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Certified Arborists

The Importance of Arborist Services

Whether you have young trees, mature trees, or something in between, it’s important to take proper care of them.

Why? Because trees can easily become sick or infected when not taken care of properly. However, it is quite simple to keep your trees healthy and happy through regular, high-quality preventative care, as provided by a Certified Arborist.

Some signs that your tree might already be sick – and it would be a good idea to seek out professional arborist services – include: brown or abnormal colored leaves, dead branches, a thin tree canopy, missing bark, fungal growth, mushrooms on the actual tree or near the base, and visible insects on or near the tree.

Whether your trees are already showing signs of sickness, or you’re just interested in taking precautionary measures, the Certified Arborists at Texas Tree Surgeons would be happy to help diagnose any issues your trees might be having and/or come up with an ongoing Plant Health Care Plan to prevent future sickness from occurring.

Certified Arborists for optimal care

TCTA Voice of Tree Care Badge
Board Certified Master Arborist
Green ISA Texas Logo
ISA Member Badge
Oak Wilt Qualified
Certified Arborist on Staff
TCTA Background Badge
ISA Background Badge
Master Arborist
Certified Arborist
Texas Leaf

When considering a professional arborist service, it’s important to work with a company whose team consists of ISA Certified Arborists.

ISA Certified Arborists are tree care professionals who have achieved a high level of professional distinction through their knowledge and experience in the field. In order to become an ISA Certified Arborist, a comprehensive exam designed by The International Society of Arboriculture must be passed, and the certification must be maintained on a regular basis through continued education.

Our Arborists are certified through the ISA, which is a scientific and educational organization that has served the tree care industry for nearly 100 years. The ISA sets the standards of professionalism for every part of the tree care industry. They aggregate the latest research, advocate for standards of safety, push for higher levels of education, and work to create a better-informed community of tree care professionals.

In other words, Certified Arborists are the best in their field, and typically the most knowledgeable as they are required to stay on top of the most recent advancements in the field.

At Texas Tree Surgeons, we take tree care very seriously because we love trees! We are owned and operated by an ISA Certified Arborist, and we are also proud to employ Oak Wilt Qualified, Tree Risk Assessment Qualified, ISA Certified Arborists as well as TCIA Tree Care Specialists on our team. We believe that this dedication to a higher level of excellence is one of the many reasons why we are the best choice for your tree care needs.

Two People Planting a Tree
Bugs Eating a Green Leaf

Our Arborist Services

We offer a variety of different arborist services. Learn more about several of those services, and get in touch with us if you have questions – we look forward to serving you!

Arborist Consults

Whether you have young trees, mature trees, or something in between, it’s important to take proper care of them.

Why? Because trees can easily become sick or infected when not taken care of properly. However, it is quite simple to keep your trees healthy and happy through regular, high-quality preventative care, as provided by a Certified Arborist.

Some signs that your tree might already be sick – and it would be a good idea to seek out professional arborist services – include: brown or abnormal colored leaves, dead branches, a thin tree canopy, missing bark, fungal growth, mushrooms on the actual tree or near the base, and visible insects on or near the tree.

Whether your trees are already showing signs of sickness, or you’re just interested in taking precautionary measures, the Certified Arborists at Texas Tree Surgeons would be happy to help diagnose any issues your trees might be having and/or come up with an ongoing Plant Health Care Plan to prevent future sickness from occurring.

Fertilization

Our Plant Health Care Programs are designed to deliver the right nutrients at the right times throughout the year. We use the highest quality soil conditioners and fertilizers that are delivered at critical points throughout the seasons to optimize the growth and health of trees.

Our blends of nutrients and soil amendments are not simply designed to promote canopy growth but to strengthen and improve the overall health of the tree from the roots up, delivering healthier, greener, more aesthetically-pleasing trees and shrubs. Our uniquely developed mixtures promote stability and growth for trees efficiently and safely, without the worry of harmful chemicals that some companies use and can be damaging to the surrounding environment.

Our unique mixtures combine macro- and micro-nutrients, root growth stimulators, soil conditioners, beneficial biotics (both mycorrhizal fungi and rhizobacteria), and organic materials to cultivate the optimum natural growth environment. 

Fertilization, Soil Application, and Deep Root Injection Services

Fertilization services are critical for trees that:

  • Have been affected by harsh environmental conditions such as heat and drought
  • Are struggling to produce growth or recover from insects or disease
  • Have been stunted by limited root space (i.e., parking lots, sidewalks, fencing)
  • Have been affected or damaged by construction-related activities in the area

Fertilization services include:

  • Soil conditioners that help break down heavily compacted soil
  • Root stimulators delivered to promote more effective root systems
  • A complete combination of balanced macro- and micro-nutrients – quantities are adjusted seasonally.
  • Mycorrhizal fungi are naturally growing additions to the soil that form a symbiotic relationship with the tree’s existing natural root system to speed nutrient absorption, enhance the existing root system, and allow the tree to be more competitive
  • Rhizosphere bacteria are beneficial bacteria that break down organic matter and promote nutrient absorption and tree immunity systems
  • Nutrient application delivered 6-12 inches beneath the turf throughout the drip line to ensure balanced absorption and reduced turf competition

Air Spading

The Need for Soil Aeration

Urban soils differ dramatically from their forest counterparts in many ways. Urban soils typically have low nutrient content, putting stress on trees and plants. Forest soils are replenished by the decay of organic material such as fallen leaves, and this breaks down nutrients and improves the soil structure. Urban soils lack this beneficial cycle and organic debris are usually removed, considerably slowing down the natural processes. Urban soils also have an immense competition for resources from grass and other landscaping, reducing the nutrients, water, and air from surrounding soils. Urban soils are heavily compacted from general construction activities, turf installation, routine irrigation, and mechanical and human traffic. These activities compact the soil, reducing root expansion and water penetration. This results in tree and plant stress. 

Effects of Compaction

  • Reduced growth
  • Dieback
  • Tree or plant loss
  • Poor color
  • Increased susceptibility to insects and diseases

Key Benefits of Root Zone Aeration

  • Drastically improves tree health by increasing the tree root’s access to air, water, and nutrients through soil fracturing thus allowing easier root development
  • Relieves soil compaction by decreasing soil density to support better absorption of moisture and nutrients

How We Can Help

Airspading involves specialized equipment that uses pneumatic air to fracture the compacted soils, allowing air and water to easily penetrate the root zone. If needed, we will AirSpade to remove and loosen the compacted soils around the base of your trees. 

A Texas Tree Surgeons Certified Arborist can assess your property for tree care issues including compaction and recommend a course of action to remedy the issues. Diagnosing compaction involves an understanding of local soil types, property information related to activities affecting the soils, as well as a thorough knowledge of tree types and common issues.

Construction Protection

The economic benefits of trees can be both direct and indirect. Direct economic benefits are usually associated with energy costs. Air-conditioning costs are lower in tree-shaded homes. Heating costs are reduced when a home has a windbreak. Trees increase in value from the time they are planted until they mature. Trees are a wise investment of funds because landscaped homes are more valuable than non-landscaped homes. Construction is the most common cause of tree death in urban environments, and while the effects may not be immediately apparent, the tree can be in decline and die years after nearby construction has been completed. Mechanical tree injury, root damage, loss of rooting space, changes in soil moisture, soil compaction and contamination are some of our biggest concerns.

THE MOST COMMON PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH CONSTRUCTION:

Root loss generally caused by stripped soil, sub-grade preparation for pavement and trenching for utilities. Severing one major root can cause the loss of 15 to 20% of a root system.

Mechanical wounds (to limbs or trunks) caused by machines, poor pruning, high-traffic, and people.

When the soil grade is lowered a large percentage of roots may be removed. When the grade is increased a tree can be smothered because 90% of absorbing roots are in the top few inches of soil.  

Soil compaction smothers trees by reducing available oxygen and decreasing a tree’s ability to absorb nutrients and water. This causes the roots to be more exposed to the elements, as they struggle to absorb water and nutrients.

Spills or dumping of fluids (paint, oil, fuel, etc.) can cause quick and rapid death of a tree.

For tree preservation to be successful, the trees must be considered in every stage of the construction process. Tree preservation cannot wait until after construction has been completed.

During the planning process:

Decide which trees will be kept, which trees must be removed and which trees need to be protected. Consider tree location, tree size, tree heath, tree species, species diversity and tree age (younger trees usually withstand construction better than more mature trees). Then assess the potential impact to the trees and make modifications in plans when possible. Identify tree work that must be done (pruning and crown-raising where necessary, treatments, irrigation, fertilization, mulching, and pest management) under the supervision of a Certified Arborist.

Before beginning construction:

Tree Work: This should be performed under a certified arborist’s supervision and should include the necessary pruning, removal of dead wood, and removal of trees. This is ideally done in the winter time while the trees are dormant and at least 8 months to a year before construction begins. This is the time to begin a deep root fertilization and Plant Health Care Program that will help strengthen and protect your tree.

Erect Barriers: The barriers should be as far from the base of the trunk as possible or a minimum of the drip line. Within the Tree Protection Zone, mulch should be applied 2-4 inches deep around the base of the tree within the barrier.

Mulching: Where barriers are not possible, avoid compaction by mulching 6 inches deep and laying plywood on top to disperse weight. For removal of mulch at the end of the project consult with an arborist.

Awareness: Instruct all workers to keep out of fenced areas – no digging, trenching, compaction, dumping of waste, or added soil.

Reduce chances of harm: Limit access to site to avoid unnecessary soil compaction: Create one road in and one road out of site with barriers on either side. This route can later be used to trench for utilities, water lines, driveway, etc.

During Construction:

Water: Water trees frequently with slow soak. If roots have been damaged or removed, then a tree will need more water than it did before because it has less ability to uptake necessary water.

Feed: Trees should be fertilized at least three times a year. We suggest a deep root organic fertilizer to increase available nutrients.

Pest and Disease Control: When trees become stressed from construction they are more vulnerable to pest infestations and other diseases. 

Pruning: During construction, we only want to remove what is necessary for the project to continue.  This includes damaged limb, dead wood, or infected sections. No other pruning should be done if not necessary.

Post Construction:

To help enable survival of your trees, treat and seal crown and trunk injuries, cable and brace, repair irrigation and drainage issues harmful to trees; remove excess mulch and mulch for long-term health of tree, aerate soil that has been compacted, fertilize for the next few years. Have the trees inspected seasonally by a Certified Arborist. 

Symptoms of tree stress from construction damage:

Short annual shoot elongation, small yellow leaves, thin foliage, leaf wilting, early fall coloration or defoliation, epicormic shoots, twig dieback, branch dieback, irregular wounds, secondary pest problems, and decay at wound sites.

Cabling and Bracing

As a tree matures certain growth patterns can leave your tree more prone to structural issues including limb failures or split trunks.

Limb failure can be devastating. The damage done can be costly and it can greatly affect the shape and health of your tree and damage property. Proper pruning and weight reduction can help, but often cables and braces may be a safer and more effective approach. The installation of cables within a tree helps to manage the stress created by poor limb structure by reinforcing the pre-existing joint and helping to redistribute weight. The angle of a limb’s growth is indicative of it’s structural integrity. It may seem counterintuitive, but the wider and more “U” shaped the angle is at the joint between two limbs, the stronger that joint tends to be. The more acute, and “V” shaped joints fail for more frequently because they create oppositional pressure within the joint, and do not hold on as tightly when stressed.

Split trunks are most often found on multi-trunked trees. As these trees grow, the weight increases and width of their original stems increases growing wider and wider. Eventually, these trunks will start to grow in a way that creates internal pressure along the joint at the base of the tree. If you notice any cracking at the base of your tree, contact us for a free consult by a Certified Arborist, as this can be a strong indicator of a potential hazard. If caught early enough, installing bolting rods and stabilizing cables can help stabilize trees and branches.

Our Certified Arborists will assess your tree’s need for cables. The installation is done by our trained professionals. It is very important to have cables and bolts installed correctly; using the wrong equipment or outdated techniques can do more harm than good. Texas Tree Surgeons uses top of the line materials, and installs them using techniques outlined by The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).

Oak Wilt Management

Oak Wilt is a disease caused by a fungus that attacks and can quickly kill oak trees. Red oaks are very susceptible to Oak Wilt. While different species of oak respond to the disease in different ways, all oaks are susceptible, and Oak Wilt has already killed millions of Texas trees.

The fungus that causes Oak Wilt, Ceratocystis fagacearum, can be spread through the roots of adjacent trees or through insect activity. While some species, particularly red oaks, die quickly after infection, other species may live for many years after initial infection, allowing Oak Wilt to be transmitted to other oaks in the area. Dead wood from infected trees (such as firewood from red oaks) can also help to spread Oak WIlt, as it becomes a target for the insects (such as sap beetles (Nitidulidae)) that can transfer the fungal spores to living trees.

Because Oak Wilt is prevalent in Texas, the ISA has created a special training course for Texas Certified Arborists. At Texas Tree Surgeons, all of our Certified Arborists are Texas Oak Wilt Qualified or Certified, meaning they have passed an examination on Oak Wilt causes, prevention, and treatment administered by the ISA. Furthermore, they must maintain their credentials through continuing education and re-training. As research on Oak WIlt management and treatment continues in Texas, our Certified Arborists remain at the forefront of their field.

There are several areas in North Texas and the DFW area that have had recent Oak Wilt activity. These include

  • Preston Hollow, Dallas
  • Lakewood, Dallas
  • Walnut Hill and Abrams, Dallas
  • Coit and Campbell, Richardson
  • President George Bush Turnpike and the Dallas North Tollway
  • Park and US 75 in Plano
  • Highland Park
  • University Park

Even if you are not in an area with current Oak Wilt activity, Texas Tree Surgeons recommends following general Oak Wilt precautions:

  • Do not trim oak trees between the months of February and July
  • If oaks must be trimmed during Oak Wilt Season, seal pruning cuts where possible
  • Clear out dead wood from oaks and take care not to cause unnecessary open wounds
  • Do not keep red oak firewood

For those of us in neighborhoods with Oak Wilt activity:

  • Protect all trees, and especially oaks, against insects
  • Be aware of dead and dying trees and advise neighbors to remove dead wood from their property
  • Connect with neighbors to help improve awareness
  • If Oak Wilt is within 100 feet of your trees, consider preventative treatments

How do you know if Oak Wilt is in your area? Keep your eyes open for these signs and symptoms:

  • Dead wood or defoliation in oaks
  • Production of small leaves on trunks and large limbs after dieback
  • Leaves with browning at edges (red oaks) or along veins (live oaks)
  • Fungal mats forming on surface of wood, starting out gray- or buff-colored and turning black as they age
  • Cracking and peeling bark
  • Visible insect activity

While these signs do not necessarily indicate Oak Wilt, presence or one or more of them may indicate potential issues. A visit from a Texas Tree Surgeons Certified Arborist can help you to understand the health of your trees and plan out your next steps.

 

If you decide, after discussions with a Certified Arborist, that a Plant Health Care program would be best for your trees, Texas Tree Surgeons has a range of plans that can help your tree fight off insects, bolster its natural immunity, and even offer some Oak WIlt-specific anti-fungal treatments. Texas Tree Surgeons closely follows research and guidelines put out by the ISA and the Texas Forest Service to make sure we can provide the best in Oak Wilt prevention and management.

For more information, visit https://texasoakwilt.org or contact us to set up a visit from a Certified Arborist.

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