How Tree Roots Affect Your Home?

Trees are a good complement to any home. However, they can be quite the headache as well if they’re too close to your home. We’re not just talking about how trees that are too close are also potential fire hazards. We’re talking about a problem that not many people think of immediately.

You shouldn’t just worry about the branches and the leaves of the tree. Most people forget about the roots as well. They stay hidden so well that we forget how these can grow longer underneath our feet. Eventually, tree roots can invade our home and it can result in pressing problems that need your attention.

The “Root” Of The Problem

Roots can continue growing even after the tree has reached it’s maximum size. In some cases, the roots burrow so deep into the soil that you don’t see what’s going on underneath. What you may not know is that the roots have already started to affect your home’s foundation.

Tree roots can be very powerful. If you’ve seen trees that are growing in urban areas, you might see how some of the roots are able to raise the pavement underneath. They can break through these, even the small ones.

As tree roots are constantly looking for water and nutrients, they constantly extend, eventually reaching your home. This can be a problem if the soil around your home consists of clay, loose dirt, and rocks. Pavement isn’t a problem for tree roots, let alone these types of soils.

The roots will continue to move and grow. This results in the soil around your home and beneath it to shift. This causes cracks in the concrete which eventually results in a weaker foundation for your home. You might also begin to spot uneven ceilings, misaligned support beams, and cracks on your walls.

If left untreated for a long time, the problem can be a serious property and life hazard.

Another way trees affect your home is with how they react to weather. During droughts for instance, roots can shrink. The soil around them will be affected as the roots begin to fall back. Both shrinkage and expansion affect your home’s overall integrity.

How To Spot Root Problems

The easiest way to spot this is by checking in the soil around the tree and the house. Roots that have grown too long or have become invasive will start to protrude from the ground. This sign is also a good way to figure out how far the roots have grown so there’s an upside to it.

After that, you can check if the problem has started to affect your home’s foundation. Look for cracks on the wall – particularly the basement. Even small cracks are a sign that something is pushing at the walls already. Once these signs appear, call for help immediately as that means that the roots are starting to do damage.

Preventing Root Problems

There are a few ways you can address these problems. The most common would be to set up a root barrier in your home. This requires professional work as the roots need to be cut away before a barrier is made around your house.

This solution is more complex. However, it allows your home to stay safe without you having to sacrifice the tree in your property. Some people choose this because they like having some green around their home.

Some people choose to have the trees and the roots removed entirely. This is an even more complex problem as it’s harder to do especially when the roots have fanned out massively around your property already.

If you’re just in the process of planting a tree in your yard, then you’re very early in preventing the problem. A good solution would be to simply avoid trees that have aggressive roots. Generally, steer clear of willows, elm trees, and silver maples which have roots that can be invasive.

Of course, it is also a good idea to plant the tree far from the house.

You shouldn’t be afraid to have trees on your property. As long as the tree is growing in a controlled setting, the roots should pose any serious problems to your home.

Tree roots might not seem like a major problem now but it’s a lot pricier to begin worrying about the problem when it’s already too late. Trees might be a good addition to any property but they can be a problem if you aren’t careful with how they grow and develop.

If you’re having any issues with roots on your residential or commercial property, don’t be afraid to reach out to us for help. Henshaws Tree Services are experts in this kind of work. Don’t let the roots ruin the foundation of your home so let us get to the root of the problem as soon as possible.

10 Top Factors that can Kill Your Tree

Trees offer many benefits not just to the environment but to their owners as well. While you strive to keep your trees healthy, some factors unknowingly contribute to their harm. Read through the list below and see if you have been practising any of them.

Top Factors that can Kill Your Tree

1.    Too Much Staking

Understandably, you want to give your tree some support, especially when they are leaning towards the road or your neighbour’s yard. You have to remember, however, that trees need support for just a short period.

If you prolong the staking or guying, it may cause damage to the tree. It may cause the tree to become top-heavy. In some cases, it can also cause irregular trunk growth and girdling. You may ask the tree experts near you on the proper staking and for how long the guying should be.

2.    Improper Pruning

Tree pruning is essential if you want your tree to grow healthier and more beautiful. If you are not familiar with the proper trimming techniques, it may be best to consult a professional tree service provider.

Improper pruning of the tree can lead to damage or death of the tree. In some cases, it may also cause infestation, especially when the tree begins to show signs of decaying.

3.    Unwarranted Infestations

Pests can be categorised according to the impact they make on trees. Some pests are beneficial while some are dangerous for the tree. Other pests are considered casual feeders which do not cause serious damage.

The growth of fungi on the tree trunk may cause superficial damage to the tree but others endanger the tree by sipping through their nutrients. You will notice that the tree’s overall appearance and health will slowly deteriorate as these pests thrive on them.

At the first sign of infestation, it may be best to contact your tree service provider. They can check on your tree and provide the best recommendation to rid of the pests that are adversely affecting the health of your tree.

4.    Using Screws or Nails

The tree is a pretty good place to hang that birdhouse or signage that says “do not climb.” The thing is, using screws to fasten your birdhouse or nails to hang your signage can impact the tree’s health.

When these screws and nails penetrate the bark, it makes the tree vulnerable to diseases and infestations. Another disadvantage to using screws and nails is that the tree may grow around them which may cause an accident in case you decide to cut or trim the tree later on.

5.    Over Fertilisation

Fertilisation should be carefully done. It is highly recommended to use the right type and amount of fertiliser. You may consult your tree expert about the right way of fertilising and when is the perfect time to fertilise.

Over fertilisation can lead to many problems, like rotting of the roots, causing burnt tree bark and unhealthy growth. In some cases, it can also affect the soil leading to the decaying of the tree. Generally, a soil-injected slow-release fertiliser can be a good choice for tree fertilisation.

6.    Poor Soil Condition

Trees also get nutrients from the soil and if it lacks moisture and minerals, it can affect the health of the tree. When this happens it can inhibit the growth of the roots and other parts of the tree. When the poor condition of the soil is neglected, it can result in the deterioration of the tree’s health and growth.

7.    Building Over Tree Roots

Trees are a good source of shade for humans and animals but it is not advisable to build a dog house or anything under the tree or over its roots. It can hamper its growth and may cause infestation. Remember that tree’s main source of sustenance is its roots. When the root is damaged, it may cause the deterioration or death of the tree.

8.    Wounding the Tree Bark

The tree bark is similar to the human epidermis. Since the outer skin covers and protects the human body, the bark also works as covering and protection to the tree’s trunk and branches. It shelters and guards the tree against outside harm.

When the tree bark is wounded, it renders an opportunity for tree diseases and infestation. It can become a breeding ground for pests and insects. Wounding the tree bark also exposes the inner layers of the trunk that hold the tree’s moisture, hence, decreasing the tree’s water deposits. This, then, may result in the tree’s slow death.

9.    Lack of Monitoring After a Transplant

Young trees that are planted near each other must be transferred to a wider ground area. This aims to help the tree thrive better by giving its roots and trunk more room to grow abundantly. Just make sure that you monitor the growth and health of the tree after transplanting it.

Some trees tend to lose their vigour when planted somewhere else. It can be challenging for their roots to get the right balance of soil moisture, hence, they end up wilting.

10.    Putting Too Much Mulch

Mulch offers many benefits for the tree and other plants. It can help prevent the growth of unwanted weeds or retain moisture in the soil for the tree or plant’s sustenance. Putting too much mulch near the tree’s trunk, however, can suffocate it. It is highly recommended to keep the mulch 15 to 30 centimetres away from the tree trunk.

These are just ten factors that you need to watch out for as they may impact the health and growth of your tree. When you are unsure of how to care for your tree, seek the help of tree experts.

Call Henshaws Tree Service for more information!

6 Tips on pruning, cutting and pruning overgrown branches

Trees can complement homes and commercial properties very well. However, they need to be maintained properly or you risk having them grow extensively. Overgrown branches are the most common problem property owners have with trees but the good news is that there are ways around it.

Overgrown branches might not seem like a problem at first. However, it can eventually reach powerlines and your home. These can be a fire hazard on your property if not taken care of.

With proper maintenance, tree branches are never going to be a problem in your home. Here are a few important tips to consider when pruning, cutting, or trimming overgrown branches.

  1. Call On The Pros

This is a complex and sometimes dangerous job. There’s a reason why services like ours at Henshaws Tree Service exists and that’s to serve people like you.

Our personnel are professionally and well-equipped with the right tools to make sure that your tree gets the treatment it deserves. In most cases, people are putting themselves at great risk by doing the job themselves without the proper safety gear and pruning equipment.

If you have a tall tree that needs to be pruned and you don’t have the equipment, it’s best to call on the pros for help. This is to ensure that you don’t put yourself in danger while going through this necessary process.

  1. Get The Proper Gear

You don’t need a chainsaw to trim an overgrown branch. What you do need are some brand new pruning shears. These are basically large and sharp scissors that will let you cut through branches with ease. Don’t trim your trees with bad tools because it can be dangerous to do so.

Pruners come in various forms. For far-off branches, opt for extendable pruning tools. There are some automatic pruning tools that function similarly to a chainsaw. These are arguably better but they are also more expensive as well.

You should also get some heavy-duty gardening gloves. These give you a tighter grip on your tools. Additionally, they make sure that your hands don’t hurt as you’re trimming the tree. Pruning without the right gloves can lead to blisters and other hand injuries.

3. Proper Way To Prune

The biggest mistake people make when trimming a tree is thinking that it’s as easy as cutting off the branch. However, there’s a proper way to trim a tree. The proper method guarantees that your tree is still going to be healthy and the branches are going to grow properly in the future.

To trim the branch, look for the bud where it comes out. Cut the branch 2-inches away from that bud. Make sure to cut at a 45-degree angle. This prevents water damage and tree damage. With the right tools, the process is going to be a lot easier.

Aside from protecting the tree from damage, cutting at a 45-degree angle also ensures that the branch will grow properly. If you cut it straight, the branch will grow in a straight direction which means it can once again reach obstructions in its way.

4. Best Time To Prune A Tree

In truth, you can prune a tree whenever you want to. However, if you want them to grow better, it’s best to prune them when they are most dormant. In this case, that would be during winter.

This is a good season to prune trees because it encourages growth once the season becomes warmer. Once autumn hits, the leaves will begin to fall off, thus making it easier for you to detect which branches need to be cut down to size.

5. What Not To Cut

Generally, you’d want to avoid branches that are between 5 to 10 centimetres. Doing so might be bad for the health of your tree. Only cut branches of this size unless it’s really necessary.

You should focus on trimming only the branches that are less than five centimetres in diameter as these are easier to cut. They won’t also cause any downsides to the overall health of your tree.

6. What To Cut

Focus on branches that are growing too long or those that are close to the powerlines or your home. It would also be wise to trim the branches that are

Also, look for branches that have already dried out. These are the ones that can pose a serious risk to the health of your trees. You can trim to make the tree look better but focus on keeping it healthy first.

Tree trimming is more essential than you think. Not only does it make your home safer, it can also make sure that your tree is growing better. It might be a painstaking process but the results you get at the end of the day is well worth it.

If you’re having a tough time doing the job, don’t be afraid to call on professional help instead.

Do You Need To Have Dead Trees Removed?

Having trees around your home can do a lot in terms of aesthetics and making the air you breathe feel fresher. However, there are some cases when trees die around your property which isn’t a good thing for many reasons. If a tree dies in your yard, should you have it removed?

Tree removal services like Henshaws Tree Service exist for a few reasons. One is that we are here to help you improve your property just in case a tree is taking too much space. More importantly, however, we are there to keep you safe around trees that are posing a threat to your health and well-being.

Once a tree dies, it’s no longer structurally sound. That means it can fall at any time, damaging your home. Worse – it can hurt you and your family unexpectedly. It doesn’t take much for a dead tree to fall during a strong storm..

It’s also worth noting that if you have a dead tree in your home and you choose not to have it removed, your insurance won’t cover any damages made by it.

What should you do just in case this happens?

Removing A Dead Tree

This isn’t a job that you can do on your own. You’re going to have to hire special tree removers to get it removed as efficiently and as safely as possible. It’s not as simple as burrowing your chainsaw into the tree to cut it down to size.

Again, these trees are unstable. If you aren’t careful enough, you might not be able to calculate where and when the tree will fall once you start cutting it down.

Dead ash trees are particularly more dangerous. These are more brittle and thus, they are more dangerous as well. Removing dead ash trees requires special heavy equipment for them to be removed safely. Doing it manually is a bad idea as it puts a lot of risk on the person doing the job.

Not all trees need to be removed from your yard, however. If you want to make sure that it’s actually time to get the job done, then look at these signs first:

  • Fungal Growth

Look around the trunk of the tree. If you see a sudden increase in fungal growth at the bottom, then it’s very likely that the tree is dead already. What this means is that the internal parts of the tree have already rotted out. The only living organism that’s on the tree is the fungus itself.

Severe fungal growth often means that the tree is already very unstable. As such, you might want to call an arborist as soon as you can once you spot this.

  • Bare Branches

A tree that’s alive and well should have left around it especially during certain seasons like Spring. If it’s Spring and the tree has countless bare branches, then that means it’s no longer capable of growing leaves as it is already dead.

There will be some times of the year when the tree will have bare branches just because of the season. In times like these, there’s no cause to be alarmed. Just to be certain though, you might want to check for other signs instead.

You can also perform a scratch test on the branches. Grab a branch, cut it with a knife in between. If the inside of the branch is moist, then the tree is alive and healthy. If it’s dried out, it might be already dead. Do this on a few branches all around the tree. Don’t just focus on one area.

  • Cracks And Brittle Barks

Look at the bottom of the trunk again. Try to check if there are any vertical cracks that run alongside the tree. This can either mean that the tree is in bad health or that it’s already dead. These cracks can go deeper and once they do, they could result in the tree falling down suddenly.

While you’re there, run your hands alongside the barks as well. It should not break off easily. If the barks break off, the tree is starting to dry out. Barks should be very hard and can only be taken off with force.

You can still save trees that are in poor health with fertilizer and proper management. However, once a tree is dead, your only options are to either leave it as it is or have it removed. Obviously, leaving the tree as is, is not a good idea.

Having a dead tree in your backyard or anywhere around your property is a serious problem that’s waiting to happen. It’s very important that you have these trees removed professionally before they cause harm to others.

When you think it’s time to have them removed, call us at Henshaws Tree Service for help and we’ll take it down safely.