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A Guide To Spring Tree And Shrub Care

Spring has sprung here in Michigan and now is one of the best times of year to head outside to begin preparing your landscape for a lush, healthy growing season. Your trees and shrubs play a vital role in the health and appearance of your landscape, so protecting and providing them with what they need this spring should be at the top of your to-do list!


Here is your guide to spring tree and shrub care and six things you need to know to provide your trees and shrubs with what they need to thrive this growing season!


Inspect Your Trees And Shrubs

Now is the prime time to head outside and perform a thorough inspection of your trees and shrubs. They’re still (mostly) bare so if there are any problems, they will stand out and be significantly easier to identify. The three main things you want to look for are deadwood, diseases, and pests. If you find one of these things on your trees and shrubs, you will want to mark them and take the next step.


Prune your trees and shrubs to promote healthy growth in Farmington Hills, MI

Prune And Trim As Needed

Once you’ve identified any dead, diseased, or pest infested areas on your trees and shrubs, it’s time to take the next step: prune and trim as needed. Proper pruning and trimming will put a stop to the spread of any further damage caused by diseases or pests, all while promoting good, healthy growth. It even improves the aesthetics of your landscape!

Add Mulch

Mulch works as a security blanket, protecting the important organic matter trees need beneath the soil. Mulch also protects your trees and shrubs from weeds which, if allowed to grow, can steal essential nutrients from the plant’s root systems. The mulch will prevent the weeds from receiving sunlight and water, smothering them and keeping them below the surface. Lastly, mulch aids in moisture conservation, which is critical for your trees and shrubs once the weather warms up and drought season draws near.

Properly watering trees and shrubs is essential for their development in Ann Arbor MI


Water Properly

If the spring has been a dry one, you will want to water your trees and shrubs deeply and you’ll want to do so as needed. If you’ve mulched around the plants, you will be able to tell how dry the soil is based on how dry the mulch is. Proper watering is essential for the development of the root system, leaves, and shoots, so be sure to check if watering is needed early and often.


Keep It Clean

No matter the season, you will always want to ensure that the landscaped beds and areas around your trees and shrubs are clean and clear of leaves, weeds, and debris. This will protect your trees and shrubs while providing them with room to receive the important nutrients that are critical to their growth and development.


Call The Professionals

The best thing you can do for your trees and shrubs this spring is to call the professionals at PPM. Our team of experts has over 10 years of experience in providing a full range of tree and shrub care services. We have what it takes to provide your landscape with everything it needs to thrive this growing season.


Contact us here, or give us a call at (877) 454-8733 to hear more about our tree and shrub care services. We can help! Call us today!

5 Benefits To Spring Tree Trimming

tree trimming service in michiganYour trees play a vital role in the beauty of your landscape and, in doing so, they add value to your home. Your trees also require consistent maintenance to stay healthy and attractive. One of the most beneficial maintenance tasks you can provide for your trees this spring is trimming. Tree trimming is the process of removing dead, dying, or diseased wood from large, “landmark” trees. Trimming provides a plethora of benefits to the tree. Benefits such as…

 

Improved Health

Trimming can significantly improve the health of your trees. One portion of trimming involves removing any dead, dying, or diseased branches and stems, known as deadwood. This will stop the diseases from spreading and ultimately stop any unhealthy growth, resulting in improved health both now and in the future.

 

Improved Appearance

Trimming also improves the overall appearance of the tree itself and your landscape as a whole. If you have a tree that is overgrown or has grown in a way that doesn’t flow well with the rest of your landscape, trimming allows you to change that. Not only does it immediately change the appearance and shape of the tree, but it also directs future growth, which is instrumental in the future appearance of your landscape. By trimming your trees now, you are preparing them to look better and cleaner by the end of the summer!

Improved Safety

Trimming your trees can make your home a safer place to be. Think about how many times you’ve driven through your neighborhood after a storm and seen large branches and trees that have collapsed. It’s a real possibility that this could happen to your home. If you have large tree branches that hang over (or near) your home, driveway, or vehicles, trimming those branches down will provide safety for your home and family. It’s also good to identify and trim cracked or weak branches, which may fall in the midst of a storm.

 

tree trimming branch for healthy growthImproved Exposure To Essential Nutrients

In order for trees to manufacture food, they need energy from sunlight, carbon dioxide (air), and water. Two out of three of those nutrients are better accessed when the trees have been trimmed, and any excess/unhealthy branches have been removed. Simply put, trimming will allow both sunlight and air to permeate your trees, better preparing them to grow big, healthy, and strong.

 

Improved Property Value

Tree trimming will keep your property looking clean, crisp, and attractive to potential buyers. It can also make your house more visible from the outside looking in, and vice versa, which is another huge plus to buyers. Especially if your home is one with a view! If you need help trimming, pruning, or if you simply need advice on what to do with one of your trees, give the professionals at PPM a call. Our team of tree trimming specialists will come to your property and advise you on what we would think is best for your trees.

 

Contact us here, or give us a call at (877) 454-8733 to hear more about our tree trimming services and how we can help you improve the health, appearance, and safety of your trees this year!

The Oldest Trees in the World

Trees are one of our most important natural resources. They not only help us clean the air, provide building material, and shade for our yards, but they also stand as a testament to time. These natural wonders, if left undisturbed, can reach ages that are truly hard to comprehend. That’s why at PPM we are dedicating this blog to all the tree lovers out there that appreciate these gentle giants of the forest. This is a list of the oldest trees in the world. Trees that have had a front row seat to the most significant historical events on our planet.

 

  1. The Angel Oak

Our first tree on the list of oldest trees in the world starts with the Angel Oak located in South Carolina. This majestic-looking southern live oak is estimated to be between 400 and 500 years old. For historical reference, this tree was sprouting back before the colonization of North America, during the time Cortes was finishing up his conquest of the Aztecs and the first English version of the Bible was being printed on a printing press. It’s amazing to imagine the historic events that this tree has lived through and if it had eyes, the changes it has seen take place around it. But this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the oldest trees in the world.

 

  1. The General Sherman

Discovered and named in 1879 by James Wolverton, the General Sherman is a giant sequoia located in Sequoia National Park in California. This mammoth of a tree is estimated to be between 2,300 and 2,700 years old and at 274 feet it’s one of the tallest trees in the world. Just to get an idea of how big this tree is, its largest branch is six feet in diameter. That’s larger than most trees over 50 years of age! The General Sherman is so old that it has seen the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. To put that into terms we can understand, that means that when Christopher Columbus discovered America 500 years ago this tree was still around 2,000 years old.

 

  1. The Senator

oldest living tree, senator, tree trimming serviceLocated in Florida, The Senator was one of the biggest and oldest bald cypress trees in the world at 3,500 years. But a string of bad luck led to the demise of this gentle giant. In 1925 a hurricane broke off the top portion of the tree, reducing its height significantly. Then in 2012 a careless tourist climbed The Senator, smoked a cigarette, and started a fire inside the tree. Sadly, the fire destroyed this ancient tree but, fortunately, the tree was cloned back in the 90s. The clone’s name? The Phoenix. How’s that for poetic justice?

 

  1. Gran Abuelo

Spanish for great grandfather, the Gran Abuelo comes in at 3,622 years of age when it was last checked in 1993. That means this tree germinated around 1,500 BC, making it older than the city of Athens, Greece. It resides in the Alerce Costero National Park in Chile where there are several other ancient trees around the same age. Unfortunately, older ones were cut down for lumber long ago.

 

  1. Methuselah

If you venture deep in the Inyo National Forest in California you’ll find many ancient Great Basin bristlecone pines and if you’re lucky you’ll come across Methuselah, the oldest living individual tree in the world. This tree is a heavily guarded secret among the United States Forest Service who seek to preserve this archaic tree that makes the neighboring General Sherman look like a baby in comparison. We would have to travel back in time centuries before the construction of the Great Pyramids of Egypt to the year  2832 BC, making this tree nearly 5000 years old! Who knew that something so old was living on the side of a rocky mountain in California? The employees of the Forest Service are the only ones who know the exact location of the tree to protect it from loggers or careless tourists.

 

  1. Old Tjikko

If you thought trees couldn’t get any older, think again. We are only on number 2 here folks. While Methuselah may be the oldest individual tree there is another category of trees that make it look like a sapling in comparison. Clonal trees can be a single tree or multiple trees that grow from the same root system. While the visible tree on the surface may not be very old, it’s the roots that hold the record for the oldest living organisms on the planet.  If you want to visit this primeval tree you’ll have to go hiking on Sweden’s Fulufjallet Mountain where one of the oldest living things on the planet calls home. Old Tijkko is an impressive 9,550 years old! Back when Old Tjikko was Young Tjikko it may have seen Wooly Mammoths roaming around and the last glaciers of the ice age receding.

 

  1. Pando

Back when the number one tree on our list was working its way out of the ground the world was in the Middle Paleolithic era. Yes, that is correct, there is a tree, or rather a forest, that is so old that it is older than Stonehenge and even older than human civilization. Every historical figure and event that you know is still not as old as Pando, a clonal colony of quaking aspens in the southern part of Utah, of all places. Can you take a stab at how old this incredibly ancient colony of trees is? Not 20,000. Not 50,000, Not even 70,000. Are you sitting down? This colony is over 80,000 years old! Back then, modern humans were just reaching Europe for the first time and still shared the planet with Neanderthals.

 

Trees are amazing yet fragile lifeforms that are eye-witnesses to the most significant events in human history. That’s why they need to be respected and protected to ensure that they continue to live and be enjoyed by generations to come.

 

At PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care we have an awesome respect for trees and the joy that they bring to people. If you need help pruning, trimming, or planting trees in your yard, then call the professionals at PPM.

 

Just call (877) 454-8733 for more information or leave us a message on our site.

Best Flowering Trees to Plant in Your Yard

flowering treesWith spring around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about what you are going to plant this year. If you are looking for trees that do more than just making a mess at the end of the year then try planting a flowering tree. There are many types of flowering trees out there but they all can add a little interest and color to your landscape. Luckily, I have compiled a list of some eye-popping flowering trees to make your search a little easier.

 

Higan Cherry

Cherry trees are beautiful no matter what kind you get, but the Higan cherry is special. It’s a quick growing tree that has many possibilities as an ornamental tree for your landscape. Higan cherry is cherished for its grand display of pink buds and white flowers that form during the early spring. If that wasn’t enough of a reason to plant one of these versatile trees in your yard the Higan cherry also blooms again on warm autumn days offering a rare treat of flowers in fall.

 

Eastern Redbud

The eastern redbud is a great choice for those with limited planting space. What it lacks in size it makes up for in spectacle. In early spring, the eastern redbud’s branches explode in a show of bright pink flowers that resemble a Fourth of July firework. If you really want to dazzle passersby add the eastern redbud to your spring tree collection.

 

white dogwood tree and shrubWhite Dogwood

If you are searching for a flowering tree that really puts on a show in the spring then get ready to be wowed by the flowering spectacle that is the white dogwood. It’s snowy-white flowers announce the arrival of spring by turning its bare branches into a jaw-dropping flourish of beauty. In the fall its leaves transform into colorful reds and purples and its ruby-red fruit is a favorite of winter songbirds who will frequent your yard throughout the season. This tree deserves to be front and center in any yard.

 

Flowering Cherry

When you imagine groves of flowering cherries with blossoms gently floating to the ground you think of traditional Japanese gardens. Thankfully this stunning flowering tree was introduced to the United States in 1902 where it found a home in many yards and gardens. Flowering cherries are a sight for sore eyes after a long winter as their warming pink blossoms herald the start of spring. Just one look at this tree in bloom will fill you with the spring spirit.

 

Snowdrift Crabapple

If you are looking for a spectacular looking tree year-round then take a look at the snowdrift crabapple. Beginning in spring, this gorgeous flowering tree puts on a show of flowing white blossoms from April through May. Its glossy green leaves and rounded shape draw the eye in the summer and, in the fall, these leaves turn a stunning yellow. The show this tree puts on in the winter is where it gets its name. The orange-red fruits hang on throughout the winter, attracting overwintering birds for your enjoyment. Snowdrift crabapple trees enjoy sunny locations with wet, acidic, well-drained soil. So add some color to your yard with the snowdrift crabapple.

 

If you need help planting, pruning, or removing a tree on your property just call the experts at PPM at (877) 454-8733 to hear more or leave us a message on our site.

 

Pre-Spring Pruning: Tips and Techniques

tree ladnscapingWhen it comes to preparing your trees and shrubs for spring, one of the best things you can do is prune. For most Michigan landscapes, the best time to prune is March. This is due to the fact that the trees and shrubs are still dormant, and there is a lack of foliage, which gives you the clearest view of which branches need to be removed.

 

Knowing proper pruning techniques is the first step in preparing your trees and shrubs for a successful growing season. So, if you’re looking to have the best landscape on the block, follow these pre-spring pruning tips and techniques!

 

Know The Types Of Cuts

The two types of pruning cuts you can make are called heading cuts, and thinning cuts. Heading cuts are deep cuts, far back on the shoot and just below the buds closest to the dead or diseased branch. The direction in which a heading cut is made determines where the growth will be pointed. These cuts are most commonly used to reduce the height of the tree or shrub while encouraging new growth in a new direction (heading cuts are perfect for re-shaping).

 

Thinning is the more common cut, and it is used for completely removing dead or diseased branches. Thinning cuts go all the way back to the point of origin, which is either the stem or an attached branch. This cut is used to:

  • Improve the overall health of the tree
  • Create a more aesthetically pleasing landscape
  • Create clearance, and remove potentially dangerous “hanging” branches

 

correct way to prune bushes and treesKnow Why You Are Pruning

Before you go outside with your shears and start snipping branches at random, take a minute and ask yourself why you are pruning that tree. Are you pruning dead and diseased branches to thin, giving that tree easier access to sunlight and oxygen? Are you pruning to reduce the size of the tree or shrub, giving it more room to grow? Are you pruning to shape, to improve the look of your lawn and landscape? Ask yourself these questions, and make sure to do proper research to ensure proper pruning!

 

Know The 1/3 and 1/4 Rule

As a general rule of thumb:

  • Never remove more than 1/3 of the branches on your shrubs and small trees
  • Never remove more than 1/4 of the branches on larger, fully grown trees

Remember, pruning is good in moderation. Over-pruning can cause the tree or shrub to panic, and try to force re-growth when the necessary nutrients aren’t available. This puts them at risk of causing either extensive damage or stunted growth. Just be careful!

 

Know Who To Call

If your trees and shrubs need pruning, or if you want to get some more tips and techniques about how you can prune yourself, give the experts at PPM a call.

 

Through our trimming service, our team of professionals will provide your trees and shrubs with fine, detail-orientated pruning. Ultimately encouraging the health and growth of the tree or shrub, while improving the aesthetics of your landscape. Contact us today at (877) 454-8733 to hear more!

 

Firewood: Everything You Need To Know

 types of unseasoned woodIt’s the time of year when we put down our rakes and shovels, winterize our sprinkler systems, and park our lawn mowers for the winter as we retreat inside. The weather may be cold but nothing beats curling up next to a warm fire with a cup of cocoa.

Before you get comfortable you better make sure you have plenty of firewood on hand. But what is the best type of firewood to burn? Well, it depends on your personal preference and where you live.

Seasoned Wood or Unseasoned Wood

Anyone who’s tried burning unseasoned logs in their fireplace during the winter knows that it’s a bad idea. It’s hard to light and when you finally do get it lit you have to constantly monitor it to make sure it doesn’t go out. To make things worse, unseasoned wood is still full of water which causes a lot of smoke.

Seasoned wood should always be your first choice. Seasoned just means that the wood has been drying for a long time and retains no more moisture. These are the kind of logs that you want to use in your house because they smell great and burn clean.

On the other hand, unseasoned wood is wood that was recently cut and therefore still retains a lot of moisture. It may be easier but you’ll soon learn it’s not ideal.

Unseasoned wood can give off resin that clings to the walls of your stove, fireplace, and chimney. As the resin builds up it can clog your chimney, causing smoke to fill your house, or even cause chimney fires.

Best Types of Firewood

 oak tree firewood, fireplace woodOak: A slow burner that is probably the most popular wood available. It’s dense and is found throughout the continent. Although it takes longer than usual to season, a fire built with oak logs cannot compare.

Maple: Maple wood produces long steady burns. As with oak, it is abundant and found in almost every corner of the country and is a very popular choice among wood burners.

Birch: Birch logs look beautiful just sitting in a fireplace. The flakey white bark really draws the eye. Even though birch burns quicker than maple or oak but the flame it produces is much more beautiful.

American Elm: Elm is a popular, low heat wood. Perfect for warming your house but not too warm. This is ideal for people who live in milder climates who don’t want to turn their house into a sweat lodge.

Cherry: Cherry wood gives off a wonderful aroma that will fill your house, creating a warm comfortable mood. Cherry does not need to be fully seasoned like most woods to reap its benefits.

At PPM Trees we select and deliver only the best firewood for our customers. Check out our firewood delivery service and keep your house the perfect temperature this winter.

Best Ways of Removing Old Stumps

stump removal in natureWe love trees for their sturdiness and hardiness but when they die or need to be removed those traits can come back to haunt us. Cutting the tree down is the easy part. Stump removal is the hard part.

Since humans first started cutting trees down they have had to deal with stump removal and there are about as many techniques on stump removal as there have been versions of the mousetrap. I will go through some of the best ways to remove a stump and list the pros and cons of each.

Chemical removal:

If you visit your local hardware or garden center you will find several products that claim to be able to speed up the process of stump decomposition. Sure, it sounds easy, too easy.

Going the chemical route means you need to have access to an electric drill and be able to drill a lot of holes depending on the size of the stump. The holes allow the chemical to seep into the wood.

This isn’t going to magically remove the sump overnight. The chemical process can take a season or two to soften the wood up enough to be removed. Even then, the tree might not be soft enough everywhere to bust apart.

The instructions also suggest using kerosene to burn the stump. Soak the stump with kerosene, light it, and the stump will slowly burn away. When I say “slowly” I mean SLOWLY. It might take several burns to completely remove the stump.

Pros: It’s faster than nature

Cons: You will still have a stump for a while

Burning the Stump:

The first idea that people usually jump to is burning the stump. Sure, it’s made of wood and a stump is just a big log, right?

Two things:

how to remove a tree stump by burning itWood from a tree trunk is often much denser than wood from branches. That’s because as trees age their centers become harder.

If the tree has been dead a while before you cut it down the wood might be harder than a living tree.

The idea is that if you pile wood around the stump and maybe use some kind of accelerant that the stump will burn out completely.

In my experience, this only makes things worse. Building a fire around a stump, even if you have drilled holes or cut slats in it, will only make the stump harder. You are essentially fire hardening the stump.

Pros: It’s a good excuse to have a bonfire.

Cons: Only hardens the wood.

Stump grinder:

If you want that stump gone today then rent a stump grinder. This may be the last resort for people and there’s a good reason. It works 100% of the time. This machine can chew up even the biggest stumps in a few hours and they dig 6 to 12 inches below ground. All you are left with is a hole filled with wood chips. Perfect for planting a new tree or garden. Be sure to follow the safety instructions before you operate the machine.

Pros: Great for big stumps or several stumps

Cons: Requires operating heavy machinery for several hours

Let Nature Take its Course:

If you are in no hurry to remove the stump you could always let nature take its course. A stump can stay solid for several years. Depending on its size, good sized stump can stick around for a decade. Many people like to take advantage of it by carving the stump into something unique or using it as a stand for flower pots.

Pros: You can incorporate it into your landscape

Cons: Stump can remain for ten years.

Call The Professionals

Removing a stump is not easy no matter how you look at it. If you want to have your stump removed right away and safely then call the professionals at PPM Trees. We have the equipment and the know-how to get out any sized stump.

Call us today at (877) 454-8733 or leave us a message on our site.

 

Top 5 Ways To Protect Your Trees From Winter Damage

 how to wrap trees in winterMichigan winters are ruthless. At any point in time, Michigan can get hit with snow, ice, rain, sleet, hail, cold winds, warm winds, or… All of them in one day! It’s around this time each year that the weather really begins to take it’s toll on us.

Unfortunately, winter isn’t just stressful on us; it’s stressful on our trees as well. And even though trees are dormant this time of year, they are not immune to damage caused by the cold, wet weather. The good news is you can be ready! Here are the top 5 ways to protect your trees from winter damage.

Wrap Your Trees

One of the biggest threats facing young, newly planted trees (or thin-barked trees) is sunscald. Sunscald occurs on cold winter days when the sun heats the bark up which starts activity. Once the sun is covered, the bark temperature drops significantly, killing any active tissue.

Wrapping your trees allows the bark temperature to stay consistent, protecting the tree from sunscald. Also, as an added bonus, tree wrapping eliminates a food source for hungry critters, and it protects against damage caused by salt and snowplows!

Apply Wilt Pruf

One of the keys to survival for trees during the winter months is water retention. One of the biggest threats your trees face this winter is water loss due to freezing cold winds, the frozen ground, or from salt. Wilt pruf is an anti-desiccant spray you can apply to your trees to aid in preventing transpiration caused by the weather. It’s a safe, all-natural way to protect your trees from winter damage.

Watch The Snow and Ice

While some snow is actually good for your trees, as it provides insulation, too much snow can cause damage. Heavy amounts of snow or ice can cause branches to bend and break, leaving healthy portions of the tree exposed to the elements. If it appears like snow or ice is weighing down parts of your tree, go outside with a shovel or broom and gently brush the snow off the branches, or break the ice.

Watch The Salt

protect trees in michigan wintersAs previously mentioned, retaining moisture is critical for your trees during the cold winter months. When spreading salt, be careful to apply only what is needed, where it is needed. Keep it on your walkway or driveway, and not in your grass or near your trees. You may also want to look at using an alternative de-icing salt (calcium chloride/magnesium) that will have less of an effect if it gets near your landscape.

Water When Possible

Although trees are dormant during winter, they still have some metabolic abilities that allow them to absorb water. Keep an eye on the weather, and if there are a couple days where there is warm weather (38 degrees or above), no snow, nor high winds in sight, you can go outside and water your trees. Make sure to water early on in the day, and water less than you would during the spring or summer. It will help!

If one of your trees has been a victim of winter damage, call the professionals at PPM Tree Service. We can help! (877) 454-8733

Clever Ways To Dispose of Your Christmas Tree

use your christmas tree for firewood

Your Christmas tree, once the proud centerpiece of your holiday decor, now is dried up and useless… or is it? Don’t just throw it to the curb for the garbage truck. The least you could do for the object that brought you so much joy is to reuse it. Check out these clever ways to dispose of that old Christmas tree.

 

Use Your Christmas Tree for Firewood


The most obvious way to dispose of a Christmas tree, and the easiest, is to use it as firewood. Either toss it on your outdoor fire pit or cut it up into small logs that can fit in your fireplace. First, lop off all the branches then cut the logs into short segments. Needles make an excellent firestarter. But beware, dried needles burn extremely fast. If you burn too many at one time, your fire might get out of control!

 

Replant It

If you got a tree with its roots still intact then simply keep it alive until spring and replant your Christmas tree in your yard. It’s a great way to give back to the Earth and reduce your footprint on the environment. If you do it every year you’ll soon have a pine tree forest of holiday memories.

 

Use the Needles as Mulch

dispose of christmas tree
The biggest complaint about live Christmas trees is the mess it makes in your house. They may have been a pain to vacuum up, but pine needles make an excellent mulch. Cut the branches off and shake the needles into your garden or flower beds.

 

Use it as an Artifical Reef

Yes, this is actually a thing. If you own or have access to a pond or lake, then consider tossing the dead tree in. it will sink to the bottom and create a home/playground for fish. As it decomposes, algae will start to grow on it and act as a buffet, attracting all sorts of water animals. If you do not own the pond or lake please contact the owner or the local DNR for permission.

 

We hope these interesting tips from PPM Tree Service gave you some ideas about how to dispose of your unwanted Christmas tree. If you need any tree service done whether it’s tree removal or tree planting, think of PPM Tree Service. Call at (877) 454-8733 or leave us a message on our site.

All things Christmas trees!

We hope you enjoy the holiday season with your beautiful Christmas Tree. If you have questions about tree care service, contact us at (877)454-8733 for a quote at PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care, LLC.

 

Christmas Tree, Tree Trimming, Michigan

 

 

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