COVID-19 UPDATE: Arborwell is Open and Performing Essential Tree Care Services at this time

Arborwell is Open for Essential Tree Services

COVID-19 UPDATE: Arborwell is Open and Performing Essential Tree Care Services at this time

Arborwell is Open for Essential Tree Services

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commercial tree services

Palm Trees – Regular Maintenance is Crucial

Palm trees are an essential part of the California atmosphere, inspiring daydreams of fun in the sun. Maintaining the good looks of palm trees on your commercial property, however, is anything but a leisurely endeavor. Though routine maintenance is essential for picture-perfect palms, palm tree care is complicated. 

Most Palm Tree Species are Not Native to the Area

Despite the many varieties of palm trees in California, only the California fan palm – also known as the desert palm or Washingtonia filifera – is native. All other species are imported. Other non-native species, such as the date palm introduced by Spanish missionaries in the 18th century and other species brought here for palm gardens created by Europeans in the mid 19th century, are non-native, imported into the region as immigrants arrived in the US. 

Each Palm Tree Type is Suited to a Certain Climate

There are over 2,500 palm species worldwide. Only 11 are native to North America. They thrive in a range of climates from deserts to rain forests, each requiring specific growing conditions. Imported species, such as Mexican fan palms and Canary Island date palms, often lack essential nutrients common in their native growing environments. These deficiencies make the trees more prone to stress and disease. Even Native California fan palms present unique maintenance challenges in the current California climate. Fan palms need a great deal of water in the soil to thrive, which currently drought-prone regions across the state struggle to provide.

As many native fan palms, planted during regional beautification efforts in the 1930s, reach the end of their 75 to 100-year lifespan, some local governments are no longer replacing the trees. This is partly due to climate-related water shortages, and also to the threat of pests  such as the red palm weevil, which are making it difficult for palms to survive. For these reasons, there is a movement toward the re-introduction of native, drought-resistant plants and trees.

Palm Trees Present Many Maintenance Challenges

It may be tempting to tackle routine maintenance tasks yourself, until you consider the height of your trees. Palm tree maintenance is not for the faint of heart, including inexperienced property owners and uninsured lawn care services. Proper care requires a thorough knowledge of arboriculture and safety practices. With help from a trained arborist, you can avoid tree care injuries, alongside issues associated with improper pruning, such as:

  • Over-trimming that can weaken palms, making them more prone to storm damage
  • Improper landscaping around palms that can result in mechanical root damage from trimmers
  • Paving or using rocks around palms, which increases temperatures, burning roots, and reducing water/nutrient absorption
  • Delayed maintenance that increases fire risk and the risk of injury and damage from falling fronds and trunks
  • Suffocation by palm fronds due to improper pruning technique (pruning from below) and septic arthritis from palm tree thorn injuries
  • Excess germination of nuisance palm saplings on your commercial property

Prune your palms properly and safely with help from the Arborwell team. Contact us at 888-969-8733 to request an estimate for regular palm tree maintenance for your Hayward, San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Livermore, Palo Alto, or Walnut Creek property today.

palm trees, tree maintenance, tree wellness

Arbor-wellness: Pear Rust

My Pear tree is losing leaves right now and I notice these yellow/orange spots on the leaves and twigs too?

That is most likely a disease called pear trellis rust. It is one of several leaf diseases found on pear trees specifically. It can be a serious problem if not treated. The first step is to remove the fallen leaves and twig because the spores found in those help to spread it.

Is this a serious problem? It seems to be getting worse each year?

Pear trellis rust can be a serious disease and it often will impact the health and survival of pear trees. Stunted growth, thinning in the canopy, and branch dieback will occur after several consecutive years of infection. In areas where the disease is prolific, it can eventually cause death of the pear host. Though juniper plants are part of the disease cycle, they are not normally harmed by the disease.

How does it form?

One unique thing about most rust diseases is that they require a second type of host plant in order to successfully establish and reproduce. Without the second host you won’t have the disease on the desired plant. In this case the secondary host is juniper plants. Junipers planted within 1,000 feet are probably acting as the second host. Spores produced from the gall-like infections on the junipers travel to the pear trees in early spring by wind and rain. They infect new leaves as they emerge on the tree. In late summer, fruiting bodies emerge on the underside of leaves and on twigs, which then transfer the disease back to junipers.

 Do I have to remove my junipers?

That is the easiest way to control this disease on Pear trees. Remember though that if neighboring properties also have junipers, these plants may also be an alternate host if they are planted close enough. Another option is to replace your existing junipers with a variety of juniper that is resistant to the disease. These include – AmiDak, Bar Harbor, Blue carpet, Blue star, Winton’s Carpet and Juniperus communis ‘Aurea’ and J. communis ‘Compressa’ .

Can I keep my existing junipers and still control this problem on my Pear trees?

There are management techniques which involve timely treatments of the pear trees in the spring, usually more than once each season. Supplemental system treatment in the fall helps to prevent the disease as well. You can also prune out the galls on the junipers in early spring (Before April 1st), but they are hard to find and don’t look anything like the disease when you see it on Pear trees.

If you are concerned about Pear trellis rust on your pear trees, contact you Arborwell arborist who can evaluate the trees and recommend a program for them.

Fill out the form below to set up a site inspection.

arborist, dieback, pear, preventative, rust

Arbor-wellness: Leaf Scab

Leaf Scab becoming a problem again.

Leaf scab diseases are a type of fungal infection that affect the leaves of apple, hawthorn and crabapple trees primarily. There is more than one fungal organism that creates this disease, but how they attack a tree and the treatments for them are very similar, so we will simplify the discussion by calling them leaf scab diseases.

Apples, crabapples, and hawthorn all can be affected by this disease, as well as some pear tree types. Out breaks are more severe after a wet, cool spring.

The fungus develops in the early Spring after spores are produced and distributed by wind and rain.

These spores infect newly forming leaves causing small brownish-green lesions on the young leaves. Once established on the new leaves, new spores are form and the process is repeated. As the disease develops on the leaves, the infected areas change colors and spread, until most of the leaf is affected and it falls off. Fruit can be affected too and even flowers may show symptoms. The fruit will become deformed and fall off prematurely.

Some varieties of flowering fruit trees are resistant and it is important when planting new ornamental hawthorn, crabapples or pear that you select the right varieties.

Older varieties are often most susceptible and need regular treatments to prevent early leaf fall. While it typically doesn’t kill the tree outright, the lack of leaves reduces the health and vigor of the tree and makes it more susceptible to other problems.

Arborwell has successful and cost-effective preventative programs available as well as “rescue” type programs that may be needed in certain situations.

Your Arborwell arborist can determine if this is a problem in your landscape and recommend an appropriate program for you.

Fill out the form below to set up a site inspection.

arborist, Leaf Scab, plant health care, preventative tree care

Arbor-wellness: Sycamore Scale

When sycamore trees fail to thrive, we often look at leaf diseases like anthracnose and powder mildew as the major culprits. While these diseases are easy to spot, there is an insect that is much harder to see that often times contributes to sycamore problems. Sycamore scale is a small (1/16”) scale that feeds mostly on leaf tissue. This reduces the vigor and overall health of the tree. When sycamores are weaker they tend to get leaf diseases worse, which continues the downhill spiral of tree health.

These tiny scale insects overwinter on the bark and in the duff below the tree, then move to the leaves during the early spring. As they establish on the leaves they begin feeding and reducing the ability of the tree to produce and store energy in the form of sugars. When they are quite established, you can often see little “pinpricks” on the leaves as you look through the canopy. Left untreated, the tree will slowly begin to decline.

While unchecked infestations of Sycamore scale typically do not kill a tree outright, the trees are weakened enough that other diseases more easily attack both the leaves and the twigs. Excessive leaf drop from leaf diseases and twig dieback from branch diseases can become problematic season after season.

A good program for preventing diseases, regular nutritional feeding and proper watering should also include insect prevention to keep these tiny scale insects from becoming a problem. If you are concerned about your sycamore trees your Arborwell arborist can inspect and develop a program that encourages a healthy tree and discourages insects pests like Sycamore scale.

Fill out the form below to set up a contact-free inspection.

arborist, arborwell, plant health care, scale

certified arborist

The Role of an Arborist for Commercial Landscaping

There are many facets to caring for the grounds of your commercial property. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with these tasks, from regular maintenance like pruning and irrigation to soil health, and pest and disease control. These areas are where the skills of our San Diego certified arborists shine. What role can an arborist take in caring for your commercial landscaping?

Site Evaluation

Our arborists can evaluate your grounds, compiling an arborist report based on current or planned uses for your property, gathering essential data on:

  • Tree species and condition
    By identifying the type, location, number, and condition of trees on your property, our arborists can recommend a specialized care plan to support each species’ health and lifespan.

  • Microclimate
    Identifying the unique climate of your property, and how it differs from the surrounding area, can help you address tree health issues and select the best plant species for your grounds. 

  • Types of soils on your property
    Our team has a thorough understanding of local soil types and how they impact tree health, irrigation, and fertilization needs.

  • Watering and irrigation
    Our San Francisco Peninsula experts know you can save water, manage drought, and improve the health of your trees with proper irrigation.

  • Fertilizer use
    Our knowledgeable arborists can identify fertilizers you’ve used in the past, how they’ve affected your soil, and the need for additional soil amendments.

  • Pests and diseases
    With an expert eye, an arborist can quickly detect ailing trees, recommending proper treatment options.

Learn more about our San Francisco, Oakland, and East Bay area services.

Landscaping Design

Once we’ve gathered essential information on your commercial site, we will enhance your landscape design. Our experienced arborists can help you select and plant trees ideally suited to thrive in the environment on your property. We have a thorough knowledge of tree species, providing you with a variety of noninvasive, native, drought-tolerant options. We can find solutions to enhance privacy, provide shade to reduce cooling costs, serve as a windbreak to reduce heating costs, improve air quality, control erosion on your San Jose area property, and more.

Planning for Long Term Plant Health

With proper care and maintenance, your trees will remain healthy, valuable assets within your landscape. After addressing the immediate needs of your plants, the knowledgeable arborists at our Seattle office will devise a long-term strategy to support the future health and longevity of your trees. Like the healthcare of people, vibrant, flourishing landscapes are the result of small, consistent investments in preventive care, directed by a professional arborist. 

Tree Safety and Maintenance

A skilled arborist can quickly identify the safety and maintenance needs of trees on your Sacramento property. Our knowledgeable arborists can help you control property liability ensuring adequate clearance surrounding trees for pedestrians, vehicles, and utilities. We perform regular trimming and pruning to remove damaged, diseased, or dead branches, clean up messy fruit that can pose trip hazards, and identify other potential risks before damage or injury can occur.

Meticulous Care, Unparalleled Services

Our professional arborists are renowned for their technical expertise, attention to detail, and superior customer service skills. We excel in providing tree care solutions that enhance the community while supporting and protecting the environment. Let us help you transform your west coast commercial or residential property, adding value and appeal with beautiful, healthy well-groomed trees.

Proper care of trees is an investment that generates considerable returns. Learn more about the complementary role an arborist can play in your commercial landscaping care program. Schedule a tree assessment, or contact your local San Diego, Sacramento, San Francisco Bay Area, or Seattle Arborwell office to learn more today.

arborist tree care, arborists, certified arborists, isa certified

Arbor-wellness: Tipu Psyllids

The “Tipu Tree” or Rosewood is widely grown as a landscape ornamental and shade tree in southern California. They are popular because they are drought and frost tolerant, are thornless, and have attractive clusters of bright yellow flowers. About twelve years ago, an exotic pest called the Tipu psyllid was found in San Diego county and has established itself throughout the region, causing damage every year by feeding on the leaves and dripping honeydew on the ground and objects below the trees.

Trees infected with the Tipu Psyllid often lose their leaves prematurely.
Both the larval nymphs and the adults feed on the young leaves and branches of Tipu trees. When present in large numbers, the leaves will curl and drop off. Both produce the honeydew (the sticky sap underneath the trees). When honeydew is present on the tree, a black sooty mold will also tend to grow and becomes one of the more obvious signs of the insect’s presence.

In South America, where the Tipu psyllid is native, there are insect predators that help to keep Tipu psyllid in check. Unfortunately, none of the insect good guys are established in Southern California. So, treatments are generally warranted when the insect has established itself in the area.
It is best to proactively treat Tipu trees during the winter or early spring to prevent these insects from establishing, but there are measures that can be taken during the spring and summer if an infestation is discovered.

Your Arborwell arborist can provide a program to identify and if needed treat your Tipu trees. Fill out the form below to contact us and set up an inspection!

psyllids, southern california, tipu

tree care

Proper Watering of Bay Area Landscaping Trees

Droughts are a frequent occurrence in the Bay Area, making care for your landscaping trees a challenge. Your trees provide many benefits, delivering cool shade, improving air quality, controlling water runoff and erosion, and increasing your property value. To safeguard their health and prevent drought conditions from making them vulnerable to pests and diseases, ensuring your trees have the water they need to survive this stressful time is essential.

Large Trees Need Deep Watering At Least 1-2 Times Per Month

Any tree species accustomed to regular watering can experience stress in drought conditions. Water-loving birches, redwoods, and maples are especially at risk. During a drought, you can transition mature trees that have been surrounded by a generous layer of mulch to a regimen of deep water irrigation 1-2 times per month. However, we recommend closely monitoring your trees. When temperatures reach or surpass 95 F, more frequent watering may be necessary.

Tips for Watering Bay Area Landscaping Trees

  • Look to age and species to determine frequency
    Our ISA certified arborists  can help you determine the best watering schedule for your trees. Young, newly planted trees require more water than established trees, up to 4 times per week in the summer. Native trees, such as California oaks, need far less water than non-native species, requiring only one or two deep soaks over the summer season.
  • Install irrigation carefully to avoid trunk rot
    Concentrating water at the base of a tree can cause trunk rot. To avoid this and get better root coverage, run your drip line in a spiral from the outer edges of the tree canopy, spiraling toward the trunk. Use a soaker hose or low-flow stream rotator heads, avoiding the use of wasteful sprinklers/sprayers.
  • Time your watering to minimize waste
    When irrigating your commercial property or residential complex, it’s best to water in the early morning or after sunset to minimize water evaporation.
  • Water to the proper depth
    Unlike grass, which has shallow roots, your trees require a deeper soaking. After watering, check the soil beneath trees, verifying it is moist (not soggy) to at least 18 inches deep.

Boost Your Irrigation Efforts with Mulching

Integrating wood chip mulch as part of your drought protocol can be a fantastic aid to your watering efforts, keeping moisture in the soil longer, and reducing water consumption by 10-25%. Adding a thick, 4-6 inch layer around your trees also protects roots from any extremes of cold and heat, as well as reducing the prevalence of weeds and grass that compete for water and nutrients.

Uphold the beauty and value of your property with the proper watering of your Bay Area landscaping trees. Contact Arborwell Professional Tree Management at 888-969-8733 to request an arborist consultation on your San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Livermore, or Palo Alto property today.

irrigation, mulching, tree health, water

Arbor-wellness: Aphids

Aphids are a problem again.

This year’s mild winter and wet early spring has encouraged many insect pests so far this spring. One of the worst types are aphids, which seem to be abundant already. There are many types of aphids and they attack many of our most common and popular trees including: Crape myrtle, crabapple, birch, hackberry, hawthorn, maple, oak, strawberry tree, tulip tree and of course roses, too. Aphids produce an inordinate amount of a sticky liquid called honeydew. With the population of aphids so abundant so early in the season, it will be very important to protect trees soon if you have not done so already.

Slowing down aphid populations after they have become a messy problem is possible, but is usually more costly and usually involves washing off sidewalks or paved areas too. To protect your trees from aphids or other pests, fill out the form below to contact your Arborwell arborist for a comprehensive protection plan.

aphid, arborist, insect, plant health care, tree care

Fire Blight

Common Tree Diseases in California Cities

Do your usual tree management tactics seem to be falling short? The California climate, temperature extremes, and pollution can certainly do a number on landscaping, impacting tree health. However, the Arborwell team knows that disease may also be to blame. How can you distinguish environmental stress from illness? Check the trees on your California property regularly, watching for signs of these common tree diseases.

Anthracnose

Anthracnose is a fungus that affects a variety of plants and trees. It thrives in warm, moist conditions and multiplies very quickly during rainy spells, spreading through infected plant debris. Our plant health care experts identify it by the dark, sunken lesions it produces on affected flowers, fruits, leaves, and stems, which begin as small, irregular yellow-brown spots that darken and spread. Fortunately, with proper tree care from our knowledgeable arborists, anthracnose is not lethal.

Fire Blight

The Arborwell team frequently encounters this bacterial disease in the early spring. Though it doesn’t affect a wide variety of tree types, it is incredibly contagious and can cause significant damage very quickly. Fire blight attacks all parts of the tree, including blossoms, leaves, and branches, giving them a dark brown or black scorched appearance. It spreads through many vectors, including wind, rain, insects, and birds, and is frequently seen on California’s apple and pear trees. Left unchecked, it can kill a tree, necessitating removal and replacement.

Fusarium Wilt

Fusarium wilt is another widespread fungus we frequently see throughout the state. It is known for attacking food crops such as tomatoes and bananas and is one of many diseases affecting California palm trees. Fusarium oxysporum can live indefinitely in the soil without access to a living host and spreads easily, making it difficult to eradicate. The infection begins in the roots, interfering with water transport, causing lower (older) leaves to wilt and yellow. The disease then progresses to new growth until the plant eventually dies.

The Role of Pests and Disease

Experienced arborists know that weak and diseased plants are naturally more susceptible to pests. Infestations can quickly go from being an unsightly nuisance to a major problem, claiming the life of the trees on your commercial property. Watch out for these common offenders on sick or diseased trees:

  • Royal palm bugs
    These tiny, oval, yellowish bugs feed only on the freshly opened leaves of royal palms. Though they can make your palms weak and unattractive, if addressed quickly, we can save your trees.
  • Cabbage palm caterpillar
    Cabbage palm caterpillars feed on palm flowers, weakening the tree. Their reddish-brown larva also stains the tree, leaving behind an ugly mess. 
  • Palmetto weevils
    If young leaves on your palm trees are wilting and quickly dying, you may have palmetto weevils. If you don’t eradicate them fast, these black or red-winged pests can quickly kill your trees.
  • Gold spotted oak borers
    These tiny, invasive beetles kill oak trees and are fundamentally changing the landscape in the region.
  • Oak worms
    Oak worms feed on oak leaves, quickly consuming lush canopies to leave behind a scruffy, leafless tree. Caterpillars fall off trees en masse in May, littering patios, cars, and people.

Identify and manage common tree diseases in California cities with the help of Arborwell Professional Tree Management. Fill out our online form to schedule an arborist assessment for your ailing trees, or contact us at 888-969-8733 today.

Anthracnose, Fire Blight, fusarium wilt, tree health, tree management

pruning

Mature Tree Pruning

Mature Tree Pruning: Essentials for Proper Care

Mature landscape trees require meticulous care to remain healthy, structurally sound, and beautiful. Unfortunately, many well-meaning property owners unknowingly damage established trees, shortening their lifespan with improper  tree pruning techniques. Older trees have unique needs. To ensure the optimal health of large trees and maintain the aesthetics and value of your commercial property, it is crucial to learn these mature tree pruning essentials.

Proper Pruning Requires Arborist Expertise

Our arborists perform tree pruning with a thorough understanding of tree biology. We know that each cut impacts and potentially changes the growth of a tree, so no branch should be removed without good reason. Because trees store sugar within their dense crown of leaves, we are also cautious of over-trimming that could rob a tree of nutrient reserves, causing significant stress.

Reasons to Prune Your Landscape Trees

Routine thinning does not necessarily improve tree health. Instead, landscape managers should trim trees to correct existing problems or prevent issues from occurring. When should you prune your large trees?

  • Aesthetics
    Trimming can improve the form and enhance the beauty of your trees.
  • Cleaning
    Removing dead, diseased, or weakly attached branches reduces cleanup on your property and prevents potential damage and injury.
  • Thinning
    Thinning branches can increase the ability of light and air to filter through the tree canopy to the ground below.
  • Clearance
    If your trees do not leave adequate, safe clearance around landscape features such as buildings, walkways, roadways, and electric lines, it is beneficial to trim them.

When to Prune

It is safe to prune the trees on your Sacramento, Peninsula/Los Altos, Palo Alto, Burlingame, Hillsborough, or Redwood City property at any time of the year. However, our certified arborists know that trees heal better following pruning procedures performed before the spring growth flush. We avoid the heavy pruning of trees after this growth because your trees have spent a great deal of energy producing it, and heavy pruning at this time can cause significant stress, particularly in weak trees.

Our knowledgeable team understands that mature trees do not tolerate heavy trimming as well as younger trees, taking care to remove no more than 25% of the crown, or less, depending on age. When making cuts, we are mindful of making clean cuts without damaging bark, while protecting the branch collar, and subsequently, trunk tissue, upholding the tree’s ability to heal and thrive.

When trimming diseased trees, such as those with oak wilt, we know it is best to use caution. Our arborists avoid pruning during active transmission periods when the disease spreads more easily.

Avoiding Tree Pruning Dangers

Pruning large, mature trees is not a do it yourself job. It usually requires working from tall heights using power equipment. Our licensed, insured arborists have the skills necessary to manage these physically demanding tasks safely. We believe safety is no accident, using the necessary protective equipment, proper tools, and techniques to eliminate hazards on-site.

Protect your trees with skillful mature tree pruning services from Arborwell Professional Tree Management. Contact us at 888-969-8733, or request an arborist consultation using our online form today.

tree care, tree health, tree landscaping, tree pruning

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