Preventing Roots From Damaging Your Home/Business

When our customer called our tree service specialists in Denver a few years ago, he was frustrated to find that he had issues with his sewer lines that extended out from his house. When the plumber investigated the issue, he found that the large trees in front of his house were damaging the sewer lines. Their 100 year old tree’s roots had found their way into the sewer lines causing broken pipes and resulted in enormous unexpected expenses for the homeowner. 

No homeowner wants their tree to damage their property or surrounding properties, but unfortunately tree roots can cause a great deal of damage, especially trees that may have been planted too close to a home decades ago. 

Here’s a few things as a homeowner to be aware of when it comes to root damage to your property and what you can do about it. (As always, it’s important to contact a certified tree care specialist in Denver during this process!)

Be Aware of Trees in Your Yard and Types of Root Systems They Have
All trees have different root systems and they are very important to determine when it comes to potential property damage. Trees like oak, ash, douglas fir, poplar all have what are called “tap roots”. Taproots pose a problem because they extend not only deep, but vertically, as well. They can extend up to two to three times the height of the tree too. Other trees have more lateral roots and do not penetrate deep into the soil, but can cause an extensive amount of damage, as well. Trees like cottonwood or the weeping willow may not be deep-rooted, but they can be invasive and cause damage to foundations because their roots spread rapidly and extensively. 

Identifying the trees in your yard can help you determine what kind of potential damage your tree may cause! 

How Roots Damage Property
Roots that are more lateral can do a lot of damage to the foundation of a property. Because these roots are are invasive and tend to not extend too deep, they tend to damage foundations due to their shallow root systems. If there are already cracks in your foundation, the root systems can easily find their way into the cracks and can cause further damage. This can also happen in sidewalks, driveways, patios and even roads!

Trees that are more deeply rooted can damage your sewer lines, plumbing and even the foundation around your home. These trees root’s require and absorb a lot of water. If that water is constantly being pulled from underneath your foundation the changes in moisture levels can cause the foundation to become unsettled. 

These deep tree roots can also wreck havoc on your pluming/sewer lines. Trees are always looking for water sources and plumbing can be a perfect source for that. A small crack in your plumbing system can trigger roots to find a steady source of water. Clogged drains, less water flow, and changes in water pressure can be a sign that you potentially have a problem with roots finding their way into your plumbing. 

Ways to Prevent or Stop Root Damage to Your Property

  • Find out where your sewer lines are located. Call your local municipality!
  • Create a barrier between your tree and the sewer line through chemical means (copper sulfate and potassium hydroxide are common), metal, or wood. 
  • Install one of these barriers before you plant the tree.
  • Don’t plant trees near the sewer lines.
  • Call a plumber to assess any drainage issues and prevent further damage. 
  • Call a Denver tree trimming expert to cut away the portion of the tree causing damage.
  • Cut down the tree and remove the root system that’s causing damage.

Before decided what is the best way to stop root damage, it’s important to call one of our tree service professionals in Denver to assess the situation. We can easily determine what type of root system you have an also identify the best solution for you. We also can assist with tree removal in Denver, if there’s too much damage to the root system. (By the way, we also provide tree services in Arvada, Lakewood, Wheat Ridge and other surrounding areas!)

For more information on tree care, please visit one of these other helpful articles on maintaining your trees:

Termite Warning Signs

Safely Felling a Tree

Limb Up Your Trees

How To Properly Plant A Tree

We also provide tree removal services in Arvada, Lakewood, and other surrounding areas!

Our customer’s father passed away suddenly and one of the gifts she received from her father-in-law was a tree to honor her late father. The gift of the young tree was so precious to her that she wanted to make sure it was well-planted in her backyard so that she could enjoy the tree for years to come and remember her father. She reached out to our tree care specialists in Denver, CO for guidance, as she was concerned that her tree be planted far enough from her house as not to cause future damage, that the tree received enough sunlight, and also that she was able to care for it to see it mature into a strong and healthy tree. 

If you’d like to plant your own tree, there are a few things you can do to make sure that your tree is properly planted so that it lives a long and healthy life!


Tools
When it comes to tools, there isn’t much you need other than a trusty shovel (for digging), a tape measure, a stake (to mark the location), some spray paint (for marking the location) and a garden hose (for watering)! 

Decide Where To Place Tree
The first thing you need to do is decide where exactly you want the tree to be placed. It’s important to stay at least fifteen feet away from any structures (like your home or neighbor’s house), sidewalks, driveways, other trees, and power lines. Once you’ve determined that you are clear from houses and other structures, you can mark exactly where you want to place the tree. Our tree service specialists in Denver recommendation is that you place a stake in the ground so that you can measure the diameter for the root ball. 

Next, take out your can of spray paint and mark a circle (using the stake as a guide). You will need the circle to be 2-3 times wider than the size of the root ball. An easy trick is to also use a piece of string or rope as a guide to make the perfect circle!

Prepping Your Tree for Planting
Now, you’ll need to prep the tree to get it ready to be planted. You’ll first need to loosen and remove some of the soil from the top of the root ball. Just scrape off enough soil so that you see some of the roots showing. Once you’ve done that, you can now measure the root ball itself so that you can properly determine the the depth that the hole should be. You’ll want to measure from the bottom of the root ball to the top. You’ll then start to dig a a hole as deep as the root ball!

Start Digging
Make sure and grab your tape measure to check the depth of the hole you’re digging along the way. When you’ve gone far enough down, level out the bottom of your hole so that it is flat. Now, fill the bottom of the hole with a light dusting of fertilizer so your tree has a good start with healthy nutrient dense soil.  

Place Your Tree In The Hole
Once you’ve filled the soil with fertilizer, it’s now time to drop your young tree into the hole. This should be done with the utmost of care, since the tree is in a very delicate state. You’ll want to position the tree correctly and make sure that it’s not leaning. Also, be sure to remove any burlap or twine that might be holding the root ball together. You can snip this away when the tree is placed appropriately in the hole. Loosen the roots, as well, as they often get tightly compacted!

Backfill Your Hole
Now you are ready to backfill the hole with soil! Before you start adding back in the soil, take some time to mix in fertilizer, so your tree has more nutrients in the soil surrounding it. Our tree service specialists advice that you start by adding the soil back into the hole and water thoroughly after all the has been added back in. 

Add Mulch Around Your Tree
As the final step, add mulch around the tree to keep the moisture, nutrients, and soil in place! Keep the mulch away from the tree trunk because it can often lead to rot. Make sure and water your tree each day to keep it moisturized!

If you need any assistance with planting your tree properly, it’s always a best practice to reach out to a tree service specialist to assist you. With their mastery in tree care, they can expertly give you guidance so that you can enjoy your trees for years to come!

By the way, we also provide tree services including stump removal to Denver’s surrounding communities like Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Berkeley, and Lakewood! Check out some additional areas that we cover.

Interesting in learning more about tree care, tree trimming, planting, and maintenance? Visit some of our other articles below:

Low Maintenance Trees in Colorado

Best Time of Year to Plant Trees in Colorado

Preparing Your Soil for Tree Planting

Simple Pruning Techniques



Pruning of trees requires:

  • Knowledge of when, why and how to initiate the desired pruning techniques.
  • Years of experience in the tree care field.
  • Tree service skills like pruning must be developed and refined to be able to manipulate the appropriate concepts and tools needed for pruning.
  • An understanding as to how the tree evolved from a seed.
  • A great respect for trees, the time it takes for its growth, its size, strength and awesome beauty.
  • Ability to “see” the future growth, or sense that certain twigs or branches will develop in ways that would not fit well with the tree’s overall function… so they can be trimmed to redirect development.

Why do we need to prune trees?

Trees in Denver need trimming for several reasons:

  • Improves natural form and appearance.
  • Improves branch spacing.
  • Strengthens branch attachment.
  • Invigorates or slows branch growth rate.
  • Improves stability by reducing wind resistance.
  • Removes dead, weakened, injured, diseased or insect-damaged branches.
  • Increases lighting to the interior.
  • Reduces hazard potential.
We keep your property looking great by providing tree services in Denver!

Practices Pruning Standards In Accordance with the International Society of Arboriculture(ISA)

Trees and other woody plants respond in specific and predictable ways to pruning and other maintenance practices. Careful study of these responses has led to pruning practices which best preserve and enhance the beauty, structural integrity, and functional value of trees.

In an effort to promote practices which encourage the preservation of tree structure and health, the ISA Certification Committee has established guidelines, recognizing that trees are individually unique in form and structure, and that their pruning needs may not always fit strict rules. The Certified Arborists and tree care specialists must take responsibility for special pruning practices that vary greatly from these Standards. The following is a summary of the ISA Standards

Pruning Techniques

Thinning Cut

  • Removes a branch at its point of attachment or shortens it to a lateral.
  • Opens up a tree removing primarily dead, crossing or diseased branches.
  • No more than one-third of the live foliage should be removed.
  • May reduce a tree’s height.
  • Distributes resultant invigoration throughout a tree and helps retain the tree’s natural shape.
  • Can safely be accomplished anytime of the year.
  • Preferred in tree pruning.

Heading Cut

  • Removes a branch to a stud, a bud or a lateral branch.
  • Should be seldom be used because hearty, weekly attached upright sprouts are forced just below such cuts, and the tree’s natural form is altered.
  • May result in stubs dying off or producing only weak sprouts.

Pruning cuts

  • Should be clean and smooth with the bark at the edge of the cut firmly attached to the wood.

Large or Heavy Branches

  • That cannot be thrown clear, should be lowered on ropes to prevent injury.

Wound dressings and tree paints

  • Have not been shown to be effective in preventing or reducing decay.
  • Are not recommended for routine use when pruning.

Types of Pruning – Mature Trees

Crown Cleaning

  • Removal of dead, dying, diseased, crowded, weakly attached, and low-vigor branches and water sprouts from a tree crown.

Crown Thinning

  • Includes crown cleaning and the selective removal of branches to increase light infiltration and air movement into the crown.
  • Stimulates and maintains interior foliage, which in turn improves branch taper and strength.
  • Reduces weight of important limbs.
  • Emphasizes the structural beauty of trunk and branches while improving the growth of plants beneath the tree by increasing light infiltration.

Crown Reduction

  • Used to reduce the height and/or spread of the tree.
  • Thinning cuts are most effective in maintaining the structural integrity and natural for of a tree and in delaying the time when it will be pruned again.
  • The lateral to which a branch or trunk is cut should be at least one-half the diameter of the cut being made.

Crown Restoration

  • Improves the structure and the appearance of trees that have been topped or severely pruned using heading cuts.
  • One to three sprouts on main branch
    • stubs should be selected to reform a more natural appearing crown.
    • Selected vigorous sprouts may need to be thinned to a lateral, or even headed, to control length growth in order to ensure adequate attachment for the size of the sprout.
    • Restoration may require several pruning over a number of years.Crown Raising
    • Removes lower branches of a tree in order to provide clearance for buildings, vehicles, pedestrians, and vistas.
    • At least one-half of the trees foliage should be left on branches that originate in the lower two-thirds of its trunk to ensure a well-formed, tapered structure and to uniformly distribute stress within a tree.
    • When pruning for view, it is preferable to develop “windows” through the foliage of the tree, rather than to severely raise or reduce the crown.

Want to learn more about tree trimming and taking care of your trees? Visit some of these related articles below that discuss proper tree care. You can also visit our services page to learn more about what tree services we provide in the Denver area.

If you live in the surrounding Denver area, we also provide tree trimming services to towns like Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Aurora, and many more areas! In fact, we are one of the major tree removal providers for Arvada! Check out the areas we service.

Simple Pruning Techniques

Preventing Roots from Damaging Your Home

Benefits of Mulching Around Your Trees

How to Keep Your Trees Healthy


Mature trees are a valuable asset in your yard for several reasons. Not only do they provide curb appeal, making your home look beautiful, they also offer additional benefits like shade or keeping your home cool during the summer months. Tree replacement and tree care services can be very costly, so it’s important to protect your investments by keeping your trees as healthy as possible and investing in the long-term look of your yard. 

Prune Your Trees

Pruning a tree means to cut off dead branches so that you can stimulate growth. But did you know that you can prune your tree at any time of the year, even during the dead of Winter when the tree has halted its growth period? Tree trimming can be a way that you can thin out your tree and remove some of the dead or diseased limbs. This can be important because it prevents overcrowding with our limbs, which can stimulate growth and give your tree some curb appeal. It’s important not to get too carried away or you can do more damage to the tree. Hiring a Denver tree trimming expert to do some meticulous pruning can save you the headache or stress of trying to do it yourself!

Feed Your Trees

Giving your tree the right nutrients and water is important to not only stimulate growth, but also keeps your tree healthy. Trees need fertilizer to not only help them grow strong and tall, but it can also make them more resilient. They are much more likely to stand-up to diseases and pests. Watering your tree is also essential to its health. If you’re wondering how much water you should give your tree, it primarily depends on the soil and also your climate. Obviously, regions with more rainfall require less watering! If you’re going through a particularly dry spell or drought, pay attention to watering your trees more often. During Colorado’s Winter months, there’s no need to water your tree during these dormant months when there isn’t a growing period. Summer months, where Colorado can be much more dry is when you want to make sure that your soil around the tree is moisturized.

Mulch Around Your Trees

Mulch is often something that most people forget when thinking about tree health. Mulch, such as wood chips, pine needles, grass clippings, bark, or gravel offer several benefits. It can prevent weeds from getting enough sunlight, which will keep all of the nutrients going to your tree instead of using it all up for their own growth. Mulch also keeps the soil moist. This will ensure that all the nutrients stay around the tree and that it doesn’t get washed away during those Summer rains. Mulch can keep the soil from becoming too compact. It helps reduce compaction that might occur in areas with lots of foot traffic.

Protect the Roots

Healthy roots are so important for a tree’s health. As mentioned above, compaction of the soil can impact a tree’s health. One of the ways that trees get nutrients into their tree roots is through oxygen. A tree’s roots needs air space to get oxygen, when a tree’s soil is compacted through foot traffic or even near-by construction, it can halt the tree’s ability to get proper water, oxygen, and fertilizer into the root system.

Healthy roots are essential for healthy trees, which means healthy soil is also critical. Oxygen is necessary for nutrient absorption by tree roots, which is why healthy soil has air space. Compacted soil is one of the biggest threats to tree roots because compaction impedes water infiltration and oxygen into the root zone.

What to Do Next

If you’re concerned about the health of your tree, be sure to reach out to one of our tree care professionals in Denver who can help give a proper diagnosis or give guidance on how you can better protect your trees and keep them in tip-top shape for years to come! We offer lots of tree services in the Denver area, so visit our services page for more information!

If you’re looking for tree services in Arvada, we also service this area! You can also visit our tree service area page to see all the coverage we have in Denver and surrounding areas.

Want to learn more about how to keep your trees healthy? Visit these articles below:

Prepare Your Soil

Care For Your Black Walnut Tree

Easy Ways to Tell If Your Tree is Alive or Dead

A few years ago, one of our customers came to us in a panic after one of their large Cottonwood trees fell on their garage only a week before new buyers were about to close on their home. They were justifiably upset that this could potentially prevent the buyers from purchasing their home. In addition, they only had a week to repair the damage that the fallen tree did to their garage.

When these customers had purchased their home ten years prior, they noticed that the tree looked sickly, but thought nothing of it. The tree (no longer budding leaves) showed signs of being sick, but it seemed to withstand all the summer storms that came with strong Colorado winds. Although advised by several people, they didn’t understand the safety issues that come with sick or dead trees until it was too late.

It’s important to take the time to examine your trees to determine their health. You can also ask one of our professional tree care specialists or arborists to provide you with a free diagnostic assessment of your trees. There are several ways you can also examine trees on your own, but as always it’s important to get expert advice from a reliable tree service company in Denver.

Trees are a beautiful accessory to any property!


Signs of Your Tree’s Health

Often there are straightforward signs that your tree is alive or dead. You might see rotting branches falling off or you could also see year around dead leaves covering your tree, but there is a much easier way to determine if your tree is still alive and maybe feeling a little under-the-weather.

Remember, sick trees can always be saved through a little care, but a dead tree is beyond repair and will need to be removed. That way it doesn’t do any potential damage to either you or your property. Make sure to contact one of our professionals if you need tree removal in Denver. We also offer tree removal in surrounding areas such as Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Berkeley, and Lakewood! See the areas we service here for tree removal in Denver.


How to Take a Health Assessment of Your Tree

While it’s always important to call professional to make an assessment, you can always use this quick trick to determine the health of your tree. First, using either your fingernail or a sharp knife, scratch the surface of one of the tree branches or twigs. If you peel away some of the surface, you should reveal a moist green layer underneath. If it looks dry, brittle or brown that is a good indication that your tree is dead.

After you’ve finished inspecting the first branch, move on to other areas. Scratch a few other surfaces on twigs or branches to look for signs of a healthy tree (moist and green). Also, look for other signs that can indicate a tree’s health. 

  • Do you see mold and fungus growing on one side of the tree or near the base?
  • Is the trunk peeling its bark or have cracks/splits down it?
  • If you look at the canopy, are there dead leaves, missing leaves, or dead hanging branches?
Photo by Mahima on Pexels.com

If your tree fails to pass any of these tests, you should reach out to one of our tree care professionals to determine if your tree is sick (and can be saved) or if its time to remove your tree and avoid damage to your home (or the neighbor’s home!). Our certified tree service professionals in Denver can inspect your tree in person and provide a diagnosis along with a treatment plan. We also offer several types of tree care services in Arvada, Berkeley and surrounding neighborhoods!

Give us a call today for all of your Denver tree trimming needs and more!

You can also visit some of our other helpful articles to learn more about our tree services in the Denver area!

The Best Low Maintenance Tree for Your Landscape in Colorado

Preparing Your Soil for Tree Planting

10 Fascinating Facts About Trees

Signs Your Tree is Dying

When you’re going on a hike out in the Colorado woods, you may notice trees that are dying around you. In nature, a dying tree is a perfectly natural part of the our eco-system’s lifecycle. A dying tree in a forest helps contribute to wildlife habitat, cycling nutrients, helping with plant regeneration, limiting erosion, and assisting with drainage/soil moisture, and carbon storage. There are so many ways that a dead tree gives back to nature.

Beautiful trees in Colorado are a part of our amazing landscape!

A tree that dies in your backyard, however, it poses several problems for your property and the surrounding area. It’s important to determine if your tree is dying or just sick. This is where a tree care professional can come in and assess your tree properly.

Below are a few warning signs to help you understand whether your tree is merely sick or that it’s dead. Of course, it’s always helpful to reach out to a certified and licensed Denver tree service expert for further examination to help you make the best assessment! Did you know that we also offer tree services in Arvada? Visit our services page to learn more about tree removal and tree trimming services in Arvada, CO and other areas we service.

Bare branches

A common sign that your tree might be dying is when you start to see several dead branches. If your tree is not budding new leaves in the Spring or it’s bare in the Summer months, this is a good indication that there is a problem. A healthy tree will have leaf coverage on all the branches during specific seasons, like Summer. If you have dead branches on only one side of your tree, it’s often a sign that there is serious root damage or something wrong with the trunk that might be unseen by an untrained eye. Having an arborist come out to inspect the tree can help give you guidance on what might be happening!

An example of bare branches and a dead tree.


Fungus

When you see a lot of fungus growing on the trunk of a tree, it’s another sign that your tree could be dying. Foliar/shoot type fungusis the most common type of fungus that you might see sprouting on one side of your tree. These might resemble large mushrooms that are clustered together. Not only do these cause cosmetic damage, but they also are a sign that your tree is experiencing internal rot. 

Photo by Marcus Lange on Pexels.com

Leaning Tree

When your tree starts to die, it will begin lean due to the roots losing their structure and their ability to hold the tree upright in the soil. When you see a tree start to lean suddenly vs. a tree having a more natural bend, it can be a sign of structural issues. You can tell if the lean is about structural issues by looking at the soil around the tree to see if there are cracks or heaving. We recommend that you keep a close eye on the tree to see if the leaning gets worse.  Trees leaning 15 degrees away from their original vertical position aren’t doing so well. 

Photo by Mike Andrei on Pexels.com

Dead Bark

Areas of dead bark or cankers that show up on trees are signs of fungal or bacterial infections. These infections can get beneath the tree’s surface and can open wounds. This can cause the bark to become sunken or for it all to fall off the tree resulting in exposure to the elements. A tree with several cankers can easily cause the tree to break or fall apart. 

Dead bark on a tree showing disease. If you see this, it’s time to reach out to a tree service professional!


Finding Resources

If you don’t feel comfortable identifying your tree’s health, consult on of our tree care professionals. Oftentimes, agricultural extensions provided by universities can help you determine your tree’s health.

What To Do Next

You can also reach out to an arborist, like one of our Denver tree care specialists! These individuals can help you determine the health of your tree and if tree removal is necessary. If it is, many arborists can help you with that as well! (We also offer tree removal in Arvada too!)

Our professionals also offer tree trimming services for the Denver, Arvada, Wheat Ridge and Lakewood community. Give us a call today!

For more information on caring for your tree, visit a few of our other posts:

Preparing Your Soil For Tree Care

Successfully Planting Your Trees and Shrubs