Author Archives: Tree Spark

How to Remove a Tree Stump

close-up of a tree stump

Dealing With Dead Trees

After the snowstorm of 2020, many residents in the DFW area of Texas had tree issues. This included trees that were killed by the snow and ice that needed to be cut down. There were trees that had broken off and needed to be cut down the rest of the way. Unfortunately, unless you have a professional tree removal service perform the job, it often leaves a tree stump to be dealt with later. 

Not only is it important to know when to remove trees, but how tree removal works when done properly is just as important. Why is tree removal important? The benefits that a tree provides are no longer there once the tree dies. Leaving a dead or partially dead tree can be a safety issue. And there are other reasons why tree removal is important.


As we mentioned, safety is one of the biggest reasons that tree removal is important. Whether it is a 100% dead tree, a partially dead tree, or a tree that is in a compromising situation. Dead trees and partially dead trees are weak, making them more likely to snap or become uprooted in a storm. A tall tree that is completely or partially dead can cause severe damage in high winds. They are a danger to your home, your neighbors, vehicles, and people. 


Yes, tree removal can be expensive, but not as expensive as the damage a toppled tree can cause. Can tree removal be covered by insurance? In most cases, yes, homeowner’s insurance policies have coverage for damage caused by trees, unless the tree damage is from the homeowner’s negligence. So if you have a partially dead tree and after a few years the other part falls over on your home, or worse, your neighbor’s home, your homeowner’s insurance will not pay any claim.  Can your neighbor file a claim on their homeowner’s insurance for tree removal? Certainly, but that insurance company is going to come after your insurance and in the long run, you’ll likely be facing a lawsuit. 


Dead or partially dead trees attract insects and critters. From beetles and fly larvae to mosquitoes and wasps, dead trees are home for them. As they make a dead tree home, it makes the tree less stable, and they will begin to infest your home. Tree removal will keep those pests out of your home.


A tree that has died from disease isn’t through yet – the disease will spread to healthy trees and begin to kill them. Some common indications of tree infection include yellowish-looking trees with spotty leaves, leaves being wilted or wilting, and the branches and trunk growing cankers and swelling. Tree removal is the best way to ensure the safety of the surrounding trees and keep them infection-free. 


A beautiful tree that dies is more of a safety hazard than any of the other things we’ve listed here. A dead tree just looks ugly and brings the entire appearance of your home down as well as the surrounding neighborhood. For a property’s appearance, property value, and overall good-looking neighborhood, having a dead tree removal is necessary. 

How much should I expect to pay for tree removal?

Professional tree removal can start around $100 and cost up to $1,800 to $2,000.  The size and location of the tree will determine this price. If the tree has grown up in the highwires or is over a roof, there are extra precautions the tree removal team will need to adhere to. How many ladders or boomers are needed for the team to get to the tree and how close can they get their boomers and other large equipment to the tree?

If you have an understanding of how tree removal works, it will justify the cost you’re paying. For an average tree removal, the contractor will cut the tree down to a stump, usually in sections. Depending on the size of the sections cut, the contractor may need to use safety ropes to lower them to the ground with another crew member guiding the piece. As they prepare to cut sections, they will cut any branches that are in the way. Once the pieces are cut and down on the ground, any remaining branches are cut off and stacked up. 

 As the homeowner, it is important for you to ask questions prior to the tree removal about how to prepare for tree removal on your part. While the following may seem apparent and obvious, any professional tree removal service should go over these things with you prior to the day: 

  • Move Your Vehicles: Have your vehicles away from the area where the tree removal will be taking place. The contractor needs room for their equipment and to work, as well you don’t want your car where it could be damaged. 
  • Clear Access: Depending on the size of the tree, the crew may need to go back and forth on foot or in a vehicle. Make sure the route they’ll use is clear of anything that can be moved. If there is more than one way to reach the tree, make sure the crew is aware and any gates are unlocked. 
  • Remove Breakables: This includes deck or patio furniture, plants, toys, dog houses, etc. You should also have your pets kenneled or kept in the house the day of the tree removal service. 

What is the average cost to have a tree stump removal?

Okay, so maybe you, some friends and neighbors did your own tree cutting. What are you going to do about the stump? A professional tree stump removal can cost as little as $100 and up to $1,000 or more. There are different levels of tree stump removal which can affect the total cost. Where the tree stump is located, and the size of the tree stump can affect the costs too.

Is tree stump removal necessary?

Yes, if the tree itself was diseased, then the stump will still have the disease and can spread it. Tree stumps invite unwanted species, giving them a place to nest and make a home. When getting tree removal done, request the tree stump be removed as well. 

dead tree near water

Closing Questions

Does tree removal include roots? Well, it is amazing what nature can do that man cannot! After a tree removal is complete and the stump is ground down, the tree roots are still there. As we learn in 8th grade science, leaves are how trees get their nutriments. So with all the branches and leaves gone, the roots have a source of food that doesn’t come from the ground itself, which isn’t enough. Sometimes, tree roots have just enough nutrients to sprout. If there are enough leaves, that sprout could become a tree.

When do I call for an electrical repair?

electrician installing ceiling light

The Importance of Pro Electrical Repair

The responsibilities that come with owning a home can be challenging, overwhelming, and downright scary sometimes. Especially when it comes to electrical wiring! If you don’t know what you’re doing with electricity, you can burn up whatever you’re working on, hurt yourself, and worst of all, catch the house on fire. This is why it is best to call on a professional electrical repair service company. 

What are electrical services?

One of the most common causes of structural fires in our country is electrical issues.  Making that the third highest-ranking cause is in part because of the DIY mindset many of us have gained. 

If you’re changing out a lightbulb, that doesn’t require professional electrical repair service. However, if you’re needing any of the following electrical work done, it is best if the job is handed over to pros that offer electrical repair service for a living. These are the people that have been through training to become certified and licensed. They will have the electrical repair equipment to do the job right. A licensed and trained electrician can service commercial and/or residential properties with any of the following: 

  • Electrical set up and rewiring
  • Electrical panel installation, upgrading, and replacement
  • Surge protection for the whole house
  • Outlet installation and repair
  • Ceiling fan installation and repair
  • Light fixture installation, replacement, and repair
  • Carbon monoxide and smoke detector installation
  • Exhaust fan installation
  • Hot tub and pool electrical wiring
  • Safety inspections
  • All electrical maintenance and repairs

What is residential electrical service?

Yes, electricity is electricity, but there are different needs for commercial property and residential property. Electricity is a continuously flowing current that is always there.  Your electrical panel controls how that electricity flows so that nothing is overloaded or underpowered. 

Every building will have different needs for its electrical loads, with major differences between commercial and residential structures. The differences between these two properties are the wiring type and the power.  For residential property, the wiring is narrow with a plastic sheathing vs commercial wiring, which is typically in a plastic conduit. The power for a residential structure is delivered at 120 volts, while a commercial property has three phases of delivery. 

When it comes to professional electrical repair service, a trained electrician will have the basics for anything electrical, but there is a different set of skills needed between commercial and residential properties.  A residential electrician that works in residential structures will install and maintain, inspect, and repair all electrical components, systems, and wiring. They are trained at diagnosing problems in residential electrical systems and wiring, and 120-volt power. 

What do I need an electrician for?

Electrical changes, connections, and upgrades aren’t straightforward DIY projects like painting, hanging wallpaper, or installing new hardwood floors. The wiring, the circuits, the outlets … Oh My!  Sometimes, hiring a professional electrical repair service may cost a little bit but what a relief to know it was done right! You can typically get electrical repair quotes so you know what to expect before starting a project. 

Electrical items are part of a complex network of wires that can present hazardous charges. Diagnosing problems with electricity isn’t always easy, or safe. A few things that you may want to get a few electrical repair quotes before you attempt the job yourself include: 

Installing a New Electrical Outlet/Switch

This task may seem like a DIY project, and maybe your dad replaced a pre-existing outlet/switch with no problems. But when it comes to installing a new outlet or switch, there are wires to be run through the walls, and if you aren’t experienced in circuits and wiring, then you’re risking yourself and your home for possible hazards. 

Replace Wiring

Again, this job is a little risky to attempt as a DIY project. Hiring a professional electrical repair service is the best way to make sure the wiring is done correctly on the proper circuit and without worries about an electrical fire starting.

Recessed Lights Installation 

Recessed lights involve a lot of wiring to be moved around, and if you don’t know —a job a pro will have a much easier time handling. If your home is equipped with pre-existing recessed lights, feel free to replace them on your own. This is easy for any homeowner to do because there’s no need to sort through or add extra wiring. 

Broken Circuit Breaker

A broken circuit breaker is important – this is the heart of your home’s electrical system and before you try repairing it, think whether you want a DIY project working on your heart. Let the pros do this and call a  professional electrical repair service. 

Outdoor Lighting Installation

Taking the electrical project outdoors, you definitely need to hire a qualified professional electrical repair service to do the job! Not only is it electrical, but it is outdoors where rain and water sprinklers can get to it. If you don’t know how to wire an outdoor set-up so that it isn’t overloading the circuit and still be waterproof, this is not the DIY project for you.     

What is the most common cause of electrical problems?

The electricity to your home isn’t just a convenience today, it is a necessity. Three of the most frequent problems that homeowners have with electricity are: 

Circuit Breaker Problems

The circuit breaker in your home is essential in your home having electrical power. Overload the circuit or short circuit and you could find yourself sitting in the dark. When a circuit breaker trips and shuts off the electricity, it’s doing its job by not letting the electrical system overheat. This keeps it from catching on fire too.  So, if your circuit breaker is tripping frequently, call a professional electrical repair service and don’t try to figure it out yourself. 

Dips, Surges, or Sags  

Electrical surges are the same but different from electrical dips and sags, but in any case, they all represent a problem, just different problems. It could be just a brownout instigated by the power company, or you could have something more serious if it is repeatedly happening. Again, call an electrical repair service to inspect the situation. 

Scarce or Dead Outlets 

A common problem in older homes is not enough electrical outlets for today’s family lifestyle. However, just installing new outlets isn’t the right way to fix this situation. You need to make sure the circuit system doesn’t get overloaded, meaning, a new circuit breaker may need to be installed.  This isn’t something for the non-experienced DIY homeowner to attempt. The same is to be said about replacing a dead outlet. 

close-up of wires being clipped

Can you repair electrical wires?

If you have a soldering iron and a steady hand, yes, you can repair a wire that has been cut in half or one that has a few strands of wiring hanging out. This will definitely save you some money if you can do the work yourself. Seal it up with electrical tape and make sure you unplug the soldering iron when you’re done. 

While DIY projects look easy on television, remember that they have crews behind the scenes doing a lot of the work. They have experienced contractors and electricians that know how to do electrical installations and how to do electrical maintenance. They have also been trained and if they’re working on a television show, they probably have experience!

Can tree removal be covered by insurance?

Large logs laying in grass.

Help With Tree Removal 

In the springtime, this area of the country is known for high winds and tornadoes. In the winter, it’s the ice and occasional snow. Between these two seasons, there is a lot of tree damage left. This includes trees pulled up by tornadoes or topped over by otherwise high winds and large limbs broken by ice and snow. In any case, there is clean-up to be done, including tree removal

Why Tree Removal is Important

While trees are a beautiful part of nature, sometimes, tree removal is needed immediately, like a tree that has been uprooted from a tornado that is on a roof. Then there are circumstances that aren’t as urgent. 

As a property owner, you are responsible for keeping them healthy, which may require tree removal of one tree to provide preventative and remedial care of other trees. The following reasons that makes tree removal necessary are: 

  • A Dead Tree Removal

Nobody wants to see a dead tree, but when one does, the only thing to do is a proper tree removal. When a dead tree is left standing, slowly, it gets weaker and will eventually become victim to the elements and weather. This makes anyone, a structure, or a vehicle susceptible to danger. 

  • A Diseased Tree Removal

Disease is a number one cause of trees dying and unfortunately, we don’t always realize a tree is diseased until it is beyond saving. In those cases, tree removal is necessary to keep the disease from spreading and killing other trees. Tree removal is necessary to keep the tree or any of its limbs from falling on anyone, structure, or vehicle. 

  • A Damaged Tree Removal

Unfortunately, something unplanned can happen sometimes, leaving a healthy tree as the victim. This can be from severe weather with high winds, heavy ice, snow, or a lightning strike. Lightning is usually the end of life for a tree, and the best thing all the way around is tree removal. 

  • Encroaching Tree Removal

Even trees that are healthy and growing need to be removed. At the time the tree was planted, the idea of how it would grow and affect the surroundings didn’t turn out that way. Or new construction comes, the tree is in the way, and the roots grow under a house, disturbing the foundation. Branches become a nuisance or in danger of falling on power lines, disrupting utilities.  Tree removal can eliminate these problems.

Who pays for tree removal on a property line?

This is an age old problem for property owners. A beautiful tree is providing shade and enjoyment for both owners, until it becomes diseased or dies and tree removal is necessary. The standard protocol to this situation is when the trunk on one property, they are responsible for the pruning and tree removal. If the tree trunk is straddled the two property lines, it is dual ownership and both have equal responsibility for maintenance, pruning, and tree removal. 

Is tree removal landscaping?

Tree removal and landscaping are often considered to be one and the same. While part of a landscaping service is to trim bushes and small trees, tree removal is not within their realm of service. Landscapers lay turf and sod, install fencing, paving walkways, and retaining walls. They do the work needed to create and enhance hardscaping. 

Tree removal is done by arboriculture services as is pruning branches and cutting away dead sections of trees. This type of service also provides fertilizing, transplanting, tree felling, and stump grinding.   

How is tree removal with roots done? 

Once a tree removal is completed, there is still the matter of the tree roots. So, how to do tree removal is one reason why you should hire a professional tree service. If you are determined to do this yourself, the following are tips that can guide you through the process. The root system can extend up to 20 feet underground, be prepared this will be a labor-intensive process. 

  • Physically Removing Tree Roots: This will require digging down into the ground around the roots. The size and type of the tree will determine how deep you’ll have to dig. Make sure you verify utility lines before you start digging.

Start by digging down until you expose the roots, pulling any loose roots out. Then dig dirt out around the other roots and cut them with loppers as far from the root ball as possible.

Next, with a hoe, lift the cut roots out and pull any more loose ones you find. Rock the stump back and forth, this will loosen the roots and keep cutting and pulling roots until the root ball can come out. 

Chainsaw laying on a pile of logs.

In Closing

Sometimes, in new construction, tree removal to replant new trees is necessary in order to have the trees growing in specific areas around the new construction. Believe it or not, sometimes you can get tree removal for free! 
A logging company is willing to perform free tree removal in exchange for the trees. There is typically a minimum tree count for this type of service, and if you need tree removal without insurance, this can be a great option – if you have enough of the right type of trees. Learn more about the help you can receive by calling Tree Spark at (817) 717-7737 today.

Can You Leave Outdoor Lights Outside?

outdoor lighting

What is the best outdoor landscape lighting?

Are you looking for a way to make your backyard more enjoyable and your front yard more aesthetically pleasing?  Next to a well-maintained lawn and beautiful landscaping of flowers, shrubs, and trees, outdoor lighting can add that final perfect touch. Yes, you can put out a few tiki lamps and a firepit, but for the best and long-lasting, using the expertise of a professional outdoor lighting service is the answer. 

There are three key types of backyard outdoor lighting you want to consider when you are getting quotes from an outdoor lighting service: 

  • Safety Lighting: Ward off unwanted visitors and improve navigation.
  • Landscape Lighting: Accentuate your garden features.
  • Accent Lighting: Bring a focus to your hardscaping and landscaping.

To have all three of these will bring your outdoor living together, making your front yard a showplace and the backyard a place of entertainment and relaxation. See what lighting do experienced professional outdoor lighting services recommend: 

  • Security Lighting: This should be the brightest lighting all around, illuminating large areas that scares off the unwanted visitors and destructive critters. Typically outdoor lighting service will install this lighting along the eaves and  above the garage, casting wide light beams onto main walkways or at the entrances of the backyard.
  • Path Lighting: This can be a series of soft lights or bright lighting, the best that will assist you and your visitors to navigate down the paths and walkways. Professional outdoor lighting services typically install these along the ground on each side of a path or walkways from the driveway or gate to the back or front doors, along steppingstones, and around flower beds with the contours emphasized.
  • String Lighting: A low-voltage soft accent of string lighting along the deck or patio in the back will evoke an intimate and warm ambiance, ideal for entertaining. 
  • Outdoor Wall Lighting: For accent purpose or safety, low-voltage that is moderately bright can improve the navigation of small, recessed areas, bring light to areas where shadows often lurk. Typically mounted on  vertical surfaces like the interior of a pergola and above stairways, or along sunken seating areas and around swimming pools and hot tubs.
  • Lanterns: Create soft accent lighting with low-voltage lanterns to create the perfect architectural décor and details. They are ideal along the back and front doors with semi-flush mount of a glass-and-metal exterior coming off an affixed arm from a wall plate. A professional outdoor lighting service can show you battery-powered lanterns for tabletop placement that will give a visual interest in a soft illumination. 
  • Deck Lighting: With moderate to high intense lighting, an outdoor lighting service will use standard-voltage that provides safety in getting across, up, and down decks and patios at night. 
  • Spot Lighting: In outdoor lighting service industry, this is often referred to as “up-lighting”, which provides landscape lighting glows upward into trees. Typically installed at or above ground level, perfect for showcasing an ornamental tree or other tall objects in the yard. 

What is the best outdoor lighting brand?

For aesthetics and durability, outdoor lighting services recommend on of the following 3 brands as being the best in landscape lighting:

  • Unique Lighting Systems
  • Kichler Landscape Lighting
  • FX Luminaire

Each of these offer aluminum, brass, and stainless steel fixtures. A professional outdoor lighting service will often use a combination of these three brands. 

Why are outdoor lights so expensive and are expensive lights worth it?

Yes, the more expensive the lighting, the better the quality will be well worth the cost. Outdoor lighting must endure the climate and weather as well as lawn equipment. To have that increased personal security and the perfect lighting to showcase your home and landscaping, you need lighting that will withstand all of this and more. 

When it comes to the outdoors, you want the best in lighting so that it lasts for a long time and your choose outdoor lighting service team is well worth the extra expense to make sure you have the proper lighting and it is properly installed.

Can you leave outdoor lights outside?

Using a professional outdoor lighting service is one of the best ways to make sure you have proper and safe outdoor lighting installed.  The majority of outdoor lighting use C7 and C9 bulbs for outdoor applications, they are made for outdoor use and are safe to leave outside. Incandescent light bulbs are safe for outdoor use if they aren’t exposed to water and should be taken inside when not in use.

garden lighting

Why are ballasts so expensive?

The ballast is the fluorescent lighting fixture’s heart. Without the ballast, your fluorescent lighting wouldn’t work. The  ballast provides the right amount of voltage that starts the light and keeps it regulated. 

Not only will a professional outdoor lighting service light up your backyard and front yard year round, but many also offer outdoor Christmas lighting services too. A quick internet service for “outdoor lighting service near me” will give you multiple choices to call for quotes. Call (817) 717-7737 today for your outdoor lighting in Fort Worth, TX.

How do you identify a diseased tree?

mold on leaves

Is a tree dead if it has no leaves?

In early 2021, most of Texas experienced a winter snowstorm like most of us have never seen. Nor do we want to experience one again anytime soon! There was frozen water and power outages in areas of Texas that usually hurricanes and tornados, but snowstorms, never. Now that all is thawed and spring, albeit it a wet one, has sprung and we aren’t sure if the snow killed some trees or are we experiencing tree disease with some of our favorites.

There are tree disease experts that can make the official call for us, but as a homeowner or property owner, you can often determine if your beloved paper shell pecan tree has succumbed to tree disease or is still in snowstorm shock. It may be necessary to call up on an expert to confirm the tree disease and treatment though, but let’s answer some basic questions in this article and see what we can do from there.

It may be dying. Other ways to know if the tree is dead is to check the bark. If there is missing bark or the bark is brittle, that in combination of no leaves is usually a sure indication of a dead tree. Does the tree have sizeable limbs that are falling off or appear to be dead? When the tree trunk becomes brittle or has a sponge-type substance, it usually an indication of a dead tree.

It is springtime here in Texas right now and if you have a tree that hasn’t produced any buds or leaves by now, it has likely reached its end of life. Are there limbs or twigs cracking and breaking off, an no green on the inside of them? A brown or tan like pulp is an indication the tree is dead and can’t be revived.

However, if only a portion of a tree appears dead and there are buds and leaves on other parts, prune the dead stuff off and wait before you call time of death. By pruning away the dead portions, it eases stress on the good part and lets all the nutrients go to work stronger on the good part. Pruning off the dead will also minimize insect infestation risks too.

Does all this mean you’re experience tree disease though? Not necessarily, it could still be from the snowstorm or simply the tree has reached its maximum age potential. Keep reading and see what else you can learn.

What are common tree diseases?

Tree disease outbreaks are usually regional, seasonal, and species specific. Some common tree diseases that a homeowner or property owner could encounter are:

  • Anthracnose: A leading shrub and tree diseases that stems from a fungus, attacking the flowers, fruits, leaves, and twigs of various tree species of  North American, especially flowering dogwood and sycamore trees.
  • Apple Scab: A tree disease affecting the leaf early in the season, affecting the crabapples harvest. This condition can be identified by scab-like lesions on the leaves, causing premature defoliation.
  • Cedar Rusts: A foliar tree disease that attacks rosaceous plants, including crabapple and hawthorn. Like apple scab, some species are more vulnerable to the condition, overall it causes an orange or rust-colored spotting on the leaves in the spring. Twig cankers sometimes form, causing dieback.
  • Diplodia Tip Blight: A common tree disease that attacks different  types of pines, generally developing at the tree base and moves upward, causing dead shoots with half elongated needles.
  • Dothistroma Needle Blight: A pine tree disease that is fungal and causes defoliation prematurely in grown trees and stunt young tree’s growth of more than 30 pine tree species in North America.  This tree disease is noticed by the tan or yellow bands on the needs along with needle dieback.
  • Lethal Yellow: This tree disease is common in Florida and Texas, attacking the Canary Island date palm and the coconut palm. This bacteria-like organism, phytoplasma, is transported by a plant hopper insect and results in flower death, premature fruit drop, and foliage yellowing.
  • Oak Wilt: This tree disease is a systemic fungal that typically results in death, affecting over 20 species in Minnesota, New York,  Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas. Noticed by leaf wilt, premature defoliation, and  rapid discoloration.
  • Thousand Canker Disease: This tree disease condition that affects walnut trees in the Western United States and black walnuts in Tennessee. Twig beetles spread the infection that causes small cankers to form around the galleries.  Infestation can exist for several years before it appears, however the upper branch foliage will begin to decline, turn yellow, and wilt.
  • Dutch Elm Disease: This fungal tree disease is common in elm trees, carried by bark beetles from an infected tree to a healthy trees, feeding on the twigs and upper branches Root grafts also cause tree-to-tree spread of this tree disease and is detected in the first part of summer.

What causes tree disease?

A drought or severe weather like a snowstorm can damage a tree, leaving it vulnerable for a fungal attack. Environmental factors like cold and hot temperature and pollution cause tree disease or aggravate a disease already in place, causing bacteria, fungus, or viral sources. This can often cause multiple tree diseases.

How do you fix a diseased tree?

A tree disease like canker, foliar, root rot, and wilt can be caused by fungi, losing its color and vigor, causing leaf wilt. If the fungi is extensive, it should be cut down before it weakens and falls down. An experienced arborist will know how to cure tree disease if it is possible, or whether the tree is beyond help.

red splotches on leaves

What does tree blight look like?

Tree blight is a group of tree diseases caused by bacteria or fungus and is detrimental to trees. What may seem like a small issue of  tree disease on leaves, can actually be more significant if not discovered and addressed, the tree may need to be removed instead of treated and saved. Call (817) 717-7737 today for your tree treatment needs in Fort Worth, TX.

What is the best mulch for trees?

tree mulch and wheel barrow

What is the purpose of using tree mulch?

Is tree mulch for decorative purposes? Or is it a protective layer that offer nutrition too? There is a lot said about tree mulch, and that brings a lot of questions to surface. Some of those we’ll be answering here in our piece today. Questions like, should trees be mulched?

Well, there are many do’s and don’ts about tree mulch around trees, and the biggest “don’t” is not to create too big of a ‘mulch volcano’.  What is a mulch volcano?  This is an industry description when an excessive amount of mulch is placed around a tree. 

A young tree with mulch around it in a circular fashion that starts out wide and gets closer to the tree as it goes upward. It eventually takes on a volcano shape with a tree coming out of the center. The concern is for younger trees when a volcano is created with either dirt or tree mulch because:  

  • Water runs away from the tree base where it is needed and down the sides of the volcano.
  • A volcano deeper than six inches holds the water, keeping it from a young tree’s roots. 
  • Disproportionate tree mulching suffocate the tree roots.
  • Deep mulch invites diseases and rodents.

Are you supposed to remove old mulch?

No, it isn’t necessary according to gardening and tree experts. Eventually, tree mulch breaks down and adds nutrients to the soil. Unless you just like the work, keep the old tree mulch in place and simply add enough new tree mulch to give you approximately a two inch depth. 

Tree mulch will mat together sometimes, which impede the rain and sunlight from getting to the roots under the soil. Simply fluff up the old tree mulch with a rake and add some new mulch on top. The only exception to this is when there is fungus or mold growing on the old mulch. In that case, remove the old and apply all new tree mulch. 

What should I do with old mulch?

You can still use old mulch, even if you determine that it hasn’t decomposed in an appreciable fashion. Simply rake the old tree mulch to the side for now and continue with your gardening and planting.  If you have excess amounts of old mulch, shovel it into a wheelbarrow and save it, it can be use soon for a flower or vegetable garden. 

Now,  apply your compost to your annual flower or vegetable garden, working it into the soil.  bed or annual flower bed, and till it under or work it into the soil with a spade. Now return the old tree mulch to the planting beds, spreading evenly and adding new mulch to get a 2 to 3 inch thickness.

If that old tree mulch has decomposed considerably, work it into the soil, tilling it, and let the organic nature of it become a soil amendment with the compost. Then add your new tree mulch accordingly. 

How often should you mulch your trees?

For slow draining soil, you don’t need any more than two inches of tree mulch. If using an organic tree mulch, like ground or shredded bark, compost, cottonseed hulls, pine straw, or wood chips, these break down and will need to be replenished twice a year. 

What should I put down before mulching?         

Some homeowners that add tree mulch in gardens will put down a geotextile or plastic before adding the tree mulch. Experts tend to argue this practice, some saying that it creates water runoff that takes away the clean and streamline look of a garden. If you’re using an organic tree mulch that breaks down, landscape fabric will keep the mulch from contacting the soil, taking away its ability to become healthier and improved. 

Contrary to popular belief, weeds will grow into that landscape fabric. For aesthetic purposes, laying a fabric or plastic down first, when the tree mulch sifts, or as it thins out, that fabric or plastic will show
through, taking away from the aesthetics of the garden. 

wood chips around tree bases

Can you turn tree trimmings to mulch?

Absolutely! What better way to recycle, right? Collect any tree bark, branches, or pruned trimmings and with gloves and safety glasses on, put them all into a woodchipper. Mix with natural leaf mulch that is created naturally and you’ll have an organic tree mulch!  If you don’t own a woodchipper, you can rent them from your local big box home improvement stores for a weekend. 

Is there a difference between tree mulch and compost? Yes, and the differences are significant, making it important that you use both correctly.  Compost is made from decomposed, organic materials and adds nutrients to the soil that improve the structure. Mulch comes in organic or inorganic materials that aren’t decomposed and is should be used to limit weed growth, prevent erosion, and retain soil moisture. Is your tree in need of mulch in Fort Worth, TX? Call (817) 717-7737 today.

What month is best to trim trees?

tree with a removed branch

What is trimming a tree called?

Spring will be sprung before you realize it, and now is the time to start getting your gardening, tree trimming, and landscaping motivation fired up!  Starting with tree trimming, the winter may have left you some broken branches or you realized when covered in ice or snow, there are some limbs that need to be removed around your house and utility wires. 

Well, it could be decorating for Christmas, but in the context of this article, we’ll go with the tree trimming process that is focused on the aesthetics of your landscaping. Tree trimming is done to maintain the appearance and a desired shape of a tree. When tree trimming isn’t done, the branches will grow in a unyielding fashion in various directions and uneven. That type of growth will leave a tree looking misshapen, scraggly, and unbalanced. This is a matter of being overgrown, which can impact a tree’s health and any bushes, plants, or shrubs adjoining the tree.  When there are extra branches, it keeps light, moisture, and nutrients to the entire tree. 

What is the difference between tree trimming and pruning?

Tree trimming or pruning are both vital to a tree’s beauty and health, and while the terms are used in the same context, they are different. Tree pruning  enhances the beauty and shape of a tree with a primary focus on the tree’s future health.

Tree pruning is a level of protection against diseases and pests while promoting strong growth of the tree. Tree pruning involves removing branches that are dead, appeared to be diseased, or have become loose over the winter. When these are left along, the tree is unable to flourish.        

Can I trim a tree myself?

Caring for the basic needs of a tree is easy. You water them, place mulch around them, and fertilize as needed. When it comes to tree trimming though, even the lightweight lower branches, it can be a hit or miss if you’re doing it right. To get that eye level  tree canopy, you need to proceed with caution and these tips: 

  • Make sure your tree trimming equipment and tree pruning equipment is clean and sharp.
  • Spot the area that you plan to cut, making that cut just beyond the branch collar so that you don’t leave a stub or cut the collar.  
  • A skinny branch that is under one inch in diameter, cut at a 45-60 degree angle to the ridge.
  • A thicker branch cut 10 to 15 inches up from the branch collar, and halfway into the branch bottom. Then moving a few inches up, cut the top of the branch and let it fall. 

You won’t necessarily kill the tree if you make a bad or wrong cut. Don’t take too much of the tree to create a canopy though, the recommended amount is twenty-five percent. Any more than that, the tree will become weaker and susceptible to stress. 

Is there a bad time to trim trees?

For tree trimming, no there isn’t a bad time to remove damaged, dead, or diseased branches. When it comes to tree pruning, you want to do this during dormancy which is mid-winter. This will encourage any new growth when the warm weather arrives, and it is easier because the leaves have fell. 

Will a tree die if you cut branches?

When a tree branch is cut, a callous tissues forms on the tree, akin to a scar. This provides a cover for the wounds that keeps decay and disease away. That scar will be there forever, but with proper pruning, the tree will live and keep growing. 

If you’re not careful, over pruning will reduce a tree’s foliage, minimizing where it gets its food and nutrition that helps the rest of the tree live and grow. It also allows disease and pest to invade the tree if the tree trimming or tree pruning is done incorrectly. 

pruning a tree

Who’s Tree Is It Anyway? 

Almost every homeowner will have this battle with a neighbor at some point.  A tree is planted close to the property line, maybe even on the property line. So, when branches are getting to be a nuisance, or the flowers, fruits of the tree are becoming a nuisance, when it comes to tree trimming who is responsible? If your neighbor doesn’t say anything, don’t worry about it. However, if they come to you expressing concern that their animal, children, vehicle, or home are in danger of the overhanging branches or limbs, and the tree itself is on your property, in most states, it is the common law that rules on this matter. It imposes the responsibility upon a tree owner to do any tree trimming or tree pruning of overhanging branches and limbs over the boundary line of their property and the neighbors. Call (817) 717-7737 today for your tree trimming and pruning needs in Fort Worth, TX.

Is my tree dead or dormant?

bark removed from tree

What are the signs of a dead tree?        

Oh man, that was a beautiful shade tree in your backyard this summer, what happened? Is it a dead tree or simply dormant?  In the forestry industry or national wildlife industry, a dead tree is called a snag, so has that wonderful shade tree in your yard became a snag? 

Every state in the U.S. has a dead tree – over 6 billion in eleven states alone! Can you imagine how many dead trees are in the whole country? While it is sad to see our favorite shade tree become an eyesore dead tree, it is a part of the natural process. 

However, in a residential area, one dead tree can be an eye sore and a big problem. A dead tree in a residential area could be considered a fire hazard, so something needs to be done with it immediately. You want to make sure it is a dead tree vs live tree before you make the decision what to do with the tree first. The five signs you have a dead tree are: 

1. Branches are Brittle and Brown 

Snap a twig from the tree in question and scratch the bark. If you see green and moist, you probably don’t have a dead tree, If it is brittle and brown, you have a dead tree. Snap and scratch a few more twigs to make sure it is consistent.  

2. Fungal or Mushroom Growing

Are there mushrooms growing off the base or trunk of your tree? It could be dying from the inside out, but it may not be dying. Do a scratch test as described above for confirmation. 

3. Cracking or Peeling Bark 

Now let’s check the bark’s condition. A tree’s bark protects the inner trunk from getting damaged. So, when there are cracks in the bark, the inner trunk is jeopardized, similar to your roof protecting you house.  

If the barked is stripped from the tree on its own accord or has it been removed by human will determine if it is a dying or dead tree. Is the inner trunk smooth? Then it is possible the tree is on its last stand. 

4. Foliage Thinning 

Like the hair on a man’s head, if the foliage is thinning, then the tree is aging and likely to be dying. If only one side of the tree has thinned foliage, it could be diseased. 

5. Trunk Leaning

A leaning tree trunk could indicate you’ll have a dead tree soon. It can also mean the roots have been damaged and the tree’s integrity is compromised. If the tree is near a sidewalk, street, or a house, you need to have it cut back before it falls on somebody or something. 

Can a dead tree be revived?

 Nope, absolutely not, a dead tree with roots or without root cannot be revived. However, a tree that appears to be sick and dying may be saved. First, you need to identify the problem and know what needs to be done to correct that so you’re not fighting against something that already has gotten a hold of the tree. Here are common problems and what you can do about them going forward to keep from having a dead tree. 

  • Watering Issues: Too much moisture is a common issue in making trees sick. Make sure there is ample drainage around the tree if it appears to be water-logged. If it doesn’t seem to be getting enough water, schedule routine watering. 
  • Too Much Mulch: Mulch can be helpful, but it can be harmful too. Too much mulch will choke a tree, so make sure to leave a space between the mulch and around the base so the roots can breathe. 
  • Proper Fertilizing: Fertilizer can be helpful, and it can be harmful if not applied properly. Dot use the same fertilizer for your lawn on around your trees. Before you start fertilizing a tree, check the soil to see if what kind of nutrients is needs. 
  • Proper Pruning: Research the proper way to prune your trees to keep them healthy and disease free. If the tree has a diseased area, research how to prune around that area so that you don’t spread the disease. Once you have finished pruning, clean the equipment and tools used thoroughly so you don’t spread the disease to other trees and plants. 

How dangerous is a dead tree?

A dead tree can be at risk of many dangers that need to be taken into consideration when determining what should be one with the dead tree. Some of the dangers a dead tree is at risk of causing: 

  • Injuries – a dead tree has lost its moisture and nutrients because the roots are dead. This means the branches are brittle and are likely to break off and injure anyone within area of the branch. 
  • Power Lines – a dead tree is susceptible to limbs breaking and falling on power lines and utility lines. The outages this will cause aren’t just going to affect you, but it will affect the entire neighborhood. 
  • Property Damage – the limbs breaking off a dead tree can fall on your house or vehicle, resulting in catastrophic and expensive damage. It could be worse if the limb falls on a neighbor’s house or vehicle.
  • Insurance – Your homeowners’ insurance may not pay any claim if the adjuster finds that the tree should have been trimmed back sooner, citing homeowner neglect. 

With these facts stated, should a dead tree be cut down? Yes! It is a dead tree and cannot be revived. Have the tree cut down and hauled away. The cost of a professional cutting down the dead tree is much less than the other possible expenses you may be facing. 

What happens to a dead tree?

Once a tree has died, the leaves will fall, and herbaceous plants fall to the ground after producing seeds. The seeds create a layer on the surface of the soil. From that layer, fungi grows and spreads as it breaks down the dead plant structure.

stripped tree branches

What Do You With The Dead Tree 

After you’ve had a dead tree cut down, what do you do with the remains? Is dead tree good for firewood? A dead tree that is bare or has partial bark and has had to “season” will make good firewood once it has dried. Some people have made furniture and other things from a dead tree if the pieces were cut in large enough chunks. It is your dead tree, and the limits are your imagination. Get the help you need with dead tree removal when you call (817) 717-7737.

What Type of Outdoor Lighting is Best?

What Type of Outdoor Lighting is Best?

Outdoor lighting can benefit homeowners in many ways. However, the question remains: which type of outdoor lighting is best? To review some of your options, please read over the following list to discover more.

  • Flood lights. Flood lights can be quite useful for homeowners because they provide high brightness and a large coverage range. These lights are usually used for illuminating driveways and patios. 
  • Uplights/Downlights. These lights have lots of uses, and architecturally speaking, are great for highlighting certain features of a house.
  • Step lights. As you may have guessed from the name, these lights are positioned on steps and illuminate up and down outdoor staircases.
  • Garden lights. Orbs of light, these electrical editions to your garden can illuminate your favorite tree or ferns.
outdoor lighting

What are Outdoor Lights Called?

As you may have already surmised, there are plenty of different names for outdoor lights. One of the most popular names is “sconce”. The term “sconce” essentially is a term that is used for any kind of wall-mounted lighting. Sconces can provide ambient, accent, or task lighting depending on the kind of lighting that is desired.

Are LED Lights Good for Outdoor Use?

If you are wondering whether or not LED lights are good for outdoor use, you will be pleased to note that LED lights are remarkably effective outdoors. As a matter of fact, LEDs are a great choice for residential, commercial, and industrial lighting requirements. LEDs require little maintenance and low replacement costs.

What Color Temperature is Best for Outdoor Lighting?

One of the most important design decisions that you can make with regard to your outdoor lighting is the color temperature. The Kelvin range that is used in outdoor lighting is between 2500k-4000k. Warmer color temperatures are typically used on architectural elements. This means that “warm” lighting is between 2500-2700. Cooler temperature elements are used on plant material and gardens in an outdoor landscape. The color temperature for such installations is between 3000k to 4000k.

What is the Disadvantage of LED Light?

There are numerous advantages to LED lights. They require little maintenance, less energy, and are highly effective. However, it is important to consider any disadvantages if indeed there are any. According to a leading expert on lights in the manufacturing industry, LED lights only have a few inherent disadvantages. Perhaps the most well-known weakness of LED lighting is the fact that LEDs produce a byproduct. This byproduct is heat. LEDs are self-heating devices that generate heat inside the package versus radiating heat in the form of infrared energy. 

Which Outdoor Lighting

When it comes to making your ultimate outdoor lighting selection, it is important to review all of your options. One of the best resources for property-owners is going to a lighting store and figuring out which lighting schemes will be best for their outdoor landscape. Whether this is a large furniture retailer or a home-improvement warehouse, it’s important to review as many applicable options as necessary. Having a well-informed opinion is the first step toward achieving your desired outdoor lighting outcome.

How to Choose Outdoor Lighting

It’s important to go in with a great mindset when it concerns choosing your outdoor lighting situation. The first thing that you need to do is deduce your outdoor lighting needs. Are you looking for more outdoor security? If so, you will want to review security light options. If you would like for your outdoor fixtures to be able to handle ice, snow, and intense rain, then it will be pertinent to select an outdoor fixture that has a wet rating. Outdoor fixtures with a wet rating can be installed on an exposed deck, on a veranda, on a gazebo, or on a pergola. 

A UL wet rating means that the light can handle ice, snow, and intense rain. This rating also dictates that the fixture can handle salty conditions from the nearby ocean, and can be placed in an area of high exposure. Conversely, UL dry ratings indicate that the light is optimized for indoor use only. These lights cannot be exposed to any moisture and should never be used outdoors or in damp/wet locales.

outdoor lighting

Outdoor Lighting with Motion Sensor

One of the most important aspects of a good outdoor light fixture is whether or not it accomplishes all the goals you have. Does it turn off and on properly? Does it shine a light on the intended area? An outdoor light with a motion sensor accomplishes the task of ensuring that when people are passing near the light, it will turn on and off as needed. It can also be quite handy for detecting unwanted intruders on a property.

Our team are here to help with outdoor lighting in Fort Worth, TX. Please make an appointment at our company with a quick phone call to (817) 717-7737.

What is the fastest way to remove a tree stump?

Large old stump in yard

Removing a stump from your yard

Trees add beauty to our home, provide shade on a hot summer day, homes, and roosting spots for animals and birds. They are an essential part of the ecosystem too. There are situations when trees can become dangerous, or they become diseased or die and need to be cut down and removed.  Then this leaves the matter of dealing with the stump. Removal of the tree is easy compared to the stump removal.  

So, can you leave it there? Is tree stump removal necessary? Is it bad to leave a tree stump? It depends on where the tree stump is located, but eventually, the stump and its roots will decay, slowly, over the next ten years or longer. As it decays, it will start to crumble and fall apart. 

If the tree was in an area where you mow and you choose not to have stump removal performed, as it decays, it will become covered by the grass and weeds. Over time, if not you, somewhere in the future, as somebody is mowing, they will run over the stump. Running over a tree stump can definitely damage the mower, and it could harm the person mowing or anyone nearby. 

Choosing not to have tree stump and root removal done, as the tree stump and its roots decay, it becomes a home for insects and pests, diseases, fungi, and organisms. These are things that homeowners make concerted efforts to avoid having in the homes. When you don’t have stump removal performed, you’re going to have more issues in time as these things move from the tree stump into your home! 

What happens if you don’t remove tree stump?

If the points we just discussed don’t convince you that stump removal is best, or you can’t decide, after all, that is an additional cost, is it worthwhile? Consider these facts when you choose not to have stump removal after the tree is cut down:  

  1. Dead tree stumps aren’t an object of beauty. Aesthetically, when the tree stump is dead, it is not appealing. If you work hard to keep your flower beds and grass looking their absolute best, why would you want to leave a dead, rotting tree stump in the yard? Stump removal is an integral part of a beautiful yard. 
  2. Tree stumps can be hazardous. In addition to the future mowing hazard we mentioned earlier, a dead tree stump can be dangerous to children running and playing in the yard. Or if anyone, a contractor, neighbor, or guest doesn’t see the tree stump, they could trip and fall. If they are injured, that will be on your homeowner’s insurance. The insurance claim could be denied because you chose not to have stump removal done. That could be considered homeowner neglect and could warrant cancellation of your insurance.  
  3. Tree stumps can allow new tree growth. Sometimes, when stump removal isn’t done and the stump isn’t dead, new sprouts will begin, result in small trees coming up around the stump, leaving an unsightly issue for a manicured lawn. The cost of killing those new shoots will get expensive, not to mention what the repeated use of chemicals could do to the yard around the tree stump. Removal of that stump will also prevent the crucial nutrients that your grass and other plants located around the tree stump need to be leeched away.
  4. Tree stumps take up yard space. Maybe if your yard is an acre, one tree stump won’t be an issue for the space you have, but for a small yard, when stump removal is avoided, it is taking up precious real estate – literally. 

Can a tree stump still grow?

If the tree stump is dead, no, it will not continue growing. Tree stumps in the ground and stumps from branches and limbs removed can regenerate with new trees. Every So often, a cut deciduous tree will re-sprout around the tree stump edge or from the roots.

Is it better to grind a stump or remove it?

There are pros and cons to tree stump grinding and tree stump removal. Which one is best depends on you, your landscape, and your plans for that landscape?  Tree stump removal is more intrusive than stump grinding because it includes digging out the tree roots.

However, tree stump removal even though the landscape will be clean and clear, ready to do as you please after you fill in the hole that is left behind.  Stump grinding is less intensive, more efficient, and the chips that are created can be reused for mulch.  

Tree stump grinding removes the visible remains, but the tree’s roots still exist, and for four, six, twelve feet or more, those roots could sprout new trees if they don’t decay, which can take up to ten years or more. If you aren’t sure whether tree stump removal or tree stump grinding is the best option, contact a professional arborist for advice. 

freshly cut stump

How do you remove a stump without a stump grinder?

After a tree has been cut down, removing the stump can be as difficult, or even more, as removing the tree. If paying somebody for tree stump removal isn’t affordable for you, there are three methods you can do yourself: 

  • Manual Stump Removal: To remove small to medium stumps, use your muscles. A more massive tree stump will take a lot of muscle and work. You may want to call in a few buddies for help. You can find several videos online for manual stump removal instructions. Or use one of the other two methods we have listed here. 
  • Chemical Stump Removal: For a large tree stump removal, if you can’t afford to pay to have it removed, and the manual method is too much, the chemical tree stump removal works, but it takes longer. Wood eventually decays and rots, but you can speed it up by keeping it moist and add a high-nitrogen fertilizer or add potassium nitrate granules. The chemical removal method is a slow process that can anywhere between a few months to a year. 
  • Burning Stump Removal: This method isn’t recommended if you live in the city or have neighbors close by. There are products you can purchase that will break down the stumps wood fiber, leaving a porous wood that will absorb kerosene. Once the kerosene is absorbed, ignite it, prepared with a water hose close by, and soon the fire will become a smoldering flame that will burn out. 

Suppose you aren’t sure which method to use, contact service, and ask for advice or schedule an appointment for an estimate. You can do an internet search for “services that remove tree stump near me”; most will offer a free estimate. For your stump removal needs, call (817) 717-7737 today.