Month: June 2019

Vine Identification: What’s Growing On Your Trees?

Vines may look beautiful growing up the side of a house or trellis, but vines can actually do a lot of harm to your trees if left untreated. As they climb the tree, vines add extra weight to limbs, can catch more wind in a storm, and can girdle or strangle the tree. If the vine reaches and spreads over the canopy, it can shade out the tree and deprive it of sunlight. Before you go in and start ripping down vines you should know what kinds of vines you are dealing with. Here are a few vine identification tips to help you with your tree maintenance.

Virginia CreeperVirginia creeper has dark blue berries in the fall, making vine identification easy for this Bloomfield Hills, MI vine.

Probably the most common vine you’ll encounter here in Michigan is Virginia creeper. This deep-rooted vine can grow fast and be difficult to remove once it’s established. Its roots and underground tendrils can stretch several feet. Since it is an aggressive grower, Virginia creeper can cover an entire tree in just a few seasons. It’s important to keep an eye on this vine or it could deprive your trees of sunlight. 


As an ornamental vine, Virginia creeper can look quite stunning climbing over a shed or the side of your house. Its clusters of tiny white flowers bloom in the summer and produce dark blue-black berries in the fall which will attract wild birds, make vine identification easy.


If Virginia creeper is a problem, the best way to remove it is to find the main vines and clip them. This won’t kill the roots but will kill everything in the tree. When the vine is dead you can pull down the vines by hand or just leave them to fall off naturally. 


Moonseed is usually found in forests and swamps where soils are moist. It grows along the ground and climbs whatever it comes into contact with. Its leaves are roundish and vibrant green, but turn golden yellow in the fall. Its blossoms bloom in June and July and turn into berries in autumn for song birds and mammals to feast on.


Poison IvyPoison ivy has three leaves that grow on a vine and can cause a severe allergic reaction, making vine identification very important for this Bloomfield Hills, MI vine.

Poison ivy is actually covered in a substance called urushiol which can trigger a severe allergic reaction in most people. The oil is so potent that you can get it even if you don’t touch the plant directly. Secondary sources include pets, clothes, and smoke. 


Poison ivy can grow as a bush or a vine climbing up a tree. They have clusters of three leaves which help tell it apart from other harmless vines. This vine identification is made easy if you remember the old mantra, “leaves of three, let it be.” Shower thoroughly and wash your clothes after working in wooded areas.


Symptoms of a poison ivy rash include:

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Blisters
  • Difficulty breathing, if you’ve inhaled the smoke from burning poison ivy

Poison Oak

Poison oak has bright green leaves that also grow in clusters of three, but the leaves of poison oak are more rounded and have a textured surface.  They can grow as a shrub or a vine and can pack the same punch as its cousin, poison ivy.

Riverbank Grape

Another very common vine that you will encounter, especially if you have overgrown or wooded areas, is riverbank grape. It can grow almost anywhere and it’s not uncommon to find riverbank grape growing in flower beds or around your deck, thanks to birds. Grape vines can grow thick over several years making them very hard to remove without cutting them and letting them die.


The riverbank grape leaves are large and glossy and can provide a lot of shade for a garden or porch. This vine is sometimes a nuisance as it can grow fast and completely cover the canopy of a mature tree. With its thick vines and large leaves, it adds a lot of weight and strain on the tree which can result in broken limbs or a toppled tree during the next strong winds. Its fruits are tart but edible and make great juice, wine, or jelly.

At PPM Tree Care we provide tree trimming, pruning, and tree cabling services to help your trees grow up to be the best they can be. You can ask about our wide range of services here or call us at (877) 454-8733.

The Essential Guide to Stump Removal: Which Method is Best?

After you cut the tree down and picked up all the logs, twigs, and bark, you’re left with one difficult task: removing the stump. Depending on the size of the tree, stump removal can be done with some hard work and a shovel. For larger trees, it’ll take a little more than elbow grease to remove it. Finding the right stump removal method for you depends on a number of factors. Here are three options to get rid of a stump on your property.


Leaving The Stump To Rot

You could just let nature take its course, but It can take over ten years for an average tree stump to completely decompose enough to be easily removed. After the tree is cut, the stump becomes an open invitation for carpenter ants, termites, and other pests. Yes, these insects help speed up the decaying process, but you also have to consider the proximity to your house or other trees that they could invade. Not to mention, a rotting stump isn’t very easy on the eyes. It can throw off the curb appeal of your yard and even decrease your property value


If want that stump out of there you have two options; stump grinding or stump removal. We will go over the pros and cons of each so you can make a more informed decision.


Stump Removal

One stump removal method is to get your hands dirty and dig it out by hand. It isn't easy.

Stump removal is the removal of the entire stump by either digging by hand, using heavy machinery, or other traditional stump removal methods. No matter which method you choose, stump removal is a tough job when doing it on your own. It’s time consuming, physically demanding, and can get pretty expensive if you’re renting machinery or tools. Not only that, but it leaves a large, gaping hole behind when you’re finished.


However, removing stumps also removes much more of the root system. This prevents the tree from growing back and gives you room to plant something new in its place. All-in-all, stump removal is a good option if you’re looking to be as thorough as possible and don’t mind a little hard work.


Stump GrindingStump grinding is a quick and efficient stump removal method here in Ypsilanti, MI.

Stump grinding is a much less intensive process of removing stumps. With this method you hire a professional tree care company or rent a stump grinding machine to completely pulverize the stump into small wood chips. Grinding is faster and more efficient than stump removal and leaves behind a nice bed of mulch; much more pleasing to the eye than a rotting stump or a large hole in your yard. On the downside, the machinery only grinds the stump 8-10 inches below the surface, making it difficult to replant something on top of it and there’s always the possibility of the tree re-growing if it was still alive.


Both methods have their share of pros and cons so you will have to weigh your options and decide which method best suits you and your yard.


Need help with a stump removal project? Call the professionals.


If you need help removing your stumps, trees, or pruning call the professionals at PPM Tree & Arbor Care. We have the expertise and experience to get the job done right. Contact us here, or give us a call at (877) 454-8733 to hear about our list of services.

8 Reasons To Mulch This Spring

Mulching is a common landscaping practice that provides an abundance of benefits to any landscape. Now that the weather is warming up and the growing season is in full swing, it’s the perfect time to apply mulch in and around your garden beds. Here are eight reasons why you should mulch this spring and all the benefits that mulch provides!

Natural Weed ControlAdd mulch to your landscape for natural weed control in Canton MI

Weeds are thieves that, when left alone, will steal essential nutrients from your trees and shrubs. Mulch acts as a barrier, preventing weeds from receiving the important nutrients that they need for growth (mainly sunlight, oxygen, and water). Not only can mulch prevent weeds from sprouting, it can also smother them and prevent them from germinating.

Increased Moisture Retention and Regulated Soil Temperature

One of the biggest threats that your trees and shrubs will face this spring and summer is drought. All it takes is a hot and/or windy day to start evaporating the essential moisture from your soil. Mulching is a great way to prevent this evaporation from occurring. By providing shade for the soil and working as an insulator, the soil temperature stays cool and the loss of moisture is significantly reduced. This will keep your trees and shrubs protected and prepared to thrive all season long.

Soil Enrichment and Earthworm AttractionEarth worms feed on decomposing mulch and improve the health of your soil in Livonia MI

When mulch decomposes it deposits organic matter and beneficial nutrients into the soil. This is especially true with plant-based mulch, which is recommended for most landscapes and flowerbeds (as opposed to rock-based).

Along with adding nutrients to the soil, decomposed mulch will also feed earthworms, which are important to the overall health of the soil in your landscape. Earthworms improve the soil in your landscape by ingesting and digesting the soil, depositing rich nutrients to the surrounding soil.

Natural Pest Control

Certain types of mulches contain oils that deter pests from your landscape. It’s a simple, easy, and natural form of pest control. When applying mulch, you will want to be sure to avoid piling the mulch high against the base of your tree or plant, as doing so may result in the reverse effect. It can create an inviting environment for pests like termites to make your landscape their home.

Just be sure to do your research before applying mulch as a form of pest control. We recommend applying no more than 2-4 inches around your trees and shrubs and cedar bark is the best choice of mulch for pest control.

Stronger Roots

By aiding in moisture retention, mulch also allows the plant’s root system to grow deeper and stronger. When the moisture is given more time to infiltrate the soil, it goes deeper into the root systems, picking up nutrients along the way. When the nutrient-rich moisture hits the roots, it results in lush, healthy growth.

Mulch Looks Amazing

The most visible benefit mulch provides to your landscape is its beauty. Mulch adds vibrant color to your landscape while giving it that crisp, clean, natural look that you will love. Over time, the mulch will also result in stronger, healthier plants. If you’re looking to add that curb appeal while increasing the value of your home, mulching is a great way to do just that.

You’ve invested your hard earned time and money into your landscape, trees, and shrubs. Protecting your landscaping should be at the top of your to-do list. At PPM Tree Care, we’re here to help. Our team of professionals has over 10 years of experience in providing a full range of landscaping services, including mulch installation and seasonal bed maintenance.

Contact us here, or give us a call at (877) 454-8733 to hear about our commercial landscape maintenance services. Call us today to request a quote.


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