Blog

6 Signs Your Tree Is About to Fall

Trees seem to have a bad habit of falling over in the worst places and times. We’ve all seen an unlucky car that’s taken the weight of a fallen branch during an overnight storm or even roofs that were collapsed by giant limbs snapping off.

With summer here it brings high winds and heavy rain, a duo for destruction and risk for trees which may not have what it takes to withstand a good storm. Sometimes we’re just unlucky, and a tree that’s fallen may have never been expected to collapse; however, most of the time you can determine which trees are at higher risks of falling and doing some severe damage.

Before you find yourself dealing with your tree’s untimely fate to crumple your car in your driveway or wake you up with water coming through an open roof, pay attention to these signs to help determine if your trees are safe or if you should take affirmative action to prevent an accident early.

1. The trunk has an open holeTree with hollow trunk could snap easier

When trees naturally prune themselves and drop a branch, a cavity can develop inside the trunk itself. Decay can start inside this hole and become more and more hollow. If it gets big enough, your tree’s structure will become at risk, and a heavy wind could cause a top-heavy trunk to sway enough to snap right at the cavity.

2. Tree is missing its bark

The bark on your tree plays an integral part in maintaining the integrity of the structure. Missing bark and deep cracks in a tree are referred to as ‘cankers.’ Having cankers in your tree makes it more susceptible to breaking in that particular area.

3. It’s dropping branches and looks dead

If you have an idea that your tree may be dying you should be cautious. When they begin to die, they’ll drop their branches which is a definite sign that something’s not right. When trees lose their limbs, they’re attempting to cut off areas that they aren’t able to provide enough nutrients for. Dead branches can cause just as much damage when they fall as a whole structure falling, depending on size and height.

4. Structure is starting to lean

You should have a decent idea of how your trees are shaped in your yard. If you have a tree that’s naturally grown at an angle, then you don’t need to be too worried. If you have a tree that’s grown straight and has started to slant upwards of 15 degrees over time, then it’s cause for worry. This could be due to wind or root damage and could be barely hanging on underground and just waiting for the right wind to send it toppling.

5. The branches are growing tight togetherBranches with a V shape can easily split apart

Even if your tree is healthy, the way its branches grow naturally could lead to a falling limb. Branches that grow close together and in the shape of a “V” are weaker than those that grow in the shape of a “U.” With a strong wind, those “V” shaped unions can easily snap and send a limb falling. This is where the importance of pruning each year comes to play to prevent weaker unions.

6. Leaves are dying from the center to the outside

Leaves start to die from the center of the tree and move out when the root system is diseased. When the roots are unhealthy, their nutrients cannot be appropriately sent up the trunk to the leaves that need them. The leaves in the center would react to a root issue first, so catching this early can be important in the aspect of preventing damage from it falling. Without healthy roots, you’re at risk for a fall due to the tree not having an anchor to hold itself up.

 

 

Think you’ve got a risky tree?

Contact one of our trained professionals for quality and trustworthy advice.

Request a Free Quote or Call Now at PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care LLC.

4 Reasons to Prune Your Trees & Shrubs

It may seem like pruning a tree is self-explanatory and a relatively simple endeavor, however, there are a lot of things that go into the process and why we do it in the first place. There are several reasons for why trees need to get pruned and a lot of science that goes into it. Pruning helps to better the health of your trees and shrubs and makes them look a lot better at the same time.

 

Pruning consists of eliminating dead or injured branches and limbs for the betterment of the entire organism. It may seem that by cutting off parts of a plant you’re causing more damage, though it’s the complete opposite and they don’t feel a thing! Here are the main reasons why we take the time to do the process and how it affects the trees you own.

 

HealthPrune off dead branches on trees and shrubs

 

By taking off branches that are dead or injured it directs that water and nutrients to the healthy limbs who were originally missing out on all that good stuff they need. Insects love to infiltrate a tree through areas where it’s vulnerable or rotting, by getting rid of these limbs it makes your tree less attractive to pesky bugs and ultimately prevents diseases they may carry. Sometimes, branches end up crossing paths and eventually grow into each other or rub against themselves causing more damage and deformity. When you prevent this at the start, these branches aren’t able to cause each other problems down the road when they’re massive in size and a threat to the entire plant.

 

Safety

 

Sometimes branches grow in places that they shouldn’t. When a limb starts to reach out over a sidewalk or driveway, it could cause a potential threat to passersby or personal property if it ever falls. When a professional takes care of this issue, you don’t need to take the risk and worry about that branch and the one day that it ‘might’ fall. High winds and storms could cause branches that are damaged to fall as well and should be taken care of before it happens.

 

Makes your yard look better

 

Let’s face it; no one wants to see dead material hanging off your trees and shrubs around the landscape of your yard. When getting rid of the bad stuff that causes an eyesore you make your plants look more appealing. On top of just getting rid of the junk, the plants grow thicker and greener since they have more nutrients to delegate to their healthy parts. You can think of pruning almost like giving your trees a haircut!

 

Have a better viewLimbs can be pruned to give better views

 

Sometimes some branches tend to block a beautiful view you may be missing out on. Whether it’s a lake, cityscape, or whatever’s in the distance beyond, some limbs and branches may be blocking your sight. When you hire a professional, they can prevent trees from growing into a view-blocker and event cut down ones that already are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let our professionals take care of all your pruning needs! Call us today at PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care, LLC to see how we can help.

7 Arborist Certifications & Qualifications

 

If you want to pursue a career as an arborist, getting certifications and qualifications through the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) is an excellent way to further your goals.
Because there are many credentials available through ISA, you need first to decide what it is you want out of your career. That makes selecting the right credential much easier. Whatever you choose, keep in mind that you also must pass a separate exam based on study materials provided by ISA for each certification or qualification.

Certified Arborist

When you earn this certification from ISA, it signifies you have an excellent general knowledge of trees and their biology, maintenance practices, diagnosis methods, and how to safely work with trees. Many government entities, companies, and even individuals will seek out a tree care professional with at least this certification, ensuring they hire someone qualified.

Certified Arborist Municipal SpecialistTrees in the city require Arborists too

If you have experience working with urban trees, this certification can be a useful one to pursue. It covers not only how to manage the health of trees growing in cities, but also addresses establishing them in that specific environment. This is a good fit for people in positions like an urban forester, city arborist, park superintendent, tree warden, etc.

Certified Arborist Utility Specialist

As an arborist, you’ll come across situations where it’s necessary to prune trees that are nearby utility lines and poles. This certification signifies that you have specialized technical knowledge about managing vegetation around power lines and other utilities. This is helpful if you plan on pursuing a career in electric utility vegetation management.

 

Certified Tree Worker Climber Specialist

Tree climbing involves a certain amount of risk, both to the climber and to people, vehicles, and buildings in the area. Companies, government entities, and even private property owners feel more comfortable knowing you’re competent as a tree climber. This certification also covers first aid practices, just in case you ever need to help in an emergency.

Certified Tree Worker Aerial Lift Specialist

An aerial lift is a necessary and helpful tool in certain situations, but it can also be dangerous in the hands of someone who doesn’t know how to operate one properly. With this certification, you can prove to potential employers and customers that you won’t be putting trees, other people, buildings, etc. at unnecessary risk when operating an aerial lift.

Certified Master ArboristCertified master arborist works on tree.

To even qualify for the process to earn this certification, you must be an ISA Certified Arborist in good standing, plus you must complete several other rigorous activities. This certification is to demonstrate that you genuinely have a mastery of arborist principles and practices, showing to potential employers and customers your advanced knowledge.

Tree Risk Assessment Qualification

As an arborist, tree risk assessment is a valuable skill. The purpose of this ISA qualification is to expand your knowledge of the fundamentals of assessing tree risk. Armed with a systemic process, you can help tree owners and risk managers make a decision that promotes not only safety but also the longevity of the tree.

 

For further questions about ISA certifications and qualifications, or any other tree-related situations, contact us at PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care, LLC.

Tools of the Trade: Essential Tree Service Gear

When it comes to working with trees, the gear isn’t as straightforward as some people might think. The average property owner knows about ladders, gloves, pruning shears, saws, and that’s about it. They have no idea the kinds of interesting tools arborists like the ones that work for PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care, LLC use regularly.

Following are some of the fascinating equipment available:

Chainsaw Chaps Chainsaw chaps are like a coat of armor for an arborist.

Most people who use a chainsaw throw on a pair of gloves and hopefully a little light eye protection. Arborists work with chainsaws regularly, so we know the potential hazards of these powerful tools, considering they can throw all kinds of debris. The chaps go over a chainsaw operator’s pants, like a layer of armor. They’re usually a bright color like orange or yellow, boosting safety further.

Throw Lines 

To get a rope into the upper portions of a tree before climbing it, arborists use this specialized line. Most are lightweight and thin, plus are made of polyethylene for excellent durability. Throw lines also don’t stretch much, making them perfect for pulling through branches without many issues.

Line Launcher 

Speaking of throw lines, arborists don’t usually throw them into trees. Instead, they use a line launcher. Some use springs or rubber bands, while others are air-powered for shooting a throw line into the upper reaches of a tree. These devices look kind of like an extended garden hose attachment and are a lot of fun to see in action.

Inspection Drill  

Determining the health of a tree’s wood can be difficult, but an inspection drill helps an arborist do so accurately. The device, which looks like a metal rail a few feet long, and it measures the resistance exerted as the drill penetrates the wood’s core. Some print the info on wax strips, while others have a digital display.

Tree Root Barrier 

If you’ve ever seen what tree roots do to sidewalks, driveways, home foundations, and more, you can appreciate the magic of a tree root barrier. These barriers act as stops for tree roots, redirecting them from hardscaping, but without harming the tree roots. Some contain an herbicide to keep roots from growing in a specific direction.

Integrated Communication System 

Being able to communicate with other arborists at the job site clearly is essential, but sometimes you’re too far apart to yell. These systems integrate with safety helmets and include a least one earpiece plus a microphone, so even when your hands are busy, you can still speak.

 

For professional tree services, contact PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care, LLC.

Landscaping Ideas To Beautify Your Commercial Property

The landscaping at your commercial property communicates so much about your business, like it or not. Ugly, poorly-maintained landscaping doesn’t tell a good story, while immaculate landscaping does the exact opposite.

Amazing landscaping can also boost employee morale. The investment will quickly pay off.

If you really want to stand out in a crowded marketplace, get creative with the landscaping. The plants arranged around the exterior of your business don’t have to be boring. In fact, a creative landscape can encourage people to see what you have inside.  

 

Theme Theme and symmetry will improve the look of your landscaping.

Every great landscaping design starts with a theme. You need one before beginning, otherwise, the result will lose potency.

Some things to consider:

  • How can landscaping accentuate the building’s architecture?
  • What is the theme of your business? How does that translate to landscaping?
  • What are competitors doing and what can you do differently or better?

Topiaries

Who doesn’t love a topiary? These perennial plants can be trimmed into quite a few shapes, creating just the right feel for the exterior of your property. Go with shapes that complement the architecture or add a little bit of visual interest if everything else is plain.

If it makes sense for your business, shape some topiaries to mimic what you do. For example, a toy store could have a topiary cut to look like a giant teddy bear or a toy soldier. It will make people stop and notice, then wonder what you have to offer.

 

Logo in Flowers

You need to promote your brand, and what better way to do that than with something everyone loves: flowers! If your property has a large flower bed in front, consider planting different colors of the same type of flowers in an arrangement that displays your logo. During the warmer times of the year, this is a much more interesting element than any traditional sign. As potential customers top to enjoy the flowers, they’ll be enticed to learn more about your business and what it does.

 

Vertical Garden Vertical gardens work for smaller or shared offices.

If you don’t have much room for plant life, that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate any. Vertical gardens can be installed on a porch, balcony, exterior wall, patio, or even an interior wall that gets enough natural light.

Consider any of the following:

  • Suspend pots with rope, even putting multiple pots on each length of rope.
  • Use vertical garden containers and frame them with rugged wood on a wall.
  • Add brackets to a wall, fence etc. that perfectly fit potted plants.
  • Suspend potted plants from hooks in ceilings or several on a strong rod.
  • Cut holes in planks to hold pots, then suspend multiple planks with rope.

There are many ways to create a vertical garden, so you just need to find the right one for your commercial space.

 

Safety and Ease of Access

No matter what landscaping ideas you decide to use, they overall must serve the ideals of safety and ease of access.

The last thing any business needs is someone being injured by landscaping that’s inherently dangerous. Yes, accidents happen, but your landscaping shouldn’t be the cause.

Landscaping shouldn’t make getting to the front door of a business difficult, even a little bit. You want a business to be friendly and welcoming to customers, not giving them an excuse to go elsewhere.

 

Contact PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care, LLC for help with all your landscaping needs.

5 Beautiful Flowering Trees that Thrive in Michigan

Everyone wants beautiful landscaping, but most have no idea how to go about it. While you can go to a nursery and pick out plants that look nice, you’re essentially shooting in the dark. Do you know what it takes to care for those plants? Will they survive the harsh weather in Michigan?

Amazing landscaping begins with clever planning. Flowering trees are an excellent way to beautify your outdoor spaces, but you need to go with the right kinds. PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care, LLC has put together this guide to help you choose trees that will not only survive the brutality of the weather in Michigan but will thrive, staying healthy and strong for years.

Hophornbeam

These medium-sized trees grow naturally in Michigan, so you know they’re able to survive the harsh winters and boiling heat of summer. They grow to about 40 feet in height. The male catkins flower in the middle of spring, turning a yellow-brown. In about the middle of the summer, the catkins turn green and resemble hops clusters.

 

These trees aren’t easy to establish in your soil. But, once they’re acclimated to your outdoor space, you can count on them lasting for a long time.

Serviceberry

A beautiful serviceberry tree! A common sight throughout Michigan!

This naturally-growing tree is a somewhat common sight in Michigan, demonstrating it will thrive through all four seasons. They typically grow to be about 25 feet in height, with an overall rounded and attractive look. The leaves are oval and can be up to three inches wide, providing great shade in the summer.

 

Late each spring, you’ll be treated to the buds bursting into five-petaled white flowers that feature bright pink anthers. This will make you look forward even more to the end of winter and the beginning of the growing season. The small fruit starts off green, then transforms to red and finally deep purple.

Kentucky Coffeetree

This tree grows naturally in Michigan, but it needs an area with full sun, plus moist, well-drained, and rich soil. Once established, it’s quite drought-resistant. Full-grown, this is a large tree, reaching upwards of 80 feet in height. The compound leaves are also large, measuring upwards of two feet wide and three feet long, making this an excellent shade tree.

 

In late spring, this tree really puts on a show. Greenish-white flowers form in pyramidal clusters you can’t miss, even from far away. Flowers on female trees produce a scent like roses.

Alternate Leaved Dogwood

An alternative dog wood tree would make an awesome addition to your backyard!

People usually don’t even consider this small native tree for their landscaping. It typically grows to about 15 or 20 feet tall, allowing you to place this tree where others might not normally fit. This species likes to grow in partial shade, but it will still do well in an area with full sun.

 

The branches grow out horizontally, with the leaves clustered toward the ends. Tiny four-petaled white flowers that are arranged in flat-topped bunches look amazing during May or June when they’re in full bloom. Small fruits turn blue when they mature, adding to the visual appeal of this tree.

Native Plants

You’ll notice all these trees are native to Michigan. They require less care because such trees are well-adapted to the climate. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need watering, pruning, fertilization, and other maintenance to thrive.

 

To keep these trees in excellent health and looking amazing, contact us at PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care, LLC.

Did Your Trees Survive the Winter? Look for These Signs

Winters in Michigan are something of legend. While some parts of the country shut down over a few inches of the white stuff and temperatures in the 20s, we soldier on through an unrelenting storm and bitter cold. Sometimes, it’s too much for even the trees.

If you have a tree you fear didn’t make it through the winter, there are a few things you should do before pulling out the chainsaw.

 

Is Your Tree Really Dead? 

As spring rolls around and everything springs back to life, the fact one tree hasn’t leafed out is certainly concerning. Just because it’s not responding to the season doesn’t necessarily mean your tree is a goner.

Look for signs in the bark if your tree if dead or dying.

You need to determine as quickly as possible if your tree is dead. After all, a dead tree could fall suddenly, especially in a wind storm, and must be removed immediately. If the tree isn’t dead, it might be suffering from a disease, and if you act quickly you could save it.

  • First, walk around the tree and inspect it carefully. Obviously, if even just a few branches have leaves on them, the tree is alive, even if it’s not in good health. Look closely for buds, which mean new growth is about to sprout.
  • Branches that hold onto leaves throughout the winter, instead of dropping them, that’s usually a sign the branch is dead. Several dead branches on one side of the tree might indicate a severe trunk or root problem.
  • Try bending some of the smaller branches on the tree. If they snap, those branches are dead. Multiple dead branches could indicate the tree is either dead or dying.
  • Examine the trunk for cracking in the bark. If new bark has replaced the old stuff that fell off, the tree is likely just fine. However, smooth wood instead of bark on different areas of the trunk is usually not a good sign.
  • Finally, there’s the tree scratch test. Scrape off the bark on one part of the trunk until you expose the wood underneath. It should be green if the tree is alive. If it’s not, the wood will be brown.

Saving Trees

If you have a tree you believe is still alive but doesn’t seem to be doing well, there might be hope in saving it. A professional arborist can assess the health of the tree and determine exactly what can be done to bring it back to full health.

In the case that the tree can’t be saved, the arborist can assist with removing the tree and preparing the ground for a new one. They can even recommend what tree to plant. As a professional tree service, we can help.

For assistance with anything tree-related, contact the professional team at PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care, LLC today.

How to Make That Ugly Tree Stump Less of an Eyesore!

Unfortunately, trees don’t live forever. Whether you have a tree that needs to be cut down, was blown over in a storm, or know someone who’s trying to offload stumps, the wood doesn’t need to go to waste. Even if you don’t have the need for quality firewood, there are plenty of great ways to put this valuable resource to use.

Stump in the Ground

Getting a tree stump out of the ground is a grueling task. Rather than take that on, you can turn the stump into a decorative part of your yard.

Brighten up your yard by turning a stump into a flower pot.

Consider any of the following ideas:

  • Turn it into a planter by hollowing out the center of the stump. Vibrant flowers, herbs, etc. growing out of a dead stump looks simply amazing and injects color where you otherwise wouldn’t have it. Of course, you could always just put a potted plant on top of it, which requires less work.
  • Create a fairy house by decorating the stump like it’s a small house. Fairy gardens are all the rage lately, so if you want to get in on this trend, a tree stump can provide the perfect centerpiece. You can get incredibly creative with how you convert the stump into a house, so let your imagination run wild.
  • Paint it however you like. A stump is made of wood, so it will take paint, even if you have to apply a few coats. It provides an interesting accent in your yard, and you can even paint a chess or checkerboard on top for playing games outdoors.

Cut Lengths of Stump

If you’ve removed a tree stump, or have cut the majority down, you don’t need to toss what remains. You can come up with some truly creative uses for the wood.

Decorate your home with parts of the tree stump.

  • Cut it several times, forming wood discs you can place around the yard like stepping stones or pavers. It adds a unique feel to the space, and if you apply a lacquer, the wood will handle the weather better.
  • Turn it into a table. There are many ways to go about this, but obviously the top and bottom of the stump must be level. Some people tile the top, others attach a pane of glass, or they attach a regular tabletop.
  • Make table décor. Cutting the stump into thin discs of wood allows you to use them as trivets to place hot dishes on the table, or you can use them as charger plates. It’s a creative way to make your house look more rustic.

Sometimes you can save a tree, or you need help selecting and planting a new one.

Contact us at PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care, LLC for professional help.

Is Your Tree Company is Licensed, Bonded, & Insured?

The last thing you need when hiring a tree service company is to experience problems. Hiring a professional to take care of an issue isn’t supposed to complicate things. But, if you’re not careful, that could be exactly what happens.

Licensing

The state of Michigan does not require a license for any tree service companies. That means you can’t pull up that information on the state’s website.

Tree care can be risky business!

However, you can check with the local county clerk of the city for licensing information. Many cities and counties do require it, and any company you hire should have a current license, if necessary. Any business that lacks licensing should be avoided for obvious reasons.

Bonded

Just like when you hire any contractor, a tree service should be bonded. With a surety bond, you have extra assurance that the company will fulfill its obligations. Everyone’s heard that horror story from a contractor who left a job half-done.

The best thing to do is follow the Better Business Bureau recommendation and ask if a business is bonded. Then ask for the bond number, as well as the company used for the surety bonding services. With that info, you can verify that the tree service is indeed bonded correctly before you hand over any money or the work begins.

Insured

Just like the surety bond, any tree service you hire should also carry insurance. Rather than just take the company’s word for it, ask for the insurance information. Contact the insurance company and verify that coverage is in place.

Without proper insurance, if the tree service were to damage your property, including your trees, house, car, etc. and isn’t insured, you might not have much recourse for remedying the situation. You could make a claim on your homeowner’s insurance, but that could affect your situation negatively, and honestly, you shouldn’t have to cover a contractor’s mistake.

For a reputable tree service company, contact us at PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care and we will gladly come to your house.

How to Choose The Right Qualified Tree Service Company

When you need work done on your car, you find a certified mechanic. When you need a surgical operation, you find a licensed doctor. Why should you not find a qualified tree service company as well?

You trust any tree service with an asset that’s difficult to replace. After all, the trees on your property could be considered old, and replacing them if something were to go wrong could be costly, if not impossible.

Finding the right company is critical to your trees health.

Fortunately, there’s a way to help ensure the tree service company you hire isn’t a bunch of amateurs.

ISA Arborists

The International Society of Arboriculture exists for two reasons:

  • To promote the profession of arboriculture
  • To spread awareness about the benefits of trees everywhere

For you as a homeowner, ISA Arborists can help you choose a tree service company that’s truly qualified to do work around your yard. After all, you’re not an expert in arboriculture, but you certainly want to hire someone who is.

Not just any tree service company can obtain an ISA certification. For a company to earn this honor, it must demonstrate expert knowledge and skills about arboriculture. Certified companies also demonstrate a strong amount of dedication to their profession, as well as the communities they serve. That means you can hire a certified tree service, knowing they will care for your trees properly.

Experience

To earn certification, a tree service company can’t just be starting out in the field. It takes years of correct experience to have the knowledge and skills necessary to earn the certification. That means when the tree service shows up, it’s seen whatever problems you are experiencing before and knows exactly what to do about them.

Techniques You and your trees will be happy with the right care!

There’s a right and a wrong way to care for trees, just like there’s a right and a wrong way to perform open heart surgery. ISA certification means a tree service company knows the latest techniques and how to perform them correctly.
Incorrect techniques could result in serious damage or other problems for your trees. Don’t take the chance.

Looking Up Certification

ISA has an easy-to-use website called TreesAreGood.org. Along the top of the main page is a link called “Find an Arborist.” Click on that, and you have two choices:

  • Find an Arborist helps you find a tree service in any given area.
  • Verify a Credential allows you to confirm if a tree service is certified through ISA.

You’ll need the first and last name of the individual arborist and not the company name to verify a certification.

Contact PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care for qualified, professional help with all your tree needs.

Scroll to top