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

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.

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 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.

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.

A Tree Falls in St. Louis Park . . . It’s Time to Call Urban Tree and Landscape for Emergency Tree Service

Summer weather has arrived in Minnesota, which means heat, humidity, and severe weather. Strong winds can do major damage to your property’s trees. Fortunately, most homeowners weather these storms with a few downed branches. But for the unlucky few, severe weather causes major damage to their trees and properties.

Assessing the Tree Damage

This was the case for a St. Louis Park homeowner Urban Tree and Landscape helped last summer after a major storm rolled through the Twin Cities metro area. The homeowner’s property was in an older neighborhood with beautiful, mature trees. Before the storm, the homeowner was the proud owner of about a dozen of these trees.

After the storm was a different story.

We came out to evaluate the damage after the homeowner called Urban Tree and Landscape for emergency tree service. It was obvious that there was a lot of work to do to make the property safe again. A large silver maple had large branches hanging precariously about 30 feet above the ground, and an aging crabapple tree had split nearly down the middle. A young tree in the front yard had been bent by the winds into a dangerous position over the sidewalk. Other trees on the property had lost branches, too.

Performing Tree Triage

Our first step was to remove trees and branches that posed an immediate threat. Sadly, we had to remove the crabapple tree. It was never going to recover from the damage the high winds had caused. We used chainsaws to safely remove the larger branches and process them in our chipper. Then, we used chainsaws to safely cut down the tree’s large trunk and our grinder to remove the tree’s stump.

After the crabapple tree was safely removed, we went to work on the various loosely hanging branches in the canopy of the silver maple and other trees on the property. If left as-is, these branches could have fallen and landed on the home or worse, the homeowner and her family.

Saving a Young Tree from the Chipper

Once the trees and branches that posed immediate danger had been removed, Urban Tree and Landscape went to work on the young tree in the front yard that was bent precariously over the sidewalk. We hate to remove healthy trees when we can avoid it, and this tree seemed to be a good candidate for repair, not removal.

With the homeowner’s blessing, we started the gradual process of pulling the tree back to level. We used ropes and anchors to gently encourage the tree back into place over the next few months. This process is similar to using braces to correct the alignment of your child’s crooked smile. Over time, the tree fully recovered. When we came out to inspect it this spring, it was vertical, healthy, and starting to bud.

Cleaning Up the Property

With the major tree damage mitigated, Urban Tree and Landscape started work on cleaning up the fallen branches on the ground on the homeowner’s property. We removed large debris by hand and raked up the remaining small branches and twigs and processed it all in the chipper.

The emergency tree cleanup in St. Louis Park after a major summer storm was a full day of work for the Urban Tree and Landscape team, but it was absolutely necessary to remove the tree damage quickly so it didn’t do further harm to the homeowner’s property. When the next storm hits the Twin Cities metro area and causes tree damage on your property, contact Urban Tree and Landscape to request emergency tree service.