Tree Removal Safety: Why You Shouldn’t Cut Down Your Own Trees

Spring has technically arrived in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Many homeowners are itching to get out and start working in their yards. Some may be considering removing a tree or two from their properties themselves. If that describes you, Urban Tree and Landscape urges you to reconsider.

Tree trimming and removal isn’t a job for the casual gardener or lawn warrior. It requires a knowledge of tree biology and proper training in safety and technique. The equipment professionals use to remove trees can’t be found in the average backyard shed. Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t remove trees yourself.

  1. Gravity

There’s a reason lumberjacks shout “TIMBER!!!” when felling a tree as a warning to people nearby. Once you make the final cut, gravity takes over. You don’t have control of where the tree falls once it’s in motion. Tree removal professionals have years of training and experience in cutting a tree to encourage it to fall a certain way. Often, we call in a crane for help. Without the proper expertise and equipment, trees may fall on your home, power lines, or worse, people. A 2017 study of tree removal accidents involving homeowners found that more than half were fatal.

  1. Lack of Training

While we are in the business of tree removal, Urban Tree and Landscape hates to see a good tree go. We have the training and expertise to know if removal is your only option or if trimming could save your tree. We also have taken courses in pruning and trimming techniques to take trees down efficiently and safely. Have you?

  1. Inappropriate Equipment

Tree trimming professionals do use chainsaws. But we have many more tools at our disposal to help us remove trees safely. Pole saws, extendable saws, and cranes help us trim and remove trees. So do ropes, harnesses, and hardhats. OSHA requires professionals to wear safety gear and be trained in the safe use of our equipment. Tree removal is a serious, dangerous job that requires expertise and experience.

  1. Power Lines

Did you know that the black coating on power lines just protects the wire from the elements? It does not provide any insulation. If a power line comes down while you’re removing your tree, you could electrocute yourself or someone you love. At the very least, you will knock out the power to your home or your entire neighborhood.

  1. Tree Biology

Do you know the warning signs of a dead or decaying tree? How about all the diseases and pests that can plague a tree? Lastly, do you know how these symptoms affect the safety of your tree and how would you trim or remove it? Decaying or dead wood is extremely unstable. It’s dangerous to remove without expertise. We often use a crane to stabilize and remove decayed or dead wood.

Urban Tree and Landscape is not trying to scare you (well, maybe just a little). But we do want you to understand that tree removal is a dangerous job with deadly consequences if you don’t have the proper training, equipment, and know-how. If you need more convincing or are ready to call in the professionals, contact Urban Tree and Landscape today. We’re happy to share our credentials and process with you.

Why Winter is the Best Time for Many Types of Tree Care

With the fresh blanket of snow much of Minnesota just received, it’s likely that the last thing on your mind is tree care. But winter is actually the best time for many types of tree care, including disease control and pruning. Here’s Urban Tree & Landscape’s guide to winter tree care.
Oak and Elm Tree Disease Control in Winter

Winter is the best time to prune oak and elm trees. The insects and fungi that cause oak wilt and Dutch elm disease are dormant. If you have any oak or elm trees that need pruning, now is the time. Warmer weather just around the corner, reawakening insects and fungi. If you wait too long, you’ll be stuck waiting until fall of 2018.

Tree Pruning and Removal in Winter

Winter is a great time to prune or remove trees that are in sensitive landscapes, such as turf grass. In the summer, we need to lay down plywood to prevent our equipment from damaging your yard. When the ground is frozen, we can access your tree without damaging your lawn. We don’t need to put down plywood, skipping a step and saving you money.

Pruning Lakeshore Trees in Winter

Sometimes trees located along a lake must come down. If there is enough ice to let us use the lake as a work zone, the savings to you the client can be substantial. This window of opportunity doesn’t always exist, and when it does, it is very short. However, when the ice is thicker than 16 inches, we are able to fell trees onto frozen lakes and use Bobcats and small trucks on the ice to remove the tree debris.
Urban Tree and Landscape is family-owned and operated by Gabe Tschida. Gabe’s core values of honesty, integrity, and reliability guide every interaction you have with Urban Tree. Spring is just around the corner. Don’t miss your chance to prevent tree disease and save money on tree pruning this winter. contact Urban Tree & Landscape today at 612-532-9996 or www.utrees.com.

How to prepare your trees for spring

Urban Tree and Landscape does Tree Service in MinneapolisAfter a long Minnesota winter, it seems that spring is in the air. The days are longer, the sun feels stronger and the calendar says so. With the temps rising and the snow melting, now is a great time to think about preparing your trees for spring.

Here are a few things you can do now while the weather is still a bit chilly, as well as some things to think about once spring has indeed sprung:

Tree Pruning

Trees are in a dormant stage throughout the winter, meaning that their growth is temporarily halted. This inactive stage presents a perfect tree-pruning time for a few of reasons. First, by pruning now you won’t limit the trees bloom potential because new growth has not yet begun. In addition, a frozen ground in the winter gives tree trimming companies easy access to the tree with potentially heavy equipment without damaging your yard. And finally, the bare canopy makes the branches easier to see and handle.

The safe time for Pruning Oak and Elm trees is quickly coming to an end. Call now to make sure to get those trees prune now before it’s to late.

Mulching

Once the snow melts, another thing you can do to help you trees this spring is mulch.

Mulching conserves soil moisture, controls weeds and secures the organic matter trees need beneath the soil surface. But, did you know there is a right way and a wrong way to properly mulch your trees?

You don’t want to apply too much mulch and it should never resemble a volcano, as this will harm the tree and provide a breeding ground for pests. Rather, you want to evenly spread the mulch out to the tree’s drip line and make it level using a shovel. This will help ensure your tree reaps all of the benefits mulching provides while preventing the growth of fungus and minimizing rot and decay.

Irrigating

After the ground has completely thawed, you will want to irrigate any trees that are near the sidewalk or other surfaces where de-icing salts were used. This will rinse salt from the soil, which can damage the roots and the overall health of the trees.

As the weather warms and spring is in full force, your trees should start to leaf and flower. What’s more, healthy trees bend gracefully along with the wind, while decayed wood cracks and breaks. If an area on your tree looks sparse, or you see wounds and holes in the bark, something is wrong, and you should call a tree service company.

If they could talk, your trees might say they are just as excited about the warmer weather as you are. Following these steps will ensure your trees remain healthy and strong throughout the springtime and well beyond.

 

Why Winter Is the Best Time for Many Types of Tree Care

With the fresh blanket of snow much of Minnesota just received, it’s likely that the last thing on your mind is tree care. But winter is actually the best time for many types of tree care, including disease control and pruning. Here’s Urban Tree & Landscape’s guide to winter tree care.

Oak and Elm Tree Disease Control in Winter

During the winter months in Minnesota, all our trees and shrubs are dormant. So are the insects and pathogens that cause tree disease. This makes winter the safest season to work on species that are susceptible to certain diseases.
Winter is the best time to prune oak and elm trees. The insects and fungi that cause oak wilt and Dutch elm disease are dormant. If you have any oak or elm trees that need pruning, now is the time. Warmer weather just around the corner, reawakening insects and fungi. If you wait too long, you’ll be stuck waiting until fall of 2018.

Preventing Emerald Ash Borer Damage in Winter

The dreaded emerald ash borer beetle is less likely to spread in the winter. The beetles and their larvae are dormant during the colder months. During warmer months, the insects are active. If you trim and remove a tree during this time, it increases the chance the pests will infect more trees. Sometimes this is necessary, but avoiding moving ash tree debris in the winter is safer for the health of your urban forest, especially for trees that are not already infested.

Tree Pruning and Removal in Winter

Winter is a great time to prune or remove trees that are in sensitive landscapes, such as turf grass. In the summer, we need to lay down plywood to prevent our equipment from damaging your yard. When the ground is frozen, we can access your tree without damaging your lawn. We don’t need to put down plywood, skipping a step and saving you money.
Another benefit of the ground being frozen is that you avoid putting any dents and divots in the lawn from branches coming down. The frozen ground also allows for cranes and other pieces of heavy equipment to go onto your driveway without damaging it. The frozen earth beneath your driveway makes it much stronger than it is in the summer.

Pruning Lakeshore Trees in Winter

Sometimes trees located along a lake must come down. If there is enough ice to let us use the lake as a work zone, the savings to you the client can be substantial. This window of opportunity doesn’t always exist, and when it does, it is very short. However, when the ice is thicker than 16 inches, we are able to fell trees onto frozen lakes and use Bobcats and small trucks on the ice. We can also use Bobcats to transport debris to a landing rather than attempting to move it up hill. The cold winter we are experiencing may be an opportunity to have lakeside trees removed for a discount.
Spring is just around the corner. Don’t miss your chance to prevent tree disease and save money on tree pruning this winter. Contact Urban Tree & Landscape today to book your consultation.

Prepare Your Trees for Winter Ice Storms

Ice Storm Tree Damage

Though we had a very mild fall in Minneapolis, Old Man Winter has finally arrived. Hardy Minnesotans know frigid weather, snow, and ice are realities this time of year. But while we know how to make the most of our winter weather, our trees often suffer through the season.  Your best bet to protect your home and personal safety is to prepare Your Trees for Winter Ice Storms

Ice and Trees Don’t Mix

Heavy ice can wreak havoc on our urban forests. A single ice storm can completely coat every inch of a tree’s branches, large and small. This adds substantial weight to every branch and bough. Ice greatly increases the risk that a branch will snap under this extra weight.

Violently losing branches is not healthy for your trees. Some trees never recover from losing a major branch to ice. Unfortunately, tree health is the least of our concerns when an ice storm hits. Falling branches can do major damage to your property if they land on your vehicle, shed, or home. Worse still is the threat falling branches pose to people. A falling branch can severely injure or even kill loved ones.

Trimming Can Help Your Trees Weather Ice Storms

While we can’t control the weather, Urban Tree & Landscape can help you prepare your trees for ice storms. Late fall is a good time to check your trees for unhealthy branches that may be susceptible to breaking under extra weight.

During your consultation, we’ll walk your property with you to assess every tree in your urban forest. We’ll point out branches that may not be strong enough to withstand winter weather. Then, we’ll schedule an appointment to come out and trim your trees to safely remove unhealthy branches. After we’ve finished trimming your trees, we’ll pick up your yard so no stray branches are left on your property.

While snow on the boughs of evergreens looks beautiful and helps us welcome in the season, extra weight from snow and ice can damage your urban forest. To keep your trees healthy and thriving this winter, contact Urban Tree & Landscape for a consultation today.

 

Tree Pruning Your Trees in the Fall?

At Urban Tree & Landscape, we thrive on providing the Minneapolis/St Paul and surrounding areas with excellent tree pruning and tree removal.

Should You Prune Your Trees in the Fall?

One of the most common questions we get at Urban Tree & Landscape is if it’s okay to prune trees in the fall. Our answer: it depends! Here’s the advice we give for this perennial inquiry.

When to Prune Healthy Trees

For the health of the trees in question, we usually tell homeowners that the best time to prune their healthy trees is late winter and early spring. Pruning for maintenance is best left for this time of year because the trees are still dormant, and fungi that cause illness in fresh cuts are long gone. Trees that flower in spring can be pruned after their flowers fade.

When to Prune Unhealthy Trees

However, if your tree is damaged or sick, it can pay off to prune the sick or injured branches in late summer or early fall. The weight of the leaves on a dying branch often push these branches down, making them easy to identify and remove.

Why Remove a Tree?

Tree removals are performed when a tree is dying or dead, and has become hazardous to the landscaping and homeowner. Sometimes they are removed to ensure remaining plants can receive the light and space they need to thrive and stay healthy. Other times, they need to be removed to allow for new construction, additions, or for safety reasons.

Urban Tree and Landscape is family-owned and operated by Gabe Tschida. Gabe’s core values of honesty, integrity, and reliability guide every interaction you have with Urban Tree and Landscape. To schedule a tree removal or create a healthy tree maintenance program, contact us today at 612-532-9996 or www.utrees.com.

Tree Care Case Study: Richfield Public Schools

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When you think of school safety, you probably don’t think of trees. But regular tree maintenance and tree care is an important part of the physical safety of everyone who visits a school. Urban Tree and Landscape is proud to partner with the Richfield Public School system to keep their trees pruned, healthy, and safe for students, staff, and visitors. Here’s a look at the work we did for the Richfield school district and how we could help keep your students safe.

Scope of the Tree Maintenance Project

Richfield a first-ring suburb of Minneapolis. It’s a community with an established urban forest. This includes the trees that lend shade, clean air, and beauty to the public schools across the city. The trees on school property are a combination of older trees nearing the end of their life cycles, middle-aged trees with well-developed canopies, and new trees that were just putting down roots.

The school district asked Urban Tree and Landscape to assess the health of their school forests and recommend any needed maintenance. We performed onsite assessments at elementary, middle, and high schools across Richfield.

Our Tree Maintenance and Removal Recommendations

After a comprehensive assessment of each school site, we made several recommendations. Some tree trimming and removal were necessary to protect the safety of students, staff, and visitors. In other cases, we recommended tree removal of hazardous and/or dying trees and trimming to prevent damage to cars in parking lots or bikes on bike racks. Other trees didn’t pose immediate safety threats but required maintenance pruning to maintain the health of the plant.

Urban Tree and Landscape’s Solution for Richfield Public Schools

Over the course of a week, we visited each school site to perform our tree maintenance and removal. Our first step was always to rope off our work area to protect students, staff, and visitors. After performing the needed work, we cleaned up all fallen branches so we didn’t leave a mess behind us. Then, we’d move on to the next school site. When we were done, we had trimmed or removed more than 40 trees.

Urban Tree and Landscape was honored to serve Richfield Public Schools and keep their school grounds safe and beautiful. If you’ve noticed the trees at your school are damaged or looking a little ragged, contact us today. We’d love to learn how we could help.

Should You Prune Your Trees in the Fall?

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One of the most common questions we get at Urban Tree & Landscape is if it’s okay to prune trees in the fall. Our answer: it depends! Here’s the advice we give for this perennial inquiry.

When to Prune Healthy Trees

For the health of the trees in question, we usually tell homeowners that the best time to prune their healthy trees is late winter and early spring while trees are still dormant. Pruning for maintenance is best left for this time of year because the trees are still dormant, and fungi that cause illness in fresh cuts are long gone. Trees that flower in spring can be pruned after their flowers fade.

When to Prune Unhealthy Trees

However, if your tree is damaged or sick, it can pay off to prune the sick or injured branches in late summer or early fall. The weight of the leaves on a dying branch often push these branches down, making them easy to identify and remove.

Light Pruning Is OK in the Fall

While major pruning to alter the structure of your trees should wait until early spring, minor snips and trims to clear out dead branches or young, undesirable shoots can be performed anytime. Feel free to use a clear, crisp fall day to get some light pruning checked off your to-do list.

When to Call in the Pros

Light pruning is fine to tackle on your own. But you should leave major tree trimming and pruning up to Urban Tree & Landscape. We have the equipment, training, and experience to safely prune your trees to promote healthy growth and avoid injuring your urban forest.

For expert help pruning your trees, contact Urban Tree & Landscape today. Our team will visit your property, evaluate the health of your trees, and make recommendations for pruning that will keep them healthy. Depending on your needs, we may recommend thinning the tree’s crown, remove lower branches to raise the tree’s crown up, or clean up dead or dying branches.

Emergency Tree Removal Response for When the Storm Hits

If you’re like us, you’ve been captivated by the images coming back from Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean over the past couple of weeks. Harvey and Irma were both immensely powerful storms. But the response from emergency personnel and citizens was also immense.

In hurricanes, tornadoes, and other high-wind events, trees that have stood for dozens and even hundreds of years can fall, destroying property and putting lives at risk. We’d like to take a moment to share our emergency response protocols with you so you understand what we can do for you and your community when disaster strikes.

  1. We watch the weather.

Seems obvious, but we do take the forecast seriously (even when others don’t). When the meteorologist predicts severe weather, we keep an eye on the radar to pinpoint areas that may need our assistance once the storm passes. We make sure our fleet and equipment are gassed up and in good working order. And we charge up our phones so we’re ready to take your call.

  1. We’ve invested in the equipment and training to remove your damaged and downed trees safely.

Our tree removal experts are trained to safely and effectively trim and remove damaged and dying trees. They utilize a variety of tools to get the job done right, from trimming equipment to remove branches safely to bucket cranes to reach the tree canopy. We even have stump grinding equipment for fast, complete cleanup. Check out a recent tree removal project in Saint Louis Park where we put our equipment to work.

  1. We won’t leave until your property is safe and clean.

We don’t consider our job done until we’ve inspected every tree on your property for damage and disease. Wind storms tend to hit when trees have their full complement of leaves. This makes it very difficult to see if branches are snapped or otherwise damaged. That’s why we take care to inspect each tree before we leave your property. When we’re done, we’ll clean up any remaining leaves and stray branches from your yard so you can enjoy it safely again. Take a look at the work we did for a Wayzata homeowner after a storm.

When the worst storm hits, you can trust Urban Tree & Landscape to keep your family and your property safe. To learn more about our emergency tree removal services or to schedule a consultation, contact us today.

Required Tree Care for the Western Suburbs of Minneapolis

Did you know that your tree care needs change depending on where you live? How you manage your slice of urban forest in the western suburbs is different from how homeowners manage their trees in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Here are the tree care services we most often recommend to homeowners in Plymouth, Wayzata, Maple Grove, and other cities in the west Twin Cities metro.

Structural Pruning for Young Trees

If you live in a newer subdivision, chances are the trees on your property are fairly young. Maybe they’re even newly planted and still require regular watering. Young trees present an exciting opportunity for you. Through regular professional structural pruning, you can guide the growth of your trees, helping them keep a strong, proportionate branch structure that provides beauty and shade for decades.

Power Line and Structure Clearance

For mature trees in more established neighborhoods, Urban Tree recommends pruning to keep your tree’s branches clear of power lines and adjacent structures. Allowing branches to intertwine with power lines or hang over your home or garage poses safety hazards in the event of strong winds or a severe storm.

Hazard Tree and Limb Assessment

However, branches do not need to be perched precariously over your property to be considered hazards. Dead branches and dying trees are more likely to fall or be uprooted by strong winds. Some species, such as silver maples, are more likely to drop branches or be uprooted than others are. We’re often called out to suburban properties to assess trees for potential hazards.

Pest Treatments

Emerald ash borer beetles, termites, yellow-bellied sapsuckers, and deer can all do damage to your trees. Insects and birds drill into the trunk of your tree, weakening it from the inside out, while deer strip off protective bark. We can recommend steps to deter pests and treatments to help a sick tree recover. In extreme cases, we may recommend pruning or even removal.

Seasonal Pruning and Maintenance

Seasonal maintenance is the key to keeping your urban forest healthy and enjoyable for years to come. Schedule your consultation with Urban Tree to assess the trees on your property. After our first visit, we’ll recommend a seasonal schedule that will help your trees grow strong and maintain their beautiful canopies. Contact Urban Tree today to schedule your consultation.