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Create A Beautiful Landscape With These Tree Trimming Tips

Spring is nearing the end, and there are only a few things left remaining on your to-do list. Get out your summer clothes, spring clean your home and tidy up your lawn. So if your weekend plans involve running to the nursery to pick up a few new plants, or tree trimming, this post is for you.

If you’ve never had a backyard or even a patch of grass for that matter, the idea of maintaining your lawn can be daunting. Which plants will flourish; how often should you trim your trees; where do you even begin? If you find yourself overwhelmed, fear not: our team at Green Machine Lawn, Tree, and Shrub Care is here to help.

Here are a few tips and tricks on how to successfully trim and prune your new lawn.

Know the Pruning Basics

As a homeowner, it’s important to know why we prune trees in the first place. It may seem obvious, but many individuals are unaware of its effects and benefits.

Pruning involves removing dead, unhealthy, or broken limbs on your trees to preserve the tree’s overall well-being. It’s also done routinely in cities as a safety precaution, as some trees can break or fall over when they become too heavy or overgrown.

Pruning increases flower production, improves plant health, and ultimately, makes the tree—and your yard—more aesthetically pleasing when done correctly. Incorrect pruning, though, can lead to permanent damage to the tree.

Plan Ahead

Your best bet for success is to plan out which trees—and which branches—need tree trimming.

Start by removing all dead, broken, or problem limbs by cutting them at the point of origin. You’ll then move on to the larger, thicker branches.

Make a small wedge on the underside of the branch to prevent any tears from running along the bark and stem tissue. You’ll then want to move to the top of the branch and cut all the way through. This will leave you with a stub end, and a final section to trim.

To remove the final stump, cut close to the trunk and be sure to angle your cut away from the tree to allow for proper healing.

The Tools For Tree Trimming

Now that you have a plan, you’ll need to select the appropriate tools for the task at hand. To remove the dead, broken limbs, use hand shears or hand pruners; you can choose a bypass or an anvil hand shear. And though both can cut through wood with a diameter of about ½ to ¾ inches, bypass pruners often leave a smoother, cleaner cut.

For larger branches, loppers or pruning saws work best, as they’re able to cut branches with a larger diameter.

To keep your tools in top-tree trimming shape, be sure to store them in a dry room and disinfect all shears and blades after each use to prevent spreading a disease to healthy plants in the future.

Safety First

As a new homeowner, it’s possible you’ve never had to prune a tree; on the other hand, you could be an expert. Regardless of your pruning experience, take a moment to familiarize yourself with a few safety precautions before you begin.

Here are ways to ensure your safety while pruning:

  • Be mindful of electric lines
  • Use well-maintained tools
  • Wear gloves, safety goggles, and ear protectors
  • Don’t cut above head height

Knowing your limits is another way to stay safe. Understand your abilities and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Call for Backup

When it comes to completing your to-do list, there are certain tasks you can tackle over a weekend. And while we understand the satisfaction of completing that list on your own, some tasks—like pruning large trees—are sometimes best left to the pros.

Our team at Green Machine Lawn, Tree & Shrub Care is made up of professionally trained individuals that can handle all of your lawn needs. From aeration to weed and pest control, rest assured that The Green Machine Lawn, Tree & Shrub Care can get the job done right.

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Needle cast diseases occur when different fungi infect the new needles on pines, spruce, Douglas fir, and true fir. The needles become infected. The symptoms of needlecast disease are not always noticeable until the following winter or spring season. It is common to see yellowing or browning of the needles, with characteristic dark fungal fruiting structures. The infected interior needles are shed early leaving the tree with a sparse, thin appearance. The remaining needles are the current season’s new growth.

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According to studies from Penn State University, “we have a lot to learn about when these fungi attack a tree”,

  • How long the fungus must be in the tree before needles are shed.
  • When is the best time to apply a fungicide?
  • Which chemicals provide the best protection.

The good news is that there is progress being made in these areas. With the help of tree care specialists, like professionals at Green Machine Lawn Care, who have been providing services and treatment for Evergreen trees affected by the needlecast disease in the Northeastern PA area for over 37 years, there is a treatment to save the health of your trees.

Needlecast fungi form small structures on the infected needle forming thousands of spores. The “fruiting structures” can be black, orange-red, or tan, depending upon the fungus. Finding a fungal fruiting structure on a dead needle is not immediately proof that the tree has a needlecast disease. Contact a professional to inspect the tree.

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Managing Needlecast Diseases

  • Remove tall weeds that surround the tree to increase air movement to promote drying of the needles.
  • Thin out or remove shrubs and trees that are blocking sunlight and air movement.
  • Reduce disease pressure by removing and disposing of fallen (infected) needles.
  • Avoid pruning trees when branches are wet.
  • Reduce the spread of disease by sterilizing tools after pruning affected trees.

Evergreen Needle Cast Fungicides:
In addition to cultural practices, fungicides will prevent the spread of Needlecast Disease. Infections are going to be most efficiently managed when they are found and treated as early as possible, preferably before several years of defoliation have happened. Small trees can be sprayed with a product containing the active ingredient chlorothalonil. It is best applied when the fungus is most active during the springtime when needles are halfway elongated. Apply a second foliar application when needles are fully elongated, which would be 2 – 4 weeks later. It is recommended to apply the fungicide for two years for best results.

Trees that have a diameter of 2 inches or more should be treated with microinjection of Fungisol. Again, for best results the Fungisol should be injected in the early spring when there is evidence of new growth, indicating that the tree has emerged from winter dormancy. In this instance, it is also recommended two years of applications are performed for best results.

If you suspect your Evergreen has Needlecast Disease, contact the professionals at Green Machine Lawn Care for a free quote.

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spring lawnLuzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Bucks, Montgomery Counties in Pennsylvania have been hit pretty hard this past week with winter storms. The end of winter Nor’Easters can cause quite a bit of damage to your lawn, shrubs, and trees. Luckily spring is right around the corner, which will allow you plenty of opportunities to get your lawn in tip-top shape with a well thought out spring clean up. Preparing your yard for growing season is vital to ensure an eye-catching lawn and garden this summer.

Green Machine Lawn Care, of Kingston, PA, put together their top 6 tips for spring clean up this year.

1) Prepare Flower Beds

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  • Before planting any new flowers, first, rake out leaves that have fallen in the bed as well as dead foliage to stop the smothering of plants and avoid spreading disease.
  • If there is any remaining mulch from last year, it must be removed to create a precise palate for a new layer of mulch after completing spring planting.
  • Fasten loose drip irrigation lines with pins.
  • Tamp down lifted plants by foot or replant them using a shovel.
  • Layout pelletized fertilizer on top of the soil to let rain and water absorb the nutrients into the ground.Lastly, fertilize bulbs immediately after flowering to lengthen their bloom time and feed next season’s growth.

2) Fix Up Trellises and Fences

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  • Do a thorough check for shaky fence posts and replace the ones you need to.
  • Reinforce rotted sections of trellises with wood epoxy.
  • If any pickets or lattices have entirely deteriorated, replace them.
  • Clean wooden structures by scrubbing them with a solution made of part liquid soap, eight parts bleach and 32 parts water.
  • Pealing and old paint need to be scraped off, the surface then sanded and repainted/stained to reinvigorate your yard.

3) Prune Perennials, Shrubs, and Trees

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  • With recent snow storms and Nor’Easters, hitting the Eastern and Northeastern, Pa areas, it has caused much damage to branches.
  • Damaged branches must be pruned back to the live stems to help heal and improve their appearance.
  • Cut overgrown evergreens back to a controllable size.
  • Prune flowering shrubs in the summer before their buds swell, however, hold off on pruning spring bloomers until their flowers have spent.
  • Trim back blooming perennials to 4 or 5 inches and ornamental grasses to 2 or 3 inches to allow new growth to grow quicker.

4) Begin a Compost Pile

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  • Merely use last year’s mulch, pruned branches, and flower bed debris to build the foundation of a compost pile. 3-foot by 3-foot corral made from wire fencing is an ideal place to store a compost pile.
  • Before adding them to the compost, shred branches and leaves to speed up decomposition. Also adding bagged compost to the starter pile to will accelerate the process.
  • Ensure the compost pile is kept moist and aerate it by tilling with a pitchfork every two weeks.
  • Do NOT put weeds in your compost pile as they are likely to sprout.

5) Perform Lawn Care

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  • Begin by raking the lawn.
  • Next step is to aerate the soil. After aeration is complete, layout peat moss over the lawn with a rake.
  • Inspect the lawn for dead spots caused by grubs, salt, plows or disease and seed those specific areas once forsythia starts blooming.
  • Add the first dose of crabgrass treatment, fertilizer, and pre-emergent weed killer. Do not apply weed killer to newly seeded areas.
  • Perform maintenance on lawn mower blades by sharpening or replacing as necessary as well as other lawn care tools.

6) Clean Up The Surfaces of Hardscapes

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  • If there any gravel has migrated to unplanned locations make sure to shovel or rake it back in to place.
  • Fill in any empty or depressed areas with more gravel.
  • Take out pavers that have lifted because of the freeze-thaw cycle.
  • Restore the base material and put the pavers back in place.
  • Pressure wash, on a low setting, to remove dust, leaf stains or debris from your walkways and patios.

Not every home or business owner has the equipment nor the time to perform spring clean up. Green Machine provides professional lawn, tree, and shrub care to customers throughout the Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Bucks, Montgomery Counties. We are happy to offer a free estimate or quote for your spring clean up needs. Contact us Today!

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