Free Arborist Info for California Tree Owners

Free Arborist Info for California Tree Owners

Riverside, CA Arborist and Master Gardener – Extension Office

Phone: 951-683-6491

Arborist Resources Summary: (3/3/11)-  In California, there is a master gardener available in the morning, Monday through Friday.  Press zero right away for fastest service, and the ask receptionist for the master gardener.  Cost: Free

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Can tree removal be decided by testing if a tree is more likely to fail?

Answer:  The short answer is no.  Consulting arborists can never be sure nor do they have the  scientific tools to accurately predict which tree is going to fall first and when.

ASCA Consulting Arborists (ASCA) need to clearly disclose and explain in their reports any limitations – and one of those limits is predicting when a tree will fall.

Arborists can provide tree preservation strategies to keep the tree healthy and stable.

A consulting arborist can offer an opinion as to whether a tree is a hazard tree.  The opinion itself is used more to assess the value of the tree.

Arborist as Seismologist.

Being an arborist is a little like being an earthquake scientist.

The seismologist could tell you that the probability of an earthquake is higher or
lower currently but not when and where it would hit.

If an arborist was standing in your yard looking at a tree, they could only tell
you if the tree is declining early or not and why.

Like seismologists, arborists take a long view into the future and past.

Maybe not geological ages but a 50 to 100 year view of the tree and its environmental context.

Let’s say the average lifespan of your pine tree is 75 years
and it has lived for 40. The tree would logically have
another 35 years left.

Then the arborist will take into account a whole range of factors such as

  • climate
  •  tree condition
  • construction around the tree
  • maintenance level
  • disease symptoms

They can tell you whether the tree will decline early and what to start doing if you want to preserve it.

Erratic weather effects on trees?

How do these fall snow storms affect trees?

Answer: Aside from problems with broken branches or uprooting, erratic weather does make trees behave differently, certainly.

Massive tree degradation has been in the news lately. But it can be hard to see your trees from the massive forest-sized point of view of the New York Times and other large mainstream media sources. One fact is clear: erratic weather seems to cause both trees and insects to behave differently than expected.

To bring this issue into your backyard, one need only drive the streets of Denver to see what a late freeze can do to tree roots. Many of Denver’s honey locusts, silver maples and green ashes have bare nodes in years after erratically-timed frosts. This is a visual sign of a tough growing season just prior.

“Signs indicate a possible vascular issue. Some of the experienced (tree) practitioners blame the extreme dry and cold.  Last year we didn’t get a good ground covering snow until mid-January, “ Bill Cassel, Arboreal Inspector for the City of Denver Forestry Department said.

In Georgia, Gerry Korzi, an Atlanta certified arborist said that he recommends winter watering for most evergreens.

“Here in Georgia our winters usually consist of brief rains and clear, bright dry weather in between. Temperatures last February were in the 60′s and 70′s and many of our landscaped evergreens (arbor vitae, cryptomeria and leyland cypress) suffered,” Korzi said.

In Denver, soil and culture tests have been inconclusive, leaving city arborists without solid scientific evidence. In Georgia,  it’s rare that native trees require watering through the winter. But this may be changing as global warming becomes more pronounced. What to do?

For your trees, it means they may not get quite as much water as they need into the root zone, due to quicker evaporation. Less moisture in the soil means it gets hard and and compacted more easily, which means it gets less water, initiating a self-perpetuating downward spiral. This drying cycle can be tough for the tree to break.

The best thing you can do for your tree is watering every two to three weeks if very dry conditions occur this winter, according to Cassel.

Korzi advises clients to use “rain gauges and monitoring” if they aren’t sure how much water their trees are getting.

Can my butchered Orchid tree be saved?

The landscapers butchered my orchid tree. Can it be saved?

Full question: When I looked out in my yard, there I found the landscape crew butchering my beautiful Hong Kong Orchid Tree. The tree had some frost damage to the leaves and some of the smaller size (about index finger) twigs at the top of the tree. Otherwise, it was covered in new buds and baby leaves.

They cut about 3/4 of the tree away. Cutting main branches that where 11 1/2” and 15” in diameter. These branches were ALIVE!! I made them stop immediately, but the damage was already done.

Will my tree grow grow new main branches? What can I do to help it survive. And finally, if it does survive, how long will it take to recover, 1 year, 3 years, 5 years?

Answer: Sorry to hear what happened to your beloved tree. The tree will likely survive – however, it will be stressed. It will put on new growth, but those large structural limbs will not re-form into what they once were.

It will take 3-5 years for the tree to fill in. The fill-in growth will likely be that of branches, not limbs. Promote the health of the tree through consistent and adequate watering, accompanied by mycorrhizae and iron root injections, in spring and fall.

Also, when three years have gone by, have a certified arborist perform a crown restoration trimming of the tree.  This will help designate dominate leads within the tree’s canopy.

Thank you,

Jeff @ Ask an Arborist

Ask An Arborist- Atlanta, Georgia

How do you find an Atlanta arborist? A certified tree pro is a good first move.

If you need a tree removal quote or a related tree service estimate, we can help. Fill out this form.

Know what you’re looking for.

If you are shopping for a tree removal or tree spraying company, it’s good to have a little background on your service.  A good tree service is insured, has a safety program, and stays up to date on tree pruning standards.

A good arborist cleans up well and understands the vagaries of your community tree guidelines, knows about tree selection and what trees the city and Fulton County trees.  A tree removal in Atlanta frequently requires a permit.  The tree service needs to understand this process.

Find out about common tree issues in Atlanta

Two great resources for Atlanta tree care are:

How to Spot a Dangerous Tree, advice from TreeInspection.com, an Atlanta consulting arborist.

Common Tree Problems in Atlanta, courtesy of Atlanta ArborCare.

Newton arborist explains tree pruning - Arbor Day Is February 17th, 2012

If you live in Georgia, you love trees. The state of Georgia is a top five tree planting state along with Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina.

Also leave a comment or send us a testimonial if you know anyone good.

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When should a Cleveland pear tree leaf out?

Full Question. – I have a Cleveland Select pear tree it is 4 years old. It is May 9 and it is not getting leaves or green. Is it to early or is it dead? We live in ohio and have had a very wet spring.

Answer:  There is a problem. If the tree has been healthy the past three seasons it may just be waiting until its extra sure that cold weather is done.

The beautiful white flowers of a Cleveland Pear should be out by now generally.

Flowering Cleveland Pear Tree

If the limbs are flexible, and you lightly scratch one of the the main branches with a pen knife and it’s green, it still has a chance. It may need a deep root fertilization with the right micronutrients.  Do you know what soil type you have?  A young tree can be very fragile, so before fertilizing you might get a free estimate, do a soil test, or both.

A reader chipped in :

“Articles Ive read suggest that the Cleveland Pear blooms late in colder areas, typically April. I know there was a lot of snow in Ohio this year. Perhaps it is just having a later than average spring? Or perhaps the above average snowfall was too much for the pear tree.”

Oak tree decline and branch failure

Questions to ask when a 100 year plus oak starts to fail?

In general, if a large branch falls off an Oak tree, arborists no longer recommend painting trunk wounds or branch wounds with a protective paint.

This was a frequent tool for tree surgeons in the 20th century, but recent studies suggest you’re better off letting the tree heal on its own. However, an exception might be made if you’re looking to preserve a tree for a fixed amount of time and the tree is healthy but in natural decline.

  Here are 5 clues an oak tree may be in decline.

  • a similar die off of Oak trees in your neighborhood
  • excessive toadstools or different types of plants growing out of the trunk indicated hollowing
  • Termites
  • Branch failure
  • It’s over 80 years old

Now the tree might not be in decline, but environmental factors caused it to deteriorate.

Finally, get a free estimate from a tree service for trimming the tree. A good arborist will advise you if the tree is in decline and should be removed.  Get a free quote.  More info

If the tree is younger, here are some of the questions to consider.

Have you had any construction projects in your yard that may damage the root system?

This may be the single biggest cause and the least known for premature tree death.

If a large branch failed, was it an act of nature? 

Your tree may take a couple of years to adjusting to its new energy system.  This may cause the tree to decide to go dormant early to conserve energy for the winter.  If the branch value seems to a be part of a larger pattern, that it may be time to trim away dead wood.

Full Question:
I have a 100 year old water oak that lost a large limb last fall.Treated the area with termite spary and painted the area.All summer seem to be doing alright full of green leaves.For the past week the leaves have turned brown,but the acorns are green.Is the tree dying?

Can digging a driveway cause damage to a tree?

Answer: The first thing you should know is that construction projects such as you described are the second largest cause of urban tree decline, the first being improper planting when the tree is young.

The roots of your trees extend beyond the drip line, which refers to where the canopy and foliage ends. We see root damage root damage  even if the driveway is hand dug.  What the effects of that damage will be variable.

Not using heavy machinery will lessen the devastating effects of soil compaction. Lots of times its the compaction of the soil from heavy machinery that does more damage.

If you choose to move forward and dig around root zones,  keep the same soil to the side and put it back at the same depth it was. Tree roots cannot be too deeply buried or they will suffocate.

Extra watering and curative tree spraying may be required to help the tree re-establish. However with significant root damage,  the tree’s ability to absorb that water in will be compromised.

From a practical standpoint if you can site the driveway near the least tree,  at least you’re deciding which one you can afford to lose.

Full question:

I have 4 oak trees on a property. They located in pairs.
The first set of oak trees are 54” dia & 60” dia at a distance of 77-ft from center to center.
The second set are 30” dia & 48” dia at distance of 46-ft from center to center.
The distance from the first set of oak trees to the second set is at distance of 100-ft (plus).

I want to put a 16-ft driveway running center between the oaks up to the house.

If care is taken to hand dig the area (instead of machinery) can I put a concrete driveway without killing the trees.

I am willing to add sprinkler system that would water these trees specifically.

Ask An Arborist Near You

Free Arborist Resources By City

Summary: Here are links and phone numbers to free local tree experts, in case you have questions about your tree that needs an up-close look.  These free arborist resources are cooperative extensions and online master gardener programs run by your state university.
This list is the place to start to get arborist consulting, for free.  States without large metro areas carry a state level label.

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Alabama Arborist – Butler County local extension office at 334-382-5111.

Atlanta Arborist – (UGA) Ph: (404) 332-2400

Austin Arborist – (Travis County) Ph: (512) 854-9600
1600-B Smith Road | Austin, TX, 78721

Boston Massachusetts Arborist (UMASS) Ph: (413)545-0895
104 French Hall | 230 Stockbridge Rd. | Amherst, MA 01003

Charlotte NC Arborist

Chicago Arborist (UIC) Ph: 773-233-0476
3807 West 111th St. |  Chicago, IL 60655

This is a link to a website developed by the University of Illinois called “Selecting Trees for Your Home.”  It is one of the best tree services I’ve seen developed by an extension office so kudos to the staff.
 Cleveland Ohio arborist – (Ohio Steve University extension)
By phone: (216) 429-3148

Dallas Arborist – (Texas A&M) Ph: (214) 904-3050

Denver Arborist –  (CSU) Ph: (720) 913-5270

Hartford Connecticut Arborist –  (UCONN) Ph: (860) 570-9010
1800 W Asylum Dr.  | West Hartford, CT.  06117

Houston Arborist (Texas A&M) Ph: (281) 855- 5600
3033 Bear Creek Dr. Houston, TX 77084

Los Angeles Arborist – (UC) Ph: (323) 260-3405
4800 E. Cesar E. Chavez Ave. |  Los Angeles CA, 90022

New York Arborist – (Cornell) Ph:  (212) 340-2900

Manhattan | 183 Madison Ave.  | New York  10016
Bronx – 32 E. 149th St.  | Bronx  10455 | (718) 993-5360
Brooklyn – 1337 President St.  | Brooklyn 11213 | (718) 363-1016
Queens 8962 164th St. |  Queens 11432 | (718) 657-9520

North Dakota State Master Horticulturalist – Phone: (701) 231-7123

Orange County CA Arborist – (UC – Riverside) Ph: (951) 683-6491

Philadelphia Arborist– (Penn State) Ph: (814) 404-8237

Pittsburgh Arborist –  (Penn State) Ph: (412) 473-254-0400
N. Lexington St. | Pittsburgh, PA | 15208-252

Portland Arborist and Master Gardeners – (OSU) Ph: 503-821-1150
18640 NW Walker Rd. #1400 | Beaverton, OR. 97006

San Diego Arborist – (UC-San Diego) Ph: (858) 694-2860
5555 Overland Avenue, Building 4 | Suite 4101 | San Diego, CA 92123

San Francisco Arborist – (UC – Davis) Ph: 650-726-9059 x107
80 Stone Pine Road # 100 |  Half Moon Bay,  CA.  94019
Volunteers staff the HelpLine office in Half Moon Bay Mondays and Thursdays.

San Jose Arborist – (UC – Santa Clara) Ph: (408) 282-3105
1553 Berger Drive, Bldg. 1 |  San Jose, CA 95112
Open 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.,  Monday to Friday.

Seattle Arborist – (WSU) Ph: 206-685-5104
3501 NE 41st Street | Seattle, WA 98105

St. Louis Arborist –  (636) 528-4613
880 West College Street, Troy,  MO 63379-1111

Tampa Arborist (U of Florida) Ph: (813) 744-5519 |