Fallen trees can cause serious damage to property. Here are some tips to help you spot potential problematic trees that are at a greater risk for falling branches or even the entire tree itself.
Start from the Bottom
Check the tree’s base, take notice for hollow cavities or the presence of mushrooms could indicate a serious problem. Move on to checking the ground around the circumference under its canopy. Look for roots protruding up from the ground. Visible roots are not problematic in and of themselves, but if there’s other evidence to suggest that the tree is struggling, then protruding roots might mean that the tree is on the verge of toppling over.
If you encounter a tree that’s missing a long streak of bark along its trunk, it was probably struck by lightning. Being composed mostly of water, trees are excellent conductors of electricity. When lightning hits the canopy, the bolt careens all the way day down to the roots, boiling sap in its wake and creating explosive steam. If there’s damage to one side of the trunk only, the tree might fully recover. But if bark’s missing on multiple sides, it’s likely that the tree isn’t going to survive.
Remove dead branches as they are the first to fall. On deciduous trees, dead branches either have no leaves or brown leaves in the spring/summer. With evergreen trees, look for brown needles and the absence of bark. If you successfully identify dead branches—and if those branches are easily accessible—go ahead and prune. Otherwise, call in a specialist.
When trees have two or more trunks, be sure to look closely at the point where they meet. U-shaped connections between trunks are usually not a problem. A tight “V” shape, however, suggests a weak spot. If you’re worried about a particular tree, you can have a steel or elastic cable installed to keep it from splitting apart in high winds. But to be clear, this isn’t a project for the do-it-yourselfer; hire an experienced pro.
Call in the Pros
If any of the red flags discussed leave you uncertain about the health of a tree on your property, it’s best to call in a certified arborist. Besides having training and hard-earned knowledge, arborists also have specialized tools they can use to make sophisticated diagnoses far beyond the scope of this article.
Featured in this article: Winter Damage
Winter Newsletter 2015
Looking to winterize your garden? This winter may seem nonexistent, but it is coming and here are some tips to prepare for the coming frost.
Remove any dead leaves and debris from your garden. Pull out any weeds or other unwanted plants. Take special care to place invasive plants — especially the seed heads — in a covered garbage container, not your compost pile.
After tidying up the garden add about three to four inches of compost to the beds. Nutrients from the mulch will leach into the beds during winter rains. The remnants of the compost can be turned into the soil in the spring.
Tender shrubs can be wrapped in burlap or agricultural fabric when hard or prolonged freezes are forecast. Remove the fabric when temperatures warm up to prevent overheating the plant. So far this shouldn’t be necessary. Be careful using plastic because it doesn’t breathe and can overheat your shrubs.
Don’t allow the pump to freeze. Check with garden pond maintenance experts in your area about whether your pump will move water all winter or whether it and the plants in the pond should be removed and stored until winter.
For some plants…just let it grow!
Fresh veggies. Even during snows and freezes, gardeners in many parts of the country can continue to grow and harvest cool-season crops such as lettuce, spinach, beets, and other vegetables by creating a cold frame from inexpensive wire hoops and agricultural cloth.
One of the best parts about the Christmas and Holiday season is how wonderfully decorated the neighborhood gets. Whether it is a simple, traditional display or a set up that would make Clark Griswold jealous, it seems that it just wouldnt be the same if this tradition didn’t exist. Here are some awesome and interesting facts about Christmas Lights.
- The First Outdoor Christmas Light Display went up in 1880
Thomas Edison, the inventor of the first successful practical light bulb, created the very first strand of electric lights. During the Christmas season of 1880, these strands were strung around the outside of his Menlo Park Laboratory.
- Early Electric Christmas Lights Were Expensive
The wiring of electric lights was very expensive and required the hiring of the services of a wireman, our modern-day electrician. According to some, to light an average Christmas tree with electric lights before 1903 would have cost $2000.00 in today’s dollars Until 1903, when General Electric began to offer pre-assembled kits of Christmas lights, stringed lights were reserved for the wealthy and electrically savvy.
- The First Light Decorating Contests Were A Marketing Stunt
In 1927, General Electric first used the large, intermediate size base for their new outdoor Christmas light bulbs. General Electric and the various Edison Electric distribution companies sponsored many neighborhood “decorating with color-light” contests in an effort to induce sales of the new outfits. Their strategy worked quite well, as within several years communities all over the United States held friendly decorating competitions at Christmastime.
- The Largest Christmas Light Display is in Australia
In 2014 the display boasted 1.2 million LED lights, on 75 miles of cable in Petrie Plaza mall in Canberra, Australia.
Want the perfect holiday look for your home this year? Organically Green’s expert team can be your Christmas miracle. Call today for more information!
Featured in this article: Ornamental Grasses
Fall Newsletter 2015
Growing Mums can be a bit tricky. Mums are a great fall flower and will add color to your garden well into the season. Here are some tips to grow mums.
Soil preparation. Mums need well-drained soil. If your yard gets saturated quickly grow mums in raised beds with friable soil for good root growth.
If the soil is too dense, add compost and prepare to a depth of 8-12 inches for best performance (about 1 inch deeper than they were in the nursery pot). Mums’ roots are shallow, and they don’t like competition. Plant mums, being careful with the roots as you spread them.
Fertilizer. Plants set out in spring should get a 5-10-10 fertilizer once or twice a month until cooler weather sets in. Don’t fertilize plants set out in fall as annuals, but plants you hope to overwinter should get high-phosphorus fertilizer to stimulate root growth.
Location. Mums need sunlight to thrive. Plants that don’t get enough sunlight will be tall and leggy and produce fewer, smaller flowers.
Watering. Give mums about an inch of water per week. Avoid soaking the foliage, which encourages disease.
Overwintering. Prepare mums for winter after the first hard frost. Mulch up to 4 inches with straw or shredded hardwood. Pinch off dead blooms to clean up the plant, but leave branches intact. Mums have a better chance of surviving if you wait to prune old stems until spring. As soon as the weather warms, get rid of the mulch to allow new shoots to pop up.
Pests. You may notice aphids, leafhoppers, or spider mites, but they are not likely to harm the plant.
This year’s Hampton Classic horse show will take place on August 23rd through the 30th. As one of the largest outdoor horse shows in the United States, and a premier destination for horse people, the Classic is a much-anticipated stop on the summer tour. Now well into its third successful decade, The Hampton Classic Horse Show is in a class all its own, both in the minds of spectators and horse people alike. We at Organically Green are proud to be a sponsor for this event.
Featured in this article: Garden Good Guys!
Summer Newsletter 2015
There are many insects that attack hardwood trees which ultimately cause death or devalue a tree in the urban landscape and rural forest to the point where they need to be cut. These are the five most common and destructive tree killers.
#1 – Gypsy Moth:
The moth was introduced into the United States in 1862 and is responsible for the death of millions of trees.
The insect lays visible buff-colored egg masses as leaves emerge in the spring. These masses hatch into hungry larvae that quickly defoliate hardwoods.
#2 – Emerald Ash Borer:
The Emerald ash borer (EAB) is blamed for killing millions of ash trees annually and forcing quarantines on firewood and tree nursery stock in several states.
The EAB larvae feed on the cambial bark. These S-shaped feeding galleries will kill limbs and can ultimately girdle the tree.
#3 – Longhorn Beetles/ Borers:
The Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) was first found in Brooklyn, New York in 1996 but has now been reported in 14 states and threatening more.
The adult insects lays eggs in an opening in the bark. The larvae then bore large galleries deep into the wood. They eventually weaken the tree to the point that the tree falls apart and dies.
#4 – Elm Bark Beetle:
This pest is dangerous for the company it keeps. The native elm bark beetle carries Dutch elm disease (DED) a contagious fungus that can destroy trees. While no North American tree is immune to DED, American elm trees are especially susceptible.
#5 – Tent Caterpillars:
The favorite food of tent caterpillars is wild cherry but oaks, maples and many other shade and forest trees are attacked. The tent caterpillar can strip extensive stands of trees of all leaves. The attacked tree’s growth is effected.