Don't be the problem! And teach your kids the same thing!

Last year, on Halloween actually, my wife and I went into the Port Huron State Game Area to find a disaster zone of Vodka bottles and trash strewn about the ground. We couldn't believe that someone would come out into the woods, in nature, and leave this disgusting mess. So, instead of doing what everyone else had done when they saw it, we decided to pick it all up and make the area natural and wild again!

This video gives a great insight into how both myself and Autumn feel about wild places. We need to inform our children that these areas are meant to be wild! Leave No Trace should be taught in schools so that kids feel a responsibility towards the Earth instead of feeling that the Earth owes us something.

Please take these words to heart and do your best to make and keep your wild places clean and free for us all to enjoy!

Are we insured? Of course we are!

Insurance is important for you and us!

Nowadays you would assume that any company that is doing professional work is insured in the event that an accident does occur while they are working on your property. Unfortunately this isn’s always the case! Always be sure to get a Proof Of Insurance form from anyone working on your property before work begins.

 

Not only does insurance protect your home and property against damage from a broken tree limb or a cracked driveway from heavy equipment but it also protects your assets against the very unfortunate circumstances of an injury or death that could occur on your property. By always protecting your investments and being sure everyone is covered on your property can guarantee that you are never at a loss when an accident does happen.

 A home owner attempted to do work that was above their head. Unfortunately this ended in injury.

A home owner attempted to do work that was above their head. Unfortunately this ended in injury.

 

We have been insured with Arborisk Insurance from New Berlin, Wisconsin for the past year and couldn’t be happier! Arborisk specializes in providing tree care companies with specialized insurance that deals specifically with the arboricultural industry. We want to make sure that we are covered and you are protected! 

 

Be sure to ask us for proof of insurance and we will happily email one to you the same day. Let’s work together to make your trees and property great!

How we turned a tree into a wildlife haven!

Repurposing a tree for wildlife!

We were fortunate enough to work on a really cool project this past summer for a true tree hugger of a client. This client had a large Beech tree (Fagus grandifolia) that had been damaged multiple times through blustery winter storms and howling summer winds. The tree stood proud in her front yard but looked to be on its last leg with all it’s weight leaning over the road. Some interior rot had caused this tree to become a hazard to the homeowner and to everyone that drove underneath.

 Here is the tree before hand. There is quite a bit of weight over the road.

Here is the tree before hand. There is quite a bit of weight over the road.

 

When I met with the client, she informed me that she hated to see that tree go and that she wanted to have something to remember the tree by. She wondered if we could carve the stump into a throne that would sit in her front yard that she could sit in to remember the great tree that once stood. This seemed like a good idea but the large decayed section lead us in another direction.

 

I recommended that we leave a tall stub with some shortened limbs with holes and slots cared into what remained. This is known as a wildlife snag and it gives birds, mammals and insects a place to make their home. This process is time consuming but it allows our client to give this tree a second life as a new habitat. Birds and bats can easily make their nests or homes in the slots and grooves that we created. We were fortunate enough that some plants had already started growing from the first large union the limbs had created. This really added to the look of the snag.

 This cavity will make a great home for birds or bats! This entry led into an interior spot of decay.

This cavity will make a great home for birds or bats! This entry led into an interior spot of decay.

 This bowl can hopefully give squirrels a place to build their nest.

This bowl can hopefully give squirrels a place to build their nest.

 

We love working with clients that love their trees! Sometimes we need to remove the tree but at least we can try to make a lasting impression with whats left. If you are interested in turning one of your trees into a wildlife snag, please feel free to contact us and we can come take a look and give you our recommendation. Dead trees will work the best as long as their root system is still structurally sound. Let’s work together to make a difference!

 The finished product! This wildlife snag will give numerous animals a new home.

The finished product! This wildlife snag will give numerous animals a new home.

Get rid of that Dead Wood!

Removing dead wood makes your trees happy!

Trees that have been stressed in the past, have had some sort of damage or are infected with a pest can all show signs of deadwood in the canopy. Dead wood is exactly what it sounds like, dead branches that show up in your tree. They can be small 1/2” branches all the way up to large limbs 10-15” in diameter that threaten anyone or anything that happens to be under the tree.

 

Many times trees can produce dead wood from environmental factors like droughts or overly hot summers. This can lead to dead limbs popping up all over in the upper canopy. The dead wood can easily be seen when the tree is full of leaves because the barren limbs stand out against the vibrant green of the other leafed limbs. You can usually spot trees with stressed branches by looking for "flagging". Flagging is when the leaves on one branch turn yellow early in the season. These limbs stand out like a sore thumb! If you see dead limbs or flagging limbs, be sure to call a Certified Arborist to take care of your tree!

 

 This large "Widow Maker" was removed with a crane from a large Cottonwood tree in Fort Gratiot, Michigan.

This large "Widow Maker" was removed with a crane from a large Cottonwood tree in Fort Gratiot, Michigan.

Other times we have noticed significant deadwood from things like ice storms or wind damage. This usually leads to large leads being broken and then lodging themselves onto lower limbs. These are called “widow makers” because they are extremely dangerous to have hanging over one’s head and property. We highly recommend removing “widow makers” as soon as you become aware of them to reduce the risks involved.

You can also help prevent decay in your tree by removing any dead wood that you can see in the canopy. This allows the tree to start the healing process of sealing off where the dead limb used to be. Trees cannot heal over until the dead limb is removed. Large cavities can result from large pieces of dead wood breaking off and leaving jagged wounds that hold water and facilitate rot and decay.

 This Maple had multiple cavities from poor pruning maintenance.

This Maple had multiple cavities from poor pruning maintenance.

Sometimes limbs can die because they are infected with a disease or a bug that is bound to impact the rest of your tree. By removing dead wood you can help reduce the spread of diseases throughout the canopy.. Our #1 goal is making your tree as healthy as possible while also making it as safe as possible for you and your family.

An important note to keep in mind is leaving beneficial deadwood in trees that don't pose a threat to you or your loved ones. Many beneficial insects including honey bees use trees with large hollows for their nests as well as birds that feed of the insects that live in the dead limbs. Be sure to consult with us on where the largest priorities lie on your property as well as read our next blog post about creating wildlife snags!

 

When is the best time to prune trees?

Winter is the best time to prune your trees!

Have you ever noticed your trees in the wintertime? Probably not! Most people only pay attention to their trees when the leaves start to emerge or when the leaves start to change color. Do you know when the best time is to prune your beautiful trees? You guessed right! In the winter!

 

Trees go dormant in the winter months which means their growth cycle as well as their developmental and physical activity slows. Trees do this to help conserve energy through the long winter months. Since there are no leaves, the tree also slows down its sugar uptake which is usually used to conduct photosynthesis. By pruning limbs in the cold months the tree can redirect most of its energy to healing over the wound created by pruning cuts.

 

Pruning in the summer months can lead to the tree bleeding unsightly sap from pruning wounds as well as unnecessary stress caused to the tree. Trees that are stressed are more susceptible to diseases as well as leaf loss. You never want your tree to lose its leaves in the hot summer months because this can lead to sun scorch as well as dead limbs that are unsightly as well as unsafe.  

 

We recommend pruning trees when the temperature drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature guideline helps reduce the spread of unwanted diseases to your healthy trees as well as unwanted stress. Most beetles that spread diseases stop moving around the 45 degree mark and thats when we like to get into the trees! Our goal is to provide you with great service as well as keeping your trees healthy through the whole process.

 

It’s also much easier to visually see the branch structure when the leaves are no longer on the tree.  This helps you, the home owner, see exactly what we plan to do while pruning and accessing the canopy of your tree. If you have any questions about the best time for pruning your tree please contact us here!

Why is it important to hire a Certified Arborist?

Certified Arborist know trees!

There are a couple things to keep in mind when it comes to caring for your trees and our goal is to help you make the process as easy as possible when looking for the right company to work with. Your trees add significant value to your property as well as reducing energy costs in the summer and winter through shading your home from the sun to blocking the cold winds that try to combat your warm home all winter.

 

Hiring a Certified Arborist is very important in providing the best possible care for your trees. A Certified Arborist is an individual that is trained in the art and science of proper tree care. By compiling their knowledge about what each individual tree needs and how to properly care for them, a Certified Arborist is an expert on all things related to trees. 

 

Certified Arborist are required to obtain 30 CEUs (continuing education units) every 3 years to keep their certification. This helps guarantee that we keep learning to help provide you with the best care possible. By attending trade shows, going to classes, teaching other Certified Arborist or attending tree climbing competitions all help us boost our knowledge to help us be the best for you and your trees!

 

 The beautiful flower of a Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

The beautiful flower of a Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

Jake has been a Certified Arborist since 2012 and prides himself on being one of the only Certified Arborist in Port Huron, Michigan and the surrounding Bluewater Area. We have been brought onto different properties to help the homeowners with a plan to properly care for their urban forest. Always be sure to hire a Certified Arborist to prune and care for your trees!