Sweetgum trees give new meaning to the term lethal beauty--you know what we mean if you’ve ever stepped on one of the round, thorny balls that fall incessantly from these trees every fall and winter. While this hardy, gorgeous tree graces yards across America with luscious, star-shaped and color-changing leaves, the golf ball size prickly spheres it casts off cause enough trouble to throw entire cities into a tizzy.
If you’re wondering how to control these little balls of fire, you have a few options; namely removal, replacement, or prevention. Let’s explore each of these options a little more.
Removing Sweetgum Tree Balls
Some clever manufacturers have figured out a way to capitalize on this the sweetgum tree’s feisty fruit by creating contraptions that scoop them up with ease. Bag-A-Nut, for example, crafted a lawnmower-looking contraption you can push across your lawn to collect the pesky balls. If you don’t want to shell out your cash for a fancy new gadget, a rake does the work just as well.
Replanting a Fruitless Sweetgum Tree
Many sweetgum tree owners simply don’t have the time or energy to constantly remove the seemingly endless supply of prickly balls. A more permanent solution is to remove the entire sweetgum tree and replace it with a fruitless variety called the roundleaf sweetgum tree. This sister tree is fast-growing and looks identical but does not drop the irritating tree balls. If you like this option, contact a local tree removal company to do the dirty work for you.
Preventing Sweetgum Tree Balls
The third option is to apply a chemical injection to the sweetgum tree that prevents the tree from growing any fruit at all. The timing needs to be absolutely perfect for these injections, otherwise the fruit will still grow (albeit much smaller). You will need a professional tree specialist to safely and effectively apply this growth hormone to your tree. When done correctly, you can kiss those prickly balls goodbye for the year.
If you’re in the York, PA area and have a tree service need big or small, don’t hesitate to call the experts at Tree Service York PA. From sweetgum tree care and beyond, we can deliver the tree care solution you require.
You raked to prepare the soil and diligently laid down the grass seed. You fertilized, mulched, and watered. And then, you patiently waited and waited. Finally, it’s summer; time to bask in the glory of your fresh and pristine lawn.
But wait--is that crabgrass you see?
If you followed grass planting advice, you didn’t apply weed killer to your newly planted lawn, so that pesky crabgrass was free to germinate right along with your grass seeds. If you are wondering how to get rid of crabgrass in the summer, during the peak of turf season, you’re in luck. We’ll discuss how to rid your lawn of crabgrass and prevent it from coming back.
Pull it Up
It’s simple, really. Pull the crabgrass up by hand; this is the best way to safeguard your lawn and get rid of the crabgrass right away. For tough roots, try thoroughly watering the affected areas to soften the soil before pulling out those annoying weeds. Dispose of them by throwing the weeds into your yard debris bin.
Apply a Post-Emergent Herbicide
Yanking out a handful of weeds is easy enough, but if your lawn is totally overrun with this irritating grass, weeding might not be an option. Thankfully, post-emergent herbicides do a pretty good job of taking care of the problem. You can purchase these weed killers virtually anywhere, from garden specialty stores to online retailers such as Amazon. Be sure to follow the instructions if you use a post-emergent herbicide so you don’t harm your healthy grass. If you’re worried about proper application, contact a professional service.
Prevent Crabgrass from Returning
In the spring, uniformly apply a preemergence herbicide to your entire lawn. Why spring? Crabgrass germinates in the spring and will be in full bloom by summertime, so you need to attack before it emerges. Follow manufacturer instructions for application, and if in doubt, call in an expert.
Remember: Crabgrass is nothing but an irritating weed. Using these crabgrass control tips, you’ll be the master of your garden in no time.
For help with tree care projects big or small, call Tree Service York PA. Our services include everything from land and brush clearing to emergency tree removal, and we’d love to talk tree with you.
It’s tough to know when to prune trees when there’s so much conflicting advice. The good news is, pruning your trees is simpler to master than most people think. Use Tree Service York PA’s handy guide to know when’s the best time to prune for the health and longevity of your tree.
Prune Anytime for Plant Health
If your tree has dead or diseased limbs, limbs that are crossing over one another, or limbs that are hanging in hazardous positions, prune those suckers off any time, winter, spring, or summer. Keep in mind that while a clean clip here and there won’t do much, a significant amount of pruning will kick your plant into growth mode. So when pruning for health, prune sparingly when possible.
Prune During the Winter to Encourage New Growth
Tree care specialists agree that pruning during a tree’s period of dormancy is the preferred window for several reasons:
Prune for Spring Cleaning
It’s not a good idea to prune heavily in the spring as this is when many trees are putting on their best blooming show, so save the heavy spring cleaning for your closets. However, a little tidying up in the spring is sometimes in order. Clip the flowers when they’ve wilted to encourage continued blooms all season long.
Pruning Fruit Trees
Fruit trees have their own set of rules for the first few years after planting. Once they become established, prune during dormancy for best results. Avoid summer pruning which will inhibit growth--not good if you’re expecting a plentiful fruit harvest!
Never Prune in the Fall
Just like bears hibernate to make it through the long winter, trees also go dormant during the winter to conserve energy. Pruning a tree encourages new growth and requires the tree to expend a lot of energy, which is why pruning a tree right before it goes into its period of dormancy is a bad idea. Pruning in the fall also increases the risk of disease. Relax with a pumpkin spice latte and leave the pruning for another season.
Don’t Prune Dangerous Limbs
You should never risk your life to prune a limb. If your tree has hard to reach limbs, limbs that are extra large, or limbs that might cause damage on their way down, it’s best to call a professional tree care company to do the job for you. Happy pruning!
Backyard gardeners tend to disagree on what time a garden should be watered. Is it morning, late afternoon, or night? Many gardeners have arguments for each option and have lush, healthy gardens to prove their choice. But the experts at Tree Service York PA agree: There is one--just one--best time to water plants.
In the early morning.
If you’re a night owl, you probably don’t like the sound of that. Maybe you’ve been taught that it’s best to water in the evening when the sun can’t zap all the water through evaporation. Sadly, someone gave you bad advice. Shame on them. Watering at night can lead to damp leaves, root rot, and powdery mildew on your plants.
If you want your plants to thrive, you’ll have to start cranking that hose on a little earlier than you might like, at least for the summer months. Here’s why early morning is the optimal time to water plants:
If you absolutely cannot water in the early morning, you have a few options. You can set up a smart garden with a timer-controlled watering system. With this method, you can set the timer to water whenever you’d like and for as long as you want. It’s hands-free gardening! For a less time and labor intensive investment, water in the late afternoon. This is the second best time to water plants, according to expert arborists.
No matter what time you choose to water; Happy planting, happy watering, and may the growth be ever in your favor.
Whoops! That perfect spot to plant your tree turned out to be not so ideal after all. Whether you placed your tree in an area that’s no longer compatible with your landscaping, or you’re moving and want to take an important tree with you, sometimes it’s necessary to uproot your saplings. Use these tips from the expert arborists at Tree Service York PA to learn how to transplant a tree successfully.
Consider These Factors Before Transplanting:
How to Transplant a Tree?
So now you’ve done all the preliminary work, investigated the likes and dislikes of your particular tree species, and set your sights on a brand new location for your tree to live out the rest of its days. Now let’s jump to the nitty-gritty of how to actually transplant your tree from one plot of ground to another.
1. Prepare the Roots For Transport
Up to a few days before removal, wet the root area daily to soften the ground.
2. Estimate Root Ball Size
For every inch of the trunk’s diameter, estimate roughly 12 inches of root length. When you begin to dig, you can adjust accordingly.
3. Prepare the New Location
Dig a trench roughly two feet deep and double the width of your estimated root ball size. Don’t dig too deep--you tree should be planted at the same soil level it was. Make sure to moisten the new hole in preparation for its new inhabitant.
4. Time to Dig
First, loosely tie the branches together if necessary. This will help keep them out of your way but will also protect them from breaking during transport. Using a spade, dig a perimeter around the tree using your estimated root ball size as a gauge. Then, with the face of the spade angled away from the roots, carefully dig deeply around the circle. When you hit stray roots, cut them clean. After you’ve cut down around the root ball, carefully dig underneath.
5. Wrap the Root Ball
Lift or tip the tree from under the roots and carefully wrap the entire root ball, dirt and all, into a tarp or piece of burlap. Fasten with rope.
6. Transplant Immediately
Re-plant your tree as soon as possible and water thoroughly to help prevent transplant shock.
Now, treat your tree as you did when you first planted it. Water it diligently and check on it periodically for signs of shock. After a few growing seasons, your tree should be re-established and happily settled in its new location.
Most young trees are hardy and tolerate relocation quite well. However, if you notice any signs of transplant shock, a tree specialist can diagnose the problem and help you get your tree back on track. If you live in the York, PA area, give Tree Service York PA a call. Tree care is our passion: From emergency tree care to storm tree removal and everything in between, we do it all.
Planting trees can be quite the expense in itself, so it’s no wonder people hesitate to put mulch around trees. Mulch can be costly and applying it takes a bit of work. But trust us--mulch is essential to helping new trees get the protection and nutrients they need to grow healthy and strong. Here are Tree Service York PA’s top three reasons every young tree needs mulch:
What Kind of Mulch Is Best?
The best mulch is organic, thick, composted bark or wood chips. A bed of pine needles or leaves works well, too. Don’t use mulch made of plastics, fabrics, or moss: These types of mulches do not provide the same benefits as organic mulch.
How Much Mulch Should I Use?
Use no more than 2-4 inches of mulch, spread 3-5 feet around the perimeter of the tree. Too much mulch can actually be detrimental to your tree, encouraging disease or rot.
How to Apply Mulch Around Trees:
Remove all weeds and grass from the perimeter of your tree, about 3-5 feet outward. Apply a layer of your preferred mulch, starting a few inches out from the trunk’s base. Never pile massive amounts of mulch right up on the base of the trunk as it encourages rot. A just-right layer of mulch will improve the health of your tree the way nature intended.
To keep your mulch in tip-top shape, perform yearly upkeep: Rake back existing mulch a few feet and fill in the ring with fresh mulch.
If you have tree care questions, we have the answers at Tree Service York PA. From tree removal to planting to tree trimming services, we do it all.
We can agree that many of the best childhood memories involve a swing. It doesn’t matter whether it was a metal and chain swing from the school yard or a tire swing dangling from a favorite oak tree--the feelings were the same: Freedom. Joy. A sense of excitement that anything was possible.
Now that we’re older, we’d like to re-create those same feelings of wonder for our own kids by fixing up the perfect backyard tree swing. But then our parent brain kicks in: Which tree’s branches are sturdy and safe enough to trust? Which kinds of trees can withstand the beating that a child’s tree swing will induce?
Tree Service York PA knows all about trees--tree care is our passion and expertise. Use our handy guide to determine which tree in your yard is best suited for a tree swing.
Type of Tree: The tree you pick should be a well established, sturdy hardwood tree with horizontal branches. If you have an old oak tree, consider yourself lucky. Oaks might as well have been created for swings. In addition to their thick leaf covering to provide shade, most oak trees feature wide, strong trunks and sturdy horizontal growing branches. You should shoot for a limb diameter of over ten inches for the best swing experience.
Condition of Tree: Inspect any tree you consider to make sure it is healthy and free of rot or disease. Carefully look over the trunk and especially the branches. Do not use branches that are split, infested with bugs, or have a thin connection to the trunk. If the limb is dying, do not use it!
Placement of Swing: Make sure that the branches are long enough to place the swing with at least a 4-5’ clearance from the trunk. You could have the perfect tree, but if the swing does not have enough room to sway through its full arc, you’ll be looking at skinned legs and sad kids instead of fun summer memories.
Once you’ve picked your perfect tree, attach a tire or rope and board swing and let the fun begin! Who knows, after watching the excitement in your child’s face as they soar to the highest heights, you might want to jump on, too. And no one can stop you.
We love trees--so much so that we’ve built an entire company around tree care. If you live near York, PA, and have questions about tree trimming and removal, we’ve got answers. Call us at 717-216-4888.
Are you wondering how to stake a tree? It’s quick and easy to do. But before we begin Tree Staking 101, we’ll let you in on a secret: Most trees do not need to be staked.
Why? Letting your new tree grow naturally without help will allow it to anchor a robust and hardy root system into the ground, stabilizing it for years to come. The trunk of the tree will also benefit from building bulk and strength right off the bat. In fact, staking certain types of trees is actually detrimental to their growth.
There are a few instances that stakes are necessary, though. Let’s break it down:
When to Stake
When Not to Stake
How to Stake a Tree
If you’ve determined your tree needs to be staked, you’ll be pleased with how easy it is. You’ll need only a few things:
Stake material: thin but sturdy metal or wood stakes (2)
Strapping material: soft material such as old pantyhose or canvas strapping (2)
Yep, it’s that easy. When necessary, staking a young tree can provide it the jumpstart it needs to live a long, strong, and healthy life.
We love sharing our tree knowledge fellow arborists because at Tree Service York PA, tree care is our passion. From tree planting to stump grinding to emergency tree removal, we offer tree care services that are affordable and professionally executed. That’s why we’re the top tree specialist in central PA.
For more tips, read our blog or give us a call at 717-216-4888.