Category Archives: Tree Maintenance Tips

Ingenious Ways of Using Tree Stumps

Tree cutting is one of the services that you will periodically need if you have planted trees in your landscape. Construction projects, dead branches that pose a danger to the main house, installation of utility pipes are some of the reasons why you might want to remove a tree from your landscape. You do not have to do it yourself; there are companies who have mastered the art of safely cutting down a tree without affecting the surrounding.

After cutting down the tree,  do not throw away the stumps. Here are some ingenious ways of using the stumps to add value and elegance to your home.

tree stump

Use it as a Table

Tables add immense value to living rooms and patios. You can transform the stump into a side table or nightstand without spending a fortune. All you need to do is make both the top and bottom parts flat to enhance their stability. Go a step further and paint it to complement the other interior decorations in your room.

Ready Bird Bath

One of the benefits of having trees in your landscape is that you get a rare opportunity to watch birds as you relax after a long day at work or during the weekends. You can also keep a few birds to make your home lively and friendly. With a tree stump, you can create an ingenious birdbath that blends perfectly with your landscape. Just like the stump table, it has to be flat to stand tall and remain stable even during windy conditions. You will need to place a large tray, pot saucer, or plate on top of the stump and fill it with water. Watch birds, butterflies and even bees take a drink from it as you relax in your patio with friends and family members.

Make a Children Playground

Advancement in technology has led to development of many exercising equipment that you can use to do various exercises indoors especially during harsh weather conditions. However, it is imperative to do the same exercises outdoors to save on energy and revitalize your health. Use the stumps to design a quality playground for your children. For instance, you can arrange the stumps in rounds or make a rudimentary obstacle course by arranging stumps of varying heights in a straight line. You can also make a balance beam by just placing a sturdy log across two stumps. During the initial stages, you might have to teach your children how to play with the stumps, but encourage them to come up with your own challenging layouts. Be sure to help them set up the stumps to reduce the risk of injury.

Use them as a Planter

Did you know that you could convert a stump into a planter? Use a power drill or a chisel to make a hollow insertion on the stump, add soil, and plant your preferred flora such as flowers. Ensure that you water your plants regularly to promote their growth. If you intend to place the planter in your living room or patio, consider painting the outer parts to match with your home interior decorations.

Make Patio Stools

No need to spend hundreds of dollars on furniture for your patio, if you have stumps lying in your yard. Cut the tree stump into a stool and place it in your patio. Make it more comfortable to sit on by attaching a quality fiber cushion on top. The cushion cover should be made from a water resistant material such as canvas if you intend to put the stools outdoors.

Indeed, there are many ways of using tree stumps to your advantage. Nevertheless, hire a professional tree cutting company to remove the tree safely. They can actually help you to cut the stump to the right size based on what you intend to do with them.

Guide to Prune Fruit Trees in your Landscape

 

Planting fruit trees in your backyard will save you money and time that you would have spent purchasing fruits at one of the local stores. Just like other landscaping trees, there are a number of tree care procedures that you need to carry out periodically to promote their growth and productivity. Pruning is one of the essential tasks that you need to carry out to keep the tree health.

Here is a guide to help you do it correctly.

Step 1: Clean Up the Tree

This does not mean washing the tree with water and soap; it refers to pruning away sections of the tree that are diseased, dead, or damaged. Sprouts that emerge at the base of the trunk should be removed. They are commonly referred to as suckers and are incapable of producing quality fruits. There are also sprouts that grow from the main branches; they too should be removed to give other branches ample space to grow and produce fruits.

fruit tree care

Step 2: Thinning

The more branches that your trees have, the more nutrients they will need to produce fruits. Also, some of the branches will start to compete for the nutrients and space resulting in a handful of weak and unproductive branches. Thinning will help you get rid of such branches and foster growth of new branches. It also helps to allow optimal air and light penetration.

A recent study shows that properly thinned fruits trees are more productive and less prone to diseases and pest attacks. Do not forget to cut branches that grow downward or cross paths with other branches, as they make it almost impossible for pesticides to reach all parts of the tree when you spray.

You might also come across multiple branches growing from the same crotch in a parallel fashion or one hovering over the other. In such a scenario, you should retain only the branch that has the best crotch angle and looks health. This is because branches that have a wide crotch angle easily break when loaded with fruits while those with a narrow-angle tend to become bushy making it difficult to pick fruits. Experts recommend leaving a  6-12 inches air space between the branches.

Step 3: Head Back

This is the last step and the easiest; it involves pruning back the outermost growth sections of the tree. The primary essence of doing this is to make the branches shorter and thicker as they grow instead of gangly and long. Long branches often snap under the weight of fruit. Ideally, should cut off 20-30% of all the branches that grew in the last 12 months. One way of knowing the age of the branches is by looking at the wrinkly bark ring that encircles the stem.

According to fruit scientists, heading back triggers the tree hormones to activate maximum growth in the canopy. This in turn makes the tree shorter and more fruitful. It is also recommendable to ensure that you prune each branch back to at least ¼ inch above a bud that faces the direction you want the new branch to grow in the following year.

These are the four main steps that you should take when pruning fruit trees. Do not gamble with the health of your fruit trees, hire a professional tree care company if you do not know how to go about this task.