Category Archives: Tree Service Austin Blog

What you Need to Know about Topping?

Homeowners usually resort to topping thinking that it’s the right way to reduce risks posed by trees that have grown too high. While topping is practical for agricultural purposes, such harvesting wood, it is not recommended for residential trees.

Debunking Myths on Topping

We at Brents Tree Service rarely recommend topping. We only top trees when there’s no option left. Topping, however, has been practiced for centuries that so many people in Austin and the entire US still think it’s okay. But it’s not.

Below are some myths about topping and corresponding explanations why they aren’t good for your tree:

Myth # 1: Topping Reduces Messy Leaves

Homeowners often complain of the endless batch of fallen leaves they’ve got to clean each day. But topping is never the long-term solution to this problem. While you may experience several days without fallen leaves to clean, expect the same old problem to be back in a couple of months—and even worse. As a defence mechanism, a topped tree will grow numerous shoots in just a short span of time, producing more leaves for you to clean than ever before.

Myth # 2: Topping Eliminates Risks

It’s scary to think about trees falling over during storms. So some homeowners choose to top their trees. After all, trees without large branches won’t fall over, right? Wrong. Topping may even make the tree riskier as it promotes uneven weight distribution and produces weak stubs prone to storm damage.

How Topping can Damage your Trees

Topping should be avoided if there are other alternatives left as it can harm trees. Trees that are topped may suffer from the following:

  1. Starvation – Leaves are the food factories of plants. So if you cut off branches, you’re going to eliminate leaves by 50 to 100%, causing the tree to starve. The resulting starvation may cause the tree to weaken or even die.
  2. Infection & Infestation – Topping creates substantial wounds all throughout your tree. And these wounds are slow to close, which make the tree vulnerable to attacks by pests. Fungi and other microorganisms may also penetrate tree wounds and cause decay.
  3. Bark Damage – A tree’s bark can be exposed to more sunlight after topping, causing it to suffer injury.
  4. Disfigured Look – Topping transforms a once beautiful tree into an unsightly feature with its hideous branch stubs and unsightly pruning cuts. Considering that trees are a big real estate asset, topping can cause a slide on your property’s value.

Ask an Arborist for Help  

Before you make a decision to top your tree, it is wise to ask help from an arborist. Certified arborists know how to assess trees and can help you look for other options other than topping. If topping is the only alternative left, it is best to leave it at the hands of an arborist to ensure your tree will recover fast and not suffer extensive damage.

Brents Tree Service takes pride in the personal relationship we have with our customers. From the start of the consultation to the completion of the job, we ensure that our customers receive excellent, personalized, and in-person explanation of our services.

Call us at 512-310-8789 to experience our exceptional customer service.

Why Pruning is Important

Properly maintained and healthy trees can increase the value of your property, reduce air pollution, and create an overall soothing atmosphere around your premises. There are many ways you can keep your trees healthy and pruning is one of the most important.

When performed under the guidance of a certified arborist, pruning can lead to the following benefits:

Increased Safety

When trees are left to grow on their own structural defects, such as bark inclusions and closely-spaced branches, are more likely to develop. Structurally defective trees are the most vulnerable during storms where excess water and heavy winds can cause limbs or entire trunks to fall along driveways and buildings, cutting off power lines, damaging property and even causing injuries to people.

Corrective pruning is usually performed to maintain the tree’s structural integrity and lessen the risk of storm damage. Defects in tree structure are corrected and weak or diseased limbs are removed. Healthy branches are sometimes pruned to avoid uneven weight distribution that can render other branches more prone to storm damage.

Good Growth and Structure

Pruning is essential for inducing proper tree growth. Dead or weak limbs are pruned to avoid the spread of decay-causing fungi. Live canopy limbs and branches are cut to increase air circulation and light penetration in the tree’s lower regions, leading to more vigorous growth. Structural problems among young trees, like twin trunks and improperly attached limbs or branches, can also be corrected by pruning.

Enhanced Landscape

Pruned trees are the best backdrop to an attractive property. Vista pruning can be done to create stunning entries and provide access to nearby hills, lakes and other scenic views. Restorative pruning can also be performed on old trees to restore their appearance and attractiveness.

When is the Best Time to Prune?

The perfect time to prune trees is during winter or the latter part of fall. Because trees are not actively growing during such periods, it’s easier to prune them as the structure of their branch is in full view. Also, trees are dormant during winter or fall and will not lose too much sap from pruning. When spring comes they will be able to recover quickly as when their growth resumes. It also makes a lot of sense to prune while it’s still cold because insects and fungi are also dormant and will not likely attack the tree.

Let an Arborist Prune It!

Pruning is not a simple matter of cutting off one branch after another. There is a science to it. Precision and proper approach is needed to ensure pruned trees will not suffer stress. To ensure trees get the full benefit of pruning, you should get the help of a certified arborist.

Cold Weather Tree Care

This time of year in Texas has us covering up our plants and warm weathered trees like Palm Trees and Citrus Trees. It’s really the right thing to do. I wanted to go over some common protection tips that can reduce the chance of frost or cold weather damage to your trees. It really is important to do at least something to those trees in preparation for the infrequent freezes that take place in Central Texas. There are easy steps that you can do just before cold fronts and there are steps that you can take that can be taken during the spring and summer that provide protection benefit as well. Let’s take a look at those…..

Summer Tree Care For Winter

Trees that are hearty and healthy do the best when cold snaps blow through Austin. If you’re choosing new trees to plant on your property and you’re concerned with potential damage from cold weather then you may want to consider trees or plants that are recommended for the next zone just north of us. Those types of trees typically will do much better in cold months like we are having currently here in Central Texas. Man, it is cold out! But in the summer months, you should be properly watering not just the tree but the around the entire canopy of the tree. This practice during the summer and fall months will make the soil more hearty and absorbent in preparation to hold in heat for the cold months on top of providing immediate benefit of hydration. Soil that has been properly watered for an extended period of time becomes denser so it holds in much more heat during cold snaps. Read about watering live oaks.

Adding a layer of mulch or wood chips around the base and canopy reach of a tree will also help the tree during the winter months in a few ways. On top of improving the quality of the soil during the summer months by adding natural covering around the tree provides density to the soil and gives another layer of warmth to the root system. Mulch helps the soil retain moisture which was adds additional warmth to the tree system so that warmth can be pass on to the limbs and leaves.

Removing any weeds around the mulched areas around trees helps with moisture retention as well. Moisture retention is a huge benefit during the cold months so anything else within the canopy’s border of the tree that competes for moisture should be removed if possible.

If you have any other areas of tree care that you would like to have more information about please do not hesitate to ask me. Contact me at 512-310-8789 or email me at info@brentstreeservice.com. You should also follow our Facebook page for awesome deals .

Cedar Trees

Cedar Trees are a native juniper tree that is located prominently in Central Texas. Most landowners that I know do not like them for various reasons so we do get phone calls from time for their removal. The most common names that I hear them called is Post Cedar and Ashe Juniper. They are found throughout Central, Southwest, and North Central Texas. These trees can be removed by landowners to improve a number of things and I wanted to explain some of those benefits.

Water Conservation

Juniper or cedar trees can be a cattle rancher’s nightmare. The cedar constantly spreads to grazing fields and competes for water against grass for cattle. Young cedar is most aggressive in it’s root growth since is spread far reaching horizontally which can remove any little water the ground may have for native grass that the cattle depends on. The constant maintenance of cedar tree removal is a task that cattle ranchers have to address from time to time. In times of drought like we have here in Austin, is usually when we get most of our calls for cedar tree removal for water conservation for acreage properties. Also, homeowners in areas built with native cedar trees on their lots notice that their turf grass tends to recede as it loses competition for water to cedar trees.

Allergies

When those with allergies to cedar purchase homes or properties that have cedar, they sometimes call a tree service company for a complete removal of the allergy causing trees. The removal of these trees absolutely remedies allergies from cedar pollen. It’s even better and more effective to have multiple neighboring property or land owners to get together and remove a substantial amount of cedar trees.

Today’s blog post is somewhat short. If you need help from us or need a price quote for cedar removal then please contact us at 512-310-8789 or email us through our website.

Famous and Protected Oak Trees in Austin

There are a number of famous Southern Live Oaks in Texas that are remembered for a variety of reasons. Some of those trees are considered historical or protected because their size, their significance to history, or both. Few Austin tree services are given privilege in trimming those trees and helping preserve their significance. There are a few trees in the Austin metro, Round Rock, and Kyle are on a list of Famous Trees of Texas. I’d love to share our tree trimming experience with historical trees and give more information on the importance of the Austin area’s famous trees.

We mentioned the famous Treaty Oak, which is a famous Live Oak tree, located here in Austin. Brents Tree Service has never had the privilege of providing services to that tree but we have services the historic oak trees on the property of the Round Rock Dell Diamond. There isn’t anything that I can find online on the historical nature of these particular trees but what I know is that the city of Round Rock was very involved when we were providing routine trimming services to these trees. These trees are considered or protected in nature because of their age and size. These trees are at least 100 years old and will thrive for another 100 years easily with the continual tree trimming that is performed at the Dell Diamond.

In Kyle, TX, there is a tree that is known as the Kyle Auction Oak. This tree was considered a landmark because it was a tree that marked the established land for the 1st building in Kyle, TX. This was its county clerk’s office on land donated by a railroad company. Now , the county clerk office has been moved but the tree remains. There is also another tree in Kyle, TX that is called “Hangman’s Tree”. Naturally you can assume what happened at that tree that gives it historical significance! Read more about the famous trees in Texas on the Texas Forestry Service website.

The common them in the preservation process of ALL famous trees really anywhere in the Texas involve some sort of tree trimming plan that is routinely done. I encourage owners of beautiful trees to do the same. The beauty that those trees provide have to be great for your soul!

Austin Southern Live Oak

The Austin area has wonderful live oak trees. There are two types of live oaks in the United States. The Sand Live Oak is found on the east coast. The Southern Live Oak is found here in Central Texas. I wanted to share some information in how to care for them plus a little more about the Southern Live Oak’s history here in the Austin, TX area. Live Oaks have not only been considered wonderful, lush trees just recently but they were considered sacred by some early Texans as well….

The Southern Live Oak is beautiful, no question about it. Great examples of how live oaks can look like can be found on the grounds of the Texas State Capital right in downtown Austin. Those trees have been maintained just about to perfection so that they will continue to grow for years and years to come. It is obvious that they have been selectively and routinely trimmed to improve their look. Another famous Live Oak tree in downtown Austin is the Treaty Oak. This well known tree is the last surviving tree to an original cluster of 14 live oaks in downtown Austin as well. This cluster of trees was considered sacred to the Native American, Comanche and Tonkawa Tribes. It’s a great story and you should read more about it or even go and see it. It is located near 5th and 6th St at Baylor St. Even the Treaty Oak has tree trimming maintenance provided to it.

Ultimately, Live Oaks will survive fine without fertilizer and preventative insect/disease control. The live oaks will not live up to their fullest potential without them providing good and periodic tree trimming to it. Most general live oaks can get buy without tree trimming but to have trees that look large, strong, healthy, and provide full/lush branches then you’ll want to trim those live oaks every 2-4 years. The reason is because removing the tree limbs and even smaller branches that are either dead, dying, or not producing foliage will help re-divert the tree’s energy to overall improving it’s desirable branches and limbs.

There are 3 different levels of tree trimming we abide by that are set forth by the International Society of Arboriculture. Read more about those tree trimming levels. The fact is there are really solid benefits that you can add as an investment to your Southern Live Oaks just by a regular schedule of tree trimming on your property. If the tree is too large, dangerous to climb, or you need a professional tree trimming company’s help for any other reason then trust a tree service company that knows these types of trees quite well. We’ve been serving Austin for over 24 years!

Let me know if there are any tree service, arboriculture, or just in general tree related to pick that you’d be interested in reading Brents Tree Service’s take on.

Removing Palm Trees

When we come out to take a look at customer’s palm trees, we know that those are trees that are prized just as much as beautiful live oaks and other native Central Texas trees. Ninety nine percent of the time, that palm tree was planted with purpose. I’ve seen palms grow over sixty feet in older neighborhoods of Austin. I wanted to explain some of the difference in removing a palm tree. Removing a Palm Tree can be just as dangerous or even more unpredictable than removing a tree with longer and sturdier tree limbs…..

There is a great video of tree trimmers performing a very challenging palm tree removal. At Brents Tree Service, Jose Luis is one of the expert tree trimmer employed who has been here for over 11 years. He is our seasoned expert that has probably seen it all. When he saw this video he said, “That one is tough but removing a palm tree that size that is close to a house, you can’t let those parts of the trunk fall like that. That makes it an all day job and much tougher than any live oak you’ll see come down”. And, he’s spot on from what I’ve encountered. With live oaks, there is much more opportunity to pendulum the ascend of an unwanted tree limb. This is where expert tree trimming folks show some of their skill.

For one, cutting the palm leaves to access the main trunk of the palm tree, especially a tall one, can take a bucket truck which can add to the cost of the tree removal. Plus, instead of cutting and tipping over the sections of tree trunk, if the palm was located in tight quarters then it would slowly have to have each section tied off after carefully cutting. It’s common practice for the tree cutter to use the chainsaw with one arm and support the falling portion of the tree trunk with the other arm. With a palm tree that is in a more hazardous location, we would have to perform these tasks and then actually balance the cut portion of tree trunk while simultaneously looping a rope around it to slowly lower it to ground level.

We want to be clear that tree trimming shouldn’t be viewed as a commodity. Tree Service Companies very greatly in their experience, equipment, carried insurance, etc. If you ever need to consider a palm tree removal service then please consider Brents Tree Service. Also, please let us know if there are any tree service related questions you would like answered by emailing us at info@brentstreeservice.com or through our website.

Things That Influence Tree Service Cost

On occasion, there are property owners that decide to wait until a later time to absorb the cost of tree removal. If the tree is dead this may be a more expensive decision. If you have been in this situation then I’m sure you can imagine the safety hazards for your property or family as well. Here are a few things that influence tree service costs…..

Some factors of tree removal or tree trimming cost are difficulty of the tree care and hazard/danger level of the tree and its surroundings. “The same tree that is next to your street furthest away from the house is not going to be the same cost as the the same exact tree overhanging your swimming pool”, says the Brents Tree Service Office Manager Larry Rosenberger. In these situations, the more difficult tree by the pool will take much more time and more expertise. We have it as a policy we try to schedule a time that is convenient with you, the customer. These two same factors are also associated with why we try to avoid, if possible, tree removal estimates by phone.

The same goes for a dead tree that you may consider cut down later on down the road, say 1, 2 or more years. If a large tree or limbs are dead can pose a threat when a wind or ice storm arrives . Plus, some trees actually lose density as time goes on making it much more difficult to make the climb when the time comes to remove it. Imagine trying to climb a hollow tree! If those long tree limbs are dead AND overhanging then it can endanger the person providing the expert tree service along with endangering your property. Climbing up one of those trees is no easy task. Especially considering the fact that multiple tree cuts with a chainsaw have to be made to more difficult tree service jobs, generally speaking. That can be much more difficult to do correctly on a while standing on a dead tree branch!

At Brents Tree Service, our jobs as arborists are to make sure that we provide the best service not only in quality but in explaining to you the game plan especially for much more dangerous or difficult tree removal jobs.

I’m sure seeing a dead tree limb in the view out of one of your home’s windows can motivate some property owners remove it sooner rather than later. Don’t wait the years for your dead tree on your lot to rot. We’ll come out, take a look at the tree and give you a free estimate to safely, professionally, and cleanly remove it. If you think that the tree service that you may need may be too expensive then please ask about our PAYMENT PLANS!

When you need Tree Removal

At times, it is better for your property, family and neighbors to have a specific tree removed rather than trimming it back. There are certain situations that are possible that would be better served by tree removal. One thing to remember as a rule of thumb is that if you are ever faced with having to decide if you should trim more than 1/3 of a tree then it would make sense to just remove the tree. Now in today’s blog post I take a look at some of these situations that I’ve come across and explain why removal is a better resolution….

When deciding on a total tree removal compared to just trimming off infected areas, a few things need to be considered. First is how fast the spread of that tree disease has taken place. If one of your live oak trees has oak wilt and you’ve seen the spread of the disease engulf more than a 1/3 of the tree in less than a year and half, then that tree may be a good candidate for total removal. Another disease that can spread to other trees near by is Hypoxylon Canker Fungus. Especially during long periods of drought we see this disease more frequently. Hypoxylon Canker Fungus can not prevented from spreading. Both Oak Wilt and Hypoxylon Canker Fungus infected trees should be considered for removal.

Another reason you would want to consider a complete tree removal over just tree trimming is if there is damage to the trunk of a tree. The trunk of a tree can be considered the heart of a tree. Nutrients travel through the trunk before being dispersed to branches, limbs, and leaves. If a tree trunk has cracks, rips, or large holes, then you can bet you will see the tree decline as time goes one. Construction damage is something that needs to be avoided at all cost. This is why you will see at job sites, the desirable trees’ trunks guarded by 2×4 boards. These folks know that damage to the tree trunks will cause the decline of that tree’s health.

I mentioned this above but if you have a tree that you’re considering trimming 1/3 of its branches then you might seriously consider removal instead. A reason for this is because removing a large portion of the tree could potentially through the balance of the tree canopy and leave it vulnerable to being uprooted during high winds. Another reason to avoid trimming more than 1/3 of the tree limbs or branches is because doing so would create many open wounds on a tree for disease and fungus to attack. I’ve seen this time and time again. I’ve had customers that have sentimental attachment to certain trees and want to avoid the removal of the tree. To avoid falling tree branches or even worse, a falling tree then removal can be the best option.

These are some of the situations or scenarios where tree removal is a preferential remedy instead of tree trimming. If you ever have questions or need a knowledgeable tree professional’s opinion on your situation then do not hesitate to give us a call. I have 3 tree service specialists and a certified arborist on staff here and we would love to give you a free of charge estimate that is done in person so that we can educate you on what needs to be done. Call us or email us at any time. Even in the evenings or weekends we answer the phone!

Meet A Tree – Crepe Myrtle

Being a Tree Service in Austin, TX, we are passionate about beautiful trees. In today’s Meet-A-Tree blog post, we look at the Lagerstroemia, better known to us Texans as the Crepe Myrtle. As long as I’ve been in Central Texas, I’ve enjoyed the look of crepe myrtles but haven’t enjoyed the mess they can make on driveways and porches on windy days! Crepe myrtles are actually a native tree to south and southeast Asia, Indonesia, and parts of North Australia. We really notice the trees once they flower….most commonly in white, pink, purple, and red. Read more about how to care for crepe myrtles to ensure you maximize their beauty…….

Origins of Crepe Myrtles

As stated in the intro, crepe myrtles are not native to Texas or even the United States. It was introduced to the United States in the late 1700s. Unlike many of the trees brought to the U.S. in those times, crepe myrtles didn’t have a nutritional purpose. They’ve always been considered an ornamental tree. There are over 40 species of crepe myrtles. The the most common that we see in Central Texas are the red (Dynamite Crepe Myrtle), Pink (Pink Velour Crepe), and purple (Twilight Crepe Myrtle). They are considered tropical plants so they thrive in wet, humid areas. Makes sense since they are to be watered quite frequently, especially while they are young. They can grow up to 100 feet tall in their native countries. Here in the Central Texas, we see older crepe myrtles grow up to 30-40 feet tall.

Tree Care Tips

Even though crepe myrtles are extremely hearty trees, they still need a little care and attention. Taking care of Crepe Myrtles here in Texas need a well light area that receive at least 6-7 hours of suns daily. Once the trees are at the age that they are starting to flower then this is the right time to start pruning the suckers and other undesirable limbs. Trimming these things help allocate the resources the crepe myrtle uses for growth to the desirable limbs and flowers. Also, crepe myrtles will produce seed pods that grow at the end of limbs. You’ll notice these limbs start to sag. Pruning these seed pods will welcome new blooms since crepe myrtles only bloom on new growth.

Enjoying Your Crepe Myrtles

Taking care of your crepe myrtles properly can really provide beauty to your property. Trimming the crepe myrtle trees the right way can even promote a second and sometimes third bloom in a given year. If your crepe myrtles are blooming more than once a year then you know you’re doing something right!

Call us at Brents Tree Service for any advice that you need in regards to best trimming practices for crepe myrtles. Since we are an Austin Tree Service Company we can ensure you a beautiful trim on your crepe myrtles. Call us anytime for a free estimate!

Trimming Trees On Neighbor Fence Lines

We get a lot of questions related to the issue of how to handle tree trimming needs on a tree that is shared by two neighbors. This situation arises when a tree that has its trunk on your neighbor’s property and has part of the tree canopy hanging over your property or vice versa. Or, your tree is planted on your property but the branches and limbs overhang into your neighboring property’s air space. These are common occurrences and we’d love to explain some of the choices you and your neighbors have. Read more about how to be a good neighbor while getting these trees to look much better….

At Brents Tree Service we come across this type of situation daily. When we have a tree that needs trimming but the trunk of it sits on your neighbors property, the first thing you should do is ask your neighbor about that tree. We always recommend being a good communicative neighbor. Asking him/her if there would be any issues on trimming the overhanging branches. If they say that they are fine with you trimming those branches and limbs then ask if they are interested in having the entire tree trimmed and balanced. Unfortunately when only trimming one side a tree, in some cases the tree can become unbalanced and have potential of breaking or cracking during a windstorm. Explaining this logic to your neighbor may entice them to invest into the protection of that tree in question.

Even if you are told by your neighbor that they do not want you to trim their tree’s limbs and branches that overhang onto your property’s air space, then legally you are still allowed to proceed with the trimming up to your property line but not crossing over. We always recommend leaving a “buffer-zone” just incase to avoid any type of issues with a neighbor that doesn’t want you to trim any of the branches from his trees (even though you’re legally within your rights to do so).

Now what if your tree that is planted on your property has over grown into your neighbor’s air space? Again, communicating with your neighbor before any trimming is done is always the best approach. If the neighbor is undecided about allowing you or a company you hire to come on to their property to trim over hanging limbs then explain what can happen if a tree is left unbalanced. Leaving the tree to be trimmed only on one side can increase the chances of property damage to the neighbor’s property during an inevitable wind or thunder storm.

Overall, being a good neighbor is the best anyone can do in these situations. “Do to others and you would like other to do to you” is the best approach. Isn’t that the “Golden Rule”? Definitely applies to trees shared by neighbors as well!

Storm-Damaged Trees

With the recent rain that we’ve had in the Austin metro, you or someone you know may have had storm damage to trees and was in need of storm cleanup services. As you can expect, we get an a spike in phone calls right after wind storms, thunderstorms, and ice storms. As I write this blog post this morning, we are getting back to back phone calls as predicted. That made me want to explain some of the options of you as a property owner has in improving storm-damaged trees.

After strong winds and rain, we’ll see the types of damage that you’d expect. High winds cause trees to uproot and break limbs. The rains cause leaves and small limbs to be littered on our manicured lawns and landscape. The worst case scenarios include property damage and injuries to individuals. First of all, there are preventative tree trimming and tree service steps that can be taken in anticipation of a storm that may cause damage. Just like a your mechanic stresses preventative maintenance to your vehicle is the least expensive way to care for your vehicle, tree service is the same way. If you are able to have a tree service company come out and remove or trim your trees then you can raise the chances of avoiding expensive damage from future falling limbs.

Unfortunately, there are tree service companies and arborists that will take advantage of the fact that you’re in an emergency situation. This tree in the picture above was heavily weighted to one side and was out of balance. As soon as high winds came through, the tree became partially uprooted. It could have been much worse. This could have absolutely been prevented by trimming to balance the canopy and to clear any overhanging limbs near the roof and fence. When we arrived at this property, we were told by the homeowner that there were other tree service companies that were called out but had declined to perform the tree removal. Luckily for the homeowner, we were willing to perform the service even though it was tedious and somewhat dangerous.

The purpose of me writing this blog is to express the importance of PREVENTATIVE TREE TRIMMING. It really is the least expensive way to address the safety, health, and balance of your large trees. Please call us at 512-310-8789 for any storm damage that you may have received from the storms. We’d love to come and help.

Different Levels of Tree Trimming

When we receive tree service estimate requests we always do our best to make sure that those customers who made the request are present at their property for that estimate. Read about why we don’t give tree service by phone. Especially when it comes to tree trimming, there are a number of different standardized results set forth by the Tree Care Industry Association (T.C.I.A.) and also the International Society of Arboriculture (I.S.A.). Read about those different levels of tree pruning…

 

When we step onto a property not only are we there to provide a cost estimate to a potential customer but we are also there to educate the customer on the basics of arboriculture. Tree pruning is something that is very beneficial to the health, look, and life expectancy of a tree. When it comes to how you want your tree trimmed, it’s not as simple as just removing a limb here or a dead limb there. We have to take into the consideration the balance of the tree, the underlying landscape, disease-infected areas, strength of tree to wind and ice, and the aesthetic of it as well. Here are the 3 levels of pruning that we educate our customers on.

Class III – Hazard Prevention Tree Trimming

This level of trimming is the minimum level of pruning. The aesthetic of the tree is nominally considered compared to removing limbs that are infected with disease, dead, or pose a danger in causing damage to structures underneath during high winds, storms, and ice. For example, if there are dead tree limbs that are hanging over the roof of a home then we will solely trim that limb and anything similar to that but refrain from trimming any living healthy branches.

Class II – Straight-Forward/Preventative Trimming

This class of tree service includes all of what Class III includes and also includes trimming of living/healthy limbs to reduce wind resistance. It also includes removing larger tree limbs that are obstructing views, structures, and walkways. The main improvement from Class II tree trimming is the structural improvement of the tree along with alleviating health concerns of the tree. Examples of this include roof clearing and raising tree canopies.

Class I – Fine/Detail-Oriented Trimming

Class I tree trimming includes all of what class I and II includes plus providing tree pruning to improve the aesthetic. This type of trimming includes selectively trimming healthy limbs along with removing the tree suckers and individually pruning small branches of new aesthetically undesirable growth. We shape the crown of the tree, shape the tree perfectly, and selective thin out the main leaf areas for improved sunlight penetration.

These are required by each of our tree service specialists to explain to all of our customers that they meet with. My goal is to give customers a better understanding of the quality of work we provide. Any person with a chainsaw, pickup truck and trailer can say they provide tree service. All of our tree service crews go through a training period to not only learn the labor intensive process but they also learn the practices that are generally accepted among Certified Arborist.

Call us if you have any questions about how we provide our services. I’m always available to speak to our customers. Thanks for taking the time to read our blog posts today!

When To Get A Permit For Tree Removal

In the City of Austin, sometimes there are requirements for a tree removal permit. I wanted to point out when, for those customers that live in Austin, they need a permit from the City of Austin for their tree removal or tree trimming project. As part of our great customer service, we always work with our contact person at the City of Austin Arborist office to expedite the permit process on behalf of our customers. We take care of it as part of your tree service. Read more here about when you will need one…….

When living within the Austin city limits, property owners will need a permit only when a tree is 19 inches or greater in diameter. The equals out to about 60 inches or greater in circumference. Trees this size are consider protected a City of Austin ordinance. I’ve heard that Hackberry trees are excluded from this protected tree category but I’ve never gotten a consistent answer from the Austin City Arborist’s office. A tree that are larger than 60 inches in diameter only needs a permit if it is being entirely removed or if it is going to have over 30% of the canopy/branches trimmed off.

Now there are specific steps to follow when measuring the diameter of a tree, according to the City of Austin Arborist Office. Their ordinance says that if the tree is on flat, non-inclined ground, that it’s trunk be measured 4.5 feet up from the ground. If the tree is growing out of a slope then the measurement of it’s diameter must be checked 4.5 feet up from the ground on the high side of the sloped ground. If that 4 1/2 feet measurement area is in a multi-trunk part of the tree then the City of Austin wants the diameter measurement of the largest trunk be added to 1/2 of the diameter measurement of each additional trunk measured at the 4.5 feet mark. Make sense? Easy enough, right? If you have any questions about this please don’t hesitate to call our Austin Tree Service team.

 

Our blog is now searchable by keyword thanks to the upgrade of our site. The biggest change is that our site is much more user friendly. If you find any pages with errors or if you’d like to have other topics covered in our blog please email us at info@brentstreeservice.com or message us on our Facebook page. Thanks for being loyal readers of our blog. We love to share useful information and we hope to continue helping beautify the Greater Austin area.

 

Jerry Brents -Tree Service Manager

I wanted to start a line of articles that I write about our key employees. The first one will be about my father, Jerry Brents, who is our Service Manager and also our Customer Service Manager. He is in charge of making sure our customers experience exceptional customer service when they use our Austin tree services. I wanted share with you his passion he has for taking care of our tree service customers. I had a chance to sit down with him and ask him some questions about our services….

Jerry has been with Brents Tree Service since 2002. He has had such an impact on Brents Tree Service, not only financially but more importantly on the customer and employee morale. He has been in charge of contacting each and every customer individually by phone to get feedback on the services provided. He created the process of contacting these customers within 24 hours of their tree trimming or tree removal being completed.

 

When I hear him speak on the phone to these customers, I know that those customers appreciate his attention to any of their feedback whether that feedback is positive or negative. He has had such positive feedback from our customers. From time to time, I’ll receive a call from one of our tree service customers here in Austin and they want to mention to me how great it was to get a follow up phone call to ask about how the service went rather than calling to just ask for payment. Jerry created and implemented the policy stated, “We don’t ask for payment until we’ve made the customer happy with our work”. I strongly believe this firm policy has helped us grow from a 1000 customers per year company to a 2500 customers per year size company.

 

Roughly 30% of our customers are repeat customers. They wouldn’t come back to us unless they had exceptional service, felt like they were taken care of appropriately, and most importantly felt appreciated. Jerry has made sure to deliver on all three of these things. When I asked Jerry how he is easily able to make customers feel appreciated, he replied, “Well I haven’t given it a lot of thought but I guess I just treat them the way I would want a tree care company to treat me.” He also added, “The best way to have a happy customer is to seriously listen to their concerns and let them know what you’re going to do to fix it.

 

Please make sure to follow our Facebook page for some great information that we share about the Austin community. Currently there is a free tree giving program here in Austin that we posted on our Facebook page. More information can be found here: http://www.treefolks.org/sapling-days/.

Sterilizing Tree Service Equipment

As long as I’ve owned Brents Tree Service, I’ve been very particular about cleanliness and sterilization of equipment. Since the start of my tree service company, I’ve had a big fear that if I don’t sterilize my chainsaws and tree trimmers that a customer’s tree would become infected by some sort of transferred disease and they would want to hold me liable. I’m proud to say that there has never been an incident like that. I strongly believe the reason for that avoidance is because how particular I am about tree cutting equipment sterilization.

 

I’m in touch with other tree removal companies that have different philosophies about how to and how frequently to sterilize their tree cutting equipment. We all agree that sterilizing equipment drastically reduces the chance of spreading some serious diseases. Sudden Oak Death is one of those diseases along with Hypoxylon Canker Fungus, and Oak Wilt. You can read the specifics about those diseases on our tree diseases page. If you think your trees may be infected with one of those trees currently, please call us or contact a Certified Austin Arborist like us because arborists are the only ones that can help avoid those trees decline and inevitable death. All of those diseases mentioned cause trees to visually decline and die. It is absolutely more expensive to get a tree removed than it is to get it treated.

As far as sterilizing tree service equipment goes, please read this article from the LCRA. It has great information to back up our adopted sterilization process. We sterilize our equipment with aerosol spray, something like Lysol or an equivalent. We do that after each and every job every single day. Other tree service companies that I talk to say they sterilize their equipment once a day. I’m sure you can probably get away with that but I want to make sure we don’t spread anything. Again, I’m particular about it. We definitely go through a lot of Lysol spray cans! In the mornings, we not only spray each chainsaw, tree trimmers, and other tree limb cutting equipment but we also spray out any leftover debris with a high pressure air hose as you can see in the photos.

Austin Tree Service

Please follow our Google+ page. I know it is something most people don’t use but I think it is a great social media program. I actually like the look of it more than Facebook because there are no ads.

Watering Live Oak Trees

We get a lot of questions about what is the proper way or the best method of watering live oak trees. Even though we did get a ton of rain this past weekend, we are definitely still in the middle of a drought. Have you seen Lake Travis lately? During this severe drought, many experts have strong opinions of how and when to water your live oak trees. My opinion isn’t to contradict those experts’ but just to explain my logic and how I take care of my trees.

Why We Color Tree Services Cuts

A couple of questions that we get frequently are “Why do you color the cuts on the trees?” and more specifically, “Why do you color only the oak tree cuts?” We have good reasons on why we color only the oak tree cuts after we’ve performed tree services. We do this to protect the healthy parts of a tree along with prevent future damage from tree diseases and tree insects. Here is some information explaining why.

One thing that sets us apart in the Austin Tree Trimming industry, in my opinion, is that we 100% of the time make sure to sterilize our cutting equipment, like our chainsaws, loppers, and cutters. Sterilizing the equipment after each completed tree cutting job does slow down the crews in terms of efficiency but it is imperative. I think it is one of the reasons why we get so many repeat customers. Additionally, we go a step further and once a cut is made on an oak tree, we do what is called wound dressing. This is the black paint that you see on the fresh cuts of trees. Think about it. If you had an open wound on your body, would you leave it open to the air or would you put a bandage on it? Most likely you’d use a bandage.

Some customers ask us why we only paint their oak tree’s trimmings but don’t paint the elms, hackberries, or any other tree that we have trimmed on their property. The main reason is because of Oak Wilt. Oak wilt can infect a tree gradually that once a tree is infected, it is hard to stop the spread of it with tactics other than cutting additional limbs. This tree trimming article from NCSU tells more about oak wilt prevention through wound dressing.

Today’s blog is a short one. I’m trying to get in the habit of adding more frequent blogs. If you have any suggestions on what other topics you’d like to know about then please email me at info@brentstreeservice.com .

Tree Removal Estimates By Phone

We get a lot of questions by customers that call us asking for a price quote over the phone. As long as I’ve had my tree service business, I’ve had to learn the hard way of giving pricing over the phone. It really is unfair not only to us but also to the customer getting the price quoted by phone. I’ll explain why we want to avoid any misunderstandings.

The obvious risk to giving price quotes over the phone even if the job sounds straightforward is that we can severely underestimate the customer’s job difficulty. Since we have a complex operation, we have to have a minimum charge. We have to get the truck out to the customer’s property, pay for fuel, and pay the 4 man crew to work as well along with equipment usage. Customers that want a price over the phone sometimes don’t take into consideration the initial investment that we have to make. I know it’s not their concern. But even if they took it into consideration, we have to charge some sort of minimum charge so that we can compensate for our sunk cost. Estimates though are ALWAYS FREE!

The other risk is that since we have a 4 man crew coming out to the customer’s property, under pricing a job over the phone can potentially create an atmosphere for the customer to receive a job that doesn’t meet his or her expectations. I remember one tree removal job when I just started out that I gave a bid to over the phone (rookie mistake, I know) and the customer said the job would only take me but an hour at most to remove a tree. I bid it but the customer failed to mention that the tree had grown into the chain link fence. This made it into an almost all day job. Now I know the customer didn’t purposely avoid mentioning that important piece of information. I’m sure they didn’t think it was something that would affect the job. See how this can create a potential for not meeting the customer’s expectations?

I have made it a policy to my guys that we do all estimates in person. We also try to avoid doing estimates for customers if they are not at their property. The reason for this is that we may give an estimate for an entirely wrong tree limb or the wrong number of trees. Now of course there are times when the customer can’t be there and we try our best to accommodate our customers in those situations.

We always want to provide exceptional service. I hope this explains a bit of what we go through when we get asked to just give a price over the phone. We really want to be able to get out in front of our customers and show our professionalism and our expertise for the requested work. We also don’t want to waste time by giving inaccurate tree removal or tree service estimates. I look forward to helping the residents of the Austin tree removal and Austin tree service market. Please call me personally at the office with any questions or feedback, 512-310-8789 or emails me at our tree service contact us form on the right side of any webpage within our website.

 

Hypoxylon Canker Fungus

On many properties this summer, my tree specialists have seen a lot of Hypoxylon Canker Fungus on hardwoods. This is a common occurrence during drought. This pathogen is a naturally occurring fungus in the Texas soil and it affects trees only when something else has weakened the tree. Of course, drought is one of those things which can put stress on our trees. Other examples of naturally occurring conditions that weaken trees are oak-wilt, insects, and open tree wounds cause by broken limbs.

Tree weakening can also be caused by human usually through construction damage. Examples of construction damage are lacerations to a tree from machinery, damage to roots from sprinkler system installation, and other similar human activities. The picture of what Hypoxylon Canker Fungus looks like is above to help you identify it.

As you can see, the visible damage is to the bark of a tree. It discolors the bark and in severe cases, it leaves open wounds that the tree tries to heal. This fungus certainly takes away from the health and vigor of a tree’s healthy growth along with contributing to a slow and gradual decline.

According to the Texas A&M Department of Plant Pathology, the solutions to help reduce the spread and of Hypoxylon Fungus can vary. You have to remember that the fungus becomes active on stressed or weakened trees so it is necessary to address those conditions. While addressing the stress causers, certain mulching, tree trimming, and tree removal practices address the spread of the fungus as well. A practice called Vertical Mulching will help the soil’s condition. If a tree has a small percentage of the branches affected by Hypoxylon Canker Fungus then simply pruning the affected area is suffice. But if a tree has larger portions infected then we always recommend completely removing the damaged tree for the sake of preventing property damage during an inevitable future high wind or ice storm.

Please check back to our website. We’ll be trying to add useful information for ya’ll to read on our blog at least once a week.

A Blog From The Owner

Brents Tree Service is Austin’s largest tree service company and we’ve proudly served Central Texas for over 23 years. Our focus is on residential tree trimming, tree removal, and tree maintenance. With Central Texas experiencing such a severe drought over the last 5 or so years, many of the native and non-native trees have experienced challenges. We are one of the few tree service companies in the Austin area that advises preventative tree maintenance to its previous customers.

Understanding Fertilizer Spike Numbers

Did you know that fertilizer spikes for your trees have a generalized rating system that helps you understand how much of certain nutrients are in them?

Tree and plant spikes are rated with three consecutive numbers. The numbers look like X-X-X which translates to N-P-K. What does that technically mean?

Nitrogen (N) – Phosphorus (P) – Potassium (K)

The numbers are in that order and represent percentages. So when we’re looking at a fertilizer that has a labeling of 20-25-10 it would mean 20% nitrogen, 25% phosphorus and 10% potassium. The missing percentages to make 100% are miscellaneous elements that help growth. These include iron, boron and more (source.)

Pretty simple.

For different kinds of plants or trees, you’ll want the formula to have higher or lower numbers on the NPK system. Different numbers encourage different or better growth depending on what you’re trying to grow. From this handy howstuffworks article:

 

“A fertilizer labeled 30-20-20 would be good for leaf development and would be most recommended for foliage house plants, while flowering house plants would prefer one richer in phosphorus, such as 15-30-15. Most foliage house plants get along fine with an all-purpose or high-nitrogen fertilizer, while one with a high proportion of phosphorus is best for flowering house plants.”

The next time you shop for fertilizer for your trees and plants, you are going to be an informed customer! Think about what you need to fertilize and what type of tree or plant would do best with in regards to NPK.

So why might you go with a professional tree service to come in and inject fertilizer as opposed to using the over-the-counter tree spikes that are available at your local home service store? The answer is pretty simple – any good tree company will have a unique blend of fertilizer that is specialized for your area and your unique needs.

A one-size-fits-all approach isn’t the worst thing in the world when it comes to fertilizer but for those that truly love their trees and want to see some major growth, an Austin tree service company is the way to go.

At Brents Tree Service, our unique fertilizer blend is just right for your Texas tree. We also inject it directly into your tree’s roots so the accuracy is far greater than it is with sinking spikes near your roots.

Thanks for checking out our blog today. Be sure to swing by the official Brents Tree Service Facebook page and “like” our page so that you can stay up to date on our latest service offerings.

Webworms Are Coming!

Webworms are about to start popping up! Their time to shine (and build webs) is the late summer and then primarily in the fall. With this impending webbing in mind, we’d like to go over how these bugs tick and why you might want them removed from your trees by a professional tree service in Austin.

Larval

The webworm creates its webbing in the larval stage. This webbing can defoliate the area it covers! Though pretty much harmless, the defoliation is one of two things that makes having webworms populating your tree an undesirable scenario. The other is that they are not very fun to look it.

This larval stage can last for four to six weeks. During this stage, the larva can munch on some of your trees’ leaves within their haywire web. It’s this characteristic web that causes the unsightly appearance when enough show up on your trees. The webs they create are pretty sloppy! The eggs are laid on the underside of leaves and, as these webworms grow and hatch, they use tree leaves as sustenance.

Tree choices

They’ll go after all kinds of trees including our state tree, the pecan! Almost any deciduous tree is fair game for them. Once the webs start popping up, you can expect an entire branch to become defoliated if you don’t have them removed.

Besides the defoliation, webworms are technically harmless to your tress. That doesn’t mean that many people with sacs of this oddly-shaped web hanging out all over their trees shouldn’t do something about it. If you’re not happy with the way the webworms look on your trees once they start popping up later in the summer, then get in touch with us.

Where do you stand?

Do you think you’ll need webworms removed from your trees in the coming months? If so, be sure to drop us a line so that we can give you an estimate. We’ll be able to safely remove them, clearing up your tree and making sure your property stays beautiful. We also handle just about any tree service you can think of, including tree trimming, tree removal, and more!

If you happen to be on Facebook, head over to our official Brents Tree Service Facebook page. We’ll let you know whenever one of our future blogs is live over there as well as showing off some cool tree photography and tips that will help keep your front yard in great shape.

Meet A Tree – Pecan

As a tree service company in Austin, we are passionate about any and all kinds of trees. One of the most interesting trees is the pecan tree.

 

Mmmm, pecans. You know why they’re so delicious, right? It’s because they are fresh and local! The pecan tree is the Texas state tree!

Though they are not quite in season at the moment, they can still be found around local shops in a variety of treats and meals. They begin to drop in September through as late as December. That’s why pecans make a great Thanksgiving staple!

 

 

But what about the tree itself? Pecan trees require spots with drainage and do well in sandy soil. They are obviously found in Texas but also in Mexico, Mississippi, Oklahoma and a few other states. The U.S. is so welcoming to the growth of the pecan tree that we produce 80% of the world’s pecans (source). Not bad! You can bet that number wouldn’t be quite so high if it wasn’t for Texas.

Identity It

Pecan trees grow into vase-like shapes during development. It has large limbs and a round top. The leaves on a pecan tree will be yellow-green right now in the summertime but will change to fully yellow in the fall. The bark on this tree will be gray or light brown. The pecan nuts that grow on it will be brown and have seams that can be cracked open for the fruit inside.

 

There are as many as 500 different hybrids of pecan trees in existence (source). Many things make up the different species of a pecan tree but they are mainly how the chemistry of the resulting pecan nut is (like amount of oil and shell size) and how many pecans the tree can produce. These trees come in all sizes so that also depends on what species of pecan it is.

Origins

The word “pecan” comes from the Algonquin language. Algonquin is from the Objibwe people. It roughly translates into “hard-shelled nut.” Dictionary.com even has the first definition of “pecan” as referencing the tree itself, not the nut. That’s why it’s grammatically correct to refer to these trees as pecans and you may hear people in Texas do so.

Nut VS Drupe

Pecans are not even technically a nut! They are considered a “drupe.” A drupe is a type of fruit that can have dehiscence. Dehiscence, as described by Princeton’s WordNet directory, is:

 

“…the natural bursting open at maturity of a fruit or other reproductive body to release seeds or spores or the bursting open of a surgically closed wound).”

 

DIY

If you have pecan trees, here is a step-by-step guide on how you can harvest your own pecans (when the time comes). We wish you luck – that can be a very fun and rewarding process.

What Do You Think?

Are pecan trees your favorite tree or do you have a different pick? Let us know on our happening Facebook page! It’s frequently updated with some really cool tree facts and amazing tree photography. And, as always, if you need tree removal or anything done for your Austin trees, get in touch with Brents! Our number is 512.310.8789 .

Author: Will Brents

Wood-Boring Insects

It’s getting hot out. You know who loves the heat? If you answered “wood-boring insects”, you are correct (and also a little strange). “Boring insects” is the collective term for any type of bug that likes to munch into your trees.

These type of pest bugs include beetles, moths, and types of wasps. Though they are not necessarily attracted to hot weather, they do love the drought-like weather that harms your trees. Wood-boring insects just love damaged trees!

Why They Attack

Wood-boring insects frequently go after unhealthy trees that have a weak structure. That’s why one of the best way to prevent these insects from digging into your tree is by making your trees healthier in the first place.

Though some beetles might just inflict a little bit of damage onto the outside of your trees, there are many out there that will literally dig deep into them with their bodies. Those are the ones you really have to watch for as their burrowing can lead them straight to where your tree carries water! After they’ve made a home in your tree they will then begin sucking away at vital water that your tree might not be too pleased with missing out on.

Some of these beetles see pruning or full limb removal as an opportunity to make their way into your tree. It’s up to you to report the problem to a certified tree service in Austin right away. Your trees could be getting harmed daily without your knowledge.

It’s important to inspect your trees for burrowing bugs on a regular basis. If you really want to school yourself on these insects, check out this PDF.

These little creatures have one mission in life: to eat your trees!

The Damage

From the House and Landscape pests PDF document:

“Wood-boring insects often produce sawdust-like frass (excrement). Their holes are

normally round, oval or semicircular and are found in a random pattern on the plant. Woodpecker damage is sometimes confused with that of woodboring beetles; however, woodpecker damage will not produce frass.”

That’s a pretty good rule of thumb to follow. If you see sawdust excrement near the holes that are being produced, you’re likely dealing with bugs! If so, we can help you out. Get in touch with us today. Not only are these holes a sign that you have wood-boring insects but they are also a sign that your trees are possibly unhealthy.

The List Goes On

The number of these types of bugs and all their details is enormous. The different types of insects may surprise you. The fact that there are so many different kinds in the state of Texas can be a little unnerving to homeowners here. But fear not! We’re here for you.

Don’t forget to stop by the Brents Tree Service Facebook page and give us a like.
Do you need your trees serviced? If so, call the best in town – Brents Tree Service. You can’t go wrong with Brents. You can reach us at 512.310.8789.

Get To Know Tree Rings

You may have heard that a tree’s age can be told by the number of rings it has on inside of it. Is this true? Yes! Oddly enough, this simple age indicator of checking out a tree’s rings are similar to seeing wrinkles on a person’s face but far more precise. How amazing is that?

As a professional tree service in Austin, this subject of a tree’s age fascinates us and we hope you will find our input on the matter enlightening.

Tree Rings Simplified

Tree rings can be found inside a tree and can be seen, to give you a visual, when there is a horizontal slicing of the tree to reveal the trunk. The good news is that in order to keep the tree up and running, those that practice dendrochronology (the science of studying these rings) have special, small drills that go into the side of the tree and pull out a sample so that the tree doesn’t need to be chopped down to study its past. The result of the small drilling is as informative as chopping a tree down so these dendrochronologists are keeping what they’re studying alive.

Understanding Aphids

Aphids are tiny little creatures that are here for one reason: to feed on your plants, breed, then feed some more! They can be found in such abundance that they are referred to as “plant lice.” Unfortunately for those in the state of Texas, they can be spotted all over the plants here.

Sap Eaters

Looking at aphids from the plant’s perspective, these creatures are truly horrific. Imagine having hundreds of these things crawling all over your body and taking away your precious sap! Aphids love, love, love to feast off of fresh shoots. They’ll completely cover newly sprouting plants. Almost as bad as their appetite is the sweet honeydew that aphids secrete. This honeydew can cause mold on your plants, yet another negative of aphids.

 

 

Anatomy

Aphids come is all sorts of colors including, but not limited to, green, red and black. There is some recent debate about where aphids get their color due to the pea aphid getting its red color from itself (a skill it ripped off from a fungus), but this Discovery article helps you understand their colors better. Most aphids simply get their color from carotenoids, which they consume from the plants they are infesting.

 

Their bodies are soft, they can shoot out defensive fluid from a pair of abdominal tubes, they have two compound eyes that allow them to see a relative large space, and they have something similar to a tail. Their size varies from aphid-to-aphid but they usually check in at 1 to 10 millimeters.

 

One of the most interesting things about (select types of) aphids is that they birth winged versions of their species when conditions on the area they are taking resources from is becoming unlivable for future aphid life. This may result from overcrowding and the wings allow their offspring to fly off to a stronger, more resourceful area to overtake yet again.

Disease and Harm

Aphids are more than a nuisance for your favorite garden plant. They can also transmit diseases to your plants! From this pest and disease control site: “Their feeding usually distorts the new growth affecting the leaves, flowers and fruit. In some crops feeding aphids can transmit viruses which can often have more impact on the crop than the actual feeding itself.”

A plant infested by aphids is an unhealthy one.

Benefits?

To play devil’s advocate (or aphid’s advocate), we’d like to go over why aphids exists and what their role is in the ecosystem. First off, aphids supply many creatures’ food by being small, easy prey targets for animals such as hummingbirds and crab spiders. Additionally, hoverflies can lay eggs into your plant’s aphid colony and those eggs will much on many of the aphids before turning into a hoverfly that will help with pollination. Either way, having an Austin tree service to come out and handle the aphid infestation on your property is highly recommended.

Stop The Aphids

By calling professionals to help look over and plan an elimination of your aphids, you’re taking the step in the right direction to make sure your plants are growing up strong and healthy. You may have also been having aphid issues and not even known it if you’ve had trouble growing any kind of tomato plant or more in your Texas garden!
Call us today to have your aphids on your lawn and garden eliminated. You can reach us at 512.310.8789. You are also able to get in touch with us for a free estimate through our online submission form.

Power Tools: Chainsaw Safety Tips

You may have recently purchased a chainsaw. That was your first mistake. Just kidding! Chainsaws are powerful tools and, if you are completely safe when using it to saw up fallen trees into manageable pieces, can be a great asset to your power tool collection. You could always get local tree pros to handle all your chainsaw needs but if you’ve invested in this mighty

tool, we’d like to talk about it. Let’s rev-up a few simple to follow safety tips for you!

Read The Manual

Think you know exactly how to operate your chainsaw because you’ve used one in the past? Think again. You need to be fully aware on how to lubricate the blade, mount the guide bar and more! Check out this guide for more reasons to read the manual. Additionally, here is a great guide on what you need to look for in your future chainsaw if you haven’t bought one yet or plan on replacing an aging one.

Shut It Off Often

“What do you mean I should shut it off often!?” Well, to ensure the safety of yourself and your land, be sure you turn the chainsaw off when you move to the next piece of your property that is to get the saw treatment. This will ensure you aren’t walking forward with a spinning blade with the scary chance of stumbling while in motion.

Know Your Stop Switch & Other General Safety

With your chainsaw, you should know all the ways you can quickly turn it off. Be sure that your chainsaw has safety guards and other preventative types of features. If not, consider getting a new one that will be much more reasonable to use. Your chainsaw likely has many safety features so, again, be sure to see our first and most important rule: read the manual.

Have A Friend Near

Do not go willy-nilly and chainsaw solo! As cool as it may sound to be a lone wolf with your shiny and new power tool, you need to have somebody nearby. This is in case of an emergency or accident. Never forget how dangerous chainsaws can be

Or Leave It To Pros

Want to avoid starting up a chainsaw and just have the pros come in and handle it all? If you’re around Austin then consider getting in touch with the tree experts at Brents Tree Service. We already have all the necessary work equipment to work so you don’t have to do with the hassle of studying a user manual the size of a phone book or worry about safety procedures.

One last thing… Are you on Facebook? If so, go on over to our official Brents Tree Service Facebook page see what we have growing (bad pun intended.)
Remember – we’re the tree experts that would love to help you make your yard healthy and attractive!

Simple Tips: Why Fertilize A Tree?

Sometimes a tree needs more nutrients than what is just available to them from your front yard. We’re talking about fertilization! You have to make that soil more productive than it is if you want your trees to get the most out of their life.

We found a very in-depth and fascinating article on fertilizing trees on the University Of Michigan’s web page. I know, I know… We’re in Texas!

But this guide is very helpful no matter what state you live in. You can read the article here.

Tree fertilization will help your trees stay healthy, colorful and happy. It’s a simple concept with very complex specifics. The importance of fertilizing a tree is huge! Though there are many different substances your tree needs to be getting, what are some of the main ones?

Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium and more!

These three elements can really help to properly fertilize your tree.

Nitrogen can help with your tree’s healthy colors of vibrant greens. Phosphorus is also key as it helps with your tree’s development of new roots to help it stabilize and suck up needed nutrients. Potassium’s going to help your tree grow! Potassium is going to do really great when it is combined with nitrogen. From this WSU report detailing apples and the trees they were grown on:

“…If the level of potassium in the soil is sufficient (200 ppm or above), then absorbing excess soil nitrogen with grass or turf ground cover may bring about the desired ratio, and lead to improved color.”

This means all these major players have a solid effect on your trees and the growth they output. That output can even include flowers and fruit.

From this handy guide on tree fertilization, they tell us that “for young trees, the time to put out fertilizer is late March through early June. When a tree reaches the desired height you may want to decrease the fertilizer application to only once a year.”

It’s still May now so go ahead and get to fertilizing your younger trees if you have them. Just be positive that you are properly fertilizing them! Need help with the process and understanding all the specifics? Have a local Austin tree service come out to assist you in making sure your trees are healthy and happy.

What Do You Think?

Do you have some amazing trees on your property that want to be in the best possible health? Maybe they need a bit of pruning or other type of service? Then get in touch with Austin’s best tree service, Brents Tree Service, at 512.310.8789.

Are you on Facebook? If so, please consider heading over to our official page and giving us a LIKE. In return, we’ll keep you up to date on all our services and give you plenty of fun tips for your trees and outdoor life. Additionally, we often post some really lovely tree photography.

Join us next time for more tree facts, tips and tricks.

Understanding Ball Moss On Your Trees

We offer removal of ball moss from trees on your property. But what exactly is this type of moss and why does it need to be removed? Why would the state of Georgia list this bad-boy of plants as a “special concern?” Check out our breakdown below so you can judge for yourself.

Ball Moss: Origins

Its scientific name is tillandsia recurvata. Because that name is 1) hard to remember and 2) difficult to say, it has been given a new name. But why “ball moss?” The “ball” part of the name is easily explained by just looking at the plant – it has a shape of a balled fist that is made of clumped-up branches. But why refer to it as a ball of moss when there isn’t any moss in it? Get ready to get confused. Ball moss is referred to a moss because it has a physical resemblance to Spanish moss. But, get this, Spanish moss isn’t a true moss either! That leaves us with a fairly odd yet simple name.

Epiphyte

Ball moss grows on trees (and sometimes wiring.) Because of this, many people have falsely assumed that ball moss is sucking away nutrients from its “host” tree. It’s not quite like the mistletoe species that become a parasite to the tree. You’ll need an Arborist to take a look at it.

Ball moss is simply an epiphyte type of plant. This term means that a plant grows on other plants but isn’t acting as a direct parasite that takes away nutrients. It’s an odd beast that tends to hang out up high and with it’s strange look of appearing like a balled up bird nest, it’s pretty unique. Some people like the rustic appearance of it while seemingly many more despise it!

Concern

Though you shouldn’t be concerned that the ball moss on your tree is directly sucking away nutrients from your tree, it is a concern that this organism is possibly taking away sunlight and blocking certain growth from your tree. This concern should grow if there are lots of ball moss organisms on a single tree. Additionally, many homeowners find this species to be an unattractive addition to their property and want them removed for mainly aesthetic reasons.

Where do you stand when it comes to this epiphyte? Hate it and want it gone or are you not worried at all about it? Now that you have the knowledge of its look, are you noticing ball moss more and more?

Most importantly, do you have some tillandsia recurvata growing on your trees? If you do and would like them removed from Austin’s best ball moss removal service, then give us a call at 512.310.8789.