Ice Dams in Minnesota

Ice dams are a common occurrence in Minnesota.  They form most frequently when we have frequent, heavy snow falls combined with temperature swings between 0 and 20 degrees Fahrenheit.  Ice dams can form very quickly.  One or two days of the right conditions is enough time for an ice damn to form, and water to start leaking  into the house.  Ice dams can be avoided by clearing the snow from the edge of the roof with a snow rake.  There are also electronic heaters that can be installed to melt ice dams before they grow and become a problem.  Most homes are not equipped with the heaters, and many people do not know about the potential dangers ice dams pose until they have water coming into their house as a result of one.

How ice dams form

For an ice dam to form we need to get a few inches of snow on the roof.  Poor insulation and/or warmer temperatures will cause the majority of the roof to become warmer than 32 degrees and start melting the snow and turning it into water.  This water will run down the roof and into the gutters.  However, the edge of the roof above the soffits is colder than 32 degrees.  The gutters are usually colder than 32 degrees too.  This is where the water becomes frozen, forming a dam along the edge of the roof and completely filling the gutters and downspouts with ice.

What to do if you have an ice dam?

If you see an ice dam forming on your house it is imperative that you deal with it quickly.  Monitor the interior of the building in the immediate vicinity of the ice dam.  If you have water coming in call an ice dam removal expert, water damage mitigation contractor, and your insurance company.  If there isn’t any water coming in have a professional remove the snow from the roof above the dam.  This will cut off the water supply to the ice dam, and it may melt away without any major problems.  If water starts to enter the house the ice dam needs to be removed as soon as possible to mitigate the damage to the structure.  Call an ice dam removal expert to remove the ice dam using low pressure steam.

How we remove ice dams

We remove ice dams from building s using low pressure steam.  This allows us to melt the ice dam off the building without damaging the roof.  We send a 2-3 person crew that will perform all aspects of the project.  We steam off the ice dam so that the water mitigation people can begin their work.  We remove snow from above the ice dam, if the snow is not removed from above the ice dam it will likely form again in a short period of time.   We make sure that the water generated during the steaming process is properly diverted to an area where it will not cause damage.

Warnings and disclaimers

Only trained professionals should perform these tasks!  Falling from a roof or ladder can be fatal!  Roofs are inherently dangerous.  Roofs covered in snow and ice are even more dangerous.  Only trained professionals with the proper training and safety equipment should perform these tasks.  Do not try to pry or break the ice dam, you will do major damage to the roof!

ICE DAM ONLINE EXAMPLES  

 

3 reasons to grind your tree stump after a tree is removed

Stump GrindingsIf you’ve ever had a tree removed in Golden Valley, Minnetonka, St. Louis Park or any other part of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area, you are well aware that despite the tree being gone, the stump is still there.

And that stump is an eye sore.

Have you ever wondered why the stump isn’t removed at the same time as the tree? The simple reason is that stump removal typically involves different tools and is often performed by a different crew than the one who removed the tree.

Another question you might ask yourself is if you have to grind the stump rather than simply have it removed from the ground.

You could have it pulled out, but in these parts, grinding has replaced the practice of removing stumps. The reason is because grinding is easier, quicker and less stressful on the surrounding environment.

And, you should leave the grinding to the professionals like Urban Tree to ensure it’s done correctly and safely.

Grinding the stump also provides you with the following benefits:

  1. Unwanted tree growth – if stumps stick around, they can spawn new trees through its roots. Once those new trees sprout, they can become unruly and difficult to remove.
  2. Mulch – you can use the woodchips from the ground up stump for mulch around other trees and shrubs in your yard.
  3. Safety – tree stumps can be quite hazardous in your yard, especially to kids running around. Remove the stump and remove the hazard.

The professionals at Urban Tree use special equipment that grinds the stump in a non-invasive and efficient way. We don’t disrupt your landscape or nearby structures.

If you have a stump that you’d like to remove, please give us a call. We’ll get the job done quickly and safely.

 

 

 

 

Ice, Snow and Your Tree’s Health

Ice Damaged TreeWe usually talk about – and experience – snowstorms as opposed to ice storms in these parts, but that’s not to say we haven’t seen our fair share of ice storms in St. Paul, Mendota Heights, Eagan and the like. And as beautiful as an ice storm might look from the comfort of your home, the ice not only wreaks havoc on the roads, but potentially, also, on your trees.

Ice buildup on trees can increase the weight of a tree’s branches by 30 times. That’s a lot of weight, to be sure, which can cause a lot of damage.

Ice can cause branches to snap and break, or even cause a tree to topple over altogether, which can, in turn, damage your home, your deck or even injure someone in its path.

What to do if ice or snow builds up on your tree’s branches

If you see a lot snow or ice on the branches of your trees, the best thing to do, as long as the branches are not damaged, is to let them be. As the weather improves, the branches should return to their normal state naturally.

This is true even if the branches are completely drooped over and you have the urge to shake the snow off the tree. Believe it or not, it’s best to leave the tree be unless it’s covered in light, fluffy snow. While you might have the best intentions in mind, shaking any branches coated in ice or snow can cause damage or even breakage. What’s more, knocking the ice off of a tree can cause it to snap back suddenly, potentially damaging the tree’s circulation.

On the other hand, if you have trees with branches that broke or snapped due to snow and ice, you will want to trim those branches leaving a clean cut. If you simply leave it as a break, the tree will not heal naturally and will risk decay.

Of course, if the branches are up too high and out of reach for you to safely trim yourself, please call a professional so you can avoid injury. In fact, winter time is a perfectly safe time to prune trees.

And, to prevent damage before it’s a threat, call a professional tree service company like Urban Tree to prune your trees. We can provide you a free estimate and determine which trees should be pruned now as opposed to waiting.

So here’s to winter, some snow, minimal ice and healthy trees in St. Paul, Minneapolis and the entire metropolitan area.

Why and When to Trim Your Trees in Minneapolis

Minneapolis Tree RemovalYou knew it would happen. Summer turned to autumn, and soon autumn will turn to winter. With the impending cold season on the horizon, you probably have a list of chores to do around the house.

Is trimming your trees on the list?

If not, maybe it should be.

If you have trees in your yard with unruly, exceptionally long branches, and you find yourself regularly picking up sticks and twigs from those trees, something needs to be done.

Why?

Because trimming your tree’s branches is not only healthy for the tree, but also it makes it look much better and increases the safety around the tree.

First, let’s talk about the health of the tree. Removing any dead matter makes room for the tree to grow new, healthy branches and leaves. What’s more, trimming the tree enables it to develop a healthier root system instead of using its resources to combat disease and pests.

A healthy tree is always much better to look at than a sick one.

What’s more, if you have a tree with branches hanging over your home or into the power lines, you should trim those branches for safety reasons.

Many branches can snap and fall due to high winds, and with the winter’s approach, you don’t want to worry about the weight of snow or ice causing those branches to break. A falling branch can injure an unsuspected person or damage your house.

Plus, any tree debris on the ground from the tree can be a hazard to pedestrians, too.

When to trim your trees

It’s always a good idea to leave the tree trimming to the professionals like Urban Tree & Landscape. You can have it done any time of the year, although winter is a great time to trim your trees. With the ground frozen, crews can access your tree without damaging your yard. Plus, there is no need to put down plywood, which saves you money.

If you have a tree or trees in your yard that need trimming, please give us a call a 612-532-9996. We’d love to come out, take a look and give you a free estimate.

Want to Avoid Summer Storm Damage? Take Care of Your Trees Now, While the Weather’s Fine

July is a beautiful month in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Golden Valley. The sun’s out, it’s warm, and many of us spend the weekend at the cabin or out on the lake. Storms are far from your mind, and that’s exactly why you should take care of your trees now.

Summer severe weather is unpredictable. You could spend most of the day out on the boat, then rush to shore to avoid a sudden thunderstorm. Because summer storms give little warning, it makes sense to do a little work now to avoid major damage when a storm rolls through. Trimming your trees now, when the weather’s fine, can save thousands of dollars in storm damage later.

Potential Dangers Lurking in Your Backyard

If you’re the caretaker of an urban forest, then you know how nerve-wracking high winds can be. If you’re home during a storm, you probably spend most of the time looking out at your backyard, wondering how your trees can take such a brutal battering.

Trees are resilient plants. But even they have their limits. Decayed or hollow limbs, cracks in the trunk, and overgrown branches hanging precariously over your house are all potential storm damage risks. Trees that are structurally compromised by rot or a large crack are particularly susceptible to wind and storm damage. Large limbs that overhang structures are more likely to cause damage than those over your lawn.

Tree Trimming to Mitigate Storm Damage

Fortunately, you can avoid many of these risks by investing in tree trimming and pruning now, when a storm has yet to form on the horizon. Ask the experts at Urban Tree and Landscape to come out to your property and assess your urban forest. We’ll check your trees for signs of decay, trunk cracks, and overgrown canopies.

After sharing our findings with you, we’ll discuss a plan to trim, prune, and if required, remove trees that could cause damage to your property during a storm. Once you sign off on the work, we’ll schedule a time for our expert crew to complete the trimming, pruning, and removal. We’ll leave your property safer, cleaner, and even more beautiful than we found it.

Remember to stay sky-aware this summer. Though the weather’s nice now, a severe storm could be looming over the horizon. Keep your property and your family safe by trimming your trees now, before the next storm rolls through. Contact Urban Tree and Landscape for your consultation today.

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

Spring has technically arrived in the Twin Citiesl. 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 some 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.

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.

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. Contact Urban Tree & Landscape today at 612-532-9996 or www.utrees.com

How stump grinding helps homeowners in Minneapolis and St. Paul

Tree stumps not only are an eye-sore, they also can attract unwanted pests, creating a nice home for them. So, if you have a stump on your property because you recently removed a large tree, or if the stump’s been there for a while and you are tired of looking at it, consider having it removed with our stump grinding service.

You might ask yourself, “Why grind the stump rather than just pull it out?”

Grinding has replaced the practice of removing stumps in urban areas like Golden Valley, Minneapolis, St. Paul and the rest of the metro area. It’s easier, quicker and less stressful on the surrounding environment. And it is something that should be left for the professionals to do.

In fact, our special equipment grinds the stump in an efficient and non-invasive manner so that we don’t disrupt plants, shrubs or structures nearby.

Our clients experience other benefits from stump grinding:

  1. Mulch for garden and other areas – once the stump is ground out, the remaining woodchips can be used for mulch around your other trees and shrubs. And while the woodchips from the deeper part of the stump are mixed with soil and aren’t very attractive as mulch, they do make excellent compost for use in your garden beds.
  2. No unwanted tree growth – stumps can spawn new trees through its roots, and once those new trees sprout, they can become a nuisance and difficult to remove. Grinding the stump prevents this from happening.
  3. Safety – although they can be big and quite obvious, tree stumps are still a safety hazard in your yard, especially if you have kids running around. The hazard is removed with the stump.

It’s never a bad time to think about grinding an unwanted stump, and scheduling an appointment to do so is easy. Give us a call and we’ll come out to your property and give you a free estimate.

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.