Category Archives: Uncategorized

What is the Best Way to Cable a Tree?

view from below of a tree

Can you change a tree’s growth pattern?

While trees can add beauty to the landscape of a business or home, they can also pose a problem if their growth pattern becomes an irritant. Once upon a time, the answer to that was to cut the tree down, but today, tree cabling and bracing have given us a way to keep the trees and redirect their growth pattern. If you’re interested in tree cabling and bracing in Fort Worth, TX our professionals can be there to help with this process. Give us a call at (817) 717-7737 if you’re looking for more information.

What is tree cabling and bracing?

Tree cabling and bracing are a method of supplemental structural support to a tree that will reduce any risk of multiple stems and weak branches failing. The cables typically consist of exceptionally strong steel cables that are installed in the upper crown of a tree and attached by bolts. Cabling limits the movement of the branches that are supported so they risk breaking and failing in high winds and storms. 

The tree bracing is done with threaded rods that are installed where the weak branches and multiple stems meet. This provides them rigid support, from the force of winds that can twist them, causing them to bend and break. Tree cabling and bracing were invented in the first part of the 20th century and have become the industry standard that arborists use today.

Are the different types of tree cabling and bracing?

Tree cabling and bracing are always mentioned in the same sentence, but they are two distinct processes.  When we talk about tree cabling, there are two different types: 

  • Static Tree Cabling: As mentioned above, the typical method uses an exceptionally strong steel cable that is fastened with bolts to the tree and secured with lag bolts or steel eye nuts. A tree static cabling system is a method that will reduce the risks of co-dominant stem failure.
  • Dynamic Tree Cabling: This type of tree cabling uses special elastic components that allow some movement of the tree branches, which will prevent failure.  This method is not recommended if a tree t has already started failing and needs maintenance and monitoring.

When we talk about tree bracing, this technique is done by installing metal rods where two co-dominant branches converge. This reduces the risk of branches breaking away by limiting the movement of tree parts like the branches, limbs, and trunks. The tree bracing process is typically done in conjunction with cabling (hence the tree cabling and bracing term) and pruning.  This process provides proper protection for the tree. 

Is tree cabling and bracing a good option?

Tree pruning should be the first thing done when improving the tree’s structure. Tree cabling and bracing methods cannot save dead, dying, or decaying branches and prevent them from falling. Because tree cables are flexible, they won’t restrict growth but will reduce movement, while the bracing stabilizes the tree, and gives it the needed support. When installed by a tree professional, tree cabling is discreet so that the landscape aesthetics are not disturbed.

How long does tree cabling and bracing last?

When tree cabling and bracing are done properly by a trained professional, it can last up to 40 years. However, frequent inspections should be done on the tree by a licensed arborist. If the tree is still growing, the tree cabling may need to be redone or replaced every three to four years.

How expensive is tree cabling and bracing?

While you have a budget in place, you need to choose a professional who is experienced and licensed.  Because tree cabling and bracing are done on healthy trees, ultimate care needs to be exercised to minimize any possibility of damaging the tree. The process can cost up to $500 or more depending on the size of the tree and how many braces and cables are needed. 

When should tree cabling and bracing be done?

Tree cabling and bracing are recommended when a tree has indications of structural weakness. This is done by inspecting the tree for the following: 

  • The bark
  • Codominant stems
  • Large, overextended tree branches

Tree cabling and bracing are also used when there is a risk of damage due to any part of a tree failing. 

What are the benefits of tree cabling and bracing?

Tree cabling and bracing are a combination process that prepares the trees for severe weather, especially if they are at a high risk of failing. The benefits you can expect include: 

  • Lowered Risk of Property Damage and Failure: An unsupported tree is at risk of being exposed to heavy rains and high winds that are typical with storms that come through the Dallas/Fort Worth Texas area.  The process of tree cabling and bracing will stabilize trees that may have weak branches and brace the trunk and any large weak areas that may split. 
  • Encourages Strong Growth: As tree cabling and bracing are an ideal defense mechanism during questionable weather, they also assist the weak areas to grow stronger. This will minimize weak areas in the future that have a risk of failing. 
  • Encourages Healing: Tree cabling and bracing can help treat damaged trees by providing structural support nurturing growth and assisting in healing and repairing. 

In Closing 

It can be tempting, and easier, to just let trees grow in their natural process. But if you’re concerned with the safety of your home and surrounding area, tree cabling and bracing are the best insurance and reinforcement. If you’re looking for any more information, reach out to our professionals and we can answer any questions you may have. Call today at (817) 717-7737.

Should a Dead Tree Be Removed?

dead tree

Have Dead Trees Cleared

Trees add beauty to the landscape, especially our homes. They provide some level of protection and shelter along with shade, an important thing here in the Fort Worth, Texas area. But when one dies, it can affect the entire situation, making the landscape look bad and more. This is why proper dead tree removal is important.  

Is it necessary to hire a professional to remove a dead tree? 

Okay, you have a chainsaw and a few buddies, yes, you may be able to do a crude type of dead tree removal. But there is more than just cutting it down, cutting up the branches, and taking the cuts to a landfill (or in the firepit). 

There are many issues to be concerned with when working with dead tree removal. By hiring a certified professional arborist, they will have the experience and knowledge for proper dead tree removal, and they will have insurance to protect themselves and you. 

Are there any environmental concerns to consider before removing a dead tree? 

Well, that depends on where the dead is located.  A dead tree in a forest is essential to the health of the forest. The bacteria, fungi and other life forms that come from the decomposing dead wood return nutrients to the ecosystem and encourage new plant growth. 

However, around your home or where there is human activity, dead tree removal is a matter of safety. Annually in the United States, over 100 people are killed by falling dead trees. As soon as you discover you have a dead tree, removal should be considered by a professional, sooner than later. 

How much does it cost to remove a dead tree? 

There are several factors that are considered when pricing dead tree removal, starting with the size and type of tree. The location of the tree is a factor too. For instance, if it is partially hanging over your home or some other type of structure, the dead tree removal process is important.

dead tree in a field

What is the best time of year to remove a dead tree? 

If you hire a certified arborist, they’ll know the best time for tree trimming or dead tree removal. If you’re going to do this yourself, the best time of the year in Texas is in the fall just after the summer heat has subsided and before the buds bloom in the spring. However, removing broken, damaged, or dead tree limbs can be done year-round. 

What type of protective gear is recommended for dead tree removal?

Again, if you hire a certified arborist, they will have the proper dead tree removal equipment and any PPE (personal protective equipment) already on hand. If you’re going to do your own dead removal, you’ll need the following items: 

  • Safety helmet
  • Face shield
  • Gloves
  • Protective clothing
  • Safety glasses
  • Earmuffs
  • Work boots

What are the steps to safely removing a dead tree?

To safely perform dead tree removal, here are three basic steps you should follow:

1. First cut the low, small branches with a chainsaw.

2. Tying a rope around larger branches, start cutting the branches free at the base of where the rope is tied and lower them slowly to the ground.

3. Next, using the chainsaw, start chopping on the tree trunk in sections. 

What should I do with the wood from the dead tree? 

Many cities and communities have an area close to the edge of town where you can take the remnants of your dead tree removal project. Another option is to use it, give it away, or sell it for firewood. 

If you have a bunch of crooked, small, leftover limbs and scraps, let it dry before using and you’ll get a clean burn. If your dead tree removal is oak, you’ll need to let it dry for two years before it is useable. 

What should I do if the dead tree is too close to a power line?

The correct and safest thing to do for dead tree removal that is close to the power lines is to call the utility company. The tree and making any repairs to the power lines is the utility company’s responsibility, and this is safer for you! 

See Through the Forest! 

Dead tree removal can be dangerous if not done correctly, to you, your family, and your home. So, what is the best way to minimize damage to your property? Here are a few preventive measures that will keep your property safe, it’s all about tree maintenance: 

  • Prune and trim as needed
  • Watch for damaged trees and disease
  • Remove dead and weak trees

Trees are an integral enhancement to the landscape around your home. They add value to the property, and provide shade in the summer, which keeps your energy bills down and improves the air quality around your home. 

But doing your own dead tree removal isn’t the best solution. Calling a professional is always the best choice, especially the bigger the tree. Check the insurance and credentials of any arborist you call and ask for references. Having dead tree removal done properly and safely is important. 

Tree Spark is here to help with dead tree removal in Fort Worth, TX. Call our team at (817) 717-7737 to learn more.

Is it better to grind a stump or remove it?

A Tree Stump

Tree Stump Removal

You had a beautiful, 100-year-old native pecan tree in the backyard. I provided shade for the grandkid’s swing set, sandbox, and your family picnic table.  Then the snow apocalypse of 2021 killed it, most of it fell in the backyard and some on top of the garage. You and some buddies got it cut up and hauled off, but there is still that tree stump removal to be done. 

Your wife has found decorative ideas to use the tree stump, removal wouldn’t be necessary then. But is it better to leave that tree stump there? Arborists will tell you that it is best to follow through with tree stump removal, either professionally or DIY. Not sure why, keep reading: 

  • Property Damage: Frequently the tree roots will continue to grow, eventually reaching out to other areas of your lawn. They can spread and reach your home, getting wrapped around plumbing, and lifting the driveway, patio, walkways, and other pavement areas. 
  • Infestations: Skip the tree stump removal, the organisms will begin to decompose the remainder, and insects and pests begin moving in, build nests, and start scouting around the other trees, your plants, and even your home. 
  • Invasive: Tree stump removal will get rid of the unsightly appearance of that invasive obstruction in your yard. This can encourage other plants to grow that are just as invasive, unsightly, and a challenge to remove. Mushrooms and other fungi, will start growing on the tree stump, starting at the roots, and begin showing up throughout your landscaping. Some mushrooms like these can be dangerous, even deadly to animals, children, and other trees. 
  • Safety Hazards: Tree stump removal eliminates a safety hazard for any children playing in the yard. It also makes landscape maintenance easier! 
  • Aesthetics: Tree stump removal will give you valuable lawn space and eliminate the eyesore a tree stump can be. 

Need a tree stump removed? Give Tree Spark a call at (817) 717-7737.

What is the fastest way to get rid of a tree stump?

It is recommended to have any tree stump removal in Fort Worth, TX done professionally by an arborist. They will use a stump grinding method in most cases. It is the more efficient and less intensive method using a rotating cutting disk piece of equipment that shreds the tree stump into small wood chips. This still leaves the roots in the ground, but those will decay naturally over time.

Another method of tree stump removal is to either burn it or apply chemicals designated for tree stump removal. You can also have the stump pulled up, but this will leave a hole in the ground. 

Can a tree stump removal be done with DIY? 

Use lamp oil or kerosene poured over the cut part of the tree stump and allow it to sit and soak in. It will soak through the stump and into the root. After a week, pour more over the open tree stump, and within another week, with the approval of the fire department and safety measures, you’ll be able to burn the tree stump out. 

Will salt or vinegar get rid of a tree stump?

There are a few household items that can be used to accelerate the demise of the tree stump for tree stump removal to be completed. Those items include oil, salt, or vinegar. However, the larger the tree stump, the longer it takes these to work. 

What is the most effective tree stump killer?

The chemical potassium nitrate has a high concentration of nitrogen. Poured directly on the tree stump, it will accelerate the decomposition process making tree stump removal easier.

A Tree Stump Removal

In Closing

What if you decide you want to keep the tree stump after all? Fortunately, just as there are products and ways for tree stump removal, there are ways to preserve them too with these steps: 

  • Prepare the tree stump by removing any branches and leaves and sanding the areas smooth, removing the stop layer. Next, using a saw, remove any other pieces of the tree still attached. Now drill holes evenly spaced into the tree stump about an inch deep.
  • Allow the stump to dry thoroughly. Then using a wire brush, remove any debris, dirt, or dead bark from the surface and drill holes in the sides of the stump to help it decompose faster. 
  • Mixing water and vinegar, fill the holes, and then cover the tree stump with plastic sheeting or tarp.  After this has sat for a while, fill the holes with sand and then fill any gaps and imperfections, sanding them down to a smooth surface.  Now, your once-ugly tree stump is ready to be painted and decorated! 

In some cases, you may want to leave the rugged appearance of the bark, as well as any gaps and imperfections. This is a personal decision and is your tree stump to do as you want! You should check with any homeowner association rules and restrictions before going through this process though. Ready to get old stumps removed? Call (817) 717-7737 to set an appointment today.

How Long Does it Take to Remove a Tree?

falling tree after hard storm on damage house

Tree Removal Processes

Many times, we buy a house because of the trees surrounding it. In fact, in the real estate world, the trees are a value-add when it comes to the listing price.  However, as beautiful and loved as having trees around your home are, there comes a time that tree removal is necessary.

When should you consider tree removal?

When possible, tree removal should be the last course of action, and simply because a tree is dead, doesn’t mean it must be removed. If the tree is in an area where it can’t harm anyone or anything, leave it be as a refuge for wildlife. 

However, dead, dying, or a tree that is hazardous with the possibility of causing expensive and extensive damage, tree removal is the best option. So, tree removal should be performed if any of the following exist: 

  • Indications of infection: Crown dieback, deep cracks in the bark, discolored or misshaped leaves, crumbling soft wood, or the presence of fungi often indicate infection. A tree full of unwanted pests, indicated by beginning holes, feeding galleries, and busy woodpeckers feeding on the tree.
  • Large, dead branches: When these are in the crown of the tree, described as widow-makers because they will fall for what appears as no reason and can cause serious injury. When fifty percent or more of the tree is damaged or dead, tree removal is a matter of safety.
  • Poor growth: Discolored, thin foliage and stunted growth indicate a tree is having trouble, especially if all the trees around it are healthy and vigorous. Tree removal may be necessary, but have the tree inspected by a professional first.
  • Root defects: Root defects are not always easily noticeable, but if there are fungi and heaving soil near the tree base, tree removal should be considered.
  • Compromised trunk: Cracks, dead branch stubs, large wounds, or splits in the trunk indicate the tree is dying inside. A tree can live for years in this situation, but it is just a matter of when it becomes too weak and falls. 
  • Hollow: A hollow tree trunk is a compromised tree trunk and creating a hazard. If 1/3 of the tree is hollowed or rotted, tree removal is recommended.
  • Suddenly leaning: A leaning tree isn’t necessarily dangerous, but if that lean has happened without an apparent cause suddenly, there is likely a structural problem with the tree, and tree removal is the safest course of action.
  • Sprouting at the base: A tree with sprouts at the base isn’t having babies. These are epicormic shoots, indicating the tree is stressed and should be inspected by a professional.
  • Power lines: A tree that has grown into power lines is hazardous and tree removal is recommended. If the tree is too close to your home and is hanging over the roof, keep it pruned or schedule a tree removal. 

What do I need to know before removing a tree, how do you protect your property during tree removal?

If you feel that tree removal is necessary, you should have it inspected by a certified arborist first. They will determine if the tree should be removed or if there is a treatment to save the tree. 

If the tree is well-rooted and healthy, there are different ways to remove it than how a dead or diseased tree removal is done. The same applies to how old the tree is as well. By examining the tree, a professional arborist can determine important facts and advise the best process and tools for tree removal. 

Next, you’ll need to clear your yard so that the tree can lay flat once the tree removal has brought it down. The recommended clearing space is two times the tree height. This area should be all around because you won’t know what direction the tree is coming down. 

Make sure no, cars, pets, people, or lawn furniture in the vicinity.  The tree removal company will survey the area regarding power lines, so the tree removal doesn’t cause issues for your neighbors. Make sure there is a clear path for the tree removal crew to go back and forth and work around the tree. 

removed tree trunk by crane in residential area

Why is tree removal important?

There are several reasons that tree removal is necessary: 

As a dead or sick tree loses strength and weakens, it becomes unable to withstand the ice, snow, storms, and wind. The limbs and branches can break off, the tree can fall, causing major damage, even death. 

A diseased tree left standing can spread the disease to other trees.  Tree removal will prevent this from happening. A tree that has been damaged has been weakened, and tree removal could be the best way to keep it from unexpectedly falling. 

Sometimes, as beautiful as trees are, when they are encroaching the power lines or the foundation of your home, they are becoming a problem. When trees are planted, perhaps the shade was the focus, but as they grow, they can get in the way of driveways, sidewalks, or too close to a structure. 

Is it safe to remove trees close to the home?

Yes, after you’ve had a professional examine the tree and its proximity to your home, having a professional tree removal is safe, usually making it safer for your home. 

What steps are taken for safe tree removal, What is the tree removal process?

It is always recommended to have any tree removal done by a professional service. They will have the proper equipment, safety gear, and tools to do the job safely and thoroughly.  A professional tree removal company will have procedures in place that will assure the tree is brought down safely using the following steps: 

  • Estimate the felling zone and allow room for the fall
  • Cut a notch into the tree, placing a wedge there to help direct the tree down
  • As they cut, they watch for kickback limbs
  • A rope is used as they guide the tree down to keep the tree away from power lines and structures
  • Branches and limbs still on the tree are removed and trimmed for easier removal once it is on the ground

Do you need a permit to remove a tree?

In Texas, no, there is no law requiring a permit to be obtained for tree removal. 

In Closing 

Many homeowners wonder can you plant a tree where one was removed? While you certainly can, after all, it is your property. However, arborists recommend not to because the essential nutrients for healthy growth are likely stripped from the soil, especially if the tree was diseased. 

Tree Spark provides smooth tree removal in Fort Worth, TX. Call (817) 717-7737 to get scheduled.

How do you dispose of a dead tree?

silhouette of a dead tree against a cloudy sky

Dealing With Dead Trees

With the arrival of Spring and Summer, there is yard work with lawns to take care of and gardens to tend to. This work often includes dead tree removal. Winter can do a lot of damage to your gardens, lawn, and trees, and when that happens, we must start our spring fling by cleaning it all up. Should a dead tree be removed, what happens if you leave a dead tree?

The longer a tree is dead, the tree becomes less flexible, making it brittle and harder. Dead tree removal is harder to do safely than a tree that has died recently. Here are 5 things that happen if you wait for dead tree removal: 

  • Pest Attracted: Carpenter ants, termites, and other insects love dead trees. They make for a great place to nest and multiply more insects, and surrounding trees and your home is at risk of those insects moving in to find food and refuge while causing damage. 
  • Falling Danger: Will a dead tree fall over? Yes, a dead tree will be harder, but it isn’t strong. A dead tree is weak and has a higher chance of falling over, and it may not fall in a safe direction. It could be on your house, a neighbor’s house, or even on a person or animal. 
  • Cheaper to Remove: A recently dead tree, removal is less expensive than a tree that has been dead for some time because of the compromised structural integrity. Dead branches will fall off with the gust of wind, landing on your car or house, or worse, a neighbor’s car or house. The sooner you schedule a dead tree removal service, the more money you’ll save. 
  • Other Trees Impacted: If the dead tree is because of disease, this can be contagious to surrounding trees, like mildew or mold developing on the dead tree, it will spread to other trees. Your garden and plants are at risk of that disease, mildew, and mold spreading to them and destroying your landscape. 
  • Just Ugly! A key fact to note here is that dead trees just ugly! You’re doing all this hard work to make your landscaping and gardens look attractive and beautiful. A dead tree is going to ruin that curb appeal, diminishing the curb appeal and value of your home. 

What are the signs of a dead or dying tree that needs to be removed?

Here are 6 indications that you have a dead tree removal need soon: 

Sticks Everywhere

When a tree is shedding sticks constantly, it usually is a sign of poor health. Healthy tree branches and twigs are flexible and don’t usually have the tendency to break off. If you’re noticing an increase in broken branches or twigs, schedule a tree specialist to inspect the tree and advise. 

Bark Falling Off

Flaking or peeling tree bark is an indication that the tree isn’t getting enough nutrients and could possibly be due to disease. Try watering the bare areas and reattaching the bark with tape, you may save the tree. Otherwise, you need to make plans for dead tree removal. 

Fungus or Rot

Fungus or rot on a tree is never good news and you need to act immediately if you want to save the tree. There are treatments available that can rid fungus and rot, but if the damage is too far gone, your next plan of action needs to be dead tree removal. 

Leaning Trees

Unless the tree has grown at an angle, it shouldn’t be leaning. As a tree begins to lean, it is usually because the roots are damaged or dying. Bracing the tree can keep it from going all the way over, but the safer thing would be to schedule a dead tree removal. 

Open Wounds

A tree with an open wound is doing to lead to a dead tree. These open wounds can be ill-planned tree trimming, torn-off branches, or splits that the tree isn’t able to recover from. Lightning strikes and hard wind can cause a tree to split from top to bottom, and in many cases, you’ll end up needing a dead tree removal service. 

No Leaves

A lack of leaves is a strong sign you have a dead tree or one that will be dead soon. Bare branches on just one side may be caused by disease, pest, or root damage. For any of this, you need to schedule a dead tree removal because the damage is not reversible.

What time of year should trees be cut down?

The recommended time of year for cutting trees down is early spring or winter or early spring. During these times, the leaves have fallen, leaving the branches free of foliage.  If the ground is frozen, it will make the dead tree removal easier and less likely apt to disturb the earth around the tree.

The best time to prune or trim trees in Texas is in the early fall. The summer temperatures have cooled down and buds have not yet started. There isn’t a “best time” when to cut off dead tree branches, this can be done year-round. 

Will dead tree roots decompose?

Yes, once a tree has been cut down or you’ve had dead tree removal done, the roots will not grow anymore, eventually decomposing in the soil. The problem with decaying roots is the cavities that it creates, leaving soft spots. 

What do you do with half-dead trees?

When a tree appears dead on one side, indicated by leaves and limbs dying, call a tree specialist to inspect the tree. There could be root issues like “girdling”, which is when a root is wrapped very tightly around the trunk under the soil line.  This cuts the flow of nutrients and water from all the roots. By removing some soil, a tree specialist can verify the problem, and make recommendations to save the tree. 

dead tree laying on dry ground

Closing Statement – Who Pays For Dead Tree Removal? 

While dead tree removal isn’t as expensive as replacing a new roof, it isn’t the cheapest thing either. So, when will insurance cover dead tree removal, or will it pay anything? No, typically homeowner’s insurance will not pay for dead tree removal. Here is a summary of what your homeowner’s insurance will pay for regarding trees: 

  • For trees that have fallen due to hail, wind, or from the weight of ice or snow and landed on your house or any insured structure on your property, you will be reimbursed for the tree removal.
  • For a tree that falls due to hail, wind, or the weight of ice or snow and lands in your yard, but not on any structure, removal will be out-of-pocket for you.
  • For a collapsed tree that’s caused by an explosion, fire, lightning, or vandalism, regardless of where it lands, your homeowner’s insurance may pay for the removal. 

Keep this in mind to help you make the best decision possible when you need tree removal.

How to Diagnose Tree Disease

Diseased tree leaf

Watch Out For Tree Disease

Trees are a wonderful asset to a home or business property. They are often one of the things that attracted us to that property. So, when one is inflicted with any of the possible tree diseases, it can be devastating and disappointing. Fortunately, sometimes, trees can be saved, sometimes, they must be cut down, it all depends on which of the many tree diseases have affected the tree. 

What are common tree diseases?

There are tree diseases everywhere, but each region of the country can have tree diseases particular to that region that other regions and states do not experience. In Texas, the four of the most common tree diseases are: 

  • Leaf Blight: This is one of the tree diseases that are virtually exclusive to a tree’s leaves, and more common among fruit-producing trees. The conditions of North Texas are prone to leaf blight because of the humid and rainy condition help it to spread with the high winds carrying it out and about. It is more frequent in the spring when the weather is particularly rainy and will grow quickly. 

Leaf blight isn’t easy to distinguish, especially on younger plants and trees and can be mistaken as burn marks with the brown patches. This is a type of fungus that prevents the leaves from maximizing photosynthesis, leaving them in a feeble, frail, and weak status. Eventually, the leaves will turn brown, curl up, and die, but when the disease has spread too far, it can kill the entire tree. 

  • Oak Wilt: With all the tree diseases possible, this one has reached an epidemic in The Lone Star State. Exclusive to oak trees, a common tree in North Texas that is caused by an invasion of a parasitic fungus that disables the water-conducting system of the tree Essentially, the tree dies from lack of water. Al types of oak trees are susceptible to this tree disease, but it is higher among the red oak trees. 

Oak wilt will appear in the leaves typically, causing the leaves to turn half brown and fall. If the oak tree has healthy green limbs but the leaves appear crunchy and appear to be dehydrated, it is likely a case of oak wilt tree disease. This is common during the fall and winter months. 

  • Powdery Mildew: A white mildew that resembles baby powder that is tiny fungal spores, millions of them, that are infecting the tree leaves. The tree’s vigor declines when affected by this powder disease, resulting in brown and yellow leaves, leaf distortion, and premature leaf dropping. This is one of the key indicators of oak tree disease as well. 
  • This mildew fungus will keep producing itself and is difficult to rid of once the initial outbreak and the wind carries the spores from tree to tree. Once the spores have been established, they will go dormant within the soil and return with renewed energy. 
  • Anthracnose:  This is one of the tree diseases that target deciduous trees like ash, oak, and sycamore trees in North Texas. The brown patches have a similar appearance of leaf blight. However, Anthracnose creates holes along the leaf veins, creating what looks like Swiss cheese with the leaves. at times.

Like some of the other tree diseases listed here, it is a fungal disease that is especially a nasty disease for trees, often attacking the young twigs that are generally the most vulnerable. The tree can’t foliate because the buds and leaves that have developed will die too. 

How do you identify a diseased tree?

Five of the most common ways to identify tree disease are: 

  1. Noncontinuous bark with abnormalities like cracks and holes
  2. Decay from the inside out
  3. Branches that are dry and break easily
  4. Leaf discolored in season
  5. Poor architecture creating a leaning tree

What are the symptoms of tree disease?

There are several indications of tree disease, keeping in mind that insect infestation is a tree disease. The most common are the following ten listed here: 

  • Chewed Foliage 
  • If you notice tree leaves appear to be chewed on, like irregular and jagged edges or small holes, you have an insect issue.  
  • Distorted Foliage
  • Aphids, a small, soft-bodied insect that multiplies fast and feeds on the tree sap with a piercing/sucking motion. The saliva these insects leave is deadly to a tree. 
  • Dull Stippled Foliage

Mites will cause foliage to become dry, stippled, and yellowed by sucking the juice from trees and plants. 

  • White Spots 

An abundance of white spots on the branches, leaves, and twigs indicates an infestation of scale insects that are feeding off the fluid in the tree. These white spots are tiny white bugs that multiply quickly and spread. 

  • White Mass

White masses in trees are likely an insect colony, looking like mold, but they are sucking the fluid from your tree and often leave egg sacks that look like cotton. 

  • Bark Holes 

Bark holes will usually have sawdust in and around them, a telltale sign that the tree is feeding wood-boring insects. As the insects’ hatch larvae, they drill their way into the tree, disrupting the vascular system of the tree, and stopping it from getting nutrients and water. 

  • Sticky Substances

A black, sooty, sticky substance coming from a tree is a type of mold. This is from various insets like aphids and whiteflies feeding on the sugary substance of the tree.  

  • Spotty Leaves 

Tan and white spots are typical of an insect problem, but black, brown, orange, or yellow spots indicate fungal tree diseases that weaken the photosynthesis process of the tree, causing leaf loss. Some tree diseases are cosmetic issues, but some can cause major health issues.

  • Yellow Foliage

A massive overall yellowing or a lack of vibrant color can be for any number of tree diseases. 

  • Leaf Growth Stunted

Again, any number of tree diseases can be indicated by common culprits indicated by sickly or small leaves. 

How do you treat a sick tree?

As a homeowner, caring for the trees around your home is essential. When your trees are affected by any of the tree diseases, that care is even more essential. The following are six tips for that tree care: 

  1. Never put weed fertilizer near the tree’s root zone. 
  2. Quit any pesticide use.
  3. Be careful not to over-mulch around the tree. 
  4. Hand trim any exposed tree roots instead of mowing them.
  5. If it hasn’t rained recently, be sure to water the trees. 
  6. Use proper technique when pruning the trees.

What does tree blight look like?

Tree blight can have a different appearance based on which of the tree diseases has caused the blight. It is a detriment to a tree’s health. When unchecked and treated, it can lead to a need for the tree to be removed. Common tree diseases or tree blight are:

  • Fire Blight: Appears as if the tree has been on fire with the blossoms, branches, leaves, and twigs turning a dark brown to black. 
  • Diplodia Blight: The tree suffers from stunted growth of new shoots and leaves the tree with brown needles.
  • Dothistroma Blight: This is a foliar tree disease that affects trees of a pine variety, leaving brown needles. 
  • Anthracnose and Leaf Spot Diseases: These tree diseases have symptoms of dead areas or spots on the leaves.
  • Maple Wilt: This tree disease includes brown-looking leaves and/or large dead branches.
  • Chestnut Blight: 
  • Chestnut blight is caused by a fungus and is notorious for causing the American chestnut tree to become nearly extinct since it was discovered in the early 1900s. Arborists continue to work to restore chestnut tree populations, especially in Massachusetts.
  • Dutch Elm Tree Disease: Indicated by the leaves in the tree’s outer crown turning yellow then wilt, turning brown afterward and leaves are strewn over the entire lawn.
  • Sycamore Anthracnose: Another of the many tree diseases that are noted by extensive defoliation, new shoots die back, and twig death. Anthracnose is also a common maple tree disease as is verticillium wilt, maple tree tar spot, and others. 
Area of diseased trees

How to protect your trees from disease

You need to take care of your trees year-round like you do the rest of your home. Defend them from the various tree diseases and insect infestations we’ve covered here takes a commitment of diligence with the following: 

  • Good Grooming

Keep trees trimmed with regular pruning. This allows sunshine in and a healthy airflow. After each tree, clean the pruning shears with rubbing alcohol or a mixture of bleach and water to prevent any tree diseases from spreading. 

  • Healthy Hydration

Keeping branches healthy with proper watering will eliminate breakage. Broken branches are unattractive, unsafe and increase the chance of insect infestations and tree diseases. 

  • Wrap It Up

Tree wraps will protect your trees from the wild weather here in Texas. From the excessive heat to the high winds and the bitter cold. Spray fruit trees with a dormant oil just before buds start to appear will kill any insects, larvae, and eggs while protecting the delicate shoots and leaves.

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.

Safety

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. 

Costs

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. 

Pests

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.

Infection

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. 

Aesthetics

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.