’s natural shape, removing crossing branches that may rub on each other.
  • Raising is removing lower branches to provide clearings for buildings, vehicles, pedestrians and views.
  • Reduction is cutting back tree limbs to reduce the size of the tree and make room for utility lines.

Making the Cut

arborist tree pruning tipsSelect a spot about 3 inches from the collar of the branch (the thickened, collar-like place where the parent and child limb intersect) and make a cut about 1/3 of the way through the branch. This will prevent the branch, when severed, from tearing through the collar or the parent branch and harming future growth. Make this first cut on the underside of the limb.

Cut slightly beyond this first slice and cut straight through the branch to be removed then make a final cut through the remaining portion of the branch, as near to the collar as possible, without touching the collar itself.

How to Prune a Maple Tree

Maples trimmed at certain times of the year will “bleed” or drip from the pruning cuts. Bleeding is most likely to occur when Maples are prunied in the seasons just before and right after winter. Studies indicate that “bleeding” doesn’t hurt the tree, so it becomes more of a cosmetic issue. If you want to prune Maples without bleeding, it must be pruned when it is fully dormant in the middle of winter or during late spring/summer when it’s leaves are in fully.

How to Prune a Dogwood Tree

If you trim Dogwoods in April or May, it will make them more susceptible to the dogwood borer. This insect severely damages the vascular system of the tree after boring into the trunk.

How to Prune an Oak Tree

Oaks should be not be trimmed from April thru October due to the prevalence of Oak Wilt disease. These pathogens that may be present during those times and a beautiful Oak is one tree you want to keep healthy.

When to Call in an Expert

If you’re inexperienced using the tools needed for the job that must be done it may be time to call a professional arborist. Tree pruning is more about what you can reach from the ground and one fall from a ladder or high up in a tree would be well worth having an arborist take care of the job for you. Give us a call for a free estimate and you might be saving you and your tree from harm.

Call Us Anytime with Tree or Shrub Questions 502-297-1578

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Tree Pruning Tools Arborists Use

 

best tree pruning tools by an arborist

Pro Tree Pruning Tools

The 1st step of doing great tree trimming is having the right tools. Great tree trimming can’t be done with a pair of scissors or a hack saw because the right tools keep the tree healthy and looking great. The best reason to have the right tools is your safety because you can’t take care of your trees unless you take care of yourself.

Anvil Hand Pruning Shears  These small, hand-held shears have just one blade, which cuts as it closes onto a flat surface. The best time to use these shears is when you have very small, easy-to-reach branches with a diameter of half inch or less. Reserving these shears for cutting smaller, dried & dead twigs or small branches is best.

A less common pruning tool are bypass hand pruning shears. Similar in capabilities to anvil shears the bypass shears have 2 sharp cutting blades used for more precise cutting for those that insist on a clean, sharp cut.

Limb Loppers – Loppers are similar to hand shears, but they have longer handles and bigger blades. These longer handles give you more leverage for larger branches. Most loppers can effectively cut branches up to two inches in diameter.  Use loppers for easy to reach branches that are too thick or a little hard to reach with shears.

Long Pole Saw Pruners Combination – This is a great tree trimming tool as it gives you access to most branches up to 20′ off the ground. The long pole pruner feature allows you to get access to 1/2″ branches then the saw component gives you the ability to cut larger limbs with some patience.

Pruning Saws – Pruning saws are at the top of the arborist’s favorite tools. Pruning saws are similar to traditional hand saws but specifically made for tree pruning. The best time to use pruning saws are when a branch is within reach but loppers can’t handle the job. A pruning saw will aggressively cut through most any size but leave under 2″ to shears and then the sky is the limit. When you get past 6″ though you may find your arm or hands give out and it might be time for a chain saw.

Chain Saws – To trim a tree and do it in a timely fashion a gas powered chain saw can do the work in a lot less time than shears or saws. That being said it’s important to maintain your chain saw, keep it well oiled, and sharpen the blades after every major use to ensure maximum efficiency.

Wood Chippers – Now that you’ve gotten serious about tree trimming you’ve got a lot of limbs and branches to clean up. A wood chipper makes clean up quick and easy how so you don’t have to look at old branches for weeks in your yard.

tre pruning safety tips from an arborist

Tree Pruning Safety

If you decide to take on trimming your own trees make sure safety is your 1st priority. Here’re some safety tips you should follow before you get out the shears and fire up the chain saw.

  • All tree trimming or removal work within ten feet of a power line must be done by trained and experienced line-clearance tree trimmers.
  • Do not trim trees in dangerous weather conditions.
  • Perform a hazard assessment of the work area before starting work.
  • Get trained on proper chain saw us age before you operate one.
  • Do not climb with tools in your hands.
  • If broken trees are under pressure, determine the direction of the pressure and make small cuts to release it.

These and more tree pruning safety tips from OSHA can be found in this Tree Trimming and Safety Removal Guide.

If pruning your trees is not how you want to spend your weekend then give us a call. We’d love to discuss your trees and shrubs care. At Abundant Tree Care Services we want to help you keep a safe property and sustain your trees so you enjoy them for generations.

 

Call Us Anytime with Tree or Shrub Questions 502-297-1578

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Kentucky Arborist Tree Care Service