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Your Tree Removal Experts

 

At Stonaker Tree Service we are here to help you with jobs big and small.  From residential and commercial tree pruning and maintence to large scale excavation projects - we can safely protect and enhance your property.  

By John Stonaker, Feb 11 2019 04:00PM

Predicting when a large limb might fall from a tree is not always easy. In the summer, if you see a branch with no leaves on it, it’s easy to guess that it’s dead and needs to be removed. But it’s more difficult to tell dead branches in the winter. Moreover, branches that fall are not always dead.

Unexpected falling limbs are certainly a hazard for any home, but on commercial property, they can be extremely dangerous and a serious liability.

Trained professionals are able to recognize certain signs that increase the risk of limb drop. Some of those signs include:

The tree’s shape – When two large limbs branch off from a Y, their union may be weak, threatening the stability of the branch(es).

Poor previous pruning job – Amateurs or inexperienced tree services can cause serious damage to a tree. A poor shape could create stress to branches. Cutting incorrectly or with the wrong tools can leave splits or gashes that allow disease or moisture to enter the tree and weaken it.

Strong winds – Trees that have not been cared for often fall or drop limbs in powerful storms. But even if damaged limbs remain on the tree and leaf out, fractures from the storm can eventually cause the branches to fall from stress or disease.

Internal rot – Rot is often signaled by mushrooms growing on the branches or trunk.

“Sudden branch drop” – On hot, still days in the summer, seemingly healthy branches may unexpectedly fall. This is believed to be the tree’s response to stress from heat or humidity. The branches that drop are usually large, horizontal, and stick out farther than the rest of the canopy.

How to Protect Your Trees and Your Property

The best defense is a strong offense, as the saying goes. Providing your trees with routine care from a professional, trained, and highly qualified tree service will ensure that your trees will be watched over with a careful eye and corrections will be taken before serious problems develop. If you don’t have a regular tree service yet, the late winter and early spring is the perfect time to have one out to prune your trees while they are still dormant.

Commercial properties in particular should be ensuring that their trees are strong and safe at this time of year. As warmer months approach, more people will be outside and exposed to your trees. And with warm weather often comes strong storms, which can cause great damage to trees that have not been properly cared for.

Tree care is a year-round project to ensure trees stay healthy, strong, and beautiful. Call us to take a look at your trees to assess and correct potential problems.



By John Stonaker, Jan 25 2019 04:00PM


Trees have their own natural defenses to help them heal when they’re damaged, and interfering can sometimes actually compromise the tree’s health and ensure its demise. But sometimes action is necessary to prevent a tree from becoming a hazard.

After an injury, a tree will grow a special barrier in the wood around the wound, essentially compartmentalizing the damage and preventing it from spreading. This gives the rest of the healthy tree time to grow around the injury. Often, a tree owner will see healthy wood closing up an injury over the years. The wound may disappear entirely or it may leave an interesting pattern, but the tree has essentially taken care of the problem without human intervention.

Homeowners often try to take matters into their own hands and interfere with the tree’s natural healing process. Some things that are often suggested are actually detrimental. For instance, scraping out the decayed wood incorrectly can actually damage the barrier and allow rot to spread. Filling the cavity or painting the injury can trap moisture, again promoting decay and disease.

Small wounds should be left to nature. You may need to cut off dead bark that is sticking out and trapping moisture, but leave a layer of healthy bark. Then just keep an eye on the tree for the first signs of problems.

If there is a larger injury, have a professional arborist evaluate what should be done to save the tree. Proper pruning could prevent rot from setting in. Your arborist will also recommend proper mulching, fertilizing, and treatment of roots to strengthen the tree and lengthen its life.

Signs of decay:

Large dead branches

Cracks in the trunk at the base of branches

Obvious decay or cavities

Fine sawdust around the tree, indicating boring insects or ants

Damaged roots

Mushrooms growing from the tree

When mushrooms appear, the rot is too severe and the tree needs to be removed to prevent it from becoming a hazard to people or property. Removal will also decrease the possibility of disease spreading to other trees.

If you fear you have an unhealthy tree, call us and let us help you determine if any action is necessary to best preserve its life and beauty.




By John Stonaker, Jan 8 2019 04:00PM

Whether or not you wrap your tree for winter depends on what kind of tree it is, how old it is, where it’s located, and the kind of weather it will experience.

Which plants can benefit from wrapping?

Native, well-established trees don’t usually need extra protection, unless they’re located where they’ll experience strong, cold winds, will get lots of salt from the road, or are targets for hungry deer.

Young or newly planted trees, thin-barked trees like poplar, aspen, linden or sycamore, trees not adapted to your weather patterns, and non-native trees (like Japanese maple) may need extra TLC in the winter.

Thin-barked trees and young trees are in danger of sunscald. This happens when the bright winter sun stimulates the cambium layer right under the thin bark, but then the tissue dies when the temperature drops at night. Repeated temperature swings like this can cause drying and cracking of the bark, which creates an invitation for disease and pests.

Sometimes broad-leaved evergreen shrubs like azalea, rhododendron, and camellia as well as arborvitae benefit from wrapping, depending on temperatures and location.

What can go wrong?

There are dangers from wrapping, however, if it’s not done right or if it’s left on for too long. Done right, you could protect your young plants from marauding rodents like rabbits and voles. Done wrong, you could be putting out a welcome mat and encouraging them to move in and use your plant for their winter cuisine.

Done right, you will help retain moisture in your plant during the dry winter. Done wrong, you could be creating a greenhouse effect, creating the perfect environment for disease, rot, and insect infestation.

How do I do it right?

Bushes or arborvitae can be wrapped in burlap, either directly on the plant and secured with twine or around stakes to create a barrier. This can also be used to protect trees near a road from salt damage. However, it can look unsightly, especially if you’re wrapping tall plants only part of the way up.

For trees, brown paper or specially-made brown wrap is usually recommended. Do not use clear or black plastic, as this creates that greenhouse effect we mentioned. When you wrap, work from the bottom up and overlap, so that the overlaps will be pointing down. If you start at the top, the overlaps will point up, collect rain, and deliver it directly to the plant to promote decay.

As tree experts, we can tell you if you have any trees that should be wrapped and we will know how to wrap them properly. Give us a call for an evaluation.

By John Stonaker, Dec 31 2018 02:40PM

Having your trees serviced by the wrong company can risk damage to your trees, damage to your property, and possibly damage to a person. Take the time to do your research first to find a reputable, skilled, credentialed company to ensure your trees and property are cared for and people are protected. Here are some things you should look for when doing your research:

Credentials and licensing: Make sure the tree service is licensed in your state. Since different states have different requirements, the more states the company is licensed in, the more likely they are to have extra training, services, and skills than your state requires. This is a sign of an experienced, quality company.

Insurance: A reputable tree service will have sufficient liability insurance to cover any potential damage and will also carry workers’ compensation insurance. This protects, not only the employees, but also you because if an employee is injured while performing work on your home, you are protected from lawsuits.

Personal protective gear: The use of hardhats, goggles, gloves, etc. also minimizes the likelihood of injuries to employees and shows the tree service company cares about its people.

Training and experience: Ask what kind of training the workers receive and how long they’ve been doing it. They should be trained in the particular service that you need done and have extensive experience. You don’t want your trees to be practice for them.

The right equipment: This is partly on you. You need to be absolutely clear with the company about what exactly you want done, or at least what the problem is that you need fixed. If the company starts the work and you change the scope of the job, they may not have what they need to do the job right.

Estimate: Ask for an estimate, which should include exactly what services they will provide.

Precautions and care: Ask what steps they will take to protect your property and your existing landscaping, and ask them what their policy is if they damage anything. You want to see it in writing.

Contract: Ask to see the contract ahead of time, so you know what’s included and excluded, and if there are any additional fees.

Referrals: Always check for referrals. The tree service should be able to give you referrals easily. They may also have testimonials on their website. You might ask for the referral of a client who has had similar work done.

Taking these steps will give you the confidence that you are hiring a skilled tree service that will properly care for your trees, your property, and all the people involved.

By John Stonaker, Dec 31 2018 02:34PM


Maintaining the trees on your commercial property is crucial for three very important reasons: revenue, property value, and liability. You want your property to be a source of income and pride. Neglecting trees on your property can threaten both.

Revenue

Beautiful landscaping is the first impression you will give to those driving or walking by. This is called “curb appeal” and for many businesses, it’s an important marketing tool.

People who notice your property and are attracted to it will be more likely to do business with you. If they don’t notice, or worse, if your property looks unkempt or unattractive, it will be a reflection of the kind of service or product you offer. So creating a very positive first impression is a part of increasing your revenue.

Property Value

Your grounds factor into the value of your entire property. You want your outdoor spaces to be attractive, as described, but also functional for the people who work there. This is even more important for properties where people live. You want your property to supply shade and space for recreation, but also be free from dangerous limbs, roots, and diseased plants that attract bugs and other pests.

Maintaining your trees will also prevent damage to your property or your equipment. Be aware that storms and drought can cause damage from healthy trees if they have not been maintained.

Liability

While a tree will often show signs of disease, there may be no visible warning signs to an untrained eye until a limb falls on a car, a valuable piece of equipment, or a person. Damage to your company’s assets will be expensive. Injury of staff or visitors, besides being tragic, will make you liable for a lawsuit, and settlement can run in the millions of dollars.

Please do not have your maintenance personnel perform tree service unless they are properly trained and have the proper equipment. Tree maintenance can be dangerous, again threatening a person’s health and risking lawsuit. Cutting trees improperly or at the wrong time can also introduce diseases that could eventually kill the tree and spread disease to other trees.

Why Maintenance Should Be Regular

There are the obvious problems: dead branches, obvious disease, storm damage. These issues need to be immediately addressed. But regular maintenance can prevent many such problems and provide other benefits as well.

A trained tree service professional will be able to avert damage before it occurs and keep your trees healthy. He or she can provide you with helpful tips and help you develop a long-term plan for future pruning and plantings to improve the quality and value of your property. And your tree service will help you avoid liability or damage and increase your curb appeal.

Tree Maintenance Service is an investment in your success. Please contact us for a consultation and see what our professionals can suggest for your particular needs.



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