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.


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.


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.


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.


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 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.

Want to Plant a Fruit Tree? Try These in Michigan!

There’s nothing quite like growing fresh fruit in your own yard. It can liven up any meal, plus you’re not constantly needing to run to the store. If you’re so inclined, you can even can or freeze fruits for use all year long, making for a great resource.

Many people in Michigan wonder what fruit trees will do well with the frigid temperatures and other unique conditions here. After all, something like an orange or lemon tree isn’t exactly well-suited for Michigan yards.

Allow our expertise at PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care guide you in making an informed decision. Fruit trees can be planted fairly easily.

Viable Fruit Trees

While citrus trees aren’t a good choice, quite a few different fruit trees will do well in Michigan’s climate. There’s a wide variety of each type, so ensure what you buy is compatible with the USDA climate zone for your area of the state.

Among the options are:

  • Apple
  • Mulberry
  • Cherry
  • Pear
  • Plum
  • Apricot
  • Fig

Of course, you should choose fruit trees that produce what you like to eat. After all, a tree can bear an abundance of fruit, so you need something that you can stand eating a lot.

Soil Testing

Fruit trees can be a reliable source of food throughout the year.

Long before you plant a fruit tree in your yard, test the soil to see what nutrients are lacking. Soil test kits are available from many sources, or we can test it for you.

You might struggle to really make sense of the results of your soil test. Knowing what nutrients different fruit trees need is a fine science, one most people don’t understand. Again, our expertise can guide you in identifying what’s lacking. We can help you select the right fertilizers to add to the soil, fully preparing it for planting before you get a tree.

Planting and Care

You need to choose a good site for your tree. Consider the following:

  • At least 8 hours of direct sunlight is necessary.
  • Clean water must be accessible at the site.
  • Water must not pool around the tree, so ensure proper drainage during rainstorms.
  • Protection against animal damage, such as fencing and netting, often is needed.

In Michigan, the ideal time to plant a fruit tree is usually late April or in May. The soil needs to be defrosted enough you can work it properly. If it’s not ready yet and you have a tree, you can temporarily place it in a pot, or heel it into the ground. You should try to get the tree into the ground properly within two weeks, so keep checking the soil.

A fruit tree can beautify your yard and provide fresh produce for your table.


Contact PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care to get professional care, ensuring your trees are properly planted and thrive for the long term.

Choosing The Perfect Hammock For Your Backyard!

If you want a relaxing, refreshing way to bask in the beauty of your yard, few things rival a hammock. To be suspended in the air with just material under you keeps things cool on a hot summer day. The rocking motion makes you relax, too.

Despite what some people might think, not all hammocks are made equal. If you really start to look at the variety out there, you likely are confused. Choosing a hammock that meets your needs all around will help ensure you’re happy in the long run, instead of wishing you bought something else.

Types of Hammocks

One of the first things you need to consider is the material and weave of your hammock. This is where most people get confused, but understanding the basic types isn’t difficult, once they’re broken down.

Rope Hammocks: made of stitched rope that stretches from one spreader bar to another. This is the type most people think of. It’s both supportive and flexible. Choose a nylon rope to keep the hammock free of mold and mildew. Rope hammocks are the most typical type of hammock.

Quilted Hammocks: These are great for providing warmth because a filler sits between two fabric layers. That makes these hammocks softer, and you won’t get caught in any rope.

Mayan Hammocks: These feature a thin, woven thread that stretches to accommodate any body shape and size. They’re also quite breathable. Again, choose a nylon thread to combat humidity.

Brazilian Hammocks: Woven out of thick cotton threads, these are good for staying warm in the spring and summer. Without spreader bars, you’re surrounded by the hammock, almost like a cocoon.

Nicaraguan Hammocks: Also, double-weave, they’re stitched tightly so the hammock doesn’t sag much. Still, there’s enough gap in the weave to allow air to flow through freely.

What type of hammock you choose depends on when and where you’ll use it, as well as your personal preferences.

Using Hammocks in Trees

Some hammocks are designed for use in trees. Thanks to all kinds of hanging products, you can suspend a hammock between trees that are spaced over 15 feet apart. A space of fewer than 10 feet normally means you don’t have enough room for most hammocks.

Of course, you’ll need trees that are sturdy enough to support your weight.


Possible Tree Damage Hammocks can cause damage to your trees in the long run.

Using a hammock in trees can cause some serious, irreversible damage. Consider the following before you anchor your hammock to some backyard trees:

  • Ropes will over time cut into a tree’s bark, making it at risk of infection or insect infestation.
  • Ropes also can cut off water and nutrients, eventually causing the tree to die.
  • A hammock can cause trees to bow or break slowly, even if they appear to hold your weight without issues.
  • Hooks open a hole in your trees, also increasing the risk of infection or infestation.

You can get tree saver straps, which reduce some of these risks, but they may not entirely eliminate them.

Alternatives to Trees

If you don’t want to risk damaging your trees, you have two alternatives for hanging your hammock:

Stands: most hammock suppliers will sell a stand that’s compatible with any hammock you choose. You can move these stands to anywhere in your yard, which is nice if you want to always be in the shade.

Posts: Like fence posts, you need to dig into the ground and cement these into place. They’re a sturdy and permanent solution.

If you have concerns about hanging a hammock from trees or have noticed damage to your trees from a hammock, contact us at PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care.

Oak Wilt: What is it? & What Does It Do To Your Trees?

Many people have heard of oak wilt, yet they don’t really know what it is. Understanding that oak wilt is a negative thing for trees to contract isn’t difficult, but it helps if you have a firm grasp on this condition, the signs that it’s taking hold of your tree, and know how to manage it.


Oak Wilt Explained

As you can probably guess from the name, oak wilt is a condition that affects oak trees. It’s most severe for red oak species, although it can affect white oak species, but usually not as profoundly.

Insects are the most common way, Oak Wilt spreads throughout the tree.

The condition is a fungal infection of a tree. If left unchecked, it can ultimately lead to the death of a tree, which can be quite expensive to replace. Not only that, your trees provide valuable shade, beautification for your yard, and even add to the value of your property.

You should be watching for any of the following symptoms, which can indicate your tree has contracted oak wilt:

  • Discolored leaves on one or more branches
  • Wilting leaves
  • Heavy defoliation (leaves falling off the branches)
  • Darkened sap
  • One or more dead/dying branches
  • Fungal mats developing under the bark

That final symptom usually only manifests once the infection is pretty far along.


How it Spreads

Insects, especially sap beetles, are the main way oak wilt spreads from tree to tree. Fungal spores attach to the beetles, so when they land on other trees and burrow into the bark, the fungus can infect a new host. For that reason, you can help prevent the spread of oak wilt by treating areas where you’ve pruned the tree, or the bark has been damaged by accidents, weather, etc. Also, avoid, pruning your trees when the weather is warm, particularly in the late spring and early summer. Oak Wilt can move quickly throughout the tree.

Even if your oak is free of insects, because you’ve been managing any damage properly, it can still contract oak wilt. Root grafts, or when roots from neighboring trees attach to each other under the ground, can also be a source of the infection. The fungus will travel into the roots of a host, and from there can be introduced to other trees through the graft.


Curing Oak Wilt

This condition can move quickly, so you must act swiftly to avoid the death of your tree. Red oak can die within several months after becoming infected, making vigilance key.

You can spray for insects, taking away the most common means of the fungus spreading. Breaking any root grafts will help as well. Soil fumigation can help with breaking tree root connections if you’re unsuccessful with mechanical attempts.

Once a tree is infected, you might be able to prune out the affected area and stop the spread of the fungus. If the tree is a total loss, you must be careful about when and how you remove it, or you might spread the fungus spores.

The best way to prevent oak wilt and manage any trees showing symptoms is by getting professional help.

Contact PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care, LLC to make an appointment.

Dutch Elm Disease is Still Attacking Michigan Trees

You might have heard about the problem of Dutch elm disease in Michigan. Some people mistakenly believe that the problem has been eliminated. Sadly, that’s not the case. While the number of American elms that have been lost to this disease throughout the United States is staggering, any tree is still at risk of falling victim.
By gaining knowledge about this condition, you can better manage your trees’ health, hopefully avoiding the loss of any. Dutch elm disease can cut off the nutrients to the trees branches.

What is Dutch Elm Disease?

Essentially, Dutch elm disease is a condition that can kill portions of an elm or even the entire tree. Scientists have tracked it to Asia, and believe it was accidentally spread to Europe and North America. Since its introduction to this area, Dutch elm disease has absolutely devastated the elm population in cities, suburbs, and even nature areas.
Originally, the disease was identified by two Dutch phytopathologists in 1921, which is how the name came about. It is a fungus that, when introduced, will spread through a tree. The natural response of a tree to stop the spread of the fungus actually cuts off water and nutrients to the branches, which is what kills it.
Signs which can indicate a tree has Dutch elm disease included:

  • Leaves on a certain branch yellowing or withering before the fall season
  • Dark discoloration on the branches and stems

How it Spreads

While Dutch elm disease mostly affects American elms, it can hurt other elm species to one extent or another. Often, one branch shows signs of infection and will die. Within a year to seven years, the rest of the tree will also die off.
One of the most common modes of this fungus spreading is through bark beetles. These insects carry the fungus, and as they burrow into the bark, it can infect the tree. Dying, dead, or stressed elm wood is an attractant to bark beetles.

Bark beetles is the most common way the fungus can spread through the tree.

Another way Dutch elm disease spread is through root grafts. As the same tree species or those that are closely related spread out their roots in the ground, they come in contact with each other. Over time, those roots from different trees can graft or fuse together. As the fungus reaches the roots of one tree, it can move through the graft to the roots of another elm.

Curing the Disease

Obviously, the ideal thing is to keep your trees in good repair, so they don’t become infected with Dutch elm disease. You can spray for bark beetles, as well as identify and break root grafts.
But even with precise caution, you might notice one or more of your trees displaying symptoms of this condition. Your best bet at saving a tree is to interrupt the Dutch elm disease cycle. This can be done by injecting fungicides into the tree and pruning out the infection in the early stages.
Dutch elm disease is a serious condition.

Get professional help by contacting PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care, LLC here. We have the experience and training necessary to properly manage the situation.

Should You Prune Your Oak and American Elm This Winter?

If you’re like most property owners, you consider mature trees to be a huge asset. Many highly favor oak and American elm, since these two species look amazing, perfectly complementing any building.

Oak trees are a beautiful addition to your home!

What’s more, buying a new mature tree is quite expensive. Not only that, they provide shade in the summer, lowering building cooling costs and giving you somewhere to enjoy the outdoors, even when the sun is full and intense.


With how much you have invested in your oak and American elm trees, the last thing you want is to hurt them. When you trim these trees very much affects their health. Read More

Check Out These Holiday Events Near Detroit & Ann Arbor

If you’re on the hunt for family-friendly activities in the Detroit and Ann Arbor area during the holidays, you’re in luck. There’s an abundance of options that will satisfy a whole range of tastes and preferences. Whether you want to do something physically active or enjoy a cozy holiday season, check out the following best opportunities.

Ice Skating in Detroit – Campus Martius Park Ice Skating Rink – November 17 – March 4

What better way to celebrate the holiday season than going ice skating in Downtown Detroit? You can soak in the sights and sounds of the area as you glide on ice, filling your lungs with the cold winter air. Many families have made this a tradition each year, considering it’s an activity both young and old can thoroughly enjoy. The facilities are extremely well-kept, and the staff is extra helpful. What’s more, few other ice skating rinks in the area provide rental skates, so if you don’t own any, this is the place to go. Read More

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