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When is the best time for tree trimming outdoors?

Most people know that tree trimming is an important part of yard maintenance; but they’re not sure exactly when, or how, to do it.

You should trim trees (and shrubs!) regularly to help maintain their look as well as their health. Additionally, regular tree trimming can help prevent problems during storms, as weak or dead limbs can fall off and cause damage to your home, property, or even people.

It is best to call a tree trimming company for any high or large branches; these tasks can be dangerous if done improperly, and may even lead to the death of the tree. Companies like Organically Green keep arborists on staff. They can consult with you regarding the safety of pruning larger sections. As well as discuss how it may affect the health of the tree.

While pros are best for bigger jobs, there are tree care tasks that can be done without help, so long as they’re done according to the proper schedule.

Pine Trees

For conifers (pine trees) and non-blooming trees and shrubs pruning in late winter while fully dormant is best. While you can prune them during other seasons, it is safest for the tree to prune in winter.

For trees and shrubs that bloom in summer, you will want to prune them in late winter—whereas trees and shrubs that bloom in spring should be only during the time immediately following their bloom. Otherwise, you risk losing buds they are setting for the next year.

Trimming small branches, or any shaping tasks can be year-round activities. For those of us on Long Island, early spring –before hurricane season– and late fall before winter storm season are important times to remove weakened branches; otherwise, the tree can be in serious trouble.

For more information please contact Organically Green Horticultural Services at 631.467.7999 or visit our website organicallygreen.org!

What Causes a Tick Infestation In My Yard?

Ticks can certainly be a pain in the short-term and long

Many people have noticed that the tick population in wooded and grassy areas of Long Island has exploded, leaving residents to wonder why this is happening.

It all starts with the trees.

In addition to ticks, you may have noticed that nuts and acorns seem to be more numerous than usual. While they’re a pain for us when we step on them in bare feet—or when they fall onto and dent our cars—for squirrels, mice, rats, and other small mammals they’re a windfall. Unfortunately, that’s also great news for ticks.

While most people think of deer as the main source of disease-carrying ticks, small rodents are often a big contributor. And while high fences can sometimes keep deer out of your yard, whether you have tall grass or a perfectly maintained yard, squirrels and mice can always find a way to get onto your property. These small animals carry ticks that can spread disease and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been more tick-borne illnesses in New York since 2004 than in almost any other state in the U.S.

Due to the dangers of disease, most people want to keep their family safe from ticks; but for a lot of our customers how to get rid of ticks in the yard naturally is another concern.

What many people may not realize is that there are organic options for tick spraying that are not only safe but also effective. Organically Green offers a spray that is safe for your family and pets, as well as for beneficial insects such as bees. This is important because bees are necessary for your summer gardens to bloom and for fruits and vegetables to grow.

We recommend spraying every 6-8 weeks from early spring to late fall, as ticks remain active all the way through the first hard freeze. Calling to arrange a spraying schedule sooner, rather than later, is the best way to keep your family and pets safe from ticks and the diseases they carry.

How Tree Trimming Can Help To Keep You Safe In A Storm

Branches Can Be Dangerous

Long or dead branches hanging over your home can cause real damage! Be sure to get a trimming!

Throughout the spring and summer months, when you’re outside more, you may notice that your trees need a trim. A few of the reasons you may want to trim your trees include keeping leaves off the roof and out of the pool, opening the canopy for gardening, or even getting more sun to your solar panels. But another very important reason to consider trimming your trees is to prepare your property for storms.

Young trees have trouble in storms because they have not had the time to develop a strong root system, additionally, newly planted larger trees will have the same issues.

Trees with lots of branches and twigs, particularly weeping varieties, can be victim to a “sail effect” which can help blow trees right out of the ground. Additionally, lopsided trees, where most of the weight leans to one side or the other are also prone to storm damage.

The best thing to do if you have these issues is to contact a professional arborist. An arborist is someone who has been trained to understand exactly what specific species of trees can withstand in regards to pruning. They will ensure that your trees will be able to continue to grow.

Another reason to call an arborist is if your tree limbs lean over your roof, or are near or touching power lines. Both of these situations present a great danger in not only wind and rain but also in snow storms when the weight of ice and snow can cause them to snap, not only knocking out your power but also possibly damaging your house.

Damaged branches can also be more dangerous than people think. After a storm, people tend to assume that trees which are still standing are safe, and will attempt to clean up their yards. However, storms can weaken tree limbs and branches and on occasion, can fall later, during the cleanup process, endangering people, animals, and vehicles.

Electric service that is disrupted by downed lines can sometimes take quite a while to restore, so preparing by calling to have a good tree pruning is a smart preventative measure.

Organically Green Horticultural Service helps to keep trees all across Long Island healthy, and ready, no matter what the season may bring. From Hurricanes to nor’easters. If you haven’t prepared your yard for storm season, give us a call today.

Why do Mushrooms Appear in my Yard?

Mushrooms Growing

Mushrooms Growing

Why do Mushrooms Appear on my Lawn?

We have been experiencing some torrential downpours lately; I am guessing you’ve noticed. At night you’re watching the rainfall from the safety of your home, glad to have a roof. The next morning you go outside to fetch your newspaper and notice random patches of mushrooms. The mushrooms appear near trees, gardens, everywhere really.

Mushrooms are the reproductive part of fungi. They appear in numerous shapes when fruiting out of the soil for exposure. The rounded, umbrella mushrooms are the most common shape. They will begin to appear on your lawn after a heavy rainfall or irrigation.

Fungi can survive in soil for years; to decrease the growth of mushrooms you can allow more sunlight onto the lawn, dethatch your lawn, or give your lawn better aeration. Many of these things are best being taken care of by a professional landscaping service like Organically Green Horticultural Services. We recommend calling as soon as possible because left unattended mature mushrooms will spread spores to reproduce. Spores travel through the air to germinate and will land in seemingly random places and will continue to spread. We do not recommend raking or mowing the mushrooms as it may help them spread quicker and reach further areas.

You should know that while you find the appearance of these mushrooms to be unsightly, they are actually a great indicator that your lawn has healthy soil, rich in organic matter.

There are Benefits to Having Mushrooms on My Lawn?

Mushrooms are, surprisingly, beneficial to your lawn. The mushrooms can break down and decompose into organic matter, releasing helpful nutrients into your yard.

There are various types of organic matter that can be used to fertilize your lawn; many of which are much more visually appealing that wild mushrooms growing in your yard. So, while the mushrooms may not be the end of the world, we do recommend removing them from your yard before they spread.

Organically Green Horticultural Services is here to make your lawn looks amazing using only organic, healthy materials. Contact your closest office 631.726.0505 for Watermill or 631.467.7999 for Port Jefferson.

How to Attract Birds To Your Yard!

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Gardens can be visually stunning and—if you are using the right plants—will provide a wonderful bouquet; they can create lovely arrangements for your home and emit a welcoming scent! Sitting outside, surrounded by nature you might feel like something is missing: birds!

Birds can provide a variety of benefits to your yard and a natural soundtrack to the outdoors with their songs. Birds can help with the pollination of certain plants by spreading the plant’s nectar. Birds like sparrows or finches can eat the seeds from various weeds and actually limit the propagation of unwanted plants. Swallows can be especially beneficial to you and your garden; they love to eat the insects that can plague your yard.

Fortunately, there are some steps you can use to help attract birds to your yard. Let your professional landscaping architect at Organically Green Horticultural Services know if you intend on making your yard more attractive to local birds.

One of the most obvious ways to attract birds would be to plant vegetation that is native to your area.  Using native plants will provide a familiar and trusted source of nourishment. The east end of Long Island provides fertile soil for a variety of plants, which is great news because the more varied your garden, the more variety of birds you could attract.

Growing a variety of native vegetation with differing heights, density, and periods of flowering will attract a diverse set of birds. Planting earlier in the spring, when plants begin to bloom, will draw in birds that are attracted to nectar or insects. Planting later in the year will give birds the nuts and fruits they need for nourishment. Some species of birds prefer to forage on the ground for food, while some will search low shrubbery for food sources. Even evergreen trees can be used to provide a shelter for birds during the colder winter months.

Our use of natural and organic fertilizer will not harm the birds that find refuge in your yard. Making your home more habitable for birds can also limit the number of insects in your yard, meaning you can minimize your pesticide use. Lessening the use of pesticides will make your lawn safer for your pets and your family!

Birdhouses, birdbaths, and feeders can make your home more attractive to birds as well. The experts here at Organically Green Horticultural Services can make your home more attractive and safe for you and birds. Give us a call today at (631) 467-7999 to see what we can do for you!

Help Your Plants Beat The Heat

sprinkler

As the first day of summer approaches, your thoughts might turn to keeping your home cool. Is the air conditioner working? Should we finally build that pool? While you, and your family, should always be your first priority, your garden can suffer from the heat too! Hot weather can be equally hard on your plants and, just like us; they will need some special attention when the heat gets to be too much. Don’t sweat the details though, Organically Green Horticultural Services is here to help with some advice you can use to protect your plants on even the hottest of days.

When to Water?

Like humans, or any living organism, water is crucial when trying to beat the heat.  It may be obvious that plants need water, but how much water they actually receive could vary based on when you water! Watering plants midday, when the weather is at its hottest, is inefficient. A lot of the water meant for the plants will evaporate in the hot sun before they reach the roots. Watering in the morning or early evening will maximize your water efficiency, meaning every drop reaches the roots as intended. You should try to water your lawn or garden in the morning or early evening two or three times a week. With the extended daylight it should be easier to plan a scheduled watering.

Don’t Drown Your Daisies

Exposure to the sun and heat will cause a plant to wilt. The wilting comes from a process called transpiration; when a plant releases moisture to protect itself from excessive heat. The leaves wilt to minimize the surface area exposed to the sun. Some may believe wilting is the result of under watering but you should be able to see the plants recover when the sun sets. If you attempt to water your garden or lawn more frequently to counteract the wilting you might end up overwatering. Overwatering can lead to fungal diseases or root rot which will rob the roots of the oxygen it needs.

A Mountain of Mulch

Applying a thick layer of mulch will help insulate a plant’s root system from both the heat and cold. If your garden experiences extreme temperatures, we suggest at least 4-6 inches of mulch. Straw, pine needles, glass clippings, or even leaves make an acceptable basis for mulch. Mulch can also keep the soil in your lawn or garden moist.

Throw Some Shade

Over exposure to the sun can be damaging to plants much in the way it is to humans. Instead of sunburn plants can suffer from “sun scald”, which is damage to a plant’s tissue caused by exposure to excessive sunlight.

If the temperatures reach the 90’s plants will start to simply focus on survival, meaning plants like eggplants or peppers will stop flowering.

Both these issues can be resolved by placing some shade over the plants during the hottest part of the day. A simple patio umbrella or a bed sheet will be enough to protect your plants, just make sure you have them covered.

Why It Is Important To Fertilize

 

fertilizer

 

A professional lawn care service knows the importance of proper fertilization to extend the lifespan of healthy trees. Fertilization will help ensure the correct nutrients are applied to allow a tree to reach maturity.

What is Fertilizer?

Fertilizer is any natural or chemical substance added to the soil to increase the parcel of the land’s health. Fertilizers contain nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The exact ratio of these elements is based on what nutrients are lacking in the soil. A professional service will analyze the chemical balance of the soil surrounding the tree to find the best mix.

Why Fertilize Your Trees?

The amount of time between fertilization can vary greatly depending on the age of the tree. Young saplings actually require the least amount of attention, receiving only small applications. A newly planted or growing tree is delicate.

It stands to reason the older, and larger, a tree becomes the more nutrients the root system would need to thrive. Older trees growing in a more suburban area would not typically receive the nutrients they would were they in a forest. In a forest the leaves that fall in autumn and the decay of plants or animals provide a natural fertilizer. In lieu of the decay that occurs within nature, Organically Green Horticultural Services uses natural, safe fertilizers composed of organic products.

Why Fertilize Your Lawn with an Organic Fertilizer?

Organic fertilizer is composed of materials derived directly from plant and animal sources. Along with providing a plant’s primary nutrients, organic materials can improve the soil’s integrity by increasing its ability to hold water. Chemically processed fertilizers provide real danger to the health of your lawn by damaging the soil and plant roots with a toxic buildup of uranium, cadmium, and arsenic.

Synthetic fertilizer often leads to runoff. When excess nutrients from synthetic fertilizer are not absorbed into the soil they will pollute the nearest source of water. Pounds of nitrogen and oxygen molecules intended for the lawn will eventually find their way to rivers, lakes, or oceans. Incidental fertilizing of the nearby aquatic ecosystem will cause algae buildup, leaving “dead zones” in their wake. A “dead zone” is a body of water so heavily polluted that nothing can live. The water pollutants will also affect the aquatic wildlife, increasing the number of chemicals found in the fish we eat.

Chemically created fertilizers are becoming so damaging to the environment that many lawmakers, including those here on Long Island, are considering banning the use of synthetic fertilizers altogether. Senator Kemp Hannon of New York’s 6th district (R – Nassau County) and Assemblyman Steven Englebright (D – Setauket) have reached across the aisle, working together to submit a bill that aims to cease the chemical contamination of our ground and drinking water, “we don’t have to sacrifice the quality of our coastal waters to have a healthy lawn” Englebright states. (News12 Report on Possible Chemical Fertilizer Ban)

Regardless of the upcoming legislation, Organically Green Horticultural Services has always believed in providing environmentally friendly lawn care. Our services will keep your lawn looking great and protect your family from damaging pollutants.

 

Safe Solutions For Insect Control

Tick

Most of us on Long Island, the East End in particular, are looking forward to enjoying the outdoors now that the warmer season is upon us. But along with the arrival of flowers and greenery in the garden come dreaded pests, including ticks and mosquitos. These critters are not only pesky, but they often carry serious disease such as Zika virus, Lyme, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and other tick-borne illnesses. There were over 600 reported cases of Lyme disease on Long Island alone last year.

The challenge becomes how to best deal with these intruders without causing harm to humans, pets, and the environment. The crew at Organically Green offers safe solutions to this dilemma – organic tick and tree spraying programs that repel pests yet are completely pure and harmless to all living things.

Organically Green is certified and abides by the organic methods recommended by the North-East Organic Farming Association (NOFA). They use non-toxic compounds that ward off ticks and mosquitos naturally; and are also designed to leave your lush landscape unaffected, preserving its beauty and hardiness.

Now, at the beginning of spring, is the perfect time to begin an organic tick and mosquito control program. Adult deer ticks life lay their eggs in March and April. Managing the population from the beginning is imperative to pest containment.

Preventative Measures

Aside from pest prevention, here are some other useful tips for homeowners:

  • Wear light-colored clothing
  • Wear long pants and sleeves, and tuck in loose clothing
  • Keep the lawn cut on the shorter side
  • Use repellents (natural if possible) as directed
  • Keep out of tall overgrown areas
  • Conduct frequent clothing, head, and pet checks
  • Drying clothing on the highest temperature setting for 10 minutes kills ticks
  • Keep a tick collar on the family pet

Call us today to find out more about our organic tick and tree spraying service. Our expert staff will assess your property and recommend the most effective course of action. So go green this year, keep your garden’s ecosystem in check, and get ready to enjoy your beautiful outdoor space!

Protecting Your Plants From The Cold

This has been a particularly cold and harsh winter. While we haven’t been buried in a ton of snow, the cold can also take its toll on even the heartiest of winter plants such as Rhododendrons, Hollies and Evergreens. These plants are designed to survive a harsh winter with their thick waxy coverings on their leaves. This coating is meant to prevent water loss, however during the winter months the ground and any available water is frozen, making it impossible for the plant to uptake.

What can make things worse is when plants are exposed to harsh winds or profuse sunlight the plant responds by releasing water from its leaves. This biological response combined with the unavailability of water results in winter burn, which can permanently damage your plants.

Luckily, there is a way you can prevent this damage. Anti-desiccants are products that can be applied to Evergreen trees and shrubs to help create a protective barrier that holds in moisture through the winter.

 

Which plants benefit from anti-desiccants?

 

  • Broadleaf Evergreens such as Azalea, Boxwood, Holly, and Rhododendron.
  • Conifers such as Arborvitae, Cedar, Cypress, Juniper, and Pine.
  • Tender Stems such as Rose Canes and Hydrangea Stems.

 

While two applications in December and one in February is ideal, it isn’t too late to protect your plants from drying out. If you think your plants are drying out or you’re finding it difficult to keep them watered in this cold, contact the experts at Organically Green. We are able to help you protect your plants from the cold, pests, and other elements.

Protecting Your Trees From Winter Storm Damage

Winter is not even here yet and Long Island has had two snowfalls. While some people revel in a winter wonderland, snow and ice can have damaging effects on your trees and shrubs.

This year we had a very late fall—there are still some leaves hanging on to the trees. When you add snow and ice to the mix it can be very hazardous. The weight of the snow and ice on leaves can bring down branches much easier than if they were bare. The high winds of a Nor’easter combined with ice and snow can also bring down branches, even entire trees.

Old and sick trees are most likely to be negatively affected by the winter weather, but harsh enough weather can bring down almost any tree. Here are some steps you can take to mitigate the damage winter can bring.

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If you look closely enough you can spot a potentially hazardous tree in your yard. If you notice any signs of damage or sickness it may be time to call in a professional to prune. Trimming potential problem branches in a controlled environment can prevent damage to your home or property. Careful pruning can also protect your tree from toppling over.

When a storm hits and you notice broken or weakened branches you shouldn’t wait to call a professional. If your area just received a light snowfall take the time to gently remove snow from branches before it freezes and adds extra weight. It is important to avoid shaking branches that are coated with snow and ice. The ice cover makes limbs brittle, and shaking a frail branch can do more harm than good. Additionally, knocking off the weight may cause the branch to “snap back,” potentially damaging the circulatory system. The best solution is to allow the branch to melt naturally.

Now is the time to take preventative measures to protect your trees from winter storms. However, sometimes the worst does happen. If you need emergency tree removal service you can count on Organically Green.