Backyard birders usually assume that there aren’t any birds around to enjoy during the cold months. But there is nothing that can be further from the truth. In fact, there are numerous winter birds that visit backyards when the snow flies. Backyards are essential for winter birds and deliver much-needed water and food when natural resources are scarce.
Backyards Matter to Winter Birds
In winter, ice and snow hide food right when birds necessitate more calories to remain warm in the bitter cold. In addition, water is changed into frozen ice so birds can’t drink. Dropping temps make birds susceptible to predators and illnesses.
Luckily, a bird-friendly landscape can give can handle a bird's needs even in the winter months. Contact a local tree care company to discover more bird-friendly landscape ideas. In the meantime, read the ones below.
When insects are inaccessible or dead to feeding birds and nectar-producing flowers are nowhere to be found, winter backyards can be a crucial food source. Higher calorie foods like nuts, suet, and peanut butter are perfect for feeding winter birds, attracting more birds to your yard.
Frozen water is less helpful to birds since they have to use a lot of energy melting the frozen ice to drink it. Even if birds eat snow, their bodies must create more heat to handle the snow and overpower the cold. A heated bird bath can be vital. Birds will rapidly find and go to such a convenient, easy, and simple liquid water source in winter.
Evergreen trees offer excellent shelter for winter birds. But in places in which deciduous trees have lost their leaves, shelter might not be available. Birds can take shelter in hollow trees, but these spots might be few and far between. Yards that provides winter birds shelter like roost boxes, dense bush piles, or year-round birdhouses will draw more visitors.
Birds do not breed in the wintertime. However, year-round residents stay in the same territories and will swiftly revisit their favorite nesting places when spring comes. Making sure that those sites, including bird nesting shelves or birdhouses, stay suitable and safe can help keep even more backyard birds close by all winter long.
If you need to verify your landscape and tree needs, please contact us at Rochester Tree Care and we will assist you with all your tree care needs.
The best time to prune roots is in the late winter when they’re dormant. Pruning during the dormant season is ideal since:
Is Root Pruning Trees and Shrubs a Viable Option?
When a tree is dug for transplanting, typically the part of the roots taken, the root ball, is only the perimeter of the drip line, at times even less. Since the shrub or tree is relying on the root ball for most of its water and nutrients, it requires lots of feeder roots to continue to maintain itself during the jolt of being uprooted.
To boost the development of feeder roots nearer to the drip line, root pruning, slicing off the long anchor roots, is performed.
How to Root Prune
Root pruning entails cutting the roots (at the drip line) entirely around the entire tree's circumference. This can be performed by slicing downward all around with a sharp spade.
The bigger the remaining root ball, the more feeder roots you will have and the better likelihood the shrub or tree will successfully transplant. On the other hand, big root balls are quite heavy. This is never a project for one person. For huge trees, you might need to call in a tree care expert.
Root pruning is also helpful when potted plants have grown bigger than their container, and you don’t want to transport them to a larger one. Pruning the roots back and repotting with some new soil will keep your plants’ development in on point.
From trees with vivid flowers to evergreens, you have plenty of choices when selecting fast-growing trees. Many of these trees have roots that don’t spread and won't wreck your hardscape like paving, walls, patios, and fountains. An even more significant advantage is that several have limbs that resist breakage and are less likely to fall and damage your fence, railing, or trellis.
To pick the perfect tree that won’t hurt your foundation, it’s critical to select trees that don’t have an invasive root system that creates havoc. Before setting your sights on a specific tree that you feel will be amazing, make sure you discover all you can learn about its root system, particularly about the estimated spread and depth of its roots. Trees, specifically the roots, can annihilate your outdoor space.
What kind of trees shouldn't be planted near a house foundation?
Trees that grow lateral, long roots should not be planted anywhere near your home. By expanding under your structure and pushing it upward, this causes your foundation to heave. Furthermore, since trees need water to live, they rob your soil of much-needed moisture, and this can be harmful to your structure.
Here are some trees with roots that don’t spread. This list includes walnut, hickory, conifers, and oak. The second group of trees like ash, cottonwoods, and maples is known for growing lateral invasive trees roots. You want to leave these alone. Deciduous trees are likely to have deep root systems and should be avoided.
The distance to plant a tree from a residence
While roots can hurt your foundation, they can create other problems as well. It’s crucial to keep tree roots far away from underground utility lines. To be on the safe side, make sure trees are planted at least five to ten feet away from utilities. Call a tree specialist to come to inspect your yard and let you know the best place to plant.
Where sidewalks or driveways are concerned, it’s best to plant them at least six to seven feet away. If you’re planting a medium-sized tree, put it at least 20 feet away if the tree is known for having to invade, large roots. It may be best to put in a root barrier to shield your driveway or home from damage.
Softwood refers to wood that comes from evergreen or coniferous tree. Softwoods are usually used as building materials.
Softwood lumber is used for many woodworking tasks since it’s durable and easy to handle. Softwood is used by numerous professionals such as cabinetmakers, woodcarvers, furniture makers, and carpenters. You can get softwood at your local tree care company.
The other class of wood is hardwood which comes from trees like maple, walnut, or hickory.
Some trees are softwood; some are hardwood. Is the wood of softwood trees tough and less dense than hardwood trees? Not really. Truthfully, some hardwood trees have softer wood than softwood trees. So, what are softwood trees? Read on to find out more regarding softwood characteristics and other pertinent information.
Softwood tree lumber is typically used to build decks, boats, stairwells, and houses. This signifies that a characteristic of softwood trees doesn’t include weakness. Instead, the classification of trees into softwood and hardwood is based on a genetic distinction.
Softwood tree information tells us that softwoods, referred to as gymnosperms, are conifers or needle-bearing trees. Softwood trees like cedars, cypresses, and pines, are typically evergreens. They don’t lose their needles in the autumn and go dormant in the wintertime.
Softwood Tree Info
The distinction between softwood and hardwood is revealed to some degree in the structure of the wood. Softwood trees usually have softer wood (hence the name) than hardwood tree types. Conifer wood possesses only a couple of various cell types. The wood of hardwood trees maintains fewer air spaces and more cell types.
Hardness can be identified as being a purpose of the wood’s density. Softwoods are denser than hardwood trees. The truth be told, there are several exceptions to this rule. Categorizing is to give you some idea about a tree’s density. Nothing is written in stone.
For instance, southern pines are categorized as softwoods and have softwood characteristics. Though, yellow poplar, a hardwood, is less dense. For a vivid example of a soft hardwood, consider balsa wood. It is so light and thin that it is used to construct model airplanes. The thing is, it comes from a hardwood tree.
If you need help determining the types of trees you have in your yard, contact Rochester Tree today.
Nothing is more beautiful on a cold winter night than a glowing, warm, and rustling fire in the stove or fireplace. Also, wood heat is more affordable than most electric or gas furnaces. It can be more useful for cooking and home heating. The question then becomes: what is the best way to store firewood during winter?
Wrong Storage Leads to Bad Results
Regardless the amount of firewood you have on hand, it’s useless if it is stored wrong. Incorrectly stored wood is wet and damp, leading to smoldering and smoking instead of burning. This reduces the effectiveness of your wood stove, necessitating more fuel to do the same work.
Wood stored inaccurately becomes the home for snakes, insects, rodents, and termites that can create severe damage to your house if you bring firewood in to burn. Rot and decay of improperly stored wood lead to mold, decomposition, and bad smells, making the wood worthless for burning.
Truthfully, if your firewood is stored wrongly, you’ve wasted it. The wood not only can’t be used, but the money, effort, and time you used to collect, prep, and store the wood in the first place have been wasted.
Accurately Storing Firewood
Luckily, it is easy to store firewood accurately, so it is well seasoned and ready to use each winter. Regardless if you’re starting to build a woodpile in the spring or don't begin until late fall, the values of rightly storing wood are the same.
Split Wood Effectively
Before stacking and storing wood, it must be correctly split. Remember the built of your stove, furnace, or fireplace. Cut wood to the correct lengths and width for easy use. Triangular wedges are simplest to stack and will have more surface area so the wood can dry faster.
Dry Wood Completely
Drier wood lasts longer and burns better. Store wood in an open space with accurate ventilation on every side. If possible, store newly cut wood in a sunny, windy location where it will dry faster, but is shielded from the snow and rain.
Stack and store your wood near your home, easily accessible even in bad weather. If you have questions about which trees would work best for firewood, contact a Rochester arborist.
If you heat your residence with wood, you most likely spend lots of time planning for winter. It’s a year-long job since firewood necessitates anywhere from six to twenty-four months to dry out.
Late winter and early spring are perfect times to cut and store firewood for the upcoming year. It lets the wood dry over the summertime, making it well-seasoned for the wintertime.
If you’re new to burning firewood as a heat source for your house, you might not have thought so far in advance. Regardless if you have to buy wood from a business that specializes in tree services or you plan to cut your own, it’s vital to properly season wood before using it.
Burning green wood can be lethal. It makes lots of smoke and may create a harmful creosote buildup over time. You have to know when wood is correctly seasoned. It will help you accurately and safely heat your home.
How do you know when firewood is properly seasoned?
A local tree arborist can help you identify the trees in your yard and which trees might work best as firewood, contact us today.
Not all bugs are bad for trees. Though, some can kill a considerable number of trees in a quick amount of time.
As tree care professionals that provide tree removal in Rochester, we encounter insects all the time and know the difference between a little bug and one that’s a huge problem.
Which bugs are bad for trees? Here are some you should watch out for in your Rochester outdoor space.
A damaging bug is a gypsy moth. One year, gypsy moths damaged over 12 million acres of hardwood trees. They seem to like oak but will strike most hardwood types. Gypsy moth egg masses are typically found on the branches and trunks of trees. The gypsy moth is most detrimental in the caterpillar stage of its life cycle when it devours hardwood trees’ leaves. Gypsy moth infestations are common in the northeastern part of the U.S.
Carpenter ants don’t eat wood. What they do is clean it out to construct tunnels for nesting sites. In comparison to the gypsy moth, an infestation by carpenter ants expands slowly. Still, they can create widespread damage. They usually nestle in rotting trees while making any structural damage even worse. Because they don’t eat the wood, they can leave a material similar to sawdust called frass behind.
Leaf-feeding aphids are typically not damaging. But, vast populations of these bugs can create stunting of shoots and leaf changes. Aphids also make large quantities of a sticky exudate referred to as honeydew, which frequently turns black with the expansion of mold fungus. Some aphid species insert a toxin into trees which additionally messes up growth.
Balsam Wooly Adelgid
Adelgids are soft-bodied, little aphids that feed solely on coniferous plants thanks to a piercing-sucking mouth. They are an annoying bug and are considered to be of Asian origin. The balsam wooly adelgid and adelgid attack firs and hemlock by eating the sap.
Douglas-Fir Bark Beetle
The Douglas-fir beetle is a dangerous and crucial bug throughout the selection of its principal host, the Douglas-fir. The Western larch is also attacked sometimes. The damage caused by this bug delivers an economic loss if Douglas -fir lumber has been huge in the tree's natural span.
If you believe your trees are infested with bugs, contact a Rochester arborist and arrange a tree inspection.
Have you ever wondered if evergreens ever lose their needles?
Conifers, also known as evergreens, don’t permanently keep their needles. Most types lose their older needles each autumn, presenting the tree with an unhealthy appearance. This is no reason to be alarmed.
Many homeowners have a pine or spruce tree in their outdoor space. These trees are usually called evergreen since they are green. Moreover, they drop their leaves every fall unlike tree types like ash or maple.
Evergreen trees have folks believing that the needles should last forever. This is why some people get upset when they see any needles (leaves) on the tree get brown and fall.
Like any plant, evergreens can die from insects, environmental stresses, and diseases, making needles fall prematurely. The question then is: how can you tell if your needles falling is normal?
Evergreens and Needles: What You Should Know
Though called evergreen by lots of folks, trees with needle-shaped leaves are referred to as conifers. This conifer category includes the following trees: spruce, hemlock, cedar, pine, fir, and others. Several of these tree types keep their needles to stay green all year long.
Although all conifers lose some of their needles every year, most keep their needles through many growing seasons but lose some of their less efficient, older needles every autumn. Before falling, these needles change color from a healthy green to orange, brown-red, yellowish hue based on the tree type.
Early in the shedding routine, when the needles are still on the branches, these trees could have a bad appearance which can generate unwarranted concern. Luckily, needles falling in the autumn from healthy trees should be replenished with new growth next spring.
A solid growing season followed by a couple of moderate growing years will make a more significant percentage of the needles to be lost in some autumn seasons than others. Again, this is no reason to be worried.
If your whole tree or whole sections of evergreens have needles changing color, this could be a reason to be concerned. Schedule a tree inspection with an arborist to find out what’s the problem.
Have you ever thought about the age of that enormous tree in your yard? If you are unsure when your tree was planted, calculate the circumference to approximate its age. While not as precise, measurement estimate is the most straightforward technique to find the age of a tree without cutting. If it’s an evergreen, you can calculate its rows of branches or whorls.
Broadleaf trees develop whorls sporadically so counting them is only applied for evergreens. Counting the rings give the correct estimate, but you don’t want to chop down a healthy tree to establish its age.
As an alternative, count the rings on a living tree, taking a core sample with an increment borer.
Measure the Trunk
Calculate the circumference of the tree at breast height. The average breast height is 4 1⁄2 ft. from the ground. Put a fabric measuring tape around the trunk at this height and mark the tree’s circumference.
If the ground is slanted, measure 4 1⁄2 ft from the ground on the uphill side, note the place then perform the same on the downhill side. The breast height is typically the middle spot between the downhill and uphill measurements.
Find the trunk’s radius and diameter. To get the diameter, use pi or 3.14 to divide the circumference. Next, get the radius by using 2 to divide the diameter.
Subtract anywhere from 1⁄4 to 1 inch for the bark. For tree types with thick bark, subtract 1inch from the measure of the radius. Subtract 1⁄4 inch for trees with thin bark like the birch tree. If you aren’t sure and want to get a ballpark estimate, subtract a 1⁄2 inch from the radius.
Use felled trees to get the measurement of ring width. Look for felled or dead trees of the same type. If you see one with visible rings, count the rings and get the radius. Divide the radius by the number of rings to get the average ring width. If this might be a bit much for you or math has never been your thing, ask a tree specialist to get the age of your uncut tree for you.
It doesn’t matter if your damaged tree is a beautiful, flowering tree or an old, memorable tree in your backyard, bark damage can hurt your tree. The location, depth, and amount are all vital factors when you treat a tree with damaged bark.
Call a Professional
If you don’t know how to treat your tree, or if you feel the damage may be too severe for you to manage, don't hesitate to contact a Rochester arborist who can give you experienced, professional advice. In general, if the destruction to the tree's bark extends under 25% of the perimeter of the trunk in the damaged area, the tree repairs itself with very little help. We will discuss with you if tree removal needs to be an option.
Do Nothing for Minor Damage
There are times you should leave your tree alone after bark damage. A few little nicks at the bottom due to a car or SUV getting too close or a mower are circumstances a tree can overcome by itself. It grows new bark over the scrapes or holes.
Also, trees can heal over large damage areas or grow a barrier that surrounds the hole, a method referred to as compartmentalization, safeguarding the rest of the tree.
Tip: If your tree has a little wound, get rid of the loose, damaged, or dried bark surrounding the injury until you get to the area where the new bark is covering the damage. If the wound doesn’t heal on its own, call a tree care professional.
For significant damage, you can save the tree by bridge grafting, a procedure of putting healthy tissue across the damaged area. This method is tricky and best left to a tree specialist.
It entails cutting healthy branches and twigs, so they lie flat against the tree's wound, carving a flap into the injury for the twigs and placing the pieces accurately, so the twigs merge with the trunk.
Tip: Keep examining the area of the wound for the next couple of years after the damage has occurred. If the tree isn’t progressively covering the wound with bark and healthy tissue, ask a tree contractor to take a look.
Rochester Tree Service wants to help you care for the trees on your property. Trees are valuable resources and we want to provide interesting information to you!