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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

 

 

Spruce Decline: Why Are My Spruces Looking Thin?

Cankers on blue spruce in michigan

Blue Spruce are a staple ornamental tree for Michigan homeowners due to their fast growth rate and lush blue foliage that lasts year round. But in recent years it has been discovered that they are susceptible to a wide range of insects and diseases.

 

The Symptoms Of Spruce Decline

The spruce decline has increased in recent years and trees are dying rapidly in many areas. The symptoms of spruce decline are progressing branch dieback which starts on the inner needles and works its way out over several years. To identify the fungus look closely at the infected needles. You will be able to see lines of small black dots along the surface. These black dots are where the spores live and are released by moisture.

 

Why Blue Spruces?

Blue Spruces are native to the mountains of Colorado but have been found to flourish in Michigan’s climate as well. But because Michigan’s climate is more dynamic than the Rocky Mountains this makes them susceptible to slight changes in the environment and diseases.

There are three diseases that affect blue spruce trees:

 

1. Needlecast: Is caused by a fungus that often infects needles on the current year’s shoots. As it progresses, the needles die, usually the year following the infection. Trees affected by needle cast have healthy outer branches but the inner branches are bare.

 

Pruning infected branches of blue spruce2. Tip blight: Tip blights are fungal diseases that typically cause dieback to new, emerging shoots. Tip blight is common on pines, but can also occur on spruces.

3. Cankers: Cankers are caused by fungi that infect branches or the main stem of trees. Symptoms of cankers are sores that ooze sap or resin. Cankers can prevent water and other nutrients from being transported up the tree.

 

How To Prevent Spreading

Prune infected branches and sweep up needles that have dropped off. Destroy or store the infected needles and limbs far from other spruces to reduce the risk of infecting other trees. There are some commercial fungicides that can protect the needles from getting infected but you must cover the entire tree and it only lasts for one season. If the disease has spread too far the best option is to remove the tree entirely.

 

If you have a declining spruce tree call PPM so we can remove the tree before it spreads to your other spruces.

Creative Ideas for Old Tree Stumps

The trees on our properties beautify our landscapes, offer shade and shelter from the weather, and provide a habitat for the outdoor creatures living in our backyards. Unfortunately, sometimes even the most well-cared for and maintained trees succumb to disease or the wrath of Mother Nature, requiring its removal. Once it’s cut down, most of us are left with a constant reminder of its former glory – a sad tree stump.

The good news? There are countless ways to repurpose the tree stumps in your yard, both as decoration and as functional items. Here are a few DIY projects that can breathe new life into the stumps on your property.

Decorative Mosaic Side Tablemosaic tree stump

Design your own mosaic pattern on the top of the stump for a fun, one-of-a-kind outdoor or indoor accent piece. Adhere broken glass or tiles to the stump using glue that works on both wood and glass. You’ll also need to grout inside the nooks for a finished look.

Outdoor Dining Table

Use a longer, wider stump as a base for a beautiful outside dining table. Finish with a round top and coordinating outdoor chairs for the ultimate al fresco dining experience.

Bird Bath

Adhere a large, shallow bowl or saucer to the top of the wood. Fill with water and sit back to see all the birds that once nested in your tree return to enjoy it in its new state.

Fairy Home

Create a magical fairy garden using the tree trunk as its centerpiece. Cut out a door, cover with a moss roof, and decorate with miniature ladders, windows, and anything else that transforms the wood into a mystical home for those hard-to-spot garden fairies.

Climbing Wall

Purchase a climbing wall kit from a distributor of playground accessories. Insert the footholds and grips into the wood and you’ve created a place where you little climber can test out her skills.

Backyard Thronetree stump chair

Use a chainsaw to cut out a flat seating area in the trunk, carefully sculpting the surrounding wood at a higher height to give the illusion of a throne. Kids and adults will love this new outdoor chair, perfect for reading a favorite book or reigning over an imaginary kingdom.

Charger Plates

Looking for an innovative way to create an organic tablescape? Slice the tree trunk into several uniform disks and them as charger plates at your next dinner party. Include other natural items like tree sprigs, pinecones, and leaves for a final look you will love.

Planter

Get out the power tools. First, drill drain holes into the tree trunk. Next, cut into the center of the stump, hollowing out enough room for soil and your favorite plants or flowers.

 

Uninterested in reusing your stump? Want that thing gone for good?

Contact PPM Tree Service Today

Need help limbing or removing trees from your property? PPM Tree Service can help. Contact our arbor care specialists today for a no-risk consultation about your tree project.

10 Michigan Plants Native Americans Used Every Day

Michigan Plants With Homeopathic Remedies

Native Americans have a centuries-long tradition of using plants for medicinal purposes. Here in Michigan, entire tribes relied on what they found in nature to cure sicknesses, heal wounds, and promote health and wellness amongst its people. Here are 10 Michigan plants that Native Americans used every day to create homeopathic remedies.

Yarrow

Also known as Achillea Millefolium, yarrow is a highly aromatic plant that is often used in ornamental landscapes. Native American tribes used the beautiful flowering tops of yarrow in their traditional herbal medicine practices as a means to stop excess bleeding. Applying the buds directly to cuts and wounds promotes blood clotting. Additionally, some tribes created a drink from yarrow juice and water to cure an upset stomach and other intestinal discomforts.

Blackberries

Speaking of upset stomachs, many Native Americans used deliciously sweet blackberries to treat a range of stomach issues. Additionally, blackberries were used to relieve inflammation throughout the body. The berry was often mixed with honey or maple syrup to soothe sore throats. Tribes even used the plant to treat bleeding gums and give immune systems an all-natural boost.

Mintnative american medicine from plants

Beyond standard digestive issues, mint leaves were often made into an ointment and applied to irritated skin. Once applied, the pulverized mint would sooth rashes and itchy patches.

Rosemary

This fragrantly savory herb was revered as a sacred plant by many Native American tribes. They tapped into its medicinal properties to reduce joint pain.

Sage

Sage is another popular herb today that was hailed as sacred by indigenous Native Americans. Various tribes believed that sage had purifying properties and could effectively eliminate unwanted energies from the body. Sage was also used for more tangible physical relief on cuts, bruises, cramps, and even cold and flu symptoms.

Mullein

Mullein bears a strong resemblance to tobacco and, ironically, was used as a primary ingredient to treat respiratory disorders. Additionally, mullein roots were made into salves to reduce swelling in joints and extremities.

Lavender

Lavender is a staple here in Michigan and throughout the Midwest. Today, we love this plant’s fragrance and beautiful blooms. However, Native Americans used lavender to treat a range of conditions including headaches, fatigue, depression, and anxiety. Lavender oil contains a potent anti-inflammatory agent, making it an excellent option for bites and burns.

Black Gum Bark

The black gum tree is one of the loveliest trees found in the U.S. Native Americans saw beyond its beauty and recognized that the bark of this tree had healing energies. They would make a tea from the bark to help with chest pains.

Wild Rose

honeysuckle in michigan
Wild rose was used in several traditional treatments. Many tribes believed in the healing power of wild rose as both a preventative and cure for the common cold. When made into a tea, the petals also healed sore throats. Some even used wild rose as a mild diuretic.

Honeysuckle

Many Native Americans used honeysuckle to treat multiple ailments such as hepatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and even mumps. It was also used to help with asthmatic symptoms and upper respiratory tract infections.

What are some of your favorite homeopathic remedies using plants and herbs? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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.

Did Your Trees Survive the Winter? Look for These Signs

Winters in Michigan are something of a 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. It’s important to look for the signs that you have a dead or dying tree on your hands.

If you have a tree that you fear didn’t make it through the winter, here 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 windstorm, 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 you have a dead or dying tree.
  • 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 a Dying Tree

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.

Is Your Tree Service Company 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, make sure your tree service company is insured!

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.

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