Invasive Shot Hole Borer Affecting California’s Trees

The polyphagous shot hole borer is a recently introduced, non-native beetle that is having a devastating impact on landscapes, forests and agriculture in southern California. This insect pest bores into trees, creating galleries where it feeds and lays eggs. Wood boring insects are known for being destructive to trees as their activity inside the tree disrupts the flow of water and nutrients. The polyphagous shot hole borer is especially damaging because it also introduces a pathogenic fungus that rapidly kills trees.

This pest has dozens of host plants so they are broken down into three categories:

Non-hosts: beetle attacks the plant and is repelled without fungal introductionFungal hosts: beetle introduces the lethal fungus, but does not reproduceTrue hosts: beetle introduces the lethal fungus and reproduces successfully
symptoms of shot hole borer
Small holes surrounded by wet bark indicate a shot hole borer infestation.

True hosts are plentiful and include many native California trees such as coast, valley, and Englemann oaks, sycamore, big-leaf maple, boxelder and blue palo verde. Non-native true hosts in the same region include several other oak and maple species, avocado, coral tree, camellia, acacia and many others.

Infested trees will have multiple small, round entry holes. These holes are often surrounded by white crust, wet bark, or both.

Since management options for this insect/pathogen combination are still being researched, regular monitoring to identify infestations is currently the best course of action. Trees that are severely infested should be removed.


The post Invasive Shot Hole Borer Affecting California’s Trees first appeared on Tree Topics.

Why Should You Consider Hiring Professional Tree Services?

hire tree services, why hire tree services

It is no easy task to keep up with the ever-demanding needs of a house. There are several DIY jobs you can do around the yard. However, tree services are something that is best left to the professionals. This is especially true for tree pruning service. You should not undertake tree removal or stump grinding on your own as well.

These are a few reasons why you should consider hiring tree care experts to take care of your yard.

Tree Work is Rife with Hazards

Tree work is among the most dangerous chores around the house. You can find it difficult to identify tree hazards especially when undertaking chopping tasks. Most trees don’t show outwardly signs of damage. However, they can still present a danger. An experienced arborist knows the kind of signs to watch out for.

They know which tree is diseased and with what. They know if a tree is decaying on the inside while still looking vibrant outside. You may not realize that the tree in your yard is almost rotted. But, a tree care expert would know that. Often, tree care requires working with overhead power lines or other similar hazards. You don’t want to undertake these jobs on your own.

Professionals Have Deep Tree Knowledge

Different tree species in DFW area have different needs. You don’t just need extensive knowledge of tree biology. But, you also need to have an in depth knowledge of the various techniques in tree care. You may end up damaging the tree if you don’t know what it needs. Sometimes, incorrect care can do more harm than good. Some things are best left to the professionals and tree care is one of them. This is particularly relevant where watering, mulching, planting, trimming, and removal is concerned.

Experience Matters with Trees

There are several tasks that require an experienced tree care expert. Tree removal or trimming is not as easy it looks. There is a lot to it than just sawing off branches. You shouldn’t let a tree branch fall just anywhere. It could cause property damage or personal injury. It takes a certified arborist to understand the nature of a tree and take adequate precautions while performing a task.

For instance, during tree removal the tree care expert would use a combination of ropes and tools. At the same time, while trimming, the professional would know which cuts to use and how much to trim. They will also identify potential signs of injury or damage to the tree. Professionals know how to keep an eye out for insects, pests, infections, and diseases. Improper pruning has been known to kill a tree. Professional tree services will make sure your trees remain healthy and vibrant.

The post Why Should You Consider Hiring Professional Tree Services? appeared first on Chippers Tree Service.

How to Make Leaning Trees Straight?

leaning trees, leaning tree
Nobody ever wants a leaning tree in their yard. They want their trees to grow tall and straight. This is where tree cabling and bracing comes in helpful because Mother Nature always has other ideas. Wind, snow, rain, and storms can cause the best and strongest of trees to develop a lean. Younger trees are particularly susceptible to tilting and growing in a leaning fashion.

Should You Cable and Brace?

To stake or not to stake is a major dilemma faced by most tree care experts. Arborists believe that trees grow best when they are not cabled or braced. However, there are several circumstances in which guying or staking is the only thing that would prevent the tree from leaning or getting uprooted. You should get a professional in to have a look at your trees to check whether cabling and bracing is required or not. Generally, this method is employed on thin stemmed trees that may bend because of the canopy weight or newly purchased trees that have small root balls.

Straightening a Tree

You would want to stake a tree if you want to support it temporarily. This is until the tree’s natural root system can take over. Never leave cabling and bracing equipment in place for more than one growing season. It’s paramount to bring in a professional for the job since they know exactly how much guy rope or stakes to be used per tree.

This is especially important if working on a young tree with a fragile bark. These barks can get sliced or chafed with the wrong type of rope or guy wire. You may end up damaging the tree beyond repair if you put it through too much distress.

Straightening a Tree by Uprooting It

Homeowners should never attempt to uproot a tree on their own, regardless of how young it is. You don’t want to upset the root system. You may just end up killing the tree in your effort of rectifying its lean. It is always recommended to work with a professional tree care expert in such situations. There are several rules that need to be followed while straightening a tree which has been uprooted.

For instance, you need to make sure that at least a third of the root system remains planted in the ground. Exposed roots of the leaning tree should not be overly damaged and must be left undisturbed. You should remove as much soil as possible from the exposed roots and straighten the tree gently. Replant the tree below grade level and pack the soil firmly. The situation is hopeless if the tree is lying on the ground with firmly planted roots.

The post How to Make Leaning Trees Straight? appeared first on Chippers Tree Service.

Are Your Trees Healthy? 3 Signs to Watch Out For

are your trees healthy, expert advise


You can easily forget trees as part of the annual yard maintenance. This is why at Chippers Tree Service we always ask our clients to take a look around their yard. Are your trees healthy? We routinely ask our clients this question. Most people are unaware of the signs of a diseased, damaged or sickly tree until it’s too late.

In fact, most DFW homeowners forget about their trees as long as the leaves stay green and the tree continues to offer shade on hot sunny days. Your tree adds value to your property. You can protect your investment and ensure the trees are as healthy as possible by looking for signs of damage early on.

These are the three signs of a health tree:

Single Central Trunk

Your tree should not have a forked trunk or a twisted trunk. There should be a single trunk that helps keeping the tree stable and strong. You cannot do much about this in mature trees. However, having an arborist involved while your tree is growing can prevent this from happening later on.

New Growth

All trees should be producing new growth each year. However, there are always exceptions to this rule. Look up the tree species and research the growth pattern. You can also call tree care experts to know more about your tree’s health.

Full and Wholesome Branches

Diseases and pests are invited to enter the tree when the branches break away or are snapped in half. You should always eliminate all broken or dead branches at the first sign. Dormant branches can be tested by bending them gently to check whether they snap easily. Only dead branches will break away when bent. Living branches tend to snap back in shape.

Why Should You Care for Trees?

There are several reasons to care for your trees. It is not just because they add value to your property or make your yard look more beautiful. They also offer several benefits to the environment that helps in making the world a better place for everyone.

You get to enjoy cleaner air when your trees are healthy and vibrant. You also save on energy bills since you don’t need to use the HVAC system that often with trees shading your house. You can also benefit from reduced soil erosion because of storm. Trees tend to increase ground water by reducing storm water run-off.

Signs of an Unhealthy Tree

Now that you know the signs of a healthy tree, you should also know what an unhealthy tree is like. The answer to “are your trees healthy?” is negative if there are cracks, cavities or holes in the limbs. The same holds true if there are bare patches or leaf free branches.

The post Are Your Trees Healthy? 3 Signs to Watch Out For appeared first on Chippers Tree Service.

Difference Between Tree Bracing And Cabling

tree bracing, tree bracing and cabling differences


Tree bracing and cabling may offer similar outcome but tend to serve different purposes. Mature trees go a long way in protecting property, people, and wildlife. Trees act as a natural sunblock for people looking for some fresh air on a warm sunny day.

They also act as a shield during the cold winter months or during a storm. However, you may need to employ tree cabling and bracing techniques to protect your tree. Tree bracing in particular is a popular approach to preserving a tree’s health in DFW area.

There are several causes for a tree becoming weak. It can be due to:

Type of treeAge of the treeGrowth patternWeight of foliageStorm or wind damageInadequate careInfestation of disease or insects

Trees can start displaying a variety of health conditions as a result of the above mentioned conditions. In such situations, the tree is unable to support its own weight and it at a risk of toppling over. Some of the more common signs that we ask all our clients to look out for are:

Splitting trunkVisible leaningBroken or cracked branchesUnnatural swayingAudible creaking or cracking

There are two main approaches to supporting the weight of trees that show these signs – tree cabling and bracing. The difference between the two is explained in detail below.

Tree Cabling

Tree cabling is usually reserved for the upper canopy. It involves installation of steel rods between primary or major branches. The rods work to reallocate structural stress between the connected branches. Cabling allows for natural movement and swaying to a major extent between these branches. There is also a decreased risk of damage during storms or severe weather conditions.

Tree Bracing

Tree bracing is usually applied in the lower parts of the tree. It involves the installation of rods below and above the damaged area in an invasive way. Tree bracing helps in securing cracks or splits in tree trunks at major junctions. Tree bracing is highly invasive and more rigid. Swaying and natural movement of the tree is restricted to a major extent.

Choosing Between the Two

Generally, tree bracing and cabling are performed in conjunction with each other. However, you should have a professional tree bracing take a look at the damaged tree and make a decision. It is important to diagnose the condition of the tree before recommending the best course of action.

We usually begin the tree bracing and cabling process by assessing the structural soundness of the tree. We take a look at the existing decay, infestation, and root system. This is followed by a quick determination of whether bracing and cabling will be beneficial to the tree or not. If not, we usually recommend removing the tree completely.

The post Difference Between Tree Bracing And Cabling appeared first on Chippers Tree Service.

Winter Tree Care Tips from Dallas Tree Service Professionals

dallas tree service professionals, dallas tree service professionals tips
Texas winters are not as bitter or cold as the rest of the country. However, there are a few steps you can take to protect your trees from withering and dying. As leading Dallas tree service professionals we are often asked about how to care for trees in winters. For instance, you should consider winters as the perfect time for Dallas tree trimming.

The trees are in hibernation mode and don’t mind getting cuts. Risk of infection and infestation is also lowered during winters because of reduced tree sap. It’s vital that you keep an eye on your trees during the entire winter season to make them ready for spring bloom. There are a lot of costly issues that can occur if the tree feels stressed.

Trees Experience Cold Stress

Many people are unaware that their trees feel cold in a manner similar to the way humans experience it. They can become stressed when the weather turns frigid or cold. There is variety of ways for cold stress to take root. It usually occurs when there is a rapid temperature change after daytime heat. Nighttime temperature drops are famous in DFW area and can cause the bark of a tree to crack. This leaves the tree open to a number of risks. If not taken care of, the tree bark may contract infection in springtime as well.

Winter Drought Is a Major Problem

In Texas, there are various trees, including evergreen ones that are at a risk of drying during the winter months. Trees cannot absorb water from the hard, cold, compact ground during winters. Windy conditions are a thing to worry as well. Mulch can go a long way in this case to retain moisture.

Prevent Broken Branches

The weight of hail and excessive rain can result in broken tree branches. This can cause a safety hazard for both you and your family. Tree branches are highly vulnerable to breaking during the winters. This is especially true for deciduous trees or the ones that shed their leaves during autumn. You should have a professional take a look at your tree during winters to ascertain whether everything is alright or not.

Take Steps for Rodent Infestation

Rabbits, mice and other rodents tend to visit yards during winters while foraging for food. Critters have no other choice but to chew on tree barks as food becomes scarce. This can cause extensive damage to the trees during winter months. There are several humane ways of preventing rodents from feasting on your vulnerable trees. You can also have local Dallas tree service professionals take a look at your property to identify trees that are most at risk of being damaged by rodents.

The post Winter Tree Care Tips from Dallas Tree Service Professionals appeared first on Chippers Tree Service.

Always check our latest articles at…