How To Avoid Invasive Tree Roots Destroying Your Landscape
Invasive tree roots can destroy your turf, buckle concrete, and quickly become a very costly nuisance. Knowing which tree species to avoid planting and how to deal with aggressive trees already on your property will save you time, money, and stress.
72tree.com gathered information on invasive tree roots, the damages they cause, how to stop them, and which species you should not plant.
What Are Invasive Tree Roots
Invasive tree roots quickly grow in search of water and nutrients, finding their way under walkways, driveways, building foundations, sidewalks, water lines, sewer pipes, etc. As these roots thicken, they can cause these structures to fracture and buckle.
A common trait of invasive plants and tree roots is that they are fast-growing. Once these roots find a water source, they take hold and continue spreading to find more water sources.
Invasive Tree Root Damage
Once invasive tree roots spread across your yard or landscape, all they need is a water source. When that water source is tapped into, the roots thicken and tear up your turf, while breaking through nearly everything they have grown beneath.
Among the most expensive damages, invasive tree roots can cause: when they grow under the foundation of your home.
Note: These roots don’t just break through concrete or asphalt, they can cause the earth surrounding them to heave upward.
Read 72tree.com/tree-roots-buckling-concrete-driveway/ to uncover the devastation these roots can cause and ways to repair the damage they cause.
How To Stop Invasive Tree Roots
Don’t plant tree species with invasive roots. If you inherited these trees with your property or were ill-advised when you purchased and planted a tree, here are some of the measures you can take to slow these roots down:
1. Install root barriers to a depth of 18 to 24 inches (the majority of tree roots are found within the top 18 inches of soil). You can install these barriers around young trees or around structures to stop or divert the direction of the roots. When installing barriers, allow enough space for tree roots to form a stable root plate. The root plate generally surrounds the trunk and extends to the tree’s drip line.
2. Root pruning is an option that should be done by an arborist. Pruning tree roots can leave the tree vulnerable to disease and infestation.
3. After planting a tree, provide it with frequent deep waterings to encourage its roots to grow deeper.
4. Plant trees in locations where they can achieve their full growth potential without interfering with structures and landscape features.
5. Make sure the tree you are planting is appropriate for your hardiness zone. Planting outside the tree’s zone may trigger its roots to become aggressive to supply it with enough moisture.
6. Often times, the only solution for invasive root problems is to have the tree removed and the stump ground.
Invasive Tree Root Species
The following is a brief list of tree species that have displayed invasive root tendencies, are high-maintenance, and short-lived (when compared to similar non-invasive species):
• Aspen (Populus)
• Eastern Cottonwood (Populus deltoides)
• Empress or Princess Tree (Paulownia tomentosa)
• English Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)
• English Holly (Ilex aquifolium)
• English Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus)
• Golden Chain Tree (Laburnum)
• Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)
• Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin)
• Norway Maple (Acer platanoides)
• Saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima)
• Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila)
• Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)
• Sweet Cherry (Prunus avium)
• Sweet Gum (Liquidambar styraciflua)
• Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)
• Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)
• Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)
• Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica)
• White Mulberry (Morus alba)
• White Poplar (Populus alba)
Many of the trees listed above can grow to enormous proportions (in height and width) and likely are not appropriate for small to medium-sized yards and landscapes.
Regardless of the species, you would like to plant, do your homework on how it grows, where it grows, and problems others have had with it. You can also hire an arborist to assess your yard or landscape before planting the tree. This will help you give the tree a healthy beginning.
Read more about planting trees by visiting 72tree.com/tree-planting-guide/
Invasive Tree Roots
In this article, you discovered what invasive tree roots are, the damage they are capable of, what you can do to stop them, and several of the species to avoid.
By addressing invasive tree roots as early as possible, you can avoid significant damages to your property, water supply, sewage line, and your home’s foundation.
When you allow invasive tree roots to grow unchecked, you are inviting them to tear up your turf, destroy structures, and upheave the earth they grow in.
When Should I Cut Down A Tree on My Property?
Does your tree look sick or like it’s going to fall? By knowing the signs of a hazardous tree on your property, you can take action to prevent catastrophic damages and losses.
72tree.com gathered information on the signs of a dead, dying, or dangerous tree, and whether or not it should be removed.
When Is Tree Removal Necessary?
You may need to remove your tree if it:
• Is dead or dying
• Is Rotting or hollow
• Has invasive or destructive roots
• Has been infested and poses a threat to surrounding trees
• Is diseased and could infect other trees or plants
• Poses an imminent threat to people, structures, or vehicles
Trees go through many phases as they mature. When any irregularities are detected, you should contact a professional tree service immediately. Have the tree professionally evaluated and make an informed decision on whether or not to remove the tree.
Is My Tree Dead or Dying?
The answer to that question is: Possibly. A deciduous tree may look dead, when in fact, it may only be dormant. Consider the following when evaluating your tree:
Deciduous Trees – A deciduous tree is one that loses its leaves in the fall and goes into a state of dormancy until the end of the winter season. These trees may look dead while in dormancy but are likely very much alive.
You can confirm this by performing a “scratch test” on a smaller branch or twig. If the twig is dead, it will be dry and brittle underneath the bark. A live one will have a shade of green and be moist under the bark.
Evergreen Trees – An evergreen tree maintains its foliage throughout the year. If you notice an excessive loss of foliage or the discoloration of a large portion of the tree, there may be root, sun, or wind damage.
The following are signs of trouble for any tree and should be evaluated by a certified arborist immediately:
• The unusual or untimely loss of foliage
• Sections of the tree failing to leaf out in the spring
• Discoloration or wilting of a section of the tree crown
• New foliage is stunted, wilted, or discolored
• Mushroom conks are growing on the trunk or on surface roots
• Sprouts or suckers growing from the roots of the tree
• Entry or exit holes from boring insects
• Dead branches in the crown
• Sudden shedding of branches
• Your tree has begun to lean
• Neighboring trees are dying suddenly
• Mold or mildew has grown on a significant portion of the foliage
• There is significant damage to foliage from an insect infestation
• Your tree was struck by lightning
• Large portions of bark have been damaged or fallen off the trunk
• A severe storm has stripped your tree of foliage and damaged multiple branches
Through the life of a tree, it will face many health threats. In most cases, it can overcome those threats and continue thriving. However, when the tree is confronted by multiple threats, its health may decline, allowing some of those threats to damage it severely enough to kill it.
Many of the above signs can be mitigated or completely avoided when detected in their earliest stages. You can accomplish this by having an annual inspection performed on your tree(s) in late winter or early spring.
Read more about identifying tree diseases and trouble at 72tree.com/signs-diseased-tree-dieback-suckers-water-sprouts/
Removing Nuisance Trees from Your Property
Some tree species can become a tremendous nuisance as they mature and thrive. Some of the problems they may cause include:
• Interfering with power lines
• Branches overhanging your house, garage, or neighbor’s property
• Invasive roots breaking foundations, invading septic tanks, or buckling concrete
• Large roots growing along the ground surface
• The tree is self-pruning and begins to shed large limbs (eucalyptus trees do this frequently)
Invasive root systems like those of the aspen species can cause massive amounts of damage in a short amount of time. Read more about invasive root problems at 72tree.com/tree-roots-buckling-concrete-driveway/
In cases where a tree is near or on your property line, arguments and disputes may occur between neighbors. Before taking any action, you will need to determine ownership and/or responsibility of that tree. Read 72tree.com/who-is-responsible-overhanging-tree-branches/ to learn how this is determined.
Do I Need A Tree Removal Permit
Cities and municipalities across the country have tree ordinances in place to protect or preserve their trees. That said, there are cases in which dead trees or trees that pose an imminent threat of falling can be removed immediately and without a permit. However, you will likely be required to document the hazard and the need for removal fully. A certified arborist’s report, in some municipalities, may also be required.
Special Trees – Some tree species are vigorously protected in some municipalities, and their removal, for any reason without permission, may result in steep fines, recompense, and even planting new trees of the same or predetermined species, as defined by the tree ordinance. These reasons may include:
• Historical significance
• Rare or protected species
• Wildlife refuge
• Trees with a specific diameter at breast height (DBH)
Whenever you have a tree that needs to be removed (for any reason), consult your city’s codes and ordinances to determine whether you need a permit or not. The following may help as well:
• Visit your city’s website and search for tree removal permit information
• Call your city’s arborist or Forestry department
• Hire a professional tree service that can acquire the appropriate permits and do the job.
When it comes to trees, medium and large trees should always be handled by professionals. If you try to cut such a tree down without the proper knowledge and equipment, you may be placing your property and your life in jeopardy.
Removing Trees from Your Property
In this article, you discovered how to determine when a tree is dead, dying, has become a hazard, and if it should be removed.
By taking action when you detect a tree illness, infestation, or damage, you are preserving the safety of your property.
When you delay taking care of sick or wounded trees, you are leaving an open invitation for catastrophic events that can destroy your property and threaten the well-being of you and your loved ones.
How To Kill and Stop Tree Stumps from Growing Back
Is the tree you cut down trying to grow back from the stump? Many times, when trees get cut down, the stump and roots will continue to send out new growth. Knowing why they do this and what to do with it once the tree is gone can save you loads of time, effort, and money.
72tree.com assembled the following information on why trees grow back after being cut down, how to kill a tree stump, and remove it.
Do Trees Grow Back After Being Cut Down
Yes, they can. That’s why it’s essential to be knowledgeable about tree growth when you need to remove one permanently.
Cut trees with enough stored sugars and nutrients in their roots can produce sprouts from the roots and trunk as a measure of survival and reproduction. The following species will commonly sprout after being cut down:
• Red Oak
When this survival mechanism is triggered, single, or multiple sprouts may appear. If left unabated, these sprouts will grow into trees without having grown a stable root plate, and likely pose a much more immense falling hazard than the original tree.
How to Stop Tree Stumps and Roots from Sprouting
Before you select a method to kill or remove a tree stump, evaluate the potential impact on the environment and immediate surroundings. The following are methods to eliminate tree stumps from sprouting:
Use Fertilizer for Rapid Decay – To accelerate the decaying process of the stump, do the following:
• Cut the stump to soil level
• Drill half-inch to inch-wide holes six to eight inches deep into the stump and aerial roots
• Apply a slow-release fertilizer to the holes and over the stump
• Cover and “mound” with soil
With little to no impact on the environment, this method is highly effective but takes several months to decompose the stump fully.
Note: In this and the following methods, areal roots are the large protruding “anchor” roots at the base of the stump.
Using Epsom or Rock Salt to Kill It – This process is one of the more economical, but takes several months to kill the stump. Apply this method by:
• Acquiring enough Epsom or rock salt to fill several deep holes and cavities in the stump
• Drill half-inch to inch-wide holes six to eight inches deep into the stump and aerial roots
• Pack the holes and any cavities with salt
• Use hot wax or another water-proof sealant to seal the holes and cover the cavities
• Secure a dark plastic tarp or trash bag over and around the stump to keep rain and sunlight out
In six to ten weeks, your tree stump should be dead and breaking apart.
Tip: While table salt will produce similar results, it is very harmful to the soil in the vicinity of the stump. Use only 100% Epsom or rock salt with no added ingredients.
Cover The Stump To Kill It – You can slowly kill your tree stump with this method, and it’s free.
• Secure a dark plastic tarp or trash bag over and around the stump to keep rain and sunlight out
Without adding any chemicals or salt, this method will take up to six months for the stump to die and start to decay.
While the tree is covered, there should be no growth. However, if sprouts do appear while the stump is still alive, cut them off.
Burn The Stump – Burning the stump is an effective way to remove it after it has died. The following steps will help you safely burn and remove your tree stump:
• Drill several half-inch to inch-wide holes six to eight inches deep into the stump and aerial roots. The deeper you can drill into the stump will ensure that it burns to the roots.
• Pour enough kerosene into the holes to thoroughly saturate the stump.
• Build a fire on top of the stump by placing scrap wood, twigs, and small logs on it. As the fire burns down, add more wood as necessary to keep the fire ablaze.
• When the stump has burned away, remove the ashes and replace them with soil.
As with any controlled burn, never leave it unattended. Keep a hose or fire extinguisher on hand in case the fire gets out of hand or begins to spread.
NOTE: Before using this method, consult your municipal ordinances to ensure that your controlled burn is legal, for more information call 411.
Tip: Turn the stump burning into a “bonfire” and invite friends and family over for an outside gathering.
Grind The Stump – Grinding the stump allows you to chop it up and remove it immediately. This method requires protective clothing and equipment and some knowledge of machinery operation and safety. The following steps will help you safely remove your tree stump:
• Use a chainsaw to cut the stump as close to the ground as possible, leaving a level surface
• Grind the stump and any areal roots until fully ground up
• Remove the wood chips (use them for mulch or discard them)
• Fill the hole with fresh soil
Keep children and pets at a safe distance while the stump grinder is in use.
Note: Before operating this or any other machinery, refer to the operating manual to ensure its proper and safe use. There may be safety features that you are not aware of on the machine.
Call A Professional Tree Service – Take all of the stress, equipment, time, and chemicals out of the process by calling a professional tree service to come out and remove your tree stump. They have specialized equipment and experience to remove your tree stump quickly and safely.
Stop Your Tree Stump from Growing Back
In this article, you discovered why trees continue sending up sprouts after being cut down, how to kill a tree stump, and how to completely remove one.
By killing and removing your tree stump, you are preventing sprouts from growing and creating a hazard to surrounding structures and people.
Allowing a tree to re-grow in this manner is significantly dangerous. These new trees grow without establishing a firm root plate and may topple as they increase in size without warning.
Caring for and Planting a Potted Christmas Tree
With some simple steps, you can avoid significantly damaging your potted Christmas tree while it’s in your home. Likewise, by taking a few essential measures into consideration, your potted Christmas tree will thrive outside for years to come.
72tree.com assembled the following list of care and planting tips for your potted Christmas tree.
Potted Christmas Tree Selection
Responsible tree care begins with your tree selection. The following will help you get the right tree for your holiday enjoyment and avoid transporting a potential infestation or tree disease to your landscape:
• Some highly sought after species for potted Christmas trees include Fraser fir, white pine, and Norway, white and Colorado blue spruces.
• The species should be adapted to your USDA hardiness zone
• The root ball or soil in the pot should be moist
• The tree should appear sturdy with even growth
• There should be no signs of disease or infestation
• Little to no needles should fall off the tree when shaken
• Branches and needles should be pliable when run through your hand
• Look for potted trees that are kept outside (these trees should be in a state of dormancy)
If the tree is purchased from a climate-controlled nursery, avoid trees with new growth at the end of its stems. This new growth (triggered by the warmth indoors) will appear bright green. It will not have time to harden before being planted outside and exposed to winter temperatures after the holiday.
Visit 72tree.com/trees-shrubs-usda-hardiness-zone-map/ to learn more about the hardiness zones and how to determine your precise zone.
Tip: Look for trees in the 4 to 5-foot range. Since these trees still have their roots and surrounding soil, they will be much heavier than live cut trees. The taller the tree, the more roots and soil are required. Thus, the shorter the tree, the more manageable it will be during transport and planting.
How To Bring Your Potted Christmas Tree Indoors
Now that you have the perfect tree for your holiday celebration, use the following steps to acclimate the tree to come indoors:
Garage Your Tree – When you arrive home, leave your tree in the garage for two to three days. This will allow the tree to get used to warmer temperatures and avoid stressing it.
Stressed trees are highly susceptible to successful insect and disease attacks.
Digging A Hole for the Tree – While the tree is acclimating to go indoors, take some time to prepare its planting location outdoors. Take the following into consideration:
Know the species height and width at maturity. Your tree is likely capable of reaching heights of 80 to 100-feet and width of 20-feet or more. Choose a location away from power lines and at least 30-feet from any structures or paved areas in your landscape.
Now that you have a location, dig a hole 3-feet across and as deep as the root ball or pot. Keep the dug up soil in the garage (protected from freezing), fill the hole with straw, and cover it with wooden planks. This will help you avoid significant delays in case the ground freezes.
Inspect Your Tree – Once acclimated, thoroughly inspect your tree once more for signs of insect infestation before bringing it indoors.
Some of the potential insect passengers you may find include:
• Bark Beetles
• Stink Bugs
Visit 72tree.com/preventing-eliminating-christmas-tree-bugs/ to read more about Christmas tree bug control and prevention.
Timing and Duration – Potted Christmas trees should be brought indoors as close to your holiday celebration as possible. Unlike cut Christmas trees, potted trees will react to the warmer temperature indoors and begin to exit dormancy.
From the time your tree is brought indoors, you have about ten days before you will need to get it back outside. While your tree is indoors, observe the following to promote its health:
• Place the tree in a location far from heat sources, including fireplaces, vents, portable heaters, stoves, etc.
• Use led lights on the tree to avoid drying it out. If conventional light strings are used, be sure to limit the time they are turned on.
• Water the tree daily with 30 to 40 ice cubes placed on the root ball or the soil in the pot.
• Help the tree remain in dormancy by putting it in a cooler room with an abundance of natural light.
Tip: If you detect any new growth or signs of sprouting at any time, remove all of the decorations and lighting. It’s time to get it outside.
How To Take Your Potted Christmas Tree Outdoors
The same way you acclimated your tree to come indoors, you will need to acclimate it to go outdoors. You can accomplish this by removing all decorations and lighting, then moving it back to the garage for two to three days.
Planting Your Christmas Tree
The following steps will help you successfully plant your acclimated tree:
• Uncover the hole you previously dug and remove the straw
• Move the saved soil back to the side of the hole
• Fill the hole with water, let the water soak into the ground, and repeat
• Move the tree to the edge of the hole and gently lay it on its side (with the top of the tree pointing away from the hole)
• Carefully remove the pot (keep the soil intact)
• If the root ball is wrapped in burlap, leave the burlap on for now
• Slide the tree towards the center of the hole, so the root ball is at the center of the hole
• Raise the tree into its position (remove the burlap now)
• Loosen the soil in the root ball and free any circling roots
• Fill in the hole making sure the root flare does not get buried
• For stability, it may be necessary to stake the tree for the first 6 months
• Water the tree and add a 3-inch layer of organic mulch around the entire base without covering any part of the trunk
For more tips and guidance on successfully planting a tree, read 72tree.com/beginners-guide-tree-planting/
Note: If the ground has frozen, there is snow accumulation, or if your tree sprouted new growth and began to bud, don’t plant it just yet. Keep it and continue caring for it in the garage until the threat of freezing temperatures has passed.
Potted Christmas Tree Care And Planting
In this article, you discovered what it takes to care for a potted Christmas tree and plant it when your holiday celebrations are over.
By properly acclimating and caring for your potted tree, you can keep it from harm’s way and enjoy its beauty for years to come.
By neglecting the needs of your potted Christmas tree, it will likely end up stressed and suffering permanent damage.
Common Maple Tree Diseases, Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention
Stop your maple tree from needlessly dying. If caught in time, diseases that attack maples can be treated with success.
72tree.com of Alpharetta Ga, assembled the following list of diseases that affect maple trees, how to identify, treat, and prevent them.
Why do My Maple Tree Leaves Have Spots?
One of the easiest ways to detect maple tree diseases is through irregularities in shape or size, spots, and/or blemishes on the tree’s foliage.
The following diseases may cause spots to appear on your maple tree’s foliage:
Leaf Spot (Phyllosticta minima) – This fungal infection causes round spots about a quarter of an inch in diameter to appear on leaves. These spots will have a pronounced purple border and blackish dots in the center of the spot (fungal fruiting structures).
Treatment: Before fall, prune dead twigs, stems, and branches. Collect all clippings and destroy them (burning them is highly recommended) to prevent the spread of the fungus.
Have the tree evaluated to determine the extent of the infection and whether further action like using fungicides should be taken to protect your tree and surrounding landscape.
NOTE: Sanitize all equipment, including gloves and protective clothing that come in contact with an infected tree and its foliage.
Anthracnose (Aureobasidium apocryptum or Discula – Gloeosporium) – Anthracnose is a fungal infection that causes purple or brown streaks to occur alongside and between leaf veins. In some maple species, drought and heat stress can produce similar symptoms. You can confirm an anthracnose infection by locating small, brown fungal fruiting structures near the veins of affected leaves.
Treatment: The same measures and precautions for leaf spot should be used in the treatment of anthracnose.
NOTE: Anthracnose can lead to severe defoliation during a wet spring season.
Root Rot (Fomes fomentarius, Ganoderma lucidum, or Laetiporus sulfureus) – Once a fungal infection embeds itself in the trunk or the roots of a maple tree, there are three types of symptoms to watch for:
• Foliage in the entire crown or a section of it may suffer from chlorosis, wilt, die and eventually fall. This happens as the fungi cause hydraulic failure within the roots, trunk, and branches.
• Fungal fruiting structures (mushroom conks) will appear from late spring to mid-fall. For these structures to form, there must be rotting organic material within the tree.
• Large black ants known as carpenter ants will make a nest for their colony within trees that suffer from heart rot. These ants do not burrow through heartwood, they remove the tissues rotting and softened from the infection.
Treatment: Once root rot or heart rot has been confirmed, have the tree professionally removed as quickly as possible.
NOTE: The presence of carpenter ants and fungal fruiting structures only occur after significant damage has been done to the tree. When the affected tree is within striking distance of your home, places where people congregate, or other structures and vehicles, the situation should be treated as an emergency.
Galls – These spots are irregular growths or swellings that occur from a reaction to tissue feeding or egg-laying by various species of mites and insects (commonly mistaken for fungal infection).
Galls appear in various ways. Each mite or insect species produces a distinctive gall shape and can range from wart-like bumps to felt-like patches to spindle-shaped protrusions. Galls develop in the spring, and once formed, the pest remains protected within the structure. Arborists can often identify which mite or insect has infested your tree by the shape and appearance of the galls.
Treatment: Leaf galls are relatively innocuous and rarely result in any long term damage to the tree. Applications of pesticides are relatively ineffective, as the pests are protected within the gall structure.
The most effective manner of gall removal is to handpick and destroy affected foliage before exit holes form and allow the pest(s) to move on. If the presence of galls is overwhelming, hire a professional tree service to evaluate the situation and recommend a course of action.
Maple Tree Disease Prevention
Maple tree disease prevention begins with good tree care practices. The healthier your tree is, the more vigorously it can fight back against diseases and infestations.
However, when the tree’s defenses fail, here are steps to prevent the disease or infestation from infecting surrounding trees:
• Prune affected limbs (before leaf-drop)
• Burn all pruned limbs and foliage
• Always sanitize pruning equipment after use on an infected tree
• Avoid tracking soil from around infected trees to areas around uninfected trees (many fungi and other pathogens thrive in the soil). Clean boots, protective clothing, tools, and equipment before leaving an infested area
• Replant resistant species after tree removal
• Avoid planting maple trees in areas with a history of tree diseases
• Have annual tree inspections and soil testing performed to detect any issues early on.
Black Spots on Maple Leaves
In this article, you discovered how to identify diseases that cause spots on maple tree leaves, how to treat them, and how to prevent them.
Prevent the decline of your maple tree by knowing what to do when a fungus or pathogen begins showing signs of infection.
Your choice to ignore signs that your tree is diseased or in decline can result in catastrophic fungal outbreaks to your landscape, or costly damages to your property when the tree falls.
Who is Responsible for Overhanging Tree Branches
Don’t accept liability for a tree or its overhanging branches without clarifying responsibility. Once you know how to determine responsibility for a tree and its overhanging branches, you can better reach fair solutions with your neighbors during a tree dispute.
72tree.com gathered the following information on determining who owns and is responsible for a tree’s overhanging branches, and what actions to take.
Trees and Your Property Line
Whether you find yourself on the giving or receiving end of an overhanging tree complaint, it is essential to know who owns the tree in question.
When you purchased your property, you were likely required to get a property survey. If many years have elapsed or there is difficulty determining where the property line is, have a new survey conducted with the surveyor physically marking the property line.
All trees growing on your property with their trunks inside your property line are your responsibility.
In the rare case that a tree is growing directly on the property line, ownership and responsibility of that tree are equally shared between you and your neighbor.
Overhanging Tree Branches
As a tree grows upward, it also grows outward. Over time, some of those branches can grow past your property line overhanging your neighbor’s yard or home. The responsibilities of each property owner are typically as follows:
Owner of the Tree – You are responsible for the overall care of the tree, including:
• Watering, mulching, and fertilizing
• Staking or anchoring if the tree becomes unstable or is leaning
• Trimming or pruning the canopy (up to your property line)
• Detecting and treating illnesses and insect infestations. Learn more about tree health problems and solutions at 72tree.com/9-common-tree-health-problems-solutions/
If your tree succumbs to disease, infestation, or dies for any reason, the responsibility to remove the tree is yours. You could be held responsible for the damages it may cause if it should fall.
The Neighbor – Your neighbor is responsible for the following:
• The trimming or pruning of overhanging branches up to their property line*
• Cleaning fallen leaves, needles, twigs and other debris from the overhanging branches
Your neighbor should also make any concerns or complaints about potential hazards from the tree known to you.
If your neighbor documents this communication or files a complaint with the town, and you do nothing, you may be held liable for damages caused by any portion of the tree falling on your neighbor’s property.
*All trimming or pruning activities must be done in a way that promotes the health of the tree. If your neighbor’s actions result in the declining health or death of the tree, they may be held liable for the cost of the replacement of that tree.
Your Tree Falls on Your Neighbor’s Property
If your tree or a portion of the tree should fall on your neighbor’s property, the health of the tree when it fell is vital in determining responsibility.
Healthy Tree – If the tree was healthy and well maintained with no signs of decay or infestation, the removal and any damages caused by the tree will be your neighbor’s responsibility.
The majority of homeowners insurance providers will cover such a claim.
Diseased or Dying Tree – If your tree had clear signs of disease, infestation, rot, or your neighbor filed a complaint about the hazard, you could be held liable for all damages caused by the falling tree.
Protect yourself and your neighbors by hiring a trusted tree service to perform annual inspections of your trees. These inspections allow them to detect any potential trouble and recommend a course of action.
Learn more about what to do when a neighbor’s tree falls on your house at 72tree.com/my-neighbors-tree-fell-on-my-house-now-what/
View Obstruction Ordinances
Throughout the United States, there are a few cities with “view ordinances.” These ordinances state the importance of the view to the value of the property.
If your tree reaches a height that obstructs a neighbor’s view (in a city with such ordinances), you may be ordered to reduce the height of the tree or remove it.
Before planting new trees on your property, it is worth the time and effort to research your city’s laws for these specific ordinances. Once you know the limitations imposed by these ordinances, you can select the appropriate species to plant.
Overhanging Tree Responsibility
In this article, you discovered how tree ownership is determined, what you are responsible for when trees overhang a neighbor’s property, and their responsibilities.
By properly caring for your trees and having them inspected annually, you can detect potential issues early and get them resolved before turning into a problem or dispute.
If you choose to neglect the health of your tree(s), you can be held liable for all damages caused by that tree falling on your neighbor’s property or house.
NOTE: Cities, municipalities, and towns have ordinances that may vary from the information presented in this article. It is always recommended that you search for your city’s tree ordinances to fully inform yourself.
A Beginners Guide to Tree Planting
Your tree is more likely to die if you don’t consider the factors that affect its development during their planting. Your trees’ health is directly correlated to the time, location, pre-planning, and species that you choose ever before planting.
72tree.com assembled the following guide with professional tips to help you properly plant and care for your tree.
Best Time to Plant Trees
There is much debate as to when the best tree planting time is. For more moderate climates such as the south, southeast, or southwest, either early fall or early spring are appropriate planting times.
For locations where there is winter snow cover or ground freeze, spring (after the ground thaws) is the best time to plant.
Now that you’ve decided to plant a tree and identified the best time, you’ll need to choose a suitable location. In doing so, take the following factors into consideration:
Sunlight – Does the planting location get full sun (all day), partial sun (morning or evening), or full shade (no sun)
Water – Most tree species require well-drained soil. If your chosen location is in a low-lying area or a depression, water may accumulate and stand, leading to root rot and other diseases.
Tip: Verify that your location is well-drained after a rainstorm or run a hose at the site to see how the water accumulates or runs off.
Soil – The soil where you plant your tree should be loose, mixed with organic material, and turned to avoid compaction.
Tip: Many tree species can thrive in a soil pH level between 5 (acidic) and 7(neutral). You can raise the soil pH by adding lime or limestone and reduce the pH by adding aluminum sulfate, sulfur, manure, or compost (pH levels above 7 are alkaline).
Spacing – When planting multiple trees, they can be spaced apart according to their mature canopy spread. Tree spacings from 20 to 60 feet apart are standard. This spacing allows the open-grown form of the tree canopy to develop naturally.
Conversely, when planted too close together, a tree may fail to reach its mature height and struggle to absorb enough sunlight and nutrients to remain healthy.
Tip: Follow spacing recommendations for your specific tree species.
Wind – The location you’ve selected should be observed over time to determine whether or not your tree will endure constant wind or violent wind gusts.
Tip: Stake young trees until they can support themselves without bending under pressure. Most trees will take one to two years before fully establishing their root systems.
Structures – A tree’s roots spread far from where it is planted. As roots spread, they thicken and may become invasive. When a tree is planted too close to a house, sidewalk, patio, or driveway, those roots can grow underneath the structure and break up or buckle the concrete.
Tip: Plant trees far from structures with concrete foundations or slabs, and install root barriers to protect building foundations, driveways, sidewalks, etc.
Protection – Weather and wildlife can stress or kill your tree as it matures. By planting shrubs near and around your tree, you can naturally lessen the impact of wind. Surrounding structures will also act in this capacity.
Tip: Discourage wildlife from grazing your tree’s foliage or damaging its bark by putting up chicken wire around the tree, using bark wraps, or by using chemical deterrents.
The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map defines planting zones from 1a to 13b. The zone in which you plan to plant a tree will determine which species you should select. You can determine your hardiness zone at planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/InteractiveMap.aspx
The species of tree you decide to plant can profoundly impact the surrounding landscape in various ways. Verify that the species you intend to plant is appropriate for the location in which you are planting and consider the following:
Deciduous or Evergreen Trees – If you want your tree to maintain a lush green appearance year-round, you are looking for an evergreen species which may include:
• Blue Spruce
• Scots Pine
• Green Giant Arborvitae
• Leyland Cypress
If you want to enjoy fall colors as your tree prepares to go dormant for the winter, you are looking for one of the many deciduous species which may include:
• Quaking Aspen
Tip: Regarding quaking aspens, the species has an invasive root system and will produce suckers that are clones of the original tree. When planting this species, be sure that it has enough space to grow and spread without obstruction.
Understory or Overstory – An understory tree may be best if your planting location is restricted or you desire a mid-sized tree. The following species are considered understory, and are shade tolerant reaching mature heights of 20 to 40 feet:
• Flowering Dogwood
• Eastern Redbud
• White Fringetree
• Japanese Maple
• Black Aldar
If you are looking for a tree that makes a statement by its size and you have the landscape to accommodate its growth, the following overstory species reach mature heights of 60 to over 100 feet:
• Southern Magnolia
• Green Ash
• White Oak
• Southern Red Oak
Tip: When planting multiple trees, understory trees can be planted near overstory trees as protection from strong or persistent winds.
For more info, refer to 72tree.com/tree-buying-tips/ before purchasing the trees you intend to plant.
Planting Your Tree
When planting a seedling or sapling, the following should be considered in the preparation of the planting location:
Surrounding Soil – Organic material or pH stabilizing material should be mixed into the soil in no less than a 2-foot radius of where the tree will be planted.
Tip: When transplanting a more developed tree, treat the soil in a 3 to 4-foot radius of the planting location.
Dig the Hole – Measure the distance from the bottom of the trunk to the bottom of the roots or root ball; this is how deep your hole must be. The hole must also be wide enough for the entire root ball to fit without being cramped or bent.
Tip: To confirm the accuracy of the depth, allow the tree to rest in the hole paying particular attention to where the roots connect to the tree. Known as the root flare, it should remain just above the ground.
Water in the Hole – Before planting your tree, provide a deep watering for the hole, allowing water to soak deep into the earth below. This moisture will encourage roots to grow deep.
Plant the Tree – Now that your hole is dug, the soil enriched, and the ground watered, place your tree in the hole covering the roots with soil up to the root flare.
Tip: When covering the roots with soil, do not overly compact it. Water the newly planted tree and allow the soil to settle. As the soil settles, add more to the top, keeping the root flare just above ground level.
Watering – Your newly planted tree should receive a deep watering 2 to 3 times per week. Avoid shallow waterings as they encourage roots to grow to the surface.
Tip: Use a slow-release watering system which maintains constant moisture while allowing proper drainage for excess water.
During rainy seasons, scale back the watering schedule and increase it during periods of drought. Don’t allow the soil to dry out for newly planted trees completely.
Fertilizer – If you have prepared the soil in and around the planting location, no fertilizing should be necessary for the first full year of growth.
Tip: Use organic mulch around the tree. As it decays, mulch releases nutrients into the soil. An added advantage is that mulch helps the soil retain moisture and warmth, both of which are fundamental for healthy root growth.
Tree Planting and Your Landscape
Your tree is likely to struggle and die without considering the factors that influence its growth when it is planted.
In this article, you discovered how to determine the correct tree species for your landscape, how to prepare the planting location, and pro tips to help you avoid common mistakes when planting a tree.
Your lack of knowledge about soil, sun, water, location, and species when planting a tree can result in its declining health and eventual death.
How to Fix Exposed Tree Roots
Are ugly surface roots buckling your concrete driveway or stopping you from mowing your lawn? Before you get frustrated and cut them out, there are some things you need to know.
72tree.com gathered the following information on how to handle surface roots without compromising the health of your tree.
Why Do Tree Roots Surface
While some roots grow deep in the ground, the majority of them spread out from the trunk within the first 4 to 12 inches of soil. As the tree ages, several factors may bring them to the surface:
Erosion – Over time, the top layers of soil may be washed away, lowering the ground level, subsequently exposing tree roots.
Soil Compaction – As tree roots spread out, they seek moist aerated soil to derive water and nutrients. When they run into compacted soil, they will turn downward or upward, and in many cases will grow along or just beneath ground level.
Natural Growth – The same way a tree trunk and limbs increase their girth with age, so do roots. Since the majority of tree roots grow within the first few inches of soil, they tend to break the surface as they thicken.
Species – Some trees grow this way. Species such as maples, poplars, and willows tend to grow surface roots.
As annoying as it may be, surface roots are a common landscape problem that can cause significant and costly damage.
Surface Root Problems
When tree roots surface, there are many potential issues they bring with them. Those issues may include:
Disease, Infestation, and Rot – Surface roots are highly susceptible to being injured or damaged by landscaping equipment, foot traffic, or wildlife. Damaged surface roots are easily infected by disease, or infested by insects and can carry harmful pathogens to the trunk and branches of the tree.
Damaged Driveway or Sidewalk – As these roots thicken and surface, the ones that have grown under sidewalks, driveways, and foundations will eventually exert enough pressure to raise or break them.
Read more on how tree roots can buckle a driveway and what to do at 72tree.com/tree-roots-buckling-concrete-driveway/
Damaged Landscape Equipment – Lawnmowers and other mechanical equipment can be severely damaged when making contact with surfaced tree roots.
Abnormal Growth – Where Tree roots surface, any grass or plant life surrounding those roots may become sparse or die.
Trip Hazard – When surface roots are further exposed by erosion, they may become a severe trip hazard when navigating your landscape.
Surface Root Solutions
While cutting the roots away may seem to be the best alternative, it is not. Cutting away roots (like damaging them) leaves the tree highly susceptible to deadly diseases and infestation.
The following are ways to resolve surface root issues without causing severe damage to the tree:
Mulch – At the first sign of roots breaking the surface, lay down a 2 to 3-inch layer of organic mulch. Mulch will help the soil retain moisture, and over time may redirect the roots to grow downward.
Soil Replacement – In cases of erosion exposing roots, lay down a 3 to 4-inch layer of soil to replace what was eroded. To prevent further erosion, you can mulch the area around the tree, seed the new soil with grass, or lay down sod.
Plant Plants – Where erosion is not the problem, one solution may be planting the area with taller ground cover or plants that won’t need mowing. As you create this “tree root garden,” take care to avoid damaging the roots while planting.
If you are still inclined to have the roots removed, hire an arborist to do this for you. Depending on the damage that may have already occurred, and type of roots that will be removed, it may be suggested to remove the tree.
Surface Root Prevention
Avoid the inconvenience of surface roots by taking action before they come to the surface:
Planting Location – Each tree species has a preferred type of soil, light, and nutrients for healthy growth. By planting trees in optimal conditions for their species, roots will be less likely to surface as the tree ages.
Soil – The soil type, moisture level, nutrient content, and pH level affect how tree roots grow. Deep watering, seasonal fertilizing, and annual pH level adjustments will encourage tree roots to grow deeper.
Species – As mentioned earlier, some tree species are prone to grow surface roots. When selecting trees for your landscape or yard, be sure to ask about the tree’s growth patterns, and do your research on the species needs for optimal growing conditions.
Read more about tree planting and care at 72tree.com/tree-planting-guide/
Exposed Tree Root Solutions
Don’t let gnarly surface roots discourage you from having a beautiful landscape. There are ways to incorporate them in your design without fatally wounding your tree.
In this article, you discovered why tree roots come to the surface, the problems they can cause, and measures you can take to solve and prevent them.
Your mishandling or damaging of surface roots can lead to the health decline and death of your tree. Before you cut roots away, call a professional to evaluate the situation and offer alternatives to save your landscape and your tree.
How is Your Tree Fighting Global Warming
Did you know that your tree is part of a global carbon sequestration system that sustains breathable air for the human race? In fact, without trees, life on earth as we know it would cease to exist.
72tree.com gathered essential information about the role of carbon sinks and how keeping your tree healthy plays a vital role in combating global warming and sustaining breathable air.
What Are Carbon Sinks
A carbon sink is a natural system that absorbs, uses, and stores carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Technically, you could say that anything that absorbs more carbon than it releases is a carbon sink.
Earth’s principal carbon sinks are:
Trees and Plants – Trees and plants use carbon dioxide captured from the atmosphere for their photosynthesis (food making) process.
Oceans – The oceans play a significant role in storing carbon dioxide. Some marine life will capture the gas for photosynthesis, while some of the gas simply dissolves in the water.
Soil – As plant life dies and decomposes, a portion of its captured carbon dioxide is transferred to the soil.
Nearly a quarter of the carbon dioxide humans have released into the atmosphere has been absorbed by trees and plants. As atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increase, so increases carbon fertilization.
Carbon Fertilization and Tree Growth
As atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increase, more is available to convert to plant matter through photosynthesis, and trees can grow more. This increased growth is referred to as carbon fertilization.
Because of carbon fertilization, trees will continue to grow larger and for more extended periods, as long as their necessity for water, sunlight, and nutrients (primarily nitrogen) is met. If a tree is missing just one of these necessities, it will not grow regardless of the abundance of the others.
Tree Planting and Forest Conservation
Tree planting and forest conservation are vital activities towards the reduction of mankind’s carbon footprint, as trees are remarkably efficient at carbon sequestration, they provide up to 30% of the global action required to stop climate change.
In fact, a single healthy tree is capable of releasing around 6,000 pounds of breathable oxygen over 50 years. That’s about the oxygen consumption of 4 people per year.
With 3.04 trillion trees worldwide and a world population of 7.53 billion, trees alone produce approximately 4,845 pounds of oxygen per person per year. While this number seems reasonably sufficient, carbon emissions are on the rise around the globe, leaving the ominous question of “How long can our trees sustain our oxygen requirements?”
Along with rising carbon emissions, trees and forests, do not always act as carbon sinks. In fact, massive carbon releases by trees may occur at any time when triggered by:
• Tree and plant decay
• Forest fires
• Volcanic eruptions
Suffice it to say that as long as carbon emissions continue rising, and the global tree population is threatened, the delicate balance of carbon sequestration and oxygen production can easily slide in the wrong direction.
Tree and forest conservation is one of our best weapons to fight global warming, and it starts in your yard. Keep your trees healthy by making sure they:
• Are planted in the right place
• Have the best soil type for the species
• Have sufficient water
• Are fertilized before their growth period
• Are seasonally pruned
• Are properly mulched
• Inspected annually for disease and infestation
Learn more about planting trees at 72tree.com/tree-planting-guide/
When living near or visiting a forest, you can participate in its conservation by:
• Camping in only designated areas
• Removing or disposing of your trash properly
• Building fires in designated fire-pits
• Fully extinguishing fires before leaving
• Disposing of matches and cigarette butts properly
• Not discharging fireworks
• Reporting suspicious activities
• Notifying park rangers of dead or dying trees
• Avoiding all activities that can physically harm trees
Learn more about forest conservation and preventing wildfires at redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/wildfire/how-to-prevent-wildfires.html
Your Tree, Climate Change, and Global Warming
It may be hard to imagine, but by keeping your trees healthy, you are actively pushing back against climate change and global warming. The human race owes its breathable air to the global population of trees, as they sequester carbon dioxide and release the oxygen we breathe.
In this article, you discovered the function and importance of carbon sinks, how your tree plays a significant role in global oxygen production, and how healthy trees and forests help to stop climate change and reverse global warming.
By keeping your trees healthy, you are actively participating in the reduction of atmospheric carbon dioxide, thus slowing climate change and global warming.
The Stunning Southern Magnolia Tree and its Flower
The Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) is an essential tree for yards and landscapes in hardiness zones 6 through 10, for its size, year-round beauty, and its enormous creamy white flowers.
72tree.com gathered essential information on the Southern magnolia tree, its characteristics, incredible flowers and their blooming season.
Magnolia Tree Information
Magnolia grandiflora, with its full luxurious look, is a favorite specimen around the world. The following are some of its features:
Family – Magnoliaceae
Height – 50 to 80 feet at maturity with some reaching 90 feet.
Width – The base of a fully mature magnolia can reach 40 feet in diameter.
Foliage – Mature leaves are dark glossy green and densely grow up to 8 inches in length by 5 inches wide.
DBH – The diameter at breast height of a fully mature magnolia tree can reach 24 to 36 inches.
Crown Width – This species grows in a pyramidal shape, its mid and lower sections can reach a diameter of 30 to 40 feet and tapers upward to a pointed or rounded crown.
Leaf Drop – While Magnolia grandiflora is an evergreen species, it will drop light foliage throughout the year.
Blooms – The flowers of Magnolia grandiflora are creamy white and can reach up to 12 inches in diameter.
Pests – While magnolia trees are generally free of significant pest problems, some varieties of scale, aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and leafminers present potential infestations.
Disease – There are several fungi which can cause leaf spots, and in some cases, may lead to heart rot. However, for the most part, fungi are unable to cause any significant damage to adult magnolias. In the event of severe leaf drop or branch dieback, an arborist should be called to evaluate the situation and recommend a course of action.
This magnificent species, native to the southeastern United States, has been planted in cities all over the world. It’s no wonder that Magnolia grandiflora became an instant hit when it was taken to Europe in the 1700s.
Due to its adaptability to many climates and soil types, and its unique beauty, this species has become one of the most widely planted ornamental evergreen trees in the world.
To learn more about the USDA Hardiness Zone Map, read Trees, Shrubs, and the USDA Hardiness Zone Map at 72tree.com/trees-shrubs-usda-hardiness-zone-map/
Magnolia Tree Flower
The majestic Southern magnolia tree has an incredibly dominating presence from mid-summer through the end of winter. However, in early to mid spring, this specimen displays its true glory and reason for its worldwide admiration.
When the Southern magnolia blooms, it blooms at the tips of twigs all over with dozens of white lemon citronella-scented flowers open at a time. Healthy mature magnolias bloom consecutively until mid-summer, and these enormous flowers range in size, reaching up to 12 inches in diameter and lasting up to 7 days from bloom to wilt.
The Magnoliaceae family is among the eldest of tree families in existence. Due to this, we get to witness two pre-evolutionary aspects of flowers:
Tepals, not Petals – In magnolia flowers, the petals are fused with the sepals (sepals are typically green and function as protection for the flower while in bud); therefore, the correct terminology for these parts is tepals. The tepals of the magnolia flower are usually arranged in two whorls of 3 to 6 tepals each.
No Nectar Here – That’s correct, magnolia flowers do not produce nectar. These flowers attract pollinating beetles with their fragrant and sugary secretions.
The beautiful magnolia flower is the state flower of Mississippi and Louisiana, while the tree itself is the state tree of Mississippi. It should come as no surprise that the largest Southern magnolia is located in Smith County, Mississippi, measuring more than 122 feet tall with a DBH greater than 6 feet.
The Flowering Magnolia Grandiflora
If you live in the South and your landscape doesn’t include a Southern Magnolia, you’re missing out on one of the oldest and most beautiful blooming evergreen trees in existence.
In this article, you discovered a wealth of information about the Southern magnolia tree and its beautiful flowers.
If your property lies within hardiness zones 6 through 10, and you have yet to plant a magnolia tree, you should consider doing so for the beauty of the tree and the elegance of its sensational flowers.