To finish off this week of hurricane preparedness tips, Mike and the crew would like you to know the most important fact about trees: please do not top your trees! While topping a tree may lessen the weight of the canopy, it is only doing more harm than good. Topping is extremely detrimental to the health of the tree. It leads to internal rot, increased sprout and sucker growth, and insecure branches that can easily split off the tree as they grow. If you have any concerns about your trees, give us a call! Our experienced team is ready to help keep your house, your cars, and the rest of your property safe during hurricane season, including your trees!

Cabling a tree with codominant trunks can improve the structural integrity by controlling stem movement and increasing stem strength. It can help reduce stress and strain on the tree as well as improve health. The cabling process involves the use of flexible, steel cables to connect two or more stems in a way that provides support and added strength. Certified Arborists, like Mike, have extensive knowledge about cabling and its benefits.

Codominant trunks are 2 or more main stems (or “leaders”) that emerge from the same location on the main trunk. These leaders are roughly the same diameter and remain similar in size throughout each growth season. Some easily identifiable risk factors of trees with codominant stems can help you avoid potential damages in the future:

– Shape of the union: If the union, or the point where the trunk splits, is shaped more like a V than a U, it is more likely to fail under hazardous conditions, such as a hurricane.

– Decay in the union: The most clearly visibly symptoms of decay in the union are rotten matter, fluid, swelling of the bark or wood, or woody plants growing inside the union.

– Union failure: Weakened, damaged unions will start to crack or tear under the weight of the multiple trunks.

Mature trees with codominant stems, especially those with a compromised union, should be evaluated by a Certified Arborist. They can then determine if cabling can be used to increase the tree’s stability. Check back tomorrow for more information on cabling!

The only thing more dangerous than a tree with a weak, shallow root system, is a tree with broken or dead limbs. While the tree, for the most part, may withstand hurricane-strength winds, damaged limbs more than likely will turn in to hazardous missiles. Some signs that your tree needs to be pruned to prevent such accidents include:

– trees with dense, heavy canopies

– trees that are dying or dead

– newly planted trees and young trees

– trees with codominant trunks

Check back tomorrow for more information on spotting trees with codominant trunks, and what you can do to help stabilize them!

In an effort to maintain good health and encourage positive growth, it is recommended that mature, established trees be appropriately pruned every 3 to 5 years. Strategic pruning can also help prevent diseases as well as the growth of mildew and rot. It also promotes an adequate amount of sunlight to pass through the canopy to the lower branches and the surrounding vegetation while allowing winds to pass through the branches properly. 

Hurricane Preparedness Week

The Atlantic Hurricane Season begins to reach its peak this week; so, we are kicking off a week of Hurricane Preparedness tips and facts to aid you get ready for the potential storms to come. Check in with us each day for information that is sure to help!

The peak of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season is quickly approaching! Mid-August to late-October, Coastal Virginia experiences the highest chance of being impacted by a hurricane or severe tropical storm. Call Mike’s Tree Service for a quote now before it’s too late!

Colossal trees

The largest tree registered in the United States is a Giant Sequoia named General Sherman, located in the Sequoia National Park in California.

Here’s just a few of its dimensions:

  • Height: 274.9 feet
  • Diameter at base (widest point): 36.5 feet
  • Diameter of largest branch: 6.8 feet
  • Estimated total mass: 1,910 tons
  • Estimated age: 2,300 – 2,700 years old

This monster has been the reigning national champion since 1940 and is the oldest known living single stem tree on Earth.