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 that dutch elm disease 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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