Tag Archives: Tree Pruning

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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 72tree.com 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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7 Spring Tree Care Tips

Spring tree care and maintenance for vigorous growth

Prevent your trees from dying when they should be coming out of dormancy and thriving. Knowing how to care for your trees in the spring will keep them healthy and thriving.

72tree.com assembled the following tips to help you get your trees ready for the spring growing season.

1. Inspect Your Trees

The beginning of spring is the optimal time to inspect your trees. Your deciduous trees will sill be leafless, and your evergreens, well, should be green. During your inspection, look for the following:

• Cankers (dead sections of bark on branches or tree trunks)
• Oozing sap (trees eject sap to cover and protect wounds)
• Signs of infestation (adult beetle exit holes)
• Signs of disease (blackened and curled twigs)
• Structure (odd, crossed, or unwanted growth patterns)
• Prior pruning wounds (showing decay, fungal growth, excessive sap discharge)
• Suckers (these are offshoots from the trunk, branches, and roots that indicate stress and can be signs of a diseased tree)

Tip: Eliminate doubts and potential misdiagnoses by hiring an ISA certified arborist to check your trees, shrubs, and plants.

2. Prune Dead Wood

Spring tree care and maintenance pruning away dead wood

Winter is the best time to prune trees. However, the very beginning of spring offers you a visual indication of wood that needs to be removed. Consider the following:

• Prune out dead branches and twigs (use the “scratch test” green/moist beneath the bark – it’s alive. Brown/dry beneath the bark – prune it off.)
• Carefully prune diseased limbs or branches (look for cankers or discolored bark)
• Remove undesired growth (crossed branches and shape altering growth)
• Prune off and sprouting suckers (these anomalous growths take tremendous energy from the rest of the tree)

When your tree starts to leaf out or bloom, cease all pruning activity. The tree’s energy (stored water and nutrients) is being used for growth.

Note: Make your pruning cut 12-inches toward the trunk from where the limb’s diseased portion begins. If the disease is within 36-inches of the trunk, remove the entire limb.

Tip: Sanitize your pruning equipment (including your gloves) before and after working on a diseased tree.

Visit the link for further information and tree pruning techniques.

3. Provide Water for Your Trees

Spring tree care and maintenance watering for increased health

Out of everything a tree requires for healthy growth, water is the most important. Too little, and the tree will suffer hydraulic failure. Too much, and roots may become diseased, quickly killing the tree. Take the following into account:

• Soil around the tree should be well-drained (doesn’t pool up and stay)
• Soil should be consistently moist to the touch (not wet)
• Avoid all overhead watering or practices that splash water (splashing water is a primary vector for disease transmission)
• Water your tree 2 to 3 times per week
• Deep water your tree once weekly (let the water soak to a depth of 12 to 15-inches, this encourages roots to grow deep)
• Use soaker hoses or buckets to irrigate your trees (buckets with holes drilled in the bottom are great for deep waterings)

Tip: Increase watering frequency during times of drought and decrease it in unusually wet times.

4. Mulch Your Trees and Gardens

Spring tree care and maintenance mulch to regulate soil moisture and temperature

Applying organic mulch to your trees and garden helps regulate both soil temperature and moisture. Here’s how to do it right:

• Apply a 3 to 6-inch layer of mulch to the entire area within the dripline of your trees (needles, wood chips, or compost)
• Keep mulch pulled back 2 to 3-inches from the tree trunk (this avoids excess moisture and insect trouble around the root flare)
• When the mulch compresses, fluff it up and add more when needed
• Mulch your garden in the same manner

Mulch also serves as an “off-limits” zone to keep lawnmowers, wheelbarrows, and other equipment from encroaching on and damaging your trees.

Note: The drip line is the area beneath the branches, extending to the outer edge of the canopy.

Tip: Organic mulch naturally adds nutrients to your soil as it decomposes while increasing and protecting your soil’s biodiversity.

5. Fertilize Trees and Plants

Spring tree care and maintenance fertilizer for increased growth

You may need to feed your trees. Before doing so, you should have your soil properly tested to measure its nutrient and mineral content, as well as its pH. You can send your soil sample to a university extension lab or a professional laboratory. Your soil test results should reveal:

• Cation Exchange Capacity or CEC (measures soil’s ability to retain elements and nutrients with positive charges or “cations”)
• Base Saturation (this is the distribution of cations in the soil)
• Nutrient and mineral levels and deficiencies
• Soil pH (most trees prefer slightly acidic soil or a pH of 6.1 to 6.9)

What increases soil pH? Lime can be added to acid soils to increase soil pH. Lime not only replaces hydrogen ions while increasing soil pH, it also provides calcium and magnesium to the soil.

What decreases soil pH? Aluminum sulfate and sulfur are commonly used to acidify soil. Easily found at garden supply centers, aluminum sulfate changes soil pH instantly as the aluminum dissolves in the soil.

What do the three numbers on fertilizer labels mean? All fertilizer labels have three bold numbers. The 1st is the nitrogen (N) content, the 2nd is the phosphate (P2O5) content, and the 3rd is the potash (K2O) content.

Fertilizers come in a multitude of combinations and types. Most popular are granular, slow-release fertilizers, which should include the components your soil test identified as deficient for optimum tree growth.

Note: Fertilizing without testing may be detrimental to your trees and shrubs. Too much nitrogen, sulfur, or magnesium may stunt tree growth and disrupt the soil’s biodiversity.

Tip: If you aren’t sure about which laboratory to send your soil sample(s), ask your local ISA certified arborist to have the soil tested for you or ask a nearby nursery which one(s) they use.

6. Remove Weeds from Your Landscape

Spring tree care and maintenance weed removal

While there are dozens of chemical herbicides promising miraculous weed control results, you run the risk of causing damage to or outright killing your plants, shrubs, and trees. Consider the following removal methods:

Stop digging! – Weed seeds are practically everywhere, but only seeds at the top of soil get the right conditions to trigger germination. Digging and cultivating activities elevate buried weed seeds to the surface. Dig only when needed and immediately fill the disturbed area with plants or mulch.

Mulch – Mulch regulates soil temperature and deprives weeds of sunlight. Organic mulches can host crickets and carabid beetles, which consume weed seeds.

Deadheading – Cutting back the tops of perennial weeds reduces reseeding and forces them to use up their nutrients. No matter how you choose to deadhead your weeds, chopping them down before they seed will help you keep them from spreading.

Water your plants, not your weeds – Deprive weeds of water by placing drip or soaker hoses underneath the mulch. This method efficiently irrigates plants and leaves nearby weeds dry. Water depriving weeds can reduce weed-seed germination by up to 70 percent.

Pull them out – After rain or a deep watering, get your gloves, a kneeling pad, and a weed disposal container. Use a fishtail weeder or an old salad fork to pry up tap-root weeds, like dandelion, thistle, and dock. During dry conditions, weeds sliced off just below the soil line will die. If your weeder is too large or wide, use an old steak knife to sever their roots, then fill in any open spaces left in your mulch.

Note: Keeping your soil’s biodiversity healthy and maintaining a minimum of 3-inches of organic mulch year round will naturally deter weed growth.

7. Plant New Trees

Early spring is a great time to plant a tree. Both evergreens and deciduous trees will be coming into their growing season and have the time to “harden” new growth before the arrival of the next winter season. Observe the following:

• Determine the proper tree species by your USDA hardiness zone map
• Determine which species is the right tree in the right location
• Have the soil tested and adjusted to the species preferences
• Plant your tree
• Care for your tree

Read this beginners guide to tree planting to learn more about the process and considerations.

Spring tree care and maintenance planting new trees

Spring Trees

In this article, you discovered seven pro tips to guide you through your tree preparation for the coming growing season.

With just a little knowledge about tree care and easy-to-follow tips, you can all but guarantee a healthy and robust growing season.

Ignoring the basic necessities of your trees will lead to their disease, infestation, decline, and eventual death. Allowing your trees to die in this manner invites the potential for cataclysmic property damage and personal injury when they fall.


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9 Common Tree Health Problems and Solutions

Tree health care Alpharetta Georgia

Trees get sick. Like any other living organism, a tree can fall ill for various reasons. If left to its own devices, it can eventually fall causing catastrophic damages.

When an otherwise healthy tree shows signs of illness or infestation, you must take action by eliminating the cause or calling on a certified arborist to evaluate the tree and offer a course of action.

The team of arborists at 72tree.com prepared a comprehensive list of 9 common tree health problems and their solutions.

Weather and Tree Health

Trees are affected by inconsistent weather patterns. The following demonstrates how weather impacts trees and how you can help them remain healthy.

1 – Drought:

One of the most common ailments of trees, symptoms of drought can be tricky. Sometimes, the signs won’t appear until as much as a year after the damage has been done. Those symptoms include:

•Drooping, wilting, and yellowing of leaves.

•Premature needle or leaf drop.

•Pronounced dieback.

•Thinning of the canopy.

•Deep cracks in the bark.

•Necrosis of leaves or browning of needles.

•Death of the tree.

Tree care drought Alpharetta Ga

Solution 1 – For planting new trees, make sure they are appropriate for the USDA Hardiness Zone in which you are located. If your area experiences occasional or frequent droughts, seek drought-resistant species.

Solution 2 – Water your trees regularly. New trees will require a deep watering once a week for the first two years (to establish its roots). In addition to watering, add a 3-inch layer of organic mulch around the tree to help the soil retain its moisture.

After two years and through its adult life, trees are very capable of finding water sources. However, throughout dry summer months and near the end of fall, weekly deep watering and mulching will help prevent drought problems.

Solution 3 – Prune back all cracked, dead or weakened tissue. Without pruning these troubled areas, the tree will become vulnerable to infection and infestation. Call on an arborist when pruning removes more than 25% of the tree’s canopy or mass. They can assess the tree and offer a course of action.

2 – Winter Burn:

Also known as desiccation, winter burn occurs primarily in evergreens and causes a discoloration of the foliage. Effects of winter burn are more pronounced where the tree is exposed to the sun and wind. This affliction requires the presence of the following three factors:

Tree winter burn Alpharetta Ga

•Freezing temperatures

•Dry soil


Solution – Provide your trees with weekly deep waterings through the end of fall and beginning of winter (before the ground freezes) and mulch the area of the root zone for the soil to retain moisture.

For trees that are highly exposed to the wind and sun, wrapping them with burlap will provide an effective barrier which can be removed as temperatures rise.

3 – Improper Pruning, Trimming, and Cutting:

There is a right way, and a right time to perform tree pruning, cutting, or trimming. When performed improperly, the tree may be left exposed to infection and infestation. When done at the wrong time, new growth may not have enough time to adapt before winter, further stressing the tree.

Solution – Know when to prune. Depending on the species of your tree, it may be better to prune in early spring, late fall, or even in the summer months. Use proper pruning or cutting methods when removing limbs, branches, or stems.

Watch this video to learn more about proper pruning techniques.

Tree Insect Infestation

For the most part, healthy trees can stave off insect infestations. However, when a tree’s health is weakened, or there is an increase in the insect population, no tree is off limits.

4 – Insects on Leaves and Bark:

Insects such as aphids, inchworms, bagworms, spider mites, lace bugs, and tree scale are common and relatively easy to manage.

Solution – Apply insecticidal soap, neem oil, or a horticultural oil directly on the area of the infestation.

5 – Boring Insects:

Insects such as the Emerald Ash Borer, Japanese Beetle, Southern Pine Beetle, and Ambrosia Beetle are more complicated to control. You can identify boring insect activity by seeing “sawdust” from their boring activity and the entry hole they create when entering the tree.

Tree boring insect Alpharetta Ga

Note: Do not inject insecticides, poisons, or other substances into boring insect entry holes. The chemical may end up further damaging the tree leaving it more susceptible to infestation and death.

Solution 1 – Prune back branches and stems that have been infested and destroy them to prevent further spreading. If more than 25% of the tree’s foliage or mass must be removed, seek the assistance of a certified arborist.

Solution 2 – When the infestation is in the trunk of the tree, call an arborist to evaluate the damage and determine a safe approach to halting the infestation.

Solution 3 – Prevent infestations by keeping your trees healthy. When you hear about an outbreak in your area, treat your trees with a bark insecticidal spray to deter the insects from making your tree its host.

Tree Fungal Diseases

Most fungal diseases make their way into a tree through the roots and open wounds. Once a tree is widely infected, it becomes challenging to control the fungi and will often result in the removal of the tree.

6 – Fungal Infection (internal)

Tree decay and fungus Alpharetta Ga

The most alarming sign of fungal trouble is when mushrooms grow on the trunk or branches. Since they require decaying matter to develop, there is a serious issue at play.

Note: The introduction of herbicides to a wounded tree or beneath the bark will only serve to accelerate the death of the tree.

Solution 1 – Prune back and destroy affected foliage, limbs, and branches. Again, when more than 25% of the tree’s foliage or mass must be removed, seek the assistance of a certified arborist. The removal of the tree may be the only way to keep your other trees from being infected.

Solution 2 – Properly prune your healthy trees (or have them pruned) to keep them healthy. A poorly pruned tree is more susceptible to both insect infestation and fungal disease.

7 – Fungal Infection (external)

The wind, birds or insects often carry spores of fungi and pathogens from tree to tree. Cankers, fire blight, rust disease, powdery mildew, and many others are common in the spring and summertime.

Solution – Carefully prune back and destroy affected foliage and apply a fungicidal spray to the affected and surrounding areas. Surrounding trees and shrubs should all undergo treatment as well.

Watch this video to learn about pathogens such as fire blight and cankers which affect tree bark and foliage.

Tree Problems Caused by People and Machinery

All of the threats mentioned above aside, people pose the most significant threat to a tree’s livelihood either by lack of knowledge or accident.

Tree soil compaction Alpharetta Ga

8 – Soil Compaction:

The land that surrounds a tree (especially under its canopy) contains the majority of the roots that draw water for the tree. These roots grow within the top 12 to 18 inches of soil. When this area is compacted, these roots suffocate and die, severely weakening the tree.

Trees compromised by soil compaction are at a heightened risk of toppling in a storm or severe weather event, as their roots are no longer effectively able to anchor them to the ground. Many times, no storm is required, the tree will eventually succumb to its own weight and fall on its own.

Solution – Never drive or park any vehicles underneath a tree’s canopy. Likewise, never store heavy equipment, or erect tool sheds under a tree.

In most municipalities nationwide, tree protection ordinances mandate that protective barriers be placed around trees on construction sites to deter such activities.

The majority of those same ordinances impose heavy fines and replanting requirements known as a recompense for damaged or removed trees.

9 – Lawn Mowers, Motorized Equipment, and Bark Damage:

Alpharetta Ga tree roots

Below the bark of a tree and outer layer of roots, there is a thin layer of cells called the “phloem” which is the conduit for nutrients traveling up and down the tree.

When a tree’s bark is damaged, not only is the tree susceptible to infection and infestation, that flow of nutrients is interrupted and if the damage is around the majority or entirety of the trunk, the tree will be girdled and die.

Solution 1 – Do not allow lawn mowers and other equipment to damage protruding roots or the bark of the tree.

Solution 2 – For protruding roots, either raise the ground level to bury them, or carefully prune them. If you choose to prune the roots, call on a tree professional for detailed instruction or to do the job. Just cutting them out may result in the decline of the tree’s health and its death.

Solution 3 – If the bark of a tree is dried, cracked, or knocked loose, DO NOT remove it. Call an arborist to evaluate the tree’s situation.

Healthy Trees and Arborists

All arborists would agree that healthy, well cared for trees are capable of resisting most infestations and illnesses on their own. However, when a tree does present signs of trouble, knowing what to do can mean the difference between life and death for the tree.

Whether the troubles come from weather, insect, fungi, or people, the solutions are usually simple when detected and treated early. In many cases, to prevent the spreading of a pathogen or the demise of the tree, a certified arborist should be called in to assess the situation and determine a safe course of action.

When your trees show signs of trouble, doing nothing or hesitating to correct the problem may result in the decline of the tree’s health or even its abrupt death.


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Crape Myrtle – A Southern Tree for Your Alpharetta and Roswell Yard

Crepe myrtle tree on landscaped yard in Alpharetta Ga

Lagerstroemia, known as crepe myrtle or crape myrtle is a tree that thrives in US Hardiness zones 7 through 10, making it a perfect choice for your Alpharetta or Roswell yard. The genus came to the US over 200 years ago and got its name from the Swedish merchant Magnus von Lagerstrom.

The most popular species is L. indica. It is a native of southern China and Thailand. For centuries, crepe myrtles have been grown in Asia as ornamentals.

Of all the southern trees and plants, crepe myrtles are among the most desired for their outstanding summer display of blooms and their brilliant fall colors. 72 Tree, Seed & Land Co. prepared an extensive article covering the characteristics, environment, and care these trees need to flourish and light up your landscape.

Are Crepe Myrtles Trees or Bushes

The Lagerstroemia genus contains approximately 50 species of trees and shrubs both deciduous and evergreen. So, this species can indeed grow as a tree or shrub, making it ideal for hedges, container planting, or even in groupings along your landscape.

Height – The L. indica species possesses cultivars and hybrids that remain under 5ft in height, some that reach 11 to 15ft in height, and those that tower over the others, reaching heights of 20 to 30ft.

Canopy – At maturity, the canopy can reach from 6ft to well beyond 15ft depending on the species.

TrunkCrape Myrtles are known to have multiple trunks with beautiful bark which exfoliates in the winter months. Be cautious when pruning or working around these trees, their wood is somewhat brittle, and the trunks may easily crack when put under pressure.

Lifespan – When planted in full sun and fertile soil, Crepe Myrtles can live well beyond 50 years. In fact, dotted along the southeastern landscape, it is common to come across specimens over 100 years old.

Uses – Depending on the species, these trees work as shrubs, hedges, container plants, landscape groupings, and in some cities as street trees.

If you decided you prefer to plant an evergreen instead, visit 72tree.com/3-evergreen-species-alpharetta-roswell-yard/ for some great candidates.

Crepe myrtle lagerstroemia lavender blooms Alpharetta Ga

Crepe Myrtle Tree Care

About two years after planting, these species become very tolerant to drought, heat, humidity, and will do well in nearly any well-drained soil. They become robust enough to resprout even after being completely frozen.

Crepe myrtles are low maintenance. However, you still need to do some planning before planting and a bit of upkeep as they grow.

Planting – Location is critical when planting crepe myrtles. Select a spot that has well-drained soil and gets full sun. Planting in partial or full shade will significantly reduce its ability to flower and may reduce its lifespan as well.

Crepe myrtles have a shallow and very fibrous root system which can extend 3 to 4 times the diameter of the canopy. As with all trees, the planting location should be at least 5 to 10 feet away from cement pathways, foundations, and sidewalks.

Pruning – Very little pruning is required. Improper pruning disrupts the development of a robust branching system and will leave your specimen deformed and vulnerable to weather, pests, and fungi.

If there is a need to prune, it should occur in late winter or early spring to correct the following:

• Removing crossed or rubbing branches.

• Removing suckers from the base.

• Branches growing inward (toward the center).

• Canopy thinning for better air circulation.

• Gradually remove side branches up to 4 or 5 feet as the tree grows.

• Reducing multi-trunk trees to a single trunk (not recommended).

Summer pruning can include:

• Removing old seed pods and spent flowers (removing them after the first bloom encourages further blooming).

• Removing small twig-like growth.

All crepe myrtle species bloom on new wood. The proper and minimal pruning of your tree will encourage this growth and promote a beautiful summer blooming season.

If you are pruning your tree because it has gotten too large for its location, you’ve planted the wrong species.

Watering – Provide newly planted crepe myrtles with a deep and thorough watering. Then, water your tree up to 4 or 5 times per week during hot weather or when planted in sandy soil. When the tree is dormant or during cold weather, your tree will need watering once per week.

Blooms – As previously mentioned, all crepe myrtles bloom on new wood. After the first bloom, removing the spent flowers will encourage further blooming in the season.

Crepe myrtle Roswell Ga pink bloom japanese beetle

Tree Pests and Disease That Attack Crepe Myrtles

These trees like all others on your landscape are susceptible to infestations, disease, and animal damage. The best defense against these threats is to keep your tree(s) healthy, plant, prune, and water them properly and they will be less likely to suffer damage from the following:

Pests that infest crepe myrtles:

Japanese Beetle – This insect is approximately 1/2 inch in length, its body is oval and metallic green, and its wings are copper in color.

Larvae remain underground where they consume grass and young tree roots. Adult beetles feed on the tissues of the leaves and are most active on trees in full sun during the warmest part of the day.

A Japanese beetle infestation can cause severe damage to all of the trees on your landscape. Traps, pyrethrins, and neem oil can help curtail a beetle outbreak. However, this is an urgent situation which needs to be evaluated by a certified arborist.

Crape Myrtle Aphid – These insects are yellowish-green and have black spots on their abdomen. They measure from a sixteenth to an eighth of an inch in length.

Both nymphs and adults feed on the underside of the foliage causing it to droop and yellow leaf spots to appear. Buds, flowers, and branch tips can all be damaged as well from their feeding.

Sooty mold will appear on the leaves when there is an aphid infestation. This mold is a byproduct of the aphid’s excrement and will disappear once the outbreak ends.

Watch this video to learn how to eliminate aphids and “black” sooty mold on your crape myrtle.

When a crape myrtle aphid infestation occurs, apply a 2oz. to 1 gallon solution of molasses and water to the affected areas and release ladybugs around the tree. Neem oil is also very useful in controlling aphids.

Fungi that attack crepe myrtles:

Powdery Mildew – This fungus appears as a white powdery substance and can spread very quickly if not handled properly.

It is worth noting that trees planted in full sun are not typically bothered by this fungus.

To control powdery mildew, spray a fungicide on the affected area and its surroundings.

Sooty Mold – This mold has a tar-like appearance and is a result an aphid infestation (see above).

Bark Shedding – Don’t be alarmed. While it may seem that something has infected your tree, there is nothing wrong with it. Crepe myrtles, once reaching adulthood will naturally exfoliate their bark in winter months, revealing the magnificent color variations of its trunk.

Crape Myrtle with white blooms in Roswell Ga

Crepe Myrtles and Summer Blooms

If you are looking for an incredible addition to your Alpharetta yard or landscape, crepe myrtles are a must have. Besides being low maintenance, they will put on a colorful show every summer.

An added plus in the summer is when the blooms attract birds seeking refuge and nesting and offer their nectar and pollen to the bees.


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Tree Pruning Techniques

Tree trimming cutting and pruning by arborist

Your trees are constantly responding to environmental changes and throughout the year, they will need some help by way of pruning.

Tree pruning will help to improve the overall health of your trees, their overall appearance, and naturally reduces the possibility of tree failure. The improper pruning of a tree can stress a tree leading to potential decay, infestation, disease, and even death.

Below the arborist at 72 Tree, Seed & Land Co. discuss the different ways trees can be properly pruned.

Tree Height Reduction

When reducing the height of a tree, much care and precision pruning are necessary.

This procedure must be done correctly; “topping” or cutting through the main trunk often leads to several issues for the tree including failure.

Depending on the species and growth pattern of the tree, height reduction may not be possible without irreparably damaging the tree. In these cases, the choice to remove or relocate it may have to be made.

Tree Crown Raising

Crown raising involves the pruning, cutting, or removal of the lowest branches of a tree. This procedure provides more clearance under a tree for people and vehicles.

This procedure, when performed on younger trees, will encourage more growth in the upper branches. When raising the crown on older more developed trees, much caution is needed as the lower branches will be much larger and leave larger wounds.

Tree Crown Thinning

Crown thinning is a wise option for trees that sustain the full force of strong winds or have to bear the weight of accumulated snow or ice.

This is accomplished by the selective and careful removal of branches from within the crown. This process reduces the force of the wind on the canopy, as well as reducing the weight of snow and ice on the tree.

Care must be taken when thinning a crown. The improper procedure or over thinning can lead to disease, decay, infestation, or make the tree more susceptible to being blown over.

Tree Crown Cleaning

As the name suggests, crown cleaning is the removal of dead and dying branches. Crown cleaning is the more common of the pruning options.

This procedure helps to protect your tree by removing unnecessary weight, reduces the risk and hazard of falling branches, helps to halt the progression of decay and disease, thus improving the overall health of the tree.

Small or Ornamental Tree Pruning

Small or ornamental trees should be routinely pruned for many of the same reasons mentioned above. They may also be pruned for simple esthetics or to train them as they grow.

Professional Regular Pruning

Once aware of the signs your tree needs pruning, having your trees regularly pruned by a tree service or certified arborist will keep your trees healthy and beautiful. This will also benefit your landscape by the early detection of problematic infestations, fungi, or irregularities that may otherwise go unnoticed until it’s too late to correct.

An added benefit to regular pruning services is curb appeal. The better your landscape appears, the more curb appeal your property will have. This usually translates to a higher property value.

Overall, pruning is beneficial and necessary throughout the year. Follow these tree pruning tips, and visit our tree care blog more articles and information.

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Helping Your Trees Survive the Winter

Dormant deciduous tree in winter

There are a number of things you can do to help your trees survive the winter when they go dormant. Almost everything about winter; the ground freezing, the heat of daytime followed by freezing nights, snow and ice storms can all damage your tree.

Trees are known for their ability to survive through the winter and then spring back to life during the spring. Today we’ll be taking a look at just how trees are able to do this, and we’ll learn something about nature as we go.

Let’s start by looking at dormancy and some of the measures 72 Tree and you can take to help your trees survive the coldest months.

Dormancy in Deciduous Trees

Dormancy is one of the coolest tricks Mother Nature knows. This is when a tree stops producing food during the winter and no longer needs the photosynthesis process or the leaves involved in it. So leaves have to be removed to conserve energy. Deciduous trees produce a chemical called abscisic acid (ABA) in the terminal buds that connect leaves, telling leaves it’s time for them to go.

ABA prevents both deciduous and coniferous trees from growing. This impeded growth is another part of the dormancy process, further reducing how much energy the tree consumes. As the tree enters a conservation state, the metabolism of the tree slows down; using the energy from stored food slowly to maintain vital functions.

Winter Tree Care

Pruning – You should wait until dormancy to prune your tree, when you aren’t likely to damage new growth. Late season growth is particularly at risk from pruning, as it hasn’t had the time to prepare for winter months. Ice crystals may form within new growth and rupture cell walls. If they aren’t pruned properly, they are likely to die off during the spring.

Visit here for more pruning tips and instructions.

Mulching – Winter drought is a problem caused by a tree shrub or plant losing more moisture than can be absorbed. While you aren’t able to control the weather, you have some influence of the effects of it. Putting a thick layer of organic mulch down before winter temperatures set in helps to insulate the roots. The mulch also prevents runoff and moisture loss, benefiting the overall health and hydration of the tree.

Please note that trees don’t freeze entirely, even in a dormant state. Looking at the tree shows you they prepare on the cellular levels. It sounds incredible, but much of the work a tree does to survive winter is happening under the bark inside the tree.

Remove Build-up of Ice and Snow – It’s likely that you might see snow build up on your tree or cling to the branches of it following some bad winter weather. It’s important that you leave the snow be and don’t shake it off. There’s a good chance that the branches have frozen solid and become brittle. Shaking them could damage the tree or even cause these limbs to break off and fall, which is a serious hazard. If you find yourself in this situation then call in a tree professional to evaluate the situation. They will be able to advise the best course of action to take.

Trees Spring Into Life Following Dormancy

Trees will start springing back to life as the days get longer and the temperatures get warmer. If you took care of them properly, then you’re in for another year of beauty and shade provided by a healthy tree. Taking care of them, by the way, means doing absolutely nothing and letting nature take its course. After taking care of the seasonal pruning, you’ll have done enough to protect your tree. Trust the natural survival mechanisms of your tree to handle everything else.

Your trees are often stressed during winter. Knowing ways to lessen the impact is helpful. Learn these preventative tree stress methods to give your trees a greater chance at prolonged health and life. 72tree.com/winter-tree-stress-prevention-and-protection-tips/

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3 Tips for a Healthy Summer Lawn and Garden

You don’t need a landscape expert to tell you that your lawn is under intense heat when the summer sun arrives. This is why you must proactively take care of the lawn and prepare so that it will retain its health and appearance.

Summer is when many homeowners choose to list and present their home to buyers. The exterior – lawn, landscaping, and curb appeal – is what will draw and attract buyers to your home.

Keep your garden and lawn fresh this summer by following these simple and easy to implement tips:

1. Keep Chemical Fertilizers Away from Your Plants

Organic and natural solutions are typically best when compared with chemical fertilizers. Though chemical fertilizers can ignite growth and vitality, an unintended counteraction may leave you with an insect infestation problem.

This issue arises as using fertilizers during summer encourages super growth, which would require more pruning, trimming, mowing and watering. This creates a problem because as you overwater the plants, insects will invade the plant. Use natural solutions to treat and care for your plants, and if you have insect problems, see 72tree.com/using-dormant-horticultural-oil-treat-tree-insect-infestations/

2. Always Mow Your Yard and Prune your Trees

Give your lawn, shrubs, and trees that wonderful view when you regularly mow your yard, trim and prune your trees. You will be proud of yourself when you go to relax in the garden and you begin to enjoy the rich view and healthy smell.

Your soil conditions and type of grass will determine the frequency at which it should be cut. 3 inches is an optimal height for summer, but be aware that cutting your grass too low, will lead to weed invasion and heat damage.

Weeds are another thing to tame because they can rob your soil and grass of valuable nutrients. This may eventually lead to their taking over your yard. Keep your lawn cut, watered, and free of weeds.

Tree trimming is not only done for aesthetics and safety reasons, it also actually improves the overall health of trees shrubs. Structural appeal is important, but pruning boosts the development and growth of your plants when performed properly.

For more on tree pruning visit treecareadvice.blogspot.com/2016/03/tree-pruning-why-how-and-when-to-prune-trees.html

3. Strategically Plant and Water Your Landscape

When planting, take into account the amount of direct sunlight needed for each species. Identify the locations in your yard that have partial shade, and use these as needed. You want to add mulch to your flowerbeds to keep pests off and retain moisture in the roots.

You might want to consider watering your plants adequately and often if you reside in an area that is overly dry. You’ll be surprised at the rate to which plants dry up during the summer months. Create a simple schedule and do your best to prevent that from happening.

When watering, make sure you water deeply so that it will get to the roots of the plant because that’s where the “engine” of the plant is.

Tip – Some decorative plants are drought tolerant and don’t require frequent watering. Lithops, Wallflowers, and Verbenas are beautiful flowering plants that have a great low to moderate watering tolerance.

Maintenance of Your Landscape

There’s a different maintenance routine for all properties and landscape. It is highly advisable that you seek the services of a professional in Landscape on deciding the best method for maintenance of your property. Always remember that your landscape is what will attract visitors and buyers alike to your property, so be sure to dish out a best first impression.


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Essential Tools for Tree Care and Gardening

To have a well-maintained lawn or lively garden, you need the right tools. The types of tools you’ll use will be contingent on the size of your garden or yard. The time you spend in your lawn or garden, as well as the amount of money you’re willing to invest in it. These are all factors to consider, and below are the basic tools necessary to upkeep your yard or garden.

Cultivating Tools for Gardening

landscaping and tree tools in alpharetta ga

When it comes to cultivating, gardeners use either power or hand-held tools. The core objective in cultivating is breaking up, aerating, and leveling the soil. Obviously “working the soil” requires effort and is no easy task. The kind of tool you use depends on how much of an effort you’d like to put into your gardening project.

Landscaping Hand Tools

Hand tools consist of spading forks, shovels, trowels, padding forks, diggers and rakes. They can be used to prepare a garden, don’t require excessive strength to operate, and are quite simple to handle. Other hand tools that aren’t critical, but helpful, are pickaxes and mattocks. These hand tools are for harvesting and digging deeper in the soil.

Power Tools

Power tools may cost more than traditional hand tools, but they minimize labor, saving you effort and time. The most important gardening tool is a tiller, which separates and prepares the ground for planting. A tiller will also cut down any lingering debris, as well as help combine compost with fertilizer. If you would rather not buy a tiller, consider renting one, or hiring someone to tile the ground for you.

Tree Cutting and Pruning Tools

alpharetta ga tree pruning tool

If there are small trees, hedges or shrubs on your lawn, you should be using pruning tools. For branches around ¾” in diameter, pruning shears are ideal. Lopping shears are able to handle pruning tree branches as high as 2”. Pole pruners can reach trees as high as 15 feet above ground level. Pruning saws and hedge shears are considered heavy duty equipment and usually purchased by gardening aficionados.

Watering Tools

Plants must be watered regularly to maintain their longevity. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always rain when we need it to. That’s why watering tools are essential. The one tool you can’t neglect is a water hose. Many gardeners use drip irrigation hoses or sprinklers. You also have the option to buy timers for drip hoses or sprinklers.

Gardening without the proper tools can be frustrating. There’s nothing wrong with getting your hands dirty in the backyard, but it can’t hurt to own fundamental tools like shovels, rakes and hoes. Some would say these tools are just as substantial as the trees, dirt and seeds surrounding your landscape.

Visit https://www.72tree.com/tree-cutting-services-in-alpharetta-ga/ for pruning services or expertise about tree trimming, shaping or health issues.