Tag Archives: tree health care

3 Signs a Tree Is Dying

Knowing how to properly care for the trees on your property is key when maintaining a safe environment.  A dying tree is a danger to the surrounding buildings, power lines, pedestrians and more; knowing how to spot a dying tree easily can save you from damages.  Here are 3 signs a tree is dying.

Trunk Damage

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When assessing the health of your tree, start at the trunk!  If the damage to a tree’s trunk is sufficient enough, it compromises the future of the tree.  Look for any cracks in the trunk and check the bark; a lack of bark may be a tell-tale sign that your tree is not so healthy.  Though it is normal for a tree’s bark to fall off as it ages, it’s not a good sign if the bark won’t grow back.

Damaged Roots

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Tree roots can cause thousands of dollars in damage to sewer lines. Prevent plumbing problems by following these tree-planting tips.
via Popular Mechanics

A healthy root system is essential for tree healthy.  The roots are where water and nutrients are absorbed and distributed throughout the tree.  If your tree’s roots aren’t visible, call Westchester Tree Life to assist in your tree care evaluation; we can help spot damage properly.

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A leaning tree; via CBS New York

Is your tree leaning?  A noticeable lean can be a sign of serious root damage.  Leaning trees are a damage to their surroundings, especially during the stress of winter storms.  As ice bears down and wind pushes, the tree can give way and land on a nearby home, business, car or person.

Bare Branches

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If you are concerned a tree on your property is dying, check it’s branches come springtime.  A tree which is not producing leaves is a warning sign.  If you notice that only one side of your tree has dead or dying branches, you may want to have a professional arborist come to check for serious trunk and root damage.

 If you are concerned a tree on your property is dead or dying, call a professional arborist from Westchester Tree Life today at (914) 238-0069.  You can also request a consultation using our online form here.

Hardiness Zone FAQ

Easily determine what plants, shrubs and trees grow best in your area by knowing your hardiness zone!  Hardiness zones are defined by conditions such as minimum temperatures, and determine which specific category of plant life is capable of growing and thriving there.

What are Hardiness Zones?

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The United States and Canada are divided into 11 plant hardiness zones based on a 10 degree Fahrenheit difference in the average annual minimum temperature.

How Do I Determine My Hardiness Zone?

The United States Department of Agriculture has a map which can assist you in determining your hardiness zone.  View the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map here.

What Does “Suitable Hardiness” Mean?

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Suitable hardiness means a plant which can be expected to grow in the zone’s temperature extremes; this is determined by the lowest average annual temperature. (via arborday.org)

Are There Other Factors That Affect Plant Survival Aside From Hardiness Zone Limitations?

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Yes!  Soil moisture, humidity, the number of days of frost and risk evaluation such as the probability of a severe low temperature should all be taken into account.

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For more information, read our blog, “Hardiness Zones” here.  For assistance in determining the best plant health care for your garden or landscape, request a consultation from Westchester Tree Life here.

Girdled Roots

Did you know just one girdling root can kill or stunt the growth of a tree?  A girdling root grows around the tree’s trunk, strangling the tree.  Girdling roots act as an ever-tightening tourniquet, restricting the tree’s flow of nutrients and water.  The dangers of girdled roots can be prevented with routine tree check ups from a professional arborist.  Once identified, girdled roots can be properly treated.

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Girdling root on a cherry (Prunus) caused by mulch being piled against the trunk.
via Missouri Botanical Garden

Preventing Girdled Roots

Inspection is a key step in preventing girdled roots.  When you are planting a new tree, be sure to give the root ball a thorough review to check for any roots which are not radiating out from the tree.

The Dangers of Girdled Roots

When roots girdle a tree, pressure is placed on the water and nutrient pipeline located under the bark.  This pressure increases as the tree grows and it’s diameter becomes larger, making it impossible for water and nutrients to move up toward the tree’s canopy.  If a tree’s girdled roots are left untreated, the side of the tree with girdling roots will suffer and can result in death.

Removing Girdling Roots

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Before the girdling root was removed by Westchester Tree Life

Girdled Root Westchester Tree Life

After the girdling root was removed by Westchester Tree Life

When removing girdled roots, consult a professional arborist!  Request a consultation from Westchester Tree Life using our online form here.

Signs Your Tree is Suffering from Girdled Roots

If you’ve spotted a girdling root around your tree, check for some of these symptons that your tree is already feeling the ramifications of girdled roots:

  • Declining branches or uneven growth in the canopy of large trees
  • Branches with reduced growth on one side of the tree
  • Your tree’s trunk goes straight into the ground versus flaring outward at the base

Tree species that often have problems with girdling roots include pines, maples (excluding silver maple), lindens and magnolias.  This is a tree care matter that should be handled by a professional arborist; schedule a consultation with an ISA-certified Westchester Tree Life arborist today.

Don’t Move Firewood

Westchester county offers so many beautiful outdoor activities and attractions, especially during the fall time!  Whether you are hitting the trails and camping, or enjoying a late-summer fire in the backyard, it’s important that you use firewood from the area.  Moving firewood is more dangerous to your local eco-system than you think; here’s why you shouldn’t move firewood.

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Don’t Move Firewood!  Here’s Why:

Did you know that tree-threatening pests and diseases can lurk in firewood?  Though these insects and diseases are limited to how far they can travel on their own, the moving of firewood can transmit them to other forests and properties.  By using firewood from the immediate area, you are limiting what pests and diseases are being spread.  View the list of pests that could be spread from the moving of firewood.

If You Are Camping . . .

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A safe camping trip extends beyond bringing mosquito repellent and hiking gear!  Refrain from bringing firewood with you on your camping trip, hunting trip or RV adventure this fall.  This works both ways, as bringing firewood home from your campsite can be just as harmful.  Instead of bringing firewood with you, buy it where you will burn it!  Learn more from Don’t Move Firewood here.

Don't Move Firewood

How Far Is Too Far to Move Firewood

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Firewood should not be moved more than 50 miles maximum; ideally finding firewood to burn within ten miles of where you plan to burn it is the key.  If you are unsure as to whether you are transporting your firewood too far, stop; don’t risk the spreading of possible pests and diseases!  Instead, try to purchase your firewood in from a local source.  Here are more tips as to what you can do to stop the transportation of firewood.

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