Author Archives: 72 Tree Removal Services Alpharetta

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Why Is Bark Peeling Off My Tree?

Ever strolled through your yard or a park and noticed the tree bark peeling off in large chunks, exposing the wood beneath? If you’re a homeowner like us, you might have wondered, “Why is bark peeling off my tree?” and whether it’s a sign of a tree in distress. Worry not, for we are here to uncover the reasons behind peeling tree bark and provide you with the knowledge to care for your leafy friends.

Short Summary

• Understanding tree bark shedding is essential to identify environmental damage or tree disease.
• Certain species naturally shed their bark during growth and development, while extreme temperatures can cause peeling in fruit/nut trees.
• Monitor the health of trees with peeling bark & seek professional help from certified arborists.

Understanding Tree Bark Shedding

close-up of a tree bark with peeling and shedding

Peeling bark can be an unsettling sight, but it’s not always a sign of a tree in danger. Shedding bark is a natural process for many trees, allowing them to grow and adapt to their environment. Temperature fluctuations and the inherent characteristics of certain species can also contribute to bark peeling. So, how can you tell if your tree is shedding its bark as part of a healthy growth process or if it’s a symptom of a disease or environmental damage? The answer lies in observing what’s underneath the peeling layer.

The tree is likely undergoing a normal shedding process if you notice healthy, new bark covering the wood when the old bark peels away. This is a sign that the shedding process is regular and healthy. If you see bare wood or mats of fungus under the peeling bark, it could mean the tree is suffering from environmental damage or disease. Get advice from a tree specialist if you suspect this is the case. In such cases, it’s crucial to identify the cause and take action to prevent further harm to the tree.

Natural Bark Shedding in Certain Species

Trees such as silver maple and sycamore trees are known to naturally shed their bark as part of their growth and development. In fact, several of the following species shed naturally:

• Paperbark maple
• Kousa dogwood
• American sycamore
• Silver maple
• Scots pine
• Redbud
• London planetree
• Shagbark hickory
• Various types of maples

Many trees exhibit natural bark shedding, which can sometimes be confused with bark splits, especially when observed from the bark underneath. In some cases, dead bark falls leaving exposed wood on the tree. It is essential to differentiate between these occurrences and loose bark, which may indicate a different issue. One way to identify this is by looking for naturally shed bark around the tree with thick bark.

The purpose of this shedding is to enable the growth of new, healthy bark by discarding old and dead layers. This phenomenon is natural and essential for the tree’s overall health. So, when you encounter bark shedding in such species, you can rest assured that it’s a sign of growth and vitality.

Temperature-Related Bark Peeling

tree dealing with temperature-related issues and question of why is bark peeling off my tree

Extreme temperatures and sudden fluctuations can lead to bark shedding, especially in fruit and nut trees. Frost cracks and sunscalds are two common temperature-related causes of bark peeling. These factors can expose the underlying layers of the tree, making it more susceptible to pests and diseases.

To mitigate the risk of temperature-related bark peeling, monitoring your tree’s exposure to extreme temperatures is essential. Providing shade during hot afternoons and protecting the trunk from freezing temperatures can help maintain your tree’s health and minimize the risk of peeling bark.

Thin Bark and Seasonal Shedding

Trees with thin bark, such as maple trees and pine trees, may shed more frequently during warmer seasons. This increased shedding is a natural occurrence that allows the tree to receive more sunlight exposure, ultimately benefiting its growth.

So, if you notice your thin-barked tree shedding more than usual during the warmer months, there’s no need to panic—it’s all part of nature’s plan.

Identifying Diseases and Pests Affecting Tree Bark

tree with yellowing and wilting leaves indicating a fungal infection

While shedding bark can be a natural process for certain species and in specific conditions, diseases, and pests can also cause trees to lose their protective layers. Identifying the root cause of bark shedding will prevent further damage and ensure the tree’s survival.

Fungal infections, such as Cytospora canker and Botryosphaeria, and insect damage from defoliating, burrowing, and sucking insects can all lead to bark peeling. In the following sections, we will delve deeper into these issues and discuss how to identify and address them.

Fungal Infections Causing Bark Peeling

Fungal infections, like Hypoxylon canker, can lead to bark peeling, yellowing leaves, and dying branches. If you suspect a tree is suffering from a fungal disease, inspect the bark for signs of infection, such as a white or grayish hue accompanied by wilting leaves.

If your tree is diagnosed with a fungal infection like Hypoxylon canker, it’s crucial to take the following steps:

1) Remove the infected tree.
2) Dispose of the wood properly to prevent the spread of the fungus.
3) Take timely intervention to save surrounding trees from infection and prevent further damage to the ecosystem.

Insect Damage to Tree Bark

Insects, such as beetles and spotted lanternflies, can wreak havoc on tree bark by laying eggs, causing the bark to break and slide off, leaving the tree vulnerable to infestation. Some insects that are known to cause damage to tree bark include:

Bark beetles
• Clearwing moths
• Other tree borers

To protect your tree from insect damage, inspect the bark for signs of infestation, such as holes or sawdust-like material surrounding the tree. If you find evidence of insect damage, consult a tree care specialist or arborist to help diagnose and treat the issue, ensuring the health and survival of your tree.

Environmental Factors Contributing to Peeling Tree Bark

tree with frost damage on its bark

Apart from natural growth processes and diseases, environmental factors like sunscald, frost damage, and water stress can also contribute to peeling tree bark. Identifying and addressing these environmental causes is crucial to maintaining the health and longevity of your tree, as peeling bark caused by these factors can lead to further complications.

In this section, we’ll explore how sunscald, frost damage, and water stress can cause bark peeling and discuss preventive measures to help your tree thrive despite these environmental challenges.

Sunscald and Frost Damage

Sunscald and frost damage can cause bark peeling, particularly on the south or southwest side of the tree. Sunscald occurs when the warm afternoon sun causes the tree to break dormancy, and the subsequent freezing night temperature causes the newly awakened tissue to die, resulting in unsightly blemishes on the trunk.

To prevent sunscald and frost damage, consider wrapping or painting the trunk of your tree. This protective measure can shield the tree from temperature extremes and help maintain its health and appearance.

Water Stress and Bark Cracking

Water stress, caused by too much or too little water, can lead to bark cracking and peeling. Ensuring your tree receives the appropriate amount of water is essential to its health and well-being.

Proper watering techniques can help alleviate water stress and prevent bark cracking. Water your tree deeply and infrequently, allowing the soil to dry between waterings. This approach encourages deep root growth and helps the tree better withstand periods of drought or excess water.

How to Care for Trees with Peeling Bark

tree with peeling bark and leaves

Caring for trees with peeling bark may seem like a daunting task, but with the proper knowledge and approach, you can help your tree thrive despite any challenges it faces. Monitoring tree health and seeking professional help when necessary can significantly contribute to the well-being of your tree.

In this section, we’ll provide guidance on how to monitor your tree’s health and when to consult a tree care specialist for assistance.

Monitoring Tree Health

Regularly inspect your trees for signs of disease, pests, or environmental stress. Keep an eye out for discolored leaves, wilting, or peeling bark. If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to take action to maintain your tree’s health, which may include pruning, fertilizing, or treating the tree with an appropriate pesticide.

Taking the time to inspect your trees and address any issues early on can help prevent more significant problems down the line. A proactive approach to tree care will ensure the health and longevity of your leafy friends.

Seeking Professional Help

If you’re unsure about the cause of bark peeling or how to care for your tree, consult a tree care specialist for guidance and assistance. These professionals, such as certified arborists, can help diagnose the problem and provide the necessary treatment or advice.

Don’t hesitate to contact a tree care specialist if you suspect your tree is suffering from disease or environmental damage. Their expertise can help you preserve the health and beauty of your tree, ensuring it remains a vital part of your landscape for years to come.


Peeling tree bark can be a natural part of a tree’s growth process, a symptom of a disease or pest infestation, or a result of environmental factors like sunscald, frost damage, and water stress. By understanding the various causes of bark peeling and applying preventive measures, you can help ensure the health and longevity of your trees. Remember, monitoring tree health, addressing issues proactively, and seeking professional help when needed can all contribute to a thriving landscape and a greener world for us all.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you fix peeling bark on a tree?

Clean the damaged area and remove any loose bark. Carefully cut a clean edge around the wound with a chisel and hammer, then fit the bark pieces back onto the tree. Secure the bark in place with tape or rope lightly wrapped around the trunk.

Check in three months to see if the damaged area has been fused back together.

Is my tree dead if the bark is falling off?

The bark on a tree can provide clues as to its health and vitality. Healthy trees will shed their bark as it is replaced with new growth, while a dying tree will struggle to regenerate its bark. Signs of a dead tree include wilting foliage, brittle branches, and branch wood that shows no green when scraped.

If the peeling layers of bark reveal healthy bark underneath, then your tree is likely okay; however, any sudden swing in temperature can cause a tree to shed bark and crack under stress.

Can temperature fluctuations cause bark peeling?

Yes, temperature fluctuations can cause bark peeling in fruit and nut trees due to frost cracks and sunscalds.

What are some common diseases and pests that can cause bark shedding?

Fungal infections like Hypoxylon canker and insect damage from beetles, spotted lanternflies, and other tree borers can cause bark shedding, which are common diseases and pests.

How can I protect my tree from sunscald and frost damage?

Protect your tree from sunscald and frost damage by wrapping or painting the trunk to shield it from temperature extremes.

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Understanding and Treating Damaged Tree Roots

Trees adorn our beautiful landscapes but also provide humans with needed oxygen. But did you know that the health of a tree greatly depends on the well-being of its roots? Tree roots not only anchor the tree to the earth, but they also absorb the nutrients and water that the tree needs to flourish. Just like physicians diagnose our health by looking for symptoms, we can identify the state of tree health by observing the signs of root damage.

Just as a doctor treats illnesses with the right diagnosis and treatment, so can we nurse back our trees to health. This blog will guide you in understanding the signs of damaged tree roots, the causes, and how to treat them effectively. It will also help you learn how to strengthen the root system of your trees and when to consider tree removal.

Short Summary

• Identify signs of root damage to effectively care for trees.
• Causes of tree root damage include construction activities, pest and disease infestations, and soil compaction.
• Watering, soil aeration, and strengthening the root system promote healthy growth and help combat damaged tree roots.
• Professional arborists can advise on caring for damaged roots and assessing tree stability.

Identifying Damaged Tree Roots

tree with visible roots and trunk

Imagine walking through a park and noticing a tree with yellowing leaves or a tree with visible surface roots; these are not just anomalies of nature but red flags signaling a distressed tree. These signs, including wilting, stunted growth, and soil compaction, are the tree’s SOS calls for help. Identifying these symptoms early is crucial to protecting tree roots and maintaining the tree’s overall health.

The roots are the tree’s lifeline. They supply nutrition and water, store food, synthesize hormones, and provide structural support. So, if the roots are damaged, it can adversely affect the tree’s overall health and stability. It’s like a ship without an anchor, adrift and vulnerable. Therefore, it’s essential to understand and identify the signs of root damage for effective tree care.

Signs of Root Damage

Root damage can be subtle at first glance. It’s like a thief in the night, quietly disrupting the tree-system functions. The first signs of root damage often show up in the tree’s canopy. Wilting, yellowing, stunted growth, or even visible surface roots are all potential indications of root damage. It’s like a tree’s cry for help, signaling that all is not well beneath the surface.

Diseases such as root rot can also indicate root damage. Root rot is a fungal infection that infiltrates roots and gradually spreads throughout the root system until mushrooms and conks emerge along the roots and around the base of a tree affected by the disease. Think of it as a cold that has escalated into pneumonia, affecting the tree’s overall health.

Other symptoms, such as crown dieback, branch dieback, and leaf scorch, can also indicate root damage.

Surface Roots and Soil Compaction

Have you ever seen the roots of a tree creeping out on the soil surface? These surface roots are a common occurrence as trees age. It’s like seeing the veins on an older person’s hand, a sign of aging. However, the appearance of surface roots could also signal soil compaction, a condition that can lead to root damage. By addressing the issue of soil compaction and nurturing the existing roots, you can help prevent further damage to the tree.

Soil compaction is the equivalent of a traffic jam in the soil, with soil particles pressed together, resulting in a denser structure that restricts the flow of water, air, and nutrients to tree roots. This can impede root growth and cause physical damage, just as a traffic jam could lead to car accidents and delays.

Causes of Tree Root Damage

a tree with visible roots and signs of root damage

Now that we know the signs of root damage let’s delve into the usual suspects causing it. The most prevalent causes of tree root damage include construction-induced damage, pest and disease infestations, and soil compaction. It’s like a crime scene investigation, where understanding the cause can lead to effective prevention and treatment.

Imagine building a house on a plot filled with trees. Construction activities like excavation, grading, and paving can cause significant damage to the roots. It’s like trying to build a house in a crowded city without disturbing the people.

Similarly, pest and disease infestations are like uninvited guests that harm the roots and compromise the tree’s health. Finally, soil compaction, as mentioned before, is like a roadblock preventing the smooth flow of nutrients to the roots.

Construction-Related Damage

Trees and construction sites often don’t mix well. The hustle and bustle of construction activities like excavation, grading, and trenching can cause significant physical injuries to the tree roots, branches, and trunks. Think of it as trying to perform a ballet in the middle of a boxing ring; the delicate roots don’t stand a chance against the heavy machinery.

Heavy machinery and foot traffic can lead to soil compaction, which reduces the soil’s permeability, affecting the roots’ access to oxygen and water. In addition, construction activities can result in severed roots, which can cause instability in the tree and decrease its overall health. It’s like a tree trying to survive with its lifelines cut off, struggling to stand tall.

Pest and Disease Issues

Pests and diseases are the silent enemies of trees. From root rot to fungal infections, these culprits can infiltrate the roots and wreak havoc. It’s like a silent invasion that weakens the tree from within. Infected trees may show signs of discolored leaves, wilting, and stunted growth, signaling a desperate need for help.

disease infected tree

Just as a doctor prescribes medicine to treat an illness, these tree ailments also need specific treatments. Depending on the type of pest or disease, treatments may range from chemical solutions to removing the affected roots or improving soil drainage. Additionally, preventative measures such as proper watering, mulching, and avoiding over-fertilization can help safeguard the roots from pests and tree diseases. The best defense is often a strong offense, after all.

Caring for Trees with Damaged Roots

Treating a tree with damaged roots is akin to nursing a sick patient back to health. It requires a combination of proper watering techniques, soil aeration, and nutrient management to protect tree roots. Each of these strategies is like a piece in a puzzle that, when put together, can help restore the tree’s health.

Just as a patient needs medication and rest to recover, trees with damaged roots need adequate watering to absorb essential nutrients from the soil and recover. The soil around the tree’s roots serves as a lifeline, supplying it with the required nutrients and keeping trees healthy. It’s like a hospital bed for a patient, providing a safe and conducive environment for recovery.

Watering Techniques

a tree with visible roots and trunk being watered

Water is the elixir of life for trees. Proper watering can help trees with damaged roots recover by facilitating the absorption of nutrients from the soil. However, overwatering can lead to root rot and increase the risk of the tree falling due to the decreased anchoring of roots in saturated soil. It’s like overfeeding a patient; while the intention is to nourish, it could end up causing more harm than good.

Determining whether a tree needs watering can be a bit tricky. One method is to use a screwdriver to test the soil’s dryness. If the screwdriver comes out dry, then the tree likely requires watering. It’s like checking a patient’s temperature, a simple yet effective way to gauge the tree’s hydration needs.

Soil Aeration and Nutrient Management

Healthy soil is the foundation of healthy trees. Soil aeration and nutrient management are vital in improving the health of damaged roots. A well-aerated soil enables better access to water, air, and nutrients for the tree roots, thereby promoting their health. It’s like ensuring a patient has clean and fresh air to breathe and nutritious food to eat.

Techniques like root pruning can help minimize root disturbances and contain diseases, thus avoiding their spread to other parts of the tree. It’s like a surgical procedure, removing the affected parts to save the whole.

Moreover, using tools that use compressed air to loosen soil can significantly improve soil aeration. It’s like a breath of fresh air for the roots, helping them to breathe and absorb nutrients effectively.

Strengthening Your Tree’s Root System

a tree with visible roots and trunk with improved soil aeration

Just as a weak foundation can compromise a building’s stability, a weak root system can affect a tree’s health and stability. Strengthening a tree’s root system encourages root growth and supports the tree trunk and canopy. These strategies are like the building blocks, ensuring the tree stands tall and healthy.

Incorporating organic matter like compost, bark, or mulch into the soil can improve drainage and aeration, encouraging root growth. It’s like feeding the soil superfood, boosting its health and fertility.

On the other hand, supporting the tree trunk and ensuring a stable tree canopy can help stabilize the tree, especially when the roots are damaged. It’s like providing props to a leaning building, preventing it from falling.

Encouraging Root Growth

damaged tree roots treated with nutrient-rich solution to encourage root growth

Promoting root growth is like boosting the immune system of a tree. It involves providing the plants with the necessary nutrients, water, soil aeration, light, temperature range, and introducing phosphorus and potassium to the environment. Each of these factors is like a vital vitamin, playing a crucial role in the tree’s health.

Using rooting powder on cuttings before planting them can also stimulate root growth. It’s like a growth hormone, giving the roots a head start. Providing adequate nutrients, water, aeration, and light can boost root development, giving the tree a strong foundation. It’s like providing a child with a balanced diet and good education, setting them up for a healthy and successful life.

Supporting Tree Trunks and Canopies

Just as a building needs strong pillars to stand tall, a tree needs a strong trunk and a healthy tree canopy to flourish. Providing support to tree trunks and canopy can help stabilize trees with damaged roots. Techniques such as staking, cabling, bracing, guying, and propping can offer this much-needed stability.

Each of these techniques serves a specific purpose. For example, staking can provide supplemental support for young or damaged trees. It’s like a crutch, helping the tree stand tall until it can support itself. On the other hand, cabling and bracing provide additional support to tree trunks and canopies, much like the beams and columns in a building.

When to Consider Tree Removal

tree with visible roots and trunk with structural support

Just as a doctor may sometimes need to make the difficult decision to amputate a limb to save a patient’s life, there may come a time when tree removal becomes necessary for the greater good of the environment. Tree removal should be contemplated when the tree is deceased, deteriorating, afflicted, or presents a safety risk. It’s a hard choice, but sometimes the only choice.

The decision to remove a tree should not be taken lightly. It’s a delicate operation requiring thorough assessment and professional advice, like a surgical procedure. For instance, removal should be considered if at least 50% of the tree is damaged. It’s like a building with a severely damaged foundation; it’s a disaster waiting to happen and needs to be dealt with promptly.

Assessing Tree Stability

Before deciding to remove a tree, assessing its stability is crucial. This involves evaluating the tree’s overall health, root system, and potential hazards it may pose. It’s like a thorough medical examination, looking at all the vital signs before diagnosing.

Several factors, such as soil conditions, the tree’s overall health, and wind exposure, should be considered when evaluating a tree’s root system. It’s like assessing a building’s stability; you must look at the foundation, the materials used, and the environmental conditions.

Consulting Professional Arborists

When dealing with trees with damaged roots, it’s always advisable to consult professionals. Certified arborists can provide beneficial insights and suggestions for preserving healthy trees and crucial services like tree inventories, management plans, and customized care plans for individual trees. They are like the doctors of the tree world, armed with the knowledge and skills to diagnose and treat tree ailments.

They can help determine whether a tree needs extra support or removal. It’s like consulting an architect before making changes to a building; their expert advice can prevent costly mistakes and potential disasters.


Just as a healthy body results from good nutrition, exercise, and regular check-ups, a healthy tree results from proper care, regular inspections, and prompt treatment of any issues. From identifying the signs of root damage to understanding the causes and how to treat them, this guide has provided you with the knowledge and tools to care for your trees effectively.

Remember, trees are a valuable asset to our planet, providing us with oxygen, reducing carbon dioxide, and enhancing our landscapes. By taking care of their roots, we’re ensuring their health and contributing to a greener and healthier planet. So, the next time you see a tree, remember that its beauty lies not only in its leaves and branches but also in its roots.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you fix a damaged tree root?

To fix a damaged tree root, consider mulching the soil around the tree and replacing lost soil with a 3-4 inch layer of soil. Additionally, radial trenching can be used to further nourish and protect tree roots and promote new growth.

Can a tree survive root damage?

Root damage can be fatal for a tree, with 20% or more of the root system destroyed, often leading to its demise. However, it may take years before its effects are seen.

For safety reasons, removal of the damaged tree is always advised.

Can a tree recover from root rot?

It is possible for trees and shrubs suffering from Phytophthora root rot to recover, provided there are still healthy roots that can be replanted in fresh soil with good drainage.

If the entire root system has become mushy, it may be too late to save the plant.

When should I be worried about tree roots?

If you see big roots exposed, curling, or snaking on the soil’s surface around a tree, it can be a sign of trouble, and you should be worried. Tree roots usually grow just below ground, in the top 12 to 18 inches of soil.

Will cut tree roots grow back?

Cutting down a tree does not prevent its roots from growing back, so proper care should be taken to avoid potential property damage.

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Why Tree Pruning is Important: Essential Benefits for Trees and Humans

Did you know that tree pruning is not just about maintaining a beautiful landscape, but it also profoundly impacts trees’ health, safety, and productivity? In this article, we will unveil the benefits of tree pruning for trees and humans and discuss why tree pruning is crucial. Join us as we explore the significance of tree pruning, how it can maximize fruit production, preserve tree structure and stability, and even support wildlife habitats. Let’s embark on a journey to fully appreciate the art and science behind this crucial aspect of tree care.

Short Summary

• Tree pruning is essential for boosting tree health, enhancing safety, and improving aesthetics.
• Regular pruning can maximize flowering and fruit production, strengthen trees against storms and manage growth.
• There are several types of pruning methods, and each method serving a unique purpose.
• There are danger and safety concerns, so it’s best to consult a certified arborist for proper techniques to maintain the health of your trees.

The Significance of Tree Pruning

person pruning a tree to improve its health and aesthetic

Tree pruning is a vital arboriculture practice that goes beyond mere aesthetics. It is essential for maintaining the health and safety of trees, preventing decay, reducing leaf disease, and enhancing fruit crop size and quantity. Proper pruning can also improve the structural integrity of a tree, reducing the risk of broken limbs and falling branches.

Moreover, pruning has been proven more cost-effective than removing and replacing a tree, as the cost of tree removal can exceed $1,200, not including the cost of planting a replacement.

Boosting Tree Health

Pruning is instrumental in promoting tree health by preventing the spread of decay and disease. Removing dead, diseased, or injured branches helps improve air circulation and sunlight exposure, reducing the likelihood of disease. Additionally, pruning can restrict the size of trees and influence their growth, shaping the configuration of limbs and branches to ensure structural integrity.

Pruning also promotes new growth by allowing the tree to dedicate more resources, such as water and nutrients, to other parts of the plant. This regrowth balances the top of the tree with the existing root system, leading to a healthier and more stable tree.

The proper and intentional pruning process helps trees stay healthy; so remember tree trimming encourages healthy trees that have longer lives, and a well-pruned tree is more resilient against pests and diseases and more likely to thrive in the long run.

Enhancing Safety

Promoting safety through pruning is essential, as it eliminates weak and decaying branches and limbs that could pose a risk to people and animals. Furthermore, pruning can remove branches too close to power lines or structures, preventing potential hazards. Pruning also helps reduce the risk of tree damage during storms by removing dead, diseased, and far-reaching branches, providing greater structural integrity and a balanced crown for improved resilience.

On the other hand, tree pruning can improve traffic, especially when a tree is blocking the line of sight, pedestrian flow, or automotive clearance. The safety benefits of tree pruning extend beyond merely preventing accidents. A well-pruned tree is more easily managed and can contribute to a safer environment by improving visibility around the tree and removing obstacles for pedestrians and vehicles.

So, whether it’s your backyard oasis or a bustling city street, proper tree pruning plays a crucial role in enhancing safety for all.

Improving Aesthetics

Pruning contributes to the health and safety of trees and significantly enhances their aesthetic appeal. Structural pruning can improve the tree’s overall appearance, ensuring proper weight distribution and maintaining its structure throughout its life. Moreover, techniques such as vista pruning, pollarding, and topiary can create specific aesthetic effects, sculpting shrubs and trees into decorative shapes.

An aesthetically pleasing tree is more than just visually appealing; it can also increase the value of your property and contribute to a healthier, more vibrant community. When properly pruned and cared for, trees become a point of pride for homeowners and neighborhoods. So don’t underestimate the power of a well-pruned tree to elevate the beauty and charm of your surroundings.

Maximizing Fruit Production

person pruning a fruit tree to maximize its fruit production

Pruning is a game-changer when it comes to fruit production. Studies have shown that properly pruned fruit trees can yield both a larger size and a greater quantity of fruit. Pruning stimulates growth spurs, increases fruit production, and optimizes flowering by removing old, unproductive branches. Additionally, improved light penetration and reduced competition for water and nutrients among branches ensure fruit trees live their best lives.

So, if you dream of harvesting baskets of juicy apples or sun-kissed peaches from your backyard, look no further than the art of pruning. With a few careful snips, you’ll be on your way to a bountiful harvest and the satisfaction of knowing that your fruit trees are thriving.

Encouraging Growth Spurs

Growth spurs are collections of buds on a lateral branch of a tree that can develop into new shoots, primarily fruit buds but also leaf buds. These spurs play a significant role in fruit production, as more spurs result in more fruit. Fruit trees such as apples, pears, and cherries are more likely to develop growth spurs, increasing their fruit-producing potential.

By pruning your fruit trees regularly, you can encourage the development of these growth spurs and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Optimizing Light and Nutrient Access

Pruning can also optimize light and nutrient access for your fruit trees, giving them the best chance to flourish. Removing branches obstructing sunlight and nutrients allows the tree to focus its energy on developing healthy branches. This, in turn, facilitates faster and stronger tree growth, reduces the risk of disease and pests, and increases the likelihood of a bountiful fruit harvest.

Essentially, pruning sets the stage for fruit trees to thrive, making it an essential practice for any fruit tree owner.

Preserving Tree Structure and Stability

person pruning a tree to preserve its structure and stability

Tree pruning plays a crucial role in preserving the structure and stability of trees. Maintaining a tree’s structure provides numerous benefits that range from increasing its health, longevity, and protecting it from storms and environmental hazards. By pruning your trees regularly, you can ensure that they remain structurally sound and provide shade, beauty, and habitat for years.

Proper tree pruning techniques, such as thinning, topping, raising, and reduction, can help manage tree growth and bolster trees against storms. These pruning techniques help trees maintain a foundation while supporting various wildlife species – providing them shelter and food.

When properly pruned, trees play a vital role in a healthy ecosystem.

Managing Tree Growth

Managing tree growth is essential to pruning, ensuring trees grow healthily and stably. Pruning methods such as thinning, topping, raising, and reduction can control tree growth, ensuring trees develop a robust framework and remain resilient against failure throughout their lifespan.

By managing tree growth through regular pruning, you can maintain a beautiful, safe, and vibrant landscape that benefits both people and wildlife.

Strengthening Trees Against Storms

Trees can face significant challenges during storms, such as strong winds, heavy rain, or snowfall. Pruning can help reduce the risk of damage to trees during storms by removing dead, diseased, and far-reaching branches, providing greater structural integrity and a balanced crown for improved resilience.

Furthermore, techniques such as cabling, bracing, and lightning protection systems can be employed to reinforce trees against storm damage. By fortifying your trees through pruning and other preventative measures, you can safeguard your property and ensure the longevity of your trees.

Types of Pruning Methods

pruning methods and a person thinning a tree to manage its growth

Various pruning methods are suited to different tree species and their specific needs. The most common techniques include crown thinning, dead pruning, crown reduction, crown lifting, and pollarding. Each method serves a unique purpose: to enhance the tree’s health, safety, aesthetics, or fruit production.

Understanding the different pruning methods is vital to ensure your trees receive the necessary care. Familiarizing yourself with thinning, topping, raising, and reduction techniques can help you make informed decisions about the best approach to maintain the health and beauty of your trees.

However, even if you have the right equipment, it is advisable to consult a certified arborist or local tree professionals when you are uncertain about the pruning technique most suitable for your tree species.


Thinning is a pruning method that involves selectively removing branches to reduce the density of the tree’s foliage. This helps to improve air circulation and light penetration and reduce the potential for disease and pest infestation.

Thinning is particularly beneficial when managing overcrowded trees with damaged limbs or when you want to improve your trees’ overall health and appearance.


Topping is a pruning technique that involves cutting off the uppermost part of a tree to decrease its height. This is generally done to reduce the possibility of damage from strong winds or to enhance the tree’s visual appeal.

However, topping can be detrimental to the tree, as it removes many leaves and branches, resulting in a prolonged recovery period due to the loss of energy reserves. Extra care and time should be devoted to replacing lost branches and restoring energy reserves for a tree to recover from topping.


Raising, also known as crown lifting, is a process of tree pruning that involves removing the lower branches of a tree to provide clearance for buildings, signs, vehicles, pedestrians, and vistas. This method is particularly useful in urban environments, where trees may obstruct visibility or create hazards for pedestrians and vehicles.

By trimming low-hanging branches, raising helps create a safer and more accessible environment around your trees.


Reduction is a pruning technique that involves removing branches to reduce the size of the tree. This method is often employed for safety reasons or to make room for power lines.

Reduction pruning involves cutting branches back to a lateral branch that is at least one-third the diameter of the limb being removed. By employing this method, you can maintain the health and stability of your trees while ensuring they do not pose a risk to people or property.

The Dangers of DIY Tree Pruning

arborist and dangers tree pruning

While the idea of pruning your trees yourself may seem tempting, there are several dangers associated with DIY tree pruning. The risks include potential injury to people or property and harm to trees and shrubs. Improper pruning can lead to weak or dead branches, unbalanced and unstable trees, and even irreversible damage to the tree’s health.

To avoid these risks, seeking professional tree pruning services is highly recommended. Certified arborists have the knowledge, experience, and proper tools to ensure your trees are pruned safely and effectively. By entrusting your trees to professionals, you can protect your property, your trees, and yourself from the potential dangers of DIY tree pruning.

Potential Harm to Trees

DIY tree pruning can cause a range of potential harm to your trees, such as improper placement, lack of a landscape plan, exposure to pests and diseases, and damage caused by incorrect pruning techniques. These issues can weaken trees, making them more susceptible to disease, pests, and storms.

Additionally, improper pruning can lead to irreversible damage that may require removing and replacing the tree. To ensure the health and longevity of your trees, it is best to consult with a certified arborist who can provide expert guidance on the proper pruning techniques for your specific tree species.

Safety Concerns

DIY tree pruning also poses safety risks to both you and your property. These risks include falling from a ladder, being struck by falling branches, and using inadequate tools. Additionally, unseen hazards such as decayed branches may cause injury or damage during pruning.

Wearing appropriate safety gear and utilizing proper pruning techniques is crucial to mitigate these risks. However, the best course of action is to seek professional tree pruning services to ensure your and your trees’ safety.

tree pruning safety concerns

When to Prune Your Trees

Timing is crucial when it comes to tree pruning. The best time to prune your trees is during the late fall or winter, when they are dormant and less susceptible to damage. Pruning during the dormant season can help minimize damage to the tree and lessen the likelihood of further damage caused by insects and fungi.

However, it is important to note that the optimal time to prune may vary depending on the specific species of your tree. If you are uncertain about the proper pruning technique or timing for your particular tree species, it is advisable to consult a certified arborist. They can provide expert guidance on the best time to prune your trees and ensure the process is carried out safely and effectively.

You can promote better health, longevity, and overall well-being by pruning trees at the right time.

Supporting Wildlife Habitat

Tree pruning benefits the trees themselves and plays a vital role in supporting wildlife habitats. By providing shelter and food for birds, insects, and other animals, suitably pruned trees contribute to a thriving ecosystem. Moreover, pruning encourages healthy growth patterns that can support a variety of species, creating a diverse and balanced habitat.

By incorporating proper tree pruning techniques into your landscape maintenance routine, you enhance the beauty and safety of your property and contribute to the well-being of local wildlife. So, the next time you consider pruning your trees, remember that you’re beautifying your garden and nurturing a vibrant habitat for countless creatures to call home.


In conclusion, tree pruning is an essential aspect of tree care that offers a myriad of benefits for both trees and humans. Proper tree pruning can transform your landscape into a thriving oasis by boosting tree health, enhancing safety, improving aesthetics, and maximizing fruit production. By understanding the various pruning methods and seeking professional guidance when needed, you can ensure the well-being of your trees, support wildlife habitats, and create a beautiful, safe, and productive environment for all to enjoy. So, go ahead and embrace the art of tree pruning, and watch your trees flourish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does pruning encourage growth?

Pruning encourages growth by reducing the competition for resources, allowing more light and air to reach developing buds, and stimulating lateral bud development.

By eliminating older, unproductive branches, the remaining branches can flourish with available resources, resulting in improved growth and a healthy tree.

How do you know when a tree needs pruning?

Pruning is an essential part of maintaining the health of your trees. Keep an eye out for broken or weak branches, dead and diseased limbs, storm damage, too much growth, or branches close to utility lines, which may all indicate a need for pruning.

Pruning can help improve the tree’s structure, reduce the risk of storm damage, and improve the tree’s overall health.

Does trimming a tree make it stronger?

Yes, properly pruning a tree can make it healthier and more robust. Pruning helps create a firm foundation and ensures branches grow in the right direction. This promotes strong and healthy growth, weight distribution, and balance of the crown for improved overall tree health.

What are the disadvantages of pruning?

Pruning, when done incorrectly, can be detrimental to the health of plants as it can create weak or hazardous structures that are more susceptible to diseases and damage from insects and cold temperatures. As such, pruning should always be undertaken with great care and consideration for the plant’s health.

Pruning can be difficult, as it requires knowledge of the plant’s growth habits and an understanding of its desired shape and size. It is important to remember that pruning should be done to improve the health and appearance of the plant.

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Why Do Trees Suddenly Lean

leaning tree

Need help figuring out why your tree is leaning? Understanding why trees suddenly lean will help you prevent catastrophic damages and them falling on your property. gathered the following information to help you accurately identify why your tree is leaning and what you can do to protect your property, home, and well-being.

Why Do Trees Lean?

Some trees lean, and you may have wondered why this happens. Consider the following reasons trees lean, what it means for their health and safety, and what you should do about it.

There are multiple reasons why trees lean. The most common cause is strong prevailing winds or heavy snow and ice loads pushing the tree from its vertical axis. Trees naturally tend to grow straight up towards the sun, but environmental factors like wind and snow can cause them to tilt. Over time, this tilt can become more pronounced, resulting in a leaning tree.

tree with snow leaning

Another reason for tree lean is the uneven weight distribution on the trunk. Trees with a heavy canopy (on one side) or those growing on a slope may develop a lean towards the lighter side to maintain balance. This is common in deciduous trees that have lost multiple or heavy branches on one side.

Tree lean can also be a sign of root rot or damage. A tree’s root system is fundamental for providing a tree’s stability and anchorage. A tree may lean when roots rot or are damaged due to soil erosion or compaction. This is common in areas with a high water table or soil prone to erosion.

Note: Some tree species are more prone to leaning than others. Conifer trees, like pines, are more likely to develop a lean due to their shallow root system. While trees like oaks have deep taproots that provide greater stability and reduce the risk of leaning.

While some tree lean is natural and harmless, excessive leaning can indicate a severe health issue. A leaning tree may indicate root rot, a fungal disease that can cause a tree’s root system to weaken and ultimately fail.

Tip: If you notice a tree leaning significantly, it’s crucial to have it inspected by a professional arborist quickly to determine the cause and assess the risk of the tree falling.

When to Worry about a Leaning Tree

For property owners, a leaning tree can be an alarming cause for concern. While some tree lean is natural and harmless, excessive leaning can indicate a health issue that must be quickly addressed. Here are some factors in determining whether a leaning tree is a cause for concern:

Degree of Lean – If your tree is leaning at an angle greater than 15 degrees, it may be a sign of a significant problem. Trees severely leaning can be dangerous and may need to be removed to ensure people’s and property’s safety.

Leaning Speed – If you notice the tree has started to lean suddenly or at a fast pace, it may indicate an advanced health issue. This could result from root damage or other underlying problems that must be addressed quickly.

Tree Condition – If your tree has dead or broken branches, signs of decay, or other visible damage, it may be more likely to lean. A weakened tree may not withstand strong winds or other environmental factors, leading to a more significant lean.

Location – If the leaning tree is growing near a building or other large structure, it could pose a significant risk. In such cases, it’s crucial to have the tree inspected by a professional arborist to assess the tree’s health and risk and determine the best course of action.

If you notice a leaning tree on your property, don’t delay in deciding when to remove it. Taking prompt action is crucial because waiting can significantly increase the risk of it falling and causing catastrophic or life-threatening injury.

Tip: An arborist can inspect the tree, determine the cause of the lean, and recommend the best course of action, whether pruning, cabling, or removal. Protecting your tree is paramount to ensuring your family and property’s safety.

What is Phototropism

Phototropism is a plant’s natural response to light. It’s a process in which a plant’s cells respond to the direction and intensity of light, causing the plant to grow, lean, or move toward the sun or light source.

Trees also utilize phototropism to grow toward the sun. When a tree’s leaves or branches are shaded by other trees or structures, the tree will instinctively grow towards the light source to ensure maximum exposure to sunlight. This allows the tree to produce maximum energy through photosynthesis.

The phototropic response in trees is controlled by hormones called auxins. Auxins are produced in the growing tips of the tree’s shoots and are transported down the stem, where they promote cell elongation (on the tree’s shaded side). This process causes the tree to bend towards the sun, resulting in positive phototropism.

Positive phototropism is crucial for a tree’s healthy growth. Without it, trees may be stunted or malformed from inadequate exposure to sunlight.

Note: Phototropism allows trees to adjust growth patterns in response to changing light conditions, like the sun’s shifting angle during different seasons.

Leaning Trees

In this article, you discovered several reasons that trees lean and what you can do to keep your property, home, and loved ones safe.

Knowing what causes trees to lean will help you take swift and appropriate action to save or remove your tree.

Failing to quickly identify and properly address the potential cause of your leaning tree may result in catastrophic damages to your property or injury to a person.


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10 Alpharetta Tree Diseases – Identification & Treatment

Tree diseases cause severe damage to branches foliage and fruit appearing as scabs die back and mushroom conks

Need help identifying a potential tree disease? Recognizing when your tree is diseased will help you take prompt action to prune, treat, or call in an arborist or professional to halt the disease’s progression. gathered the following information to help you identify tree diseases and how to effectively treat your tree to prevent further decline or death.

What Does a Diseased Tree Look Like?

Diseased trees can physically manifest their ailments in multiple ways. Some common indicators of a diseased tree include:

• Low hanging dead or dying branches (lacking bark and have no leaves)
• Dropping dying or dead branches
• Weak, V-shaped branch unions, where two branches have grown together
• An excessively thick or dense canopy that could easily break
• Excessive wilting
• Leaf problems (spots, holes, odd colored, or deformed leaves)
• Fuzzy or moldy patches
• Water sprouts (water shoots) grow on the trunk or roots

Note: An alarming sign of advanced tree disease is when a tree starts to lean. This is an urgent problem requiring immediate professional attention.

Common Tree Diseases

The following tree diseases and their host species may require a professional assessment to determine an effective treatment plan. For an arborist in Alpharetta, we can help, or find a local arborist by visiting A third option is to collect samples of the tree and have them analyzed at your local university extension.

Consider the following 10 tree diseases:

1. Dutch Elm Disease (DED) (Ophiostoma ulmi) – A fungal disease that infects elm trees, causes rapid decline and death and is spread by bark beetles.

Tree diseases cause severe damage to branches foliage and fruit like Dutch elm disease

Treatment: When caught early, DED infections can be pruned out, and the tree can be protected by fungicides. Several DED-resistant elm varieties are available.

2. Oak Wilt (Ceratocystis fagacearum) – A fungal disease that affects oak trees and is spread through root grafts and sap-feeding, boring beetles.

Treatment: Trees infected with or have died from oak wilt should be completely removed, properly treated, and destroyed to prevent spore mat development. These treatments may include debarking, chipping or splitting, drying, and burning the wood.

3. Apple Scab (Venturia inaequalis) – A fungal disease that affects apple trees and causes leaf spotting and premature leaf drop.

Treatment: Scab control for edible apple and crabapple trees includes captan, lime-sulfur, and powdered or wettable sulfur applications.

Tree diseases cause severe damage to branches foliage and fruit like apple scab

4. Pine Wilt Disease (Bursaphelenchus xylophilus) – A bacterial disease that affects pine trees and is spread by pinewood nematodes and pine sawyer beetles.

Treatment: Once infected with pinewood nematodes, pesticides are no longer effective. Once a tree is infected, there is no cure for pine wilt, and dead trees left in the landscape become sources of nematodes and pine sawyer beetles. Diseased trees should be destroyed by burning, chipping, or burying.

5. Chestnut Blight (Cryphonectria parasitica) – A fungal disease affecting chestnut trees, causing cankers on the trunk and branches.

Treatment: Chestnut trees with blight cankers can be treated and often cured with mud packs applied to each canker.

6. Black Knot (Dibotryon morbosum) – A fungal disease that affects cherry and plum trees, causing black, warty growths on the branches.

Tree diseases cause severe damage to branches foliage and fruit like black knot

Treatment: Black knot can be controlled by removing all knots and swellings by pruning 3 to 4 inches below the knot during the dormant season. Where infections occur on larger branches, excise infected tissue down to healthy wood.

7. Cedar Apple Rust (Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae) – A fungal disease affecting apple trees but is spread by cedar trees.

Treatment: Fungicides with Myclobutanil are most effective in preventing rust. Spray trees when buds first emerge until spring weather becomes consistently warm and dry.

Tip: Fungicides are only effective when applied before leaf spots or fruit infections appear.

8. Fire Blight (Erwinia amylovora) – A bacterial disease affecting apple and pear trees, causing wilting and blackening of the branches. There is no cure for fire blight, only control.

Treatment: Once an infected tree is removed, the fire blight bacteria are also removed. You can safely plant another apple or pear tree in its place (choose a fire blight-resistant variety).

9. Verticillium Wilt (Verticillium dahliae and Verticillium albo-atrum) – A fungal disease that affects a wide range of trees and causes foliage chlorosis and wilting. There is no effective treatment for verticillium wilt.

Tree diseases cause severe damage to branches foliage and fruit like verticillium wilt

Treatment: Prune out affected branches and dispose of them immediately. Do not use infected wood for chips for landscape mulch.

Tip: Sanitize all pruning equipment before moving to another tree to prevent the spreading of the disease.

10. Sudden Oak Death (SOD) (Phytophthora ramorum) – A fungal disease affecting oak trees, causing leaf spots, cankers, and rapid death.

Treatment: Reliant Systemic Fungicide is a phosphonate compound injected into the tree or mixed with a surfactant and sprayed on the trunk for absorption through its bark.

Note: This treatment is not a cure but can help protect trees from infection and effectively suppress disease progression in early infection stages.

Tree Diseases

In this article, you discovered information to help you identify and treat several tree diseases before they cause your tree’s rapid decline or death.

Knowing how to identify when your tree is diseased will help you spring into action with effective treatments or get professional help.

Your inability to detect or identify when your tree is diseased can lead to rapid decline, death, and catastrophic personal or structural damage when it collapses or falls on your property.


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Armillaria Root Rot Identification, Treatment, and Prevention

Armillaria root rot produces honey mushrooms at an infected tree base

Need help figuring out how to identify and stop root rot from killing your trees, shrubs, or plants? Your ability to quickly identify Armillaria root rot will help you take swift action to eradicate it from your landscape. gathered the following information about the causes, identification, treatment, and prevention of Armillaria root rot.

What is Armillaria Root Rot

Armillaria root rot is a severe tree and woody plant disease. Armillaria can also affect palms, succulents, ferns, and other herbaceous plants. This disease is caused by multiple fungi in the genus Armillaria, also known as shoestring root rot, oak root fungus, honey agaric, or honey fungus.

Note: Armillaria mycelia may live hundreds of years or die within months. Armillaria’s lifespan depends on an available food supply. As long as nourishment is accessible and temperature and moisture are suitable, an Armillaria mycelium network will produce new sporophores (mushrooms) each fruiting season (late summer and fall).

What Causes Armillaria Root Rot?

Armillaria root rot is caused by several species of Armillaria fungus. The disease can occur in many different evergreen and deciduous tree, shrub, and plant species. Armillaria can survive many years in wood debris like old stumps or root systems. New infections typically occur when healthy roots grow close to or graft (inosculate) with diseased roots.

Armillaria Infection Identification

Armillaria root rot causes chlorosis wilting and tree death

Many known species of Armillaria exist in North America and are not easily distinguishable from one another. The most common and pathogenic species to trees (specifically conifers) are Armillaria mellea and Armillaria ostoyae.

Trees show symptoms and signs of Armillaria infection at different rates. Trees under stress, like during the summer heat or drought, are more likely to become infected and show rapid decline symptoms. Young trees may show symptoms and die within months or days compared to older trees, which may show symptoms for years before dying. Symptoms typically appear as the following:

• Dramatically reduced terminal growth
• Yellowing and browning of foliage
• Whitish resin around a tree’s base
• Creamy-white fans of fungus between bark and wood at the root flare
• Brown or black fungal rhizomes (resembling shoestrings) beneath the bark, on the roots, and in the soil
• Large groups of tan-colored mushrooms (honey mushrooms) near decaying wood in late summer and fall
• Sudden death of young trees (often in groups)

Note: An Armillaria-infected tree’s foliage typically wilts, turns yellow, and browns without falling from the tree.

How Does Armillaria Root Rot Spread?

Some species of Armillaria will produce mushrooms near (or on) infected tree roots or trunks. While new infections can result from airborne spores released by Armillaria mushrooms, the most common way this disease spreads is by underground rhizomorph growth originating from an infected tree, shrub, or plant.

Armillaria root rot rhizomorphs spread the disease between hosts

Tip: Infected plants can spread this disease to shrubs and trees with roots in their vicinity (and vice-versa).

Can Armillaria be Treated?

No. Once a host is infected, there is no effective treatment (cure) for Armillaria root rot. The disease can be managed (somewhat) by consistently removing dead trees, shrubs, plants, infected stumps, and entire root systems. Armillaria requires consistent moisture to survive. In large stands or groves, excavation around the root crown can be an effective deterrent but not a cure.

Can a Tree Recover from Root Rot?

Slowing Armillaria root rot in plants, shrubs, and trees is possible by removing affected roots and dead wood if the foliage is in the early stages of root rot or if the decay isn’t widespread. Unfortunately, because digging up larger trees to access decayed or dead roots is virtually impossible, slowing root rot in established trees is very difficult.

There are no chemical controls for honey fungus at present. The only viable option is to dig out the affected plant, shrub, or tree complete with all its roots and burn it.

Which Fungicide is Best for Root Rot Prevention?

Apply any of the most effective fungicides (those with thiophanate-methyl, polyoxin-D, triflumizole, or fludioxonil) preventively to uninfected soil. Once a plant, shrub, or tree is infected with Armillaria root rot, the fungi’s mycelia also contaminate the surrounding soil and are highly resistant to fungicides and other chemical treatments.

Armillaria Root Rot Elimination

Armillaria root rot infected trees plants and shrubs should be incinerated

The only absolute method to eliminate Armillaria root rot is the complete removal and incineration of infected plants, shrubs, and trees, including their foliage, trunks, stems, and roots.

Eliminating this fungus in contaminated soil requires extended desiccation and exposure to sunlight.

Note: If planting in previously exposed soil, select Armillaria-resistant species. Armillaria-resistant tree species include the following:

• Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
• Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
• Ash (Fraxinus)
• Cypress (Cupressus)
• Cherry (Prunus avium)
• Crabapple (Malus)
• Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
• Holly (Ilex)
• Leyland cypress (Cuprocyparis leylandii)
• Maple (Acer)
• Sweetgum (Liquidambar)

Tip: Hire a certified arborist to help you completely remove infected plants, shrubs, and trees, sterilize contaminated soil, and plant new, resistant species in their place. Find an ISA-certified arborist (or verify one’s credentials) by visiting

Armillaria Root Rot

In this article, you discovered crucial information about Armillaria root rot and how to eliminate it from your property.

Knowing how to identify and deal with Armillaria root rot will help you remove and destroy infected specimens and preserve unaffected trees, shrubs, and plants.

Failure to quickly identify and prevent Armillaria root rot from spreading across your property will result in tree, shrub, and plant death, leaving your soil virtually useless.


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What is Well-Drained Soil

Well drained soil promotes plant shrub and tree health

Tired of pooling water and dying plants, shrubs, and trees on your property? Understanding what well-drained soil is and the crucial role it plays in keeping your landscape alive will help you take action to correct poor soil drainage. gathered the following information about what well-drained soil is, why it is essential to plant life, and what you can do to improve your soil’s drainage.

Well-Drained Soil Defined

Well-drained soil allows water to move through it quickly and not pool. Standing water or saturated soil deprives roots of oxygen and can lead to root rot, disease, and decline (ironically) from hydraulic failure in the plant’s vascular system. Some plants, shrubs, and tree species are adapted to tolerate saturated conditions longer than others but will eventually suffer a similar fate.

Poor Soil Drainage Symptoms

Besides pooling water and soil erosion, plants growing in poorly-drained soil suffer from a lack of oxygen, resulting in root death and the plant’s rapid decline. Other indicators include:

• Stunted or slow growth with yellowing leaves
• Leaf scorch or leaf burn
• Edema (spots and blisters) may appear on stems and leaves
• The plant’s crown may quickly wither and rot

Poor soil drainage is detected when plants wilt and die

Note: Edema is a plant disorder caused by roots absorbing more water than the leaves can transpire (a common problem resulting from poor soil drainage). This excess water ruptures cells and appears as water-soaked patches turning corky and unsightly.

When soils are improperly managed, they can become compacted. This condition can occur during and after construction. Foot and vehicular traffic also compresses the soil pores and limits the oxygen and water that would otherwise move through the soil.

How Do I Know if My Soil is Well-Drained

Besides watching for pooling water and other symptoms, you can test and improve your soil by doing the following:

1 – Dig a hole about 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep
2 – Fill the hole with water
3 – After it completely drains, refill it with water and mark the time
4 – Note how long the water takes to drain

The water level in soil with excellent drainage should drop 1 to 2 inches per hour. Any longer, and you should take steps to improve the soil.

How to Improve Soil Drainage

Soil is composed of sand, silt, and clay particles varying in size. Sand has the largest particle size, and clay has the smallest. When soil contains large sand proportions, it has more pore space and is more sharply drained (similar to a sandy beach). Soil with high clay content has significantly less pore space. Reduced pore space slows water drainage and causes the soil to hold water for longer periods. Consider the following soil structure improvement methods:

Amend the Soil with Compost – Add organic matter to improve drainage in poorly drained soil. Organic matter, like compost, improves soil structure by increasing soil aggregation (soil aggregates are groups of soil particles). The space between these aggregates creates the space required for holding and exchanging air and water.

Spread compost 3 inches thick over the soil surface and work it into the top 10 inches of soil with a shovel, garden fork, or tillage.

Tip: Using a rototiller too frequently breaks down soil aggregates, defeating your soil improvement efforts.

Plant Cover Crops – Cover crops can help significantly improve soil drainage by increasing organic matter, and their roots help break apart or expand compacted soil. Some popular cover crop plant species include:

Ground cover like crimson clover help preserve soil structure

• Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)
• Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum)
• Oat (Avena sativa)
• Winter Rye (Secale cereale)
• Crimson Clover (Trifolium incarnatum)
• Mustard (Brassica napus)

Cover crops are sometimes called “green manure” or “living mulch.” These species can add nitrogen to your soil, improve drainage, and boost fertility (without applying chemical fertilizers).

Aerate the Soil – Aerating can help relieve soil compaction. A core aerator removes soil plugs, leaving holes to loosen the soil, improving drainage, and getting air to roots.

Add EarthwormsEarthworms naturally and quickly improve soil pore size, water infiltration rate, water content, and water-holding capacity. Their burrowing tends to reach over 3 feet in depth, breaking up hardpans and promoting deep soil structure and aggregation.

Note: Soil with healthy earthworm populations drains up to 10 times faster than soil without them.

Well-Drained Soil

In this article, you discovered information defining well-drained soil, why it is essential to plant life, and how you can reverse poor soil drainage.

Recognizing when your soil is not draining properly will help you take prompt action to correct it and keep your plants, shrubs, and trees alive and thriving.

Your misunderstanding of soil drainage can lead to hydraulic failure in your landscape’s plant life, leaving you with diseased, declining, or dead plants, shrubs, and trees.


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5 Self-Pollinating Fruit Trees for Alpharetta Georgia Landscapes

Standalone self pollinating flowering and fruiting trees for alpharetta georgia include peach

Need help choosing standalone fruit trees for your Alpharetta, Georgia landscape? Knowing which fruit tree species self-pollinate will help you choose individual fruit-bearing trees that provide your Alpharetta, Georgia landscape with shade, beauty, and delicious fruit. gathered species and growing information for several self-fruiting trees hardy to Alpharetta, Georgia, landscapes.

What is a Self-Pollinating Fruit Tree?

Most fruit trees are self-sterile for their own pollen (requiring a second compatible tree and a pollen vector). However, self-pollinating fruit trees only need their pollen to self-fertilize and bear fruit, and they can be planted as a standalone tree. As the name suggests, these trees do not require pollen vectors (bees, flies, wasps, etc.). Consider the following self-pollinating fruit trees for your Alpharetta, Georgia, landscape:

1. Pomegranate (Punica granatum)

Standalone self pollinating fruit trees for alpharetta georgia include pomegranate

Pomegranates can be grown as large shrubs or small trees with smooth, evergreen leaves, and showy orange to red flowers. It produces rounded and seeded fruit with a dry outer covering.

Mature Size – Pomegranates reach 10 to 20 feet in height and have a 10 to 20-foot spread.
Soil Needs – This species thrives in loam, sandy, and clay well-draining soil with a 5.5 to 7.2 pH.
Sun Requirement – Full sun (minimum 6 hours daily)
Water Needs – Irrigate every 7 to 10 days during dry conditions. Pomegranate trees require approximately 60 inches of water annually.
Fruiting – Pomegranate trees typically produce a harvest two to three years after planting. Most varieties flower from spring into fall and fruits (set in March or April) will be ready for harvest between August and October.
Hardiness Zone – 7 through 10

2. Peach (Prunus persica)

Standalone self pollinating fruit trees for alpharetta georgia include peach

Peach trees typically grow a rounded crown with upward-reaching branches draped in three to six-inch-long, dark green, deciduous leaves.

Mature Size – Peach trees reach 25 feet in height and have a 25-foot spread (when left unpruned).
Soil Needs – This species thrives in lightweight loamy, well-drained soil with a 6.0 to 6.8 pH.
Sun Requirement – Full sun (minimum 6 hours daily)
Water Needs – Irrigate daily with 35 – 40 gallons during summer months. Peach trees require approximately 36 inches of water annually.
Fruiting – Peach trees typically bear fruit 2 to 4 years after planting. A peach tree may bear fruit from June through August, with some species bearing fruit through September.
Hardiness Zone – 4 through 9

3. Apricot (Prunus armeniaca)

Standalone self pollinating fruit trees for alpharetta georgia include apricot

Apricot trees have an upright growth pattern with a broad canopy. The leaves are ovate with a rounded base, pointed tip, and serrated margin. The tree produces white to pink flowers and fleshy yellow to orange fruit. Apricots are self-pollinating, but planting two different varieties (blooming simultaneously) can result in a significantly larger harvest.

Mature Size – Full-size apricot trees reach 25 feet in height and have a 25-foot spread.
Soil Needs – This species thrives in loamy, well-drained soil with a 6.5 to 8.0 pH.
Sun Requirement – Full sun (minimum 6 hours daily)
Water Needs – Provide your apricot tree with an inch of water every ten to 12 days.
Fruiting – Apricot trees typically bear fruit 3 to 4 years after planting. Blooming in early spring only on two-year or older wood. Fruits ripen and should be harvested from June through August.
Hardiness Zone – 4 through 9

4. Fig (Ficus carica)

Standalone self pollinating fruit trees for alpharetta georgia include fig

The common fig tree is a deciduous, multi-trunk tree with smooth, gray bark and a wide but low, open canopy. This species has large multi-lobed, showy, dark green leaves and produces small, inconspicuous flowers.

Mature Size – Fig trees reach 10 to 30 feet in height with a 20-foot spread.
Soil Needs – Figs prefer moist, well-drained, organically rich soil with a 6.0 to 7.5 pH.
Sun Requirement – Full sun (minimum 6 hours daily)
Water NeedsFig trees need 1 to 1-1/2 inches of irrigated water or rainfall per week (minimum).
Fruiting – Most fig trees take three to five years before ripening fruit. Figs typically form on new stem growth each year and ripen from May through November.
Hardiness Zone – 8 through 10 (6 and 7 if protected)

5. Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)

Standalone self pollinating fruit trees for alpharetta georgia include persimmon

The common persimmon is a deciduous tree grown for its beautiful foliage and delicious fruit. When the fruit ripens, they range in color from yellow to red-orange.

Mature Size – Persimmon trees reach 35 to 60 feet in height with a 20 to 30-foot spread.
Soil Needs – Persimmon trees grow best in loamy, well-drained soil with a 6.0 to 6.5 pH.
Sun Requirement – Full sun (minimum 8 hours daily)
Water Needs – Water a persimmon tree for 10 minutes once or twice weekly in the spring and summer. Persimmon trees can withstand short drought periods.
Fruiting – Persimmons are a fall crop typically ripening from early fall through early winter. There are two primary varieties of persimmons (The astringent fruit is consumed when it becomes soft, and the non-astringent fruit is eaten while firm.
Hardiness Zone – 4 through 9

Self-Pollinating Fruit Trees

In this article, you discovered species and planting information for several self-pollinating fruit trees ideal for landscapes in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Knowing which self-pollinating trees to plant in your Alpharetta, Georgia landscape will help you grow magnificent shade trees that provide an abundant annual fruit harvest.

Avoid planting trees that require attention, pollination, or not knowing which self-pollinating species are most suitable for your Alpharetta yard.


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5 Pine Tree Diseases and Treatments

Pine tree diseases attack all pinus species

Keep treatable diseases from infecting and killing your pine trees. Recognizing the signs of disease and taking action to stop them will help you keep your pine trees robust and stable. gathered the following information and tips about pine tree disease signs, treatments, and prevention.

Pine Tree Disease

In years with heavy rainfall or severe drought, pine trees may brown in response. Browning is typically caused by the pine tree’s inability to uptake sufficient water to keep its needles fresh and alive. When moisture is overly abundant (and drainage is poor), root rot and other diseases are often the culprits. Consider the following pine tree diseases:

1. Annosus Root Disease (Heterobasidion annosum)

Pine tree diseases include heterobasidion annosum

Heterobasidion annosum is a basidiomycete fungus in the Bondarzewiaceae family. It is considered one of the most economically damaging forest pathogens in the Northern Hemisphere. Heterobasidion annosum is widespread in US forests and is responsible for $1 billion in annual pine tree losses.

Appearance – In some cases, resin flow may appear near the root collar as the tree attempts to defend itself against attack. Diseased pines may show crown thinning and yellowing. In pine trees, the disease is most active in the sapwood, killing tissues and heartwood as it progresses.
Treatment – Carefully remove and destroy infected trees and stumps. Any stumps left in the ground should be treated with borax.
Prevention – This disease typically enters a pine tree stand when spores land on freshly cut limbs or stump surfaces. The fungus grows from the stump into nearby live trees via root grafts or contacts. For prevention, treat stumps with borax whenever thinning in a high-hazard area.

2. Diplodia Tip Blight (Sphaeropsis sapinea)

Pine tree diseases include sphaeropsis sapinea

Diplodia blight, previously called Sphaeropsis tip blight, is a common fungal disease of stressed conifers, most typically pines with needles in bunches of 2's and 3's.

Appearance – Needles of new shoots will remain stunted, turn straw-colored, and will be glued in place from excess resin. Mature needles on branches end up killed by girdling cankers. Sticky, clear-to-white resin is found on dead twigs, the main stem, or branches with cankers.
Treatment – If you previously had problems with Diplodia, consider applying fungicides as the candles are expanding and then two more applications at 2-week intervals (bud break, half candle, and full candle). This typically prevents any spores from being disseminated from infecting the tree’s succulent new growth.
Prevention – Proper tree care, including increased irrigation during drought, pruning, and equipment sanitation are often effective methods for control of Diplodia tip blight and canker, especially when pines are newly infected.

3. Dothistroma Needle Blight (Dothistroma septosporum)

Pine tree diseases include dothistroma septosporum

Pine trees of all ages can become infected. Symptoms are typically first seen at the base of the crown on older needles. Infected needles develop yellow and tan spots and bands, which soon turn red. As the disease progresses, the ends of the needles turn reddish-brown while the needle base oddly remains green.

Appearance – Reddish brown spots or bands appear on needles in the fall. Needle spots girdle the pine’s needles. The needle beyond the band dies and turns brown, leaving the bottom portion of the needle green. Tiny black fungal fruiting bodies will appear in the bands or the needle’s dead areas.
Treatment – A copper fungicide spray is an effective method to prevent needle cast. Other useful fungicides are chlorothalonil and mancozeb.
Prevention – If your trees have a history of Dothistroma needle blight, copper fungicides can protect new needles from infection. Fungicides need to be applied before buds open in the spring.

4. Fusiform Rust (Cronartium quercuum)

Pine tree diseases include cronartium quercuum

Fusiform rust is caused by a curious fungus that produces five spore stages and requires an oak and a pine tree to complete its life cycle.

Appearance – Fusiform rust is caused by Cronartium quorum f. sp. fusiforme. It produces bright orange spores on southern yellow pines, especially loblolly pine, in springtime.
Treatment – Avoid planting any rust susceptible pine tree species in locations where fusiform rust is or has been an issue. Pruning branch cankers and completely removing diseased branches can help lower potential trunk infection. However, once the trunk is infected, branch pruning is no longer recommended (careful tree removal and destruction is).
Prevention – Disease prevention is best accomplished by planting resistant pine species and treating all oak trees growing anywhere in the vicinity of your pine trees.

5. Needle Rust (Chrysomyxa ledicola Logerh)

Pine tree diseases include chrysomyxa ledicola logerh

Pine or spruce needle rust is easily identified by pale, white, or orange blisters appearing on infected needles (in summertime). White blisters will appear on the current year's needle growth.

Appearance – Yellow-to-orange spots or bands appear on green needles in spring. In late spring to early summer, tiny, raised, white tubes form on needles breaking open to release powdery, orange spores. These infected needles can remain attached to the tree for several years.
Treatment – Needle rust is considered a minor stress on pine trees and typically requires no management efforts. However, when necessary, the most efficient rust disease control is to carefully prune and destroy affected areas and remove any visible galls (abnormal growths) in late winter or early spring before they can produce spores.
Prevention – Follow these best practices to help prevent spruce needle rust:

• Redirect lawn sprinklers away from pine branches and needles.
• Plant your spruce trees far enough apart to allow good air circulation between them.
• Prune out and destroy wilted or blighted stems and branches.

Note: In most cases, pine needle rust is a cosmetic issue, and no management is needed.

Pine Tree Disease Control

In this article, you discovered essential information and pro tips on identifying, treating, and preventing several pine tree diseases.

Knowing how to identify, control, and prevent deadly pine tree diseases will help you keep your pine trees thriving while stopping these diseases from spreading across your landscape.

Failing to recognize signs of diseased pine trees will lead to their death, potentially causing catastrophic damages and life-threatening injury when they fall.


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7 Beautiful Trees for Alpharetta Georgia Landscapes

Beautiful landscape trees for alpharetta georgia include flowering species like the weeping cherry

Avoid planting run-of-mill trees and having a basic landscape. Knowing the unique trees that can grow in your Alpharetta landscape will create a captivating aesthetic and curb appeal. gathered the following species and growing information about 7 of the most beautiful trees to plant in your Alpharetta, Georgia, landscape.

1. Southern Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)

Beautiful landscape trees for alpharetta georgia include live oak

Live oak grows to be a massive, picturesque, sprawling tree with magnificent horizontal and arching branches that form a broad, rounded, and majestic canopy. A squat, tapering trunk supports the massive, irregular limbs, often resting their “elbows” on the ground.

Size at Maturity – On average, this species reaches 50 feet in height with an 80+ foot spread.
Soil Requirements – The live oak thrives in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained, and clay soils.
Sun Exposure – Full sun to partial shade
Water Needs – While your oak tree establishes its root system and matures for the first 2 to 3 years, you should water it weekly. It will take about 10 gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter to keep this species thriving.
Hardiness Zone – 7 through 10

2. Rhododendron (Rhododendron)

Beautiful landscape trees for alpharetta georgia include rhododendron

Rhododendron, or “red tree,” refers to the red flowers and woody growth of some species, but rhododendrons can range in habit from evergreen to deciduous and from low-growing shrubs to tall, stunning trees.

Size at Maturity – This species can reach 5 to 20 feet tall with a 3 to 8-foot spread (depending on the variety).
Soil Requirements – Rhododendrons thrive in well-draining soil with abundant organic matter.
Sun Exposure – Full sun
Water Needs – Water rhododendrons twice weekly during the first growing season. Once established, only water them during dry periods.
Hardiness Zone – 4 through 8

3. Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum)

Beautiful landscape trees for alpharetta georgia include japanese maple

This incredible maple shows off bright green foliage in spring and summer, then turns golden yellow and red in the fall.

Size at Maturity – This species can reach from 15 to 25 feet tall with a 15 to 20-foot spread.
Soil Requirements – Japanese maples thrive when planted in well-drained, acidic soil high in organic matter.
Sun Exposure – Dappled or Afternoon Shade
Water Needs – Water this species heavily twice weekly during normal weather and increase waterings to three or four times during droughts.
Hardiness Zone – 5 through 8

4. Weeping Cherry (Prunus subhirtella)

Beautiful landscape trees for alpharetta georgia include weeping cherry

This cherry tree variety generally features non-fragrant pale pink to white flowers in spring, pea-sized blackish (inedible) fruits in late summer, and ovate to lanceolate green leaves gently swaying on drooping branches and stems.

Size at Maturity – This species can reach from 20 to 25 feet tall with a 15 to 20-foot spread.
Soil Requirements – Weeping cherry trees are highly-adaptable to a range of soil types but flourish in loose, well-drained, loamy soil.
Sun Exposure – Full sun
Water Needs – A weeping cherry tree should be watered two to three times weekly during its first year. Afterward, it should only be watered when the top three inches of soil are dry.
Hardiness Zone – 4 through 9

5. Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

Beautiful landscape trees for alpharetta georgia include eastern redbud

This tree species displays a variety of colors throughout the year. Leaves emerge reddish, turning vibrant green as they expand. The tree’s foliage is dark green in summer and yellowish in autumn. The tree’s showy flowers are pea-like and rosy pink with a purplish tinge.

Size at Maturity – This species can reach from 20 to 30 feet tall with a 25 to 35-foot spread.
Soil Requirements – Eastern redbud trees thrive in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, nutrient-rich, sandy, well-drained, and clay soil.
Sun Exposure – Full sun to partial shade
Water Needs – Water your eastern redbud two to three times weekly during its first year. Afterward, it should only be watered when the top three inches of soil are dry.
Hardiness Zone – 4 through 9

6. Rainbow Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus deglupta)

Beautiful landscape trees for alpharetta georgia include rainbow eucalyptus

The rainbow eucalyptus is an evergreen tree with drooping spear-shaped, silvery-green leaves and curious clusters of tiny white flowers. The tree’s most stunning feature is the trunk, which grows rainbow bark in vibrant (nearly fluorescent) green, blue, orange, red, and purple shades. When planted in cooler areas, this tree species will require shelter from freezing wind and extremely low temperatures.

Size at Maturity – This species can reach 60 to 80 feet tall with a 20 to 30-foot spread.
Soil Requirements – This species thrives in sandy, loamy soils that are fertile, moist, and well-drained.
Sun Exposure – Full sun
Water Needs – Water your tree daily for best results, never flooding the tree with standing water.
Hardiness Zone – 9 through 11

7. Red Oak (Quercus rubra)

Beautiful landscape trees for alpharetta georgia include red oak

Most red oak leaves fade to brilliant red or orange-red shades in fall and will hold their color longer than other deciduous trees. Some red oak trees have yellow fall foliage instead of red.

Size at Maturity – This species can reach 60 to 75 feet tall with a 45-foot spread.
Soil Requirements – Like other oak species, red oak thrives in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained, and clay soils.
Sun Exposure – Full sun to partial sun
Water Needs – While your oak tree establishes its root system and matures for the first 2 to 3 years, you should water it weekly. It will take about 10 gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter to keep this species thriving.
Hardiness Zone – 3 through 8

Beautiful Landscape Trees

In this article, you discovered essential species and growing tips for seven of the most attractive tree species for Alpharetta, Georgia, landscapes.

Knowing which tree species possess beautiful features will help you add intrigue and stunning visuals to your Alpharetta, Ga, landscape.

Not knowing the tree species capable of enhancing your Alpharetta, Georgia yard will leave your landscape dull and impressive.