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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, Apr 30 2019 07:49PM

Your trees are experiencing their greatest burst of new life in the spring. You can help them develop strong, healthy new growth and extend the life of your trees with some basic maintenance.

1. Clean up around your trees. Collect fallen leaves, branches, and other tree waste to eliminate places that can harbor insects, fungus, or disease. Once cleaned up, you can easily perform step 2.

2. Inspect your trees for signs of damage, disease, or insects. Check the roots for heaving above ground or mushroom growth. Examine the trunk for loose bark, slits or cracks, or soft spots. Piles of sawdust are a clear sign of insect activity, as possibly are holes in the tree or a sticky substance on the bark. If you see signs of insect infestation and you catch it early, you can spray insecticide specially made for trees and the particular species of insect. However, check with a professional first.

3. Fertilize. Don’t forget that your trees need food, just like your lawn and gardens do. If your tree is in a lawn that is already fertilized, you may not need more. However, a stressed tree may need extra nutrients. Apply fertilizer around the drip line, and make sure you water it deeply. Check with a trusted tree service if you’re not sure how to best feed your tree.

4. Mulch. If done correctly, mulching provides numerous benefits to trees. Some homeowners choose to use stone, which can effectively block weeds, but white stones (the most common choice) can increase the soil temperature and leach into the soil, raising the pH level.

Organic mulch not only blocks weeds, but also provides nutrients as it decomposes. It slows water evaporation, decreasing the need for watering, and keeps the soil at the correct temperature – cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Make sure the organic mulch is fully matured, not freshly cut. Apply mulch 2-4 inches deep around the base of the tree, to at least 2-3 feet out from the trunk. Do not apply all the way to the trunk – allow the root flare at the base of the trunk to be exposed.

5. Keep your trees hydrated. If you’ve mulched, this should not be a difficult chore. The spring usually comes with ample rain, but as summer arrives, make sure your trees have the moisture they need.

Tree roots need a deep soaking, so water deeply around the drip line, where most of the roots are. Set your hose on a light setting so you can leave it to let the water slowly soak into the roots, coming back occasionally to reposition it around the tree. The goal is not to create puddles but to deeply moisten the soil.

Bonus: Now is the time to plant new trees. Before you choose the variety or location, talk to a

tree professional. What is your intention for the new tree? Do you want shade in a few years? Do you want color, beauty, fruit? An expert can talk to you about the tree’s likely growth pattern as well as its soil and sunlight needs and help you position the best tree to help you achieve your goals.

By John Stonaker, Apr 26 2019 08:32PM

Trees provide many benefits to commercial property. Studies show that mature trees can increase property value by as much as 20%. Well-manicured landscaping, including beautiful trees, improves “curb appeal,” creating a more positive opinion of the company for passers-by and increasing foot traffic. Visitors and customers spend more time on properties with trees and spend up to 13% more money while there.

Trees can also decrease maintenance costs. Strategically placed around a building, they can reduce air-conditioning expense, control soil erosion, and decrease the need to water the lawn.

Trees clean the air and provide oxygen. In fact, two mature trees produce enough oxygen for a family of four. Therefore, the air around your property will be cleaner and healthier for your employees and visitors if you have a well-maintained selection of trees.

There’s no question that the presence of trees and landscaping provides a beautiful, stress-reducing location for your employees and customers. Trees also draw songbirds, who can add to the tranquility.

Properly placed, trees can provide excellent noise reduction from a busy street. If you have an industrial business or a noisy loading dock, however, you may be the source of the noise. Trees can then help you be a good neighbor by blocking your own noise, as well as hiding unsightly parts of your building from the road or the main entrance.

When adding trees, avoid certain tree-planting mistakes. Property owners often choose their trees based on what they like, rather than what trees are best for the climate, location, and soil conditions. If placed too close to a building, driveway, water, or power lines, growing trees can damage property or be damaged themselves.

Planting a tree too deeply or in too small a hole can stunt its growth, while poor planting methods can cause what is known as “root girding” — roots growing in a circle around the tree rather than outward, effectively choking it. Correcting the root growth to save the tree can be costly.

The benefits of planting trees on your commercial property are very great, and the problems associated with tree-planting are easily solved by using a professional tree service to help you plan, plant, and maintain your trees. The financial benefits of trees on your commercial property far outweigh the cost of proper placement and maintenance. Call us for a consultation to see how we can help you increase the value and beauty of your property.

By John Stonaker, Apr 26 2019 08:13PM

The goals of tree pruning are to keep your trees healthy, to save unhealthy trees, and to protect life and property. With this in mind, there are four signs that can indicate it’s time to prune.

Excessive or wild growth

Although we plant trees for their beautiful foliage and shade, when unmanaged, trees can become wild and overgrown. Crossed branches can rub against each other, damaging the bark and allowing pests or disease to invade. Overly dense foliage can trap winds during storms and increase the risk of breakage. If you can’t see through your tree, it’s too dense.


When trees are permitted to grow unpruned, sometimes multiple main branches, called leaders, can develop. This can create an imbalance in the shape of the tree and cause weakening of one or more leaders. Breakage of a leader would cause a great deal of damage to the tree and perhaps to your property.

Trees planted in a yard can often grow wider than they naturally would, causing large, heavy, horizontal branches that can easily weaken and snap. If you are seeing broken branches, it’s a sign that your tree has already reached a weakened state. Disease could soon develop.


If branches have been breaking, disease may have already set in. Long, deep cracks or bare spots in the bark also signal disease. Sawdust near the base of the tree indicates insect activity, as can the presence of woodpeckers. Finally, dead branches or branches with fewer leaves than other branches need to be removed before they break and fall.

Potential property damage

It’s important to keep branches away from houses and electric lines, and make sure any branches that overhang the driveway are healthy. Sometimes the roots of trees planted too close to a home or patio can also cause damage.

Because trees are living, growing organisms that are constantly changing over time, it’s important to maintain them regularly to avoid these problems. However, if you do see any of these signs, please do not try to do major pruning on your own. Find a licensed professional to help you protect your assets and keep your trees healthy so they enhance your property for years to come.

By John Stonaker, Feb 22 2019 04:00PM

A variety of factors are involved with trees and adjoining properties. These include where the tree trunk is growing, where the branches and roots are growing, tree debris and fruit, hazards and nuisances, and tree damage and who pays.

Ownership of a tree is determined by where the trunk grows. If the tree trunk is entirely on one property, that homeowner owns the tree and is responsible for it. If the tree trunk straddles the property line, both neighbors jointly own the tree and one cannot remove the tree without the permission of the other.

Knowing your rights and responsibilities regarding a neighbor’s tree or their rights and responsibilities when it comes to your tree depends on clearly knowing your local and state ordinances and exactly where your property line is. You must also consider the importance of maintaining a positive relationship with your neighbors. Discussing the issue over a barbeque or some other pleasant situation might help you both come to an amicable agreement on the care of the tree. Below are some specific situations you may encounter:

Branches that overhang the property line

When your tree’s branches overhang the property line, your neighbor has the right to prune up to your property line (again, check your local laws). You have the same right if the tree belongs to your neighbor. However, if pruning causes serious harm to the tree or kills it, you could be liable for up to three times the value of the tree, which can be quite significant. Therefore, if a large portion of the tree’s branches overhang the property line, or if the tree is owned jointly, it’s very important that pruning be done by a professional who knows how to keep the tree healthy.

Leaves and fruit

If a neighbor’s tree drops leaves and nuts on your property, you are responsible for cleaning them up. This is considered a product of nature. On the other hand, you may not pick fruit from a neighbor’s fruit tree from branches that overhang your property. However, check your local ordinance regarding fruit that falls on your property.

Nuisance or hazard

If your neighbor feels that your tree causes a significant limitation of the use of his property, your neighbor may file a nuisance claim against you. If you have a tree that is clearly sick or damaged, or if the tree blocks the view of traffic, the neighbor could report it as a hazardous tree and force you to have it removed. Keeping your trees properly pruned and regularly maintained by a professional can avoid lawsuits.

Falling tree or limb

Generally, if a tree or limb falls during a severe storm, the property it falls on is responsible, not the owner of the tree. So if your tree falls on your house, your homeowner’s insurance would pay. If your tree falls on your neighbor’s house, their homeowner’s insurance would pay. These are considered acts of nature. However, if your tree was clearly sick or dead and it caused damage to your neighbor’s property, your neighbor could file a claim your insurance for coverage.

If the tree or limb falls on your vehicle, this would be covered by the vehicle’s comprehensive coverage. If a car does not have comprehensive coverage, however, you would not receive compensation for the damage to your car.

If your tree or a limb falls on the neighbor’s property because you were doing your own pruning or tree-felling and you are not yourself trained in this work, you would be liable for the damage.

Property work that damages or kills a tree

If you’re digging up your property and damage your neighbor’s tree’s roots, or if you put down chemicals that damage your neighbor’s tree, you can be sued for the loss of the tree.

Most of these scenarios can be avoided with regular pruning and tree maintenance. Reach out to us or a professional tree specialist near you to help maintain both the health of your trees and a positive relationship with your neighbors.

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.

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