Is Root Pruning Necessary?

unruly roots

Keeping tree roots under control

When you think of pruning a tree, it probably isn’t tree root pruning that you’re thinking about. In fact, you’re probably wondering why would you prune tree roots and Is tree root pruning safe?  Unless you’re an arborist or expert landscaper, you may not realize that tree root pruning is sometimes necessary when transplanting a tree. 

Tree root pruning is done to prepare a tree for transplanting, it minimizes any damage to the root system during the process. Without tree root pruning, or if is not done correctly, the excavation can damage the root, causing great harm and affect the tree’s health and structural stability. 

We are going to look into the process of tree root pruning in this article, but first, do you know Why do tree roots come to the surface? After all, they’re supposed to be underground, right? Well, there are as many reasons tree roots come to the surface as there are trees, well almost. 

Poor soil conditions is the most common reason, especially for some types of trees like poplars and ornamental cherries. A heavy clay or soil that compacted and lacks air and moisture will force the roots to surface in search of air and moisture. No, adding soil on top of the tree roots isn’t the answer. Too much soil, the tree will suffocate. Tree root pruning is the only solution, but if not done properly, it can kill the tree.  

So, is tree root pruning safe?

Dealing with tree roots is tricky because one improper cut can affect the water flow of the tree or weaken the tree and it falls during a high wind or storm.  The following is a recommended guideline on safe tree root pruning: 

  • Do not prune tree roots that are wider than two inches. This can affect the tree’s health or make it unstable because it isn’t able to get enough of the moisture and nutrients it needs. 
  • Never remove any tree roots that are next to the tree or fused to the tree trunk. These are critical to the structure of the tree.
  • Tree root pruning should be done in the early spring or winter. 
  • Never do tree root pruning more than twenty percent of tree roots that are above the ground. 
  • Wait 2 to 3 years between tree root pruning to allow the tree to recover. 

Will pruning a tree stop growth?

When done correctly by a professional arborist, no, pruning a tree will keep the tree healthy and in good condition. Tree pruning conserves the energy a tree needs and manages the shape and size of the tree, keeping it looking neat and tidy. A regular tree pruning is essential for a tree to have optimum health.

How do you cut a tree root without killing the tree?

We love having trees as a natural ornament for the lawn and the shade they provide. They block the wind and provide birds, critters, and more a refuge. So keeping trees healthy and growing, we need to care for the roots too. That is where tree root pruning comes into the care of trees.

The downside of trees is when the roots are active and strong, they invade underground utilities, house foundations, and tangle up with other tree roots and vegetation. Tree root pruning will prevent the roots from causing these problems, but it has to be done correctly with care so that the tree itself isn’t compromised.  

If you can’t hire an arborist for your tree root pruning, the following steps will help you DIY: 

  • Step One: Water around the tree too thoroughly to dampen the ground, making it soften. Let the water to seep in and then wait for the soil to partially dry where it is still damp.
  • Step Two: Loosen the top layer using a hand trowel to overturn it, feeling for the roots as you go so that you don’t stab them with the trowel blade.
  • Step Three: By hand, remove the soil and set aside, scooping out along the sides and under the tree roots. If the soil is compacted, use the trowel with care. 
  • Step Four: Cut the tree root ends with clean cuts, using a root saw, getting no closer than 3 times what the tree trunk’s diameter. Stop when the roots is the diameter of your fist and larger and only remove one-third of the roots.
  • Step Five: Dig a trench in front of the tree roots you prune, and implant a root barrier made of concrete, metal, or strong plastic. 
  • Step Six: Return the soil you set aside to the trench and cover the remaining tree roots and the root barrier you just implanted. If the soil around the tree is unhealthy, mix the soil you set aside with compost and peat. In six weeks, add fertilizer and compact the soil to ground level and water thoroughly.

How do you prune a tree for transplanting?

When you transplant a tree, it requires interfering with tree roots and there is a lot of responsibility that comes with this process. If the tree roots aren’t cut right, the tree can be damaged or even kill it. Root Prep: Because you can’t transplant a tree and keep all of the roots, tree root pruning is required, but in a way that will create a root ball.  Here are the recommended steps to safely do the required tree root pruning for transplanting:

  • Measure the tree’s diameter with a measuring tape, four feet above tree’s base and divide that by 3.14. Generally, a tree that is 3 feet in diameter, you should do tree root pruning no closer than nine feet. 
  • Do not cut tree roots that are bigger than two inches wide or two inches in diameter. Call a professional for tree root pruning for any roots larger. 
  • Plan your tree root pruning by when you’re planning to transplant the tree. If your transplant time is between October and November, your tree root pruning should be done after the leaves have come out during the summer. For springtime transplanting, your tree root pruning should be one in the late fall or early winter. Six months is the optimum waiting period between tree root pruning and the transplanting.

The tree roots pruning steps:

  • Determine the new root ball size – typically is ten to twelve inches to each inch of the tree’s trunk diameter.
  • Draw a circle around the exterior of the tree that is the size of the root ball.
  • Twenty fours prior to the plan tree root pruning, water the soil around the tree.
  • Using a sharp spade, cut one foot deep into the ground along the circle you drew.

Can you damage a tree by pruning it?

Tree pruning can be as tricky as tree root pruning. So, before you do any tree pruning, you need to understand the principles of tree pruning and tree growth. Keep in mind that with every cut, the tree is wounded. However, with correct tree pruning, the tree will seal the wound, preventing disease and insects from infiltering the interior of the tree. 

Here are some things that professional arborists and tree pruning experts warn you to avoid: 

Even one branch cut wrong will reflect a poor pruning job. These are examples of bad cuts: 

  • STUB CUTS: Leaving a branch stub that won’t allow the tree to seal and keep disease and insects out.
  • FLUSH CUTS: This is when you remove the branch collar, an area that is little bit larger around the branch base and prevents the tree from sealing up, thus creating a callus.
  • HEADING CUTS: This is when the branch end is taken off at a random point and leaves the tree open to disease and insects.
  • TOPPING:  This is the worst thing you can do to a tree because it requires some cutting of the main trunk, the most important part of a tree. In response, the tree will put out “water sprouts” branches as a natural response to being stressed. This results in an ugly tree.
  • LARGE BRANCHES: Pruning tree branches that have a diameter more than  4 inches can cause wounds on the tree that it can’t seal and heal. Instead, to remove a tree branch with a large diameter, cut it to the trunk.
  • TAILING: This results in a lot of interior branches visible and foliage growing at branch ends. 
  • The CROWN: It can be tempting to over prune a tree when it hasn’t been pruned in a long time. Prune just a little at a time, not a bunch all at once. 
  • TREE BARK: Damaging the bark while pruning a tree can be fatal for the tree. Avoid dropping or tossing branches through the crown and use only proper tree pruning tools and methods. 

What is the best tool for cutting tree roots?

You’ll need some type of saw for tree root pruning process, especially larger roots. You can use a chain or manual operated saw that can cut through any size after digging out around the root with a shovelA reciprocating or sawzall will work  and won’t require any digging around the tree roots. 

Root bundle of knocked over tree

Does pruning a tree stop root growth?

This is a question that supports the advice of arborist and landscapers, anyone that is going to do tree pruning or tree root pruning must know how to do tree root pruning and tree pruning. Yes, pruning a tree will affect the root growth some, it is a live tissue. A tree loses some of its ability to produce food when active branches are pruned, so care must be implemented when pruning a tree just as when you do tree root pruning. 

Tree root pruning and tree pruning should be done by a knowledgeable person. You wouldn’t let just anyone cut your hair, right? Think of tree root pruning and tree pruning as the hair on your landscape. Hiring a professional is well worth the expense. Call 817-882-6499 today for tree root pruning in Fort Worth, TX.

Can You Over Fertilize a Tree?

big strong tree growing in field

So, what is fertilization?

Most people tend to follow the thought process that trees are nature and nature will take care of them, meaning, there is no need to worry about feeding, watering, etc. However, when it comes to trees around your home, or special trees that you want to see at the full potential, tree fertilization is something we need to pay special attention. 

Tree fertilization is the process of maintaining trees in according the various conditions they are planted to increase their resistance to diseases, injuries, and insects. The soil is tested to determine the health conditions for any deficiency and then fertilized, as necessary. Read on as we discuss things like how to fertilize a tree and answer common questions about the subject, providing information about tree fertilization and tree health. 

What helps trees grow faster?

The early life stages of a tree are the most important, just like a human. Their lifespan will be determined by the care they are given during the first few seasons. Their shape and how strong they will be are predetermined during those times. It takes a lot of energy for a young tree to establish its roots and with their susceptibility to drought and heat, it requires special attention to tree care by you in maintaining their environment. In addition to tree fertilization, the following are just as important: 

  • Watering: The best irrigation for trees is a deep and slow application of water and a structured schedule. The soil should be damp not soggy and allowed to dry out for a short period so that oxygen can  penetrate the soil. When a structured watering schedule is combined with good mulching routine, the watering becomes more effective. This can be done by spreading natural mulch around the tree as a layer of protection from extreme temperatures and maintain the right moisture content. Mulch helps minimize the tree roots from competing with weeds. 
  • Protection: A young tree needs to be protected from animals, chemicals, equipment, and wind the first five to seven years. Using a tree shelter is similar to a greenhouse type of environment that promotes the growth and is available in various sizes. 
  • Disease Control and Pruning: Lastly, taking care to control and prevent disease along with good pruning practices are important in healthy tree growth. The right timing and tools are important when it comes  to pruning. A constant in tree health is fighting diseases and pests. Inquire with the local Cooperative Extension Service for the particular diseases and insects that may plague your areas. 

Should newly planted trees be fertilized?

As we mentioned earlier, the first few seasons of a new tree fertilization and protection are the most important, and none more important than that first growing season. Use of a high nitrogen fertilizer is absolutely NOT needed. During the growing season, using a root stimulators or half the suggested amount of a slow release organic fertilizer is sufficient. The second growing season use a slow releasing fertilizer three to four times a year, but never should an herbicide containing fertilizer be used near the root system. 

What fertilizer is best for trees?

There are two types of fertilizers: 

  • Fast-release: A water-soluble fertilizer that releases the nutrients quickly and in well-draining soils, like sand,  this fertilizer may move too quickly past the root system, washing away  after a few inches of irrigation or rainfall. In a clay soil, it will leach slower, but the runoff is usually greater.
  • Slow-release: With an extended release of nitrogen, excellent for newly planted trees, or for an area where runoff is highly possible. 

It is recommended to test the soil’s level of phosphorus and potassium, but in general, fertilizer with a count of 12-4-8, 12-6-6 or 16-4-8 offer what trees typically need. 

small tree with fertilizer

How much fertilizer do trees need?

The proportion of fertilizers is indicated on the label, stating the available nutrients and breakdown of the formulations. The following are the general recommendations by experts for application for a tree fertilization program.  

  • Testing of foliage and soil may indicate specific nutrient requirements and those results should be followed. 
  • Best fertilizing time is from late April and no later than early May, for trees that are dormant, fertilizing in late fall is acceptable. Spreading the recommended amount and type of fertilizer evenly across the soil surface with the amount of nitrogen applied at three  pounds per 1,000 square feet. 
  • Do not use fertilizer with herbicides and use a nitrogen content of 12% to 30%, with 3% to 12% phosphorus and potassium. 
  • The application rate of fertilizer should be  based on the root area with roots that are beyond the branches typically at  1.5 times the branch spread’s diameter.

How do you deep fertilize a tree?

Deep root tree fertilization is done by sticking a pipe down into the soil eight to twelve inches deep, and then apply a pressured squirt of fertilizer into the ground. By injecting the fertilizer with pressure through the pipe, the theory is that fertilizer will go in deep where the tree roots are located, getting the “medicine” to the roots. 

Can you over fertilize a tree? 

Absolutely, yes, it is possible to overdo tree fertilization is possible. Applying a high level of quick-release nitrogen will burn tree roots and when applied in a spray, it can burn any foliage.  A fertilizer high in phosphorus or potassium can create excessive soil salts which trees are not always able to tolerate. Need help finding the best fertilizer method for your tree? Call 817-882-6499 today!

Do Webworms Affect Tree Health?

webworms on a leaf

What are webworms?

Have you noticed these spiderweb looking bags in trees lately, usually toward the end of the branches.  Those are webworms, frequently confused with bagworms, and no, they are not the same.  Fortunately, there isn’t really a webworm treatment, but, so that you don’t just have to look at them, there are ways to get rid of them for this season. That is what we’ll discuss today. 

From June till August, common here in Texas and found all through North America, you’ll find these ugly web bags hanging from trees. This native pest came to us during World War II from Europe. If they are having a busy reproduction season, we’ll see them up through October, such as it is this year, 2020. Arborist and pest control companies alike are inundated with phone calls for webworm treatment.

Natural for this pest, the infestations are sporadic, although some years are back-to-back with webworms. Some years lighter and about every decade or so, we’ll have a back-to-back active years. The type of webworm treatment doesn’t seem to have any effect on whether the next year is busier or not. 

Why are webworms in my trees?

Webworms hibernate as pupae, nesting in cocoons in tree bark or among leaf litter. Then when spring arrives, the adults emerge, deposit their eggs, creating the large webs we see in our trees. 

Webworms are nothing more than a caterpillar that weaves a loose web around the foliage of our trees with their “nest” of larval. They stay there, eating the leaves until they are ready to pupate and multiple more webworms. 

They can go through 11 instars before that happens and the nest can cover several feet, entire branches even and have several nests in one tree. This can stress the tree and definitely results in leaf loss. 

Are webworms bad?

No, they are ugly, but as long as they don’t take over a whole tree, they can’t harm them. Typically, the trees they favor have already stored up the energy they’ll need for winter by the time webworms nest in them. The trees that webworms prefer are: 

  • Ash
  • Elm
  • Fruit Trees – apple, mulberry, pecan, and other fruits
  • Hickory
  • Linden
  • Oak
  • Popular
  • Sweetgum
  • Walnut 
  • Willow

How do you get rid of webworms?

Although webworms are not often fatal to a healthy tree, they are unsightly. When you’ve spent money and time on your landscaping, this isn’t the final piece you want seen. 

When it comes to removing webworms and protecting tree health, early detection followed up by intervention is the best webworm treatment.  This can be done by having the trees pruned when see the start of nests forming. Early detection eliminates the cycle so that the next generation can’t develop.

The best and cheapest webworm treatment is simply knocking them down, bag them up with the trash and throw them away.  You can do this by using a long pole or stick, and even ripping the bags will keep them from reproducing and make them vulnerable to predators that eat worms. 

Of course, you want to be safe. So, if you a lot of webworms in a lot of trees on your property, and they are high up where you can’t reach them safely, then call a professional tree pruning service or arborist.            

How long do webworms last?

Webworm larvae lives approximately six weeks. Annoying to a homeowner, they leave their webs behind and they stay in place until hard, windstorm or snow. You can determine about how long you’ll have to look at them by the color of the web. A white web is a new web. If the web is brown or tan, the larvae has left. 

What will kill sod webworms?

Spring is typically when you’ll start seeing sod webworms. They’re hungry and begin chewing the top of grass, leaving behind brown sod in large areas. Sod webworm the webworms in your trees. 

  • First:  Establish a regular routine watering and fertilizing to enhance your grass’ growth and encourage recovery. 
  • Second: Broad spectrum insecticides is a no-no. It can kill predators that are beneficial. When you first notice sod webworms, using a Bacillus thuringiensis spray is safe. This sod webworm treatment doesn’t work on mature larva, so you need to be watching for early signs and treat right away. 
  • Third: Use a pesticide that is labeled effective against the pests and apply in the late afternoon hours since larva feeds at night. This will ensure the larva will ingest the product and the results are productive. 
webworm web high up in tree

How do I know if I have sod webworms?

Where webworms life in trees on the branches, sod webworms live underground. They will start chewing on the soft tips of your grass and leave behind brown, grazed, or scalped looking spots. They prefer turf grass such as:

  • Bentgrass
  • Bluegrass
  • Buffalograss
  • Fescue – fine, tall leaves
  • Zoysiagrass

What are some examples of webworm infestations? Webworm infestations begin showing up in late summer and can often extend into early fall. They are the sack-web-looking clusters that you see on the ends of tree branches, growing up the branch. Need help with webworms in Fort Worth, TX? Call 817-882-6499 today!

What Are the Symptoms of Root Rot?

Wilted, Yellowing Leaves Are Signs of Root Rot.

What are the symptoms of root rot?

Whether you’re a farmer or a casual gardener, one thing you don’t want your crops or plants to suffer is root rot. This is a disease that can cripple your plants and stunt their growth. It has many causes ranging from overwatering to fungal infections to exposure to freezing temperatures. Depending on the cause, the disease has varying symptoms, some of which are similar to those of other plant diseases. Symptoms can include:

  • Slow growth, especially in comparison to healthy plants.
  • Older leaves yellowing and falling.
  • When the root ball is cleaned of soil the roots will appear dark brown or black. There will also be no or very few white roots or root tips.
  • An unhealthy plant will have roots that are limp and not crisp.
  • When removed from potting soil, the root’s outer layer of cells will get stripped away leaving behind the water-conducting tissue.

If you are noticing these symptoms in your plants and want treatment for root rot in Fort Worth, TX, you can always count on the professionals at Butler Tree Health. We provide several solutions to treat your plants and keep them healthy. Learn more about what we can for you by calling 817-882-6499.

How fast does root rot happen?

Root rot is most often caused by microscopic fungi that feed on plants. It’s usually caused because plants are kept in poor environments for growing. These environments have poor drainage, are overcrowded, and lack adequate sunlight. The speed at which root rot affects a plant will depend on the plant. Sometimes the disease causes changes slowly, in other plants the disease can spread rapidly. Untreated, the disease can kill the plants. 

What does overwatering look like?

Obviously, plants need water to survive. But too much water can cause as much damage as too little water. Too much water, in particular, can cause damage to the roots. When there is too much water, especially in compacted or clay soils, you can actually deprive the roots of their oxygen, and restrict your plant’s growth. This is a form of root rot. One of the most common signs of overwatering is wilting. But, wilting is also a sign of a plant not getting enough water. There’s no need, however, to fret over whether you’re overwatering or underwatering. Your leaves will tell you. If they are dry and brittle, your plant isn’t getting enough water. If the leaves are limp, they’ve been watered too much. One of the best ways to avoid overwatering is to water your plants less frequently and slowly for a long period of time. Irrigating your garden will also help. In addition, you also want to plant plants with similar water needs closer to each other, and select plants that grow best in the type of soil that you have.

How do you get rid of root rot?

If your plants are showing signs of root rot—yellowing leaves and wilting, for example—you want to get treatment for them quickly, as these are usually advanced stages of the disease.

Treat the disease as follows:

  • Check the root system. If it is mushy, the disease is too well advanced to save the plant.
  • Look for white, firm roots. If present, you can replant the plant in fresh soil where drainage is good. Make sure you replant within a few hours of uprooting.
  • Before replanting, clean the roots under running water. Remove brown, mushy roots with scissors, cutting slightly above the damaged area.
  • After replanting, to stop the spread of fungal spores, sterilize your scissors in a 1 part bleach to 3 parts water solution.  

Does hydrogen peroxide kill root rot?

Another way to kill off root rot is to use hydrogen peroxide. You’ll have to use a weakened solution of about 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 2 parts water. Pour the mixture around the roots as well as the plant’s base to kill off the fungus and bacteria affecting the plant.

Is root rot contagious?

Root rot can spread to other plants, though this will depend on several factors, including the type of plants you have, as well as what’s caused the disease. Overwatered plants won’t be a problem unless you continue to overwater them. If the disease is caused by a fungal infection it could be transmitted to other plants if the spores are spread to those plants, although a really healthy plant might not be as readily infected as one that’s less healthy or growing in an unhealthy environment. 

Is root rot dangerous to humans?

For the most part, root rot or other diseases that infect plants are not harmful and can’t be transmitted to humans. Even if you eat plants with such diseases, you are unlikely to get sick, although the produce might not taste as good as a healthy plant, so it’s not recommended. Of course, humans can get sick from eating plants contaminated with bacteria and parasites like giardia that cause food poisoning. Occasionally, plants can transmit diseases like sporotrichosis, caused by fungus on decaying roses.

How to prevent root rot in potted plants

Root rot can be a problem for potted plants, a problem that can be prevented fairly easily. Poor drainage is one cause of the disease, so make sure the pot you plant in has a hole in the bottom for drainage. You also want to select potting soil that will drain well. After you water your potted plant, you want to empty the water that’s drained off it, so the water won’t get absorbed by the soil.

Potted Plants Are Often Susceptible to Root Rot.

When to treat root rot

You want to try to treat root rot as soon as you identify it. Usually, this means replanting any plants that still have healthy root systems. You may also have to get rid of some plants if the rot has progressed too far. Anytime you need help with root rot in Fort Worth, TX, the professionals at Butler Tree Health are always willing to assist you. Find out all the things we can do to help your plants and trees by calling 817-882-6499.

Can You Treat Oak Wilt?

A Healthy Oak Tree.

Can you treat oak wilt?

Oak trees of all species are used extensively in landscaping in Texas. You can see them lining city sidewalks as often as they are shading suburban homes. Unfortunately, many of these trees—red oaks in particular—are also dying out rapidly because of the spread of oak wilt. This fungal infection spreads through the tree’s root system, blocking it’s vascular system, which prevents nutrients from moving through the tree. While there is no effective chemical treatment to “cure” the oak of the disease, there are effective treatments and methods to manage the infection’s spread. Some of the management methods include eliminating diseased trees or disrupting connected root systems to prevent root transmission. Using fungicides like propiconazole can slow the spread of the disease in an individual tree, extending its life and reducing crown loss. It’s also used as an effective pre-treatment to stop the spread of the disease. These are just some of the methods arborists like those at Butler Tree Health use for oak wilt treatment in Fort Worth, TX. If you have oaks affected by this disease, you can get help from us by calling 817-882-6499.

What causes oak wilt

Oak wilt is caused by a fungus known as Ceratocystis fagacearum. It attacks the tree’s vascular system and is sometimes transmitted to tree roots by insects like sap-feeding beetles and bark beetles. These insects feed on the fungal spore mats that develop between the tree’s bark. They then carry the spores to uninfected trees and the spores get into any wounds in the tree’s surface. This can happen to trees that have recently been pruned, especially in the spring and summer. It’s usually best to prune and trim trees during dormant seasons.

While insects can be carriers, oaks most often transmit the disease between connected root systems or root graft. A root graft occurs when two trees of the same species fuse roots together. Infected trees then transmit the disease to the uninfected tree through the roots.

What are the signs of oak wilt?

Oak wilt can present itself in various ways, depending on the tree species, but leaf discoloration of varying severity is a typical sign in both red oaks and white oaks. Symptoms in white oaks will appear more gradually than in red oaks, and leaf discoloration and loss may be less severe.

Here are some ways to identify oak wilt:

  • If the tree is close to dying, the black and gray fungal spore mats under the bark crack may rise up and crack through the bark.
  • In red oaks, leaf discoloration will begin at the tips of the leaves and move toward the midrib and base.
  • Leaves will begin to grow dull green or bronze before wilting and may appear water-soaked.
  • In red oaks, leaves will rapidly turn yellow or brown and begin to curl before being shed at the branch tips.
  • Both diseased and green leaves then begin to fall from the crown.

Which oak trees get oak wilt?

Almost every species of the oak tree can get oak wilt. Red oaks, however, are the most susceptible to the disease. They can die within one to two months of infection, whereas white oaks may take several years to die. Some white oaks may actually seem to recover, though they remain infected.

Can an oak tree survive oak wilt?

Once an oak tree is infected with oak wilt, it will eventually die from the disease. Red oaks are the most susceptible to the disease and can die fairly quickly, usually within two months of infection. White oaks as well as live oaks often take much longer to die from the infection. If oak trees are in a cluster, it’s possible some of the trees will not get infected by the disease and will survive.

Can oak wilt spread to other trees

Oak wilt can spread fairly quickly between trees of the same oak species, though research hasn’t shown it can be transmitted from live oak species, for instance, to red oak species. As a precaution, however, no diseased oak wood should be kept near any healthy living oak tree. The disease doesn’t seem to spread to other tree species.

Can oak wilt spread through firewood

If you transport unseasoned firewood from diseased red oaks, you can potentially spread the disease to other oaks. Burning the firewood itself won’t transmit the disease, but fungal mats can form on the unseasoned wood. This wood should not be stored near healthy trees.

How do you revive a dying oak tree?

A tree that’s dying from oak wilt cannot be revived, but to keep your other trees healthy, it is best to remove that tree from your yard. If the tree has died in the late summer, fall, or early winter, it ought to be cut down and either burned, buried or chipped. Any healthy trees that have been recently pruned or trimmed need to have the wounds treated by painting them. Any type of paint will do. 

Healthy Oak Leaves.

Oak wilt treatment near me

If you are worried your trees might have oak wilt in Fort Worth, TX, let the expert arborists at Butler Tree Health check them out. We can diagnose the tree and others around it that could be infected. We offer a full range of solutions to help keep your trees healthy. Find out what we can do for you by calling 817-882-6499.

What causes disease in trees?

Fungus starting to grow on tree leaves

How do you tell if a tree has a disease?

Trees can be a beautiful addition to a home, a business, they are in the parks we enjoy, and they provide us so many benefits.  From decorative sense to shade, they cleanse the air we breathe. What can you do to protect these assets from tree diseases? Is there tree disease control so that you can stop it before it happens?

Many times, tree diseases in Texas can be difficult to recognize. For the bare eye, the organisms are hard to see, however, as those organisms develop, the signs become clear. Any portion of a tree can see the development of tree diseases or an entire tree. There are common signs and symptoms of tree diseases such as blotches and spots on the leaves. Blisters, defoliation, needle cast, or scabs are indications of possible tree diseases. Other common signs of tree diseases are root rot and stem canker.  

Before you decide you treat a tree that you believe has been affected by any tree diseases, you need to identify the issue. Treating symptoms isn’t enough, knowing what caused it is needed too.  – know what is causing it, which is where seeking the advice of an expert arborist is helpful.

Here is a list of common symptoms that could be related to some tree diseases to keep a watch for: 

  • Crown Rot and Phytophthora Root: This is frequently the first suspect when the crown of the discolors, die, and the leaves drop off the tree out of season. The tree appears unhealthy. This is one of the tree diseases that can plague the roots of a tree for years before it kills it unless it reaches the basal stem or crown, it can die sooner.
  • Anthracnose: This refers to a group of tree disease fungus and has widespread symptoms of random dead areas or blotches on the leaves. If the fungus is severe, all the leaves may be blotched. There is often an infestation of cankers that will kill the smaller limbs.  Typically, this is one of the tree diseases that affect the leaves, but it can spread to the branches and twigs, death will soon follow which.
  • Oak wilt: As the name suggests, this is one of the tree diseases that affect all versions of oak trees with either insects or root graft infections. The insects are sap beetles and they will spread the disease, unlike other tree diseases, it causes leaves to drop after turning brown or green from the outside and moving inward. The bark will have streaking and limbs will die one-by-one. In between the leaf veins, discoloration will start, interveinal chlorosis. Within six months, the tree will usually die.
  • Sooty Mold: This develops on trees that live above our house sucking insect colonies. Fungi or mold develop on the tree and the sucking insects produce honeydew which sustains the fungi and mold. This is one of the tree diseases that is more annoying than fatal, but it can affect anything under the trees.
  • Fire Blight: This is one of the tree diseases that result from a bacterial infection of a tree and is identified by twig dieback, with the leaves and twigs looking burnt. This is one of the most harmful tree diseases that can cause damage to the entire tree.

How do you treat a diseased tree?

Typically, it is the spring and early summer when the tree diseases first appear. Noticing tree disease and treatment for that disease right away are the best way to assure you can save your tree. Spray a fungicide on the affected tree as soon as you have noticed the disease and apply again every ten days throughout growing season. We recommend spraying any nearby plants as well to prevent downy mildew from spreading.

Can you save a sick tree?

Possibly, if you catch it soon enough. First sign of telltale signs that you have a tree sick with any of the tree diseases, follow these four steps and you might get it back in good health again.

  1. Identify and amend the issue
  2. Prune thirty percent of the foliage
  3. Begin and follow a regular watering routine and there is proper drainage
  4. Fertilize

Can a tree come back to life?

No, it if is dead, it cannot be revitalized.  Attempting to nourish a dead tree to bring it back to life would be time consuming with no point to reach. However, before you determine a tree is dead, make sure it is and not dying or sick from one of the many tree diseases. If it is dying, you may save it. 

damaged leaves

Can tree diseases affect humans?

There are several fungal infections and tree diseases that can affect your trees. While there are some fungi that may affect humans and plants, it is rare. Then there are opportunistic fungi that will prey on an unhealthy plant, but typically not trees, unless a nearby tree is in poor health, same with humans before the pathogens could pass around. There are tree diseases around the world, while some are more prevalent in some regions of the country and the world, there are some tree diseases in Texas that are exclusive to Texas because of the type of trees here. The same is to be said of other states and trees native to them, they would have tree diseases exclusive to those states. Concerned about tree diseases in Fort Worth, TX? Call 817-882-6499 today.

How To Apply Tree Fertilizer

little tree fertilizer pellets placed by a hand near the sprout of plant

Learn More About Tree Fertilizer

When you’re looking to put some life into your trees it’s important to realize the importance of tree fertilizer. Tree fertilizer is not only helpful for trees in the process of growing but for maintaining the health of already established trees. In order to maintain a fresh-looking tree, maintenance is essential. With the changes each season make sure you’re doing your best to keep trees healthy and thriving. If you’re wondering what you can be doing with different types of tree fertilizer get in touch with a skilled arborist for more information. Until then, here are some general tips about tree fertilizer that you can keep in mind.

How much fertilizer do you put on trees?

In general, the amount of tree fertilizer per 1,000 square feet would be up to 1 pound of nitrogen. A 20-pound bag of 10-10-10 fertilizer, for example, can cover 2,000 square feet and will have 2 pounds or 10% each of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.

Where do you put fertilizer on trees?

Tree fertilizer will come in different variations with direct or indirect placement depending on the tree, the stage of its growth, and the type of fertilizer. With granular fertilizer, for example, it should be placed evenly around the edges of the canopy aka dripline on the ground. In this situation, the tree fertilizer shouldn’t be placed within the one foot minimum of the trunk. With trees in the stage of growing turf tree fertilizer is best applied under the root zone of the grass.

What is the best time to fertilize trees?

For all shrubs and trees, the best time to apply tree fertilizer is either in late April, early May or late fall once plants have become dormant. 

Should I fertilize a newly planted tree?

Newly planted trees won’t need tree fertilizer. If after 2-3 years from initial planting it’s not growling well tree fertilizer can help to solve slow growth. You can tell that a tree isn’t growing well by the signs that it exhibits such as yellow-green leaves, sparse foliage, or short yearly twig growth.

Can you over fertilize a tree?

Yes, it can be rather easy to overuse tree fertilizer as there are many specifics to follow per tree type and other factors. Overfertilization can actually kill a tree as fertilizer contains elements or nutrients that if used excessively can create too much soil salt that the tree will be unable to tolerate.

cactus on plant pot with fertilizer bag over green background, Summer garden concept

What are signs of over fertilizing?

  • Crust of fertilizer on soil surface.
  • Yellowing and wilting of lower leaves.
  • Browning leaf tips and margins.
  • Browned or blackened limp roots.
  • Defoliation.
  • Very slow or no growth.
  • Death of seedlings.

Can plants recover from over fertilizing?

Most plants can be saved from the overuse of tree fertilizer with a few steps. First make sure to remove any visible tree fertilizer from the soil, mulch or plant itself. Then leach away fertilizer by having water run through the roots. Remove any damaged foliage and wait around a month before you feed your plant again.

How do you bring back a dying tree?

If you have a tree that’s in danger of dying there are certain steps that you can take to revitalize it. First, you’ll want to identify the problem in order to effectively implement strategies that will save it. Usually, issues that arise with a dying tree are with improper watering methods. It’s important to realize that certain tree species come from different origins and climate. The way you water and how often you water your trees should be researched thoroughly for more effective growth. Another step to take is to be mindful of how much mulch you are incorporating. Mulch will be helpful in maintaining moisture in the soil, keeping the soil cool and suppressing weeds. Yet depending on the stage your tree is in growth there is a recommended amount with how much mulch you’re using. Additionally, with annual beds, remove old mulch before tilling soil and adding compost.  Another important step is using tree fertilizer to the soil and mulch. Realize if you need direct or indirect fertilization methods or if perhaps liquid, dissolved, pellets or other types of tree fertilizer need to be used. Finally, prune your tree properly while keeping essential limbs intact. Pruning the tree at the right time or season is vital in keeping the tree healthy.

Is granular fertilizer better than liquid?

The type of fertilizer you use will differ in its effectiveness based on the type of plant you’re growing. Essentially the type of tree fertilizer you use can be better for some foliage based on the ease of its application methods.

Are tree fertilizer spikes good?

Tree fertilizer spikes or broadcast fertilizer works best on shrubs or trees as they feed the entire root area. However, they will only get to the roots that immediately surround the spikes. With tree fertilizer spikes make sure to crumble them and spread them out under the canopy of the shrub or tree.

Get Into Contact With A Professional Arborist

Make sure that you get in touch with your local arborists concerning the specifics surrounding tree fertilizer and how they will be applied to your particular property. Tree fertilizer is a vital step in every tree enthusiast’s arsenal and will need to be applied with special care and attention. Instill proper maintenance and care to your trees for proper growth and a healthier-looking landscape.

If you’d like help with tree fertilizer in Fort Worth, TX call 817-882-6499 with Butler Tree Health!

What is the Best Way to Plant a Tree?

how to plant a tree

What is the Best Way to Plant a Tree?

The best way to plant a tree is to first locate all the underground utilities prior to digging the hole for the tree. The next thing that a professional gardener will do is identify the trunk flare. This means that gardeners will identify where the trunk expands at the base of the tree. This will be partially visible after the tree has been planted. After that, a broad and shallow planting hole will be dug. The wire basket or containers can now be removed. The tree must then be placed at the proper height and depth. The tree must be stabilized and then filled gently but firmly. If necessary, the tree can be staked at this point. The base of the tree should be mulched, and follow up care should be provided.

Can I Plant a Tree Myself?

If you are wondering whether or not you are capable of planting a tree on your own? The answer is an unequivocal yes. Trees are large and unwieldy sometimes, but the basics are clear: obtain a tree. Dig a deep hole. Fill the hole with water and fertilizer. Make sure the hole is deep enough for the tree. Put the tree inside the hole. Fill the hole with earth. If necessary, stake the tree until it is strong enough to stand up on its own.

Is it Hard to Plant Trees?

It’s not necessarily hard to plant trees, but planting trees do require a certain amount of preparation and time. It also takes a fair share of dedication. In order to plant a tree, one must have a shovel, a tree, some mulch, some fertilizer, stakes if applicable, and gardening gloves, just to make a few things.

What is the Best Time to Plant a Tree?

While it is true that gardeners can plant trees in the spring and summer, according to some experts the best time to plant a tree is in the fall. That is because late August, September, and October are great months for trees to get stabilized. Winter is not a good season to plant trees because if the ground freezes, it can make it difficult if not impossible to dig a hole and for the tree to become stabilized. The health of the tree is paramount during the planting process and it must be upheld because the planting process is hard on the tree.

Is it Better to Plant Trees in Spring or Fall?

As mentioned earlier, fall is a great time to plant a tree because it can put its energy into root growth versus foliage. Both spring and fall are excellent times to plant a tree provided that the circumstances are correct, and the proper tools and materials are used.

How to Plant a Tree from Seed

If you are attempting to plant a tree from seed, you will need to cover the seeds with a fine layer of sand to a depth about the thickness of the seed. After the seeds are planted, they must be gently watered and kept moist, but not wet. Maintaining high moisture and relative humidity is very important for seed germination.

How to Plant a Tree in Clay Soil

Clay soil can be notoriously hard to work with in terms of planting. If you have clay soil and would like some pointers for how to plant a tree, please review the following guidelines.

  • Dig a hole that is twelve inches wider than the container or the root ball. Six inches of space should be left on all sides. 
  • For a clay-based or heavy soils, the hole should be shallower than the root ball. This is done so that the root ball will sit around three to six inches above grade.
  • Before the tree or shrub is planted, about three to six inches of soil needs to be at the bottom of the hole.

Who Can Plant a Tree

Tree planting services are extremely beneficial to commercial and residential property owners. But the question remains: who is capable of planting a tree? The most obvious answer is the correct answer: anyone can plant a tree. However, there are nuances in terms of skill level and amount and specificity of tools. Planting trees has a remarkable amount of benefits for the environment. Trees reduce carbon dioxide, which is a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. 

how to plant a tree

How to Plant a Tree Fern

If you are looking to plant a tree fern, it will be important to consider the kinds of preparation that is in store. It is important to remember to plant lengths of trunk deep enough to keep the tree stable and upright. Water the tree daily until fronds emerge, but the trees should not be fed until a full year after planting. Offsets can be potted. 

Do you have tree planting on your agenda? Our friendly staff at Butler Tree Health are ready to take your phone call at 817-882-6499. We know how to plant a tree in Fort Worth, TX!

Why do a Tree Survey?

tree care

What is a Tree Report?

A tree report, or an arborist report, is the culmination of what is found during a tree survey. The report will summarize in great detail your trees health, noting any concerns, health risks, and issues that are having to do with the specified trees or tree. Threats like pests, parasites, and diseases present would all be listed. A tree survey detects anything wrong with trees on your property or in the public land you frequent. If you see signs of a tree deteriorating, Butler Tree Health provides tree surveys in Fort Worth, TX, just call 817-882-6499 today for an appointment.

What does a Tree Survey Entail

Whether it is for private or public lands, a tree survey stands to benefit you with the knowledge of what is ailing your tree. Regardless if the tree is old, young, strong, or weak, a tree survey will detail how to improve your tree’s health and keep it thriving. Here are the things a tree survey entails when done:

  • Inspects all trees on the property the inspection is conducted
  • Tree species 
  • Takes height and diameter of each tree
  • Factors in the age and overall health of each tree
  • When a tree survey is mandatory for the area, provides proof of inspection

A tree survey offers more perks than just assessing the general health of the trees in question. Arborists providing the tree survey will list suggestions that will benefit your trees when managing them and the land in general. Property owners will find some trees do help raise the value of their land, improving the health of their trees and can remove those that drop the value. Professions like landscape designers can create more accurate designs with access to the tree report as well, often needing it for absolute accuracy. How long a tree survey lasts depends on the property and the amount of trees. Anything beyond a normal sized backyard can take a considerable amount of time. For more information on how a tree survey can help you, call 817-882-6499 so Butler Tree Health in Fort Worth, TX can answer your questions today and can set you up with an appointment for a tree survey.

How Often Should you get a Tree Survey?

Some areas do require a tree survey to be done every so often by a certified arborist, like those that work at  Butler Tree Health. When there are no visible maladies you can see on your trees, we recommend a tree survey every three years. However, in times of severe weather and serious drought, we advise more frequent surveys for both recommendations on how to best take care of the general areas as well as how to keep your trees healthy during such times.

With our regulation services that help maintain your trees and keep them healthy, you can rely on us to help when you need regulatory maintenance done so your trees can grow as healthy as they look great doing so. Because trees can also suffer from viruses and parasites like we do, you can catch them early and cure your tree of such diseases with regular tree surveys.

How Much Does a Tree Survey Cost?

Just like it depends on how long a tree survey will take due to the size of the property and amount of trees, the price for a tree survey will also vary on the same basis. For each tree however, an inspection comes around to be $75, not including other services that would come after if something wrong were to be found on the tree. Resulting services also vary depending on how accessible the tree is and how large it is.

For more information about a  Butler Tree Health tree survey in Fort Worth, TX, call 817-882-6499 today to set up an appointment. We can offer you a wide variety of tree care options and our personalized care options that will help your trees gain the nutrients they need to live a longer life.

How do you conduct a tree survey?

Trees and saplings often show symptoms for what is affecting them similar to how humans do. We as tree experts ts look for these signs with a trained eye, knowing that when they are ignored for a long period of time, the problem could spread to other plants and trees. Here are some of the signs we search for when surveying a tree:

  • Clumps of fungus 
  • Out of season leaf shedding 
  • Tree begins to lean to one side
  • Leaf discoloration or spots, different to Fall season
  • Branches and bark falling off enmasse 

These are signs of multiple different maladies that can cause damage with your tree, each unique in process  when it comes to treatment. The issue also arises when left alone, many diseases, parasites, and pests that can harm your tree do so slowly, but when spread to another smaller plant can cause more damage at a faster rate. Our trained arborists have experience on multiple different kinds of treatment options for all of the kinds of harmful pests and diseases that can go after your trees.

tree care

Contact Us

We take care of trees, making everything from saplings to ancient oaks healthy. Our multiple services will keep your tree healthy, revitalize it, and keep it bursting with color. Not only do we keep trees healthy, we also can manage and remove them upon request. So if you need a tree survey or any of our other many services, call Butler Tree Health at 817-882-6499 in Fort Worth, TX to have our expertise at your disposal when it comes to your trees.

Why do you wrap trees in the winter?

Trees during the winter, all leaves fallen

Protect your trees

Trees can be a beautiful addition to any home. They provide shade in the summer, greenery, and blooms in the spring. For many of us, there is nothing prettier than trees in the fall, when the leaves are turning various colors of browns, golds, oranges, and reds. Just as we follow care and maintenance tips for the cooling and heating system in our home, we need to follow winter tree care tips so that after winter, we can enjoy that beauty and shade again.

There professional tree care services to provide annual care, like pruning. There are companies that offer both tree care and landscaping on a weekly basis. While it is important to have a professional whose focus is tree care, there are things we can do ourselves using winter tree care tips provided by those same professionals. Working with the same tree professionals to do the work and provide us winter tree care tips will make sure that the same care is continuous.

Will Frost kill newly planted trees?

It can, yes. Winters are hard on a young tree, especially the first frost and winter. Because they are so vulnerable to the cold weather, they need more attention from you to survive the cold weather elements like frost and snow. Shielding your new tree from the very tip-top to the root is the key to protection.

While we’re telling you winter tree care tips to protect your newly planted tree from cold weather and frost, we also need to tell you that the winter sun can kill your fruit tree or and thin bark tree. During the winter, a newly planted tree, fruit tree, and thin bark trees are vulnerable to “sun-scald”.   

While winter is cold and frost happens during the night, winter days, the sun is warm and heats the bark on trees. Under the bark is tissue and that warmth gives that tissue and barks a break winter day, tree bark heats up, causing the tissue under the bark to come out of the dormant winter stage.  

Then, the sunsets and the freezing temperature and frost return, freezing the tissue to death. Your tree then has sunken areas on the bark where the tissue is dead, and your fruit tree’s buds are damaged before they have a chance.

Trees do not respond well to fast drops in temperature, especially a newly planted tree. All winter tree care tips recommend to make plans for frost ahead of time by stocking up on rolls of burlap and plenty of mulch, the watch the forecast for any prediction of a rapid drop in temps overnight, the follow these winter tree care tips.

  • The day before a freeze is expected – water the tree thoroughly.
  • Put out plenty of mulch to seal in that moisture and prevent possible frost heaving. This is a distinct problem for younger trees for the first two or three winters.
  • For additional protection, cover the tree carefully with burlap then remove it the next morning so it doesn’t get overheated.

Can trees freeze to death?

It is possible, but Mother Nature is a creative and protective lady, she doesn’t need any winter tree care tips. However, we need to understand how she works and how her offsprings of trees survive a winter!

A tree will rarely freeze to death, but it will freeze some simply because half of its weight is water, and as we know from elementary science class, water freezes. Trees go into a hibernation mode that is referred to as dormancy. While they appear to be asleep, they are nurturing their cells to keep them alive and survive the winter weather.

Trees lose their leaves in the fall, so that eliminates them needing extra nutrition and strength to support them and keep them alive. Each time it rains, or your water, a tree will store water in its cell to use as it needs it later, like during the winter. When winter comes, a tree will relocate some of that water into areas around its cells, which keeps the cell’s insides from freezing, which could kill them, then the tree could die.

So, how does that stored water keep the tree alive? After the water is relocated, it freezes first, then it puts off small bursts of heat which keep the tree cells from freezing. While this is progress, the starch inside the tree cells also turns to sugar, (much like in the human body), and that makes those cells tolerate the cold better.

Should trees be watered in the winter?

Yes! Maybe one of the most important winter tree care tips is to water your trees! Below the soil’s surface, the tree roots are still growing, even when the temperature drops, and that means they need water. While snow will leave behind some moisture, it isn’t enough, and where the winters are dry, there is no snow to leave moisture behind. So, it requires human interaction.  

Before the year’s first freeze, continue the watering schedule you have all summer. After that first freeze, once a month, a deep watering.  With a newly planted tree, you need to maintain the same watering schedule all year long with deep water just before the first freeze and add plenty of mulch around the base of the tree to keep that moisture in – that could be the most essential of all winter tree care tips.

How do you mulch a tree for the winter?

Mulch is a tree’s best friend, especially a newly planted tree. Mulch provides insulation for the tree’s roots from the ground contracting and expanding with repeated freezing and thawing during the winter. That changing can damage the roots and push out a sapling. Mulch also keeps moisture in and weeds out.

The common of all winter tree care tips about how much mulch is needed and how do you lay the mulch recommends: Add 2 to 4-inch-deep mulch to the tree base after removing a three to ten-foot area of grass around the tree. Do not let the mulch touch the trunk.

tree in front yard losing leaves

Is tree wrap necessary?

Absolutely!  Tree wrap is a must for newly planted trees and thin-barked trees. Thin bark trees are crabapple, honey locust, and soft maple. Even trees on the southern side of your home are susceptible to the winter weather. Unless your area experiences an early frost (and you’ll know this by watching the weather forecast), wrap your trees by the first of November at the latest.

Trees are a beautiful addition to a home. From the shade in the summer to the beautiful colors of fall as they drop off, they are something to enjoy. Like anything else in our lives which we enjoy and get so much from, we need to take care of them too and help Mother Nature when we needed. Call 817-882-6499 today for your winter tree care in Fort Worth, TX.