Is Stump Grinding Worth the Cost?

Stump removal has always been part of tree clearing and removal. If your family has lived in Minnesota for a few generations, chances are your great-grandparents spent significant time hand-grinding tree stumps away to prepare their land for farming. Back then, stump grinding wasn’t a luxury, it was a necessity.

But you’re not farming your backyard (at least, not on the scale your great-grandparents did). Do you really need to grind the stump of the tree you had taken out last month or plan to remove this summer? Is stump removal worth the cost?

We like to think so. Here’s why.

Removing Stumps Keeps Your Urban Forest Healthy

It may seem like the natural thing to leave your stump in place and let nature take its course. But doing so leaves your urban forest vulnerable to the not-so-nice aspects of decay and decomposition. Termites are one of nature’s best decomposers, but they can wreak havoc on your healthy trees, not to mention your home. Same goes for the fungi that will crop up around and in a decaying stump.

Grinding and removing stumps prevents these pests and fungi from taking up residence in your yard and infesting your healthy plants, trees, and home.

Removing Stumps Prevents Zombie Trees

Chopping down and removing a tree often kills the specimen, but not always. Maple trees, elm trees, and willows grow quickly. Often, the stumps of these species can sprout suckers that, left unattended, can grow up to six feet in a single season. You may also find volunteers of these trees turning up in unexpected places in your yard as shoots spring up from the old tree’s root system.

Stump grinding eliminates the chances of zombie trees cropping up in your yard. Grinding the stump into the ground speeds up the decay process for the roots, returning nutrients to the soil without introducing pests into your urban forest.

Stump Grinding Expands Your Landscaping Options

There are only so many randomly placed half-whiskey barrels your landscape design can stand. While putting a planter on top of one tree stump can provide some structure to your landscape, having several starts to look random and out of place. Having stumps in your yard limits what you can plant in your space, too. Removing a tree often creates a new patch of sun and endless gardening possibilities. Getting the stump removed is the first step in creating your next garden bed.

If you’re considering the removal of a tree or two from your urban forest, contact Urban Tree & Landscape. Our professional arborists will safely and completely remove your tree and grind the stump so you can move forward with reshaping your landscape.

Prepare Your Trees for Spring Severe Weather

A large oak tree falls on and into a small house during a storm demolishing its roof

Did you know June is the stormiest summer month in Minnesota? More tornadoes occur in June than in any other time of year. You know to go the basement when the tornado siren blares, but storm preparedness begins well before severe weather is in the forecast. An important and oft-overlooked part of preparing for summer storms is inspecting your urban forest.

Wind poses the greatest threat to your trees during a summer storm. Strong gusts, straight-line winds, and wind shear from a tornado can break branches, split trunks, and tip over an entire tree. Healthy trees with strong root systems and balanced canopies can withstand most winds, but even these specimens can succumb to extreme gusts.

Urban Tree & Landscape recommends making the following tips part of your summer storm preparations.

Walk Your Property and Give Your Trees a Lookover

You’re not an arborist, but there are a few red flags you as a homeowner can look for so you know when to call in the professionals. The State of Georgia has published a good checklist for homeowners. Assess your trees for any damage, including broken branches and splits or cracks in trunks. Look for two or more major stems connecting to the main trunk at the same place, known as codominant branches. Notice whether the leaves of the canopy are uniformly green and healthy, or if there is a section of the canopy that is yellowed or dead.

Check out the base of the tree, too. Observe if the soil is soft and spongy. Look for mushrooms or other signs of fungi. Both are indications of an unhealthy root system.

If you find any damage, dead branches, or signs of disease or fungus, call Urban Tree & Landscape to schedule a consultation. Our certified arborists are experts in spotting damage and disease and will recommend appropriate tree care. Depending on your tree’s issues, we may recommend pruning, branch removal, or the removal of the entire tree.

Keep Your Urban Forest Healthy

Trees are some of the lower maintenance specimens in your landscape. But they still require routine care to keep them strong and healthy. Urban Tree & Landscape can recommend a schedule for fertilizing your trees as well as any required mulching or watering. June is the wettest month of the year, so it’s unlikely your trees will need much watering now. But by late summer and early fall, the weather dries out. Your trees may need a good drink every week.

When you’re preparing for spring storms, don’t forget to include your trees in your preparedness checklist. Urban Tree & Landscape can help you keep your urban forest healthy and strong through storm season. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

Do You Have a Maintenance and Care Plan for Your Urban Forest?

It’s finally springtime in Minneapolis, Minnesota. While we may get a few more snow squalls, at Urban Tree & Landscape, our fingers are crossed that the frigid days are behind us. Maple trees are starting to produce sap for maple sugaring, and it’s possible to see the start of buds on the neighborhood trees.

With greener days ahead of us, it’s time to start thinking about your urban forest. Have the trees on your property survived the winter? Bitter cold, ice storms, and very dry air can all wreak havoc on your trees. From cracking branches and trunks to winterburn from dry air, your urban forest may need a little help this spring.

A maintenance and care plan for the trees on your property can help them recover from the winter and encourage healthy growth through the warmer months. Here are the four elements of a tree maintenance plan with Urban Tree & Landscape.

Full Evaluation of Your Trees

Any maintenance and care plan starts with a full evaluation of every tree on your property. We look for diseased and weak branches, unstable growth patterns, and whether the trees allow clearance for walkways, driveways, power lines, and your home’s roof. We’ll also note the various species and estimated ages of your trees to ensure each specimen has the opportunity to grow to its full potential.

Once we’ve completed our full evaluation, we’ll work with you to take care of any urgent pruning or tree removal needs. Then, we’ll put together a maintenance plan that will include pruning, disease control, and fertilization.

Tree Pruning for Urban and Suburban Trees

Most tree maintenance plans include annual or seasonal tree pruning, depending on the species of the trees in your urban forest. Urban Tree & Landscape may also recommend more frequent pruning to correct an unstable growth pattern or overgrown tree canopy, especially for young trees.

Pruning keeps your trees healthy as they grow. Pruning and trimming also helps keep your property safely free of broken branches and other hazards.

Tree Disease and Pest Control

Trees are living organisms that can become diseased or infested with pests. Both can threaten the life of an otherwise healthy tree. Many tree diseases are fungal or bacterial. Insects such as Emerald Ash Borer can also cause severe damage to ash trees.

We often uncover disease and pests during our full evaluations. Our maintenance plan for your urban forest will include steps to remedy any present disease or pests or preventative measures to make sure they don’t show up in the future.

Tree Fertilization

Trees in a natural forest setting thrive on the rich, organic soil their environment provides. Fallen leaves and downed trees are left to break down and enrich the soil. But urban and suburban trees compete for nutrients with lawns and gardens. Most homeowners are unwilling to leave leaves and other decaying plant matter to collect under the trees in their yards.

This is why our maintenance plans include periodic tree fertilization. Adding nutrients back into the soil under your tree will help it stay healthy for years to come.

Ready for spring? Urban Tree & Landscape is, too! Give us a call today to schedule your tree evaluation and get started on your tree maintenance plan.

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.

 

 

 

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

Customer in Hopkins needed a Stump Removed

Whether you’ve just removed a tree or have had a stump sitting in your front yard for years, stump grinding is an integral part of managing your small slice of the urban forest. Grinding processes the remaining tree trunk into small chips that quickly biodegrade into the soil. This gets rid of habitat for pests like termites and bees while returning the tree’s footprint back to your yard.

You may think you can remove tree and shrub stumps yourself. But grinding stumps is tough work without the heavy-duty tools you need to do the job right. Save yourself time, effort, and frustration and call Urban Tree and Landscape first.

Urban Tree and Landscape is a full-service tree company serving the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. We help property owners manage their urban forests, from tree trimming and pruning to tree and shrub removal and stump grinding.  Our tree care maintenance and disease control program allows your trees to thrive as they mature into a canopy that adds shade and beauty you can enjoy all summer long.

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. To schedule a stump removal or create a healthy tree maintenance program, contact Urban Tree & Landscape today at 612-532-9996 or www.utrees.com.